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How to Get Rich: One of the World's Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets Paperback – May 26, 2009
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"Well-founded advice based on hard-won experience."
"Nothing if not entertaining, even inspiring."
"An unexpected gem."
-Forbes "Engaging and blunt."
"Entertaining and practical advice."
"If Machiavelli sat down at his iMac to confect The Billionaire Prince, it might sound remarkably like Felix Dennis's How to Get Rich."
-The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Felix Dennis is the chairman of Dennis Publishing, which publishes The Week among many other magazines. He was the founder of Maxim, one of the most successful new magazines of the last decade. He has written several volumes of poetry that have been performed live onstage by the Royal Shakespeare Company. His other interests include breeding rare pigs, drinking French wine, collecting first edition books, and avoiding business meetings. He has homes in London, Stratford-upon-Avon, New York City, Connecticut, and the Caribbean island of Mustique.
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He does tell you how to get rich, and warns you that it won't make you any happier or more content, but it will give you more choices. That's about it.
The only question left is, If Felix Dennis had known he would die so early, would he have spent those decades chasing wealth, or simply followed his desire to travel and write poetry, on a more modest budget?
Here are a few things I liked about this book. He speaks clearly about fear. Come on now, that is what stops most of us from really becoming rich and successful. Its tough to leave the security of a comfortable job and give it all up for the scary roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship. I know I personally would not be comfortable without a steady flow of money coming in. Could you get through a period of months without any cash flow? That's a huge fear.
A second topic I really like is the fallacy of the great idea. You do not need some great, original idea to be successful. Really all you need to do is take an existing idea and put a new spin on it. Do it better than anyone else. Combine two existing ideas that have not been combined so far. Take a look at Mcdonalds. They do not make the best hamburger in the world. They are not even close. But they do the whole process better than anyone else. The idea is not important, the proper execution of the idea is where the money lies.
Ownership. You must own your company and never give away or sell ownership. And if you must sell some ownership, never sell controlling interest.
To really achieve a high level at this game you will probably alienate many people in your life. Long hours at work tends to stress a marriage. Its tough to see the kids play soccer when you always arrive home long after darkness has arrived. You have to change the way you think, most people are uncomfortable being surrounded by people much smarter and more qualified than they are. But if you want to be rich, you have to hire great talent. Talent, that while very qualified has not overcome the fear associated with starting their own business. Which is great for us, because we can hire them.
There is a definite element of "look at how above the rules I am from normal society" that I found very intriguing in the authors tone. Aside from that, the only action items listed in this book are "own the business" and "work hard". Didn't add much to the industry, but still a highly entertaining read in terms of the authors perspective on life in general.
THE EIGHT SECRETS TO GETTING RICH Analyse your need. Desire is insufficient. Compulsion is mandatory. Cut loose from negative influences. Never give in. Stay the course. Ignore ‘great ideas’. Concentrate on great execution. Focus. Keep your eye on the ball marked ‘The Money Is Here’. Hire talent smarter than you. Delegate. Share the annual pie. Ownership is the real ‘secret’. Hold on to every percentage point you can. Sell before you need to, or when bored. Empty your mind when negotiating. Fear nothing and no one. Get rich. Remember to give it all away.
The problem I have with the book is that EVERY page is about his magazine company, Computer shopper, and any other publisher that was around at the time. I really don't need to hear so much about magazines. If you read the book you will have magazine stories out your ears. Perhaps that is good for a publisher, but for the general public, it is about as interesting as watching paint dry.
I find myself skimming through parts about rambling on about the magazine industry. The book is not a total waste and you will probably get some good ideas from it. It's just that you are going to really work to find the ideas in between all the magazine industry fluf. Each chapter I kept thinking, whew glad that was over. Then another chapter about the magazine industry.