“Broke is temporary; poor is eternal.” – Robert Kiyosaki
I’ve been broke many times. You know that time called “back to zero,” when you have nothing and sometimes you even owe thousands of dollars? Yes, I have been there many times, even after I made the transition to entrepreneurship. I call those times the “restart times” or, even better, “the restart time but be wiser this time.” It does not matter if you are back to zero after some failures; what really matters is what you have learned through that experience and that you know how to come back and stand on your feet.
One of the reasons I have been able to come back is that I learned how to invest. I continued to be broke for a couple of years, because whatever I was making I was reinvesting, testing new ideas or businesses. Of course, some failed and others worked, so I was always lacking in cash flow. Sometimes you need to be able to break into a certain level of cash flow to be able to finance your other projects, but when you are in an early stage of breakthrough, the restart times might repeat again and again until you find your own magic formula of success.
And sometimes what makes you broke is that you understand the power of investing and you start investing most of your money. As an early investor, sometimes you start with 10 percent to 20 percent of what you have. Sometimes when your knowledge of the investing subject exceeds your cash flow, it pushes you to try to invest more, regardless how little cash you have. I have been in this situation many times; despite my small cash flow, I still invest up to 70 percent to 80 percent of what I’m making. Of course, that process pushes you many more times into the restart time, but at the same time it stretches you more to succeed. Without stretching yourself, you will stay limited. Of course, when you have more at stake, such as a family to take care of, you need to be more careful with your stretching.
So being broke is not a necessarily bad thing. Even if you are not building businesses or systems, it’s normal that you sometimes fail and become broke. It’s not a shame that you are broke. This is how you are going to learn. When you start from zero and you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, you have more motivation to do something. The pressure shakes us from time to time, and sometimes this shake is good, because that is where most people take massive action toward what they want to achieve. Many entrepreneurs make the transition after they lose their jobs; so many entrepreneurs made the transition in the bad times of the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. Since they couldn’t find a job, they took the entrepreneurial journey.
So coming back to zero a couple of times is not a bad thing. It’s part of the success and learning process. You better do it quickly and the younger the better, because when you are young, you are more flexible in stretching yourself and discovering new limits. When you’re young, you also can take more risks as you have less responsibilities. That’s why startups usually are led by people in their 20s; their drive is amazing and they are generally fearless at this age. So do it as early as possible in your life, so for the rest of your life you will enjoy the wisdom that you gained from these experiences.
This will be a priceless experience that you will never forget and you will always appreciate. But, of course, at the time of the crisis, you will feel pain, you will hate yourself, and you will have disbelief in yourself. But later on, when you look back and connect the dots, you will feel that this is what made you who you are: stronger, wiser, and more successful.
So being broke is a very, very normal thing. What is abnormal is being poor; this is when you have nothing but never bounce back from it. So this is what you should have in your mindset: Although the words mean the same for many people, you have to differentiate them and focus on the feeling of coming back, bouncing back. This is what is important; the real entrepreneurs can just bounce back.
After what I learned through the years, I made the transition. I’m not rich yet, but I’m financially free. I know I’m going to be very wealthy; it’s just a matter of time and more experiences, because I broke many areas of the money code, but it just requires more tuning to break it completely. Before you break the money code, you need to work on breaking many other codes, such as how to learn efficiently, how to have a vision, how to be persistent and fight to achieve your dreams, and many others. Each one of us learns to break different codes at many different levels, so breaking the wealth code requires breaking certain other codes. The most important aspect that you need to keep in mind when you break any code is time. For example, everyone is learning, but the question is how efficiently you are learning, whether you can achieve your goal within a certain period of time.
So the main point of this post is not to talk about being mega-rich, because I haven’t become mega-rich yet. If you want to learn something from someone, make sure to listen to the people who have achieved the thing you’re trying to accomplish. What I have accomplished is financial freedom, and this is what I’m trying to teach you about. So don’t listen to the people who want to impart wisdom about things that they have never done. I see so many authors or professors who talk about, let’s say, business, and they never had a business in their life. They never managed a company in their life.
If you want to learn how to manage a company, then you go learn it from somebody who has broken through in making a great company. If you want to learn how to be an investor, you go learn it from an angel investor or a venture capitalist.
This is the point that you need to understand: Being broke is a temporary thing. Being poor is something that’s going to continue and you need to do something to change that. It’s completely fine to be broke. And the point of being an entrepreneur, a real entrepreneur, is to know how to bounce back from your previous failures.
Before, when I was an employee and when I was at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey, I was terrified, because I was confused on what to do. Again, I had to start from zero. But now I’m completely fine with coming back to zero, because I know that I will bounce back. I know how to bounce back from many disaster situations, and in case I still don’t know how to bounce back from some of them, I will figure out a way to do so. It’s important to learn and gain experience, because no one can take those two things from you, and those two things are what will help you figure your way out of a disaster. Maybe I will lose my money and make mistakes, but nobody will take this experience from me that has taught me how to bounce back. That’s why I’m no longer scared of going back to zero or becoming broke again.
Even if it’s painful, even if it will take time to bounce back, when you’re confident enough that you are able to bounce back, then you will become fearless in the business world. You will be able survive many disasters and come out of it stronger and wiser and more successful.