The James Altucher Show

Ep. 154 - Adam Grant: What's Next - How to Turn Your Idea into a (Successful) Business


I don't want to be afraid. But I am. I'll explain why. But first, I want to introduce you to Adam Grant. He has the solution to my problem… And maybe your problem, too. Adam is the youngest tenured and highest-ranking professor at the famed business university The Wharton School, a writer for The New York Times, and the New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. In researching his new book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Adam met with today's most successful and innovative entrepreneurs.  Why? To get answers. “We have a ton of guidance on how to generate ideas,” he says. But what about after? What do you do? Originals teaches you how to bring new ideas into the world. And really, there's no grand theory on how to be "original." But there are tricks… And Adam discovered some patterns among today's most successful entrepreneurs. He spoke to Google's co-founder, Larry Page, Warby Parker's founders and CEOs, and thought leaders like the renowned writer, Malcolm Gladwell. From Gladwell, Adam learned the most powerful technique to induce creativity. From Larry Page and the Warby Parker guys, he found a common thread. Hint: don't quit your day job. But, more on that later. I'm going to tell you the top three things to be “an original.” They might surprise you. But first, I want you to know what else you'll get from today's podcast: How to get into a flow state (even during tasks you don't like) [51:32] Should you plan your procrastination? [25:20] The most powerful techniques to immerse yourself and bring creativity into your life(including Malcolm Gladwell's library trick) [20:06] Why the hell Adam Grant didn't invest seed money in Warby Parker and become a billionaire [8:38] An ode to the idea muscle: why it's more important to have quantity over quality ideas [28:19]  Ok so here they are. The top three things to become "an original:" 1) Induce creativity First unlearn. Then learn... We've all internalized things we need to question. That's what adults do. We make up rules and reasons. We draw lines instead of pictures… tell “facts,” not stories. But why can't we play with our food? Or stand on the counter? Kids think. Kids create. And we can get back to that too. We just have to unlearn. And then re-learn. “This comes back to our idea of broadening your experience and your knowledge,” Adam says. “You need to step outside of your field in order to see what you should be challenging.” Immerse yourself in new domains. Go beyond work… beyond your office… beyond the usual. Personally, I dabble in a lot of things. I play games. I write. I read. I'm involved in lots of businesses. And I recently tried stand-up comedy. “I've just pursued things I'm curious about,” Adam says, “and then unexpectedly, they turn out to have bridges between them.” That's the key to learning. Do something new. Do a dare of the day. It's good for your creative health.  2) Don't quit your day job (yet). Give yourself time to build your business. It worked for me. I tell why in this episode. Listen at [21:31]. And be conservative. It's one of the best ways to be original. “I was stunned actually,” Adam says. He read this a “nationally represented study of American entrepreneurs.” “People who did what you did, James, and kept their day job are 33% less likely to fail.” 3) Propel your ideas forward Doubting your ideas can be paralyzing, so eliminate self-doubt. According to Adam, a lot of originals said, “Look, you could fail by starting a business that flops or you could fail by not starting a business at all, and I don't want to be in that second category."  Listen at [22:09] to get actionable steps to fight self-doubt.   Listen now. And let's stop being afraid... Together. Resources and Links: Read Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant Listen to my last interview with Adam Grant here Read Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant Follow Adam on Facebook, Twitter, & visit his website www. adamgrant. net to read his articles.