Lispian Random meanderings on whatever catches my fancy

Lispian
An addition to my entrepreneur book shelf

How To Get Rich

How To Get Rich - Felix Dennis

It may not look like a book on entrepreneurship and you may never have heard of Felix Dennis, but trust me this book is definitely on entrepreneurship and you’ve used Mr. Dennis’ products. He founded Dennis Publishing which publishes such titles as MacUser, Computer Shopper, Maxim, and a slew of others extant and defunct.

The book is written in a narrative style, as though he’s sitting with you in the family room full of anecdotes interjected with advice on how to get rich. It’s not hackneyed advice at all but advice taken from failures and successes within Mr. Dennis’ life.   It is written in an easy to read style which makes it a pleasurable read but if you’ve ever run a startup or been party to the excitement centered around one then you’ll be nodding your head at a lot of the sound advice. If you’ve simply interested in starting a company this book will help realize what it takes to get rich. It is not a “get rich quick” book but a book that focuses on the realities of the chore and how difficult it is and what’s required and necessary of the individual pursuing the goal.

Ironically, the title is more a hook than anything else. He points this out in the book. It actually comments on what it means to start up a company with the (hopeful) goal that you’ll succeed monetarily. He points out the long hours required, the strain on relationships, the stress of making payroll, the headiness of the chase and the insanity of attempting to compete with those larger than you. He points out how to do things the right way, the wrong way, and where luck plays a part in all of this. You can read the pain when he writes about those who doubted him and how, often, he had to do things alone as others thought him crazy. He points out that few will understand your compulsion, few will wish to partake of it. And few will be pleased should you succeed.

To be honest I’d not heard of the man. I’ve obviously heard of his magazines. I saw the cover which just screamed at me to take a peek inside. And I was hooked. It’s simply a fantastic book for any aspiring entrepreneur who wants some sage advice on what it’s like to start a company, what happens over time, who to surround yourself with, etc.

After reading the book I wandered the web a bit to find out a bit more about him. He’s quite the character. There are a lot of reviews on the book praising it and  there are a slew of interviews with the man. He has an “I don’t care” attitude in some of them whicih makes for rather entertaining reading. Unlike some who author books on becoming wealthy Mr. Dennis truly doesn’t care if the book makes any money. He’s well off enough. As he points out, he knows his worth within $400M. Thus this book will only result in noise to his bottom line. He truly wrote it to put some advice out there that those amongst us smart enough to comprehend should take. By way of example he provides Felix’s 10 Commandments for Getting Rich:

  1. Buy [his] book How to Get Rich.
  2. Analyse your need to be wealthy.
  3. Cut loose from negative influences.
  4. Having a great idea is not enough.
  5. Focus.
  6. Hire talent smarter than you. Delegate.
  7. Ownership is the real “secret”.
  8. Sell before you need to, or when bored.
  9. Empty your mind when negotiating.
  10. Fear nothing and no one.

You can read more about the book at the book’s web site.

You can also check out his site and even read some of his poetry, which he provides samples of in his book as well as commentary on how much he loves to write it — as well as statements to how much sooner he had hoped to start writing but business got in the way.

A new permanent addition to my Entrepreneur bookshelf.

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December 2008
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