I was reading James Altucher’s new book, Choose Yourself! (definitely worth checking out) and I got so into the book that once I finished I turned the book back over and started again. Make sure to check out his site as well.
Altucher touches on many of his failures with brutal honesty sharing on multiple occasions where he lost millions after a successful company and ended up broke. Most people will never have a $1 million bucks in their account all at once, but Altucher on many millions and went bankrupt.
That’s not the lesson that stood out, it’s how he was able to bounce back using his “Daily Practice.” I’m not going to go through all of it, you’ll need to check that out yourself but he had 2 major themes which alone provides humongous value to your career path and personal brand.
What is an idea machine? It’s being someone who’s mind is always racing with ideas to solve problems, help others, or even start something new. We each have an “idea muscle” that needs to do some lifting on occasion. Every muscle needs exercise to perform at it’s peak, and Altucher credits his idea muscle from bringing him back from bankruptcy and failure many times over.
How do you exercise your idea muscle? You force yourself to come up with new ideas, however lame they may be, and write them down.
I was inspired after this and started a new note on my Evernote page simply called “Idea Dump.” One day I may open that vault, but not today
In just a short period of time, I already had thought of a problem I felt needed solving and a business that could spin off from it. I’m in the testing phase of the idea and will write a post after the test to pursue it / not pursue it.
A point he makes is every idea must have a material next step you could take. Thus, you can’t put “Time travel” because no one has any idea to make that happy. Maybe you do know how, if that’s the case, let me in on it so I can go back to middle school and never wear headgear!!!
Altucher says to write 10 ideas a day, no matter how dumb they are. I’ve started with just a couple a day and will go from there, but soon he promises that you will become a machine at constructing new ideas. If you want to get ahead in your career, be the go-to for ideas on problem-solving and bettering the company. Those are the wealthy people.
Richard Branson is notorious for trying many different ideas, some stuck, others didn’t, but he built up that muscle and so can you.
Give, Give, GIVE to your Network
This has always been a tough one for me. I’m always worried I have nothing to offer to my connections, especially those with more experience, more successful etc.
But he provided an idea I hadn’t thought. It’s funny how simple this IDEA is.
It’s give new IDEAS to your network. Where can you provide ideas to improve their business, interests whatever. James reached out to top players and didn’t ask for anything. He simply said “Here’s some ideas for new posts you could do or here’s some code you could use to improve your business.”
That was it. Immediate value to your network.
You’re not even asking for anything, just providing instant value. This is something anyone can do, it doesn’t have to be an idea, it could be an actual product whatever. The main idea is to provide value without asking for anything.
It’s so simple. I’ve already e-mailed connections I’m hoping to grow and offered this book for them to read because I know they’d enjoy it. Provided instant value. I’m going to send you this book for free without expecting anything, done just to provide value.
My idea muscle is still hitting the gym, but once it’s ready for big-time, I hope to provide my ideas to connections I want to cultivate.
Networks are built on value.
Valuable Interviews/Talks with James Altucher
One of my favorite things to do is show you great places to find further awesome valuable content to sink your teeth into.
- Excellent talk on Social Triggers by James giving a talk on how he’s provided value and grown in his career. His dry sense of humor is worth the watch, it’s hilarious!
- I’ve mentioned this interview before, but Srini’s interview with James is probably one of my most favorite ever and ever. It’s where I was first introduced to Altucher, but it covers how he first got started at HBO and going from there.
- Lewis Howes also interviewed James for his new book. I shared this interview right away it was that good.
Make sure you pick up the book HERE. Have you used your Idea Muscle today? Put your ideas below.
One of my ideas I’ll share, it’s terrible, but it’s a re-usable tissue that remains dry after each sneeze and nose-cleaning. It’s unsanitary and sounds completely nasty, maybe it has some self-cleaning mechanism. Who knows? It’s just an idea to start with that may mate with another of my ideas down the line. It’s fun!