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The Business of the 21st Century

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The Business of the 21st Century

Are you still living in the 20th century, trying to climb the corporate ladder?

Allow Robert T. Kiyosaki and his wife to introduce you to an alternative:

The Business of the 21st Century.

Who Should Read “The Business of the 21st Century”? And Why?

If you are an employee with dreams of climbing the corporate ladder or a self-employed small business owner, then you’re still living in the 20th century, and you must read The Business of the 21st Century if you wish to make the much-necessary step forward (and upward).

If you are an employee with dreams of climbing the corporate ladder or a self-employed small business owner, then you’re still living in the 20th century, and you must read The Business of the 21st Century if you wish to make the much-necessary step forward (and upward).

However, if you’re a big business owner or an investor, then you don’t need Kiyosaki’s book: you’ll already live it.

About Robert T. Kiyosaki

Robert T. Kiyosaki is an American investor, entrepreneur, and educator, most famous for his Rich Dad series.

The original book of the series, Rich Dad Poor Dad, spent six years on The New York Times bestseller list and was named “USA Today’s No. 1 Money Book” for two years in a row.

This inspired Kiyosaki to add many other titles to the series which, combined, have sold almost 30 million copies in more than 50 languages and about 110 countries.

Kiyosaki has been featured on shows such as Oprah and Larry King Live and has co-authored a book with Donald Trump titled Why We Want You to Be Rich: Two Men—One Message.

He has co-written The Business of 21st Century with his wife, Kim Kiyosaki, and John Fleming, an architect, life designer, and editor-in-chief of Direct Selling News.

Book Summary

The ESBI Quadrant

If you know one thing about Robert Kiyosaki—OK, besides that he’s the guy who wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad—you certainly know his Cashflow Quadrant.

By his own admission, it may be “the most important writing” he’s ever done, because “it goes right to the heart of the crucial issues involved for people who are ready to make true changes in their lives.”

A strange thing to say about 4 letters inside a table that looks something like this: First of all, each of these letters stands for one of the only four categories of people that exist on this planet – at least in the eyes of Kiyosaki: However – and expectedly – there’s much more to it!

E = Employee
S = Self-employed or Small-business owner
B = Business owner
I = Investor

Which one of them are you?

Or to use the words of Kiyosaki, which quadrant do you live in, aka how do you earn most of your money?

Need some help to decide?

Here we go:

The E Quadrant

You’re here if you belong to the overwhelming majority of people.

Or, to be more exact, you’re here if you’re happy enough to not belong in the zero quadrant, also known as being unemployed. Unfortunately, at least according to Robert Kiyosaki, 19% of young white men living in the US between the ages of 18 and 25 cannot find a job.

It’s even worse for African Americans: a third of them face similar problems!

You, however, don’t. You work hard in a moderately successful company, and you believe that one day, your career will earn you just enough money to relax in the bliss of retirement.

The S Quadrant

Then again, maybe you’ve already migrated to the S quadrant.

Driven by your urge to earn more and to have more freedom, you decided to “fire your boss,” found a start-up, and become your own boss instead.

Unfortunately, this has backfired: now you have even less free time (because taking a day off means earning no money at all) and you can’t blame your boss for your problems (because that boss is you).

However, you feel that you’re better off than in the E quadrant.

At least slightly.

The B Quadrant

Of course, both the small business and the big business owners are self-employed.

However, the difference between the S quadrant and the B quadrant is straightforward: in the case of the latter, you’re not working for your company, but your company works for you.

The I Quadrant

Finally, the I quadrant, in which it is not your business that works for you anymore, but your money.

Though it seems something an E or an S guy would never have a go at, investing, says Kiyosaki, is “not rocket science.”

You already understand its essence from Monopoly: “four greenhouses, one red hotel.” All you need now is just a few books to master it.

E’s and S’s, This Book Is for You

Now that you’ve evaluated yourself, time to reveal to you the point of the test:

Kiyosaki’s The Business of the 21st Century is not for the I’s and neither for the B’s. It is about the E’s and the S’s.

And especially about those young people who haven’t decided yet whether they’ll live on the left or on the right side of Kiyosaki’s quadrant (pun, of course, intended).

Here’s Kiyosaki explaining that in brief:

So, news flash:

The corporate myth is over. If you’ve spent years climbing the corporate ladder, have you ever stopped to notice the view? What view, you ask? The rear end of the person in front of you. That’s what you get to look forward to. If that’s the way you want to view the rest of your life, then this book probably isn’t for you. But if you are sick and tired of looking at someone else’s behind, then read on.

Blame Prussia for Your Troubles

Basically, every modern book on retirement planning states this explicitly: if you’re merely working somewhere, you’re already doing it all wrong!

Why, you ask?

Because you’re living in the past – more precisely sometime between the end of the 19th century and the 1980s.

You see, the “employment for life” myth didn’t exist before the Industrial Revolution; before it occurred, in fact, there were many more S’s than E’s.

However, once the Industrial Revolution incited the demand for employees, most European governments took over the task of mass education.

The system adopted everywhere was the Prussian system – and, miraculously, most school systems in the world are modeled after it to this day.

Miraculously, because the idea of that system was to mass-produce E’s, “people who would follow orders and do as they were told.”

And what they were promised in return?

The paradise of retirement.

Yet another Prussian idea, was devised by then-Prussian president Otto von Bismarck in 1889.

What’s so bad about it?

We’ve already told you, but let us remind you yet again.

Back in the time of Bismarck, the average life expectancy was 45, and not many people lived to be old enough to start receiving their benefits.

Now, almost everybody lives past that age, and it’s only a matter of time before pension funds go absolutely broke.

Still, wanting to be an E or an S?

Beyond Income

Of course, you don’t.

Because you’re smart and because you’ve just realized that unless you’re a B or an I, you’ll never earn enough money to sit back and relax.

“It’s not about income,” writes Kiyosaki in the title of chapter 8, “it’s about assets that generate income.”

What does this mean?

Well, it means that earning money actively will never get you anywhere; and even if it does, it will be at the price of your own freedom. Think of it as a race. You’re not allowed to take a rest because then you’ll be outrun.

However, if you’re capable of finding a way to start earning money passively, then you can sit back and enjoy the view. Think of it as having someone else running in your stead.

Network Marketing

Now, it’s easy to say this; but somewhat tricky to put it into practice.


Because of the obvious Catch-22: in order to earn money, you need a big business; however, you need money to start a big business; the same goes for investing.

However, there’s a great way to circumvent this obstacle.

Namely, network marketing!

“If you are considering building your own business,” writes Kiyosaki, “you need to be acutely aware of who you’re spending your time with and who your teachers are. It’s a crucial consideration.”

Think of it this way: Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Phil Knight – all had friends when they were 18 or 20.

And they all wanted some support for their projects, whether financial or logistical.

If you had been one of the people to know them, even a single dollar might have made you a rich person today!

Network marketing is all about understanding the power of the power connectors.

The point is to know people, to help them, to connect them, to sell them your idea before you have the money to put it into practice:

When it comes to creating business success, it’s not a simple matter of technical skills. Even more important are the life skills it takes to successfully negotiate the B quadrant. The key to long-term success in life is your education and skills, your life experiences, and most of all, your personal character.

“As a network marketer,” Kiyosaki adds, “you might think your job is to demonstrate and sell a product. It’s not. Your job is to communicate information, to tell a great story, and build a network.”

Key Lessons from “The Business of the 21st Century”

1.      The ESBI Quadrant
2.      One Business – Eight Wealth-Building Assets
3.      The Future Is Network Marketing

The ESBI Quadrant

The ESBI Quadrant is in the very essence of Kiyosaki’s philosophy – which means it forms the basis of almost all of his books.

It states that, at least in terms of money, there exist only four categories of people: employees, small business owners, big business owners, and investors.

The first two belong to the left side of the quadrant; the latter two to the right side.

Also: the first two belong to the past; the latter two to the future.

Choose wisely – because you can choose.

1 Business – 8 Wealth-Building Assets

The point is not to get stuck in actively earning money – but to try and start earning. It’s not about income, says Kiyosaki, but about assets that bring income on their own.

And these are, according to him, the eight wealth-building assets that really matter:

Asset #1: A Real-World Business Education
Asset #2: A Profitable Path of Personal Development
Asset #3: A Circle of Friends Who Share Your Dreams and Values
Asset #4: The Power of Your Own Network
Asset #5: A Duplicable, Fully Scalable Business
Asset #6: Incomparable Leadership Skills
Asset #7: A Mechanism for Genuine Wealth Creation
Asset #8: Big Dreams and the Capacity to Live Them

Spend as much time as you can developing these assets in your youth; you’ll be more than thankful to yourself when you get older.

The Future Is Network Marketing

The essence of you becoming a B or an I (instead of living an unfulfilling life as an E or an S) is network marketing.

That is, finding people who’ll share your dreams and ideas; people who want to be B’s and I’s as well; people who’ll either buy your visions when the lack of money prevents you from turning them into reality, or people in whose visions you can invest.

That’s all the intelligence you need to become a successful person.

Remember that:

It is not real estate, gold, stocks, hard work, or money that makes you rich; it is what you know about real estate, gold, stocks, hard work, and money that makes you rich. Ultimately, it is your financial intelligence that makes you rich.

Final Notes

In the landscape of contemporary business literature, “The Business of the 21st Century” stands as a guiding beacon for those seeking to navigate the complexities of modern entrepreneurship.

Robert T. Kiyosaki’s profound insights challenge conventional wisdom and offer a roadmap for individuals determined to transcend the limitations of traditional employment structures.

Through the lens of the ESBI Quadrant, Kiyosaki underscores the imperative of asset-building and the transformative potential of network marketing.

As the paradigm of work continues to evolve, Kiyosaki’s message resonates with those who dare to envision a future defined by financial freedom and self-determination.

In embracing the principles outlined within these pages, readers are empowered to seize control of their destinies and embark on a journey toward lasting prosperity.

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“The Business of the 21st Century Summary Quotes”

Your mind is infinite, it's your doubts that are limiting. Click To Tweet Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think. Click To Tweet I came to realize that while personal success is fulfilling it's much more fulfilling when you can help many others create their own success as well. Click To Tweet The key to long-term success in life is your education and skills, your life experiences, and most of all, your personal character. Click To Tweet Learning how to tell a powerful story is learning how to show up as the winner you are. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The Business of the 21st Century was published soon after the financial decline of 2008 and addresses Americans mainly through the prism of this crisis.

However, its message – if you want wealth, create it by taking charge of your income source – rings true even a decade later.

It does sound a bit simplifying here and there, but there are quite a few interesting takeaways. If you like Rich Dad Poor Dad, you’ll like this one too.

If not, don’t bother.

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