“The Narrow Road” is the title of a book by Felix Dennis, the owner of Maxim men’s magazine and one of the U.K.’s richest men. Rather, “Narrow Road” was the title when it was first published in Britain. Americans being Americans, it got re-titled “How to Get Rich: One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets.” Go figure out what that means and let me know please?
Quite frank, sometimes to the extreme (if you are of gentle heart or sensitive soul, do not read the third from the last star point), and occasionally rambling, Dennis writes about the attributes required and the true cost of obtaining great wealth: obsession, compulsive work habits, high personal cost (read hard on family). This book lacks “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” sugar coating.
Some quasi-random points and bits of advice:
* You gotta really, really want to make money, more than you want to be happy if need be.
* Many paths can lead to riches, few in sunlight, most in ditches.
* The follow-through…is a thousand times more important than a “great idea.”
* If execution is perfect, it sometimes barely matters what the idea is. Just go do it.
* Money, it turns out, was exactly like sex. You thought of nothing else if you didn’t have it, and thought of other things if you did.
* Nearly all the great fortunes acquired by entrepreneurs arose because they had nothing to lose.
* Timing is very important, as much as talent.
* Regular, even obsessive, monitoring is the key.
* Be compulsively determined.
* Making money is a drug. Not the money itself. The making of the money is.
* Prompt decisions and orders, right or wrong, are far healthier than endless debate and prevarication.
* Ultimately, time is your most important resource.
* You may not necessarily want to be in a glamorous sector of any market, and they are often very crowded.
* How do you judge your own aptitude? Trial and error is the only way.
* Your credit rating is extremely precious. It is your reputation in business.
* While it may not look like it to you, too much…capital is seeking too few investment opportunities.
* Obtaining capital…is the worst part of the whole business of getting rich…(but) there is no avoiding it.
* Self-belief is priceless. Confront doubts by delivering.
* Delegate. Hire smarter people than you, and pay them very well, but keep ownership.
* Once you lose control of a business, then no bank, white knight, investor or new owner is likely to permit you to gain control again.
* Cash flow is the heartbeat of your company.
* If it flies, floats or fornicates, always rent it——it’s cheaper in the long run.
* J. Paul Getty: If you can actually count your money, you are not really a rich man.
* Conventional wisdom is often right. But when it is wrong, it can offer quite extraordinary opportunities.
(I ran across this book while flying British Airways. Many of these points are drawn from amazon.com reviews.)