1. 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.
This is the first post made by Naval Ravikant and in it he’s establishing the the basis/definitions of wealth, money, and status. When explaining any complex or intricate set of ideas you first need to establish the baseline of what is being discussed. If we have differing definitions of wealth then how could we possibly make the same logical conclusions about wealth?
More subtlety, Naval is brushing away misconceptions of each of these words. Being rich does not make one wealthy. Status doesn’t necessarily imply being rich. While these, namely, money, wealth, or status, are all interconnected – having one does not imply the others nor does having one conclude the others.
Status at its core is where you are placed within the social hierarchy. In other words, it is how society perceives you. Celebrities for example tend to place very high within the social hierarchy; a rich man however, often anonymous, doesn’t place that high unless his contributions to society are well known.
Being rich – or as Naval points out, having “money” – does not necessarily imply you are high within the social hierarchy and it definitely does not imply you are wealthy. Naval isn’t exactly the most famous of people within the world despite the fact he is very well off. Likewise, someone can be very rich but not be very wealthy. A Doctor or Lawyer for example can make millions of dollars a year but because they sell their labor for high dollar means they are not wealthy.
Naval defines wealth as having assets that earn you money while you work. Another way for stating this is that wealth is freedom. It is the ability to do what one wants when one wants to do it. The Ancient Greeks likened a wealthy man to one who “pursues knowledge” and the idea here was that he had the time and resources to pursue his own creative endeavors. This is wealth.