The almanack of Naval Ravikant - A guide to wealth and happiness - Eric Jorgenson


My best of:

If you don’t know yet what you should work on, the most important thing is to figure it out.
You should not grind at a lot of hard work until you figure out what you should be working on.
You will get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get. At scale.
Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now.
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.
This is hard. The better part of a decade may be figuring out what you can uniquely provide.
No one can compete with you on being you.
Most of life is a search for who and what needs you the most.
if you’re not already good at it or if you’re not really into it, maybe it’s not your thing—focus on the thing that you are really into.
Specific knowledge is found much more by pursuing your innate talents, your genuine curiosity, and your passion.
You can go on the internet, and you can find your audience. And you can build a business, and create a product, and build wealth, and make people happy just uniquely expressing yourself through the internet.
The internet enables any niche interest, as long as you’re the best person at it to scale out. And the great news is because every human is different, everyone is the best at something—being themselves.
“Escape competition through authenticity.” Basically, when you’re competing with people, it’s because you’re copying them. It’s because you’re trying to do the same thing. But every human is different. Don’t copy.
The best jobs are neither decreed nor degreed. They are creative expressions of continuous learners in free markets.
The most important skill for getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner.
You have to know how to learn anything you want to learn.
You do need to be deep in something because otherwise you’ll be a mile wide and an inch deep and you won’t get what you want out of life.
You can only achieve mastery in one or two things. It’s usually things you’re obsessed about.
he will pay it out of his own pocket, and he won’t even mention it to me. Because he goes so far out of his way to treat me so well, I send him every deal I have—I try to include him in everything.
When you find the right thing to do, when you find the right people to work with, invest deeply.
what you’re trying to do is find the thing you can go all-in on to earn compound interest.
When you’re studying something, like a geography or history class, and you realize you are never going to use the information, drop the class. It’s a waste of time. It’s a waste of your brain energy.
when you find the 1 percent of your discipline which will not be wasted, which you’ll be able to invest in for the rest of your life and has meaning to you—go all-in and forget about the rest.
Following your genuine intellectual curiosity is a better foundation for a career than following whatever is making money right now.
If it entertains you now but will bore you someday, it’s a distraction. Keep looking.
I only really want to do things for their own sake. That is one definition of art.
I think the meaning of life is to do things for their own sake.
Follow your intellectual curiosity more than whatever is “hot” right now. If your curiosity ever leads you to a place where society eventually wants to go, you’ll get paid extremely well.
Think about what product or service society wants but does not yet know how to get.
You want to become the person who delivers it and delivers it at scale.
You build your brand in the meantime on Twitter, on YouTube, and by giving away free work.
Forget rich versus poor, white-collar versus blue. It’s now leveraged versus un-leveraged.
This newest form of leverage is where all the new fortunes are made, all the new billionaires.
You’re never going to get rich renting out your time.
We live in an age of leverage. As a worker, you want to be as leveraged as possible so you have a huge impact without as much time or physical effort.
With a leveraged worker, judgment is far more important than how much time they put in or how hard they work.
you’re not writing things down to make it look like you did work. All you care about is the actual work itself.
Tools and leverage create this disconnection between inputs and outputs. The higher the creativity component of a profession, the more likely it is to have disconnected inputs and outputs.
Earn with your mind, not your time.
I think every human should aspire to being knowledgeable about certain things and being paid for our unique knowledge.
We waste our time with short-term thinking and busywork.
No one is going to value you more than you value yourself.
The problem is, to win at a status game, you have to put somebody else down
Spend more time making the big decisions.
You have to say no to everything and free up your time so you can solve the important problems.
Figure out what you’re good at, and start helping other people with it.
Give it away. Pay it forward.
Karma works because people are consistent. On a long enough timescale, you will attract what you project.
I would rather be a failed entrepreneur than someone who never tried.
There are almost 7 billion people on this planet. Someday, I hope, there will be almost 7 billion companies.
Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for an imaginary tomorrow.
When today is complete, in and of itself, you’re retired.
The way to get out of the competition trap is to be authentic, to find the thing you know how to do better than anybody.
What are the things that are done for their own sake, and there’s nothing behind them? Loving somebody, creating something, playing.
If others want to compete with me, they’re going to work, and they’re going to lose because they’re not going to do it for sixteen hours a day, seven days a week.
build your character in a certain way, then your character becomes your destiny.
“In a long-term game, it seems that everybody is making each other rich. And in a short-term game, it seems like everybody is making themselves rich.”
“Be a maker who makes something interesting people want. Show your craft, practice your craft, and the right people will eventually find you.”
I believe deep down we all know who we are. You cannot hide anything from yourself. Your own failures are written within your psyche.
If you have too many of these moral shortcomings, you will not respect yourself.
The worst outcome in this world is not having self-esteem. If you don’t love yourself, who will?
I think you just have to be very careful about doing things you are fundamentally not going to be proud of, because they will damage you.
“The closer you want to get to me, the better your values have to be.”
You have to enjoy it and keep doing it, keep doing it, and keep doing it. Don’t keep track, and don’t keep count because if you do, you will run out of time.
The only way to truly learn something is by doing it. Yes, listen to guidance. But don’t wait.
People are oddly consistent. Karma is just you, repeating your patterns, virtues, and flaws until you finally get what you deserve.
Your real résumé is just a catalog of all your suffering.
You have to do hard things anyway to create your own meaning in life.
Most of the time, the person you have to become to make money is a high-anxiety, high-stress, hard-working, competitive person. When you have done that for twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years, and you suddenly make money, you can’t turn it off.
You’ve trained yourself to be a high-anxiety person. Then, you have to learn how to be happy.
In the old days, You had to give everything up to be free inside.
Today, with this wonderful invention called money, you can store it in a bank account.


ERIC’S NOTE (ABOUT THIS BOOK)

Closely studying his career has shown me how great things are accomplished through small, persistent steps.

This book collects the wisdom shared by Naval over the past decade in his own words through Twitter, blog posts, and podcasts. With this book, you can get the benefits of a lifetime in a few hours.

NOW, HERE IS NAVAL IN HIS OWN WORDS…

My mother uniquely provided, against the background of hardship, unconditional and unfailing love. If you have nothing in your life, but you have at least one person that loves you unconditionally, it’ll do wonders for your self-esteem.

I spent a lot of time reading. My only real friends were books
Books make for great friends, because the best thinkers of the last few thousand years tell you their nuggets of wisdom.

I was born poor and miserable. I’m now pretty well-off, and I’m very happy. I worked at those.


PART I: WEALTH - How to get rich without getting lucky.

BUILDING WEALTH

Making money is not a thing you do—it’s a skill you learn.

UNDERSTAND HOW WEALTH IS CREATED

Getting rich is about knowing what to do, who to do it with, and when to do it.
It is much more about understanding than purely hard work.
Yes, hard work matters, and you can’t skimp on it. But it has to be directed in the right way.

If you don’t know yet what you should work on, the most important thing is to figure it out.
You should not grind at a lot of hard work until you figure out what you should be working on.


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 ethical wealth creation is possible.
If you secretly despise wealth, it will elude you.


Ignore people playing status 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.


Pick an industry where you can play long-term games with long-term people.


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 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.


Specific knowledge is knowledge 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.


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.


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.


If you can’t code, write books and blogs, record videos and podcasts.


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.


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.


Productize Yourself
“Productize” and “yourself.” “Yourself” has uniqueness. “Productize” has leverage.

If you’re looking toward the long-term goal of getting wealthy, you should ask yourself, “Is this authentic to me? Is it myself that I am projecting?”
And then, “Am I productizing it? Am I scaling it? Am I scaling with labor or with capital or with code or with media?”

This is hard. This is why I say it takes decades—I’m not saying it takes decades to execute, but the better part of a decade may be figuring out what you can uniquely provide.


What’s the difference between wealth and money?

Money is how we transfer wealth. It is the ability to have credits and debits of other people’s time.

If I do my job right, if I create value for society, society says, “Oh, thank you. We owe you something in the future for the work you did in the past. Here’s a little IOU. Let’s call that money.”

Wealth is the thing you want. Wealth is assets that earn while you sleep. Wealth is the factory, the robots, cranking out things. Wealth is the computer program that’s running at night, serving other customers. Wealth is even money in the bank that is being reinvested into other assets, and into other businesses.

FIND AND BUILD SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE

Sales skills are a form of specific knowledge.
But you can improve sales skills. You can read Robert Cialdini, you can go to a sales training seminar, you can do door-to-door sales. It is brutal but will train you very quickly. You can definitely improve your sales skills.

Specific knowledge cannot be taught, but it can be learned.

When I talk about specific knowledge, I mean figure out what you were doing as a kid or teenager almost effortlessly.
Something you didn’t even consider a skill, but people around you noticed. Your mother or your best friend growing up would know.

Examples of what your specific knowledge could be:

The specific knowledge is sort of this weird combination of unique traits from your DNA, your unique upbringing, and your response to it.
It’s almost baked into your personality and your identity. Then you can hone it.

No one can compete with you on being you.

Most of life is a search for who and what needs you the most.

For example, I love to read, and I love technology. I learn very quickly, and I get bored fast.
If I had gone into a profession where I was required to tunnel down for twenty years into the same topic, it wouldn’t have worked.
I’m in venture investing, which requires me to come up to speed very, very quickly on new technologies (and I’m rewarded for getting bored because new technologies come along).
It matches up pretty well with my specific knowledge and skill sets.

I have some sales skills, which is a form of specific knowledge. I have some analytical skills on how to make money. And I have this ability to absorb data, obsess about it, and break it down—that is a specific skill that I have.
I also love tinkering with technology. And all of this stuff feels like play to me, but it looks like work to others.

There are other people to whom these things would be hard, and they say, “Well, how do I get good at being pithy and selling ideas?” Well, if you’re not already good at it or if you’re not really into it, maybe it’s not your thing—focus on the thing that you are really into.

Specific knowledge is found much more by pursuing your innate talents, your genuine curiosity, and your passion.
It’s not by going to school for whatever is the hottest job;

You can go on the internet, and you can find your audience. And you can build a business, and create a product, and build wealth, and make people happy just uniquely expressing yourself through the internet.

The internet enables any niche interest, as long as you’re the best person at it to scale out. And the great news is because every human is different, everyone is the best at something—being themselves.

“Escape competition through authenticity.” Basically, when you’re competing with people, it’s because you’re copying them. It’s because you’re trying to do the same thing. But every human is different. Don’t copy.

The best jobs are neither decreed nor degreed. They are creative expressions of continuous learners in free markets.

The most important skill for getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner.
You have to know how to learn anything you want to learn.
The old model of making money is going to school for four years, getting your degree, and working as a professional for thirty years. But things change fast now.
Now, you have to come up to speed on a new profession within nine months, and it’s obsolete four years later. But within those three productive years, you can get very wealthy.

It’s much more important today to be able to become an expert in a brand-new field in nine to twelve months than to have studied the “right” thing a long time ago.

Foundations are super important.
Basic arithmetic and numeracy are way more important in life than doing calculus. Similarly, being able to convey yourself simply using ordinary English words is far more important than being able to write poetry, having an extensive vocabulary, or speaking seven different foreign languages.

Knowing how to be persuasive when speaking is far more important than being an expert digital marketer or click optimizer.
Foundations are key.
It’s much better to be at 9/10 or 10/10 on foundations than to try and get super deep into things.

You do need to be deep in something because otherwise you’ll be a mile wide and an inch deep and you won’t get what you want out of life.
You can only achieve mastery in one or two things. It’s usually things you’re obsessed about.


PLAY LONG-TERM GAMES WITH LONG-TERM PEOPLE

Compounding in business relationships is very important.
Compound interest also happens in your reputation. If you have a sterling reputation and you keep building it for decades upon decades, people will notice.
Your reputation will literally end up being thousands or tens of thousands of times more valuable than somebody else who was very talented but is not keeping the compound interest in reputation going.

All the normal negotiations in business relationships can work very simply because you trust each other—you know it will work out.

I love working with Elad because I know when the deal is being done, he will bend over backward to give me extra. He will always round off in my favor if there’s an extra dollar being delivered here or there. If there’s some cost to pay, he will pay it out of his own pocket, and he won’t even mention it to me. Because he goes so far out of his way to treat me so well, I send him every deal I have—I try to include him in everything. Then, I go out of my way to try and pay for him. Compounding in those relationships is very valuable.

Intentions don’t matter. Actions do. That’s why being ethical is hard.

When you find the right thing to do, when you find the right people to work with, invest deeply. Sticking with it for decades is really how you make the big returns in your relationships and in your money. So, compound interest is very important.

The reason I say this is not to make some glib comment about how 99 percent of your life is wasted and only 1 percent is useful. I say this because you should be very thoughtful and realize in most things (relationships, work, even in learning) what you’re trying to do is find the thing you can go all-in on to earn compound interest.

When you’re dating, the instant you know this relationship is not going to be the one that leads to marriage, you should probably move on. When you’re studying something, like a geography or history class, and you realize you are never going to use the information, drop the class. It’s a waste of time. It’s a waste of your brain energy.

I’m not saying don’t do the 99 percent, because it’s very hard to identify what the 1 percent is. What I’m saying is: when you find the 1 percent of your discipline which will not be wasted, which you’ll be able to invest in for the rest of your life and has meaning to you—go all-in and forget about the rest.


TAKE ON ACCOUNTABILITY

To get rich, you need leverage. Leverage comes in labor, comes in capital, or it can come through code or media.
But most of these, like labor and capital, people have to give to you. For labor, somebody has to follow you. For capital, somebody has to give you money, assets to manage, or machines.

So to get these things, you have to build credibility, and you have to do it under your own name as much as possible, which is risky.
So, accountability is a double-edged thing. It allows you to take credit when things go well and to bear the brunt of the failure when things go badly.

The people who have the ability to fail in public under their own names actually gain a lot of power.

Only around 2014, 2015 did I start talking about philosophy and psychological things and broader things. It made me a little nervous because I was doing it under my own name. There were definitely people in the industry who sent me messages through the backchannel like, “What are you doing? You’re ending your career. This is stupid.”
I kind of just went with it. I took a risk. Same with crypto. Early on, I took a risk. But when you put your name out there, you take a risk with certain things. You also get to reap the rewards. You get the benefits.


BUILD OR BUY EQUITY IN A BUSINESS

If you don’t own a piece of a business, you don’t have a path towards financial freedom.

It’s ownership versus wage work. If you are paid for renting out your time, even lawyers and doctors, you can make some money, but you’re not going to make the money that gives you financial freedom.
You’re not going to have passive income where a business is earning for you while you are on vacation.

You have to work up to the point where you can own equity in a business.
Ownership is really important.
Everybody who really makes money at some point owns a piece of a product, a business, or some IP.

But usually, the real wealth is created by starting your own companies or even by investing.
These are the routes to wealth. It doesn’t come through the hours.


FIND A POSITION OF LEVERAGE

We live in an age of infinite leverage, and the economic rewards for genuine intellectual curiosity have never been higher.
Following your genuine intellectual curiosity is a better foundation for a career than following whatever is making money right now.

Knowledge only you know or only a small set of people knows is going to come out of your passions and your hobbies, oddly enough. If you have hobbies around your intellectual curiosity, you’re more likely to develop these passions.

If it entertains you now but will bore you someday, it’s a distraction. Keep looking.

I only really want to do things for their own sake. That is one definition of art.
I think the meaning of life is to do things for their own sake.
Ironically, when you do things for their own sake, you create your best work.

Follow your intellectual curiosity more than whatever is “hot” right now. If your curiosity ever leads you to a place where society eventually wants to go, you’ll get paid extremely well.

You’re more likely to have skills society does not yet know how to train other people to do. If someone can train other people how to do something, then they can replace you.
You want to know how to do something other people don’t know how to do at the time period when those skills are in demand.

A lot of people think you can go to school and study for how to make money, but the reality is, there’s no skill called “business.”
Think about what product or service society wants but does not yet know how to get.
You want to become the person who delivers it and delivers it at scale.

You are waiting for your moment when something emerges in the world, they need a skill set, and you’re uniquely qualified. You build your brand in the meantime on Twitter, on YouTube, and by giving away free work. You make a name for yourself, and you take some risk in the process. When it is time to move on the opportunity, you can do so with leverage—the maximum leverage possible.

“products with no marginal cost of replication.” This includes books, media, movies, and code. Code is probably the most powerful form of permissionless leverage. All you need is a computer—you don’t need anyone’s permission.
Forget rich versus poor, white-collar versus blue. It’s now leveraged versus un-leveraged.

This is the new form of leverage. This was only invented in the last few hundred years. It started with the printing press. It accelerated with broadcast media, and now it’s really blown up with the internet and with coding. Now, you can multiply your efforts without involving other humans and without needing money from other humans.

This book is a form of leverage. Long ago, I would have had to sit in a lecture hall and lecture each of you personally. I would have maybe reached a few hundred people, and that would have been that.
This newest form of leverage is where all the new fortunes are made, all the new billionaires.

The new generation’s fortunes are all made through code or media.
They are permission-less. They don’t require somebody else’s permission for you to use them or succeed. For labor leverage, somebody has to decide to follow you. For capital leverage, somebody has to give you money to invest or to turn into a product.

Every great software developer, for example, now has an army of robots working for him at nighttime while he or she sleeps, after they’ve written the code, and it’s cranking away.

You’re never going to get rich renting out your time.

Whenever you can in life, optimize for independence rather than pay. If you have independence and you’re accountable on your output, as opposed to your input—that’s the dream.

Humans evolved in societies where there was no leverage. If I was chopping wood or carrying water for you, you knew eight hours put in would be equal to about eight hours of output.
Now we’ve invented leverage—through capital, cooperation, technology, productivity, all these means.
We live in an age of leverage. As a worker, you want to be as leveraged as possible so you have a huge impact without as much time or physical effort.
A leveraged worker can out-produce a non-leveraged worker by a factor of one thousand or ten thousand. With a leveraged worker, judgment is far more important than how much time they put in or how hard they work.

For example, a good software engineer, just by writing the right little piece of code and creating the right little application, can literally create half a billion dollars’ worth of value for a company.
But ten engineers working ten times as hard, just because they choose the wrong model, the wrong product, wrote it the wrong way, or put in the wrong viral loop, have basically wasted their time.

You’re not doing meetings for meetings’ sake, you’re not trying to impress other people, you’re not writing things down to make it look like you did work. All you care about is the actual work itself.
When you do just the actual work itself, you’ll be far more productive, far more efficient. You’ll work when you feel like it—when you’re high-energy—and you won’t be trying to struggle through when you’re low energy. You’ll gain your time back.

Forty hour work weeks are a relic of the Industrial Age. Knowledge workers function like athletes—train and sprint, then rest and reassess.

Tools and leverage create this disconnection between inputs and outputs. The higher the creativity component of a profession, the more likely it is to have disconnected inputs and outputs.
If you’re looking at professions where your inputs and your outputs are highly connected, it’s going to be very hard to create wealth and make wealth for yourself in that process.

Earn with your mind, not your time.


GET PAID FOR YOUR JUDGMENT

I would love to be paid purely for my judgment, not for any work. I want a robot, capital, or computer to do the work, but I want to be paid for my judgment.

I think every human should aspire to being knowledgeable about certain things and being paid for our unique knowledge.
We have as much leverage as is possible in our business, whether it’s through robots or computers or what have you. Then, we can be masters of our own time because we are just being tracked on outputs and not inputs.

We waste our time with short-term thinking and busywork. Warren Buffett spends a year deciding and a day acting. That act lasts decades.
Leverage magnifies those differences even more. Being at the extreme in your art is very important in the age of leverage.


PRIORITIZE AND FOCUS

I haven’t made money in my life in one giant payout. It has always been a whole bunch of small things piling up. It’s more about consistently creating wealth by creating businesses, creating opportunities, and creating investments.

There are so many ways to create wealth, to create products, to create businesses, and to get paid by society as a byproduct. I just can’t handle them all.

No one is going to value you more than you value yourself. You just have to set a very high personal hourly rate and you have to stick to it.
Even when I was young, I just decided I was worth a lot more than the market thought I was worth, and I started treating myself that way.
It’s going to take you an hour to get across town to get something. If you value yourself at one hundred dollars an hour, that’s basically throwing one hundred dollars out of your pocket.

My hourly rate, I used to say to myself over and over, is $5,000 an hour. Today when I look back, really it was about $1,000 an hour.
Of course, I still ended up doing stupid things like arguing with the electrician or returning the broken speaker, but I shouldn’t have, and I did a lot less than any of my friends would.


When you try and do business with somebody, if you have any bad thoughts or any judgments about them, they will feel it. Humans are wired to feel what the other person deep down inside feels.
You have to get out of a relative mindset.
being anti-wealth will prevent you from becoming wealthy. you won’t be dealing with people on the right level. Be optimistic, be positive. It’s important. Optimists actually do better in the long run.

The business world has many people playing zero sum games and a few playing positive sum games searching for each other in the crowd.

Status is a zero-sum game. It’s a very old game. We’ve been playing it since monkey tribes.
Who’s number one? Who’s number two? Who’s number three? And for number three to move to number two, number two has to move out of that slot. So, status is a zero-sum game.
Politics is an example of a status game. Even sports are an example of a status game.

The problem is, to win at a status game, you have to put somebody else down. That’s why you should avoid status games in your life—they make you into an angry, combative person.


What is the most important thing to do for younger people starting out?

Spend more time making the big decisions. There are basically three really big decisions you make in your early life: where you live, who you’re with, and what you do.

You have to say no to everything and free up your time so you can solve the important problems.


What are one or two steps you’d take to surround yourself with successful people?

Figure out what you’re good at, and start helping other people with it.
Give it away. Pay it forward.
Karma works because people are consistent. On a long enough timescale, you will attract what you project.
But don’t measure—your patience will run out if you count.


FIND WORK THAT FEELS LIKE PLAY

The Industrial Revolution and factories made us extremely hierarchical because one individual couldn’t necessarily own or build a factory, but now, thanks to the internet, we’re going back to an age where more and more people can work for themselves.
I would rather be a failed entrepreneur than someone who never tried. Because even a failed entrepreneur has the skill set to make it on their own.

There are almost 7 billion people on this planet. Someday, I hope, there will be almost 7 billion companies.

I learned how to make money because it was a necessity. After it stopped being a necessity, I stopped caring about it.
Making money was a means to an end. I’m much more interested in solving problems than I am in making money.

I would say I’m at the stage where I’m just tired of games. I don’t think there is any end goal or purpose. I’m just living life as I want to. I’m literally just doing it moment to moment.

You want freedom from your money problems, right?
Once you can solve your money problems, either by lowering your lifestyle or by making enough money, you want to retire. Not retirement at sixty-five years old.


What is your definition of retirement?

Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for an imaginary tomorrow.
When today is complete, in and of itself, you’re retired.


How do you get there?

One way is to have so much money saved that your passive income (without you lifting a finger) covers your burn rate.
A second is you just drive your burn rate down to zero—you become a monk.
A third is you’re doing something you love. You enjoy it so much, it’s not about the money.

The way to get out of the competition trap is to be authentic, to find the thing you know how to do better than anybody.

What are the things that are done for their own sake, and there’s nothing behind them? Loving somebody, creating something, playing.

I can create a new business within three months: raise the money, assemble a team, and launch it. It’s fun for me. It’s really cool to see what can I put together. It makes money almost as a side effect. Creating businesses is the game I became good at.

If others want to compete with me, they’re going to work, and they’re going to lose because they’re not going to do it for sixteen hours a day, seven days a week.


Lusting for money is bad for us because it is a bottomless pit.
It will always occupy your mind. If you love money, and you make it, there’s never enough.
There is never enough because the desire is turned on and doesn’t turn off at some number.

I think the best way to stay away from this constant love of money is to not upgrade your lifestyle as you make money.

Another thing that helps: I value freedom above everything else. All kinds of freedom: freedom to do what I want, freedom from things I don’t want to do, freedom from my own emotions or things that may disturb my peace. For me, freedom is my number one value.

To the extent money buys freedom, it’s great. But to the extent it makes me less free, which it definitely does at some level as well, I don’t like it.

For someone who is early in their career (and maybe even later), the single most important thing about a company is the alumni network you’re going to build. Think about who you will work with and what those people are going on to do.


HOW TO GET LUCKY

there’s luck through persistence, hard work, hustle, and motion. This is when you’re running around creating opportunities. You’re generating a lot of energy, you’re doing a lot to stir things up. It’s almost like mixing a petri dish or mixing a bunch of reagents and seeing what combines. You’re just generating enough force, hustle, and energy for luck to find you.

To summarize the fourth type: build your character in a certain way, then your character becomes your destiny.

One of the things I think is important to make money is having a reputation that makes people do deals through you.

our character and your reputation are things you can build, which will let you take advantage of opportunities other people may characterize as lucky.
“In a long-term game, it seems that everybody is making each other rich. And in a short-term game, it seems like everybody is making themselves rich.”


How important is networking?

I think business networking is a complete waste of time.
the reality is if you’re building something interesting, you will always have more people who will want to know you.

“Be a maker who makes something interesting people want. Show your craft, practice your craft, and the right people will eventually find you.”


If someone is talking a lot about how honest they are, they’re probably dishonest.

When someone spends too much time talking about their own values or they’re talking themselves up, they’re covering for something.

I believe deep down we all know who we are. You cannot hide anything from yourself. Your own failures are written within your psyche, and they are obvious to you.
If you have too many of these moral shortcomings, you will not respect yourself.
The worst outcome in this world is not having self-esteem. If you don’t love yourself, who will?

I think you just have to be very careful about doing things you are fundamentally not going to be proud of, because they will damage you.

The first time someone acts this way, I will warn them. By the way, nobody changes. Then I just distance myself from them. I cut them out of my life. I just have this saying inside my head: “The closer you want to get to me, the better your values have to be.”


BE PATIENT

Apply specific knowledge with leverage and eventually, you will get what you deserve.
It takes time—even once you have all of these pieces in place, there is an indeterminate amount of time you have to put in.

Everybody wants to get rich immediately, but the world is an efficient place; immediate doesn’t work.
You do have to put in the time.
You do have to put in the hours, and so I think you have to put yourself in the position with the specific knowledge, with accountability, with leverage, with the authentic skill set you have, to be the best in the world at what you do.

You have to enjoy it and keep doing it, keep doing it, and keep doing it. Don’t keep track, and don’t keep count because if you do, you will run out of time.

The only way to truly learn something is by doing it. Yes, listen to guidance. But don’t wait.

People are oddly consistent. Karma is just you, repeating your patterns, virtues, and flaws until you finally get what you deserve.

Look at the kids who are born rich—they have no meaning to their lives.
Your real résumé is just a catalog of all your suffering.

You have to do hard things anyway to create your own meaning in life.
Making money is a fine thing to choose. Go struggle. It is hard. I’m not going to say it’s easy. It’s really hard, but the tools are all available. It’s all out there.

Money buys you freedom in the material world. It’s not going to make you happy, it’s not going to solve your health problems, it’s not going to make your family great, it’s not going to make you fit, it’s not going to make you calm. But it will solve a lot of external problems. It’s a reasonable step to go ahead and make money.

It will remove a set of things that could get in the way of being happy, but it is not going to make you happy.

I know many very wealthy people who are unhappy. Most of the time, the person you have to become to make money is a high-anxiety, high-stress, hard-working, competitive person. When you have done that for twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years, and you suddenly make money, you can’t turn it off.
You’ve trained yourself to be a high-anxiety person. Then, you have to learn how to be happy.

In the old days, if you wanted to be peaceful inside, you would become a monk. You would give up everything, renounce sex, children, money, politics, science, technology, everything, and you would go out in the woods by yourself. You had to give everything up to be free inside.

Today, with this wonderful invention called money, you can store it in a bank account. You can you work really hard, do great things for society, and society will give you money for things it wants but doesn’t know how to get. You can save money, you can live a little below your means, and you can find a certain freedom.