A Must Read for Every Entrepreneur – Q&A with MJ DeMarco

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The “MTV Cribs” Episode That Never Happened

From The Millionaire Fastlane

Host: “Today we visit 22-year-old Big Daddyhoo and his 8,000 square-foot crib here on the beautiful Atlantic coastline, live from sunny Palm Beach, Florida… so, Big Daddyhoo, tell us about your rides!”

Big Daddyhoo: “Yo dawg, we gotz the Ferrari F430 over there with the 22-inch rims, the sick Lamborghini Gallardo over there with the custom 10-speaker stereo, and for those nights when I just wanna chillax with the ladies, the Rolls Royce Arnage does my do.”

Host: “So, Big Daddyhoo, how can you afford all these gorgeous rides?  And this mansion on the beach?  It must have cost more than $20 million!”

Big Daddyhoo: “Yo let me tell you dawg, Big Daddyhoo got rich chilling in mutual funds and popping phat money in my 401k down at my Win-Go Wireless job.”

Suddenly you hear a record screech off the turntable.


Sound ridiculous? It should.

We all long for the freedom and opportunities that wealth can bring.  We all agree the sooner we could have a sum of money large enough to enable our ideal lifestyle, the better.

And yet, most of us relinquish our goals and dreams to the common “guru” advice of a 30, 40, or even 50 year slow-wealth plan.

Well, in his new book The Millionaire Fastlane, MJ DeMarco offers another viable option.  His book is an eye-opening journey about the often “hidden” road to financial freedom.

MJ graciously agreed to answer a few questions that may help you discover your road to wealth.

What makes The Millionaire Fastlane different from any of the thousands of books about success (and retiring rich)?

Typically books about money are monuments to hypocrisy; the author writes the book to get rich and yet, the strategies disclosed in the book are not what made the author rich.  Certain authors preach jobs, 401ks and mutual funds and yet, those authors aren’t rich because of jobs, 401ks and mutual funds.  It makes no sense and the readers never grasp the paradox.  Usually, these authors get rich in the Fastlane while selling what I call the Slowlane.

I also wrote The Millionaire Fastlane to expose the truth and not to upsell my readers into some back-end marketing funnel.  Most self-improvement and money books masquerade as a 300-page sales promotion  for the author’s expensive seminars, websites, or even life insurance policies.  This is also one of the reasons why The Millionaire Fastlane is so long – I wrote it from the perspective of disclosing the entire wealth recipe versus just one or two ingredients, which typically most books like to follow.  In other words, it’s the entire roadmap to wealth, not the first 100 miles of a 1000 mile journey.

So where and how do I start my journey toward success?  I’m willing to work hard, but have no money and don’t know what to do.

Probably the most important decision you can make is HOW you start.  Most people start off and base their entrepreneurial journeys on a false premise, often supported by books that promote a “feel-good” focus versus a focus on what matters, and what works.   All entrepreneurial endeavors should start based on a market need, issue, challenge, inconvenience, or a problem.  Entrepreneurship is about solving problems and yet, we’re being methodically brainwashed by self-help gurus who tell us that entrepreneurship is about passion, doing what you love, and other useless mantras that ignore the marketplace.

Second, if you have no money, entrepreneurship must start with your own human capital and ingenuity.  I started an internet company from nothing – it became a tangible service via hard work and investment of myself in the form of human capital.  I worked.  I learned.  I manifested an idea into a tangible reality.  I repeated the same process with my own book.  When I started, it was nothing but an idea.  But after 3 years and a lot of hard work, nothing became something!  And it didn’t cost a fortune other than the investment of time and education.  Unfortunately, most people don’t want to put forth a “human capital” effort and just want to default right to the excuse of “I don’t have money” which becomes a crutch for their lack of action.

But what about the risk?  Don’t 90% of businesses fail within 5 years?

I’d speculate that the failure rate is even higher.  Most businesses fail because the owners of these businesses fail to understand why a business exists.  A business doesn’t exist to give you a job.  A business doesn’t exist to serve your selfish need of “do what you love.”   A business doesn’t exist because you were laid off.  A business doesn’t exist because you know how to do “XY and Z.”  A business doesn’t exist because “owning a business like this would seem fun.”

A branded business exists, survives, and thrives in a marketplace that serves where a need-based vacancy exists.  A brandless business exists for the need of the owner and usually will fail.

For example, just recently a new coffee shop opened in my neighborhood.  It’s a rather “nondescript” place with decent coffee, but no branding.  The problem is, the neighborhood doesn’t NEED a coffee shop as directly across the street is a Starbucks.  The coffee shop has no distinct brand to it other than “buy coffee here, we’re not Starbucks” which in itself isn’t a strong enough anchor to a brand.  I can tell you with absolute confidence that this place won’t survive, or if it does, the owner will barely get by.  Starting a business, for the sake of starting a business, rarely yields a Millionaire Fastlane result.

Okay, so I’ve decided to start a business but what criteria should I use to evaluate my options?

The best Fastlane businesses are based upon a business seedling that can grow into a money tree. Money trees are autonomous systems that survive on their own, and because of this, they produce income on their own.  This is how “passive” income, the making-money holy grail, is produced.  The best seedlings are rental systems, computer (internet) systems, content systems, distribution systems, and human resource systems.  With effort, each have the potential to blossom into a “money tree” and give the owner/producer the effect of making money 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The idea is to make time an asset, versus a liability in your business.  While complete “passive income” is a myth, you can experience the freedom of short hours versus long hours.

What is the Law of Effection?

The Law of Effection simply states that the more lives you affect in an entity you control, either in scale or magnitude, the richer you become.  Basically, if you help 1 million people solve a problem, feel better, look good, laugh, etc. you’ll be a millionaire.  Show me any self-made millionaire/billionaire, and I’ll show you someone who has made an impact on millions.  The LOE is based on mathematics while other laws are based on theory and feel-good fluffs.

What’s wrong with getting a free bucket of chicken?

The greatest travesty of humanity is to value your time as if it will never end.  Time is the king of all assets, which is why The Millionaire Fastlane is not just all about money, but about time.  Every week I see some sad story about how people will stand in line for hours to save $6 bucks.  Just recently, I saw a story on how people waited in line for an hour for a free hamburger.   These people value their time poorly and surely none of them would take a job for $2 per hour, and yet, people freely do this with their free time.  The Millionaire Fastlane asks you to re-wire your beliefs to invest in activities that yield an ROI not just on MONEY, but on TIME.  At the end of your life, are you going to be wishing for more money?  Or more time?

What can I do to prevent failure?

Failure is such a dirty word but you don’t need to be afraid of it.   Failure is good as it is nothing more than the market’s voice telling you, “That won’t work.”  Failure should be leveraged as an opportunity to adjust or switch course.  A great example is my very own book.  I’ve received some spectacular, rave reviews and yet there appears to be a common denominator in these great reviews:  people have responded negatively to the cover.   While I can look at my book as a success, I can look at the cover as “failure” so my natural course correction should be to adjust based on that market reverberation.  Let failures guide you – they are mere signposts on the journey.

What are the Five Fastlane Commandments?

The best Millionaire Fastlane businesses adhere to what I call the 5 Fastlane Commandments: Need, Entry, Control, Scale, and Time.

“Need” means to start a business based on the right premise which is based upon a market need; NOT “do what you love” or “do what you know.”

“Entry” means to start a business that isn’t easily replicated to the point that any Tom-Dick-or-Harry can do it.  If anyone can mimic what you do in 1 hour, it probably isn’t something you want to be doing.

“Control” means to control the operations of your business so no one person or company can derail your progress unexpectedly, or beyond your control.  If a franchisor, or affiliate purveyor can “pull the plug” on your operation, you violate control.

“Scale” means your product/service must scale to the masses in your particular niche.  This is where the Millionaire Fastlane gains its leverage.

And finally, “Time” means your business must have a surrogate component so when you’re away, your business still makes money.  This makes TIME your asset, whereas in a job, it is a liability.  (Jobs are time trades for money.)

I still haven’t come up with a “great” idea; what should I do?

Start paying attention.  Start listening.  Not a day goes by when I don’t see a Fastlane opportunity.  Fastlane opportunities are born by virtue of problems and they are exposed in the language around you.  “I hate…” “this sucks,”  “I wish…” – this is the language of opportunity.  Go on twitter and search for “I hate” – you’re guaranteed to find a Fastlane opportunity in any search.  Additionaly, start paying attention to millionaire success stories – they will invariably always start with the same premise: “I saw a problem with…”

How important is marketing on the Millionaire Fastlane?

If  business was a game of chess, marketing would be the Queen.  A powerful queen can overcome other weaknesses in business.  While it’s great to have all pieces of the game, a strong queen can convince people to buy mediocre products.  Ever buy a product on TV and it didn’t deliver as advertised?  That is the power of strong marketing.  Of course, I advocate having a great product so specious marketing isn’t required, and the product itself becomes its own marketing weapon.  And then, exponential growth truly becomes possible because every sale can procreate into more sales by virtue of word-of-mouth.

What is the best marketing book you’ve ever read?  Why?

Recently, I’d say Cashvertising by Whitman as it covers a litany of psychological strategies that are relevant in both the online and offline marketing worlds.  Marketing and advertising, on its basic fundamental level, is about psychology and this book goes into how to best leverage that psychology so people are compelled to recognize that they need what you offer.  Ultimately, advertising is a game of perceptions and whatever the perception translates to reality.


 Win a Copy of The Millionaire Fastlane

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  • I will randomly select one winner on October 31, 2011.
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27 thoughts on “A Must Read for Every Entrepreneur – Q&A with MJ DeMarco”

  1. Business seedlings; human capital(as apose to sweat equity) nice; five fastlane commandments, all timely and guiding references and better yet referrals to real world solutions and or to unlocking the continuing circle of the subconscious thoughts and fears, as well as realities of why business work or don’t work that hold back. Perhaps this guidence is truth being told?

  2. Damn you and thank you MJ!

    Since I read your book, I have come up with more business ideas in the last 3 months but I also appreciate how valuable time really is. I hate realizing how quickly it passes.

    MJ does a fantastic job of telling why most people are failing with their business (and with their financial dreams). He shows what needs to be done to get rich FAST.

    Yes, fast. There’s a reason you see so many multimillionaires in their 20’s now. He shows you how they did and you can too.

    How do you get rich fast? You need to solve a problem for a business or consumer. Make an impact on millions and you will make millions. He shows you what kinds of ideas make billions.

    This book is a must for anyone that wants more out of life or is just starting out in life.

    I only wish this book would have been written 20 years ago.

    1. Hi Erin-Ashely, you’ll like it! MJ’s book will make you question the direction your life is heading, and help you get on the “right” track.

  3. Bought MJ’s book immediately once it came out and its one of my all time favorites, right up there with E-myth. Awesome!

  4. the Millionaire Fastlane is a FANTASTIC book. it has, with its simple elegance and wisdom, helped myself and many clients and associations to whom i’ve told about it to stop wasting time and getting their show on the road!

    a must read….

  5. I already have a copy of the Millionaire Fastlane that I have read twice….with that being said I would never turn down a free copy that I can give to a friend.

    BTW M.J…..I’m still waiting (and watching) for the audio version that I can download to my iPod :).

  6. I’ve got a copy of this book and I’d say this is an AMAZING book. Even though many things are painfully obvious it’s often overlooked by aspiring business owners. This is a must have if you want a kick-start in the business world.

    By the way, awesome summary you have there.

  7. Highly recommend his book. It had a very positive impact on my life. I changed a lot of habits, especially on how I use my time, he has shed a lot of light on things I never knew. I would also recommend his forum thefastlaneforum.com

  8. Nice interview. One question I do have, is when do you know that an idea isn’t working? Is there a rule of thumb. There is a chance of throwing in the towel too early.

  9. Great post! I agree 100%!! Been following your posts, articles, and blogs and must say it has made a huge impact on how I view business and entrepreneurship. I have your book on my iphone but would love to have a paperback too!

  10. Yes really good article. I want more of this type of info around. Such a huge breath of fresh air to read MJs take on this.

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