Choose Yourself by James Altucher True 21st Century thinking

The world has changed.  This isn’t in the future.  The rules have quietly changed.  No one is coming to choose you.  You need to Choose Yourself.  James Altucher’s indie published book really brings to life the need to “Choose Yourself.”

I don’t remember when I began reading James Altucher’s blog.  But I kept reading it because he was articulating things I had been thinking about and noticing for a long time: The middle class is weakening, starting a side job/business isn’t a waste but smart, don’t have just one decision maker that can make or break your financial life, and focus on your own health first.  In other words, he agreed with me. (Isn’t it nice when you find people like that.)

But James according to his writing has started more businesses than I can count and failed at most of them apparently. Thank goodness for his refreshing honesty. He has made millions and lost millions. My success and failures don’t have that sort of grandeur. His book is about focusing on what made him successful and focusing on that approach.

In my own life I accidentally discovered Choose Yourself thinking. I began my first side business over 10 years ago as a freelance wedding/event videographer.  That morphed into a photography business.  (see  Although that never brought me enough revenue to quit the day job, that’s okay.  It at the very least brings in extra revenue to smooth out any lack of raises or cuts I receive as a teacher.  And the side business has taught me a little about taxes, insurance, working with clients, and all the other stuff that goes with a business. That wouldn’t have happened if I just sent out resumes in search of a video job.

My goodness it was early when I shot this.  You can also purchase this at Etsy.  (See what I did there...)

My goodness it was early when I shot this. You can also purchase this at Etsy. (See what I did there…)

And of course I recently have delved into self-publishing, or indie publishing as I prefer, the books that I have put out have brought in a little extra cash, but they have also increased my professional respect as a teacher.  A side benefit I did not count on when I wrote my first book.  None of that, the extra money, respect, would have happened had I sat around and waiting for an agent to come and pick me.

Choose Yourself covers all these ideas that I have done, and others, and does it in only way that Altucher can.  His blog has taken off because of his obsessive honesty and sharp writing.  He is very honest about his life and failures, and therefore greatly human.  And frankly his writing is funny and engaging.

What’s Happening Now? 

You feel it.  Maybe you can’t put your finger on it.

The middle class is dying.  Jobs are being outsourced, to China, robots, and technology.  Face it, get over it and move on.  The days of get a college degree, get a job, work 30 years for the same company and then retire with a pension are over.  If they ever existed at all. Pay for middle class jobs is declining compared to inflation.  So what are you going to do?  Sit around and whine?  Sure most do.  But that’s where you’re different.  You can Choose Yourself, choose a rewarding career without waiting on that ONE DECISION MAKER.

The Opposite of Choose Yourself

My wife and I caught an episode of 60 Minutes the other night.  The episode was a few years old, and it was discussing the financial meltdown.  There was an on camera interview with a 50 something woman who had been an executive assistant for her whole life and was now at a job fair (with hundreds of others).  She spoke directly to the camera “I will relocate anywhere  I will make any boss look great!  Just give me a chance!”

My heart broke for this woman.  I couldn’t imagine her pain or frustration.

But this was the old way of thinking.  If I could just get this or that person to select me then everything will be good.  That is the opposite of Choose Yourself. Altucher explains why jobs are dead and how we can begin in baby steps moving away from jobs. Much needed thinking in today’s world.

Indie Writing

What can you do?  Well if you read this blog your probably interested in Indie Writing.  Indie writing, is a perfect vehicle for a Choose Yourself venture.  Indie writers have stopped waiting for an agent or Big 6 publisher to choose them.  Prolific, focused, Indie writers choose themselves on a daily basis.  And more and more I read about indie writers that are making a living with their writing.

But Altucher’s book is more than just a simple “you too can be an entrepreneur!”  Altucher’s shares what has worked for him in his life when he has been on the rise and his life has gone well.

He calls it the Daily Practice.

Focus on:

  1. Physical Health
  2. Emotional Health
  3. Mental Health
  4. Spiritual Health

Physical Health doesn’t mean running marathon’s, or benching 300 pounds.  (But if you can do those thing, good on you.)  Physical health means going for a walk, cut out excessive alcohol, and for crying out loud…sleep.

Emotional Health is about being around people that lift you up.  Stop engaging with those that are negative and bring you down.

Mental Health, work that brain of yours.  Altucher recommends writing down 10 different ideas.  Everyday.  Your brain needs exercise coming up with ideas.  Use your brain daily.

Spiritual Health is not about going to church.  It’s about being thankful, grateful, and releasing those things we can’t control.

The World has changed

Yes, the world has changed and that’s a good thing.  Altucher’s book describes the New World and gives you the map to navigate it.  Check it out.

Altucher is also doing something different.  If you can prove that you have read the book, he will give you your money back.  Just send a pic of you reading the book, a review, something to prove you’ve read the book and he will pay you what you paid for the book.

(Update: for those that are coming here because James sent a tweet about this post, first thanks for the visit, and second here are a couple of other posts inspired by James’s thinking, One on Alex Day and one on why the 21st Century is great for creative people.  And thanks for the visit, go ahead and subscribe to the blog thanks!  I’ve also written a couple of books too.)

5 thoughts on “Choose Yourself by James Altucher True 21st Century thinking

  1. Sarah Li Cain

    I too am a teacher and a photographer! I love this post and have been really thinking about getting Altucher’s book for the last couple of days. I’m actually in the middle of starting a side hustle in addition to teaching and maybe it’ll turn into something full time in the future.

    Great blog, I will be back to read more posts!

  2. mctiller

    Thanks Sarah! I really try to teach teachers the value of doing things on the side, and mostly I tell teachers to begin their own tutoring work, it pays better.

    In this day in age with cuts to pay you after to have something. Or you can just sit around and complain about it.

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