I’m concerned that the fear of failing, in the eyes of the world, is the biggest impediment to amassing wealth. – Felix Dennis
How to Get Rich, by Felix Dennis, is a no nonsense summary of how Felix Dennis, founder of Maxim magazine, got rich. Dennis takes us through the ups and downs of his business life and personal life, and also gives his opinion on how to get rich (not just rich, like really, really rich). How to Get Rich is not a self help book, as Dennis states multiple times, but outlines and discusses many principles, virtues, and lessons on how to get rich.
A little background on Felix Dennis, Dennis started out in the UK in the late 60’s and worked his way to riches by owning his own publishing business. In addition to the main publishing business, he was a partner in many other deals and opportunities which helped grow his wealth. In the beginning of the book, he states he is worth somewhere between $400 million and $900 million pre-tax, but because much of it is illiquid, he doesn’t really know (or care; he was rather old at the time of writing How to Get Rich, and didn’t care about much except the pleasures of life at his stage in life.)
Summary of How to Get Rich
How to Get Rich discusses various topics one needs to be aware of when looking to become rich. These topics include but are not limited to: ideas, luck, ownership, negotiating, delegation, focus and self-belief. What makes How to Get Rich great is how Dennis discusses his successes and his failures. When he is discussing the topic of luck, he talks about how he ended up in the hospital due to his drug use. What was lucky about the situation is that he insisted on going to his cottage and since he was not in New York City, he was able to be diagnosed quickly and accurately in a smaller hospital. This allowed him to turn his life around and continue to make more money. This event was certainly lucky; Dennis could have died from this event.
In addition to giving tips on running and owning an empire, Dennis also gives some perspective on life. He asks himself, “Am I happy because I am rich?” His answer is no. He says that the road to becoming rich is narrow and lonely. Those who are persistent, who do not give in, will become rich. They will have to make sacrifices, but they will be rich.
How to Get Rich makes me think, what are my goals in life? I’m 24 years old. I want to own a business. I think it would be fantastic to make a few million in the next ten years. At the rate I’m going right now, I know in 10 years, I can become a millionaire by being frugal and making smart investments.
Why settle for safe? I’m young, single, and full of life and energy. Why not take a chance? Why not try and do something crazy and try to get rich? What’s wrong with trying new things, living life to the fullest? It is something I think about each day and something I’m struggling with.
I’ll figure it out soon.
Remarkable Quotes from How to Get Rich
I have about 4 pages of notes on How to Get Rich. Here is a brief list of some of my takeaways, notes, and memorable quotes:
- On Ideas and Execution:
- “The follow-through, the execution, is a thousand times more important than a “great idea”.”
- “It is how ideas are implemented that counts in the long run.”
- “Ideas don’t make you rich. Correct execution of ideas does.”
- On Learning:
- “Anyone who is not busy learning is busy dying.”
- “When you stop listening, you stop learning. If you stop learning, it’s time to get out of the kitchen and let someone else do the cooking.”
- “People who grow rich almost always improve their sex life. More people want to have sex with them. It’s just the way human beings work.”
- “Money is power. Power is an aphrodisiac.”
- On fear of failure:
- “If you are unwilling to fail, sometimes publicly, and even catastrophically, you stand very little chance of ever getting rich.”
- “I am convinced that the fear of failing, in the eyes of the world, is the single biggest impediment to amassing wealth.”
- “Fear nothing and no one.”
- “All that is stopping you is fear.”
- On Self-belief:
- “Belief in yourself and faith in your project can move mountains. But not if you insist on trying to scale the mountain by an impossible route which has already failed.”
- “Boldness has genius, power, and magic to it.”
- “Without self-belief nothing can be accomplished. With it, nothing is impossible.”
“Without self-belief nothing can be accomplished. With it, nothing is impossible.”
- On Talent:
- “Talent is the key to sustained growth, and growth is the key to early wealth.”
- “Identify it, hire it, nurture it, reward it, protect it, and when the time comes, fire it.”
- On Ownership and Management
- Cash flow management is the most important thing in a small business.
- Managers rarely become rich.
- “To become rich, you must be an owner, and you must try to own it all.”
- Ownership is the only thing that counts.
- “Delegation and promotion is a way to get rich.”
- “Build a program of carefully tailored delegation and well-deserved promotion. This will create an atmosphere of loyalty, efficiency, and camaraderie that feeds upon itself.”
- “The world is full of money. Some of it has my name on it. All I have to do is collect it.”
“Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl.” – Benjamin Jowett
I’ll rate How to Get Rich, by Felix Dennis, 4.7 stars out of 5. How to Get Rich is extremely insightful in giving me tips on how to get ridiculously wealthy; I love reading because it brings me new ideas and allows me to gain a better perspective on life at certain points. My only complaint is the chapters seemed to drag on. Sometimes, I had to ask myself what the point of the section was at times. I’d recommend How to Get Rich for business owners in general, but especially business owners who want to grow their companies to behemoths.
The world is full of money. Some of it has my name on it. All I have to do is collect it. – Felix Dennis
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