12 Timeless Tips on How to Get Rich Without Getting Lucky

I’ll apply these for the rest of my life — and I suggest you do too


Nabil Alouani

3 years ago | 10 min read

You’ll never get rich selling your time because of The Hamster Wheel Effect.

The idea is that a monthly salary habituates you to a certain lifestyle. And every time you get a promotion, you upgrade that lifestyle a little bit — which, in turn, increases your spending.

The result? Your net worth never gets off the ground. Instead, you find yourself trapped inside a hamster wheel, running all year but never getting anywhere.

The only way to break free from this vicious cycle is to build wealth.

Below you’ll find 12 wealth-building tips I stole from people like Warren Buffet, Nassim Taleb, Naval Ravikant, and others. I’ll apply these pieces of financial wisdom for the rest of my life and I suggest you do too.

“Spend what’s left after saving”

There’s a popular productivity rule called Parkinson’s Law. It states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. The same applies to spending habits. Your spending expands to fill the budget available for it.

That’s perhaps why Warren Buffet said:

“Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving.”

When you commit to saving a fixed amount of your income, you literally increase your wealth every single month. It sounds simple and it is, but most people don’t do it because they can’t resist temptation.

They can’t say “No” to an expensive weekend, they can’t say “No” to an overpriced phone, and they can’t say “No” to fancy clothes.

You can be smarter than that.

One clever trick you can use is to automate saving. Most banking apps allow you to schedule repeated money transfers. Every month, send a fixed part of your income to a separate account — and voilà.

You’ll be growing a small fortune without even thinking about it.

Own a piece of business

Saving money is great but it doesn’t protect you from inflation. Money loses some of its value every year, and that’s why you want to convert your money into assets.

Assets are possessions that either appreciate in value over time (like art, real estate, or stocks) or earn you money while you sleep (like an online shop, a restaurant, or a factory).

Your second top priority (after saving) is to own or create such possessions.

Owning is more accessible as it implies that your only job is to save enough money to be able to invest. Creating is for people who have an inclination towards entrepreneurship.

You can pick one or do both. Either way, make sure you start acquiring assets as soon as you can.

If you’re not sure where to start, I recommend you consider investing with the S&P 500 Index Fund. It’s a collection of stocks from the 500 largest companies in a variety of fields — and the average yearly return is around 10%. You won’t get rich overnight but you’re almost guaranteed to get closer every year.

For those who want to launch a business, work on it after hours and commit full-time when your earnings cover the bills. Another option is to save enough to pay your bills for at least one year, then take a leap of faith.

Reject shortcuts

In the spring of 2020, I lost 90% of my savings in a get-rich-quick scheme. I joined a Bitcoin trading platform that promised a compound interest that could reach 40%. It looked too good to be true and it was.

They baited people with several rounds of payments and when people went all-in, they took all the money and vanished forever.

One effective way to keep an eye out for such ploys is to remember this quote from investor and philosopher, Naval Ravikant:

“There are no get-rich-quick schemes.That’s just someone else getting rich off you.”

Never risk everything

There’s a fancy mathematical rule that’s popular among investors. It’s called the Kelly Criterion and it means to never bet everything on one single gamble — even if the chances of success are very high.

The Kelly Criterion applies to everything from business decisions to managing your relationships to building a reputation.

Here are a few examples to illustrate how you can apply it:

  • Never put all of your money into a single investment. Going all-in is romanticized by the media but in the real world, it’s a perfect recipe for financial disaster.
  • Never sacrifice a relationship for some financial gains. Your wealth won’t mean much if everybody hates you.
  • Never engage in illegal activities. No amount of money is worth your freedom.

Stick your neck out

Personal branding is all the rage these days but most people don’t understand what it means. It doesn’t mean to dress, eat, or talk a certain way. It means to be brave enough to publicly put your name on a project or a business.

That’s how Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, and Donald Trump built massive personal brands. They are not afraid to stick their necks out and say, “Hey listen up everyone, this is what I’m working on and this is what I stand for.”

Sure, there’s a risk of failure but it’s nothing compared to the upside. People will come to you for advice and companies will line up to become your sponsor — which translates into new opportunities to create wealth.

Now. You don’t have to build rockets, host a TV show, or set Twitter on fire to put your name out there. All you need is a smartphone and a platform where you can broadcast your ideas and the things you’re working on.

Bought some NFTs? Write about it. Opened a restaurant? Create a TikTok account and share your recipes. Started a side-hustle? Share your weekly progress on a podcast.

“Read what you love until you love to read”

Knowledge is like water. It tastes best from the source. But the said source is often a giant old book that we want to pick up yet constantly avoid because it’s time-consuming, complex, and intimidating.

The good news? Reading is a muscle and you can grow it by reading anything from gossip to fiction to articles written by some bald dude.

Over time, you can upgrade from quick easy reads to intense books like Thinking, Fast and Slow, The Black Swan, and Homo Sapiens.

That’s what the aforementioned Naval Ravikant meant by “Read what you love until you love to read.”

So, for now, read whatever piques your curiosity but keep in mind that the end goal is to read the work of the best thinkers humanity ever produced.

Another important reminder here is to avoid engaging in book counts.

It’s way better to read the same 5 books 100 times than it is to read 500 different books. Why? Humans forget most of what we learn unless we apply or revisit the content.

That’s why, with reading, you want to expose yourself to the same great ideas over and over again — and when possible, apply what you learned.

It’s like Bruce Lee said:

“I don’t fear the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks but the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

Turn yourself into a *unique* asset

Many school systems are designed to produce obedient factory workers. Their one-size-fits-all curriculums teach students that the only way to succeed is to memorize a few things.

The result? Young adults who forgot how to ask questions, how to make mistakes, and how to try new things. It’s no surprise many of us fail to pursue our interests. We’ve been programmed to numb our curiosity and shy away from creative activities.

The catch? Pursuing your interests is the best way to build a unique resume — and a unique resume is what makes you stand out in the market.

Let’s say you work in sales. You also happen to enjoy digital art and reading about psychology. Combining your interest with your current job can turn you into a top-tier online marketer.

Even if your interests don’t make sense in your day job, they might help you build a side-hustle, pivot your career, or spot investment opportunities.

In short, learn how to extract value from the things that make you genuinely curious, and you’ll become unstoppable.

Build compounding relationships

This is different from networking. When you network, you grow the list of people you know, hoping to create new opportunities in the near future.

It’s like throwing a bunch of seeds in your garden, expecting that by next spring, a couple of flowers will grow out of them.

In contrast, building compounding relationships is more like planting trees. For years, you water them and tend to their branches without getting much in return. But once the trees flourish, they’ll bear fruits every single year.

The same applies to people.

Pick a handful of people you love and with whom you share the same values, then spend more time with them. Mutual trust will grow stronger, opening up the door to an entire world of opportunities.

Besides, life becomes much easier when you know someone has got your back.

Don’t play stupid games

Because stupid games earn you stupid prizes.

Perhaps the dumbest game out there is the one that involves status. Many people live above their means just to impress their neighbors, coworkers, and Instagram buddies.

They drive unaffordable cars, travel 24/7, dress like fashion models, and eat like French gourmets. But deep down they feel like shit because they keep sinking in debt. Their only consolation is a few vanity points on social media.

Be smarter than that.

Focus on building wealth and live below your means. Does this mean you shouldn’t enjoy your life? Not at all. Just make sure you spend your money however you want, not however Instagram wants.

Also never forget our first rule — “spend what’s left after saving.”

Rely on systems instead of motivation

Building wealth is no picnic. It’s hard. It’s slow. It’s exhausting. And it’s full of misconceptions.

One of these misconceptions is that you need constant motivation and rock-hard willpower to make it to the other side.

In reality, motivation and willpower are moody friends that almost never show up when you need them. Your environment, however, can be a reliable partner. That is, if you know how to handle it.

For instance, if you leave an open box of cookies on your kitchen table, you’re more likely to grab one every time you go there.

On the other side of the spectrum, if you put your running shoes next to your door, you’re more likely to hit the road for a quick jog.

“Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior.” — James Clear

To rely on systems means to set out your environment in a way that aligns your behavior with your goals. This was an important sentence so you may want to read it again before we move on.

Now, here are five quick examples of how you can use systems to build wealth.

  • Automate saving a slice of your monthly income through your banking app.
  • Disable all notifications from shopping apps like Amazon to reduce impulsive purchases.
  • Put a non-fiction book next to your bed to remind yourself to read before sleep.
  • Set weekly reminders on your calendar to call your business partners, best friends, and family. (Compounding relationships, remember?)
  • Fill your fridge with healthy ingredients so that every dish you cook is good for your body.

Speaking of which…

Be healthy so you live long enough to be wealthy

It’s simple math. If you invest money every single year, the more years you live, the more compound interest you’ll accumulate.

That’s why you should never sacrifice your health.

Success pornstars often talk about working 20 hours every day for 20 years straight. That’s pure bullshit. No human can survive such a lifestyle.

Sure, you can work your butt off non-stop sometimes, but do it only when it’s needed. The rest of the time, get enough sleep, eat healthy food, and make time to move your body and unclutter your brain. Meditation and time away from screens are great for the latter.

The healthier you are, the more things you can do.

Look for an accountability partner

We spoke about compounding relationships; finding an accountability partner is a great way to build a long-lasting one.

Accountability also happens to be a poignant tool to skyrocket your productivity. Research has shown that people who share their goals with an accountability partner have a 65% chance of achieving them.

If you also meet with your accountability partner on a regular basis, you turn that 65% into 95%. Allow me to repeat that:

Ninety freaking five percent chance of achieving your goal.

So, whether you want to save more, start a side-hustle, or launch a new product, accountability is a near-guaranteed way to make it happen.

There are many ways you can benefit from the effects of accountability. Here are three:

  • Hit a nearby café with a like-minded friend once a week. Report your progress to each other and set new goals for the following week.
  • Find an online buddy and make specific commitments. My friends Clément and Maria are the reason I maintain a decent publishing schedule despite my mood swings.
  • Use online platforms like MyFocusSpace to be matched with people who want to get things done.

“We are NOT accountable to ourselves,” Simon Sinek said in an interview. “We’re accountable to others. As social animals, we feel responsibility to each other,” he added. “That’s just how it works.”

Let’s recap

Money doesn’t buy happiness but it eliminates many causes of unhappiness. It’s much easier to work on your inner peace and nurture your relationships when you don’t have to worry about your bills.

That’s why building wealth is a goal worth pursuing, and it’s never too late to start.

You have the desire and you have the tools, so why not take a chance on yourself? You definitely deserve it.

  • Spend only what’s left after saving — and when you accumulate enough money convert it into assets. Own a piece of business.
  • Turn yourself into a unique asset by following your curiosity — and remember to read what you love until you love to read.
  • Ditch shortcuts. They don’t exist anyway.
  • Stick your neck out. Tell the world what you stand for.
  • Ignore stupid games like flexing on social media. Instead, focus on building wealth and compounding relationships.
  • Design your environment in a way that increases your chances of achieving your goals — and surround yourself with at least one accountability partner.
  • Never bet everything on the same gamble
  • Prioritize your health to be able to enjoy your upcoming wealth.

See you on the other side.

Nabil Alouani


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Nabil Alouani

Business | Psychology | Marketing — What's your favorite quote? Mine is "True masters are eternal students."







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