Skip the Line – James Altucher

Skip the Line – James Altucher
Skip the Line – James Altucher

In “Skip the Line,” James Altucher draws from his experience as a successful entrepreneur, investor, and writer to provide practical advice on how to achieve success in any field. Altucher argues that the traditional career path of working hard for years and slowly climbing the ladder is no longer effective.

Instead, he recommends a new approach: skip the line by pursuing your passions, experimenting frequently, and learning from failure. By continually trying new things and embracing your uniqueness, Altucher believes that you can achieve your wildest dreams and make a lasting impact on the world.

The 1% Rule

The 1% rule is a simple philosophy of continuous improvement. It states that over time the majority of the rewards in a given field will accrue to the people, teams, and organizations that maintain a 1 percent advantage over the alternatives.

Understanding this principle shows how, with a tiny effort every day, you can develop the tools needed to quickly become among the best in the world in any field you want.

Devote yourself to being 1% better than you were yesterday. At the end of each day, ask yourself, “Did I improve at least 1 percent in my career, skill, or whatever I am trying to improve today?” If you work on improving 1% every day, you will be 37 times better within a year. 

In the same way, if you lose 1% of what you know every day, at the end of the year, you will be 0.03 times what you were. 1% up or 1% down. It’s your choice.

Your decisions about how you spend each day define you.

Become the Scientist of Your Own Life

The best laboratory is your own life. The best scientist is you, yourself. The best experiments are when you try to do what has never been tried before.

Doing experiments lets you be on the other side of your comfort zone and that’s where you grow. Performing new experiments every day and staying outside of your comfort zone is what lets you skip the 10,000 hours. When you this, you are way ahead of others. Because anyone can do deliberate practice but not everyone can do experiments.

10,000 Experiments

Another way to quickly skip the line and land among the top performers is to be a prolific experimenter. 10,000 experiments beat 10,000 hours every time. Anyone can do experiments. Anyone can be a scientist of “why?” An explorer of “how?”. Be curious, ask yourself questions, and do experiments.

There are only two possible outcomes of an experiment. The experiment either succeeds or you learn something. One of the important philosophies we should adopt in life is to think and recategorize failure as learning.

10,000 Experiments Part 2

When you have an idea and don’t know whether it is good or bad experiment. There’s no other way to know until you experiment. When doing experiments, keep these things in mind to conduct a good experiment:

  • The experiment should be easy to set up and do
  • There’s a little downside and little risk
  • If the experiment succeeds, there’s a huge potential upside
  • It is unique and has not been done before
  • Even if the experiment fails, you’ll learn something.

If you do this every day, improving by 1 percent a day, then your knowledge, your skill, your career will improve exponentially in a very short amount of time.