I read The Millionaire Fastlane this past weekend and loved it. For any wannabe entrepreneur, or businessperson, it’s a must read.
Is your financial plan destined for greatness or mediocrity? Is your financial plan tied to variables you can’t control, such as the stock market or your job? Why spend 40 years working 40 hours a week so you can be rich in a wheelchair? It doesn’t make sense.
I was drawn to this book because I’m looking to build multiple enterprises in the next few years. It’s important to stand on the shoulders of giants and learn from successful people and their experiences. MJ DeMarco, the author of The Millionaire Fastlane, built a large lead generation company in the early 2000s and sold it for multiple million dollars. He busted his butt for a few years so he could enjoy an early retirement. The story of his life is truly inspiring, and his tips and actionable items are extremely valuable.
Below is my summary of The Millionaire Fastlane, my takeaways and action steps, and my recommendation for you.
“What if I told you ‘insane’ was working fifty hours a week in some office for fifty years at the end of which they tell you to piss off; ending up in some retirement village hoping to die before suffering the indignity of trying to make it to the toilet on time? Wouldn’t you consider that to be insane?” – Steve Buscemi
Summary of The Millionaire Fastlane
There are three financial roads people are on: the Sidewalk, the Slowlane, and the Fastlane. Each of these financial roads are governed by a certain wealth equation.
The Sidewalk Wealth Equation
The Sidewalk wealth equation is:
Wealth = Income + Debt
Sidewalkers create their lifestyle in direct proportion to their income and supplement that lifestyle with extensive use of debt. People in the personal finance community would identify these people as those who try to “Keep up with the Joneses”.
The Slowlane Wealth Equation
The Slowlane wealth equation is:
Wealth = Job + Market Investments
Under this wealth plan, income from a job funds both lifestyle and market investments. The problem here is your wealth is tied to variables which you cannot control (namely, the stock market). In addition, you can only work so many hours in a day. It is physically impossible to work more than 24 hours in a day. Therefore, the two parts of the equation are governed by variables you cannot control.
The Fastlane Wealth Equation
The Fastlane wealth equation is:
Wealth = Net Profit + Asset Value
where Net Profit = Units Sold x Unit Profit and Asset Value = Net Profit x Industry Multiple
All businesses leverage this equation. A Fastlaner builds wealth by providing value to their customers. They can increase their wealth by selling more units, or profiting more from each individual unit sold. In addition, as profits increase, the underlying business asset increases in value. You can see how it is possible to get rich fast (not to be confused with “Get Rich Quick (Easy)).
If you want to get rich at a young age, you have to start a business and become an entrepreneur. It is impossible to really rich by saving 10% of your paycheck, buying a used car, cancelling the movie channels, quitting drinking expensive Starbucks mocha lattes, saving and penny-pinching your life away, and trusting your life-savings to the stock market.
“By working faithfully 8 hours a day, you many eventually get to be the boss and work 12 hours a day.” – Robert Frost
Wait, The Slowlane is the Right Way to Go!
DeMarco argues there are 6 reasons why The Slowlane sucks:
- Trading time is trading life
- We only have roughly 100 years to live. Why should we spend 40 hours a week at a job we don’t like?
- In a job, you sell your life for money.
- Limitation on experience
- How do you gain experience? You gain experience by doing.
- The problem with a specialized skill set is, it narrows your useful value to a confined set of marketplace needs.
- I’ve learned more in the last month blogging than I did in the past year at work!
- No Control
- The economy tanks and you get laid off? Nothing a Slowlaner can do about it! To add insult to injury, your 401(k) balance is significantly lower and stock portfolio is hurting!
- Linda’s Bad Breath
- How many of you have co-workers you don’t like?
- A Subscription to “Pay Yourself Last”
- “Pay Yourself First” is a Slowlane doctrine. Guess what? You pay the government first, then your insurance, then your 401(K), etc.
- A Dictatorship on Income
- Guess what will happen if you were to walk into your boss’s office and demanded a 100% raise? How about an 1,000%? You’d get laughed at.
While I understand DeMarco’s points, I want you to be aware that these points are trying to get the reader uncomfortable and considering alternative viewpoints. That being said, I do agree with his stance that the stock market is a casino and people shouldn’t be so eager to tie a majority of wealth to equities.
I also think it’s important to think about the downsides of a 9-5 job: having little to no control on who you work with, what you get paid, and what you are able to work on. By becoming an entrepreneur, you can do what you want each day and look to provide value to your customers (without the unnecessary bureaucracy).
Building a Successful Business
All successful businesses follow the following commandments:
- The Commandment of Need
- Most businesses fail because there wasn’t a market for the product.
- There would be no point to start
- The Commandment of Entry
- How competitive is the market you are interested in?
- You wouldn’t want to start a search engine company or social media company because there is no chance of rising to the top.
- The Commandment of Control
- You need to be in control of your income streams.
- Affiliate and network marketing violate this commandment. What if the companies you are partnering with cut their payout?
- The Commandment of Scale
- Is it possible to reach millions?
- The internet is a great example of scalability. My website can run 24/7 and I have the potential to reach people all over the world.
- The Commandment of Time
- Do you have to be working all day to ensure operations are running smoothly?
- For example, if you were to start a coffee shop, you probably would have to be up at 3 AM and work all day – not the best option for a Fastlaner.
If you can build a business which does all 5 of these correctly and effectively, you can become rich.
The Law of Effection
The Law of Effection states that the more lives you affect or breach, both in scale or magnitude, the richer you will be. To make millions you must serve millions in scale or a few in magnitude.
People ask, how are the Kardasians are rich? They are able to get in front of millions of people on TV. Why is Lebron James rich? He impacts the lives of millions of kids all around the world. Name any famous person and I can guarantee they all get paid very nicely because of the influence they have on many people.
You want to become a millionaire? Sell a $1 item to 1 million people, a $10 item to 100,000 people, or an $1,000 item to 1,000 people – it’s simple math! 🙂
Change can happen in an instant.
With all books I read, I look to takeaway 2-3 actionable steps for me to implement in my life.
First, I want to live unlike everyone else right now in my life, so later, I can live like no one else. What I mean by this is I’m fine waking up at 4 AM, putting in 3-4 hours on myself and my business before my day job. I’m fine coming home and putting in 3-4 hours after work to build something potentially worth thousands or millions of dollars. That way, in a few years, I can quit my day job if I please, sell my company, and live off my investment income.
Another takeaway is to look to apply the Law of Effection. Guess what? If I chase money, I’m not going to become rich. If I want millions, I need to impact the lives of millions. I’ve started this with the recent introduction of The Mastermind Within Debt Destruction Tool. People are suffering from debt and The Mastermind Within wants to help!
I’m already applying this by taking an hour out of my day to answer questions on Quora. I’ve already seen a positive impact on the traffic of the blog through these efforts.
In addition, I’m going to continue to learn more about content marketing and how to reach more people. I’m a math guy and have never done sales and marketing… this will be extremely interesting! I’ll be sure to share my findings!
To live unlike everyone else, you have to do what everyone else won’t.
If you are interested in entrepreneurship, building wealth, or business, you need to read The Millionaire Fastlane. To make millions, we must apply the Law of Effection: to make millions, we need to provide value to millions.
I’m excited for my future – the effort I’m putting in now will result in great wealth in my future. I have no doubt that by the time I’m 30 (I’m 24 now), I will be working on many different projects and building fantastic wealth.
Thanks for reading!
Are you living unlike anyone else so you can live like no one else? What are your thoughts on the concepts of Sidewalkers, Slowlaners, and Fastlaners? Do think think sacrificing a few years of your life is worth an early retirement?