The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
I first came across this book several years ago and I must have re-read it a dozen times over since then. As of July 2016, this is hands down the best business book ever written.
It’s one of the few books that I consider is worth getting a hard copy of for reading and re-reading.
When most of us hear the words “get rich quick” – myself included – a huge red flag goes off in our heads screaming SCAM SCAM SCAM.
But wait a minute. Can’t we all think of a handful of people that we’ve heard of that really have gotten rich quick?
Most entrepreneurs (especially Internet entrepreneurs) do get rich (relatively) quick.
By “quick”, we’re speaking in terms of a few years, as opposed to 40 or 50 years. Quick doesn’t mean overnight.
Here’s a few examples that I’m sure you’ve heard of
The guy who develops a popular, addictive iTunes app that starts making $50,000 a day in a matter of weeks of launching (remember Flappy Birds or Candy Crush?)
The guy who develops a social media platform that took over the world (Mark Zuckerberg was in his mid twenties when he became a billionaire. His success took 5 or 6 years)
A girl who creates a YouTube channel that transforms her into an internet personality making 7 figures a year (Jenna Marbles)
We have everyday examples of people who got rich quick all around us, yet we’re sold the lie right from birth that the key to success is to follow the standard path of
Go to college -> Get a degree -> Get a 9-5 job -> Invest measly sums of money into a stock portfolio that you entrust to your company -> Work for 40 years -> Retire rich in the twilight of your life
The Reason this Lie Exists
When most people find out they’ve been lied to regarding success and wealth, they get mad at society or their parents or whomever for (often unintentionally) deceiving them for a risky gamble of a plan that has a massive failure rate.
While I can sympathize with your frustration, there’s one thing you need to understand. The fact that the system deceives you on how to actually become wealthy is actually a good thing.
Think about it…
The reason you’re able to order a coffee at Starbucks, live in a comfortable house, enjoy the benefits of infrastructure like highways and hospitals, or buy clothes at the mall is because the majority of the people of this world are willing to sacrifice their time and effort at a job to make all of this possible.
The simple truth is that if everyone were to become a successful entrepreneur and be wealthy, then nobody would bother to work under fluorescent lights mapping a highway, designing airplanes, assembling cars at a factory, plumbing toilets, or any of the other million things that nobody wants to do.
I would go insane if I was forced to work for someone else for a meager salary because I know that a far superior alternative exists. If everyone knew how easy it was to succeed in business (especially online business) and had a working blueprint for doing so, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the comforts of modern society.
This book changed my life in more ways than one. One frustrating thing you’ll come to learn about becoming an entrepreneur is that its very hard to find a working blueprint or model for success that works. You can read this book or that book or study how Person A, Person B, and Person C does things and pick up bits and pieces here and there.
However, its damn near impossible to find a blueprint of what exactly goes into building a successful 6 or 7 figure business from scratch.
The Millionaire Fastlane is the closest thing to a blueprint that you’ll find. What I like most about it is that it cuts through all the feel good motivational hype and focuses on the principles behind building a successful business system, gives an in depth explanation on why these principles work, and the practical steps you need to apply it to your life.
Reading the book feels more like the having a conversation with a friend with a heart and soul as opposed to reading some boring technical manual.
What exactly is the “Fastlane”?
The book uses a series of metaphors and allegories in order for the reader (you) to better understand how different strategies lead to or away from wealth.
The Fastlane in metaphorical terms is like the fast lane on a highway, which goes at a much higher than average speed, thereby allowing you to reach your destination much quicker.
If you imagine wealth and financial freedom as a destination across the country, there are 3 main roads you can travel down in an attempt to reach this destination – blazing down the Fastlane, slowly cruising down the Slowlane, or trying to make the hike on foot via the Sidewalk.
Each of these “roads” (strategies to achieve wealth) come along with their own set of roadmaps (belief systems in regards to time/money/lifestyle choices).
Get Rich Quick vs. Get Rich Easy
The reason a huge red flag goes up in our minds whenever we hear the words “get rich quick” is because we mistake it for its evil twin “get rich easy”. Mark Zuckerberg became a billionaire in almost 5 years. He got rich quick, but he sure as hell didn’t get rich easy.
Get rich easy is 100% a scam and its very easy to identify. Anything that promises you large amounts of money or results in exchange for little to no work is the definition of get rich easy.
Herbal diet pills that promise abs of steel, without having to drop a single meal.
Late night infomercials for a “secret money making technique” that takes advantage of some life hack or flaw in the stock market for 2 easy payments of $19.95.
Those shady ads for expensive penis pills on porn sites that Ron Jeremy allegedly used to put on 3 inches in 2 weeks.
Get rich quick entails putting in a huge amount of hard work and effort in the short run (a few months to a few years) to enjoy the benefits for the rest of your life. It’s not easy in the sense that you can watch TV and hit the bars every Friday night and expect the work to do itself, but it most certainly isn’t “hard” in the sense that designing a space shuttle is hard.
Hard work is absolutely necessary for success, but it only counts if you have a functional blueprint.
You can open up a hardware store and work hard all day long at your store, but you’re never going to become rich doing so because your blueprint is defective.
When you have a defective blueprint that will never lead to wealth, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.
It doesn’t matter how hard you work.
It doesn’t matter how much of a positive thinker you are.
It doesn’t matter how motivated or driven you are.
Here’s the example that MJ gives in his book that illustrates the point perfectly. Suppose you’re starting off in Dallas, Texas and your goal is to reach Venice Beach, California. How long would it take you reach Venice Beach if you were to drive east towards Florida?
Would it matter how passionate you are about driving?
Would it matter how motivated you are?
Would it matter how much you love to drive?
All of that becomes completely irrelevant because your blueprint, your roadmap is inherently flawed.
Without understanding the underlying principles behind a successful business system, you risk spinning your wheels at the mercy of blind hope and chance, only to eventually burn out and give up.
The Best Case Scenario for “Get Rich Slow” Success
To paint a picture of just how pitiful the default “responsible” financial plan shoved down your throat by the mainstream culture of the world is, lets play a little mind game.
If you’re working a 9 – 5 job 5 days a week, making $100k/year, how long will it take you to be financially free and wealthy? How long will it be before you can retire and never have to worry about bills again?
Chances are it will never happen. Lets break it down mathematically so you know I’m not bullshitting.
Hypothetically speaking, lets say you’re a young guy (25 years old) and you’re making $100k/year at your job. You’re single, and you have no one else to take care of other than yourself.
After you receive your post-taxed paycheck, what are you left with? About $70,000 in take home cash over the course of one year. Now lets say you live somewhat frugally, yet still reasonably comfortably in a nice area.
Cost per month:
Rent – $2,000
Food – $300
Utilities – $100
Phone/Internet/Cable – $150
Car Insurance – $250
Transportation – $200
All in all, we’re looking at around 3k per month. Adding in miscellaneous expenses, lets estimate that it costs you about $40,000 a year to maintain your relatively frugal lifestyle.
Keep in mind, this is also assuming that you’re young (age 25), single, have only yourself to take care of, and are making a salary of $100,000 a year at your job, which is quite commendable. You also have no medical expenses and your employer takes care of your health insurance. We are also assuming that you don’t have any car payments, zero credit card debt, and very responsible spending habits.
After all is said and done, at the end of the year, you are left with $30,000 in hard cash that you can stash away.
Now lets say you don’t even care about fancy cars or mansions. Lets assume you just want to carry on living your relatively cheap lifestyle as long as possible, spending 40k per year, without having to work or worry about where money would come from.
How long would that take you?
If you were to work for 30 years straight, stashing away $30,000 every single year, you would have a lump sum of $900,000 to work with. Adding in bonuses and promotions, lets just say after 30 years you’ve managed to save up 1 million in hard cold cash.
During these 30 years, you have not taken any expensive vacations, gotten married, had any kids, bought any nice toys for yourself, or had any medical or financial catastrophes of any sort hold you down.
You have managed to keep a job paying $100,000 for 30 whole years, you’ve never gone through any rough patches of unemployment, and you’ve never splurged on a fancy cruise or a first class vacation.
You are 55 years old with 1 million in hard cash. Assuming that inflation is does not exist, you can invest that money to make a safe 4 – 5% yearly return on investment. In other words, you’d be making $40,000 – $50,000 a year in passive income from the safe yearly (pre taxed) gains on your 1 million invested.
Before you stop to meet up with the Guinness Book of World Records for being the luckiest man on the planet, you pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You can now retire at the age of 55 and live frugally for the rest of your life, so long as you don’t have any financial or medical emergencies down the road or dream of upgrading your lifestyle.
If you think you have what it takes to become the miracle man I’ve just described, you should know that the best you could ever hope for is to retire and live frugally by the age of 55.
Forget about vacations.
Forget about mansions or nice houses.
Forget about sexy cars.
Forget about eating out at expensive restaurants.
Forget about living well and enjoying life to its fullest.
Even if you spend practically $0 on your wants and stick to only spending on your needs, and life never ever throws a curveball at you, this is the BEST CASE SCENARIO you can hope for.
Add in inflation of money over time, unfavorable dips in the stock market, your human nature taking over and urging you to splurge, and real life problems coming your way, and you’ll come to realize that even this frugal retirement scenario at the ripe young age of 55 is hardly anything more than a pipe dream.
This is what the “Slowlane” – the financial plan that has been preached to you by TV, your parents, the media, and your government has to offer you AT ITS BEST.
Strip away the motivational guise, see through the lies, and take a look at your odds in terms of cold, hard mathematics and realize that the truth is laid bare, staring straight at you with its ugly glare.
The reality is that if someone were to even achieve half of what I just mentioned, they would be deemed “very successful”.
Is there a way out?
Is there a hidden path that shatters this shitty old mold that we’ve been sold?
Its called creating a business system that generates explosive income at exponential rates.
But how do you do that? How should you do that?
There are a million and one ways to “get into business” and they’re not all created equal.
A guy who manufactures a useful gadget and sells 50 units a day on Amazon and the guy who opens up a local hardware store around the corner are both “in business”.
The difference is one has the potential to become a millionaire in a few years while the other may struggle to just barely make ends meet while working longer, harder shifts on the daily grind.
One can get paid while he’s snoozing, taking a dump, or playing with his kids with minimal upfront costs while the other has to stand for 12 hours a day behind a counter with 101 different bills on his mind.
One can wake up in the morning, check his email, and count his money from all the profit he made overnight, while the other has to physically go to work for a meager profit that’s filtered through insurance, employees, and store costs.
One has a potential client base of 250 million (or however many people use Amazon), and the other has a potential client base of his local town.
Can you see how one is rigged to get rich quick while the other is fighting an uphill battle?
That’s the difference between a lucrative “fastlane business” and a regular joe schmoe “business” that for all intents and purposes is nothing more than a self-employed job.
(Note: The book doesn’t mention Amazon at all. I just used that as an example of a fastlane business model)
All too often, people get excited about the prospect of wealth and decide to go into business for all the wrong reasons, completely blind to profit potentials, and fall flat on their face only to complain that “business doesn’t work”.
They quit and go back to their nice safe job working regular hours for a steady paycheck.
If you want to make big bucks anytime soon, just “starting a business” isn’t going to cut it. You need to understand the principles behind what allows a business to skyrocket in profits relatively quickly and you need a working strategy to get there.
What you need is a clear blueprint.
This book provides the whole blueprint, removing the need to sift through 100 different sources and playing mental games of guesswork by breaking down the formula into its mathematical equivalent, removing all possibility of bullshit or blind hope.
I’ve read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Four Hour Work Week, and the infamous Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and while they all contain good tidbits of information and motivation here and there, they all pale in comparison to a full blueprint that actually allows you to get rich (relatively) quick.
Click here to order The Millionaire Fastlane on Amazon.
I’m usually a fan of Kindle and pdf formats, but I’d recommend getting the paperback for this one.
Until next time,
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