Reach for the Stars

For entrepreneurs who want to grow profits, here's some insight on what it takes to be the "-aire" up there.
3 min read

This story appears in the February 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In 2004, I met Donald Trump, and in 2006, we released our book, Why We Want You to Be Rich. One of the best things about working with Donald was that I got to see firsthand why he's a billionaire--and why I'm only a millionaire. The more I got to know him, the more I asked myself, "Why am I not a billionaire?" The number-one answer was, "Because you're lazy, you've gotten comfortable, and you reached your goal of becoming a millionaire." So I decided it was time for a new goal.

Just before the launch of our book, I decided to start building a business that would make me a billionaire. The first thing I did was write an entirely new business plan. At the time, The Rich Dad Company was primarily a book publishing and seminar business. As you know, the book business is limited, and seminars required me to be on the road. If my wife, Kim, and I weren't on the road, there were no seminars, which is why we were traveling more than 250 days a year. If things didn't change, the business wouldn't grow . . . because it couldn't grow.

The second thing I did was present the new plan to executives and partners. Many didn't like the new plan and have since left the company.

The third thing I did was seek experienced talent--entrepreneurs, not employees--who had built businesses in the arena where I was planning to take the company. One person has a media company that creates TV programs. Another is a longtime friend who has built franchises all over the world. And the third is a company that does live seminars internationally. We licensed the use of our brand, and it continues on the seminar circuit without me. This leaves me free to be an entrepreneur instead of a seminar leader. The plan is to take the company to $100 million in cash flow during the next five years, then go public through an IPO. I've already taken three other companies public, so if all goes according to plan, this will push me into the billionaire category. The good thing is I don't need to do it. I have enough money. But I love to win, and Donald has inspired me.

We all know the story about how Ray Kroc bought McDonald's from the McDonald brothers. The McDonald brothers became millionaires; Ray Kroc became a billionaire. The brothers were the entrepreneurs who started the business, but Ray Kroc was a visionary with a better plan. And as we know, the person with the better plan wins.

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