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Roadmap of Career Paths and Financial Freedom

04/18/2007

In the Rich Dad Poor Dad series, Robert Kiyosaki talks about taking the fast train to financial success rather than taking the “slow train”. If you really sit down and think about this, there are many implications when you are thinking about the career path that you wish to take. Without getting too intellectual about this, an observation about my friends career paths tell a very interesting story.

1. Slow and Steady

I have many friends who belong to this category. They work in corporate america and earn an “average” middle income. They are typically married and have a couple of kids. I guess they are living the american dream. But they cannot stop work now if they wanted to. Most are seeing a financial advisor, setting aside a systematic savings program to save over seven figures by the time they retire.

2. Fast track corporate america

I know another group of friends who work on Wall Street. Though they are ’employees’, they are certainly highly paid employees. Unlike others working in corporate america, these friends of mine can probably retire in their mid or late thirties. That is assuming that they have saved and invested wisely the bonuses they have made.

3. Business Owners

I also happen to know a lot of business owners. I know restaurant owners, manufacturers and many others. Most are relatively successful in their business but work very hard as well.

4. Wildly successful entrepreneurs

Yes, I do know a few of these people. What sets these friends apart from others is that they have this uncanny ability to see an exisiting problem that is not addressed by the marketplace and build a business around it. These friends of mine are extremely successful and wealthy. They have a very different mentality of most people. They are always looking for new ideas, have lots of energy and are generally very optimistic people.

Putting it all together

When I reflect back on all the people I know, the most successful people working in corporations are extremely hardworking and most of them come from very good schools and had very good academic grades. They are had a very good personality which enabled them to land starting jobs in great companies and in high paying industries like Wall Street firms, hedge funds, private equity, prestigious law firms etc. My friends who have risen to the top are wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. Those who hit a ceiling aren’t too shabby as well.

The successful entrepreneurs I have met are also different. Most are not from top schools. But they all have uniques ideas and more importantly, they take action and make their vision come through.

For those who are looking to start a career out of school and changing a career, I think it is important to take a hard look at yourself and ask what do you want to achieve. If you want to achive massive wealth in a short period of time (the fast track), then you cannot think and act like most people do. Perhaps a corporate america job will not be suitable unless you get a job on Wall Street or perhaps Google!

But just starting your own business isn’t going to generate massive wealth for you. To be successful, you have to have a very unique value proposition in the market space that you are addressing. Just opening a pizza place ‘because you love pizza’ isn’t going to cut it. You need to ask yourself if you have to mentality to think and act like an entrepreneur to pursue this path.

Whatever path you choose, I think it is important to have a financial objective. Like I said early, if you wish to generate lots of wealth fast and achieve financial freedom at a relatively young age, you have to be different and do things differently.

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