Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime
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Are you tired of working long hours, saving all you can and trying to climb the corporate ladder? That’s because you’ve been stuck in the Slowlane. What if you could instead make more money and have more free time away from work? If that sounds good, this book may just be the guide you need.
The Millionaire Fastlane is about personal development and wealth-building. It was written by self-made millionaire and entrepreneur MJ DeMarco. DeMarco argues that the traditional path to wealth and financial success is a road to mediocrity and financial slavery. Instead, he advocates for the “Fastlane”. This is a path to wealth that involves entrepreneurship, innovation, and risk-taking.
Taking the “Slowlane” means a focus on saving, investing, and budgeting. It also involves the pursuit of a traditional career to climb the corporate ladder. This path is often filled with long hours, sacrifices, and delayed gratification. It can take decades to achieve significant financial success.
In contrast, the “Fastlane” is a path to wealth that involves creating value. It solves problems and builds scalable businesses that can generate passive income. This path is much more efficient and allows you to achieve wealth in a shorter period of time.
About MJ DeMarco
MJ DeMarco is an entrepreneur and self-made millionaire. He advocates for a different approach to achieving wealth than saving and investing. DeMarco teaches how to achieve financial freedom. You can do this by starting or investing in a business and creating multiple passive income streams. He styles himself as “a get-rich-slow anti-guru”.
DeMarco’s dream was to live free from bosses, free from 9–5 jobs, and free from mediocrity. Through rigorous years of self-study, countless errors and failures, he claims he uncovered the real essence of wealth. He was able to retire in his thirties without sacrificing his lifestyle.
DeMarco has also written a follow-up book, “Unscripted: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship.” This further elaborates on his ideas on entrepreneurship and achieving wealth. DeMarco is also the founder of The Fastlane Forum, an online community of entrepreneurs. He provides business advice and mentorship to its members.
StoryShot #1: Know the Difference between the “Slowlane” and the “Fastlane”
There are two paths to wealth: the “Slowlane” and the “Fastlane”.
- The Slowlane is the traditional path that most people take. It includes a good education, getting a good job, saving money, investing in stocks, bonds and real estate, and living frugally. This approach is seen as “the safe way” to wealth and can take decades to achieve.
- The Fastlane is a different approach to wealth creation. You focus on creating multiple streams of passive income, taking calculated risks and creating value in the marketplace.
The Fastlane is the only timely way to achieve true wealth and financial independence. Examples of people who have taken the Fastlane include:
- entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses,
- investors who have made significant returns on their investments,
- and those who have created passive income streams through things like royalties or affiliate marketing.
Fastlaners are those who see an opportunity and act on it, while the Slowlaners sit on the sidelines and wait for an opportunity to come to them.
StoryShot #2: Wealth Is Not a Road, But a Road Trip
Traveling down the road to wealth can be rewarding if you have the right roadmap and vehicle. Understanding the principles of wealth is key:
- Wealth is a formula, not an ingredient. You can’t become wealthy by relying solely on luck or fame and physical talent. The adage of “get rich slow” is out.
- Wealth is created exponentially, not linearly. It’s best to start young. To get on the road, you need a roadmap (beliefs to guide your actions), your vehicle (you!) and the right roads (financial pathways) to take.
- The most important ingredient is speed. Successful wealth-building means tangible execution – quickly turning ideas into action.
You need to choose the best roadmap to navigate your vehicle and the roads to your destination for financial freedom:
- The Slowlane Roadmap. This is not a great way to become wealthy. It requires sacrificing your time and money now for the hope of a better future. The problem is that uncontrollable factors, such as recessions and market performance, can have a drastic impact on your savings.
- The Sidewalk Roadmap. Living the Sidewalk life may bring instant gratification, but it comes with many long-term consequences. That is why you should avoid living a life of easy thrills and debt-fueled consumption. This kind of lifestyle, which is based on hoping for events like winning the lottery or making money through gambling, is dangerous. It leaves you vulnerable to external events such as job cuts, recessions, and interest rate hikes, leaving you stuck in a cycle of poverty.
- The Fastlane Roadmap. Fastlaners understand that a job, no matter how lucrative, is not a source of passive income. Diversify your income streams so that if one stream dries up, you have other streams to rely on. Diversifying your income streams is like spreading your eggs across multiple baskets. If one basket breaks, you still have eggs in the other baskets.
Think creatively about passive income opportunities and be willing to take risks. Passive income is about creating a system that continues to make money for you, even when you’re not working.
StoryShot #3: Create Multiple Streams of Passive Income
Passive income is the key to achieving true wealth and financial independence. Passive income is the ultimate form of financial freedom. It is the only type of income that truly gives you time and money freedom.
You can create passive income by:
- starting your own business,
- investing in real estate,
- creating a product and selling it online,
- or creating a YouTube channel or blog
Divorce Wealth from Time
Build “money trees,” which are systems that can make money without direct involvement. These money trees require periodic support and maintenance. But they can still substitute for the traditional time-for-money exchange.
Examples of money trees include:
- Rentals: Rent out real estate, patents, licenses, etc.
- Software: Leverage the internet and make software available 24/7.
- Content: Write books, magazines, blogs, audio, video, etc.
- Distribution System: Franchising, network marketing, television marketing, etc.
The more lives you affect, the more money you can make. This is known as the Law of Effection.
StoryShot #4: Walk the Road to Wealth
The key to financial success lies in the five Fastlane commandments:
- The Commandment of Need: Don’t start a business because you want money; start something that will satisfy a need and solve a problem.
- The Commandment of Entry: Make sure there is no very low barrier to entry into your business, or you need to be exceptionally talented to succeed.
- The Commandment of Control: Your business should give you full control. Make sure you’re the one offering franchises and affiliate programs, or collecting rent and royalties.
- The Commandment of Scale: Look for a business that can scale to millions of customers. This means it doesn’t rely on your time and energy. Build a business that can be automated or outsourced.
- The Commandment of Time: Ensure your business can be automated so that you don’t have to spend too much time managing its operations.
The Three Fastlane Interstates
These interstates are key as they possess the highest upper speed limits and adhere to all five Fastlane commandments:
- Internet: Internet-based businesses can be leveraged to generate leads, use social networks, advertise, sell products and services, provide subscription services, and create content, all while scaling and automating processes to maximize profits.
- Innovation: Inventing doesn’t always require creating something new; it can involve making improvements to existing products. But the key to success is mastering distribution, as it is that which will bring in the money.
- Intentional Iteration: Running a business based on practices that rely on location and geography, such as buying franchises and renting out real estate, limits your ability to scale up and increase your income. To become successful in business, focus on improving existing products or services, solving inconveniences, or taking advantage of inefficiencies in the market. Doing better than competitors, rather than worrying about them, is a great way to identify opportunities.
StoryShot #5: Accelerate Your Wealth by Increasing Your Speed
It’s important to focus on execution rather than just having good ideas. Instead of relying on one measure, such as competing on price, build a multidimensional business that takes into consideration many factors, such as:
- raising prices,
- lowering costs,
- selling more to existing customers,
- and creating new distribution channels.
Prioritize speed over perfection. Move quickly and take action. Don’t get bogged down in perfectionism or trying to plan every detail. It is better to get something done and improve upon it over time than to wait until everything is perfect before taking action.
Make Your Customers Your Boss
Customers should always be the priority, since they are the ones paying your paycheck. Create an excellent customer service strategy that exceeds customers’ expectations. Focus on making them the top stakeholders in your business.
Poor customer service from other businesses can provide an opportunity for you to succeed.
StoryShot #6: Avoid the Dangers of Traditional “Safe” Investments
DeMarco warns against traditional “safe” investments such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. These investments are often slow to grow and can be affected by market fluctuations. This makes it hard to predict when they will yield significant returns. The Slowlane is a trap. It promises a slow and steady return on your money, but it’s anything but steady.
These types of investments are not the only way to financial success. There are more efficient ways to grow your wealth. Alternative investments include:
- venture capital,
- private equity,
- and investing in a profitable business.
To avoid the dangers of traditional “safe” investments, you should:
- Look for opportunities to invest in businesses. Instead of investing in stocks or bonds, consider investing in a profitable business. This can include buying a business or starting one of your own.
- Don’t be too conservative. Being too conservative with your investments can be detrimental to achieving wealth. This means missing out on potential growth opportunities.
- Be an active investor. Instead of just putting your money into a traditional investment and leaving it alone, be an active investor. Research and stay informed about your investments and make adjustments as needed.
- Be creative and think outside the box. Be open to new and unconventional ways to invest your money. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and consider alternative investment opportunities.
StoryShot #7: Acquire Valuable Skills and Knowledge
The key to achieving wealth and financial independence is to be able to create value in the marketplace. The best way to do that is to focus on learning new skills and acquiring knowledge. Fastlaners understand that the key to creating wealth is to create value in the marketplace.
It’s not only about having a college degree; it’s about being able to offer something of value to others.
Examples of skills and knowledge that can be used to create value include programming, marketing, sales, or specialized knowledge in a field like finance or healthcare. The more skills and knowledge you have, the more options you have to create value in the marketplace. Fastlaners never stop learning.
Think about how you can leverage your skills and knowledge to create multiple streams of passive income. Do not be afraid of taking risks to create value in the market.
StoryShot #8: Take Calculated Risks
Be willing to take risks, and be able to assess and manage those risks effectively. Embrace risk as a necessary part of achieving wealth and financial independence. Fastlaners understand that taking risks is a part of the process of achieving wealth and financial independence.
Calculated risks taken to achieve wealth might be starting a business, investing in a new venture, or even changing careers. Fastlaners are not afraid to take risks; they are just more calculated in how they do it.
To take calculated risks:
- Identify your goals. Understand what you want to achieve and what risks you are willing to take to reach those goals.
- Create a plan. Develop a plan to manage the risks you are taking.
- Be prepared to adapt. Be willing to adapt your plan as needed. Adjust your strategy as you learn more about the risks you are taking.
- Take action. Don’t be afraid to take action, but make sure you are taking calculated risks.
- Don’t fear failure. Failure is a part of the process of taking risks and learning from it can be the key to success.
- Be aware of the potential consequences of your actions. Understand the potential impact of the risks you are taking and be prepared to deal with them if they occur.
- Continuously evaluate your risks. Make adjustments as needed to ensure you’re taking calculated risks.
StoryShot #9: Start and Invest in a Business for Financial Freedom
The key to achieving wealth is to start or invest in a business. This means you can create multiple streams of passive income and have more control over your financial future. Starting a business is not limited to opening a brick-and-mortar store. Online businesses, affiliate marketing, dropshipping, and many other online business models are available.
Successful businesses such as Amazon, Google, and Apple have created significant wealth for their founders and investors.
Build Brands, Not Businesses
To win in business, build a brand that people trust, admire, and love, rather than getting into a price war. Strong branding, rather than low prices, is the most important factor in business success.
Don’t spread yourself too thin by having multiple businesses that each earn relatively low amounts. Focus on one business and reap the rewards of that.
Be monogamous rather than polygamous when it comes to business. Devote your full attention to one Fastlane business, and you will be more likely to succeed.
When starting or investing in a business:
- Identify a profitable niche in the marketplace. Focus on providing value and solving problems for that niche.
- Find a “high-probability” business idea. Seek business opportunities that have a high likelihood of success. Don’t try to chase after the latest trends or fads. Identify a real problem that needs solving. Find a unique solution that addresses that problem in a scalable way.
- Think long term and build a foundation for future success. Don’t get caught up in short-term gains or chase after quick fixes.
- Continuously work on providing value to your customers.
- Continuously improve the business. Keep it profitable.
- Be resilient. Be able to bounce back from failure, learn from it and keep moving forward.
- Stay persistent. Understand that starting or investing in a business takes time. Don’t give up easily.
Final Summary and Review
The Millionaire Fastlane explains two paths to wealth: the “Slowlane” and the “Fastlane”. The Slowlane is the traditional path that most people take. It includes getting a good education, getting a good job, saving money, investing in stocks, bonds and real estate, and living frugally. This approach is often seen as “the safe way” to wealth and can take decades to achieve.
The Fastlane is a different approach to wealth creation. You focus on creating multiple passive income streams, taking calculated risks and creating value in the marketplace. This approach is the only timely way to achieve true wealth and financial independence.
To take the Fastlane, you should:
- Diversify your income streams.
- Think creatively about opportunities and be willing to take risks.
- Consider starting a business. The business should solve a real need, have low barriers to entry, allow you a high degree of control, be scalable and easy to automate.
- Acquire the skills and knowledge you need.
- Identify your goals, make a plan, and then execute it. Don’t get bogged down in perfectionism. Focus on speed.
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Quotes from The Millionaire Fastlane
“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows. ~ Michael Landon”― M.J. DeMarco
“Time isn’t a commodity, something you pass around like a cake. Time is the substance of life. When anyone asks you to give your time, they’re really asking for a chunk of your life. ~ Antoinette Bosco”― M.J. DeMarco
“There’s a profound difference between interest and commitment. Interest reads a book; commitment applies the book 50 times.”― M.J. DeMarco
“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. ~ Thomas Jefferson”― M.J. DeMarco
“All events of wealth are precluded by process, a backstory of trial, risk, hard work, and sacrifice. If you try to skip process, you’ll never experience events.”― M.J. DeMarco
“Instead of digging for gold, sell shovels. Instead of taking a class, offer a class. Instead of borrowing money, lend it. Instead of taking a job, hire for jobs. Instead of taking a mortgage, hold a mortgage. Break free from consumption, switch sides, and reorient to the world as producer.”― M.J. DeMarco
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