Are You a Dirty Entrepreneur?

school

The man was crying in my office.  He was interviewing to be head of sales at my company. We made websites for entertainment companies.

It started out differently. He had come in confident. He wasn’t tragic yet and the mythology of all of our success still permeated the room. “How come you are no longer managing [insert magazine devoted to hip-hop culture that was funded by famous rap star whose name started with a “P”]?”

“We got big fast and then P stopped paying the bills,” the aspiring head of sales said. “I loved that magazine. I thought I was going to do it for the rest of my life.”

He was looking at me. I didn’t say anything. I thought there was going to be more to the story.

Then he started to cry. He looked down while he was wiping his eyes

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I really wanted to do that magazine”.

(a picture from the magazine, 1999)

I couldn’t hire him. Not because I think cryng is for babies. I cry. But because I didn’t want him to depress me.  When you are trying to run a company there are too many things that can make you cry. I didn’t want my head of sales crying alongside of me. There are many moments like this in business. When a story turns into a tragedy. When the only thing left in a room is a fear that we will all die in a cold prison, and it wouldn’t be our fault.

Everybody thinks being an entrepreneur is like being Larry Page. You come up with something really really smart (a new way to search every piece of information in the world) and then people throw money at you, you ride skateboards down the office hallways, you bring in the Grateful Dead’s gourmet chef, you figure out how to make money six years later, you IPO, you get rich, and then FINALLY, you get to hang out on Richard Branson’s yacht and visit his private island. Larry Page is a “clean entrepreneur”. Larry Page is human being number one. [See, Why Are Larry Page and I So Different?]

The rest of us are way down on the chain. Being an entrepreneur is a dirty business.  I’m a dirty entrepreneur and always will be.

Another company wanted me to do websites for them. A record label. On the way out the door, the guy (an employee of the label) who introduced me to the label said, “you got the gig, dude, this is going to be great!” He was small, overweight, had written songs for a famous pop singer. But was now a slave trying to figure out how to support two sick kids and a wife who didn’t love him.

“One thing,” he said, “you know that guy Josh who was sitting in the room next to the head of the label?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“He’s the #2 guy at the label. You’re going to have to give him a piece of each deal on the side.”

So I said OK to that. I had payroll of 30 people to meet. I had my own mouth to feed. I had a baby on the way. I believed I was an honest person. But there are circumstances and the world is shaped into a different maze every day. One day, I thought, I’ll find an honest way to make a few dollars.

The man continued, hesitating for only a second, “And I need a piece of each deal also.”

I said, “OK” to that also.

A few weeks later I was invited to a party at the record label. I didn’t go. Later I heard that some rappers didn’t like how Josh looked at them at the party. They threw him down a staircase and then beat him with baseball bats. I don’t know why they had baseball bats at a party. But they beat him so hard he ended up in the hospital and with brain damage. The record label gave him some money to cover it up. I never had to pay Josh for each job we got from the label.

(teenage drug abuse is big business)

I was involved with a mental health facility for teenagers. I was helping the owners sell the business. One day the CEO’s wife had to be called out of our meeting. One of the teenagers in the facility had shat and smeared her feces all over the wall. The CEO’s wife had to clean it up. That was her job because how do you hold onto employees if you force any of the employees to wash crap off walls.

The CEO started telling me a story after his wife left.

The CEO said, “I was driving in a blizzard five years ago and had gotten lost somewhere in Rhode Island and was trying to figure out how to get back onto the highway.

“Meanwhile, I was snorting cocaine non-stop. I was in a bad spot in my life. I had six kids. My ex-wife was leaving me for another guy. And I was running a substance abuse facility even though I was snorting cocaine all day long.

“There was cocaine all over the car, all over my nose, everything. And outside it looked like a cocaine blizzard.”

I was the only one who would listen to his stories. I listened to everything. I needed to make money. I wanted to sell his facility for teenagers. So the gun was to my head, my knees were on the ground, my eyes were closed, and the words to his stories were like bullets into my head.

“Then suddenly there are flashing lights behind me. A cop pulls me over. I figured, ‘this is it, this is what it comes down to…now I’ll go to jail…again, and pay for my sins’

“The cop comes over, tells me to roll down the window…looks all over the car and sees cocaine everywhere….I couldn’t possibly hide it.”

“The cop then says, ‘here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to tell you how to get back to the highway, you’re going to clean yourself up, and I never want to see you again.’

“So,” the CEO of the substance abuse facility was telling me, “I did it. I never did coke again. I never even felt the urge for it again. A  few weeks later I called the police department of that town I was stuck in. I wanted to thank the officer. They never heard of that police officer. I called every surrounding town. I called the state police. Nobody ever heard of that police officer. That police officer was an angel sent down to help me get my act together. And now we’re selling the company and I’m going to be one of the richest people in Rhode Island.”

I listened to him and nodded my head. I said, “that police officer must’ve been an angel” repeating him when he said it. Nobody would care what I said. I was just a tape recorder.

We just sat there. Then he said, “let’s watch some videos on [he named a popular porn website]  before my wife gets back. Then I’ll erase the history on this computer. She’ll never know.”

On [popular porn site] , these guys ride around ghetto neighborhoods on a bus, pick up random girls, pay them to have sex with them, videotape the whole thing, and then throw the girls’ purses out the moving van and laugh while the girl, half naked has to chase after it while they drive off. Usually they abandon her in an even worse neighborhood than they picked her up in and she usually doesn’t have her clothes on. They never pay her for the sex. The video fades to back while she’s screaming and running after the van and they are all laughing. My assumption was, the CEO of the substance abuse facility wanted to masturbate in front of me but fortunately he didn’t. I probably would’ve let him.

We watched some of the videos until his wife came back, her hands in rubber gloves. A few weeks later he sold his business for $41.5 million cash to a public company I had introduced him to. I don’t speak to him anymore.

 

(removed picture due to NSFW)

It’s horrible to have no money. It’s horrible to have no money and then lose it. It’s horrible to have money and be constantly afraid of losing it. It’s horrible to have money and to be envious of the people who have more money. It’s horrible to have so much money you can’t possibly be envious of anyone and yet you get sick and it was all for nothing.

On top of it, the process of making money can be torturous. I’m not good at dealing with people I don’t like. Pretending to like them. Paying their bribes. Listening to their stories. Laughing at their jokes. Walter Mondale, former Vice President of the United States, once said, “I didn’t realize I wasn’t funny until I stopped being Vice President and suddenly everyone stopped laughing at my jokes.”  That was maybe the funniest thing he ever said. He was the most boring Vice President since Hiram Johnson.

None of it matters. The only goal is freedom. And then happiness. Happiness compounds. I know that today, if I focus on it,  I can be a little bit happier than yesterday. I can do the Daily Practice. I can watch a movie that makes me laugh. I can avoid all the people who bring me down. I can be creative.

I can be a little happier each day. Until one day I love all the people who twisted me into the pretzel I still am.

See Also:

The 100 Rules for Being a Great Entrepreneur

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  • Matt E

    P = Puffy ?

  • Bob Evens

    That picture is NSFW, we aren’t all entrepreneurs and thus can not afford the luxury of looking at porn at work. 

  • http://twitter.com/Parito Par Trivedi

    I don’t know that Josh fellow, but I’d like to imagine his life for a second. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he worked hard for his record label, dreamed big and thought he was gonna hit the big time. I imagine he was excited by working at the label, maybe he thought he was hot shit. I wonder if the baseball bat hurt more or the irony.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I never saw him again but I can imagine that everything about the experience made him unhappy. I should try and track him down now.

      • Chuck

        did you end up having to pay the #2 guy?

      • tonx

        James by description I know exactly what label this is and who you are referencing in this story. I was your employee at the time.

        A good story indeed, but more fiction than fact and a bit of hypocrisy when reflected against the theme of ‘honesty’ and ‘truth’ throughout this blog.I don’t have a problem with fiction but why intertwine it with real, easily identifiable characters and then call it truth…that sucks.

        –tonx

  • JRAW

    Stop feeling bad for the dumb ass girls on the web site.  They get paid.  Its just for warped guys that like to treat girls like shit to get off.

  • JD

    I don’t think James noticed the giant penis in the bangbros picture. Kind of blends in, took me a second and then I had a nice laughing fit, so thanks for that James.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Oops. You’re right! Taking it out.

  • S.G.

    Had a run-in with a crappy person, pretty early this morning.  Since then, been trying really hard to filter out all the useless, angry thoughts about this crappy person – have succeeded some of the time.  I said one bad, gossipy, pissy thing about this person to someone else…caught myself too late to stop that coming out of my mouth (i.e. I can’t believe this person always thinks its OK to talk to people like that). But, stopped myself from saying anything else since then.  Still trying to let go of the grinding irritation I feel towards this person – will have to see them again tomorrow.  The last part of your post will help with that – I will chant in my head, “None of it matters. The only goal is freedom. And then happiness”.

    Thanks for that :)

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      SG, I know what you mean. Almost every day I wake up and my first challenge is to label my “not useful” thoughts about the crappy people in my life. Its a discipline like any other thing we want to get good at. but it’s worth it. Don’t be hard on yourself though. If someone was crappy, and you are close to them, then it’s really hard to follow this approach. Which is why it’s “practice”.

      • S.G.

        Thanks!  Just got your new book (Kindle edition)!  Can’t wait to read it!

  • http://www.szelhamos.com TheAcsMan

    Entrepreneurs commit “crimes” all the time, but that doesn’t necessarily make them dirty.Society often changes its views on right and wrong and sometimes society gets it wrong. I’m certain that if the internet existed during the decline of the Roman Empire, masturbating during an interview while watching some buff gladiators battle would be accepted by nearly everyone as a normal activity.

    Some of the white collar crimes currently in the spotlight should never be thought of or treated as crimes, especially Insider Trading

    The reason Why Insider Trading is a VIctimless Crime seem obvious to me and is partially colored by my also being given a break by a police officer a long time ago.

    Here’s to second chances.

  • Craig

    And this is better than a day job?

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Maybe yes. maybe no. the problem with a day job is that it’s not safe. You are ruled by your boss and his bosses and then they can all get fired any day.

      • http://www.educated-exec.com Philip Walker

        I find it a life of emotional extremes. Feather knock-backs floor you. Tiny positives reverse you to your feet. It’s a pretty vivid experience. C’mon success! Please.

  • tif

    Thanks for your honesty about being who you are. It’s refreshing to read a piece that doesn’t just feed the feel-good fluff but still gives the positive side of how to work situations out….!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Thank you, tif.

  • http://badsalesman.blogspot.com/ Mike M.

    Colorful examples of the BS we put up with trying to sell something. Looking back, can’t hardly stomach some of the crap I have dealt with in order to just sell a car….to someone I don’t or can’t relate to. Usually someone who makes 10 times my income trying to get a better deal by $100. Crying poverty….like I am supposed to relate.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Yeah, and everyone thinks they’re such a great negotiator by trying to get $100 out of you so they can brag to their wives later.

      • Chuck

        Reminds me when I used to sell mortgages. People would negociated hard on their mortgage, going to another bank for a 5 bucks a month difference and then pay thousands too much to insure the outstanding balance.

  • http://www.google.com Janet

    great story….it was new and I enjoyed it.

    But did you really have to reveal the URL of the porn-site…. don’t you think many people will visit the site and frequent it…just because of your suggestion?

    You could have said a porn site without being specific. (by the way, please dont believe all those scenarios in porn…its fake…)

    we can say the people who watch it would have gone to some other site on their own anyway.

    But I feel everyday that we wake up, we either do actions that bring benefit to people, or that bring harm to people. Revealing the URL of something as harmful as a porn-site brings harm to a lot of people. Especially since you have many readers of all ages.

    And your cocaine friend doesn’t realise that his addiction to cocaine has just been transferred to porn addiction.

    All addictions light up the same areas of the brain

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      On your first question. I didn’t have to reveal it. Maybe I’ll block it out. ON the second point, yes – i think that’s the point I was trying to demonstrate. Which is ultimately why I was glad when the deal got done and I got away from that situation. As it is with almost all deals that get done.

      • Chris

        I’m late to the party… but I can guess the porn site domain.

        Unsurprisingly enough, porn is a dirty entrepreneur’s business too. So much so that the site (BB is my guess) features paid performers moonlighting as random bystanders that have sex on a whim with strangers! 

        It’s all a mirage. 

        Remember Buffet’s line? Don’t know who the patsy is … yep, it’s you.

        BTW James, you chose to censor this post at Janet’s request… that in itself is just another example of how we roll over to pressure from others. Whether it be just or unjust, it is hard to be true to oneself all of the time. 

        • Chris

          On a different note: Have you ever read Felix Dennis’ ‘How To Get Rich”?

          Another man who would prefer to have less wealth and more time to enjoy writing.

        • http://www.google.com Janet

          Hi Chris…

          I don’t think it has to do anything with pressure

          Sometimes when in a hurry, we do something that we haven’t thought it through….we are human…we make mistakes…to correct those mistakes doesn’t make us a pushover.

          I think James is actually very intelligent….in that he listens to everyone and tries to learn from everyone…and he has the courage to admit if he made a mistake….That’s real courage….

          He could have done what most people do…and brought in his ego to the equation and just argued against me as to why he was right…but he didn’t….

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OTAZAD4MZMGPRHWPEMAVGJULV4 Q

          Porn is a very dirty business. It may be dirtier than prostitution. The reason is that condoms are a no-go in porn, which leads to approx. 2/3 having STD’s.  While even in prostitution this might be only 1/10 because of condoms.

      • http://www.google.com Janet

        HI James….you removed the link….many young people (even though porn is something that affects people of all ages) may read your blog too…

        I just wanted to thank you for  that

        That is very classy…and I believe you did the right the right thing

        Bravo!

        Hoorah!…James for President….oops…I mean Vice President…we all know that the President doesn’t really do anything =)

  • Anonymous

    I remember a while back here in the comments section there was a discussion about mental health professionals generally being about a half a bubble off.  I’m more convinced of this every time I hear a story like this one.

    Seriously, you watched porn together?  Because his wife left the room, and well, how else are you going to fill 20 minutes?  Cocaine may not have been his biggest problem.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Ha, very true.

      • Guest

        well if he ever runs for president, make sure you reveal that anecdote…

  • Shayne

    I like your writing and enjoy your insights but I can’t pretend to even begin to understand your life and the things that drive you.  I can’t imagine any amount of money that would make it worth while to put up with such people and I suppose that I am so lacking in ambition that I can’t even understand such a desperate desire for material success that would make you start company after company.  It seems like the saddest sort of desperation to keep starting companies, just to make money rather than to achieve something more tangible such as the satisfaction of producing something wonderful. 

    Anyway, as I said, I still like your writing…

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I feel I have produced something wonderful. And I like that you like my writing.

      • Shayne

        But your companies seem to have brought you endless anguish?

        Your writing is certainly wonderful – perhaps everything else is just pushing water uphill?

        • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

          Well, most things bring anguish. But my writing gives me a lot of pleasure. A LOT. I don’t think I woud’ve been able to write any of these posts or learned any of these lessons without some of this anguish.

          • vivian andrade

            Yes  there are lessons to be learned  from other peoples anguish.   

          • Sharib

            I had this calculus teacher. When the students would whine about the amount of homework he assigned, etc., my calculus instructor would say, “Suffering builds character!”  It took me a while, but eventually I had to admit he was right.

            Your truthful writing is quite refreshing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    • TR

      “to keep starting companies, just to make money rather than to achieve something more tangible such as the satisfaction of producing something wonderful. ”  
      Good point, Shayne. James, can you imagine any sort of company at all that you would like to start, that you would love so much that you couldn’t imagine ever selling the business?

    • Lori

      to accomplish anything, you have to deal with this kind of thing. it is absolutely impossible to be in charge of a business and not have to get down in the trenches and deal with awful situations and awful people.

      • Shayne

        I find it easier to deal with the idea of cleaning shit off walls than I do the idea of allowing a creepy man to continue being creepy with my blessing because there might be money in it for me.  The first is honest, unglamourous labour that someone has to do and it does not eat your soul although I doubt it enriches it either – the second is something different entirely and (it appears to me) too high a cost to pay for mere money.  The first is work, the second is an (a)moral mental stance.

        • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

          yeah, well…maybe. Neither sounds like much fun for me but we live on this planet and bad stuff happens.

  • Jason

    “When the only thing left in a room is a fear that we will all die in a cold prison, and it wouldn’t be our fault.” Now that is a sentence worthy of Hunter S. Thompson; and I’m surprised he isn’t on your list of favorite writers. He’s honest, funny, perceptive – though not exactly terse, like you. Nice post! So entertaining!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I like Hunter S. Thompson a lot. I think a lot of people forget what an artful writer he is and not just a drugged up journalist. He was a genius. It’s sad how many writer-geniuses kill themselves: thompson, kosinski, david foster wallace, hemmingway, the list goes on and on. I’ve been thinking about this with writers. Just finished a book by Don Carpenter (novelist, killed himself in 1995). A blurb on the back was written by Richard Brautigan (poet-novelist, killed himself in 1984) and the novel was about suicide. So I wrote a post about it but havn’t posted it yet. Sometimes I think I post too much about suicide.

      • Mark Anthem

        I think there is a natural despair that happens to people whose mind is outside the authorized boxes most or all of the time. We are social beings and its hard when you don’t travel in one of the designated herds, I myself deal with the bad feelings by memorizing and regurgitating big blocks of facts. Its oddly comforting IMHO to mentally recite the data in the periodic table or the names and capitals of all the countries of the world when times get tough.

        • ama

          I really like this comment; as a performer, I often wonder why so many other artists are nuts and/or why they need so much attention all the time, but I think your “mind outside the authorized boxes” theory explains a lot.

          • Peter

            I do math problems in my head when I am in extremely stressful situations, like arguing with my wife.  I can’t help it.  It just happens.  And not simple addition, I multiply 3 and 4 digit numbers.  I have no idea if the answers are correct, but it’s what I do.

      • http://twitter.com/tradermb MB

        I think Hunter’s death was a different type of suicide. His body just broke down after all those years of excess and he no longer wanted to live with pain.

      • Johnshev

        “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.” – Albert Camus

  • Sumit Sabharwal

    Nice post! Totally honest as always!.
    You say you’d always be a dirty entrepreneur. Perhaps that’s the only kind there is/ can be.

    But I’d like to weigh that reality against the noble idealism of striving to be honest in

    http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/10/7-things-happen-to-you-when-you-are-completely-honest/

    especially, # 7, you become free.

    Are we basically saying, however much we strive to block the fake, dishonest behavior for personal gain, it eventually boils down to $$ and doing whatever it takes to get that deal signed or whatever?

    Just thinking!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      I would say I was always in favor of the advancement and success of my employees and customers. And if sometimes bad people got in the way, i would engage as little as possible and move forward.

      • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

        I would also say that I wasn’t always honest. I had to learn the lessons from the post you mention, the hard way. I think my wife, for instance, is a very naturally honest person. A lot of people were like that. I think my dad was like that. I don’t think I’m like that and I always have to remind myself that honest is not only the best policy, its the only policy for happiness.

        • Sumit Sabharwal

          Agreed a 100%!!

          I personally love my sleep! And my yardstick is not to do, say or get involved with anything that would play negatively on my conscience and keep me up at night, whatever it is!!
          Not successful a 100% of the times, but it’s a yardstick that works for me!!

  • http://736hundred.tumblr.com/ 736hundred

    Why does it seem like so many men in positions of wealth and/or power/ fame are such creeps?
     

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Believe me, you haven’t even heard my most intense stories on this topic.

      • Anonymous

        Because some of the same narcissistic impulses that drive people to achieve this or that also have some detrimental side effects.

        Or as the man said – “Deep within each secret soul, demons dwell and take thier toll” (that’s from memory, may not be a perfect quote).

      • SB

        James,

        I’ve worked for several people you’ve mentioned in your posts(the super-rich men- you know who they are) and am still working for one of them; hence the need for anonymity here.

        My theory on the MEN that are in positions of wealth and power and that they are such creeps is that they are the purest form of narcissists. They are at the core insecure, but want to project that they are powerful and can do whatever they want. they are cloaking their negativity about themselves with arrogance but it’s actually fairly easy to see through. They feel like crap about themselves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/LJHasselberger Lynn Johnson Hasselberger

    Love this one, James. When haven’t I??

  • Lori

    i roll my eyes so hard every time some ninny on the internet says she is an “entrepreneur” (it seems like women mostly do this – do guys do it, too?) because she started a blog and made 100 bucks in google ads.

    you putting up with the people and situations you describe in this post AND having to snap on the rubber gloves and clean sh*t off the walls – that’s when you are a real business owner.

  • Mansal

    Just like the honesty, James – there HAS to be a caveat of tact. I don’t disagree with the assertion that listening to crap all day long isn’t useful to be a “clean entrepreneur”, but at the end of the day other people (your daughter or family) may depend on you watching some masturbate…sad truth. So just one thing to add – be tactful :)

  • http://www.pointsandfigures.com pointsnfigures

    Heard about a successful entrepreneur in my hood.  Was in the basement with a person he had over to his new house, and turned a porn on.  Thought it was funny.  What’s the deal with hypersuccessful people and porn? 

  • JRV

    Your comments on money remind me why money is one of the greatest personal growth tools around.  Money enables so many things that teach people how to grow….by teaching what to do, what not to do, and most importantly, what did we learn from those experiences?  Imagine how stunted in development we would be if we didn’t have money as a tool to help us learn.  The really ironic thing is that money as we know it is really only slips of paper with green ink on them…amazing what people will do for a slip of paper.

    • Anonymous

      To paraphrase Napoleon, “I can make men die for little bits of ribbon”

  • http://twitter.com/#!/tarhini_smb Tarhini_smb

    when you can tell an incredible story about another incredible story and then admit you didnt care at all about the story at the time – thats when youre being honest 

  • Mike

    Working hard and making tough decisions does mean you may have to take some shit and do some things you may not want to otherwise. However, as bad as you might need money, the ends NEVER justify the means. Using a person for personal gain is never ok — some things are more important than money, I’d say the family of the man watching porn while his wife was gone is.

    I hope we all have the balls to the stand up to destructive behavior and choose the good of the other person over monetary gain. 

  • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

    I could listen to people’s fucked up stories all day long. I’m good at it and I love doing it. Maybe next time you find yourself in that position you could hire me for the listening to stories part.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Ok, hired!

      • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

        I will not disappoint you. 

  • 100% AARON ANDREWS

    Always enjoy reading the your blog posts James.  You do an incredible job.  

  • Anonymous

    I think you are wrong. By writing about things like suicide and depression and the darker things in life you are doing a service. People don’t talk about things that shame them…abuse, mental health problems, failure. We all suffer on some level. Life is often messy and occasionally cruel. By writing about these things you open doors for your readers.
    Having said that, I prefer your “happier” posts about Claudia and your kids.
    Thanks for another good read.

  • Anonymous

    I think you are wrong. By writing about things like suicide and depression and the darker things in life you are doing a service. People don’t talk about things that shame them…abuse, mental health problems, failure. We all suffer on some level. Life is often messy and occasionally cruel. By writing about these things you open doors for your readers.
    Having said that, I prefer your “happier” posts about Claudia and your kids.
    Thanks for another good read.

  • http://twitter.com/fzeng96 Feng Z

    I feel like saying “Larry Page is a clean ..” is a little big leap of faith. That mofo is human too, you know? Everybody shits, everybody has to wipe (hopefully).

  • Anonymous

    What a great post!

     

    I have to tell you that being a “clean entrepreneur” doesn’t
    necessarily bring you success in dollars, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t
    stop doing the right thing each and every time.

     

    I’ve worked for CEOs for over 20 years now. I’ve seen it
    all. I’ve been in positions where I could have rapidly advanced my career by a
    number of things and have chosen to take the high road each and every time. I
    cannot tell you that its led to financial success, and there have been times where
    if I had taken the bad road, I would have advanced my career and by not doing
    so, I was blackballed. However, what I do have that many of these CEOS do not
    have is personal happiness. I can’t think of one thing that could happen to me
    that would take that away.

     

    @rpics

  • http://www.facebook.com/joehenriod Joe Henriod

    This blog is Entrepreneur crack.

  • Mike Mike

    Is “shat” really the past tense word?  or is it shitted?  Any English teachers?

    • Adam

      Yep – “shat” is correct. Also a common typo for “shag,” so watch yourself, there . . . .

  • amy

    James,

    I like this post a lot. It’s officially one of my favourites. I like the way you position yourself as an outsider who has to work within the system and the way it presents your unique philosophy and way of seeing the world. 

  • Herb Moyer

    Lol, two straight men should NEVER watch porn together, period.

  • Hmakansi

    Schumpeter called the havoc that new technology brings it creative destruction. To the entrepreneur it’s often self destructive too, at least to the soul..

  • Anonymous

    Are clean and dirty polar opposites? Sometimes I feel dirtiest ( phony, a fraud) when I’m complimented for being “clean” and honest.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shivani.allgaier Shivani Allgaier

    I love your way how you show that you are authentic. And in each paradise there are also snakes…  But there is a happiness beyond of paradises and snakes…  http://tiny.cc/p8yfn

  • Prov6

    You can not possibly run a company and make a profit if you obey all the rules and laws that the government tells you to obey.

  • henry

    “ile the girl, half naked has to chase after it while they drive off. Usually they abandon her in an even worse neighborhood than they picked her up in and she usually doesn’t have her clothes on. They never pay her for the sex. The video fades to back while she’s screaming and running after the van and they are all laughing. My assumption was, the CEO of the substance abuse facility wanted to masturbate in front of me but fortunately he didn’t. I probably would’ve let him.”

    –Bang Bros and all those other porn series are fake acting it’s not real buddy. These sites and businesses make big money from these videos and women know that so they act and get a piece of the pie.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KDC4JCJ7X4ZKA7MTDNGX3XBYSU Jason

    “The only goal is freedom. And then happiness”

    Careful James, you’re getting close to figuring out the purpose of life.

    Jason Butler

  • Ira Wagler

    Maybe you are telling the truth, about that angel story. Maybe not. In any case, unless they have already divorced (or separated), you deliberately tried to destroy a marriage in this post.Not that it was worth salvaging. The people you wrote about will know who they are. Including the wife who went to scrape shit off the walls, while her husband was watching porn in your presence.

    • Jodyg

      While I had this thought initially too, it is really just a testament to the transparency with which we are all living our lives – whether we’ve accepted it or not. 

      If we write an email that could be potentially damaging if forwarded, don’t write the email. If we’re an Olympic gold medalist that doesn’t want to get caught smoking dope, don’t smoke the dope. The only way to have a clean legacy is to live a clean life.

      That being said, if I were the selling business owner, next time I’d make sure to have a better NDA; but even with one in place, it certainly doesn’t serve as a dam for the truth.

  • Brian Levene

    Thanks for being honest. I don’t understand you.

    Taking a bribe is sleazy. Cleaning up after mentally ill people is noble.

    You will find an honest way to make money when you stop being dishonest. These experiences diminish you.

  • Anonymous

    He made his wipe clean up the merde? He should have man-upped and cleaned it himself.
    Porn-watching loser of a husband.

  • Aaron King

    This story reminds me of that guy who wrote that book Oprah raved about and then found out it was all fake.  Either way this is sad.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      As I consistently have to say on this blog: it’s all true.