10 Things I Learned from Felix Dennis
Gold Bars and Nuggets Mined for Comfort Killers
If you do not know who Felix Dennis is then you were where I was just one month ago.
I learned of Felix Dennis by accident several weeks ago. I love that he started his publishing company (Dennis Publishing) on a whim many years ago using sweat equity and a whole lot of faith. Felix Dennis died in 2014.
He was also a poet, philanthropist and spoken word performer – he was what you would call “well rounded” – His book, “How to Get Rich” has taught me much in the last few weeks and he had a way with his words and stories which made the content new and fresh.
All How to Get Rich Books are NOT the Same
We’ve all read books that tries to explain how to get rich to its readers but sadly, 99% of people never actually “get rich” by reading it. You have to remove the bullshit and get to the meat of most of these books –
For instance, Donald Trump’s book “How to Get Rich” is totally different and any other book on this very topic is different from the last. Why? Because your reading personal stories of triumph not a step by step guide for you.
The details are not even that hidden though. The conceptual language is not too different from the next man or woman… its really all the same thing.
- Work harder than your competition
- Don’t take no for an answer
- Keep trekking on
The beauty is within their failure or their perceived failure at the time. The gold is the success story. No matter how many times I read new books with the same old content, I end up mining for gold. The late, great F. Dennis had many!
Maybe because the material was somewhat infused with undertones of poetry or because he was an English man or he was from a subculture (so much glory in that) of comic book zines, newsletters, mailers at the dawn of the computer / technology age. Maybe just maybe it’s because I connected with him on a human level – in pure consciousness, especially when he wrote:
You will find in the pages of most so-called ‘self-improvement’ books by quacks (defined as those who have never done it themselves but feel justified in pontificating about it), a great deal of drivel concerning the importance of persistence. In such books, this word is usually spelt with a capital ‘P’ and is treated as an object of idolatry and reverence.
Fortunately, this is not a ‘self-improvement’ book. I do not believe anyone can be ‘improved’ by buying and reading a book. They can only be ‘improved’, if that is the word, by their own actions.
If anything, How to Get Rich is something ever-so-slightly new in the world, or at least I have tried to make it so. It is an ‘anti-self-improvement’ book – because it admits openly that the chances of anyone reading it and then becoming rich are minuscule. The vast majority of you are far too nice. And comfortable. And sensible.
My book points out, in harsh detail, the damage to your present contentment and the risk to future and existing relationships that you run by seeking to get rich. It also deals with the coarsening of your nature that will accompany the rough and tumble of acquiring a piece of the pie from another’s table.
It points out, too, that avarice is tremendously time consuming and that time is in somewhat short supply – our lives are way too short. To return to our subject, persistence is important, no doubt about it, and requires a concerted effort of will and stamina to maintain. But it is not an end in itself.
Felix Dennis is right up there with the best of them and his words, stories, advice, warnings and inspiration is powerfully overflowing throughout the book’s content and in delivery. I must suggest that you do yourself a favor and grab a copy. I implore you to take heed.
10 Things I Learned
- Just because you have a success or two under your belt doesn’t mean you have it made. ‘Success is never permanent; failure is never fatal. The only thing that really counts is to never, never, never give up.’ That’s that old windbag Winston Churchill again
- You stand by far the best chance of becoming as rich as you please. You have an advantage that neither education nor upbringing, nor even money, can buy. You have almost nothing. And therefore you have almost nothing to lose
- Conventional wisdom daunts initiative and offers far too many convenient reasons for inaction, especially for those with a great deal to lose.
- Anyone not busy learning is busy dying
- For make no mistake, if you will not confront and harness this all-too human emotion in one way or another, then you are doomed to remain relatively poor. You either get over it, go round it, go at it, mount it, duck under it or cosy up to it. But you cannot surrender to it. That way lies paralysis, prevarication, ignominy and defeat.
- People in poor health usually find it difficult, no matter how clever they are, to muster the stamina that becoming rich demands.
- PERSISTENCE If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.
- We must also factor in disadvantage and age. Not of colour, sex, race, religion, upbringing or lack of education. None of those present insuperable hurdles in a Western democracy. But mental handicap, growing senility and the physical decline of old age — none of which need be life-threatening in the short term — virtually rule out any serious accumulation of wealth, except by inheritance or winning a lottery.
- They will say the company or the individual does not have the resources. That it has all been tried before. That ‘the light isn’t worth the candle’. That outside advice is required or that an individual should seek further counsel. That the individual or company is uniquely unsuited to such an enterprise. That it is too late, or too early, for such an idea to have any chance of succeeding.
- To sum up then, if you wish to be rich, you must grow a carapace. A mental armour. Not so thick as to blind you to well-constructed criticism and advice, especially from those you trust. Nor so thick as to cut you off from friends and family. But thick enough to shrug off the inevitable sniggering and malicious mockery that will follow your inevitable failures. Not to mention the poorly hidden envy that will accompany your eventual success. Few things in life are certain except death and being taxed. But sniggering and mockery prior to any attempt to better yourself financially, followed by envy later, or gloating during your initial failures — these are three certainties in life.
Read them over and over friends because the sooner you realize that there are no step by step guides to success, wealth and achievement, the sooner you will begin to take action on the mental, emotional and characteristic makeup of your person.
I have learned so much, so much I didn’t know after reading Felix Dennis’ book How to Get Rich. The book itself is a great tool for you to become a better entrepreneur and allows you to define your business acumen, gain massive strength for a very slim chance of becoming rich.