Kindle tells me I am 70 percent of my way through James Altucher's fine manifesto Choose Yourself, which has much to say about the way things are in this day and age and about how best to live during this new era. As Altucher guides me along, I find myself in greater admiration of Paul Phillips, the central figure in my Myke Phoenix universe.
When first we met Paul in the early 1990s (or 2008 when the stories first saw light of day), he was an everyday radio news reporter for WACR, a news-talk station in Astor City, a city that sort of reminds me of Green Bay, in whose orbit I have spent the last 30 years. But local radio news has faded toward obscurity, and Paul found himself in need of a new day job.
He latched onto the Astor City Times-Gazette as a newspaper reporter. You may have heard about the newspaper industry. Yep, Paul was laid off again.
What happened next brings us to Altucher's point, which you can sample in this YouTube video from a TEDx talk a few months ago. Paul Phillips chose himself.
His traditional jobs telling the story of Astor City dried up and went away. But Paul still believed that the people of Astor City wanted and needed to hear their story.
So, using the tools of modern technology, he made his own platform to tell that story: The Astor City Beacon, a local news website that does the things that WACR and the Times-Gazette used to do – that is to say, it tells Astor City's stories as seen and reported by Paul Phillips.
Altucher's thesis is that day jobs are swiftly becoming a thing of the past and that's OK because happiness is found not when someone else chooses you, but when you choose yourself. And he goes about telling how he did that and making suggestions about how you can do something similar.
I still have 30 percent of the book to become disillusioned, but through this point I've found quite a lot of valuable insight about how to navigate this brave new world. And for that I heartily recommend the book.
Oh, and I wouldn't object if you explore Paul Phillips' world while you're at it, either the original Paul or the more recent Paul.