Felix Dennis, the publishing magnate and founder of Maxim magazine, wrote a ridiculously hard-hitting and entertaining book called How To Get Rich. In his book, Dennis lays out 8 reasons why you will never get rich.
Because these reasons are as relevant today as the day he wrote them, I’m sharing them with the Spartan Esquire community to remind you that getting rich is a game you can win if you have the right mindset.
So without further ado, here are the 8 reasons why you will never get rich and how to overcome them.
1. If you are unwilling to fail, sometimes publicly, and even catastrophically, you stand very little chance of ever getting rich.
To get rich you need to take chances. But not just any chances – calculated chances.
Taking a calculated chance requires you to compare the risks vs. rewards of your action. If the reward outweighs the risk, and you decide to take action, you need to be 100% okay with the results.
Even if that means sheer and utter failure.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
2. If you care what the neighbors think, you will never get rich.
To get rich you need to put your work and business first.
That means not having the time or desire to care about, “What would the neighbors think?”
Forget about whether your hustle fits neatly into your neighbor’s idea of success and social norms. After all, the last time I checked your neighbors don’t pay your bills or put food on your table.
3. 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.
Here’s the cold, hard truth.
You’re never going to get rich working as a 9-5 wage slave. It’s just not going to happen.
To get rich you need to be an owner. A builder. A go-getter. You need to provide a product or service people want, need, and desire. Then scale it.
But not everyone has the stomach to get rich.
If you’re worried about the potential strain on your family or friendships by leaving the “safety” of your 9-5, you won’t get rich.
Realize your 9-5 job is not secure. In fact, if you work for a company in the U.S. you are nothing more than a line item on a spreadsheet.
As soon as a computer or someone else can do your job cheaper or better, you’re toast.
So what’s really safer – choosing yourself or letting someone else choose for you?
4. If you have artistic inclinations and fear that the search for wealth will coarsen such talents or degrade them, you will never get rich.
This is an interesting one. Let me boil it down for you.
You need to make sacrifices if you want to get rich. That could mean cutting out Netflix (easy) so you can spend that time on your business, or it could mean cutting out something you’re passionate about (difficult), like playing the piano.
If it’s something like the latter, you need to accept that your skills will likely degrade over time.
So you have a choice. Do you want to get rich? Or, do you want to work a 9-5 and reserve time for your artistic passions?
5. If 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.
Here’s one of my favorite reasons why you will never get rich: You’re not willing to do the work.
Asking, “How long will something take?” is the always wrong question. Because the answer is always the same. It takes as long as it takes and not one second less.
Show up and do the work.
6. If you cannot convince yourself that you are “good enough” to be rich, you will never get rich.
Let’s get one thing straight. “Rich people” are not some special breed of human. They are just like you and me.
But do you know one big thing that separates “rich people” from “not rich people”?
To get rich you need think you’re capable of being rich. So, if you don’t think you have what it takes to be rich, you won’t be.
7. If you cannot treat your quest to get rich as a game, you will never be rich.
Getting rich is a game. A game most people never play. Or if they do, they don’t play it well.
To win at this game you need to constantly “level up.” That means striving to make your business better every single day.
Simply put, if you don’t want to be rich, don’t play the game.
8. If you cannot face up to your fear of failure, you will never be rich.
If you’re scared to fail you’ll never get rich.
To get rich you need to face your fears, analyze them critically, and push them aside. You simply cannot let the fear of failure paralyze you into not taking action.
Get out there, set your sights on the target, and shoot.
Now move on to the next goal and repeat the process.
Just like a professional poker player betting his entire stack of chips on a bluff, it takes guts to go “all in” on your dream.
But to turn your dream of being rich into reality you can’t fall victim to any of these 8 traps. You need to show up, do the work, and let nothing stand in your way.
Make no mistake, your desire to play and win the game will be tested along the way. There will be ups and downs. Hills and valleys. Failures and successes.
But always remember it’s how you deal with adversity that defines your character and the success you achieve in this life.
All the best,
P.S. You can read more about the life and legacy of Felix Dennis at his website.