March 31, 2010

UK: How to get rich? Dedicate yourself to making money

. LONDON, England / The First Post / Business / March 31, 2010 Team spirit is for losers, financially speaking, says Felix Dennis in his new guide to making money By Edward Helmore Felix Dennis (born 1947), the proprietor of several print and online magazines, including The First Post, has a new business guide: 88 The Narrow Road: A Brief Guide To The Getting of Money. Whether it can help in the acquisition of money is hard to say; certainly the qualities, insight and advice Dennis offers have in certain ways and at certain times helped him to become an extremely wealthy man - the 88th wealthiest in the UK, according to the Sunday Times. The ideal position from which to start out, according to Dennis - conceivably the only place to start out - is young, penniless, inexperienced and, above all, energetic. Dennis reaches for Goethe: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it - Boldness has genius, power and magic to it." Mercifully, there's no executive "c-suite" corporate level nonsense in 88 The Narrow Road (inspired, Dennis says, by Francis Bacon's 1597 Essays). It's straight talk, philosophically perceptive, irreverent, yes, but not irresponsible. The author gives the impression he's learned to respect professions that have protected him from himself - accountants, lawyers, tax planners and the like. Even if you're not abruptly transformed into a thrusting entrepreneur as a consequence, it's a fun, wise-headed read. Even if you don't get rich, it may at least help to protect you from getting scalped by more savage deal-makers along the way. The point Dennis makes is one not often made by entrepreneurial types: that making money requires absolute dedication to making money - and to the self. "Team spirit is for losers, financially speaking," he writes. "It is the glue that binds losers together - a strategy used by employers to shackle useful employees to their desks." Later in the book, on the subject of sacred cows and when to slaughter them, he reveals the Mantra of Dennis: "I am not in the business of pampering babies or protecting sacred cows, no matter how hard I work to breed them. I am in the business of the getting of money. There is only one sacred cow in this organisation. Me!" So how difficult is it, exactly, to make a lot of money? There is no magic bullet, no secret formula - just a question of degrees of dedication. In essence, he seems to be saying, nothing succeeds like success. Provided you live in a country with some claim to being governed by the rule of law; are of reasonable intelligence; and in good mental and physical health; and are not presently incarcerated in a prison or institution, then nothing, absolutely nothing, can stop you from becoming rich. "Cut loose from parents and family, obviously. Cut loose from working for others ... loose from negative influences." And then? Why are there so few truly successful self-made men? Mostly he writes because most of us are trying to reduce the odds of failure and humiliation. Asked to pick one example of Dennis advice from this highly entertaining book, it would have to be the entry on the entrepreneur sizing up his quarry - the deal. "You are a wild pig rooting for truffles," Dennis writes. "You are a weasel about to rip the throat out of a rabbit." Inspired lunacy but inspired nonetheless. [rc] '88 The Narrow Road: A Brief Guide To The Getting of Money' is published by Vermilion. Copyright © 2010 First Post Newsgroup IPR Limited