Over the Christmas break I took some time out to kick back and relax. For me, the greatest way to recharge my batteries, is reading. A book I read this past week was: “The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth” by James Altucher.
Not familiar with James Altucher? Neither was I. In fact, I had only recently learned about him while listening to a podcast. I became especially intrigued with Altucher when I discovered he was a multi-millionaire nomad. Apparently, he decided to get rid of all his possessions, sold his home, and now lives in Airbnbs. What can I say, a rich nomad is interesting?
I love to travel and was curious how someone’s business lifestyle allowed them to “permanently” live out of a suitcase and hop from one Airbnb to another – every two weeks. I did some research and discovered that James Altucher has written several books, including “The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth.” In case you’re interested, the Kindle version is currently available from Amazon for only 99 cents (normally the book is listed for $24.95).
So, for less than a buck, I downloaded the book. So what did I think? Off the top, I have to admit the book is kind of a “stream of consciousness rant” and he could really use a good editor. However, despite that, the book is chock full of great business lessons. I learned about: living a more balanced life, the real rules of leadership, how to sell anything, how to convince anyone in 60 seconds, and how to become a great public speaker. What I found of special interest was the novel concept of becoming an “idea machine.”
According to Altucher, being an “idea machine” is the best thing you can do to advance yourself as an entrepreneur/business professional. He believes that ideas are the currency of life. Unlike money which can become depleted, your ideas can buy you good experiences, buy you better ideas, buy you better experiences, buy you more time, and even save your life. Ideas are the greatest commodity that we can have. As such, it’s important we exercise our “idea muscle” on a daily basis.
How to Become an “Idea Machine”
- Buy yourself some waiter’s note pads.
- Write down 10 new ideas EVERY single day.
- Repeat on a daily basis (yes, even on weekends) for at least 6 months.
You may wonder, why on earth do I have to use a “waiter’s pad”? The answer is because it’s cheap. Plus, since it’s small it will be easy to carry around. If you can’t find a waiter’s pad, just pick up a small notebook from the Dollar Store.
You may wonder, why do I need 10 ideas? That’s because coming up with that many each day is going to be a challenge. It’s pretty easy to come up with 2-3 ideas, but somewhere around idea number 5-6 you’ll probably draw a blank. Therefore, taking on the challenge of writing down 10 ideas EVERY SINGLE DAY will give your brain a great workout.
Another question you may be thinking is, what if my ideas are no good? Don’t worry. Most of your ideas probably won’t be good. However, it only takes one good idea to make a million dollars. The important thing to remember is that it’s all about exercising your “idea muscle” on a consistent basis.
So, what happens when you do have a good idea? Altucher suggests circling the idea and writing down the “first step” you need to take. For instance, say you have an idea to start a travel blog. Your “first step” might be checking out the different blogging platforms (ex. Word Press, Google Blogger, etc.) you could use. Or, maybe the “first step” might be a great title for your blog. The important thing to remember is that your “first step” can be as complex or as simple as you want.
Apparently, it takes at least six months of writing your ideas down on a daily basis before you become an “idea machine.” However, once that happens, you may be surprised at all the changes you’ve made with regards to your personal and professional life.
So, with the new year upon us, I am going to try my hand at becoming an “idea machine.” I will give a follow-up report in six months and let you all know how I did and what changes occurred in my life.