One of my favorite people to follow on Twitter is Naval Ravikant (@naval). His stuff tends to be insightful, as well as extremely varied. Sometimes he tweets about tech stuff; other times he gets much more philosophical about life.
He recently tweeted out a very long string of tweets that I thought provided some pretty good life advice (original to which I refer is here).
I decided to take his (very long) string and reformat it into an essay that’s much easier to read. It starts below.
Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy. Understand that ethical wealth creation is possible. If you secretly despise wealth, it will elude you.
Ignore people playing status games. They gain status by attacking people playing wealth creation games.
You must own equity – a piece of a business – to gain your financial freedom. You will get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get, at scale. The Internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers. Most people haven’t figured this out yet.
Play iterated games. All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.
Pick an industry where you can play long term games with long term people. Pick business partners with high intelligence, energy, and, above all, integrity. Don’t partner with cynics and pessimists. Their beliefs are self-fulfilling.
Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable. Arm yourself with specific knowledge, accountability, and leverage.
Embrace accountability, and take business risks under your own name. Society will reward you with responsibility, equity, and leverage. The most accountable people have singular, public, and risky brands: Oprah, Trump, Kanye, Elon.
Business leverage comes from capital, people, and products with no marginal cost of replication (code and media). Capital and labor are permissioned leverage. Everyone is chasing capital, but someone has to give it to you. Everyone is trying to lead, but someone has to follow you. Code and media are permissionless leverage. They’re the leverage behind the newly rich. You can create software and media that works for you while you sleep. An army of robots is freely available – it’s just packed in data centers for heat and space efficiency. Use it.
There is no skill called “business.” Avoid business magazines and business classes. Study microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers. Reading is faster than listening. Doing is faster than watching.
You should be too busy to “do coffee,” while still keeping an uncluttered calendar. Set and enforce an aspirational personal hourly rate. If fixing a problem will save less than your hourly rate, ignore it. If outsourcing a task will cost less than your hourly rate, outsource it.
Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.
There are no get rich quick schemes. That’s just someone else getting rich off you.
When you’re finally wealthy, you’ll realize that it wasn’t what you were seeking in the first place. But that’s for another day.
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