December 30, 2008

Playing A Game Changed My Life


Play The Cash Flow Game

It’s amazing how a little board game changed my life. Well, okay - it didn’t actually change my life; I changed my own life. But the game helped a lot. In fact, I don’t think I could have done it without the game.

Let me backtrack a little. First, I got the ‘rock bottom’ experience which motivated me to make serious changes in my financial present, so that I can ensure my financial future wasn’t going to be just more of the same. That has kept the motivation to change strong. Then, I started reading, researching, and uploading information to my brain. That was the research part that so scares everyone. Thirdly, I started acting: with nothing, I started buying assets - then figuring out how to pay for them. Well, true to my character, I thought I knew just about everything.

I had been trying to follow the Rich Dad idea of ‘doodads’ in my investment education. Other than books, I had not really purchased anything including courses and seminars. I decided that with the first money I made, I would purchase the CashFlow 101 and CashFlow 202 electronic version. I justified the purchase by saying the theories had helped me purchase some small cash flow properties, and I could teach other people (as a way of giving back) with my new-found knowledge - and I could use the games to teach others, expanding my own knowledge and enhancing theirs at the same time.

It was at this time that a huge lesson in humility and learning was about to be presented.

I did buy the board game, and I started playing it with friends, investment group connections, and my students. (I am a teacher of teenagers, and had decided to impart my newly found knowledge to them, too.)

I was shocked to realize that although I had been successful investing in small ways, and I had read all the books, and could talk all the talk, I had really not applied my new learning. The Cash Flow game taught me some huge lessons. It seems that although, if given some time and I was concentrating on the theories, I understood. But, given only a moment or so to make decisions, without the freedom of time and a book beside me, I really had not altered my decision making.

Why didn’t I pay off my bills when I had extra cash and lower my expenses? Why did I even consider stuff I could not afford? Why did I try to sell stuff that were bummer deals to other people? Why didn’t I always give to charity when I knew I had the money? Why was I so afraid to short the stocks?

I realized, with the biggest dose of humility, I had not actually learned to apply the lessons. The board game is worth it, and so is CashFlow 202 - if you have a chance, buy it:   THEN PLAY IT!   It’s worth its weight in gold - the real kind.