If You Want to Be Rich and Happy Don’t Go to School by Robert Kiyosaki

“If You Want to Be Rich and Happy Don’t Go to School” by Robert Kiyosaki is quite perhaps the most controversial book I have ever read.

And not in a bad way either.

It just goes against the status quo and will make you question everything you have ever been taught about education and money.

Robert Kiyosaki’s book “If You Want to be Rich and Happy Don’t Go to School” is nothing short of brilliant.

I first read this book in 2002.

I was wandering around a Border’s Book Store in Colorado Springs, Colorado and stumbled across it.

I have to admit that the title really caught my attention.

I picked it up, skimmed through a few pages, and decided to buy it.

Up until that moment in time I was taught the importance of “getting a solid education” by going to college, so I could get a good job with a big company, have job security, and retire when I was 65.

Sound familiar?

I’ve found that most people are taught the same thing.

What I learned in this book got me thinking.

In fact, it changed the way I thought about making money and how I wanted to live my life.

When I got home from the bookstore, I read the book for a few hours.

I was captivated.

I couldn’t sleep well that night.

It’s as if something went off inside of me and opened me up to a whole new world of new possibilities.

Yes, I was already college educated when I read the book (working on my Master’s Degree at that point in time) and yes I had a job at the time (Army Officer).

But I wasn’t really happy.

And I was far from financially secure or financially independent.

As I read the pages, I started learning that most rich people DO NOT have jobs.

In fact, many rich people do not have a college education either.

Robert’s thesis was that our country’s school system and university system prepare people to be employees, not entrepreneurs.

He stated that most people never receive any instruction on how to start, launch or grow a business.

And they aren’t taught anything about investing either.

Boy was he right.

After spending close to $40,000 on my college education, I never received one hour of instruction on any of these topics.

Key Takeaways from the Book

Robert does not bash the school system or tell you NOT to get an education.

He simply points out its flaws concerning financial education.

He claims that schools and universities produce good followers (employees), not independent thinkers (entrepreneurs).

He claims that our system is flawed because:

(1) Our school system focuses on individual achievement whereas the business world works in teams.

(2) We are taught that failing is bad. However, in the real world we must fail our way to success.

(3) We are taught to do what we are told and to follow instructions. To be successful, you must learn to think outside the box, to question authority, and to make decisions on your own. If you always do what you are told, or don’t make decisions on your own, you won’t achieve much in life.

(4) We are taught to get good grades, so we can get accepted into a good university and then get a good job. The truth is that there are many ways to get educated. Going to college is just one of those ways. Just because you get good grades does not mean you will accomplish much in life (financially).

As you can probably tell by now, most of us have only been taught one side of the story; how to be an employee.

It’s only when we reprogram our thinking and develop new skills that we will achieve success.

For me “If You Want to Be Rich and Happy Don’t Go to School” was the first book I ever read that got me to question everything I had previously been taught.

Since then, I have always questioned traditional thinking; I think outside the box and go against the status quo.

I try to watch what most people do and then go and do the opposite.

Most importantly, I am now a successful business owner who gets to work from home in my pajamas (along with my wife) and I really own my life.

If I hadn’t read this book when I did, I’m not sure where I would be today.

Robert Kiyosaki Quotes

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book.

Each quote is in bold and italics.

After each quote I will provide my own thoughts about it.

They are listed in no particular order.

# 1 The repercussions of what we are taught in school do not show up in a person’s life until around age 35, nearly 20 years after graduation from high school.

After you graduate college and start your career, you will think you are on the right track.  You will get raises and bonuses and live fairly comfortably.  That will not last forever.  You will peak out and plateau, and will become trapped and frustrated.

# 2 What I realized was that the more competent a person is in sales, the easier one’s entire life becomes.

Everyone should get experience in sales.  At a bare bones minimum, you need to be able to sell yourself.  It is the most valuable skill you can develop.

# 3 We need an educational system which teaches general principles that would be transferable to any specialized profession.

While you are in school, you should learn more about finances, marketing, sales, operations, leadership. etc.

# 4 Specialists must work for generalists unless the specialist is also a generalist.

The people who do the best are the people who know a little bit about a lot, rather than knowing a lot about a little.

# 5 In business, the military, religion, and education, middle management is filled with people whose first impulse is to crush creativity wherever they find it.

In the corporate world, you will quickly find that you are not encourage to think outside the box. I had this experience in the military myself.

# 6 We are all slower is some subjects, faster in others.

No one is good, or smart, about everything.

# 7 If I truly was a good business person, I could make money doing anything.

Once you learn solid business skills you can do almost any profession well.

# 8 Don’t specialize too early in your working life.

While you are in your 20s and 30s get experience doing a wide variety of jobs.

# 9 Men need to let down their guard and become more human while women need to value their unique strengths and brilliance.

This is some great advice here.

# 10 … Memorization and knowledge aren’t the same.

Just because you can memorize something doesn’t mean you will do well in your life. Ultimately, you need to learn how to think on your own two feet.

# 11 Today I don’t use much of what I learned after the fifth grade.

How much do you use the things you learned in junior high and high school?  I can’t speak for you, but at least 90% of what they taught me wasn’t all that important.

# 12 Everyone has a gift, a talent, which can be developed if given half a chance, and if it is nurtured along not just to conform to a grading system, but up to the level where that person is able to make a contribution and gain self esteem through whatever means he or she is capable.

Figure out what you are naturally good at and focus on that.

# 13 In order to solve our massive social problems, human compassion must become more important than money.

Along your journey to success, don’t forget to care about other people.

# 14 … It only takes a second grade education to become financially successful.

You don’t need a fancy degree to title to get rich.  You just need some common sense and discipline.

# 15 We human beings have a terrible habit of doing unto others what we have hated being done to us.

Live by the golden rule.  Treat everyone you meet as well as you would treat your own mother or daughter.

# 16 Successful systems produce successful results.

The system is the solution!

About the Book

This book was first published by Aslan Publishing on September 1st, 1994. To the best of my knowledge, it was Robert’s first book. The ISBN is 978-0944031599.  The book features 296 pages.  It is available anywhere books are sold. As of June 2016 it has 44 reviews on Amazon with an average 4.1 star rating.

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  4. The # 1 MLM Book of All Time

About Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki is a world famous author, entrepreneur, coach and consultant.  He is the author of many best-selling books, to include “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and “Cash-flow Quadrant.”

Connect with Robert Kiyosaki

Final Thoughts

In review, I really enjoyed the book “If You Want to Be Rich and Happy Don’t Go to School” by Robert Kiyosaki.  Overall, I give the book 8 of 10 stars and consider it a must read for any person wanting to make major changes in their life.

What are your thoughts?  If you’ve read this book before, I would love to hear your thoughts about it.  Just leave a comment below to let us know what you think.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

P.S. Level up your life today! FREE resources to help you improve your health, finances, business, and relationships. I'll even give you FREE leads and a free business plan template. Learn more.

2 thoughts on “If You Want to Be Rich and Happy Don’t Go to School by Robert Kiyosaki”

  1. Wow, I can hear all the naysayers just screaming about this book Chuck, but Robert totally makes sense in the approach. When I look back, the majority of stuff I learned in school, I don’t use and actually do much of the opposite.

    I remember something that was told to me once when I was taking a class to get welding certification. I questioned the way the teacher was welding an overhead item, and he got somewhat angry with me. When I told an experienced welder (and friend) about it, he told me that the only reason that guy was teaching was because he couldn’t make it as a production welder.

    So, in many cases, it is incompetent people doing the teaching in educational systems.

    Great post Chuck. I will have to put that book on my reading list.

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