Preface: I have written this essay based on Naval Ravikant’s legendary tweetstorm, “How To Get Rich”. Go read it first if you haven’t yet – the link is in the footnotes below 1.
Just imagine for a moment that you have all the money you will ever need. When you have “Fuck You” money (that’s what we like to call it), it all boils down to this: you can live life on your own terms.
This is important – you want to forge your own destiny. Sovereignty is an important theme in a man’s life. If you’re not in any way working towards your own sovereignty every day, then what are you doing to yourself?
No self-respecting man will want to work for another man for long. Of course, if you have held a job for ten years, you’re not going to agree with me, are you?
If you have a PhD in gender studies and I am going to ask you to learn how to code, you’re going to resent that.
Because you don’t want to hear it. There’s this cognitive flaw called the “Sunk Cost Fallacy” and it’s real – everybody has it (including me). You have spent ten years working for another guy. And you won’t want to admit that you have wasted all those years.
And yet, seeing the truth is what’s going to set you free. Start where you are. And it’s not too late.
The best way to earn “Fuck You” money is to own a business.
The hardest part is to internalize this – to understand this fully. It means that if you’re renting out your time for money, you’re never gonna earn “Fuck You” money. Because the moment you stop working, the money stops.
You want the money to continue to come even when you stop working. And this is hard to conceptualize in your mind. Why? Because your caveman’s brain has been conditioned to link money to time spent at the office.
“Go to work = money in the bank”
Fuck that shit.
Learning how to build a business is not hard. What’s hard is unlearning the crap that they have iron-stamped inside your brain. If you think in terms of billable time, then you’ll never earn enough money to say “Fuck You” to anyone.
You have to be ready to hit reset on your mind and start over. You’ve learned how to un-condition your caveman’s brain with Pauseability. You should be ready to do the same here.
Do Only What You Can Do In The World
The only way you can get rich is to own a business. So, what kind of business should you start?
The answer: the thing that only you can do in the world.
Why? Because in our digital world, this is true –
The person who is the best at doing something in the world should be the person who is doing it for everyone.
Let’s say you’re the best at teaching people how to play the guitar. You know a unique method which gets a beginner to go from zero to Jimi Hendrix in 24 hours.
You should turn your knowledge into a product. You create the product only once which you then sell again and again. With the internet, you can do this with minimal marginal cost 2.
Own that business and you will be on your way to financial freedom, to “Fuck You” money. If you are good enough, you will build a large audience. And with a large audience to sell to, you will be free.
So, it all starts with this:
Know what you can do that other people cannot, so you can do only what you can do but other people cannot.
Knowing this (what you can do that other people can’t) is incredibly illuminating. And it will change your life. And once you have discovered it, you have won half of the battle.
Naval Ravikant is the “angel philosopher”. He provides sagely wisdom from the unique lens of a tech entrepreneur and investor.
Tim Ferriss is a “connector”. He connects to top performers and is able to extract their secrets to share with the world.
Zan Azahiro teaches “Zen For Men”. It’s spiritualism for the masculine without the new age bullshit and ritualistic psychobabble.
So, here’s the acid test for your uniqueness:
What comes to mind immediately when people mention your name?
How To Find Your Superpower
It all depends on how you find your superpower – your ability to do something that other people in your world can’t.
The keyword here is “your world”. It’s a subset of the real world, made up by the people that you care about. Who do you want to help? (Hint: you can’t help everybody.)
My world is the world of men with a heroic bent to change themselves so that they can change the world. These are the people I want to help.
I am not interested in those who have given up and let their potential go to waste. Men who have resigned to the fates assigned to them by society need not apply.
So, like me, you cannot (and should not!) be everything to everyone. Don’t make that mistake.
To find your sweet spot, narrow it down, and narrow it down some more. Remember: you don’t have to get it right the first time. (I didn’t.)
If you’re too unique that nobody wants to talk to you, then you’ve taken it too far. Fine-tune your message.
And here’s a little tip:
You’ve got to be a little eccentric for people to notice you. You’ve got to be weird to stand out in the sea of commonness. Even if you’re smart as fuck, you can be boring and nobody pays attention to you.
Remember this formula:
Uniqueness = Ability + Weirdness
Everybody’s weird in their own way. Embrace your eccentricity! I teach spirituality, but I can be sweary as fuck. Why? Because I live in the real world, and people swear in the real world.
To many people, that’s weird. Why? Because gurus who teach spirituality are clean and holy, right? But that’s exactly the point: I am not those gurus, and I don’t pretend to be one.
How To Bring Your Product To The World
The key word here is “leverage”.
- Naval Ravikant – “How To Get Rich”
- It’s only expensive to build your product. It’s cheap to make copies and distribute it.