The Rich Employee
By James Altucher
One of my best friends from 8th grade invested $25,000 in Uber’s first round. That $25,000 is now worth $50,000,000.
I can say, “I wish that were me!” but I don’t deserve it.
He spent his 20s building his network in Silicon Valley so he would have this opportunity today. He was an employee at many different companies there.
I also was an employee then. It was maybe the best time in my life (until most recently).
Part of my job was interviewing crazy people, hackers gone wild, and runaway children.
Another part of my job was secretly wiring restaurants so I could listen in on dates where one side of the date was aware of what we were up to.
I loved every minute of it. Sometimes I wish I had never left that job. I was living out of a garbage bag, sharing one room with a friend of mine (he had the couch, I had the futon, the shower couldn’t turn off so the water was always running).
I miss it.
My newest book and maybe most important book, The Rich Employee is out.
There are 100,000,000 employees in America.
It was inspired by two friends of mine who are both employees at jobs. Both are worth millions from the way they went from success to success at either their job or moving from one career to the next.
I studied their whole careers. And then I looked at my own career.
I loved my job so much that I kept getting better at all the skills needed: the networking, helping people, managing people, trying to make the company I worked for a success.
Using those skills, I started a company on the side. So I became an employee and then an employer at the same time. For 18 months I stayed that way until I jumped to my startup fulltime.
Then I was miserable. I was happy when we sold the company and I became an employee again.
It allowed me to explore my interests again. It allowed me to be like a child again, and discover what my art was.
It also got me into playing poker every night from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. for 365 straight days but that’s another story.
The average person has 14 different careers after leaving behind their educations. I counted the other day. I had about 15. Depending on how I counted it, it was up to 18 (heck, I made decent money playing poker).
About half the time I was an employer. Half an employee. Many different jobs and companies.
Choose Yourself was a very successful book for me. My best ever. It’s hit over 350,000 copies sold.
But I think some people think that “choose yourself” means “become an entrepreneur”.
This is not true.
“Choosing yourself” means that you build up massive inner strength and energy by every day improving in:
- Physical Health – Eat, Sleep, Move
- Emotional Health – Trying to always be with people who love and support you
- Mental Health – become a Creativity Machine by practicing writing down 10 ideas a day. I will tell you: I do this and everyone around me can see how much my life changes EVERY six months.
- Spiritual Health – which just means being grateful whenever you can.
If you do those things, even just a tiny tiny bit each day, then the results magnify and compound until you can’t even recognize yourself. Until you move from strength to strength in life.
This inner strength gives you the outer strength to create the world around you.
Life doesn’t care if you are an entrepreneur or an employee or an entre-ployee.
You become content when you are growing in competence at things you love, your relationships are improving (not perfect but improving), and you have the freedom to make the choices you want to make.
Entrepreneurs sometimes have ZERO freedom. And employees sometimes have total freedom.
It’s a mindset. The hardest working entrepreneur I know is a goddess to me. She works from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. at night. She always over delivers.
But she is stuck. She can’t figure out how to avoid the negative people in her life. She can’t save the money. She’s afraid to charge more. She can’t pay the bills.
And my friend who put $25,000 into Uber? He was an employee at a job. Now he isn’t.
In The Rich Employee I show how one can Choose Yourself to be successful and thriving no matter where you are, no matter who your boss is, no matter what your situation is.
First: I go over the Rich Employee Mindset versus the Poor Employee Mindset.
This is the basis from which the rest of the book flows.
The Rich Employee mindset I have found to be the key to Mastery.
This book is the fifth (and last) of a series of books I started with Choose Yourself.
- The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth
- The Choose Yourself Stories
- Become an Idea Machine (which is by Claudia)
- and of course, Choose Yourself
and now, The Rich Employee
I have more books to write. But I feel this series and this latest book is the final answer to so many questions I get.
“I’m feeling stuck.” “I’m not motivated.” “I haven’t found my passion.” “I don’t know how to make money.”
Always followed by “What do I do next?”
I get it. I was stuck. I was on the floor. I was crying, not knowing what to do next. I had the bottle of pills in my mouth with my baby calling, “Daddy.”
In these books I describe what I DID DO next. I describe perhaps too specifically.
As Scott Adams, author of Dilbert, told me, “Sometimes I cringe because you get so personal in your writing.”
I love this book. Maybe the most important chapter is “How the Rich Employee” thinks.
But throughout the book I have stories about others and about myself to describe my examples.
I have to tell you something. I set up a company, and I put all my books, podcasts, and some other investments in it.
The first thing I did: I replaced myself as CEO and hired someone better than me. He’s changed my life, as have the people he has hired.
So now I’m an employee. I only write about what I experience. I can’t stand articles that rant from a pedestal where the author has no experience.
Advice is always autobiography. I hope you read my advice. I hope you like me.