The Million Dollar Letter

By Mike Johnson

I guess I was about 14. We were pedaling west on Cedar Lake Road on our way to Dairy Queen. A few blocks before Plymouth Road, I was once again gawking at my favorite property.

It was a small farmstead of about 10 acres. I loved the charming country house, classic Minnesota barn and assorted outbuildings. A neighborhood of suburban homes had popped up around it.

Dave had pedaled up next to me on the left.

“Wouldn’t it be great to own that place?” I said looking right.

“That’d be big money for sure,” he confirmed my exact thought.

“That’s why I’m going to become rich.”

“I’ve heard you say that before. How do you know?”

“I’m not sure. I just feel it. But let’s make a pact. Whoever gets rich first has to tell the other how he did it.”


I never photographed that property. Two years ago, Dave and I biked past it on a nostalgic ride to that Dairy Queen. The farmstead was gone. It had been sold, scraped and subdivided. It now holds a dozen upscale homes. Totally unrecognizable to my memory.

Fifty years is a long time. Long enough to erase a farm. But not too long to forget a promise.

I think I hit my definition of “rich” in 2006. I didn’t gain full clarity on exactly how I’d done it until 2014 when I fulfilled my promise to Dave by writing him "The Million Dollar Letter." I'd just finished rehabbing and selling a 6-acre hobby farm (pictured) similar to the one I'd coveted as a teen.

Dave had done well above average himself, so chose to stick with his process. But I saw the letter had value for others. Especially people I was mentoring and the assorted family members who’d ask me questions.

So I gifted the 32-page letter to them and then turned it into an e-product. I sold hundreds of copies between the prices of $27 to $97. I've had the fun of watching others use the letter to get rich too.

I’m now fully retired so just give it away to people like you. You just have to promise to tell others how you did it when you get rich too. Pay it forward. You'll discover that helping others is a gift you give yourself.

Gain free access here: The Million Dollar Letter


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