Here’s why Twitter is worth $12 billion or even much more. Because every Thursday from 330-430 PM EST I do a Q&A on Twitter where people ask me stuff and I answer. I answer maybe 150-200 questions in that hour or so each week.
Ok, that might only account for $0.38 of Twitter’s market cap. But still. I can dream.
Curt Wehrley posted a summary of my Q&A on his site.
Here is the summary and I hope you can join me for the next Q&A this Thursday (later today). I’ve been doing them for about 2.5 years now and I’ve only missed one or two weeks. I really like doing it.
Question: How should I choose between 3 job offers?
James Altucher: Take the job with the nicest people.
Q: What are 3 key things that Treach taught you and can teach others?
JA: Everything’s gonna be alright.
Q: What would you tell your 25-year-old daughter to do with her life?
JA: If my daughter was 25 i would tell her to explore as many options as possible. my career has changed 5x since i was 25…degrees have zero percent correlation to future success. None at all.
Q: I’m agnostic, looking for evidences to believe in some god, or force. Why do you believe?
JA: There’s no reason to believe in anything. just every now and then hold up your hands and say “thanks”. that’s it…there’s no reason to care about evidence or experience. be compassionate, say thanks. and thats all you need… it doesnt matter if you believe or not.
Q: I have 3 children’s books on Amazon. What other ways to make money from them in addition to direct sales?
JA: Get distributors who market to schools. write more books
Q: How do I get over my fear of reaching out to acquaintances out of the blue (ie “networking”)?
JA: Come up with ideas for them that can improve their businesses and/or lives. tell them thank you and why
Q: My wife’s a talented writer but she doesn’t believe in herself, how do i convince her?
JA: You cant convince anyone of anything. nobody will ever listen. let her find her own way and she will, whatever way that is
Q: Have you ever used a strategy where you followed demand where money was flowing & then found a way to get in the middle of it?
JA: That’s the only strategy to follow.
Q: How important are status symbols in your life? (The kind of clothes you wear, the car you drive). Do they matter less as you age?
JA: All status symbols are tiny things. LIFE is a big thing. I stay focused on the big things. The big thing in life is to focus on providing more value to people than they expect. the rest comes then
Q: Is currency trading for suckers?
JA: All currency traders seem to forget that their opponents are Vladmir Putin and Ben Bernanke.
Q: How much do you write on an average day?
JA: 1000-10000 words a day. If you want to write that and reading for 2-3 hours a day is what you have to do.
Q: How do you get yourself out of a situation/mindset where you feel ‘stuck’ & not making progress?
JA: Only one way to get out of being stuck, which is the Daily Practice I describe [in my book]. I can’t say this works for everyone but I know it worked for me and has worked for many of my readers from the emails I get. I also know that when I have NOT done what I call the Daily Practice, that I slipped right down to being “stuck” again.
Q: Can one have/build the ability to know a good idea from a bad one with minimal or no testing of the idea?
JA: No, you cant know if an idea is good in advance. thats why the key is to do many ideas cheaply. Every single successful company in the world has changed strategies and products repeatedly. Nobody can predict the future or read the minds of future customers.
Q: I started my own blog recently. Tell me one thing you wished you had known before you started your own blog.
JA: The importance of launching an email list alongside of the blog.
Q: Will Facebook be around in 5 years? What about email?
JA: facebook, email, twitter will all be around in 5 years but all of them will rely more on SMS
Q: I keep missing obvious moves in chess and don’t look more than a move ahead. Any book you’d recommend to improve me?
JA: Read thru all 5000 problems in “CHESS” by Polgar
Q: What are you afraid of?
JA: i’m irrationally afraid I’ll run out of reinventions for myself.
Q: What’s one way to turn around a really sh*tty day?
JA: to find ten things to be grateful for about today. to write three emails thanking people. to say “WOW!” and “HELP!” It’s very hard to say “HELP” when you need it.
Q: How do I start associating myself with people that share the same hunger for success (besides meetups and such)?
JA: Stop associating with the wrong people. the right people will then magically start to show up
Q: How do I figure out what kind of identity I want for myself?
JA: Get rid of wanting an identity. then your real self can come out and play. The world is here to entertain you, not the other way around.
Q: How many of us tie our identity to something? Deep.
JA: We all tie our identity to restrictions we think we’ve overcome (money, power, etc). But those restrictions are false and taught to us by parents, schools, institutions, etc.
Q: What is your IQ according to tests?
JA: II don’t believe in IQ tests. Much better is to measure how grateful you are per day.
Q: Doing the daily practice but I’m itching to start something. Should I just start a bunch of ideas for fun?
JA: Yeah, thats the ONLY way to do it. start a dozen ideas for fun and see which ones take fire
Q: Why go with an s-corp for start up?
JA: Go with a C corp if u want to take on investors and be able to issue options to employees.
Q: Sites I should guest post on besides elephant journal and though catalog?
JA: use quora and medium. post on huffpo.
Q: If a writer is good, don’t you think they should be paid. Isn’t payment of “exposure” way overrated?
JA: The good thing abt any exposure is it gets your name out there. this way the good writing can be found…good writing has nothing to do with getting paid. writing is a business and has to be treated like that, else no pay. Creators are business people and this has always been true throughout history.
Q: Do you still play chess everyday? How is it helping you? Do you play sports? Could that be part of Daily Practice?
JA: I play chess every day and try to do either tennis or yoga every day. both are part of my daily practice
Q: I’m doing @Shopify’s build a business competition but I don’t know what to sell? Seems to ALWAYS get me stuck. Where do I start?
JA: sell quantified-self bracelets
Q: Where can I find more software development contracts for small & medium sized businesses?
JA: Your best new clients are your old clients. ask them, “What else can you do for me?” and see what they say.
Q: Best way to overcome that sickening feeling in your gut aka Fear, when thinking about taking on a new challenge?
JA: Don’t think about the future. nothing is in the future. Action is RIGHT NOW. only focus on the action you can take today. Dorothy had no idea what the Wizard of Oz would do, but she knew she had to take each step on the yellow brick road.
Q: What’s the most important thing to remember always?
JA: To say “thank you” for no reason at all, to nobody, and expect nothing. And occasionally say “WOW!”
Q: I end up feeling bad for a lot of people I talk to, meet, and interact with. How can I feel compassion for them instead of pity?
JA: Pity is wishing (“I wish these people were better off”, e.g.) Wish for nothing. care for everything. You will find happiness is in the middle.
Q: Best way to promote a (self-published?) book, assuming no blog following, twitter fanbase, or advertising budget, etc?
JA: Best way to promote a self-published book if you have no following – write more books. thats the only way
Q: How to find what I’m good at? And…what if it isn’t nothing special? What if “i know i’m good at something”but I don”t know what?
JA: Don’t look for what u r good at. try many many things. see which things work. then do more of it.
Q: Thoughts on h1b visas. Help or hurt US worker? Should # increase or decrease in current economy?
JA: The US needs to remove all barriers to immigration. why not be the US that created this country instead of the US that destroys it
Q: What program do you recommend to manage an email list?
JA: I use @MailChimp to manage my email list. They are very good and I’ve never had a problem
Q: Have any ideas for turning a love of coffee into a way to create wealth & freedom?
JA: Make a book: 100 Ways Coffee Will Make You Wealthier, Healthier, and Beautiful”. Then make a blog and videos, etc about the ideas in the book.
Q: Have you ever bought any courses from bloggers or do you mainly stick to books?
JA: I stick to books. i like to read things that have withstood the test of time. so good books vs yesterday’s NY T
Q: Reading as much as you do, how do you absorb it properly? Do you take notes or something like that?
JA: I dont know if i absorb anything i read. i just keep reading because it’s fun and i hopefully i take in a little
Q: Will our economy pick back up? Can we be a superpower again?
JA: What other superpower is there that controls all the water in the world and all the innovation in the world? Another way to look at it is: let’s say we weren’t a superpower. Who cares?
Q: How much should I promote my Kindle free days? I want to make $ from book, but also market my expertise and drive traffic to blog
JA: I dont think you should use the kindle free days. i think those days dont help so much. people value what they pay for.
Q: What’s your net worth?
JA: This is not the answer your looking for but i honestly feel on top of the universe
Q: Are your tales of comeback overly dramatized because you had access to decisionmakers? Most unknowns knock Doors w/no response
JA: I never had access to decision makers until i started getting healthy and generating tons and TONS of ideas
Q: Blog content: how many days a week?
JA: Write every day. but you dont have to post every day. only post when you feel something is TIGHT.
Q: Is there a difference between “positive thinking”, “fantasising”, “daydreaming”?
JA: Replace positive thinking with just gratitude and “WOW!” There’s no way to really know what you “need”. stop asking for what you don’t need, so you leave room to get the things you need
More important than positive thinking is being around people who love you. More important than positive thinking is sleeping 8 or more hours. More important than positive thinking is having lots of ideas and being grateful.
Q: How do you deal with the stress and depression that comes with starting a business?
JA: A business is only one part of you. there are friends, family, your inner health, etc. every day focus on the balance. less stress
Q: How many hours a day do you write?
JA: I read for 3 or 4 hours a day and prob write for 4 or 5 hrs a day. Most things i write are very bad and i hide.
Q: How do I over come the emotional fear and social conditioning to venture something I never thought of
JA: The way you do that is thru healthy sleep, eating, be around good ppl, be grateful. every day all day.
Q: If you are starting out, how would you approach well known brands to partner with you?
JA: You always have to show the well known brands how they can make money with you. that is all they care about. Never forget that nobody cares about you. You have to overdeliver for them and then overdeliver more.
Q: How did you get so good at raising funds for deals?
JA: When you add EXTRA value to ppl (value they did not expect) it compounds in your life. you build trust. they follow u into deals.
Q: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever written?
JA: Everything i publish is scary to me. i don’t publish something unless it scares me. how else will it stand out.
Q: In your blog you mention prioritizing ~7 hours sleep. How did you manage that in the start-up world?
JA: Find out all those moments that you waste during the day on junk: news, gossip, waste, etc.and eliminate them. They add up. a CEO shld slp at least 8 hrs a day
Q: How do you restore a broken trust? Is it even a good choice to start with?
JA: You cant restore a broken trust. a cut in the skin needs to heal only with rest and gentle care. don’t force it or you infect it.
Q: Starting out, is it a bad idea to write for someone else’s blog routinely more than your own?
JA: Your NAME is the destination. not your BLOG…Starting out, ONLY write for someone else’s blog. That’s how you build an audience. later you can start your own blog.