36. There Are No Get Rich Quick Schemes

Get rich quick schemes are just someone else getting rich off you.

There are no get rich quick schemes

Nivi: We skipped one tweet because I wanted to cover all of the tweets on the topic of the long term. And the tweet that we skipped was, “There are no get rich quick schemes. That’s just someone else getting rich off you.”

Naval: This goes back to the world being an efficient place. If there’s an easy way to get rich it’s already been exploited. And there are a lot of people who will sell you ideas and schemes on how to make money but they’re just always selling you some $79.95 course or some audiobook or some seminar .

Which is fine, everyone needs to eat. People need to make a living. They might actually have really good tips but if they’re giving you actionable, high quality advice that acknowledges that it’s a difficult journey and will take a lot of time, then I think that’s realistic.

But, if they’re selling you some get rich quick scheme whether it’s crypto or whether it’s an online business or seminar they’re just making money off you. That’s their get rich quick scheme. It’s not going to necessarily work for you.

We don’t have ads because it would ruin our credibility

One of the things about this whole tweetstorm and podcast is that we don’t have ads on here. We don’t charge for anything. We don’t sell anything. Not because I don’t want to make more money, it’s always nice to make more money, we’re doing work here. But, because it would completely destroy the credibility of the enterprise. If I am saying, “Hey I know how to get rich and I’m going to sell that to you.” It’s ruins it.

When I was young and I was studying up on the topic one of my favorite books on the topic was actually called, How To Get Rich by Felix Dennis, the founder of Maxim Magazine, billionaire who passed away. And he had a lot of crazy stuff in there but he had some really good insights too.

But whenever I read something my him or by the GoDaddy founder, Bob Parsons, or Andrew Carnegie. You read stuff by people who are already very wealthy and they clearly made their wealth in other fields, not by selling the how to get rich line, they have a credibility. You just trust them.

And they’re not trying to make money off of you. They are obviously trying to win some status and some ego, right, you always have to have a motivation for doing something. But, at least that is a cleaner reason why they’re probably not lying. They’re probably not fooling you. They’re not snowing you.

Every founder has to lie to every employee

At some level every founder has to lie to every employee of the company that they have. Where they have to convince them that it’s better for you to work for me than it is to do what I did and go work for yourself. So I’ve always had a hard time with that.

Which is why the only honest way, in my companies I’ve recruited entrepreneurs and I tell them, “You’re going to get to be entrepreneurial in this company and the day the you’re ready to go start your own next thing I’m going to support you. I’m never going to get in the way of you starting a company. But this can be a good place for you to learn how to build a good team and build a good culture, how to find product-market fit to perfect your skills and meet some amazing people while you figure out exactly what it is you’re going to do, because positioning, timing, deliberation, are very important when starting a company.”

But what I’ve never been able to do is look them in the face and say, “You must be at your desk by 8 AM.” Because I’m not going to be at my desk by 8 AM, I want my freedom. Or say to them that you’re great at being a director today and you’ll be a VP tomorrow. Putting them into that cold career path track because I don’t believe in it myself.

Anyone giving advice on how to get rich should have made their money elsewhere

If anyone is giving advice on how to get rich and they’re also making money off of it, they should have made their money elsewhere. You don’t want to learn how to be fit from a fat person. You don’t want to learn how to be happy from a depressed person. So, you don’t want to learn how to be rich from a poor person but you also don’t want to learn how to be rich from somebody who makes their money by telling people how to be rich. It’s suspect.

Nivi: Anytime you see somebody who’s actually gotten rich following some guru’s advice on getting rich, just remember that in any random process, if you run it long enough and if enough people participate in it you will always get every single possible outcome with probability one.

Naval: There’s a lot of random error in there and then also, this is why you have to absolutely and completely ignore business journalists and economist academics when they talk about private companies.

I won’t even name names but when a famous economist rails on Bitcoin or when a business journalist attacks the latest company that’s IPO’ing, it’s complete nonsense. Those people have never built anything, they’re professional critics. They don’t know anything about making money. All they know is how to criticize and get pageviews. And you’re literally becoming dumber by reading them. You’re burning neurons.

I’ll leave you with a quote from the Nassim Taleb that I liked where he said, “If you want to be a philosopher king first become a king then become a philosopher. Not first become a philosopher and then become a king.”

Nivi: I’m glad you brought up Taleb because I was going to finish this by saying just remember the title of his first book which is Fooled By Randomness.

Naval: One of the reasons why we’re a little vague in this podcast is because we’re trying to lay down principles that are timeless as opposed to just giving you the winning lottery ticket numbers from yesterday.

Chapter 37 >>