The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Grammar And Spelling Errors
Tyler Jorgenson 0:01
You’re listening to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. This show was created for entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers, and dreamers who want to learn from the experts of today and drastically shortcut their own success to build a business that supports their dream lifestyle. Since 2011, Tyler Jorgensen has been interviewing business thought leaders from around the world, a serial entrepreneur himself, Tyler also shares his personal insights into what’s working in business today. Welcome to biz Ninja, entrepreneur radio.
Welcome out to biz ninja entrepreneur, radio. I’m your host, Tyler Jorgensen. And today, we have somebody who has made a huge impact in my life personally, on the show. She is a prolific author, a CPA, a CEO, a mentor, and many things to many people. Welcome to the show. Sharon Lechter.
Sharon Lechter 1:04
Thank you so much. I’m delighted to be with you just means I’m old. I’ve been around a long time. Lots of apps.
Tyler Jorgenson 1:10
Not everyone that’s old makes an impact and you have made a ton of impact and continue to do so. So I’m really excited to have you on the show and chat with you about your journey. Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur? Oh, absolutely.
Sharon Lechter 1:21
through and through. I grew up in a very entrepreneurial hometown. I live in a little tiny house between my mom’s beauty shop, my dad’s used car lot. We had rental properties that at 10 years old, I was scrubbing out bathrooms between tenants, we owned orange groves, we had the cash flow from oranges. So I was steeped in the entrepreneurial mindset.
Tyler Jorgenson 1:39
You were born into the hustle that’s for sure. Wow. For me, in my experience, many CPAs that I’ve met are not entrepreneurial. So I’m very curious how you landed in the years now being a CPA, but also in the entrepreneurial world. How did you find that path?
Sharon Lechter 1:55
I love that question, Tyler because it was in my mid-30s, that I found something called the KOLBE test Kolbe, it helped me understand because I’ve kind of thought I was schizophrenic. So I because I had this conservative, risk-averse accountant always fighting with this innovator risk taker inside the same brain. And when I took the KOLBE index that helped me understand that, you know, my natural ability, my cognitive ability is one of innovation and risk-taking. I trained myself and going to school and following the rules and learning accounting to become the other side of the brain more of a risk-averse, conservative, no risk-taking. So
Tyler Jorgenson 2:35
I always had that thing battling inside me. But now I know where it’s coming from, so I can accept it. Interesting. So you were risk-taker first and trained yourself through to have discipline, as opposed to many people who are in the financing world who they are disciplined by nature and have to almost learn risk-taking
Sharon Lechter 2:54
Oh, yeah, I’m not sure. I think for an entrepreneur to be successful, you have to have a certain amount of discipline for sure. The issue is that you’re in control of your actions, you know, and as an employee, you’re you’re responding to someone else’s requirements. And so that’s probably the biggest distinction for me, I really am a control freak. I like to control what I do when I do it and who I do it with. And that’s easier done when you’re in the driver’s seat.
Tyler Jorgenson 3:22
I totally agree. Speaking of controlling what you do and who you do it with one of the first time you came into my realm of experience and understanding and the first time I kind of saw you in my sphere was as the co-author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, how did that happen? Well,
Sharon Lechter 3:37
it’s I’ll try to give you the short version. I’m
Tyler Jorgenson 3:39
not sure it’s a
Sharon Lechter 3:40
long story. Yeah. I had many years as an accountant, as a CPA, one of the very first women in public accounting, and at the ripe old age of 25. I said This is crazy. I’m not I’m working for someone else. And so that’s when I started my entrepreneurial career. started a woman’s magazine sold it started the world’s first talking children’s book. I just had another interview. Have you ever hear this? I started this industry back in the late 80s. I remember those grew this around the world. You probably had them when you were a kid. And it was like the first technology kids had had. So I said, How do we get parents to trust us. And so we aligned with little companies like Disney Warner Brothers, Sesame Street, Marvel Comics, and I learned so much about business and the power of Association, the power brand Association. And so we sold that company in 1991. And that’s when my husband and I moved our family to Arizona, and a 92. Our oldest son went off to college in September came home in December and credit card debt. I was pretty mad at him but more mad at myself because we didn’t know had credit cards. He got them anywhere on campus. That was December of 92. And that was when I dedicated the rest of my career to financial literacy, financial education. So in 92, I started working with schools, hence the white hair we ever tried to work with school systems. And a few years later, I get a phone call from my husband and he had this guy walk into his office and Flip flops and the Hawaiian shirt with a side deal for board game. And my husband is a well known intellectual property attorney. So Robert Kiyosaki had come to him with this idea for a board game and wanted to know if he could patent it. So I met Robert at the very first beta test for the cash flow game, and loved it, I was the only one we got out of the rat race. And it was totally consistent with what I was teaching. And so I volunteered to help them with all my contacts to be able to get the book commercialized, that was separated actually into two games to make it more a little less difficult the first time around, and during that process, he told me he wanted to charge $200 for the game, and that’s kind of pricey. We’re talking 1996 for a board game 200 bucks. So why don’t we should probably write a brochure that gives you that philosophy shares what that is. And so that brochure about No This was Rich Dad, Poor Dad, we never expected it to take on a life of its own. We thought our brand was cashflow the name of the game people wanted more after we released Rich Dad Poor Dad and so he’s okay we’ll write a trilogy. So we did Richard poor dad cashflow quadrant rich says guide to investing, thinking three and done No, no, no. Over the 10 years, we were partners in cash flow technology wrote 15 books together and then I launched another series called Rich Dad advisors. So
Tyler Jorgenson 6:14
yeah, and then I mean, speaking gauges you guys were filling you were filling event centers right with. And
Sharon Lechter 6:21
we were truly a viral marketing success before the internet. And before Amazon. I know that’s hard for a lot of people to believe. But it was. So I think what’s fascinating is you said you took the Kolbe test and to help you kind of understand a little bit about who you are. Rich Dad, Poor
Tyler Jorgenson 6:36
Dad was the book that made me feel like I’m not broken. It was I grew up in a very conservative home, my dad had an entrepreneurial spirit, but was not an entrepreneur. And so and I just I just saw the world differently than everyone I grew up around. And reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, it was like, Oh, this is this isn’t weird. There’s a grant
Sharon Lechter 6:57
permission to believe differently. Yeah, it gives people that and that’s part of the effectiveness of Russia port and how I write in all my books is not telling somebody what to do it sharing the possibility so that people can relate Heart to Heart say, well, they can do it. I can too.
Tyler Jorgenson 7:13
Yeah. And I think I think that book is very much a metaphor, right? It’s very much here’s this, here’s a concept and but it’s not necessarily super practical. And that’s where the rest of your courses and everything, probably just
Sharon Lechter 7:23
the title, you immediately relate to the book because you immediately you go, Okay, I had the rich debt, or I had the poor dad. And so just that one step makes you relate. And so you dig in deeper to see it and you see the thought patterns. And yes, it’s it really is the element to just make you start thinking differently. cashflow quadrant goes much deeper into understanding the different money mindsets,
Tyler Jorgenson 7:48
right? I mean, you’ve written what over? Is it over 3026 of all the books you’ve written? Which one are you the most proud of?
Sharon Lechter 7:57
So that’s like asking what child is your favorites? I have some interviewer. So tell me why do you have a favorite child? Okay, let’s not go there. They’re all different. Yeah, all right, absolutely was honored and thrilled to be asked by the Napoleon Hill foundation to bring out outwitting the devil, which was hidden away for 73 years. And it really is impactful for today’s Jenner, younger generations to understanding how fear holds us back how we self sabotage. So if there’s somebody in your life who is like drifting, and they don’t know what they want to do, that’s the book to get them to pay attention. outwitting the devil and then thinking grow rich. Obviously, if you’re a woman, and you’re not, you don’t have the confidence. So I would recommend thinking Grow Rich for women, is very impactful. I highlight over 300 women on the book. And then if you’re a business owner, and you feel like oh, my gosh, I own a job, not a business, or you know, my business isn’t growing, I have to be there. I’m the only one that can do it, then you need to buy exit rich, because this is my 40 plus years of experience, plus my co authors experience of 30 years to combine to show people what they need to do to take their successful business and make it sustainable, scalable and saleable.
Tyler Jorgenson 9:14
Yeah, it’s amazing how many people have spent 20 3040 years a lifetime building a business that isn’t that can’t exist without them.
Sharon Lechter 9:24
Most people chase money, they exchange time for money. That’s the left side of the cashflow quadrant if you’re familiar with that. I teach people to buy, build or create income producing assets. And your business should be your most lucrative because you put your time and energy in your sole successful businesses solve a problem or serve a need. And if you want to create this asset or economic engine for your business, you will read x rich because if you’re still involved in the day to day, you’re restricting your ability to grow.
Tyler Jorgenson 9:57
So I feel like the cashflow quadrant is such a powerful and simple thing because one of the things that makes you do is say, am I really a business owner right now? Or am I self employed? Right? And it’s so I, I literally drew it out on my paper too, because I’m like, okay, so many people get stuck on that left side, but they think they’ve moved from employee to business owner, but they did it. They move from employee to self employed. And that’s scary. And I often say self employment is like the biggest lie in America because you feel like you’ve done it. You’ve done the business owner route, but you’re stuck in what’s actually scarier. And I call it entrepreneurship, you didn’t actually do all the things you need to do to become an entrepreneur, you got stuck. I love that. Yeah. And so what is something that you think like is, is there a first step that somebody has to do to move from self employed to business owner?
Sharon Lechter 10:48
Well, that’s my superpower.
Tyler Jorgenson 10:50
Sharon Lechter 10:52
Yeah, that’s what I help people do to understand how to disengage and how to build the right structures. Because what happens invariably, an entrepreneur is an innovator, they’re fantastic for getting things going for bringing in the resources to get a business launch, they’re not usually very good at the day to day. So it’s really important to have the right people on your team, people who are strong, where you are weak, too many entrepreneurs end up get stuck in the day to day, and so all of a sudden that momentum starts to slow. And so we talked about the importance of business systems. And in the book, we talked about the six piece, the first one was people who’s on your team, do you have a mentor? So 75% of the people agree that the mentors are important, only 37% of business owners have them. There’s a problem there. Because I would have expected Yeah, mentorship have proven that you make more money when you have a mentor. And so when you have the right people on your team, the right mentor the right advisors, then you build a stronger system, build business, then you the second P is profit is your product. The third one, your processes. You talk about asset within your business, that is an asset, you have business systems, and they are assets within your business, because they’re what help you become scale and sustainable because it’s a lot easier to manage a system than it is to manage a personality and business systems. And then the fourth one is proprietary, what gives you your unique competitive advantage, let’s identify your intellectual property, leverage it Okay, for less identify it, protect it, and then leverage it so that you have multiple streams of income.
Tyler Jorgenson 12:27
You know, I’m really I’m still shocked at the first one, right that you said, you know, 75% of business owners recognize the need for mentorship and think that is valuable. In my experience. It feels like it’s even less than that than 37% that actually,
Sharon Lechter 12:40
I actually was surprised that it was 37%. But it was done by personally. So I believe Yeah, but
Tyler Jorgenson 12:45
yeah, it’s data. And that’s what that’s what data is so good. That is helping
Sharon Lechter 12:50
somebody if you have a mentor and because you read a lot of books, you go Yeah, I have a mentor, you know, yeah, but Well, for a long time, I
Tyler Jorgenson 12:55
would have said yeah, you know, like Robert Kiyosaki is one of my virtual mentors. And Tim Ferriss is one of my virtual mentors, but I didn’t actually they weren’t, technically there’s a difference between having ongoing feedback and a reciprocal relationship.
Sharon Lechter 13:08
They are they are inspirational resources. A mentor is someone who actually steps into your business you and helps open doors, they steer you around pitfalls, they open up their Rolodex to support you and building your business, but they literally are in your world not asking you to step into theirs.
Tyler Jorgenson 13:28
You’ve done a lot of amazing businesses, you’ve written a lot of amazing books and your your track record is really, really great. through that time, you’ve worked with partners, what have you learned through your experience with the partnership and what advice you give to younger entrepreneurs?
Sharon Lechter 13:41
That’s a great question. Tell her because it’s so important. Half our marriages fail in divorce, businesses are no different. You need to plan the divorce before you get married. Because there are two of you that want to go into business together, you’re really excited about the future you are, you’re you become good friends if you weren’t good friends already. And so everything is rosy, and everything is looking up. And that is the time to say, okay, Tyler, you know, we’re both excited about this. But you know, in a couple of years, you may decide you want to do something else, or I made a slide I wanted, how are we going to figure that out in two years if one of us wants out? And so you come up with a a reasonable system for how to determine valuation of the company so that someone can leave if they need to, you talk about if something should happen to me, if I die, do you want to be my husband’s partner? Maybe not. So let’s have that provision. And so talking about it when you’re getting ready to go into it makes it a lot more sense. Because when you have high emotion, of low intelligence, so when you get into a situation where you want to separate, there’s probably a little anger, a little resentment, and it’s hard to come up with something that’s reasonable without bringing in a third party and Heaven forbid having to end up in court. And that’s something that is no fun for Anybody have been there?
Tyler Jorgenson 15:01
Yeah, it’s true. And I, I’ve told people I was like, if you can’t have the uncomfortable conversation at the beginning of your partnership, what makes you think you’re gonna be able to have it when you’re trying to end it? And so I love that line, that’s great. You’re still the CEO, pay your family first, which you’re the founder and CEO, it’s still a financial education company. What is something that you feel like? America’s education system is just not getting right?
Sharon Lechter 15:25
Financial Education. In the last few years, there’s been so much dissension in this country and about the separation of classes. And I just, you know, this is an issue that has no, it has no party affiliation. If we truly want every child to have equal opportunity, the same the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. That’s because we learned about money at home. only seven states require a font personal finance class to graduate high school, only 12 more require some sort of personal finance and another class, which means the boxes get checked the last week before they graduate. But it’s criminal, that we’re not teaching financial literacy, if we want every person every child to have equal opportunity, no matter what their economic background, no matter the color of their skin, no matter where they live, we will teach them about money and entrepreneurship in school.
Tyler Jorgenson 16:15
So I had an interesting personal experience is kind of similar to what happened with your with your son, when my wife went to university, her family told her man, student loans are really bad. I’ve heard those are bad, avoid student loans. So she built up credit card debt instead. Really interesting thing when you teach anecdotal education instead of actual education, right? Financial Literacy? Like how so how do we fix this? Right? I mean, you had you addressed it with your son, you realize, man, this is happening, people, these kids are going off to university out into the real world. Without knowing how things work. They don’t know their credit score works. They don’t know how credit works, or debt or anything. How do we fix it? Yeah, I’m
Sharon Lechter 16:53
most passionate about that today as I was in December of 2012. Tyler and I think one of the when I when I made the decision to leave Rich Dad is when I got the call from President Bush. So I was honored to serve both President Bush and Obama was on the first President’s Advisory Council for financial literacy. During that time, we passed the credit card act that prevents credit card companies from soliciting college students on campus for credit cards, my son got into trouble because he got off campus. And it was like free pizza, free money, free t shirt free money, he got a real he had a really good time as first semester in college, because they had all those resources. And then and then the bill started coming in. And so I was really honored to be part of that I can’t take credit for the bill. But I can take credit for being a very squeaky wheel about the need for it. But we continue to drive home the fact that you we cannot wait for the educational system to change. So every one of us as a concerned parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, just a concerned adult, need to make sure our young people are given the tools because financial education is the gift of a lifetime. No shame on you if you’re not making sure the young people you care about are learning about money, because at the end of the day, there are no secure jobs. So you want children to understand. You either control your money or your money controls you. There’s nothing in between.
Tyler Jorgenson 18:13
Yeah, I heard once that the difference between owing someone $1,000. And having $1,000 in savings is a lot more than just the difference of 2000. It’s massively different that the what debt can do to a person versus savings can do to a person over time. I think what’s hard is that so many of our parents and our adults in America don’t have a good grasp on the basics of financial literacy. So how are we supposed to impart that to our kids?
Sharon Lechter 18:41
Well, you’re giving me a perfect opportunity. And you don’t even know this. I have a board game called thrive time for teens. And it was developed to teach young people that how they spend their money and how they spend their time will either drive them to success or not. And it has a lot of humor in it. The kids start laughing they pull you know cards that say you dropped your cell phone in the toilet 300 bucks. Another one may say you go to a party at a friend’s house, parents are not home cops come you get a $500 chicken. And so there’s these things that come up at the table, you sometimes you don’t want to hear what they’re talking about. But they start laughing and they start sharing but it starts showing them the consequences of bad decisions without them actually having made the bad decisions. And it’s something that really helps open the children’s eyes. And to your point, most of them say my parents need to play this game. So that’s pretty funny.
Tyler Jorgenson 19:31
Yeah, that’s I love that. And so what’s fascinating is that goes all the way back to where you first started with, you know, when you connected with Robert Kiyosaki about a board game to teach financial literacy, and how amazing the the ability of using play to educate right and to create awareness,
Sharon Lechter 19:47
experiential learning, that’s how we learn everything. You don’t learn to ride a bike by watching it, you know, you have to actually get in there and do it. And it’s the same thing. We all make mistakes with money. The issue is are you learning From an ru adjusting in what’s up here, because most of the time it’s up here, we have the scarcity mindset from learning, you know, growing up in a home that says we can’t afford it, pinch your pennies, money doesn’t grow on trees. So we grew up hearing money, negative money negative. That’s why we end up with a scarcity mindset. Yeah. And once you see that, and can release it, you can realize we live in a world of abundance, and you are in control of your own destiny.
Tyler Jorgenson 20:23
I think it’s interesting. I’ve always been passionate about these concepts. But I think seeing my kids get older, it’s a different type of
Sharon Lechter 20:32
kids. Yeah, well, when you see your own children making bad decisions, you go a little Cuckoo. So like I did, but you know, there’s, there’s a passion on the personal finance, but the greatest pathway out of that is through the business, and understanding how to build a strong business. And that’s why this is really the culmination of my career of everything that I’ve learned from helping businesses succeed, building three global brands, and having companies that you know, I’ve mentored that have succeeded and not, and so patrons, your database, so many people now are living in social media. And they’re so excited about their social media following the problem is you don’t own those names. No, social media does. So you want to nurture them and bring them home to build your database in your company, tremendous value. So we talked to you about all of those steps to help build the valuation of your company, whether you choose to sell it or not. This is how to build that background to make it that asset that becomes an economic engine for you powerful stuff. I
Tyler Jorgenson 21:29
think, with a resume as strong as yours, it’s easy to focus on all the things that went really well. What’s one major like challenge that you had in your career? And how did you overcome it?
Sharon Lechter 21:38
Well, I’ve had so many, it’s hard to even tell you pick one for you. But when I actually left public accounting, I made the worst business decision of my life to go back into entrepreneurship as somebody that bought a company out of bankruptcy. And within a few short weeks, I realized there was corruption, the company and so I was scared to death went away for a couple days came back. And that’s the day that there was an attorney there because the company had been involved in some litigation, I met a young man named Mike collector. So Napoleon Hill says, out of every adversity comes a seed of an equal or greater benefit. My worst business decision still to this day, worst business decision gave me the best life decision. So when you make a mistake, it’s an occurrence not a definition. Just pick yourself up and keep going. And just don’t repeat the same mistake.
Tyler Jorgenson 22:23
That’s right. Not every business mistake will lend in eternal matrimony. But But still, there always there is opportunity, right in our adverse and I think that’s the difference of an abundance mindset is that if we don’t look at things that have happened as things that have happened to us and victim mentality, and instead say, what can I learn from this? How can I do better? And what do I need to do now to move forward? I think just the mindset shift has to happen.
Sharon Lechter 22:49
Sometimes you need something like that to happen to wake you up. So
Tyler Jorgenson 22:52
those things happen for you. Yeah, when I started this radio show over 10 years ago, I did it at the time of the recession, right. And I had gone through a major setback, and a lot of it was how can I How can I hear these success stories? And so a lot of my my questions at that time, were what I just asked you, what was a failure you had and how did you move forward? And it was selfish. I needed advice, right. But it was cool. I got to get it from great people. And so but what I’ve learned is that the most successful people have had more failures than most people ever will have in their entire life. It’s just that they face them and they handle it and they move forward and they grow next, next. Yeah. And they don’t let it happen. Okay,
Sharon Lechter 23:30
now, what am I gonna learn from that happening? And next, let’s keep going.
Tyler Jorgenson 23:35
So I love Napoleon Hill and everything that they do. That’s, that’s great stuff. What is some of the things that you have done with them and some lessons that entrepreneurs need to hear from that organization?
Sharon Lechter 23:45
Well, I read thinking Grow Rich when I was 19, didn’t realize the impact it would have on my life till I was in my 30s. And certainly if you read Rich Dad, you know that every every guru book out there has elements of thinking grow rich. And then because Napoleon Hill It was not one man’s philosophy. He talked to the 500 richest men in the world at the time. And so when I was asked to step in, in 2008, during the economic collapse back then, was to help reinvigorate his teachings. So my first book was three feet from golden to what you were just talking about. It’s a whole series of talking to people who didn’t give up who made it through the troubles and how they did it. What what what encouraged them to persevere. And then the month I released that was when I got the call for this manuscript outwitting the devil, they’ve been locked away for 73 years because Napoleon Hill had written it as a sequel to Think and Grow Rich. And this my wife was afraid of the title. So it got locked away. And when it came out, they send it to me and it was amazing. I felt like I was in a conversation with him because it was typed on a manual typewriter with handwritten handwritten notes in the margins. And I said this has got to get out because the talks about fear and how we can overcome that fear. And then when that one came out, thinking Grow Rich for women, helping women to see their own success and the fact that with the steps to success are the same but men and women’s Sometimes approached them very differently and to give women those tools to recognize what will work for them, as well. So it’s just been an incredible relationship I have I cherish the relationship. I hold the Napoleon Hill foundation. And I think everyone, I read Think and Grow Rich every single year.
Tyler Jorgenson 25:15
Yeah, I just completed it for I think the fourth or fifth time
Sharon Lechter 25:18
has changed, but we do, right. So every year when I read it, it’s like, I don’t remember this being in here. So it’s really it’s an incredible, incredible book that is as relevant today as when it was released. 1937 but for the younger generation, I do recommend you read outwitting the double first then really rich, interesting, that’s
Tyler Jorgenson 25:39
cool. I need that isn’t what I’ve read. So I’m excited to do that. Everyone should definitely follow you on social media. Sharon lechter. If you go to ATM, Sharon lechter com and get in sign up for Sharon’s ATM, all about abundance tips and marketing. They should absolutely go and buy exit rich, there’s a lot of things people can do to interact and learn more from you. Hopefully go and do that sharing. My final question to you is this life and business is about creating. For me, it’s about creating a lifestyle that we are happy and that we enjoy. What’s one item on your personal bucket list you’re gonna accomplish in the next 12 months.
Sharon Lechter 26:17
I am redefining how I do my business. And I actually have two or three different projects in the works right now. That will significantly change my life to give me more time with my grandchildren, my family, I don’t have to do what I’m doing. But I do it because it’s my heart. I grew up in a home that said have you ever heard my father would ask me tonight every added value to someone’s life today. And so to be able to have the ability to align and associate with a larger company is something that I’m looking forward to do and I’ve got a couple things that are in the process. So we’ll see we’ll see a little different definition of how I do what I do. But I’m still still very much available Sharon lechter comm and email me info at Sharon lechter and I’m going to spend more time at my ranch let’s get that in there Cherry Creek lodge.com
Tyler Jorgenson 27:05
I did see that on social people should definitely check that out so grateful for your being here I think a massive amount of value so you can answer dad’s question that you’ve added value today. Very very good free being here to all my biz ninjas wherever you’re listening, watching or tuning in. It’s your turn to go out and do something. Thank you for tuning in to biz ninja entrepreneur radio. What you didn’t hear was one more very important question that Tyler asks each guest if you want to be a fly on the wall when the real secrets are shared, go to biz ninja.com slash VIP and get your access today. Remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future episodes. And our one last favor if this episode was meaningful to you please share this podcast with a fellow entrepreneur so they can grow along with us is ninjas. It’s your turn to go out and do something