The Millionaire Fastlane

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acquiring wealth (and the gurus who, as he points out, often make their money ..... founder of Facebook, didn't build the most-used social networking site by.

Brian Johnson’s



More Wisdom in Less Time

The Millionaire Fastlane


Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime

The Three Paths


Sidewalks, Slowlanes & Fastlanes.

Lifestyle Servitude Isn’t cool.

Get Rich Quick

“The Millionaire Fastlane isn’t a static strategy that preaches “go buy real estate,” “think positively,” or “start a business,” but a complete psychological and mathematical formula that cracks the code to wealth and unlocks the gateway to the shortcut. The Fastlane is a progression of distinctions that gives probability to the unspeakable: Live richly today while young, and decades before standard norms of retirement. Yes, you can win a lifetime of freedom and prosperity, and it doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 40. What “Get Rich Slow” does in 50 years, the Fastlane shortcut does in five.”

vs. Get Rich Easy.

The Flaw of Attraction vs. The Law of Effection.

Symptoms & Causes What do you focus on?

Start Taking Action And quit making excuses.

The Fastlane Is paved w/failure.

~ MJ DeMarco from The Fastlane Millionaire

Focus on the Next Step Not 20,000 steps from now.

MJ DeMarco is a *really* funny guy.

Your Means

He’s also a self-made multi-millionaire who powerfully challenges the conventional means of

Live below it and expand it.

Creating a Life Worth living.

Interest vs. Commitment Focus on commitment.

acquiring wealth (and the gurus who, as he points out, often make their money selling their systems, not by following their own advice). If you’re not easily offended and would prefer to create extraordinary wealth while you’re still young rather than hoping to create what DeMarco calls “Wheelchair Wealth” (laughing), then this book is for you. It’s PACKED with Big Ideas on not just personal finance but how to create a great business. :: Before we jump in, though, I’m going to offer a rare caveat. Creating wealth by making significant contributions to the world is cool. However, we *scientifically* know that making wealth, fame or beauty our dominant goal will actually make us less psychologically stable (even if we’re confident we can achieve it). It’s not either/or, but as we have fun rockin’ it financially, it’s important that we keep our primary focus on intrinsic stuff like awesome relationships, personal growth and contribution. As Edward Deci tells us in Why We Do What We Do (see Notes): “The researchers found that if any of the three extrinsic aspirations—for money, fame, or beauty—was very high for an individual relative to the three intrinsic aspirations, the individual was also more likely to display poorer mental health. For example, having an unusually strong aspiration for material success was associated with narcissism, anxiety, depression, and poorer social functioning as rated by a trained clinical psychologist... In contrast, strong aspirations for any of the intrinsic goals—meaningful relationships, personal growth, and community contributions—were positively associated with well-being. People who strongly desired to contribute to their community, for example, had more vitality and higher self-esteem. When people organize their behavior in terms of intrinsic strivings (relative to extrinsic strivings) they seem more content—they feel better about who they are and display more evidence of psychological health.”


PhilosophersNotes | The Millionaire Fastlane

Alrighty. With that disclaimer in place, let’s have some fun enjoying some of DeMarco’s wit and wisdom! :) First, we’ll take a quick look at his three paths:

SIDEWALKS, SLOWLANES AND FASTLANES ““Get Rich Slow” criminally asks you to trade your freedom for freedom. It’s an insanely outrageous barter and a dream destroyer.” ~ MJ DeMarco

“What About Door #3? Sidewalk or Slowlane? Sacrifice today or tomorrow? Choosing a financial roadmap for your life is a conundrum that will battle at your psyche. You can walk the Sidewalk with no financial plan and convince yourself that the indulgences of today have no consequence for tomorrow, or drive the Slowlane and sacrifice your today for the risk and illusions of a secure tomorrow. But wait! There is another choice . . . an alternative, a hybrid financial roadmap that can create wealth fast and slash 40 years from wealth accumulation. “Fast” however is relative; if you’re 18 you can be filthy rich by 25. If you’re 30, you can be retired by 36. Broke at 48 and you can retire by 54. But is it likely? Risky? If you could play one of three raffles, which would you play?” DeMarco describes three different paths to wealth creation: The Sidewalk, The Slowlane, and The Fastlane. Quick overview: The Sidewalk isn’t gonna get you to the wealth promise land. On this track, you spend more than you make and consider credit part of your income. D’oh. You’re more interested in *looking* rich than being rich and you have a fetish for buying the latest and greatest stuff the day it comes out--all on credit, of course. Eek. Whereas The Sidewalk is all about sacrificing tomorrow for today, The Slowlane is essentially all about sacrificing today for a hoped-for tomorrow. It’s all about having a stable job, investing diligently in the stock market and hoping that, if everything goes *perfectly* (and you don’t lose your job and the stock market doesn’t take a dump), in 30 or 40 years you might be able to retire rich! DeMarco calls this Wheelchair Wealth. :) The Fastlane, on the other hand, is all about working hard to put systems in place to create massive wealth such that we can retire youg and, as he puts it, while we still have some hair :). (I’m telling you, DeMarco’s a funny man. :)

LIFESTYLE SERVITUDE “Unfortunately, short-term feel-good is often long-term bad. Instant gratification is a populous plague and its predominant side effects are easily spotted: debt and obesity.” ~ MJ DeMarco

“When instant gratification entices you to bite the bait, you become a casualty of the hook: Lifestyle Servitude. Instead of you owning your stuff, your stuff owns you. Know wealth’s enemies and what actions invite those enemies into your life. Wait until you can truly afford your lifestyle luxuries … and in the Fastlane, that day can come sooner rather than later.” If you like having to work hard doing something you’re not super passionate about to pay for your awesome lifestyle, then no sweat. If, however, you’re not *that* huge a fan of what DeMarco calls “Lifestyle Servitude,” then you may want to check in on your impulse control and develop the ability to delay some gratification. We talk about this a fair amount in these Notes. In Emotional Intelligence (see Notes), Daniel Goleman describes a pretty cool study done with kids and marshmallows and tells us: “There is perhaps no psychological skill more fundamental than resisting impulse.” In other words, we need to be able to delay gratification. Can you?


PhilosophersNotes | The Millionaire Fastlane

GET RICH QUICK VS. GET RICH EASY “Like wealth, luck is not an event but an aftereffect of process. Luck is the residue of process.” ~ MJ DeMarco

“The Fastlane Roadmap is capable of generating “Get Rich Quick” results, not to be confused with “Get Rich Easy.”” For the record, I have an allergy to the whole idea of “fastlane” anything. Icky blah. If this book wasn’t recommended by a cyber-friend (thx to Tina from :), I prolly wouldn’t have read it. But, I’m glad I did. I dig the distinction DeMarco makes between “Get Rich Quick” and “Get Rich Easy.” As DeMarco says, almost all “Get Rich Quick” dealios are really “Get Rich Easy” schemes--where lazy peeps are hoping their two payments of $79.99 are going to be enough to get ‘em retiring next week. Hmmm... Right.

THE FLAW OF ATTRACTION “The Law of Attraction is not a law, but a theory. The Law of Effection is absolute and operates exclusive of a roadmap.” ~ MJ DeMarco

“Yes, positivity is favored over cynicism. Belief is the starting point to change. Visualization is crucial. Yes, if you don’t believe you can do it, I’ve got news for you—you can’t. This stuff isn’t new, it’s OLD. While The Law of Attraction is a nice hammer in the toolbox, its flaw is that it ignores the real secret behind wealth, the real secret that transcends all wealth, all people, all cultures, and all roads—and that is the Law of Effection. The “Flaw of Attraction” is that it ignores mathematics.” The “Flaw of Attraction.” That’s funny. :) Although ardent fans of the “Law” of Attraction will tell you that you must not be doing it right if you haven’t manifested a yacht since you started practicing visualizing last weekend, DeMarco goes off on the silliness of how the so-called “Law” is marketed. He proposes that the true path to success is the “Law of Effection” and tells us: “Effection of scale or magnitude always precedes money, either directly or indirectly. The more lives you impact, directly or indirectly, the more wealth you will attract.” In short: Quit trying to magically manifest stuff and focus on affecting people’s lives positively. The greater the number positively affected, the greater the financial return. It’s a Law. :)

SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES “If your car’s fuel tank had a small leak, how would you fix it? The symptomatic solver would increase his trips to the gas station to ensure a steady inflow of fuel. The problematic solver plugs up the hole. One addresses the symptom (the gas tank leaks), while the other addresses the problem (there’s a hole in the gas tank).While adding fuel addresses the symptom, it doesn’t solve the problem. When the behavior stops the problem remains. How does this relate to success and choices? Simple: If you aren’t where you want to be, the problem is your choices. Your circumstances are the symptoms of those choices.” Great stuff. Reminds me of T. Harv’s point in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (see Notes) where he tells us: “In every forest, on every farm, in every orchard on earth, it’s what’s under the ground that creates what’s above the ground. That’s why placing your attention on the fruits that you have already grown is futile. You cannot change the fruits that are already hanging on the tree. You can, however, change tomorrow’s fruits. But to do so, you will have to dig below the ground and strengthen the roots.”

PhilosophersNotes | The Millionaire Fastlane


Are you dealing with the symptoms or the causes of your problems?

START TAKING ACTION “Invest 50 years into a job and miserly living, then, one day, you can “finish rich” alongside your wheelchair and prescription pillbox. How uninspiring.” ~ MJ DeMarco

“But MJ, I have a mountain of credit card debt! But MJ, I have a job stocking shelves at the supermarket! But MJ, I have no time after work! But MJ, my wife hates my business ideas! Beware of the “buts,” because they do just that: They grind your butt into the couch, doing nothing. Excuses never made anyone rich, and we all have them. Stop being like everyone and start taking action. Make a choice today that can change the course of your life forever.” Reminds me of David Deida’s mojo from his Way of the Superior Man (see Notes) where he tells us: “Most postponements are excuses for a lack of creative discipline. Limited money and family obligations have never stopped a man who really wanted to do something, although they provide excuses for a man who is not really up to the creative challenge in the first place.” And, of course, this speaks to the infamous excusitis David Schwartz warns us about in his classic The Magic of Thinking Big (see Notes): “Go deep into your study of people, and you’ll discover unsuccessful people suffer a mind- deadening thought disease. We call this disease excusitis. Every failure has this disease in its advanced form. And most ‘average’ persons have at least a mild case of it.” If you’re making a lot of excuses, see if you can shake the excusitis and start making better choices and start taking action!

THE FASTLANE IS PAVED IN FAILURE “Most people start excited and gush with exuberance but give up at the first pothole or failure.” ~ MJ DeMarco

“Unfortunately, the least-traveled Fastlane roads are paved in failure, not smooth asphalt. This means stalls are guaranteed. Everyone fails on the road to success. What separates the winners from the losers is what happens when failure arises. How are you going to react? Will your road trip end with the verdict being, “This Fastlane shit don’t work,” or will you switch roads? Or keep going?” Funny. :) And powerful. Here’s how Napoleon Hill puts it in his classic Think and Grow Rich (see Notes): “If the first plan which you adopt does not work successfully, replace it with a new plan; if this new plan fails to work, replace it in turn with still another, and so on, until you find a plan which does work. Right here is the point at which the majority of men meet with failure, because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.” We’re going to experience failure. That’s a given. (Right?) The question is: How are you going to respond to it?

FOCUS ON THE NEXT STEP “Get started today by looking three feet in front of you, not three miles. A long gaze at the mountain crest will overwhelm you, so stop looking at it. The key to achieving enormous tasks is to break them down into their smallest parts. You can’t run a 26-mile marathon by focusing on the 26th mile. You attack the first, then the second, third, and so forth.” Reminds me of Marcus Aurelius’s wisdom from Meditations (see Notes) where he tells us: “Never confuse yourself by visions of an entire lifetime at once... remember that it is not the weight of the future or the past that is pressing upon you, but ever that of the present alone.” And, as Van Gogh so wisely advised us: “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”


PhilosophersNotes | The Millionaire Fastlane

Are you stressing yourself out by needing to know EVERYTHING that’s gonna happen twenty

“Process makes millionaires. Events are by-products of process.” ~ MJ DeMarco

steps down the line? Well, quit doing that! It’s gonna keep stressing you out. As DeMarco says, we’ve gotta focus on the next step. Then the next. Then the one after that. We do that diligently, patiently, persistently and playfully and we’re in business (and enjoying the process). So, what’s your next step? P.S. Remember the classic line from the Notes on Constructive Living: “Now what needs to be done.” That remains my #1 stress-buster. Works every time I actually follow it. :)

YOUR MEANS: LIVING BELOW IT & EXPANDING IT “The first rule of financial literacy: “Live below your means.” Yes, a pragmatic doctrine echoed from Slowlane dogmaticians that is an affable replacement for its mathematical equivalent of “Keep expenses under your income.” Earn 10 bucks and don’t spend 20. But is it Fastlane relevant? Absolutely, with one distinction: Live below your means with the intent to expand your means.” This is a REALLY cool Idea. One of my primary allergies to the typical Slowlane wisdom is the notion that coupon-cutting should be a lifelong pursuit. Ack attack. Love the way DeMarco puts it: “Live below your means with the intent to expand your means.”

CREATING A LIFE WORTH LIVING “The average American watches more than four hours of TV each day. In a 65-year life, that person will have spent nine years glued to the tube. Why? Simple. Life sucks. Life needs an escape. Life is no good. Show me someone who spends hours online playing Mafia Wars or Farmville, and I’ll show you someone who probably isn’t very successful. When life sucks, escapes are sought. I don’t need television because I invested my time into a real life worth living, not a fictitious escape that airs every Tuesday night at 8 p.m.” Hah. That puts things into perspective, eh? :) We scientifically know that those watching TV tend to experience mild depression as they sit there numbing out. (See Notes on Flow for more.) I love the way Steve Chandler puts it in his great little book 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself where he tells us: “Make your own news. Be your own breaking story. Don’t look to the media to tell you what’s happening in your life. Be what’s happening.”

INTEREST VS. COMMITMENT “Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, didn’t build the most-used social networking site by being interested. He was committed. Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb by interest; he was committed. Interest is quitting after the third failure; commitment is continuing after the hundredth.” Love this. Reminds me of Tal Ben-Shahar’s awesome knapsack story from his equally awesome book, Happier (see Notes). He tells us: “In 1879 Thomas Edison announced that he would publicly

PhilosophersNotes | The Millionaire Fastlane


display the electric lightbulb by December 31, even though all his experiments had, to that

“Yes, the elevator to success is out-of-order— you will need to labor up the stairs.” ~ MJ DeMarco

point, failed. He threw his knapsack over the brick wall—the numerous challenges that he still faced—and on the last day of that year, there was light. In 1962, when John F. Kennedy declared to the world that the United States was going to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade, some of the metals necessary for the journey had not yet been invented, and the technology required for completing the journey was not available. But he threw his—and NASA’s—knapsack over the brick wall. Though making a verbal commitment, no matter how bold and how inspiring, does not ensure that we reach our destination, it does enhance the likelihood of success.” And, how about the ultimate commitment mojo from W. H. Murray? “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen events, meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would have come their way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: ‘Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!’” Kinda begs the question: Are you interested in or committed to the stuff that’s important to you? Here’s to being committed!

Brian Johnson, Chief Philosopher

If you liked this Note, you’ll probably like… Secrets of the Millionaire Mind Spiritual Economics

About the Author of “The Millionaire Fastlane” MJ DEMARCO

Former founder and CEO of, entrepreneur, author & revolutionary “get rich slow” anti-guru, MJ DeMarco not long ago lived with his mother, mopped floors, and sought the dream like so many others: the dream to live free

Think and Grow Rich

from bosses, free from 9-5 jobs and alarm clocks, and free from life mediocrity.

The Magic of Thinking Big

Through rigorous years of self-study, countless errors and failures, MJ cracked

Why We Do What We Do

the code to wealth and shockingly discovered that it had nothing to do with jobs, 401(k)s, mutual funds, or penny-pinching your life away for 40 years. By rejecting society’s preordained “settle-for-less” financial roadmap, MJ was able to retire YOUNG in his thirties w/out sacrificing lifestyle. More at!

About the Author of This Note BRIAN JOHNSON

Brian Johnson is a lover of wisdom (aka a “Philosopher”) and a passionate student of life who’s committed to inspiring and empowering millions of people to live their greatest lives as he studies, embodies and shares the universal truths of optimal living. He harts his job.


PhilosophersNotes | The Millionaire Fastlane

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