“The Millionaire Fastlane” by MJ DeMarco
Wealth in a Wheelchair… “Get Rich Slow” is Get Rich Old
“Get Rich Slow”: Go to school, get good grades, graduate, get a good job, save 10%, invest in the stock market, max your 401k, slash your credit cards, and clip coupons…then, someday, when you are, oh, 65 years old, you will be rich.
If you want to retire young with health, vibrancy, and hair, you’re going to need to ignore society’s default “Get Rich Slow” roadmap and the gurus spoon-feeding you the slop in the trough. There is another way.
Fast wealth is created exponentially, not linearly.
Wealth is Not a Road, But a Road Trip
When your focus is only the road, your journey is likely to stall and dreamy destinations never arrive.
All self-made multimillionaires create their wealth by a carefully orchestrated process. They have and use the entire formula.
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.
There are four consistent ingredients that make up the winning formula. They are:
- Your roadmap makes up your financial belief system and your preconceived convictions about wealth and money.
- Your vehicle is you. No one can drive the journey but you. Your vehicle is a complicated system needing frequent tuning and maintenance to ensure peak efficiency during the road trip.
- Your roads are the financial pathways you travel. Roads are plentiful with millions of permutations.
- You Speed is execution and your ability to go from idea to implementation.
The Fastlane process demands sacrifices that few make, to resolve to live like few can.
There is no wisdom or personal growth gained in a journey that someone else does for you. The journey is yours.
To force change, change must come from your beliefs, and your roadmap outlines those beliefs.
Each roadmap is governed by a wealth equation and predisposed to a financial destination — Sidewalk to poorness, Slowline to mediocrity, and the Fastline to wealth.
The Road Most Traveled: The Sidewalk
The Sidewalker’s road trip is a financial treadmill with a destination that typically ceases at bankruptcy or a crisis of reckoning.
A life on the Sidewalk naturally pulls you to poorness. Because the Sidewalk is about the short term, it never works for the long term. Your future becomes a mortgage for a pleasant present.
A Sidewalker’s wealth equation is determined by income plus debt, determined by available credit.
Wealth is not authored by material possessions, money, or “stuff”, but by what I call the three fundamental “F’s”:
- Family (relationships)
- Fitness (health)
- Freedom (choice)
Within this wealth trinity is where you will find true wealth and yes, happiness.
The problem with looking wealthy versus being wealthy is that the former is easy while the latter is not. Easy credit and long-term monthly financing options are tempting conditions to help you purchase the illusion of wealth. Society has led you to believe that wealth can be bought at a mall, at a car dealership, or on an infomercial.
Only you can define your freedom and how you prefer to live. Everyone’s freedom is different! Within your personal definition, you’ll find a big piece of your wealth puzzle, as opposed to society’s version, which leads to Sidewalking purgatory.
Used properly, money buys freedom, and freedom is one parcel in the wealth trinity. Freedom buys choices. The fact is, there are plenty of poor people who live richer than their overworked upper-middle-class counterparts because the latter lack freedom, they lack solid relationships, and they lack health — all deleterious effects of working a hated job five days a week for 50 years.
Money secures one agent of the wealth formula, freedom, which is a powerful guardian to wealth’s sibling ingredients: health and relationships.
If you have to think about “affordability,” you can’t afford it because affordability carries conditions and consequences.
When instant gratifications entices you to bite that bait, you become a casualty of the hook: Lifestyle Servitude. Instead of you owning your stuff, your stuff owns you. Know wealth’s enemies and what actions invite those enemies into your life.
Process creates events that others see as luck.
When you consistently act and bombard the world with your efforts, interacting with waves of others, stuff happens. And that stuff? Sidewalkers interpret it as luck, when it is nothing more than action engaged with better probabilities.
When you own your decisions, something miraculous happens. Failure doesn’t become the badge of victimhood — it becomes wisdom. Deny accountability and responsibility and the keys of your life are given to someone else.
You deserve what your actions earned, or haven’t earned. Being responsible is one thing; being accountable is another. When you’re accountable to your choices, your alter behavior in the future and take the driver’s seat of your life.
Mediocrity: The Slowlane Roadmap
When the Sidewalk is a chronic lifestyle that mortgages the future of a pleasurable today, the Slowline is the antithesis: a sacrifice of today in the hopes of a brighter and freer tomorrow.
You can either live rich young or live reach old while risking death along the way. The choice is yours and it shouldn’t be a contest.
Your primary income source (a job) and your wealth acceleration vehicle (market investments). These two variables formulate the Slowlane’s wealth equation and governs its wealth create power or, in this case, futility.
Remember, wealth is defined by freedom, and if you require proof, look no further than Friday night when people celebrate freedom as the Slowlane dictatorship takes a weekend furlough.
The predisposed destination of the Slowlane is mediocrity. Life isn’t great, but it isn’t so bad either.
Sure, you can have great job (and a fun one too!) but in the scope of wealth, they limit both leverage and control — two things desperately needed if you want wealth.
Ask yourself this: Which experience is more important? The experience of a mental job designed to pay your bills? Or the experience (and failures) of creating something that could provide you financial freedom for a lifetime without ever having to hold a job again?
If you don’t control your income, you don’t control your financial plan. If you don’t control your financial plan, you don’t control your freedom.
The only defense to office politics is to control the playing field, and to do that, you have to be the boss. And to be the boss, you not only need to run the show, you need to own it.
As an employee, you immediately receive a subscription to “pay yourself last,” and yes, that subscription arrives even if you don’t subscribe. If you are paying yourself last and everyone gets your money first, don’t expect to build wealth fast.
As an employee, you can’t demand a pay raise greater than 10%, let alone, 1,000%. Yet, as an employee of any company, this is your playing field. Your value is dictated and the job becomes a wealth delimiter with limitations that cannot be subverted.
“Hours worked” or “annual salary” are mathematically inept because they’re based on time measurement that cannot be controlled or manipulated. If leverage is limited, so is wealth creation. Small numbers do not make millionaires.
Wealth creation via compound interest requires the passing of time and lots of it. Like a job, compound interest, or market investments such as mutual funds and 401(k)s, can’t be leverage nor can they be controlled. They rely on deficient math to create wealth.
Time is life’s fuel. Any financial plan that forsakes your primordial fuel without a beneficial return on that fuel is a bad exchange. Within the Slowlane, time is mistreated like an effervescent fountain that runs forever.
If you want to get rich, you have to control and leverage the variables in your financial plan — any financial plan without control immediately disintegrates into a plan of hope.
Financing expensive college tuition for an education is a dangerous game that can lead to Slowlane entrapment: conformity and education servitude.
If you financed your advanced education with debt, the debt automatically becomes parasitic and traps you into forced job servitude, and that destroys freedom. While you might earn more, work is forced to stave off the debt. The debt is parasitic because it fails to free time and instead creates indentured time.
Many money gurus often suffer from a Paradox of Practice; they teach one wealth equation while getting rich in another. They’re not rich from their own teachings.
Life is a menagerie littered with crisis points, which make the Slowlane roadmap a risky be that consumes your most precious asset: time.
The Slowlane is predisposed to mediocrity because the numbers are always mediocre.
Wealth: The Fastlane Roadmap
The Fastlane is a business and lifestyle strategy characterized by Controllable Unlimited Leverage(CUL), hence creating an optimal environment for rapid wealth creation and extraordinary lifestyles. Definitively, pay attention to these four segments:
- Controllable Unlimited Leverage (CUL). Whereas the Slowlane is defined by uncontrollable variables with no leverage, the Fastlane exploits the opposite conditions: maximum control and leverage.
- Business. Your own business, self-employment, and entrepreneurship are centrist to the Fastlane, much like a job is to the Slowlane.
- Lifestyle. The Fastlane is a lifestyle choice: a series of blended choices, processes, and actions that create a foundation of beliefs and habits.
- Rapid Wealth Creation. The Fastlane is about creating large sums of wealth rapidly and beyond the confines of “middle class”.
The Fastlane is about building a better system, a better contraption, a better product, or a better “something” that will leverage your work. In the Slowlane, you are the source of heavy lifting, while in the Fastlane, you construct a system that does it for you.
On your wealth road trip, the Slowlane roadmap asks that you endure a long, tiresome walk to wealth, The toil of wealth is the process itself. In the Fastlane, wealth is driven in a business system you create — the toil is the creation and management of the system itself.
Reshape life’s focus on producing, not consuming. When you reframe your thinking from majority thinking (consumer) to minority thinking (producer), you effectively switch teams and allegiances. Yes, become a producer first and a consumer second.
As producers, our job is to entice consumers to buy. As a producer locked into a producer mindset, I attract wealth because consumers seek producers. Consumers are the majority who demand their fill!
The Fastlane equation:
Wealth = Net Profit + Asset Value
Net Profit = (Units Sold) X (Unit Profit)
Asset Value = (Net Profit) X (Industry Multiplier)
To weaponize the Fastlane wealth equation, you must engage in a Fastlane business that has the potential for leverage or high speed limits.
Fastlaners buy and sell appreciating assets: businesses, brands, cash flows, notes, intellectual property, licenses, inventions, patents, and real estate. As it relates to the Fastlane wealth equation, the power of “Asset Value” lies in your ability to control the variable in a virtually limitless fashion.
Liquidation events transform appreciated assets (“paper” net worth) into money (“real” net worth) that can be transformed into another passive income stream: a money system.
The Fastlane Roadmap is engineered for two purposes. It’s engineered to create a passive income stream to the excess of your expenses and lifestyle desires, and to make financial freedom a reality, exclusive of age.
There are five business seedlings to money trees. Mind you, these aren’t absolute and they interbreed with each other. Each system inherently has a grade that rates its level of passivity. A higher grade means a greater potential of passivity, but not necessarily a greater income.
- Rental Systems (Passivity Grade: A). Real estate is one “rental system”. I consider real estate money trees as Fastlane 1.0 or Wealth 1.0. It is the old way and still very much a road to wealth. Rental systems are powerful money trees because they are high on the passivity scale and survive time.
- Computer/Software Systems (Passivity Grade: A-). Computers are miraculous inventions and fertile seeds to money trees. They work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Software, when tapped into potent distribution, can be replicated to millions. It scales without significant degradation to passivity.
- Content Systems (Passivity Grade: B+). Content systems are systems of information. That information can be fused to a variety of other systems, like the Internet and physical distribution systems. The content is an asset that is scalable, over and over again, and with each sale, the effective time cost declines while the hourly rate of return expands.
- Distribution Systems (Passivity Grade: B). A distribution system is any structure or organization designed to move products to the masses. Distribution systems can be hybrids with the other seedlings, such as content and computer systems.
- Human Resources Systems (Passivity Grade: C). Human resource systems can add passivity or erode it. Good employees nurture money trees. Bad employees pluck the fruit of money trees and require pruning. However don’t let that scare you. If you want to make millions of dollars, or billions, human resource systems are needed, because you can’t do everything yourself.
Money is your army. The more you have, the more they will fight for freedom. Slowlaners focus on the expense variable in the wealth equation when they should be focused on the income variable. Income is the key to growing your army of freedom fighters.
The compound interest weapon is most effective with large sums of money.
Thinking never made anyone rich, unless that thinking manifests itself into consistent action toward application of laws that work.
The Law of Effection states that the more lives you affect in an entity you control, in scale and/or magnitude, the richer you will become. The shortened, sanitized version is simply: Affect millions and make millions.
Scale creates millionaires. Magnitude creates millionaires. Scale and magnitude creates billionaires.
Retrace the source of millionaire money and you will find millions of something.
Your Vehicle to Wealth: YOU
You can’t pay yourself first if you don’t own yourself. Your vehicle (you) must be free and clear. When you have a job, someone owns you. And when someone owns you, you aren’t paid first, buy last.
The best business structures for your Fastlane business are The C Corporation, The S Corporation, The Limited Liability Corp (LLC).
Poor choices are the leading cause of poorness.
People don’t choose to be poor. They make poor decisions that slowly assemble into a poorness puzzle. Retrace the footprints to poverty and it happens slowly, systematically, and methodically, under a steady diet of poor choices.
Our choices have consequences that transcend decades. This transcendence is horsepower.
Recognize that every day you make decisions that will ripple through the years. Question is, will your choice ripple to happiness and wealth? Or depression and poverty?
The smallest choices made in your daily life create habits and lifestyle that forms process — they are the ones that can make the biggest impact. You can’t decide to “go Fastlane” because that itself is just an event. A Fastlane process is hundreds of choices.
If you want extraordinary results, you’re going to need extraordinary thinking. Unfortunately, “extraordinary” is not found trapped in society’s gravity of thinking and the beliefs that fuel them.
While the consequences of our choices can’t be manipulated, you can manipulate your memories to serve you. If your past defines your existence, it will be impossible for you to become the person you need to become in the future.
The more uncanny and exceptional you strive to be, the more you need to fight through social indoctrination. Extraordinary wealth will require you to have extraordinary beliefs.
When you associate with people empower your goals, you create a wind at your back and build momentum. Positive people nurture your growth, sooth your failures, and invest in your dreams. Good people are conduits to your dreams, not just in motivational fuel, but in extending your opportunely reach.
Value your time poorly and you will be poor.
Time is deathly scarce, while money is richly abundant.
Fastlaners exalt time as their primary consideration in decision-making because it’s our most valued asset. Fastlaners are frugal with time, while Slowlaners are frugal with money.
Education, your oil, is a critical component to your wealth road trip. When you continually inject yourself with new education, new skills, and new competencies, new roads open and things run smoothly. The right education has incredible horsepower.
The purpose of education within the Fastlane is to amplify the power of the money tree and business system. You’re not a cog in the wheel; you learn to build the wheel.
Your continued education must not come laden with conformity or parasitic debt, but must facilitate your Fastlane system. How? Make the real world your university. Yes, you are your own university.
Skills and expertise are waiting just for you. No one drops a book on your lap and gifts knowledge. You have to seek it, process it, and then use it. The acquisition and application of knowledge will make you rich.
Interest works on your business an hour a day Monday through Friday; commitment works on your business seven days a week whenever time permits. Interest is quitting after the third failure; commitment is continuing after the hundredth.
You can have mediocre comfort now on meteoric comfort later.
The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!
There is never a perfect time. Someday is today. Today is now. A week is 7 todays strung together while a year is 365. Today is all you’ve got! And if you wait, opportunity passes. Your Fastlane journey never starts and year after year passes with new preconditions being added while the old ones are satisfied.
Hard work and commitment separates the winners from losers.
Businesses that solve needs win. Businesses that provide value win. Businesses that solve problems win profits. Selfish, narcissistic motives do not make good, long-term business models.
You and your business attract money when you stop being selfish and turn your business’s focus from the needs of yourself to the needs of other people. Give first, take second. Needs come first, not money!
The amount of money in your life is merely a reflection to the amount of value you have given to others.
Your vehicle needs an ignition, a starter, something that compels you to jump out of bed in the morning challenged to tackle the day. That ignition is passion. You need a passion for something greater. It is different for everybody, but when you find it, you will do anything for it.
The Commandment of Entry states that as entry barriers to any business fall, or lessen, the effectiveness of that road declines while competition in that field subsequently strengthens.
When it comes to entry, your industry and your business should not be available to everyone, because if it is, you must be prepared to be exceptional. And if you are exceptional, easy entry becomes not a liability, but an asset.
When you control your business, you control everything in your business — your organization, your products, your pricing, your revenue model, and your operational choices. If you can’t control every aspect of your company, you’re not driving!
When drivers make radical turns and change terms, you have no choice but to go with them. If it’s the cliff of bankruptcy or criminal neglect, their sinking ship becomes yours. Do you really want to engage in a business relationship like this?
When you blindly invest your life and time into someone else’s brand, you become a part of their marketing plan. You become a swab of paint in their big picture.
When your business road violates the Commandment of Scale, wealth acceleration is incarcerated within constricting speed limits. Scale is about leverage and leverage is what gives the Fastlane wealth equation its power.
To achieve scale, magnitude or reach must increase.
The Commandment of Time requires that your business detach from your time. Can your business substitute for you and blossom into a money tree? Passive income is a Fastlane objective that comes from the Commandment of Time.
If you can’t see the opportunities that surround you every day, you haven’t tuned your Fastlane frequency to them. When you make a few minor mental adjustments, roads seemingly closed are suddenly opened.
Successful businesses rarely evolve from some legendary idea. Nope, successful entrepreneurs take existing concepts and make them better. They take poorly met needs and solve them better. Skip the big idea and go for the big execution.
Solve other people’s problems and you will solve your own money problems!
Set your destination: four steps to starting:
- Define the Lifestyle: What do you want?
- Assess the Cost: How much do your dreams cost?
- Set the Targets: Set the money system and business income targets.
- Make It Real: Fund it and open it!
Live below your means with intent to expand your means. Remember, Slowlaners seek to minimize expenses while the Fastlaner seeks to maximize income and asset values.
The owner of an idea is not he who imagines it, but he who executes it.
The speed of the Fastlane is growing a business exponentially and taking advantage of exploding net income and asset value.
Angels to private equity never invest in business plans — they invest in people with track records of execution.
If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about it. Word of mouth is very powerful.
I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
When you violate your client’s customer service expectation profile positively, you turn your customer into loyal, repeat buyers, and ultimately, disciples of your business.
Success in business comes from making your customer the boss and №1 stakeholder to your business.
A business partner is like being married. If either works fabulously or it ends in fiery divorce.
Be very careful with whom you trust with the keys to your castle because they can drive you to financial ruin.
When you trust everyone, you engage in business opportunities that violate the Commandment of Control. You allow others to dictate your financial road trip. And when that happens, you crash and burn. There is only one person you can blindly trust in this world, and that is YOU.
Employees must deliver your customer service philosophy. Your people are ambassadors of your business and they communicate your vision.
No amount of spectacular product features can compensate for poor customer service.
If your product doesn’t standout in the crowd, it doesn’t stand a chance and you’re forced into strategy of “cutting prices to stand out from the crowd.”
If you forget about your competition, you’re forced to focus on your business, which is to innovate and win over the hearts and minds of your customers. And when you fill needs and your army of customers grows, something suddenly happens: Everyone follows you.
Businesses survive. Brands thrive. A brand is the best defense to commoditization. People are loyal to brands and relationships, not corporations or businesses.
The first step at building a brand is to have a Unique Selling Proposition or a USP. As a business without one, you’re adrift in a sea of me-too businesses without a rudder, unmoored to the trade winds of the marketplace.
Price is one of the many ways to get into the consumer’s head. To use price for your brand, you have to convince the consumer of value beyond the cost of its practicality.
If you can arouse emotions in your audience, you will be more likely to convince them to buy.
A scattered focus leads to scattered results. Instead of one business that thrives, the polygamist-opportunist has 20 businesses that suck.
Formula. Wealth is a Formula and a systematic process of beliefs, choices, actions, and habits that form a lifestyle. Wealth is a process, not an event.
Admit. Admit that the preordained path to wealth, “Get Rich Slow,” is fundamentally flawed because of Uncontrollable Limited Leverage, weak mathematics predicted on time. Admit that “Get Rich Quick” exists. Admit that “no plan” is not a good plan. Admit that the luck is the residue of engagement.
Stop and Swap. Stop following the wrong roadmaps. Swap your allegiances from customer to producer.
Time. Time is the king asset of the Fastlane. Invest in activites that will grant free time. Invest time into a business system that can transform indentured time into free time. Make decisions with time as a key decision factor.
Leverage. Leverage controllable and unlimited mathematics to create wealth. There is no leverage within the Slowlane wealth equation. If you can’t control the mathematics that predetermine your wealth, not accelerate them into large numbers, you can’t control your financial plan.
Assets and Income. Wealth is accelerated by exploding income and Asset value via a business that can by systemized and eventually sold in a liquidation event. Live below your means but seek to expand your means by focusing on income while simultaneously controlling expenses.
Number. What’s your Number? How much money will you need to live a lifestyle of your choosing? Determine your number, break it down by the penny, and make it real today.
Effection. Grace Effection and you shall be graced with wealth. The Law of Effection states, “The more people whose lives you affect in an environment you control, the more money you will make.” Impact millions and you will make millions.
Steer. Life’s Steering is choice. At some point, you must commit to the Fastlane ideology, and that commitment forms your process.
Uncouple. Officially Uncouple from the Slowlane wealth equation by creating structure in a favorable Fastlane entity: a C- or S-Corporation, or and LLC.
Passion & Purpose. With a business entity and a dollar figure that outlines your dream life, you will need a Passion and a Purpose to fuel you into a habitual action. Don’t confuse “passion” with “do what you love.” Passion burns your soul and drives you to do whatever it takes.
Educate. Education begins at graduation. Pledge to never stop learning. What you know now is not enough to become the person you need to be tomorrow.
Road. Get onto a Fastlane Road. But don’t worry if you can’t decide with road to travel; the road can pick you. Train your mind to see needs and problems. Observe your thoughts and language, because they expose unmet needs, or needs meet poorly.
Control. Control your financial plan as this refers to the Commandment of Control. Engage in an organization that you fully control, from pricing to marketing to operations.
Have. HAVE what others NEED and money will flow into your life. This reflects the Commandment of Need. Your can’t explode your income by chasing money.
Automate. Automate your business and honor the Commandment of Time. Get your time detached from your business.
Replicate. Replicate your system and honor the Commandment of Scale. Get on a playing field where home runs can be hit. To make millions, you must impact millions. To impact millions, you must be on a field capable of affecting millions!
Grow. Grow your business by treating it multi-dimensionally, like a game of chess. Build a brand, not a business. Treat customers like your boss and reposition complaints to opportunities. Listen to the world as they offer the best directional clues. Resist commoditization. Differentiate yourself from the competition. Get above the noise. Focus on one business and one business only.
Exit. Have an Exit strategy. Full passivity accomplished by a money system is one Fastlane destination. Money systems are best funded by liquidation events of massive asset values.
Retire, Reward, or Repeat. After liquidating your asset(s), Retire or Repeat. Regardless of which, Reward yourself for milestones met everywhere along the journey.