The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco • financial literacy • startup stories

Book cover of The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco - how to get rich

Based on my research I could say that the book has opened many minds to the failure of being in a paid job where they sacrifice their time for poor money. The book says something like being in a paid job will never make you rich, owning your own business will. A business model, following the author’s rules, will give you the freedom to make choices in your life that you will never be tied to a job in the Slowlane.

MJ DeMarco clarifies the difference between three types of people: the sidewalker, the slowlaner, and the fastlaner. They are categorised by the way they handle their finances. the Sidewalkers are people who go through their life without any financial planning. The sidewalk is a financial roadmap characterised by the inability to delay instant gratification. So these are people who will sacrifice a whole salary to buy a new iPhone or a console without a second thought. A sidewalker has no money management skills and doesn’t have any ideas for the future. He spends all his earning as soon as possible. When he is broken here lies on loans and his family to keep spending more.

The second financial roadmap is called the “slow lane”. The slow lane is where most high school graduates start their career. The slowlaner will start working at from 9 to 5, but when he notices that his job isn’t paying well, he will change it or he will get back to school to get additional credentials. He aims to sacrifice another 5 years of his existence in school to raise his salary. While the sidewalker has no financial literacy, the slowlaner is considered better since he’s willing to save and make investments. The big issue here is that getting rich is merely related to luck and time so if he eventually gets rich, he would be too old to enjoy his money.

The third financial roadmap is called the fastlane. While the sidewalker is spending 30 hours a week playing video games. The fastlaner is using his creativity and time on another video game that he’s going to sell to the sidewalker when he gets bored from the old one. While the slowlaner comes home from his 9 to 5 job and watches TV, the fastlaner is working on a new movie to sell on DVD for the slowlaner. The more he limits his consumption, the more he has the time to produce. 

People operating from the fastlane roadmap aren’t spending 5 hours a day watching seminars. They’re spending 5 hours a day, giving seminars. They’re not thinking about buying the next product, they’re thinking about inventing in the next product. A fastlaner spends more time writing articles instead adding value to someone else’s traffic. This doesn’t say that he is unwilling to learn from others. It’s totally opposite. Unlike the slowlaner and the sidewalker, who finish education after school, the fastlaner craves for information. He realises that knowledge is the ultimate fuel for value creation.

Ok, so this was the story. When it comes to my opinion I have to admit that if you want to get wealthy you have to have a plan. Let’s say that you have one, and you want to become an entrepreneur. Here we have two major types of businesses. If you would like to be a freelancer you have to put in some amount of time in order to gain a certain amount of money. The book highlights that when you sell your time for money it’s not very scalable. It says that when you go to an entrepreneur route you essentially have to find something that will give you a steady stream of income without any further effort or a possibility to sell your start-up for a significant amount of money.

I’d like to say that, for me, none of the aforementioned paths are bad. I know people who don’t want to pursue fame or money. This is their choice and they are fulfilled and happy with that. On the other hand, the book might be a great cold shower for people,  who have their regular jobs and sacrifice their best time in life in order to enjoy retirement. Moreover, the author did a great job by adding a few math equations and emphasized how regular investments might be decimated by economic crises which tend to occur quite regularly.

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

Final rating:

Interesting story
Complexity of ideas
Flourish language

Book details:

Size: 322 pages
Published: 2011


Other information and reviews of this book on Goodreads:

Other useful links:
MJ DeMarco’s blog:
MJ DeMarco website:
The Millionaire Fastlane website:
Other book about running a startup: Rework by Jason Fried


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