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How to become a leader when you're young – Sharon Lechter

♪ [music] ♪ – [David] Hi everybody, it's David Laroche, and like you are hearing, I am French, so you will enjoy my accent and I am so glad to do a new interview with an awesome guest. She's Sharon, so hello Sharon. – [Sharon] Hello, how are you David? – Fine, and you? – Fantastic. – She's an American accountant, author, business woman, investor, and she's an international speaker. She is best known as the coauthor of the international best-selling book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and today she does a lot for youth entrepreneurs and I love that. So thank you Sharon to do that. – Well thank you and I'm delighted to meet you because you're 23 and an entrepreneur. You are what we need more of. We need to multiply you and get a lot of young entrepreneurs because that's what's going to help turn around this global economy so I applaud you and I applaud you for doing this show. – Thank you very much. I admire the youth entrepreneurs, yes it is that youth entrepreneurs that the company you made for helping youth to be an entrepreneur. I have five questions to ask you. The first one, it is advices for youth and how to become a youth leader, how to become a leader when you are a kid, when you are a young people. – Well a leader has multi-talents and the first thing is to participate. The first thing you need to do is actually get engaged and do work with your school, with your church, with your neighborhood, and leaders are not bossy, true leaders. If you've read Jim Collins' book “Good to Great,” you talk about level four and level five leaders. Level five leaders, which of course is what you want to aspire to, don't lead because they're egotistical. They lead because they're passionate about their mission, they're passionate about their company, they're passionate about their employees. So as a young person, if you want to be a leader, you want to be trustworthy, you want to be honorable, you want to lead by example, but most important you want to engage and participate and learn how to listen. Because that trust comes from people knowing that you see them and you hear them and so one of the biggest skills of a true leader is listening, being able to listen. And it's really important for young people to start that at a young age and start listening to your friends and being a friend that people can count on because that's being a leader. – Mm, and according to you, youth have to listen, but what kind of people do youth have to listen? – Well, obviously a lot of young people are listening to the wrong people, and so again, when I was growing up my father would ask me each night “Did you make a difference in somebody's life today? Did you add value to someone's life?” and so as a young person you want to know who you're listening to and you want to know that they're honorable and trustworthy. And so ask yourself, am I adding value to the world today or is this person that I'm listening to being a positive influence in the world or not? And that's the one thing, what my goal when I work with young people, is make them aware of the fact that they are the ones making choices. Don't blame your government, don't blame your parents, don't blame your friends. You are in the driver's seat of your own life and every choice you make, every choice you make with money, every choice you make with how you spend your time, every choice you make with who you listen to is yours, And if you haven't made good choices, learn from them. Acknowledge that maybe I should make some different choices and starting today make different choices. – So, to conclude, you are responsible of your life, of your choice, and you have only to act to get feedback and continue to act and listen people and you will develop your ability to be a leader, yes? – Absolutely, and understanding that fear is everywhere. Fear is part of the plan of the devil. You know my latest book is called “Outwitting the Devil,” and it was by Napoleon Hill and Napoleon Hill wrote the book “Think and Grow Rich” and if you're a young entrepreneur I bet you've read that. But “Think and Grow Rich” was released back in 1937 and many successful entrepreneurs today credit their success to having read “Think and Grow Rich” and it's still as important today as it was back then. But Napoleon Hill, one year later in 1938, decided that he was frustrated because he said “Even though people know what they're supposed to do to become successful, they don't do it.” and so he sat down and he wrote a sequel to “Think and Grow Rich” called outwitting the devil and it's about how we allow fear to hold us back. And one of those fears is fear of criticism and I think that's the biggest thing that's impacting young people today, is that fear of criticism. Well the book, the title scared his wife to death, so the book was actually buried for 75 years so we just brought it out last year and it's by far the most impactful book I've ever been involved with because it talks about how to get rid of that fear and young people today are frozen in fear. They want to make sure they look cool. You know, they want to make sure that they don't do anything that's going to bring ridicule to them and it's that fear of criticism and when we start realizing that you are who you are on the inside. And it's more important how you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror and if somebody's giving you a hard time just, you know, allow them to be who they are, but don't take it in. Don't allow yourself to be hurt or injured because of what someone else is saying and that fear of criticism can… Fear does one of two things to us, it paralyzes us or it motivates us, and so we want to help young people identify that fear, stop, don't allow it to paralyze you, choose to say okay, I'm going to have courage and courage is acting in spite of fear, not the absence of fear. And the young people who stands in their value, stands for the truth even in the face of fear, is showing courage. – So you have to accept to have fear, you have to know yourself, and you have to have courage to continue with this fear, is that…? – In spite of the fear, you have to act in spite of the fact that you might have a little bit of fear. For instance, a speaker, you're a speaker, you know every time I speak, even though I've done it hundreds of times, I still have that little butterfly because I care about my audience. I want to make sure that I give them value and so I have that little bit of fear, and that little bit of fear is kind of healthy for me because it makes me be aware of the audience and so fear, you just need to identify fear and replace it with faith and have a stronger faith because that faith in yourself helps you overcome the fear. – Mm, thank you very much. And another question, it is, how to be a successful young entrepreneurs because a lot of people say to young it's impossible to succeed in being an entrepreneur? Do you understand what I mean? – Yes, yes, well a successful business does one of two things, solves a problem or serves a need, and certainly today, whether you're in France or America or anywhere, there's lots of problems and lots of needs. Entrepreneurship is something that will create value in the world. Entrepreneurs are the ones who create the greatest number of jobs and so a young person that ignites that entrepreneurial spirit, I get very excited about it because they are what's going to create the future of our world. We have a product called the Biz Kit that's available on my site. It helps young people take step by step in building a business so that they understand all of the components and it's very important not to let other people, again we talk about that fear… An entrepreneur that is excited at a young age and wants to go out and do something, other people are going to kind of like, be naysayers because you're changing and they're not. And so understand that that's going to happen, but don't let it keep you from going forward. You know we've all heard about the lemonade stands, but there's all kinds of businesses for young people. You might have a great idea, service, or product, don't give up, keep going and start building that business because even if you have a job you can have a business on the side. And what happens is when you have a business that's an asset and that business can grow bigger than are with additional employees. So your income is unlimited through a business. As an employee, your income is pretty much limited to the hours in the day and the days in the week that you can work. So, if you feel that desire to be an entrepreneur, go for it. – So it's possible. – It is absolutely possible, and necessary and needed. – Okay, and according to you, because you are an expert in this domain, how to become rich and successful for everybody, not only youth? – Well, rich and successful are not necessarily the same thing. Success is not necessarily measured by how much money you have in your bank account. Success is how you feel about yourself when you look in the mirror. You know I know a lot of people who don't have a lot of money, but they're very happy, they're very successful in what they do. So success is not measured by money, that's a very important step. Now to be rich, again, entrepreneurship is the greatest way to become rich. Becoming a real estate mogul, people can become rich or hold their wealth in real estate, but to become rich, first you have to think about building assets. Again, what I just said, you only have so many hours in the day. If you have assets, whether it be rental properties or whether it be a business where you have employees running it for you. That's what makes you rich, when you have employees or businesses generating income for you. – It is a passive stream of incomes? – That's absolutely correct, that passive income is coming in whether you're working, yourself, or not. And that is the way 99% of the rich people have become rich is because they've created a business or they've built a business in real estate where that passive income continues to multiply and that's in essence the quickest way to get rich and the best way to stay rich. – And you give a few ways to get money, real estate, entrepreneur, and how to choose when you want to start? – Well, I think you want to look at what you're good at. In my book “Three Feet from Gold,” and this is the first book that I did with the Napoleon Hill Foundation, so I've done two of them, and in “Three Feet from Gold” we talk to many of today's great leaders about, not just their success stories, but about those deep dark moments when other people would have quit and what kept them going. And from it we developed a personal success equation, and I think that's important to share at this junction in our conversation because it talks about your passion. Now, I'm sure you've heard “do what you love, love what you do,” but for me, in writing this book, I realized passion can also come from anger. You know, I was upset that we aren't teaching our children about money in school so my passion today is as strong as it was 20 years ago when I started down this path because I believe that we need to change things. So my passion comes from an anger that we're not teaching people and getting them ready for the financial world that they will face, and so my passion is from that, but it also could be something that you love. It could be, you know, you might love painting so that's going to be your business, but the success equation is taking that passion and combining it with your talent. Now in my case, I'm a CPA, which means I'm an accountant, as well as I have background in publishing. You may have played, when you were younger, with books that have sound strips down the side where you touch them and they make music or say words, and I helped start that industry years ago. Again, out of passion that my kids didn't like to read, and so my talent in publishing came from many years ago and then as an accountant. So I was able to combine those two talents with my passion for the need for financial literacy, and so many people will stop there, but the true successful people take it several steps further. They have the passion, they have the talents, and they find the right associations. That's a real secret sauce and a key to success in the fact that they network. They have a mastermind. They have people that help keep them moving on the right path. That association is what keeps them steadfast in their missions, on the right goal, and as their cheerleaders, the people that keep them going and keep them energized to keep moving in the right direction. So it's P plus C times A, association, and also times another A and that's taking action. So many people sit back and say “I'm going to think good thoughts and good things are going to happen to me,” but you've got to take action, right? You've got to take action and so that really was the success equation we were going to go to print with and then I said “No, there's still something that sets all of these incredibly successful people apart,” and it was a plus F. They had faith. They had faith in themselves, they had faith in their businesses, they had faith in their teams, and that faith is what carried them through, allowed them to conquer that fear when it came up because we all have things that happen to us along the way that create fear. Are you going to let it paralyze you or motivate you? And they had enough faith in themselves, they had enough faith in their business that it allowed them to conquer that fear and keep going, as a result of their personal success equation, passion plus talent times association times taking action, all plus faith, is how they've created great success. So that personal success equation, anyone can employ to become an entrepreneur. – Yes I love your answers. Thank you. – You're very welcome. – And Brian [inaudible 00:16:56] say it is a common point of successful people and I think so, that's if you do not have inner self confidence you will not act. But, according to you, how to develop self-confidence? – Well, without self-confidence, fear has the upper hand because it's that self-confidence and that faith in yourself that helps you get past the fear. The reason why so many young people don't have that self-confidence today, I believe, is that everything is too easy. You know, we live in a world of credit, there's instant gratification and self-confidence comes from setting a goal, achieving it, and celebrating. You set a goal, you achieve it, it makes you feel good about yourself. It makes you feel good about your ability to succeed and so many things today are just given to us as young people and so it's very important for people. I call it little wins . You know, it's part of what Napoleon Hill teaches, you want that long term vision, that long term goal, and yes, you need that, but I recommend that… Let's compare it to losing weight, you may want to lose 50 pounds, but that may seem totally un…you know, you just can't do it. But if you set the small goal of five pounds and when you lose that five pounds you celebrate. It gives you that courage and it gives you that motivation to take the next five pounds on, and in that process of setting that small goal and having that little win, your self-esteem and your self-confidence increases because you've created a goal and you've achieved it on your own. And so the number one way to increase self-confidence, again, is to put yourself back in the driver's seat of your life. Make a goal and achieve it and then sit back and look in the mirror and acknowledge yourself. Congratulate yourself for achieving that goal and you're going to feel that self-esteem and self-confidence increase during that process. – So you have to do step by step and celebrate your victory, yes? Celebrate your victory and each time you will increase your self-confidence and from [inaudible 00:19:34], what kind of thing you can say? – Well everyone can develop their own mantra, in fact there's plenty of them on line. The issue is whether you believe it or not and so the issue is set a goal. You know, I wanted to get a thank you letter out to my donors last week and so that was my little goal and so on Thursday night I'd done all but five and I was upset with myself because I didn't get those other five out until Saturday. But, when I got those out I sad “Yes!” You know, even now, I set little goals, I achieve them, and I go “Yes!” You know, because you feel accomplishment and that accomplishment is what makes us feel better about ourselves instead of being a couch potato and just watching TV and saying “Oh, it'll be there tomorrow.” Well, you know, you just feel your whole energy go down when you put things off. You procrastinate and all of those things, and I tell you your generation loves outwitting the devil because it speaks about that. It talks about laziness plus ignorance is indifference and so that indifference and laziness can hold you back and keep you from becoming self-confident. So get rid of the laziness and start taking action and set a small goal and achieve it and then celebrate. – So, thank you very much. – You're welcome. – According to you, how to become a bestselling author? – Well, you definitely should write a book because I see that you have the passion and the talent to do so, and today a book is validation. It's like today, a book is the new business start. – Yes, like a blog. – Yes, like a blog, and a book, for your generation you'll want to make sure it's an eBook as well because many of them don't like to read books anymore that are real books like this. But, I really encourage you to do so. The way to make a book a bestseller, there's so many ways you can do it. You can buy it. You can pay somebody enough money that they get it as a bestseller on Amazon. But the best way that you really want to make, change and I think that's what you want. You want to have a book that helps change other young people's lives and the way to do that is to build your network and then to establish a relationship with other people who have networked to believe in you and what you're doing. And so you may have…let's say you have 10,000 people that you reach and you want to find someone else that has 100,000 people in their network and you find someone else and so at the end of this plan, as you're writing your book, you've reached out and you've contacted 10 people and through those 10 people you have a reach of a million people. And that's, you know, you get all of them to support you and say “Yes, I believe in what you're doing David.” and you say “okay, I want everyone to promote the book,” get them all to help you write testimonials so that they feel ownership in your book and you get all their testimonials as part of the printed book. And then you say, okay, on this day I want your help in releasing it. Make sure you've got it setup on Amazon or a local bookstore in your own community and make sure it's available because when people want it, they want it. They don't want to have to wait three weeks. And then have everyone launch on the same day and so not only are you reaching a million people, but you also are allowing yourself to spike in sales to give acknowledgement and be able to drive it up on the lists. But a valid bestseller is one that sells thousands upon thousands of copies. You can get a bestselling status by pushing a lot of sales in one hour and then all of a sudden you're number one for a minute, and then you fall back down. But it's important to build that under swell so that you've got people talking about your book and it just starts to grow and grow and grow and grow. It took us three years to get “Rich Dad Poor Dad” on the bestseller list, but once we did it stayed there for seven and a half years. You know, you want to build the ground swell, build that support that's going to keep talking about it. – So, thank you very much for this plan, this process, and I would like to ask you something about you. How and why did you decide to help youth? – Well, it was 20 years ago, this month actually, my oldest son came home from college, his first year as a freshman, and he had gotten himself into credit card debt. And in three months he'd had a really good time, spent a lot of money and got \$2,500 into credit card debt and I was pretty angry. I was angry with him, but I was more angry with myself because I had taught him about money . He was with me when I used my credit cards, but he wasn't with me when I paid them off every month, and so when he went to college he was greeted the first day with these gauntlet of tables. Here's some free pizza, free money, sign here. Free beach towel, free money, sign here. That's really when I dedicated myself, 20 years ago this month, to financial education and financial literacy and I'm happy to say three years ago the credit card act passed and credit card companies can no longer solicit college kids on campus. I can't take credit for the bill but I can take credit for being a very squeaky wheel. But, what's more important is that we're still not teaching kids about money and so my job isn't done. But my passion is to continue to grow because as you see what's happening, certainly in America and I know this is a problem in France as well, is the unemployment rate for teens is the highest it's ever been. So it's never been more important to teach young people about entrepreneurship and the ability to start building something for yourself and get that self-confidence. Because with unemployment you get a lot of idle time, and what happens with teens when they have a lot of idle time? Usually nothing good. And so we want to give them the tools so that they can start succeeding on their own and doing something to build wealth. – Hm, thank you very much, I love your answers. – I'm glad you do. – And thank you very much, I finished my questions, and if you want to share something you can. Maybe a message, or something, if you want, like you want. – Well, some of the most successful people on Earth created their success at your age David and so you have an opportunity to really make a difference in the world and create success for yourself. So I applaud you for having the courage to do what you're doing. I thank you for reaching out to me and you know, asking me to be part of this, because your group, your age group is my passion and anything I can do to support you, please let me know. And I would ask everyone to come visit me, I'm just launching a new website called www.financialmentorship.com . It's 10 bucks a month, so it's not very expensive. A lot of people do financial coaching for thousands of dollars a month and you know, I said, if somebody needs financial coaching they don't want to… It probably means that they can't afford thousands of dollars, so for \$10 a month, less than the cost of a lunch, you can join this community. We've just launched it, so this is like my second or third announcement about it. I haven't even started marketing it, but it's a place to come and visit with other people and I have daily messages about money. And I talk…you know if you're going to be on a diet, you need to do the treadmill every day, watch what you eat every day. If you want to create wealth in your life you need to pay attention to it every day. And so that's the purpose of this site, to be able to allow us to keep moving in the right direction and to be strong and courageous and support each other. So you can find your own mastermind within www.financialmembership.com, or come visit me on www.sharonlechter.com. I have some tools there for you to use as well. But most importantly, take control of your own life, and if you feel stuck and you feel like I don't know which way to go, like your sitting on a fence, read “Outwitting the Devil,” because it really has been so well received by your age group and I think it's a great tool to help someone identify things that are holding them back. That fear, those self-lamenting beliefs. Read it, and blast through them, and start driving to success. – Thank you Sharon, for this interview. – Well thank you so much. ♪ [music] ♪

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