What I learned from interviewing James Altucher — (my 18th interview ever.)

James Altucher and I, shooting the shit.

I’m Beck. I run Nomadfly.me and Ideasummit.me — a virtual summit designed to help you make money from your ideas.

(Register for the Idea Summit free here and get 500 ideas you can start without capital, straight away. It’s free from 7th-10th September.)

If you’re anything like me, you’re an idea junkie. And if you’re an idea junkie, you’ve likely heard of James Altucher, who started the Choose Yourself movement and who recommends writing 10 ideas a day to grow your idea muscle. I am living proof (and there are many of us out there) that this works!

I had $2 in my account when I decided to host this online summit, and have ZERO interviewing experience (this will become evident when you watch the interviews. Lol.) Anyway I decided I wanted to give it a go.

I interviewed a bunch of the guests over Skype in Thailand and Vietnam (internet was better in Vietnam) and learned a lot in the process. My third interview ever (and probably the most awkward one) was with Tucker Max.

TUCKER MAX YOU GUYS. I should probably have warmed up with a few other guests since I needed the practice, but I guess everyone starts somewhere. I read you need to do 100 interviews before you stop being awkward. *sigh* I’m on my way though with 20 now under my belt.

ANYWAYS. I asked James to be on the summit awhile back, and got no answer. I made a cheesy low budget video to ask — and decided it was just best to use my dumb sense of humour and see what would happen. (Nothing.)

I figured since no one knows me, it’s fair that people wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to talk to me — (although #humblebrag now I actually have quite a few requests to be in the next iteration of the summit which will re-launch in November.) I went ahead and interviewed the people who said yes (around 20 of the 40 I asked.)

I sent a followup email with summit details but got nothing back. No big deal, I usually don’t feel rejected unless it’s a cute girl. I kept doing my thing and right before I finished my interviews, I looked at my followups and thought: “Ah fuck it. Might as well ask again.”

BAM the next day there was an email in my inbox from James’ assistant. I posted a screenshot in my IDEA MACHINE Facebook group and might have danced a bit in my chair (don’t tell me you never do that.)


The day came. I stupidly thought the interview was at 10pm Vietnam time and it was at 8:30, so I lost the meditation/nervous pee time I had planned. Oh well.

I was scared that we would both be awkward (James talks a lot about being awkward, but nope, I guess he’s done bajillions of interviews with people much more intimidating than this Kiwi girl with a side mullet…) it was just me that was awkward haha.

I opened with “OK is it OK if I just have a minute to fangirl.” #smdh

First of all I found it really difficult to “interview” him — because I honestly was just loving having a conversation. I kept forgetting I was supposed to ask things about ideas. So there’s a lot of back and forth (sometimes with James asking ME questions….:/ #doingitwrong) and like any conversation, I talked more than I probably should have and interrupted him a lot (haha giving him a taste of his own medicine — if you’ve listened to his podcast you’ll know what I’m talking about.)

I also found it hard to figure out what to ask more about — I figured there would be a lot of his audience on the summit, so should I ask things that dive deep and assume the listener knows already that he made and lost millions? Or just introduce him to people? I decided to keep this interview pretty surface level so that people who didn’t know him would be able to learn more about choosing themselves. After all, we who know and love James still love and endorse all that original stuff — and don’t mind hearing it over and over again. It’s just imprinting it more in our minds. God knows I need to be reminded to choose myself quite regularly.

It was an easy conversation to have, but I think I was worried about the recording, about whether or not people would get a lot out of it, about whether or not I sounded like an idiot, about talking too much, about the ant crawling on my keyboard, there are a lot of things going on when you do a video interview. Do I have sweat patches? I should have set up better lighting. What if Skype dies? OMG someone slammed the door, will people hear that? What question should I ask next? I need to listen to what the other person is saying…..on and on. I know this will get better as I interview more people.

I talked to James about validating ideas, how to launch something quickly, why college is a waste of money, how to take action on your idea even when you don’t have a supportive network, what he did in Thailand, why you should start something small rather than aim to get investment, and what it means to choose yourself.

We talked a little about my current micro business, NomadFly, and what I learned for myself (and maybe you will too when you watch the interview) is that, fuck yeah, I’m on the right track. I’m working on something that makes me happy. I’m building up my income. I’m taking action.

Across the whole summit, the theme is the same. Ideas are great. But they’re nothing without action. You need to work on something. Build something, create something. Don’t wait for someone to choose you. Choose yourself.

There’s no way to know if an idea will work or not, without actually launching it.

I told James how I launched NomadFly for $0 3 months ago and it’s currently making $1000 a month. He asked what I did to launch it. I recommend you check out the interview in the summit if you want to know. :p

If you don’t currently have a side project that’s earning money, it’s a lot easier than you think. Pick an idea, find 10 people who will pay you money for it. Take the money, deliver the product or service. Some ideas are less work than others, so take that into consideration! The aim of this summit is to show you how to make money from your ideas — so check it out!

Register free for the summit (launches 7th September) and get 500 online business ideas you can start right away with minimal experience and zero cash up front. The ideas are all yours to do as you please. I recommend James’ “idea sex” where you combine two ideas to come up with something new — but all these ideas can be validated and used to make money.

Hit me up if you have questions at beck@10ideas.me or Twitter @ninjapreneur

Beck :)