James Altucher is a man who, throughout his life and career, has worn many hats. He has seen successes and failures in his entrepreneurial endeavors and makes a point to learn from each experience. He has now taken part in founding 20 companies and is widely recognized for his work as a hedge fund manager and entrepreneur. As an author of multiple best-selling books and a wildly popular blog, Altucher’s words of advice and expertise have made an impact on other life hackers around the globe. Even Mark Cuban claims to “always learn something” from reading Altucher’s blog posts. Here I have gathered 18 of this ultimate life hacker’s most inspirational quotes about entrepreneurship.
“Everyone is an entrepreneur. The only skills you need to be an entrepreneur are the ability to fail, to have ideas, to sell those ideas, to execute on them, and to be persistent so even as you fail you learn and move onto the next adventure.”
He makes it sound so easy. But what he is saying is really true; there is an entrepreneur in everyone if we can only locate and exploit these skills properly.
“The absolute best, surefire way to make a good living is to help someone else make a good living.”
Entrepreneurs should always keep this in mind. Find a way to help other people and other businesses succeed, and that is what will make you successful. Think about it, how will you sell your product without your customer’s best interest in mind?
“Entrepreneurs can’t use the excuse that “I don’t have time, I’m running a business.” This is your business.”
Touché, Altucher. No more excuses.
“The rise of corporatism (as opposed to capitalism) forced people into cubicles instead of out into the world, exploring and inventing and manifesting.”
I think what he’s hinting at here is that the “exploring and inventing and manifesting” would have gotten us further than our plugging away in boxes. So let’s do that as entrepreneurs. Let’s get out there and discover.
“Robots are the new middle class. And everyone else will either be an entrepreneur or a temp staffer.”
Another hint here to get out there and do something. Otherwise your choices seem pretty grim.
“If you don’t give yourself permission to create a new world, chances are nobody else will.”
Being an entrepreneur means taking risks, but no risk = no reward, right? Give yourself a chance, believe that you can take the risks that will eventually lead to the ultimate reward. Only you can make yourself an entrepreneur.
“Mastery begins when formal education ends.”
I don’t think Altucher is taking a jab at education here. I think what he is saying is that we have to stop thinking of our learning as a formal, forced education. Instead, we can learn about those things that make us tick- become masters in subjects of our choosing. It’s the way you look at your opportunities to learn that can make you skilled at what you do.
“Nothing ever works out when you are at the whims of others. It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur or an employee. Once someone is bribing you to do something (a salary is a form of bribery if you are only doing the work for the money and not for the meaning) then you become a prisoner.”
This is so important. No entrepreneur ever succeeded in working for the money. You have to love what you do and work for the meaning of your impact.
“In one column is the list of ideas. In the other column is the list of “First Steps” — only the first step, because you have no idea where that first step will take you.”
If this doesn’t inspire you, I don’t know what will. It’s so exciting to think of all the times an entrepreneur has taken a first step into an astounding discovery. You have to keep taking those first steps until something clicks.
“Success comes from continually expanding your frontiers in every direction — creatively, financially, spiritually, and physically. Always ask yourself, what can I improve? Who else can I talk to? Where else can I look?”
Building on the idea of constant discovery: here are ways to keep yourself going. Life hackers have to ask these questions every day to make a difference.
“The only truly safe thing you can do is to try over and over again. To go for it, to get rejected, to repeat, to strive, to wish. Without rejection there is no frontier, there is no passion, and there is no magic.”
There is no secret code to being a successful entrepreneur. Those who find success do so after trying and trying again and again.
“The definition of “success” for me is: “Is today successful?”
All you can count on is right now, today. If you do all you can to make today successful, you’re moving in the right direction.
“I call this “permission networking”. My network is not the list of how many people I know. The strength of my network is how well everyone on the list of people I know, knows each other. Most people don’t know this important principle.”
I’m always trying to keep this in mind with my own network, because a strong network is an integral part of a strong entrepreneur. If you encourage those in your network to get to know one another, they all benefit from those connections and therefore the people in your network are individually and collectively stronger.
“At any point in your career, you are either a thermostat or a thermometer.”
As entrepreneurs, we strive to be the thermostats.
“I have lots of ideas. How do I pick the right one? Execute on as many as possible. The right idea will pick you.”
You can never know if you don’t try. This goes along with his other suggestion to make a list of first steps- you have to give every idea a shot to be the right idea.
“Be an entrepreneur at work. An “entre-ployee.” Take control of who you report to, what you do, what you create. Or start a business on the side. Deliver some value — any value — to somebody, anybody, and watch that value compound into a career.”
One way to be an entrepreneur is to stop thinking about this title so stereotypically. You can be an entrepreneur in any company you work for. It’s about taking accountability and passion in your work, and finding ways to improve yourself and your business every day.
“IDEAS ARE THE CURRENCY OF LIFE. Not money. Money gets depleted until you go broke. But good ideas buy you good experiences, buy you better ideas, buy you better experiences, buy you more time, save your life.”
You can’t deny the truth in this statement. Adjust your thinking to be in line with this idea, and instead of working for your money, you’ll be working for your ideas- that will feel more fulfilling.
“What can I do right now to move forward, in this second?”
I leave you with this as a nudge from James Altucher. When you click away from reading this blog post, what can you do with your right now to move forward? Go do it!
Here are related articles on this website:
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18 Inspirational Quotes from James Altucher about Entrepreneurship was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.