Summary of The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco

  • Post category:Summaries
  • Post last modified:September 18, 2023

Short summary: 2 min

Long summary: 25 min

Book reading time: 7h07

Score: 10/10

Book published in: 2011

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  • People take three different roads to wealth. But only one leads you there.
  • To be wealthy, you need to deliver a lot of value.
  • To deliver a lot of value, you need leverage.
  • A company is your leverage to millions.
  • A company that makes millions respects the five commandments known as NECST.

Table of Contents

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What The Millionaire Fastlane Talks About

The Millionaire Fastlane is a book written by MJ DeMarco. It’s a complete roadmap to becoming rich in 10 years or less. The author explains the three roads to wealth and details how only one road will make you wealthy enough to retire. I learned that a business that will make you enough money for the rest of your life rests on 5 principles called NECST.

The Millionaire Fastlane is one of the three best business books of all time (along with Peter Thiel’s Zero to One and Unscripted, by the same author.)

This book had such an impact on me that I quit the interview processes I was in to become an entrepreneur instead.

It also got me to start my first app (which failed) and my second app (which also failed).

In any way, I wouldn’t be writing this today if I hadn’t read The Millionaire Fastlane, and I owe the Fastlane Forum community a lot (even though I am no longer a member).

May this book change your life as much as it changed mine.

Get it on Amazon.

Short Summary

You can take three different financial roads in life.

  1. The sidewalk: sidewalkers consume more than they produce and sacrifice tomorrow’s well-being for today’s dopamine. Their equation of wealth is Wealth = income + debt.
  2. The slowlane: slowlaners work jobs for 40 years and save every penny to retire “rich” provided they don’t die before that. Their equation of wealth is Wealth = income + stock market compound interest
  3. The fastlane: fastlaners build a fastlane business that scales and makes them millions in 10 years or less. Their equation is Wealth = number of units sold X profit per unit sold

A fastlane business rests on 5 principles: NECST.

  • Need: your business must fulfill a need/solve a problem people are willing to pay for.
  • Entry: your business must take time and skill to set up (must have barriers to entry).
  • Control: if a company has the power to destroy your business in 5 min, you don’t have control (Amazon can suspend your Amazon FBA account just like that).
  • Scale: your business must scale to make a lot of money (a website scales easily, an ice-cream shop doesn’t).
  • Time: your business must make you money when you sleep or take holidays.

Break one of them and you will fail.

Fastlane entrepreneurs must be committed to making it work whatever happens.

This starts with your beliefs (you can do it) -> ignite action -> towards a purpose.

To win, you need to be the best. To be the best, you need to learn everything you don’t know -> become a learning machine.

Summary of The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco

Part 1: Wealth in a Wheelchair: Get Rich Slow Is Get Rich Old

Chapter 1: The Great Deception

Society’s way of becoming rich is slow.

  • Work a 9-5
  • Save 10%
  • Invest in the stock market
  • Get rich at 65

-> it’s a losing game.

If the journey takes 50 years of your life, is the journey worth it?


You’ll never make millions that will enable you to buy a mansion and a Ferrari anyway.

-> TMF (The Millionaire Fastlane) is different.

It’s about getting rich young and retiring early.

Chapter 2: How I Screwed “Get Rich Slow”

One day, the author saw a young guy driving a Lamborghini.

He went to ask him what he did for a living.

The guy answered, “I am an inventor”.

The author understood that getting rich young was possible.

He tried different businesses. All failed until one of them got traction.

Slowly, he made a couple of dollars, then dozens, then hundreds, then thousands, then millions.

The author became a multimillionaire at 33 and sold his business for $8 million before retiring.

-> wealth doesn’t happen linearly, but exponentially.

image 2
An exponential.

Part 2: Wealth Is Not a Road, but a Roadtrip

Chapter 3: The Road Trip to Wealth

Getting rich is not about following a path. It’s about organizing a trip.

Millionaires become millionaires by orchestrating careful processes -> wealth creation is not an event!

No one becomes a millionaire “overnight”, despite what the media may tell you.

Behind every event stands a long and painful process (eg: learning how to code).

image 122

Chapter 4: The Roadmaps to Wealth

Your current net worth is the product of your financial decisions coming from your choices which come from your beliefs.

-> change your beliefs -> change your choices -> change your life.

There are only three financial roads people take.

  1. The Sidewalk
  2. The Slowlane
  3. The Fastlane

Each of these operates under a mathematical formula that determines the outcome.

image 124
The fastlane, the slowlane, and the sidewalk.

Part 3: The Sidewalk

Chapter 5: The Sidewalk

Sidewalkers don’t have any financial plans.

Broadly, they spend more than they earn for status, and eventually go bankrupt.

Their wealth equation is wealth = income + debt.

They “live in the moment” and only seek pleasures in life.

Chapter 6: Has Your Wealth Been Toxified

Society has told you that wealth is a Ferrari inside a $50 million yacht.

It’s not.

True wealth is a trinity: family, fitness (health), and freedom.

True wealth is knowing you can buy anything – but that you don’t have to.

It’s not driving a Mercedes on credits -> some want to look rich, some want to be rich.

Which one are you?

Embed from Getty Images

Chapter 7: Misuse Money and Money Will Misuse You

They tell you money doesn’t buy happiness for two reasons.

  1. Most often than not, people making a lot of money make it on an 80-hour workweek -> no freedom.
  2. We were told that happiness is buying the latest iPhone -> it’s not.

In both of these cases, you’re not free -> you’re not happy.

image 139
Wage slaves.

Money is happiness when it buys you the freedom to:

  • watch your kids grow up
  • pursue your craziest dreams
  • make a difference in the world

Sidewalkers aren’t happy because they live a lifestyle of servitude.

Work -> spend -> work -> spend.

image 140
The sidewalk is a vicious cycle.

If you spend more as your income increases, you’ll never break free.

If you think about whether you can afford something or not, you can’t.

People buying stuff they can’t afford succumb to the trap of instant gratification -> be happy now, and miserable later.

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Be happy now, and miserable later. Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Chapter 8: Lucky Bastards Play the Game

Luck is created only if you expose yourself to it.

You can’t be lucky to sell your company if you don’t go through the process of building it.

Luck only happens if you play the game of luck -> get out there to create luck instead of playing World of Warcraft.

-> Sidewalkers love events, but they hate the process.

Sidewalkers think that:

  • Luck is needed for wealth
  • Wealth is an event
  • Others can give wealth to me

You need to abandon these beliefs if you hope to become wealthy.

Chapter 9: Wealth Demands Accountability

You need to take responsibility for creating your own wealth yourself.

Give up the idea to give your money to someone so that they can multiply it for you (the stock market).

Think for yourself and take responsibility -> stop being a victim.

Most bad situations are consequences of our choices and actions -> most situations are our fault.

Until we take responsibility for it, nothing will change.

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