The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime!by M.J. DeMarco
Is it possible to earn millions before retirement? Is it possible in just a few years? There are many young self-made millionaires. They are proof that you don’t have to be old to be rich. The road to becoming rich young is not easy, but it’s definitely worth considering, because the alternative roads are not better at all. This book is mostly about the mindset that’s necessary to make these difficult decisions to pursue wealth. It has a few great principles that are the foundations of a great company.
Part 1: Wealth Is a Wheelchair … “Get Rich Slow” Is Get Rich Old
“Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.” - Jodie Foster
MJ DeMarco calls the standard way to get rich “Get Rich Slow.” It’s slow because you have to save money your whole life and invest in mutual funds and other things in order to finally get rich when you are old. The problem with this model is that you are young only once, and sacrificing your life for the sake of getting rich does not make much sense.
“Get Rich Slow” is a losing game.
You don’t need fame or talent to be a millionaire. There are countless fameless self-made millionaires living among us. However, they did not get rich by doing things that are popular. They chose to go with the Fastlane. This means that they created wealth exponentially, not linearly.
Part 2: Wealth Is Not a Road, but a Road Trip
“The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” - Lao Tzu
Getting wealthy is a process, not an event. For example, when you see a cooked meal, you see an event. You don’t see the process that has been completed to cook the meal. It is the same with millionaires. What you see is that they have millions, but you don’t see the process they had to go through to get it.
People cannot act against their beliefs. Thus, in order to be wealthy, you must change your beliefs in a way that will support you. If you believe that people get wealthy because of the stock market, that is how you will act. If you believe that it is possible to get wealthy fast, you will set it as a goal, and consequently, you might achieve it.
Part 3: Poorness—The Sidewalk
“Poor financial management is like gambling; the house eventually wins.” - MJ DeMarco
There are three paths you can choose from: the Sidewalk, the Slowlane, or the Fastlane.
The Sidewalk is most traveled because it’s the path of least resistance. For people who go on this path, the plan is no plan. They trust that the system will take care of them. They trust that they will become happy and wealthy by following formal education and standard career paths.
You might be a sidewalker if:
- You finished your formal education and haven’t learned anything since then.
- You change your job frequently.
- You live from paycheck to paycheck.
- … and so on.
Sidewalkers will remain sidewalkers if they keep making poor financial decisions. You might be lucky, win money, or get a good contract for creative work; however, if you don’t make good decisions, you will be broke after all passes.
What Is Wealth?
According to MJ DeMarco, there are three fundamental F’s:
Family - Relationship with family, friends, community, and God.
Fitness - Health, vibrancy, passion, and boundless energy.
Freedom - Choice. Freedom to live where you want to live; freedom from bosses, alarm clocks, etc.
Money does not buy happiness. But neither does poverty. Happiness is strongly connected to relationships and freedom. People with strong family bonds, many friends, and a well-connected community are the happiest on the world. So are people with freedom. And guess what? You don’t have freedom if you spend most of your life in a job you don’t enjoy.
So, if money is misused, it will give you even less freedom. Less happiness. However, well-used money can bring you much greater happiness.
Take responsibility, followed by accountability. This means first, take responsibility in every area of your life, in everything that happens to you. And then, be accountable and work on those areas.
Actions to take
Part 4: Mediocrity—The Slowlane Roadmap
The Slowlane is chosen by those who want to be smarter. They educate themselves financially, and they know that if they save enough money every month, they will finally get rich.
The problem here is that they will get rich when they are very old, and in fact, it may never happen due to many random events that may occur on the way.
Taking this path means that you will work a lot—without much time for your family or entertainment—with the hope that finally, you will get what you want sometime in the far future. This is not the best way to live, because we are young only once, and it’s not wise to trade our best period of life for the hope of a better life in the future.
Beware of financial gurus who teach how to get rich but did not use the same strategy to get rich themselves. Very often those financial gurus get rich only because they teach how to get rich. Also, many people don’t really understand the mechanics of getting rich, yet they perceive themselves as experts.
Part 5: Wealth—The Fastlane Roadmap
“I'd rather live in regret of failure than in regret of never trying.” - MJ DeMarco
The Fastlane is an alternative strategy that is about getting rich fast. Not easily, but fast. It's not about a get-rich-fast scheme advertised here and there, but about making smart decisions and smart moves to build a system that will earn money for us. To get rich fast, it is not enough to work hard. It’s about building a machine that will do it for us.
Which team are you on, the producers’ or the consumers’? You will not become rich if you are in the consumers' group. Only the producers get rich fast. And in order to be the producer, be an entrepreneur, an innovator. Be visionary and a creator.
There is a tree that grows money, and it’s called passive income. It’s income that works even when you sleep or are on vacation. People who have their own businesses but must work 12 hours a day to make the company survive are not really rich people, because they exchange time for money. Generally, there are five areas in which you can create passive income for yourself: rental systems (e.g., renting apartments), computer systems (e.g., making a popular mobile app), content systems (e.g., writing a book), distribution systems (e.g., Amazon.com), and human-resource systems (a company that relies on people working in it).
People don’t make millions because of wishful thinking. The well-known Law of Attractions does not work at all. Thinking about wealth will not make you wealthy. So, what will? Impacting millions. The more people you impact, the wealthier you will be. Think of this as the Law of Effection: The more lives you affect in an entity you control, the richer you will become.
Part 6: Your Vehicle to Wealth—You
“Until we see what we are, we cannot take steps to become what we should be.” - Charlotte P. Gilman
The idea that you should pay yourself first, promoted by the book The Richest Man in Babylon in 1926, might not be as good as it seems. That’s because you cannot pay yourself first if you don’t own yourself. You can do it only if you own your vehicle.
Poorness comes from bad choices. Similarly, wealth comes from good choices. Choices are the steering wheel of your life.
Probably the biggest obstacle to getting millions is your environment, the people you’re surrounded by. It would be easy to go in the Fastlane if we knew a few people who went that way. However, almost all of the people around us do not truly believe in us, and what’s more, they get us down. Beware of toxic relationships with people.
Your biggest asset is time. Not money. People who exchange time for money do not actually have much time to really live. That’s why it’s important to value time. We only have so much time in our lives.
It’s not enough to be interested in something. To really get things done, one must commit and work hard toward it. It’s not enough if you are interested in e-commerce. Only commitment and hard work will provide you with results.
Actions to take
Part 7: The Roads to Wealth
To earn millions, you must impact millions. This is the Law of Effection.
MJ DeMarco created five commandments for everyone who wants to go in the Fastlane.
The Commandment of Need
When it comes to business, it’s very bad advice to follow your passion or do what you love. Instead, think of business as a solution to an existing problem. Stop chasing money, and instead chase needs, problems, pain points, and emotions.
Most businesses fail because they are based on selfish internal needs rather than external market needs.
The Commandment of Entry
The businesses with easier entry levels are more crowded with competition. If the entry level is high, there are fewer competitors, and it’s easier to make a profitable business.
To create a proper business, you need a process. If it’s not a process, but an event, you are violating entry.
Beware of signs that “everyone is doing it.” If what everyone does would make you rich, everyone would be rich. In fact, it’s usually better if you do the opposite. For example, if everyone is buying real estate, you should be selling, and vice versa.
The Commandment of Control
To earn good money, you need full control over your business. This means be the driver, not the passenger. For example, you sell licenses, not buy them. You offer affiliate programs, not join them. And so on. You own the business and you control it.
A good example of a business that you will never have any control over is network marketing. The only people who earn real money are the founders and their inner circle. You will not get any significant amount of money by joining them years later. If you want to earn money by network marketing, create one, don’t join one.
The Commandment of Scale
It’s impossible to have a highly profitable business if you act only in the local market. To impact millions, you must cover a large area with your business. Think of a business that you can easily scale nationwide, and it will make millions for you.
The Commandment of Time
The goal of having a business should be a detachment of time, to finally be able to have more time for yourself. That’s not always the case, though. Many business owners are married to their businesses, and they have no free time at all.
Make a business that can be automated. Make a business that will be working even when you are absent. If you make a business that needs lots of your time, you don’t have a business. You have a job.
Find Your Road
You don’t need to invent a completely new idea for a business. Competition is everywhere, and most likely, you will not find anything truly new. Instead, enter an existing market and do it better than everybody else. This is the story of Facebook, Google, Walmart, Starbucks, and plenty of other popular companies. Opportunities for new business are everywhere; just look around and find out what people are complaining about or what can be improved.
Actions to take
Part 8: Your Speed—Accelerate Wealth
It’s all about the execution. Not the idea. A great idea is only potential power. Great ideas without good execution are worth almost nothing. Mediocre ideas with great execution are worth a lot.
Business plans are overrated. Business plans do not work if you don’t execute. It’s better if you jump in and start executing, and the world will tell you what it wants. You don’t need a business plan, but you need to start doing things. Most business plans do not work anyway. You start with project X, and after five years, you have project Y that gets you money. The world will tell you where to go.
Listen to complaints from users of your product or service carefully. This is free feedback. If there is one user complaining, probably ten others feel the same way. React to each complaint to create a superior product. However, beware of pleasing everybody—it’s just impossible. Trying to please everybody is a recipe for failure.
There’s nothing wrong with having a small company; however, it’s good to look big. You can still have a one-person company and look like you are a big company with proper customer support.
Remember, partnering with someone to create a business is like a marriage. You have to know each other well, because you will spend a big chunk of your lives together, and you will have to deal with all the arising problems together.
Focus on one business only. It might be tempting to run many businesses, but it’s almost never a good idea, because it makes you distracted and none of the businesses become really successful.
Actions to take
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