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Book: Skip the Line

Author:  James Altucher

Purchase:  PrinteBook | Audiobook

Citation:  Altucher, J. (2021). Skip the line : the 10,000 experiments rule and other surprising advice for reaching your goals. New York, NY: Harper Business, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.

Key Ideas & Big Takeaways:​​

At the end of each day, ask yourself, “Did I improve at least 1% in my career or skill or whatever I am trying to improve today?” People who do this start off slow but then begin to see amazing results. If I write 1000 words a day, in one day that's nothing. But in one year that's the equivalent of two to three novels. And if my skill improves with each day, because I'm experimenting with styles, then I'll very quickly be able to find a niche in writing and have the ability to support it, which will catapult me out front. (pg. 33)

There's something else you should know. You can also lose 1% a day. People who remain too satisfied, who go to work and do their routine and don't focus on that 1% of improvement and learning, will be outpaced by others and left with excuses like, “Well, that guy doesn't have a family like I do” or “ I guess other things were more important to me.” (pg. 34)

Reading is the most important superpower. Someone might spend 30 years of their life developing a skill and then share the knowledge learned in those 30 years by writing a book. If you read the book carefully, take notes, reread, repeat, then it's as if you are absorbing 30 years of that person's life into your mind. Reading lets you absorb not just one life but thousands. You have all the memories and even some of the skills of every author of every book you've read if you go through the process of reading carefully, taking notes, rereading, repeating. Reading turns every author into a virtual mentor and  trust me, virtual mentors are sometimes even better than real life mentors. Virtual mentors will never resent your success as you pass them by. (pg. 82)

It takes 10,000 hours to be world-class at any one thing. It takes 1000 hours to be world-class at an intersection. It takes 100 hours to become world-class at the intersection of three or more things. Scott Adams, creator of one of the most popular syndicated comic strips in the world, refers to this particular skill as a “talent stack.” “I wasn't the best at drawing, but I was pretty good. I wasn't the funniest, but I was okay. And I wasn't the best at understanding the corporate world, but I was pretty good. I combined all of these and the result was Dilbert.” (pg. 125)

Texts have a 90% open rate, while emails only have about an 8% open rate. (pg. 153)

“Fragile” is when you are fired and you crash and burn and get depressed and go broke. “Resilient” is when you are fired but you have 6-month savings and you dress up in a suit and apply for new jobs and after 4 months you find one. It's a slightly lower salary and longer commute, but you'll survive and live to fight another day. Antifragile is when you are hit hard and you recover even stronger than you were before. Have a plan B that makes you antifragile. You don't want to get fired, but if it happens, you'll bounce back stronger than you were before. (pg. 196)

I didn't find what I could call real success until I started being openly vulnerable about all the mistakes I have made. I started blogging about them and built up a much bigger audience than I ever had just writing about financial topics. Being openly vulnerable and admitting my mistakes also forced me to learn lessons from them. (pg. 248)

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