The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime - by MJ DeMarco

Wealth eludes most people because they are preoccupied with events while disregarding process. Without process, there is no event. Process creates events that others see as luck.

When you consistently act and bombard the world with your efforts, interacting with the waves of others, stuff happens. And that stuff? Sidewalkers interpret it as luck, when it is nothing more than action engaged with better probabilities.

Force your process out into the world and you can defy the odds of "being in the right place at the right time."

Immunization for victimitis occurs when you are both responsible for AND accountable to your actions and the possible poor consequences of those actions. Own your mistakes, failures, and triumphs. Reflect on your choices. Are you in a situation because you delivered yourself there? Did you error in the process? Were you lazy? Most bad situations are consequences of bad choices. Own them and you own your life. No one can steer you off course, because you are in the driver's seat. And 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. In other words, take the damn driver's seat to your life!

A job seals your fate into a criminal time trade: five days of life traded for two days of freedom. A job chains you to a set grade of experience. A job takes away your control. A job forces you to work with people you can't stand. A job forces you to get paid last. A job imposes a dictatorship on your income. These limitations are counter-insurgencies to wealth.

In a job, you sell your freedom (in the form of time) for freedom (in the form of money). Experience is gained in action. The environment of that action is irrelevant. Wealth accumulation is thwarted when you don't control your primary income source.

To accumulate financial wealth, you need to attract large sums of money. To attract large sums of money, you need two things: 1) Control and 2) Leverage.

Applied, this means instead of buying products on TV, sell products. 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.

To switch teams and become a producer, you need to be an entrepreneur and an innovator. You need to be a visionary and a creator. You need to give birth to a business and offer the world value.

Business systems break the bond between "your time for money" because they act like surrogate operatives for your time trade.

A Fastlane objective is to create a business system that survives time, exclusive of your time.

The 5 money-tree seedlings are rental systems, computer systems, content systems, distribution systems, and human-resource systems.

Real estate, licenses, and patents are examples of rental systems. Internet and software businesses are examples of computer systems. Authoring books, blogging, and magazines are forms of content systems. Franchising, chaining, network marketing, and television marketing are examples of distribution systems. Human resource systems can add or subtract to passivity. Human resource systems are the most expensive to manage and implement.

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 sweat of success is failure. While you can't build cardiovascular endurance without sweating, you can't experience success without failure. Failure is simply a natural response to success. If you avoid failure you will also avoid success.

Minimize moronic risk and take advantage of intelligent risk. As for failure, trust me--it is easier to live in regret of failure than in regret of never trying.

Not all businesses are the right road. Few roads move at, through, or near the Law of Effection. The best roads and the purest Fastlanes satisfy the Five Fastlane Commandments: Need, Entry, Control, Scale, and Time.

Stop thinking about business in terms of your selfish desires, whether it's money, dreams or "do what you love." Instead, chase needs, problems, pain points, service deficiencies, and emotions.

Need something more concrete? No problem. Make 1 million people achieve any of the following: Make them feel better. Help them solve a problem. Educate them. Make them look better (health, nutrition, clothing, makeup). Give them security (housing, safety, health). Raise a positive emotion (love, happiness, laughter, self-confidence). Satisfy appetites, from basic (food) to the risqué (sexual). Make things easier. Enhance their dreams and give hope. . . . and I guarantee, you will be worth millions. So the next time you're trolling the Web looking to make money, sit back and ask yourself, "What do I have to offer the world?"

The Commandment of Entry states that as entry barriers to any business road fall, or lessen, the effectiveness of that road declines while competition in that field subsequently strengthens. Higher entry barriers equate to stronger, more powerful roads with less competition and less need for exceptionality. Low-barrier-entry businesses are weak roads because easy entry creates high competition and high traffic, all of which share the same pie. And where there is traffic, there is no movement.

There's an old saying, "In a gold rush, don't dig for gold, sell shovels!" 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.

Want to know if your business violates entry? The answer is another simple question: Is getting into business an event or a process? Real business startups are processes, not events.

As entrepreneurs, we want to start companies that others can join as an event.

If you want to live unlike everyone, you can't be like everyone. Don't confuse that with exceptionality. You have to lead the pack and have "everyone" follow. When the lambs are lining up single-file for slaughter, you want to own the slaughterhouse.

The Fastlane wealth equation is disarmed when you violate the Commandment of Scale. Scale is achieved in reach (units sold) and/or magnitude (unit profit).

The Commandment of Time asks: Can this business be automated and systematized to operate while I'm absent? Are my margins thick enough to hire human resource seedlings? Can my operation benefit from the introduction of a money tree seedling? How can I get this business to operate exclusive of my time?

Internet business models (roads) fall into seven broad categories:

  1. Subscription-based

  2. Content-based

  3. Lead generation

  4. Social networks

  5. Brokerage systems

  6. Advertising

  7. E -Commerce

Opportunities are rarely about inventing breakthroughs, but about performance gaps, small inconveniences, and pain points. Competition should not impede your road. Competition is everywhere, and your objective should be to "do it better." Fastlane success resides in execution, not in the idea. The world's most successful entrepreneurs didn't have a blockbuster ideas; they just took existing concepts and made them better, or exposed them to more people. Opportunity is exposed in your language and your thought processes, as well as other people's language. Failure cracks open new roads.

Open roads, needs and opportunity come prefaced with "code words" or phrases that scream "This is an opportunity!" When you catch yourself (or someone else) in these words, you've just uncovered a possible opportunity. Here are the most common phrases:

  • I hate... What do you hate? Solve the hate, and there's your open road.

  • I don't like... What don't you like? Remove the dislike, and there's your open road.

  • This frustrates me . . . What is frustrating? Remove the frustration, and there's your open road.

  • Why is this like this? I don't know, why is it? Remove the "why," and there's your open road.

  • Do I have to? Do you? Remove the "have to." There's your open road.

  • I wish there was . . . What do you wish? If you wish, others wish too. Make wishes come true, and there's your open road.

  • I'm tired of . . . What are you tired of? Fix someone's tiresomeness, and there's your open road.

  • This sucks . . . What sucks? Remove or reduce suckage, and there's your open road.

Opportunity is dressed in predictable code words that illuminate its presence. The world tells you which direction you should be going at all times. Heed the signs. How do you get the world to tell you? Put your executed ideas and concepts out into the world and let it tell you. Paint the world with your brush of genius so they can tell you how right or wrong you are.

If you want investors, get out and execute! Create a prototype! Create a brand! Create a track record that others can see or touch! Dive into process. When you have a physical manifestation of an idea, investors will open their wallets. Heck, be good enough and they will be fighting to give you money.

Former president Ronald Reagan once said, "Trust, but verify."

When you segregate your effort among assets, you build weak assets. Weak assets don't do heavy lifting, and they don't build strong pyramids. Weak assets do not generate speed. Weak assets do not scale to multimillion-dollar valuations. Weak assets do not accelerate wealth; they build income to pay the month's bills only to start over again next month.