Want to learn how to easily get your first 5,000 subscribers? Download this free eBook to learn how.

How to Sell Yourself (even if you have no credentials, no connections, and no money)
Last Updated June 13th, 2013

Last week, at my first live workshop, I invited this guy to give a presentation on selling yourself…


His name is James Altucher, and he’s an american hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, and best-selling author.

But what I love most is that he’s a CHARACTER. He’s got great advice and he’s HILARIOUS.

(You’ll see how he gets his foot in the door… and then in his mouth).

How One Man Makes Millions, Loses It All, And Bounces Back Stronger Than Ever

I had full intention on selling this recording, but have you ever seen something so amazing that you just want EVERYONE to know about it?

That’s how I feel about this talk. So I’m giving you the FULL video at no monetary cost.

All I ask is this: If you watch the video and find it super helpful like I did, pass it along to two friends. Cool?

Here you go:

After you’re done, I’ve got two things for you to do:

Thing #1

Leave a comment below this video letting me know what you liked most about James Altucher’s presentation (and why). Relate it back to your life, and a lesson you learned.

Thing #2

James Altucher has a new book that just came out. It’s called “Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, and Live The Dream.” Go buy it right now. It’s $4.99 on Amazon Kindle.

“Why,” you ask?

It’s no secret that the world is changing. James posits that you no longer need connections, credentials, or anything like that.

Instead, you’ve got to choose yourself to succeed and FORGET about waiting for someone else to choose you.

Plus, James has this thing going on where if you read his book, and prove to him that you read it, he’ll send you the $4.99 back to you. All because this book isn’t about making money. This book is about spreading his message.

You can read more about that here

What does James talk about in this video? You’ll see:

* How James Altucher lost all of his money in the stock market – and still convinced a hedge fund manager to let him manage money

(If that’s not a lesson in selling yourself, I don’t know what is).

* A simple technique for coming up with GREAT ideas (and never forgetting them)

* How to build relationships with the world’s most influential people (even if you have no credentials and no connections)

* How to get to YES (and why getting that first “Yes!” is the MOST important first step)

* And more!

But here’s the best part:

You see, while James was taking punches at his ego, he was also delivering an invaluable message–you don’t need credentials to find leads, convert those leads to clients, and build a successful business.

Now don’t forget…

1. If you found this video helpful, send a link to this video to at least two friends. It’s inspirational AND helpful.

2. Leave a comment below this video letting me know what you liked most about James Altucher’s presentation (and why).

3. Grab James Altucher’s new book. It’s called Choose Yourself

Spread the love!

Join OVER 200,000 subscribers


Click here to sign up

Need more? Choose your path below

125 comments Leave a comment

You are FULL of it…FULL of GREAT CONTENT that is!!!! Thanks for this one!

Abe George

Fantastic. I was already familiar with James through his incredible blog posts but I like him even more after this video. Thanks for sharing it. This should be shared with everyone that has an excuse for not pursuing their dreams.

Heather Stone

Hi Derek,
James’s talk in the video was both a revelation and a reaffirmation. I’ve taken some steps in my own life over the last few years to reassess my greatest gifts and discover how they can best be used to create the best life and future for my family. This post is now shared on the BizSugar community and I wondered if you’d drop by and leave a few thoughts in the comment section for this post on our site about how you feel James’ outlook best applies to small business owners and entrepreneurs. I know it would mean the world to our group to have you participate.


James Altucher = The Woody Allen of Finance 😉

Thanks, I got a lot out of that.


amazing message and thanks a ton Derek for sharing this awesome talk by James. Just had to share with my network and do a small posts sharing some of James personal story and his books.

Thanks again and I just enjoyed every bit of it.


Revenge of the nerds?

Indeed. Great video! The watercooler brought me here & I learned so much outside of real estate. Excellent content!


Wow, great stuff. He proves that being resilient is one of the key characteristics of being successful.
I will be purchasing his book right now.


Thanks a ton Derek. This was mind altering. I’m sure Kanye West will receive a ton of emails because of this like right now but I hope mine are read. Cheers.


Thoroughly entertaining and so ‘hit the spot’ for me. What resonated was the” pick yourself up, dust yourself off & start all over again” attitude which I’ve needed to have in my personal life

Maria From Club Wellness

That is where I stand and I let my fears and huge money limitations control me. Even when I am convinced that I have a great idea..

James Hollister

Awesome stuff. Thank you so much for sharing this.

So often I feel like an impostor, like “who am I to be doing this” Love how James explains how he leans into that. Something I’ll be adopting.

Troyann Williams

Loved the video of James’ talk! Thank you Derek for sharing!

Bought the book. It is a wonderful read. I will be spreading the word to “Choose Yourself.”

~ Namaste

Kathy Klotz-Guest

James is great. He’s completely himself and so refreshingly candid. Love it! Don’t give up and never stop being yourself.


Nobody was saying this so I just had to say it: James reminds me a ridiculous amount of Penelope Trunk.

Louis Foussard

One more thing I forgot to mention.

Sweet idea… schedule time “later” for the negative self-talk. i.e. Don’t engage in it!

Dyna Laursen

I love this guy, and learned a lot. Here were just a few things that really spoke to me and what I’m trying to conquer and accomplish.

‘Come up with 10 ideas every day to prevent atrophy of your Idea Muscles.’
My takeaway: Carry a notepad, and practice intentional idea time and creativity.

“Every rule we’ve ever been taught is completely fake.”
James Altucher
My takeaway: Be bold, brave and just go for it like you can’t fail!

“Surround yourself with people who are inspiring to you and supportive of you.” – James Altucher
My takeaway: Mastermind!

Bill Hibbler

There were so many great lessons in James’ presentation but
one I’ll mention here is the way he completely re-frames the idea
of doing free work for clients, an idea I usually am not in favor
of because it leads to clients not valuing your work. James finds
ways to make it profitable. His example of doing musician websites
for $1,000 and even then having difficulty collecting proved
possible because it led to lucrative deals with ConEd and


Great speech, I only wanted to watch 10 minutes of it then go to bed but it was just so good I could not stop. Thanks for sharing it. I’ve bought the book and shared the speech with my communities.

Jacob Winkler

Great Video!

I just discovered you from the Foundation Podcast.

What fabulous accomplishments you’ve made!

I was struck when you were saying, “I was young, making more money than I knew what to do with, and yearning for something more…”

I think for many young, super-successful entrepreneurs spiritual development is the next frontier. Tim Ferris mentioned a book by Thich Nhat Hhan, James talks about daily gratitude in this talk, Matt Zehner told me that Andrew Warner went on a month long meditation retreat, and so on…

Of course, simply being an entrepreneur involves a ton of “spiritual” qualities, but being able to apply them beyond material success can be tricky, and integrating spiritual information into a busy, responsible life can be even more challenging.

Be blessed!



Just Bought the book. Thanks Derek!

Andrea Saunder - LifeAfterBread Health Coaching

This was 40 minutes VERY well spent last night!
My big takeaway was how James was so thorough in his tactic of giving 10 highly valuable suggestions to those he wanted to connect with. That made me realise (like, smack in the face realise) just how much more effort I need to put into giving value to make connections.

And happy to report that I shared this video with 4 people today. Like, people for whom the timing was perfect.

Thanks to Derek and James!


The video was awesome Derek! Loved watching and reading the post! Cheers 🙂

Jason Spencer

Interesting video and personality for sure. Not exactly sure the average person could relate to a lot of where he was coming from. He’s obviously a brilliant on-your-feet kind of thinker, and exudes a mental confidence that does not come naturally to most people. He does make some great points though, and I’m sure can be an inspiration and hope for a lot of people who feel stuck, because ultimately intention and action are the cures for most problems. Thanks for sharing Derek!


I have been reading James’ blog for a couple of years. He
writes things about himself most people wouldn’t. I think that is
why he has such a solid following. Why are we so afraid to be more

Kay Fudala

I love James’s quirky style. But that doesn’t detract from
the power of his message. When we start our entrepreneurial journey
most of us are eager to give, but like a child after the first few
emails or ideas, we start expecting shiny rewards stars. We expect
everyone to come knocking on our door and line up for our advice.
We expect overnight success. I can’t even begin to tell what an
IMPACT this message has had on my mindset. For years and years I
gave at Corporate America, free advice, a little extra work on the
side of the desk all hoping for recognition that only came
sometimes. But now that I am entrepreneur and I have barely started
writing and connecting, I have begun to have ridiculous
expectations. Thank you James for showing me what it takes to be a
thought leader! I can’t wait to read your book. Please don’t lose
the next millions of dollars you make or I will personally have to
hunt you down to give you my recommendations. Hire an investment
advisor already!


I loved that he took the time to give real advise on how to
get the illusive “Yes.”, because I am working on that right
now–and let me tell you that no one teaches you how to do this
shit in college. His insight was extremely helpful, if for no other
reason than his absolute confidence just gave me the extra push
that I needed to really buckle down and get serious about going
after what I want. Thank you so much for the video. I know that
I’ll be coming back to it later.


Going in a different direction from the ‘rules’ is what my
instincts have been telling me to do for awhile and I’ve been
gradually re-training myself to follow them. I liked the anecdote
about the employee who angrily quit him as a person. No matter what
you do, there are going to be people who dislike or even hate you.
Although we all make mistakes, that level of dislike typically has
very little to do with you, and everything to do with

Gaia O'dea

I read the book and it is a good book EXCEPT this man has made millions of dollars then lost millions of dollars more than once. This is wonderful … this IS what I am interested in learning how to do NOT all his Eckhart Tolle stuff…for i practice this and still i make nothing..his book would have helped me IF he had shown HOW he makes millions …i if could just make thousands i would be ok as it is i am living off less than 100 euros for the rest of the month i have severe medical conditions and cannot afford a doctor and i shall be on the streets come the first of next month and i DO practice all the stuff he says and STILL i am unable to make ONE sale when two years ago with a really rubbishy webiste and terrible sound with the recordings having my cat dropping dishes crashing to tile floor and meowing and lawn mowers outsdie and planes flying over head and me a real novice for my particular niche. Then i got perfect sound i got really professional and expert at what i did i now have such a revolutionary sound that no one has and all rave and flip over it a most beautiful custom website and now i get NO SALES in TWO Months so i dont care anymore i have requestred you give me 2 minutes of your time and for that i am willing to pay you and i also would give you most gladly THE sound of the future of recorded hypnosis so i am not some user or taker i have so many times now requested a very short time 2 minutes and NO…well i did what you asked i bought the book and i told two friends and so i did what you asked perhaps if i came first i would not have done this.


and it was wonderful to hear that James is a shit negotiator because so am I, I always take whatever is offered so there is hope.


Great video. I can relate to giving more service than people expect and trying to blow them away with such a great service. What this video made me realise is that there is a time and place for everything. And you have to carefully pick who you target and spend all your energies with. As a designer I spent ages on design trying to make it beautiful to see if get deconstructed by an unhappy client.


Love me some Altucher! Always great advice and insights.


“Give” struck a cord with me. I feel like I give away a lot of information and while I don’t mind, I feel like I’m hurting my business building success. After hearing James say it’s good to give first, I feel more confident in my direction.

Jan Koch

Thanks for sharing this awesome interview Derek!

My favourite parts are getting to the YES and exercising your idea muscle. There are so many people out there (including me sometimes), that try to do the second step before they have even done the first step.
I think we all need to be remind, that we need a YES from our audience to be successful, regardless of how this YES looks like.

Thanks again!

Carolyn Flynn

Lots of great tips! My favorite was exercising your idea muscle by writing ideas every day. It’s easy to forget that success doesn’t just happen, success comes from daily “exercising” the habits and patterns that create success.


Hi Derek, I just bought his book and a couple others of his
too. I guess i get a receipt on my email. I will send it to you. I
bought a bunch of kindle books this night. I’ve never used kindle
before. So that is on the schedule for tomorrow. I am sure the book
is good. I shall read it tomorrow and give my feedback.


That video was fun! Thanks for sharing. I’m going to start
training my idea muscle.


Derek, As usual you delivered. The video was great! I
learned so much while being entertained at the same time. I
forwarded it to some friends and I hope they find it as


He was funny. I enjoyed his point of view and his

Joe Cassandra

Bought this book right away after hearing some of his prior interviews. I’m writing a post on 2 of the main points that I drew from his book.

Love his dry sense of humor 😀

His idea to just provide ….ideas…to those high-ups is just a simple simple, but effective idea, love it!

Thanks for posting Derek!


Thank you for sharing this, Derek! I really liked how James
over-delivered on everything, gave generously, and didn’t spend
time trying to be good at things he wasn’t (like negotiating) but
honed his unique strengths. And he has a really refreshing honesty
about himself… wish more people let it all hang out. There are
many great strategies here. Just bought his book. Thanks again,
I’ll be watching this space!


I loved James’ video. I even loved what he shared more: that we underestimate ourselves. We all know we’re not good at alot of things, but he showed you don’t have to be. Just use what your good at in as many different ways as you can. And don’t be afraid to share who you are and your insights and ideas toward subjects. He proved you never know who just might appreciate and find what you have to say valuable.

At least, that’s what I took away from it besides a few marketing strategies. Thanks for sharing this. Very inspiring. I’ll definitely share it with others.


Love the concept of sending 10 ideas to a potential customer and saying YES to get in the door. Over delivering too!

Wendy Fritz

I enjoyed two aspects of this talk. Firstly, to give and then overdeliver or surprise your client with more than they expect, and, secondly, to make a list of 10 ideas every day in order to get your creative juices going. I have lots of ideas but have never written them down so I am going to give it a go.

Tyron McDaniel

There were so many take-aways from me on this but I would have to say the best sales strategy I have ever heard was “GIVE away as much as you can to get to YES!”

That’s powerful for me because I love helping others win and now this provided me with a framework or formula (if you will) for how to use that in all of my endeavors. I have tons of insights that I recognize in others business but I have never wrote them and offered those insights so readily until NOW! Operation Massive Giver takes effect NOW!

And I can’t go without mentioning “Become a Mini-Google” – WOW, let say that backwards WOW! I have been toiling with the format my own personal blog and hearing this gave me all that I needed to complete that HUGE task! Thank YOU for promoting the post on Facebook that led to my watching the video!

Tyron McDaniel, HomePreneur
Stay Winning….


He’s a really inspiring guy.

I liked his honesty and about all the situations he was describing. He is not politically correct at all, which I like, because it makes it more “real”, and I’m better able to understand what he’s trying to put across.

Also, he’s not trying to “sell” his book so he doesn’t have some weird “slogan” about the book and a presentation which has that slogan as an angle etc etc- it’s obvious that he is not trying to make money off the book. I want to hear what he has to say because he’s obviously a genius-y sort of person.

The fact that he has gone broke and get back on his feet a few times tells me that his past successes were not flukes.

The biggest takeaway for me is over-delivering to your customers all the time, even before you make the first cent off them. This over delivery can come in the form of advice or offering to provide more services for them on top of the initial purchase.

And I have a feeling it’s really timely for me too because of the second sentence of his blog post, about the book. 🙂

Thanks for introducing him to us, Derek! Imma get his book now.

Best regards,

Colleen Dunn

1. I found James Altucher’s talk helpful, so I sent a link to this video to everyone with whom I’m connected on Facebook (except for 2 people there.)

2. What I liked most about James Altucher’s presentation was his explanation of what it means to “get to yes” – simply stimulate the other party to make any offer at all to one and immediately say “yes” to that offer, almost regardless of its nature (and why did that stand out for me so much? Because, in my own life, I often find myself hemmed in with “no” and I experience that as profoundly frustrating). This idea has really got me thinking about whether I ought to alter my core belief system in order to gain more freedom in my life.

3. I already grabbed James Altucher’s new book, “Choose Yourself” and I have read it. It’s smart and funny and also wise.


Don’t follow the rules! Love this – and what rings a bell to me with what James is saying, is that I can learn everything I ‘should’ do for my business, and then do what is right for me – there are no set rules that I have to follow. Loved the presentation – James is down-to-earth, funny, real! I will definitely buy his book 🙂

Kevin Curtin

Great video presentation! I found it humorous, inspirational, and it deliverable a very important message for all of us. Just downloaded the book to my Kindle and will get to reading it this weekend. Thank you for posting it.

Ian Harris

So inspiring. Thanks for sharing this. Gonna have to apply some of this.

Nitin Aggarwal

Thanks Derek for sharing this. James was amazing to present the life experience and he was funny at times. His sales tactics to get the “foot in the door” is amazing. That really works well and provide you more reference to sell urself.


What I really loved is that I found out that I don’t need
to be good at negotiating (which I suck at) but just need to focus
on giving ideas away (which I always have a ton of).


I liked the part about focusing on physical and emotional
health. The “act like Google” part was a pretty good insight as

Vicki Aubin

Frickin’ phenomenal! Inspiring and entertaining. Great real-life examples of how to truly ‘get your foot in the door’. I’ve used this strategy myself before for different pursuits and it has totally paid off in more ways than I could imagine. Especially relevant for entrepreneurs just starting out, AND also applicable to people looking to switch career fields too. Great stuff! p.s. Derek, love the suit!


Derek, I just read James’s book. Awesome! You are doing
kick ass work, i am stoked that i found your site. Super excited to
be a part of your community


Derek – You clean up nice! Thank you for posting – I love
James. He’s brilliant! Just bought the book (no kindle).

Ron Richards

What a shame that James, someone so full of valuable insights, says he lies, and discloses private information about famous people. It caused me to not know what aspect of what he says I can trust. He seems to get away with that stance because of his humorous and modest approach. Derek, I love and value your insights, and you are one of my favorite advocates of honest marketing. There seems to be something off in your wholehearted endorsement of James approaches.

    Ron L.

    I agree completely,to be honest,I hear a lot of con man
    coming across.In the early days of computer software,there was a
    term used a lot called vaporware.

      Ron Richards

      @RonL. You and I seem to be the only ones expressing that concern in some 70 comments here . I wonder what that means? Do people not notice what we did? Not care? Willing to ignore given good ideas, which they somehow trust due to modesty/openness?

Brad Jorgensen

Derek, Both the topic and James’s presentation were
fantastic..thank you for yet another gem. By far the number one
struggle I went through as I was starting my copywriting business
was this mental tug-of-war of “how can I attract clients without a
portfolio and how can I build a portfolio without clients?” The
most common answer I got was “do pro bono work.” But even finding
people willing to work with me for free was a challenge, because
they didn’t have a clear sense of what was in it for them. James
illustrates that you can’t just walk up to someone and say “hey,
I’ll do free work for you in exchange for being able to tell people
you were my client.” But if you do your homework, learn about who
they are and what they do, and then offer your prospects good,
creative, and specific ideas about what they can do to be more
effective, you’re a lot more likely to win them over and begin to
form a relationship. I wish I had seen this presentation years ago;
it would have spared me a lot of anguish and


I appreciate you sharing this. What I liked about the video
is how genuine he was about failing and rebuilding himself time
after time. As far as take aways, one of the key things that struck
me was his willingness to give. I too have a tendency to over
deliver and be generous with things but I never thought of how to
use that to my advantage in my sales process. Like him, I am a bad
negotiator but I like how he uses that.


I was luck enough to see this live… and James did truly knock it out of the park! As did Derek in hosting his first live event – a kick ass line up of top notch, inspiring speakers … looking forward to the next one :-). Back to James – love his tenacity and perseverance and ability to build himself back up from “failures”.
What I loved – ALWAYS OVERDELIVER, SURPISE & DELIGHT. Giving out 10 ideas to people you want to connect with is not such a bad idea either!


Great Talk! Impressive how just to overdeliver or better
defined trying to copy Google is a real good way to get in contact
with everybody. I’m using this style of technique in my kind of a
way and it works great. And it is brilliant for me to have it
outlined here very clearly and clever. Thanks James, Thanks


Love it! I need to start exercising my “idea muscle”, it makes perfect sense. Speaking from experience, when you meet an influential person, having great ideas is the only credential that you need. Also, I really want to do the exact opposite of what is obvious 🙂

Lori from Simply Free Blogs

I love this! It’s so easy when you’re starting out to let yourself feel like a fraud when you’re not COMPLETELY sure what you’re doing! I love how jovial he is when he describes how he did stuff that was out of his comfort zone, wasn’t actually at a level where he could “compete” with others, and still was unapologetic!

This speech should be listened to by every aspiring and new entrepreneur! And the moral of the story is, “You can do more than you THINK you can do!” That plus the fact that, as long as you know more than the person you’re advising, you’re considered an expert on the topic.

Got my book, too. Woot!


Beeing generous and giving as much as you can is a key factor nowadays- I love the “give 10 ideas” idea! 🙂

David R. Herz

I was following James and planning to buy his book anyway. He echoes Scott Dinsmore’s (liveyourlegend.net) point about surrounding yourself with the right people (and therefore mindset). I haven’t yet found too many of this mindset in my surroundings, but I think the virtual crowd of Dinsmore, Altucher, Halpern, Sinek and Achor certainly make a difference.


I am completely impressed that there was so much free advice in this video along with the fact that you gave us the link for free. I keep waiting for the catch in your emails and am amazed so far that there has not been one- it is pleasantly shocking to me and makes you more memorable wanting me to share the info about you. Well done- Tina


I loved the thing with the idea pad and coming up with at least 10 ideas a day.


I loved the part when he says all these things about avoiding negative people. It´s true!! Including the mum´s story. Thanks!! I had fun and learned a lot. Greetings from Spain.


How come isn’t this book about money when the titles says “Make millions and live your dream” – no man or woman can fully live or live a dream unless he/she has money. Every dream takes money for it to become a reality, unless someone’s dream is to be broke and miserable.
Anyways… thanks for sharing this video. It has been inspirational and refreshing.


Super inspirational and a great reminder about the law of reciprocity. Thanks for making it available!


Awesome. Loved it. Made me smile after completely crushing meeting with my top client. I’ll wath it tomorrow morning again (it’s 10PM so I should be in bed like 90 minutes ago :)).

Thanks for that Derek.


I have been a fan of James A. for a long time. This is the first time I’ve seen him on video, though.

I really like the theme of mindset and just getting to a point of a ‘yes’.

Roger Williams

I Love this guy!

I love how he talks from “the street”. As in, you don’t need an MBA to build a business or do sales, or even create a hedge fund. You need confidence and tenacity. Not easy skills to acquire for sure. But cheaper and faster to acquire than a Master’s!


The entire workshop was TOP notch, right from the location – Motivo Super Vilain :), to every guest speaker and all the valuable info (James is a whole new level of comedy and smarts in one!), to the business connections at both your live event and your after-party meetup (been booked solid).

Amazing Derek, since this was your first you say, wouldn’t have believed it!

If you ever have a chance to attend a Derek workshop, do it!

Gideon Teubl


All the way from Holland, again love your stuff!

After my tears (from laughing 😉 I had to watch the video again.
Loved it! Already starting to be a mini Google

Thank you for sharing


Ben Lorentzen

I saw this video, and thanks for sharing. I TOTALLY believe that everything starts with giving! Give something the other need, and you will be provided for. This is a deep lesson that works in business, and all other fractions of life. You can get better health, a better sex life, you can better everything. This speech shows in a very practical way how this principle works.

Also loved the idea of keep coming up with ideas. In art and sports they have known for a good while that it takes 10.000 hours to get good at anything, and that is just to start. Then you have to keep it up. The mind is the same way. I noticed all the work he put in before he could share some of his ideas.

Again, this was a great speech. Thank you again.


What I liked most about James’s presentation was his total,
unflinching honesty. I think I get more inspired hearing about
successful people’s failures than I do hearing about their
achievements, because it makes my own success feel more possible. I
love the accurate and balanced picture he painted.

Marc Houtgraaf

Thanks for sharing this video Derek. Spending 45 minutes on
a video is unusual for me, but listening to James Altucher was
worth every minute!

Susan Colket

Thanks Derek. It was long and it was worth it.

Liked most: that he kept failing and kept going and going…he wouldn’t give up (even eating that turkey sandwich on Thanksgiving and putting himself out there as a psychic on craig’s list and connecting with people (or I should say women).

Take away: remember every rule is made up. Every rule.
Practice: build my idea muscle every day


I am very surprised how inspiring this turned out to be. I
found it rather strange that I would find this guy’s stories
interesting, actually. For me what I was led into thinking upon
listening to James, is to really work towards not taking things
personally in business. I am an artist who is making a living off
my art, so that has been a lesson I haven’t been able to get quite
into my head – but I think I’m really getting it now. Foot in the
door. Ya. Not being attached to any one product or business and
being able to let it go. Nice. You are actually kinda a spiritual
teacher James.


You over-delivered on the “knocked it out of the park.”
Seriously! Wish I’d seen this before I blew an opportunity myself
when I was trading some pretty in-depth emails with a phenomenal
guy, Guy Kawasaki, that is. Not kicking myself too much for it, but
now I can laugh at it too and learn from it even more…helps me
put it into context as I’m not sure that I put my finger on the
fact that I was kinda doing exactly what James did without even
realizing it. Totally relate. And I typically never forward emails
but this was worth forwarding, so I did. Great job Derek and

Laurie K

I found it very inspirational! While watching I just had to
jump up and get the kitty-ear hat I was knitting for my son (my own
pattern) and finish it while watching the video. Also, I had the
idea of doing digital portraits of a few of the popular Dr. Who
actors to add to my portrait portfolio. Thanks!

Nicole Wolf

I loved the video! James was real, funny and definitely
unconventional all the qualities I love in a person. He wasn’t at
all polished yet I was inspired and completely saw the value in his
ideas and techniques. Buying the book now!

Brian Bennis

I love “the 10 ideas to help you” concept to get your foot in the door. I can see there’s no better way to prove yourself and establish trust without risk to the business.

Helen Hunter Mackenzie

Derek, you have a lot of great content on your blog but
this is the BEST I’ve seen yet. I had heard from my friend Erika
Lyremark that this was a really good talk, and she was right!
Thanks for making it available to your readers. My favorite part
was at minute 41:35(ish) when he talked about rescheduling your 3AM
thoughts– brilliant! But overall, there were so many great tips
and stories and he delivered with such honesty and self-effacing
humor, it would be hard to REALLY choose a favorite. Good stuff.
I’ll be sharing this on Twitter/FB and with the students in my
Honeygirl marketing course– and I’m buying his book right


What an excellent talk. You hear it all the time to give
give give but without knowing exactly what that looks like and how
people have done it successfully, that advice is useless. The main
thing I took away from this talk was to give until you get a yes
from someone and work to offering services from there.
Interestingly, I’ve been giving a lot of advice to fellow coaches
on tech stuff and am planning to start a little side gig offering
to do this type of work for them so they can keep growing their
business and not have to worry about all the technology that bogs
their day to day down. Thanks again! I’ll be coming back to listen
to this one again.


Awesome!!!! Thanks a lot!


Derek, awesome video and James really rock his presentation. Ned to hear his message today. Felt like I was spinning my wheels and not going anywhere.

Takeaway: Exercise your idea muscle. Be bold and go after people you want to connect with but start with a giving mindset not a taking.

Thanks for sharing this video Derek.



Great information and entertaining presentation. James doesn’t pull punches or hide the truth, very refreshing.


Thanks for the video.

Will buy this book now 🙂

Lynda Diane

Thank you, for many of use who are unconventional, that have been the odd man out, that continue to make our own rules, live life and create business on our own terms this is a breath of fresh air. I really appreciate this video, it is a prime example of what James was sharing. You gave us something of value….for free. In turn I will share it with my list, and I will be purchasing the book. Bravo!

The Get in Shape Girl

You have no idea how delighted I was to see this presentation in my inbox today. I’m adding this to my bookmarks in case I am ever in the need of some inspiration.

Also, the best part of this is when he name drops Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang. That’s how you really capture the heart of this girl 🙂


I liked the video . I showed that even though James Altucher may not be considered a great orator, he kept the audience engaged by being funny and being honest. Also in his presentation , it shows that despite his failed companies…he did not get discouraged but was able to repeat his process to gain credibility in people that did not even know him. This is a proven process…
This is what I learned that I will implement
1. Exercise your idea muscle
2.Always over deliver to your clients
3.Help people First
4.Refer people to others id you can not personally help them yourself
5. Be like Google
6.Think of a good thing everyday.


I love the concept of building the idea muscle, I’ve slowly been doing that, so it’s nice to have some affirmation from James to know that I’m on the right track. He touches on being emotionally healthy and to not underestimate that, which is key. ALSO, every rule we have learned is WRONG, that is so true. We do have to Unlearn what we have Learned. I think that is so key. Also I loved the PREORDER idea, as I’m also writing a book, and am scared about all the other things involved with writing a book. Great presentation, great way to start the day.


I liked James’ laid back attitude about losing and making his money back. He wasn’t up tight about making money. This is a good lesson. If you relax and give up worrying about your business, you can focus on growing it.

I also liked James’ tip about writing down “10 ideas to improve your business” and sending them out to people. This is a great tip that I’ll implement today.


    I loved that lesson about money too. It can be so easy to focus on the money but he seemed like gaining and losing money was nothing to dwell on. I loved that!

Mama Char

OMG…where to begin! His vulnerability in life, creative thinking, comedic traits, fantastic analogies (I so love the Google one), the “idea muscle”, humility…I could go on and on!

And no…I’m not his mother…just very inspired by him!! Can’t wait to read the book!!

Mariel Heart

I love how Mr. Altucher doesn’t let anything knock him down.

His tips on offering knowledge to get a yes have changed how I approach every email. I can say the same for how you, Derek, expected us to be at this live event – with the idea of giving being first in mind, not a need to exchange business cards. Great approach! It makes business feel better.

He is hilarious and captivating even more so in person, but I loved getting to watch the video because I could sit back and see the flow of his stories much better and grasp more of his lessons. So many great tidbits! Even though I think I have a better procedure for remembering my ideas: evernote on my iphone and then everything is there on my computer when I need it… and categorized.

Thanks for sharing!


As publisher of a #1 Amazon Best Seller going into our 9th week on top, we’re hearing some wonderful success stories, but are also hearing from some of our readers that they love the ideas in our book, but are having a hard time starting, because of lack of confidence. Spending 45 minutes on a video is unusual for me, but it was worth every minute. Thanks, Derek, for a great post. We will be passing it on with full attribution.

Lindsey Jaeger

James Altucher’s entertaining and candid reflections on his life lessons on stimulating the “ideation muscle”, failed networking attempts, successful networking and sales strategies, and thinking and acting as a contrarian were refreshing and inspiring. Conventional wisdom says you should be sending emails to your network to offer them coffees on their way into work. Not James Altucher – watch this video to hear how he got through to money mogul Jim Cramer even when he had nothing but negative credentials. As an an intellectual property law attorney, I find it interesting that his best business strategies to land business partners and customers involved giving away his copyright protected material.


Give, give, give. It can be frustrating to give so much and stay patient and know that there will be returns – IF you stay authentic, too!

I’m not missing the credentials, but I’m still missing some of the confidence. Working on it, though!


Great video Derek. I paused it in the middle to go buy his book off Amazon, that’s how great it was.

His talk about negative/positive people was great. I am currently writing a memoir and my own S.O. doesn’t like the person I was. Her insulting my life, no matter how I am today, is really making things tough on me. One thing has to go, and I can’t get rid of my book nor my life.

Loved this talk. 10000%


We all have areas where we don’t feel “good enough”, feel inept, or see ourselves more negatively than positively and yet we ALL have a necessary gift to add to the world.
This video shows that it is more important today to be authentic and deliver honest service to clients than to be the shiny, loud, slick sales of the past.
I can’t wait to read “Choose Yourself” this afternoon! And I’m more than happy to have Mr. Altucher give the proceeds to Women for Women International, what an awesome choice.
In case anyone has read the book Pendulum (Williams & Drew), James Altucher’s style fits in well with the WE mentality talked about in that book and it’s exciting to see how he has made his style and personality work for him.


I enjoyed James’ approach for getting email responses. The idea of helping other more than you expect to receive. Giving ideas just to get to a yes.


What I liked about the video, James’ honesty and humility – it made it easier to trust him. He also left a bunch of ‘open loops’ in the sense of wanting to find out the ending to some of the stories he touched on. Even now I’m wondering if he was deliberately putting that out there to have people like me follow up on him to learn more…social trigger anyone?

What I learned from the video – more like what I “re-learned”. Givers gain. When you start from the outset with the idea of helping someone else first, great things can happen and fast. Then when you over deliver you trigger the whole reciprocity thing.

Very interested in checking out his book and the price is right. It’s a very empowering message to ‘choose yourself’ rather than wait for someone else to decide you are worthy to work for or with them. What simple action can you take right now to benefit someone else (like brainstorming some ideas to help their business) that could potential come back to help you later?
A good idea is a good idea – no matter where it comes from. It’s definitely a kick in the pants for people who purposely build up obstacles and hoops to jump through instead of taking action and just making it happen.

Thanks for sharing this Derek! I never heard of James prior to this and probably wouldn’t have.

Gaia O'dea

YES Derek…as i wrote you about an hour ago , James Altucher and i could be twins…i DO all this…even u and i could be twins in so many ways. I CHANGED the one bad habit thanks to you…i cured myself of my War and Peace length emails. Thx.

Josh Layhue

Bluntly, I suck at sales. I’ve been following your podcast for awhile and learning more every day (read: sucking less). My favorite part about James’ talk was his “getting to yes” philosophy. I find myself often thinking too far into the future and therefore not focusing on getting to that first yes. I like the idea of getting to yes and seeing where it leads. Great video. Thanks for sharing!

Les Dossey


Thank you for bringing James onto your stage. I’ve never been more entertained, enlightened and inspired by someone who just rambled brilliantly for 60 minutes.

I bought the book.
I sent the receipt to Jessica.
I tweeted about it.
I FB’d it
I G+’d it
I shared this post with a couple dozen of my clients.

P.S. You are da man.



James is AWESOME. I’m sharing this video with everyone. His stories about giving to create relationships with people are so inspiring. I currently give as much as I can to the influential people who keep me motivated. James makes me wonder if I’m a) doing enough for others and b) targeting the correct quantity of people. Definitely want to buy his book and start following him for more interesting advice. Thanks for the introduction, Derek!


Great video! I had a friend that attended your conference and can’t stop raving about it. I can’t wait to read his book.

Dave Rudbarg

Loved it- I see myself as lacking “credentials”- yet being highly trained.
Brilliant stuff- VERY INSPIRING!!!

David Geer

I like the fact that he summarized.

I like the giving aspect and have found it to hold true in my experience.

Niveen Salem

This is a very important topic. Most people feel “not” influential and “not” confident doing what they’re doing until they dig their way to start having followers, have a tribe and make a lot of $$$. It seems that only then people start believing them.

However, knowing your qualities and acquiring the skills of salesmanship will definitely get you there.

Tina Blain

Some great tips in there delivered in a funny, free-style manner – Thanks James. The two most useful pieces of into I’m taking away with me are: 1. Give (above and beyond)>Get to yes (it’s a foot in the door)>Offer more services>build up well and 2. Outsource what you don’t like and are not an expert in whenever possible.

Lauren Doyle

I will definitely be sharing this! James is the best, he is funny and inspirational, and motivating. I was so shocked to see that he was giving people their money back for his book. I am currently reading it and would never ask for my money back even if it was for the right reasons! I definitely got my $4.99 value in laughs and inspiration. Thank you for sharing, Derek and thank you, James!!!!

Stephen Guise

James is great. He was my first follower on Twitter!

I like James’ advice because he thinks unconventionally, and as he says in the video, unconventional thinking is how great ideas are born.

Over the last several years I have developed a habit of always questioning the way things are done, and it always leads to ideas. I have encrypted a blog post title and wrote the opposite advice of what I’d usually say to motivate people in a different way (i.e. “Hey! That’s wrong!”).

Now I’m launching an interactive story website – interactivestoriesonline.com – that teaches personal development through choices (and story). There will also be four other categories unrelated to personal development.

One thing I’ve learned is that marketing matters more than the quality of your ideas.

Richard Adams

I’ve just started reading James’ blog, which is fantastic.

The thing with. James is that he lifts the lid, in the real world, as to why we don’t or think we can’t achieve.

He’s open, honest and brutal about himself and willing to share all of this.

Few entrepreneurs are like him and even fewer will see the real challenges that business ownership/life throw at you.

Bad speaker, but funny, he speaks from his mind only. Refreshing and brilliant.


He might not have had formal “credentials” but he learned enough about businesses of his initial contacts to draw up 20 suggestions specific to each of them, which takes acumen and a lot of work. His zhlubby Woody Allen persona (which I found tiring after awhile), no doubt screens a much higher intelligence than most people have to go on, credentials or not.

John Lee Dumas

Great video and great content..thanks for sharing Derek! I am buying this book now!

Darlene with BlogBoldly

Yeah.. his story kinda reminds me when Trump was called into a meeting by his bankers because they wanted to call in his loans.

The meeting ended with:

1) Bankers not calling in the loans.
2) Bankers loaning him MORE money!

Too funny.

~ darlene 🙂


Such an awe inspiring talk. I just got his book on kindle. Thanks so much Derek.


    I absolutely love that James knew he wasn’t good at many things but he found the ONE thing he was good at and kept trying at it in many different situations.

Ryan Arnold


This was an awesome talk live and just as great the 2nd time on video. Thanks for making this available.

James is not only hilarious but super inspiring. I love his comeback story. I’m going to email this video link to my entire list as James really embodies the idea behind Comeback Academy. I had a pretty similar experience as James after I sold my first business to a public company.

Goes to show how unconventional means can have amazing results.

Keep it coming!


I really like your theme about confidence and getting the right mindset about yourself. How you see yourself is such a big part of building a successful business. Great resource. And thanks for the laughs too.

Leave a comment