CHAPTER 13: THE FUTILE FIGHT: EDUCATION
The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.
-- Albert Einstein
The Fight Against Uncontrollable Limited Leverage: Education
Since ULL defines the Slowlane, the Slowlaner rationalizes that the only variable worthy of escalation is their rate of pay. I need to make six figures! I need to make more money! So, predictably, they go back to school and get an MBA or some certification.
The cost of the MBA is $44,000 and 800 hours. Steve justifies this twofold expense (time and money) because he anticipates his intrinsic value to rise.
Unfortunately, he still trades his time for money-just at a higher rate, yet still uncontrolled and unleveraged.
Whether consciously or not, the Slowlaner believes that elevating intrinsic value can create wealth. Want to be highly paid right out of college? Go to medical school and become a doctor.
Not All Education Is Created Equal
The problem with formal education used to raise intrinsic value is that it's ungodly expensive in time and money. Not a week goes by when I don't hear about some freshly minted MBA graduate who struggles to pay his student loans while working a mid-grade job he could have gotten out of high school. Debt that traps you to a job is not good debt. A preoccupation to become “highly educated” could be a Trojan horse to your freedom.
Not all education is created equal. Some education can roadblock your wealth road trip. If an education entombs you under a mountain of debt and shackles you to a job for the rest of your life, is it really a good education? If an MBA increases your salary by 15% but takes 15 years to pay, was it a good investment?
It's a great myth: To get rich you need an expensive college degree. Hogwash. A degree isn't a prerequisite to Fastlane wealth. Some of the richest Fastlaners are people who never finished either high school or college. Bill Gates, Steven Spielberg, Richard Branson, Michael Dell, Felix Dennis, David Geffen, and John Paul DeJoria all dropped out of school to pursue Fastlane objectives. How dare they get rich and not be “educated”?
My education had the indirect and unintended consequence of restricting my options to specific disciplines based on an educative skill set. The result? Conformity and limited choice.
If the opportunities available require less education(say, a BS) than I have (MBA), I become overqualified and unemployable.
If my skills erode in practicality based on technological evolution, my education becomes deprecated and my value to society plummets accordingly.
teenagers believe when they get older they will earn an average salary of $145,000. The reality? Adults with a college degree earned an average of $54,000.
The best excuse people have for not having wealth is “I don't have time.” Well, why don't you have time? Because you have a job. Why do you have a job? Because you need one. Why do you need one? Because you have bills to pay. Why do you have bills to pay? Because you have debt. Why do you have debt? Oh yes, because you went to school for six years and have six figures in student loans.
- Slowlaners attempt to manipulate intrinsic value by education.
- Indentured time is time you spend earning a living. It is the opposite of free time.
- Parasitic debt is debt that creates indentured time and forces work.
CHAPTER 14: THE HYPOCRISY OF THE GURUS
There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.
-- Adlai Stevenson
You've Been Duped
Are you freaking kidding me? How can this man effectively teach a class called “Healthy Nutrition: Eat Your Way to a Beautiful Body” when he is not a model of his teaching? How can anyone take him seriously?
When it comes to gurus and financial advisers this is what you must do: leave class and request a refund because they're guilty of a Paradox of Practice.
The Paradox of Practice
The Paradox of Practice asks, “Do you practice what you preach? Are you a model, an exemplification of what you teach?”
Would you take skin care advice from a butterface?
Would you take financial advice from a bankrupt bum?
Would you take medical advice from a sanitation worker?
Would you take bodybuilding advice from a 90-lb. weakling?
Do as I Say, Not as I Do
These people effectively teach one wealth equation (the Slowlane) while they get rich leveraging another (the Fastlane).
Is a Paradox of Practice in Play?
Sadly, it's virtually impossible to get good, practical money advice, because most gurus live a Paradox of Practice.
You're sold blindly down the river by a ride they've never completed.
Did David get rich from his advice? Or from selling 11 books, over and over several million times, often regurgitating the same Slowlane sludge until you can't take it anymore?
Are they rich because of what they preach, OR what they sell?
What makes me different is this: The Fastlane concepts in this book gave me financial independence. I already have financial freedom-the nice house, the sports cars, and the flashy rapper credit card. I don't need this book to get me these things. I also confess this Fastlane disclaimer: This book has the power to make me wealthier because it leverages the same wealth equation I teach you. In other words, the "do as I say" matches the "do as I do."
Slowlane Gurus Admit Failure
Their wealth comes from your belief.
- Take advice from people with a proven, successful track record of their espoused discipline.
- Many money gurus often suffer from a Paradox of Practice; they teach one wealth equation while getting rich in another. They're not rich from their own teachings.
CHAPTER 15: SLOWLANE VICTORY… A GAMBLE OF HOPE
I'd rather live in regret of failure than in regret of never trying.
-- MJ DeMarco
Exodus: Life in the Slowlane
Sadly, Slowlane wealth is akin to this long, perilous journey through the desert. It's a trip that takes decades to finish, starves your life, and makes no promises. Yes, graduate from college, get a good job, entrust your money to the stock market, serve the boss well, and you might be rewarded.
In today's harrowing financial climate, I'm surprised people still believe it.
When I see sales figures for Slowlane books, I'm dumbfounded. Millions sold. How sad.
For the Slowlane to prevail, it assumes life is predictable and forgiving.
It isn't. You lose your job. You get sick. The car needs a new transmission. You get married. You get divorced. You have kids. You have a child with special needs. You have aging parents who need care. The economy dips into recession or depression.
Life is a menagerie littered with crisis points, which make the Slowlane roadmap a risky bet that consumes your most precious asset: time.
Seven Slowlane Dangers
People drive the Slowlane because it's what they've been told to drive. They believe the risks are minimal and it's safe. After all, 90% of all new businesses fail after five years, so the “Fastlane” can't be any safer!
Here are the risk:
1) The Danger of Your Health
The Slowlane HOPES you will live long enough to enjoy the fruits of your savings as you hit your late stage years. Remember, you will have millions when you retire at 65! Will you be healthy enough to enjoy it? Alive?
2) The Danger of the Job
The Slowlane HOPES that you'll be gainfully employed at all times, safely climbing the corporate ladder year after year.
3) The Danger of Your Home
Many gurus have shouted from the rooftops, “Your home is an asset!” Capital BS. The Slowlane HOPES that real estate values always rise, and it's patently false.
4) The Danger of the Company
Not many companies outlive the centuries. If your retirement faith is put into one company in the form of either 1) your job, 2) your pension, or 3) their stock, you HOPE the company survives.
5) The Danger of Your Lifestyle
The Slowlane begs you to settle and become a miser. Want to own an exotic car? Forget it. Want to live on a beach? Wishful thinking.
The Slowlane HOPES your “delayed gratification” moves to “no gratification.”
6) The Danger of the Economy
The Slowlane HOPES that your investments will yield a predictable 8% return year after year.
7) The Danger of the Sidewalk
Frustrated Slowlaners often revert to the Sidewalk. Why? Hope over control. When you can't control time, when you can't control your job, when you can't control five days of your life each week, you feel powerless.
when people feel powerless and out of control, they have a strong desire to buy things that convey a high status.
Resistance Is Futile
When you perform an autopsy on the Slowlane you see its true colors: It's slow, it eats time, and it's risky. When a Slowlaner realizes the plan isn't working, he goes into overdrive. Overdrive in the Slowlane is like pushing a car's accelerator to the floor, hoping its upper speed limits somehow will mystically extend higher, when in fact, the racetrack itself is the problem-not the accelerator.
Yet, a Slowlaner will try to manipulate his weak mathematical universe by trying to make the variables malleable:
- Manipulate intrinsic value by increasing hours worked. (I need to make more money!)
- Manipulate intrinsic value by changing jobs or adding jobs. (I need to get paid more!)
- Manipulate intrinsic value by going back to school. (I need a better career!)
- Manipulate compound interest by seeking better investment yields. (I need better investments!)
- Manipulate compound interest by expanding investment time horizon. (I need more time!)
- Manipulate compound interest by increasing the investment. (I need to save more!)
You can't overcome the limitations of mathematics. A car that has a top speed of 10 mph will always have a top speed of 10 mph, no matter HOW HARD YOU PUSH THE ACCELERATOR. If you travel across the country at 10 mph, you're going to need 40 years!
The Slowlane is predisposed to mediocrity because the numbers are always mediocre.
Wealth Fail: Wrong Equation. Wrong Variable
At some point, the Slowlaner realizes he can't force the stock market to yield bigger returns. He can't force a 200% pay raise. He can't afford an advanced education to raise intrinsic value. Job-hopping offers little incremental pay upgrades. The Slowlaner is enslaved to his equation and resorts to manipulating the only controllable variable, personal net income, which is increased by reducing expenses.
Personal Net Income = Intrinsic Value – Personal Expenses
Pay down your debt. Dump the new car for an old one. Raise your insurance deductibles. Cancel your credit cards and pay cash for everything. Quit buying $10 coffee at Starbucks. Bag your lunch. Shop in bulk. Spend four hours clipping coupons. C'mon buddy, slash those expenses-some day you're going to be rich!
Wrong. Hoodwinking expenses does not create wealth. You can't win the money game always playing defense-you must go on offense. Exploding income and controlling expenses creates wealth.
Slowlane Victory: Fame or a Geriatric Ward
The dreary reality is that Slowlane failure doesn't happen overnight; failure transpires over the years like a termite-infested woodshed, and when its denizens come to judgment, it's too late.
Slowlane winners are usually extremely talented, elderly, or overworked.
How to Win the Slowlane: The “Secret Exit”
Why? Fame and notoriety carries a high intrinsic value. People pay extraordinary rates for you and your services.
When a 20-year old basketball player leaves college and scores a $30 million contract, you've just witnessed Slowlane defiance. When an actress lands a $15 million lead role in a major motion picture, you've just witnessed Slowlane defiance. When an obese freckly-faced Irish guy ascends from waiter to top finalist on American Idol, the limitations of the Slowlane roadmap are shattered because intrinsic value explodes.
Suddenly, intrinsic value has leverage because of demand.
Pro basketball player LeBron James is paid millions because his skills are in short supply. Famous actors and entertainers are paid millions because millions demand their brand in entertainment form. Extreme talent is paid extremely well.
Overworked into Corporate Management
Obviously, the roads through corporate management don't happen overnight; from mailroom to CEO can take 40 years. And if it does, you certainly don't get there by taking it easy. Nope, you arrive early and leave late. Sorry, I don't have 40 years of patience, waiting for that golden parachute to land in my backyard.
Successful Slowlaners Get Stuck in the “Middle”
If you're allergic to fame and corporate ascension as a road to riches, what's left? Society enforces the Slowlane as your only option. Unfortunately, that strategy leads straight into the “middles”-middle class or middle age.
Millionaires Are Rich … or Are They?
Slowlane millionaires who don't escape by fame or corporate bastardization live differently.
they vacation infrequently, they limit their dining expenses, they cut coupons, and they max out their 401(k)s.
They work five days a week at jobs they most likely hate and diligently save 10% of their paychecks. Yes, these are the “millionaires next door.”
Sadly, in today's terms, a “millionaire” (net worth of $1,000,000) is simply upper middle class. A millionaire is not rich. Five million is the old one million. Depressing, I know.
Winners envision the lavish lifestyle and live it not knowing that several million dollars won't support it! If you win a million bucks (which after taxes is only $600,000), your lifestyle shouldn't change.
Lottery winners assign “rich” to the word “millionaire,” so their fortune is fast spent on the icons of wealth, and soon thereafter, they're bankrupt.
The word “millionaire” fooled them.
Millionaire is middle class. To live a lifestyle normally reserved for “millionaires,” you will have to amass far more than $1 million.
12 Distinctions Between Slowlane and Fastlane Millionaires
- Slowlane millionaires make millions in 30 years or more. Fastlane millionaires make millions in 10 years or less.
- Slowlane millionaires need to live in middle-class homes. Fastlane millionaires can live in luxury estates.
- Slowlane millionaires have MBAs. Fastlane millionaires hire people with MBAs.
- Slowlane millionaires let their assets drift by market forces. Fastlane millionaires control their assets and possess the power to manipulate their value.
- Slowlane millionaires can't afford exotic cars. Fastlane millionaires can afford to drive whatever they want.
- Slowlane millionaires work for their time. Fastlane millionaires have time working for them.
- Slowlane millionaires are employees. Fastlane millionaires hire employees.
- Slowlane millionaires have 401(k)s. Fastlane millionaires offer 401(k)s.
- Slowlane millionaires use mutual funds and the stock market to get rich. Fastlane millionaires use them to stay rich.
- Slowlane millionaires let other people control their income streams. Fastlane millionaires control their income streams.
- Slowlane millionaires are cheap with money. Fastlane millionaires are cheap with time.
- Slowlane millionaires use their house for net worth. Fastlane millionaires use their house for residency.
The Fastlane isn't about becoming the next middle-class millionaire with tiresome mandates about what you cannot do; it's about what you can do.
- The Slowlane has seven dangers, five of which cannot be controlled.
- The risk of “lifestyle” is the one risk Slowlaners will try to control.
- The Slowlane is predisposed to mediocrity because its mathematical universe is mediocre.
- Slowlaners manipulate the “expense” variable because it is the one thing they can control.
- Exponential income growth and expense management creates wealth-not just by curtailing expenses.
- You can break the Slowlane equation by exploding your intrinsic value via fame or insider corporate management.
- Successful Slowlaners not famous or in corporate management end in the middle . . . middle class and middle age.
- Slowlane millionaires are stuck in the middle class.
- $5 million is the new $1 million.
- A millionaire cannot live a millionaire lifestyle without financial discipline.
- Lottery winners fall into the millionaire trap and go broke because they attempt to live a “millionaire” lifestyle, not understanding that a few million doesn't go very far.
PART 5: Wealth–The Fastlane Roadmap
CHAPTER 16: WEALTH'S SHORTCUT: THE FASTLANE
People would do better, if they knew better.
-- Jim Rohn
What About Door #3?
Sidewalk or Slowlane? Sacrifice today or tomorrow? You can walk the Sidewalk with no financial plan and convince yourself that the indulgences of today have no consequence for tomorrow, or drive the Slowlane and sacrifice your today for the risk and illusions of a secure tomorrow.
But wait! There is another choice … an alternative, a hybrid financial roadmap that can create wealth fast and slash 40 years from wealth accumulation. “Fast” however is relative; if you're 18 you can be filthy rich by 25. If you're 30, you can be retired by 36. Broke at 48 and you can retire by 54.
If you could play one of three raffles, which would you play?
- Raffle Sidewalk: First prize: $10,000,000 awarded immediately. Your odds of winning: 1 in 6 million (.0000016%)
- Raffle Slowlane: First prize: $500,000 awarded in 40 years. Your odds of winning: 1 in 6 (16%)
- Raffle Fastlane: First prize: $10,000,000 awarded in 6 years. Your odds of winning: 1 in 7 (14%)
What Is the Fastlane?
The Fastlane is a business and lifestyle strategy characterized by Controllable Unlimited Leverage (CUL), hence creating an optimal environment for rapid wealth creation and extraordinary lifestyles. Definitively, pay attention to these four segments:
1) Controllable Unlimited Leverage (CUL)
Whereas the Slowlane is defined by uncontrollable variables with no leverage, the Fastlane exploits the opposite conditions: maximum control and leverage.
Your own business, self-employment, and entrepreneurship are centrist to the Fastlane, much like a job is to the Slowlane.
The Fastlane is a lifestyle choice: a commitment of blended beliefs, processes, and actions.
4) Rapid Wealth Creation
The Fastlane is about creating large sums of wealth rapidly and beyond the confines of “middle class.”
Now, I do whatever I want and I'm not the least bit bored. The world is my playground; I travel, I learned two new languages and how to play piano. I play water sports, hike, and snowboard at least a month a year. I own three homes, I watch pro sports and my favorite teams whenever I choose, watch 3–4 movies a week, and read 1–2 books a week. Most of my time is spent with my family, and I literally watch my two daughters grow before my eyes. My family has lived on all four corners of the planet, including Australia and the Caribbean.
Looking back, it wasn't easy. I worked 12–16 hour days for four years, almost always six days a week, and always a few hours on Sunday. We created an awesome service and sold the crap out of it.
I remember tough times, and I had to put every dime of my money into the company … we had less than 50 bucks in our account at least five times.
Except for my family during those startup years, I sacrificed plenty; I canceled cable TV and I temporarily stopped doing a lot of things I enjoyed because I was committed to a goal and a dream of something far greater than a lifetime job.
Now, I am an investor in multiple startup companies and am making an impact I could have never imagined. I have no apologies or regrets. My life rocks and I wouldn't change a thing. If I didn't make a choice to get into business and start a company, I don't know where I'd be.
yes, it isn't for everyone.
Question is: Is it for you?
The Fastlane Mindposts
Debt is useful if it allows me to build and grow my system.
Time is the most important asset I have, far exceeding money.
The moment you stop learning is the moment you stop growing. Constant expansion of my knowledge and awareness is critical to my journey.
Money is everywhere, and it's extremely abundant. Money is a reflection of how many lives I've touched. Money reflects the value I've created.
Primary Income Source:
I earn income via my business systems and investments.
Primary Wealth Accelerator:
I make something from nothing. I give birth to assets and make them valuable to the marketplace. Other times, I take existing assets and add value to them.
Build business systems for cash flow and asset valuation.
Wealth = Net Profit + Asset Value
The more I help, the richer I become in time, money, and personal fulfillment.
Lifetime passive income, either through business or investments.
Responsibility % Control:
Life is what I make it. My financial plan is entirely my responsibility and I choose how I react to my circumstances.
My dreams are worth pursuing no matter how outlandish, and I understand that it will take money to make some of those dreams real.
These mindposts are what formulate the Fastlaner's lifestyle. It drives action.
The Fastlane Roadmap: Predisposed to Wealth
The Fastlane Roadmap is predisposed to wealth because it operates under a wealth equation with controllable, unlimited variables, and the mathematical cage of time is removed.
ULL is replaced with CUL.
The Shadow Behind “Get Rich Quick”
“Get Rich Quick” is such an abused phrase that it has no credibility. Beaten and battered, we're numbed to believe it doesn't exist. Like Santa or a unicorn, we're advised, “Get rich quick is a scam!”
No! That's not “Get Rich Quick” but “Get Rich Easy”-and that only leads to a lighter wallet.
Many people have lived “Get Rich Quick” because it was preceded by process.
Tales from the Fastlane
Here are some Fastlane stories pulled from the headlines:
- The inventor who creates a gadget and sells millions of them to 15 wholesale distributors.
- The guy who builds a cell phone application and sells it 50,000 times.
- The guy who formulates an energy bar to help him stave off hunger and later is offered $192 million for his company.
- The guy who builds a blog and three years later sells it for $4 million to a big pharmaceutical company.
- The woman who invents a mop and sells 500,000 of them on QVC.
- The teenager who builds a Web site that profits $70,000 month and later sells it for millions.
- The guy who patents a product process and then licenses it to a Fortune 500 company and goes on to make $14 million.
- The guy who creates a Web site to help him listen to his favorite basketball team and later sells the company for $5.5 billion.
- The guy who builds a software company and later becomes the richest man on the planet.
- The doctor who researches anti-aging treatments and sells them to a drug company for $700 million.
- The author who writes a book about a teenage wizard and goes on to become a billionaire.
- The gal who manufacturers and sells 20 million undergarments that help women fight body gravity.
- The Internet marketer who earns $150,000/month selling ads.
- The infomercial marketer who remakes an existing product and sells 4 million of the “new, improved” version.
- The guy who creates an energy drink to help him stay hydrated and then sells the company for $530 million.
The Fastlane: Wealth's Industrial Revolution
Likewise, financial freedom via the Fastlane Roadmap is like an industrial revolution for wealth. The default road to wealth is manual labor, a fight against time and intrinsic value. The rapid road to wealth is to industrialize the wealth process, to systematize it like our ancestors systematized production.
The Parable of Fastlane Wealth
Two yound men being told to build a pyramid.
They take different approach.
The first one:
Azur begins work immediately. He slowly drags large heavy stones into a square formation.
The stones are heavy and difficult to move, and after one year of heavy labor, Azur's perfect square foundation to the pyramid is nearly finished.
The second one:
Not one stone has been laid. No foundation. No dirt engravings. Nothing. It's as barren as it was a year ago when Pharaoh commissioned the job.
The first one:
Another year passes and Azur solidifies the base of his pyramid and begins the second level. Except a problem arises. Azur struggles in his progress. The stones are heavy and he cannot raise them to the pyramid's second level. Challenged by his physical limitations, Azur recognizes his weakness: he needs more strength to move heavier stones, and to do so, seeks the counsel of Bennu, Egypt's strongest man. For a fee, Bennu trains Azur to build bigger and stronger muscles. With great strength, Azur anticipates the heavier stones will be easier to lift onto the higher levels.
The second one:
pyramid plot of land is still barren.
The first one:
Another year passes and Azur's pyramid construction slows to a disheartening crawl. It often takes one month just to place one stone.
Additionally, Azur is spending most of his money on counseling fees and the exotic diet required for the training.
Azur estimates at his current construction pace, his pyramid will be completed in another 30 years.
The second one:
a towering machine built from a twisted maze of gantries, wheels, levers, and ropes.
Within minutes, Chuma's strange machine starts moving heavy stones and begins to lay the foundation to his pyramid. One after another, the machine effortlessly lifts the stones and softly places them side-by-side into place. Miraculously, the machine requires little effort for Chuma's operation.
While Azur's pyramid foundation took over a year to build, Chuma lines up the foundation to his pyramid within one week.
What took Azur two months takes Chuma's machine two days. After 40 days, Chuma and his machine accomplish as much as Azur's three years of toilsome work.
Azur was destroyed. He spent years doing the heavy lifting while Chuma built a machine to do it for him.
After eight years, Chuma finishes his pyramid at age 26: three years to build the system and five years to reap the benefits of the system. The great pharaoh is pleased and does as promised. He rewards Chuma with kingship and endows him with great riches. Chuma never has to work another day in his life.
Meanwhile, Azur continues to dredge away at the same old routine. Lift rocks, waste time and money to get stronger, lift rocks, and get stronger. Sadly, Azur refuses to acknowledge his flawed strategy and endures the same old process: Carry heavy stones until you can lift no more … then get stronger so you can lift heavier stones.
This mindless prescription leads Azur to a lifetime of toil. He never finishes his pyramid promised to Pharaoh simply because he decides to do the heavy lifting himself when he should have focused on a system to do it for him. Azur has a heart attack and dies while on the 12th level of his pyramid, just two levels from finishing. He never experiences the great riches promised by Pharaoh.
The Fastlane Is a Business System: The Slowlane Is a Job
The Slowlane is a job: your hard work traded for your employer's cash. Azur's struggles resemble that of a Slowlaner; to get rich, you're told to get stronger (spend money, return to school, and earn more in the job market) so you can lift heavier stones. The Fastlane is about building a better system, a better contraption, a better product, or a better “something” that will leverage your work. In the Slowlane, you are the source of heavy lifting, while in the Fastlane, you construct a system that does it for you.
- The risk profile of a Fastlane strategy isn't much different from the Slowlane, but the rewards are far greater.
- The Fastlane Roadmap is an alternative financial strategy predicated on Controllable Unlimited Leverage.
- The Fastlane roadmap is predisposed to wealth.
- The Fastlane Roadmap is capable of generating “Get Rich Quick” results, not to be confused with “Get Rich Easy.”