The man who made millions by failing
Welcome to issue #2 of Thought Makers.
This week I wanted to share an amazingly inspiring person with you: James Altucher.
Thought Maker: James Altucher
Image courtesy CNBC
James Altucher is an American hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, bestselling author, and podcaster.
He has founded or co-founded more than 20 companies, and is the author of over a dozen books including : "Choose Yourself" which rose to #1 on Amazon. Reviews of Altucher's writing have called him "brutally honest" and a "contrarian perfectionist," who writes about business ideas through the lens of real-life experiences.
He has appeared on numerous television shows such as The View, The Colbert Report, Fox News and MSNBC.
In 2006 he became known for his blog called The Altucher Confidential where he shared his personal story about being broke before turning to success with his own business ventures. His blog was named as one of Time magazine’s 50 Best Blogs.
In 3 Sentences
1. The guy that started 20 businesses, 17 of which failed - but he learned important lessons along the way, resulting in 3 of his companies making him tens of millions of dollars.
2. Prolific author of non-fiction books.
3. James is an expert chess player!
Altucher was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 18, 1968.
He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science in 1990 and then later went on to graduate from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 with a Master’s Degree in Finance.
In 1998, James started his first company. He was 21 years old and got the idea for Reset Inc., a software company that helps companies manage their finances, after noticing how many companies were having trouble managing their financial data. By 2001, he had sold it for $10 million to TheStreet.com.
From 2002 to 2005, he traded for several hedge funds, and from 2004 to 2006, he ran a fund of hedge funds.
He founded StockPickr LLC, an investing Web site that was sold to TheStreet.com in 2007 for $10 million.
TheStreet.com, an online financial news and information company, acquired StockPickr in 2007 for $10 million. The purchase was the culmination of a six-year run for Altucher and his cofounder, Adam Besvinick.
StockPickr had been founded in 2005 to help investors with stock picks from experts and other users on social media. While it’s no longer around today, it got off to a strong start during its time as an independent company by raising $500k in seed funding from angel investors like Tim Draper (of Draper Fisher Jurvetson) and Mark Cuban (of AXS TV).
Despite these eye-watering amounts, within a few years of each sale, he was broke.
“I was smart, but then I was stupid,” he said of Reset, “I was so unbelievably stupid. Within three and a half years of making this money, I had $143 left in my ATM account.”
He wrote about his experiences of failure in his book "Choose Yourself."
James Altucher is perhaps best known for his book "Choose Yourself," which details his experiences of failure. In this book, he describes the importance of having a good support system, including mentors and coaches who can help you overcome challenges. He also recommends reading about other people's failures so that you can learn from them and avoid making similar mistakes yourself.
Top 3 Quotes
"no matter who you are, no matter what you do, no matter who your audience is: 30 percent will love it, 30 percent will hate it, and 30 percent won’t care. Stick with the people who love you and don’t spend a single second on the rest. Life will be better that way.”
"The only way to make real wealth is to get rid of your salary. In a salary, by definition, you are creating wealth for others, and you are creating a chain and handcuffs for yourself."
"Quantity and persistence will get you the outcomes you need."
Facebook 'Choose Yourself' Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/chooseyourself.me/
This self-made millionaire got rid of everything he owned to live in Airbnbs—and he’s thrilled: https://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/27/self-made-millionaire-threw-everything-away-and-lives-out-of-airbnbs.html
Why Self-Help Guru James Altucher Only Owns 15 Things: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/07/fashion/james-altucher-self-help-guru.html
The James Altucher Show podcast:
My Story - James Altucher
How to Achieve Any Goal You Have & Do It 10x Faster! - James Altucher & Lewis Howes
James Altucher on Accelerating 10,000 Hours to Mastery - James Altucher & Chase Jarvis
How to Skip the Line - James Altucher | TEDxBocaRaton
Failure is a natural part of success. Learn to embrace it. Learn from it. Move on.
Learn to be creative.
Perfectionism is the enemy of creativity. Learn to stop the brain from shutting down ideas by allowing it to come up with bad ideas! For example, you want to create 20 ideas for a blog post. Write down as many good ideas as you can. If you get stuck after, say, 10 ideas, go crazy and write down any ideas, even if you think they are bad. As James puts it "If you can't get 10 good ideas, get 20 ideas."
Adopt a daily practice. If you improve at anything 1% per day, by the end of the year you’ll be 37 times better at it than when you started. James advises us to take care of our spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health by improving at each aspect 1% per day. Choose Yourself
When writing, delete your first and last paragraphs. No matter what you are writing, craft every sentence toward a single goal: to deliver your message. Once you have finished writing a piece, you should spend about the same amount of time editing it. When you are done editing, remove the first and last paragraphs because they contain the least interesting content!!
I just released the second edition of my book:
How To Be A Sh*t Leader
The book to end all leadership books!
"A fun but telling critique of modern management B.S." - AJ
“Laugh Out Loud Funny!! - Terry”
“Clever, insightful and laugh out loud funny. It eerily mirrors many aspects of the Trump Administration. Whether this was intentional or simple happy chance - who knows? Andy is a terrific writer with a real flair for the comedic with an amusing and irreverent style. I'm sure we'll see lot more from him in the future.”
“A fun but telling critique of modern management B.S. - AJ”
“A no-nonsense corrective to some of the woolly-minded, over-optimistic, orthodox wisdom of business & management gurus.”
“Packed so full of truth bombs - SJ”
“I found myself laughing so hard at this 'management' book packed so full of truth bombs that I nearly fell off my chair - until I recognized so many people that strut the rarefied halls of management, and some who used these tactics to seriously damage others.”
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