Summary: Jewel: From Homeless to Millionaire – The James Altucher Show

There’s so much more to Jewel than it meets the eye.

Before becoming an acclaimed singer-songwriter, she grew up in an abusive and broken household, living on her own at the age of 15 and became homeless at 18 years of age, stealing for food and washing her hair in public restroom.

She should’ve ended up a statistic. But she didn’t.

The complete story is documented in her book Jewel – Never Broken: Songs are Only Half of the Story.

This interview was a very surprisingly insightful and uplifting conversation to me. Jewel spoke with conviction and truth while  her life experience brought her wisdom to life.



Success is like stubbornness. I’m going to keep standing up. – Jewel (15:46).  

Some of us are stubborn, always doing things the way we want to do it. Why don’t we also be as stubborn and fixate on our own successes as well?

I think it’s that little thing call FEAR: fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of loneliness.

Persistence drives out fear.


Happiness doesn’t depend on who you are or what we have. It depends on what we think. – Buddha (17:53).  

Who doesn’t seek happiness as a life goal? Yet many of us think it is tethered to external byproducts like fancy cars or money or corner suites.

Happiness wells from within. It starts from our thoughts.

Our thoughts are the most accessible yet hardest to control. We must choose to be happy.


If you want to see what you’re thinking, watch what your hands are doing because they are the servants of your thoughts. – Jewel (18:18).  

Be observant of your actions because they reveal your thoughts and desire.

Lately, I’ve been contemplating about input and output in terms of what enters my consciousness through what I see and hear (input) and what I do, think and say (output).

When I allow myself to see beauty in ashes, hear songs in sorrow and think positive when in doubt, I am alive.


Fear is a thief: It takes the past and projects it into the future and it robs you of the only moment you have to create any change in your life. – Jewel (20:06).

What a powerful statement! I do not want to let fear enter into my consciousness.

Fear suffocates creativity and growth. Fear fuels hatred and despair. Fear disconnects human being from each other.

Changes happen at this very moment. Now. Don’t let fear steal this moment from you to become.


I perceive what I think, therefore I am. – Jewel (21:31).  

This is Jewel’s revision of Descartes‘ “I think, therefore I am.”

Our perceived reality is the reality we perceived. However, what we perceived may not be the actual reality.

When I perceive that everyone is out to get me fired for my job, that’s my reality as I see my world through the perceived lens.

Conversely, when I perceive the good in the world around me, it is so as I perceive it.


Fame doesn’t change you, it exaggerates you. It puts fuel on whatever little fire that you have smoldering. – Jewel (29:12).

Same thing goes with money and power–it magnifies you.

If you were a jerk, you’ll be a even bigger jerk once you’re rich and famous.

By the same toke, if you were a generous person, you’ll be even more generous.

So do work on who you want to become–self-awareness.


Hard woods grow slowly. – Jewel (34:16).  

Born and raised in Alaska, Jewel watched nature with keen eyes, learning about life from nature. She noticed that what grew fast didn’t always last in nature. She was inspired to be hard wood trees, dense and beautiful. She realized that there’s no shortcuts in how the hard wood trees grew.

If we want to be someone or build something that lasts, it takes time, grit and pain. Hard woods grow slowly.


Forgiveness is the last way to free yourself. It is a gift you give yourself. It’s not for somebody else. – Jewel (40:28).  

They say unforgiveness is drinking the poison and hope the other person would die.

Forgive and be free. For me.


Becoming more of myself through time. Grace is a refinement of the soul through time… by making my outer world matches my inner world. – Jewel (42:35).  

To know self and to be self. More and more each day.



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