16 Failures out of 17 Attempts
- Posted by James Altucher
What a wierd thing. Its only 8am and so far today I’ve already seen three different, young, pretty women, each with the same distracting physical feature. They all had only one hand. And it’s distracting me from the real issue I wanted to write about. It makes me wonder: will someone brand new love them? If I weren’t already married would I have enough love to share for all three of them?
STOP distracting me, girls. You’re all dealing with it! Two of you were even laughing. I don’t know what happened. They all lost a hand. Let’s move on. In other news, this morning I’ve finally looked at my personal statistics: Sixteen out of the past seventeen businesses I’ve tried didn’t work out.
I didn’t realize the stats were so ugly. I was talking to a friend who is an entrepreneur and he was telling me he was discouraged after his last two failed attempts. So I finally sat back and figured out my last batch of statistics. 16 out of 17. Huh! I’ve written about some of the sixteen here: the crowdsourced ad play I did with the Freakonomics guys, the dating service for twitter users. Some of the ideas are like from a mental institution so no wonder they didn’t work out (smartorstupid.com where my six year old at the time asked me if it was “too mean”) then there was keauty.com so just like Donald Trump I had to try celebritykeauty.com.
There were a few that worked out well enough for me to make a living out of them.
That’s not so bad. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is suicide then those situations are about a 6 or 7. It means I had at least a customer (I never raised a dime of money on any business ever since this nuclear fiasco). Remember the easiest way to succeed as an entrepreneur is to do this. But making a living is no good if you are dying slowly in all the spare moments. The stress is too much. Raising a household (or two), raising kids, trying to deal with mortgages, school payments, all the amenities that Americans think they now deserve even though we still shit and live like animals pretending to be robots.
It’s a new world now. The corporations where we were pretending that we had conquered the animal kingdom was just a myth. [See, 10 Reasons to Quit Your Job].
I’m so afraid to fail. I see men in suits, tired, sweating, limping, having to sell one more time that vacuum cleaner, that genetics test, that internet cloud, that strategy assessment, just one more time, please pretty please one more time, to escape death. I’ve had to sell so many things in the past twenty years. I don’t want to be like them, mommy. I want to grow up and be an astronaut. With the huge visor that reflects the entire Earth while I float free, an Atlas in outer space, holding back the Sun from crashing into the planet.
In the long run, stress wears you down and kills you. I’m afraid to end up in a hospital because of stress. Because of a stroke or a heart attack where you can’t move and you can’t pull the tubes out of your body. Then you see what happens in hospitals and how they treat people who really are dying. Doctors kill you! The 70 to 90 years we put in here of hard work trying to do something with our hands, with our minds. The sounds of a ventilator filling up an entire room with its robotic monotonic echoing breath. [See, About the time I was a respiratory therapist].
I woke up a little too early today (3am) and had my usual email from John Mauldin along with the other two million people he sends to. I love John but there’s a reason he was the first UNREAD email in my inbox of 115,618 unread emails. He’s like the Angel of Darkness with a southern accent. I’m sunny and optimistic on my dayjob. I don’t like to read the news. I think you can find happiness not in a headline or a stock price but from the core inside.
But next week I’ll go on CNBC and guest host with Nicole Lapin for an hour where undoubtedly I will say controversial things. Controversial only because I’ll be an optimist while all the other people watching TV at 5 in the morning want to run for their lives because they’ve been trained by the media to believe that the worst events of our lives are yet to come. Maybe even later today.
Forget that Google is making cars that drive around without drivers, or that ipads didn’t even exist 2 years ago and nobody ever heard of one, or that personalized cancer medicine is finally becoming a reality. Forget all of that. Everyone is an anonymous pessimist. What good is this Internet for anyway? Its just for people to anonymously bash each other all long while they clog their ear lobes with “itunes”. Forget that wars now are stopped because information is a commodity. Forget that you can find love on a website. People have forgotten the innovation economy that’s driven us forward for the past 200 years. They only remember yesterday’s lying headlines.
Because at 3 in the morning today in my hotel room, I’m reading Mauldin’s epistolary missives about how the dollar will be worth zero, the banks will be in crisis, Mad Max is going to kill everything in his path in the search for a single barrel of $10 million oil, the walls are closing in, and the zombies outside are trying to bang on my hotel door.
16 failures out of 17 tries. What a huge amount of work that is to fail so much. How many walls dented from my head banging against it. How many emails have I sent trying to convince people of yet another bad idea. Where’s Rich A when I need him, telling me, “if you ever want to manage money again you need to learn how to communicate with people”. Where’s my little daughter at the age of one and I had fifteen million in the bank and I thought of that piece of shit one year old was now set for life. What a cocky bastard.
16 out of 17 failures. Where’s Neal B throwing a chair at me? Where’s Bank of America laughing in my face when I pitched them to do their website? Where’s Jay K ripping me off one more time while I give him more legal advice than he gives me. Where’s the FBI visiting me about “UBL”. Where’s Mikey A, stealing one more hour of my time so I can throw up all night all over his bathroom and then pretend that he didn’t try to poison me with his wife’s cooking (actually, that one made it 16 out of 18. Recount!).
See, Claudia? This is why it’s no good when I stay overnight in the city by myself.
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Tomorrow’s Post: 12 Ways to Deal with Failureblog comments powered by Disqus