How to Get Rich Without Being Lucky – Naval Ravikant

How to Get Rich Without Being Lucky – Naval Ravikant

In the old days, salary earners were the real deal. But the advent of science and technology has brought in even better tools for making money even in sleep. While wealth begins with the mindset, you have to be ready to put in extra work and discipline to achieve the best.

In this article, we will highlight 29 insights of being ‘Wealthy’ that you must imbibe in order to create wealth for yourself.

How to Get Rich Without Being Lucky

These set of advice are from Naval Ravikant, CEO and co-founder of AngelList, who is famous as a philosopher CEO.

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1. 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.

The difference between a rich man and a poor man is their states of mind. Hence, the rich may be poor and the poor may be rich. For instance, a family of three who share a piece of cake might be richer than another whose shelter is a comfortable duplex and still hassle to have an excellent feast.

The moment you can tell the difference between wealth and money, you have come across a life-changing opportunity and you must use it accordingly. For instance, having money in the bank wouldn’t lead to a vision or the love of others that help you earn a better tomorrow. As youngsters, we didn’t have a lot of money but we were driven by enthusiasm, personal vision, and potential to stay committed to the grind. These coins of wealth confer the ability to earn a proper living.

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

This statement can’t be far from the myth that ‘money is the root of all evil.’ The internalization of this diluted Bible phrase shows how much some people actually despise wealth and the mindset itself is self-limiting. Some time ago, I had a conversation with a retiree who highlighted the reasons why it will never be too late to modify your perceptions about wealth. Did I mention that he was only a seller of artwork? He never had a lot of patrons.

For most parts of his life, he would call the wealthy several names but he later found out that his dispositions only watered down his chances of ever getting rich because he will never associate with these people. But once he found out that despising someone’s expensive lifestyle was the true root of his evil, he started earning better from his artwork as the rich would always buy from him.

3. Ignore people playing status games. They gain status by attacking people playing wealth creation games.

It disgusts me whenever I look around and see people play status games – it’s in politics, fashion, sports, social media, and income of course. Have you ever tried to gain status and influence by decreasing your social status in relation to others’?  You’re also playing the status game.

So, you really want to show your superiority by acquiring more accessories than Parker and you know for sure that you cannot keep up? If you keep organizing training and workshops without getting money in return, you aren’t a lot different from people in the career sector who play status games. The reason is that you aren’t financially better than a hipster that can’t keep off of designer bags and shoes.

Trust me; you don’t want to be this person.

4. 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.

Smart people with wealth mentality don’t just sit around and wait for the magic to happen. They invest in equity. Who says you can’t attain financial freedom at a young age if you have meticulous plans to create an abundance of wealth? Studies show that equity has the potential to multiply your investments within a short time, probably better than other methods. So, what’s stopping you? If you are disciplined enough to earmark good sums of money for an equity investment opportunity, you just might be able to take charge of your retirement in grand style.

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5. You will get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get. At scale.

You must know by now that the creation of wealth is in the actual creation of value. Look around you, the world is plagued with several problems. The world is begging you for answers and solutions to their worries; why not give them something worth their while. So, you think ‘A’ does something already and you just want to let the business opportunity slip through your fingers? No! All you have to do is upgrade to an ‘A+’ and you will be shocked at how people are attracted to your business like a moth to a flame. Simple!

Give the society what it wants today, dear friend.

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

Quit frolicking around different areas and start playing to your strength. The woes of some poor people lie in their inability to properly identify their strengths. It is no different from investing inequity. You see, long term investors aren’t afraid to be burnt by bad investments but they would rather avoid them. As soon as you can understand the best industry that suits your purpose, all you have left is to unlock the potentials that await you.

7. The Internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers. Most people haven’t figured this out yet.

The truth? We live in a competitive space and all business ideas are probably exhausted except yours. How do I know? Check the World Wide Web. A study shows that the internet, alone, employs more than 1.2 million people for commerce and adverts. Most people don’t know this, but you do. Let us suppose the internet makes up $300 billion of US GDP. That puts you at an edge of about 0.1 percent and that is a lot of money if you ask me. Now, there are even better opportunities than that which mean better chances of earning.

8. Play iterated games. All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.

Simply put, compound interest is accumulated principal – you invest X amount and get X+Y amount in the long run. The same principle applies in all facets of life – relationships, lifestyle, and more. The snowball effect of the compound interest is a concept that you must adapt to. You have to make it a personal philosophy to perform small acts and tasks every day that would inch you closer to your goals and last a lifetime.

9. Pick business partners with high intelligence, energy, and, above all, integrity.

No one can truly overemphasize the importance of quality friendships and relationships. In the search for another level of wealth creation, you must be motivated by the people in your circle. Proximity, they say, is power. Where the proper motivation is lacking, you may as well begin the search for another relationship with other people. And the desirable traits to seek are integrity, sheer intelligence, and ruthlessness.

10. Don’t partner with cynics and pessimists. Their beliefs are self-fulfilling.

This category of people is mostly a joke. They aren’t open to new ideas and perspectives that would enrich your pockets. Your relationship is your currency. Rather, you want to be at the same table with people that believe strongly in changing the economy.  That, in itself, is the leader board in the creation of wealth.

11. Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.

No, you won’t get rich by working! The harder you work smart, the better your chances of building wealth. Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos are two billionaires that have leveraged the power of selling and building. They have increased their hourly wage by putting their money to work so that their bank account swells in their sleep. But first, they started selling and they could build with the returns they got. You have about 100,000 working hours but equity will work for a year without breaking a sweat.

12. Arm yourself with specific knowledge, accountability, and leverage.

A simple guide in life is to be a principle human. If you knew what knowledge can do for you, you will start rummaging the bookshelf, not for get-rich-quick fixes, but for ample knowledge that sells. And to sustain yourself, you must be able to caution yourself when you are going off the rails of your goals while leveraging the opportunities that you come across.

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13. Specific knowledge is the knowledge that you cannot be trained for. If society can train you, it can train someone else, and replace you.

If the world could teach wisdom, we will all be walking billionaires. The recipe to get ahead in life is to become what people never envisaged. For every time that you are dispensing quality and unmatched information, your value increases and it takes a lifetime to find a suitable match.

14. Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now.

Knowledge is a gift, passion is the ribbon. The mindset of wealth is common with people who do specific things because of their genuine inclination towards the field. Even when society thinks the biggest gold mine is in the Arctic, the wealthy one doesn’t deviate from his trip to the South.

15. Building specific knowledge will feel like play to you but will look like work to others.

When the world says ‘A’ and you stick with ‘B’, you may look crazy at first until your paycheck starts to speak for you. Unfortunately for others, your passion is unique to you and no one would ever understand the formula except someone who is or has been in your shoes.

16. When specific knowledge is taught, it’s through apprenticeships, not schools.

Within the four walls of the school, you are taught the theory of life. But real knowledge begins when you have worthy mentors and trainers. Having someone you look up to in the line of business converts better than you just move with the flow.

17. Specific knowledge is often highly technical or creative. It cannot be outsourced or automated.

Creativity is the reason why an employer values one employee better than the other. That is why you notice that they hardly let go of such people within the hierarchical structure. If you are armed with specific knowledge, you can hire and fire at will. Be this person.

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18. Embrace accountability, and take business risks under your own name. Society will reward you with responsibility, equity, and leverage.

A poor mindset is always quick to point accusing fingers at other people when the ship doesn’t dock. Business risks come with tons of ‘ifs’, ‘buts’, and ‘hows’. In the very moments that you accept responsibilities for your mess, the universe throws more opportunities at you for being so grateful. Sound basic? Then, try it.

19. The most accountable people have singular, public, and risky brands: Oprah, Trump, Kanye, Elon.

These names ring one bell: brand accountability. You see, there is responsibility in brand ownership. People want you to live up to their expectations and you must make every second of your time worth tons of their money.

20. Fortunes require leverage. Business leverage comes from capital, people, and products with no marginal cost of replication (code and media).

Leverage can come in many forms – people, production of services, or software. But your core focus in achieving this feat must be skills, knowledge, and network. You must learn how to build savings and credit history in a simultaneous manner so that you reap from your labour in the long run.

21. Capital means money. To raise money, apply your specific knowledge, with accountability, and show resulting good judgment.

I remember the time I earned my first salary. I was so happy to share with friends and I blew up my account in less than three days. I was so devastated that I had to borrow from the same friends with whom I made merry. Afterward, I knew I had to find a way to double my earnings. All I had to do was fix a certain amount into a money-making venture and watch it grow. I had specific knowledge and I told a trusted to hold e accountable to my investment plans. At the end of the month, I always had thrice the amount an average worker in my company walked home with. Sweet!

22. 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.

I am quick to tell people in search of quick fixes that there are multiple solutions. You only have to find the one that works for you. On different occasions, I have read stories of people that leveraged on labour to multiply their sources of income. But the rate at which everyone is seeking entrepreneurship and ‘self-ownership’, labour leverage may soon become extinct. We see it every day, people leave their jobs to settle in another business and it won’t stop soon.

23. 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.

The sentence is self-explanatory. It forms the basis of ‘giving’ and receiving’. Imagine a world where we are all producers. In the absence of consumers, the purpose of production of defeated. Therefore, you have to choose either side as long as it multiplies your wealth.

24. 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.

Restating the Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos example, they have successfully leveraged on the internet by giving us what we need. Now, all they ever do is sit behind a desk, their backs relaxed and sipping a cup of coffee while they watch their stock increase.

25. An army of robots is freely available – it’s just packed in data centers for heat and space efficiency. Use it.

This is a well-deserved break from the human element. From data analysis to accounting precision, you can have Artificial Intelligence handle the complex processes of your business while removing the human factor of error and misappropriation. Both Watson AI and IBM are have dipped their noses in this wealth management technique and it works for them. Why not you and me?

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

Write. Speak. Influence. Teach. These four skills are in high demand on social media. No one wants to sit in classrooms listening to boring statements of how 2+2 equals 4. No, they want to relax in the comfort of their beds and gain access to goldmines of knowledge that will empower them. Coding isn’t for everyone, but there is limitless space for these four skills in the world.

27. Leverage is a force multiplier for your judgement.

You get more done with fewer resources when you leverage. If you think you can create wealth without leverage, you are just another comedian. To reach the required level of judgement and success, you have to compromise time, speed, and work. Like another worthy investment, it ensures that you reap endless benefits in years to come.

28. Judgement requires experience but can be built faster by learning foundational skills.

Far from being a negative behavior, judgement is the attitude of the wealthy. In three easy steps, you can build a strong foundation of knowledge by recognizing your default biases, accepting your mistakes, and learning from experience. These three skills are as simple to learn as they will make you money.

29. There is no skill called “business.” Avoid business magazines and business classes.

We are always sold a lie about success – discover your strength, work hard, and you are a superstar. In extreme cases, those people offer business ideas with promises that you make X amount after a certain period. Lies! Contrary to popular belief, business is not a transferrable skill. You are either a businessman or a consumer; don’t allow the lies to get to you.

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30. Study microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers.

31. Reading is faster than listening. Doing is faster than watching.

32. You should be too busy to “do coffee,” while still keeping an uncluttered calendar.

33. 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.

34. 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.

35. Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.

36. There are no get rich quick schemes. That’s just someone else getting rich off you.

37. Apply specific knowledge, with leverage, and eventually, you will get what you deserve.

38. 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.


A quick look at these principles and you will understand that making money is more of a habit that we are taught in school.  By simply changing some of your ways, you can have the mind of a multi-billionaire. There is no quick fix to get rich; you must crawl first before you fly to the highest peak. In doing that, you learn that it takes discipline and steadfastness to stay at the top of the ladder.

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7 thoughts on “How to Get Rich Without Being Lucky – Naval Ravikant”

  1. Pingback: Seek wealth, not money or status
  2. Hi stockandladder,

    Thank you very much for letting me know. I have updated the post and added the last 9 tweets 🙂


  3. Pingback: Naval Ravikant - Wealthy, Fit and Happy - The Dapper Savage
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  5. Pingback: 创新主题总结2:已读图书的读书笔记 – Zero
  6. I think that getting rich is ultimately dependent on how well you save money & invest it. Overspending will still leave you broke no matter how much you are earning.


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