Ask Altucher






September 2015
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Brian Koppelman is back today to continue the fascinating discussion he and James started on his last visit.

As Brian says, "Non-fiction books answer a series of questions, whereas fiction books raise a series of questions."

On the last show, James made a promise to Brian that he would read more fiction. Brian holds him to it today.

This is another amazing conversation between two extremely creative people who are constantly working hard to improve their crafts.

Listen today and make sure you grab a pen to write down all the great books they talk about.

Direct download: AA20Ep20364.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 4:57pm EDT

Today's question is a tough one, as one of our listeners writes in...

"My girlfriend has decided to concentrate on her career and wants to take a break from our relationship. How can I support her while satisfying my own needs?"

James and Claudia disagree a bit on their answers.

Listen here and you can decide who you think is right.

Direct download: AA20Ep20363.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

Today's question...

"I feel like the life I knew is falling apart before my eyes and my next steps are critical. I would deeply appreciate guidance and support.

Here is what's happening. I'm a twenty-year-old college student starting an online business, and last week I flew to New York City behind my parents' backs for a business event (with my own money) and they found out and decided to withdraw all financial support. I called my mom to apologize and she exploded, telling me that starting a business was ruining my life and destroying my relationships.

She said she would rather I take a semester off than work on a business while she is paying for my school tuition. So, I stayed up all night thinking and decided to take a semester off to pursue my business.

Then I called her today to tell her and she exploded in the other direction, telling me that if I drop out of school I will be putting a dagger into her heart. She tried to make me promise I will stay in school

It looks like at this point she will let me stay in school and work on my business, but now I genuinely think the best thing might be to take off a semester and work only on my business.

I don't want to give in to a compromise that isn't in my best interests, but I also don't want to tear my family apart.

How do I choose myself in this situation?"

Listen to James as he gives his real life advice.

Direct download: AA20Ep20362.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 2:17pm EDT

John Ruhlin joins James and Claudia to talk about what it means to be a great salesman and

John has decided to take it to a new level.

Before you can sell you have to get in the door.

So he introduces himself with a very special gift.

Like the time he brought $7000 worth of Brooks Brothers clothes to a prospective clients hotel room and set it up to shock him.

It worked even better than he had hoped.

John says, if you’re going to send a gift than send it to their inner circle, their significant other, their adman and their family. These people are usually ignored and they’re often the most important people in your prospects lives.

Click here to listen to John’s stories and ideas for some great gifts to get you in the door.

Think “radical generosity”

Direct download: AA20Ep2036220Ruhlin.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 3:15pm EDT

Of all the assets that you could possibly sell, I bet you've never thought of selling your future . . . but Jason is doing just that.

Jason Zook (formerly JasonSurfrapp, Jason Headsetsdotcom and Jason Sadler) is a crazy-at-heart salesman . . . beneath that, he's an impressive content creator with a long track record of success.

He's not a painter or a musician, but no one would ever say he's not an artist.

Today's he's selling his future.

Is he on to something new here?

Listen as James does his due diligence and decides whether to buy in or not.

I doubt you'll ever hear another show like this one again.

Direct download: AA20ep20360.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 1:58pm EDT

Derek Coburn is the master at networking.

Derek says, "Going to networking events is a waste of time." You can go to networking events two or three times a week and never realize how much time you're wasting.

Traditional networking isn't working anymore.

He still goes to larger networking events, but only if there are multiple ways he can win . . . you need to be very selective.

Derek wrote the book on networking, Networking is Not Working, and he gives James a recap of some of his best ideas.

Listen to James and Derek talk about networking 2.0. 

Direct download: AA20Ep20359.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 12:57pm EDT

Everyone at some point in their career hates their job.

For some people it's just temporary, but for others, it gets so bad that they quit.

If you decide to quit, everything suddenly changes. The stability of your old job is gone. Now you're on your own, and it's scary.

Give yourself permission to be burned out.


Listen to James and Claudia work through how to get through this.

Direct download: AA20Ep20358.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 2:40pm EDT

Do you know what the secret mistake that most first time entrepreneurs make?

If you’re an entrepreneur than its so to know it. If you don’t you could already be out of business and not even know it.


Listen to James and hear his secret.

Direct download: AA20Ep20357.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 4:51pm EDT

Most books are "business card" books.

A "business card" book is a book that helps the author establish credentials. It works as a business card.

But today, James wants to talk about "braingasm" books. Your brain has an orgasm while you're reading these books – they're that good.

James recently wrote a post about books like these, called "The 10 Most Important Books to Expand Your Mind," and today he's going to review a few of them.


Listen to James' list and hear why he thinks they deserve to be on it.

Direct download: AA20Ep20356.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 12:20pm EDT


James says, no.

Direct download: AA20Ep2035520.mp3
Category:business -- posted at: 5:22pm EDT