Sharon Lechter: “THE Best You Expo Offers An Opportunity For Great Business Growth”
Winner Of The Best You Lifetime Achievement Award Talks About Her Lifelong Dedication To Financial Education
Business mentor, international speaker, entrepreneur and author, Sharon Lechter, began her appearance at the Best You EXPO this year by making something very clear to the sizeable crowd. “I’m not trying to sell you anything,” she said. “My time up here, speaking to you, is about serving, not selling, and I would love to talk to each and every one of you about how to get the most out of your business.”
Sharon knows better than almost anyone about the power of maintaining good relationships, whether it is with the audience you are speaking to or your partners in business.
“Meeting people is also an opportunity for greater growth in your business,” Sharon explained. “You can become an expert by meeting other experts and learning from them.”
She continued: “the greatest beauty of The Best You EXPO is that it allows you to meet potential collaborators, to match your talent and expertise with someone else’s. The power of association gives exponential growth – one plus one isn’t two, it’s 11. It is all about good relationship. If you have a positive relationship with a customer, it means you have a lifelong customer.”
Sharon’s own expertise and talent for business was born out of personal experience. When her son found himself in credit card debt in 1992, Sharon decided that she would devote her life to spreading financial literacy and financial education. As a Certified Public Accountant, she was well qualified to help people understand money, and has being doing so spectacularly ever since.
“At its heart, the solution to financial literacy is straightforward,” she said. “If everyone would spend less than they earn, then that would be the end of my job. But, until that day, I am here to teach them about money.”
According to Sharon, most people do not truly understand the difference between an asset and a liability. She said, “most people think about their relationship with money as the hours they spend on the treadmill at work. But it is not what you do for your paycheck, but what you do with it once you get it.”
Sharon believes that money should do the work itself, earning for you before you get out of bed, and she said “that is what being smart about money is, in a nutshell.”
Yet, Sharon also imparts that financial literacy requires diversification.
“Traditional financial planners talk about stocks versus bonds versus rates. True diversification is business assets, paper assets and real estate, so when one thing happens in one type of asset you will not be dramatically impacted,” she said.
Sharon understands that the path to empowerment is to have diversified assets that work for you, so you move from working for others to taking charge of your destiny.
Sharon’s career took off in 1996 when she met a young man in cut-off shorts called Robert Kiyosaki. He had just come up with a new board game called Cashflow, and was seeking copyright advice from Sharon’s lawyer husband. After a phone call with her husband, the pair met.
“The concept of a $200 board game in the 1990s seemed really exclusive, so we decided to write a particularly effective brochure to promote it,” she said. “That is when we wrote Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It was designed to be a $15 giveaway to promote the game, which was where the business was focused. We called ourselves Cashflow Technologies Ltd., but soon realised the game was not the product – Rich Dad, Poor Dad was.”
Before the age of social media, the book spread by word-of-mouth. A massive hit, it gave millions a new way to think about money, helping them change their lives and reach financial freedom. Sharon and Robert went on to write 15 more books, as well as producing audio and video materials together. It was a powerful partnership that transformed people’s lives around the world.
In 2007, the pair went their separate ways, and Sharon chose to focus more on the individual, while Robert had more of an interest in corporate wealth. Sharon has since directed her main agenda to family finance, and her game Thrive Time helps teenagers understand the reality of money management.
“I worry for the younger generation,” she said. “Despite the economy, we are still seeing kids graduate from school thinking they’ll get a $75,0000 dollar-a-year job. Thrive Time teaches them life’s realities.”
The game is not only about making money. It is cleverly constructed to ensure players understand the benefits and nuances of charitable giving. For example, a business opportunity arises when a player meets a contact at a charity, but this is only available to those players who pledged to give to charity.
Sharon also works with the Napoleon Hill Foundation, (founded by or founded for). the famous writer of the world’s most popular self-help book, Think and Grow Rich, a 25-year-long project first published in 1934 and encouraged by industrial magnate, Dale Carnegie.
In association with the Napoleon Hill Foundation, Sharon wrote Think and Grow Rich for Women, based on Hill’s original. Intriguingly, she also edited one of Napoleon Hill’s unpublished manuscripts, Outwitting the Devil. In this book, Hill talks about the setting for success strategies, exploring the effect of societal issues on wealth.
“It was a revelation to me, seeing this whole new layer of thinking, which only added to his amazing work, Think and Grow Rich,”Sharon said
While the original text remains as it was written by Hill, Sharon has brought the book completely up-to-date through numerous footnotes and modern-day references.
“The book is more relevant now than ever,” she said. “I think at the time it was considered too controversial. Napoleon Hill gives his opinions and observation on religion, relationships, sex and much more, and his family was reluctant to let the manuscript go public – that is why it has taken so long. It is well worth the read.”
In the future, Sharon plans to continue doing what she knows is her life’s mission: helping bring millions to financial independence. And, as her appearance at The Best You EXPO demonstrated, she continues to reach so many people and make their lives better.
“The greatest beauty of The Best You EXPO is that it allows you to meet potential collaborators, to match your talent and expertise with someone else’s”