Book Notes

"The Almanack of Naval Ravikant" Summary and Book Notes

I spent the last week reading "The Almanack of Naval Ravikant" by Eric Jorgensen & wanted to share a few key takeaways. This was a book that was given to me by one of my friends, Benhur, in our coworking space. He deliberately walked over to my desk, placed to book down & said, "I've seen you retweet some of Naval's stuff... you'll like this book."

I get most of my book recommendations from listening to Tim Ferris interviews, but anytime something like this shows up randomly in my life, it's hard for me not to dive right in.

Also, just a quick side note, I didn't highlight or take notes from the book. I sat down this morning and completed a writing exercise  of just regurgitating the information that deeply stuck in my brain from reading this book.

Here's the 3 main points I started with:

1. There is a repeatable way to generate wealth and ANYONE can do it

2. Personal health / fitness is 's #1 priority

3. Happiness is a skill that can be learned

Generating Wealth

1. Naval states that the #1 rule to building wealth is to own equity in a company.

When was the last time you heard of anyone building wealth by working for someone else? Ok, maybe Google & FB engineers could argue this, but as a general rule of thumb, it's fairly widespread that you need to own a business OR at least, buy equity in a business to generate long term wealth.

2. The wealthiest people use leverage to scale equity in companies.

What does "leverage" mean exactly? 

Some quick forms of leverage are code, capital, people, & media. Code is the obvious one. If you're a software engineer & write code that can solve one problem and be applied to different industries - you've got a scaleable gold mine. But some other ways are using capital, your network, & media.

Read the following scenarios and decide for yourself who is the least likely to earn equity when approaching a startup founder.

Person #1: "Hey, I'm willing to be a jack of all trades & help you do whatever you want me to do to grow your startup."
Person #2: "Hey, I wrote this line of code that will help you solve your most important "problem x,y, z. I'll take x% equity & you can deploy my code & it will save you y# of hours.

Person #3: "i'll invest some of my own capital to help you grow your team in return for x%."

Person #4: "Hey, i'll introduce you to my network, which contains 5 founders of enterprise companies who are already spending money on similar software. I'll make the connection & they can transfer their budget over to you." 

"If you can't code, write books and blogs, record videos and podcasts."- @naval

Think of Joe Rogan and Tim Ferris. They've built a brand around interviewing some of the world's most successful people. Tim interviews people at the top of their game which creates a massive listener base. Tim also invests in startups. He uses a small portion of the show to advertise either startups he's personally invested in OR startups that pay him a fat slice of dough to buy advertising slots on his show. They've created leverage because they own their listener base and can market products that are in line with the customer's interests.

Health / Fitness

Physical health is @naval's #1 priority. He states that this is more important than mental health, relationships, work, & family on his priorities list. He claims that if he first takes care of his body, then every other area of his life will prosper because of his prioritization.

Naval does some form of exercise every morning before starting his work day. He's identified physical health is the most important thing that he can do to be the best version of himself in all other areas of his life. I wasn't able to decipher Naval's exact morning routine per se, but from what I gathered Naval starts his morning workout after a 60 minute morning meditation sit and then completes his workout before starting his work for the day.

"I do not start my day until I've worked out. I don't care if the world is imploding and melting down, it can wait another 30 minutes until I'm done working out."- @naval

Happiness

Naval argues that happiness is a skill that can be learned. He states that happiness is what's there when you remove the sense that something is missing in your life.

He explains this further by relating unhappiness to the amount of desires you have present at any given time of your life. The more desires you have, the less happy you'll be.

He advises to choose your desires carefully. Specifically, you should limit yourself to 1 desire at any given time of your time. If you're working to earn wealth, let that be your desire. If you trying to lose 50lbs, let that be your desire. But only focus on 1 at any given stage of life.

"Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want." @naval

Bonus: Naval's Meditation Challenge

Naval's approach to meditation is to sit in the morning for 60 minutes to let his mind do whatever it wants to do and go wherever it wants to go. Rather than focusing on the breath, he lets his mind "just do it's natural thing."

One way he challenges people who are interested in a meditation practice is to complete a 60 minute sit for 60 days in a row. He states, "Only then can one get close to mental inbox zero."

Fair warning: I tried this practice once this week & ended up with a massive to-do list after writing down all of my backlogged thoughts that emerged.

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