I’m an entrepreneur and angel investor. I’ve achieved the rank of chess master. And I’m the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book “Choose Yourself.”
I’ve started 20 companies, 17 of which have failed. But I’ve learned a lot along the way.
If you’ve ever been stuck—in a job you hate, in a house you can’t afford, in a life you don’t want, in your own depressed mind, anything—I want to help you.
Why? Because I get it. I’ve been there. And I want to tell you how I freed myself so maybe you can start to free yourself, too.
Before I get into anything else, I’ve recorded this video I want you to watch…
Several years ago, I thought I’d made it. I had made myself a lot of money so I bought the biggest apartment in NYC. I needed a ladder to get to my comic books. I took helicopters to Atlantic City and would gamble for 48 hours straight while drunk.
I had never had money before in my life. I had everything I ever thought I wanted.
And then, I lost it all. (It’s a long story but I share it all on my blog.)
There was a time I was losing a million dollars a week… In just a few months, my bank account went from $15 million to $143. Also I was in the middle of a divorce. I had to sell my apartment. I had nowhere to live, no job, no friends to turn to.
I had nothing. I became horribly depressed. Most days, I couldn’t pull myself off the floor.
Then I began to realize something: success in today’s world ONLY happens you choose yourself. Choose yourself for happiness. Choose yourself for freedom. Because if you don’t choose yourself, someone else will and the result won’t be pleasant.
And when I began to understand that, little by little, I started to pull myself off the floor.
That was many years ago and a lot has happened since then. I now get to do what I love every day. I get to write books that mean something to me, and I get to share my thoughts on this blog. I get to interview really incredible people on my top-10 rated podcast, “The James Altucher Show.” I contribute articles to sites like The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! Finance, and Business Insider.
And it’s all in pursuit of my greatest mission: to help other people choose themselves, too.
“Choose Yourself” means whatever you want it to mean.
For me, it meant freeing myself from corporate jobs and managers who hated me, from houses that kept me stuck in one place, from possessions that created a cage around me.
It means creating a safety net for myself in an uncertain future. It means improving myself 1% each day in every area of my life.
For you, maybe it means creating time. Or resources. And pursuing your passion. Maybe it means making a name for yourself at a job you enjoy. Maybe it means making more money. And getting unstuck. Or moving away from having just one income stream that might not work out for you. Or maybe it just means getting healthier, mind, body and spirit.
Ultimately, it’s about going deeper and exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated.
This is what people struggle with. It’s the layer underneath the bills, the relationships, the sicknesses. All of that are just byproducts of finding well-being in life.
You have to unlock your own cage.
And give yourself freedom to choose yourself.
I’ll tell you how I did it…
Being an “entre-ployee” is when you take the entrepreneur mindset and apply it to your current job. Take control of who you report to, what you do, what you create.
When I worked at HBO, I came up with show idea. I pitched it and made it my own. I interviewed hookers, homeless people, happy couple, drunk couples. Anyone I could find at 3AM. At the time, I liked my job. I didn’t want to leave. But I wanted to do it my way…
Anyway, if you are at a job you hate… usually, I say quit. I’ll tell you why… and I write about them all the time. But it all comes down to this: when you work at a corporate desk job, you’re putting your fate into someone else’s hands.
If you’re not ready to leave your job (yet), I’ll tell you how to LINK your financial success (or other kinds of success) to the success of the larger company. If you can figure out how to do this, then you can stay at your job forever and watch it grow.
At a job you can do something that you can’t do elsewhere.
That’s an entre-ployee.
Becoming an idea machine is what happens when you’re about to kill yourself.
At least that’s my experience.
When life puts a gun to your head, you figure it out or you die. My back was against the wall and my life insurance policy was the gun. I had ruined my life, and thought I was worth more to my kids dead than alive.
It was either come up with good ideas for how to rebuild the life I destroyed, or kill myself so my kids could inherit something.
Becoming an idea machine saved my life. Ever since I became an idea machine, my life has changed 100% every six months.
For the better.
You become an idea machine by working out your idea muscle. Making it sweat. I do this by writing down 10 ideas a day. They don’t have to be great ideas. In fact, most of them will be terrible. You’ll probably never look at them again. But when you do it enough times, all of a sudden your brain starts getting into the habit of thinking up new ideas, until one day it actually comes up with a good one. And then another. And so on.
“The Daily Practice”
The daily practice is how I began to pull myself off the floor. It’s the act of improving myself 1% each day in four areas of my life:
Physical – Being in shape. Doing some form of exercise. You can’t be happy if you’re sick.
Mental – Everyday I write down ideas. I write down so many ideas that it hurts my head to come up with one more. Then I try to write down five more. Some will be good, some will be bad. The “idea muscle” is just like any other muscle—it atrophies within days if you don’t use it.
By the way, It took me months of reading about “becoming an idea machine” to actually be convinced.
Spiritual – Feeling gratitude every day. I feel that most people don’t like the word “spiritual.” They think it means “God.” Or “religion.” But it doesn’t. I feel like I have a spiritual practice when I do one of the following: pray, meditate, be grateful, forgive, study.
Inside every difficult problem, there is the tiny seeds of gratitude that can blossom into happiness in your life. Counting gratitude to three is ok. To ten is better. To 100 is life-changing.
Emotional – Be around people you love, who love you. If someone is a drag on me, I cut them out. If someone lifts me up, I bring them closer.
I was spending time with people who were bad for me.
How do you know if someone is bad for you?
I have a checklist.
And If you say yes to any of the above, then even if they are sitting at the table across from you right this second, stand up and go sit at another table. Trust me. People will quickly show you who they are.
- The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Investing All of Your Money
- Three Trends for the Next 50 Years
- It’s Financial Suicide To Own A House
- The 20 Habits of Eventual Millionaires
- The 100 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur
- How To Quit Your Job the Right Way
- The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Starting and Running Your Own Business
- How To Be THE LUCKIEST GUY ON THE PLANET In Four Easy Steps
- “I Want to Die
- The 1% Rule for Creating All Habits
- How to Self-Publish a Bestseller: Publishing 3.0
- 33 Unusual Tips to Being a Better Writer
- The 40 Books That Saved My Life
Since I launched my top-10 rated podcast back in 2014, it has more than 200,000 listeners and has gotten more than 12 million downloads.
I’ve talked to authors, artists, rappers, billionaires, drug dealers, astronauts—all who forged their own paths, found financial freedom, and harnessed the power to create meaningful and fulfilling lives.
This is a good episode to start with…
Oh, and this one too…
“Reinvent Yourself” (My newest book)
I’ve reinvented my career, my interests, my life, many times over the past twenty years. This is the book I wish I had at the beginning of that long and often volatile journey.
And now the entire world: technology, governments, the shifting landscapes of opportunity and success, are all turning upside down, forcing us to reinvent as individuals and as a culture. Along my own journey I have read and encountered dozens of other successful leaders, artists, entrepreneurs, and mentors who I have learned the art of reinvention from.
The journey has been intense. The obstacles were hard fought. And the adventures that led to me now finally sharing it all in this book has been both painful and exhilarating. I describe specific techniques, share stories, tell the stories of others, and give the ultimate guide to not only how but why it is critical for people to master the skills of reinvention.
What I’ve learned: change is the only constant. Companies decay, technologies disappear, governments change, relationships change and opportunity is a shifting landscape. Reading the stories and learning the critical skills taught in Reinvent Yourself is how I found my own way through the chaos of change and onto the path of new opportunity and success.
Again, this is the book I wish I had in my hands twenty years ago although I am glad that I am writing it now.
The world is changing. Markets have crashed. Jobs have disappeared. Industries have been disrupted and are being remade before our eyes. Everything we aspired to for “security,” everything we thought was “safe,” no longer is: College. Employment. Retirement. Government. It’s all crumbling down.
In every part of society, the middlemen are being pushed out of the picture. No longer is someone coming to hire you, to invest in your company, to sign you, to pick you. It’s on you to make the most important decision in your life: shoose yourself.
New tools and economic forces have emerged to make it possible for individuals to create art, make millions of dollars and change the world without “help.” More and more opportunities are rising out of the ashes of the broken system to generate real inward success (personal happiness and health) and outward success (fulfilling work and wealth).
Choose Yourself illuminates your personal path to building a bright, new world out of the wreckage of the old.
We are living in an epic period of change, danger and opportunity. The economy is crashing and booming every few years. People are getting fired and replaced by computers and Chinese workers. The stock market crashes with regularity.
Every “fix” from the government makes things worse. The “old world” has been demolished… and people are desperate for answers.
“The Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth” contains those answers. This is the field guide to the “new world” we live in. You can play by the old rules and get left behind, or you can use these new ideas and become wealthy.
This is not a book for the faint of heart. Read at your own risk, because sometimes the truth is hard to take. But for those who are ready to hear, my book provides an updated map of the new territory for generating wealth and freedom.
Like I said earlier… If you don’t choose yourself, someone else will and the results won’t be pleasant.
Have a question or need assistance? My team is here to listen…
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