Choose Yourself! – James Altucher Book Summary

Choose Yourself! – James Altucher | Free Book Summary

Choose Yourself! – James Altucher

This book is from the heart and feels a bit blunt. There are enough truth bombs for it to be worthy of multiple readings.

The American Dream

The American dream bubble suddenly exploded in 2008. Companies ruthlessly slashed costs, primarily in the form of employees, as a result of the worst financial crisis the world has ever seen.

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Since almost everything can now be outsourced or done by technology, thousands of college graduates are now either unemployed or receiving inadequate pay, signalling the beginning of the end for work.

Become the only person who controls your dreams

If financial freedom is your goal, you must control your income, which means creating products, freelancing, earning passive income through affiliate marketing, selling books, courses, and teaching seminars—do any or all of these.

Why aren’t you the only one who has complete control over your dreams? Because you’re scared.Free book, podcast summaries

  • We’re worried about what our family will think if we quit our “secure job.”
  • We are afraid of what our friends will say.
  • We are concerned that our customers will reject us.

We usually avoid conflict and rejection

Rejection—and the fear of rejection—is the most significant impediment to choosing ourselves.

The fear of rejection is a powerful motivator. But it makes us unhappy.

You give others the power to make your decisions for you as long as you choose to live with that fear rather than act in spite of it.

Stupid ideas are just fine

Consider only the people you like. Read only the books that make you happy to be human. Only attend events that make you laugh or fall in love. Deal only with people who love you back, who are winners and want you to be a winner as well.

The ability to fail, to have ideas, to sell those ideas, to execute them, and to be persistent so that even when you fail, you learn and move on to the next adventure are the only skills required to be an entrepreneur.

Pretend everyone was sent to this planet to teach you.

Keep digging and don’t settle

Success comes from constantly pushing your boundaries—creatively, financially, spiritually, and physically. Always ask yourself, “What can I do better?” Who else can I speak with? Where else should I look?

Every time you say yes to something you don’t want to do, you will resent people, do a bad job, have less energy for the things you were doing well, make less money, and yet another small percentage of your life will be used up, burned up, a smoke signal to the future saying, “I did it again.”


I don’t like the word “purpose.” It implies that somewhere in the future I will find something that will make me happy, and that until then, I will be unhappy

Success Has No Age

  1. Rodney Dangerfield didn’t succeed in comedy until his forties.
  2. Ray Kroc was a milkshake salesman into his fifties. Then he stumbled onto a clean restaurant that served a good hamburger run by two brothers with the last name McDonald. He bought McDonald’s when he was fifty-two.
  3. Raymond Chandler, the most successful noir novelist of all time, wrote his first novel at age fifty-two.

Success and your customers

If you have an idea, don’t get caught up in the money. Don’t think about how you’ll make a living. Do the following: Create your product. It should be sold to a customer. Begin shipping. Then you should resign.

Often, the real reason someone purchases from you is not because of your product, but because of you.

If you want to be successful, you must study success rather than despise or envy it. If you are envious, you will distance yourself from success and make it that much more difficult to achieve it. Assume: What is the customer’s lifetime value? What are the additional advantages of having this customer?


Honesty is the only way to make money in today’s world.

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