Book review: How to Get Rich

I have just finished a very interesting book by Felix Dennis, called “How to get rich”. He calls it, and I agree with him, an anti-self help book. It’s a book about what its really like to get rich and how to do it.

I don’t agree with everything Felix says, especially in my field of work in IT, about how to grow and build a business to make real wealth – mainly the part where he insists you own 100% of your business. In my case this is a practical impossibility unless you are very rich to start out, as you need large amounts of money to build a world class IT business. In order to raise money you usually need to trade equity for capital.

However, in most of the rest of his assertions which are pretty focused on his area of expertise in publishing and mail order I would agree with him.

The core things I learned from this (or he reminded me what I already knew) where that to succeed in any endeavour to an extreme (i.e. to get really rich) you need to be an extremist. You need an internal drive that will never be diminished. Desire is not an option.

In order to actually make it past the point of good or great, to insanely successful you must have the patience and perseverance well beyond a normal person. In being extraordinary you need to insulate yourself from negative people that will try and slow you down. Remember – who you spend time with is who you become!

Great ideas are ‘ten a penny’ – In order to make any money of an idea you need world class execution from a team of talented and focused people.

Keep bringing yourself back to your core goals (yes write them down and visualise them) and remember why you do what you do. If that’s making money then kill the dead projects, invest in those that are likely to win big.

Get the best team, motivate them and fire them with your passion then give them the power. When they succeed reward them very well indeed from the profits.

Own as much of the equity, preferably all of it, that you can of your business. I agree to a degree with this if you can build a massive business without giving away equity. If you can’t I believe you should use equity and not debt to build your business in the early stages.

Maximise the value of your company by selling near the top, but leaving room for the new owner to grow and build the business further.

Remember we are all ‘people’ in the end, no-one is better than you and nor are you better than anyone else. In the end we are all souls that will die and we cant take any of the wealth or power with us, so fear no one and get rich!

When you are rich, spread it around as you see fit and try not to spend the rest of your life in fear you will lose it.

In summary his 8 secrets are:

  1. Analyse your need. Desire is insufficient. Compulsion is mandatory.
  2. Cut loose from negative influences. Never give in. Stay the course.
  3. Ignore ‘great ideas’. Concentrate on great execution.
  4. Focus. Keep your eye on the ball marked ‘the money is here’
  5. Hire talent smarter than you. Delegate. Share the annual pie.
  6. Ownership is the real secret. Hold on to every % point you can.
  7. Sell before you need too, or when bored. Empty your mind when negotiating.
  8. Fear nothing and no-one. Get rich. Remember to give it all away.

Go buy and read his book it’s a fun and interesting read not just about his ideas but his life too. How to get rich by Felix Dennis (ebury press). Or visit his site:

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