316: Book Nook – Five Takeaways from Rich Dad Poor Dad with Bjork Ostrom

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An image of shelves of books and the title of the Book Nook episode on the Food Blogger Pro Podcast, 'Book Nook – Five Takeaways from Rich Dad Poor Dad with Bjork Ostrom.'

This episode is sponsored by Clariti.

Welcome to episode 316 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, we have another episode in our Book Nook series where Bjork identifies five different takeaways from the book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad.”

Last week on the podcast, Bjork chatted with Zoe Adjonyoh about her journey with Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, as well as her fight against the cultural appropriation of food. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.

Five Takeaways from Rich Dad Poor Dad

This week on the podcast, we’re sharing another episode in our new Book Nook series! In this series, Bjork reviews one of his favorite business books and outlines some key takeaways that you can apply to your blog or business.

In this episode, we’re focusing on “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” a powerful personal finance book that explains how you can make your money work for you. Bjork shares some of his main takeaways from the book and shares how bloggers and content creators can implement this advice to grow their own businesses.

A quote from the Book Nook episode of the Food Blogger Pro podcast that says, 'What are the ways within your business, or outside of your business, that you can start to have the income that you're earning work for you?'

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why it’s important to invest in yourself
  • What a personal board of directors is
  • Why it’s important to buy assets, not liabilities
  • Why you should learn through experiences
  • How you can have your money work for you
  • Why mindset is so important


About This Week’s Sponsor

We’re excited to announce that this week’s episode is sponsored by our sister site, Clariti!

With Clariti, you can easily organize your blog content for maximum growth. Create campaigns to add alt text to your posts, fix broken images, remove any broken links, and more, all within the Clariti app.

Sign up for the Clariti waitlist today to receive:

  • Early access to their $25/Month Forever pricing
  • Optimization ideas for your site content
  • An invitation to join their exclusive Slack community
  • And more!

You can learn more and sign up here.

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].

Food Blogger Pro logo with the words 'Join the Community' on a blue background

Transcript (click to expand):

Bjork Ostrom: This episode of the Food Blogger Pro podcast is sponsored by our sister site, Clariti. Clariti is a powerful tool that allows you to organize, optimize, update your blog content, all in service of growth. It’s a little bit hard to explain something like this on a podcast. So the best way to figure it out is actually just to go over and check it out. It’s C-L-A-R-I-T-I.com. Our food blog, Pinch of Yum, has over 1600 recipes on the site, and that’s a lot of content and there’s a lot of opportunities. We’ve talked on the podcast before about this idea of juicing the orange. There’s a lot of opportunities for us in that content to improve and to optimize, to get more growth, to get more traffic.

Bjork Ostrom: And we’ve learned a lot about incredible valuable blog post content since we started our blog in 2010 and what that looks like. And it’s important for us to go back to those older posts and apply those learnings that we have to those older pieces of content. Things like adding nutrition information, or optimizing alt text, making sure internal links are all optimized, nofollowing links, or adding video. Clariti’s the tool that we’re using to create campaigns around doing that. It not only helps you filter and understand your content by syncing with WordPress, and Google Analytics now, a new feature that we just recently released, but it also allows you to then build campaigns off of those posts to say, “Hey, these are the 10, the 100, the 500 pieces of content that I want to optimize around a certain area.”

Bjork Ostrom: So you already have great recipes. Clariti’s kind of that additional layer, the strategy consideration that you can wrap around your content to help you optimize and improve it, all in the service of growth. That’s what we’re here about, and that’s why we exist. We want to help you and your company, or your blog, get a tiny bit better every day. Clariti is a way that we are doing that. If you want to check it out, we are offering a plan that we call 25 Forever for the first 500 people who sign up for Clariti, which you can do by going to clariti.com/food. You’ll see a really simple kind of waiting list signup page that you can join. And then Megan from the Clariti team will follow up with you there, get you onboarded, and explain a little bit about how the tool works. And we would love to have you.

Bjork Ostrom: And the other thing that we’re doing is there’s a little Slack group that you can be a part of that people are sharing feedback, ideas, insights that will help not only you, but also help shape the direction of the tool. So again, that’s Clariti.com/food if you want to check that out and join the 25 Forever early access plan for Clariti. Thank you to Clariti for sponsoring this podcast.

Bjork Ostrom: Hello, hello, hello. This is Bjork Ostrom. You are listening to the Food Blogger Pro podcast. And today, we are doing an episode in the Book Nook series. We’ve done one of these so far, and the purpose of these is really twofold. One is to shine a light on books that are important to read, important to be aware of. And my goal, at least for the first few books that we talk about, are to hit the books that people would ask you, like, “Have you ever read XYZ? Have you ever read…” in this case today, “… Rich Dad Poor Dad.” And if you were at a conference, somebody asked you that and you were like, “No, I’ve never read that,” I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody is like, “Oh my gosh, you haven’t read this book? You should really read it.” That’s the purpose of the Book Nook.

Bjork Ostrom: Number one, to shine a light on books that for you, as a business owner, as somebody who’s building a following online, building a business, thinking in ways that not a lot of people think, which is how do I create my side hustle? How do I make my side hustle my main thing? How do I gain a following? How do I build a successful business in the world? For those of you who fall into that category, which are the people who listen to and follow along with this podcast, Rich Dad Poor Dad would be one of those books that you’d say, “Gosh, you got to read this. You got to check it out.” Because it’s been around forever. And it’s kind of a pillar of business books. A lot of people in the real estate space are familiar with it because some of the things that Robert Kiyosaki talks about, who’s the author, one of the authors, I think there’s two authors, but one of the concepts, or one of the main frameworks that he uses for kind of talking about this is real estate.

Bjork Ostrom: But it doesn’t apply just to real estate. It applies to business and really, financial literacy in general. So Robert Kiyosaki, and Sharon Lechter is the other author. And Sharon actually is, I just listened to an interview she did. She’s coming out with another book all about building a business and selling it. So she’s written like 25 books. Robert Kiyosaki has written multiple, multiple books. But this is the one for both of them where it really comes back to Rich Dad Poor Dad. Like anytime that you talk about business books, and anytime you talk about Robert Kiyosaki, who is kind of a known financial commentary, author, influencer, whatever you’d want to call it, all roads will lead back to this book. And so if you haven’t yet, it’d be an important one to read because some of the main concepts from that book are really important.

Bjork Ostrom: So I want to make sure that while we’re going through different books that we consider to be important, influential books, that we prioritize Rich Dad Poor Dad as a Book Nook book to cover. So I’m going to talk about five things that I really took away from the book that I consider to be important. And as you read through it, which I would encourage you to do, you can maybe see these as themes that come up. If you don’t read it, if you’re like, “Gosh, I just am not somebody who reads. I only listen to podcasts. I only listen to the Food Blogger Pro podcast,” this will be your chance to get some of the main takeaways, at least my main takeaways, from the book. And my hope is that, as with all the podcasts, it helps you get just a tiny bit better.

Bjork Ostrom: So let’s go ahead and jump in. Number one, invest in yourself. They talk a lot in this book about the importance of an investment in yourself. Warren Buffett talks about this as well. The best investment you can make is the investment in yourself. It’s books, it’s courses, it’s seminars, taking the time and the money to invest in yourself. And in the book, they also talk about this idea of working with experts and prioritizing people who have an area of expertise, an area of knowledge that maybe you don’t have, or you don’t want to acquire, and investing in paying those people to give you advice. Maybe it’s an attorney. Maybe it’s a coach. I’ve thought about it as a personal board of directors. I’ve talked about that on the podcast before. But it’s more of an idea than literally a bunch of people sitting around the table and like giving advice like a normal board of directors would be.

Bjork Ostrom: But it’s thinking through, if you had a personal board of directors, people who you sat down with and said, “Here’s where my life is at right now and I need some help figuring it out,” who would those people be? And my guess is they’d have areas of expertise and specializations in different categories. It might be spiritual. It might be relational. It might be financial, right? So you might want to work with somebody who does personal finance, but you also probably have somebody who does CPA. You might have somebody who is like a counselor or a therapist. You might have somebody on your personal board of directors who is a spiritual advisor. Maybe it’s a pastor or somebody that you really appreciate their insights on spirituality, whatever that might look like for you. You might work with a personal trainer. So you have somebody who prioritizes taking care of your health, nutritionist, whatever it might be.

Bjork Ostrom: It’s going to look different for everybody, depending on where you’re at, what your needs are, and what your availability is financially. Maybe you can’t actually pay people. So you kind of say like, “Hey, these are the people that I’m going to listen to for advice on a certain area.” It’s all about the personal board of directors. And I think about that a lot for myself. Who are the people that are weighing in on my life? Or if I have a question, who am I routing that question to if I know that I’m not the best person to answer it? So think about what that could be for you, your personal board of directors. But also think about how are the ways that you are investing in yourself by consuming helpful content through books, courses, seminars, podcasts, like you’re listening to right now.

Bjork Ostrom: One thing that I will say, Food Blogger Pro membership, this is a shameless plug. These, if you do those things, whether it be Food Blogger Pro membership, courses, books, seminars, whatever it is, conferences, if you are doing those through your business, they can be an expense. So don’t think about it as just the dollar amount that you’re investing into it, but that’s going to be an expense within your business, which can be deducted. Which means that if you have a thousand dollars that you make in a month and you spend 500, the $500 is going to be the amount that you’re taxed.

Bjork Ostrom: So it’s one of the great things about owning a business is that you can think strategically. And you have to talk to somebody on your personal board of directors, your CPA or accountant, and say like what’s okay and what’s not to run through your business. But you can have some of these expenses running through your business. And those can be expenses that reduce your taxable income. So as a business owner, that’s one of the reasons why it’s advantageous to own a business, because you have a different way that you treat money. I’ve talked about that before on previous episodes where we talk about taxes and tax considerations as a business owner.

Bjork Ostrom: So think about that. Number one, what are the ways that you can invest in yourself? Personal board of directors. What are the ways that you personally are consuming content? And if it applies to your business, which oftentimes it does, make sure that you’re counting that as a business expense, because that is why you’re learning is because you can improve your business or improve yourself and in turn, be able to work better and build within your business. So that’s number one, invest in yourself. A really big takeaway in reading Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Bjork Ostrom: And also, you hear other people talk about that as well. Warren Buffett often gives that as an answer when people come to him. He’s the Oracle of Omaha. And people say, “Warren, what should I invest in?” And he says, “First and foremost, invest in yourself.” So it’s why we exist, TinyBit. How do you get a tiny bit better every day, forever? And that’s one of the things I love about Rich Dad Poor Dad, is they reflect that value.

Bjork Ostrom: Number two, a big takeaway, buying assets, not liabilities. Now, some of you might hear the word assets and liabilities, and you think, “Ah, accounting, like I do not want to be thinking about accounting. And I really don’t like the idea of accounting.” But the basic premise here is an asset is anything that is putting money back into your pocket or to your bank account. And a liability is anything that’s taking money out of your bank account or out of your pocket.

Bjork Ostrom: So this is kind of a controversial take in Rich Dad Poor Dad, but he considers your house to be a liability. Now, most people would think of your house as an asset. If you own your house, if you’ve bought your house and you’re paying a mortgage, the general idea is the house is becoming more valuable. But that’s not always true. And the way that Robert Kiyosaki, or Rich Dad Poor Dad, the framework in Rich Dad Poor Dad, would look at it is there’s not ever a time where your house is putting money back into your pocket, back into your bank account. It’s always going to be taking it out. And it might be improving in value or even just holding its value. But in general, it’s going to be going down. And he would consider that to be a liability.

Bjork Ostrom: Same with your car. It’s very, very rare for a car to go up in value. And if you do have a car that’s going up in value, chances are you’re not driving it around and actually using it. Boats are another example, right? So all of these things are things that are taking money out of your pocket. Whereas, assets would be things that are putting money into your pocket. Now, the real obvious example when you look at the home analogy is if you’ve bought a house and you’re renting it out and people are paying you $1,200 and maybe the mortgage is a thousand dollars and you’re making money on that. It’s an asset.

Bjork Ostrom: And the example that he gives in the book is he talked about buying his first rental condo. And the basic idea with Rich Dad Poor Dad is he talks about his rich dad and his poor dad. And there are different views on things and advice that they would give him. His rich dad was apparently his friend’s dad and his poor dad was his actual dad, which is kind of a weird dynamic. I’ve always thought that’s kind of a weird thing with the book, like a weird legacy piece for him to talk about his dad as his poor dad, but so be it.

Bjork Ostrom: But he talked about going to his rich dad and saying, “Hey, I made this great investment in a condo and it’s in Hawaii and the value’s going to go up. Isn’t this so smart?” And his rich dad said, “Well, it depends. How much are you paying for it each month? And how much are you making from it?” And he said, “Well, I’m actually losing $50 every month, but it’ll go up in value. So this was a good investment.” And his rich dad said, “Well, actually, it’s not a great investment. Because think about if you did that a thousand times. If you repeated that same thing you did over and over and over again, you’d be losing $50,000 a month. It’s a terrible decision that you made.”

Bjork Ostrom: And, in the book, Robert says, “Well, won’t it go up in value?” And it’s like, well, you can’t be purchasing for appreciation. You have to purchase for cash flow. And so he flipped it the other way around and said, “Think about if instead, you bought a house,” and I don’t remember the exact numbers they use, but, “What if it was the other way where you were making $50 a month from that instead of losing it? Then think about what if you did that a thousand times.” And the idea is you want to be buying things that not only appreciate in value, but also are creating cash flow.

Bjork Ostrom: I would make the argument that your blog is an asset. As you’re building this thing, as you’re creating a following, maybe you’re starting to earn ad income from it. Maybe you even have some people helping you with the day-to-day from it. That’s an asset. Especially in the content world where the things you are creating have some type of kind of evergreen-ness to them. So you create it once and you probably need to maintain it. You need to update it. You may need to make sure that you’re keeping your site up. But there’s a little bit of a snowball effect, where the more traction that it has, the more people discover your site, maybe they sign up for your email list, the easier it becomes to work with sponsors, maybe the easier it becomes to point people towards your social. Your blog becomes an asset. It really becomes a business.

Bjork Ostrom: And I think it’s one of the things I would like to talk about more on this podcast is this idea that the thing you are creating not only can be a career for you, but it can also be like, in and of itself, a valuable thing. It can become a product that has value. There’s bloggers who we know that we follow along with. And they’ve been doing it for a really long time. But they build their site up to a point where they can sell it for hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, because people recognize that thing as an asset. In Rich Dad Poor Dad, he talks a lot about that. Buy assets, not liabilities.

Bjork Ostrom: So if you have money, think about maybe I shouldn’t buy that boat or that new car, but what if I bought some type of asset. You can buy blogs, right? We’ve had conversations on the podcast of people who have a brokerage. Meaning, you can broker houses, but you can also broker websites. What would it look like for you to say, “Maybe there’s a food site out there, maybe there’s a recipe site out there that I could acquire.” And instead of buying a new car, or instead of a really expensive trip that you’re going to take, maybe think about buying some type of asset. And that could be a website or a blog. We don’t talk about that a lot, but it’s kind of a cool way to think about building an online business. So that’s number two. Buy assets, not liabilities.

Bjork Ostrom: Number three. I love this one because I’ve seen this to be so true in my life, which is learn through experiences. And this, you might initially think that this is intention with number one, which is that idea of invest in yourself in books, courses, seminars, conferences, courses. I think I said that already. But I think the secret unlock here is both of these things equal. So invest in yourself by reading books, listening to podcasts, going through courses, attending seminars, doing conferences, but make sure that as you’re doing that, you’re actually taking action and moving forward. That’s when you’re going to learn the most. You’re not going to learn just by reading, or listening, or watching. You have to pair that with doing. And you’re also not going to learn as well if you’re only doing and not reading and going through courses and listening to podcasts and attending conferences.

Bjork Ostrom: When you pair those two things together, when you learn through experiences while also investing in yourself, that’s going to be an awesome, awesome combination. And I know that the sweet spot for me is, when I’m entering into a new challenging area, an area that I’ve never really mastered or spent time with… I think about when we started to develop software. That was a new area for me. We hadn’t done that before. We’d only done content. The quickest traction that I would get is when I would actually be doing it.

Bjork Ostrom: So we’re moving forward, we’re saying, “Hey, how do you create a WordPress plugin? What does that look like.” And while we were taking action on that, moving forward with it, also reading, learning, listening to podcasts. Because the stuff that you are listening to is directly applicable to the things that you’re doing on a day-to-day basis. And when that happens, you learn so much quicker. So that’s number three. Learn through experience, a huge takeaway from the book, and something that I think a lot about.

Bjork Ostrom: Number four. This is kind of tied to number two, but it’s a concept that I’ve thought a lot about and really a visual that I have in my mind from the book. I don’t remember when I saw this, if it was in the book. I don’t think it’s in the book. I think it was when I was listening to the audiobook like 10 years ago and he described this and I kind of had this visual. But number four is have money work for you. So the visual that I have in my mind, I don’t remember if this is from the book or not, but it’s this like coin with legs and arms, kind of like a really bad clip art that you’d see from 10 years ago. And it’s like actually doing work. So it’s like digging a hole or like marching forward. I don’t know what it is that it’s actually doing.

Bjork Ostrom: But this idea that when you’re working, when you’re doing things, you’re getting compensated for that. And when you get compensated for that, you have money and then you have a decision around what you can do with that. You can buy things, right? You can go out to restaurants, you can buy experiences, you can buy product. None of those are bad necessarily, but you can also have money. You can spend money. You can buy things that will work for you. You can have money work for you.

Bjork Ostrom: And the way that you can do that is a couple of different examples. You could invest that. So like you could say, “Hey, I earned, I have an extra $500 this month. What can I do with that?” Well, you could buy a PlayStation. You could have like five to ten extraordinary meals out with friends or family. You could store it. You could put it like in a checking account or a savings account. Or you could potentially take that and invest it. Maybe you put it in stocks, or maybe you take that and you say, “You know what? I’m going to take this and I’m going to hire somebody to kind of consult on SEO on my site. Or I’m going to actually take this and I’m going to put it into my business and hire somebody.” Maybe it’s a college student and you can pay them the rate they’re excited about and have them work on your business. Maybe it’s a few hours every day that they’re spending, helping you in an area where you feel deficient or need some support.

Bjork Ostrom: That’s when you start to get into thinking about great money as kind of a worker. What does it look like to have money be kind of a team member, to put it to use, to not just exchange it for things or product or experiences which, again, aren’t bad, but to exchange it for getting work done, for doing things? That was a concept that was really important for me, as I listened to the book first time, way back when. It was an audio version of it. This idea of making money work for you. So when you get it, how do you think about deploying that in a way that’s going to be beneficial for you and not kind of evaporate, which often happens when we get money and spend it on things that we don’t necessarily need, but we think that we need. So think about that. What are the ways within your business or outside of your business that you can start to have the income that you’re earning work for you instead of just spending that on kind of random things here and there?

Bjork Ostrom: And the fifth concept that was really important for me in the book is the importance of mindset. And this is something that I see as a recurring pattern in business books or self-improvement books, or advice. And I think the reason that you keep seeing it come up is because it’s really true and it’s really important. And one of the most important things for us to get right is our mindset as it relates to the work that we’re doing, the content that we’re creating, and how we view ourselves and our relationship to that. And Rich Dad Poor Dad talks a lot about that and the importance, specifically the importance of this idea of like, “I can’t do that.”

Bjork Ostrom: And I think a lot of times we have these preexisting beliefs about ourselves or the things that we can do when we say, “I’m not that person. I can’t do that. I’m not a numbers person. That doesn’t make sense. I can’t do that. I can’t go there. I’m not creative. Like that’s not an area that I go. I can’t do that.” We have these things that keep us from moving forward. And in the book, the challenges, don’t think about, “I can’t do that,” but think instead about, “How can I do that?”

Bjork Ostrom: So there’s, “I want to get to this point. I probably can’t do that.” Instead of first thinking, “I can’t do that,” think about, “How can I do that?” It’s a subtle shift. And it doesn’t always, it’s not a fix, right? So it’s not the kind of thing where you hear it and you’re like, “Oh, if I just start thinking positively, then it’s all going to go better. If I stop thinking that I can’t do it and start thinking that I can do it, then it’s going to work out.” But it’s a subtle shift that gives you permission to continue forward.

Bjork Ostrom: And what I mean by that is when you have a mindset of, “I can’t do that,” that’s where you stop. You don’t move forward beyond that. When you start to think about, “How can I do that,” that’s really about a step forward. That’s about thinking about your options. That’s about thinking through, “Maybe there’s somebody who can help me do this so I’m not the one doing it, but we’re still going to get it done, and here’s how I’m going to get it done. I’m going to get it done by working with somebody who’s really good at doing it. That’s how I can do that.” It’s a subtle but important shift from, “I can’t,” to, “How can I?”

Bjork Ostrom: So those are the five points that I wanted to bring out personally when I think about the book, the takeaways that I think are most important. My guess is that when you read through this, if you listen to it, you’re going to have some important takeaways that you’ll be able to apply to your business, or even just how you operate and how you approach finances. And it’s a lot of what this work is that we do. There’s the creative part of it. There’s the passion part of it. And for a lot of us, there’s the financial part of it. What does it look like to build a successful business? And how does that factor into my day-to-day life and the work that I’m doing, and how work then ties in with our day-to-day life? Because it’s work and life. And work-life balance is an important thing.

Bjork Ostrom: So I wanted to bring that up, I wanted to talk through it. It’s a great book. What I would love to hear from you, if you do read it, shoot me an email, [email protected]. And you can just say Book Nook or Rich Dad Poor Dad in the email. And it would be a great point for us to connect and to say a little hello. And I’d also be interested in hearing what your takeaway would be. I learn a lot from learning what other people are learning. So that is a wrap for this Book Nook.

Bjork Ostrom: These are a little bit shorter, a little bit more succinct. And the purpose, like I said at the start, is to, number one, shine a light on books that we think are important for people doing work like the work that we are doing. Rich Dad Poor Dad being an example of that. And a chance for me to talk through kind of some of those takeaways, for those of you who are like, “Yeah, I’m not going to read that, but just tell me why it’s a helpful, important book.” So hopefully you were able to get a tiny bit better today by listening through some of these takeaways that I had from the book.

Bjork Ostrom: If you have not yet, you can subscribe to this podcast. It is a great joy and privilege that we have to speak to you each and every week. And also let us know what are the things that you are most interested in hearing on the podcast. You can email [email protected]. We want to know what are the things that we can be doing for you that would be most helpful? Conversations we can be having, people we can be talking to. So if you’re listening to this right now and you’re like, “I’ve got an idea,” my ask for you would be to take your phone out real quick, address it to [email protected], and say idea or quick thought and let us know what your idea or quick thought is in regards to how we can make this podcast better, how we can serve you better, whether that be topics or people that we interview. That’s a wrap for this episode. Make it a great week. Thanks.

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