We’re seeing it on the news and right in front of our doorsteps; the economy doesn’t look optimistic and frontline sectors such as Retail and Food & Beverage have been hit with nothing but bad news. Regardless of what business or industry you’re in, everyone is telling you the same thing; be prepared.
Not all is gloom and doom, however. There are still companies who are not just surviving, but thriving, and they all have one thing in common. We’re pleased to have Robert Kiyosaki with us to share his thoughts on the business climate in Singapore and offer advice to struggling companies on how to still profit amidst an unstable economic climate.
Robert, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. First and foremost, what are your thoughts on the business climate in Singapore?
I think that if you own a business in Singapore, you’re in one of the best places in the world to be. Besides a thriving economy with potential for growth, you’re also in one of the most well-connected hubs in the world with one of the highest GDP per Capita.
The crux of the issue right now is that Singapore’s economy, like any other economy in the world, is being affected by the declining global economy and that’s normal. The real challenge for businesses is to find out how they can rise above this, because most local businesses I’ve seen are just taking a step back and waiting for things to happen to them.
What’s the best advice you can give these businesses?
First of all, stop thinking that whatever you’re doing is right. Take a step back, educate yourself, and then change the way you run your business internally. Most businesses I’ve seen have the owners taking on too many roles for their own good; from making decisions to micromanaging, to even doing the work that they hired other people for! How can you think about growing your business and profiting from it when you’re so caught up with everything that has been happening on the ground?
Secondly, go digital. A very good friend of mine from Malaysia, Peng Joon, is the world’s leading authority in online wealth creation, meaning that his businesses are purely based on the Internet and you know what the best part about that is? It’s not affected by what happens to the physical markets. If you can crash-proof your business that way, you’re already more than halfway to guaranteeing your business’ profitability.
Many people feel that starting a business or going into entrepreneurship is a huge step to take in life and most don’t end up pursing it. What are your thoughts on those?
Go into entrepreneurship. Just do it. The best way to get the most experience in the shortest period of time is to make mistakes. Working at a job isn’t going to teach you how to deal with life’s curveballs, so it’s up to you to learn them.
If you don’t feel you’re up to starting your own business just yet, go into sales or join a Multi-Level Marketing company. You have to learn to sell and market something, anything. The problem with society and our conventional education system today is that it actively discourages mistakes and coddles us instead. That is wrong.
So what advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship isn’t the kind of thing that you can do on a whim and expect to succeed on the first try. This isn’t school or a corporate life where you’re “safe and sound”. This is real life, so if that is what your impression of entrepreneurship and being a business owner is like, turn back now and think long and hard about why you want to go into business.
For those who are ready, you should start to build 5 key entrepreneurship strengths:
1) Develop a thick skin
Roll with the punches and don’t take anything personally, especially criticism. The best lessons you’ll learn are the ones where the work you’ve done for 3 days in a row is shot down because there’s a simply a better way you haven’t thought of yet.
2) Get used to being constantly connected
Unlike a 9 to 5 role, there’s no such thing as “disconnecting” or “shutting off” when you’re an entrepreneur. If a client asked you to meet at the 11th hour for a potential deal or an overseas contact reaches out to you past midnight to connect, you buckle down and get it done. Get used to it.
3) Break the habit of looking for constant praise
When you’re an employee, you’re constantly bombarded with performance reviews and daily, if not weekly feedback on how you’re doing. If you’re an entrepreneur, don’t expect the same. Your praise will come in the form of making money, and don’t expect that praise anytime soon.
4) Become your own motivation
This is similar to looking for or needing to receive constant praise. When you wake up in the morning, you know what to do and why you need to do them. No one is going to give you a list of tasks to do and then follow up on when they’re going to be done. You’re on your own for this one.
5) Be comfortable wearing multiple hats
Most people I know of are content with just specialising in a single skill. It doesn’t matter whether they’re in events, marketing, designing, or writing. If you’re comfortable with only doing one thing, never be an entrepreneur, and if you’re a solopreneur, this holds even more weight. You’re going to need to make numerous decisions and execute numerous tasks, and you better be confident when doing so.
If you’ve looked at all 5 points and think you can go through it, I’d say go for it. But if you think you’re lacking, set a plan and work on it.
Thank you for the in-depth advice! On the other side of the coin, what are your thoughts on young people who wish to work for a company vs. becoming an entrepreneur?
Everybody is born an entrepreneur. I never met a child not interested in money, but the system beats it out of you. Take a job for what you want to learn.
Ask yourself, “What life skills do I want to accomplish? How am I going to get those life skills?” If you’re going to be dangled by a paycheck, you’re a whore. That’s really what you are.
There are fewer jobs today. We need more entrepreneurs to create jobs. Our schools create employees. That’s the crisis right now.”
If there was a single piece of advice you could give to anyone regardless of what they’re doing right now, what would it be?
Know that we’re being ripped off as a people by the very same financial systems that we think are protecting us. There’s a reason why my book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” has been around for 20 years, because it’s covered the history of how we got into this financial crisis and why we’re comfortable in an environment where we absolutely should NOT be.
The predictions I made in 1997 are coming true 20 years later, and if people don’t step up and take responsibility for their own financial lives, then there’s nothing they can do when they inevitably become financially sandwiched.
Read the book. Become educated. Become aware. If you don’t break out of this system or your comfort zone, no one is going to do it for you. It’s now or nothing.
Thank you, Robert, for taking the time to share your experience with us today!
Whether you’re an entrepreneur thinking of the best way to start your business or a seasoned veteran looking to overcome the challenges of the current economic landscape, we hoped that you’ve taken with you a few nuggets that will help you create the profitable business you’ve always wanted.
In fact, if you wish to learn even more from Robert Kiyosaki, why not head down to the Business & Investor Summit taking place at the Singapore Expo from 14 – 15 October 2017? Robert Kiyosaki will be speaking for a full 8 hours over 2 days and in addition, will feature speakers that will help your business such as Tom Wheelwright (Tax Expert and Rich Dad Advisor).
Find out more by clicking the image below!