This is not your average self-help book
When I first heard about The Millionaire Fastlane by M.J. DeMarco, I had visions in my mind of a loud, brash American self-help guru who spends as much time advertising his products as he does trying to help people. Indeed, in my view the title of the book puts this assumption across, but out of boredom one afternoon I decided to make a Kindle purchase based purely on the number of positive reviews it gets. And I have to say it’s been one of the best book purchases I’ve ever made. It’s helped the way I think about my own money making pursuits, and I believe that it will help you too.
The first thing that struck me about The Millionaire Fastlane is that it’s not your typical personal finance guide. Most books that have any content related to the stock market will tell you to quietly invest your spare cash into a few index funds over the course of a lifetime, with the end goal being to finally enjoy retirement at age 65. This book is different. The author is quite vocal in his contempt for this kind of thinking, and instead he offers an alternative road, one designed to make you wealthy in a few years, not a few decades.
Are you on the sidewalk, the slow-lane, or the fast-lane?
The core principle of M.J. DeMarcos’ philosophy is this. There are three types of people in the world; the sidewalkers, the slowlaners and the fastlaners.
The side-walkers meander through life without any financial planning. They live day to day on their wages, spending whatever they earn while complaining about how miserable they are in their jobs and how their money never seems to go far enough.
The slowlaners are like most people with a little common sense. These are the individuals who have 9 to 5 jobs just like the sidewalkers, but they at least manage to invest a little spare cash into their pension plans each month. And maybe after forty years, they’ll have a big enough retirement fund to say goodbye to their boss forever. That’s the dream for most of us, isn’t it?
But what if there’s another way? What if there’s a way you can enjoy wealth sooner? Well, there is, and it’s this ‘Millionaire Fastlane’ which the author goes on to explain throughout the majority of the book.
Fastlaners look at wealth and the stock market differently to most people. Instead of thinking about stock investment as a way to make riches, they look at it as a way to keep their riches. How they make their money in the first place is primarily through a business. A business which serves the needs of many, which can grow over time, and eventually get sold for a handsome profit. That’s the Millionaire Fastlane, and it’s the route which M.J. DeMarco took to create life-changing sums of money for himself.
Of course, building a successful business isn’t easy, and if it were, then we’d all be millionaires. But the concept makes total sense. Why waste decades building an investment portfolio you’ll only be able to enjoy at the end of your life, when you could be building wealth at the time of life when it really matters? Forget about the 9 to 5 drudgery of a paycheck from a job you hate and instead create something that makes a real difference to the world, with something which helps people overcome a problem in their lives.
You don’t have to be a wage slave
The benefits here are twofold. Firstly, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your work has made a difference to others. Secondly, you’ll have the chance to break through the glass ceiling of being a wage slave. Sure, by starting your own business you might end up taking a cut in money. But the upside is there’s no limit to how much money you could potentially make. That yearly salary you currently get will never improve, except for the few times you might get promoted, but by owning your own business you could potentially make the same money in a month, or maybe even in a week. The point is that there’s no limit to how far you can take your wealth when you commit to being in control of your income, instead of leaving it to your boss to decide how much you should earn.
You can even take the concept further by automating your business systems so that you make money passively, at which point you will only need to implement periodic refinements to keep up with your competitors. This is the end goal for most entrepreneurs, and by then investing your profits and living on less than the returns, you can eventually give up work for good.
The author explains all this in great detail over the course of the book, and he also gives you real-life business examples of what works and what doesn’t, so that you can avoid making the same mistakes that he made. But it’s the core principle of the book that is likely to stay with you for some time after you’ve finished reading it. Maybe now is the time you should think about how much value your current job is giving you, and how much potential value that business idea you’ve been hiding away could give to your life. So consider getting off the sidewalk and out of the slowlane, and join the Millionaire Fastlane instead.