This post is part of my book Conspire To Inspire: Everything Is Awesome When You Are Part Of A Team
Michael Paine @strangerarray
Copyright © 2015 Michael Paine
All rights reserved.
The other day while reading one of several of James Altucher's posts, I stopped and had a thought. Where did I even come across this man? And how come I read him almost every day now? How come he has become almost like a mentor to me?
And I couldn't remember and I asked my wife. And she didn't really recall specifically. So I kinda put that question aside. Then naturally over the course of the next few days I had been thinking about it. Finally I remembered that I was writing my blog post Conspire to Inspire, that was the seed for this book, and came across a James Altucher’s post “10 Reasons Why You Have to Quit Your Job This Year”.
“The middle class has died. The American Dream never really existed. It was a marketing scam.” This reason number one from the list did not take any convincing for me to believe. Given my own experiences in the job market and conversations with my wife Sarah. This idea that there seems to be a fundamental shift in the workplace had been one that was constantly on my mind. Finding someone else who saw this and could explain it made my day.
Reason number three is “Corporations don’t like you.” This idea was not farfetched either. As my own job search was stalling out, I had to look no further than to my father. He had worked at a corporation for over 25 years and was now out of work because of the corporate game of mergers and restructuring. He then got picked up at another place for a couple of months but shortly got let go from there.
Nobody wanted him. Or me.
James goes on to say that corporations want “to destroy the career aspirations of their most talented people”. The other day I was at a training and saw “motivational posters” on the wall. They said things like “care”, “lead”, “achieve”, “dream”, “inspire”, “dare”, “grow”, “create”. But they don't really want you to do those things. I learned quickly as a kid that they want you to conform. To fit in. To sit down. To shut up. They feed us these words to keep us wanting more, but they do nothing to help us reach these new heights. I had felt like my aspirations had been under attack since grade school. I felt like being creative was discouraged. I quickly learned that if I would sit quietly then I would get by. But now I no longer want to just “get by”. I want to dream. I want to create.
James brings a unique style to writing with his relatable yet fresh voice. I became inspired. I came to respect James for his open and honest presentation. He tells stories that were embarrassing to himself. He tells things in a matter of fact sort of way that does not make excuses or hide shortcomings. He writes about being gentle and kind. Not only to others but to yourself. I think these things are important and admirable. I think these things are imitable.
And need to spread.
James has an interesting background. “James Altucher is an American hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, bestselling author, and podcaster. He has founded or cofounded over 20 companies, including Reset Inc. and StockPickr and claims to have failed at 17 of them. He has published 11 books, and is a frequent contributor to publications including The Financial Times, TheStreet.com, TechCrunch, Seeking Alpha, Thought Catalog, and The Huffington Post. USA Today named his book "Choose Yourself" among the 12 Best Business Books of All Time.”
Whatever the topic, James has something thought provoking to say. His enthusiasm for life is contagious. And interesting because as James writes in his book Choose Yourself, “The search phrase that is most likely to take people to my blog is, “I want to die.” The number two search phrase is “I hope to die.””(Altucher, James. (2013). Choose yourself: Be happy, make millions, live the dream.) And by writing about death, James helps people find life. In that same chapter he goes on to give 26 different things to try in order to get yourself up off the floor, out of bed, unstuck, or just plain moving.
James is currently still blogging and helping the world be a better place by encouraging people to do more with their lives. To stop being mediocre. To find alternatives to convention. Check out his website: jamesaltucher.com or follow him on Twitter @jaltucher.
Because you never know who you are going to meet...
*Introduction to Conspire To Inspire
*1 Bob Goff
*2 Mel Robbins
*3 Dale Carnegie
*4 Simon Sinek
*5 James Altucher
*6 Claudia Azula
*7 Stefan Sagmeister
*8 Zig Ziglar
*9 Theodore Roosevelt