The Millionaire Fastlane Book Summary - The Millionaire Fastlane Book explained in key points
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The Millionaire Fastlane summary

MJ DeMarco

Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime!

3.8 (330 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco is a guidebook for building long-lasting wealth. It emphasizes the importance of entrepreneurship and provides actionable advice for starting and growing a successful business.

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    The Millionaire Fastlane
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    Key idea 1 of 4

    What’s your money mentality, and where does it lead?

    When it comes to money, there are three types of people in the world: Sidewalkers, Slowlaners, and Fastlaners.

    To find out which one you are, ask yourself these questions: Do you spend most of your money as soon as you earn it? Does your lifestyle rely heavily on debt? Is your future predicated on luck, risky gambles, or government assistance? If so, you're likely a Sidewalker. DeMarco says this is people's most common mentality with money and life. And hey, if you’re a Sidewalker, you're in the right place to change those habits!

    Or are you the type of person with a steady job who insists on saving every dime so it can be invested in the stock market? Do you fret over each little expense and rationalize that saving hundreds of dollars today could be worth millions in 50 years? Is your quest for financial freedom reliant on factors you can't control, like your employer, the economy, and an unpredictable stock market? In this case, you're a Slowlaner. Again, no need for shame – this is the mainstream method prescribed in all those other finance books. But in reality, this mindset is risky and unreliable.

    Finally, do you own a business with the potential for asymmetrical returns – the conduit to massive wealth accumulation? This kind of business brings in cash while you're at a movie on a Tuesday afternoon. Can you earn $100,000 in profit next month? Next year? Do you own and build assets that can grow 2,000 percent in one year? If this is you, congratulations on being a Fastlaner – or at least meeting a few of the characteristics toward becoming one!

    The point is, each of these paths is like a roadmap. And like all roadmaps, they lead to predictable destinations. The likely destination for a Sidewalker is poverty. In the Slowlane, it’s mediocrity. The Fastlane path is the only mentality that can predictably lead to wealth.

    Whichever mindset you identify with, it’s essential to know that you can switch lanes. You can go from the Sidewalk to the Slowlane, from the Slowlane to the Fastlane, or, as DeMarco did, leap from the Sidewalk directly to the Fastlane!

    In fact, it was an idea gleaned from DeMarco's final dead-end job that opened the door to his next opportunity. As a limo driver in the suburbs of Chicago, he frequently heard customers ask about booking services in other cities. So he taught himself how to code and designed a website to answer that need.

    Unfortunately, he was so busy juggling his website with his driving job that he didn’t put much effort into marketing it, much less enhancing it. That all changed when DeMarco quit his job and risked moving to Phoenix, Arizona, to focus on the business. He had no choice but to succeed – or fail. Once in Arizona, he continued to educate himself and got better at coding, marketing, and sales. To pay the bills, he built one-off websites for others while putting most of his time and effort into growing his new online business.

    Things soon took off, and he earned a respectable income rivaling any job paycheck. But then something miraculous happened due to the power of scale inherent in his business. Instead of earning $50K a year, a decent salary at the time, he started profiting $50K a month. Then $100K a month. Then $200K.

    Over ten years, DeMarco earned millions and created a viable asset that was also worth millions. His tenure with the company he created ended when he sold the business for a mid-seven-figure valuation. This rapid wealth accumulation allowed him to take a hiatus – what some would call a semi-retirement – and focus on writing. The Millionaire Fastlane is a product of this period.

    In short, DeMarco made millions quickly – enough to retire in luxury and never work again for the rest of his life – and it had nothing to do with fanatical frugality, regular savings, and religious investments. It's clear what it takes to make the leap to the Fastlane: start a business that’s capable of creating asymmetric returns.

    An asymmetric return transforms a $2,000 business investment into $20 million in a few short years – which is nearly impossible through even the best stocks or bonds. The stock market only averages 10 percent per year, not 1,000 percent – the types of returns available in a Fastlane business.

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    What is The Millionaire Fastlane about?

    The Millionaire Fastlane (2011) challenges conventional wisdom about accumulating wealth and presents an alternative roadmap to financial independence. As opposed to taking the “Slowlane” approach of saving and investing over decades, it argues that investors should instead seize opportunities in entrepreneurship that can lead to rapid wealth accumulation. It covers key principles such as creating scalable businesses, taking calculated risks, and leveraging time to achieve financial freedom more quickly.

    Who should read The Millionaire Fastlane?

    • Aspiring entrepreneurs seeking financial freedom
    • Skeptics of traditional investment advice
    • Individuals interested in the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) methodology


    About the Author

    MJ DeMarco is an entrepreneur, author, and the founder of The Fastlane Forum, Viperion Publishing Corporation, and the cofounder of Goal Sumo. After making his initial millions and retiring in his thirties, he gained recognition for his unorthodox approach to financial independence and wealth-building. He’s also the author of Unscripted and The Great Rat Race Escape, which both focus on entrepreneurship and breaking free from societal templates for success. 

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