My Story

Exposing The “Get Rich Slow” Dreamkiller

As a teenager, I never gave myself a chance of becoming wealthy young.

Wealth and youth was an equation that didn’t compute to me simply because I didn’t have the physical capabilities.  Common roads to wealth for the young are competitive and require talent; become an actor, a musician, an entertainer, or a pro athlete- all familiar roads that had a big “ROAD CLOSED” sign that laughed “Not a chance MJ!”

So, early in life, I gave up on the idea.  “Get Rich Slow” made it abundantly clear: Go to school, get a job, save 10 percent, be miserly, and, someday, I can retire rich, albeit, old, and give up on those grandiose ideas of freedom, mountainside homes, and exotic cars.  Just settle for less. But, I still dreamed.  It’s what teenage boys do.  For me, it was all about the cars.

The 90 Seconds That Changed My Life – And Could Change Yours Too.

I grew up in Chicago and was a porky kid with few friends.  I wasn’t interested in teenage girls or playing sports but donuts, video games, and bowling.  My exertions at the time were epitomized by a long broken broomstick; I used it as the TV’s remote control since the real one was broken and I was to lazy to move.  When I did move, the local ice cream shop was often my target; a sugary delight was  a motive I could always count on.

That day was like any other day: I sought ice cream.  I plotted the flavor of my next indulgence and headed toward the ice cream parlor.

When I arrived, there IT was.

I was face to face with my dream car: a Lamborghini Countach famous from hit 80’s movie, Cannonball Run.  Awestruck, any thought about ice cream was banished from my brain.  
It was parked stoically like a king; I gazed upon it like a worshiper beholden to its God.  Huge and imposing, it sat there idly like a sleeping dragon. It was also my sledgehammer that knocked my lazy ass out of park and cracked open the Fastlane shortcut.

I gawked for a few minutes until a young man left the ice cream parlor and headed toward the car.  Could this be the owner?  No way.  He couldn’t have been more than 25-years-old.  Dressed in blue jeans and an over-sized flannel shirt with what I spied to be an Iron Maiden concert shirt underneath, I reasoned this couldn’t be the owner.  I expected an old guy: Wrinkled, receding gray hairline and dressed two seasons late.  Not so.

My neurons fired, “What the heck?” How could a young guy afford such a prolific automobile?  For god sakes, that car costs more than the house I live in!  It’s got to be a lottery winner I speculated.  Hmmm … or maybe some rich kid who inherited the family fortune.  No, it’s a pro athlete.  Yes, that’s it I concluded.

Suddenly, a daring thought invaded my head: “Hey MJ, why don’t you ask the guy what he does for a living?” Could I?  Naw… Or could I?

I stood on the sidewalk, dumbfounded while I negotiated with myself.  What’s the worst that could happen? 

Emboldened and overcome with adrenaline I found my legs moving toward the car as if my brain wasn’t agreeable.  In the back of my mind, I heard my brother taunts, “Danger Will Robinson Danger!”

Sensing my approach, the owner tried to hide his trepidation with a smile, and opened his door.  Whoa.  The car’s door flung up into the sky, vertically, as opposed to swinging out sideways like a normal car.  It threw me off what little game I had and I tried to maintain my composure as if cars with spaceship doors were standard fare.

What couldn’t have been more than 20 words seemed like a novel.  My opportunity was here and I snatched it…. “Excuse me sir?” I nervously muttered hoping he wouldn’t ignore me. “May I ask what you do for a living that allows you to afford such an awesome car?” Sensing relief that I wasn’t a teenage derelict, the owner kindly responded: “I’m an inventor.” Perplexed that his answer didn’t match my preconception; my prepared follow-up questions were nullified, paralyzing my next move.

I stood there frozen like the ice cream I sought minutes earlier.

Sensing the opportunity for escape, the young Lamborghini owner took the driver seat, closed his door, and started the engine.  The loud roar of the exhaust swept through the parking alerting all life forms to the Lamborghini’s formidable presence.  Whether I liked it or not, the conversation was over.  

Knowing it might be years before such a sight would happen again; I took mental inventory of the automotive unicorn before me.  The man drove away and the car was gone.  I left awakened as a neural pathway suddenly smacked open in my brain.

The Liberation From Fame and Talent

What changed that day?  I was exposed to the Fastlane. 

As for the sweets I pursued that day, I never made it into the store. I turned around and went back home with a new reality.  I wasn’t athletic, I couldn’t sing, and I couldn’t act, but  I could get rich without fame or without physical talent.

From that point forward, things changed.  The Lamborghini encounter lasted but 90 seconds, but it transcended a lifetime of new beliefs, directions, and choices.  I decided that I would someday own a Lamborghini and I would do it while I was young.  I was unwilling to wait until my next encounter, my next chance experience, the next poster: I wanted it for myself.

The Search for the Millionaire Fastlane

After the Lamborghini encounter, I made a conscious effort to study young millionaires who weren’t famous or physically talented.  But I wasn’t interested in all millionaires, just those who lived a rich, extravagant lifestyle. This examination led me to study a limited, obscure group of people, a small subset of Fameless Millionaires who met these criterions:

1) They were living a rich lifestyle, or capable of such.  I wasn’t interested in hearing from frugal millionaires who lived “next door” in the middle class.

2) They had to be relatively young (under 35) or they had to have acquired wealth fast.  I wasn’t interested people who spent 40 years of their life jobbing and penny-pinching their way to millions.  I wanted to be rich young, not old.

3) They had to be self-made.  I was broke.  Silver spoon winners of the lucky sperm lottery weren’t invited to my lab.

4) Their riches couldn’t be from fame, physical talent, playing pro ball, acting, singing, or entertaining.

I sought millionaires who would have started like me– an average guy without any special skill or talent who, somehow, made it big.

Through high school and college, I religiously studied this millionaire divergence.  I read magazines, books, and newspapers, watched documentaries of successful businessmen; anything that provided insight into this small, subset of millionaires, I absorbed it.

Unfortunately, this zest to uncover the secret to fast wealth led me to disappointments.  I was a late-night infomercial marketer’s dream come true, gullible, willing, and armed with a credit card.  I bought into countless opportunities from “one tiny classified ad” to the Asian real estate mogul and his sexy bikini-clad yacht vixens.  None of that delivered wealth and, despite the slick commercial and its claims, the large-breasted models never materialized.

 As I fed my appetite for knowledge and endured one odd job after another, my research uncovered some remarkable common denominators.  I was confident that I uncovered all the components to The Millionaire Fastlane and fameless wealth.  I was determined to become rich young and the journey would begin after college graduation.  Little did I know what lay ahead- the roadblocks, the detours, and the mistakes.

Resistance Into Mediocrity

I graduated from Northern Illinois University with two business degrees.  College was a five-year prenatal corporate brainwashing with graduation as the overrated climax.  I viewed college as indoctrination into corporate droneship; an unfulfilled marriage between me and a life of jobs, bosses and being overworked and underpaid.  
My friends were hired for great jobs and bragged about it:

  • “I work for Motorola.”
  • “I got a job at Northwestern Insurance!”
  • “Hertz Rental Cars hired me for a training manager!”

While I was happy for them, my friends bought the lie that I later define as “The Slowlane.”  You know the drill:  Get a good job, save, penny-pinch, max-out your 401(k), invest in mutual funds, and one day when you are 65 years old, you can retire rich.  Me?  Thanks but no thanks.  I sought to avoid the Slowlane like a medieval plague.

So, I graduated from college jobless and stubbornly set on starting a business.  I was 22 years old, cocky, confident, and determined. My idea was to find the Fastlane, retire rich and retire young.

Roadblocks, Detours, and Depression

Despite the confidence, the next few years fell horribly short of my expectations. 

I lived with my mother as I hop scotched from one business venture to another.  Every month was a different business:  Vitamins, jewelry, some hot “turn-key” marketing program purchased from the back of a business magazine, or some goofy long distance network marketing gig.  I’d pursue fools’ gold scooped up from a pile of manure, throw it on the wall and hope it would stick.  Nothing did.

My ego-crippling jobs included: A bus-boy at a Chinese restaurant (yes, there are cockroaches in the back) a day laborer in the slums of Chicago, pizza-delivery boy, flower-delivery boy, dispatcher, limo driver, early morning newspaper delivery for the Chicago Tribune, Subway sandwich restaurant salesman (WTF?), Sears stock clerk (in the freaking drapery department), charity can collector, and house painter.

The only thing worse than these shitty jobs and their pay?  The hours.  Most required a predawn start … 3am, 4am … if any ungodly hour was involved, you could bet my job required it.  Hell, money was so tight that I prostituted myself to an older woman to pay for my best friend’s wedding gift.  Yes, Cougars even preyed in the 90’s.

Meanwhile, my friends progressed in their careers:  They got their four-percent yearly promotions, they bought their Mustangs and Acuras, and they bought their 1,200 square foot townhouses.  They appeared to be content and lived the expectant life preordained by society.

At 26 years old, I fell into depression; my businesses were not self-sufficient and neither was I.  Tired of the high-school dropout jobs, I struggled to get out of bed.  Physically, emotionally and financially exhausted from failure, I knew my results weren’t indicative of my true self.  I knew the Fastlane way to wealth but just couldn’t get it executed. 

What was I doing wrong?  What was holding me back?  After all these years of research and education, complete with a closet full of books, magazines, and “Quick Start” videos I was still no closer to wealth.  I sat stalled on the Sidewalk with the Fastlane nowhere in sight.

My deep depression sunk me into escapes but instead of drugs, sex, or alcohol, I lost myself in books and kept study of fameless millionaires.  If I couldn’t be successful, I’d escape into the lives of those who were.  I lost myself in books of the rich, autobiographies, success stories, financiers, and stories of survival.

But it got worse. The people in my life gave up on me.

My mom suggested, “The grocery store is hiring a deli manager, why don’t you go down there and check it out?” As if my struggles for the last five years and my college education was to eclipse at the deli slicer, cutting blocks of Mortadella and ladling potato salad to the neighborhood soccer moms.  Thanks for the job tip, but I’ll pass.

My Blizzard of Awakening

It took the pain of a cold blizzard to throw me into the crossroads of life. It was a dark frigid night and I was dead tired working as a limo driver.  My shoes were drenched from wet snow while I fought a migraine headache.  The four aspirins I pounded two hours earlier had no effect.  I wanted to get home but couldn’t.  I was stuck in a blizzard and my usual routes were snowed-in. 
I pulled to the shoulder of a faintly lit road and felt the cold chill of melted snow crawl up my legs from my toes.  I put the limo in park and faced myself in dead silence with nothing but the fall of snowflakes to remind me how much I hated winter.  I dazed at the cigarette burned ceiling of the limousine and thought, “What the hell am I doing?  Is this what my life has become?”

Sitting on a dark road in a blizzard in the middle of the night out in the middle of nowhere, I’d had it.  Sometimes clarity washes over you like a peaceful breeze and other times it hits over the head like a falling Steinway piano.  For me, it was the latter.  A sharp declaration overtook my brain, “You cannot live another day like this!”

If I was going to survive, I needed to change.

The Decision to Change

The harsh winter shot me into swift action.  I began by deciding to change.  I took control over something that I thought was uncontrollable: My environment.  I decided to relocate to where I didn’t know and, at that moment I didn’t care.

In an instant, I felt powerful.  The velocity of that choice infused my miserable existence with hope and a small drip of happiness.  My failures evaporated and I felt reborn.  Suddenly a dead-end road converged with a dream.  It just wasn’t about the decision to move, it was about taking control and knowing that I had a choice.  With this new power, I considered options that never dawned on me.  I asked a simple question: “If I could live anywhere in the country without restraint, where would I live?”  I thought about the things important to me and circled five cities on a map.  The next month I moved, or I should say, escaped.

The Merge From Slowlane to Fastlane

I arrived in Phoenix with 900 bucks, no job, no friends, and no family—just 330 days of sun and a burning desire to go to the Fastlane.  My possessions included an old mattress, a ten-year-old rusty Buick Skylark with no third gear, a few side businesses that made little cash, and several hundred books.  Ground zero for my new life was a small studio apartment in central Phoenix that rented for $475 per month.  I transformed my studio apartment into an office.  No bedroom set; no furniture- just a mattress that invaded the kitchen.  I slept with the Pop Tart crumbs, a side effect of laying a mattress next to the kitchen counter. 

I lived poor and without security, but I felt rich.  I was in control over my life.

One the many businesses I created was a website.  While driving that limo, I had plenty of downtime to read books -– sometimes I’d sit idle for hours.  I did not waste that time.  While I waited for clients at the airport or while they got obliterated at the local watering hole, I sat in the limo and read.  And read.  I studied everything from finance to Internet programming to more autobiographies of the rich.

The limo job did something special; it put me at the forefront of an unsolved need that needed a solution.  One of my limo clients asked if I knew of any good limo companies in New York.  I dropped the passenger off at the airport but he left me with a seed of invention.  If I lived in Chicago, and needed a limo in New York, where would I go to find it?  I didn’t have a New York Yellow Pages handy and surely, no one else outside of New York did either.  Faced with this question, I concluded that other travelers would have the same challenge.  So I built a website that would solve this problem.

Naturally, the Internet has no geographical limits so this venture traveled to Phoenix well.  But, like my prior businesses, it didn’t make a lot of money.  However, now it was different.  The curtain was up and it was showtime.  I was naked in a strange town with no money, job, or safety net.  I had to focus.

I aggressively marketed my website.  I sent out emails.  Cold-called.  Mailed letters.  I learned search engine optimization (SEO).  Because I couldn’t afford books, I visited the Phoenix library daily and persisted to read about Internet programming languages.  I improved my website, learned about graphics and copywriting.  Anything that could help me, I consumed.

Then one day I had a breakthrough; I received a call from a company in Kansas who raved about my website service and wanted me to design their website.  Sure.  I obliged with a price of $400.  They thought the price was a steal and within 24 hours, I built the company their website.

I was ecstatic.  In 24 hours, I had most of the rent payment.  Then ironically, not 24 hours later, I received another call from a company in New York asking for the same thing… a new website.  I designed theirs for $600 and it took me two days to complete.  I had another rent payment!

 Now, I know this isn’t a lot of money, but from poverty to $1000 in three days felt like winning the fifty million dollar Powerball.

My first few months in Phoenix, I gained traction and survived on my own for the first time in my life. No flower boy. No bus boy. No pizza delivery. No sponging off mom.  I was purely self-employed!  I was momentous acceleration, a wind at my back that foreshadowed a directional change into a new universe of wealth generation.

But, something still wasn’t right.  Something was missing and I knew it.

My Fastlane studies identified that most of my income was attached to my website designs and not my website advertising business.  My income was tied to my time, the construction of websites.  More websites jobs meant more time spent and if I didn’t work my income would stop. My time was being sold-off for money.  It didn’t seem right.

A New Wealth Equation Yields Wealth Acceleration

In the winter, I had a friend visit from Chicago.  I showed him my website and he was amazed at all the traffic my service received.  I’d get inquiries from around the world, every minute of the day.  We’d scan my email inbox and it had 450 emails… 10 minutes passed, click refresh, and then there would be another 30 emails.  Emails were coming in several per minute.

He suggested “Dude!  Turn those emails into money somehow.” He was right, but how?  And how can it solve a legitimate need?

 He left me with this challenge and I was intent to solve it.  Days later, I created a risky, unproven solution and I gave it a shot.  What did I do?  I decided to sell leads, instead of ad space.

There was problem though.  This “revenue model” was new and groundbreaking.  Additionally, I had to convince my customers that this method of business was beneficial to them, and I had no data to predict if it could succeed.  Remember, this was the late nineties when “lead generation” in web space was unfounded, at least until I went out and did it.

Nonetheless, I took the risk and implemented it.  In the short term, I expected the change to kill my income and it did.  I predicted its success would take months, if it worked at all.  The first month the new system generated $473.  Yikes.  I built more websites to fill my income gap.

 The second month revenues were $694.  Third month $970.  Then, $1832.  $2314.  $3733.  And it continued and continued.

 It worked.

My revenue, my income, and my assets grew exponentially, but not without issue.  As traffic grew, so did the complaints, the feedback, and the challenges.  Improvements came direct from customer suggestions.  Within days, sometimes hours, I’d implement customer ideas.  I was known to answer my clients’ emails within minutes, if not an hour.  I learned to be receptive to the consumer and business exploded.

 The workdays became long and challenging … 40 hours was a vacation — typical workweeks were 60 hours long.  Days and weekends blurred together.

While my new friends were out drinking and partying, I was hunkered down in my tiny apartment regurgitating code.  I didn’t know if it was Thursday or Saturday, and it didn’t matter.  The glory of the hard work was this: It didn’t feel like work; in fact, I enjoyed it.  I didn’t have a job; I had a passion to make a difference.  Thousands of people benefit from something I created which addicted me to the process.  I made a difference!

I started to compile testimonials from clients.

  • “Because of you, my business grew tenfold”
  • “Your website led me to my biggest corporate client.”
  • “Your company has been instrumental in growing my business”

This feedback was wealth currency. I wasn’t awash in riches quite yet, but I felt rich.

My “Faked” Shortcut to Wealth

In 2000, my telephone rang with a different type of inquiry.  Technology start-ups started to call; they wanted to know if I would sell my business.  In that year, the dot-com frenzy was in full force.  Not a day went by without a tall tale about some dot-com millionaire who struck it rich by selling a tech property.  Remember the fame-less millionaires?  This subset of the rich grew at a staggering rate, and the wave swelled my way.

 So, did I want to sell my company?  Hell yes!

I had three offers to sell:  Offer 1: $250,000, Offer 2: $550,000 and Offer 3: $1,200,000. I accepted offer three and became a millionaire… instantly… well almost.

It didn’t last.

At the time, I thought $1.2 million dollars was a lot of money.  It wasn’t.  Taxes.  Worthless stock options. I made mistakes and invested poorly.  I bought a Corvette hoping it would make me look rich.  I thought I was “rich” but I really wasn’t.

By the time it was over, I had less than $300K left.

The tech bubble arrived with unforgiving consequences, at least for buyers of my company.  Against my recommendations they made poor decisions; decisions that were good for short term revenue but horrific for long-term growth.  They flushed money down the toilet as if in endless supply.  Do we really need custom branded water bottles?  And logo T-shirts?  Doesn’t this impact the bottom-line?  

Decisions were made slowly and by committee.  Customers were ignored. Incredulously, most of the company’s executive management had Harvard MBA’s; proof that the business logic doesn’t come with expensive initials after your name.  Despite having $12 million in venture capital to buoy the storm, my website slowly started to die.

A few months later near the cliff of bankruptcy, it was voted that my website would be dissolved, even though it was still profitable.  Tech buyers dried up and stocks were in the tank, everyone was on life support including them.  

Unwilling to watch my creation fade into oblivion, I offered to repurchase my website back at a fire sale price… a mere $250,000, financed by its own profit.

The offer was accepted and I regained control of the same company I just sold a year earlier.  Essentially, I’d operate the business, take the profit, and pay down the carry-back loan.  What was left over, I reinvested into the business.  With my company back in my control, a new motivation surfaced; not only survive the dot-com crash, but to thrive.

The Birth of the Money Tree

The next 18 months I was revitalized to take my service to the next level.  In hindsight, I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn’t just some lucky chap who got caught up in the dot-com boom.

So, I continued to improve my website; I integrated new technologies and listened to customers.  My new passion was automation and process.

 As I streamlined my processes and systems, a slow and steady transformation took place.  I worked less and less. Suddenly, I worked an hour a day instead of 10.  Yet, the money rolled in.  I’d go to Vegas on a gambling spree; the money rolled in.  I’d be sick for four days; the money rolled in.  I’d daytrade for a month; the money rolled in.  I’d take a month off; the money rolled in.

 The realization of what I achieved hit me.

This was the Fastlane.

I built myself a real, live, breathing, fruit-bearing money tree. 

It was a flourishing money tree that made money 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it didn’t require my life for the trade.  What did it require?  A few hours a month of water and sunshine, which I happily provided. Outside of routine attention, this money tree grew, produced fruit, and gave me the freedom to do whatever I wanted.

For the next few years, I lived a life of laziness and gluttony.  Sure, I worked a few hours a month but mostly, I worked out, traveled, played video games, bought and raced fast cars, entertained myself with online dating websites, gambled– I was free because I had a money tree that surrogated for my time and yielded a bountiful monthly harvest.

Since reclaiming my business, it grew meteorically.  Some months I’d profit more than $200,000 per month.  Yes, profit!  A bad month was $100,000.  I earned in two weeks what most people earned in an entire year. Wealth poured in and I was flying low on the radar … no fame. If you earned $200,000 every month, how would your life change?

•    What would you drive?  How would you live?
•    What vacations would you take?
•    What schools would your children attend?
•    Would debt be a noose around your neck?
•    What time would you wake up?
•    How fast would you become a millionaire?

You see, when you generate this kind of income, you become a millionaire in 5 months, not 5 decades.  By the time I turned 33 years old, I was a multimillionaire.  If I hadn’t sold my business initially, I would have probably gotten there faster but, when you’re eating cardboard noodles and someone tosses $1.2 million dollars in your face, not many would say, “Nah, I’ll pass.”


In 2007, I decided to sell my company again.  It was time to retire and think about my wildest dreams, things like writing books and screenwriting.  However, this time I entertained a variety of offers ranging from $3.3 to $7.9 million.  After making several million over and over in a few short years, I accepted one of the full cash offers and repeated the Fastlane process… in 10 minutes, that’s how long it took to cash the 6 checks that amounted to millions.

Since 2007, I’ve been retired and during my business hiatus, wrote The Millionaire Fastlane; a book outlining what you need to do to repeat what I’ve done.  As I see it, you have two choices:  Follow the Slowlane roadmap predicated on jobs, mutual funds, and stock market returns, or follow a financial roadmap the creates millionaires young and gives you control over your financial plan.

84 thoughts on “My Story

      1. Douglas Cezar

        Hi MJ! How are you doing?

        I’ve been in a path similar to your in many ways. I also have studied “riches”, “millionaire thinking” and “entrepreneurship” for a while. I also live in my mother’s home. I also felt into severe depression after I perceived the SlowLane would be the “old and , if luck , rich lane”.

        One of the big problems for me was that I simply wouldn’t know how to begin on entrepreneurship, since I didn’t have any big idea neither great money. This issue was solved when I recently read the wonderful book from Saras Sarasvathy , called “Effectuation”. This book really opened a way into my brain about how to begin on entrepreneurship.

        But it was not enough. One blog author mentioned the old “Science of Getting Rich”, and this book taught to me another piece of the puzzle.

        And now I found your wonderful book and I simply can’t put it down. I started to read it on saturday, two days ago, and I’m on my way to finish it until tomorrow. I have to say: WOW ! You are really bold on your approach and you really know how to teach what you lived.

        To me, all of this is a puzzle. We have to want to play with it. Or , as Saras says , it’s like a “patchwork” that you have to start and put things together, so you can see and make things happen.

        I want to congratulate you on your job! You’re very inspiring, specially because the things we lived that are alike.

        I’m a voracious learner and I’m really decided to put my next 5 years into building something great. After this I’ll be a teacher and , in all possible ways , teach people to be the best they can , as you do. Without having to mind myself about earning money.

        Can you tell me about some of the books that most inspired you? You talk about rich men biographies, can you suggest a list worth reading? Please , I prefer Kindle books , since I’m in Brazil and it’ll be easer and faster to buy. But I can buy printed books too.

        Since I’m a ERP software consultant, with no fixed 9-5 job, I’m right now thinking about in a way “working the job” for 3 days a week, to pay my bills, and put another 4 ways a week in my FastLane. I hope I can change this ratio to 1 to 6 soon.

        One last tought: your book made me see that I was walking the “Sidewalk” exactly as you describe, with endless instant gratifications and scapes. This was, for me, the consequence of understanding the time-pricey (and I always sensed that time is the biggest asset) slowlane.

        God bless you!
        Best regards,

        Douglas Cezar

  1. juan

    wow! i enjoyed reading your success. Im actually doing the same thing right now you were doing when you were driving limos. just reading success storys and thinking when is going to be my turn. im happy for you man.

  2. SuperAffiliateLounge

    This is such an awesome story, I can relate to a lot of it I’m 20 right now and I have been trying to start business’s for like the last 8 years or so some success and some failers. I still have a lot to learn, I watched the film wall street the other night and I totally agree with Gordon Gekkco, information and knowledge is the most valuable commodity.

  3. Jessy

    Wow, talk about a 180. 🙂 Awesome!! I’ll DEFINITELY have to check this book out. I just hope I have the ingenuity and intelligence to be able to replicate or even come close to your astounding results.

  4. Pingback: Fast Forward — You’re A Millionaire and This Is How… | Fastlane Entrepreneurs

  5. Douglas Cezar

    Hi MJ! How are you doing?

    I’ve been in a path similar to your in many ways. I also have studied “riches”, “millionaire thinking” and “entrepreneurship” for a while. I also live in my mother’s home. I also felt into severe depression after I perceived the SlowLane would be the “old and , if luck , rich lane”.

    One of the big problems for me was that I simply wouldn’t know how to begin on entrepreneurship, since I didn’t have any big idea neither great money. This issue was solved when I recently read the wonderful book from Saras Sarasvathy , called “Effectuation”. This book really opened a way into my brain about how to begin on entrepreneurship.

    But it was not enough. One blog author mentioned the old “Science of Getting Rich”, and this book taught to me another piece of the puzzle.

    And now I found your wonderful book and I simply can’t put it down. I started to read it on saturday, two days ago, and I’m on my way to finish it until tomorrow. I have to say: WOW ! You are really bold on your approach and you really know how to teach what you lived.

    To me, all of this is a puzzle. We have to want to play with it. Or , as Saras says , it’s like a “patchwork” that you have to start and put things together, so you can see and make things happen.

    I want to congratulate you on your job! You’re very inspiring, specially because the things we lived that are alike.

    I’m a voracious learner and I’m really decided to put my next 5 years into building something great. After this I’ll be a teacher and , in all possible ways , teach people to be the best they can , as you do. Without having to mind myself about earning money.

    Can you tell me about some of the books that most inspired you? You talk about rich men biographies, can you suggest a list worth reading? Please , I prefer Kindle books , since I’m in Brazil and it’ll be easer and faster to buy. But I can buy printed books too.

    Since I’m a ERP software consultant, with no fixed 9-5 job, I’m right now thinking about in a way “working the job” for 3 days a week, to pay my bills, and put another 4 ways a week in my FastLane. I hope I can change this ratio to 1 to 6 soon.

    One last tought: your book made me see that I was walking the “Sidewalk” exactly as you describe, with endless instant gratifications and scapes. This was, for me, the consequence of understanding the time-pricey (and I always sensed that time is the biggest asset) slowlane.

    God bless you!
    Best regards,

    Douglas Cezar

  6. Malik Merchant

    Wow…what a great story. Truly inspiring.

    I can connect with you especially i have the same business & passions like you…

    I specially like your words – I improved my website, learned about graphics and copywriting as I am a website designer & recently turned to info publisher & copywriter, & i know the importance of these things.

    Although i am not so great at copywriting, just learning these days but i can see the passion in your words & the way you write is fantastic…

    By the way instead of that book, are you currently active in any business?

    Thanks & keep it up…

  7. Joe W

    Hello MJ,

    My younger self would have read your book and thought that it makes sense, but worried about how to put all your recommendations into action (and maybe the book will go into that later; I’m not done with it yet, so I don’t know). But my present-day self relates to your book 100%. There is not a single sentence that I’ve disagreed with as your insights are confirmed by my experiences in my own slowlane and then fastlane journeys.

    I co-own with my girlfriend a growing chain of clothing stores that’s almost 5 years old. The first one was a success because we did not violate the Commandment of Need, even though we opened in a neighborhood that was filled with competition. We did things differently and not because it was “what we loved to do.” We just targeted a genuine need. Now we’re on the verge of opening the fifth store and of going global with an online store (following the Commandment of Scale).

    I just wanted to send you a personal thanks because you’ve given me terminology for ambiguous concepts. Pivotal are things like the differentiation between “Get Rich Easy” and “Get Rick Quick.” Precise language is very important. And you’re right, huckster gurus preach Get Rich Easy. There is no reason why Get Rich Quick can’t happen. I’m already rich, and it happened pretty quickly. I’m not retired yet, but I’m also not working 5 days a week just to get 2 days off. I used to work 7 days a week with 0 days off. Now I work when it’s needed. And most of the time when I’m working it doesn’t feel like work so it’s hard to tell when I am/am not working. It’s just me doing things that need to be done, and on my schedule (not by the clock). And by rich I mean this: I don’t wake up to an alarm. I have a trainer help me to stay in tip-top shape. I don’t cook; I have a personal chef deliver food to my doorstep. Don’t drive a Lamborghini, but then again I never wanted one. I just always wanted freedom and the feeling of security.

    So I’m writing to say thanks. I haven’t learned anything new yet from your book per se, but it’s really nice getting reassurance from someone who’s up ahead that I’m heading in the right direction. And it’s encouragement to keep my vision focused on the endgame.

    And to anyone who is reading this and wondering if it will work, I’ll give you a quick synopsis of how I did it. Mr. DeMarco isn’t promising shortcuts. Like him, I worked a ton of stupid jobs, then some not-so-stupid ones. I’ve read a million business books. I dropped out of high school, then went to college, but I dropped out of that, too. I always thought of myself as smart and capable and fully able to figure things out on my own. There hasn’t been a day in my adult life that a book hasn’t been in my hands (and I’m not talking novels). I gave up idiotic, time-wasting TV-watching many years ago. When opportunity arose, because I’d prepared myself so much, I was able to recognize it, then to develop a process for nurturing the growth of my business.

    I just started reading this book a couple days ago, but I locked on to its “secrets” on my own. If you need any kind of confirmation that the concepts are valid, I’ll leave you with one last thought: My company will turn 5 years old in June. I opened my first store in 2006, and it did fairly well for about 11 months. It took that long for my partner and I to figure the store out and to tap into our customers’ needs. At the 11th months, things took off. We opened our second store in 2007, which, if you guessed where I’m heading with this, is the beginning of the Great Recession. But then the third store followed in 2008, the fourth in 2009. We didn’t open any last year because we just didn’t feel comfortable with the offers we got on store spaces. We turned them down. But we’re about to open store number 5 and an online store. We did all of this in the middle of the worst economy we’ve ever seen, and while watching our competitors disappear. How did we do it? If anything, it was the Commandment of Need. Our customers LOVE our merchandise. They feel happy buying from us. We serve them. We care about them. Not that difficult. The moral of this story? This stuff works even during a recession!

    So read this book. You may not know what business you’ll go into yet, but if you’re aiming in the right direction you’ll be more able to recognize opportunities and to craft a process for reaching your dreams.

    Thanks, MJ!

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  9. Stacey

    Hi MJ,

    Just listened to the podcast you did with Pat Flynn – great stuff!

    I own and operate a fastlane business and am also a film producer – curious about your screenplay, what it’s about, and what your plans are with it??

    All the best!

    1. MJ DeMarco Post author

      No plans yet as TMF has all my attention. (Monogamy!) — but the screenplay is about an unconventional terrorist attack and ultimately leads to the apocalypse.

  10. Prakash

    I was recommended this book in of all places Phuket Thailand by a self made guy (Tim) who is a fast laner like yourself from Vancouver Canada. Opportunities and signals present themselves when you are open to them, Yet it is hard for most people to see them because most of us are bombarded from birth to old age to fit in and conform by family, society and institutions. I loved your success quote.
    I can relate to your life story having had some similar experiences growing up in Chicago.
    I wish you all the best and I hope your book gets the same kind of exposure as books like tipping point/freakanomics.
    Lastly, hands down this book is better than the art of the deal by Donal Trump because you connect a lot of dots and show people true success in life is a process.

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  12. Michael J. Gomez

    I have read this story over and over again since MJ first published it on the web back in 2005 or 2006, and it never fails to inspire me. I find myself on a very similar journey as MJ in his early years, sure that I “know” the recipe for success but still working on the execution. Years ago (when conversing with this Author for the first time before “The Millionaire Fastlane” was published), my life took a 180 when I realized that I TOO had the ability to escape mediocrity. I realized how many mistakes I had made chasing the American dream that society drums into your head through 12 years of grade school and 4 years of college. Everything I had been doing wrong, the whole precarious foundation I had been building began to fall apart. I began to understand just how brainwashed I was in thinking that the “40-year plan” made sense, and this story is what sparked it for me. I went from reading stories of multi-millionaires in awe wondering, “What do they have that I dont?”, to putting a chip on my shoulder and realizing, I TOO could do what they did. I just had to want it bad enough.

    Despite considering MJ DeMarco a good friend and a mentor of mine, I have not had the pleasure of thanking him in person yet. However, I intend to do so formally and in every way possible when my own success story is finished. Until then, I urge you to pick up this book and get the whole story. It will change your life.

  13. Pamela

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. You certainly are the man who should tell kids about the great benefits of reading.


    Thanks for your book and you inspire story hope i ve not been working on neither a fast lane nor slow lane cos i ve been a 5 days make a pay. but your book has really change my life.
    God bless you

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  16. Joe Riehl


    We do thousands of apps, love the book, want to make a subscription app out of your content…should do really well…rev share, no upfront costs…non-exlucsive…we can do a deal with shares…public company…we have Eckart Tolle and other big names as clients..

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  17. Jim Fantone


    Today I turned 53. I am a combination of “Slowlane”, turned “Sidewalk”. Oh my God, you are talking to me. I am so excited and inspired by your book, that I feel like a kid again and I can’t wait to get started. I already have a million ideas running through my head about how to make monet, 24/7. I was taking a crap when I read the line about making money while I poop. I cracked up and cried. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I have a personal training business that is about to explode into the world thanks to you. I have been in the process for 20 years and am willing to work for it now, so by the time I am 55, I will be in quite a different financial bracket. Have I thanked you yet?

    Jim Fantone

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  19. Brad

    I need money, I don’t necessarily want it. I owe some people in my life who were unsuspecting victims of my foolishness. I want to surprise them with a cash infusion into their lives. With the 40 page sample of your book I started a website. I am teaching myself about internet marketing. My site won’t sell anything. It is meant to link people up but it will be a high traffic site and it will be nationwide. I am awaiting your book bought for my birthday by my wife. I drive for a living as you once did…love driving…hate being slave driven. There are social issues, causes that I want to support…I don’t want to flaunt money or status, I just can no longer sleep until I get some cushion. 500,000 miles I’ve driven all at night and in all weather conditions…I’m fed up. Odds are mounting against me on the road. The fast lane I roam at present is lined with crosses and half asleep truckers trying to plant a cross on the side of the road for my family to mow around.

    Love the story,

  20. Alex

    Is this book for me? Can I actually do this?

    I am a college student with a single mother who does not make a lot of money. I have always payed for the majority of what I have by working mostly annoying jobs like ice cream shops, babysitting, etc. I currently pay my own college tuition by working for a professor. I do not have spare money.

    I have no ideas for a company. I do not know how to invest, but I want to be rich. I want to prove to myself that I can escape what I grew up in. Is this book for me? Can I be productive in the way that this book suggests given my financial situation?


    1. MJ DeMarco Post author

      There are some many things to be learned in the book that YES, it could help you. Sometimes all people need is a little clarity and a reality check. The book does both. If you’re seeking some “get rich quick” answer that “anyone can do”, you will be disappointed.

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  22. Abdullah

    i just wonder if you do offer a resell rights to your book.
    it is a fantastic one and would like to buy the resell right if you do provide that option.


        1. MJ DeMarco Post author

          I sell translation licenses … do you own a publishing company? Is this something you’ve done before?

        1. MJ DeMarco Post author

          No, the French rights are not sold – still available. If you own a publishing company and need publishing rights info, please contact me.

  23. Colin

    Hi MJ,

    I love your story. I’ve read it a couple of times in the last 12 months or so just for inspiration.

    I am starting a business generating leads and selling them in a specific market. Did you have any problems with poor lead quality? I find that a big problem at the moment and am trying to find a way around this.

    Any words of wisdom or nuggets of advice to overcome this?



  24. Fabricio

    man, !
    you don’t know how much you inspired me..
    i feel relieved (AND GRATEFUL) to have contact with your ideas now (17years), that i’m going to make, what i think is the most important decisions in my life,

    hugs from Brazil!!!

  25. andrew

    I loved the book and will be pursuing my own fastlane business. The only thing that nagged at me was this: Ground zero for my new life was a small studio apartment in central Phoenix that rented for $475 per month.

    To get a apt, you need a job…how did you get a apt without a job?

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  27. Michal

    Hi MJ:

    I met you in person last year when you gave a talk to a MasterMind group in Tempe, AZ. I bought your The Millionaire Fastlane book right there and love it! I am a scientist and speak 4 languages, plus have a great experience with writing. I was wondering how to find out more about getting a license to translate your book in Russian, and/or German, and/or Czech languages. BTW – I live in the East Valley of the Phoenix Metro area.
    I hope to hear from you! Best regards!

  28. Luis

    Hey MJ,

    I just ordered your book. I was wondering if it was already translated in Spanish. Is it? I am completely bilingual. Thanks!

      1. Luis


        Where can I contact you in regards to more information regarding a license to translate your book into Spanish?

  29. Suzy Fontana

    Hello MJ,

    I wanted to thank you for making such a positive difference in my son’s life! After reading your book my son was so inspired that he wrote you an email sharing his appreciation for the knowledge you shared as well as sharing his ideas regarding his personal endeavor. Much to his surprise, you replied only a few short weeks later. Needless to say, he was thrilled! I remember the day he received your email. He was elated… He called me and shared it on his facebook page.

    He was so moved by your book and the wealth of knowledge within it that he felt compelled to share his story in an ebook that will accompany his site. I am so pleased to say that Jake’s business idea will become a reality in the next few weeks. I can’t begin to express to you how thankful I am that what you shared in “The Millionaire’s Fastlane” made such a positive difference in Jake’s life that “it” truly seemed to be the catalyst that sparked his heart and soul. Although I have never doubted my son’s ability or ingenuity for a moment, I have often found myself quite frustrated with his procrastination.

    I know that you’re a very busy man, however if you should have 5 minutes to spare you might enjoy reading his short story and seeing first hand what a difference you made for him.

    Jake had mentioned that you would appreciate him sharing his positive thoughts regarding your book when possible. I thought you might like to know that’s exactly what he did! Thank you for making such a positive difference and especially for making him feel worthy and important enough for a response.

    Suzy Fontana
    Jake’s Mom

    1. MJ DeMarco Post author

      Suzy, glad to have had a small part in your son’s “process” and yes, I did visit and read. His storied beginnings sounds very much like myself at his age. I’d say he is light-years ahead; things didn’t start to make sense to me until I was nearly 27. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  30. Peter Smith

    Hi MJ, just finished your book and found it one of the best ive read, especially in how it shatters many common get rich myths and talks some straight truths about money. My question is, what do you do when you feel like you are disconnected from your passion, dreams and motivation and commitment to stick to a plan in the fast lane for several years? Is there a way to combine a fastlane business with passions and innate talents we have? You rock! Peter in oz

    1. MJ DeMarco Post author

      I believe the best passion is generalized as it motivates you to do things that you might not enjoy. If your passion is being “bossless” and not waking up to an alarm clock, doing certain things suddenly aren’t so bad. If you have ZERO passion for specific work, and your general passion is lacking (in the realm of business ownership) you really aren’t going to get anywhere as it is too easy to quit.

  31. Brett H

    Hey, thanks a lot for the post. I’m currently 22 and have been reading and studying the exact same things since I was fifteen. When I was young my parents couldn’t afford to pay the utilities, food was scarce at times and we were continually evicted. I decided I wanted to be able to provide a better life for my family and more importantly to not be limited on time. I very much would like to be able to help other people who were in my situation. Currently I am in college studying to be a counselor, but as I too feel rich, I am simply in school for this as it is something I enjoy to learn and do not want to have a career in the field. I have complete confidence that I too will create and grow passive income generating businesses. I have read and listed to audio tapes of many authors such as timothy Ferris, Robert Kiyosaki, and Harv Eker to name a few. Like you I have also read endless books on corporate structures, legal document writing for business, website creation, and the list goes on and on.
    I have been looking for a mentor that understands these concepts for years, but my exposure to such people is obviously very limited. I would love to get some of your wisdom on an internet service business I am currently starting for the second time (web designer ran off with my money the first time). I would very much value the opinion of someone that has success as an entrepreneur on the fast lane. My email was provided at the submission of this comment. – I would appreciate any of your time, thanks.

    1. MJ DeMarco Post author

      Your best bet is to join (it’s free) as I visit there daily as well as contribute — it’s my way of mentoring to many, versus the few.

  32. Yusuf

    This is all the way from Nigeria and i have the passion to imprint positive things about my country.Have always felt out of place, most especially with the way people talk me down. But your book gave me the re-assurance i have always needed. Thanks

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  34. Tony

    Hey MJ.. just want to say reading your book was the most life altering decision I’ve ever made in my life. I just have a quick question about affiliate marketing and online passive income- What about having affiliate sites as a base for income, and then working on a true fast lane business? That way, you have a steady residual income while also having more time to focus on something speculative. As a college student with limited time, this looks like a viable option.

    Any insight would be much appreciated. Your the best man!


    1. MJ DeMarco Post author

      I’m all for it; AM is a great learning experience and offers some diversified income streams aside from your core Fastlane biz.

  35. Roy

    hey Mj i am 16 years old and wanting to make money i em preparing to make money on ebay buying and selling and learning the basics i also bought your book can’t wait to read it.

    But i got a question you reccomend any other books for me?
    And have any tips for me i live in holland by the way.
    Since i am this young i got a lot of things to do and learn i live with my mom and go to school i got plenty of free time so basicly what would you reccomend me to do?

  36. Andrew

    Hello MJ. My name is Andrew. I’m from Poland/Ukraine

    I finished reading your book. I knew a lot before, but now the knowledge systematized and there was the whole picture.
    Thank you very much for your great work.

    I would like to thank you once in person.

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  39. Kaitlyn

    My Dad has pushed me to read Millionaire Fastlane for a while. When I finally did, I finished it in less than two days. It was brilliant, and it opened my eyes.


  40. Dave

    First off, I’d like to say, Thank You. Your book has changed the way I see the value of my time, and I can’t thank you enough. Second, you’re writing style is very entertaining, I found myself glued and lost in your work, only to realize that I have been reading for hours finally going to sleep at 2am. Great book, I have been recommending it to all of my friends who are interested in solving their financial woes and are looking to educate themselves in their lives after college. I’m super pumped and I’m ready to take the steering wheel of my life and go where I want to go, I’m 23 years old, and I’m changing lanes right now!

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  42. MArk Ferguson

    Great article! I recently joined the forum and ordered your book. I assumed I was in the fast lane with my real estate team, but I am always looking for ways to speed things up and I can’t wait for your book. I’ve got a blog on investing in real estate and one my my articles begins very similar to this about letting society push my dreams down. The. I realized I could have it all if I decided to have it.

    My dream car was a Countach too and I am 34. I also love the Muira which is now a $600,000 + car. What kind of Lambo/Lambos do you have?

  43. Geoff Fey


    I recently read your book over two days and loved it. It really brought out the creative juices in a more focused way than ever. I came up with a great idea for a website that fills a need in the marketplace and am eager to get started. It involves bringing businesses and consumers together in a meaningful way, much like your limo website business.

    My plan is to bring both parties together for free initially, and make some (likely very little) revenue through advertising (ie. Goggle Adsense, or some similar vehicle). Once traffic to the site is adequate, I will approach businesses to offer them the opportunity for more substantial advertising on the site.

    The conceptual trouble I am running into is this:
    1. I would like to sell the “service” of bringing the business and consumer together, as that is what makes the site valuable. I could make all of the basic stuff free and offer a paid subscription if businesses want more info available to the consumer, but am I ultimately shooting myself in the foot for offering too much free? Can I start free and change to a paid model once traffic increases?
    2. When I am preparing to approach businesses in order to “sign them up” for the service, but have no idea what typical ranges are for advertising for this type of thing. Are there resources online that could help with this?

    Any help would be appreciated! I may have posted this in an inappropriate place. I apologize if I have, and direction to the correct forum is also welcome.


  44. Gina


    Thank you so very much for sharing your story.

    It’s definitely not an easy life on the way to the fastlane. But much like you I’ve learned its those tough times that forces us focus and with determination and allowing inspiration, propels us forward.

    Again, thank you for sharing your story. Your a class act and an inspiration to myself and many others I’m sure. I cannot thank you enough.

    A grateful mom,

    Tucson, AZ

  45. Zoltán Régi

    Hello MJ Demarco!
    You see I do not even speak English. This letter is Google translate for me and I’ll add it to your email. Now I go to the end of the book in time. Impressive.
    Latest I read a lot of similar books, but this is great. Already in the 3-4 years I will build my own business. These books are the result. Not bad and really good, I’m on my own, but I want a lot more. As you write, freedom.
    Unfortunately, in our country it is a bit harder to go than America, but I’m going to do. Of course this is just an excuse as to why I’m where I’m …
    Got it!
    Once again, congratulations on your success and welcome from Hungary!

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  47. ND

    Very powerful story MJ. Deeply inspiring yet practical enough for application anywhere. No fluff. Purely mathematical. In my work as a medical doctor, I have seen what the slowlane and its attendant financial pressures can do the physical, mental and spiritual health of a patient. The Millionaire fastlane is more than a book about finance. It is a beacon of hope for all those who feel lost in a world of financial instability and meltdowns.You have given a gift to your world. Keep Hope Alive!


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