Posted in Guest Thoughts

James Altucher Sells You

I’ve been following James Altucher for years. Sometimes he makes me mad because he seems like kind of a tool or a poser. Sometimes he makes me think that I should restructure my entire life to be more like him. It still goes back and forth like that, sometimes shifting in the middle of reading one of his posts.

In the past year or so James Altucher decided to live as a Homeless Person in order to simplify his life, and his posts have sharpened. He still tries to sell you things – that’s what he does – but the sales pitches are encoded with hardcore philosophical ideas about thinking, writing, and living a decent life. The general thread is to follow your passion and the money will follow – a basic principle, but he expands on this in helpful ways.

Recently, this one called The Crappy Person Checklist and this one called What Is Your Philosophy Of Life? offered up some great stuff. You may feel a little dirty what with the sales pitches all popping up and through the more helpful and well-crafted writing, but it’s worth it and he’s completely transparent about his motives.

Ultimately, I think he’s a genius who found a way to marry life-affirming blogging with outright sales in a way that honors them both, in their own way. Decide for yourself. Lemme know what you find.

An example:

Why I Write

F) I Like to Think I Can Help.

I write about what happens to me. I write about my curiosity. But if one person follows an idea and it helps them, then I am happy.

G) Words Are Freedom

Because I write, I think of ideas. Ideas lead to things I can sell. Writing helps me sell these things.

Writing, at first, is the branch-covered pathway that leads you out of the forest. It’s the way from lost to found.

Building the skill of writing is the way to clear out those branches. Without writing I would have no career and no self-esteem and nothing.

People say, “You should visualize self-esteem and then you will have it.”

Maybe that works for them, but it doesn’t work for me.

H) Writing builds character.

I have a problem. In fact, every day I have a problem. I feel it in my body. I explore what the problem is by writing about it.

It’s surgery. I open my heart up. Poke around. Find a cancer. Scrape it out with words. What’s really there. What am I feeling?

You have to be honest with yourself. Cancer doesn’t pretend. It’s there. You can only dig illness out with authenticity

Don’t describe your feelings. Tell your story. This happened. This happened. This happened. Don’t even give me a description. No flowers or clouds. Just tell me BOOM BOOM BOOM.







Graphic designer / project manager / gardener living in Denver, Colorado.

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