The journey of financial freedom is not an easy one, but it starts with having the confidence to take action. In this episode, Vera McCoy, Esq. is joined by Sharon Lechter, serial entrepreneur and founder/CEO of Pay Your Family First, a financial education organization focused on empowering families to build a wealthier future. She is a bestselling author of multiple financial books. Her latest project, Exit Rich: The 6 P Method to Sell Your Business for Huge Profit, helps business owners build value and truly own a sustainable, scalable, and saleable business. Tune in and gain valuable insight on how you can become the authority of your financial stability and achieve financial freedom straight from an expert.
Listen to the podcast here:
Sharon Lechter – Best Selling Author, Int’l Speaker, Mentor & Coach, Serial Entrepreneur
I have the pleasure and honor of having Sharon Lechter. Not only a wonderful entrepreneur but a wonderful person as well. As an entrepreneur, international speaker, best-selling author, mentor and philanthropist, Sharon has been licensed as a CPA in the Chartered Global Management Accountant. She is the premier expert on financial literacy and entrepreneurial success. A lifelong education advocate in 1989, she joined forces with the inventor of the first electronic talking book and helped them expand the electronic book industry to a multimillion-dollar international market. In 1997, Sharon co-authored the international bestseller, Rich Dad Poor Dad and has released fourteen other books in the Rich Dad series. Over ten years as the Cofounder and CEO, she built the empire into the world’s leading personal finance brand.
In 2008, she was asked by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to help re-energize the powerful teachings of Napoleon Hill as the international economy was faltering. Sharon has released three best-selling books in cooperation with the foundation, including Think and Grow Rich, Three Feet from Gold, Outwitting the Devil and her project, Think and Grow Rich for Women released in June 2014. She’s also featured in the 2017 movie, Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy and has released the book Save Wisely, Spend Happily in cooperation with the American Institute of CPAs. Sharon is a highly sought-after mentor and has worked with major brands like Disney, Time Warner and served two US presidents as an advisor on the topic of financial literacy. The CEO of Pay Your Family First has dedicated her entrepreneurial efforts to the creation and distribution of financial education books, games, curriculums and other experiential learning projects.
Everything about Sharon’s career centers around impacting others to improve their financial IQ, access untapped potential personally and in business, and create their own legacy. Everything changed in 2012 when her son unexpectedly died. All of her successes seem to fade into the background. She kept working but on autopilot. She stopped playing at the level she always had and started coasting. That is until May 2021. Now, she’s back playing big again and she wants you to as well with the Play Big Movement. It’s time to share the limitations that have stopped you in the past and play big. Master your money, time and create maximum impact.
I have had the pleasure of coaching with you and it has been a great learning experience. Hopefully, some other people may decide that they want to engage you and your husband doing some mentoring and coaching with you. You have been great. It impacted how I managed and will continue and further manage my business. Welcome to the show. What’s the primary focus of your company? You’ve got a couple of companies, let’s go one piece at a time and peel back the onion on each one of those companies.
I have several companies but my primary focus and everything that I do is to provide tools, mentorship and opportunities for people to elevate their financial well-being, whether it be through personal finance or entrepreneurship education. I’m helping them buy, build and create assets that generate income for them.
I know one of your sayings is, “Assets are sexy.”
I want people to wake up not chasing money. Invest your time in buying, building and creating assets that create an income because you are financially free when the income from your assets exceeds your monthly expenses. That’s not what you do for your paycheck, it’s what you do with your paycheck that determines your future.
What motivated you to begin your journey of entrepreneurship?
I grew up in an entrepreneurial home. I didn’t realize that I was different from a lot of people because we live between my mom’s beauty shop and my dad’s used car lot. We had rental properties. My dad had orange groves. It wasn’t until I’ve got out into the real world that I realized a lot of people, I was jealous of them. Their parents were CEOs, military officers and I thought, “I don’t want to be an entrepreneur.” I started my career. That’s when I went and got my Accounting degree and was one of the first women in public accounting. About the ripe old age of 25, I said, “This is crazy. I’m working crazy hours,” and I realized that my parents looked a whole lot smarter. There’s hope for all of us whose kids don’t think we are so smart. When they get a little older, they start appreciating that. That’s when I left public accounting. I started my entrepreneur career and I never looked back.It’s not what you do for your paycheck. It’s what you do with your paycheck that determines your future. Click To Tweet
My dedication to financial literacy started in 1992 when my oldest son had gone off to college in September, he came home in December in credit card debt. He had been greeted by these tables that said free pizza, free money and a free T-shirt. He had a good time during the first semester in college until the bills started rolling in. He came home in December and asked us to bail him out and we said no. That was when I dedicated the rest of my career to financial education, financial literacy and entrepreneurship education. I’m as passionate about it now as I was then. I found my definiteness of purpose in December of 1992.
That was practicing some tough love for your son but that’s good though. That’s how we all learn. When things got tough for you and you’ve got discouraged, what was the thing that kept you moving forward on that journey?
I teach the Personal Success Equation, which is PersonalSuccessEquation.com if you want a guide to it. That’s combining your passion and your talent. Most of us stop there thinking, we have to do everything on our own. That’s just the beginning, that’s you chasing money. You combine your passion and your talent, find the right associations, surrounding yourself with the right people, having the right mentor, and taking the right action, above all, having faith and confidence in yourself. What happens when people get discouraged or usually don’t have the right people around them and they don’t have the self-confidence they need. We all have bad days but when you have a bad day, the people around you will lift you up. When you get discouraged, make sure you’ve got the right people and the right mentor on your team that can help push you in the direction that you need to go.
When you started out doing this and as you continued to do it, you alluded to it in the beginning when you said, “When I first started, I thought I wanted to become this accountant and have a 9:00 to 5:00 type job,” then you realized that’s not such a good idea. As you were going through that transition when you first started, did you ever feel like a round peg in a square hole that you didn’t quite fit?
Constantly. That’s one of the things about an entrepreneur, you are constantly wanting to solve problems and serve a need so you stand outside the crowd. That’s when I decided to leave public accounting because I had this great offer to go with a client, then to a company that is buying out of bankruptcy. I did the old yellow legal pad, pros and cons, and it didn’t help me but I could argue both sides. My hand took off across the top of the page and wrote, “Why not?” That’s my mantra now as well as it was when I was 25. Why not do something different? Why not take the path less traveled? Why not do something that other people are not doing? Why not solve a problem and serve a need? When you have that, why not philosophy, you tend to be a pioneer and not always follow the path of least resistance. You are trying to carve your own path.
When you wrote your first book, what kept you motivated to continue to write more?
It’s the same thing that motivates me now. I grew up with a father who asked me each night, “Have you added value to someone’s life?” He has been gone for years but I still ask myself about that each night. The thing that motivates me when I wake up in the morning, I don’t think about myself, I think about the problem I solve and the need I serve. I think about the people that can still benefit from understanding the power of money. I know the things and I have books and products that can help them create a better future.
You have written over fourteen books, what gives you the ideas that you can continue to write these books? I know of some of that is just from experience. As you experience new things, you say, “That could be an idea for a book or that could lead to better educating, somebody.” What are those things that trigger, “I’m going to write another book?”
The one is Exit Rich, it’s my 26th book. I have a lot of reasons to write books. When we started Rich Dad Poor Dad in 1997, we didn’t expect to do fifteen books, we thought we were just one and done. We decided we will do a trilogy, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Cashflow Quadrant, Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing, it continues. Over a ten-year relationship co-owning that company and being the CEO, we wrote fifteen books together. When I left, I ended up doing four books with The Napoleon Hill Foundation. It’s like when I find a need and I hear people asking enough questions, it’s like, “Let’s write the book.” Exit Rich is a combination of everything I have taught. How to build value in your business? How to own a business, not a job? Too many people think they own a business but it’s too dependent on them. I want them to find a way to create those systems to be able to build value into that business so that they can take their successful business, make it sustainable, scalable and saleable.
You have helped hundreds of thousands, what’s the one piece of advice that you would give them? You mentioned by saying, “Don’t have the business solely dependent on you.” How do you structure something like that?
As I describe in Exit Rich, you can go to ExitRichBook.com/buy to get an advanced copy. It talks about the six Ps and the people. Making sure you have the right People in your team. People who are strong where you are weak, having the right mentor. Your Product, what is it that you sell? Should you add additional renditions of that? The third one is your Processes, those business systems that help create the stability of your business and makes your business scalable. The Proprietary, what makes you unique? What’s your competitive advantage? What’s an intellectual property that you own? Let’s identify, protect and leverage it. Patrons, your database. Many people get excited about social media presence. You need to invite them home to your database because that’s tremendous value in your company.
Many companies get sold only for their database. Too many people aren’t paying attention to that, let’s bring them home and nurture them. Your Profits, I take people through that journey, not only for your own company but if you are looking to invest in a company, this gives you a great due diligence checklist to look through. If you are looking at investing in somebody’s company or buying a company, this allows you to know what questions to ask.
Exit Rich isn’t out yet?
It’s out June 22nd but you can get the electronic copy now if you go to ExitRichBook.com/buy. They will get you the electronic copyright away and we will mail the hard copy.Always look forward and learn from the past. Don’t repeat those problems but focus on what’s possible. Click To Tweet
You are a big proponent of mindset. What mindset now you think people need to have come out of the whole COVID-19 pandemic as an entrepreneur?
Mindset is hugely important. A lot of people have been using the word pivot because of the pandemic. I don’t like that word because if you know what you want and your definiteness of purpose, that doesn’t change. You need to recalibrate, readjust and refire towards that. Imagine a sailor who wants to go to this island, the wind shifts so they have to adjust their sails. They have to adjust, recalibrate and continue going to their original destination. Same thing in the world now. If you have a passion for a business and you have a definiteness of purpose, we all get knocked off course. This pandemic certainly changed a lot of things for a lot of people but recalibrate, readjust and refire, a lot of that is dedication and definiteness of purpose, which comes to mindset. Reminding yourself what problem you solve, what need you to serve, and that you are capable of getting there with the right team and mentor. When you have the right team and mentor, it helps your mindset stay focused and positive.
On the personal side, how’s this whole journey of entrepreneurship impacted your family?
Tremendously. I have been an entrepreneur since before we started having children. My husband is an intellectual property attorney. We have multiple businesses that we own together. At one time or another, my children were all involved in my companies and my businesses and have all now branched off into their own areas of expertise running their own things. Entrepreneurship allows you to teach your kids about business and involve them in it. They can learn about it at an early age and that’s very important.
That’s how I’ve got started as well. My dad had his own business and my mother helped him with that. They didn’t call them power couples when I was growing up but they were like a power couple. You and Michael certainly are a power couple. The attorney and accountant piece, you can’t beat that. What made you say where you are now as opposed to where you were then? Hindsight is always 20/20 vision. What do you think you may have done differently now that you have had these experiences based on where you are at?
I get asked that question a lot. I usually answer it the same way and that is, I wouldn’t be who I am now if it weren’t for the experiences that I had before. If I changed something that happened to me, I’m not sure where I would be. I’m pretty happy with my life and my family. If I could turn back the clock and not lose my son, that would be in 2020, I would do that. Too many people look backward. When you are a business owner, it’s like driving a car. You’ve got a giant windshield, lots of opportunities and directions to go and a little rearview mirror. That’s simply to learn from the past not to be tied to the past. I don’t look back. It’s something that we want to always look forward to. Learn from the past so it doesn’t repeat those problems. Let’s focus on what’s possible.
Sometimes people get stuck in that past and struggle to move forward. Being stuck in that place, they can’t get out of where they are stuck, unfortunately. Give me some advice for my readers and tell them how they can accelerate their growth and maximize their finances now. What would you tell them to do?
Pay attention. A lot of people have their heads in the sand. Figure out where you are financial. Even if the picture is bleak, you are going to feel confident in the fact that you have taken action. You cannot change circumstances unless you take action. We are all where we are because of the choices we made before. If you want something different in your life, start making different choices. Reading this blog is the first step. Understand and seek that information. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and pay attention to who you have around you. The first step is always to make sure you surround yourself with people who want you to succeed, not people who are looking at you trying to pull you back. The environment is so important. Look at how you are spending your time. Are you exchanging time for money or are you investing time to buy, build and create assets? Those two issues. Your environment and how you are spending your time or investing your time can dramatically change the direction of your life.
Tell me about some of your other companies besides the one that you primarily focus on or elevate you.
My financial education company is called Pay Your Family First. That’s what we do. A lot of the programs are based on that company. A lot of the curriculum that I have developed is through that company. I have another company my speaking and book company for the S part of the quadrant, it’s my intellectual property company. My husband and I own a ranch called CherryCreekLodge.com, it is up in the Tonto National Forest. It’s a guest ranch and comes spend the weekend as a cowboy or cowgirl, it’s off the grid. This is a little piece of heaven. We love it. We also have a real estate company for our real estate investments. My husband has his legal company and we have a publishing company and a few others. Our real estate investment company is our passive income asset.
That piece of information right there, that’s an education for entrepreneurs and say, “You have to have multiple streams of income. One isn’t enough for you to depend on.” The primary focus of this show is to educate, motivate and inspire entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs. What can we tell my audience to educate them number one?
Focus on assets, not on income. Too many people focus on exchanging time for money. Invest your time into buying, building and creating assets because those assets become economic engines for you. There are a lot of people out there teaching finance, nobody else is teaching the importance of assets. I want you to hear that for me. My favorite word on Earth is assets. Assets are sexy.
What would you tell them to motivate them?
Look in the mirror. Are you happy with who you see? If you are not, say, “I’m going to do something about it,” because, at the end of the day, you are fabulous. You are already an expert. Nobody has had your wins, your issues, your mistakes but you wouldn’t be who you are if you hadn’t done that. You are an expert based on what you have lived. We want to elevate you to become the authority and I want to be here to support you doing that but I want you to also look in the mirror and say, “I am fabulous,” because you are.
Lastly, what would you say to inspire them?
Inspiration comes from within, motivation comes from about. Motivate is me pushing at you to look in the mirror, inspiration is for you to read something, to act on something and feel good about it. That self-confidence comes from being inspired and from within. I challenge you to internalize something that we have said and do it because that’s where the inspiration comes from. It’s one thing to hear it to be motivated. Inspiration is being inspired to take action. I challenge you. Do something now with what you have read from this blog.
Educate, motivate, inspire. You did all three of those things on this show. Lastly, let my audience know how they can reach out to you, Sharon.
My email, Info@SharonLechter.com. I would love for you to support me and buy the book, it’s called Exit Rich. You can get it on ExitRichBook.com/buy. All kinds of bonuses come along with purchasing the book. If you get ten copies, I will send you a gift certificate to my ranch, CherryCreekLodge.com. I would love your support there. I’m SharonLechter.com, you can find information about my mentoring and my programs there. I’m @SharonLechter on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Please connect with me anywhere and everywhere. We are here to continue to support you. We also have our private Facebook group called the Play Big Movement with Sharon Lechter as well as my podcast, Play Big Movement. You can find me everywhere.We are all where we are because of the choices that we made before today. Click To Tweet
I hope that’s what they do after they read this. I am so honored that you took the time to be on the show. You are an international speaker so you could have been anywhere besides spending this time with me. I’m not only humbled but I’m also honored. Thank you for coming on. I will have to check out your podcast because I haven’t done that yet. I’m going to do that.
I’m so proud of you. Thank you for all that you are doing, Vera.
Thank you. I appreciate you. I will talk to you again soon.
You, too. Bye.
- Chartered Global Management Accountant
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Think and Grow Rich
- Three Feet from Gold
- Outwitting the Devil
- Think and Grow Rich for Women
- Save Wisely, Spend Happily
- Pay Your Family First
- Play Big Movement
- Exit Rich
- Cashflow Quadrant
- Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing
- The Napoleon Hill Foundation
- @SharonLechter – Instagram
- LinkedIn – Sharon Lechter
- Twitter – Sharon Lechter
- Facebook – Sharon Lechter
- Play Big Movement with Sharon Lechter – Facebook group
- Play Big Movement – Podcast
About Sharon Lechter
Sharon Lechter is a keynote speaker and as a business strategist and mentor, is an elite entrepreneur. She is a bestselling author, philanthropist, business strategist mentor, licensed CPA for 35 years, and a mother and grandmother. A life-long education advocate, she is the founder and CEO of Pay Your Family First, a financial education organization.
In 1997 Sharon co-authored the international bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad, along with 14 other books in the Rich Dad series. Over 10 years as CEO she led the Rich Dad Company and brand into an international powerhouse. In 2008 she was asked by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to help re-energize the powerful teachings of Napoleon Hill just as the international economy was faltering. She has released three bestselling books in cooperation with the Foundation, including Think and Grow Rich-Three Feet from Gold, Outwitting the Devil, Think and Grow Rich for Women and Success and Something Greater.
In 2008 Sharon was appointed to the first President of the United States Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. The Council served both President Bush and President Obama advising them on the need for financial literacy education.
In 2002, Childhelp honored Sharon and her husband, Michael, as recipients of the Spirit of the Children Award. In 2004, Sharon and Michael were recognized as an Arizona “Power Couple,” and Sharon was also named as a 2005 Woman of Distinction by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. She was honored with a 2012 Positively Powerful Women award for Philanthropic Leadership, by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of 2013’s 25 Dynamic Women in Business, and most recently honored by the National Bank of Arizona with the 2013 Woman of the Year award and Arizona Business Magazine as one of the 50 most Influential Women in Arizona Business.
For more information, please visit www.sharonlechter.com.