The Best Book About Money in 2021
Welcome to The Best Book About Money!
I recently finished The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco. I have to say, this is probably my favorite book of all time. It’s certainly the best book about money that I’ve ever read. The ideas were revolutionary, the stories were amazing, and the amount of inspiration that came from this book was unbelievable.
I took notes as I read the book, and today I want to share those notes with you as the biggest takeaways I got from the book. Now, I’m not trying to steal any of Demarco’s ideas. All of what I am about to mention is from his book.
Now just because I mention it here does not mean that you shouldn’t read the book. I am only going to talk about a fraction of what is talked about in the book. Demarco goes way more in depth than I will. And, let’s be real, Demarco is a much better writer than I am.
Big Ideas in The Millionaire Fastlane
3 Roads to Wealth
Demarco says that there are 3 roads to wealth, basically 3 pathways that you can take with your life. Throughout the entire book he uses analogies with cars, so the three roads to wealth are:
People who live on the sidewalk (sidewalkers) seek immediate satisfaction. They live for the present. They’re not concerned about the future, they want to live their best life right now. So what do they do? They spend all of their money on things that bring them happiness in the moment and they don’t plan for the future. As a result, these people live paycheck to paycheck and they struggle to reach retirement.
People who live in the Slowlane sacrifice aspects of their current life to prepare for a better future. If you are in any way financially literate, you are most likely in the Slowlane, just like I was. The Slowlane is what society tells you to do with your life. Society says get good grades, go to college, get a job, invest 10% into a 401k, retire when you’re 65, etc. Demarco says the problem with this is that we sacrifice our current life to hope for a better one in the future. We bust our butts to achieve wealth in a wheelchair. What’s the point of this? Why do we sacrifice the best years of our life slaving away just to achieve retirement during the worst years of our life? We exchange our time for money in order to retire as old people.
The Fastlane is a mix of both the sidewalk and the Slowlane. Fastlaners seek happiness in both the present and in the future. Fastlaners are focused on achieving financial freedom as fast as possible. They believe that the best time to be rich is when you are young. But instead of exchanging time for freedom, fastlaners exchange money for freedom. Fastlaners create a system that generates a lot of money quickly, and they use that to fuel financial freedom. Fastlaners don’t join or buy, they create, innovate, sell, operate, and manage. They believe in the law of effection: If you impact millions, you will make millions. Fastlaners create something that others need, and as a result, they become millionaires.
Most Valuable Resource
The first thing you need to understand is that money is not the most valuable resource. Yes, money can buy a lot of things, even happiness. But there’s one thing that you can’t buy. No matter how much money you have, you can’t buy more time. Time is the most valuable resource.
When we are born, each of us has a set amount of time hat we have before we die. Demarco says that when we are born, someone should tell us that we will die, because the number of tomorrows are limited.
So you can’t use money to buy more time, but you can use money to utilize the time that you do have. Instead of slaving away for the majority of your life just to achieve wealth in a wheelchair, you can use money to live the life that you want to live while you are young.
But, in order to do that you need to understand that time is everything. So, you can’t engage in anything that depends on time, you have to divorce your work from time in order to make the most of your time.
What is Wealth?
So now that you know that money is not the most valuable resource than you probably know that wealth does not equal money. So what is wealth then?
Well Demarco says that wealth is about your relationships (friends and family), your health, and freedom. If you have good relationships, are in good health, and have lots of freedom, than you are incredibly wealthy.
Some people have good relationships, others don’t. Some people are healthy, others aren’t. But very few people have true freedom. Most people are slaves to their job where they work 9-5 every day and then get 2 days off on the weekend. The Fastlane is about getting rid of this lifestyle, and starting a lifestyle that doesn’t depend on time, and as a result, gives you infinite amounts of freedom.
Demarco talks about something that he calls “Parasitic Debt”. Parasitic debt is the worst kind of debt. It happens when someone creates debt for themselves that requires them to work.
Think about it. If you had no debt, no credit card debt, no student loan debt, no car payment, and no mortgage, what would your monthly expenses look like?
I’m guessing that your monthly expenses would be reduced dramatically. Now, some of these things are neccesary, you have to drive and you have to have a place to live.
But, the idea is that you created those debts which require you to continue to work to pay them off. If you didn’t have those debts, you’d be a lot closer to financial freedom.
Demarco makes one thing clear, education does not end at graduation. Education is a lifelong process.
Demarco does touch on college education briefly. He says that sometimes college is necessary. But, college isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get a job.
College is another way of creating parasitic debt, that may not be completely necessary. He states that you can learn everything you need to know from books and other forms of education.
But that doesn’t mean he’s against college. He himself went to college and has no regrets of doing so. He thinks of it more as a backup plan.
No matter if you go to college or not, you have to continue your education after the fact.
Continuous education from books, videos, courses, and podcasts is one way to guarantee that you are always adapting to ever-changing world.
When it comes to making decisions, Demarco provides two very valuable resources that I love.
The Worst Case Consequence Analysis can be used to determine whether or not it is worth it to take a risk. It’s relatively simple, whenever you are debating whether or not to do something, think about what the worst case scenario is. Most of the time, the worst case consequence is minimal. If it is, then proceed with the action. But if you think about the worst case scenario, and it seems pretty bad, then don’t proceed with the action.
The Weighted Average Decision Matrix is used to choose between multiple options. It involves using numerous factors to rank which option is better for you. It’s hard to explain, so you’ll just have to do some research or get the book to understand. But I think I’ll use this to decide which college I attend next year.
Leveraging Time and Control
The Fastlane is all about leveraging time and control. What does this mean? Well first, you have to detach your work from time. You can’t work an hourly job and you can’t wait years for your money to grow with your investments. Since time is not infinite, your wealth will never grow. This is why the Slowlane doesn’t work, it is limited by time.
You also need to leverage control. When you don’t control everything within your life, you are taking a huge risk. You never know when you could lose your job and all of the sudden have no income. You need to control everything within your life and especially when it comes to money. If you control your money, you get to choose when it grows and by how much it grows.
I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that you have to be exceptional when it comes to living the Fastlane. The majority of people (99%) live within the sidewalk or Slowlane lifestyle. This means that you can’t do what everyone else does. If everyone is doing it, it won’t work. Be unique, be bold, be different.
When it comes to creating a business, you need to be exceptional. You have to offer what your competitors won’t. Your business doesn’t have to be some big breakthrough, you just need to do something better than everyone else. If you can be better than everyone else, you’ll make more money than everyone else.
Customer service is the #1 key to the Fastlane. Customer service is not just about being polite and respectful to your customers. Customer service is about SERVING your customers’ needs.
Business is about filling a gap or a need if you will. If you can bring something of value to your customers than you will make a lot of money. So don’t pursue money, pursue providing value, and money will follow.
Whenever you hear a complaint, you know that someone has a need that isn’t being met. You this to create a new system or improve a current system. Once again, law of effection: If you impact millions, you will make millions.
CENTS – Business Analysis
When it comes to evaluating a business to see if it is a Fastlane business, you can use this acronym called CENTS.
You need to be able to control every part of your business. If someone else controls any part of your business, it won’t work. A sudden change in price, policy, etc. and your business could be shut down. Controlling everything is the only way to succeed in the Fastlane.
Your business model needs to have a high-barrier to entry. If your business has a low barrier to entry that means that a lot of other people can do it to. The more people that can do it, the more people that can compete with you. If it’s easy as signing up, millions of other people will do it to.
Your business needs to fulfill a need. Customers pay for a service that provides value to them. So whatever you do, meet your customers needs, provide value to them, and you’ll make more money than you could ever dream.
As mentioned several times throughout this post, your business can not be attached to time. Time is limited, which means your business will be to. Find something where your business runs regardless of time.
You have to be able to scale your business. If you can’t scale a business, then you can’t impact millions. There are two ways to scale your business and thus, scale your income. You can either serve more customers or increase your prices.
Ideal Life Scenario
At the end of the day, the Fastlane is a lifestyle. There’s a sort of path you follow to live in the Fastlane. Here it is:
- Create a business that provides value
- Liquidate that business by selling it
- Invest your earnings
- Live off the passive income
- Reap, retire, or repeat!
The Best Book About Money
The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco completly changed my perspective on money. I hope that you got a glimpse of what this book has to offer. The thing is, I only scratched the surface. Here is the link to the best book about money on Amazon!
I hope that you understand the Fastlane lifestyle now. Really, it comes down to the basic ideas that I outlined in this post. You have to crate a system that serves a need and scale it to a level where you can impact millions. After all, if you can impact millions, you’ll make millions!
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