Billion dollar publishing magnet, Felix Dennis on how he made serious sacrifices to reap extreme wealth.
On forgetting to the traditional:
“I forgot to have many sensible relationships. Forgot to get married, forgot to have children…I would have preferred it the other way. But, I was spending all day every day doing what I was doing and I had no time to figure it out…This is a pretty lonely road, you know. And, I do say throughout the book, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? Are you sure you want to do this?’ If their answer is ‘Yeah, I want to do this,’ I say, ‘Yeah, here’s what we do’ and then start off saying, ‘Are you sure you really want to do this?’ (laughs).”
He doesn’t like email, hasn’t got an email address. So what does he make of those ‘businessmen’ who sit hunched over at dinner, busy Blackberrying?
“I know that they’re busy not making money, they’re reminding people, rather desperately and sadly, that they’re still alive. I feel sorry for them.”
On how mobile phone, e-mails and television are distractions:
“I’ve never had an email address, mobile phone or a television, so I can spend more time doing the things I enjoy: writing poetry, making money and working on the Forest of Dennis—my sapling plantation project in Warwickshire in the U.K. I would like to see it grow to 20,000 acres (81 square kilometers) and then I’ll open it to the public. The forest currently covers 4.5 square kilometers.”
On the mentality of getting rich:
“What worries me are people who mistake their desire to get rich with their absolute compulsion. You can’t mistake those two things. When people have the wish to be rich but know in their heart of hearts that they do not have what it takes to get there — the long hours, the hard work, the ability to face up to fear of failure — they are going to cause themselves and those around them endless problems.”