Write Down 10 Ideas per Day and It Can Rewire Your Brain

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One person he pitched for coffee was investor Warren Buffett . Upon further reflection it’s obvious Warren wasn’t waiting around with his billions of dollars for someone to buy him a $2 (2002 price) cup of coffee.

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One by one he resent each email. “I admire your work and here are ten ideas that I think can improve your business/blog” or whatever they were focused on in life. Twenty people got the email. Three replied.

One email he sent to a writer read, “I love your writing and here are ten ideas that I would love to read your perspective on.” Short and sharp. A reply came from the writer. He didn’t want to write those articles. He didn’t have time. But he loveeed the ten ideas.

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The story above is of James Altucher. Before his habit of writing down ideas, he wasn’t a writer or a respected hedge fund manager.

Writing down ten ideas per day helped him recover from deep depression. He says by the end of 2002, it felt like his brain was on fire. Getting up in the morning was a joy. All he wanted to do was get to the cafe as soon as he could, read a few articles, then get straight to writing down ten ideas. The success of his idea habit became addictive.

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I experienced this pain recently. I was about to leave my job and found it impossible to generate any ideas to write about. For the first time ever my notepad full of writing ideas was empty.

I labeled the situation burnout because it’s convenient. After reading about James’s idea technique, I started playing around with it. Instead of forcing myself to write ten ideas per day, I simply forced myself to write at least one idea per day. I followed this process for several weeks.

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James still won’t answer my emails or direct messages. You can’t blame him though, as upon reflection, my pitch broke all of the rules mentioned in his book about how writing down ideas saved his life.

I’m going to use James’ idea formula to see if it speaks his language in my next message. Idea experiments lead to opportunities. Remember: 3/20 people will respond using James’ idea technique, so you still need to comfortably be able to deal with rejection .

Writing ideas down is useless if you don’t follow it up with idea experiments.

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Many of you know who James Altucher is. Many of you probably have no idea how he became one of the most well-known writers on the internet.

I certainly had no idea that sending a list of ideas to the host of CNBC’s “Mad Money” was how James got his big break. Now we know James’ secret and we can mimic his results.

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