The Upside-Down Pyramid for Getting Rich, by Felix Dennis

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A pyramid that holds the key to riches? And an upside-down one?

If that is not bizarre, then I don’t know what is!

Well, everything has an explanation. This “pyramid framework” originates from Felix Dennis. Read along to discover the wisdom behind it!

The infamous Felix Dennis

Felix Dennis was a super-successful British entrepreneur and business owner that reached high levels of notoriety as he was growing rich.

He was an innovator and, via his company, pioneered computer and hobbyist magazine publishing in the United Kingdom producing lots of household-name magazines.

In 2006, urged by his desire to share his wisdom, Dennis wrote a best-seller on how he became a multi-millionaire. The name of the book? Well of course, “How to Get Rich”.

This happens to be one of my favorite books of all time. It is a raw, unadulterated narrative on what it takes to become rich in today’s world.

In the book, Dennis discusses how one should approach the issue of becoming wealthy. The vehicle is of course a scalable business and Dennis provides his advice on both the mental aspects of business as well as the technical ones.

I love the book because it is super-genuine, authentic and comes from a man who has “been there, done that” and not from someone who imagines or assumes how it is done.

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The Upside-Down Pyramid for Getting Rich

There are a lot of lessons and insights shared in the book and it is definitely a “must-read” for aspiring entrepreneurs and wealth builders.

In this post, I would like us to focus on the “upside-down pyramid” that Dennis conceptualized. Here it is:

  1. Commit or don’t commit. No half-measures.
  2. Cut loose from all negative influences.
  3. Choose the right mountain.
  4. Fear nothing.
  5. Start now.
  6. Go!

Note: This has obviously nothing to do with MLMs, ponzi-schemes or any similar nonsense.

As you see, this is as high-level as it gets. There is no discussion of the technical approach that you should take, e.g to focus on real estate or online ventures. The reason is that there are truly countless ways to become rich, you just need to find what suits your case.

Let’s dissect the pyramid’s commandments and discuss the finer details.

1) Commit or don’t commit. No half-measures.

The first commandment sets the tone for the journey you are about to embark on as someone who aspires to be wealthy. Dennis knows that it is going to be a long, hard road until you make it.

The only chance to actually succeed in becoming rich is if you are 100% committed to the goal.

Call it being obsessed, call it having hyper-focus, the bottom line is the same. There can’t be any half-measures.

Even if you are 99% committed, at the first big hurdle (which is guaranteed to come), you are going to quit.

So, if you really want to become rich, your first priority is to truly commit to the cause.

2) Cut loose from all negative influences.

This is a tough one. This is where emotions come to play and cloud your vision.

One of the hardest things that you will have to do as a person who is committed to become rich is to cut the ties with people that are negative influences.

This might sound easy: “Of course I would remove these people from my life, why would I want them?”

The truth is that people are influencing us in the most subtle, non-detectable ways.

It might be your mother that claims that business is risky and you should consider that steady job at the public sector.

It might be your father that insists that all rich people are dishonest and have made their money via illegal activities.

It might be your friends that tell you to take it easy and chill because life is short.

These are people very close to you that might have a negative influence. If you are truly committed, you will have to reduce your exposure to them, or even cut it at all.

This is one of the hardest sacrifices that you are going to have to make if you want to escape mediocrity and live a richer life.

3) Choose the right mountain.

Alright, so first we have pyramids, and now we have mountains, things are getting weirder! The truth is that this will make perfect sense when you read the book.

In this case, Dennis calls “mountains” all these industries and fields that are big enough, or are getting big enough, to make you rich. It is much easier to make lots of money in a growing industry, rather than a dying one.

Think about it. Would you rather be active in the modern digital publishing field or the traditional newspaper business? Watch the trends closely and decide wisefully how you are going to spend the next few years of your life.

4) Fear nothing.

This is where our own human nature fails us again. Fear is the most primal emotion we have and it is embedded in our brains and bodies. It is probably one of the biggest reasons that people do nothing with their lives.

Fear has been engraved in our minds because during our evolutionary history it was wise to be fearful. Feeling fear meant that you were super cautious and that you avoided external dangers like predators.

Unfortunately, the same feeling of fear is what we feel today even for things that are not even real. This deters us from taking life into our own hands.

The truth is that in order to thrive, we need to master our own fear. Starting a business can sound risky and dangerous, but the reality is that it is nothing compared to fighting a large predator or going to war.

We need to step up, take control of our feelings and march ahead. Most of the fears that we are going to have will not be real anyway.

5) Start now.

The next piece of advice comes in the form of urgency. One of the biggest fallacies of the modern person is that he thinks he has time. He doesn’t.

Time is of the essence and for this reason you have to start now! This is a typical symptom of wannapreneurs who just fumble around and never do anything.

You can’t wait for all the circumstances to be positive, they will never be. There is always going to be an excuse about why you are not taking action.

You might wait for that salary raise, or for your kids to go to college. Truth is these are most probably just petty excuses. You need to take charge of your life and start. Now!

6) Go!

We have reached the final piece of the puzzle.

When you are committed, and you have removed all negative influences from your life, and you have mastered your fears, you just need to GO!

The best time in the history of mankind to become rich is today. Take advantage of this great opportunity and make a life of abundance for yourself.

When you face obstacles and problems, just remember. Go!


Felix Dennis has left us a valuable gift in the form of his book, “How to Get Rich”. This is one of the books that you should definitely include in your reading list. It is full of helpful advice and instructive insights from a great businessman.

One nugget of his wisdom is the framework of the “Upside-Down Pyramid for Getting Rich” we discussed in this article.

Read it, understand it and apply it, and you are going to be a step closer to success.

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