James Altucher on Reaching For Your Future and Letting Go of Your Past


Takeaways from this episode:

  • What James learned from giving up everything -- it wasn't all positive!
  • Tips for downsizing your belongings, how to choose what stays and what goes, and best of all how to make best use of the things you keep.
  • How the "access economy" is superseding the "ownership economy" and what that means in practical terms.

For The Curious,

That photo you see above – that was taken in James Altucher’s apartment. You can see a table. Some complimentary chairs. A cup. Some books. A pad. Even a piece of artwork!


This is a very different landscape than it was for James in 2016 when he made the decision to get rid of almost everything that he owned. Back then, he tasked a woman he trusted to get rid of everything in the apartment he was leaving with one proviso – that she didn’t call him while she was doing it.

She did phone him once. To ask James if he really wanted to get rid of his college diploma. He told her that since he hadn’t used it recently he didn’t even want her to waste any energy loading it in a garbage bag – and pointed her straight toward the fireplace.  

Ultimately, sheets, clothing, books, silverware and even James’ childhood photo albums filled up 40 garbage bags which were then donated or dumped.

James is a best-selling author and highly-successful investor and Wall Street analyst whose blog reaches millions of people. As you can imagine, this move took a lot of people by surprise.

James reduced all his possessions to 15 items that he carried around in a canvas satchel as he moved from Airbnb to Airbnb. He was determined not to increase his possessions and from this adventure in lifestyle came so many lessons in creative thinking and self-discipline.

Though James has now moved into a wonderful apartment, he’s kept it sparse. And I’m sure the way he relates the story in this episode of Big Questions will bring you as many takeaways as it presented to me.

James is one of the world’s most delightful conversationalists, and it’s my hope that you love this conversation as much as I did.



P.S. Oh, and thank YOU for coming on the journey. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do. You probably won’t want to miss next week’s episode about sex doll robots.

Kevin HekmatComment