“Making money isn’t even something you do. It’s not a skill. It’s who you are, stamped out a million times.”
Wealth-building is a subject many are interested in, but very few know about, and even fewer have mastered. One of the great masters of wealth-building is Naval Ravikant.
If you haven’t heard the name Naval before, he is a legendary entrepreneur, investor, and philosopher. He is the founder of AngelList and was an early-stage investor in both Uber and Twitter.
Every day, millions of people listen to Naval’s advice from his tweets, podcasts, interviews, and writing. He is so broadly followed because he has achieved two goals that many people want, but often cannot have at the same time: wealth and happiness.
On September 15, 2020, something amazing happened: a book containing all of Naval’s wisdom from his tweets, podcasts, interviews, and writing was released. It’s FREE online here.
The book’s first-half focuses on Naval’s first passion: wealth building. By the end of that section, Naval did as he always does. He summarised all his advice on wealth building into a single phrase: Productize Yourself.
Productize for Wealth
Building wealth requires you to create a product. A product is an asset that can be made and sold at scale. The asset itself creates your wealth.
Naval makes a very firm distinction between wealth and money. Money is an object, a tool that can be used or traded to create and acquire other things. But it is not an asset. Money itself does not grow in value over time, nor can it be sold at scale. It only becomes valuable when you trade it for something else.
“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.”
Your asset must be a tangible thing that you create and sell at scale.
For example, you can write code for an app. All the code you’ve written and the resulting app are owned by you. They are your product, which can be sold at scale to create value for thousands or even millions of people.
Other examples of products are YouTube videos, books, blog posts, art, music, websites, or a physical product, like the many we see on Kickstarter. Ideally, you want your product to have very low costs of creation and replication so that it can be sold to many people at little to no additional cost.
That’s why Naval talks a lot about coding and content creation being the wealth-building avenues of the future. They’re typically low cost and can be replicated to the millions very, very easily.
Ownership of an asset which you then make money from is the best way to build long term wealth.
“You will get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get. At scale.”
You are creating value for society through your product. It’s easily scaled, can be improved over time, and very importantly is not limited by time.
When you work at a day job or do freelance, you are limited by how much you can get paid, the hours you can work, and even the value you can deliver to society. Creating a scalable product has no limitations and thus unlimited upside potential.
Yourself for Wealth
“No one can compete with you on being you.
Most of life is a search for who and what needs you the most”
There are many many millions of people selling many many millions of products out there. You need a way to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate to people why they should buy into your product. The way to do that is to pour yourself into the product.
What uniqueness from your own personality can you put into the product? What authenticity does your product have that cannot be found anywhere else? How can you apply your passion to your product?
Apple computers, for example, have a very distinct vibe to them. There is a passion for sleekness, purity, and absolute perfection in every single part of their devices. That’s what Steve Jobs wanted, and that’s what we see in Apple products today. There are plenty of alternatives, some arguably better than Apple. But Apple’s brand is far more powerful than all of them. The people who buy Apple products appreciate the qualities that make Apple products unique.
The best jobs are neither decreed nor degreed. They are creative expressions of continuous learners in free markets.
So the question then becomes, how can you pour your own uniqueness into the product you will build?
For Naval, he loved to learn about new technologies rapidly, so tech entrepreneurship and later on venture capital investing was a natural path for him. And you can see from his product and great success that there’s definitely a love for his craft there. For me, I love to read and learn new things, and to share all that I learn — that’s how this Mighty Knowledge blog which you’re reading now came to happen.
“Be authentic to escape competition, find what you know how to do better than anybody because you love to do it and it feels like play.”
You must find out what your unique passion is and make it into a product. It’s the only way you’ll be able to work hard at it for long enough to build wealth.
People will see the passion in your product. It shows through in the perfection and authenticity of it. It stands out from the crowd because it’s from you, and there’s no one else like you in the world.
Bringing Them Together: Productize Yourself
Yourself being your uniqueness. Pour your authenticity and passion into a creation. In order for people to believe in your vision, you have to offer them something new, something that they can’t get anywhere else. That’s your uniqueness.
Productize being the making of your creation into a business. How can you package your passion into a sellable product? That product should be something that can be sold at a massive scale with minimal marginal costs.
By Productizing Yourself, you are creating an asset that makes you money while you sleep. The product is scalable, so it makes you more money without you having to constantly trade your time for it. Your product is the best one in the world for the value it offers because it is unique to you.
Once you create such an asset, long-term wealth will flow to you naturally. You are giving the world something it wants, that people can’t get anywhere else, at scale. That’s an asset, that’s value, that’s real wealth.
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant is a recently released FREE book. It is a collection of Naval’s most valuable and important tweets, interviews, and life lessons. Read it to learn timeless knowledge for wealth building and happiness.