Fast Forward — You’re A Millionaire and This Is How…

Take a moment and envision your Fastlane success.

Whatever the threshold, envision you are there.  Fast forward to that place, right now.  You’re done.  “Retired” in however retired is defined for you.

Or, if not retired, living a dream lifestyle that few could live.   Envision your surroundings — what type of house would you be in?  On a mountain?  On a creek?  On the ocean?  What kind a car would you be in?   A trusty Toyota like I drive, or a maybe something a bit more extravagant like a Porsche?  How would you spend your time?  Traveling with family?  Home schooling your children?

Now, picture this…

An old high school friend that you haven’t seen in over a decade reunites and refriends with you.  Over time, he sees the awesome life you lead and asks “Wow, how did you accomplish this?  What is your story?”

Think about it.

What will your story be? What do you expect it will sound like?

Will it be some lame story like …

  • “Oh, I placed a Google ad, and next thing you know I was a multimillionaire”
  • “Oh, I was cleaning out my attic and found an old Picasso worth millions”
  • “Oh, I joined a network marketing company and wham, the next thing I knew I was a millionaire”
  • “Oh, I signed up for this affiliate program and had awesome success”
  • “Oh, I read the 4 Hour Work Week and geez, next thing ya know, I’m in this Porsche Turbo!”
  • “Oh, I bought a domain name and gosh darn it, the next thing I knew, I was living large!”

Or will your story be a long essay, filled with trials, tribulations, errors, triumphs, successes, and failures?

Failure Are the Pages to Your Backstory

Yes, if your backstory is weak, it’s probably because you have no pages in your story.

Those pages are failure.

Some questions to ponder …

Are you taking consistent action capable of generating a backstory?

Are you expecting a backstory from taking one, solitary action and expecting legendary success?

Is the effort you’re putting forth the kind of effort needed to create significant failure and significant results?

Are you experiencing failure?

The fact is, your millionaire story will never look like the examples above because the examples above don’t show a backstory.  They don’t show a process.  They don’t show failures.  They don’t show anything but a flash-in-the-face event.

For you to build your Fastlane success, you have to build your backstory and your backstory, unfortunately, will be made up of hard work, failures, and long “anti 4 hour work week” hours burned on Saturday evenings, Monday mornings, and yes, even on some Holidays.

The backstory is the process — the hard work that no one ever sees and rarely ever, no one wants to hear about.

The backstory is what you are doing when everyone else is sleeping.

The backstory is that money you lost on that PR stunt that failed.

The backstory is that ad you placed that had a $150/CPA.

The backstory is that night you spent up at 3am trying to code-break a user function error.

The backstory is that ad campaign that blew up in your face.

The backstory is the idea you had and ran with it — despite blowhards telling you “it won’t work”.

The backstory is tossing your selfish desires in the backseat of your car, while your business and Fastlane objectives take the driver seat.

When I look at my own success and my own backstory (found here) I remember all the failures, the trials, and the tribulations.  I remember looking to buy in the secondary market and wondering if I could buy it for anything less than 7-figures. I remember sitting in my apartment regurgitating code on a Friday night when I could hear the bustle of happy hour in the bar across the street.

You see, when you fully engage in process and start doing (and failing) you are burning your backstory into place, the unfolding process that architects the foundation to your backstory.

The point of this post is to form your expectations to your awesome, soon-to-be created backstory.

Because years from now, when you’re sitting around the campfire reminiscing how you got to live the awesome life you lead, expect that your story won’t be one of simplicity, leisure, and smooth-sailing.

Nope, in order for your story to be a story worth being told, expect to be fully engaged — get out your paintbrush and start painting the world with your executed ideas — build that backstory baby.


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  • Thomas

    Hey MJ,

    Why do you despise the 4 Hour Workweek so much? I ask out of curiosity. I loved your book as it has opened my eyes to a lot of things. If you have read the book, he has a very detailed account about his process that was very much more than four hours a week. He later sold his company.

    If you ask me, he seemed to follow the process that you have outlined in the book. Of course I’m sure Tim wants you to believe that you can start with fours a week and still be rich, without the process that he went through. Curious about your thoughts…

    • MJ DeMarco

      I don’t despise the book or the author (I’d call it a good ‘ole Fastlane success story) but I despise shitty customer service. I despise people who *think* they can become a millionaire working 4 hours a week. Part of this is because while writing my book, I had conversations with other wannabe entrepreneurs who were hell-bent on working 4hrs a week … from START to FINISH. One of them I remember vividly and had to let her accept her perceived reality based on her real reality: She was in her 30’s, still dabbling with school, and living with her parents. Nothing wrong with a short workweek (heck I had many) it just is gonna take the midnight oil to get there if an exponential growth curve is your goal.

      • That’s an awesome explanation! You address short work weeks in your book: you have to put in the zillion hours at the beginning and then eventually you are working less hours (4 hours a week or none at all!). None of us will get anywhere working 4 hours a week starting off!

      • Jeremy

        So many people confuse cause and effect when it comes to wealth.

        They see the effects of wealth–nice clothes, lunch at the club, nice car–and think that if they incur a bunch of debt and blow their money on that stuff, then they’ll be rich.

        HA!  Lunch at the club is an *effect* of wealth, not its cause.  Lunching at the club (assuming you can get in) will not make you rich.  Neither will leasing a “rich person’s car” with a payment equal to 50% of your salary.

        Same with a 4 hour or 0 hour work week.  When you’re rich, you can work 4 hours or 0 hours. 

        To *get* rich, you must work much more.

        Does it look like Tim Ferriss ever worked only 4 hours a week?  Heck no, that guys is all over the place.  He might define work differently, but trust me, he wasn’t spending 164 hours per week sleeping, watching tv, and playing video games. 

  • Great stuff as always!

    Sometimes I ask myself- “Have I failed enough yet to deserve success?” and oftentimes the answer is NO. Then I saw these points and reflect on recent events with our business:

    “The backstory is that night you spent up at 3am trying to code-break a user function error.”

    -I’ve already spent about 50hrs developing my site(including 2 holidays, my birthday and late nights/early mornings) and redoing the content only to find that the aesthetics and logo suck and I will most likely need professional help to fix this. Oh well… just another lesson learned ;)

    “The backstory is that ad campaign that blew up in your face.”

    I’ve Invested almost $100 in Facebook ads with no response as well as countless hours on Craigslist and Oodle ads. This means either the ads are poorly written, poorly targeted or the landing page isn’t convincing enough- now my job is to keep fixing it until I get it right :)

    “The backstory is the idea you had and ran with it — despite blowhards telling you “it won’t work”.”

    There’s already 3 established nationwide businesses in our industry, however they have plenty of flaws. Many people including those whose opinions I greatly respect tell me I’m crazy to face them head-on. Instead of wallowing on the floor I take the advice constructively and change my short term focus to meet the long-term goal of being #1- aka I have to crawl before I can walk and walk before I can run.

    “The backstory is tossing your selfish desires in the backseat of your car, while your business and Fastlane objectives take the driver seat.”

    I know that most people buy on emotion over need, however my selfish desires have targeted the emotion more than the need and most likely the wrong emotions. Now I need to take a step back and balance the emotion and need to get the formula right or else I will continue to fail!

    All in all it’s the journey that makes life worth while and not the destination that’s why I prefer road trips to plane rides and marathons to sprints! I mean this both metaphorically and literally as I love to drive long distances and run marathons.

  • I agree, there are no 4hr work weeks to success, just when you get there, if that’s the lifestyle you desire.

    I’ve had many failures, from spending 1000s of hours building a social network site for musicians just to find out I didn’t identify a need before starting, and there was no real demand for it. Then starting a micro-blogging site for businesses with a gazillion different features, ajax and a bunch of other facny shit totalling up to maybe 500hrs, or more. This failed to, because, once again, I did what I loved, but it didn’t have a demand. Only a few friends signed up because they thought it was “cool” and they wanted to support me. Also, there were a million other people starting micro-blogging sites by downloading a script or signing up to Ning.

    Way back when, like 5-6 years ago, I got stuck on the million dollar pixel ad phase. I worked really hard at it, but to my great disapointment, I had missed the fad and the market was already saturated. Aside from the fact that most of my traffic was tainted(by “click-to-surf” type sites) it violated the commandment of need, as well as timing. I never made one ad sale.

    Then, I tried blogging to make money with affiliate ads and google ad sense. My first blog posts sucked and barely ever turned over more than $20.00 worth of profit. Later on I found that I loved writing so now I blog just for the fun of it. Again, I violated a commandment, entry. Everyone was a blogger and I didn’t have enough traffic to even compete with the lowest 1%, never mind the few bloggers making $90k a month that I have a very low chance of ever getting to.

    I did all kinds of affiliate marketing gigs, clothing store gigs(where I sold one item for $14.00), adsense stuff while searching for the next greatest e-book on how to get rich easy on the web.

    Then I started dreaming about starting my own technology business. The problem? I planned it based on what I already loved doing, designing and programming. There was no need to be filled.

    I joined an MLM company selling health products. Never made a sale, before I had the chance the company changed directions…violating another commandment, control.

    The only business I’ve ever been moderately successful at is my self-employed web design business. This business, although, has no leverage and will never make me rich and can never be sold.

    I’ve pretty much made every misconception you can possibly think of. And after reading your book, I wish you had published this 10 years ago when I was a little kid, so I could have read it then and maybe avoided some of the massive time and money mistakes on the way.

    After reading your book, I have such a clear understanding and I’ve questioned everything I do. As I read this book, certain things pop out at me showing me why I’ve failed in certain areas. Whether it’s not getting enough sales volume, not identifying a need, or not having a dictator-like control over my business, or even scalability(running a local web design firm) I see that I’ve made ALL of these mistakes before and that means I’m closer to where I want to be.

    I too got stuck in chasing after the ear candy the gurus tossed around. One day I picked up Felix Dennis’s book How to Get Rich, and it all changed. Just a few weeks ago, I got through most of your book, and my gears are spinning again. No book has done that to me in a long time.

    This, and Dennis’s book, are the first books I’ve read that really make me feel greatful that the authors took the time to write their honest opinion in a book so others could know the truth, and not just to make a killing selling books.

    You’ve made me seriously reconsider many aspects of my life all over again. All that’s left to say is, there’s so much freedom in the truth and it gives me a tremendous amount of hope to me moving forward with such power weaponds.

    All the best!

    • MJ DeMarco

      Clinton, glad you enjoyed the book and feel you have a more definitive approach to your goals … that was my intent! Thanks for taking a risk with my book … glad it worked out!

    • Your comment really jumped out at me – I have Felix Dennis’ book as well, and it along with the Millionaire Fastlane are two of the most useful, honest books that I have ever read. I’m glad that I’m not the only one :)

  • Brian

    One of the best damn posts I’ve ever read.

  • Anonymous

    amen brother!

  • This is so amazing & inspirational MJ.

    I just set a calendar reminder to read this ever 2 weeks from now until the day I can start telling my backstory!
    Thanks againAndy

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