Many speakers tell the stories of successful people during their tough times. But it is also worth noting what brought these tough times to them is where a lot of learning happened. Every adversity generates a seed of equal or greater opportunity, and Sharon Lechter is a good example of this philosophy in life where she developed the Success Equation. This is part of her Play Big Movement, which helps businesses get to the next level of success. Sharon shares that faith is what separates people from those whole fail, because they do have fear of failing but they chose to take action.
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Play Big And Take Action with Sharon Lechter
We are always excited and it’s always great to hang out with this amazing woman when I get a chance to whether it’s at Secret Knock or other events. You may know her a little bit from a few books that she’s written or been co-authors on like Think and Grow Rich and Three Feet from Gold. She co-authored Rich Dad Poor Dad, Think and Grow Rich for Women, and Outwitting the Devil. She’s an amazing person. We’re so honored to have the one, the only, the woman, the myth, the legend, Sharon Lechter.
Hello, Scott. I’m delighted to be with you. Thank you so much.
I’m glad to have you. Do you want me to jump out of here and let you work your magic there for you?
I want to say hello and I want to acknowledge you, Scott, before you leave on putting this together and bringing this great content. I’m excited and honored to be part of your first day and appreciate it. I’m excited to be here, so thank you.
Thank you very much.
Thank you so much for spending the time with me. I’m excited to be doing this from the comfort of my own home. I’m on the road a lot, so it’s always nice to be able to speak to you from here. I’m excited to have an opportunity to talk to you. Note investing is a wonderful way to build wealth. For those of you who may not know much about me, I would start with a little bit of a background. Many of you may know me because of Rich Dad Poor Dad. Scott mentioned that that was one of the first books that I wrote. There’s a little bit more to the story. I want to give that to you a little bit better because I grew up in a very lower middle class home. My dad had third grade education, ended up running the engineering school for the Navy. My mother had a ninth grade education. Their dream was their daughters would get a college degree. The whole concept they wanted was for us to get the degree, get the corporate job, retire in 30 years, and have a pension forever. That’s what we were focused on. My parents were very entrepreneurial. In fact, we had rental real estate. I used to go with my dad and scrubbed the bathrooms down. I swore I would never be in real estate as an adult, and here I am.
I have multiple real estate properties and I also invest in notes and paper assets related to real estate. That was the whole upbringing. I got my degree in accounting and I went off to Atlanta. I was one of the few women hired by the Big Eight accounting firm and only the fourth woman ever hired in Atlanta. I started my career and I was on the fast track. About the age of 25, many of you may not be there yet, but those of you that are at 25, you know everything and you’re an expert. I said, “I’m not so sure this is what I want to do if I’m going to work this hard. I should be working for myself, not everybody else.” I had a call, and this is going to be a common theme. Every call can change your life. I had a call from a client inviting me to go with him into a new company. I went back to my apartment in Atlanta and I did the yellow legal pad pros and cons, so I could argue both sides. My hand took off across the top and said, “Why not?” My philosophy has always been and still is, “Why not do something different? Why not step outside your comfort zone?” If you stay within what you know, new opportunities may not come your way. That’s what I love so much about what Scott does because he’s offering a new way of investing for people that may not have thought about it before. Why not do something different?
I made the decision to leave public accounting. I don’t know how many of you have ever had a major business mistake. It was. It’s still the worst business mistake I’ve made in my life, but as Napoleon Hill said, “Out of every adversity comes a seed of an equal or greater benefit.” I went up there and in just a few weeks. found all kinds of corruption in this company. I ran away for a couple of weeks, came back, and there were some attorneys. They’re in a lawsuit that the company was involved in. I met a young man named Michael Lechter. The worst business mistake of my life generated the best life gift of my life. We were married nine months later and we are celebrating 38 years of marriage this year. Every adversity does generate a seed of equal or greater benefit. Sometimes you don’t get that instant feedback however. Sometimes, it takes a while to figure out what that benefit is.
We were married, had three children, and moved to Wisconsin. We met the inventor of the first talking book. A lot of people don’t know that I was involved in this. It was a time when bookstores were very quiet places, but kids don’t like to read and so we had this technology. It was a friend of mine, so I joined forces with him. We said, “How do we get people to trust us? The parents aren’t going to buy something that has electronics in it,” because at that time, there were no children-related toys. I tell my techie friends I was the first disruptive technology. We partnered. This was long before and we’re still in an environment of a very competitive corporate world. We licensed with Disney, Sesame Street, and Warner Brothers. That gave us instant credibility. We were able to take this brand around the globe very quickly. We went from $1 million to $9 million to 23 million in sales. In the fourth year, we’re on our way to $52 million. We sold that company. That’s when my husband and I came down here to Arizona and we’ve been here ever since in 1991.
In the fall of ’92, our oldest went off to college. He came home after his first semester in December and he asked us to bail him out. He’d gotten himself into credit card debt. He’d spent through $2,500 savings account that he wasn’t supposed to know he had and he got himself $2,500 in credit card debt. He’d had a good time his first semester. We didn’t always make the right decision as parents, but we said, “No, we won’t bail you out.” It took him seven years to get out of debt and to repair his credit. He’s as passionate as we are today about teaching others. Many of you may know my son, Phil Lechter. I’m very proud of the young man he’s become. It’s been wonderful. I’m so very proud of him. That was December of 1992 when I was really mad at him, but I was madder at myself because I thought I had taught them about money. When I went to school, there were no credit cards. I realized that we need to do more to prepare our children for the world that they face. In December of ’92, I dedicated the rest of my career to financial literacy and financial education, and started working with the school systems.
Fast forward a few years, I get another phone call from my husband this time. He said, “I met this guy. He came into my office with a Hawaiian shirt on, shorts, and flip-flops. He has this idea for a game. He was rolled up on a bit of butcher block and the plane pieces were different caliber bullets.” I met Robert Kiyosaki at the first beta test for the CASHFLOW Game. He had gone to meet my husband, Mike. Mike is a well-known intellectual property attorney. He had helped him do the patent and knew that this would be something that I would be interested in because of my background in finance, as well as in publishing. I volunteered to help Robert commercialize the game. Many of you may be very well aware of the CASHFLOW Game, but as we’re getting to this point, I said, “He wanted to charge $200 for this game.” Maybe we need to write a brochure and that brochure can explain the philosophy. They can read the brochure and then decide if they want to spend the $200.
Most people don’t realize that Rich Dad Poor Dad was actually the brochure for the game. We thought our company, the brand was CASHFLOW, but the world said, “No, your brand is Rich Dad.” We never expected to write more than one book. That turned into a trilogy. We did Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing. Then over a ten-year partnership, he invited me to be partner of the company. I helped grow the Rich Dad organization using similar concepts as I did in the talking book industry, except this time I said, “Instead of writing checks to these people for licensing, listen to build the brand so other people write checks to us.” I love royalties. My number one favorite word on earth is assets, the second one is royalties, and the third one is leverage. Those three words are very important in creating wealth in your life. We continued being partners for ten years and we had incredible success around the globe. Fifteen books together, multiple games and audio products in over 50 languages and over 100 countries. Our success was phenomenal. It was before the internet so we truly were viral success. It was because of f you who’ve read the book and shared it with others, not so much because of us. It was the right message at the right time.
On 2007, we’d been partners for ten years, we had a different philosophy. He wanted to go into franchise and I didn’t believe in the model, so we decided to step out of that environment. It was an interesting time where sometimes you have to close one door for other doors of opportunity to open. A few months later, I was having what I would call a good old-fashioned pity party, feeling sorry, like, “What did I do?” I never regretted it, but it was like, “Now what?” The phone rang. I went in and the caller ID said White House on it and the White House here in Phoenix is one of the top floor. I thought somebody was sending me flowers, but no, it was the other White House. What a huge honor. As I say, sometimes you have to close one door for other doors of opportunity to open. When I left Rich Dad, I thought Rich Dad was my legacy. Somebody upstairs said, “No, there’s much more for you to do, Sharon.” I was asked by President Bush to be on the first Presidents Advisory Council for financial literacy. This is inside the Oval Office. I’m the only one there that’s an entrepreneur now. Charles Schwab is standing next to me, so I guess he could claim he was an entrepreneur, but that was long time ago. I wanted to emphasize I was a very squeaky wheel about the importance of small business and entrepreneurship, and that was a huge honor. I would not have gotten that phone call had I still been at Rich Dad.
I share this story with you because number one, every phone call can change your life. Number two, sometimes you have to close one door for other doors of opportunity to open. A few months after this, in March of 2008, I got yet another phone call. It’s a common theme, every phone call can change your life. That phone call was from the Napoleon Hill Foundation’s Don Green who’s the CEO. Most of you probably are very familiar with Napoleon Hill and Think and Grow Rich. For those of you who are not, you may not think you know him, but you certainly know his work. He said, “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, your mind can achieve.” He also coined the phrase ‘mastermind’, which I know you’re familiar with.
He coined the phrase “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself,” which is attributed to President Roosevelt. Napoleon Hill wrote that speech for him. He coined the phrase “Pay yourself first.” We’ve heard that many times. You may not know him but you certainly know his work. Think and Grow Rich was a lifelong journey for him. In 1938, he was charged by Andrew Carnegie to synthesize the steps to success. He introduced him to all 500 of the richest men in the world. He could interview them and study. Then he interviewed thousands of people who consider themselves failures. That’s why Think and Grow Rich is so powerful. It’s as powerful today as it was released in 1937 because it was not just one man’s opinion, it truly was the synthesis of what the common traits were of all these successful people.
I read Think and Grow Rich when I was nineteen. I didn’t realize until I was in my 30s the power that it had. It helped me change the way that I thought about money and success. If you have not read Think and Grow Rich, please do. The call that I got from the Napoleon Hill Foundation’s Don Green, the CEO, was in March of ’08. Do you remember what was happening to the economy? I was still on the President’s Advisory Council, but a lot of people were in panic. They’re going upside down in the real estate arena. There were a lot of foreclosures, a lot of those notes that were in trouble. The foundation wanted to reinvigorate the teachings of Napoleon Hill, so they asked me to step into a project. We wanted to go and talk about today’s successful people, not to talk to them about what made them successful, but what was it about their life that got them through the tough times. How did they get through those rough periods?
Through that, we were able to reveal a personal success equation. Three Feet from Gold was the first book that I did. In the month we released it, I got a call from the Napoleon Hill Foundation again asking me to review a manuscript that had been hidden for 73 years called Outwitting the Devil. When Napoleon Hill released Think and Grow Rich in 1937, he was actually frustrated. He said, “Even though people don’t know what to do or people may know what they’re supposed to do, they don’t do it.” I feel a little busted when I say that. Sometimes we know what we’re supposed to do, but we don’t do it.
In a few short months, he sat down and wrote Outwitting the Devil. It’s about how we allow fear, fear of poverty, fear of old age, fear of loss of love, fear of criticism, all fears that keep us from realizing the success that we deserve. Outwitting the Devil is a step-by-step process on how to blast through that fear. If you haven’t read it, it has achieved what our hope was when we got together, and that is it has reinvigorated the teachings of Hill for the younger generations as a little in your face. The audio book is great. We have two different actors that play the roles. Napoleon Hill says, “You might believe that I’m talking to the real devil, or it could be the imaginary double, whatever you want to believe.
The issue is, are you going to derive any benefit from what I share?” I ran away for a few hours to read it when Don sent it to me because I had the same issue. The title is scary but when I read the manuscript, I knew it had to come out. There was a higher power at work keeping it from being published back in 1938. What happened was when he wrote it, his wife worked for the church and so she forbade it to be published. It got locked away in the vault and then Hill died in 1970. She died later, and then her sister just died. That’s how the manuscript found its way to the foundation.
I am so thrilled and honored to have had that opportunity to annotate it. I didn’t change Hill’s work, but I added in a different type face and bold types so you can skip over my comments if you’re a diehard Hill fan. For people who didn’t know him, it was a way for me to explain things as they are today versus when he wrote it in 1938, and that was a huge honor. When that came out, we started talking about the need for a book related to women. It’s something that I had never thought about doing before because I still think Think and Grow Rich as valid. It was truly written when there were no women in business.
With Think and Grow Rich for Women, I had the opportunity to honor Napoleon Hill’s work. Look at each chapter in Think and Grow Rich, the chapter outline for Think and Grow Rich for Women is the exact same one. I honor his work at the beginning of the chapter and then I look at it through the eyes of successful women that I know that are here today, or potentially from history, and how they use that principle in their life. Then I share how I used the principal in my own pathway to success. I bring together quotes from women from all walks of life, current day, history, and embeds the opportunity for women to see through other women’s eyes. You may read one pair or one story. It doesn’t relate to you at all. The next one, you may say, “If she can do it, so can I.”
These books have been such an incredible journey for me. I thought my legacy was Rich Dad. Now, I have this opportunity to help pass laws with the President and now stepping into the number one personal development brand in the world. What a huge honor. I didn’t have a goal to do that, but it’s something that if you have a passion and you really drive to do something, you will continue creating and living new legacies. Back to Three Feet from Gold, when we did the personal success equation, I want to share this with you because I want to challenge you to think about your own life. You may have everything absolutely going the way you wanted, and you may have all of your investments and growing that with Scott, growing that through notes, but I want you to evaluate every aspect of your life.
We talked about the personal success equation as we talk to these organizations and these individuals who got through the tough times when other people quit three feet from gold. It’s combining your passion and your talent. That’s what we are taught in school. For me, passion, you’d think, do what you love, love what you do. For me, my passion came from anger. I was mad that we weren’t teaching children about money. My passion for anger combined with my background in publishing and my accounting degree, I was able to pull that together. Most of us stop there because we think we have to do it by ourselves. What happens is in school when you associate with people, it’s called cheating. In the real world, business is collaborative.
That’s why organizations like Scott’s, it brings the information together and grace us the opportunity to provide masterminds as a way to make business so much more fun. Business is a team sport. The right association is the magic, the secret sauce, having those right associations. I’m going to share a little bit more about my personal story about why I have to play big movement now. It’s all about going to the next level. When we were at the talking book, it was Disney and Warner Brothers. When I was at Rich Dad, it was Time, Life, Warner books. All of those elements helped us play on a larger scale. If you’re going to work hard, you might as well work hard to impact the greatest number of people for the greatest amount of success.
The next one is taking action. Remember Napoleon Hill, those people want to make sure that you know what you need to do, but you still need to do it, and so taking the right action. We almost went to press with this as the formula. Greg and I say, “There’s still something out there that separates these people from others,” and that was the faith. The faith that they had in themselves, faith in what they were doing, that it was needed and necessary, and faith that they would get through those tough times. A lot of us, that F is fear, and that fear is what keeps us from having the success that we deserve. I want you to ask yourself what part of this formula do you need to work on a little bit? A lot of companies that I mentor, I take them through this process of understanding that they may have had this great success and then they plateaued. I challenge them, “If you’re plateaued, what new actions do you need to take? What new associations do you need to form so that you can expand and continue growing exponentially within the business that you’ve built?” Challenge yourself to say what’s your passion. Your passion can get you up in the morning when everything else is when you want to turn the alarm clock off and roll over.
With your experience, we continue building our talent. Our talent is what we’ve learned in school and what we’ve learned through experience and what we continue to learn. That’s more about us as individuals, but then who do you have in your circle? Who’s on your team? Sometimes the people that have helped us get to where we are today are not the same people that will help us get to where we want to go tomorrow. You have to be honest with yourself about that. Then taking the right action and above all, making sure you have faith in yourself. Sometimes that self-confidence is a huge key that keeps us from achieving the results we want. Surround yourself with people who have more confidence in you than you do. They will help keep your head above the water while you absolutely learn to stand in your own power.
I’m going to talk about four things today that are important and one is exactly that, standing in your own power. I’ll share a little bit more about story because it’s important here. I have always played big. It was in December of 2012, I was in Las Vegas and I’m ready to get on stage and I got a phone call. In December of 2012, I lost my youngest son. It’s not something that I’ve talked about too much. It’s the worst thing in the world that could ever happen to a parent. You’re not supposed to outlive your children. I was devastated. I couldn’t get out of bed for several weeks. It redefines everything, and things that used to be important to me weren’t important anymore. I share this because for the last year, I was thinking of retiring and I got a little pushback from my family because since December of 2012, I’ve still been very busy on the road a lot doing a lot of speaking and writing.
It was like my life was in neutral, autopilot, because the stuff that I knew, and I’ve done, that passion and talent, but what I stopped doing was playing big associations and the actions that I was taking. In the last year, I was thinking maybe it’s time to calm down and retire a little bit. Then I got a lot of pushback. I even think my son was saying, “Get over it, mom. Get back to work.” I have dedicated 2018 where I’m launching the Play Big Movement. I’m going to ask you to join me in this. The whole concept of the Play Big Movement is to be number one in your field. Live your legacy. Don’t wait for the legacy to come later. Live it today and create maximum impact. That’s playing big. You’re making sure that you are an expert and people need to learn from you. Let’s get you out there and have you become the authority.
First of all, when I made the decision to leave Rich Dad, I still remember I was sitting in my library here at the house and my youngest son, the one that I lost, said, “Mom, you need to stand in their own power. You’ve always been supporting and building this company, Rich Dad, but you need to stand in your own power.” That’s something that I challenge all of you. Are you standing in your own power? When I mentor people, you’ve got to step outside your comfort zone. People need to physically push themselves to be strong enough and to improve their attitude. Amy Cuddy has a YouTube. She’s from the Harvard Business School and she created this study. Some people are questioning her study, but it does work. If you are going into a business meeting and you are into a negotiation and you need a down day, you need to feel yourself pep up a bit, get your energy level up, do this. Get into that Superman or that Wonder Woman position. It shows that if you do that for two minutes, you actually will change how you feel. Your mental state will change because you’ve changed your physical state. Sometimes I say, “You may want to go into the bathroom to do that if you’re in the middle of a big conference hall.”
The secondary thing is if you think about every marathon runner, no matter what they speak or where they live, when they run across the finish line, they got their hands up with giant smiles on their face. It’s a way for you to lift up your spirits, similar to when runners get into the runner’s high. By getting that physical space and that physical momentum, you get your mental momentum where it needs to be. Stand in your own power. When I say that, so many things get in our way. Work-life balance is a huge issue these days for men and women, but certainly more for women. I hate it. I can’t stand this whole concept of work-life balance. I don’t believe the word “balance” belongs in this context, maybe in the yoga studio. We spend so much precious time today worrying about what happened yesterday, feeling like maybe you didn’t spend enough time with your kids or maybe you didn’t spend enough time in the office. Stop it. Don’t waste precious time today worrying about what happened yesterday. We are where we are today because of the choices we made before today. If you want something to change, make different choices today.
However, what is an issue in our world today is debt life. As it relates to our whole life, we have our financial life or physical life, our spiritual life, our health, our family, our children. All of those come together to create one big life. You want to make sure you focus on every aspect of your life and they make everything work together. When you are in deeply in debt and it’s a bad debt, it’s hard to be positive. It’s hard to have momentum. At the end of the day, you’re either a master of your money or a slave to it. Many of you may still be employees and there’s nothing wrong with that. As an employee, it’s not what you do for your paycheck, it’s what you do with your paycheck. Note investing that Scott talks about is a wonderful way for you to think of how you can start investing, how you can use that paycheck to start getting ahead, building assets for yourself.
Ask yourself, “Are you a master of your money or are you to it?” Only you can answer that question. Start by asking yourself what did your parents say about money? A lot of times we can find the essence behind our issues related to money from when we were kids. Did your parents say, “Money doesn’t grow on trees. We can’t afford it. We need to pinch our pennies. Who do you think you are, the Rockefellers?” What do all of those comments have in common? They’re negative. As children we hear “money, negative,” and so subconsciously when we think about money, we have fear. We have this state of negativity and we don’t even know where it comes from. Once you can reveal that and start thinking about it and acknowledge it, then you can start breaking away through it and start realizing how we deal with money.
The other thing is how society has framed money. If you’ve read Rich Dad Poor Dad, you probably are familiar with our little boxes, the income statement balance sheet. This is my accounting lesson for you and I promise no numbers. What happens is as a society, we concentrate on our income. We get out of school, we get a job, and we have expenses. Hopefully we have enough money coming in that covers our expenses. Then we end up getting a little more successful. We find a partner or wife or husband, and so we end up with two incomes. We ended up with mortgages or loans or credit card debt. Again, we’re working hard to stay up to pay off our monthly expenses and those liabilities we’ve acquired. You notice what’s empty on this picture? Nothing in the asset column. That means you’re your only asset. When you’re working hard for someone else, you are supposed to do that. You’re supposed to make your boss rich. You’re getting your salary and then you’re paying for your taxes with the government, and then you need to pay for all those liabilities. The problem is your personal business, whether you own a business outside or you’re an employee, doesn’t matter, your personal business is your balance sheet, your asset column.
Assets generate revenue. Being financially free means that you have assets that are generating revenue in excess of your monthly living expenses. That’s when you are financially free. You don’t have to be $1 million a year. It’s when you have assets that generate income higher than your monthly expenses. That means you’re no longer your only asset. Ask yourself where are you on that scale. What more do you need to do to generate assets? When you put something in the asset column, is an employee working for you? Assets, that’s what my number one sexy word. That is the difference. Every wealthy individual, every financially free individual in the world, is financially free because of assets.
Do a personal audit of the assets that you have and let’s see how we can build on them. There are lots of different types of assets, owning your own business, building that as an asset. As long as you have other people working for you and systems that work for you, that’s an asset that can live beyond you. Paper assets, stocks, mutual funds. Those things are all paper assets. Retirement savings, real estate. Real estate is a wonderful way. A lot of people create their wealth through real estate. A lot of people hold their wealth in real estate. Real estate is an absolute wonderful way to balance out your asset portfolio, when people talk about looking at having your assets spread out evenly.
Let’s talk about different types of assets: commodities, businesses, paper assets, real estate, and then intellectual property. Today, this is one of the largest movers of our economy ever. 30 years ago, Fortune 500 companies had about 20% in intellectual property and intangible assets and 80% in hard assets, property, plant, and equipment. Today, it’s more than inverse that. It’s more than 80% of the value in the Fortune 500 companies today are in intellectual property and intangible assets. Think of Airbnb, Amazon. Their main assets are in their technology and intellectual property, only 20% in bricks and mortar. That has allowed us to level the playing field with the internet. You as a small business owner can compete with the big boys because you have the tools and the opportunity to do that with the greatest asset you have which is the six inches between your ears. Then mortgage notes. I have this added for Scott here because it is a way for you to have that blend between paper asset that is backed by real estate. It’s a great opportunity. I’ve done hard money lending and I’ve bought notes. It’s something that is a way for you to truly have an opportunity to build wealth in a way that you’re supported individually or through syndicates as well.
Number two, once you basically decided that you’re going to stand in your own, because you’re in control and you’re the only one in control of your financial life, pick your niche. What is it that you’re going to excel in? Maybe mortgage note is exactly your niche and that’s all you want to do. That’s great. Be the best at it because the most successful businesses solve a problem or serve a need. When we go back to Three Feet from Gold, the individuals that we spoke to solved a problem or served a need. That’s what keeps you going when the going gets tough because you can remind yourself that the issue is bigger than you, living that legacy. You’re serving people every day. You’re solving their problems. That helps get you outside of yourself to get you to the next level. We talk about Richard Branson. He’s like the King Pin of success and yet he always focused small. Even though it has this multi gazillion dollar companies, he has them in small companies so they can focus on what they need to do. The results are there.
When we built Rich Dad, we built it in different companies so I could fine tune and see the growth within each one. Ask yourself, did you pick your niche? Then earning the right to be the authority. After I left Rich Dad, I said, “I need to just reestablish Sharon Lechter outside of Rich Dad.” Certainly, having been on the President’s Advisory Council and then with the Napoleon Hill Foundation, I’ve done that and I feel good about myself. It was something that, by doing that and feeling good about myself again, I did feel I was standing in my power. When I lost my son, I lost the shine. I’m ready to shine again. I’m ready to stand up. I want each and every one of you to stand in your power. Pick your niche, earn the right to become the authority so that you can be number one in your field, live your legacy, and create maximum impact. All of us have earned the right, we just haven’t chosen to stand up and share that. You can become the authority. I want each of you to think about that. What can you do to go from where you are today to become even more of an authority in your field so that you can become recognized?
We talk about going from expert to authority. How do you do that? You start sharing what you know with other people. Scott’s doing this to share with you. He is the authority. He’s bringing other experts together, but you’ll look to him as the host, the authority pulling this summit together for you. Then surround yourself with others that are eager to learn from you. Instead of being part of the conversation, create the conversation. Create the opportunity for people to get together to learn from you or for you to learn from them as well. By sharing your expertise and bringing together the expertise of others, you will be seen as the authority. We think about the definition of authority, the power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior, freedom granted by one in authority. It feels pretty good to be the authority. Years ago, I would be hesitant to say I’m the number one financial literacy expert in the world. I wouldn’t have ever done that. I would’ve said, “I’m pretty good at it.”
Today, I can honestly tell you I’m the number one financial literacy expert authority in the world because I’ve earned that right. I’ve worked very hard at it. Unless I continue working in that space and continue staying up in that arena, I cannot claim that. You never rest on your laurels. You’re always working towards fine tuning your expertise, building new associations, taking more action to make sure that you’re fine tuning your expertise and authority. Other than the Webster’s dictionary definition, what happens is when people start calling you, you know you’re the authority. When that phone starts ringing and people are asking you for your expertise or asking you to participate in things, you’re going to know that you’ve turned the corner. You’ve had that opportunity to build and to stand in your own power. Pick your niche and be recognized.
Now what happens? I was on an interview and it was an online mentoring session. A young gal was saying her business and she was talking about how her service applied to everybody. With Rich Dad, I could have said that too, but we needed to focus on where the niche is so that we can really get qualified individuals that need and are ready to move, ready to take action. I can tell you everybody needs financial literacy, financial education, but I can quickly determine if somebody is willing to take the steps necessary to improve their financial lives. You can show it out that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. You have to recognize whose need is what you have and how you can provide them and give them the opportunity. Focus on those individuals that are ready to become part of your audience because as they come in, their improvements will highlight what you do to those others that weren’t quite ready, and then they will be ready. Focus on the warm audience, getting them moving, helping them make those changes. Then you have the opportunity to start exponentially growing from that success story.
How do we build our platform? Your platform is already there. It’s those associations that you already have. How can you build on those associations? Looking at your web presence because it becomes its own perpetual machine. I have a course that you can find at SharonLechter.com called the Essential Components of A Successful Business where my husband and I go into the weeds to talk about entity structures, talking about intellectual property, how to protect it, how to build business systems, how to understand the need for cash, and how to use other people’s money, time, and resources. All of those are very important, but you need to look at the bigger picture, your mission, your leadership, your team, and the machine. How are you building your platform? You can have the greatest success story, the greatest product, the greatest service, but unless you have a way for people to find out about you, you’re not going to reach that success.
Scott has demonstrated that with the systems that he’s created to continue supporting you in the area of notes. Think about that. How can you emulate that? How can you create a system that will continue helping you grow what you’ve created? It’s very important for you earn that right and establish your authority in every aspect that you can through your platform. It’s important to be consistent and to have integrity in what you’re doing. It probably wouldn’t look good for me to show up in social media doing something that would be inappropriate for me to be doing as a grandmother. Ask yourself, are you supporting yourself? What gets in our way? What keeps us from doing this and becoming number one in our field? A lot of times, it’s a lack of clarity as to what we want. Do you know what you want for yourself? Sometimes it’s a lack of motivation or lack of passion. Maybe it’s because you’ve become numb.
I have another course that I teach that is really important. Think of our little children. They’re so eager to learn. They’re curious and they’re creative. They use crayons and blocks and they built forts and pirates. Then they go to school and that creative juice and that curiosity somehow starts getting molded into conformity when you’re in school. There’s part of that conformity that’s needed, but we don’t want it to snuff out the creativity. We end up getting out of school, we get into a career, and then we ended up making some money and we get comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with being uncomfortable until it becomes complacency. When we’re complacent, we’re on autopilot. We’re not driving our life. It’s just going on its own. Then something happens like the downturn in the economy in 2008. We have a crisis and our life gets thrown into chaos. How do we get out of that crisis? How do we get out of that great chaos? By becoming creative and curious again. Ask yourself, are you creative? Are you curious? How are you getting out of your comfort zone?
The other thing is having the wrong associations, surrounding ourselves with people that aren’t supportive of us, that don’t want to get us to where we want to go. Every one of us has the right to have the greatest success possible. Ask yourself, do you have the right associations to help you get to where you want to go? Bad habits. I admit I have a few, probably more than I want to admit. Sometimes our own habits get in our way. We might know what we need to do, we just don’t do it. Ask yourself, is there something that you know you should be doing that you just haven’t been doing? And fear. Having that fear that holds us back keeps us from reacting and having the life that we deserve. Fear can paralyze us, which it often does, or it can motivate us. Take the step to recognize the fear and say, “I’m going to turn that fear into excitement and energy.”
Instead of making me hide in a room and going into my fetal position, I’m going to say, “I’m going to turn that fear into fuel, excitement, and faith that it would give me the energy to keep doing what I needed to be doing.” How do you do that? It’s definiteness of purpose, knowing what you want. Certainly, these women exactly know what they’re doing and they’re focusing on it. Definiteness of purpose. For me, it was financial literacy, helping families, young people, entrepreneurs build the financial life that they deserve. My passion is as strong today as it was back in December of ’92. What is your definiteness of purpose? What is the problem you’re solving? What is the need that you’re serving?
Then mastery over self. This is Gabby Douglas. No matter how much self-discipline I had, I would never be able to accomplish what she’s on here. Are we blaming someone else when we should be looking in the mirror? Are we doing what we need to do to be successful in our lives? Those of you who may have been to Secret Knocks in the past may have met James Lawrence. When you talk about self-discipline, his story is incredible. If you don’t know his story, read it. It’s about 50 IRONMAN in 50 days in 50 states. No, that would never be on my bucket list. The mind over body that he went through was incredible. His story is a testament to understanding definiteness of purpose and mastery, self-discipline, then building faith in yourself, pushing past your discomfort, stepping outside that comfort zone, getting into situations not knowing what the outcome is.
For instance, I shared with you when I left Rich Dad, I closed that door not knowing what was going to happen. Had I not closed that door, I wouldn’t have gotten the call from President Bush. Had I not closed that door, I would never have gotten the call from the Napoleon Hill Foundation. I’m coming back at you. Is there a door in your life that you need to close so that other doors of opportunity will open to you? It’s scary to step into the unknown but sometimes that’s a way for us to discover opportunities that are waiting for us. It’s okay to fail as long as you get back up one more time when you fall down. I call those learning opportunities. There is no failure. There’s just learning opportunities. You need to trust yourself. Learning through that, you’ll find that you’re stronger than you think. You’re more capable and more tolerant of discomfort than you think. How many times have you been worried about something and then when the meeting or the phone call takes place, it’s not nearly as bad as you had imagined in your life? You wasted all that energy and effort worrying.
In Thailand last year about this time, there was a whole lot of self-talk going on because there’s a lot behind that smile of mine. I always force myself to step outside my comfort zone. Even now when I’m in the twilight years of my career, I am constantly challenging myself to step outside my comfort zone. This little tiger was pretty tough. After I accomplished this one, I got into the cage with grandpappy. He was nine feet long and there were three of them in the cage with us. My husband and I were there and I can’t tell you how it impacted me when I got out of that cage. I never thought I would do it. Stepping outside your comfort zone is where you find the magic. It’s where you find the confidence, building that confidence in yourself that you can accomplish more than you give yourself credit for. That’s where the magic happens.
We can stay in our own little world and the energy doesn’t increase when you don’t bring in outside forces. Learning from adversity. I thought I had adversity in my life when I’m making decisions that were wrong or having the businesses go under, or having the issues that I had when I made the decision to leave Rich Dad. Those were all adversity but it’s nothing like losing my son. What do we learn from it? I keep hearing him from here, “Get over it, mom. There’s more for you to do.” You ask yourself, “Why him, not me?” If you’re not living to the best then you’re not honoring. This entire Play Big Movement that I’m launching is in my son’s honor, and that is for each and every one of us to become number one in our field, live our legacy, and create maximum impact.
Everybody knows Walt Disney and knows the incredible dynasty that he created. I want to take you on a little bit of a journey. We always look back at people and they say, “Easy for them to say, easy for him, easy for her, born with a silver spoon, all the breaks, all the luck.” Let’s talk about Walt Disney’s history. At age 22, he was fired from a newspaper for not being creative enough. Walt Disney. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? The he started his own company called Laugh-O-Gram and it went bankrupt. He couldn’t get it off the ground. Then he created a character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. It was stolen by Universal Studios. He didn’t do what he needed to, so it was stolen by Universal Studios. Then he decided that he wanted Mickey Mouse. He took it to MGM and they said, “A rat on the big screen? It would scare women to death. No.” That’s when he decided to start his own studio and Mickey Mouse was born. All these things, all these issues were failures. He couldn’t stop someone dead in their tracks, but he was dedicated and knew what he wanted.
One that isn’t well known was there was a premiere of the movie Pinocchio and it was at the Radio City Music Hall in New York. If you’ve never been there, there are people in line and it wraps around the block and there’s a big tower there. Walt Disney hired a bunch of little midgets to go up on the top and they sent up beer and food and they were there to entertain the kids while they’re waiting in line. However, a little too much beer was consumed, a little too much wine, and it ended up creating quite the scene as the cops had to bring these people who were shouting profanities at the little kids down below and they were taking their clothes off. It was quite the scene when the cops had to pull these guys down and get them out of the scene. It was definitely not what they had hoped from the premier of Pinocchio. It’s a little known story, but again, he persevered. He had that definiteness of purpose. Every one of these would have stopped someone else dead in their tracks.
Has there been something in your life that caused you to stop? Ask yourself, why are you here? You have a purpose. There is more for you to do. I had a call with someone and he was talking about there’s that little voting booth inside you that’s between you and God. You’re either going to take action or you’re not. It’s up to you to determine what you want in your life. That interview was with Jim Stovall and we talked about adversity. The man went blind. He thought he was going to have a strong career in football. He went blind and has since created an incredible success in his life as an investment broker. He also has written 40 books. He created and basically built narrative television, as he says, television for the blind. It caught on and he won an Emmy. It’s a way for thirteen million visually impaired people to be able to enjoy television. If you haven’t read his books, the first one, the one that’s called The Ultimate Gift, as a parent, it’s a must. It’s how I had the introduction to Jim. I loved it. I’d give it to every parent, every teenager I know, an incredible gift. He’s such a wonderful man.
Faced with adversity, he tells a story of living in this little nine by twelve bedroom when he found out he was going to go blind. He was listening to Think and Grow Rich on tape. By listening to that, that auto suggestion, he says, “I have more to do.” He talks about getting out of his room and walking to the front door. That took several days to build that confidence. Then going from the front door to the mailbox. Until now, he’s a sought-after speaker. He’s overcome that adversity. He was at weightlifting championship in Olympic. He did it even having that adversity. What is stopping you from creating the greatest success that you deserve? Look at it and say, “How can I get past this? How can I use this as a learning opportunity?” Walt Disney, with all of that adversity, still got the most Academy Awards, 32, for all his work. He had all those things that could have stopped him dead in the tracks. He said, “All the adversity that I’ve had in my life and all my troubles have strengthened me.” You may not realize it, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.
Sometimes it doesn’t feel like that when it happens. Sometimes it takes a long time to figure out what the benefit is, but learn from it and take the next step. When it happens to, when you’re at the bottom, there’s only up. For me, I could have made the decision to just be numb the rest of my life. I almost was going down that track and I said, “No, I have to honor my son. I have to get out there and do the things that I know I can do.” Have you been playing too safe? This one hits home a lot, certainly for me. You get to the point where you’re comfortable and you say, “Let’s just coast.” Some people are happy with coasting. Are you? You deserve better. You can’t necessarily change what happened, but you can learn from it. Refocus on what is important to you, what your definite purpose is, and be able to live the life the way that you want to live your life, not for someone else, but live your life for yourself. You deserve the very best.
I challenge you to think about that from a standpoint of where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow, and what choices, what actions do you need to take to get there. You want to control your actions? Let’s look at your time. What do you need to do to change your time to reallocate how you’re focused on what you want to do? Successful people don’t worry about things they can’t control. They don’t hang out with negative people. They don’t dwell on past mistakes. They don’t focus on what other people are doing. They certainly also don’t put themselves last in priority. I find this a lot, particularly with women. We tend to take care of everybody else and not ourselves. Let’s focus on what you are doing. Successful people get rid of the distractions, silence those noise. They create a plan and they work at it, and then they recreate and rework. Clear compensation. They know what they’re doing and they know why they’re doing it.
One of the things that benefited them in the investing world is knowing what the compensation is, living in the now, not in the past, no second guessing, and learning from failure. Part of that is finding those right associations, picking the right mentor and having a mentor. There’s difference between a coach and a mentor. Coach helps you along the path where you’re going. They don’t necessarily have success in what you want to do. A mentor has been where you want to go. A mentor steps into your world to support you in creating your success. They open their Rolodex, they make introductions, and they can steer you around pitfalls and hopefully you speed your way to success. Have somebody that have helped others, and they want to open the door and support you and give you a hand up.
As I draw this to a close, I want to challenge you to join me in the Play Big Movement, standing in your own power. Define that problem, you solve it, your niche, earn the right, become the authority in your field, and then build your own platform. Expand that platform. I challenge you, why not play big? You have the opportunity. Certainly what we’re doing in the investing and note world, you have the opportunity to use that as an investment strategy, but have time to concentrate on what you want to do. Be number one in your field. Live your legacy. Live it every day. It’s not what you leave for people, it’s what you leave inside people that counts, and then creating maximum impact. You have the opportunity to know that people’s lives have improved merely by the fact that they knew you and you were in their life.
I invite you to join us in the Play Big Movement. It hasn’t actually launched, so this is a pre-announcement. Join us by going to your phone and text my name, Sharon, to 55678. We would welcome you to become part of what we’re doing in the Play Big Movement. We’re going to create content and interviews, and people that have played big, lost, and played big again. My goal is to play big again and I want to do it with you. I want to support you in becoming the best in your field. Thank you so much, Scott.
Thank you for sharing your ups and downs. A lot of people who haven’t had to go out and play big or put themselves out there are scared of what might happen and what could happen in a good way.
We hold ourselves back out of the fear or worrying about things if you don’t try. If it is to be, it’s up to me. You have every opportunity and every right to grab the greatest success possible. We live in a world of abundance, not in a world of scarcity. We can all win.
That’s always been my philosophy. There’s plenty of deals to go around and plenty of money, plenty of opportunities. The only limiting factor is the four or six inches between your ears. People love your books, love sharing, love the difference that’s been life changing. When I first met you, I came up to you and said, “Leveraged it. It changed my life. Thank you for helping me change. You changed my life.” You said something to me. It was like, “I didn’t do it. You did it, Scott.”
Scott, thank you for remembering. That means a lot to me when people remind me that I’ve said that to them. We had tremendous success with millions of them out there, but a lot of people will come up and say, “The book changed my life,” or, “You changed my life.” I say, “Stop. I’m so honored and excited that something that I wrote inspired you, but if your life changed, it was because you changed it.” That’s part of standing in your own power. I was inspired by Rich Dad and I’m thrilled and honored to hear that from people, but it was because you took the action. Stand up, own it, and be proud of yourself.
Once again, that number is 55678, text Sharon. It doesn’t matter if it’s in all caps or lower caps. Send it out, you’ll get a link sent back to you almost immediately. It’s a great way to opt in and stay abreast of what Sharon is going to be doing it and sharing with everybody on the Play Big Movement. Clark asked, “Do you have a plan with milestones? What is your vision for Play Big Movement with milestones?”
What we’re going to be doing is we’re creating a course that’s going to have two parts. One is for people that are struggling, what I call find financially broken, to help get them to break even. That’s to help get them out of the hole financially. That portion of the course will be first. Then we have the one that is the Play Big portion, which is helping people identify how they can play a bigger game, not only just the actions that you need to take, but the things that you need to change in your mindset to take those actions so that you can be successful. That course will be ready in the next few weeks, so I’m excited about that.
I’m going to be releasing a new book called Play Big Again. It’s my story and the steps how to reframe and take your level to the next stage. We’re going to have a private Facebook page. If you text us, you’re going to hear about that as we start releasing that. This is pre-release. Nobody knows about it yet. We’re going to create this. I’m interviewing some of the top people in their industries and their fields to talk about this. You’ll hear from the masters. You’ll hear from people and understand that it’s not all roses. We have issues that happen and hold us back and stop us in our track. All of us want to say, “Easy for her to say.” When you feel yourself, when you hear that happening, stop and challenge yourself to keep listening and keep moving. You have every right to create success in your life. Hang out there with us. We’re going to be developing lots of content, lots of television, lots of other podcasts that are going to support you in your journey to become number one in your field, live your legacy, and create maximum impact.
Sharon, thank you so much for joining us here. We look forward to all the great stuff you’re rolling on the Play big movement and being a part of that. Once again, that’s 55678 and text the word “Sharon.” I’m going to share that out to everybody else as well on the database. Somebody asked, “Do you have a favorite book because so many people love the books you’ve written. What’s your favorite book?”
Think and Grow Rich actually changed my life, so definitely that’s number one. I do absolutely love The Ultimate Gift. It’s a very short, small book, but it does teach the power of how we enable our kids and how we disable them through that enablement, and how to blast through that and change it and have them stand on their own responsibility. It’s a great parable. It’s absolutely incredible. There are so many different books. Good to Great by Jim Collins, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win and Influence People. Those are all classics and yet they are so relevant today as when they were released.
Where are you guys traveling to next for fun? I love following you online and seeing the fun places that you and Michael are going.
I’m on my way to Liverpool in a couple of weeks. I have Habitude Warrior here in Phoenix. It’s so nice when I can get out of my own bed and go to a speaking gig. I’m excited about that. Then I’m in Liverpool for a week, so it’s fun. I love what I do and it’s an opportunity for me to continue giving back. That’s what it’s all about.
Thank you so much for being a part of Note CAMP 5.0. Thank you so much for being here.
Thank you and hello to all of you. You’re all fabulous.
That wraps it up for the first day of Note CAMP 5.0. A great way to wrap up the day. What a great day. I will ask you to do me one huge favor. I’m going to ask you if you’ve watched it and enjoyed it, go to my Facebook page, see the video, pull up the video, the live stream with Sharon, and do me a favor. Share that across your platforms. Share that across your page. Do it just once. I would love us to have 50, 60 people share that and see if we can get that video to absolutely blow up over the next 24 hours. Please do me a favor, go to my Facebook page, click on it to share it to your page and let’s see if we can take that to the top.
- Think and Grow Rich
- Three Feet from Gold
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Think and Grow Rich for Women
- Outwitting the Devil
- Sharon Lechter
- Phil Lechter
- CASHFLOW Game
- Rich Dad
- Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing
- Napoleon Hill Foundation
- Play Big Movement
- Amy Cuddy’s YouTube
- Essential Components of A Successful Business
- Gabby Douglas
- James Lawrence
- The Ultimate Gift
- Good to Great
- How to Win and Influence People
- Habitude Warrior
About Sharon Lechter
Sharon Lechter is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, philanthropist, international speaker, mentor, licensed CPA and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. Her numerous affiliations surround her passion for education and financial literacy. Influencing corporations, entrepreneurs, organizations, families, and individuals to achieve their financial goals and do it responsibly is at the core of who Sharon is.
Sharon is a sought after speaker, writer and mentor, and has worked with some of the world’s largest brands to accelerate impact. In cooperation with the American Institute of CPA’s, Sharon released Save Wisely, Spend Happily. And with the Napoleon Hill Foundation, she released three block buster books including:
• Think and Grow Rich-Three Feet from Gold,
• Outwitting the Devil and
• Think and Grow Rich for Women.
As CEO of Rich Dad for over 10 years, and co-author of the international bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad, along with 14 other books in the Rich Dad series, she grew this brand world-wide. Before that she was instrumental in taking an entrepreneurial challenge with America’s first talking books and influenced the expansion of the electronic book industry to a multi-million dollar international market. And as CEO of Pay Your Family First, she has dedicated entrepreneurial efforts to the creation and distribution of financial education books, games, curriculums, and other experiential learning projects.