The Almanack of Naval by Eric Jorgenson
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Below are my notes on ‘The Almanack of Naval’ by Eric Jorgenson. With over 270 personal highlights it’s my personal proof he did a fantastic job curating so much of Navels knowledge and wisdom into this book. As a sales professional, there was one quote I feel stood out above the rest:
“Learn to sell and learn to build. If you can do both, you’ll be unstoppable.”Naval
On that note, see below for a selection of my best highlights and personal commentary.
On Cultivating Knowledge & Learning
Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now.Naval
Building specific knowledge will feel like play to you but will look like work to others.Naval
By cultivating our own unique specific knowledge, we can all bring unique value to the world. It’s that amalgamation of our unique skillsets that creates opportunity, and presents solutions for the world. For example, I am a sales professional and a musician. Because of this, I see scripts in a sales pitch, similarly to how I see guitar licks in a piece of music. By combining those to specific uses of knowledge, I can provide a view point that others may not have seen.
Read for Intelligence
Books make for great friends, because the best thinkers of the last few thousand years tell you their nuggets of wisdom.Naval
Study microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers.Naval
Reading science, math, and philosophy one hour per day will likely put you at the upper echelon of human success within seven years.Naval
Read the greats in math, science, and philosophy. Ignore your contemporaries and news. Avoid tribal identification. Put truth above social approval.Naval
We waste too much time in this day and age reading low quality articles and message board comments. Start reading for intelligence, not just as a time filler when we have nothing else to do. Read books again. Books cultivate all the best bits of wisdom, so you don’t have to.
Just read because you enjoy it.Naval
I probably read one to two hours a day.Naval
On Money & Wealth
Getting rich is about knowing what to do, who to do it with, and when to do it.Naval
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
You will get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get. At scale.Naval
Wealth is the thing you want. Wealth is assets that earn while you sleep. Wealth is the factory, the robots, cranking out things.Naval
By focusing on building wealth rather than working a for a salary on some else time, we can maximise our leverage, build value and produce 24/7. When most people want to say they want to be rich, what they really want is wealth. Wealth provides freedom and options. For more thoughts on wealth, check out my post on ‘The Psychology of Money’ by Morgan Housel.
What’s Your Aspirational Hourly Rate?
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.Naval
You just have to set a very high personal hourly rate and you have to stick to it. Even when I was young, I just decided I was worth a lot more than the market thought I was worth, and I started treating myself that way.Naval
Treat your time with more value than you currently do, and you’ll quickly prioritise the things that are most important. Would you waste time mowing lawns, if your hourly rate was $5,000/hr? Of course not, you’d pay someone to do it. Work out your aspirational hourly rate and start acting as if you are getting paid that. What activities should you be doing to achieve that rate within 5 years?
It’s going to take you an hour to get across town to get something. If you value yourself at one hundred dollars an hour, that’s basically throwing one hundred dollars out of your pocket. Are you going to do that?Naval
My hourly rate, I used to say to myself over and over, is $5,000 an hour.Naval
Real Wealth Is Created From Building Businesses, Gaining Equity and Investing
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.Naval
But usually, the real wealth is created by starting your own companies or even by investing.Naval
Stop consuming, start building. Something. Anything. Just start.
Play iterated games. All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.Naval
To achieve any real success, we need to start playing longer term games. And with our attention being pulled in more directions that ever, it’s going to be those that have the ability to focus that will inevitably succeed. This not only applies in the long term, but also the short term. Can you focus on one thing for a half hour? Can you work on a project for ninety minutes without getting distracted? If not, consider digital minimalism. Can you work on a project for three months, without getting bored changing to the next shiny new idea? Can you do it for a year? Stick with something, and see what happens.
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.Naval
If you can’t code, write books and blogs, record videos and podcasts.Naval
Code is probably the most powerful form of permissionless leverage.Naval
Coding, writing books, recording podcasts, tweeting, YouTubing—these kinds of things are permissionless.Naval
Learn code and media. Build a simple product you can sell on an app store. Blog about the process of learning any of the topics in your specified fields of knowledge. Send content out to the world in the form of, twitter posts, blog posts, short form videos on youTube and Tiktok, podcasts and newsletter. Learn the fundamentals of code. Always be thinking, how can I turn what I am consuming, into content?
Leverage Is The New Currency For The Wealthy
Forget rich versus poor, white-collar versus blue. It’s now leveraged versus un-leveraged.Naval
But the new generation’s fortunes are all made through code or media.Naval
Now, you can multiply your efforts without involving other humans and without needing money from other humans.Naval
Multiply your efforts through leverage.
On Time Management
You should be too busy to “do coffee” while still keeping an uncluttered calendar.Naval
Whenever you can in life, optimize for independence rather than pay. If you have independence and you’re accountable on your output, as opposed to your input—that’s the dream.Naval
Knowledge workers function like athletes—train and sprint, then rest and reassess.Naval
Find a job that allows you to work remotely, work in sprints, and use your time wisely.
Free Up Time By Focusing On The Foundational
“What is the foundation required for me to learn this?”Naval
Foundations are key. It’s much better to be at 9/10 or 10/10 on foundations than to try and get super deep into things.Naval
You can only achieve mastery in one or two things.Naval
Condense and simplify everything to the foundational. So much of what we read and consume on the internet these days is the same content repackaged in a different way. Course, steps to achieve a result and books are intentionally overcomplicated, to give the impression of providing more value.
A good example of can be related to my recent foray into the world of fitness. I have recently been looking into starting a new weight lifting program, and with all the information available, went down a multi-hour rabbit hole trying to find the ‘perfect’ program to start. After experiencing some debilitating analysis paralysis I remembered the above quotes. Foundations are key.
After this realisation I quickly started to notice that the majority of the programs were simply slight variations of each other. I then asked myself, what would be the foundations to achieving the result I set out to attain? My answer came in the form of ‘The Golden Six’ workout program that Arnold Schwarzenegger did in the 70’s and some Reg Park workouts. Simple, effective and known to work for decades.
Free up time by focusing on the foundational.
long-term goal of getting wealthy, you should ask yourself, “Is this authentic to me? Is it myself that I am projecting?” And then, “Am I productizing it? Am I scaling it?Naval
No one can compete with you on being you.Naval
If you’re not 100 percent into it, somebody else who is 100 percent into it will outperform you.Naval
The internet enables any niche interest, as long as you’re the best person at it to scale out.Naval
“Escape competition through authenticity.”Naval
Don’t follow trends, take the time to find out your authentic interests and skills and capitalise on them.
You can buy The Almanack of Naval on Amazon, here.