Lessons in Military Leadership for Entrepreneurs

boat-606187_640Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with @theRealKiyosaki. Robert T. Kiyosaki is best known as the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad. This is the #1 personal finance book of all time, which has challenged and changed the way tens of millions of people around the world think about money. Robert is an educational entrepreneur, co-creator of the CASHFLOW® board game, founder of the financial education-based Rich Dad Company and author of multiple New York Times Bestsellers including: Conspiracy of The Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money, and Unfair Advantage and his latest book 8 Lessons in Military Leadership for Entrepreneurs. For more information, visit richdad.com 

SmallBizLady: Why do you think military leadership is valuable for entrepreneurs?

Robert Kiyosaki: The military was like a father to me. In many of the same ways that my rich dad taught me about money, the military taught me about leadership. I wrote my new book 8 Lessons in Military Leadership for Entrepreneurs to remind everyone that the great leadership skills taught in the military are transferable to entrepreneurship. But these skills are not just for those who served in the military. If you’re an entrepreneur you must lead. This book will teach you how.

SmallBizLady: How do you think military training can help business owners?

Robert Kiyosaki: Simple. The world needs jobs. Small business owners create jobs. Anyone who has served in the military has been trained to succeed as an entrepreneur. Now I believe, we will have stronger business owners if this type training were available to everyone. The training, discipline, and leadership skills taught in the military can be leveraged for huge success in the world of business. I walk readers through these practical lessons in my new book.

SmallBizLady: So what are the 8 Lessons?

Robert Kiyosaki: 8 Lessons in Military Leadership for Entrepreneurs is divided into eight sections and lessons. The eight lessons are Mission and Team, Discipline, Respect, Authority, Speed, Power of Connectivity, Leaders as Teachers, and Sales and Leadership. I went into the military a shy boy and I came out a man who could lead other men and women.

SmallBizLady: How can entrepreneurs and veterans leverage those skills in business?

Robert Kiyosaki: True entrepreneurism is about leading. If you can lead, you can build a team. Through great leadership a team can do anything, including raise money, create products, and develop systems. The military skills in this book can make a man into a leader, and a leader into an entrepreneur.

SmallBizLady: So how should aspiring entrepreneurs get started?

Robert Kiyosaki: The very first step any aspiring entrepreneur should take is making the choice between Freedom and Security—or, said another way, between being an entrepreneur and being an employee. It’s up to every individual to make that choice for themselves based on what excites them, where their interests lie and what resources they have available to them. I want to point out that making the choice to start your own business or to begin investing in real estate or other commodities doesn’t have to be and can’t always be to the exclusion of working a “job,” especially when an entrepreneur is just getting started.

SmallBizLady: So the choice to become an entrepreneur has been made, now what?

Robert Kiyosaki: 8 Lessons takes each lesson in military leadership and correlates it to how to start and lead a business. To get started, an individual must identify the players they need on their team, sell them into joining the team, and then build the culture for success that the entire team buys into. Just like the military.

SmallBizLady: So we have touched on Leadership but I’d like to hear more of your thoughts on that because it is so critical for an entrepreneur.

Robert Kiyosaki: I couldn’t agree more and I spend a lot of time on the significance of leadership in the book. Being able to unite people to work as a team toward a common goal is probably the most important skill for an entrepreneur — and it isn’t something that’s taught in traditional schools. Developing leadership skills can be done but requires some reflection and action. I lay this out in detail in the chapters of this book. I wasn’t always an effective leader. I was taught to lead in the Merchant Marines. I think that’s the most important message as it relates to Leadership: Leadership can be taught.

SmallBizLady: Tell us about the other contributors to the book.

Robert Kiyosaki: 8 Lessons in Military Leadership includes perspective from other proud veterans, including Lieutenant General (Ret.) Jack Bergman of the United States Marine Corps, who wrote the Foreword, as well as Robb LeCount who served as an Aviation Machinist Mate in the United States Navy and is now an entrepreneur, small business owner, and serves as Director of Information Technology at The Rich Dad Company. I appreciate both of them and their willingness to contribute to this book. I think Robb’s insights on Discipline are very valuable. He calls the military mindset as a whole his best teacher of Discipline and credits that with his many successes in civilian life.

SmallBizLady: Tell us about the power of Respect in the military and as an entrepreneur.

Robert Kiyosaki: I think this is one that non-military entrepreneurs may find surprising. In the world of business, especially sales, you always hear about the “ABCs”—or “Always Be Closing.” In the military, it’s “Always Be Caring.” The order of caring is defined as

  1. Mission
  2. Team
  3. Self

That is how leaders earn respect, in both the military and in business.

SmallBizLady: Leaders as Teachers is cited as one of the lessons. Please explain the importance of teaching for entrepreneurs.

Robert Kiyosaki: Great leaders and teachers are often people of few words. Bad leaders and teachers often talk a lot. They give orders that no one follows. They share wisdom that no one wants. When a person talks too much, they are failing to learn by observing and listening. Great leaders and teachers, in the military and in business, listen and observe more than they talk. When they do talk, they often ask questions. The person who asks the question is in control.

SmallBizLady: Tell us about the Million Book Mission and how you are supporting our nation’s veterans.

Robert Kiyosaki: We are kicking off the Million Book Mission this month to celebrate National Military Appreciation Month. For every copy of 8 Lessons in Military Leadership for Entrepreneurs sold between now and April 8, 2017, The Rich Dad Company and Plata Publishing will donate $3 to fund programs and projects that support servicemen and women and their families around the world.

SmallBizLady: What does it really take to be a successful entrepreneur?

Robert Kiyosaki: There’s so much in the world around us that feels out of our control. And in many cases, it is. I encourage people to take control and to change what they can change… themselves. Every person has the power to make financial education a priority in their lives and invest time to study and take the action that will shape their future. I firmly believe the world needs more entrepreneurs who will create jobs, real jobs. I also believe military veterans are uniquely trained to succeed as entrepreneurs. If you adopt these military lessons in my book, you will be a better entrepreneur, too.

If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9 pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter. Here’s how to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz

For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.

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