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How to Get Rich: One of the World's Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets

Felix Dennis · 9 HN comments
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Amazon Summary
Felix Dennis is an expert at proving people wrong. Starting as a college dropout with no family money, he created a publishing empire, founded Maxim magazine, made himself one of the richest people in the UK, and had a blast in the process. How to Get Rich is different from any other book on the subject because Dennis isn't selling snake oil, investment tips, or motivational claptrap. He merely wants to help people embrace entrepreneurship, and to share lessons he learned the hard way. He reveals, for example, why a regular paycheck is like crack cocaine; why great ideas are vastly overrated; and why "ownership isn't the important thing, it's the only thing."
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Just do it rather than read books but if you want read something on the side I would suggest . It is epitome of Don't judge a book by its cover. Title is stupid and cover is ugly but book is very good and probably best book about general entrepreneurship. Then if you wanna go to startup rabbit-hole I would read next .
Upvote for the Felix Dennis book "How To Get Rich". Definitely not what you'd think from the title. The Audible narration is an excellent performance and gets the British humor & tone of the book. Won't make you rich and I don't think it's very practical, but it is excellent and highly entertaining. Felix Dennis was a magazine publisher of many of the early computing magazines, many of which are now owned by Future Publishing.
How to get Rich - Felix Dennis

He kind of trashes Steve Jobs in the book basically predicting Steve's hubris will lead to the downfall of Apple. Quote:

But with Steve Jobs, Apple will always attempt to mould the universe to fit Steve's vision of Apple, and will pay the price again and again and again

Feels like he wrote this just before the IPhone. Another excerpt:

Without Jobs, Apple could never have risen from obscurity to become a world-class brand. But with Steve Jobs, Apple will always attempt to mould the universe to fit Steve's vision of Apple, and will pay the price again and again and again. 'Lesser' companies and men will filch their ideas, connect,connect, connect, and beat Apple at its own game. Steve Jobs is not a monster. He is an all-American maverick and a world-class marketing genius. But until a man or woman as powerful as he is arrives at Apple (over his dead body), who is determined to break the cycle he has indulged in for so many years, Apple will remain merely an icon of awe. It will not become a company of the size that truly could (and should) 'bury' monsters like IBM.

Not quite Nostradamus there but give him credit for trying.

The title is a little off-putting, but this guy was the most straight-shooting billionaire out there on what getting rich requires.

This interview gives a flavor of the style:

The Audible version of this is excellent, one of my favorite Audible purchases. The narration reminds me of British comedies and sets the right tone for the book.
I must be blind, do you have a link to the audible version? I can't seem to find it in the audible store search.
It'll be some US/UK rights nonsense.

In the UK:

For those put off by the title, Felix Dennis is/was a billionaire and makes a point of differentiating himself from people becoming wealthy giving advice about how to become wealthy.

He dropped out of high-school and bummed cigarettes and crashed at friends, apparently. He talks about several lessons and how he remained associated with several people who've helped him when he was "nothing". The case of a banker who agreed to open a bank account for him despite being broke out of sympathy/pity.

Dennis likes to write poetry and some of the passages are intense and tear worthy (van Gogh passage). The style is to the point, tells it as it is (He doesn't hesitate to state that his employees are not likely to become wealthy working for him and that he encourages them to fly on their own. He also talks about the less flattering aspects of doing business and says that even between friends, they were on good terms because none of them depended on the venture to survive. He also says never to give shares of your company to anyone and to remain in control).

In his subsequent book, 88, he states that people didn't get that "How to Get Rich" was a cautionary tale about what it takes to become wealthy, which is obvious from many passages in the book. [One of which is when he says he'd rather have stopped at £30 million and wrote poetry while young, instead of pursuing becoming rich at an old age).

It's a worthy read in style and content.

Dennis is buying forests the Government can't take care of in a philanthropic effort to save them.

You write as if he is alive, he died over 2 years ago.
I forgot. The information is still relevant, I hope.
I feel very sad reading this. I first found Felix in "How to get rich". It was even better than I expected it would be. Few books have felt so honest. He wrote that he had nothing to gain from the book, as he was already rich. I think this was true.

I'm taking a different route to entrepreneurship and riches than he did (lower goal, far less struggle) but much of what he wrote rang true for my situation, too.

Throughout "how to get rich" he mentioned his poetry, which is what he devoted his life too after he gave up booze, drugs and mistresses. I've never got into poetry, but wanted to. So I picked up a book.

It was good. I picked up another book, and enjoyed that too. And what's more, now I get more enjoyment out of other poems. I'm still learning, but he's changed how I appreciate a major branch of literature.

And now he's dead. I can never thank him for any of that. I had intended to write him. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. That was a lesson hard learned for him, pervasive in his book and poetry. It's trite, but it's so very true. We all have so little time.

This poem fells apropos. I suspect that, though he died fairly young, he is glad to have avoided this fate:


How to get rich:

The first of his poetry books I read:

insights on how to be least wrong>

Even amongst the most honest, hard-working, and brotherly partners-- ugly disputes can happen. Worth bearing in mind, for your agreement, a smart shareholder clause to resolve disputes called the "Mexican Shootout".

Full description, read Felix Dennis, The Joys and Perils of Partnership, pg.175

Retire. $750K is $30K in passive income for the rest of your life (assuming you already have a residence).

Welcome to complete financial freedom to do whatever you want in life [0]. You don't necessarily need any more money to be happy [1], and the point of getting filthy rich is to attain freedom of time [2], which you can get if you just live cheaper [1 again. Seriously, read this].

So really, this question should be: what would you do with your life if you could do anything you wanted? That, I'm afraid, is a much more subjective and philosophical question that the margins of this comment are too small to contain a satisfactory answer to.

0. Unless you have substantial current debts. If so, pay those off first.



Daily expenses in 10 years will be much more higher than now. 30K will deflate over the years.

I would buy a house, then put it to rent.

As you suggest inflation would significantly reduce your available buying power.

That said I'd guess you could live pretty cheaply if you owned your house outright and were frugal.

You can have a house for renting. There's all kind of renting options, some of them are more economic viable, for example, tourist renting gives you a lot more money than permanent one and you can make for a decent living even buy a new house if you do it well, but of course, this only happens if you are in a popular tourist destination.
"You don’t know what sort of rollercoaster rides the economy will take your retirement savings on, and you also don’t know what rate of inflation will persist through your lifetime. Will a box of eggs cost $6.00 a dozen when you’re 65, or will it be closer to $60? How can we possibly know how much money we will need to live on in retirement?... Inflation eats 3% on average, leaving you with 4% to spend reliably, forever."

And then MMM goes on to mathematically justify that 4% number:

Yeah, having 30k in passive income for the rest of my life would be a DREAM. I don't think I'd retire, but I'd certainly start doling out my skills to nonprofits for significantly reduced pay. I don't think I could live on $30k/year, but even if working for nonprofits only netted me another $20k/year total, I could live on that - and save them a significant amount of cash that they'd have otherwise had to pay.
That probably depends on what one wants to do, but some people do suggest that being ruthless is the ultimate way. Example:

Point is, if one is not willing to do whatever it takes, he probably doesn't really want to do the said thing, but rather tries to live up to social expectations.

>Point is, if one is not willing to do whatever it takes, he probably doesn't really want to do the said thing, but rather tries to live up to social expectations.

Well, not wanting to, say, sacrifice your loved ones for something or play dirty to get it, doesn't mean you don't want it. It just means you are a moral guy, instead of a ruthless jerk.

I want a new car, but I'm not willing to steal to buy one --even if I have some scheme by which I would not get caught. I'd rather work and find my way to pay for it. That doesn't mean I don't want it.

Obviously, working to pay for it counts as "whatever it takes" too. And doing "whatever it takes" doesn't have to involve stepping onto others, but it may require grand personal sacrifice.
Logically you're asking about putting the cart before the horse, though. You can tell by the way you structure your questions about this that you're putting way too fine a point on it, and that you're combining goals that simply don't occur to most people. Who's goal is to sacrifice their loved ones for any reason? It just doesn't come up when deciding what to do. How many goals would ever require sacrificing loved ones? Sure, "behind every fortune there is a crime," but to start with the 'crime' part? Only criminals and sociopaths (cue CEO vs. psychopath study) do that.
How to Get Rich: One of the World's Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets - Felix Dennis. The most life-changing book that I read this year.
+1 to this book. It's worth it just for the crushing realisation of what income category the actual rich consider you to belong to.
Feb 06, 2011 · sayemm on The Knack for Getting Money
Best book on the knack for getting money is "How to Get Rich" by Felix Dennis, founder of Maxim magazine (worth between $400-900M, that's what he says in the book):

Here's a good Inc. article on it too:

Utter determination, fearlessness, tunnel vision, and hard work are his answers.

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