Building Career Leverage to Create Wealth

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Read time: 4 minutes

Spicy take today! Let’s dive in.

The Secret

There are two types of careers: Linear and Leveraged.

The former will not make you wealthy; the latter can.

But wealth isn’t just about money.

“Wealth” means:

  • Freedom
  • Income
  • Impact

Let’s make you wealthy.

Linear vs. Leveraged careers

Linear is the “slow and steady” model we were taught.

It’s incremental, competitive, and single-tracked.

You choose a default path (e.g., consulting, banking, or big tech) and follow it for decades.

The rules for “success” are relatively well-defined: earn specific credentials, pay your dues, adhere to the performance review checklist, and hope you’re one of the chosen ones.

The Linear career is what I did for 15 years — it provided an excellent foundation.

Linear usually feels reliable and “safe” (even if it’s not).

In contrast, the Leveraged career is exponential and self-directed.

It’s about differentiation, uniqueness, and network effects.

The Leveraged career may appear riskier, but this model provides far greater control and upside.

Jack Butcher captures “Linear vs. Leveraged” in a striking way:

The top is Leveraged; the bottom is Linear.

Why you must ditch Linear

In the Linear model, you’re always seeking permission — asking for a job, a raise, a team, greater responsibility, or financing.

“Choose me! Choose me!”

You need permission because you’re not an owner.

So someone from up above must grant you what you want.

You do your best to position yourself, but you’re at their whim. Even if you get what you want, they can take it away.

And worst of all, more effort does NOT mean more reward.

That’s because you’re stuck in an incremental game with limits established by the system.

You don’t have actual ownership in someone else’s system.

And no ownership means no leverage.

You need to be an owner.

How to create leverage

“Forget rich versus poor, white-collar versus blue. It's now leveraged versus un-leveraged.”
—Naval Ravikant

When you’re an owner, you call the shots and capture the upside.

You have leverage.

This is why I relentlessly promote entrepreneurship — it’s your best “leverage” vehicle.

Now, what are those forms of leverage?

The entrepreneur and investor Naval Ravikant highlights three broad classes of leverage:

They are:

  1. Labor: humans working for you
  2. Capital: money that multiplies the effects of each decision
  3. Media (Code): assets with no marginal cost of replication (e.g., books, videos, software)

The first two forms of leverage, while nice, still require permission.

If you’re a freedom-seeking 9-5er, getting labor and capital is not where to start.

Instead, focus on Media — because it’s the only form of permissionless leverage.

All you need is a laptop and determination.

No permission required.

From here, you start channeling your talents and interests into creating value for the people you aim to serve.

With enough concentrated effort, this creates a business that unlocks a new life for you.

Your job is to ship assets (content) into the digital world under your own name (publicly or privately).

This includes:

  • Apps
  • Videos
  • Social posts
  • Essays (like this one)
  • Products or services

As you do this, you’re creating leverage.

More and more people become aware of how you can help them.

More assets mean more discoverability and credibility.

This exponentially increases your “luck” surface area (opportunities coming your way).

With this shift, you’re stepping out from behind your company logo — where you were dependent and had no leverage.

And you’re betting on yourself — drastically improving your reputation, exposure, and opportunities.

This is how you get wealthy

Wealth comes from ownership.

Leverage is how you establish that ownership.

You aim to create situations where you have ownership (whether as a founder, equity holder, or investor).

This is how you generate freedom, income, and impact.

Leverage is the way to wealth. Start building it.

PS - In corporate right now? Here’s your “leverage” jumpstart.


Focus on direction, not speed.

It’s better to climb slowly up the RIGHT mountain than to climb fast up the WRONG one.


What Everyone Misses in Creating Personal Freedom: We mistakenly believe that adding more "features" to our lives creates more freedom — more money, a better job, or a stronger network. And while those elements can help, almost everyone misses this foundational step for creating personal freedom.

That’s it for today, my friend! I appreciate you.


Uncaged Secrets

Battle-tested strategies for escaping the Corporate Cage and using your superpowers to build entrepreneurial freedom (career & life). Leveraging 15 years in strategy consulting to build a 7-figure lifestyle business and give my family the life they deserve.

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