You can’t make money without

You can’t make money without selling something real. You can’t make something real without […] imagination […]. You can’t have imagination without surrendering yourself to an idea that you want to create something of value to other human beings.”

James Altucher

In the blog world (where many of my clients and friends live) it’s easy to setup a site and dole out advice on things like life, success, happiness, etc. There’s no required certification. For better or worse.

The blog world is inundated with these kinds of properties. It can be greasy, but my experiences with these kinds of bloggers has typically been positive.

My other world, the tech & startup world, is much different. It’s not a simple thing to get into (or at least it feels that way). When there’s real money, real stakes, there needs to be real value, real worth.

Recently I’m seeing these two worlds combine. Bloggers thinking more about real value, startuppers thinking more about lifestyle and happiness.

These two worlds are much more alike than I used to think. Though blogging is easy to start, creating true value (a question the typical blogger starts thinking about a year or more after starting) is hard. And that’s hard everywhere — be it a blog, an app, an HVAC company, or anything else.

And maybe I should rephrase that. It’s not that it’s hard to create real value, it’s that creating real value is the real work.

My two worlds are discovering they share the same ecosystem: creating value, making things someone wants.

Hemingway on Being Alive

“Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”


The Self-Made Man’s Self-Worth Problem

“But the manhood of the Self-Made Man was ever in doubt, tied as it was to external factors and the whims of financial success. Just as the value of a company‚Äôs stock fluctuated from day to day, so could the value of the Self-Made Man.”

Art of Manliness

Here’s one thing I’ve learned from a year at the gym: I’m strong. Doesn’t matter how much weight I can or can’t pull, I can grow, build up strength, whatever’s necessary. I’m not defective.

There’s confidence that comes with that – wisdom enough to know when it’s too much weight, confidence enough to know what I can do.

Today’s fluctuating sense of worth, whether man or woman, is danger stuff. Confidence changes the kinds of thoughts you have.

Do you feel confident?

Be a Real Artist

‘We’re artists, not producers.’ Then make some art! ‘No one will buy it.’ Are you insane? The point isn’t the money yet, it is the drive. Go to the Whole Foods and ask if you can hang it for free, and if they say no, hang it anyway. […] The natural human instinct is to create things, beginning with the toddler who is amazed that he was able to create such a fascinating product out of his butt, the difference is most toddlers grow up and sublimate that drive and create other things. You have not gotten past the poop, strike that, you have regressed to the oral stage, hence the emphasis on organic foods. Yes, the anal stage comes after the oral stage.”

The Last Psychiatrist

Doing “something you love” for work is all the rage these days. And I’m all for it.

But before you try businessifying your passion, try out being a real artist — believe in a story so much you’ll give away your art for free. And if you don’t have the story yet, start looking.

Coffee is For Closers (Can I Get My Check Now?)

“Is Baldwin’s character a jerk or a savior? […] The secret is at the beginning, at 0:15, where it is revealed that Alec Baldwin doesn’t feel any of this, the whole speech is a work. If you were in that room, some of you would understand this as a work, but feed off the energy of the message anyway, welcome the coach’s cursing at you, “this guy is awesome!”; while some of you would take it personally, this guy is a jerk, you have no right to talk to me like that, or — the standard maneuver when narcissism is confronted with a greater power — quietly seethe and fantasize about finding information that will out him as a hypocrite. So satisfying.”

The Last Psychiatrist

Very interesting article. Polarizing. More than it appears to be. Regardless of how I feel about the thing as a whole, I’m firing myself. I have a week to win my job back.