Two Lifehacks That Will Get People To Like You

Two Lifehacks That Will Get People To Like You by James Altucher
I’m taking a day off from writing about crying on the floor. I feel like I’ve written 600 posts about either failure or naked people.

Instead, I’m going to share two things I’ve done that have changed my life for the better and I don’t know anyone else who does them.

A) Get yourself 1000 $2 bills. You can get $2 bills by going to your local bank and asking them to order it from the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve threw out all of their antique copy machines that were set aside for $2 bills. That said, they still have a million vintage 2003 (signed by John Snow) $2 bills lying around. If you go to your local bank branch and ask for $2 bills it will take about 2-3 weeks to get one thousand of them.


1) When you go to a place where you plan on being a regular, always tip 30% and do it all with $2 bills. Nobody is ever going to forget you and you will always be treated well. Plus people will fight with each other to be the one serving you. That’s a nice feeling. You don’t have to be rich. You just have to have $2 bills.

Note: DON’T waste $2 bills on tips for cab drivers. They are never going to see you again.

2) When you are breaking into a new scene, always use $2 bills. For instance, when I started playing chess for money at Washington Square Park I would always pay off with $2 bills but when I won I’d get $1s or $5s. Pretty soon, everyone was hoarding their $2 bills. My currency was flowing through the local economy. Everyone knew who I was. It was a shortcut to popularity because that’s how desperate I was for friends among a bunch of drug addict homeless chessplayers.

3) When I was dating, I would carry a thick wad of cash. A $100 bill on top, $2 bills filling out the whole wad. Time to pay for dinner, I’d bring out the wad (impressive), peel off a $100 bill (pathetic) and then amaze by tipping with non-stop $2 bills. “Where did you get those?” people always ask. Give a cryptic answer. “I do some projects with the government.”

Extra tip: it helps to go to the same restaurant the night before the date so everyone who works there is excited, anticipating what you will do.

4) Conversation piece. If you pull out a $2 bill people say three things: “what is that?”, “where did you get that?”, “they are so beautiful”

5) Because as far as money goes, they are beautiful. I love the back of the 2 dollar bill. So much detail.

B) Buy 100 waiters pads. I’ve written about it before but I can’t stress it enough.

1) It’s easy to write ideas. And the width is too short for you to put a lot of details or write a novel or whatever. It’s just for writing down ideas. I write at least ten ideas a day on waiter’s pads. Over the course of a year that’s almost 4000 ideas. I do it seven days a week.

2) If you are writing down ideas in a restaurant then the waiter thinks you are in the business and serves you faster.

Trust me, this always works. In fact, if I am getting poor service I just pull out my waiter’s pad, put it on the table, and suddenly everyone is very attentive.

3) At the beginning of a business meeting I pull out the waiters pad and someone always says, “I’ll take two cheeseburgers and a coke” and everyone laughs. It’s a good conversation starter.

4) It’s a good way of showing you’re frugal. When everyone pulls out their moleskin notebooks that cost $40 a pad you can say you paid 10 cents for your waiter’s pad. Frugality is great when you are trying to raise money.

5) I’m bad at remembering names. At the top of every page in the waiter’s pad are small shapes representing the different different types of tables. The shapes have numbers representing every sitting position. You can write down the names of who is at the meeting and where they sat.

6) they fit in your shirt pocket. As opposed to almost every other pad.

I tried to think of a third lifehack but I couldn’t. For 10 years I’ve carried around waiter’s pads and $2 bills every day and have had enormous success with both of them.

The key is you are inviting people into your universe. To keep them guessing about what might happen next. It’s a mystery! $2 bills and waiter’s pads are a good start.

Oh! And my special handshake. But I’ll save that for another post.

[Note on rewriting: first draft of this was 1041 words. Final draft: 773 words]

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  • scoopingoprahdotcom

    You can get pads of bills from many major banks, already attached to their folder; ask around town. In a pinch, have the bank write to the bank of Nevada.

  • Yes, cool lifehack! I have been doing it for a while and it makes people happy. Except in some countries abroad. I tried the technique in Spain and Peru and… it turned me into the most charming visitor ever! Then I did the same in Burma and was greeted with incredulous frowns and looks of “did this guy from the richest country in the world just tipped with fake money?”, so I had to add normal denominations. In Thailand, my $2 bills were the equivalent of $1 bill + $1 bill. No less and no more. And (I heard) some (strip) clubs only take a minimum tip of $5. Lincoln trumps Jefferson.

    One thousand $2 bills is the way to go. I have been ordering one hundred at a time and every couple of months I need to restock, then I have to ask the desolate BofA branch in Newbury Park, CA to order more bills. I don’t feel liked when I go pick them up, sometimes I send other people to do it.

  • Clay Ermel

    The comment was about giving Libertarian informational cards, not grammar usage you don’t enjoy. The ‘shut up’ comment has 20 likes because you are a comment troll. Also, I would love to be hamburgered.

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  • Crazy, but I can actually see this work! Off to the bank for some 2 dollar bills. I love that idea.

  • CJ Craze

    frig, all we have in Canada now is $2 coins and nobody wants a pocket full of coins!

  • I’ve never thought of using waiter’s pads for taking notes… I’ve just googled suppliers in Aus and bookmarked for future reference. Thanks for the awesome (and frugal) tip!

  • $2 bills a bit hard to find in New Zealand, will keep looking….

  • Mehul Shah

    Sometimes also be prepared for this.!

  • we have toonies in Canada, this won’t work as they are as common as dimes.

  • Julia S Forbes

    Gift and Gifting are commonly used as verbs in Development fundraising. Perhaps it crossed over into common usage?

  • Alan Dillman

    Damnation. $2 coins are ubiquitous here. I’ll have to come up with another plan!

  • COLLECT nyc

    As a restaurant professional I can assure you that little is more unwelcomed as much as “spare change” or $2 bills. Granted – befriending a restaurant professional won’t get you much further than a free drink- and a drink never helped anything…least of all business, investment and/or professional success. (Unless you’re angling to become a professional Bartender.)…So why not try it and prove me wrong.