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BOOK How to Get Rich, by Felix Dennis

Discussion in 'Book Reviews, Discussion, Analysis' started by MJ DeMarco, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. Esquire
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    Esquire Divorce Shark FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Great book. But ...

    I wish I hadn't read it.

    One of the main themes in the book was that the company that suceeds is not typically the first to bring an idea to market but (rather) the company that excels in its execution and does so with speed.

    So ... after reading the book ... rather than launching my first project fast ... I spent years getting a project "ready" for a "perfect" launch that ... in retrospect ... should have failed fast.

    Oh well.

    Won't make that mistake a second time.
     
  2. Roli
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    Roli Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Excellent review! I'm putting this book on my list immediately :)
     
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  3. lewj24
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    lewj24 Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Did you just blame a book for your failure?

    I don't remember Felix Dennis saying you should be perfect before you launch something. He seems more like a 'doer with no plan' kind of guy.

    Does this sound like someone that would spend years getting a project perfect:

    "It was only when a venture I was involved in became a publicly listed company that I bothered to ask a senior accountant to explain to me what a balance sheet really was. He was astonished. How could I have become a multimillionaire many times over without truly understanding a balance sheet? In point of fact, he did not believe it possible at first. I explained to him that I had always left all that stuff to my finance directors and accountants. I was too busy making (and spending!) money, and had always begrudged the time it might take to grasp the finer points of formally recording its movement or current resting place."
    ~ Felix Dennis
     
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  4. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Fantastic review with some great points. Makes me want to read it again (read it YEARS ago). Rep+ ... or I should say, the rich get richer.
     
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  5. MTF
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    MTF Never give up Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Thank you for rep, @MJ DeMarco. Glad to hear you liked my review. I was happy that it was picked as the book of the month because I learned a lot from this book.
     
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  6. GregTK
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    GregTK New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    My Rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars
    :star::star::star::star::star:

    Format:
    Audible

    My thoughts/review:
    Very enjoyable audio book and difficult to put "down" or rather stop listening. I do admire his honesty and hindsight nuggets of wisdom.

    Somehow I found myself always comparing his life and achievements to Richard Branson's... even though they both started in publishing, their paths couldn't have been more different. Well, except for their Caribbean properties maybe ;-)

    Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:
    I enjoyed all chapters but some concepts resonated more that others obviously.

    Key takeaways:
    1. Key takeaway #1 You can't copyright/trademark ideas only the execution! (an idea in itself is worthless)
    2. Key takeaway #2 There's money out there with your name on it, go find it!

    Challenge after reading this:
    Always the same one really... I have a Why, I don't waste time on mind-numbing entertainment but I can't seem to find/choose a path to freedom. I could start making up excuses but you will have heard them all before (young daughter, obligations, mortgage, blablaa).
    Whenever I have an idea I am extremely good at coming up with reasons why it might not work... sigh! Probably more of the remit of therapists than an entrepreneur forum ;-)
    I have spent decades doing marketing and PR (while having a science degree) in different countries (tri-lingual) and have developed quite a few skills in the process but I still can't seem to identify opportunities... I could kick myself for having these blinders on.

    Any suggestions?

    I like bringing value to others and do so regularly... my girlfriend starts yoga classes, well here are leaflets, a website, work sheets, etc. Same for my Muay Thai club... quickly created them a website.

    From a young age I realised that "create once, sell many times" was a way out of the 9-5 life (and tried to achieve this in the music business... didn't really work out but was fun though). I have always felt that the way most of us live and work is completely ridiculous and doesn't make sense... however I can't seem to cut the umbilical corporate chord... argh!

    Sorry, I do realise that this is supposed to be a book review but it led me back to the question I am struggling with the most hence the reason I just threw it in the group, hoping for some a$$-kicking feedback ;-)
     
  7. luniac
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    luniac Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    My Rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars
    :star::star::star::star::star:

    Format:
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    My thoughts/review:
    5 stars because i was very entertained and at the same time learned some good advice.
    The book read like a story vs a cold educational self help book.
    Felix uses tons of interesting anecdotes from his life story, and argues his points based on real extensive personal experience running businesses.

    He doesn't shy away from talking about his failures either, and overall comes across as an open and sincere fellow.
    If anything I'd say Felix got a jolly attitude about it all, of course it helps being rich lol

    Although there's a whole chapter on luck and that it's best definition is "preparation meets opportunity", you gotta admits and he does as well that he got SUPERRRR lucky with bruce lee dying and making his ALMOST FINISHED biography the hottest thing on the block.
    That shit is like winning the lottery.
    Of course you still gotta respect his hustle on milking the opportunity, but he also admits he didn't milk it for all it's worth either.

    It's funny how in a book called "How to get rich", Felix spends quite a deal of time questioning if it's worth it.
    He pretty much outright says it in the end that if he knew beforehand that poetry is his thing and that people would pay for his work, he would never have tried to become that rich.

    Then again, "rich" to Felix Denis is not 1 or 2 million which is "well off", it's in the 10's of millions.
    In this case I would agree with Felix, I don't need to be rich.

    But like Felix himself stated, he got started because he would not be a wage slave no matter what, he would never accept being poor.
    That's basically my own feelings on the matter.
    I don't care about being rich, but I can't stand being poor with a predestined fate of wage slavery for life.

    Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:
    Several favorite chapters.
    The one on ownership really reinforced the tenet of Control from the fastlane book. I promise you Felix, I will never give away a single percent of control of my company, no matter what.
    Individual products on the other hand, I'm more than happy to collaborate.

    The delegation chapter was great too, it really made me look closer at my friends' attributes. Who can i trust, who has a history of responsibility and work ethic, who's honest with me, who got potential, etc
    Sure right now i don't have a blossoming company, but if i ever reach a point i gotta hire talent, I'll keep Felix's lessons close at hand.

    Regarding loneliness and friendship Felix seems a bit contradictory. On one hand he says when you become rich, only those friends you had before you were rich are probably your real friends who will always be brutally honest with you, and even some of those will became fake and intimidated by ur money.

    On the other hand he says he had an amazing time with the people he built his companies with, and with his "white knight" partners in america Peter and Bob who he did business with for over 30 years and they were dear friends to him.
    Seems to me the path of entrepreneurship can foster great friendships with people on the same wavelength as you.

    His section on Fear was awesome and i agree. It's like a weird opposite of nihilism. Basically he's saying nothing really matters anyway so might as well shoot for the stars.
    Here's an excerpt
    Armies and governments fear men or women who know they are going to die soon; and they have good reason to. Such people have nothing to lose. They will commit any atrocity and take as many others with them as they can, if they are driven to it. You must now become that doomed man or woman. You are going to die. Nothing can alter the fact. It is immutable. Incomprehensible. Unfair. All those things. But it sets you free, don’t you see? It sets you free.
    Dennis, Felix. How to Get Rich (pp. 262-263). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.


    lol maybe life extension technology will change things but for now, you might as well go for broke. Playing it safe just doesn't make any sense to me either.

    Key takeaways:
    1. Get rid of negative influences in you life especially those in ur own head, its just a pointless waste of time and energy.
    2. There's nothing to be afraid of
    3. CONTROL CONTROL CONTROL
    4. Hire people smarter than you and different than you
    5. Sex Drugs and Rock n Roll are awesome but they will kill you in the end lol
    6. Life isn't fair, get used to it but feel free to make a difference if u like.
    7. There's money out there with your name on it, all u have to do is go get it.
    8. Its all just a game

    When i first read the book I even wanted to see what the dude was like in real life, here's a TED talk by Felix Dennis, pretty entertaining.
    Odes to vice and consequences

    Sad he's dead now, I would have wanted to meet him someday and drink some of his wine LOL
    And visit his Mustique property. Hell I'd live there.
    Look at this place!!!
    Mustique Island, The Official Website for Enquiries and Reservations for The Villa Collection and The Cotton House Hotel
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  8. Morganvincroft
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    Morganvincroft PARKED

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    Would make for a sure read.I shall be laying my hand on this book soonest.Cheers
     
  9. njord
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    njord Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Just read it, Ill give the book 4.5 out of 5 stars.
    The book is slightly short but it has some great gold takeaways in it (although i must say i skipped most of his poetry, not my thing just tell me what you mean damit!)

    Key take aways;

    - If you really want to get rich you will have to really work for it
    - Choice your mountain and dont keep looking for greener pastures
    - ownership is everything (make sure you own as much of your companys as you possably can)
    - hire tallent people smarter then you dont fall in the trap of hiring people like you but rather that fill in your weaknesses
     
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  10. SK1
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    SK1 Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    My Rating: 1 stars out of 5 stars
    :star:

    Not sure if I was one of the few, but I didn't really like the book.

    Yes, a few good pieces of advice, but nothing new and nothing that I have not read in TMF.
    "Work hard, don't give up, fail and go again, no need to be perfect, take full responsibility, JUST TRY". Yawn....

    Must stop wasting time reading books when I should be taking ACTION!
     
  11. mathiagr
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    mathiagr New Contributor

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    Great book. Just one thing that caught my interest:

    Felix really punctuates the importance of maintaining as much ownership as humanly possible. However I've heard the opposite from other high profile people such Guy Kawazaki who says it's better to have a small ownership in a great company, than a large ownershit in a crappy on. I have to say I'm more with Guy K. on this.

    What do you guys think about these opposing views?
     
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  12. njord
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    njord Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    I dont agree, ownership is everything!
    Look if you can invest 10,000$ in a small company and gain control over it or invest the same 10,000$ in a large company where you have no control but just a small piece of the cake I would allways choice the first choice.

    In the second case you have no control and control is one of the fastlane commandments.
     
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  13. Sander
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    Sander But I get up again... Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    What if you got just a small piece of Google 20 years ago?
     
  14. njord
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    njord Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    And what if you invested in myspace instead of FB? you never know whats going to work or not but With control you at least can do something about it.
     
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  15. jesseissorude
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    jesseissorude Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    My Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars
    :star::star::star::star: :xx:

    Format: Library Book

    My thoughts/review:
    I'm hard to get a 5 out of, but I thought this was a great book. It has actionable takeaways (not just a fluffy pep-talk), and the writing itself was great. I found myself rereading some of the sentences just to enjoy how they flowed... but maybe that's because I was hearing a british accent in my head when I was reading. :happy:

    It reminded me of Richard Banson's Business Stripped Bare. Being from the US, I had no idea who Felix Dennis was, so Richard Branson was my only cultural touchstone... Especially with the magazine publishing and ties to rock music.

    Favorite chapter:
    Obtaining Capital - Probably because I'm going through this right now and had a lot of takeaways. I bet if I re-read this at another point in my life, a different chapter would stand out. This book is very re-readable.
    This chapter in short: A loan from an angel (shark) or a bank will keep you working for someone else. I liked the reminder of the poem about the fleas feeding on each other (here's the full text of that poem)

    Key takeaways:
    1. Use your fear of failure to make you work harder, not prevent you from starting.
    2. "Think big, act small."
    3. The Chock Full O'Nuts example - The owner built one basket (nuts) that made him a living, but the second basket (coffee) made him a mint.
    4. To borrow money, the best way to get it is to not truly need it.
    -------

    Honestly, the Chock Full O'Nuts example is probably the part of the book that will stick with me the longest.
     
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  16. Edwin Fernandez
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    Edwin Fernandez Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    My Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars

    Format: Book

    My thoughts/review:
    See Key takeaways section.

    Favorite chapter:
    Chapter 8, The Most Common Start Up Errors

    Key takeaways:
    Im half way through reading the book, wanted to chime in before I forget.

    The biggest takeaway so far is in chapter 8, The Most Common Start Up Errors, the section, "The First Error: Mistaking Desire for Compulsion.

    He states:

    "As far as getting rich is concerned, the cardinal error is to begin such a quest in the vague belief that you would like to be rich."

    he goes on later,

    "Wishing for or desiring something is futile without an inner compulsion to achieve it. Such lack of compulsion, if not frankly acknowledged, can lead to great personal unhappiness....It is my hope that this book will cause you to consider very carefully whether you are truly driven by inner demons to be rich."

    and finally,

    "Never have I met a self made rich man or woman whose family or personal relationships were not plagued by the burden of creating a fortune, even a small fortune. A rocky marriage ; lack of time spent with their children."

    This has helped me re-frame why I am doing what I am doing, trying to build this business. It is true that starting this business (while still having a full time job) has led me to much stress and anxiety for not only myself but my family too. My wife feels ignored, my kids ignored because my free time outside of work is spent staring at a monitor working on my business. I started to experience health issues that manifested in my body because of this stress.

    This section helped me realize it is not that I am truly driven to be rich, it is that I desire to have more autonomy, to be free of indentured time( time I spend working), I desire to be with my family more, having fun more. I don't really want to build a business, I just want the f*cking money to free myself from the JOB.

    I desire to be a high status person, rich in time, options, love, health, and social status not to be rich.

    The problem is, in reality, there is no other way to get those things I desire unless I have a pile of money that will allow me to jump off the hamster wheel that is indentured time, aka a JOB.

    I have adjusted how I am working on my business because of this revelation of thought. More balance and a mindset shift towards the LONG haul, 5+ years.

    I adjusted things so that I don't miss out so much on my precious moments with my kids and family. I wake up early, 5 am, work on my business until I have to go to work which gives me about 2 hours a day. I do NOT work when I come home, I play with and teach my kids. On the weekends I am not working all day on the business like I was doing previously. I am cutting it to 4 hours Sat, Sun 5am- 9am. So in total I still have ~17-18 hours a week building it while not missing out on the most important things.

    My 2 cents, I am sure others in my position can relate.
     
  17. The Racing Driver
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    The Racing Driver Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Myspace was sold in 2005 for $580 million. If you were one of the co-founders or had significant equity, you'd definitely come out of it very well off.

    But yes, no-one really knows until they know. So regardless of whether you own 100% or 10%, you don't want to be on the sinking ship. A lot of the major tech giants have been started by multiple founders. I guess the founders all had some element of control, but not necessarily complete ownership like Felix Dennis advocates.

    I guess this all comes down to how you wish to pursue your Fastlane journey. If ownership is your thing, go for it. If you work well with a team, that could work too.
     

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