Robert Kiyosaki's 1997 book "Rich Dad Poor Dad" suggests that we all "mind our own business". He's clear in stating that your "business" isn't your place of employment, but rather what you do to make money. Are you an author, podcaster, weekend lawnmower, investor, or something else? Figure out what topics interest you, and start thinking about how you can deliver unique value in those spaces. Note that non-profit or charity work qualifies as a "business" too, so long as you aren't someone else's employee while you do it.

John Sonmez gives similar advice, albeit less controversially. In his 2014 book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual", Sonmez encourages readers to start a blog, explore investing in financial instruments like stocks and bonds, consider real estate investing, investigate online training opportunities, writing books, and more. Real estate notwithstanding, none of these actions require large capital investments. Even as a highly technical consultant, Sonmez had the foresight to play the long game from a young age.

Last, consider the wisdom of Alan Weiss from his 2016 book "Million Dollar Consulting", 5th edition. He claims that consultants are not in the consulting business, but rather, the marketing business. Anyone who fails to sufficiently market themselves, especially when delivering on existing client obligations, is "stupid" in his words. Don't just blindly parrot motivational quotations you like. Don't differentiate by being different, but rather, by building your "vault" of products or services that only you can offer. If you don't have unique skills yet, offer commodity services while you plot your next move. Weiss offered resume assessments for $20 in his early days ... now look at him.

Whether you like the work of Kiyosaki, Sonmez, and Weiss is irrelevant. I happen to like all three and appreciate their unique perspectives, even if I don't agree with everything they have to say. Their points about taking control of your own future and positioning your unique value to prospects are excellent and should be universally acknowledged, accepted, and implemented. Neither Kiyosaki, nor Sonmez, nor Weiss recommend quitting your day job right now because you have a good idea. Start building your "business" with something relevant to your industry. Make sure its both attainable and sustainable for you and your family.

All quotations reprinted with permission. Original author copyrights reserved.

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