Strange, how impressions sometimes leave us with ideas that are totally wrong.
Did you know that, in a typical year in America, more people are killed by hornets, bees or wasps than by terrorism? More people die by contact with hot tap water than by terrorism? More people are struck by lightening than killed by terrorism?
Did you know that by 2015 the chance of dying in a plane crash was only 1% (that’s 100 times less) what it had been only 45 years earlier? (All information from Steven Pinker, Enlightenment Now.)
It’s the exceptional cases that make the headlines—a schoolyard shooting is clearly more “newsworthy” than a death by hot tap water—and give us impressions that are often totally out of whack! “If it bleeds, it leads,” is a news media mantra.
So our impressions are often not the reality, and may even be opposite the facts.
I had a conversation recently with someone who had the impression that the mega-rich entrepreneurs tend to be narcissists. [Narcissist: an extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance.]
“OK,” I acknowledged, I don’t doubt that there are some. But is there a strong correlation between the two? Is there cause-and-effect? Is Bill Gates, one of the world’s great philanthropists, a narcissist?
In my entrepreneurship education, I’ve always been pitched the opposite line: “The more people you serve, the more you get rewarded,” “If you want to prosper, serve more people,” etc.
It’s what the Good Book declared millennia ago: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38)
That’s how I’ve viewed my ventures, as opportunities to serve and then, hopefully, get rewarded for it. It’s one of the values that attracted me to become a rent 2 own provider.
So, I really perked up when the following arrived in my In-box yesterday:
“They got it wrong… well… incomplete.
It is often said that the responsibility of an entrepreneur is to make a better product at a better price.
I think it’s something greater than that. The job of an entrepreneur is to better serve more people and to make the world a better place.
When I was younger, I started the Velcro® wallet craze and followed it up with the show wallet and finally creating rock and roll memorabilia.
None of those products made the world a better place. In fact, I shut down these businesses when I discovered that these products were making the world a worse place. I visited my factory in China only to learn that children were making my products and in very dangerous conditions. Money is not worth hurting children.
My eyes opened right then. My eyes shifted to see the world as a true entrepreneur sees the world.
I learned the hard way that entrepreneurs have a duty to make the world a better place. Sometimes that means we solve a problem and sometimes it means we bring enlightenment.
Make the world better for having you in it,
Robert Kiyosaki happens to be the world’s #1 guru of personal finance and entrepreneurship, with his book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the #1 selling personal finance book of all time (and a book everyone should read, in my opinion.)
I claim Kiyosaki, along with many others, as one of my mentors. He’s written many books since Rich Dad, Poor Dad, but has a style that turns off some people. It’s partly because of that, that I wrote my book, Money Habits for Success–to supplement what he’s written, or at least to say it in another way that may help others get the message about succeeding financially in our challenging world.
So far, I’m not getting rich on it. But I hope I’m helping some people get further ahead and making the world, at least their world, a better place, just as I’m also doing with rent 2 own.
I think that’s how many, hopefully most, entrepreneurs see it.
Even if it’s the other kind that make news stories and leave their impressions.
At least, that’s how I see it . . .
Oh, and did you know that the percentage of the world’s population living in extreme poverty has dropped from 90% in 1820 to well under 10% today, with half of the drop coming in the last 40 years? (Source, Pinker).
I’ll bet you didn’t have that impression.