I make a point to read books by those that taken massive action and risks in their lives, Felix Dennis was one of those men and his book is certainly worth reading for those with the hunger to achieve more (money).
Usually “how to get rich!” titles that are published are written by charlatans who use such a promising title to boost sales. When that author actually did manage to get rich beyond all means (through business not through selling books) then the title takes on a whole new meaning. The kind of direct approach taken in this book by Felix Dennis is only reserved for the real risk takers who earned the right to speak on the subject of amassing wealth.
Felix Dennis is the founder of Maxim magazine most notably, but he owned probably a hundred businesses in his time, many in the publishing industry but plenty in unrelated fields. You’d expect him to write like the eccentric billionaire he was, in a disjointed with a “what I say is right because I made it” style that plenty of rich people who write books employ. It turns out however that Dennis is in his personal life a poet and lover of written word. His book reads incredibly well and I was delighted to witness such a high level of self awareness and humility in his accounts of his own spectacular life.
A few very interesting sections were ones where Dennis reflected on if dedicating one’s life to amassing money is really worth it. For many he says it’s certainly not and he goes to great lengths to warn and advise readers who are deciding for themselves. He writes about his career like a man who at one point had many regrets, but who has accepted himself (flaws and all) and operates from a higher level of consciousness.
Be an owner
Dennis beats this into you by the end of the book. Ownership is everything. By this he is referring to maining majority stakes in all of your companies and be wary of accepting investor capital at the cost of precious shares. Dennis attributes a lot of his wealth to this concept. Without total control of your company not only can you not operate the way you want (answer to partners and boards etc.) but if your company get’s sold you won’t be the primary beneficiary. Dennis has definitely made a career out of relying on these massive windfalls come sale time.
Execution is everything (work hard!)
I wrote an essay on execution here. Clearly Dennis agrees (and probably largely influenced me in the first place) on the importance of making your ideas come to life.
Don’t ever take yourself or your quest for wealth too seriously. Money isn’t real, Dennis understands this but says that shouldn’t stop you in your desire to obtain it (if that is what you truly desire). He wrote the book to help you achieve great monetary wealth, but goes to great lengths making sure that is indeed what you actually want for your life. There is no happiness or fulfillment found in bags of cash; however there may be in the person you become to obtain such things. Enjoy the journey, treat money as a game (which it is) are prominent themes in the book.
Overall this was a great read. A compelling blend of practical advice and philosophical thought makes this one worth reading for any entrepreneur.