A Map for the New Working World: Choose Yourself by James Altucher

In James Altucher’s eye opening book, Choose Yourself, he teaches you how to deal with the new economy. The shifting world of work is already at our feet and James has given us a map to navigate with.

The Old Institutions Are Dead. Choose Yourself.

The old institutions are dead, and with it is the promise of job security.  A college degree is no longer a golden ticket to a middle class lifestyle. Software is eating the world, starting with the middle class paper pushers. The squeeze in the middle is forcing labour to pop out both ends. Either you level up and come out on top as an entrepreneur, or you are made redundant by software and become a temp staffer/gun for hire. Take your pick.

That’s when it clicked. When everything changed. When I realized that nobody else was going to do it for me. If I was going to thrive, to survive, I had to choose myself.

The new economy isn’t really new.  We’re just seeing the hollowing out of the middle bit. The top has always consisted of trail blazers, independent thinkers and artists.  The bottom has always been populated by interchangable labor and temporary staffers. The only difference is that now you can’t settle comfortably in the middle.

You must be a creator, innovator, artist, investor, marketer AND entrepreneur.

To succeed you must, in James’ words, light your inner fire.  “Meh”, is your greatest enemy.  A “meh” job will not inspire you to challenge the status quo and unleash your potential on the world.

You light your fire by building up a foundation of health and then feeding the fire to stimulate your creativity.

You light your fire by:

Only do things that you enjoy. Only think about the people you enjoy. Only read the books you enjoy that make you happy to be human. Only go to event that actually make you laugh or fall in love. Only deal with people who love you back and who are winners and want you to win too.

Every time you say yes to something that you don’t want to do, this will happen to you: you will resent people, you will do a bad job, you will have less energy for the things you were doing a good job on, you will make less money, and yet another small percentage of your life will be used up.

Start With a Daily Practice

The daily practice is a set of activities that ensure the health of your four beings: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

Some practical tips are:

  • Sleep more
  • Skip TV
  • Surprise someone
  • Be grateful

There are a ton of other great tips in the book.

Unleashing Your Inner Entrepreneur

Everyone is an entrepreneur. The only skills you need to be an entrepreneur are the ability to fail, to have ideas, to sell those ideas, to execute on them, and to be persistent so even as you fail you learn and move onto the next adventure.

Abundance will never come from your job. Abundance only comes when you are moving along your themes. When you are truly enhancing the lives of the people around you.

Where To Start

  1. Pick a boring business. Then do it slightly better then everybody else.
  2. Cut out the middle man and deliver value directly to your customers.
  3. Get a customer.
  4. Start blogging to build up trust while you sleep. This will lead to opportunities.
  5. Say yes when an opportunity arises. Take it and run.
  6. Treat everyone like a human being.

Making a Million Dollars

Corporate America doesn’t solve problems. It churns out the same product with minor tweaks forever.

School doesn’t teach you how to come up with ideas. School doesn’t teach you how to sell those ideas. School doesn’t teach you how to bounce back once you’ve failed.

Messaging someone to ask for help = valuing their time at zero.

Study the history of the form you want to master. Study every nuance. If you want to write, read not only all of your contemporaries, but the influences of those contemporaries, and their influences. Additionally, draw inspiration from other art forms. Then go back. The facets that resonate with time, even if it’s hundreds of years old, will resonate with your work as well. It’s like a law of the universe.

Focus on what you can do for your art/business right now instead of trying to aim for 10 years from now

You can release other stuff on your outlet. It doesn’t have to always be your work.

Pick a social media outlet and MASTER IT. This is you platform. Mastery of both your art and your distribution is the only way to win

If you’ve enjoyed these excerpts, make sure to check out the real deal. It’s available on Amazon. For the truly lazy (like me), here is a link: Choose Yourself

Also, I’d love to hear your feedback so ping me on Twitter @louiedinh.


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