I've been pondering the concept of "retirement" for quite some time.
I used to think there were 2 ways to retire. But Naval Ravikant taught me that there are actually 3 ways to retire:
1) save enough money and live off the dividends/interest
2) drive your expenses down to 0 and become a monk
3) find work that you love so that it never feels like work
If you think the 3rd option is too "woo-woo", bear with me. There is nothing exciting about not working. There's a huge difference between having to work and choosing to work.
If you're reading this, you probably fall in the camp of people who love to (need to?) actually do something - who derive pleasure from doing productive work. You're not the person whose ultimate dream is to lay on the beach like a pancake all day, doing nothing.
That is true even if you can live entirely off your investments. Ultimately, you're going to need something to do.
That's why I've come to believe that the ultimate retirement is actually finding work that feels like art to you - that you do for the sake of it, and that doesn't feel like a sacrifice for an imaginary tomorrow.
The way to do this is by...
Pursuing your authentic curiosities. And here's why:
Your passions and curiosities are your own, and make you unique - but only if you're true to them. If you try copying someone else's passions, you'll just be a lesser copy of them. The more authentic you are, the more difficult it will be to copy you.
You'll then need to find a way to leverage your passions and curiosities into a product or service that the world needs [more on that below].
In short, the fastest way to retire is to find work that you do for the sake of it (which you are likely to be really good at), apply leverage, own a piece of the business, and crank it out.
[More on the concept of 'ownership' next week]
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The most important concept you'll need to retire: leverage.
Most people think about leverage as money - including OPM (other people's money) - but there are other, more effective types of leverage: labor, media, and code.
Labor is the oldest form of leverage in the world. It's how we built the pyramids.
But code and media are new forms of leverage that don't require you have a reputation, track record or permission (like labor and money do).
When I make a TikTok video that gets 1 million views (and generates hundreds or thousands of monetizable leads) I still only have to spend 30min doing the actual video. The video continues generating leads for weeks - including when I sleep - because the algorithm pushes it out.
The leads are then served using products or services I can scale without any extra time (like writing this newsletter or selling digital products).
I don't need anyone's permission to do it and it allows me to scale my business exponentially - and fast. If you know how to code, you can also create code that can be distributed across the internet at almost no cost.
(If you're in a hurry, just starting out, and don't know how to code - I recommend starting with media.)
Quote of the week: "Find work that doesn't feel like a sacrifice, and you'll never have to think about retirement" - Naval Ravikant.
If you're looking to start a new project in 2021 and worry you aren't thinking big enough, I enjoyed this video on the subject: How to make your mark in the world
Best Tweet I came across: The problem isn't that you are uneducated, but that you are educated just enough to believe what you have been taught.
Book that just joined my nightstand: The Way To Love. In the next few months, I plan to read more eastern philosophy and less NYT bestsellers on productivity & new age self-help. I was inspired to do this by the quote: "old problems, old solutions." I ordered several of Anthony De Mello's books, and so far, I love them.
What I'm fascinated by: the rise of tools that make it nearly frictionless to start an online business.
I am seeing more and more businesses make it increasingly easy to build a business from scratch in record time (if there's demand, I might do a Zoom to walk you through all the steps).
If you have an online business (and I think you should), you can:
- Create content in Keynote, Figma, Canva, InShot
- Generate leads on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Youtube, LinkedIn (etc.)
- Capture leads with Calendly, Shopify, Webflow, Gumroad, Stripe
- Service your clients on Kajabi, Slack, Zoom
and you don't have to know a single line of code, HTML, or design. It's amazing.
Anything else I think you should know: Writing down your thoughts VS thinking them.
For the past week, I've been experimenting with journaling my gratitude and goals, rather than just visualizing and feeling them. I journal on my laptop, and I've found that writing down my thoughts serves 3 purposes:
1) it makes my ideas and thoughts feel more real
2) it creates an immediate brain dump that frees up brain space
3) it creates momentum to write other things that I'm working on (like this newsletter)
Just like I did last week on meat, I'd love to hear your thoughts on journaling. I know everyone has their technique - and if you've found something that works wonders, I'm all ears.
Speaking of last week, thank you to everyone who answered my question on meat (if I didn't get around to writing you back - bear with me, it's coming!).
You gave me some good food for thought (and made me hungry in the process), including the advice to 'hear my body' - i.e. understanding that cravings actually reflect an underlying lack of vitamins, minerals or macronutrients for which you can eat the healthy alternative rather than whatever you had in mind - and still satisfy the craving.
That will be it for now. I'll see you next week,