Book Cover image

The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco

Totally Scientific Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Get it on Amazon.

Book cover

The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco

Totally Scientific Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Get it on Amazon.

This Book in a Minute (Or Less)

This book presents a principled approach to attaining wealth that can really buy you happiness. It's not about get-rich-quick schemes, but a methodic process based on figuring out what is important for you and how to create income streams that can free you to live the life you desire.

Summary Notes

Part 1 - Wealth In A Wheelchair: "Get Rich Slow" Is Get Rich Old

The Millionaire Fastlane isn't a static recipe of "do this" and "don't do that", but a mindset, almost mathematical in the formulas used as guidelines, that cracks the wealth code.

If you aren't wealthy stop doing what you are doing, and most importantly, stop following the crowd and conventional wisdom. This conventional wisdom often translates to "Get rich slow: sacrifice your today for a plan that pays dividends after most of life is evaporated."

Selling your time for money is a mistake.

Part 2 - Wealth Is Not A Road, But A Road Trip

The pursuit of wealth stalls when we focus on the destination and not on the journey. Millionaires are forged by process and the sequence of decisions made under the same strategy. As always, trust, and focus on the process.

The 4 ingredients of the wealth journey:

  • Roadmap - The guiding force behind your actions, your beliefs, and your convictions about money. You either chose the Sidewalk (poverty), the Slowlane (mediocrity), or the Fastlane (wealth).
  • Vehicle - You. Requires frequent tuning and maintenance to ensure efficiency.
  • Roads - The career path you take and where you chose to do business.
  • Speed - The execution of your strategy and ideas. The capacity to implement what you dream of.

The road to wealth is filled with tolls which are good news because it weeds out the ones who are looking for schemes to get rich quickly or those that are not willing to commit to the execution of a well-designed plan. It's also a warning that there is a price to be paid and sacrifices to be made.

Part 3 - Poverty: The Sidewalk Roadmap

Understand that wealth is not material possessions, but the 3 "F" dimensions:

  • Family (relationships)
  • Fitness (health)
  • Freedom (choices)

The final lesson of the movie It's a Wonderful Life (which I recommend to everyone by the way, even if outside the Christmas season): "Remember, no man is a failure who has friends". That's how decisive relationships are to our well-being. How having our life shared with loved ones becomes the core of our happiness.

There is no price you can put on health. Being healthy got to count for some extra zeros on your bank account. Figure out how many, because it's worth a fortune.

Then we have freedom: to live how we want, doing what we want, when and where we want. The kind of thing where you will never have to use the snooze button.

Everything starts, and ends, with relationships

The truth is after some basic needs are met, our happiness is most affected by the quality of our relationships, with others and ourselves.

An important concept to have in mind is affordability. It's the range of costs where you don't even have to think about spending that money. But remember this rule of thumb: if you are wondering if you can afford it, you can't.

To take advantage of the Millionaire Fastlane you need to understand that luck is a product of the process, action, and being "out there".

Part 4 - Mediocrity: The Slowlane Roadmap

On the Slowlane you sacrifice today hoping for a comfortable future.

The thing about wealth is that it's best lived in the prime of our lives, not after 40 years of work which can render our dreams obsolete.

There's only a "small" issue: Your job pays you according to your hourly wage and the hours you work. It couldn't depend more on the time you spend on it. Since time is finite, you will be severely limited on your gains.

When you trade your time for money you risk the illusion that life begins on Friday night and ends on Monday morning. We even have a famous expression for it: TGIF.

The definition of a bad deal

On Fridays, we receive a small payment of freedom in the form of two weekend days. It's a poor deal trading 5 for 2. And you know, kids also grow on Monday through Friday. Their first word, walk, dance will happen independently of the days you are working.

A regular job has limited leverage and limited control. Even if you enjoy what you do, you are limiting your potential for wealth.

If you want to get rich you have to control and leverage the variables in your financial plan.

A paradox of practice is when someone promotes a moneymaking strategy, but that strategy is not what made them rich. They don't practice their advice. Ask yourself: are they pitching you the Slowlane while they leverage their Fastlane roadmap? Are they following their advice or selling you millions of books?

The rich use the markets for storing income, not for creating it.

Part 5 - Wealth: The Fastlane Roadmap

The Fastlane is a business and lifestyle strategy of controllable unlimited leverage, where the time you put into it is not a factor anymore.

It's about building a better system, a better machine, a better product, or a better something that will leverage your work. While in the Slowlane you do the work, in the Fastlane you construct a system that does it for you.

You have been conditioned to demand (want, buy, need) products. You are "Team Consumer". The winning team is the "Produce Team". You have to shift your mindset to become a creator first and a consumer second.

Become an entrepreneur/innovator/creator/visionary and offer something of value to the world. 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.

The contrast between hope and control

If you are a good engineer you have to raise your value and hope for your boss to notice and give you a raise, plus hope the company is sustainable (doesn't stop giving raises, starts laying off people).

Then, you have to save a percentage of the paycheck, plus invest in a fund and hope for a 5-8% return for the next 40 years.

If you own a business, income growth is only limited by the number of "units" sold.

In a software business, for example, the cost to serve one more customer is, more often than not, negligible (you build once and replicate for "free"). On top of that you can sell your business, and again a decision that brings you wealth that only you control.

Enter passive income

The Fastlane roadmap aims to create passive income streams to cover your expenses and lifestyle desires + give you financial freedom. These passive income streams come from a type of business system called "money tree": they require only periodic support and/or allow you to extract yourself from the business so that it runs smoothly without you spending your time with it.

Remember the difference between you owning a business, or the business owning you.

The Law of Effection is the main principle of the fastlaner. The more lives you affect in an entity you control, in scale and/or magnitude, the richer you will become.

Given the formula:

Net profit = units sold (scale) x unit profit (magnitude)

Your business must touch at least one side of the equation and be able to scale it.

Part 6 - Your Vehicle To Wealth: YOU

To really pay yourself first, and pay the government last, you need to own your "vehicle" (business). It's key that you know the laws of your country, or consult with those who know so that the business you create doesn't put your personal assets at risk.

To put it simply, if you aren't where you want to be, the problem is your choices. Fastlane isn't something you try, is something you live, the very definition of a process.

Extraordinary wealth will require extraordinary beliefs.

Going Fastlane will sometimes require you to deal with/turn back on people that go against your intentions.

If we are not mindful, life can deteriorate to a cycle, prescribed by society as normal, of getting up, going to work, coming home, eating, watching tv, going to bed, repeat, year after year. Time passes, dreams die, and what remains?

Associate with people that empower your goals, nurture your growth, soothe your failures and invest in your dreams.

The ultimate wealth is having free time to live how you want to live.

Ultimate wealth needs a special kind of frugality

The Fastlane is about being lifestyle rich and time rich. Notice the contrast: fastlaners are frugal with time, while slowlaners are frugal with money. fastlaners are not interested in being wealthy, they are committed to being wealthy. Interested ones read a book, committed ones apply the book 50 times.

You can't increase your fitness without sweating, the same way you can't experience success without failure.

You have to take risks. Step out of the comfort zone and fail into progress. Take calculated risks, and for sure shit will happen. But do it in a way where the worse thing that can happen is you meet new people, new opportunities will appear, feedback will be given, and you learn.

And then what outsiders call luck might start to appear.

Look for a limited downside, with unlimited upside. Moronic risks are the way around.

Part 7 - The Roads To Wealth

The 5 Fastlane Commandments, or how we test and validate that we are on the right path:

  • Control
  • Entry
  • Need
  • Time
  • Scale


You are either in control of your financial plan/business (driving) or not (hitchhikers). Drivers don't join the hottest trend, they serve the hottest trend.


Higher barriers of entry usually mean stronger roads, with less competition and the need to be exceptional. Low barriers of entry are weak roads, because they attract high competition, and inevitably, a smaller share of the same pie.

If everyone is doing it, it's probably to late, and that fountain is near its end. If you want to live unlike everyone, you can't be like everyone.


A winning business premise is a simple concept that should be ridiculously obvious but isn't. If it solves a need it's on the winning (profit) path.

Understand that consumers are selfish, they are always asking "what can I gain from it?". To succeed as a Producer, look at consumers and address their selfishness.

This means two things: stop thinking of a business as "your thing", "doing what you love", or even to be rich, and start thinking about solving pain points, eliminating needs, fixing problems, providing services, or creating emotions.

Look at the world and help one million people achieve one of these:

  • make them feel better (entertainment, music, games, sports);
  • help them solve a problem;
  • educate them;
  • make them look better (health, nutrition, clothing, make-up);
  • give them security (housing, safety);
  • raise positive emotions (love, laughter, happiness, self-confidence);
  • satisfy appetites, from basic (food) to others (sexual);
  • make things easier;
  • enhance their dreams.


Your business and income must be detached from your time. Remember the objective is passive income.


The larger the habitat, the greater potential leverage for your Fastlane. As an example: a restaurant habitat is a city, and for a website is the whole world. If you are a barber there will never be 10k people waiting for one of your haircuts. If "units sold" has a ceiling there is no leverage. No leverage, no exponential wealth.

How to find profitable business ideas

If you have an idea and someone is already doing it, just do it better. Someone will always be already doing it. A successful business will rarely spring from a legendary single idea, but from existing concepts that you'll notice and improve upon.

There's kind of a shortcut on how to spot the problems ripe for solving profitably. They normally appear associated with "code words" that we or others use without notice. See if you recognize some of these:

  • "I hate..."
  • "I don't like..."
  • "This frustrates me...."
  • "Why is this like this?"
  • "Do I have to?"
  • "I wish there was..."
  • "I'm tired of..."
  • "This sucks..."

Remove the reason why people say those "code words" and you can change society for good and make money in the process.

Part 8 - Your Speed: Accelerate Wealth

Start strategizing your business multidimensionally as if it was a game of chess. The game of chess is a nice metaphor to understand what is most important in the process of reaching the wealth objectives you set for yourself.

Execution is the King. Marketing is the Queen. Customer Service is the Bishop. Product is the Knight. People is the Rook. Ideas are the Pawns.

An idea is just an event, while the execution is the process. Ok ideas, executed better than the competition, will, more often than not, win.

The beauty of complaints

Complaints are free feedback. They expose the blind spots of your business and reveal unmet needs that you can still take advantage of.

The four complaint types:

  • Change - we touched something the customer liked or was used to;
  • Expectation - we failed to provide what the user expected or he was expecting something else due to a malformed marketing message;
  • Void - when the customer asks for something our product doesn't provide;
  • Fraud - our customers trying to defraud us by making false complaints.

But always keep in mind the disclaimer:

"I don't know what's the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

How to deal with competitors

If you pay more attention to the competition than your product, you neglect your product. You lose precious momentum by becoming reactive, in "put out fires" mode, instead of taking the initiative and letting your vision inform your decisions.

A brand is the best defense against commoditization simply because people will come back when they identify with what we stand for.

Our brand comes from a USP (unique selling proposition): what makes your company, and your product, different from the rest?

Focus your message on the benefits instead of the features. If there is a secret, it's in telling people directly what's in their gain when they use your solution, not so much in what they can do it.

If you enjoyed this, there are many others to come.

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