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I LOL’d at this $300,000 comment

Ramit Sethi · January 7th, 2015

Damn, I thought I was good, but I was wrong.

You guys should see this awesome system my assistant and I set up for when I travel. She arranges everything via a 40-page document of my preferences, down to my favorite seat # on my favorite airline, favorite hotels, and favorite drinks. I go downstairs, a driver picks me up, and I get through security in about 10 minutes.

Am I a diva? I WISH, because I just realized my demands aren’t shit compared to the big dogs.

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I read this article about Hillary Clinton’s procedure when she gets booked to speak.

  • At a recent speech, UCLA booked her for $300,000. Then they asked if she could give them a special reduced University price. Her team’s response: “$300,000 is the ‘special university rate.’” KABLAAM
  • Her representatives — flown in 5 days before the event — granted UCLA the opportunity for a precise number of photos: 100 individuals or 50 couples. “We get a total of 50 clicks,” one University official explained. OH SHIT
  • What’s more, the photos had to be “prestaged,” “with participants assembled and ready to take the photographs before Clinton arrived “so the Secretary isn’t waiting for these folks to get their act together.” They added, “She doesn’t like to stand around waiting for people.” I LOVE YOU

The article is written as a total hit piece to slam Clinton’s “extravagant” demands, but the only thing I could think when I read this was…

…WHAT A BALLER!!!

We are getting a backstage pass to how the top people in the world conduct business.

Do you understand how busy Hillary Clinton is? From 2009-2012, she traveled 956,733 miles as Secretary of State!!!!! Last year, in one month alone, she had 17 speaking gigs. THAT’S MORE THAN ONE SPEECH EVERY TWO DAYS.

Remember yesterday, I mentioned 2015 is The Year of More. We get the rare chance to openly talk about what MORE means to you and me (and see how celebrities do it).

I thought I had an extensive process for traveling and speaking. But here, seeing someone at the absolute top of their game, I realize how much farther there is to go.

Btw, I LOVE watching the reactions to Hillary Clinton’s demands. Some people I know responded with, “Ugh, what a diva! If I were her, I would answer every question in the auditorium and stay all day to sign autographs.”

This is delusional. The people who say this have no idea what it takes to be at the top of their game. The numbers just seem too large to be realistic. “$300,000? RIDICULOUS! I’d do it for a silver dollar and a bag of popcorn!”

It’s not just about the money. Big bands send out “riders,” or lists of how they want their green rooms stocked, not just to be divas, but because after traveling to hundreds of different cities, it’s just more efficient to make a list of precisely what their expectations are.

And the higher and higher you go, the more you want to control every aspect of it. IT JUST MAKES SENSE.

We all do the same thing! When you were younger, you might not have cared about the type of spatula you use, or your purse, or the type of TV you had. Now you do.

What this is really about is demanding MORE.

Now, remember, I was as robotic and UN-luxurious a kid as you can imagine. I had PLASTIC GLASSES until I was about 14. Why? My dad said, “Horn rims will break in your eye and make you blind.” Not good for attracting the ladies, I’ll tell you that.

As I got older, I actually started to learn more about the bizarre world of MORE, including things like luxury goods. Clothes, apartments, all kinds of stuff that 20-year-old Ramit would have thought was COMPLETELY weird.

The crazy thing is, nobody really talks about this stuff because it’s totally politically incorrect. But I’ve seen how crazy it is from the outside and the inside, and I wish someone had told me how it actually works. It would have saved me 20+ years of Invisible Scripts.

For example, as I got older, I realized there are higher-end brands that I’d only heard of in fashion magazines. Like Zegna, Tom Ford, and Burberry. Why would anyone spend 20x on a sweater?

And as I got even older, I had custom suits, overcoats, and shirts made for me. Why?

ramit_tailor_blog

At the high end, the suit designer comes to your apartment or office, because why should you have to go to him?

Now let’s play a little game.

Take a look at this list of 7 luxuries I put together for you.

  1. An assistant that comes once a day for whatever you need (cooking, cleaning, laundry, anything you want)
  2. The Four Seasons Around the World Tour ($119,000 — for ONE VACATION)
  3. Designer shoes that cost $800 — Louboutin, Tom Ford, your choice
  4. A guide that takes you directly to the front of the line at a theme park (costing nearly $200/hr)
  5. A one-of-a-kind custom-made piece of jewelry
  6. A celebrity to play music at your kids’ birthday party
  7. A fitness concierge that wakes you up for the gym, coffee in hand, and even rides next to you at spin class

Which of these would you get…and which would you NEVER get? Why not?

Let me know in the comments below. We’ll dig in more tomorrow.

P.S. Luxury is just one small part of this year of MORE, but I want to spend time on it. By the end of 2015, I want you to have the option of buying almost any luxury you want. I’ll show you how.

Btw, tomorrow I’ll talk about luxuries that cost me over $50,000/year — and why I spend on them.

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85 Comments

 
  1. That’s a pretty interesting list, and it got me to think. For me it’s almost brainless; I’d go for #1 (assistant), because this is something that I actually NEED right now. In fact I’m asking why I am getting the assistant only -once- a day, since we’re already considering luxuries!

    The one I am not even considering is the custom jewelry. I’ve never been a jewelry person, and I’d be getting the other five first (since I already got #1! hehe) before getting jewelry. It is something I deem unnecessary.

    • Sierra Clark

      Look into a VA (virtual assistant). Literally anything you could need (build a website, calls, emails, sending flowers to your mother) can be done for WAY less than you would expect. I use Get Friday (https://www.getfriday.com), others use VA’s in the U.S or Canada. It is completely up to you. Just know that you CAN have an assistant…especially if you NEED one.

    • Eduardo Velez

      I feel that being a successful online business entrepreneur is more than just stacking money to buy luxuries and feed our limitless desires. Personally I love the luxury niche because it’s a recession proof sector that is evergreen that gives me nice profits. However, I have disciplined myself to the point of having mastered my desires. God has provided wealth and Blessed my life. He has rewarded me greatly for being a good steward of His finances. If you want to be on the winning side in your personal finances you have to want to keep the money more than your desire to let it go.

  2. Do I have to choose just one? Why can’t I have all of them? I thought this was about MORE! If pressed, I’d have to say the luxury holiday, because one of people’s top regrets in life is that they didn’t set aside enough money or time for travel. And I’d pass on the shoes, because designer ladies’ shoes inevitably look gorgeous, but feel like torture devices.

    • You are looking at the wrong designer’s. While not quite at Tom Ford level. I love my Mephisto Boots I picked up 4 years ago while in France. They rock and I stand in them for hours.

  3. I’ll take 1., 7., 3. in this order for sure, because it is an investment in my time, health and likability.
    Not sure about the jewelery if it is an asset or liability, so it comes 4th.
    I wouldn’t take vacation for now because it costs time, but you never know whom you might meet.

    Number 4. is only good if you waste your time to go to a theme park in the first place. And 6. is a complete waste, because the opportunity cost of the money.

  4. I believe that this World is truly an amazing place and there is so much that there is to see, experience and soak in. Being able to do all that, would thus be at the top on my list of “MORE” things to do this year…

  5. OK, Ramit.
    Your short post gave me the biggest insight in months.
    I went from “Hillary’s demands are total horseshit.” to
    “Hillary is an absolute BALLER!” in 45 seconds.

    I’m not kidding. This simple mind paradigm shift is like
    a beam of sun shining through a rain cloud and hitting me in the face.

    Thank you, Ramit! Damn!

    OK. your question:
    I’ll take the assistant (#1) and give them my list of stuff to do that
    frustrates me, or is just time consuming. (dishes, calling verizon to negotiate
    and waiting on hold, etc)

    Would never do the 4 Seasons world tour. Why not? I love to travel and
    spend time “boots on the ground” immersive culture style.
    (Real reason – Just way out of my comfort zone to think about
    dropping that kind of bank on vacation. In truth, it would be amazing)

    Inspired,

    Sid

  6. Hillary is definitely a baller. The reason people react so negatively to this (and I’m sure Ramit understands this) is that Hillary pretends to be a public servant … Hillary from the Block.

    The problem for Hillary is that if she doesn’t have her “public servant” image, she doesn’t have the $300k speaking gigs either. I don’t envy her.

    Ramit, would you take the $300k speaking gigs if you had to “live a lie?”

  7. Good one Ramit, but why limit myself to just one? If this is the year of MORE and there are people in this world who are able to have all these things at once, then I want all 7. I’m not going to allow myself to miss out on all life has to offer. So I say this is a trick question and am choosing all of them.

  8. paulien

    Wow this is interesting. I always thought about these things as being diva-like. Only blue M&Ms in the dressing room? So stupid to waste someone elses time and money for. But I totally get the photo-thing because of how busy she is.
    About these things: the assistant and the gym help sound great, and I could certainly go for those. Also I like the shoes and jewelry, considering how much I enjoy my Mulberry handbag that I was gifted a few months ago. Things like this just make you feel different.
    What I wouldn’t get is the theme park guide or the celelbrity musician. Not that they are stupid, but because I am not that interested in theme parks, and I will probably never have children so no parties for them.
    I am very interested to hear more about this MORE theme!

    • cmadler

      Paulien: Regarding M&Ms in the dressing room, you’re probably thinking of Van Halen’s requirement that there be M&Ms, but “absolutely no brown ones”. This was actually a brilliant move.

      Van Halen was one of the first bands to take a big traveling production into cities that didn’t usually get those sorts of headliners. They had a very complicated set-up checklist that the local crews had to follow to a “t” for the show to be able to happen. They used the brown M&Ms as a quick check on the thoroughness and attention to detail by the local team.

      As David Lee Roth wrote in his autobiography, “[W]hen I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl … well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error. They didn’t read the contract. Guaranteed you’d run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show.” (via Snopes :http://www.snopes.com/music/artists/vanhalen.asp )

    • Stacy McKenna

      And their biggest concern was the safety issues with their larger-than normal setup. They didn’t want anyone hurt, and if the dressing room had brown M&Ms, it was an easy trigger to check on “what safety requirements weren’t being met?”

    • Tom Harney

      The point of this post is to offer a mirror to our own internal programming. There is nothing wrong with diva behavior as they are just requests. We make the meaning/story. Parties to transactions are free to make offers and counter offers. In the Van Halen situation, the venue wants content and Van Halen offered content with conditions. The venue was free to accept and/or make a counter offer.

      Regarding the David Lee Roth judgments, Freakonomics Radio has a great podcast on game theory, diva behavior and teaching a garden to weed itself. Here is a link:

      http://freakonomics.com/2014/07/10/what-do-king-solomon-and-david-lee-roth-have-in-common-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

      In the transcript, Steven Dubnor addresses the David Lee Roth diva behavior and here is a good passage:

      “DUBNER: So the brown M&M clause, according to David Lee Roth, at least, wasn’t just a prima donna move. It was a clever way to teach the garden to weed itself – to let a bad concert promoter reveal himself as bad when, of course, he’d never come forward and admit to being bad. Inspired by stories like these – and the bright minds of David Lee Roth and King Solomon and even the medieval priests who may have rigged the ordeals – Steve Levitt and I thought maybe we could entice some bad guys to reveal themselves.”

      I hope you find this of value…

  9. International travel is my jam! I would have to go with the Four Seasons Around the World Tour. But, honestly, this roller coaster junkie has the $200/hr guide to get me to the front of the line a pretty close second.

    As for what I would never use, probably the custom piece of jewelry. But never is such a strong word Ramit.

  10. Scott P

    It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton is a handful. Pretty much everyone who’s ever worked for her — including police and Secret Service who have to “deal” with her — will say in plain language how much they don’t like her. These kind of Liz Taylor-style antics don’t surprise me one bit. I bet UCLA would pay Tony Bennet the same $300,000 and he would walk to campus alone and stay for hours taking photos. (He’s known to do his own supermarket shopping, which I can respect. Sorta like how Bill Gates washes his own dishes.) I guess it forces us all to ask not “what luxury would be buy” but “what type of person would we be.”

    But let me answer the question as Ramit posed it.

    From that list, I don’t think having a Celebrity play music would appeal to me. Even if the child appreciates the performance — or the drama to book such a gig — that moment is fleeting. A fun memory. Whereas the others seem like a lifestyle that endures, and can lead to future opportunities. I’m in no rush to buy $800 shoes, but I can see the appeal of a well-crafted thing — no matter what that thing may be.

    I would go for the personal assistant. In fact, this is something I can see myself doing before any of the others, and even for a lifestyle that is much more modest than Hillary Clinton. Freeing up the stress and time from these household tasks would feel empowering rather than extravagant.

    • Scott,

      I’d challenge you to think about why you pan Hillary as an extravagant diva and other people/men as down-to-earth.

      When I saw Hillary’s list of demands I instantly thought, “Wow! She’s done this so many times that she’s mastered the process!”. Do you honestly think Tony Bennet has as many speaking engagements and as busy a schedule as Hillary Clinton?? Sure, Tony can take all day signing autographs because that’s likely the only thing he has to do the entire day.

      While Ramit’s intent is to get us to reframe our thinking regarding luxuries (which is smart because many of us have self-limiting beliefs around this subject AND his courses could also be deemed luxuries–making us less likely to purchase them…wise Ramit. Wise.), I think the bigger lesson is helping us determine what’s an extravagant luxury and what is just a more efficient process or something that adds real value to our lives. A lot of things we think of as luxuries are just more efficient/better/smarter ways of doing things when you’re operating at a higher level.

      Take having a private plane, for example. You could easily say, “OMG! That’s so extravagant! Why can’t you fly coach or commercial like the rest of us?”. But consider someone who has to fly across the world all the time–sometimes at last minute notice. There’s airport security. There are flight delays and cancellations. There are lines just driving up to the airport. What if there isn’t a direct flight to the destination? When time is your most valuable resource and you act and operate in such a way that you’re maximizing that resource, it just doesn’t make sense to do some “common” or “modest” things.

      I’d challenge you to think less about Hillary and the image that has been crafted of her (or not even about her at all) and more about yourself and the systems and processes that you use and how you can use or enhance them to help you operate on a grander scale.

      P.S. – I’m pretty sure Bill Gates AT LEAST has a dishwasher 😉 And how often is he actually even home to clean any dishes? Are you saying that he cleans every dish that he uses? It’s important to also note the difference between reality and image/perceptions–especially ones that have been systematically crafted.

  11. I would take the Four Seasons trip – because it is the most out of my league right now…let’s face it, most of us could afford $800 shoes, or even a low-end personal assistant with a little re-organization of our finances. A $120k trip is a different story…

    I would not take the custom piece of jewelry…for no other reason that it doesn’t excite me…even if I was a billionaire, I don’t think I would care about custom jewelry.

  12. Top of list: Assistant that comes once a day. I’ve outsourced a ton of little things in my life (already have maids, use travel agents, etc.), but having someone *every day* would be totally awesome. My wife & I already joke about having a “wife” we can share 😉

    Bottom of list: celebrity musician at kid’s birthday party. Mostly because I don’t love live music. Custom American Ninja Warrior backyard obstacle course for kids for party? THAT would be awesome.

    Btw – I’ve done the one-of-a-kind jewelry thing a few times. Not only totally worth it, but significantly more fun to work with an artist on something unique vs. just pick something up at a store.

  13. I don’t make a ton of money, but I have already paid for custom jewelry (engagement ring) and I pay a decent amount for a trainer. I would also love to have a daily assistant. The only item on the list I couldn’t foresee paying for is the celebrity at kids party. I know the costs and trade-offs associated with these luxuries, but kids haven’t learned to appreciate luxuries yet.

  14. Aliotsy

    I don’t see anything in your wording that limits us to just one choice, but if I had only one, I’d forego the “Internet-approved” choices of an assistant and world travel, and go with the shoes–probably MTO from Edward Green, John Lobb, or Gaziano & Girling.

    If I could choose more than one, I’d go with everything but the celebrity for my kids’ birthday (though I see the value in that).

    Your post reminded me of the outrage a few years back at auto execs who flew from Detroit to DC on private jets to ask for a bailout–they were sufficiently humbled to drive when called back. Regardless of the executives’ competence or likability, it seemed silly to me that in the midst of urgently trying to fix those companies, people would rather have the CEOs stuck unproductively in a car for hours.

  15. Good for Hilary Clinton. She may have come up w/those as a result of getting the exact opposite and of people thinking it was OK to treat her that way before. If I were at her level and had her decades of experience and caché, I’d probably be just as demanding and have the same expectations.

    Re:that list and your other of your posts on “More,” I sometimes have trouble identifying because as someone who grew up in Colombia, where the cost of living *really* well is much lower than it is here, I became accustomed to certain “luxuries” that I sometimes miss but can certainly live without. Here, it’s like a give-or-take since it’s sometimes hard to get both: E.g., Would we rather pay for a maid service or buy a rad 4K 3D TV? Let’s get the TV b/c we enjoy watching movies and TV shows and then plan to clean the house more often so we don’t have to spend so long cleaning it next time.

    List-wise, the assistant would be nice. I grew up w/a maid and chauffeur (having a maid is THE norm in Colombia), where they’re way more affordable than they are here. So it’d be cool to have someone who could do that often, but it’s not a necessity–again, the TV beats it in our case :). (Also, my mom owns the top tailoring and alterations business in Park City so our fam gets those perks. She may not be as pricey as NY tailors, but she also has clients who are happy to pay to have her come to their location.) The theme park guide would also be nice. (The custom jewelry is out of the Q: We have a jeweler in Colombia who, for decades, has been making my family custom things–like nice 18K gold things–again, for much, much less than they’d cost here).

    Things I couldn’t care less about (i.e., “luxuries” that aren’t luxuries for me but rather “Meh things I’d never think 2x about): The Four Seasons tour; the designer shoes worth almost $1K (I mean IF my coworkers all wore red-soled shoes and/or cared about the color of my soles, then I might need a couple pairs); a celebrity for my kids’ BDay party; and the fitness concierge because I work out every day after work.

    SORRY for the essay! But THANK YOU for the posts that make me think a lot. (PS- I started the New Year w/a new job 😀 but despite the much higher salary, I plan on saving and investing more instead of buying frivolous things. Hope my Surrogate Asian Father is proud!)

  16. Stacy McKenna

    #1 is a no-brainer. If I could have a full time chef I would do it in a minute. #7 The fitness concierge feels pretty much like the same thing, and I’d love that as well.

    I’ve had custom shoes and jewelry made – my wedding shoes were Victorian in style, with antique shoe buttons (off eBay) and everything. My wedding ring was something I designed with a jeweler, starting with a basic setting I liked and then modified from there to meet my requirements for style and stone cut (emerald-cut tsavorite). I wish I had the income to routinely have custom tailoring done in-house. For now I make do with ordering a pile of stuff online and keeping only those things that are really perfection. (The boyfriend got really tired of seeing Zappos boxes arrive after I got the latest job.) I *hate* shopping.

    The amusement park guide I wouldn’t really be into. Having grown up in Southern California, some of my best memories of Disneyland are the times spent in line WITH FRIENDS chatting and laughing and getting to know each other better. That connection is why I GO to amusement parks, so a guide that short circuited all that “empty” time would cut out the most meaningful parts of the experience for me. Now, someone with a shade structure to follow us around? All over that…

    It’s been so long since I took a “real” vacation that I have a hard time wrapping my head around the vacation package. But it sounds divine!

    The musician idea is fun, but the definition of “celebrity” is probably a little off around here given my 9yo’s concepts of celebrity. 😉

  17. I would go for all of them. Seriously, if you’re going to go for MORE, why not go for ALL?

    Thanks Remit, I always look forward to your posts. Here’s to 2015 – the year of MORE !

  18. cmadler

    Already got #5. The engagement ring I gave my wife, as well as the wedding band to go with it and my wedding band were all custom designs. I figured that if you’re going to wear something every day for (hopefully) the rest of your life, why not make it truly unique? The funny thing is that by doing so, because I was able to cater to exactly what she wanted, I probably wound up spending less than a lot of people buying off-the-shelf engagement rings from jewelry store chains.

    We also came pretty close to #6 — we arranged for an entire university marching band, plus the university’s costumed mascot, to show up at my daughter’s birthday party a few years ago. That probably cost us less than what most people spend on a child’s birthday or Christmas presents, and it was something she’ll always remember. Plus it was tax-deductible!

    If I could chose just one (additional) item from the list, it would be the Four Seasons tour, because the price tag puts it so far out of reach for us. The only one I have no interest in (as in, if you offered it to me for free, no strings attached I’d probably turn it down) is #4, just because I’ve never liked theme parks. I don’t really care that much about the shoes either, but I certainly wouldn’t say “no” to them.

  19. All of them!

    Reasons:

    1 – I HATE anything small or inefficient that wastes my time. I hate doing dishes, taking out the trash, etc. If someone does it for me, I’m happier.

    2 – Around the World vacation would be amazing. How much better is that than piece-mealing trips along the way? I’d LOVE to have someone to guide me. What a great way to ask for help

    3 – Shoes. Of course. I’m a woman.

    4 – There’s nothing I hate more than waiting for hours on lines. Especially if you make a special trip to go somewhere for a day, but don’t get to do everything you wanted

    5 – Jewelry. Of course. Dream would be to go to the special, private VIP room at Tiffany’s where they have one of a kind jewelry.

    6 – How amazing would it be to have one of my kids be like: I remember my 5th birthday. That’s when Rihanna came to my HOUSE and played songs for me.

    7 – Definitely. I love working out with people, and having someone push me would be 10x better.

    Something interesting I noticed as I thought about this: I kept having the feeling of “Don’t I need to ‘deserve’ this first? Don’t I need to earn it in some way?” Which is really me saying: “Don’t rich people get everything handed to them?”

    Very interesting that that’s where my mind goes vs. thinking about: well, what goes IN to earning X amount of money to afford Y because that’s something that matters to me? I’m so happy you’re talking about this because I love working on my thoughts around it

  20. William

    When I read your posts, I feel like I’m actually listening or watching you speak cuz you write in the same manner, not to mention you’re hilarious!

    Great stuff with talking about Hillary.

    As for your question. I’d go with #1 simply because cooking and cleaning is too time consuming. There’s lots of other stuff I’d prefer to use my time for. Although I’d say that a pair of designer shoes would be awesome 🙂

    I would never have the need for #7. I don’t need anyone to wake me to go to a gym because I don’t workout in the AM anyway, nor do I drink coffee…

    thanks as always for the funny, yet inspiring pieces of writing Ramit!

    William

  21. Assistant, followed by fitness concierge, as the golden prize.

    Ideally the person in the assistant role could help source a suitable fitness solution as part of their tasks. The united team approach would be great as the assistant and fitness concierge could work together to engineer my food and exercise lifestyle without needing too much input from me.

    I could skip the shoes and the celebrity without batting an eyelid (big feet, no kids) but curiously I realise that I would also actively want to skip the theme park queue jumping. Reason for that is that if I’m going to take the time and effort to go into a theme park, I want the actual experience of being at the theme park to be similar to how it was for us as kids. The basking in the sun, the noticing all the cool things to look at, the chatting with my friend in line, catching up in a way Facebook can’t provide, watching others on the ride before me and the anticipation of “look what I’m about to do, what am I thinking??” which adds to the adrenalin of the riding itself.

  22. Heather H

    Interesting list. I can definitely see the value in an assistant or a fitness concierge, but the one that draws my eye is #2. I love travel and experiences and would like to think that I’d spend money on that.

    #5 I just got — my wedding ring was designed just for me last month. I love that it doesn’t look like everyone else’s.

    The never do would probably be #6 — I can’t imagine anyone I would want to get that much to deal with all the hassle that seems like it would go with it.

  23. Love this, Ramit!! You have the best blog online, hands down. So my list…The fitness concierge to get me through my morning workout because fitness is #1 for me, then the assistant to help me with my biz financial stuff. For a trip, I’d like the choice of where I go for that price and guides to help me navigate places I haven’t been so I can find the most fun adventurous stuff to do. The custom piece of jewelry might be fun, though it wouldn’t be a giant piece of bling because I’m small featured.

    With shoes, it would be comfort over price, so probably not those. I don’t have kids, so the celebrity singing wouldn’t be for me. I love amusement parks, but I’m more about absorbing the atmosphere and enjoying the time with friends, lines are part of the experience.

    One you didn’t mention- a pair of custom-made jeans in my choice of material- I’m rail-thin and it’s usually an all-day trek to get jeans that fit me and I want 100% cotton denim because I live in jeans and I want my faves to last!!

    Another for me is the custom-designed house in the place I want it built. I have the description that I wrote a couple years ago and it’s very specific to me- things like special sayings in oriental calligraphy on the walls and an east-facing dance/yoga/meditation room-pure bliss.

    Thanks for the chance to give my two cents, you brightened my day.

  24. The Roamer

    I really enjoy your writing about getting raises but this not so much.

    The only one I’d remotely consider is number 1. But mostly all of them seem like a waste of good money. Customer jewelry I can make that. Shoes that feel like torture I’ll pass.

    I understand needing specific things to feel rejuvenated due to extensive travel. But let’s not lose ourselves. We need to stay grounded at least in good values. Being insatiable how does that work along side of being thankful.

    I understand striving for more. But why are all examples materialistic what about more time with family. More time reading, more time learning. And more time giving.

  25. Hands down, I’d go for the luxury round-the-world tour. I’d probably never get this for myself (even if I had the money – there’s a bunch of invisible scripts there! ), but as a gift? Dream.

    Already have a cleaning lady and occasionally use an hourly personal assistant service. They rock. Thanks to them, there’s less physical & mental clutter in my (and my husband’s) life, which allowed both of us to focus on things we really *want* to spend time on.

    Am another person with a custom engagement ring, and I do love it. I’m not a big jewelry person, but I did love being able to get exactly what I wanted for the one piece of jewellry I wear everyday.

    With the exception of the celebrity for a kid’s bday party, I’d be game for anything on the list (especially the shoes).

  26. Id pick the Four seasons world-tour – it comes very close to another private jet world tour that i’ve been gunning for in 2015. And of course i need the fitness concierge – id pay anything for that service.

  27. Nicolle

    I read through the list and said ‘yes, yes, yes’ until I got to the fitness concierge and said ‘um, no’. However, that is the definately the one I need and would get the most value from. This month, my sister and I (we live in different countries) have signed up for a three month fitness/diet regime, the last time i did it I lost a noticeable amount of weight and exercised daily, this time I’m glad to have the accountability too.

  28. #1 is my first priority, especially for household tasks and things like shipping that take me forever, but take some people no time at all. *begins to plan*
    Then #2 travel, bringing my best friend along for the fun.
    And finally #7 because I’d probably follow through on exercising with a supportive companion, though I’d prefer a personal trainer for yoga or a martial art over spin class.

    The rest simply aren’t appealing at this point, though I’m certain they would be if I wasn’t distracted by my top three.

  29. Gabriel

    I agree with the idea that the busier and more in demand people become the more they require efficiency. This just makes sense and it is obviously expressed through the requests being made. For those of us who would never get away with asking $300,000 for a speaking appointment it seems ridiculous but the thing is that UCLA agreed to these conditions. They paid the money! Obviously they consider it worth it and when people will pay that much why not charge it. Supply and demand.

    As to the other question if I had the money I would pay for:
    #1 The assistant – To save me time and allow me to do the things I’m good at and enjoy. Why not?
    #2 The round the world vacation – I haven’t done much traveling and to have all that organised for you and to stay in luxury sounds really nice.
    #4 The guide to queue jump – Again saving time and energy. I hate waiting for things. Complete waste of time.

    Things I wouldn’t pay for even if I did have the money:
    #3 Designer shoes – Just doesn’t interest me. I’m more than happy with the better value options out there.
    #5 Jewelery – Again just doesn’t interest me. I don’t wear jewelery now and I can’t imagine wearing it in the future.

  30. Steve Kobrin

    I love this quiz, Ramit. Of the list of seven luxuries you have put together, I would take the personal assistant. Four hands are better than two!

    I would never get a fitness concierge. My own self motivation must drive me to stay fit. Will and discipline are key.

  31. i’d have to go with the travel- it’s the one that I have the least time and money to do. None of the others really appeal. I can make my own jewelry (hobby of mine), I enjoy the hunt for shoes (and have the resources for most other custom clothing), even waiting for a roller coaster is part of the experience – it’s great when the line is nonexistent, but isn’t the anticipation part of what makes the ride better? Travel, on the other hand…sure, you can do it on the cheap, but I’d like to be able to experience foreign countries without needing to haul my luggage everywhere like a pack mule, risk robbery or rape, or drag home unpleasant critters (internal or external).

  32. I’d love to take the around the world tour! The thing least appealing to me is the theme park option. meh.

  33. Matt Miller

    No, to none of them and YES, to all of them. If I am at the top of my game it means I using my time wisely, money on things I want and I have the ability to create memories, so they all seem appropriate.

  34. YES: FourSeasons around the world tour. Why? Travel makes me richer and great experiences are priceless.
    NO: A celebrity to play music at my kids’ birthday party. Why? I wouldn’t want to spoil them THAT much.

  35. Natasha

    I would get them ALL.

    I grew up with the same invisible scripts that Ramit’s touched on: “Why would you spend so much on that when there are starving people in the world?” Or, “Gah! People that spend so extravagantly must be empty inside!”

    But I’ve been learning that it’s all relative. If that raise gives me the freedom to buy better quality food, clothing and fun, then why shouldn’t I take advantage of that while still helping those in need?

    I wouldn’t necessarily use all the above mentioned luxuries for me either. What if I want to get my husband that really nice pair of shoes? Or my mom that beautiful one-of-a-kind necklace – just because I can? I’d relish in that kind of freedom.

  36. Carolina Bautista

    I would have them all for sure, specially #2 the trip, because it’s amazing and I love to travel. If I had to pick up 1 I wouldnt is #6, If I had kids I don’t think they would realize what’s really happening, but for sure I would do it for my b-day…. I think is clear why I don’t have kids yet.. heehehe

  37. Victor Ijidola

    Hehe, 1,2,7 would definitely be my choice at the moment. Yes, it a season of MORE. But I guess it’s just makes sense to spend MORE on things that matter.

  38. My first instinct was to say the World Tour, but actually I’d choose the assistant.

    Why? Because having all the mundane day-to-day stuff COMPLETELY handled by someone else would free up more of my time and mental energy to focus on higher-level stuff (growing my business) and stuff I enjoy – which will then allow me to do as much luxury travel as I want.

    I would never do the designer shoes or jewelry; have never cared about name-brand fashion. #4 I would spring for, esp. if I had kids. #7 not necessary, I’ve got good fitness habits already. #6 meh… doesn’t hold much appeal for me.

  39. I’d totally get the Four Seasons Around the World Tour! My wife and I honeymooned in Maui, and we fell in love with the travelling experience.
    I don’t think I’d ever get a celebrity to play at my kids’ birthday party; (1) because we don’t have any and (2) not sure that memory would last for the little squirt.

  40. I would LOVE a celebrity to play at my son’s birthday party! He’s super musical and loves to dance. Even though he’s 3, he remembers exciting experiences that happened as far back as when he was 1, so I think it’d be an experience he’d treasure. Also, my husband and I are pretty musical, so the whole family would enjoy it.

    Nothing that I’d say no to if it dropped into my lap;) But I’d put the Four Seasons Around the World at the bottom of the list. Reasons? 1. that’s too long to be away from my son, and I don’t think he’s ready for the experience yet; 2. I’ve visited most of these places before (or lived there) through adventure travel experiences. Ready to see something new; 3. I get less excited by 1 super-luxury trip than lots of frequent travel.

    Oh the fitness concierge thing? Yeah, I HATE coffee. So maybe not that one.

  41. Fitness concierge would be a dream considering it’s day 8 of my resolution to get my fitness on and I’ve yet to even wear sneakers.

    • Goal: tomorrow, sneakers. Nothing else, just put on sneakers.

    • Tyler, I love your comment! It’s so true. Instead of beating yourself up for not going to gym. make smaller goals to get started. Today: Shoes. Tomorrow: Drive to gym for even 10 minutes. etc.

  42. Ryan Juarez

    2.The Four Seasons Around the World Tour ($119,000 — for ONE VACATION) and
    6. A celebrity to play music at your kids’ birthday party (one day when I have kids)

    I’m all in on the year of MORE

  43. I would do 1, 7, 3, 2, in that order. I dont like theme park or jewellery, and dont have kids…..

  44. Gretchen

    1. No thanks on the assistant just because there isn’t anyone in the world I want to see every day. I would say yes to a housecleaning service once a week, though. In fact, why don’t I make a few calls and see about that.
    2. Yes to the Four Seasons tour. Yes, yes. Oh hell yes, sign me up.
    3. Yes to the shoes.
    4. I’m not wild about theme parks, but I’d say yes to a knowledgeable tour guide of Vienna or Paris or any of half a dozen major European cities..
    5. Yes to the jewelry, in fact I’ve done one already. More would be good.
    6. I wouldn’t be interested. Nothing wrong with it, it’s just not me.
    7. Nobody wakes me up in the morning. Part of my Rich Life is that I sleep as long as I want. I do have a trainer at the gym however and she has kicked my ass regularly for the past seven years. I LOVE having a trainer. Love.
    8. May I add a number 8? Too bad I’m adding it anyway. I’d like to have lunch at an excellent restaurant every day. As it is, I go once a week, but I want MORE. I am lucky to live in a paradise for food and wine, and I’d like to have it in my budget to take full advantage.

    • Gretchen

      Forgot to add. I love it that Hillary Clinton knows what she needs when she goes to a speaking engagement. She’s at the point of her career where 50 million people want to waste her time so she would be silly if she didn’t set some boundaries. Okay make that 100 million.

  45. I’ve become a complete Ramit fan after his Creativelive class and then responding skeptically to one of his emails (and actually got a response that got me thinking!

    Would LOVE #2 as I couldn’t imagine how I would ever afford it, the rest doesn’t fall into my desire list.

    I’ve been fortunate to have #1 the luxury of affordable help living in Asia, #3 & #5 and still feel guilty about the ‘excessive’ life just because I can afford it – through really hard work that I don’t necessarily enjoy. I’m still working hard at eliminating my “poverty consciousness” and constant “silent parental nagging” of lack.

  46. I can see myself getting all of those at some point. Currently though, I would pick the fitness concierge and/or the assistant. I’ve been eating well and working out for years, but am less and less consistent with it than I would like. As I grow older, having that accountability would be better and better. As for the assistant, I think that it would take some practice to delegate things, but freeing up time would help a lot.

    As for which I’d never get? Never’s a long time and I imagine my desires and priorities will change throughout my life, so there’s none of those I can say I’d never get. Like I said above, I can see situations where I’d get every one of those.

  47. Clinton

    #2 Four Seasons – Around the World – That’s the one for me.
    #3 Shoes – I bought a pair of $500 boots for a friends wedding a while back. Seemed crazy at the time, but I stand taller, look better, and always get compliments. They’ll last 10 years+ and I feel great.

    #7 Fitness Concierge – Nope, just not for me.

    BTW – Last night I wasted an entire evening getting a jacket tailored. I wanted to go to the guy who didn’t charge as much as others around (mistake #1). I ended up spending 45 minutes in traffic getting there after work, only to arrive and end up having to wait another 75 minutes, then 10 minutes of fitting and 30 minutes home. By then, my kids were just getting into bed. Got to see them for 5 minutes….

  48. Of these, I would definitely get the personal assistant. There are definitely days or weekends when having someone do dishes or laundry would free up time to do work or hang out with friends. Although the reason I don’t do this already is because these activities have low cognitive load, like doing dishes. You can do them when you are tired/ have low willpower but if I were trying to make myself do work with the same energy level, it would be harder.

    Fitness Concierge – I’m lucky enough to have an awesome gym at work, so it was super easy to build a habit to go every day!! I’ve been going every day for 2 years now so my body itself will complain if I skip a workout.

  49. Absolutely the assistant, then the trip, then the shoes.
    The guide, jewelry and celebrity I don’t care about.

  50. Ugh, it’s so hard to choose!

    The one I would definitely get is

    #2, #3, #7

    Yes, I know that’s more than one, but it’s the Year of More and I’m really exploring the space.

    However, if I really had to choose, it would probably be #2. I love traveling and exploring new places.

    The ones I would not get are

    #5 and #6

    Because I don’t care about jewelry or birthday parties.

  51. Anastasia

    I would definitely get the personal assistant once a day. I work full time and am a single mother, that time the assistant could pick up the slack would really help me spend more time with my daughter.

    I don’t ever really see me spending that kind of money to get a famous singer for my kids birthday party. I personally don’t see the sense in spending money on that kind of thing.

  52. Short term – I would love to have a personal chef that cooks all our meals for our family.
    Longer Term (>3 years)
    a. It would be amazing to do the around the world tour, but am currently unsure how we would handle our little one and the doctors office we just opened. It would take a bit of reaserch, planning, and the abilty to drastically increase our income to achieve this. While I can afford designer shoes at the moment, I prefer to spend the same amount of money (a little bit more) on nice wine that I can share with friends and family.
    b. We used to live in Orlando and had seasons passes to Universal and Disney. Being able to goto the front of the line would be EPIC; however, I want to go when my child is old enough to remember it. From what we saw children around 3-4 years of age is a good time to go. Otherwise it is an exhausting experience for all parties involved.

    Not really interested currently in:
    a. a fitness concierge as I do not understand the value.
    b. I really don’t like wearing lots of jewelry as this does not currently appeal to me personally. I would rather spend the money on fine wine!
    c. Having a celebrity play at the birthday party isn’t really a top priority for me as my kid wont remember anything, and I would to develop in him the habit of giving without a sense of entitlement. I guess the assumption I am making is that getting a celebrity will make the child entitled. We all know about assumptions though…He is 8 weeks old tomorrow.

  53. #7 would be the luxury I really want, maybe #1. I would enjoy the others, but the fitness guru companion would be the foremost priority.

  54. The one I’d want? The around the world vacation and I’d milk it for all it’s worth.

    The one I would NEVER choose? The shoes.

    Why? Because I would take my friend and travel buddy and make some great memories. Shoes? Meh. Even the best made shoes wearout eventually.

  55. Ok, back from lunch and on my way to the grocery store, I thought of what I really wanted and went there instead. And now my lunch is delicious.

    This is article 2, and I am realizing that the commenting is more for us than for you Ramit. Thank you.

    I would greatly enjoy the 4 Seasons world trip. That would be amazing. The person waking me up to exercise and riding next to me? Nah – if we’re talking spin class, I’d rather ride next to a beautiful woman and meet her, thanks.

  56. Caitlin

    I would take the guide that takes me to the front of the line at an amusement park. It’s hard to get a 5 year old to wait in line, & we both love roller coasters!

    I could live without a one-of-a-kind jewelry piece, since I have a job where I can’t wear jewelry (other than my lip piercing). I work at a candy shop as a chocolatier, & jewelry isn’t allowed due to sanitation concerns. It’s an interesting thought though, since it could be any piece of jewelry (I could have a custom choker or lip ring made).

  57. Shannon M Murphy

    Hi Ramit!
     
    It is always good to hear from you.
     
    I would like all 7 of these luxuries, but this is the order that I want them from most to least: assistant, world tour, shoes, jewelry, fitness concierge, celebrity birthday party, theme park.
     
    Looking forward to more of your insights!
     
    Best regards,
     
    Shannon

  58. I’d eliminate anything kid related but I just thought it would probably be a great gift to friends. #1 would be awesome. I had a butler once on vacation and it was awesome. Someone making tickets appear, reservations, and ironing. What was better I wasn’t doing that for my mom. Vacation was vacation. Your conversation changes inside and out when you’re focuses on haves instead of not haves.

  59. Megan Kudzia

    I would definitely get a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry or a fitness concierge – I wouldn’t do the vacation. I guess because even for luxuries I’d like to have something with a longer-lasting impact? I know that some of these things might not actually be far out of my reach at present, and my big struggle is with prioritization, so maybe that’s what I need to focus on this year.

  60. I’d take them all if I could afford them! The one that gave me pause interestingly was the theme park one bc I didn’t think I need it. We always use a flash pass at six flags, so its technically fine. But if for a little more you can get a guarantee that you can go on whenever, why not?

  61. I’d choose the custom shoes as I have several pieces of footwear for work and the four seasons around the world as I love foreign travel.

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  63. Michelle

    Well, hell, since it’s the year of more I’ll take them all thanks….but in terms of preference, I’d go the trip first up. 🙂 And last, I’d go the heels …because I find those suckers ridiculously uncomfortable! However, swap the heels out for a custom made pair of Doc Marten’s or running shoes and I’m in! 🙂

    And I’m stealing that musician plan for MY birthday not my kids, and I want Billy Joel and Pink. 🙂 Okay, so the kids can have Taylor Swift. 🙂

    Michelle

  64. Nkechizalu

    Great post.
    I want all of them, nothing less but something more. It’s the year of more… Let me know if you have more.

  65. Joe Ranft

    Four Seasons for sure. You never forget experiences, especially travel. And the other parents would secretly hate you if you had a celebrity play you kid’s birthday party.

  66. I want….nothing on the list. I’d like a mani-ped once in a while. I’d like a few pairs of really well made, comfortable pairs of shoes-but they don’t have to be designer shoes. I’d like harp lessons. I’d like to have family living closer. I’d like to provide jobs for people. For me, this is MORE. I don’t want to be rich just to accumulate stuff and experiences. I’d like to be rich so I could help people with what they need.

  67. Camilo Oliveira

    Don’t: unique piece of jewelry. Maybe when I’m older, but today I don’t see the point. Perhaps my future wife would like to, but to me, I don’t think it’s necessary.

    Do: celebrity playing music at kid’s party. I love going to live concerts, so be able to hire them to play at my place would be unbelievable hahaha. And all the people at the party (myself included) would never forget that.

  68. 1. Will DEFINETELY get it.
    2. Didn’t know that it existed. Going to have to read more about it. Like the idea of “World Travel” though.
    3. Maybe from another brands like Armani and Burberry.
    4. Don’t like theme parks very much, but would do it if I ever went to one.
    5. Nice idea… will work on it… maybe something with a Valknut on it…
    6. That would be insane! Very good idea too!
    7. Will DEFINETELY get it. I envy you for having one (in a good way).

    I want it all. 2015 is the Year for MUCH More!

  69. Solexist

    This question is unanswerable as written. None of these things particularly appeal to me at all right now, except maybe the admin. In the future, I recognize that I will be a completely different person mentally, and I’ll likely either be very wealthy or not… I would never even consider any of these things unless I was already ultrawealthy. Say, $20MM or more unencumbered in the bank.

    • So Solexist, what is YOUR idea of a luxury item that you would appreciate? Ramit’s list isn’t an end-all list – it’s merely a jump start to help you think about how you incorporate luxury ANYTHING into your life. I don’t care about $800 shoes, but someone else might. So what would you like to enrich your life?

  70. I LOVE the thought of the Four Seasons trip. BUT, after looking at it, I don’t want to be defined by their travel dates. So I would rather put together my own tour with a guide that either travels with me or meets me in each city (a different guide each destination). Partner that with more than 2-3 days at each destination and a private plane and I’ve got the travel plans for a FABULOUS trip! Now, excuse me. I have to go plan my trip and start setting aside the $$ in the budget.

  71. Ramit,

    Thanks for creating this great piece of content. Your offerings are helping re-shape my mindset about certain things.

    I’m a systems-oriented person who is constantly looking to improve, enhance, or make them more efficient. What this article did most for me was help me realize how some things that I deemed a “luxury” are actually just better ways of doing things. And the same logic used to justify buying a dishwasher could be used to justify buying a private plane.

    It (along with purchasing one of your courses) also helped me re-think my initial reaction to your premium offerings. While I don’t have cable, I know plenty of people who pay for cable without question–premium offerings, HBO and whatever other premium channel and upgrade to on-demand options, but what value does it actually offer? Is that an investment in my person and my future?

    I’d use any of the “efficiencies” that you listed because they offer the following:

    1. Assistant – outsource all physical and mental energy on mundane/routine tasks to someone else so that my most valuable resource (time) is freed up to allow me to create more value for myself and others. Makes sense to me!

    2. Trip – does anyone know how long it takes to plan out a trip to one place?? Let alone around the world? I’d take advantage of this to see the world, without having to plan out every aspect of my itinerary. It could also help me quickly determine places that I’d really love to see more of and which ones that I can just cross off my list.

    3. Designer apparel – Investment in appearance. If I can buy one pair of versatile shoes that can go with almost everything in my wardrobe and also lend me some social capital, I’d rather invest in that one pair than by 10 pairs of cheaper shoes that can hurt or ruin my feet.

    4. I don’t visit theme parks, but if I did, this would be the best way to visit one. Apparently about 33% of your time at a theme park is spent in lines. You’d save time (again, most valuable resource) and, at a certain point, money by getting through the rides faster (won’t have to pay hiked up prices for food if you leave earlier, won’t have to pay to revisit because you didn’t see even half the park, etc.).

    5. Haven’t figured out a way to justify the jewelry quite yet.

    6. I don’t know about for a kid’s birthday party, but as a pretty avid concert-goer, I love the idea of a private concert. My favorite concerts/venues are more intimate vs mega theaters with 1000s of people and complex parking, etc. It’s like VH1 Storytellers vs The Superbowl. You’re paying for an experience–it depends on your preference.

    7. Fitness concierge – Investment in your health (and wealth). Rising early is a great habit and you keep all kinds of illness (including mental) and injury at bay by staying healthy and active. Plus, it helps you develop healthy habits that help increase productivity. You’ll save a lot of money and time on medical bills and visits, while likely earning more by being a productive, early riser.

  72. I’d take option 7 as my #1, it would save me time if someone had the coffee ready in hand (something I occasionally do before workouts) and once I’m awake with someone there, I’ll feel accountable to go!

    #5 the custom jewelry, I’m least likely to get that. The rest directly save me time and can help me bring happiness to someone else (of course it can always be a gift, but that’s not what I’m imagining here). Also, I like changing my look frequently, I like variety when I accessorize.