The day I was given Rich Dad Poor Dad

February 7, 2013

The lounge always smelled kinda funny. It wasn’t rank or mildewy, it just filled your nose with the smell of linoleum tile and industrial cleaner upon entering, and bothered you just enough to notice but not enough to keep you out. Very few students ever used the lounge, which was in the basement, directly below the cavernous entry and main foyer of the dorm, and I was never really sure why. It was cool and quiet and close to the vending machines. Two curved walls were lined with red vinyl booths in the center of the room and the floor was covered in giant black and white tiles. Walking down the wide staircase from the lobby you would wind up in the doorway of the room, where the vending machines were on the left wall and the door to the hallway leading towards the coin laundry was back to the right.

I can’t recall what I was doing there that evening. It was sometime during the second semester of my freshman year, so prepping for a mid-term or even a final could have been my main concern. Perhaps I was working on a paper or studying for a quiz, or maybe I just wanted to get away and the quiet spot was appealing. For whatever reason I was there, he was there, too.

He was a friend of my roommate and someone I considered a buddy. He, the only son of a successful trial lawyer, and me, very much my father’s daughter, were having a lovingly geeky conversation about Roth IRA’s. I called my dad shortly thereafter, in fact, and before I knew it I had an account that I proudly and committedly contributed to throughout my twenties.

I had never had conversations like that before. We talked about big things that night. Money and planning and dreams and goals. I was a late teen college student, child of the middle class, and newly pledged sorority girl. I graduated from Valley High School; a Valley girl, literally. I was – at the time – an overachieving, naive pre-dentistry major.

I had a solid, loving, and splendidly normal upbringing. Comfortably middle class but with conservative, hardworking parents who prided themselves as masters of cash-flow; low monthly cash-flow out results in a higher disposable income, they taught me. The lifestyle they built came complete with a membership to the country club, a reliable used car at sixteen, and occasional, impactful mini lessons on money.

It was those lessons, engrained into my subconscious from childhood, coupled with a strong Type A, eldest-child desire to learn and know everything, that set me up that night.

When the book was handed over there wasn’t much fanfare.

Have you read this? It’s kinda good.
Nope. Huh, (reading the back cover) it sounds cool.
It’s yours. You’re welcome to borrow it.
Oh ok. Thanks.

And that was it.

I borrowed the book. I read it.

And after closing the cover I knew something had shifted.

Instead of working for money, have money work for you.

It came through loud and clear, that message, and I never forgot it.

I was hooked. Hooked on thinking differently, hooked on the concept of money working in my favor, and hooked on the possibilities. I was suddenly a student of learning to such a degree that I would forever read more ferociously, live with more curiosity, and be committed to creating time and financial freedom in my life after reading it.

But I didn’t know that then. The evening had grown late and the bright red booths were all but empty. Minimal studying was accomplished. Inconsequential chatter amongst two young college students breezily took its place. The borrowed book had been tucked into my backpack and temporarily forgotten. I didn’t know then that, once read, it would never be forgotten again.

Oh how that book worked me. But it did start it all. It really did.

It started my shift in mindset.
It started my personal development journey.
It started my quest for financial freedom.
It started my determined road to success and residual income and defining my own life.

If I had known what trouble it would cause six years later, I’m not sure I ever would have had the guts to open it.

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