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A few surprising insights about business / friends

Ramit Sethi

Sometimes, you get the most interesting insights from places you wouldn’t expect.

Years ago, Tim Ferriss invited me to speak at a conference. While we were there, he introduced me to someone — “You need to meet this guy. He photographs Lady Gaga!”

I ended up becoming friends with the photographer, Chase Jarvis, and later found out he’s actually way bigger than he let on.

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OK, so surprise #1: Sometimes exposing yourself to random serendipitous events will pay off in the most unexpected ways. Think about it — how often do you say YES to random events? How often do you get invited to them? (If the answer is never, what could you do to change that?)

Then Chase invited me to come to Seattle and film a super-long video on the business behind creatives — like how photographers and writers can use business strategy to grow.

I usually don’t share these things publicly, except on IWT, but I decided to do it because Chase is my friend.

Surprise #2: Relationships matter a lot. If a company asked me to come shoot a 90-minute video, I would say no. If my friend asks, I’m on a plane. (So when people say, “Waa, it’s all about who you know,” my answer is… “So how can you get to know more people?”).

So I recorded the video. It’s actually free and I want to share it with you here. Note — this isn’t just about business for photographers. Study it carefully and see how you can use principles (like being strong / having a backbone) to your personal relationships. I believe anyone can take one principle from this video and make a major life change in less than 48 hours.

I’m very proud of this video. Check it out here:

My favorite parts:

  • How to avoid being a “sellout” (11:30)
  • The mistake of expecting others to recognize your brilliance (18:00)
  • A deceptively simple technique I taught Chase (he uses it to this day and called it “mind-blowing”) that’s earned him hundreds of thousands of dollars (33:22)
  • How Chase got paid thousands of dollars for his very first job by positioning himself at premium price point (1:09:13)

By the way, Chase went on to become CEO of CreativeLive, a company that offers online classes for creatives. The New York Times wrote about a course I taught for them on business.

So if you’re interested in learning more, I partnered with them to offer even more material on launching a freelance business (free). We call it the Ultimate Freelancing Starter Pack, and we added more material than the video above.

This is different than most sites, which lecture you on cutting back on everything. I’d rather spend extravagantly on the things I love, but cut costs mercilessly on the things I don’t — and one way is to turn my skills into income.

So take a look at the video above and, if you’re interested, the Starter Pack. Whether or not you want a freelance business, you can apply this material to your workplace, business, and even personal relationships.

P.S. If you want to learn to cook, we’re trying something interesting. Coming up soon, a short, live class on how to cook the perfect eggs. Totally free. If you’re interested in cooking the perfect eggs, sign up here. (By the way, I already attended and discovered I was doing 5 THINGS WRONG (!!) with my eggs in less than 7 minutes.)

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