In 2014, American hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, bestselling author and podcaster James Altucher, 46, set about interviewing 80 “highly successful people” between the ages 20 and 75 in a series of podcasts.
The list included successful entrepreneurs and business people like: serial entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, media mogul Arianna Huffington, world renowned motivational speaker Tony Robbins, Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal, as well as musicians, comedians and writers.
The result of which, is detailed in his article, What I Learned About Life After Interviewing 80 Highly Successful People.
“I wanted to know at what point were they at their worst. And how they got better. Each person created a unique life. I wanted to know how they did it. I was insanely curious”, says Altucher about his mission.
Here are 8 of our favourite lessons from Altucher’s list:
1. A life is measured in decades
“A good life is like the flame of a bonfire. It builds slowly, and because it’s slow and warm it caresses the heart instead of destroys it”.
2. A life is measured by what you did TODAY, even this moment
“You get success in decades by having success now”
3. Focus is not important, but PUSH is (reinvention)
“The push” is the ability to get up every day, open up the shades, and push through all the things that make you want to go back to sleep. Even if it means changing careers 10 times. Or changing your life completely. Just pushing forward to create a little more life inside yourself”.
4. Give without thinking what you will receive
“100% of the people I spoke to wanted to solve a problem for the many“.
5. Solving hard problems is more important than overcoming failure
“If Thomas Edison viewed his 999 attempts at creating a lightbulb a failure then he would’ve given up. His inside was curious. His inside viewed his “attempts” as experiments.”
6. It’s not business, it’s personal
“Nobody succeeded with a great idea. Everyone succeeded because they built networks within networks of connections, friends, colleagues all striving towards their own personal goals, all trusting each other, and working together to help each other succeed.”
7. The only correct path is the path correct for you.
“Personal freedom starts from the inside but ultimately turns you into a giant, freeing you from the chains the little people spent years tying around you.”
8. Many moments of small, positive, personal interactions build an extraordinary career
“For everyone I spoke to it was small kindnesses over a long period of time that built the ladder to success.”
You can listen to all 80 interviews here.