The Millionaire Fastlane

The Millionaire Fastlane is a book written by MJ DeMarco about how to become rich.

Here are some highlights from the book (via here).

Wealth

If you’re not getting wealthy, then STOP doing what you’ve been doing.

Becoming wealthy is not about having the right prerequisites(a prestigious background, a great business plan, and so on ); it’s about taking smart risks, putting in the hours, and not quitting.

Being wealthy means being healthy, being surrounded by great friends and family, and the freedom to live life how you want to live it. DeMarco calls these the 3 Fs (family, fitness, freedom).

It’s easier to avoid debt if you don’t buy useless things. When you’re thinking about buying something, think about whether you really need it, whether you’ll still be using it 6 months from now, and so on.

Your goal net worth should be about 20x of your yearly requirements (5% return is a good, safe ROI to assume for your assets). Your money system/business goal should be about 5x of your monthly requirements, so that 40% goes to taxes, 40% goes into the money system, and 20% goes into your lifestyle.

Fastlaner

Fastlaners view debt as a useful tool for growing their systems, time as their most important asset, and making something of value as their primary means of wealth accumulation.

The Fastlane is all about “Get Rich Quick”, but that is NOT the same thing as “Get Rich Easy”. It will take a lot of work and you might spend 5-10 years focusing on your business before you reach the kind of success that you want.

The key to the Fastlane is producing instead of consuming. Don’t be the guy who buys a franchise, be the guy who sells franchises.

Fastlaners are frugal with time while Slowlaners are frugal with money.

Process and Event

People focus on events like selling their company or winning a big contract, but the real story is not the events but the processes and hard work that made those events more likely. If you skip the process, you won’t get the events.

A good process creates events that others view as luck.

Luxury Life

Faux wealth is the illusion of wealth. It’s having nice, flashy things that you can’t afford which take away your freedom and make you even more dependent on your existing sources of income.

Can You Afford It?

If you think you can afford it, you can’t. When you buy something cheap, like a candy bar or a pair of $10 sandals, you never ask “can I afford this?” or “how can I make this purchase work?”. If you are trying to justify a large purchase to yourself, then you can’t really afford it.

Age

Wealth is best enjoyed when you’re young, and not after decades of soul-sucking work.

People don’t take action because they’re waiting for someday. Someday I’ll start a business, someday I’ll do this or that, etc. The problem is, someday never comes. Making plans but not acting on them is dangerous and paralyzing. Make someday today.

Time

Your time is precious, don’t waste it (on video games, tv, etc.) and don’t trade it away for pennies (e.g. wait in line for 4 hours on Black Friday so that you can get a $30 discount on a TV). Don’t value your time at zero. Your time is finite and always decreasing — treat it as such.

Money buys free time and eliminates indentured time.

Having to work limits your choices. When you’re making a big purchase, consider its time cost. Is that $50k BMW worth 1 year of your life?

Don’t trade time for money.

Your Job

In general, jobs suck because you have limited leverage (being 50% more productive will not get you a 50% raise) and limited control (what if you’re fired? What if your company is doing poorly and forces you to take a pay cut? etc.)

Hope is not a good plan. If you don’t control the variables in your plan, then you can’t control the outcome.

Startup

You’d learn much more running your own business for a month than working for someone else for a year.

Things that are too niche to work on a local level can be big successes with a global audience.

You can make two types of choices: what to think and what to do. The first step to making better choices is to work on how you think and perceive things — that will dictate the actions you decide to take.

If you want extraordinary results, you need extraordinary thinking.

You can’t experience success without failure.

Never start a business just to chase money, start a business to chase needs, pain points, etc.

Accept rent and royalties, not pay them.

Can the business be automated? Are margins large enough to hire others to do your work? Could you (eventually) get the business to operate without spending much of your time on it?

Passion

The “do what your love” meme is nice, but in order to work, what you love must solve an actual need.

You do need to be passionate about your business, however, and you will need to find a source for the passion.

Basically, you want a compelling reason to get out of bed every morning and give 100%. Passion erases the suffering of work.

Multiple

If your advertising shop makes \$100k/year in profit, and the multiple for the advertising industry is about 2.9, then your business is worth approximately \$290k. Multiples range from 3-5 for traditional stores to 6-10 for computer and engineering related businesses to 15+ for things involving patents, medical devices, etc. If the multiple for your industry is 10, then making an extra \$1 of profit raises the sale value of your business by \$10.

Education

The problem is education is expensive in terms of time and money. Becoming a doctor will get you a $200k salary, but it will also take 10 years (leaving you fewer years to work) and saddles you with a lot of student debt.

Spouse

A lot of times, your spouse will be you biggest detractor or your biggest supporter.

Quotes

“By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day” — Robert Frost

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” T.S. Eliot

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Richard Branson on Business

Richard Branson is one of the most successful businessmen in the UK and an icon of entrepreneurship.

BBC.com listed his top ten tips for business success.

1.

The first thing to do if you want to become an entrepreneur is basically to have an idea that is going to make a positive difference to other people’s lives. A business is simply that.

2.

If an idea is a good idea you should be able to pitch it in two or three sentences and two or three sentences fit very neatly on the back of an envelope.

3.

Make sure that you’ve got the kinds of people running your companies who genuinely care about people, who look for the best in people and who praise and don’t criticise.

People are not that unlike flowers. If a flower is watered it flourishes and if a flower is not watered it dries up and dies and I think the same applies to people.

4.

Unless you actually organise yourself and write down the kinds of things you want to achieve, there’s a danger that as time slips by, you don’t achieve a lot.

5.

Don’t watch other people do things, and don’t watch television.

6.

The truth is, so long as you’ve got a kitchen which has space for a sofa, and a bedroom, and a partner that you love, you don’t necessarily need the add-ons in life.

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Philosophy of Stack Exchange and Discourse

Jeff Atwood is the co-founder of Stack Exchange and Discourse. He talked about his philosophy.

” My philosophy is my happiness only becomes real when I share it with all of you.

This is the philosophy that underlies Stack Overflow. This is the philosophy that underlies Discourse. These are all projects based on large scale, communal shared happiness. Love of learning. Love of teamwork. Love of community.

I should produce something like that — share happiness among community.

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How to Believe in Yourself

(1) You are in the driver seat. So drive.

(2) You need to stop distracting yourself and start inspiring yourself.

(3) Big thinking actually does work.

As said in The Pursuit of Happiness: “You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”

(4) Motion creates motion…and it creates ideas.

When you start moving towards a goal it drives you forward even further. This is why just the act of “doing something” can help people get into a better mindset. Motion also gets the mind moving and creates new ideas. Moral of the story: Get out and do something, even if it is small. Then let the snowball effect take place!

(5) You better start failing ASAP!

The most important question to ask yourself is: How much can you learn from failure? Start “failing” today and change the way you perceive this word. See it as an opportunity for growth and learning. See it as a way to test new ideas and improve understanding. See it is as a necessary step to success and not the “end” of anything.

(6) Live for others not yourself.

Copy from AJ Juliani’s The Beginner’s Guide to Believing in Yourself.

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