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: http://www.amazon.com/How-Get-Rich-Greatest-Entrepreneurs/dp...
The first of his poetry books I read:
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
Welcome to complete financial freedom to do whatever you want in life . You don't necessarily need any more money to be happy , and the point of getting filthy rich is to attain freedom of time , 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.
He states that if you want to be really rich you have to sacrifice family and friends because you will have to spend an enormous amount of time focusing on your business.
I found that point interesting. Do you know anyone who is (self made) wealthy that _did not_ spend a lot of time working?
Felix Dennis "How To Get Rich"
Derek Sivers review:
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.
Here's a good Inc. article on it too: http://www.inc.com/articles/2008/07/dennis.html
Utter determination, fearlessness, tunnel vision, and hard work are his answers.
I went to the most peaceful spot I could find, and relaxed. I did nothing. http://www.vimeo.com/1292105
After only a couple days, it was never more clear that I was never doing anything for the money anyway, and the reason I'm always working, driving, pushing, learning, growing, and building companies is NOT about the future-goal but increasing the quality of my present moment. It's exciting! It's fun!
So, I started working again. Not because I have to, but beacuse I want to. It makes my brain spark in a way that not-working doesn't.
So here I am again, programming, excited about some new thing I'm working on, exactly the same as before I sold the company. I didn't buy anything because there's nothing I want. My debts were already paid off.
Philip Greenspun's article really does describe it best. http://philip.greenspun.com/materialism/early-retirement/
So does Felix Dennis' book How to Get Rich. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1591842050
Feel free to contact me directly if you have any specific questions you don't feel comfortable posting on the board here. http://sivers.org
one of his article is in the ycombinator library (good sign as hacker types like this book)
http://ycombinator.com/lib.html -> If You Want to be Rich, First Stop Being So Frightened.
Fear of failing in the eyes of the world is the single biggest impediment.
Get dozens of book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.