I'm too embarrassed to tell my wife about what I have learned. I too went to the 2 hour seminar, even took my dad. Dropped the $500 bucks for the 3 day class, I was alone, thankfully. I will admit, the speaker was a pleasant person. He never came across as a punk, nor did the two people working with him. We would give vague references about "how to make money" through Real Estate Investments, but never any great detail. We were asked to bring the R.E. section of the Sunday newspaper. It sat in my bag the entire time. We were given "homework" to increase our credit card amount. I did my homework, and I did get an increase on my card, and the interest rate was dropped to 1.9% (from 18%) until April 2008. Not going to use it, but hey, it did work.
I did notice how the speaker did not follow what I learned from the RDPD books. No mention, ever, of using a part-time business to fund your purchases. (This is pretty sound advice.) In fact, no one, not even I, brought this up.
The second day was troubling. I noticed that the speaker was using certain phrases over and over. He referred to the Cashflow Quadrant a lot. "Are you beginning to go from the left side of thinking to the right?"; he would ask the class. (I had been there for a while; I believe the "Cashflow Quadrant" book is the best of the entire series.)
Why did this trouble me?... Before I answer, I must confess, I am a salesman. I sell copiers, faxes and printers. I work hard. I have to get out of bed and "cold call" 20-25 businesses a day. I've learned not to take rejections personally. If you ask any of the clients that I have, I hope that they say that the best thing about me is my committment to personal service. I return my calls, and if possible, I'll bring the supplies to their office, just to save the shipping charges. I'm not a "used car salesman", who waits in an office, for someone to spend their tax money on a P.O.S. That being said, ...what troubled me? Quick lesson for everyone; Many "new" salesman are taught to ask a customer only questions that are answered with a "yes". Every time a prospect says yes, you're one step closer to a sell. If they say no, you have to start all over. That's what troubled me. I was being led towards something, and I knew it was not going to be good. By the end of the second day, the speaker passed out the "Rich Dad Academy" classes and price sheet. In my head I heard the theme to "Jaws". (I also always hum this whenever I look at cars and see a salesman coming with that stupid grin on his face.)
The third day comes, and I looked around the room. Some of the shock of the prices, up to $44,000.00, had worn off. Give them a night to sleep on it, right? Already spent 2 days, might as well stick the third day out, even if I miss lunch. The speaker spoke about lease options and foreclosures. He asked if anyone owned rental properties now, and some did. They stood up and spoke about how they did the deal, and how much Cashflow they had at the end of the month. This gets you motivated. You think to yourself, 'I can do this.' The speaker even showed us the software that goes with the classes. He brought up a home that was for sale, and a couple from the next table over knew that neighborhood, 'not far from theirs' they said. Motivation gets stronger. We were given about a 20 minute break, since I had missed lunch; I purchased 2 Snicker's bars and a Dr. Pepper at the vending machine. I knew a hard sale was coming, just wasn't sure in what form. We were all called back to class, and the Cashflow Game was passed out. We were instructed to play the game to get out of the Rat Race. (Positive re-enforcement.) After about an hour, each person is asked to the back of the room by 'the helpers'. 'Are you thinking on the right side?', I was asked. I knew then that I had to say NO. I couldn't let her get me to say 'yes' even once. After about three tries she knew I was a lost cause, and with 'sad eyes' wished me luck.
A couple of days later I received a phone call. I was asked if I enjoyed the Rich Dad class. 'I had learned a lot', I told him. He was so happy for me. He pushes the conversation toward a '12 month mentor program'. 'I have no interest right now', I told him. 'I'm going to concentrate on starting a business for myself'He wants me to talk to his supervisor, blah, blah, blah; you get the rest.
Today, I got an email from him. I noticed the return address was for a wincorporation.com. 'What the hell is that?' I thought. I followed the trail. This has led me to writing this letter. $500.00 wasted, but a mistake that I will turn into a positive learning experience. I wrote a friend, in Texas, not to go to the class. I hope I made it in time.
I'm going to keep my RDPD books. They are a reminder of my stupidity. The world is full of sharks; some just have a larger dorsal fin than others.
One other thing, I was always troubled whenever Sharon Lechter wrote about 'Rich Dad' as though she had learned from him also. That always struck me as odd.
How will I ever tell my wife?