Things learned from James Altucher’s new book ‘Reinvent Yourself’

“You are not just the average of the five people around you. You’re the average of the five habits you do, the things you eat, the ideas you have, the content you consume, etc.”

“Many people die at 25 but are not put in the coffin until 75. The learning stopped for them early.”

“Try many things. One thing I realized is that quantity equals quality. People think it’s one or the other but it’s not. When you have a quantity of ideas and things you are trying, you will find quality.”

“Money is a side effect of trying to help others: of trying to solve problems. So many people ask, “How do I get traffic?” That’s the wrong question. If you ask every day, “How did I help people today?” then you will have more traffic and money than you could have imagined.”

“For 5,000 years or longer, humanity has driven forward with storytelling. Too many people forget that but the only way to really communicate effectively is through a story.”

“Too many people say, ‘I have an idea. Now I need funding.’ Don’t do that anymore. Stop it! Say instead, ‘I’m already doing this. Here are the 10 or 20 things I’ve done so far. Here are the results. Are you in?'”

“There are only two types of decisions: decisions made out of fear and decisions made out of growth.”

“I still don’t like to lose. I hate it. It’s the worst feeling. But I never let a good loss go to waste.”

Who is the grittiest player in the NBA?

Angela Duckworth, on grit: “One thing that surprised me when I started doing this research is if you’re really talented, why aren’t you the hardest-working, longest-trying player? Because rationally speaking, you’re getting so much out of every moment on the court. You should be the one! Why wouldn’t you be the one to show up early and stay late because every moment you’re there, you’re getting this huge return?”

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens: “I’ve always felt like the best players have these attitudes and the best players are able to bounce back from a tough night. The best players are able to handle success. Certainly the best players always get better.”

Oral History of Bill Belichick’s Coaching Career

“Everybody in football wants to take away what you do best. The difference is Bill would go to an extreme to make you play left-handed. That’s Belichick’s absolute genius: pragmatism. When other coaches say it’s important that we take away an opponent’s best receiver, only Bill would commit four defenders on a receiver and play the rest of his defense with the other seven…You’ll go into a game, and say you’re a great run-stopping team, Bill would respond with, ‘We don’t care about averages, we’re going to switch it up and throw the ball 60 times.’ Next week, they might go the other way and hand the ball off 40 times. He’s willing to do whatever.”

Interview with Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shop

“We were in business for over 20 years before we opened our second store.”

On how they got bogged down during a recession: “Our basic proposition with Tracker for years was delivering great value to the customer, and we just got caught up in too many models, too many brands, and our overhead got so high we weren’t really giving the value. We came back and cut a lot of brands, a lot of models. It’s now fewer than half. It helps us keep the assembly line running better, more efficient, and maintain quality.”

A dozen things learned from Eugene Kleiner

“It’s easier to get a piece of an existing market than to create a new one.”

“Two companies fighting over a niche market are like two bald men fighting over a comb.”

“Risk up front, out early.” Sort out the largest risks when your scale of investment will be the smallest.

“Make sure the dog wants to eat the dog food. No matter how ground-breaking a new technology, how large a potential market, make certain customers actually want it.”

“Build one business at a time. Most business plans are overly ambitious. Concentrate on being successful in one endeavor first…What tips me off that a business will be successful is that they have a narrow focus of what they want to do, and they plan a sufficient amount of effort and money to do it. Focus is essential.”

“The time to take the tarts is when they’re being passed. When the money is available, take it…Even turkeys can fly in a high wind. In times of strong economies, even bad companies can look good.”

10 things learned from Tony Hawk

James Altucher: “I’m invested in about 30 companies right now. I can always tell which companies will fail and which will succeed simply by the dynamic between the partners…You always have to cut the cancer out first and then ask questions later…This is the most important thing in relationships, in business, in trying to become competent in an area you love — ONLY surround yourself with good people. Success is a byproduct of the quality of the people you have in your life.”

Tony Hawk stays continuously involved in his business endeavors within the sport of skateboarding: “I can’t feel good about the products we put out if I’m not every day staying involved in the sport at the ground level.”