Skip The Line: A One-Way Ticket To Personal Sovereignty

This is the exact book I needed to read 10 years ago, needed to write 5 years ago, and the one I’m endlessly grateful I got to read in 2021. The information in this book⏤though timeless⏤is even more relevant now in the times of the coronavirus pandemic.

We live in a world that is fast-moving towards a vastly decentralized economy, and that is swiftly dismantling the old foundations of the industrial revolution. Learning and using the tools in this book is the bridge people can rely on to safely cross the turbulent waters of change.

You can definitely stop buying any more self-improvement books after you get this one. Most people who read self-improvement literature are quite addicted to getting more and more books, myself included. All we need to do is basically stop, sit down, take a deep breath of fresh air, and focus on applying the lessons and disciplines we have acquired in one specific book.

This is it.

I believe that this book is the distillation of the 100 most influential big ideas published in the past 10 years.

This is the be-all-end-all definitive guide to finding your purpose, overcoming rejection, training your creativity muscles, developing important skill stacks, experimenting with side projects, acquiring crucial decision-making mental models, building businesses, and ultimately achieving personal freedom.

There’s no fluff about it, too. It’s practical to the bone and with a straightforward explanation of what you need to do right now to start on your personal hero’s journey.

I finished my notes on this book back in early May. I intended to post a detailed blog post sooner than that actually because James Altucher had offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to coach a dozen people into being millionaires in a year(Facepalm!).

I couldn’t include everything, I had to pick my absolute favorite ideas to discuss in this blog post. So, for my very own personal benefit, and yours, here are the main ideas I liked.




Lesson 1: We Must Learn The Tools of Personal Sovereignty.

In the age of the pandemic, it is even more important now that the individual must find their own way in the world with personal sovereignty, agency, and self-reliance.

No one is going to take care of you.

No one is coming to save you.

“Get active in your own rescue.” ⏤Marcus Aurelius

You must do it yourself.

So, James poses the question:

“But how do you support your family when the world is falling apart? How do you get unstuck when you are stuck to the floor and you have no idea what to do? How do you go upside right when the world goes upside down? How do you learn to start skipping when you always fall?”

And then he says the answer as if he’s a mind reader. I literally shout in my own head as I’m reading this:

“I want to skip the line, I want to be better, I want to be good at the things I love. (I shout: Yes!) I want to change careers (Hell Yes!!). I want to be respected by the people I respect(Yes Yes Yes!!!).”

Companies are not loyal and they will fire anyone without blinking. The only way to not get stuck between a rock and a hard place when we lose employment is to develop a position of “Antifragility.”

“The three biggest addictions are heroin, carbs, and a stable paycheck.” ⏤Nassim Taleb

There’s a clear explanation of what Antifragile really means:

“Fragile” is when you are fired and you crash and burn and get depressed and go broke.

“Resilient” is when you are fired but you have six months savings and you dress up in a suit and apply for new jobs and after four months you find one. It’s a slightly lower salary and a longer commute, but you’ll survive and live to fight another day.

“Antifragile” is when you are hit hard and you recover even stronger than you were before. Have a plan B that makes you antifragile.

The solution?

Forget the 10,000-hour rule and adopt the 10,000-experiment rule.

If you’ve ever listened to a podcast or read any non-fiction book in the past 5 years, you are well aware of K. Anders Erricson’s book “Peak” and the even more famous book by Malcolm Gladwell “Outliers.”

The 10,000-hour rule basically says that to reach a high level of mastery in any field or discipline, there’s a prerequisite mandatory 10,000-hour of deliberate practice.

Yeah, we’re not doing that!

What we’re actually doing is:

1- Take baby steps.

“Explore what side hustles are out there, investigate what your value might be to others, whether through the traditional job market or through contract work, or by letting your curiosity or your hobbies lead you into new territory. Try different side hustles. Make an online course. Take a photography class or a class on any subject that interests you. Is there anything you can consult on? Self-publish a book. Make YouTube videos about a topic you love.”

2- Start small. Start easy.

“Don’t get stressed about “building a business.” Learn the skills, get one client, scale, repeat.”

3- Diversify.

“Nobody can get rich from a job. You can’t build real abundance. The average multimillionaire has seven sources of income. This is important for two reasons: A job is only one source of income. But if it’s taking fifty hours a week (forty hours plus commuting, etc.) you won’t have time for other sources. Even more interesting, being an entrepreneur is only one source of income.”

4- If you want to be an entrepreneur, go for it.

“You have a vision, you have a client, you have business sense, you have profits (so you don’t need welfare from vulture capital firms), and you have a sense of how you can sell your company. But you can always expand the services you offer. One important thing to remember: your best new clients are your old clients. Meaning, if you want to make more money, don’t try to get brand-new clients—try to provide more services or products to your old clients.”

5- Self-worth leads to more net worth.

“Money might be one hierarchy. Many people think net worth leads to more self-worth. For me, it was only when I was dead broke that I realized that self-worth leads to more net worth.”

“Happy brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine (the leading causes of depression are when they are lacking) and oxytocin are all related to where you fit into your hierarchy. The way to not be a monkey and have more opportunities to increase your happy chemicals is to be in more than one tribe.”

6- Be Productive.

“Take back your time: Being productive is about using time to make a better you.”



Lesson 2: The Roadmap to Finding Your Purpose(s).

So, we’re simply going to pursue a series of experiments. Experiments are the road to finding your purposes, (yes plural), one purpose at a time.

“Your purposes are spread out throughout your life like a bunch of clues in a scavenger hunt. There are multiple ways to win, but you won’t win—that is, find your purpose—if you don’t push forward and continue looking for the clues. Again, there’s no one purpose in life. There are many. And you can’t wait for purpose to come to you. You can’t think your way to purpose either.”

Now this concept is revolutionary to me personally. I have never framed the idea of purpose that way before.

James Altucher provides some seriously effective advice on how to figure out your life’s purpose:

  • Ask yourself how you would structure your ideal day.
  • What photos are on your phone?
  • What grabs your focus and attention or admiration?
  • What makes you more energized?
  • List everything you did this month and rank them by how happy you were doing each activity.
  • What were your interests from the age of 12 to 15, and how have these interests have aged?
  • Mix things that you love together and see what comes out.



Lesson 3: The Cure for Analysis Paralysis⏤The Conspiracy Number.

Here it is in all its glory, the cure for analysis paralysis: the conspiracy number. It’s a practical metric for deciding if an idea or a course of action will work.

So when faced with a fork in the road or a decision point where you have many choices, the first thing you must be doing is to list all the headlines.

“Before going down any one path. And so on. List all your choices. Then start thinking. Because when you list the choices, you might see something that immediately shows you the right path. If you go too deeply down one of the choices first, you might miss the obvious and waste valuable time.”

Once you’ve got them all down, then you go layers deeper into each one.

So, it basically goes like this:

  • List all suggested plans, possibilities, and courses of action.
  • Use the conspiracy number to assess each one.
  • Pick the decision with the least number.

So what is the conspiracy number? It’s the number of things that must conspire or go well together to make your idea a success. You should always aim for fewer variables, with a low conspiracy number.



Lesson 4: What’s after hearing ‘No!’

So, you get an idea, you vet it, you get motivated to act on it, and at your first attempt you face rejection and you get turned back by some gatekeeper or critic. What do you do?

It’s actually all about the power with which you chose to face up to the rejection and keep going is part of the process. you must prove to yourself, then to others, that you want it bad enough.

An important lesson that I’ve picked up in that area from Tim Ferriss is that a ‘No’ is usually a “Not Yet!” Sometimes it’s just the price of admission, to be told no and choose to go in all the same. Sometimes it simply means you have to do some more work on your own before you’re allowed through the door.

James makes an extremely valid point about people being trapped in their own heads and caring only for their own priorities, just like you. So no one cares to go out of their way to make things happen for you and they’re usually dismissive of your attempts.

People are ignorant of your potential because they don’t care, and your job is to not wait for their permission, and if necessary to get around them, and to unapologetically experiment with everything you care about.

“Does this mean most people are idiots? Maybe. It also means: Most people who have an opinion are probably wrong. If people don’t know who you are, they are more likely to reject you. Nobody wakes up and says, “Today is the day I make some unknown person a superstar!” Most people don’t care about their jobs. Which is fine. But don’t rely on them for your success. Even successful people don’t want you to skip the line. I always hear, “You have to pay your dues.” This is BS. You have to take control of your own career and opportunities. You have to experiment constantly. You have to write down ten ideas a day to exercise your idea muscle. Nobody will come up with ideas for you. YOU have to come up with your ideas. You have a first book? Self-publish it. You have an indie movie? Upload it on Amazon. You have an idea for a radio show? Do a podcast. You have an app you want to build? Don’t raise money. Save money and build it and get customers. Or simply make an ad about it before you even build the app and see if anyone clicks (an experiment to see if people are interested in your idea). You want to be a movie star? Write your own script (e.g., what Sylvester Stallone did with Rocky) or shoot your own movie.”



Lesson 5: Have Courage & Wobble Without Falling Down.

Courage always pays dividends in the future regardless of its immediate consequences.

Your best friend to get a result is to get started and start moving. The only way to start is to have the courage to act anyways.

Start small, move one foot in front of the other and then try and keep your balance. You should not aim for perfection. What you want is progress.

Your goals should forever be: good enough to ship/deliver/submit/offer.

“Every time I’m scared, I ask myself: Is this the opportunity I’ve been waiting for? Is this the chance to do something nobody has done before? I don’t start a business unless I’m afraid it will fail. If it were so easy, then how come someone hasn’t done it already? I know I’m not that smart. I don’t give a talk or go on a stage unless I’m afraid I’m going to say something that’s going to challenge people a bit too much. Because that’s the only way they’ll remember the talk. Because if I don’t challenge the way they think, then they will never think about my talk. I don’t hit Publish on an article unless I’m afraid of what people will think of me. Then I know I am saying something new, something that is pushing a boundary both for the readers and for me. Lean in to the fear to create growth. Fear is the catalyst. And growth is the reason you hit Publish. The reason you speak up. The reason you try something new. The reason you step out of line.”


9- Lean into Discomfort

Experiments and getting better means stepping out of the comfort zone and leaning into fear.

I’ve recently read this tweet by Adam Robinson that I can’t seem to get out of my head.


“Finally, figure out what you’re afraid to do. Fear is a compass. Without that fear, you know that you are just repeating what others have done before you. That’s why, instinctively, you know it’s safe.”

“You have to ask what it is you are afraid of. Are you afraid that you might not be good at something you love? Are you afraid you would lose status with a group of people? Lean into the fear. If I write something and think to myself, Uh oh, I hope people don’t hate me after I publish this, that has nothing to do with the writing itself or my skill level as a writer. It is a fear that I am moving the needle of my life too much. Lean into that. Hit Publish. That’s the experiment. But what do you do once you find clues to your purpose? List all the ways you can spend more and more of your day involved in that purpose. Find a community of people who love that purpose just like you do. Compare notes. Learn. Help people. Find mentors. Read as much as you can about that purpose. Read the history. Read the biographies of the greats. Read all of the current thinking. You need to do this to discover your unique voice. Have purpose sex. DO. Start doing things that make a name for yourself in that purpose.”

All of this advice is hitting me closer to home at the moment of me writing this post. I’m having butterflies in my stomach and that tingling feeling of stepping into the unknown and uncharted territory is barely manageable. I’ve recently lost my job and that left me in the position of too much responsibility resting on my shoulders while there are no real job prospects available for someone in my situation. My very own experiments in blogging, starting a side-hustle e-commerce business, and learning copywriting are suddenly all I have left.



Lesson 6: Micro-skills, Soft Skills, & Networking Skills That Everyone Should Learn:


1- The Advice Technique:

“Don’t tell people what to do. People don’t like being told what to do ever. Instead, give them the freedom to decide. Give them the power, make them think it’s their idea, give them the sense of having all the power, and appeal to their ego to bring them over to your side.”

2- People DO NOT LIKE to Feel Stupid.

3- Six-minute Networking

  • Dig the well before you are thirsty. Constantly remind people of who you are to stay in their attention.
  • Permission networking. Before you introduce people to each other, ask for their permission.
  • Don’t give people homework assignments.

3- Opt for The Steel Man Argument

It’s easy to discredit your opponent by shooting holes in their character and attacking why they’re not qualified to make that argument instead of discussing the argument itself and why you think it doesn’t have merit. That’s the straw man technique.

A better more robust debate technique is aptly called the steel man argument. That’s when you know the opponent’s argument inside and out and can actually articulate it better than they can, and then you calmly deconstruct the errors or fallacies associated with it.

4- The Google Technique

Be the source of knowledge, connections, and ideas for everyone in your circle.

5- The Attention diet

Be careful what you feed your mind and what your attention is consuming. You become what you consume.

“If you read the highest quality history, philosophy, science, etc. books, then you understand the forces that shape the world, you can communicate it, and you can see the real facts that are shaping up over time. You also learn how to live life better because you borrow the best features from the best authors. If I live a better life, then it will uplift the people around me, who will uplift the people around them, and so on. One stone dropping in the middle of the ocean sends waves to every shore.” Basically, no news and no social media.”

6- The ‘Yes, and…” Technique.

Another nugget about how to criticize an idea.

“It’s important to be able to use “Yes, and …” to give constructive criticism. Your criticism becomes win-win. It works like this: List what’s good. Offer how you would improve upon the idea. Restate the core idea, its intention, and its purpose. Be open to the fact that you might be wrong. Always, always you might be wrong. Don’t listen to destructive criticism or give it.”

Lesson 7: The 10,000-Experiment Rules.

Experimentation with your life is basically to embrace uncertainty, go about everything with enthusiasm, optimism, hope, and persistence. And you must be flexible, if you fall down, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving. Optimize for antifragility that is to prioritize the ability to live to fight another day no matter what happens.

“Experiments every day: I try a new thing for my business, my career, my creativity every single day. Like in science, most experiments don’t work. Ninety-nine percent of them don’t work. But when an experiment works, your life changes. If you never experiment, your life will never change.”

“But in order for the 10,000 Experiments Rule to bring you to the top 1 percent of your field or higher, you need more. You need to discover the various passions in life that you want to get better at. To do this you need to try many things. This is where your heart guides you. You want to try investing? Do it. You want to try to write a book? Start one. You want to try to start a business? Don’t ask for permission. Figure out a way to test your idea and start it.”

1- Practice/learn something every day (1% Rule)

The knowledge you accumulate over time does not simply add up but follows the exponential function of compounding interest. (1% better per day, in a year, is 3800% better.)

“If I write one thousand words a day, in one day that’s nothing. But in one year that’s the equivalent of two to three novels. And if my skill improves with each day, perhaps because I’m experimenting with styles, coming up with new ideas for different genres, etc., then I’ll very quickly be able to find a niche in writing and have the ability to support it, which will catapult me forward.”

2- Deliberate practice: Adopt the Plus-Minus-Equal protocol. (+ – =)

To maximize your learning potential you must find mentors to teach you, whether real-life mentors that you can be their apprentice, which is the optimum, or if that is not a possibility, your second best option is to cultivate virtual mentors. In the age of abundant knowledge on the internet, you can find millions of hours of YouTube videos, thousands of books and tons of material to study in any field you wish to explore with the top experts sharing their knowledge and experience widely and transparently.

Along the way, you have to develop your peers and equals on the path, what is called ‘your scene’ or ‘arena.’ These are the people you are going to compete against, challenge, try to impress, and outperform. They serve the purpose of keeping you on your toes, and not giving you the chance to slack or pull back.

The last piece of the learning puzzle is to find students of your own, mentees that you can teach and elevate as you go along. Teaching a subject is the best way to really understand it because you need to fully grasp the concept in order to explain it in simple digestible terms.

3- Practice Idea Sex (AKA Idea Calculus or Idea Evolution)

That’s a great tool in creative thinking.

It’s the idea and the possibility muscles in your brain that you need to exercise to be able to create new ideas out of old ones.

That’s basically turning your brain into a nuclear particle accelerator for ideas and you collide them together to create new fresh ideas that haven’t existed before.

“Combine ideas every day. Exercise the idea muscle every day. Practice makes progress. Progress makes permanent.”

This is actually the James Altucher Superpower, his ability to generate ideas. He’s been training his idea muscles for so long, he is the Mr. Olympia top champion of idea generation. I believe that this is his #1 skill that he’s spent more than 10,000 hours practicing and developing.

Creative thinking is a trainable skill.

“It takes 10,000 hours to be world-class at any one thing. It takes 1,000 hours to be world-class at an intersection. It takes 100 hours to become world-class at the intersection of three or more things. And if you use experiments to quickly try out these combinations of ideas, determining which directions will be successful and which ones won’t can go even faster.”

Related to Idea Sex is Talent Stacking, a concept heralded by Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strips. He basically explained this by saying that he wasn’t exactly the top cartoon artist, nor necessarily the funniest comedian, or the most knowledgeable in corporate culture, but being good enough at each of these talents to merge them together and create something unique and special at the nexus, that catapulted him into success.

The lesson here is that if you audit your skills and experiment with merging them together, you might surprise yourself by finding a unique niche that hasn’t been explored before. And you don’t even have to be the top expert in a specific field, because you are effectively creating a new field of your own, being a category of one, a monopoly, so to speak.

“You can borrow hours by applying skills you learned in one field to another. This is a huge advantage. But without knowing that the skills needed overlap with ones you already have, it will take you a long time to make the direct translation.”

The last part of the idea generation section of this book is that there’s this huge wrecking ball that James throws at the old adage that “Ideas are a dime a dozen. Execution is everything.”

James says: “Execution is NOT everything.”

“IDEA SUBSETS Break ideas down into parts within parts. People say, “Execution is everything.” I can tell you it isn’t. If you can’t come up with ideas, then you’ll never be able to come up with execution ideas. When I had an idea to create a social networking website for people interested in investing, the next thing I did was come up with “Ten Ideas for Pages on the Website.” Then “Ten Things on Each Page.” Then “Ten Ways I Can Execute on This.” All of these were subsets of the initial idea. Two months after I developed that original list I had the first version of the website completed. Two months after that I officially announced the website. And four months later I sold the website for millions to”

“Many people don’t understand that execution is a spectrum. You can be bad or good. The way you get good at execution is having good execution ideas. The way to get good at execution ideas is to exercise your idea muscle. When you have an idea, there are many possible ways to execute on that idea. It’s like opening a mystical third eye: you can see all the possible futures and choose the best one. And how do you know which one is best? You guessed it: by experimenting.”


4- Show & Share your work consistently

Sharing, posting, showing, and publishing your work invites feedback, and is a real indication of what is working and resonating with people.

It also could open up new opportunities or collaboration projects, and other ideas to enhance your work.


5- Play The Long Game: Embrace Process & Stay Detached from Results

“Whether you are a scientist or a curious individual allowing your passions to lead you in new directions, you don’t know the outcome your efforts will produce. You might have a guess about the outcome, but no matter what, you have to let the result wash over you and change you. Being detached from the results is not only the most important rule of science but the most important rule for skipping the line.”

Allow yourself the time for all of your efforts, endeavors, experiments, or skills to mature. Consistency is your best friend and your progress is collecting compounding interest along the way that takes you farther faster.

6- It’s never too late to start

It’s never too late to do anything. You’re never too old to reinvent yourself. The only time you’re late is when you’re dead. Because with a growth mindset and compounding interest, you’ll see fast results.

“This is not being competitive or trying to “beat” other people at skills they might’ve spent decades building. It’s never about that (although that will happen). It’s about being able to do what you love, reaching a level where you can make an impact on the world, and quickly rising to a status where you are recognized for it and even paid for doing what you love.”

7- Motivation is perishable: Act Immediately

Self-explanatory really. The very moment you get inspired, you’ve got to experiment and act on it immediately. When the moment passes you will forget, your fire will cool down, and your idea will disappear. You wouldn’t be able to test it out and see what comes of it.

8- Characteristics of a good experiment:

1- Easy to set up and do.

2- Little downside and extremely low risk (don’t bet the farm, keep it simple and well within reasonable means).

3- Huge potential upside if it works, with very low or marginal risk if it doesn’t work out (AKA asymmetrical risk-reward ratio).

4- The ‘Value Multiplier’ is that it’s a unique idea that’s never been done before.

5- Learning something new is a bonus gain (even if it means learning the limitations of a certain idea and its real-life constraints).

9- Failure Doesn’t Exist – Failure is Data.

The experiment you set up to test your idea could unveil a valuable solution to a very common problem that you can market at scale.

But, if it didn’t you will have learned something important about the world, your deficiency in some skill, or the real-life limitations of capital, labor, or technology.

Failure could lead to another iteration of the experiment with a tweak, or that you should move on in a different direction.

In any case, failure is important data that you wouldn’t have if you hadn’t experimented on your ideas.

Failure is, actually, a win.

“But, and this will be a constant reminder, you can’t think your way to success. You have to do. And to do something, you need to make sure you have limited downside, and perhaps infinite upside. And at the very least, what we think of as “failure” should be recategorized as “learning.””

“Conducting 10,000 experiments, or even far fewer, can lead to great knowledge and great success, and it’s the quickest way to skip the line to the top of any profession with as little downside as possible. As Jigoro Kano would say, “Maximum efficiency, minimum energy.””



Lesson 6: Build Specific Knowledge & Find Your Niche.

“You can only be good at the things you are obsessed with.”⏤Naval Ravikant

“You’ll be able to move forward with curiosity, finding new things to become obsessed about learning. Curiosity combined with obsession leads to experiments. Experiments lead to inventions and innovations that are unique, which produces more knowledge, and that knowledge might be unique to you. Uniqueness plus new knowledge helps you reach the top 1 percent of any field you choose.”

It’s the ‘Fosbury flop‘ in life to skip the line and not play the same game everyone else is playing. It’s the same thing when Peter Thiel says that competition is for losers, and you’re better off creating your own game and being there first.

“Kevin Kelly, former editor of Wired magazine, told me, “Don’t be the best, be the only!” Finding your own unique perspective is what separates people who have skills from people who will be in the top 1 percent of their field and who will eventually find great success in that field (whether it is monetary success, critical acclaim, or great respect from other masters in the field).”




A huge chunk of the book is what I call “Entrepreneur Lessons.” James Altutcher essentially distills most of his knowledge about starting businesses, maintaining businesses, and handling people within a business setting.

“Being an entrepreneur is going to shake your life. You will go from the kind of person who gets a paycheck every two weeks to the kind of person who only eats what he kills. Don’t worry. It will all be OK. But it will take you naked to the jungle, and you have to come out alive. I haven’t gotten a stable paycheck since 1997. Here are some lessons I’ve learned that will help you skip a lot of the mistakes that beginning entrepreneurs make.”

Entrepreneur Lesson 1: Find Your Customer First, your Product/Service Second.

“Execution of an idea starts with the customer not the product: Don’t waste time building a product at first. Get one person who wants to experience what you have to offer. Sell them your services (which will evolve into a product). Just get one customer. Execution of an idea starts with the customer, not with building the product. The customer might pay for you to build the product, but an idea is not real until someone says, “Yes, I want it.” Otherwise it might be a bad idea.”

Entrepreneur Lesson 2: Don’t Fall in Love With Your Own Idea.

“Don’t smoke Crack: aka don’t fall in love with your own idea and succumb to confirmation bias and sunk cost bias: Whenever I have a business, I ask myself every single day: Is this good? Why? What problem does it solve? Who really wants to pay for this?”

Entrepreneur Lesson 3: Products are always more valuable than Services.

Entrepreneur Lesson 4: Your business will never fail because of the product. It will only fail if you have bad people.

Entrepreneur Lesson 5: Build an audience (email list/community/1000 true fans).

Entrepreneur Lesson 6: Your best New Customers/Clients are your Old Customers/Clients.

Entrepreneur Lesson 7: Media Attention = Free Advertising.

Entrepreneur Lesson 8: Overpromise and Overdeliver.

“Underpromising is lying. Don’t lie to your customers. Don’t lie to anyone. If I say I can get the job done in twenty days but I know I can do it in five, then I say five and deliver it in four. First off, everyone else is lying and saying twenty. You win the job by saying the truth (five). And you push yourself and challenge yourself to do it in four. You become a better person. The client is with you for life. And you exercise the muscle that pushes you to exceed your own expectations. Otherwise, you’re mediocre like everyone else. Don’t be mediocre.”

Entrepreneur Lesson 9: Be a voice in the industry.

“So I read every book, listened to mentors, learned learned learned. And then I wrote about what I was learning. I wrote every single day. And soon people wanted to read what I was writing.”

Entrepreneur Lesson 10: Learn Persuasion Techniques.

– Beware of validation vacuum: A person who constantly validates you stops doing so.

– Prizing: or getting other people to qualify themselves to you. If you get someone to qualify themselves in a conversation with you, they will start treating you like their superior. Now that part was awesome!

– Shaping: praising another person for the quality you want them to possess.

– Tribe building: Find a common identity with those you’re dealing with.

– Labeling: Don’t let them change the subject. Don’t let them answer a different question.

– Earning your own respect: Ask yourself, what are your boundaries in every possible outcome of the conversation you are in. Know in advance, as much as possible, what you are willing to tolerate and what you aren’t.

– “People respect a well-thought-out no much more than they respect a desperate yes.”

– Know your inferiority narratives: Inferiority is feeling guilty for your presence. And remind yourself: You have earned the right to be here, in this moment. Have a counter-story to your negative self-talk ready to assert to yourself and to others.

– Steer Clear: When in a negotiation or an argument—or any situation where there can be only one “winner”—the person who controls the frame wins. In these situations, remaining clearheaded and unemotional is the only way to ensure that you continue to hold the frame. Actions you take in these situations must be calculated and dispassionate.

– Choose the frame or the frame will be chosen for you.

– Spend your energy wisely: Don’t always attempt to convince everyone of your point of view to regain control of the frame.

– It’s OK to take a qualified ‘No.’


Entrepreneur Lesson 11: Learn how to be infinitely productive.

Figure out the things that result in the biggest outcome/results/benefits/profits/impact and then focus on doing those things more than the rest. This will free up your time to do the things that you can monetize, skills you can work on, activities that you enjoy, and time for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Lesson Finale: What to tell your kids

1- Always go to the place least crowded. Success is found where nobody else is.

2- Being secretly good to people = superhero. Being famous for the sake of being famous = loser.

3- Good relationships = good life & vice versa.

4- Audience selection is better than audience development. Take your time selecting the right people to be around you, to be your team. Don’t select people who you then have to develop and teach.

5- If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. If you want your life to change, do something different, something unexpected.

6- Sleep and rest.

7- bad things will happen, treat them as opportunities. You are going to have to repeat that every day.

8- Don’t ever feel sorry for yourself.

9- Be creative every day. Everyone else is going to stay in their lane. But if you are creative every day, you’ll get further and faster than everyone else.

10- Live your life as if today is your last day. Make the most out of each day.

11- Eat 80% of your capacity.

12- Read.

13- Don’t read the news.

14- Never think or say “I can’t.”

15- Double-park with impunity. At the first chance get someone to move your car.

16- Buy convenience. Convenience is worth more than material possessions.

17- Everything worthwhile requires skill. Don’t worry about the outcomes. Outcomes happen naturally as you build the skills. Just focus every day on improving a tiny bit.

18- If someone doesn’t like you, then ignore them.

19- It doesn’t mean anything to be yourself. But still, decide every day what you believe in, and don’t compromise on those beliefs.

20- Don’t believe something just because everyone else believes it.

21- Don’t outsource self-esteem. Limit the number of people you look to for validation. Even if you value someone else’s opinion, never forget that there will be times when their opinion will not be right for you; it’s only right for what they want in the world. Be aware of their agenda. Everyone has an agenda.

22- Facts are irrelevant. Facts are not important. We never see the full picture in any situation. Every situation between people is very complex. There are multiple stories, and facts to one person are opinions to another. What people care about are certainty and uncertainty. Facts aren’t as useful as possibilities.

23- There’s always a good reason and a real reason.

Thank you for writing this book, James.




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