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James Altucher


How to Diversify Your Life

People diversify when they invest because it:

A) reduces risk.

B) gives more opportunity for surprise huge returns.

When people think "investing", though, they think of stocks (or crypto). But everything in life is an investment. When you go to college you "invest" four years of your life (plus the tuition). When you start a business you invest time, money, energy, ideas.

But you don't want to diversify the wrong things. For instance, if you diversify the number of romantic relationships you are in simultaneously it will cost too much energy, reputation, and potentially a lot of money.

So here are some things that I think are worth diversifying.

    1. – Start more than one business.

    Start many businesses. Or jobs. Or careers. Start them at the same time. Eventually one will stand out as the one flourishing.

    I’m watching this happen to a good friend of mine right now. He has his hand in ten different businesses. He also has at least one fulltime job. One is bursting through and he’s able to make his decision as to where to go – the one that will make him fabulously wealthy while having fun.

    Well, what if you have a job?

    Get two jobs. Apply for more jobs. Always figure out what your value is on the job marketplace. I

    2. – Diversify the way you meet people.

    We are no longer limited to just our coworkers and neighbors.

    Life is global. We can meet people through the Internet, through travel, through classes on every topic possible. Pick the people who will be the most positive in your life. People who you can look up to, who can look up to you. Eliminate everyone else.

    Not in a cold or cruel way. But in a way that makes sure you put the importance back on yourself. Make sure you are your own center of gravity. Anyone whose gravitational pull becomes too great needs to be put on “Halley’s Comet” status  – once every 76 years and that’s it.

    3. – Diversify ideas.

    Many people ask me, “when I’m working on my list of ten ideas for the day so as to build the idea muscle, should they all be business ideas, or ideas around one sector?”

    No! Write ideas about anything you can. Then mate them.

    Here’s an exercise right now. Make  two columns. At the top of each column, write an interest.  Then write down five ideas for each that has to do with each idea. Now cross-fertilize them. Come up with many ideas combining the two columns as possible.

    You will never be the best in the world at anything (unless you are, then ignore this), but you can be good at many things. The beauty of that is that you then become the best in the world at the intersection of all these things. It’s at that intersection that you can completely direct traffic and change the world.

    4. – Creative output.

    Everyone wants to create their “masterpiece” whether it’s a business, an article, a book, a speech, whatever.

    Here’s the problem: you can’t do it. It”s not going to happen.

    The only way you have any control over it is by sheer output.

    You have to crank it out. Woody Allen has written over 46 movies. A good chunk of them I’m sure he would never want to look at again. Isaac Asimov has written over 500 books, some of them outright boring and yet he created The Foundation series and I,Robot.  Thomas Edison has 1093 patents but we remember him today for just one of them. Einstein wrote 245 papers but we remember  him for one equation. Buddha taught every day for almost 60 years and we remember him for his “eightfold path”. Bukowski wrote 71 books and probably only three or four of them stand out as truly stunning. I can go on and on.

    The list is endless. being prolific means you diversify your creativity, means you create the platform by which people can find you. Gives you more stop signs you can put up  in front of people’s lives to direct them back to the home  where you live.

    THIS MEANS  YOU WILL FAIL A LOT. Failure is an acquired taste. You have to really experience it quite a bit to savor it. And then your roll with it without the extra burden of disappointment. When you are disappointed in a failure it’s as if you’ve not only paid the price but you got nothing for it. Eventually you learn to get something for it.

    One more note: reading this one makes me feel stressed out. You don’t have to do it all in a single day. Isaac Asimov took 40 years to write his 500 books. So did Bukowski and others. Take your time. But mark the “X” each day that says “I did it”, even if it was only a little.

    5. – Diversify your platform.

    If you are trying to build a presence in social media, then you can’t just blog. You can’t just be on Facebook or Twitter. You have to self-publish on Amazon, you have to blog, you have to tweet, you have to be on Facebook and have a fan page there, you have be on Quora, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn. And you have to be there repeatedly. If you self-publish once, do it twice.

    There’s two schools of thought: wait until you have your masterpiece, or just do it. In this world, “just do it” works best. Because what you do will be forgotten ten seconds later so you’re going to need to do it again. Hopefully better.

    I did this because I got sick of waiting around for mainstream media (or mainstream anything) to “pick me”. I wanted to choose myself and not  wait for some unhappy college graduate to say no to me.

    6. – Diversify the people you meet and the people who inspire you.

    I’m shy. And I like to sit at home and not answer the phone or return emails. So here’s what I do.  I try to meet three or four people a week (via Zoom) to see what I can learn from them.

    7. – Diversify what you read.

    Or learn. When you go out today for a cafe take four books with you: one about your top career, one about your top interest or hobby (unrelated to your career), one thriller, and one book about spirituality or history. Read a little from each. Is there a reason to do this? I have no idea! But I know after about twenty years of doing this trick every day it’s helped me to come up with better ideas (and also some pretty bad ones).

    8. – Diversify your health.

    Just because you eat well, doesn’t mean you’re healthy. You need to be honest with yourself here. List the things you do that you KNOW are not the healthiest for yourself. You don’t need to cut everything at once. But figure it out. It’s got to be painful to be 90 years old and know that if you had done just a few things differently it wouldn’t hurt so much every time you went to the bathroom.

    9. – Diversify your thoughts.

    I spent too much of my life thinking about money. And then thinking about women. And sometimes thinking about money and women at the same time. Sometimes I think about chess.

    I don’t know how they counted this but someone once told me we think 60,000 thoughts a day. All 60,000 of mine would sometimes be about money and women, with a little about food and defecation.

    So I try to diversify.

    I try to go outside and appreciate nature (hard for me). I enjoy reading and that gives me "food" for thought. These idea lists help me diversify my thoughts.

    10. True Diversification of Life makes you independent.

    Makes you free.

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