Lessons from Naval Ravikant

Naval Ravikant is an entrepreneur, investor, and co-founder of AngelList.

Naval Ravikant. Image courtesy of Tim Ferriss.

I probably first heard of Naval Ravikant from The Knowledge Project podcast. He talked so much sense in that episode that I couldn’t but share the episode with my close friends. At the end of the text messages to friends, I wrote “top 10 podcast episode of all time”. The latter statement hasn’t changed since then. I strongly believe that episode 18 of The Knowledge Project is a top 10 podcast episode of all time!

I have listened to or watched most of his podcast or video interviews.

I recently read The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson, a short book that has compiled Naval’s media wisdom. Get a free copy of the book here.

I have synthesized the lessons I learnt from the book below. I hope you enjoy and pick up a copy of the book.

You are not going to get rich renting out your time.

Naval Ravikant

By far, this is the most interesting revelation I got from the book. It’s because of this point that I believe I read this book at the right time – I read it shortly after reading “The Intelligent Investor” and “The Richest Man in Babylon”, books that explain and demonstrate this particular concept at length. This book signalised to me that it was time to take action. Hence, I bought my first stocks. Furthermore, I see this blog as a form of service ownership, a seed sowed after listening and reading about Naval.

Naval tweeted:

You must own equity – a piece of a business – to gain your financial freedom.

Naval Ravikant

In the book, Naval explains that:

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.

… Even doctors who get rich (like really rich), it’s because they open a business. They open a private practice. The private practice builds a brand, and the brand attracts people. Or they build some kind of a medical device, a procedure, or a process with an intellectual property.

Naval Ravikant as quoted in the book “The Almanack of Naval Ravikant” by Eric Jorgenson.

The second point that stood out for me from the book is about perpetual learning. Naval says that “the most important skill for getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner.”

Learning to learn is an important skill in the modern age. Traditionally, people used to attend college for four years, get a job, and work in that job for thirty years. That’s not the case these days.  

Naval explains:

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. You really care about having studied the foundations, so you’re not scared of any book. If you are at the library and there’s a book you cannot understand, you have to dig down and say, “What is the foundation required for me to learn this?” Foundations are super important.”

Naval Ravikant as quoted in the book “The Almanack of Naval Ravikant” by Eric Jorgenson.

Personally, I can attest to the importance of perpetual learning. I have learnt so much from reading books and I can’t imagine where I’d have been without developing the habit of reading. Even the idea of starting this blog came as a result of reading the book being reviewed.

Learning how to learn helps you identify and develop the right methods of learning and how to fast synthesize what you learn and put them into practice. I’m still an amateur student in this field but looking forward to steadily growing in it.

Other lessons I learnt are:

  • One of the best inventions was compound interest. It rules both in the intellectual and financial domains.
  • If you have two choices to make, and they’re relatively equal choices, take the path more difficult and more painful in the short term.
  • The more secrets you have, the less happy you’re going to be.
  • Science is the study of truth and mathematics is the language of science and nature.
  • Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.

By Melkizedek Mirasi

Lifelong learner.

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