The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco: Summary

July 6, 2022


What it's about?

This book will change your life. It will change your perception about wealth and money. It will make you believe things are possible.

This book has some key focuses. These notes are broken up the focus area.

The Roadmaps to wealth

Initally the book focuses on distinguishing between the three different roadmaps to wealth.

If you want to change your life, change your choices. To change your choices you must change your belief system. Your belief system is defined by your roadmap.MJ DeMarco

When Demarco talks about roadmaps he is talking about our financial strategy in life. This strategy is associated to how we view money, debt, education and success.

The three roadmaps are:

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

The Sidewalk

People in the sidewalk are spending money, not saving, constantly in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, never going to become a millionaire.

It is a psychology of instant gratification, you spend money as soon as you get it, buying the newest shinnyest thing to give off the apperance of having success.

Most people here live paycheck-to-paycheck.

The Slowlane

This is the lie most of us are sold, we are told work hard for 40 years, save, invest in 401K, index funds and then retire when you're old and frial at 65.

Slowlane strategy is rooted in Uncontrollable Limited Leverage, or ULL (pronounced “yule”). If you need help remembering this important concept, just think, “If the Slowlane is your plan, 'ULL' never get rich.MJ DeMarco

Problems with the Slowlane:

  • It takes decades, by the time you get there you're too old to enjoy it.
  • Not a surething, economic downturns, war, death etc. all these unknowns could end the journey for you.
  • You are trading time (your most valuable resource) for income.
  • There is a limitation on your your experience, how many typewriter repair people are there now? Or how many manufacturing jobs have been replaced by automation of offshored?
  • No control you have little say over your income and what work you get to do.
  • You have to deal with people, people bring attitudes, office politics and poor work. You have no say.
  • Income increase volicity is limited you tend not to get 100% pay-rises in the slowlane.

The dangers of operating in the slowlane:

  1. Danger to your health, you die and you never get to enjoy what you've been working towards.
  2. Danger of your job, you get fired and your plan is setback.
  3. Danger of your home, what if the market collapses and you lose value.
  4. Danger of the company, companies go bankrupt.
  5. Danger of your lifestyle, you settle for a Toyota instead of a Tesla.
  6. Danger of the economy, as I write this there is a recession, people are being made redundant and stock portfolios are collapsing.
  7. Danger of the sidewalk, you give up once you realise it is going to take too long.
You give five days of work servitude in exchange for two days of weekend freedom.MJ DeMarco

13 Distinctions between Slowland & Fastlane:

  1. Slowlane millionaires make millions in thirty years or more. Fastlane millionaires make millions in ten years or less.
  2. Slowlane millionaires need to live in middle-class homes, tiny houses, or trailers. Fastlane millionaires can live in luxury estates.
  3. Slowlane millionaires have MBAs. Fastlane millionaires hire people with MBAs.
  4. Slowlane millionaires let their assets drift by market forces. Fastlane millionaires control their assets and possess the power to manipulate their value.
  5. Slowlane millionaires can’t afford exotic cars. Fastlane millionaires can afford whatever they want.
  6. Slowlane millionaires work for their time. Fastlane millionaires have time working for them.
  7. Slowlane millionaires are employees. Fastlane millionaires hire employees.
  8. Slowlane millionaires have 401(k)s. Fastlane millionaires offer 401(K)s.
  9. Slowlane millionaires use index funds and Wall Street instruments to get rich. Fastlane millionaires use them for income, liquidity, and capital deployment.
  10. Slowlane millionaires let other people control their income streams. Fastlane millionaires control their income streams.
  11. Slowlane millionaires are cheap with money. Fastlane millionaires are cheap with time.
  12. Slowlane millionaires use their house for net worth. Fastlane millionaires use their homes for a luxurious residency.
  13. Slowlane millionaires are bound by daily budgets and must scrutinize every price and every purchase. Fastlane millionaires only have budgets pertaining to rare, high-dollar items: jets, vacation homes, exotic cars.

The Fastlane

The Fastlane is a business and lifestyle strategy that swaps Uncontrollable Limited Leverage (ULL) with Controllable Unlimited Leverage (CUL), creating an optimal environment for rapid wealth creation and extraordinary lifestyles.MJ DeMarco

The Fastlane is about paying attention to these four segments:

  1. CUL - instead of having no contorl and limited leverage, you have max control and leverage.
  2. Business - you swap having a job for running your own business.
  3. Lifestyle - a system of blended beliefs, processes and actions.
  4. Rapid wealth creation creating large sums of wealth beyond that of the middle class, not get rich quick/easy, but get rich quicker/easier.
The risk profile of a Fastlane strategy isn't much different from the Slowlane, but the rewards are far greater.MJ DeMarco

The key to moving into the Fastlane is switching mindset.

Be a Producer not a Consumer

Reshape life's focus on producing, not consuming. When you reframe your thinking from majority thinking (consumer) to minority thinking (producer), you effectively switch teams and allegiances. Yes, become a producer first and a consumer second.MJ DeMarco

Most of us go through life as consumers, this is not how people in the Fastlane view the world. People in the Fastlane, are producers. "Instead of buying products on TV, sell products. Instead of digging for gold, sell shovels. Instead of taking a class, offer a class. Instead of borrowing money, lend it. Instead of taking a job, hire for jobs. Instead of taking a mortgage, hold a mortgage."

You need to shift your mindset to become a producer, for example when you see an advertising message, examine it from a producers perspective.

  • Ask how does that company make money?
  • What is the aim of the message?
  • What kind of business processes are involved in offering this product or service?
  • Is this company making a profit?
  • What is the revenue model?

So don't scoff at the product or ad, instead ask if it works and why/how it works.

Modern equivelant would be when you see the same person blow up on twitter everyday ask yourself, what are they doing right, what is their aim, are they making money, who do they interact with.

Another example is a great blog post, think about the structure of the post, the words they use, the words they don't, if they use links, what links, how long is it, what makes a great post.

Using this mindset you will be able to see what business strategies are working in the real world. Let your curiosity drive you to seek answers. When you have answers start to producing making things.

DeMarco failed numerous times before he hit, but each failure had some successes and with each success he was able to learn and grow and build on them until he hit.

"Break free from consumption, switch sides, and reorient to the world as producer."

The law of wealth

The law of effection: The more people you affect in an entity you control, in scale and/or magnitute, the richer you will become.

“To exploit the Law of Effection, your business needs to make an impact of either scale or magnitude, or both. Within our Fastlane wealth equation, “scale” and “magnitude” are implicit to our “net profit” variable. NET PROFIT = Units Sold (Scale) X Unit Profit (Magnitude)”

Put simply ~ affect millions = make millions

Five commandements (CENTS)

  1. The Commandment of Control
  2. The Commandment of Entry
  3. The Commandment of Need
  4. The Commandment of Time
  5. The Commandment of Scale


Either you're driving or you're in the passenager seat and someone else is in control.

If you're not in control you're a hitch hiker.

Hitch hikers, ride on other peoples businesses.

Signs your a hitch hiker:

  • You create content for YouTube, making it more successful
  • You sell drop-ship products making the Manufacturer more successful
  • You write content to sell Adsense, making Adsense more successful
  • You have a Subway franchise, making Subway more successful

Here the Fastlaners are YouTube, the Manufacturer, Adsense and Subway.

If you want control you need to change your mindset:

  • Create MLM companies; don’t join them.
  • Sell franchises; don’t buy them.
  • Offer affiliate programs; don’t join them.
  • Offer drop-shipping; don’t use drop-shipping.
  • Offer employment; don’t get employed.

You want control, because if someone else is in control they can shut down whatever you have going at anytime. You're employed now, but layoff happen all the time.

So you want to be incontrol of when you shut it down

Once you take control you can start to work towards big money.

Good money is making $20K/month, affilates can earn that.

Big money, life changing money is $200K/month.

"When you control your business, you control everything in your business—your organization, products, pricing, revenue model, and operational choices. If you can’t control every aspect of your company, you’re not driving! And if you can’t drive, you set yourself up for sudden, unexpected crashes."


The easier it is to enter into business in a market, the less effective that market is to do business in.

The Commandment of Entry states that as entry barriers fall, competition rises, and the road weakens. Accessible roads carry more traffic.

More traffic generates higher competition, and higher competition creates lower margins for the participants.

If any Joe Blow alley-napping next to a dumpster behind Chan's Chinese restaurant can start your business in minutes, it isn't a business you want to be doing!

If you violate the Commandment of Entry then you need to be exceptional, and exceptionality is a long shot. Like become a pro athlete or winning the lottery.

Could you be exceptional among 50,000 like-minded “distributors”? It is doubtful. Conversely, if you start a business with 12 competitors. Could you be exceptional among 12? Absolutely.

Therefore, when it comes to entry, your industry and your business should not be available to everyone because you need to be exceptional if it is. And if you are exceptional, easy entry becomes not a liability but an asset.

Entry is a process not an event

Want to know if your business violates entry? The answer is simple: Is getting into business an event or a process?

A process is a concerted series of choices.

For example "If you wanted to start a bed-and-breakfast in Sedona, Arizona, you'd have to find a property, fix it, finance it, insure it, get licensing, and permits, hire staff and perform about ten other steps. Entry is a detailed process."

Finally if everyone is doing it, it's not worth doing. Your aunty at your cousins wedding telling you about Bitcoin then it's time to sell.


Businesses that solve needs and provide value win.

Needs can be pain points, service gaps, unsolved problems, or emotional disconnects.

Think about the purpose of businesses. Why do they exist? To satisfy your selfish desire to “do what you love?” To meet your craving for wealth and financial freedom? Seriously, no one cares about your desires, your dreams, your passions, your “whys,” or your reasons for wanting to be rich...People care about what your business can do for them. How will it help them? What's in it for them? Will it solve their problem? Make their life easier? Provide them with shelter? Save them money? Educate them? Make them feel something? Why on God's green Earth should I give your business money? What value are you adding to my life? Reflect to our producer/consumer dichotomy. Consumers are selfish. They demand to know “what's in it for me!” To succeed as a producer, surrender your own selfishness and address the selfishness of others.MJ DeMarco

Many entrepreneurs fail because they create businesses based on their own selfish desires. Forget about what you desire and start chasing needs, problems, pain points, service deficiencies and emotions.

You start to find success (money) when you turn your focus from yourself to others needs. "Give first, take second".

Don't ask: What business can I start with $200 Do ask: What problem can I solve for someone with $200

Make 1 million people achieve any of the following and you will be rich:

  1. Make them feel better. (entertainment, music, video games)
  2. Help them solve a problem.
  3. Educate them.
  4. Make them look better (health, nutrition, clothing, makeup).
  5. Give them security (housing, safety, health).
  6. Raise a positive emotion (love, happiness, laughter, self-confidence).
  7. Satisfy appetites, from basic (food) to the risqué (sexual).
  8. Make things easier.
  9. Enhance their dreams and give hope.

Quickest way to ruin your passion is to make it your job.

It's better to have passion for the things the money solving someones needs unlocks for you, passion for 3 months holiday, passion for a nice house, passion for a sports car.

Make 1 million people achieve any of the following and you will be rich:

  1. Make them feel better. (entertainment, music, video games)
  2. Help them solve a problem.
  3. Educate them.
  4. Make them look better (health, nutrition, clothing, makeup).
  5. Give them security (housing, safety, health).
  6. Raise a positive emotion (love, happiness, laughter, self-confidence).
  7. Satisfy appetites, from basic (food) to the risqué (sexual).
  8. Make things easier.
  9. Enhance their dreams and give hope.


The Commandment of Time requires that your business be detached from your time.

Ask yourself this, can you go out camping in a remote area with no signal and still expect your business to be standing when you get back? Can it continue to grow and make money while you are away?

If it can't then your business is attached to your time. You are violating this commandment.


The great the pool of potential customers, the greater the potential for wealth.

A business can be a single or a home-run-based business. Its strength is determined by scale, which is derived from habitat. You only have to hit a home-run once to make it rich.

There are two ways to increase scale:

  1. Increase the cost of you product
  2. increase the pool of people you can sell to

The law of scale requires 3 things:

  • Scale: if you can't sell to millions, you won't make millions. One cafe vs. Starbucks
  • Magnitude: if you can sell premium products for premium prices, you can make millions.
  • Source: You need to be in control, to make millions. A doctor should make millions, because they have magnitude. But, they don't have control. The hospital has control and they determine the price and scale.

Becoming a millionaire

The only way to get rich (with high likelihood) is to start your own business.

Five Fastlane Businesses:

1. Rental Systems. Think Real estate, or renting jumping castles. You get enough of them and you have scale. 2. Software Systems. The internet is a millionaire king maker, it is undefeated in the amount of millionaires it has made. 3. Content Systems. Think books, blogs, YouTube, courses. You build it once and it keeps getting served out. 4. Distribution Systems. Amazon is a distribution system, you are the middle man. 5. Human Resource Systems. The worst millionaire business to run, things like consultanting.

The key to finding a business and making millions can be broken into three areas.

  1. Find a market
  2. Find a problem that market has
  3. Learn the skills nece

The roads that lead to millions

There are three roads that lead to millions:

  1. The internet
  • There are serval categories of Internet businesse & the Internet has made more millionaires in the last decade than any other medium.
    • Subscription: Offer users access to data, information, or software (SAAS), and charge a monthly fee.
    • Content: disseminate information to a particular niche or industry and sell ads or info products on top.
    • Lead gen: centeralize and aggregate info like
    • Social networks: pull peoples eye-balls through tribes and groups.
    • Brokerage systems: connect buyers with sellers
    • E-commerce
  1. Innovation
  2. Intentional Iteration

Millionaire Mindsets

  • "Have You Sold Your Soul for a Weekend? Your soul is worth more than a weekend. Banality followed by blindness is the side effect of Slowlane institutionalization...You give five days of work servitude in exchange for two days of weekend freedom."

  • "You want to be damn sure you aren't “other people,” because “other people” is synonymous with “most people.” Most people start excited and gush with exuberance but give up at the first pothole or failure."

  • If you wnat to attract money, forget about money."The amount of money in your life is merely a reflection of the amount of value you have given to others."

  • "If you want to change your life, change your choices."

  • "If you aren't where you want to be, the problem is your choices."

  • "You are exactly where you chose to be."

  • "Success is hundreds of choices that form process. Process forms lifestyle."

  • "The winning team is Team Producer."

  • "If the universe doesn't remember, why should you?"

  • "The kindergarten kids believed they could sing because no one had told them otherwise."

  • "People who don't empower your goals are human headwind bloviators...You must turn your back on them. Every entrepreneur has bloviators in their life."

  • "When you spout excitement over actions or ideas, bloviators react with doubt and disbelief and use conditioned talking points such as, “Oh that won't work,” “Someone is already doing it,” and “Why bother?” In motivational circles, they call them “dream stealers.”"

  • “If you hang out with dogs, you get fleas.”

  • "Reflect on your environment and your relationships, and recognize the headwinds. Then choose accelerative action: Can these headwinds be removed, ignored, or managed?"

  • "When you associate with people who empower your goals, you create a wind at your back and build momentum."

  • "Join entrepreneur clubs, attend networking events, ally yourself with like-minders, get yourself around people who subscribe to a Fastlane, anything is-possible mindset, and decide who you want on your team of warriors...Join entrepreneur forums with a Fastlane mindset."

  • "Value your time poorly and you will be poor."

  • "I don't need television because I invested my time into a real life worth living, not a fictitious escape that airs every Tuesday night at 8 p.m."

  • "The reality is that time is deathly scarce, while money is richly abundant."

  • "If these people had three months to live, would they be outside Best Buy in a sleeping bag waiting? Six months? Six years?"

  • "You learn from engagement, from doing, and from getting out and taking repeated action, more so than from any book or professor. But “I don't know how!” you cry. Oh, stop. Public enemy No. 1 on the most used excuses list is, “I don't know how!” Well, why don't you know how? I'll tell you why. You don't know because you haven't taught yourself how, nor have you wanted to “know how” badly enough. You see, it is easier to relent under the weight of “I don't know how” than it is to actively pursue the knowledge. In today's information society, there is absolutely no excuse not to find out how."

  • "A committed Fastlaner has his nose in a book weekly. He attends seminars. He trolls business forums. He's on Google, searching different topics and strategies. You have the innate power to become an expert at anything not requiring physical talent."

  • "Maximize time and you maximize wealth. Accomplish two objectives in one time frame. Make life your university. Here are some time-cheating, “life university” strategies."

  • "If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough." ~ Mario Andretti

  • "There's a profound difference between interest and commitment. Interest reads a book; commitment applies the book 50 times. Interest wants to start a business; commitment files LLC paperwork. Interest works on your business an hour a day Monday through Friday; commitment works on your business seven days a week whenever time permits. Interest leases an expensive car; commitment rides a bike and puts the money into your system."

  • "Interest is quitting after the third failure; commitment is continuing after the hundredth."

  • "The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!"

  • "Freedom has a price, and that price is money."

  • "What is the price for the freedom and lifestyle you want? Find out with this four-step process: Define the Lifestyle: What do you want? Assess the Cost: How much do your dreams cost? Set the Targets: Set the money system and business income targets. Make It Real: Fund it and open it!" ~ Do this exercise it is life changing.

  • "No, I won’t sign your NDA, nor do I care about your idea. In the world of wealth, ideas are worthless yet treated like gold. I love how idea conjurers protect their ideas with great stewardship, careful they don’t get into the hands of would be thieves, not knowing their ideas are already shared by hundreds of others. The owner of an idea is not he who imagines it, but he who executes it."

  • "Within our Fastlane chess game, ideas (pawns) are potential speed, while execution (the king) is the pressure applied to the accelerator."

  • "Complaints are a beautiful thing. They represent free feedback and expose unmet needs in your business."

  • "If your eyes are glued to the competition's butt, guess what? Your eyes aren't on the road ahead. If you're following, you aren't leading, and if you aren't leading, you're not innovating."

  • "Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, 'Make me feel important. 'Never forget that message when working with people." ~ Mary Kay Ash

  • "Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from." ~ Jodie Foster

  • "Affordability is when you don’t have to think about it. If you have to think about “affordability,” you can’t afford it."

  • "Luck is a product of process, action, work, and being “out there.” And when you are “out there” you stand a chance at being in the right place at the right time."

  • "By working faithfully 8 hours a day, you may eventually get to be the boss and work 12 hours a day." ~ Robert Frost

  • "Change creates millionaires. Those who see the changes and take advantage of it will become the new millionaires and billionaires. And because change is constant, millionaire opportunities also remain constant."

  • "When I reflect on my own failures, they serve me to effect future change. It’s a part of the responsibility/accountability process. What did I learn? What can I change in the future? What should I forget?"

  • "What causes fear of failure? Answer: an overestimated worst-case consequence analysis."

  • "It is easier to live in regret of failure than in regret of never trying."

  • "Slowlaners seek to minimize expenses while the Fastlaner seeks to maximize income and asset values."

  • "An idea is the event, the execution is the process."

  • "Business plans are useless...because they’re ideas jacked-up on steroids...are useless until they are married to execution"

  • "Complaints of void are when your customer continually requests something and you don’t have it...Complaints of void are extremely valuable, as they expose unmet needs."

  • "Complaints of void are gold mines of opportunity. People freely tell you exactly what they want and you don’t have to pay for it! Unmet needs are served up on a silver platter."

  • "To create raving customers, you must exceed satisfaction."

  • "I learned fast that most business owners paid more attention to their competition than to their own business...If your preoccupation is with every single thing your competition does, you’re cheating your business and your customers."

  • "On the rare occasions you peek in at your competition, do so for exploitation. Mine their weaknesses and add value where they aren’t."