Ask Altucher






February 2015
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James says suffering is extremely important, yet it's always horrible. But a lot of people believe that through their suffering, they've paid their dues.

James doesn't see it this way.

It's important to learn from your suffering. If you just suffer from your mistakes, but you don't learn anything from them, then you haven't gotten anywhere.


Learn from your suffering.

Direct download: AA20Ep20218.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 11:05am EDT

Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its executive editor from its inception until 1999.

He is also editor and publisher of the Cool Tools website, which gets half a million unique visitors per month. From 1984-1990, Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news.

He co-founded the ongoing Hackers' Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. He authored the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy and the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control.

Kevin dropped out of college to pursue his real interests, and they are varied.

James and Kevin talk about Kevin's idea that "if you have 1000 True Fans then you have a business."

This is a wide-ranging conversation about the past, the present, and the future.

Kevin's extremely bullish on the future of artificial intelligence, yet he says there is no extinct technology... none.

And they talk about a few of his books, Cool Tools and The Silver Cord.


Listen here if you want to see into the future.

Direct download: ALR20Ep209620Kevin20Kelly.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 3:56pm EDT

Uber is popping up everywhere and it's a lot more than just a new way to hire a ride.


Jon Youshaei todays guest on Ask Altucher, shares his great story first published in Forbes about the "Uberpreneur" Gavin Escolar.

Direct download: AA20Ep2021720F.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 11:13am EDT

Today James does the show in Spanish... Just kidding.

Roma wrote to James asking him where his daughter can publish her work. Whether it's a written piece, a video, or an audio recording, it doesn't matter.

There's so much opportunity for kids to get millions of views today using the Internet.

If you're a writer, then you can post your work on and

If you like to produce videos, then YouTube is the place to post your work. And of course, if audio is your thing, then do a podcast.

Encourage your kids, give them positive reinforcement, and help them bring put their voice.


P.S. Nicole Lapin's new book Rich Bitch hits the bookstores yesterday.

Nicole, known for being the youngest anchor ever at CNN and then going on to claim the same title at CNBC, joined James on today's special edition of Ask Altucher.

Nobody handed Nicole anything. She's worked her butt off since she was 15.

She started in Kentucky, then South Dakota, and went on to Palm Springs while still finishing her college degree.

She finally got a 4 a.m. time slot on CNBC and immediately fell in love with it.


In Nicole's new book Rich Bitch, she lays out a 12-step planin which she shares her experiences – mistakes and all – of getting her own finances in order. Money is typically an "off limits" conversation, but nothing is off limits here.

Direct download: AA20Ep20216.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 1:46pm EDT

A listener from Brazil writes in and asks James what's on his bucket list.

James says he purposely doesn't have a bucket list. Instead he wants to focus on every day.

"Was I creative today?" Did I follow my daily practices today? Did I surround myself with good people today?"


The best way to exceed your expectations is to have as few as possible

Direct download: AA20Ep20215.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 9:35am EDT

What businesses can be created to take advantage of the lack of privacy in the times we live in?

James tells us you have to assume privacy is gone.

He tells us of an idea he has to build a business and Claudia has an idea for a privacy product.


James asks his listeners to write in with their views on climate change – is it man-made?

Direct download: AA20EP20214.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:12am EDT

Are you a great negotiator? Most people think they are. But the reality is most people are terrible negotiators.

James says first, the better negotiator will have a big list. The list needs to be big enough so you can give away some of the items from this list that are really not that important.

Schedule your meeting for 4:00 pm. This is the Carl Icahn method, and James explains how you can make it work in your favor.


Listen here as James has a few more great negotiating tricks ideas to share with you.

Direct download: AA20Ep20213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:58pm EDT

Whenever Claudia gets an email asking for feedback from a service she's recently used, she responds with "10 Ideas."

She has been using 99Designs recently to design the covers for the new Special Bonus Reports to go along with the launch of James' new book and newsletter.

Overall, the experience was good, although not perfect. So Claudia spent the time to tell them how they could be better.

And amazingly, the CEO of 99Designs sent her back an e-mail directly addressing these ideas, and thanking her for her tough love.


The thanks you receive back is step one, but who knows where this may lead down the road

Direct download: AA20Ep20212.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 12:29pm EDT

Andy Weir followed his dream. Ever since he was a small boy he wanted to be a writer, but it took him a long time to find success.

His first short story, The Egg, brought him a bit of notoriety. This thousand-word story got passed around on blog sites and people began to follow him.

The Martian, Andy's new hit book, was first published as a serial, one chapter at a time on his website. He had just a few thousand readers.

He eventually self-published this as a book and it sold about 35,000 copies on Amazon. Suddenly Random House came calling with a big pile of money.

They talk about his daily writing habits and the books and authors Andy is a fan of and James digs in a bit to find out what's next.

He tells James that he's still afraid of being a one-hit wonder. James asks him what advice he would give to aspiring writers

  1. 1.Write. It's easy to daydream about your story but you have to sit down and write.
  1. 2.Resist the urge to tell your story to your friends and family.
  1. 3.This is the best time in history to be a writer. Today, you can bypass the gatekeepers.


Listen here its great story.

Direct download: ALR20EP209220Andy20Weir.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 3:55pm EDT

Today's show is very special.

The first question comes from one of our listeners about making business deals through mergers and acquisitions.

James says the real work begins after both parties decide on the deal. It's always about the personalities involved and what you believe is best for you and your family.

He also recommends a couple of books: Zero to One, Bold,and the soon to be released The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth,plus the TV show, The Profit.

For our second question, Claudia asks James what he meant when he said, "Entrepreneurship is dead."


Listen today as James explains why he believes the real answer instead is to choose yourself.

Direct download: AA20EP2021120Entre.20is20Dead.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 8:46am EDT

James and Claudia talk with Ari Whitten, author of the book The Low Carb Myth,to talk aboutwhy people get fat and get unhealthy.

Do carbohydrates make you fat?

His conclusions are surprising.

He disagrees strongly that we get fat because we are lazy and eat too much. Rather than being due simply to gluttony, sloth, and conscious decisions around how much we eat or move.


If you've been on a low- or no-carb diet or are just looking for an alternative to eating healthy, listen here.

Direct download: AA20EP2021020Ari20Whitten.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 1:31pm EDT

What's a "Choose Yourself" meet-up?

When a group of people get together and share ideas... well that's a great start.

Claudia shares her thoughts on how to get involved and keep the meet-up moving in the right direction.

  • Participate
  • Speak up
  • Mingle
  • Respect each other

In his newest book, The Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth, whichis due out later thismonth,James included an entire chapter on the "Choose Yourself Meet-Ups," it's that important.


Plus, James does a quick review of a book he just read, and a guest he just interviewed.

Direct download: AA20EP20209.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 12:02pm EDT

Did you miss us?

Yesterday was so crazy that James and Claudia just couldn't do an Ask Altucher show. You'll hear why on today's show.

But today James had a great question. "Why not save?"

James says, don't go buy a big house or a college education or just save money for the sake of saving to earn a return on it. You'll go broke that way.


Instead, spend your time and money investing in your skills and ideas. Write down your 10 ideas daily and focus every day on how you can earn more income for yourself

Direct download: AA20EP2020820Save20rather20generate.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 2:23pm EDT

Claudia, Claudia, Claudia asks James "What's the difference between a loser and a winner?" James loves this question and thinks it through with us today.

A winner starts with a basic idea.

We've all encountered some stressful moments in our lives. Winners are defined by how they react to these tough times.

You're not going to be perfect at everything you do, so don't be too hard on yourself. Just keep trying.

It's a way of life.

Listen today to hear James expand on this idea.

Direct download: AA20EP20207.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:54am EDT

How we step outside of our comfort zone to achieve success? It is a question James gets asked all the time.

His recent discussion with Seth Godin really dives into it... a problem many of us constantly deal with.

Seth tells James that he had to write his new book What to Do When It's Your Turnbecause he had no choice.

It's about what's holding you back, that voice in your head that pushes you to be mediocre or pushes you to hide.

"It pushes us to dig deep inside so we can do better work and impact the things we care about."

They talk about the industrial age and how it changed everything.

"We invented public school to train children to sit still long enough to work in a factory."

But now that we're in the postindustrial age, it's all leftover and everything has changed.

They talk about why it's so important get out of your comfort zone. Seth tells James about when he realized that he was hiding from the big projects.

How he was just playing it safe.

Through a fortunate meeting, he realized that by speaking his truth, standing for something instead of just trying to fit in, is what gets you noticed.

They transition into a great discussion about writing every day. Constantly putting yourself out there is critically important.

Dance with your fear.


And read more books

Direct download: AA20Ep20206.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT

When everything is going wrong, James says to... subtract.

Listen today and you'll understand.

Plus, today's show has a little bit of everything thrown into it.

First you'll get a list of a couple of new books James has been reading, a hint of a couple of great guests he'll be interviewing for The James Altucher Show podcast and today's question about giving away your ideas for free and whether people will then value them.

James, Claudia, and I have been in Orlando this week where James gave another fantastic talk. As always, he was a crowd favorite.

But traveling can be very hectic... you'll hear Claudia's stress as she tells James about her need to slow the hell down. She asks for help from the powers to be.

Direct download: AA20EP2020520.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

James' youngest daughter Mollie joins him again and asks James what he does in the afternoon?

James tells her he spends the first few hours of every day reading; he has a cup of coffee and then does his writing. From 8am to 11am your brain is at its peak, so plan your day wisely.

The rest of the day is devoted to outside businesses.

James then asks Mollie what she learns in school.


Listen today as James asks you a question.

Direct download: AA20EP2020420Mollie20Afternoon.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 8:22am EDT

James youngest daughter Mollie joins him today to talk about what technology young teenagers are interested in today. 

Mollie than asks James today’s question,  “What you should do if you’re shy?”

James tells her you need to practice talking to people but more importantly you need to listen and then ask follow-up questions.


Listen today as James offers a few suggestions.

Direct download: AA20EP2020320Mollie20not20shy.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 10:51am EDT