The Learning Leader Show With Ryan Hawk

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#365: James Altucher – How To Become An Idea Machine

  • “Vulnerability equals freedom.”
    • “You need to say something interesting. You need to step outside of your comfort zone.”
  • James started writing in 1990 after a girl he liked chose to date a writer instead of him.
    • He wrote 3,000 words a day and yet didn’t publish anything for 12 years.
  • Why write about your flaws?
    • Watch the movie 8 mile… “Eminem shares all of the negative aspects of himself. He left his competition with nothing to say about him. He beat him to the punch.”
    • “I don’t hit publish unless I’m worried. Am I afraid? If yes, then publish.”
    • “All good writing has to have a story.”
  • Commonalities of people who sustain excellence:
    • Physically healthy – They are in shape
    • Emotionally healthy – They have good relationships
    • They are extremely curious – “Ken Langone came in my comedy club and asked tons of questions. He’s so curious.”
    • They are very creative
    • They have a “ready, fire, aim” approach – Sara Blakely started Spanx and got a $300K order and hadn’t figured out how to manufacture her product yet.
  • Creativity/Idea generation is a muscle – If you don’t work it, it atrophies.
    • Write 10 ideas a day.
    • Quantity is more important than quality. “He who has the most ideas wins.”
      • You’ll have a lot of bad ideas. You have to get through those to get to the good ones. Quantity is important.
      • “Writing 10 ideas a day changed my life. I wasn’t depressed anymore.”
  • Write ideas for companies and share with them… They might call you.
  • Being an “intrapreneur” within your company – Think of ideas that can help your company and share with the CEO.
    • “Success is always on the other side of can’t.”
  • Great entrepreneurs focus on reducing risk
  • How to speak to powerful people?
    • Realize they are just people
    • Humor is key. “Laughter is the way to level the playing field.”
  • Developing a skill – Deliberate practice
    • The “10,000 Experiment” rule
    • The key to getting good is to experiment
    • Be in the top 1% of doing experiments
  • Work your idea muscle every single day – The neurons will be re-wired
    • Share your ideas to help other companies
  • Over-promise AND over-deliver. Do both. Everyone else under-promise with the hope to over-deliver. Don’t do that. Overpromise upfront and over-deliver.

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