I built and rebuilt several businesses from 1974 to 1984. I was determined to become an entrepreneur. Just like a baby who stands and falls a number of times before learning to walk, I stood and fell a number of times before walking as an entrepreneur. I did this because I wanted to learn to be an insider, not an outsider.

From 1984 to 1994, I became an educational entrepreneur because I became interested in how people learn. Although I disliked school, I enjoyed learning. Also, I wanted to know why I always felt stupid in class. During those ten years, Kim and I built an education company that taught entrepreneurship and investing from our offices in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, and the U.S.

During this period of time I did things differently, almost the opposite of the way traditional schools teach. Instead of creating an environment where only one or two students were smart, I created an environment where everyone could feel smart and learn. Instead of competing, the class cooperated. Instead of having students listen to me lecture, I created different games to teach specific subjects. Instead of being bored, adult students were actively challenged, and participated.

I went on to develop my educational board game CASHFLOW from what I learned as an entrepreneurial educator, the first game to teach both accounting and investing at the same time. As you may know, accounting can be the most boring subject on earth and investing the most frightening. By combining the two subjects into one game, learning became challenging, and fun. A person could play the game a thousand times and still learn something new about accounting, investing, and themselves. The game was officially launched in 1996.

As I learned more about the human mind and how we learn, I found out a number of things about our school system that were disturbing. I found out that our current system of teaching actually damages a child's brain. In other words, even an A student can be slowed up by the educational system. The more I studied and practiced different teaching techniques in my classes, the more I began to find the answers I was looking for, and I found why I had constantly been labeled stupid or, at best, average.

Multiple Intelligences

Through my research I discovered the book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner. His work was mind-expanding and validating. He teaches that there are seven intelligences:
His book validated what I intrinsically knew; I simply didn't have the intelligences recognized by the school system, which are predominantly linguistic and logical-mathematical. This is one of the reasons I failed English twice in high school. I could not write, spell, or punctuate. I am not linguistic, and I am not logical.

In my freshman year at the Merchant Marine Academy, English became my favorite subject because I had a great teacher. If not for that teacher, I might not be an author today. My English teacher at the academy had great interpersonal skills, which is why he could relate to me. I respected him. Instead of talking down to me, he inspired me. We could speak person to person rather than teacher to student. In his class, I wanted to be smart, and I wanted to learn. Instead of another F in English, I received a B.

I Need Security

Later, as a Marine in Vietnam, it was my intrapersonal intelligence that kept me alive. Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to control your emotions and get the job done, even if the job is life-threatening. Many people are not successful financially because their intrapersonal intelligence is weak. People with limited intrapersonal intelligences often say, "I need job security," or "That sounds risky." These are examples of emotions doing the thinking, not intrapersonal intelligence.

As I studied more about Gardner and his theory of multiple intelligences, I realized that the A students were those who had high linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences. Reading, writing, and math were easy for them but very difficult for me. I read and wrote slowly, and I only liked math if I was measuring something like my boat or my money. My intelligence strengths were spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, and intrapersonal, which is why I doodled in class, built a boat, and was not threatened or motivated when teachers told me I wouldn't get a good job if I didn't get good grades.

At this time, you may want to ask yourself: of the seven intelligences, which are you strongest at?

From the book INCREASE YOUR FINANCIAL IQ, Get Smarter with You're Money. Copyright (c) 2008 by Robert Kiyosaki. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY. All rights reserved.

The above is an excerpt from the book Increase Your Financial IQ
by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Published by Business Plus; March 2008;$16.99US/$19.75CAN; 978-0-446-50936-1
Copyright © 2008 Robert T. Kiyosaki

Robert T. Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad -- USA Today's #1 Money Book for two years running and the international runaway best seller -- is an investor, entrepreneur and educator whose perspectives on money and investing fly in the face of conventional wisdom. He has, virtually single-handedly, challenged and changed the way tens of millions, around the world, think about money.

In communicating his point of view on why 'old' advice -- get a good job, work hard, save money, get out of debt, invest for the long term, and diversify -- is 'bad' (both obsolete and flawed) advice, Robert has earned a reputation for straight talk, irreverence and courage.

Rich Dad Poor Dad ranks as the longest-running best seller on all four of the lists that report to Publisher's Weekly -- The New York Times, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today -- and has held a top spot on the famed New York Times list for over five years.

Translated into 51 languages and available in 109 countries, the Rich Dad series has sold over 28 million copies worldwide and has dominated best sellers lists across Asia, Australia, South America, Mexico and Europe. In 2005, Robert was inducted into the Amazon.com Hall of Fame as one of that bookseller's Top 25 Authors. There are currently 13 books in the Rich Dad series.

Robert writes a monthly column -- 'Why the Rich Are Gelling Richer' -- for Yahoo! Finance and a monthly column titled 'Rich Returns' for Entrepreneur magazine.

Prior to writing Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert created the educational board game CASHFLOW® 101 to teach individuals the financial and investment strategies that his rich dad spent years teaching him. It was those same strategies that allowed Robert to retire at age 47.

Today there are more than 3,300 CASHFLOW Clubs -- game groups independent of The Rich Dad Company -- in cities throughout the world.

Born and raised in Hawaii, Robert Kiyosaki is a fourth-generation Japanese-American. After graduating from college in New York, Robert joined the Marine Corps and served in Vietnam as an officer and helicopter gunship pilot. Following the war, Robert went to work in sales for the Xerox Corporation and, in 1977, started a company that brought the first nylon and Velcro 'surfer wallets' to market. He founded an international education company in 1985 that taught business and investing to tens of thousands of students throughout the world. In 1994 Robert sold his business and, through his investments, was able to retire at the age of 47. During his short-lived retirement he wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad. In Robert's words, "We go to school to learn to work hard for money. I write books and create products that teach people how to have money work hard for them."

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