Left: Robert Kiyosaki, Right: Napoleon Hill

Learn and Grow Rich — 7 Skills of Wealthy People

A fail-proof philosophy for wealth and richness in life

Danny Forest
Apr 11 · 9 min read

In the classic book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill explains the power of our thinking when it comes to achieving any goal in life, including getting large amounts of money.

Adding to the theory, Robert T. Kiyosaki, in Rich Dad Poor Dad, explains how continuous learning is key to getting rich.

Is the secret to becoming rich about thinking and learning then?

For the most part — yes. But how?


Think

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In “thinking”, you foster self-reflection, curiosity, and imagination — skills long forgotten by adult age for most people.

In a piece called “Learn and Grow Rich”, I bet you’re expecting me to mention how going to school has something to do with growing rich, but that’s not at all what learning means. Think about this: “Learning” and “Acquiring Knowledge” are not the same.

Learning is the act of applying acquired knowledge and creating connections in your brain. Acquiring knowledge is the storage of information in your hippocampus.

Learn

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When you foster self-reflection, curiosity, and imagination, you force yourself to learn. You learn about yourself, your peers, and the world surrounding you. You question popular dogma and seek your own answers, creating connections in your brain. This is learning. Whereas simply storing information in your hippocampus is knowledge.

Why is learning better?

Unapplied knowledge is just wasted “space” in your brain. What good is acquiring a vast library of information if it’s never put to use?

Knowledge without practice is no better than a shiny golf club sitting in the trunk of your car.


Grow Rich

Source (adapted)

This two-word concept has two surprisingly deep ideas:

Grow

You think being rich happens overnight?

Heck no!

The true rich grow rich, meaning, they have built their wealth and richness through a variety of skills they had to learn the hard way — like you and I. The difference with the majority is that the rich have deliberately decided to continuously learn throughout their lives.

I’m not saying an overnight success doesn’t exist, it’s just extremely rare.

Rich

The first thing people think about when they hear the word “rich” is a pile of cash or luxury items. Both are wrong. Kiyosaki got it right in Rich Dad Poor Dad when he says that the rich have assets, not liabilities.

But here’s another thing the rich have in common: a large and diverse set of skills.

A recession hits? For the “true” rich, that’s not a problem. They use their skillset to adapt and figure out the next good way to pick themselves back up.

Another definition of rich also means “abundant” or “plentiful”, which applies to anything even outside of money. You can be rich in love, happiness, and why not, health as well!

Whatever definition of the word “rich” you use, learning new skills can help you achieve it.


Why does learning make you rich?

In “Learn New Skills in 15 Hours: The Essential Guide”, I mention seven reasons for learning new skills. See image above for the list.

When you’re having fun, you have more energy and increase your motivation. When you’re motivated, you learn more, and the more you learn, the faster you learn. Then, the more you learn, the more interesting you become, helping you expand your network and help people in meaningful ways. When that happens, you start to thrive.

When an obstacle comes your way, you’re equipped to move past it, because you know how to do other things, or think creatively about new solutions. And if you don’t, you have a network of people who are there to help you.

By constantly learning new skills, you always start from failure. You start from a point where you have no experience. This is a most powerful habit as life inevitably will throw you off your butt. Instead of panicking, you’ll simply skill up and adapt to your new situation.

The rich are not one-off wonders. Someone who wins the lottery is not rich, they’re lucky. As such, most people who become “rich” overnight tend to not keep that wealth for long.

The rich are those who can sustain continuous wealth. The skilled are those who maintain their resolve during tough times.


Why grow rich?

Here’s one of my own personal favourite sayings:

Source

Money is a side-effect to doing great work.

For as long as I can remember, I haven’t cared for money. It felt like it was for superficial people only caring about themselves. I was wrong. In the last few years, I’ve been studying the rich by reading a lot of biographies.

Here’s what I’ve come to realize:

The rich are not interesting for their money but for what they have learned.

If you want to be rich, learn what the rich have learned. They don’t think like the majority. The majority are poor. As much as you can, surround yourself with people you consider rich in any pillar of life. Ask them questions on how they got there. Ask them which skills they use on a regular basis.

Getting rich is rarely unintentional in action. It’s through self-improvement that one becomes exceptional, sometimes leading to richness. As such, grow rich for personal growth, not for the end result — money.


How to grow rich in wealth — 7 skills of wealthy people

Individual sources below

In Rich Dad Poor Dad, Kiyosaki names the following seven skills as being prime skills to help you become wealthy:

  1. Accounting;
  2. Investing;
  3. Marketing;
  4. Law;
  5. Copywriting;
  6. Sales;
  7. Public Relations; and

…any other skill you can combine to the above.

Like many skills, these are all skills you’ll learn during the course of your lifetime. The good news, however, is that you can learn the basics of each of them in less than 20 hours of deliberate practice. That won’t turn you into an overnight multi-millionaire, but it sure will make you richer.

If you follow my essential guide to learning any skills in 15 hours, you should have no problem learning most these within about two months, even while working at a full-time job.

The best introduction to the subject I know is the book I’ve mentioned a few times already: Rich Dad Poor Dad. It’s the easiest book to digest on the topic and can be read in as little as 3 hours.

Note: The skills below are skills I’m currently working on learning. As such, I am not yet rich in wealth, but I’m planning to change that by increasing my abilities in the seven skills.

Ready?

Let’s explore each skill in greater detail:

1. Accounting

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Definition: “the action or process of keeping financial accounts.”

How do I learn this skill?

Like many of the seven skills, there’s a lot of jargon in accounting. Get familiar with it. Practice by doing financial statements for your own finances. Go to your personal accountant and ask them to explain the concepts to you. Take notes. Read books and play the Cashflow game.

2. Investing

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Definition: “to commit (money) in order to earn a financial return.”

How do I learn this skill?

Get familiar with the jargon. Read “The Intelligent Investor”. Play Cashflow at least once a week. Talk to your bank about your options. Monitor Yahoo Finance. Play around with different Real Estate Investment tools. Start investing small to get your feet wet. Review regularly.

3. Marketing

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Definition: “the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service.”

How do I learn this skill?

Get familiar with SEO, Facebook Ads, and Google Ads. Learn what targeting is and how to do it right. Read Seth Godin’s book(s) and follow Neil Patel. Try online courses.

Learn what an influencer is how to take advantage of their services.

4. Law

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Definition: “a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority.”

How do I learn this skill?

Law is large. The first step would be to be familiar with the branch of law that’s of highest interest to you. Get your feet wet with online courses. Get familiar with the jargon. Read top rated books. Review concepts regularly using Anki.

5. Copywriting

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Definition: “the act of writing advertising or publicity copy.”

How do I learn this skill?

Read a lot. Write every day and publish regularly on blogs or on Medium. Use Grammarly. Refer to Thesaurus for definitions, synonyms, and antonyms. Avoid filler and boring words. Force yourself to learn a few words every day and use them. Journal your thoughts. Learn the art of storytelling.

6. Sales

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Definition: “of, relating to, or used in selling.”

How do I learn this skill?

Like Copywriting, learn the art of storytelling. Take speech lessons. Attend Toastmasters events. Learn basic psychology concepts for selling. Read “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Start a small eCommerce site and source your products from abroad. Get familiar with these 25 sales strategies.

7. Public Relations

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Definition: “the business of inducing the public to have understanding for and goodwill toward a person, firm, or institution.”

How do I learn this skill?

Learn about what PR firms do. Learn how to approach people online. Learn how to approach people offline. If you plan to do it on your own, learn these 11 concepts. Read books. Learn to write press releases. Do an online course.


Are there other skills I should learn?

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The above skills surely will make you wealthier, but what about richness in love, health, and happiness? To some degree, and depending on your personality, it may help.

Money doesn’t personally make me happier. It doesn’t make me love more, or better. What does, however, is the process of learning new skills.

As such, you should also learn skills that contribute to your personal love, health, and happiness. This is only for you to discover. The more you try, the more you’ll understand what it is for you.

What other concrete skills should you learn then?

In “The 3 Most Important Skills to Learn Now to Thrive in 2019”, I explain how important “getting to action”, “becoming adaptable”, and “learning to learn” are to make you thrive. And you know what? When you thrive, you become rich on all pillars of life.

Learn the three skills above, then everything else will be so much easier, including learning the seven skills of wealthy people from the previous section.


Conclusion

Continuous learning forces the habit of thinking and adapting to any situation. The more you know, the more you’ll manage to maintain sustained wealth. As such, to build wealth, learn these valuable skills:

  • Accounting;
  • Investing;
  • Marketing;
  • Law;
  • Sales;
  • Copywriting; and
  • Public Relations.

To help with those and any other future skills, learn to Get to Action, Become Adaptable, and Learn to Learn.

Ultimately, being rich is not a once-in-a-lifetime mission. It’s something you must keep chipping away at, slowly but surely. Things change constantly, and the rich continuously learn new skills to adapt to the new realities of the world. Remember, the only constant in life is change.

Wanna be rich? Act like the rich and keep learning!

You can do this!

Thanks for reading, sharing, and following! :)


Check out forestco.co for help on skill development, self-awareness, and productivity.


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Danny Forest

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Viking polymath writing for today’s knowledge economy, building a more skillful tomorrow. dannyforest.com

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +469K people. Follow to join our community.