Should I quit my job and move to Silicon Valley? 20:40

That was a no-brainer a couple of years ago. I think even today, if you are in the tech industry and you want to create something then it is probably still the best place to go to. That said, the emergence of the blockchain revolution, ICOs, internet, plus much better video conferencing tools, slack, and sort of this permanent nomadic class of tech travelers, I think makes it possible now to do startups from more locations and to be in the tech industry from more locations than just Silicon Valley. But I’m still waiting to see the full flattening, that might take decades or more.

Do you follow the schedule to maximize time like Ben Franklin? 21:20

No, I am incredibly unscheduled. I do not like schedules. I want to stay as free as possible. My only schedule is my daily morning workout and even that I’m not perfect.  Other than that, I try to be as unscheduled as possible because I want to be free.

What’s your view on time management? 26:15

A great goal in life would be to not have to be in a given place at a given time. That is a that is a recent vector that I’m trying to work towards. Obviously, it’s not totally realistic, you have meetings and stuff. But at an even more basic level you have a job, most people most of us have jobs… you got to go in a certain time of the day and can’t come back to a certain time… and somebody else is telling us what to do all day long and I think it’s really worth whenever you can in life if you have the choice: optimizing for independence rather than optimizing for pay, because if your independent and you’re just accountable let’s say on your output as opposed to your input that’s the dream: Being accountable for your output rather than your input.

Humans evolved in societies where there was no leverage so if I was chopping wood or carrying water for you, you knew that roughly eight hours put in would be equal to about eight hours of work that came out, but now we’ve invented leverage through capital, through co-working, through technology, through productivity, through all these means.

So we live in an age of leverage and as a worker you want to be as leveraged as possible so that your work has a huge impact and it won’t take as much of your time or physical effort… like you’d rather work with a bulldozer then work with your hands the same way you’d rather work with a computer than you would with a pencil.

So those are just forms of leverage so you want to use as much leverage as possible… and a leverage worker can out produce a non-leverage worker by a factor of a thousand or 10,000. With a leverage worker the decisions [they make are] far more important, their judgment is far more important, than how much time they put in or how hard they worked. For example, a good software engineer just by writing the right little piece of code including the right little application can literally create half a billion dollars worth of value for a company. But 10 engineers working ten times as hard just because they chose the wrong model, or the wrong product, or wrote it the wrong way, or that put in the wrong viral loop, or what have you… they basically wasted their time.

So inputs don’t  match outputs especially for leverage workers, and so what you want to do in life is you want to control your own time.

So you want to get into a leveraged job and then you want to get into one where you control your own time and you’re tracked on the outputs… that would be the ideal, because then if you do something incredible to move the needle on the business, they’re gonna have to pay you and they’re gonna have to pay you and especially if they don’t know how you did it because [if] it’s innate to kind of your obsession, or your skill, or your innate abilities, then they’re gonna have to keep paying you to do it.

This goes back to what I talked about in the first podcast: if you have specific knowledge, you have accountability, and you have leverage… then they have to pay you what you’re worth … and if they pay you what you’re worth, then you can get your time back, … and if you get your time back then you can be hyper-efficient. Then you’re not doing meetings for meetings sake, then you’re not trying to impress other people, you’re not building checklists and writing down lots of things just to kind of make it look like you did work… all you care about is the actual work itself… and when you do just the actual work itself you’ll be far more productive, far more efficient, you’ll work when you kind of feel like it, when you’re high energy and you won’t be trying to struggle through when you’re low energy and you’ll regain your time back.

So I think choosing what kinds of jobs and careers and fields you get into, and what sort of deals you’re willing to take from your employer, (assuming you have that luxury)… will give you much more free time, … and then you don’t have to worry as much about time management. The image that I like to put in my own head… what I would love to do… is I would love to be paid purely for my judgment. Not for any work, I want the robot to do the work or capital or dollars being deployed somewhere out there to do the work. I want to be paid for my judgement and I think every human should aspire to that where we’re eventually just becoming knowledgeable or we are knowledgeable about certain things and we’re being paid for that unique thing, … and we have as much leverage as possible in that business, whether it’s through robots or computers or what-have-you. Then we can also be masters of our own time because we were just being tracked on outputs and not inputs.

What’s the purpose of building a business? 36:15

Building a business I think is a wonderful thing. Selfishly, it can achieve financial independence for you and it can help you get paid what you’re worth. Socially, you only get paid in legitimate business that’s not taking advantage of crony capitalism with government corruption. You only get paid for building something that people want so you’re helping people by giving them something that they want. It’s a creative act, it’s a social act, it’s kind of one of the best things that you can do.

How do I promote my personal brand without ego? 39:34

Well, you know your ego is gonna be involved. My ego’s involved. Ego is what makes us do things… so at least at some level. Yes, you can still do things without ego, but for my ego, I’ve put up with and done things for the group, for the tribe, that I probably wouldn’t like to do if I was completely egoless. If I was egoless I would just write an anonymous book or publish an anonymous podcast… like every time I hear about someone made a charitable donation anonymously I’m really impressed by that because I feel like that’s a person who’s risen past their ego.

Will AI take over the accounting industry? 40:22

I would guess probably yeah… forget AI, we don’t need to talk about AI because general AI… the Skynet Terminator style… the one who can sit here and talk like me is really far off, I think people exaggerate that. Automation, on the other hand, is a real thing, we’re constantly automating things and the internet is automating more and more things.

So will accounting be automated? I would say like the 90% of accounting will be automated… all the mechanical stuff, all the tracking stuff… but that’s fine because what will happen then is a 10% remaining that’s creative, will probably increase in size first of all because there’ll be more time for it, people will demand more of it… there is creativity in accounting like there is in almost any discipline when you go deep enough… and I think it will also create more related industries next to it, as those people who were in accounting could use those skills to maybe do other new or better higher-paying things… but there is a retraining period and there’s a pain period in doing so. You always want to stay fresh, you always want to stay forward-looking, you always want to stay learning.

One of the biggest problems I think I have with the educational system is that when people graduate college they stop learning or they think they should stop learning. It’s not their fault, it’s just they’ve been told every year, every month… read this, do this homework, do that subject, now cover this… and they’ve been given huge swaths of free time and then all of a sudden all that time is taken away and very dramatically you’re throwing the workforce and said now get up in the morning to be at work by 8:00 a.m… you can’t leave your desk till 6:00 or 7:00 p.m… you got a grind on this even if you think it’s nonsense, if you’re not learning anything.

So then the work environment spends a lot of time beating your love of learning out of you… and not that you ever had the love of learning because in school it was an autopilot.

So I think what’s really important is to develop a level that is more important than anything else… and it’s more important than what you learn… it’s more important than what school you go to… and it’s more important than what job you have. Keeping your intellectual curiosity alive is really important, and the only way that’s gonna happen is if you learn what you love, if you read what you love, if you do what you love.The moment you are doing it because somebody else is telling you to do it or society’s telling you to do it, you’re just not gonna stick with it … but the good news is that even if what you’re  learning is impractical, I still think it’ll pay off in the long run economically. The reason is because eventually you just get good at learning, and so then you learn new things.

So if you like to read you’ll read new things, if you like if you watch podcasts even if they’re fluffy podcasts that you’re not getting much learning out of… over time you’ll just find yourself listening to more and more podcasts, you’ll get bored of the same old topics and you’ll move to something new. So just keeping that intellectual curiosity alive is far more important for your economic and intellectual well-being than it is to learn something that you don’t frankly don’t want to learn. If you’re struggling through a subject, and unless you need it for graduation drop it… go learn something that you want to learn.

1 Curated Resources

Naval's First Periscope

free, Transcription

In this second Periscope, he alludes to the first one when talking about leverage. If you haven’t seen his first Q&A, go check it out!