He posted a tweet thread that people still can’t get over 5 years later. It’s a tweet thread I re-read weekly. If you haven’t read it then I insist you do.
After I read this tweet thread at age 32, I implemented the principles in my life. I estimate they’ve made me approximately $1.55M since doing so.
Use these principles to do the same.
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.
Naval’s tweet thread is about getting rich.
But once you go deeper you realize getting rich is a nightmare. What we’re secretly looking for is wealth. And wealth equals freedom.
Naval teaches us the fastest path to wealth and freedom is to own assets that make money while you sleep. Since I read this advice, I’ve collected a portfolio of financial assets that do exactly that.
On days when I don’t work, I still have an income. They don’t teach you this in college which pisses me off.
What’s easily overlooked is money is how we transfer time.
When you have money you have stored up time that you can redeem at any time. This makes you freer than someone who has no time (busy), and can’t go a day without working because they need the money.
Getting to this place of time freedom should be everyone’s #1 goal in life.
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.
The typical income model is to sell your time.
It’s what college teaches. It’s threaded into the business suits of society. But as we’ve just said, being busy all the time is the OPPOSITE of wealth.
Busyness is a prison most people are trapped in — and don’t realize. The problem with selling time is we all have the same 24 hours in a day. And it’s far too easy to run out of time.
So the only answer is to work harder or work longer. Yuck.
The secret isn’t to buy Bitcoin or get given a trust fund. Or start a viral Youtube channel with shock faces on every thumbnail.
Your freedom is bought by either starting a business or owning a part of someone else’s business. There is no other way.
You become an owner, or by default, you’re a renter.
And renters have:
- Rules to live by
- And the threat of eviction & being kicked to the curb at any time like a piece of trash.
Find a way to own a business.
Reading is faster than listening. Doing is faster than watching.
Gurus say reading is the holy grail.
I think this is another lie taught by college. Reading is fine but without experimentation it’s silent procrastination.
It’s faster to take action and learn from the mistakes than it is to read the highlight reel of some successful person who’s 10,000 steps ahead of you and wrote a book as a form of PR for their new business venture.
Doesn’t mean you quit reading. Just means you start reading with intention. And that you apply the 80/20 rule:
- 80% experimentation and action
- 20% reading
Understand that ethical wealth creation is possible. If you secretly despise wealth, it will elude you.
Whenever I write about wealth, getting rich or say “$1.55M,” the nanny police jump in the comments and fling poo at me.
They secretly hate wealth.
They spend their nights writing tweets that diss billionaires and obsessing over the latest political turmoil or war that has nothing to do with them.
They think money is evil, and that making money is too.
What they misunderstand is your relationship with money determines how much money you make. Before I read Naval’s tweet thread, I had a toxic relationship with money.
I used to say “fat cat CEOs…they get all the money.” Or I’d get angry at strangers who flew on private jets. Or I’d question capitalism and pretend my economic models were smarter than every other one in history.
The truth is wealth and money pissed me off because I didn’t have either, and I didn’t know how to get it. So that frustration manifested into this odd form of hating anyone who spoke about money.
Making money isn’t unethical. If you work a job then your employer is likely stinking rich. You don’t decide to be unemployed because of that fact, do you? Of course not. Boycott behavior is for losers.
Money is a tool. You can learn how to use it ethically.
Anyone who says money can’t buy happiness hasn’t given enough away — Alex Hormozi
Ignore people playing status games. They gain status by attacking people playing wealth-creation games.
Once you understand status games you can’t unlearn it.
A guy said to me the other day, “I’m now the Director of Operations at Google. In January I’m taking my kids to the Australian Open. You know, the cost of living is hard these days. Paying for my kids’ private school and even the service on the Benz is getting out of control.”
In those few sentences there’s status all the way through.
- Job title = Status
- Private school = Status
- Mercedes Benz car = Status
- Going to the tennis = Status
And this is how most people live. Addicted to status. Playing status games that remove access to personal freedom.
Whenever I talk about freedom I get people attack me for selling some fantasy lifestyle. But wanting to own your time and do whatever you want isn’t a fantasy or a get-rich-quick scheme.
It should be the default human behavior.
But it’s not. We’re taught from an early age to chase status instead of freedom or meaning — and that’s why society is so deeply unhappy.
If you’re attacking people building wealth, grow up. You’re turning into a loser and it’s hurting your family.
The internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers. Most people haven’t figured this out yet.
The internet isn’t new.
I feel like a grandpa saying “There’s this thing called the internet.” But 20-something years later here we are. Even after all this time most people don’t understand the opportunity of the internet.
Naval made me realize.
The point of the internet is it connects you to billions of people. Before that you were confined to the people in close proximity to your physical location. It’s a subtle shift but one you must understand.
When you can reach more people, it makes it easier to earn a living and find more opportunities. When I fused my banking career with an after-hours internet obsession, it changed everything.
The internet increases your luck surface area. The problem is most people use it to consume instead of create, so they never unlock the benefits.
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.
In the old days you had to buy real estate to get passive income while you sleep. Now the internet enables the same effect.
The internet introduces leverage. Leverage is where you achieve greater results than the effort you put in. The more leverage you unlock the more your results compound and that leads to exponential growth.
Media: record once, play twice
Code: deploy once, run twice
Capital: buy once, earn twice
Figure out leverage and you’ll never have to overwork or rely on a job again. It’s the key to all wealth-building games.
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.
After I read this advice I worked out my hourly rate.
Don’t laugh, but it came out at about $1000 an hour. So if I need to spend an hour on a task and it can be outsourced for less than $1000, then I should probably take it off my to-do list.
Now I use virtual assistants to do some of those tasks for me. And I don’t get sucked into the toxic psychology of discounts, coupons, and shopping malls because I understand the headache isn’t worth the payoff.
Time is money.
Saving time equals saving money.
Time saved equals more time to invest in leveraged tasks that compound and make more money so you can have more freedom.
Play iterated games.
All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.
Naval made me realize no one has all the answers.
After I read this advice I spent more time experimenting than overthinking my goals. I realized every game in life is one of iteration. You do the same habits over and over and try to slowly improve at each one.
It means you don’t start off perfect. You work from a place of imperfection and let your skills improve over time. This way of life unlocks compound interest in whatever you’re working on.
If I had to distill Naval’s wealth creation advice into two concepts, it’d be: 1) Leverage 2) Compounding.
These are universal laws most people don’t understand. Mastery of these topics will create more money and therefore more time than you could ever dream of.
As long as you’re always getting better, you’ll never truly fail in life. It’s the people who don’t change that you should be terrified of.
When you’re finally wealthy, you’ll realize that it wasn’t what you were seeking in the first place.
Let’s finish on this cliffhanger.
Many people think all they need is to make lots of money and all their problems will be solved. Life isn’t that simple.
I started out playing the wealth game only to realize the endpoint wasn’t what I expected. The thing I’m chasing isn’t more money or time. It’s a meaning for my life. It’s a mission that is greater than my existence.
Not something grandiose — like sending rockets to Mars — but something that feels important to me. You actually don’t need much money to achieve this goal.
Once you understand that, the amount of money you need goes right down and you get to spend more time doing things that bring you joy.
The process of doing it, and the fact you get to do it, outweighs the attainment of results (like how big your net worth is).
This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.