The James Altucher Show: Jesse Itzler on Becoming Self-Made

“I learn best by jumping into the unknown”
  • The traditional way to gain an edge – read books, hire a coach, go to seminars, listen to podcasts
  • For Jessee – “Stepping into the unknown is the best way for me to get an edge”
  • Given his books – the idea of learning by jumping into the unknown and just seeing what happens, is sort of a niche for Jesse
The $160,000 Lesson
  • Jesse remembers only one lesson from his college education
    • His senior year, he took an advertising class, where he had to create a fictitious brand from scratch
    • Jessee used the project to create a brownie business
      • His teacher told him “There’s a thousand brownie businesses that come out every day. If you want to be great, and make it in this world, you better be a much different brownie business that anyone else”
        • You can sub brownie business for manufacturer,author, restaurant etc.
    • You HAVE to differentiate
      • “We all live by a playbook, so what if we ripped up the playbook?”
      • “If no one told you how to do your job, how would you do it?”
      • If you do the same thing everybody else does, you’re going to get the same results
    • Be 10x better not 1x better
    • Go where it’s least crowded
  • “Ready, fire, aim”
    • When you have an idea – get the advantage of being the first mover in the space
    • Waiting to become an expert takes too long
    • If you fail, you can always go back and try again
Experience is Overrated
  • Look at things with beginners mind – borrow from other people who may have put in the 10,000 hours, instead of putting the “necessary” 10,000 hours to be an expert yourself
  • Many a people have lost an opportunity trying to take the time to get to 10,000 hours
Life Resume
  • We focus on our work resumes a lot, we should focus on our life resumes more – build through experiences 
    • “After a certain period, no one will ask where you went to college” – James
    • “The real life nuggets don’t come in the way they think they’re going to come”
  • The Kevin Rule – named after Jesse’s friend Kevin
    • Many people feel they are too busy for X
    • So the rule – “If I can’t take one weekend every other month for myself, or to spend with my family, how out of balance is my life?” – Allow yourself to take that trip
  • We are all running from the present moment
    • One thing Jesse does to help him be more present, he likes to tell himself things like:
      • The average American lives to be 78
      • So, if your parents are both 73, but you only see them twice a year, you don’t have 5 years left with your parents – you only have 10 visits left – Be present
    • Reverse engineer the rest of your life
      • Recognize how precious the time you spend with people is
      • “How do I want to spend that time, and who do I want to spend it with”
    • Wellness, family, business, relationships – the 4 buckets of life
      • If you’re spending a lot of time outside those 4 core areas, it’s a distraction
  • If you’re trying to decide whether to invite someone to a birthday party, ask yourself – “If this person were the only person to show up at the party, would I be happy that they were the only person to show up?”
    • If not, don’t invite them
  • If you’re feeling anxious about a piece of work/a creation
    • Remember: “No one whose reading this will be around in 100 years”
      • When you realize this, it’s much easier to do/try things you normally wouldn’t
  • The average person spends 2-3 hours a day looking at social media
    • That’s 800 hours a year – a lot of wasted time
Living with the Monks
  • Jessee recently spent 15 days living at a monastary
    • He wasn’t allowed to use his phone
  • “By writing about your experiences, it’s like you’re experiencing them again” – James
  • Jesse wanted to pull some of the wisdom of this 1500 year old tradition, and apply it to his life
  • To pay the bills at the monastery, the monks breed German Shepherds
  • By just jumping in and not doing too much research, Jesse didn’t give himself the opportunity to psyche himself out
  • “I wasn’t looking for religion, I wasn’t looking for silence, I was looking for experience, one more thing I could put on my life resume
  • We are all bombarded with too much news and information, notifications, we ask Google and Alexa our questions etc. – This makes it hard to trust our gut
    • “Thinking is a lost art form”
  • What did Jesse learn from this monk experience?
    • Things that were most important to Jesse rose to the surface
    • “I didn’t miss a lot of the things that I spent a lot of time on” – like the things on a “to do” list
    • Jesse became more present – he no longer is so attached for his phone
  • The monks just had “do lists”, not “to do lists”
    • They didn’t move to the next task, until the current one was completely done – they perfected monotasking
    • After being overwhelmed with helping with doing the dishes one night, a monk told Jesse – “You don’t have to clean all those dishes, you just have to clean the one that’s in your hand”
  • Aim to have 3 hours of the day for yourself – exercise, run, sauna, write, read etc.
    • When you’re in this time, don’t feel guilty about not working or being with your family
  • Jesse only eats fruit until noon, and has done so for 27 years
    • Fruit takes less energy to digest, which technically means you’ll have more energy in the afternoon
  • “If you don’t have a cause you’re working towards at age 50, it’s a miss” – Take a position on something that means a lot to you, and stand up for it
  • Stop taking Flinstones gummy vitamins
    • 3-5 of the ingredients are banned in 10 nations (aspartame etc.)
  • “If you’re present in everything you do, it’s like receiving a present”
James Altucher Show : , ,
Notes By MMiller

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 35,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks