The Podcast Industry, Being Vulnerable, And Following Your Curiosity | James Altucher on The Rich Roll Podcast

Check out The Rich Roll Podcast Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  •  Just because you haven’t done something before it doesn’t mean you incapable of doing it
    • Richard Branson started his own airline without prior airline experience
    • James Altucher started a GoFundMe to buy Greenland which was later shutdown but it now makes for a great story
    • Rich Roll went from being an alcoholic to competing in ultra marathons
  • If you’re not a bit afraid of what you’re creating, there’s a high chance someone else has already done it
    • “If I’m writing something, I don’t publish it unless I’m afraid of what people are going to think of me” – James Altucher
  • Try lots of different experiments in life to see what works and what doesn’t. James calls this the 10,000 Experiment rule.
    • You’ll learn a ton along your journey and each experiment is a potential story you could share with your audience
      • “Some outcomes will be better than others but whether the outcome is bad or good, I’m learning from each thing”James Altucher
  • Why 10,000 experiments instead of the classic 10,000 hour rule?
    • It’s hard to measure success by simply looking at the hours spent but you can easily measure success with experiments
      • 10,000 hours equals about 10 years of work, but with 10,000 experiments, James was able to go from amateur to headline comedy shows in 5 years
  • There’s this myth that billionaires steal their wealth but that’s often far from the truth. The real story is that most billionaires create their wealth
    • When Elon Musk makes Teslas and takes his company public, he isn’t stealing money from other people, he’s just providing a great product that people are happy to purchase
  • One skill to learn from billionaires: Ready, Fire, Aim. Take the leap on a huge opportunity even if you don’t feel 100% comfortable with it

Intro

Books Mentioned

Give It A Shot 

  • Just because you haven’t done something before it doesn’t mean you are incapable of doing it
    • “I think I can do it, why can’t I do it?” – James Altucher
      • Richard Branson started his own airline without any airline experience
      • James Altucher started a GoFundMe to buy Greenland which was later shutdown but it now makes for a great story
      • Rich Roll went from being an alcoholic to competing in ultra marathons
        • Moral of the story: It doesn’t hurt to try, give your dreams a shot

Using Vulnerability 

  • Being vulnerable has helped James take his writing to the next level
    • “If I’m writing something, I don’t publish it unless I’m afraid of what people are going to think of me” – James Altucher
      • If you’re not a bit afraid of what you’re creating, there’s a high chance someone else has already done it
  • When Rich wrote his book Finding Ultra, Revised and Updated Edition: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself, he knew the book would be better if he was more vulnerable with his audience
    • “I knew intuitively that the value of the book would be directly correlated to the extent to which I was willing to be vulnerable because why do it otherwise” Rich Roll
      • Rich’s book is a health and wellness book but it’s also an addiction recovery memoir 

Thoughts on the Podcast World 

  • There are over 2 millions interview podcasts out there, people are likely listen to your podcast to hear your thoughts, and not necessarily just your guest’s opinions 
    • “I certainly wouldn’t want to be someone starting an interview-based podcast now” – Rich Roll
      • James has been experimenting with solo podcasts
      • Rich has been experimenting with live podcasts
        • To be successful in the podcast space, you have to do something that makes you unique

The 10,000 Experiment Rule 

  • Try lots of different experiments in life to see what works and what doesn’t. James calls this the 10,000 Experiment rule.
    • You’ll learn a ton along your journey and each experiment is a potential story you could share with your audience
      • “Some outcomes will be better than others but whether the outcome is bad or good, I’m learning from each thing”James Altucher
  • Why 10,000 experiments instead of the classic 10,000 hour rule?
    • It’s hard to measure success by simply looking at the hours spent but you can easily measure success with experiments
      • 10,000 hours equals about 10 years of work, but with 10,000 experiments, James was able to go from amateur to headline comedy shows in 5 years
        • “I started constructing experiments I can do to basically accelerate my learning” James Altucher
          • One experiment was telling jokes in the subway where there was always an audience around 
  • When it comes to experiments, restrict your failures so that you don’t ever fall back to zero

Thoughts on Billionaires 

  • James’s new book is Think Like A Billionaire (available only on Scribd)
  • There’s this myth that billionaires steal their wealth but that’s often far from the truth. The real story is that most billionaires create their wealth
    • When Elon Musk makes Teslas and takes his company public, he isn’t stealing money from other people, he’s just providing a great product that people are happy to buy
  • Not all billionaires are good people, but there are a lot of billionaires such as Bill Gates and Ken Langone, that give a ton of money to charities
    • You don’t have to love all billionaires, but you can study their habits to increase your chances of being successful in life
      • One skill to learn from them: Ready, Fire, Aim. Take the leap on a huge opportunity even if you don’t feel 100% comfortable with it

Follow Your Curiosity, Not Your Goals 

  • Setting long-term goals is difficult because you change overtime and so do your passions
    • James had a goal to write a novel but he caught the comedy bug and started focusing more and more of his time on comedy rather than writing
  • Double down on your curiosity and follow it instead of doing something because it was a goal of yours in the past
    • You should try lots of things and see where your heart is kind of compelling you to go further” – James Altucher

Experimenting With Social Media Platforms 

  • Social media platforms and their algorithms are constantly evolving, don’t get too caught up with beating the system
    • Just focus on making great content
      • “Ultimately, the highest quality content will rise to the surface and it will find its audience” – Rich Roll
    • Also, no one ever says, Rich Roll, your Instagram changed my life. If anything, they’ll say your book or podcast changed my life.
  • James experimented with TikTok but ultimately dropped it
    • He had some success but took it down because it took a lot of time to make content and the videos that did the best were just silly videos that didn’t provide much educational value
  • It’s hard to get people to go to your website, most of the time you have to go where everyone already is 

Additional Notes 

  • We need to rethink education to teach kids how to learn, how to make good decisions, and how to interact with people 
    • “Like life skills that transcend pure memorization” – James Altucher
      • Shane Parrish started his blog because there wasn’t a helpful source of information for mental models and making good decisions
  • Rich Roll learned how to tell stories and interview people through the thousands of AA meetings he attended
    • “That was my training ground for being a public speaker and being a podcast host” – Rich Roll
      • All of the experience he learned from those meetings now help him create a safe and interesting environment for his podcast guests
  • James is best known for his book Choose Yourself
  • There’s no skill called entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is made up of a ton of microskills such as sales, execution, marketing, leadership, and many more.
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Notes By Alex Wiec

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