‘Corporatism is over': Entrepreneur James Altucher explains why it is time to re-imagine success

Earlier this month, Glenn penned a blog post in response to an article he came across on LinkedIn entitled “10 Reasons You Have To Quit Your Job In 2014” by author and entrepreneur James Altucher. At the time, Glenn referred to the piece as “one of the best, most honest articles” he had read in a very long time. In the article, James boldly declares:

Now the course of history has finally written its next chapter… I’m going to tell you why you have to quit your job. Why you need to get the ideas moving. Why you need to build a foundation for your life or soon you will have no roof.

Glenn complimented James for being “brave” and willing to speak the truth regardless of how popular or unpopular the idea might be. On Monday’s Glenn Beck Program, James joined Glenn to discuss the theory behind his book Choose Yourself!: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream and elaborate on the idea that history has evolved to the point where what was considered ‘right’ half a century ago (i.e. owning a home, going to college, investing in a 401K) is no longer a viable way to provide for yourself.

To begin, James explained that he has been a multi-millionaire twice, and he has lost it all twice. Like Glenn, he once found himself on the floor ready to end his life. But when he hit that rock bottom, he began to take inventory of his life and was forever changed. In that moment, James decided he needed to get physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy. This commitment to what he refers to as “the daily practice” led to him being able to “get off the floor.” But he soon lost it all again.

“Have you been kicked in the head enough,” Glenn asked.

“I hope so,” James responded. But he added that he has reoriented his focus to take life one day at a time. By regularly pausing to ask himself if his physical, metal, emotional, and spiritual needs are being met, he is able to take a constant inventory of what is going on and if/how it satisfies him.

As James explained, he is not encouraging anyone to run out and quit their job tomorrow. Instead, he asked the audience to realize times have changed, the economy has changed, and corporate culture has changed to the point where you must find a way to reposition yourself for success. “Corporatism is over” James declared because jobs have been outsourced to other countries or eliminated entirely by technological advances.

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So what is solution for the millions of Americans who have bills to pay, children to care for, and mouths to feed?

One of the ways James picked himself back up from the throngs of failure was by finding the intersection of business and love.

“Money is a side effect of providing for others,” James said. And once he stopped judging “self worth by net worth” he was able to find a new way to value success. He made a habit of carrying around a pad on which he wrote upwards of 20 ideas per day. These ideas weren’t necessarily for his own business ventures but for others. James explained that he would send his ideas – some good, some bad – to the businesses/people they could potentially benefit. While only 1 in 100 people responded, it changed his entire way of thinking.

“Crazy ideas lead to good ideas,” James said, and he encouraged people to start “conserving” their energy in the corporate sense and start “coming up with ways to help people.”

While James does not pretend for even a moment that this mindset will work for everyone, it helped him and he hopes it will help others. Ultimately, there are no two ways about the fact that we live in an economy where incomes are down, inflation is up, and underemployment is rampant. If you are willing to change the way you approach your life and your career and you are willing to learn how to “fail quickly” and take the time to “find the things that will be successful,” you will succeed – maybe not in the traditional sense but in a way that offers satisfaction and security.

  • Anonymous

    My Uncle Gabriel got a stunning blue Dodge Charger SRT8 from
    only workin part time on a home pc… hop over to here F­i­s­c­a­l­P­o­s­t­.­ℂ­o­m

    • lil’ will

      what a f***ing a-hole!

  • Deckard426

    It’s hard for a lot of people to quit their job, when the only job they’ve ever known is welfare.

  • http://www.patriotwood.com Art Pinney

    I’m one who has benefited from this thinking. I didn’t quit my job though. I wrote down my ideas and have been taking steps along the way. Has it been difficult to work a job and come home to another one? Yes. But if the good things in life were easy – we’d all be on top of the world. My business is starting to pick up bit by bit. It’s challenging and rewarding all at the same time. And best of all, in a year I most likely can quit my job and never fear about another individual having so much control over my life that he or she can ruin it for me. Why? Because I control my destiny. My present is great but my future will be awesome due to the foundations I’m currently building.

    Check out my dream, my business. I love what I do and look forward to the day when I can quit my “day job” and run my business full-time. So get a handcrafted patriotic wood flag for your home – show your patriotism. http://www.patriotwood.com

  • Anonymous

    Once I got over Altucher’s Rogaine overdose, I found some of what he said interesting, and some not so much. I agree with exercising the creative entrepreneurial process, but not all people want to own businesses. Some people want to be paid to do what they do and leave their problems at work to enjoy their families in the evening. I strongly disagree with rejecting higher education. Academia is where important creative and serious research occurs. That deep research becomes seeds for businesses to invest in. Sure, anyone can come up with ideas that may make money, but the foundation of American leadership is in science because novel scientific ideas improve our lives and multiply economic activity. High scientific research is absolutely critical for jobs in our country. The latest Iphone is less important because they’re made in China. A new dating website or app or service does less than scientific discoveries that result in products and industries. We must not loose site of that because our global competitors are focusing on research because it’s winning strategy.

    • JohnZ95

      Please tell me where the pointed headed academics at the university were in the founding of even ONE major technological company that has succeeded in the last 40 years.
      The biggest innovations started in someone’s garage with a great idea and have now given technology to billions of people on a cost effective basis. I generally have found the egghead set in the universities to be the ‘last to know’ so to speak these days when it comes to market innovations.
      As far as an experience rating on this front, I have built two successful companies in 28 years. Sold them both at a profit and am now building a third company in Asia. We are growing fast and next year will top 9 figures gross revenue. I have never completed college. Went three years and quit as I realized I can hire better engineers than myself. I started with less than 500 dollars the first time around and built that to 30 million a year in 8 years.
      So, I think I would be looking at the aggressive, restless, creative, inquisitive types for innovation and new businesses. Not the ivory tower theoreticians.

      • Anonymous

        I didn’t say academics form companies. I didn’t say people that didn’t attend college can’t discover important technologies on which industries are created. I argue that the combination of government-academia-private industry is a powerful combination to break new ground. Companies have a short time span during which they expect ROI. Therefore, fundamental research is not in the interest of many companies, but critical to new discoveries. Here are just a few of hundreds of life-changing discoveries that were born from universities, many with government funding:

        Columbia University FM Radio
        University of Illinois Light Emitting Diodes
        University of California Vitamin E
        University of Illinois Sound Motion Picture
        Penn Dialysis machine
        Purdue University Black & White Television
        University of Washington Hepatitus B vaccine
        Columbia University Laser
        MIT Medical Ultrasound
        Stanford University Beginning of Hewlett-Packard
        University of Wisconsin – Madison Human embryonic stem cells
        CalTech Richter Scale
        Princeton Hubble Telescope
        Harvard University Polio Vaccine
        Stanford University Nuclear magnetic resonance for MRIs
        Carnegie Mellon University First autonomous vehicles and helicopter
        University of Michigan Most powerful pulse of laser light
        University of Chicago First Blood Bank
        Johns Hopkins All-plastic battery
        Carnegie Mellon University Robotic machines
        CERN World Wide Web
        Drexel University Bar Codes
        University of California Scientists modernized farming machines

  • Mark Mathers

    Speaking as someone who quit his job and started a business, it’s a very big gamble. Paying for your own health insurance if you can even afford it and losing 15% in self employment taxes, these are two very big reasons to continue to work for a corporation. You also have to have a great idea and be willing to work very hard every day. If you’re not a “type A” type of person, owning your own business might not be a good idea. It’s easy to become lazy and it’s easy to lose structure in your life.

    Whether you walk across the room, or want to start a business or just get to a certain place in life, it takes 3 steps. 1. Figure out where you want to go (it should be reasonable). 2. Figure out a logical plan to get there. 3. Start moving and take steps everyday to get there.

    It’s possible to do very well on your own, but if you’re not up for it, you can very quickly realize how good things are in a nice corporate job. We shouldn’t tell everyone that going into business for yourself is a one size fits all approach. Most businesses go out of business in the first year. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

    • Anonymous

      Plus, if everyone had a business, there’d be no employees and therefore no businesses.

      Some people are just plain cut-out to be employees. But those employees need bosses and a business to be employed by. Hence the entrepreneurs. Everyone has their place, everyone needs clean floors and offices, and everyone needs to hear “Would you like fries with that.”

      Instead of people taking pride in what they do, find something worthy of doing for others, as this man has stated. Only then will your job or career become enjoyable.

      • kanakattack

        It should be kids and 1st year immigrants working these entry-level jobs. They don’t need much skill and they’re a perfect place for someone to immerse themselves in the working environment as well as start networking with people. Capitalism perfectly implemented would have people working for someone the first part of their working life then owning or at least having a significant managing position in the other half of their working life. I do agree that starting/owning a business isn’t for everyone. That being said some people are honestly the happiest working for someone else while many other people are happiest working for themselves. There’s not nearly enough people working for themselves at this point though that should be and we need to increase that.

  • Richard Brenick

    One should check out “One Spark” of Jacksonville, FL., it’s people helping people get a start in the business they love. Only two years old this year over 250,000 people attended.

  • CommonCents

    Altucher is always a good read. You don’t have to agree with everything.

    I believe the answer is for everyone who is working, think ahead and assume your job could be eliminated or outsourced. The day you get your pink slip and severance, is NOT the time to start thinking of a backup plan and to pursue that idea you thought of.

    Take time at your existing job to learn about the other areas/functions of the business. Why its successful, what can be improved. How does the business work, what is the complete sales/order/manufacture/distribute cycle? Use it as on the job training for entrepreneurs.

    Set yourself up for success by pursuing your ideas as much as you can WHILE working to make the transition easier.

    Smart entrepreneurs quit their regular jobs only AFTER their new small biz starts growing and NEEDS their full time commitment.

  • Daniel

    Really… “history has evolved to the point where what was considered ‘right’ half a century ago (i.e. owning a home, going to college, investing in a 401K) is no longer a viable way to provide for yourself.”
    First of all history does not evolve, it is history, fact truth. What has happened in the past has happened. Jobs have always moved elsewhere for centuries, we follow where the opportunities are. Opportunities took those on the outskirts of society to California, Montana, Oregon in search for opportunities. They are out their, to many kids expect them to fall in their lap.

    • Anonymous

      The bad all started when the WELFARE system kicked in. It has been voluntary so far, but will be enforced pretty soon. America will become just another Cuba.

  • http://truthofg.blogspot.com/ Connor Davenport

    Sorry not quitting my job.

  • Bill Wiltfong

    What he’s fundamentally talking about isn’t that you should talk to your boss and say the words “I quit,” but rather you should ensure that what you think of as “your job” is defined by you and not by a corporation, a boss, a company, or society. Decide for yourself what your job is and let the corporate environment find a place for you. Look for solutions you can accomplish; eliminate needs in your business and among your friends and family; take on responsibility that doesn’t have anything to do with traditional definitions of your job title. The world is no longer defined by a commonly-agreed-upon paradigm that supports you and gives you identity and security in the same place that you get your employment, so if you don’t want to be left behind and suddenly adrift you’re going to need to quit thinking like that and begin defining your job for yourself. Once that’s done, customers will come.

  • Something Is Wrong

    This was a bit frustrating to watch. I am doing all the things they are talking about and getting ignored by all the people I’m asking for help with the means to really do something to help including Glenn Beck. I’ve reached out multiple times and gotten nothing in return. All I want is 30 minutes of his time; I’ll go to him at my own expense. However, love and good ideas still aren’t enough and unless you have some rich family members or have a really nice little nest egg yourself, you need help from other people. I’ve got a kickstarter project that is failing miserably right now and I don’t understand why. When people hear about my business, everyone loves it and thinks it’s an amazing idea, just not enough apparently to actually try to help it out. If you want more information, search for Vet Chefs on facebook.

  • Moozmom

    Live like our government doesn’t exist; that’s what I started doing. I’m much happier. And I’m over 65 and still work at a profession in which I can choose who I want to work for. It’s a great fit I determined to follow my self 35 years ago.

  • texastruthtweet

    Not sure if I am quitting my current job, but I am beginning to develop a side business. More details later.

  • Anonymous


  • BlueMN

    “Corporatism is over. It’s been outsourced to other countries. It’s been outsourced to robots. It’s been outsourced to people willing to take less money than you. And in general, they don’t need you anymore and they didn’t like you to begin with.” Didn’t Marx say something like that a long time ago?

  • Hugh Jass

    Although participation in democratic processes is often confused with liberty, it is not true that those too young to vote lack liberty.

  • Sam Higgins

    But just imagine… Every family had their own business that they made,
    the workers can be children or whomever they want to hire(which yes,
    does make there be workers but the workers wouldn’t be paid unfairly if
    it was family own) Farmers do it, some restaurants do it. Once everyone
    has their own business then the money can be distributed more evenly.
    Not like how we are now, where we buy all our stuff from big name
    brands, big corporations. You understand that it only takes one great
    mind to make a big corporation that can extort the money out of the
    poor. The American dream is dead once you believe in it. They get to sit
    around, take all of our money and make it all seem like we need their
    clothes, just because of a certain symbol. If everyone quit, no one
    bought from them anymore, they would sell everything and high tale out
    of here if they were smart because they would lose money then. Once that
    happens, more self made companies/products can start being made. But
    either way one person can strike it rich, but if you wanted everyone to
    be equal everyone would have to save up money and stick together, make
    something of themselves, and try to live happily making your dream come

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