If you’re curious about how to start a business that’s right for you, I thought I’d share the exact lessons I learned.
It’s easy to point at someone whose business has grown and say, “Well, I could never do that.” But if you think about it, my business sounds absurd on the surface.
- The name of my site sounds like a total scam
- I don’t even sell my courses through my website (the primary way I generate revenue)
- I turn down over $1mm/year because I forbid people who have credit card debt from joining my flagship courses
Yet I also have nearly 500,000 monthly readers, thousands and thousands of happy customers, and a lifestyle that lets me live in New York and San Francisco, work a flexible schedule, and go on national TV whenever I want.
This isn’t to brag. The truth is, it’s been a long time coming from when I started IWT in my college dorm, and I’ve made every mistake in the book:
Mistake #1: I tried all different kinds of ways of growing my business that utterly failed. (I once wrote a blog post asking IWT readers for their marketing ideas. One guy told me to stand in McDonald’s and buy people Value Meals, then sit down and talk to them about my site. “It couldn’t hurt!!” he said. Yes, actually, it would hurt when my parents had to identify my pickle-ridden corpse after I killed myself from this terrible idea.)
Mistake #2: Early on, I launched courses that people called me a “sellout” for. You can Google my sales page for “Ramit’s 2007 Guide to Kicking Ass.” The copy is so scared, so petrified of charging for anything, that I actually explain why I didn’t just give it away for free. People still hated me.
Mistake #3 (kill me): As recently as 2012, I wasted $120,000 on a failed technology transition.
And yet…I didn’t give up. I kept building my business, testing, changing, growing it. My recent courses have been the best I’ve ever created. I’ve added in-person meetups in NYC, SF, LA, Austin, and Chicago. And I plan to do even more this year.
I also tried different models.
Before IWT, I did a ton of work as a consultant. I slowly raised my rates from about $20/hour to $3,000/hour.
I co-founded a Silicon Valley startup, where we raised millions of dollars and grew to millions of users.
With so many different ways of growing a business, how do you find the one that’s right for you?
What I learned from all my mistakes
The key to growing wasn’t finally finding the perfect piece of software or the smoothest SEO tactic. It was systematically uncovering and breaking down my mental barriers. Remember Mistake #2 above, where I was afraid of charging for something?
How many of us are AFRAID of selling our services?
For that matter, how many of us don’t even know WHAT we could offer that people would pay for?
I went through that for YEARS. I had people look at me and shake their head. Early on, they would laugh when I quoted a price (and rightfully so — I wasn’t matching my value with the prices I was asking for).
Part of the reason I started IWT was to spare you that trouble and frustration.
See, I read voraciously. I bought courses, books, took experienced people out to coffee…for years. I still do it.
And I learned from my mistakes. And one of my goals with my business is to pass on what I learned — so you can save thousands of dollars and years of going down the wrong path (like I did).
This week: A new presentation on finding the right business for YOU
This week, I want to help you learn from the mistakes I made when I first tried to start my own business.
This is going to be special. Instead of just verbally vomiting a barrage of tactics, I want to dig even deeper. I want to help you master the emotional challenges you face BEFORE the tactics even become important.
That’s why I’m doing a special presentation where I’ll cover these — LIVE — and I’ll answer your toughest questions on the spot.
I’d like you to come, and I promise it will be the most interesting hour you spend all week.
FREE WEBINAR: “How to start the right business for YOU”
- This Wednesday, 4/17, at 9:00pm Eastern
- Invite-only. To pre-register and save you spot, click here.
And since I know I’m going to get a lot of questions about it:
- NO — I’m not doing this webinar again. This is one-night-only.
- NO — I’m not sharing a recording or transcript. It’s live or nothing.
- NO — I don’t care what time it is in your time zone. Other people change their schedules to attend. The webinar is 9:00pm Eastern.
TO DO TODAY
If you’ve been claiming you want to start a business for months, or even years, but you haven’t — I want to help you find the right business for YOU.
But you MUST register to get your invitation. Registration is free and only takes 30 seconds.
Looking forward to seeing you in the webinar on Wednesday night.