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I'm supposed to fool you into thinking my biography was written by a third party or someone of authority who will write impressive things about me. I'll spare you the charade.Here's a my short biography, written by myself.
Every morning for over twenty years, I have lived a life better than most monarchs in human history, minus the overbearing footmen and valets. When I wake up in the morning, I pinch myself black and blue just to confirm it's real. Ouch!—it's real! Yes, perspective and gratitude are part of my daily routine, as is happiness.
Year after year, I get to do what few people can: I wake up when I want, do what I want, and live how I want. And no, cheap, miserly living—the kind fervently promoted on most financial rags nowadays—is not part of my life. There is a unique joy in driving what you want, living how you want, and dining out as frequently as you want—and without cost as a consideration. Or, thanks to the global pandemic and its lockdown mandates, having food hand-delivered to your front door.
Speaking of front doors, my home looks (and sometimes feels) more like a luxurious private resort rather than a single-family home. With nearly 13,000 square feet at the base of the beautiful Wasatch mountains in Alpine, Utah, the word "house" is an understatement. The home shown aside, as pictured on Fastlane's home page, is not some stock photo from a Google image search—it is my home.
This home has everything one could want and more. A lush backyard with its own private creek putting most national park campgrounds to shame? Check. Indoor basketball court, a private gym, an expansive library, and a booming home theater that could rival any commercial cineplex? Check. Lap pool and a ten-person hot tub for raucous late-night parties? Check. (Just joking about the parties!) In the mood to shoot pool or a few games of pop-a-shot? A round of pickleball, ping-pong, or darts? No problem, good times are rolling at the DeMarco crib.
But it gets better.
Every day is, or could be, a Saturday. Although my publishing company and the goal-setting startup I'm part of keeps me quite busy, I have no job and no boss. I wasn't kidding: I live better than royalty, complete with weekly massages, personal chefs (thanks, DoorDash!), and a group of maintenance crews to keep it all operating efficiently. Simply put, I have designed my life to feel like a vacation.
While my palatial home might insinuate a lot of reckless and extravagant spending, I don't own lavish jewelry, designer clothes, or a watch more expensive than $1000 bucks. While I used to own various exotic cars, mostly Lamborghinis, I outgrew that phase and swapped that ostentatiousness for eleven jaw-dropping acres in Sedona, Arizona. Now I prefer a rock-crawling ATV that can adventurously take me to unmolested, beautiful swaths of nature. (Side note: You need to put Sedona on your bucket list.)
Generally speaking, I'm as normal as anyone. I still shop at Costco, Kohl's, and whichever store is convenient. Yes, that includes Walmart, but only if the parking lot is empty. No, I didn't drive my Lamborghinis to Walmart; that might cause a disruption in the space-time continuum. Trekkies know better.
What isn't normal? Unless I walk through the Bellagio in Las Vegas, I rarely look at prices. If I want it, I buy it. It is real financial freedom—not lifestyle asceticism as peddled today by "mediocre millionaires," which involves punitive lifestyles more befit for a homeless beggar.
While I mainly paid cash for my home (if you can get a $1.8 million loan at 2.25% interest, I highly recommend it), I am primarily debt-free. While I have a slew of credit cards, the banks hate me. Every balance is paid off monthly, which generates a mountain of points and free gifts. It is my ultimate "FU" to the banking system—I take advantage of banks; banks don't take advantage of me.
As for how much all this costs, it's not as much as you think. I'm not worth billions unless you're counting pennies. I made my first million when I was 31. Five years earlier, I was living with my mother and struggling. I "retired" into this dream when I was 37. With a meaty eight-figure net worth, I earn thousands of dollars in monthly profits, interest, and appreciation on investments working around the globe.
No matter what I do on any day, one thing is sure: The bills get paid, and work is optional. I can pursue my most implausible dreams in a life free of financial encumbrances while still living extraordinarily well.
Now I don't say all of this to brag. In the grand scheme of things, I'm a nobody.
Regardless how many people recommend Fastlane, you won't see my work spoon-fed to you on the shelves in any American bookstore. In fact, you are more likely to find Fastlane in a bookstore located in Paris, Bangkok, or Seoul, Korea. You also won't see Fastlane highlighted on any best-seller lists or featured on Goodreads. You won't read about me on some Silicon Valley blog. You won't read about me on some financial news website touting the latest mainstream orthodoxy of early retirement involving smothering budgets, living in a trailer, and driving a ten-year-old truck with 250,000 miles.
Simply put, The Millionaire Fastlane and the potential lifestyle freedoms it instructs are a threat to the world agenda. Had I adopted that agenda of "save, invest, and be patient," my dreams would be on life-support, likely replaced with a meaningless job, a heavy morning commute, and a 50mg prescription of Prozac. In other words, I go from a king to a peasant.
As of 2022, I'm the CEO and co-founder of GoalSumo.com, a goal-setting and productivity tool designed to engineer your dreams. I also own Viperion Publishing Corp., a small company dedicated to my publishing adventures which administrate and distributes my books in all forms: print, eBook, and audiobook, including international licensing. I'm also the founder of one of the web's most visited discussion communities for entrepreneurship, TheFastlaneForum.com.
Founded in 2007, Fastlane is an active entrepreneurial forum dedicated to the advancement of Fastlane Entrepreneurship and the CENTS philosophy behind it. Visit the forum, and you will find honest business discussions confronting real entrepreneurs who share a common bond for delivering value and earning financial freedom. As such topics are prohibited, you won't find any discussions on low-barrier opportunities like multi-level marketing, dropshipping, and affiliate marketing.
As for early business forays, my entrepreneurial roots started young with several various failed ventures, from fitness supplements to automotive audio. One of my interests was the limousine business, where I errantly thought, "Hey, that would be such a cool business to own!" So, in my twenties, I took a job with a small company hoping to "learn the ropes."
After a few years in this business, I soon learned it was NOT the type of company I wanted to own based on Fastlane principles. However, my operational and industry experience had a significant benefit. I identified a poorly met need which would later become Limos.com, a global ground transportation aggregator I founded in 1997 with no money and no internet training.
As for that great domain, I didn't buy it at GoDaddy for twenty bucks. Instead, I had to buy it from a private party in the secondary market at the height of the dot-com craze, all financed by my credit cards. A year later, I created and founded LimoForSale.com, a commercial two-sided marketplace for used ground transportation vehicles such as buses, coaches, and limos.
After running these businesses for over 40 months of consecutive profitability for several years, I was fortunate enough to get caught up in the dot-com craziness. I sold the assets for a nice "life-changing" amount of money.
Unfortunately, the overflowing flutes of champagne didn't last long.
After failing a significant earn-out that represented most of the purchase price and attempting to "FIRE" my newfound wealth in tech stocks, I had less than $300K left.
That company later went bankrupt (as did most of the companies back then), at which time I was forced with a decision. I could watch the company fold or repurchase it and reclaim my title as CEO and Founder, at which point I would need to earn my keep in a world where everyone was failing.
Over the next 6 years, I continued to build the business into one of the preeminent leaders in the space, which routinely profited 6-figures monthly while I worked whenever, and wherever I wanted. In late 2007, I sold the company (again) to a Phoenix-based private-equity company for a multimillion-dollar cash offer and successfully exited the business. This landed me into a nice cushy semi-retirement, my personal eternal bliss of "do what I love," which is writing. This was when my publishing company and my forum were born.
The takeaway in my story is this: I created a multimillion-dollar company despite lacking two common themes most people use as excuses: money and education. I built my company with $900 and no formal schooling in web technology. I self-funded and self-taught myself everything, powered by discipline and educated from widely available resources, most of which were free and still are.
This mentality is still with me today, twenty years later, and it serves me extraordinarily well.
After selling my company, I took a few years off and focused on my passion, writing. This is how The Millionaire Fastlane (TMF) was born— not just because I love to write but because it needed to be written. TMF was released in late 2010 with little fanfare. No phony hyped-up launches from circle-jerking friends. No upsells into some high-priced coaching gigs. No fake testimonials from "thought-leaders" who never read the book but just happen to share the same publishing imprint.
Yes, TMF was the book I wish I had read back when I was 20. In effect, I was writing to my younger self who was failing and needed direction. Badly.
A few years later, TMF has become an international best-seller, translated into multiple languages, and is frequently compared against some timeless classics like Think and Grow Rich and Rich Dad Poor Dad. Fastlane was a labor of love for me when I wrote it years ago, and it still is today.
Please give it a read and let the information therein give you the power to change your life forever as it did mine. If it doesn't, ask for a refund.
My best wishes as I hope you discover the life you desire. Change something, or change nothing.
MJ DeMarco, Entrepreneur and AuthorTry for Free Get the Book
FIRE Success Satired!
"I didn't want to work for the rest of my life," said Peter Furling, "so I stopped spending money. Then I heard the crickets outside and realized, 'Hey, I could live off the land eating high-protein insects and save hundreds every month!'"
The most profound article on personal finance you will ever read. And you won't need to spend 12 hours reading a dry 400 page book by a motivational speaker who made billions of dollars selling seminars, not index fund investments.
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