Summary of Unscripted by MJ DeMarco

  • Post category:Summaries
  • Post last modified:October 11, 2023

Short summary: 2 min

Long summary: 55 min

Book reading time: 10h10

Score: 10/10

Book published in: 2017

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  • There are three roads to wealth. Only one will make you millions (entrepreneurship).
  • You earn a lot of money when you deliver a lot of value.
  • To deliver a lot of value fast, you need to use leverage (a company).
  • You maximize your chances to build a profitable company when the company aligns with your values and purpose, when you take action to build it, and when it respects the five commandments of entrepreneurship known as CENTS.

Table of Contents

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What Unscripted Talks About

Unscripted is a business book written by MJ DeMarco, the author of The Millionaire Fastlane. The book dispels myths about becoming rich and gives a complete mental and business framework to build a company that earns multiple millions per year. Unscripted taught me that a business that works respects five principles known as CENTS.

If you need one book to become rich, this one has it all.

Side note: since this book is long, I only summarized the essential chapters.

Author’s recommended read:


Buy the book here.

Short Summary

You have three financial paths in life.

The sidewalk: live off debt and a job. Consume the wealth of tomorrow to live well today.

The slowlane: sacrifice living well today to live well tomorrow, if you survive.

The fastlane: become rich fast so you can live well and retire today.

The fastlane is attained when you follow the TUNEF framework.

Get “Unscripted” now on Amazon

The FTE is a transformational event that compels you to reject traditional slowlane thinking. It changes your beliefs about getting rich, destroys your biases, and chokes your bs.

Your behavior is now aligned and directed at the fulfillment of a meaningful purpose: freedom.

Freedom is engineered when you develop a fastlane business that rests on the five Commandments outlined in the CENTS framework.

  • Control: if someone else can close your business at the snap of a finger (Amazon, if you do FBA), you don’t have a CENTS business.
  • Entry: if anyone can do what you do tomorrow, your barriers of entry aren’t high enough, there is too much competition.
  • Need: if nobody needs what you sell, you won’t have a fastlane business.
  • Time: if you can’t withdraw yourself from your business and have it running, you won’t be free.
  • Scale: If you can’t leverage or scale your business, you won’t be rich, and you won’t be free.

Building a CENTS business works in three steps:

  1. Take action
  2. Assess your action and measure the impact it makes.
  3. Adjust to make a greater impact.

Once you are rich, you need to stay rich.

  1. Don’t compare yourself to people richer than you.
  2. Save the money you earn.
  3. Don’t spend more than you earn.
  4. Don’t do something that would put your entire lifestyle at risk.

You are now unscripted.

Summary of Unscripted Written by MJ DeMarco


Society has scripted you to think becoming rich is impossible. Or that you need connection, VC funding, a Ph.D. in physics, and a lot of luck.

But none of this is true.

And yet, you believe it.

You believe it because of the script.

The script runs deep inside your brain.

Its purpose is to disguise the fact that not only slavery still exists, but that you are a slave.

Modern slavery entails working Monday to Friday for 50 years before being allowed some time off as you are about to die.

Sounds familiar?

Unscripted will help you escape this hell by showing you how to build a fastlane company and live rich for a lifetime.

Unscripted is not something you try.

It is something you live.

It is about changing your choices, your beliefs, and your habits to change the outcome of your life.

Part 1: Confession

Chapter 3: The Modern Day Matrix: the Script

The script is a set of actions that society compels you to take. It’s a forced “how-to-live-life” guide.

  1. Go to university
  2. Get a job
  3. Work for 50 years to make someone else rich
  4. Give your money to Wall Street to protect yourself against inflation because the government cannot stop printing
  5. Retire poor
  6. Live healthy for 10 more years
  7. Die

That’s the road everyone takes.

There is another road, with better outcomes. But to take it, you need to unscript yourself first.

Part 2: The Script: Engineering Your Voluntary Slavery

Chapter 6: The Scripted Operating System: the Web of Servitude

The Script is an operating system made out of seeders, hyperrealities, temporal prostitution, life path, distractions, and model citizenship.

Seeders: they indoctrinate you into the script, and gaslight you if you dare challenge their teachings. They usually profit from you being scripted, and usually represent authority. You have six types of seeders. Some are aware of the lie they propagate, others aren’t:

  • Friends and family: they don’t want you to succeed above their own success.
  • Education: from Monday to Friday, school teaches you to obey and do what is expected of you. They shame you when you fail so they can better orientate you towards what is safe. School trains you to be a good employee.
  • Corporations: they push the script so that you spend your hard-earned money on their products to feel better about yourself.
  • Wall Street: They push the script so you give them your money which they can use to make more money for themselves (and a bit for you).
  • The government: they repeat scripted lies to get votes.
  • The media: they have become the spokesperson of the government.

Hyperrealities: Your Illusionary Captors

The script projects onto you and your loved ones hyperrealities to force you to do life within its paradigm. Their purpose is to distract you from your misery.

Once you see the hyperrealities, the script can no longer exercise that power on you.

There are nine hyperrealities:

  1. Named days: they condition you to work Monday to Friday and leave Saturday and Sunday for play. Out of the 7 days you get for yourself, you’re giving 5 to your employer, and 2 to you.
  2. Consumerism: consumerism gives consumers the impression that consumption can make them successful. Companies spend each year billions in marketing to create that hyperreality.
  3. A college degree: it doesn’t change anything to your capacity to provide value for others.
  4. Hyper-personality: a representation of someone’s personality through a medium that does not represent reality. The script worships these people as gods, making their level seem unattainable, while in fact, they are as human as you are (eg: Warren Buffett in finance).
  5. Virtual realities: video games make us feel better about ourselves by giving us the impression we are achieving something while in fact, we’re stupidly looking at a screen. Most of these games are made so that their hyperrealities replace the real reality.
  6. Entertainment: entertainment becomes a hyperreality when its investment becomes irrational or a part of one’s identity. Eg: people that cry after their favorite sports team lost.
  7. Money: money has value because everyone agrees it has. Sometimes, everyone agrees it loses its value, and so it becomes worthless (eg: Zimbabwe, Venezuela, etc).
  8. Freedom: you’re not free. You can’t go wherever you want, do whatever you want, whenever you want. You need to respect rules (visa, taxes, etc), and if you don’t, you will most likely go to prison. Everything you own does not really belong to you, as if you stop paying taxes, the government will come to take it from you. Ownership isn’t real. Freedom either.
  9. Corporations: the hyperreality wants to make you believe that corporations are autonomous entities spreading evil. The truth is that corporations are a group of people using a title provided to them by law to protect themselves against their own nefarious actions.

Chapter 9: Temporal Prostitution: Trading Good Time for Bad

There is a tenth hyperreality: temporal prostitution. By paying you money against time, society makes you think that time is infinite while money isn’t.

It’s in fact the opposite.

Money is infinite, but everyone ends up running out of time at some point.

And there is worse! Ever heard of the time value of money? It’s an economics principle that explains that the value of your money will decrease over time (due to printing). $10 today is worth much more than $10 in the future.

So when you trade time for money and buy stuff with your money, you are trading part of your life you will never get back against useless objects.

Time is split into two: free time, and indentured time.

The first one belongs to you. The second belongs to someone else (your boss).

If you don’t create a system that makes money split from time, you will never be free.

Chapter 10: Two Doors, One Slaughterhouse, No Difference

The first door is the sidewalk. The sidewalk is about living off debt and borrowing money to spend today. It’s trading tomorrow for today’s consumption. Sidewalkers identify themselves through what they consume and fully live the script. I consume therefore I am.

Anyone can be a sidewalker. Net worth is irrelevant. Sidewalkers are those that spend 100% or more of what they earn. As a result, they never reach a level where money is making more money by itself.

Sidewalkers are temporal prostitutes. They let anyone f*ck their time for money.

The second door is the slowlane. It’s about saving as much as you can from your salary, investing in mutual funds, etc so you can be rich for your retirement. The equation is trading today for tomorrow.

The principle on which it rests is that time can make you rich.

Time, through patient 5% a year return (if you’re lucky and avoid financial crashes, which you won’t), will make you a millionaire by the time you are eighty years old with Alzheimer’s and about to die.

While the slowlane is based on consuming less, which is good, it is also based on living less. Every cent must be accounted for. Every 4-star hotel must be a 2-star hotel, every night out must be the $5 Domino’s pizza of the week, and every car, a Prius.

Slowlaners are not the master of their wallet. They rely on hope for their plan to work.

Hope that Wall Street will reach new highs every day. Hope that they will get a high-paying job. Hope that the government doesn’t print too much money.

Chapter 12: M.O.D.E.L Citizenry

Sidewalkers and slowlaners both do what society expects them to do. Sidewalkers obey the ads and consume. Slowlaners obey Yahoo Finance and save.

They’re good citizens. They’re MODEL citizens:

  • Mediocre: life is mediocre. Its purpose, instead of thriving, is surviving.
  • Obedient: “I am so stressed out about what the media have said about the plan of the government!”
  • Dependent: if it’s not Wall Street that owns your portfolio, your time, and your person, it’s the government.
  • Entertained: “we are finally going to know why James told Sarah he loved her while he was dating Jessica!”
  • Lifeless: dreams, hope, and optimism no longer exist.

To Summarize

Seeders teach and instill the script into you.

After you got your college degree, you will have to work from Monday to Friday for a company to earn money. You are free to work for whomever you want! That money will enable you to buy a bunch of cool stuff like video games where you are the hero, cinema tickets, and a phone to follow your favorite stars.

After you refunded all of your debt and spared every nickel to reinvest in your stock portfolio, you will finally be able to afford that vacation in the Maldives you have always dreamt about…if cancer does not take you out before the flight!

How does that sound?

Part 3: Your life UNSCRIPTED

Chapter 13: The Unscripted Life: F*ck You

The Unscripted life is defined by the capacity of those that live it to say “F*ck You”. This translates to “being free from obligations most people have to attend no matter what”.

These are:

1. Freedom from work:

Do whatever you want.

2. Freedom from scarcity and frugal constraint:

Buy whatever you want.

3. Freedom from hyperrealistic influence:

The Unscripted does not care about who won the Grammy awards, or the game last night.

4. Freedom from hope and dependence:

Dependence on a boss/company, the government, or the stock market does not exist for the Unscripted.

5. Freedom from ordinary and routine:

There is no place you “have” to be in, which leads you to be spontaneous.

Chapter 14: “Fuck This” Before “F*ck You”

The “F*ck this event” is the event where you break out of the script and decide to stop letting it consume your life.

It’s taking the red pill – except that it’s not as painless.

The “F*ck this event” is the first step into hell.

It’s a moment of pain in your life that is so powerful that it changes you and your behavior forever.

And it gets you out of the sh*t.

If you don’t know whether you have had an FTE, then you likely haven’t.

You may have had a “f*ck this moment”, but not an event. An event changes your life forever.

The FTE has four threats. If they exist, they will likely decrease the strength of the event.

These are:

1. Mediocre comfort

If your situation gives you comfort that does not hurt badly enough to trigger change, you will unlikely change.

2. Your guarded pride and ego

To succeed, you gotta be willing to look dumb and fail.

If you’re “too cool” and fear what other people may think of you, you won’t succeed.

3. Your responsibilities

Having multiple kids with multiple women and multiple mortgages and debt for multiple stuff you don’t need will prevent an FTE from happening due to decision paralysis.

4. Fear

The fear of the unknown, of failure, of ridicule…will keep you from taking action. Real action.

Part 4: The Escape: The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework

Chapter 15: The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework (TUNEF)

The Unscripted Entrepreneurial Framework or TUNEF is a five-phase progression of both thoughts and action, both uniting in a series of macro and micro-processes.

Get “Unscripted” now on Amazon

TUNEF has 6 steps:

  1. The FTE, which we talked about.
  2. 3 BS: Bullsh*ts, Biases, and Beliefs + the 8 Belief Scams
  3. MP: Meaning and Purpose: the Why: the core driver
  4. FE: Fastlane Entrepreneurship: growing a fastlane business with the CENTS framework
  5. Kinetic Execution: Act, Assess, Adjust
  6. The Four disciplines: comparative immunity; purposed savings; measured elevation; consequential thought.

Results ————-> Unscription.

The entrepreneurial G-spot: this is the day you realize you can make an income through your company and live off it. The day you realize you can be free.

TUNEF is fueled by two processes: the micro and macro processes. Micro-processes are your beliefs and thought patterns. It’s how you define money and how you think it is acquired.

Macro processes are your repeated and modified actions. Repeated, because change happens after a process of repeating one same action. And modified, because of the feedback loop that enables you to take better actions each time.

Why most people fail

Most people fail because they are waiting for a silver bullet. A silver bullet is “the secret” that self-development books promise you – and never deliver because it doesn’t exist.

The only thing that exists is working and taking action.

There is no “quick-fix”. No secrets.

Only work.

Chapter 16: Our Self-Imposed Prison: Beliefs, Biases, and Bullsh*ts

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.

The 3 Bs drive or derail your path as an entrepreneur. They are super important!

Belief: what you think is true that isn’t necessarily.

Biases: mental shortcuts protecting your beliefs.

Bullsh*t: the bs you tell yourself.


Beliefs are so important that they are accounted for in science (the placebo effect). Beliefs drive our actions.

You have two types of beliefs: true beliefs, and false beliefs.

True beliefs are actionable knowledge. False beliefs create mistakes, illusions, or inactions.

In psychiatry, false beliefs are called delusions.

You must address your delusions if you hope to change them. Unfortunately, many will try to prevent you from doing so.

The firsts step to saying the world “f*ck you” is to unlearn the things that are “f*cking you”.

Chapter 17: The 8 Beliefs Scams

We don’t challenge our beliefs. We seek to reinforce them. Most of the time, our beliefs aren’t even “our” beliefs. They were planted by someone else.

Right now, the SCRIPTED OS is to your brain what a parasite is to a dog. To get rid of it, you need to kill the eight false beliefs that are ruling your life. You do so by polarizing them.

When the world thinks WHITE, think BLACK. When the world BUYS, SELL.

Let’s have a look at these eight beliefs.

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