Victus Spiritus


How to Get Rich, Really Really Rich

13 Jun 2009


A Tip of the Hat to a Riveting Read

How to Get Rich from Maxim magazine mogul Felix Dennis. Felix takes aspiring entrepreneurs for a jaunt through his diverse career in publishing. He freely shares his views on core values, the optimal environment, and the tenacious will necessary to crawl your way to the top. His message is not for those too entrenched within the comfort of a regular paycheck, in fact according to him the most likely group to overcome the numerous challenges to getting rich are barely out of their teens. Felix encourages this group by paying heed to their incredible endurance and limited responsibilties. Since they have little to lose they are in the perfect position to create a breakthrough business. For us older readers Mr. Dennis' best advice is to partner up with someone more youthful who has energy without bounds. Nothing would make me happier than proving that old goat wrong! I'm still a big fan of Felix though, his writing was infectious and rich.

We are educated in the sacrifices that are required to becoming rich. One of the most costly, an insulating social wedge created between the rich and everyone else. Treated differently by most, it becomes a terrible challenge to make genuine human connections after amassing wealth. Felix warns intrepid entrepreneurs of a limited pool and ever dwindling number of true friends. His caution, you'll only be left with a handful of friends made before rising to the top, and perhaps a few partners that you connect to along the way. In addition to scraping by in the beginning, he suggests close relationships may suffer due to a full dedication towards building a business. According to Felix, love may be too costly for those on the path to riches.

We are guided to own 100% of the business as long as possible, giving only financial payment away to founding members. I see this as a mistake, because it can undermine the genuine motivation founding employees can have to see that a budding business succeeds (but consider that Felix is rich and I'm not). We are also encouraged to keep careful watch on the cash flow of the business, the lifeblood of any company. Better care of this by relentlessly slashing overhead will not only lead to stronger profits, but enhance the ability to borrow cash if the need should arise. My instincts lead me to believe Felix's true calling and passion is as a writer and poet. I can't help but believe he could have made a fortune following the pursuits most dear to him (but what do I know, I'm not rich ;) ).

Ready to Get Rich?

Once you've steeled yourself against sacrifices, and are ready to make the plunge, where do you begin. First thing you'll want to know is that get rich quick schemes are all just that, schemes. There are very few fast and easy ways to make a lot of cash, and most of them will leave you penniless or in prison. Your best path to getting rich should share the following stages of evolution:

  1. Discover your calling, your area of expertise and relentlessly push yourself to know everything there is about it
  2. Follow your own inner compass, be genuine to your nature
  3. Market your time effectively, manage your productivity masterfully
  4. Found your own business
  5. Rally others to your cause(s). It will be a lifelong skill that will serve you well. Trust those you delegate to.
  6. Focus on the goal. At each stage evaluate whethe it is more advantageous to go after cash or the gratitude of others (or both)?  What true value are you seeking?
  7. Remember that life is short. Being generous a little earlier in your path to riches can open up doors to deeper levels of satisfaction and guide you to personal development.

Collaborating with those who share your vision is a great way to get started, but finding those few who do isn't always easy. After you find your fellow founders, it's best to set up a long term plan. While a startup group must maintain focus on a dynamic business plan, missing parallel development paths can be costly. As many breakthrough products and services have shown us before, the most marketable product is rarely the one you start out building.

The development of the business is best designed as an iterative process. Even if you're a successful entrepreneur, a new venture within an emerging market will require time to adapt to and master. The best source of information will be your potential customers, specificially the early adopters who will provide an unparalleled marketing boost.

For a moment consider what would have happened if HP, Microsoft, Dell, Apple, Yahoo or Google had never been started. The products that these businesses developed shaped the entire evolution of the information industry and far beyond. On your way to becoming super rich, you just may improve the day to day lifestyle of our society. There appears to be a rationality to capitalism, in that you'll get rich by providing a broad scope of value to society.

One of the many lessons we learn from Felix's long race to riches, is that greater personal financial value is achieved by owning a business than by working for other agencies. This concept can scale down to even very small business structures. By being a business entity you can cut out middlemen between you and your customers.

True masters of wealth don't just rake in a lot of money, they remind us what's really important and help us to learn how to lead. After amassing great financial gains they focus their efforts on tackling some of the social problems that require more than just money to solve.

(couple of mispeaks-> people joiner urge = peer pressure, and Robert Scofield = Robert Scoble)