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Category Archives: Universal Laws of Becoming an Entrepreneur

It’s Time to Rethink Our Approach to the Holidays

In light of everything happening in this country and the world lately, perhaps it’s time to step back and ask ourselves what do we really want this time of year to be about? Is the annual year-end shopping frenzy worth the stress, exhaustion and expense? Would it truly be a disaster if we bought family and friends fewer gifts and spent less money? (If so, perhaps you need to also take a hard look at the folks on your list.)

FICO, the firm that invented the credit score, reports that credit card debt is the top concern of most consumers with 30% of survey respondents vowing to reduce the amount they spend over the holidays this year and two-thirds expecting to charge $500 or less.

None-the-less, spending limits set with good intentions back in October are easily exceeded by the end of December. According psychologists, guilt, getting caught up in the excitement of the moment and/or the competition to keep up with the “Joneses” can lead us to spend more than we can afford. A survey taken in January by found that last year nearly one in five people who created a holiday budget blew it. Income level was not a factor; “the percentage of people who paid more for presents than planned was consistent, varying by only 5 percentage points”, according to the report.

In fact, 13% of consumers who used a credit card to buy last year’s gifts have still not paid off the balance, according to a recent poll by Consumer Reports.

The holiday spending conundrum can be especially painful in the current economic climate. Gregory Downing, Rich Dad Education Trainer and author of Entrepreneur Unleashed: Wealth to Stand the Test of Time, suggests parents on a budget level with their children. “We shelter kids from the truth about financial issues. Parents don’t like to face the reality, either.”

As difficult as it might be to tell your family that you cannot afford to spend the amount of money on gifts that you have in the past due to financial constraints, pretending that nothing has changed does more harm than good. Regardless of age, children have an uncanny ability to sense that something’s wrong or different. “When we hide things from our kids, they know it, and that creates a level of distrust,” says Downing, who maintains that the biggest breakdown in families today revolves around communication. In an age-appropriate way, he says it’s critical to “tell them what’s going on in the house. If the family is struggling, kids know. It’s not helpful to hide this.”

Thirteen years ago Downing walked away from a well-paying job managing 130 employees at four car dealerships. “I moved from being an employee of corporate America to a successful real estate investor and entrepreneur. I gave my kids everything they wanted because I didn’t get that [as a child]. I thought I was doing the right thing, but I created a small tribe of spoiled brats.”

Determined to change the situation, Downing decided the holidays would be a time of giving instead of receiving. He sat the family down and told his children that they had received a lot of things throughout the year and that they should not expect any extravagant gifts for the holidays. Even if they didn’t have everything they wanted, they were a lot better off than most families and they were going to shift their focus to helping others.

These days, with the help of the Red Cross, his family adopts 15 families each year and provides Christmas gifts for everyone. “My kids buy the presents.”

Although you might be facing your own financial problems, there’s a good chance others are in worse shape. Downing suggests parents have an honest conversation with their children, explaining that, “others are struggling more than we are. This year we’re going to have a fundraiser to help them.” Or, arrange for your children to help serve food at a homeless shelter. “It’s an eye-opener,” says Downing. “They realize how fortunate they are. It’s amazing how much kids will be more willing to give than take.”

A big problem with the year-end holidays, according to Downing, is that both parents and children have unrealistic expectations. Parents give more than they can afford- often out of guilt, and in return, their children develop “an entitlement mentality” where they become reliant on someone else providing for them. As they get older, this turns into what Downing calls the “employee mindset.” Instead, he thinks we should be teaching our children to have an “entrepreneur mentality,” one where they learn to become self-sufficient instead of expecting to be taken care of by an employer.

The first step in Downing’s approach is to lay out your family finances so that your children begin to think of it as a business. Show them your pay stubs so they know how much money you bring home and then list all of the family expenses, everything from groceries, to cable and the cost of braces. While many parents would balk at this, Downing considers it critical to then ask your children for ideas about how to reduce the family’s expenses and how they might personally contribute to the family income.

Obviously, what you share with your kids should fit the age of the child. Young children might contribute by walking the dog or cleaning up the family room. With older children the goal is to get them to “think about what their passions are and ask how they might make money from this.” Perhaps this has something to do with computers or tutoring another child who has difficulty with math or Spanish.

“Contributing is, of course, the antithesis of being spoiled,” says Downing, whose family is proof this approach can work. His 17-year-old son is already an entrepreneur: He just bought his third small business- a tackle shop- and is a minority owner in some real estate with his dad, who made it clear the young man is responsible for paying back the money he was loaned. “He knows what it costs” to run each business, Downing proudly says. And he’s earning a profit. In fact, dad no longer gives him an allowance. His son uses the income from his businesses to cover his car expenses and nights out with friends.

Downing stresses that there’s nothing inherently evil about being wealthy, which, he says, is about “how well you meet the needs of others.” The key is to remember that other side of the coin is giving back. He says parents are the ones who need to set an example for their children. “How much time do you spend contributing to those who are not as blessed as you are?,” asks Downing. “Even if you give [your children] bushels of ‘stuff,’ but also take them with you when you work for two hours at the soup kitchen, they won’t be spoiled. They just won’t.”

Ms. Buckner is a Retirement and Financial Planning Specialist and an instructor in Franklin Templeton Investments’ global Academy. The views expressed in this article are only those of Ms. Buckner or the individual commentator identified therein, and are not necessarily the views of Franklin Templeton Investments, which has not reviewed, and is not responsible for, the content.

Gregory Downing

Rich Dad Education Trainer


Winners and Losers

I had a student one time ask me the definition of a Rich Dad Investor and I simply replied:




If you will always remember to be of service in this world, the money will take care of itself. It always helps me stay focused when I think of Robert and Kim’s mission statement:  To Elevate The Financial Well Being Of Humanity.

Very Powerful Statement

Gregory Downing

Rich Dad Education Trainer

Universal Laws Of Becoming An Entrepreneur – #13

I Will Remain Conscious That My Faith Equals My Follow-Through

There are probably hundreds of times I have made a decision and then doubted it, changed my mind, or blamed someone else for my lack of commitment. The underlying reason people tend to revert back to what they are used to doing is a lack of trust in themselves. That old tape begins running every time we step out of our comfort zone. Fear causes me to make excuses go back to “where it’s safe.”

One of the ways we justify this behavior is by questioning the decisions we have made. Sometimes I think; “If I do this, and it doesn’t work, it will ruin me.” My willingness to change these internal mental programs will enable me to realize that my commitment to the project is what carries it through.

All that stands between me and wealth is the knowledge and the commitment to build it. Tasks are only hard when I don’t know how to perform them. The laws of becoming an entrepreneur will allow me to create financial abundance without working myself to death. Entrepreneurship is a learned skill, not reserved for the elite few.

By Gregory Downing, Author Entrepreneur Unleashed
Rich Dad Trainer

Universal Laws Of Becoming An Entrepreneur – #12

I Will Remain Aware that I Am 100% Responsible, 100% of the Time, for the Results in My Life

I know, at least on an intellectual level, that no one is going to build wealth for me; if I truly want to become financially free, I have to create my life and set things up to make my dream come true.

The truth is that I am 100% responsible 100% of the time for the results in my life. I commit to becoming more consciously aware that I am the only one who can create a life of financial abundance and generational legacy.

Every morning from today forward, I will make a commitment to do one small thing that moves me one step closer to financial independence and freedom. It might be a fresh approach to an old problem, it may involve my stepping out of my comfort zone, but from today onward, I will devote a portion of every single day to my future and to my goals. Life has a way of kicking in—there are bills to pay, problems to solve, and circumstances that need attention. I will not allow these things to stop me, because today, and every day, I will make the time to move toward the life of my dreams!

By Gregory Downing, Author Entrepreneur Unleashed
Rich Dad Trainer

Universal Laws Of Becoming An Entrepreneur – 11

AGREEMENT # 11 OF 50 by Gregory Downing
Ok just to warn everyone this is a tough one!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I Will Always Give My 100%, 100% of the Time!

The essence of this agreement revolves around my knowledge that life has, at times, been an emotional roller coaster ride. Sometimes I have felt as if I was giving life 110%, while on other days, I have felt as if I could only give 90%. Instead, it is possible to give my all every day of my life. I only have 100% and I can never give more than that. Sometimes this emotional roller coaster ride is a result of my getting excited about the next big thing and going full-steam ahead, but not having a formulated plan with systems, team, knowledge, or a mentor to help me execute the plan.

Life does not have to be chaotic. Instead, if I begin each day with a reaffirmation of my vision and desire for the future, I will feel more encouraged and have more energy to keep the commitments I have made to myself. Each morning I will remind myself that I am the foundation of my wealth and the creator of my future. I will soon become more confident, and that confidence will fuel my ability to give my 100%, 100% of the time.

By Gregory Downing, Author Entrepreneur Unleashed
Rich Dad Trainer

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