Sahil Lavingia

Sahil Lavingia quotes on career advice

Founder Gumroad, funder @

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Apply for the job. "But I'm not qualified for it." Neither is the person who's going to get the job. Apply!


Stop networking, start making friends.


Long-term, cities like San Francisco will resemble colleges. People will spend 4-10 years to learn, gain credibility, and build a network. Then they'll leave and settle elsewhere, making space for the next "class."


Wanting a six-figure salary is a totally legitimate reason to learn how to code.


You don’t have to quit your job to start a startup. You don’t have to move to SF to start a startup. You don’t have to raise money to start a startup. If you start when/how you can, you will be pulled in the right direction.


Doing the job before you get the job is a great way to get the job.


How to get a dream job at your dream company: Research the company. Use the product. Find the CEO's email online. Write a personable and specific email relaying your experience. Suggest some ideas, report a bug, or include a small UX improvement.


Something I wish everyone knew: the bar's not as high as you think. You can get that job, meet that person, start that company. But because you think the bar's so high, you won't even try. Which is what makes the bar so low!


Your high school GPA only matters until you have a college degree. Your college degree matters until you get your first job. Your next thing should render everything else on your resume insignificant.


Knowing how to make videos is going to be more important to the next generation than learning how to code.


Some of the most successful startups were started because the founders couldn’t get jobs.


Stop selling, start storytelling.


Learn to sell. If you're a designer, you sell a lot. If you're an engineer, you sell. If you're a founder, you sell. If you're a VC, a lawyer, a painter, a podcaster, an accountant, a comedian… you sell. Learn to sell!


If you don't think you're qualified for an opportunity, you're also not qualified to determine if you're qualified for that opportunity. Don't self-reject. Apply


Career advice: if you’re not in a bubble, find one.


You can launch yourself into the center of your favorite industry with a year's worth of deep research and a month spent writing one really great post.


Find the work that gives you energy.


Learn to negotiate. You negotiate to get a job, to get a raise, to prioritize a feature. You negotiate when raising money for your company, recruiting people to join your team, convincing customers to use your product. Learn to negotiate!


One well-written blog post can take you farther than the most impressive CV.


Take risks not jobs.


You can make a full-time living doing whatever you want, as long as you can create entertaining and educational content about it.


The only game worth playing is the long one.


If you don’t apply because you’re afraid of rejection, the rejection you should be afraid of is the one you just gave yourself.


If you want to make lots of money, don't start a company. Just learn to code, work at Google, and retire with $20M.


Being an early employee at a startup is almost always a terrible decision financially. Great if you: - Want to start your own company - Want to learn a lot and grow ...That’s about it.


The easiest way to make someone like you is to tell them their job is hard.


Put your work out there. You never know who's watching.


How to make a living doing what you love: Get really, really good. Write/make videos about it until you have an audience. Offer to teach people. Live modestly in 99% of cities that aren’t SF or NY. You can become a full-time writer, painter, musician, comedian this way.


Very few people want to start a company. If you're thinking about giving it a shot, you probably should. There's no better way to build wealth and acquire knowledge – and you can always go back to being a very valuable employee armed with your experiences if it doesn't work out.


After interviewing thousands of applicants it seems that the top reasons people decide to leave their jobs are: - they weren't able to have a large impact - they stopped learning/growing


The best way to signal your belief in someone is to give them your money and time.


Learn to code so you can get paid six figures to rearrange z-indexes until the problem goes away.


Being well-known is not important. Being top of mind when a new opportunity opens up is.


If you want to accelerate your career, use your real name and face on the internet.


Pick a problem you'll love working on, not because it'll make you buckets of money. Because when years pass and there's still no money in sight, the love for the problem will keep you going.


Tweet for the job you want.


Learn to communicate. If you're a designer, you communicate a lot. If you're an engineer, you communicate. If you're a founder, you communicate. If you're a VC, a lawyer, a painter, a podcaster, an accountant, a comedian… you communicate. Learn to communicate!


Early in your career, you should solve your own problems. The super-quick customer feedback loop (with yourself) will make you really good, really fast. After you get really good, solve other people's problems.


Skin in the game is great, but sometimes the opposite is better. Listen to people who have nothing to gain from their own advice being followed. Dead people, for example.


Do what you need to do to have all the time and freedom in the world. Then use that time and freedom to do whatever you want. Conversely, find the overlap between what you love to do and what will earn you a living and do that from the beginning.


Beyond technical ability, I look for these characteristics in candidates: - Communicates well (everyone always knows what they're up to) and asks for feedback early and often - Self-motivated to solve problems and find new ones - Manages up (tells me how to best empower them)


The best opportunities are waiting just outside the scope of your imagination. How to make them come to you: Be very competent at a hard skill Participate in the relevant community Use your real, human identity Have a portfolio of your work Have a strong point of view


Stop waiting, start starting.


Many systems require you to learn a game that many people don't want to play. Raising money, making a movie, getting promoted, getting signed. You might not like the game, but the best way to change it is to win it first.


Ask for help, not permission.


Make your work easy to find and opportunities will find you. Employers, clients, investors, cofounders, partners, colleagues, collaborators, projects, and more.


If you don't think you can do something professionally for someone, ask for money.

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