Updated: Feb 14, 2019
If you follow me on Twitter (@investing_city), you might’ve seen a retweet from Erik Torenberg talking about “personal moats.” In investing, a moat is a structural advantage that underpins why one company is better than another (the term moat comes from the water perimeter protecting a castle). Waste Management’s moat is that there are only a limited number of landfills handed out. Apple’s moat is its brand and therefore, pricing power. Amazon’s moat is its network effect and innovative company culture. But this concept can be transferred to a career context as well, otherwise known as a personal moat. In essence, what are your structural advantages? Here are a few ideas:
- Specialized knowledge
- Legibility (your skills are easily recognizable)
That’s why a college degree can be useful for a career, it hits on most of those points. However, a real moat is an advantage that is very difficult to beat. And in my opinion, there are two components that are key to building personal moats. - Continuous learning.
- Being comfortable with discomfort.
Do these two things and after a while you’ll look around and realize your personal moat will be deep and filled with menacing crocodiles.