Why "The Millionaire Fastlane" is an indespensable read

Dear readers. I recently read a book that really changed my game.

"The millionaire fastlane" written by Mj Demarco

I found that title so valuable, that I decided to write a solid summary about it to help you decide if you want to buy the book or not. And do you know what?

-> I prefer to listen to a summary than to read the article


So you want to get rich right? The title “The millionaire fastlane” could imply that this is just another get rich quick scheme book. However, it is truly not. It is provocative and delivering you what you need to know about the current slowlane model (the common and slow way to get rich). That, according to the Author is a blueprint to becoming poor.

“Getting rich slowly means getting rich old”

Mj Demarco has a very simple message: Avoid doing what every Tom, Dick and Harry is doing on the slowlane and switch to the fastlane. Pay yourself first and look at his advice. He urges us to stop buying the old school scheme: “Get a good education, get a secure job, save 10% of your income throughout your life, trust your money to 401k pension plans and/or mutual funds or the stock market, hope for the best so you can retire at 65.” Sounds familiar?

This guy really does not give you any BS. He points you into the other direction: Stop trusting the common scheme by hoping for the best by do take control of your own future.

For Mj De Marco There is no get rich quick scheme, but there is a get rich way which you can travel in with a roadmap. He explains how that works in a very straight forward way. Why are so many rich-looking people not really rich? You will find out in this book.

The 3 different lanes

MJ DeMarco first explains the differences between Slowlane and Fastlane roadmaps as he calls them. These are our maps with which we try to travel to wealth. According to the author there are 3 different types of roadmaps which we will briefly look at together. Then he explains to you in detail on how you can build a fastlane business with these skills.

So, what is a Slowlane and what is a Fastlane?
The 3 roadmaps on which people travel (and their destination) are:
1 Sidewalk = Poverty
2 Slowlane = Mediocricy
3 Fastlane = Wealth

The sharp difference of these 3 lanes is in the key mindset: understanding time - education - money - dept, our income source and how do we try to accelerate our wealth. DeMarco says its all about taking responsibility and control for yourself and how your overall life perception is.

In the following chapters he explains these 3 lanes more in depth:

1 Sidewalker -Poverty
That is the road most traveled, and it has the least resistance. It does not have a destination nor a financial plan. A Sidewalker typically just spends his surplus money immediately on cars, gadgets, holidays and ignores the consequences and his responsibility. He/she lives paycheck to paycheck, changes jobs because the new one “paid a little more” but he or she is mostly interested in the “easy way to wealth” typically claims “I know, insurance and birth control are important but they are just not priority” and he/she loves American Idol, Lost, Survivor and Peoples Court (Insert whichever TV Show is currently hip in your country) which are on TV Monday to Friday from 6pm to 10pm. Sidewalkers can be income low or income rich but still share the key mindset. An income rich sidewalker can buy that Ferrari but still belong to the sidewalkers and have the same problems. He/she is trapped in his lifestyle: the sidewalker thinks more money is the solution to his poor financial management.

2) Slowlane - Mediocrity
According to DeMarco the Slowlane basically is the road to mediocrity. Here we will find the time-traders and the “Thank god its Friday” screamers. These people exchange 5 days of work for 2 days free time (Saturday and Sunday), drive 2 hours for saving 20 bucks and sacrifice today for a brighter tomorrow at the retirement home. How bright is that going to be?

He/She typically stops to drink the expensive beverage from Starbucks and packs his lunch for work. He abides by the chorus 10`000 invested today will be 10 “gazillion in 50 years”. DeMarco claims that this mindset evolves with maturity, so with age and it typically starts after college graduation. People of the slowlane are living a promise to wealth which justifys years of misery for a “one day I will retire” - he is clipping his coupons, investing in mutual funds and 401k programs, works 45 years to become poor.He/She is trapped in believing that his job is the only source of income that he has and ever will have, he cancelled all his credit cards, invests in pensions and often listens to the “diversification gurus”. I know you hate to hear this.

To the author and to my mind most of the noise out there online (of the finance bloggers) screams slowlane.He speaks very clearly against the “buy and hold” strategy that the bankers want to make us believe: Mj Demarco tells you what “they” don`t tell you: That the 1000 EUR expected monthly pension you will “hopefully” get in 35 years from now might be worth less than 300EUR a month and that one liter of milk will be 12 EUR by then. This lane is paved with myths and illusions: pension plans, mutual funds, bonds, stocks, etc. are tools that cannot work because we can neither contol nor leverage them. The slowlane road is pretty much plastered by “hope” that this plan will “work out”.

3) The Fastlane
And then there is the fastlane wealth road map. Explained in a very simple way: a fastlaner is somebody who - in the veihcle of a self owned business - takes a few ears to build, creates a system and then once that system works on it´s own, he/she relaxes and then lets time do its job. You pay in advance with your time in the beginning: 1 year, 5 years, 10 years -  depending on what the business is and your circumstances).

The fastlane road to wealth is rocky and has toll roads and fastlanders know that wealth cannot be paid with a stellar business plan, educational accomplishments, a good childhood, dreaming and thinking positively, “doing what you love”, having attened the right schools, etc. The fastlane does not care about these things, nor your sex, skin color or your age. Your trip cannot be outsourced to a chauffeur because and that is one of the main differences to the other lanes: You have to drive it yourself and take charge of your journey! So basically, and that is all we want to hear but probably were too scared to say out loud.

3 fundamentally important things of the fastlane:

1) Wealth is a process and not an ingredient which is made by an event.
For example: the 5 million sale of your business that took 10 years to build is reached by the process (having worked for 10 years). The actual sale of the business is the event -and that is just a side-effect. Just like the money you earned by the sale.

2) Time is your primordial fuel and should not be traded for money.
Fastlaners have time working for them. It is income earned by the income which comes from his/her business systems.

3) The Strategy to acheive wealth is simple: the more one helps, the richer one becomes in time, money and personal fulfilment. The more change you give to more people, the more money and wealth will come.

-> So switching from the slowlane to the fastlane means basically to become a producer and break free from consumption ( = slow) lane.

Grow a money tree = break from the time cage
Not only is the information given about the 3 lanes eye-opening, but MJ DeMarco makes this book a game changer because he is giving you his recipe. He explains why the rich are (and stay) rich and how to build a system to be able to make it have maximum leverage by creating unlimited range of units sold. And all that at high speed limit. So what does that all mean? The gist is to build a system, break yourself from the time cage, stop thinking in time, move fast and to build a money tree. He gives clear examples of money trees like rental systems, computer software, distribution systems and human resource systems and explains more in detail what the benefits are.

De Marcos advice is clear: Own yourself and your vehicle
He explains which business entitiy to chose best (S corporation, C corporation, Limited Liability Corporation). DeMarco obviously comes from the US, so you need to translate them into your countries laws and regulations.

The author again explains to us that it is all about your mindset: You chose to be wealthy or to be poor, you chose to get high every weekend, to buy on credit, to cheat on your partner, to overindulge in food or liquor, to watch TV or read a book, to drive 100 or 50 in a village, to lie or be honest. Money is infinite but the perception is the difference.

Value your time poorly and you will be poor

Time is very scarce while money is richly abundant. In the book you will find exhaustive explanations of time and perception of it. Bundled with a new view of education  According to DeMarco The best investment you can make is in yourself .“Be willing to pay for your education now or be prepared to pay much bigger price for the lack of your education later on.”  (by Lonnie Scruggs, a Real estate investor)

The basis of DeMarcos strategies are the “five commandments”:

These are the fundamental knowledge you need to take home from this book and which will function as a guideline to build a successful - millionaire ready - business:

The commandments of Need, Entry, Control, Scale, Time

I am not going to go into this deeper but in short it means that before building a business one should try to satisfy a need and excel at it by giving value to customers: educate them, make them look better, solve a problem for them, raise a positive emotion, make things easier, give security. Demarco says we should forget the money chasing in the first place but to think of covering the need.

Secondly you need keep the controll at all times. If you want to live unlike everyone, you can´t be like everyone. Be a driver in this game and become a driver: offer emloyment, offer affiliate programs, accept rents, sell licenses and stock, run hedge funds, sell a franchise (and control their brand) but dont buy it!

Demarco then explains why you will never get affluent owning the corner coffee shop but you can if you manage to sell to a person in India. He calls this leverage and it is absolutely necessary to be able to sell worldwide (look at Amazon) in order to maximize your reach, your leverage.

Operating on a worldwide scale is of course not always possible if you operate within a language or country but you see the difference from the corner shop near your house who can only serve to people walking by during trading hours compared to the 24/7 internet company selling wherever they can ship the goods.

As already discussed earlier, time is your most important value in the fastlane and therefore you need to create something that can be automated. This system must be made exclusive of your own time. Do not attach your time to your business, because then it is just a job (corner shop manager).

To sum up

I myself have - thankfully - been able to stop and realize that I am also in the slowlane and I started to think about how to transition to the fastlane.
I like that DeMarco is very honest and direct in his book. He explains exactly why the slowlane does not work, supporting it with calculations and examples. It clearly opened my eyes: Stop believing that you will get rich with a slowlane path instead work your ass off for a few years, then you can sit back and harvest. Sow - THEN - harvest. You cannot harvest first and sow later.

DeMarco has a unique cynical language which is probably not for everyone but he is authentic and very straight forward. But being authentic is one of the traits you should have when you start a business. Do show your edges says MjDemarco!

I would like to point out that I haven´t read anything the like since I started with my reading challenge. For those who don´t know that yet: my 2018 mission is to read everything I can about financial freedom and personal development. Find the information here:

I call this book a true game changer and that came totally unexpected. 84% or his 1400 references on Amazon are 5 stars and 7% have 4 stars, so I know that I am not the only one thinking like that.

Content survives time! His book is a great example of how to create a money tree: Demarco has taken a few years to write this book, but he will keep getting income from it years from now. (his book was published in 2011!!) Therefore I can truly recommend this book for anyone who doesn´t want to become poor. It is so simple and yet so valuable and if you don't read it, then I have no pity for you.

-> Buy book on Amazon (Kindle and Audible available)