How To Get Rich (without getting lucky) by Naval Ravikant

Naval Ravikant (@Naval), founder of AngelList and modern philosopher, put together this list on twitter. I took the liberty of restructuring his tweets to highlight the key concepts. You can listen to a podcast on the topic from Naval himself here.

  • There are no get rich quick schemes. That’s just someone else getting rich off you.
  • 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’re not going to get rich renting out your time
    • 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.
    • Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.
  • 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.
    • The Internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers. Most people haven’t figured this out yet.
  • Arm yourself with specific knowledge, accountability, and leverage
    • Specific knowledge is knowledge that you cannot be trained for. If society can train you, it can train someone else, and replace you.
    • Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now.
    • Building specific knowledge will feel like play to you but will look like work to others.
    • When specific knowledge is taught, it’s through apprenticeships, not schools.
    • Specific knowledge is often highly technical or creative. It cannot be outsourced or automated.
    • 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.
  • Fortunes require leverage: business leverage comes from capital, people…
    • Capital means money. To raise money, apply your specific knowledge, with accountability, and show resulting good judgment.
    • Labor means people working for you. It’s the oldest and most fought-over form of leverage. Labor leverage will impress your parents, but don’t waste your life chasing it.
    • Capital and labour 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.
  • and products with no marginal cost of replication (code and media)
    • 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 centres for heat and space efficiency. Use it.
    • If you can’t code, write books and blogs, record videos and podcasts.
  • Leverage is a force multiplier for your judgement
    • Judgement is making decisions. Leverage magnifies the consequences of those decisions.
    • Judgement requires experience, but can be built faster by learning foundational skills.
    • There is no skill called “business”. Avoid business magazines and business classes.
    • Study instead microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers.
    • Reading is faster than listening. Doing is faster than watching.
  • Apply specific knowledge, with leverage, and eventually you will get what you deserve
    • 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.
    • Work as hard as you can. Even though who you work with and what you work on are more important than how hard you work.
    • Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.
  • 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.