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How Brainstorming Helped James Altucher Become A Millionaire

Self-empowerment blogger and author of over 20 books, James Altucher, was recently asked a crucial brainstorming question on one of his blog posts by a reader named Daniel Restrepo. The question was, “At what time of the day do you brainstorm business ideas, and how has it helped you succeed?” 

His response was:

“I have a waiters pad on me all the time. I brainstorm all day. If someone says something even funny to me, I write it down. By the way, brainstorming sort of implies most ideas are bad. You can’t judge your ideas. Just write them down. Judge later.

The other day I was watching the BBC show “Peep Show” in the afternoon with Claudia. It’s a hilarious show. I didn’t have my waiter’s pad on me, but I had a book (“1.d4” by Boris Avrukh). I wrote in the back pages of the book. Claudia was getting annoyed because I kept pausing the show. I was writing things the characters were saying that were funny to me”. 

In truth, James Altucher has become a millionaire and a successful entrepreneur, hedge fund manager, author, venture capitalist, podcaster, and American hedge fund manager because of his ability to brainstorm ideas easily.

In another of his blog posts, titled ‘The Ultimate Guide to Becoming an Idea Machine’, James explained that to have good ideas is to get close to killing oneself. According to him, when human beings get broke or hit rock bottom, ideas start to flow immediately. 

He explains that if one destroys his or her life, one would need to come up with ideas to get back on track and rebuild it. This mentality has been the cornerstone of James’ success today. In the article, James said,

“The only time I’ve been FORCED to have good ideas is when I was up against the wall. My life insurance policy was like a gun to my head:  “Come up with good ideas… OR ELSE, your kids get your life insurance!” 

James attributes not being in a state of panic, most of the time, to why people remain unproductive. He says that ‘states of panic’ are special and must be revered. He also explains that it is important to always strengthen the connection to any idea force inside of us. 

 His advice: 

 “Take a waiter’s pad. Go to a local cafe. Maybe read an inspirational book for ten to twenty minutes. Then start writing down ideas. What ideas? Hold on a second. The key here is, write ten ideas that come to mind, no matter how absurd.” 

You can order a 10Ideas Creativity Journal today to write down the ideas – good or bad, that you come up with during your brainstorming sessions.