Library / Personal Development | Human Psychology

Date of review: March 2021
Book author: Felix Dennis
Вook published: 2006

How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis (2006)

While every book that promises you a secret of becoming rich deserves lots of suspicion, this book is still worth reading, in my view.

Fear or Failure

The biggest takeaway is less about a detailed step-by-step instruction, but rather a message that it may not be worth it. What it really matters in life is happiness which you do not automatically earn with money. The important point here is that this message comes not from your parents or grandparents, but a person who became quite reach (with net worth close to $1bn) and declared that youth is priceless because you cannot buy time. At the end of his journey, the author sadly admits that he might feel happy during quick moments when he was petting his cat, sips a glass of wine and thinks on his poems. All of the things that he could have been doing with only modest sums of money.

You may wonder why reading this book or mentioning it on a website about investments. My answer is that being emotionally stable and having a positive mindset is crucial for making rationale decisions. There are plenty of examples when big investment mistakes were made by people going through various problems in their individual lives.

The idea that money does not make you happy is not new, of course. Interestingly enough, Buffett said a few times during the Q&A sessions at his Shareholder meetings that if you are not happy with $50k you would not be happy with $50mn (I may have mis quoted the numbers).

As for the booI, the author puts straight from the beginning: the chances of you succeeding are very low, so there is almost no need to try if you approach the goal of becoming really rich from a purely statistical point of view. Moreover, there is a warning made by Dennis that the amount of time you need to put and sacrifices to be made are so huge that you should think long before making any commitment.

The biggest stumbling block to becoming rich is FEAR OF FAILURE. Getting rich comes from attitude of your mind. 'Let loose…Cut loose from employer'.

There are usual pieces of advice mentioned in this book about the importance of focus and relentless drive, 'cut loose from negative influences, never give in and stay your course no matter what'. Sadly, 'family can be a distraction', according to Dennis, 'although there are few exceptions'. Worth noting that Dennis did not have children.

He also made an interesting point about children (for parents who are concerned their limited wealth could make their children less happy pushing those parents to over spend on presents). Dennis notes that children don't care if parents are rich or poor, as long as they have shelter. They care only about condition less love.

Another point I wrote down while listening to the book was this: 'Fear nothing. Use every opportunity even slightly. No reasons why you shouldn't get rich, they are excuses. If you need to cancel the family holiday when there is a small chance - cancel it'.

I provide the list of other notes taken while listening to the book:

  • On how to choose the industry. Think about the mountain you are going to climb - old mines don't have lots of gold, look for new mines (new angles for the same product / service). You should like it, not like you feel you have to do it. Go for what attracts you, exploits your natural talent.

  • Start now, don't waste time, need to try.

  • Don't try to be friends with your subordinates - being friendly is always cool.

  • Talent is very important - make most of it among your personnel. Hire talent smarter than you, delegate.

  • No deal is better than an average deal.

  • Stay as healthy as you can.

  • If you bored, sell your business.

  • Sell before you have to, before the business peaks.

  • Ignore great ideas, concentrate on great execution.

  • Ownership is real source of wealth.
PS: I have written this review after listening to audio version, so I did not manage to use many direct quotes which made this review less lively. I apologise for that, but I still hope that I have managed to convey key messages especially about lack of correlation between money and happiness (and yes, this point does not come from your parents).

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