Sharon Lechter has co authored some amazing books. Most famously she co-authored the international bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad and 14 other books in the Rich Dad series. Listen in as Sharon gives us the secret recipe to creating an economic engine for your business.
-how effective storytelling can change your business
-how to make your business sustainable and scalable.
-how you can inspire change and have a bigger impact.
Sharon Lechter is internationally recognized as a financial literacy expert, keynote speaker and business mentor. She is a New York Times Bestselling author, successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and has enjoyed a 35 year career as a licensed CPA. She has advised two US Presidents on the topic of financial literacy. Sharon co-authored the international bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad and 14 other books in the Rich Dad series.
In 2008, when the economy crashed, she was asked by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to help re-energize the teachings of Napoleon Hill. Her best-selling books with the Foundation include Three Feet from Gold, Outwitting the Devil and Think and Grow Rich for Women and Success and Something Greater. She is also featured in the movie Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy and on the national television series World’s Greatest Motivators. Sharon is currently launching her newest title, Exit Rich to support entrepreneurs in building value and scalability in their businesses so they can be in the position of greatest potential.
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Sharon Lechter Podcast Transcription
[00:09:37] Kris Ward: Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of when the hour, when the date I am yours. Super lucky host today, Chris ward, we have Sharon lecture in the house. And boy, if you think you don’t know, we share it is you do. You just don’t know that, you know? So let me just give you a little synopsis of what she’s accomplished in her phenomenal career.
[00:09:58] Sharon Letcher is internationally recognized as a financial literacy expert, keynote speaker and business mentor. She is a New York times bestselling author of successful entrepreneur and philanthropists, and has enjoyed a 35 year career as a licensed CPA. She has advised two us presidents on the topics of financial industry literacy, Sharon co-author, the international bestseller, rich dad, poor dad, and 14 other books in the rich dad series.
[00:10:28] In 2008, when the economy crashed, she was asked by the Napoleon Hill foundation to reenergize the teachings of Napoleon Hill. Her bestselling books with the foundation included three feet from gold outwitting, the devil think and grow rich rich from, for women success and something greater. And she is featured in the think and grow rich, the legacy and the national.
[00:10:50] Television series world greatest motivators. Sharon is currently launching her newest title, exit rich to support entrepreneurs and building value and scalability, scalability, and their business. So they can be in the position of their greatest potential. Sharon, we’re thrilled to have you welcome to the show.
[00:11:08] Sharon Lechter: Thank you, Chris. Delighted to be with you. And I think it’s a great that you’re doing this to support entrepreneurs. Oh, my
[00:11:14] Kris Ward: heavens boil boy, listen, I cannot think of a book you’ve written that I have not read. And more than that, that has had a huge impact on how I see business and life. As I mentioned to you earlier until I wrote my own book, whenever I got a new car client as a gift to them, I gave them three feet from gold.
[00:11:31] I just, I mean, everything about it is awesome. Um, but I remember. You know, being in my twenties and tripping cross rich dad, poor dad. And boy, was it an awakening for me just on that whole false sense of thinking that when you had a house, it was asset and all this other stuff. So I digress. It’s not all about me at all.
[00:11:50] I just wanted to let you know you had a fan. So what I would ask is. Not only are you a fountain of wisdom and just stellar in everything you do, but your journey is fascinating to have, you know, coordinated this much success with such profound impact on the world. So would you mind telling us entrepreneurs how sort of that came about or what lessons you learned that you could share
[00:12:15] Sharon Lechter: with us?
[00:12:16] Well, certainly Chris, thank you so much. Yeah. I literally grew up in a very entrepreneurial home. Didn’t realize that at the time that I, that was a unique upbringing for me. We lived in a small house between my mom’s beauty shop. My dad’s used car lot, and we owned rental properties that I had to go scrub out bathrooms between tenants at the age of 10.
[00:12:35] I swore I would never. Be an entrepreneur. I wanted to be that sophisticated professional. So I went and I was the first generation go to college. Got my degree in accounting was one of the very first women in public accounting and, um, loving the life of a single woman in the city of Atlanta. And about the ripe old age of 25, I realized, you know, I’m working really long hours for someone else.
[00:12:58] And all of a sudden, my parents are looking a lot smarter. And that’s really when I made the decision to leave public accounting and start my entrepreneurial career. And I did lots of different things. I started a woman’s magazine and sold that. And then I started the first talking children’s book industry with the inventor of the talking book and helped grow that in a time when the mid eighties, when, um, kids didn’t have technology.
[00:13:24] And so we said, how can we get parents to trust us? So I learned a lot about. Publishing about technology and about the power of association licensing. So we partnered with Disney Warner brothers, Sesame street and Marvel comics. And that’s what allowed us to take that business and, and grow it exponentially around the world very quickly.
[00:13:44] Because of that power of association. So then the next time I grew up built a business, I said, next time, I’m going to actually be the brand other people want to align with. And that was, we sold that company in 1991. We moved to Arizona and my oldest son ended up going to college and getting into credit card debt.
[00:14:01] We didn’t even know he had a credit card, but that was December of 92. When I dedicated the rest of my life. Career to financial literacy. You fast forward a few years, I met Robert Kiyosaki. He had an idea for a board game. Um, in fact, it just did another interview yesterday, the board game kind of looked like this.
[00:14:18] This is what he wanted to do. So I went to the first beta test and I was the only one that got out of the rat race. And during that process, he asked me to be his partner because he told me he wanted to charge $200 for the game. And that was pretty pricey back in 96. And so, um, I suggested he write a brochure and that’s when he asked me to be his partner.
[00:14:37] And together, we wrote the brochure to sell the board game and that brochure was rich dad, poor dad. We never expected this to take on a lot life of its own. And, um, it became. Um, people wanted more. So we said, okay, we’ll do a trilogy. So we did rich dad, poor dad, cashflow quadrant, rich dad’s guide to investing, thinking we’re done there, but Oh no.
[00:14:58] Over our ten-year relationship. We wrote 10 books in that series. And again, always, um, and I also launched a second series called rich dad advisors. And we were able to grow that brand very quickly around the world, through the power of association and the licensing strategies. And cause
[00:15:17] Kris Ward: your story’s phenomenal.
[00:15:18] So I’m always afraid to interrupt you, but can I unpack a few things of what you said. So, so you talk about these associations and of course, when you have an outstanding career like yours, if you just gloss over these things, which I know they, for nobody, they can be as easy as you’re making them sound because you’ve had so many accomplishments, so you’re stringing them together.
[00:15:37] But this power of association, when you sort of the, initially with your children’s book and you associated with Disney, which sounds like a great idea. But I’m sure it wasn’t an easy idea. So is that networking and elbowing your way in, what would you sort of give us some insight onto that part?
[00:15:55] Sharon Lechter: Well, sure.
[00:15:56] I mean, it’s, it’s gotta be a win-win win and, you know, this is the, the books I’m talking about. All right. And so we had to make sure the quality was the quality that they would demand, whether it. It’d be Disney or Warner brothers. And we had to show them that it would expand and add value to their product base and added value to their fans.
[00:16:19] And so it was not an easy thing to do. We had to, because back then we had a little sound chip that we had to get the highest quality we could. And it was certainly nothing like that. Today’s because back then it was just beginning. And so you had to get the sound right. And it was, um, it was an uphill battle, but it was one worth it because we knew that once we accomplished that we would have validation of the highest kind.
[00:16:43] And so it’s really important for us to, when you’re looking for that next association is to earn that right. And show how you can add value to them as well. So earning the
[00:16:54] Kris Ward: right show, you can add value. And then is it just pure networking? Like one that one contact led you to the next, without be your approach.
[00:17:01] Sharon Lechter: We want to be where they are and you want to make the approaches that show how you can bring value to them in an area that they have not established value yet. And they saw the opportunity of bringing books to life. At that time, one of the reasons I was excited about being in the company was my kids and liked to read.
[00:17:20] And so this was like, okay, let’s bring some excitement back into reading and enjoyment. And, um, you know, the folks at Disney Warner brothers saw that same opportunity. Fabulous. And then we will use the other way. We also patented the soundboard, so that gave us a proprietary, competitive advantage to someone else.
[00:17:39] Kris Ward: any way you turn the cube, you came up smart, so, okay. And then you said, look, that’s great, but what would be even better would be if I was the brand. And so that led you to the rich dad, poor dad series. Now also I think too, you know, I’ve read things about you over the years for sure. And that wasn’t the title he was going to call it originally.
[00:18:03] That’s that we’re leaning more to your expertise on that angle. Are we not?
[00:18:07] Sharon Lechter: Well, no, that’s the actual title. Rich airport. Ed was one that, uh, that he came up with and we have that, but it was cashflow quadrant was we developed right here in my house. And that was, um, to really show the definition of mindset and how people have different mindsets depending on how they make their money.
[00:18:25] And, um, the, the rich dad, poor dad. Book was, as he had written a bunch of collections of stories. And so I’m the one that actually pulled it all together. Synthesizing created rich dad, poor dad. And again, it was to talk about a philosophy of buying, building and creating assets. And when we wanted to publish it, the publishing houses, we talked to said, financial books or.
[00:18:47] Green black or red, and we go, that’s why we want it to be purple. We wanted to stand out and you go to the bookstores today. The few that are left and you go into business section, you see a lot of purple because of the success of rich dad. And so you want to take the path less traveled. You want to step up and stand apart.
[00:19:06] That gives you your competitive advantage.
[00:19:09] Kris Ward: Excellent. And I know, so you talk about formatting, the book. I think that story I had heard is the many variations of his name, um, and the simplicity and the power of the, when he finally chose. But then you’re saying your, your contribution was how that was pulled together.
[00:19:24] Is that correct?
[00:19:26] Sharon Lechter: Well, no, no. We did 15 books together. Everybody was slightly different, but rich ed poured out of course was the very first one. And it brought together a lots of different lessons that he’d learned from his rich dad, but also a lot of value that I had learned from my father.
[00:19:43] Kris Ward: Right. My apologies.
[00:19:44] So I was tapping into the fact that how that was pulled together to be more like a fable. Cause I know when Greg Reed was talking about, um, three feet from gold, as he tells the story, he’s like, he thought he had this great book and he was getting rejected a bunch of times. And then finally met up with you.
[00:19:59] And he said, she’s sharing that. No, we can’t do it. No, don’t do this and pull this out and put this in. And this will be more flowing and. Turning it in, I think to the simplicity, but the beauty of the fable that’s told in many of these books, so taking really complicated concepts concepts, and instead of drilling down the, the grinding of the entrepreneur, it really has a, a breath and simplicity that makes it so inviting.
[00:20:20] And also, so you can read it
[00:20:21] Sharon Lechter: again and again, Well, so also for me, you know, I try all of my books. I try to bring in the concept of storytelling because when you, when people just read facts and you’re telling them something, it kind of goes into their brain. But when you share a story that people can relate to, it hits their heart.
[00:20:38] And that’s how people actually can become inspired to take change. So the more you can storytell and share, as opposed to tell, um, it’s dictate, it would be more impactful for people.
[00:20:51] Kris Ward: And, you know, we know that, and I know, I know that. And sometimes you forget, you know, that, especially when you think your subject is more, uh, intense or practical or grown up or financial, right?
[00:21:01] Like what you said is wise, if you’re writing a book about subject a, but this is really financial industry, so we need to make this more important. So again, many lessons in there. So as you were continuing my apologies, now you go into the rich dad, poor dad series. And as you move on your next big accomplishment
[00:21:19] Sharon Lechter: is.
[00:21:21] Well, when I made the decision to leave rich dad in 2007, it was the height of our success, but Robert and I were no longer aligned with that. We wanted to move forward. And so I wasn’t quite sure. I thought Richard had been my, was going to be my legacy, but somebody upstairs had more in store for me. And I got the phone call from president Bush asking me to be on the first presidents advisory council.
[00:21:40] And I served president Bush and president Obama. And so I share that story because sometimes you have to close one door for other doors to open. Maybe not know what they’re going to be, but you have to make space and for the opportunities to come your way. And, um, a few months later in March of 2008, I got the call from the Napoleon Hill foundation.
[00:21:58] Now I read thinking, grow rich when I was 19, but I was so thrilled to get the call because at that time we know what was happening in the economy. They wanted to reinvigorate Napoleon Hill’s teachings. And again, I wouldn’t have had that call had I still been at rich dad. So for everybody watching and listening, you know, is there a door in your life you need to close to make room for new opportunities.
[00:22:20] Kris Ward: Those are powerful lessons. So then now. What stop when you’ve got this wealth of accomplishments, what makes you, where do you go from here? What makes you want to, you know, do your next book exit, you know, you’re, uh, I want to make sure I get the title right to exit rich. Cause I have read it exit rich.
[00:22:39] What, what excites you when you’ve accomplished so much already? Where do you go as
[00:22:44] Sharon Lechter: entrepreneur? Well, I’m constantly striving. And right now I’m talking to a couple of well-known people in real estate about doing a real estate book. I’m always looking for the next opportunity to share and to inspire people, to take action on lives.
[00:22:57] There’s a lot of noise out there. And so, you know, I bring. A little bullety to what I share as to the facts that I’ve been there, done that. And exit rich is probably the least storytelling book I have because I’m partnering with the top female business broker and she talks about specific tactics, but I come in and, and look at each chapter from a mentor’s perspective and talk about the overall strategy.
[00:23:21] So again, we share a lot of stories, a lot of examples, but we want people that have successful businesses. All of your folks. Because every one of your people should get exit rich because it helps you show how to, how to build that foundation of a successful business, and then how to take your successful business and make it sustainable.
[00:23:42] Scalable. And saleable, you may not choose to sell it, but you may want that to have good beef in your family for generations. And so building that stability around your business, and this is from tons of experts, tons of experience, tons of companies that successfully exited, and some that did not. And so we share the pathway to build the value in your business so that it can be scalable because too many people own a job, not a business.
[00:24:12] And I want them to understand the strategy and the tools and the steps they can take to truly create that economic engine, that business that works for you.
[00:24:22] Kris Ward: I agree so much. I called it a little bit of it and business maturity, because what happens, like kind of think about when you were 17, the person you thought you were going to be either standards you’re going to have and all this stuff, and then you get up there, you know, whatever age, 25, 30, five 40, and you go, Oh, okay.
[00:24:36] The rules are different than I thought, blah, blah, blah. And you know, all the lessons you think, ah, if I’d done this sooner and that’s the same thing with business, you know, this idea that. You can’t imagine selling the business. Well, one day you are going to retire or do you want to work less? So you want to make sure that you just don’t close the doors and like, that’s it.
[00:24:53] Right. So
[00:24:55] Sharon Lechter: said too many, too many businesses that want to sell. So can’t because they’ve not put in the foundation and they basically own job. And so they can’t sell the business. And I want that to change. I want to be able to prove to you that you can build that asset. That is something that can sell and live beyond me.
[00:25:13] And it’s so important. I mean, the book itself has been released in June, but you can, yeah. I’ve made it available for people like your groups that you can actually get it right now. Right. And you can go to extra rich book.com forward slash buy and get a copy immediately electronically. And then we’ll send you the copy when it’s released because of such important information.
[00:25:32] That, that one, just one item in there can create, uh, increase in the valuation of your company. Tenfold.
[00:25:41] Kris Ward: I agree. I’ve read the book. I agree. It’s a fantastic blueprint. A little bit like a, I don’t even know another one of your business Bibles. I would call it. You just need to go back and revisit it and be reminded every once in a while, because you just get your nose to the grindstone and you forget the bigger picture.
[00:25:56] And there definitely is a bigger picture. So, uh, it is a fabulous reason to have for sure
[00:26:02] Sharon Lechter: business Bible. You have to send that to me as an endorsement on it. Okay. I will
[00:26:06] Kris Ward: I’ll endorse anything you want because. I’ll be reading books. I have one, I have more coming. So if I ever get your name on the cover of his endorsement, like, listen, I’m all about sucking up to you.
[00:26:16] Don’t you worry? So yes,
[00:26:18] Sharon Lechter: it is like a business Bible for sure.
[00:26:21] Kris Ward: Um, what would you share? Not just creating your own path and being such a phenomenal entrepreneur and then being connected and associated with such profound impacts that I personally believe on the entrepreneurial world. Like, I don’t think you can have been in business for any length of time and not read one of yours.
[00:26:36] Books. Like I just, it’s just not possible. So what do you really, uh, you know, we’ve got another few, we’ve got a little bit of time left, another five minutes up. What is it you think are the common mistakes or myths or they’re just getting caught up in the wrong thing. You know, we’re here to bow to your wisdom.
[00:26:54] What is it? You would love
[00:26:55] Sharon Lechter: us to know. Well, thank you, Chris. You mentioned three feet from gold. And in that book, we talk about the personal success equation. And I wanna encourage everybody to download per go to personal success. equation.com is a free resource and it helps you walk through your passion and your talent, and too many of us stop there and think we have to do everything on our own.
[00:27:15] But then it talks about that power of association. My entire career, all of my success is because I have the right people around me. I have the right mentors. I have the right advisors. I have the right people on my team and then taking action. How many times do we know what we’re supposed to do? We just don’t do it.
[00:27:33] And then plus F for faith, having faith and confidence in yourself in what you’re doing and it’s needed and necessary, and that you will be successful. And invariably, when I’m working with people, whether it’s one-on-one mentoring my group mentoring or through my programs, it’s that power of association that self-confidence, that both need the most work.
[00:27:55] And they go hand in hand when you have the right people around you, when you have the right mentor, we’re just wrapping up up our first group mentoring program. We’re about to launch a second one. And everyone in that program, their self-confidence, we’ve seen it rise, right. Uh, right in front of our eyes because they have the right people around them supporting them.
[00:28:15] And it goes hand in hand. Entrepreneurship can be very lonely. I want to take that loneliness out of it and put the stability and the foundation and the ability to create your successful business into a sustainable, scalable model.
[00:28:30] Kris Ward: Yeah, you were preaching to the choir with my book when they are, when the day it’s all about creating your win team and I call it your wet is next team so that you can get to what is next, what is next?
[00:28:39] Right. And, and buying into systems, we call them toolkits, but really about saving yourself stress time, energy, money, because there are too many people, you know, thinking, Oh, okay. I’m almost caught up once I get past this thing. And it’s, you’re five and you’re seven and you know, you’re, you’re what I call a suffer preneur.
[00:28:55] Like you’re just suffering. Right. So. I mean, fabulous, fabulous advice. Well, Sharon, we just do not want to, we don’t want to overextend any of your time. We’re so thrilled that you dropped by to see us. It really truly has been something. I was just, I couldn’t believe he said yes, I was so excited. You just had such a profound impact on my financial literacy and how I see business.
[00:29:16] And, you know, even young people in my life, I just gave my, uh, my nephew when he turned 10, I gave him rich dad, poor dad. And I’m like, okay, next, you’re going to get this book. And. It’s just, uh, it just, I hope, and I’m sure you do know, but they’ve profound impact you’ve had on so many people. So it’s been an absolute treat
[00:29:34] Sharon Lechter: to have.
[00:29:35] Well, thank you, Chris. I would recommend you get your, your nephew thrive time for teens or my shoulder. I am on it. Lithium is young people that, uh, the choices they make on how they spend their time and their money will determine whether they’re successful or not. And it’s got a lot of humor in it. So the kids love it, thrive time for teens.
[00:29:54] It’s available through my website, Sharon lechter.com and Amazon. So I recommend that for you, but I would, yeah, I, I, I really appreciate the opportunity to speak to your tribe, your group. And I really, and the reason why I’m talking to you is because I want to be able to provide you the tools through exit rich to really take your business to the next level.
[00:30:13] So please visit exit rich book.com forward slash buy and get your copy today so that you’ll be able to start building that value.
[00:30:21] Kris Ward: Well, I tell you, it definitely be in the show notes, but the best advice I can give you guys, if Sharon says do it, do it. So we don’t mess around, do not wait, get it done. And they’re all really super easy reads and very digestible.
[00:30:35] And I’m telling you, I’ve read all those books more than once, because it’s just that easy to read. And there’s just, I’m certain, even before you had like the iPad. I would go back and read my hard copies and I’m like, how are they adding new pages to this? Because this wasn’t here the last time. I mean, obviously you come from it from a different perspective.
[00:30:51] So, uh, just full of fabulous nuggets. So again, Sharon, thank you so much for your work. We really want appreciate you.
[00:30:58] Sharon Lechter: Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to next time.
[00:31:03] Kris Ward: Thanks, Sharon.