Dixie Darr

How to Annoy Your Way to the Top

In Books, creativity, Learning, Lent - Season of Change, work on March 21, 2017 at 12:07 pm


Lent – Season of Change, Day 18

James Altucher is a very annoying guy. He constantly interrupts the guests on his weekly podcast, The James Altucher Show although to his credit he warns them that he’s an interrupter. His insatiable curiosity redeems him and accounts for all those interruptions. “My podcast is about how people in many fields achieved peak performance,” he explains in a blog post. He’s “listening for those moments that need to be unwrapped. ‘I was a real estate developer with a drug problem first’ and you interrupt and say ‘how did you get over the drugs?’ Because they won’t tell you unless you interrupt and ask.”

His technique works. After 600 or so episodes, he has one of the best podcasts out there. The podcast seeks out peak performance and how people in a wide variety of fields achieve it. Ultimately, he interviews people because he wants to learn from them. “When you realize that everyone has something incredibly valuable to offer and you learn to dig for that value, life becomes a lot better.”

His own background encompasses many different professions, from web designer to hedge fund owner. He admits to having made and lost millions of dollars several times over. He has also written several books, one of which, Choose Yourself, consistently appears on lists of best business books. His latest, Reinvent Yourself, is one of my favorite books so far this year. Always controversial, he doesn’t believe in going to college, although he graduated from Cornell and briefly enrolled in a doctoral program at Carnegie Mellon University, and has tried to convince his teenaged daughters to skip both high school and college. So far, they’ve resisted, but he put his ideas into a book, 40 Alternatives to College, that makes some compelling arguments.

By interviewing 200 of his heroes, he learned that “100% of my guests started in one career, and changed at least three times minimum.” Read his blog post to discover what else he learned.

What I’ve learned as a fan of his podcast, blog, and books, is that a consummately annoying guy can also be one of the most interesting people on the planet.

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