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A Weekend At The Beach!

Nov 13th, 2006 | By | Category: Entrepreneurship, Personal Stories

Last weekend was fun! I was working all week, writing my book … and I had a very nice invitation to a party over the weekend. So I decided to go ahead and take it up!

It was a weekend chalet with my PoE coach friends at Pasir Ris (I’d never been to Pasir Ris before, so I was super excited!). Tracey had actually invited me to come one day early and set up the place with her … unfortunately, I was working and I couldn’t take an extra day off to help set up.

Plus, I had a long time planned date on friday night ;) . Anyway, on saturday morning I headed out.

First order of business, I had to go to a Newton hotel to see an uncle I hadn’t seen in a long time. It was nice to see him … although I wish he had told me he was coming a little earlier, so I could’ve planned my weekend better. We ended up talking about what life in Singapore is like (yeah, every relative still asks me the same questions … even though I’m practically a Singaporean now!).

Pasir Ris MRT station

After riding the (extremely long) train to Pasir Ris from Newton, I finally reached the station. By the time I got out of the station and thought about which bus to take … it was almost 5:30 … and I was starving! So, I dropped into the nearby White Sands mall to pick up some food. Found this really cute stores in the basement … which had Pancake burgers!

Confused? Haha … I was too … They actually use thick pancakes instead of burger bread to cover the meat inside (some japanese delicacy). But it did taste really good. And all their other foods (mini pancakes the size of half a thumb, fried tasty chicken and a big round crispy potato, that’s all soft and yummy on the inside) also satisfied my tummy … yummmmmmmmm

White Sands mall @ Pasir Ris

Anyway, then I found the right bus, got on it, and even got off (albeit two stops early). That meant, I had to walk an extra kilometre through Pasir Ris Beach & Park … and it was a great walk! Cool evening, lots of kids & families playing in the park … and a new locale for me … it was fun getting lost!

Eventually I found my way to our chalet (Saw Papa Pete smoking somewhere nearby and he guided me … then XF found his way and showed me where to go). It was a real fun evening … caught up with tonnes of friends along the beach, barbequing food (thanks to Tracey, Tracy, Lorraine, XF and Terence who came a day early to set things up for the rest of us lazy bums).

Cashflow 101 by Robert Kiyosaki - The Cover!

But the highlight of my evening had to be playing Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow 101 game! I had played it before (on a pirated version on my computer) and it was fun then … but it was a real long time ago … and I didn’t remember anything. Thanks to Kat & Terence from AKLTG who brought several copies of the game down from their office for us.

For those of you who’ve never played the game before … it’s like monopoly on steroids. You start out very realistically as an employed person (a draw of cards determines if you are a rich lawyer or a poor truck driver and several other options in between). Then you try your hand at a number of “Small Deals” to make a little bit of money … you can use the money you earn to start or buy businesses … that build up your “Passive Income”

The first goal of the game is to get enough Passive Income to cover all your expenses. Becaue if you’re passively earning more than you need … then you’re out of the “Rat Race” for money … and can focus on bigger things of buying, selling & starting different kinds of businesses.

Open photo of Cashflow 101 game

I teamed up with Ravi’s young son (I will never forget the 10 year old’s name … as he proudly told us several times … his name is J A N A ! !). When the cards were pulled out, we felt very lucky for having been deemed Airline pilots … with a huge salary.

What we didn’t notice was that we also had huge expenses every month :( . Of course, I hadn’t played this game in a long time … and didn’t remember that having a great job means … its a lot HARDER to get out of the rat race.

Anyway, we struggled for a long long time … trying so hard to make enough passive income to overcome our huge expenses (over $5000/month without bank liabilities). In fact, other players raced ahead (Tim & Ming had a truck driver job, and they got out of the rat race with no effort!) and even went on to the other part of the game (where you start doing bigger deals and getting closer to your dream goal).

And on the last roll of the dice … as we were getting ready to finish the first part of the game and get out of the rat race, On of the other teams declared that they had reached their dream! Grrrrr … it is so frustrating to lose in games (yes, I used to be a perfectionist … sometimes, that part of me still wakes up).

This was a great chance for me to reflect on my career choices. According to Robert Kiyosaki, the first step to financial freedom is the get out of the rat race. To have passive sources of income (paper investments, businesses) that bring in enough money every month … to cover monthly expenses. The problem is that the better your job (and salary) … the more the expenses (and requirement for passive income).

So a truck driver would find it relatively easy to start a business and cover his expenses (since he lives cheap), but the lawyer would find it extremely hard to meet his expenses passively (his expenses are three to four times the truck driver). And the key thing is that … the income to meet expenses has to be PASSIVE … not the regular salary one receives.

And I really started thinking about where I want my business to go. You see, in the past few months I’ve been working towards balancing my life and just making enough to pay the bills, and not paying attention to my passive sources of income. But the game brought my attention back to my passive sources of income.

Fortunately, I spend very little money (well, relatively little … for a single guy living in a foreign country). So, I’m good there … I only need to me $2-3k/month with my passive income businesses to get out of the rat race.

And so I’m going full steam ahead … finishing my first book and its marketing plan … so that I can quickly get out of the rat race and define my bigger dreams … sigh.

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