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2 Case Studies: Ordinary people using extraordinary scripts to hustle

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It happened again last month.

One of my friends told me an interesting factoid — “Did you know that Victorian houses in SF used to be considered cheap models, but now everyone loves them? — and I said “Hmm, interesting” and continued chewing my sandwich.

Earning more money

Two weeks later, I was walking with the same friend, and I said, “Hey, I heard something interesting…did you know that Victorian houses used to be —“

“GOD DAMNIT!” she said. “*I* told you that!”

Ah, yes. I forgot. Again.

It’s become a running joke that I hear someone’s idea, then 2 weeks later mention it to the SAME PERSON…which drives my friends crazy. But for some reason, it seems hilarious to me.

So today I’m delighted to be able to OPENLY take credit for one of my friends’ ideas and tell you how it’s improved my life.

I met Paul Singh a few years ago, and I was so impressed that I hired him for my last company, moving him and his wife to the Bay Area.

Little did I know that he was one of the world’s premiere lifehackers.

After a few months of exchanging techniques, he shared a technique that I’d never heard.

“I put away $3,000 every year just to meet interesting people.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I just put it into a separate account and force myself to spend it.”

“Interesting….” I said.

A little while later, I went to my 5-year college reunion. I met another friend, Steve, who was speaking on an alumni panel. He had moved to Seattle to work for Microsoft, but he had a particularly amazing strategy that I fell in love with.

“When I went to work for Microsoft, I knew I’d eventually want to move back to the Bay Area to start a company. So I made it a point of keeping my relationships warm.”

How did he do that? Here’s where it gets insanely awesome:

“I made a promise to myself that if anyone invited me to lunch, or even coffee, I’d fly to San Francisco to do it. I basically treated the plane flight like an hour-long car ride.”

How much did that cost him in a year? Maybe a few thousand dollars.

But guess what? Steve did start a tech company and, using his carefully cultivated relationships, he’s gotten terrific press for his company, which is profitable and killing it.

Yesterday, I wrote about recognizing and banishing the negative scripts from your life…and automating the positive scripts. Paul and Steve both automated positive scripts — of investing in themselves.

And of course, since I love to take credit for my friends’ ideas, I now set up a sub-savings account and force myself to spend on meeting interesting people.

Here’s an actual email I sent to somebody who I want to meet

[Initial email was the basics: Hi who I am, how I can help him, etc. We went back and forth. Then I wrote this:]

“If there’s anything more I can tell you, please let me know. If a phone call or even coffee in LA makes sense, just let me know and I’d be delighted to do it.”

I live in New York and San Francisco and it was important enough to meet him that I offered to fly to have coffee with him in LA. Even one meeting with him could change my business.

(Sidenote: He hasn’t responded after our initial back-and-forth, so I added this to my “Failures” tag. But I continue to send him updates on my business and I know eventually he’ll respond.)

If you read this and say, “Waa I can’t afford $3,000 per year to travel around and meet people, you’re missing the point. This is not about the amount of money — you could do the same with $20/month by taking 2 people out to coffee. The point is the mindset: Investing in your friends and relationships pays off, hugely.

We all claim relationships are important. But when you look at “objective” measures — your calendar (time) and spending (money) — are your actions really matching your claims?

2 case studies of automating positive scripts

1. Adam Baker

Backstory: Baker was a newly married family man accumulating debt upwards of $18,000. He made the decision to clean up his debt, sell everything he owned, and spend a year living in Australia. He paid off $18,000 in debt and saved over $17,000 before living overseas in Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand.

New Script: “The first step to living a life of passion…is to remove the barriers that hold you back.”

Automation: Baker’s mantra: Sell Your Crap… Pay Off Your Debt… Do What You Love… In the year leading up to the trip he sold all of his possessions (down to two backpacks) and payed down $18,000 in consumer debt. In June 2009, they left for what was to be a year in Australia, but quickly turned into more mobile travels through Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and finally back to Indiana. And now he’s added “earning more money” to that list through terrific products.

2. Eva Motch

Backstory: Eva is a designer who wanted to find a better job for 6 months. She not only quit her job and received a $12,000 raise, but found work on the side at a $4,000-a-year clip (with more to come).

Old Script: “I hate my job and want to quit, but will wait until something better comes along.”

Automation: Eva implemented a plan to apply to leads on Craigslist systematically, and in so doing stumbled upon the full-time job and salary bump.

BY THE WAY, Eva (#2) was a member of Earn1k, my step-by-step on earning money on the side. Later this month, I’ll be opening up Earn1k 2.0 — an updated version of the course with powerful techniques to turn your existing skills into side income. As Eva told me, “Your class honestly and truly helped me, and I will make many times more in my life because of it. “

TO DO TODAY

1. Share your example of automating positive scripts. Make sure you’ve added your best example of automating positive scripts by leaving a comment on Monday’s post. Remember, the best entry by Wednesday, 1/12 (11:59pm PST) will get an iPad and a 15-minute call with me.

2. Mark your calendar: Live webcast on hustling tomorrow night (1/12). Tomorrow night (1/12), I’m holding a webcast with my friend Noah Kagan, founder of Appsumo (great deals), formerly of Facebook, Mint, and Gambit and I’m going to ask him about:

  • How he got rejected for the job…and still became employee #4 at Mint
  • How he turned a single cab ride into a $250,000+ payday
  • How he convinced a famous venture capitalist to give a $25,000 speech…for free

Webcast details:

– The webcast will be WED (1/12) at 6pm PT (9pm ET).
– Please don’t ask about recordings or rescheduling it. If the topics above are important to you, I trust you’ll find a way to be around tomorrow evening. Noah’s tips have been priceless to me and I’m asking him for a big favor to appear for you.
– I’m only sending the webcast invite to people on my private list, which includes all-new material about hustling, psychology, earning more, and becoming a top performer.

How to attend tomorrow’s webcast

Sign up below to make sure you get the webcast invite email:

(Can’t see the form? Click here to sign up for the webcast on hustling.)

This week you’ll also get unreleased case studies on earning more and bonus videos on time management from my advanced Earn1K course.

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36 Comments on "2 Case Studies: Ordinary people using extraordinary scripts to hustle"

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James Clear
5 years 7 months ago

Positive script: I can do amazing things without money by searching out opportunity and making connections

How I automated it: Set aside time each Monday to research new conferences/scholarships/etc, developed a schedule based on deadlines, stuck to schedule and met with people/applied

Results: Two free trips to Europe, landed a speech in front of CEOs, nobel laureates, other political and business leaders, got paid $9,000 for 9 hours of work

Stepan
Stepan
5 years 7 months ago

Wow, there hasn’t been a day starting from 2011 that you have provided a long, inspiring article.

The interview sounds awesome, I heard him talk with Andrew on Mixergy and I loved Noah’s attitude

Regards,
Stepan

trackback

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ramit Sethi, Tricia McKellar and others. Tricia McKellar said: @scoutiegirlblog re: http://bit.ly/hGsaGD So when's the TCE meetup? 🙂 🙂 🙂 […]

Lindsay
Lindsay
5 years 7 months ago

That is awesome. Friendships and connections are definitely worth 3,000. It reminds me of people in college who would constantly say “At least I don’t have to pay for my friends!” to the kids in sororities and fraternities – and yet if you compare the social schedules, the resumes (from leadership positions, volunteer work and so forth) and the connections which often lead to jobs, it’s clear which ones were at the advantage.

Kate
5 years 7 months ago

Positive script: We are smart women who can make a difference.

Automated set up: Bi-weekly, scheduled (on the calendar) meetings with business partner and monthly saving club meetings with 9 other women to keep us accountable to our savings goals.

Results: Won TIAA-CREF People’s Choice Award in Raise the Rate Contest, increasing visitors to http://www.WomensSavingClub.com and club collectively has already saved upwards of thousands of dollars over their lifetimes through support, accountability and monthly meeting/updates.

Wojtek
Wojtek
5 years 7 months ago

Setting a sub-account for meetings with interesting people? AMAZING way to remind myself about it and automate those things!

SuperbadIM
5 years 7 months ago

Funny…I try to steal my wife’s ideas all the time, but she always busts me when I suggest them back to her!

Great case studies. I love how Adam Baker turned his negative situation into such a positive experience and successful business.

Blake Erickson
5 years 7 months ago
Thanks Ramit for not offering a recording of the interview. It’s true if you want something bad enough you will make it happen. At first I was bummed that the live interview would be taking place at 6:00pm PST because I was scheduled to work my 2nd job during that time. My first attempt at asking my boss if I could have the night off resulted in a big “NO”. Now I was really bummed and let down because I FAILED. I then decided to talk to some other employees to see if they could cover my shift, and I… Read more »
Havana
5 years 7 months ago

Haha, what a cool lil’ anecdote and example of Ramit’s message! Thanks for sharing! Even little things like that can demonstrate what persistence can do for ya.

Blake Erickson
5 years 7 months ago

@Havana Thanks!
and @Ramit thanks for the mention in the live interview invite email. See ya tonight 🙂

Zachary
Zachary
5 years 7 months ago
I once used a survey monkey to send me questions on my progress for my training. I had four questions. 1. Did I meet my training? 2. If yes great how did I feel? 3. If not why? 4. What can I do to ensure that I meet my daily training goal. It took me a month of filling out the forms and then after that it became a routine and I was able to easily set aside a time daily to strength train. Then I didn’t need to fill out the form to keep it up. I had the… Read more »
Havana Nguyen
5 years 7 months ago
Thank you!!! I FIRMLY believe that relationships should be one of your TOP priorities. Relationships are, after all, what enriches our lives and makes them interesting, in love, friendship, and opportunity. People who focus SOLELY on themselves and their own progress are really missing out. Most of the time, simply being connected with others can help propel us to our goals faster. One of my pipe dreams is to work at Pixar. I have a connection who travels back to Atlanta once a year for the holidays. I love hearing about his stories and experience and he’s just an all-around… Read more »
Richard Y
Richard Y
5 years 7 months ago
Backstory: I tripled my income in three years and I now have a rolodex that includes a doctor who helps manage the energy levels of CEOs, a guy with a PhD in ideas creation, a specialist in mental resilience, a former teacher who is a CEO coach, a guy who made partnership at the age of 25 and countless other people who are now on my advisory panel. Oldscript: I only hung out with people I knew professionally and personally, as a result I only ever met a large group of largely homogenous peers and not the rare, special, wildly… Read more »
Rusty
5 years 7 months ago

I love your script, Richard. What a great comment.

wilson usman
5 years 7 months ago

That’s really cool, I think this is an idea I have to start applying thanks for sharing it.

cc
cc
5 years 7 months ago
i have a very literal calling script, every week i call around at least 10 potential clients to try and drum up some work for my freelance design biz. by the time i get on the phone i’ve usually called 20+ people. it’s always a struggle making the first phone call, but your idea about the calling scripts (lifted from the credit card scripts in your book) is genius- i don’t have to fluster with what to say at all. i’ve got a list going now of over a hundred personally confirmed contact names- it would be better to have… Read more »
JT
JT
5 years 7 months ago

I think I have anxiety surrounding change, but I’m finding that I’m getting really tired and sick of my current job, so I’ve customized some RSS feeds to track jobs that I may be interested in and I’m committed to writing a cover letter and personalizing my resume to at least one application per week.

Hariom
Hariom
5 years 7 months ago

Ramit I really like to read the comments that people post on here. Right now you can receive new comments via email only if you make a comment and select to be notified of follow-ups. Could you automate this for those of us who would like to receive comments for each of your blog posts (IWTYTBR-COMMENTS list).

sambista77
sambista77
5 years 7 months ago

The webcast will be WED (1/12) at 6pm PT (9pm ET).
– Please don’t ask about recordings or rescheduling it. If the topics above are important to you, I trust you’ll find a way to be around tomorrow evening.
WTF 😉
As I’m in Israel at the moment, that means, I’ll have to be up at 3:45am, to be ready for the webcast by 4am, this is brutal dude!! Having said that, if this will get me one step closer to live the life I DREAM of, Than I’m up for it!!! WOOOPYYYY

Rusty
5 years 7 months ago

Mega points for being hardcore, Sambista!

Rusty
5 years 7 months ago

I need to figure out what kind of script I can write. This is really a great topic. I *am* an interesting person doing interesting things, but a 30-second bit? I need to work on my rambling!

sambista77
sambista77
5 years 7 months ago

Rusty
Thankssss babe
make sure you leave your script at this post,
http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/ace-tough-job-interviews/#comments
It looks like a few people didn’t get it, and hey, you can win… and get sweet stuff.
🙂

Gal @ Equally Happy
5 years 7 months ago

I reached out to one of my friends yesterday just to say hi and catch up. This is now automated through a task that reminds me to reach out every Tuesday. I also spent some time on my websites through another automated task that reminds me of the things I need to do on those sites.

While doing these two things, I came up with a great idea for a start up. Contacted a few friends and got the ball rolling. Not sure if that’s related but it’s fun so I figured I should mention it.

Frank Taeger
Frank Taeger
5 years 7 months ago

Positive scripts :

I can have my own business automated in a way that it needs less attention than I could give because the product is great.

I know not only how to be healthy and an allstar athlete, I have done so and am in the process of regaining my strength and vitality of that time with every breath and moment on this planet.

Jim
Jim
5 years 7 months ago
Ramit, It seems your techniques are for outgoing people. How does a painfully shy person achieve wealth? How about how does a husband and father of 2 kids get out of a $45,000 debt and an upside down mortgage? It seems a lot of your followers are young and single and can sell everything they own and move to Australia. That won’t work for guys like me and I know I am not the only guy like me. I have tried it all and nothing works. (This comment won’t even work, so I don’t know why I am commenting.)
Rusty
5 years 7 months ago
Jim, most of Ramit’s audience is how you describe – young, single, unattached to things. Being painfully shy can be overcome. There’s a book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” I’d suggest that, and also working on talking to people you don’t know, on a casual basis, to start warming up your ability to take more action. There’s a lot of things that apply to people who have families and mortgages, too. Have you automated your finances? Have you started tracking your spending with something like Mint.com? Does your partner work? If not, that might be an option… Read more »
sambista77
sambista77
5 years 7 months ago
Hey Jim It’s possible you just gave me my first “1k on the side” Idea, as I was burn anything BUT shy, so, thanks man! Now let’s break it down a bit and see how we can get you rolling. I will assume, living the way you said, must feel like “shackles on”, this, in and of itself must be tough. Before I move on though, I think you need to know we all feel this way sometimes, and no one is immune to that. From an evolutionary stand point fear (you call it shy), will paradoxically, move your genes… Read more »
Megan
Megan
5 years 7 months ago
Old Script: “My job is boring, routine and nowhere near challenging enough. What I really want to do it write novels, but I don’t know if I’d be any good at it.” Automation: Every day during my lunch break, I open a word document and write at least 750 words. I write with a specific story in mind, but keep it free form, detailing all the little bits in this characters world. After three months of this, I will outline the story that has been percolating in my mind and begin to put together the pieces of my first novel.
trackback
5 years 7 months ago

[…] 3 Case Studies: Ordinary people using extraordinary scripts to hustle by Ramit Sethi – the advice itself isn’t original, but the stories are interesting […]

MariaM
MariaM
5 years 7 months ago

Hi guys, greetings from Finland! I really liked all your comments and scripts, they are so inspiring and help me find my own strengths in “nothing is impossible” and help me start writing my own script.
Megan: thanks for the hint, I am an aspiring writer as well 🙂
Have a great day everyone!

Hariom
Hariom
5 years 7 months ago
Here’s a little automationhack that I started using today that I thought I’d pass along to you guys. I remember reading an interview with Hershel Walker about how he got himself such a great body. (Google Hershel Walker if you have no idea who I am talking about.) One of the things he mentioned was how every time he would go get something from the fridge he would drop down and do a set of push-ups. This meant that everyday he would automatically be reminded to exercise multiple times a day. So how to implement this for my own purposes.… Read more »
trackback

[…] reminded of Ramit Sethi’s story about how some people set aside money for meeting interesting people. Might be a fun experiment, although perhaps not to that scale. Ditto for learning and […]

Nayland House
5 years 7 months ago

Love the case studies – need to admit to my own scripts

Vivek
Vivek
5 years 7 months ago
I am 34, married & blessed with a 5yr old daughter. My earning is so so but I always believed that million dollar is within my reach. For that I wrote Actuary exam and cleared one in which success rate is 10% odd. Then so called ”action” was missing and internally I justified by citing extraneous factors. From last week I revived my goal & analyzed that – two hours a day & four on weekends & that’s it- which had resulted in my success earlier. After coming from office till bedtime- I have 6 hours. So I wrote in… Read more »
B
B
5 years 7 months ago
I know the contest is over, but I realized one of my negative scripts from my dreams from this morning. Quite often in my dreams, things consistently don’t happen my way–I can’t find a seat in a restaurant, the waiter doesn’t bring me what I want, and other such minor irritations. I eventually get what I want, but it takes a while and I have to push for it. It makes the dream one big struggle. And I now know that that is one of my negative scripts: I expect that to win, I need to struggle first. Which is… Read more »
Adam Gustafson
Adam Gustafson
5 years 7 months ago
Catching up…week one Backstory: Been floating around for years, volunteering, dipping in social work fields, inventing on the side but going no where, entry level jobs. Now Im in grad school for product design but still do not have clarity about my career. Old Script: It will all just work out in the end. Keep doing what you enjoy and what helps others and your career will come to you. (Fine idea but after too many years it has been proven flawed). New Script: I must actively choose the direction I move in and not ride the wild horse of… Read more »
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