Who Wants to Be an Entrepreneur?

ByABC News
May 19, 2006, 6:48 PM

May 19, 2006 — -- How easy is it to make money? If someone handed you $1,000 and gave you 20 days to turn a profit, would you have any idea where to start? "20/20" challenged three would-be entrepreneurs to find out. To give them guidance we brought in famous get-rich guru Robert Kiyosaki to offer them his secrets for money-making success.

Kiyosaki is one of the hottest financial advisers today. His 18 books have sold some 26 million copies. The first title in the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series has been on The New York Times Best Seller List for five years, and has sold more than 11 million copies.

Kyosaki says his books can put ordinary people on the fast track to a life like his -- working for themselves, not someone else. He says there are four basic types of people: workers, small-business owners, investors and entrepreneurs. If you want to make money, Kyosaki says, invest in real estate or start a business. "I don't like being told what to do and kissing you know what to get up the corporate ladder," he said.

But does Kiyosaki's method -- short on specifics but long on pep talks and salesmanship -- work? We decided to put the guru to the test with our would-be entrepreneurs: Cheryl, an ad sales rep and amateur theater stage manager from Queens, N.Y.; Julie, a store construction coordinator and new mother from Minneapolis, Minn.; and James, a father of four and school counselor from Tulsa, Okla.

The three came to New York for a crash course from the master.

Kiyosaki personally challenged the contestants: "I want to find out who among you has the most potential of becoming a great entrepreneur," he told them.

The objective was simple: Take $1,000 in cash and see who could make the most money in 20 days.

Here were the ground rules: Choose any venture, as long it's legal and ethical, and don't tell anyone it's being done for a TV program. Any profits they make, they could keep.

Kiyosaki was careful to lower expectations. He told "20/20" he wouldn't be surprised if all three of the contestants failed to make a profit or even lost all their money.