by James Altucher: The
10 Commandments of the AmericanReligion
After a failure
I feel lonely and afraid. Its hardest at these moments to pick yourself
up and give a little in order to get. The only way to climb out
of the hole, when you have a metaphoric needle sticking out of your
veins and you’re lying in the gutter that the world has kicked
you to, is to give back without asking, give as if you were the
richest man in the world.
This is not
the same as giving to charity. There are so many other ways to give
that are underappreciated. But its exactly these types of giving
where the world will give you back ten times more than you gave.
13 ways that Giving can help you Receive more
where its due.
Every day, give credit to your boss, your friends, your employees,
your colleagues, even if it was your own ideas. Just give them credit.
Everyone knows the reality. And the reality is YOU.
When I started Stockpickr, someone wrote a blog
post criticizing me for giving thestreet.com
50% of my business. One of my employees even quit, he was so upset
at that decision. (Although he’s since
gone on to better things.) But that decision hooked thestreet.com
into my business. Once the company was up for sale (which was the
second after we launched the company) they were basically locked
into my tractor beam to the point where they had to buy the company.
If I had given them any less of the business I’d probably be
sitting on a worthless website right now, post financial crisis.
Give a customer
more than they asked for. When I first did websites for New
line cinema (in my old business, Reset), I offered to essentially
do websites for all of their movies for almost free. That kept business
coming from the whole Time Warner family and also gave my employees
fun stuff to do in between doing websites for Con Edison and other
boring companies. It also got clients for me because everyone thought
our New Line sites were ‘edgy’.
Some businesses just don’t work. Don’t make the issue
worse by raising money and being fooled by the prophets who tell
you persistence is key. 140love.com was my latest bad idea. Go check
it out. I put $30k into that baby and on the eve of raising $500k
I told everyone to save their wires and not send the money. It was
a bad idea. The ghost-site still exists. Knock yourselves out.
I’ve told this story before, but when I was really down and
wanted to get things going for myself, I came up with as many ideas
as I could for other people and simply gave them away for
free. The results were stupendous. Sit down every day, picture a
person you can give ideas to, and come up with ten good ideas for
them. At the very least this will exercise the idea muscle, which
atrophies like any other muscle if it’s not in constant use.
Cornell, my alma-mater, recently asked me to donate some money,
like they ask all alumni. I said there’s no way I can do that,
since I’ve repeatedly written
articles suggesting that parents not send their kids to college.
BUT, I would be more than happy to give my time. So I went up, spoke
to a bunch of groups of very smart, talented college students, and
even found out about a business done by students who had just graduated
that seemed interesting. I immediately came home and invested in
the business. More on that in another post.