On fear, entrepreneurship, and wealth: Felix Dennis
My favorite author on how to get really rich is Felix Dennis. Dennis published several books. How to Get Rich and The Narrow Road. He clearly spells out how to get rich and why most people never do. An up-close view of his own experience and what it took him to accumulate over $750,000,000 during his lifetime.
In his own words
“The key, I think, is confidence. Confidence and an unshakable belief it can be done and that you are the one to do it.”
“Tunnel vision helps. Being a bit of a shit helps. A thick skin helps. Stamina is crucial, as is a capacity to work so hard that your best friends mock you, your lovers despair and the rest of your acquaintances watch furtively from the sidelines, half in awe and half in contempt.”
A Mental Armour
If you wish to be rich, however, you must grow a carapace. A mental armour. Not so thick as to blind you to well-constructed criticism and advice, especially from those you trust. Nor so thick as to cut you off from friends and family. But thick enough to shrug off the inevitable sniggering and malicious mockery that will follow your inevitable failures. Not to mention the poorly hidden envy that will accompany your eventual success.
Consider carefully this shortlist:
- If you are unwilling to fail, sometimes publicly, and even catastrophically, you stand little chance of ever getting rich.
- you care what the neighbors think, you will never get rich.
- If you cannot bear the thought of causing worry to your family, spouse, or lover while you plow a lonely, dangerous road rather than taking the safe option of a regular job, you will never get rich.
- you have artistic inclinations and fear that the search for wealth will coarsen such talents, you will never get rich. (Because your fear, in this instance, is well justified.)
- you are not prepared to work longer hours than almost anyone you know, despite the jibes of colleagues and friends, you are unlikely to get rich.
- If you cannot convince yourself that you are “good enough” to be rich, you will never get rich.
- you cannot treat your quest to get rich as a game, you will never be rich.
- If you cannot face up to your fear of failure, you will never be rich.
Reality and Failure
The reality is that few will ever achieve any real wealth. In fact, financial freedom is not available to most people in their lifetimes. Therefore what’s the sense in trying to achieve it?
As Mr. Dennis points out in his first item, you must be willing to fail often. So I have personally failed hundreds of times in my pursuit of wealth. Have lost millions several times in the process too.
Therefore you can never care what the neighbors think or anyone else for that matter.
If you care about having your family worry about what you are doing then you’ll never get rich. So if you need people around you and are afraid of being alone then you’ll probably never get rich. Most people need constant assurances from people who are not rich.
Working long hours alone
There are so many things that prevent you from getting rich. So one of the big ones is people do not want to work long hours. They want to clock their eight hours and have the weekend off.
If you can’t wait for your weekends to play, then you will surely never get rich. So your weekends are dedicated to your pursuit of getting rich. In fact, almost every waking hour is dedicated to that one goal. Even today, at the age of 67, I still work every day. Admittedly not like I used to when I was younger because I don’t have to. So get to working now when you’re young and do not wait until you are too old to have the energy and drive it takes to get rich.
Failure is Good.
People fear failure. I don’t like to fail but I always learn what not to do. So last month I wired out to a new supplier. My rule is to use Paypal for protection. Was the product not as described? Yes, it was not. But my purchase price was so low, I still made a good profit. Did I fail? Yes, I did, but it still turned out okay because I’ll never make that silly mistake again. I already know what to do, I just fell off track and it cost me a few bucks.
Getting rich is a function of focus, drive determination, and giving up listening to anyone. Most people have an opinion about everything. Especially people that never do anything. So they are always quick to give advice on any subject which they have no experience in.
If you can not treat your quest for riches as a game, you will never get really rich. It’s a big game. Do not get ulcers if things don’t work your way, because they often don’t. So see it for what it really is, a big game to win or lose.
Mike Addis, Carlsbad, California
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