Introducing 2011: The Year of the Hustle

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A few months ago, a friend called me for some advice on launching an online product. He wanted to know the best technology to use, my advice on pricing, and some advanced questions on marketing. I shared what I’d learned after launching a big product, and then I added something.

“There’s one other thing I wish I’d known,” I said. “You’re going to spend 3 or 4 months creating any product, once you factor in the content, marketing, sales page, emails, etc. You might as well spend a few extra months and make it the world’s best product. You can get disproportionate rewards if you do.”

He wasn’t really into it. “Yeah man, I know…” he said, “but I really don’t want to put much time into this. I just want to get this out there quick and see what kind of sales I can do.” Basically, he just wanted a way to make some quick money, even if it wasn’t the best product, using his large userbase.

“Dude,” I told him, “let me tell you the difference between doing something that’s ‘just okay’ and something amazing. Here, look at these numbers.”

I shared a couple of examples with him. He went completely silent.

Here is one of those examples (minus some private information):

I’ve been testing writing guest posts for a few other high-traffic sites. In one test, I churned a post out quickly, taking about 1.5 hours to write it. It got me a few hundred visitors.

In another test, I spent 18 hours writing an awesomely detailed post, including case studies, a video, and concrete examples. Result: 100,000+ visitors.

I spent 12x the amount of time writing the good one. But I got 250x the results.

THAT is disproportionate impact.

Imagine being able to systematically focus on doing just 10 high-impact actions per year. Now compare your results to your friend, who does 100 different things and seem to be furiously busy, but few of them make any difference whatsoever. Who gets better results?

Disproportionate impact is not easy. Most people have an ordinary impact in the world. They work in ordinary jobs. They save ordinary amounts of money. They take an ordinary number of trips per year. When they go to work, they affect an ordinary number of people.

Most people are, by definition, ordinary.

(I don’t mean that pejoratively, but rather statistically. It sounds depressing but I don’t think of it that way. Because most people are ordinary, as I wrote about in The Craigslist Penis Effect, you can be extraordinary using some simple tweaks.)

For example, by spending 10x as long on something (if you’re working on the right thing), you can get 100x the results.

Examples of disproportionate impact:

Writing a book:

- What I COULD have done: Take years of posts and re-purpose them into a blog-to-book for an arbitrarily sudden deadline because I want to see my name in a bookstore and satisfy my extremely large ego

- What I ACTUALLY did: Spent years writing a blog for free, treating it as a laboratory to test my ideas and build a readership. Turned down the first publishing offers to find a superb publisher. Then spent two years writing all-new content for the blog to create “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” the best book on automating, investing, and spending. Result: Instant NYT bestseller, #1 book on Amazon, instant reprint, covered on Today Show, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, weekly ABC appearances, and national book tour

Writing a guest post for another blog:

- What I COULD do: Write a guest post in 1-2 hours and send it off, hoping for a few new readers.

- What I ACTUALLY do: I spend 12-18 hours per guest post I write…and why I’ve gotten 50,000 new readers from one post. It’s also why one guest post I’ve done has generated over $100,000 for me. (Read more about how to write a guest post.)

Launching a product on earning more money:

- What I COULD have done: Slap some generic content together on earning more, put it in an ebook, and sell it for $19

- What I ACTUALLY did: Resisted writing about earning more for 3 YEARS because I thought it was scammy — even though it was the #1 most-requested topic from my readers. Finally got convinced to research it once IWT readers told me, in person on my book tour, that they really wished I would write about it. Spent almost a year researching earning more (collecting over 5,000 data points) and creating all-new content on earning money — including investing over $100,000 of my own money. Result: Earn1k, the world’s most comprehensive program on earning money, TONS of success stories about people earning money on the side (and quitting their jobs to work on what they love), great financial results for my students and for my company, and coverage in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, huge websites, and television.

Today, in 2011, I want to help you focus on DISPROPORTIONATE IMPACT.

That means….

- Virtually anyone reading this site can get an ordinary job paying an ordinary salary. How can you get paid 2x as much as much as your peers? How about 4x? I’ll show you how.

- Anyone can create a Twitter account or blog and get 100 followers. How can you have the voice of 10,000? 100,000? There are specific techniques to do so.

- It’s easy to donate $100 to charity. What if you want to donate $10,000 in 2011? Or $50,000? There are several ways to do it.

This is about taking your existing skills and using leverage, psychological insight, and pure hustle to give yourself more opportunities than you know what to do with.

This is about having disproportionate impact.

“The voice of 10,000″

I’m pretty sure that I’m a terrible employee. When most people hear that they have to tell their boss when they’re taking vacation, they nod and say, “Makes sense.” When I hear it, I get this irrational anger and say, “What? I have to TELL (or even ASK?) him to take vacation? Who does he think he is?” That’s one of the many reasons that I’m probably better off working for myself.

Anyway, when I was about to graduate from college, I was busy interviewing at several companies. One of the job offers I got was from Google — a really great offer doing interesting work with very smart people. But I had some reservations. And one of them was especially weird: In college, I was “Ramit the Stanford guy doing interesting stuff.” It was my brand. I posted my papers on my website (which my Stanford friends thought was “weird”) and I did nutty things like creating a self-serving Ramen dispenser.

I was afraid of going to work at a company where I wouldn’t have my own identity, and would instead become yet another product marketing manager or member of some random team.

Weird, right?

But I had some values that I wanted to stay true to. I’ve always said that I want to have the “voice of 10,000,” so when I listened to my gut, my decision became much easier. I ultimately turned down the offer to co-found my own company. And then I went full time on “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” growing my business and exposure to host over 300,000 readers every month.

When I used to write a paper in college, I would have exactly one reader: my professor. Now I can write something at 8am and have 100,000+ people read it before lunch. That’s disproportionate impact.

Years ago, American Airlines removed one olive from each first-class salad, resulting in a savings of $40,000/year. They are a massive public company with huge scale, so you can’t get those kinds of results. But the principle — focusing on small actions that give you incredibly huge results — is something you can do.

How can you use your existing skills to create opportunities that will give you disproportionate impact?

There are 2 parts to focusing on disproportionate impact:

1. Avoiding the trap of skepticism

2. Using specific techniques to hustle your way to incredible opportunities in 2011

Let’s break them apart.

“The plight of loser skeptics”

2010 was the year of earning more money.

After writing my book, the #1 thing people wanted me to write about was earning more money. So I created an entire series of material on earning more money on the side and released it — free — as well as a premium course.

Smart readers took what I wrote and thought carefully about how to apply the lessons to their own lives.

The very best joined my course and are now earning thousands of dollars per month on the side. Some have even quit their jobs to work on what they love full time.

But the most interesting people were the skeptics.

Whenever you start doing something different or interesting, you’ll find people who get threatened by what you’re saying. Now, we should always be comfortable with constructive criticism. But here are a few skeptics who were irrationally antagonistic:

“This site has turned into constant, tiresome self-promotion…Good luck teaching yourself to be rich, Ramit. I, however, am unsubscribing.”
- Jesse

“Sounds like Ramit figured out how to earn some extra dollars on the side. IWTYTBR seems to be more of a product pitch platform now.”
–Ben

(You can find more of these on my previous post: Attention whiny complainers: Why you’re still not saving money.)

Here’s the thing. Do you think those people are any further along in living a rich life?

Of course not. They’re stuck in their scarcity mentality that if anyone is selling something, they’re trying to somehow scam people.

Some people are skeptical of everything. As blogger extraordinaire Jason Kottke noted, “Some people are determined to deliberately misunderstand much of what they encounter in life. Sometimes I have a hard time realizing that that’s their problem, not mine.”

Compare that to my Earn1k students, many of whom are totally dominating.

”After YEARS of talking without action I realized a dream and quit my day job to freelance full time.” –Kelly Azevedo

“I want to thank you so much. I applied the customer research techniques before a pitch today and just landed a 1k project!!” –Sunira Moses

“I’ve bought a lot of books on freelancing, quitting the day job, finding your passion, etc., but none of them were as tactical and step-by-step as Earn 1k. It literally changed my whole attitude about business and sales. I think it was the smartest thing I’ve ever spent money on — I’m now self-employed and making more than twice what I was making at the day job.” — April Dykman

(Read more comments about the course from Earn1k graduates .)

It’s not just about money, either.

Seth Godin writes about the predictable lifecycle of the skeptic

The Kindle is a lousy idea. No one will read a book that way.

The Kindle is late. Amazon has no clue how to launch a product.

The Kindle is poorly designed. See, we told you.

The Kindle’s pricing model hurts book publishers. It will never be adopted by them.

The Kindle is pretty cool. Non-techies like it.

The Kindle is sold out. Amazon doesn’t know how to produce a product.

The Kindle is selling far more than anyone ever predicted.

The Kindle will sell millions and we are raising our predictions for Amazon’s earnings as a result.

… The Kindle missed our estimates. See?

Being skeptical is comfortable. It’s familiar. It allows us to look on every opportunity with a skeptical eye and list off the reasons something won’t work.

And being skeptical is adaptive. We live in a world where companies are constantly trying to sell us get-rich-quick products, so it makes sense that we’re wary.

The problem is, when skeptics scoff at every opportunity, they miss chance after chance to grow and end up stuck in the same place. It’s easier to apply a blanket belief of “no, that’s a scam” than to carefully evaluate each opportunity — whether it’s a new job, a book or online course, or taking someone out to coffee. Even if it could help you. And even if it comes from a trusted source, like the angry readers above who’d been reading my (free) site for years.

On Conan’s final Tonight Show, here’s what he said:

“Please, do not be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record, it’s my least favorite quality. It doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. I’m telling you, amazing things will happen. I’m telling you, it’s just true.”

Who would you rather be?

Someone who’s open to new opportunities and, as a result, makes a few mistakes (e.g., buying the wrong product, going down the wrong path for a while) but systematically corrects and improves?

Or would you rather adopt a cynical attitude toward everything and constantly look at the worst-case scenarios and reasons something won’t work for you? People who are open to new opportunities might make a couple mistakes, but they’ll learn and adapt. Cynics will tread water forever.

SKEPTICISM IS NOT A STRATEGY. It’s a cashmere collar around your neck. It feels good at first, but keeps you in place forever.

This is not just about money or buying products. It’s about strategically cultivating so many opportunities that you can “pick and choose” which ones are the best for you. Whether that’s being able to choose which job you want to take — regardless of money — or which country you want to live in…or if you want to live bi-coastally….these are things you CAN do.

How?

As I mentioned, 2010 was the year of earning more money on “I Will Teach You To Be Rich.”

Now I’m THRILLED to announce that 2011 is the year of the Hustle.

Introducing 2011: The Year of the Hustle

Hustling — in the best sense of the word — means finding unconventional ways to achieve high-impact goals.

This year, I’m going to show you how to create so many opportunities that you’ll be HAPPY to turn down job offers that give you $10,000 more… because you’ll be awash in jobs that pay even MORE… and are more meaningful.

You want to be a sports agent at age 26? Let me show you 3 people who’ve done it.

Want to give $50,000 to charity this year? I’ll show you how.

Or maybe you want to quit your job and work for yourself. I have countless examples of people I’ve helped to do that in the last 12 months.

Here’s what you can expect in 2011:

• If you follow along with what I’ve put together, you’re going to work harder than you’ve ever worked before. I work my ass off and you’re going to, too. But I’ll be along for the ride, nudging, helping, and showing you mistakes to avoid

• I’m going to give you rich case studies of people who’ve hustled their ways to success — by finding better jobs, living bi-coastally, living in multiple countries, or even quitting their jobs entirely to work for themselves

• People who realized they were following someone ELSE’S goals — not their own — and how they re-positioned to find out what they loved

• Interviews where you can submit your own questions — and get answers from best-selling authors, TV personalities, marketing juggernauts, lifestyle hackers, and more

• Several new premium “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” products to help you earn more, have a better job, negotiate more, and a few others up my sleeve

Of course, I hope that if you follow along with my free material and find some success, that you’ll eventually join one of my premium courses, like Earn1k. If not, that’s totally fine. But I know some of you will want to grow to an even higher level, like thousands of my premium students have.

In exchange for all this free material, this is what I ask of you:

1. Stop blindly consuming in 2011. If you’re not getting benefits from any blogs, newsletters, TV shows, WHATEVER, unsubscribe and stop watching. (Even my blog — if you’re not benefiting from my stuff, stop reading it and find something that helps you take action.) Anyone can consume. Few can produce.

2. I’ve created 30 days of all-new material to help you create disproportionate rewards via hustling this January. It starts soon – so stay tuned later this week to find out how you can be a part of it.

3. Leave a comment below and tell me 1 SPECIFIC area you want to hustle in. Better job? Get a raise? Travel around the world?  I’ll choose a few of the best to kick off the new material.

See you later this week.

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203 Comments

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  1. What Ramit says here is 100% accurate when it comes to business and life. The more time and energy you invest in your work, the better the results will be. I’ve also noticed that when I spend five hours on a post, as opposed to half an hour, I get hundreds of retweets and comments. In order to break through the clutter, you have to work hard and push out quality. Otherwise, no one will care!

    • Amanda Gleason Link to this comment

      I’ve also seen this idea at work in my life. When I’m being spread too thin, I’m not allowing myself to do anything well. When you’re rushed and have a million things on your to-do list, it can be easy to not put your best effort into what you’re doing. I always have to remind myself that I can do a lot of things okay or I can do just a couple things and blow people away. I’d much rather be known for quality than quantity.

  2. Woah .,.. crazy long post, but definitely worth the read. Thanks for investing the time for making it worth while. I’m not afraid of a little hard work and am pysched to see how a little bit more time can result in a disproportionate impact. Bring it on.

  3. I want to hustle my creative side. Naturally it’s not my strong suit, but there must be a way to hack into it.

  4. Why, oh why, is the word “hustle” so popular when referring to side income? When I hear hustle, I think scam. The lexical sense that rings true to my ears when someone says “side hustle” to talk about earning money is the idea that someone’s working quickly to take advantage of another party. “Hustle” has such negative connotations — and it’s not just me. WordNet (*the* lexical database) agrees. Language changes constantly. Maybe I am just getting too old. Are all the kids talking about “side hustles” in a positive sense?

    Of course I agree with everything in your post. And I know you know the importance of word choice in communicating the message you want to send.

    • I think the YouTube video linked to below affirms your point.

    • In getting caught up in the vernacular aren’t you succumbing to the skepticism that prevents so many others from taking action, shipping, producing, etc.? You say you agree with everything in the post — then take action on it and don’t waste your time confirming something that doesn’t matter on WordNet.

    • @Ryan: Possibly you don’t know who Flexo is, so I’ll cut you some slack. He’s a (possibly the original) personal finance blogger. He makes 6 figures a year with his blog. He works his butt off to produce great content. And he recently quit his day job (after most of his friends–including me!–had been bugging him for years to do it!) Now he’s pursuing blogging full time.

      Flexo is one of the 1% who does get shit done. And he may have a point with the vocabulary chosen. Unfortunately, the poisonous mindset of “If it’s claiming to teach me how to make money or get rich, it must be a scam” extends despite which word is used to describe the product.

      -Erica

    • Apart from the fact it sounds a little scammy, I’m also worried that every time I read Ramit’s blog in 2011 I’ll start humming “Do the Hustle” for the rest of the day.

  5. Fantastic post. I am excited for what you have on offer in 2011. I am about to embark on a global adventure, having booked a one-way ticket out of the country to travel around the world. If you could include specifics as to hustling more money remotely that would be appreciated! Thanks Ramit.

  6. I can hear the theme music now. Do the Hustle!

    I just started a job working for a public broadcasting station. While my company (being a nonprofit) and my team (IT) and my particular role (social media) aren’t usually considered revenue sources, I’d like to turn things on their head. I want to create some excitement and some sparks to crush my job and help enliven my company’s fundraising efforts – and brand. So, somewhat ironically, I’d like to hustle in my 9 to 5, to help my company bust out of its doldrums, create a lot of buzz, attract new audiences and do a better job fundraising.

    If that works, I want to hustle me up some side income. Cuz public broadcasting is not the place to grow rich. :)

  7. The rant about cynicism was a straw man: of course no one like a bad attitude. Cynicism isn’t skepticism, and skepticism is damn important. It’s how we choose which experiments to do next. The two readers’ comments you highlighted, especially the first, didn’t strike me as so irrational. You do push your products regularly, and you demand your readers to take a lot on faith/anecdata.

    “Hustle” doesn’t have positive connotation to me either. I’m imagining more tips for free-lancers to drum up clients, extra networking, asking for a raise, and so on.

    It would be interesting if, for a change, you focused on strategies for people already working hard (e.g., 50-80 h/week) in jobs that are their “calling” but don’t/can’t pay well. Think government/academic scientists, public defendants, nonprofit workers, etc. These are people who would like to make more money but aren’t prepared to forego an otherwise rewarding career that they love. Assume they can’t code or teach piano in their spare time. What kind of ‘hustling’ would you suggest?

    • Any organization can benefit from “hustle”. To me hustling in your day job could be producing that great product, research, or investment that could lead to HUGE rewards for the organization that you work for. If you can work your butt off to produce something great that brings value to the organization (and value usually means $$) then the organization (be it non-profit or whatever) can afford to pay you for the value that you bring to them. You can work a 40 hr work week (or more if you choose) for an organization and hustle in the areas that will really make a big difference and not focus on those that don’t add as much value and you can see the benefits of hustling. You don’t have to own your own business or freelance on the side to get a raise or other benefits from your efforts in your organization.

  8. Simple: I want to take the skills that I have at my day job, and find a way to work for my goals, my ideals. I want more control over my own life and the freedom that comes with it.

  9. Thanks for the post, i would like to leave my job but still be able to earn as much as I am earning, my goal this year is to double my income and I know that I wont achieve that through my 9 – 5, could you please give mention on how to start something on the side that can earn me some money?

  10. I’m currently a 21 year old college student. I’ve 2 goals. Currently I’m looking to create an income stream of $2,000/month that will help me pay for my college tuition. I’m also looking for a way to take an inexpensive trip to the Caribbean and Middle East from May to August. How can I achieve this?

  11. You make some great points on putting in the extra work Ramit.

    Do you ever wish joining Google right out of college? Those who joined 6 years ago cashed in for about $2-3 million and doing other things.

    The specific goal I have is to be able to give as much as possible (18+ winners, at least 6 offerings) to deserving students through the Yakezie Scholarship.

    Cheers, Sam

    • A while back, I compared notes with a friend of mine who was about my same age (I’m 29) and who had joined Google right out of college, back when it was just a few hundred people and years before its IPO.

      We figured that between his salary and stock options, and me selling my company for $1.1 million, we’d come out about the same in the 4 years we’d each worked our chosen path. I had a slight upper hand because of tax treatment–I was able to take a lot of my income as long-term capital gains vs. salary.

      There’s one critical point missing here: I applied for Google right when I started my hosting company and still wanted a job. I didn’t even get a call back. Of course later, when I was successful, they tried to recruit me as a manager. I turned them down flat.

      The big winners at Google were the employees who were there when it was fewer than 10 people. I know one of them personally. He’s worth ~$40M and has it set up so he’ll never have to work again. Of course, that doesn’t solve all of his problems. But he’s happy he’ll never have to take a job he doesn’t want again.

      -Erica

  12. I’m graduating from college in May, and my one specific goal is to get a job and move to New York City in June.

    Thanks for this post! I’m really looking forward to reading about this program.

  13. I work at a place where getting a raise out of the norm/preset raise % is unheard of. I’ve hustled myself a new job that is literally 3-4 levels above my old one there, and there’s hardly been a raise. There are very few places that do the line of work I’m in (basically, we’re it). I want to get the raise I deserve … and more.

    And while I do love my work, I’ve got an idea for an unrelated business…and I want to see what’s possible there. Yeah, that’s two…so I’m hustling two ideas instead of one, k? Oh wait, that’s three now.

  14. I’m looking for a new apartment by the end of January and want to hustle in negotiating the price down.

  15. Awesome post! I am amazed there are not more comments. I’ve recently started writing my own book capturing tips and tricks on what I’ve learned using adwords over the past 7 years. While I’ve spent a lot of time on it, with the landscape changing on a daily basis, I am driving to get it out sooner than later as an ebook and provide free updates to customers. I feel this is a valid strategy, ESP. As I type this on my iPad at midnight in a pitch black room.

    Oh yeah – found this post via rss, a link to your newsletter would be bueno…

  16. My 2011 hustling goal is to save for an RV so I can travel the world as soon as I graduate from college this fall. I need to buy the truck and travel trailer, plus come up with a revenue stream I can maintain while on the road to fund my adventures.

  17. This post was so lengthy, yet meaty and motivating. Ramit, I offer you not one, but several hustling goals I have for 2011. I did not follow you or your blog closely in 2010–so that means even more hustlin’:

    - Launch a blog and gain 1,000 readers / followers
    - Generate $2,000/mo. with an online business on the side
    - Travel somewhere I’ve never been before
    - Propose to my long-term girlfriend (6 years!)

    Cheers and keep up the good work!

  18. Wow, I had 4 goals on my list this year, 3 are profit goals. My 4th goal is leverage.

    What is serendipity when its what you are looking for? No, not the movie!

    My hustle is getting (more) clients. If the answer is cold calling then I want my money back ;)

  19. Hi Ramit,
    Nice post. I currently live in the Bay area and while I have been working at my current company for only 6 months now, I want to change my job and join a high profile start-up in the next 6 months. This will really require me to hustle and I am ready!!

  20. I’d like to work towards a nice, mostly automated income, and have the option of living in Japan for a while. (meaning over a year in the next 5-7 years.)

  21. For my “hustle”, I wouldn’t mind a side web development project but did not commit to Earn1k, which is bad. I do have an idea for a physical product, a twist on an existing one, which would be good to bring to market…

  22. Cool stuff, Ramit!

    I’m a 19 year old college student and I’d like to start sketching for a side business. The problem is I don’t know what exactly to sell. I know Ramit is big on freelancing, but I would like to focus my drawing skills to unconventional and untapped industries (the graphic design and illustration industries seem packed). Note that I have practically zero experience in selling art (I don’t even have a portfolio nor do I know how to use software like Photoshop or Illustrator), so I have no idea what my creations are worth. I hope some of Ramit’s hustling advice helps out!

    If anyone could provide me with suggestions or useful links, I’d appreciate it very much! Thanks!

  23. My hustle will be to write valuable content that will entice (pre-selling) readers to buy an ebook from my websites

  24. Hi Ramit,

    I’m psyched for this year! Thanks for giving the ideas.

    I’m currently studying at a very demanding school where there’s almost no time for anything besides academic work. However, I’d like to be able to have some more opportunities when I graduate. I’d be interested in hearing your take on how some additional hustle can lead to disproprotionate rewards in terms of academic success.

    Thanks & happy new year!

  25. In business (as in life) the hustling is constant, the winner out hustle the looser. The best teacher is the best hustler, for example. Learn your craft well and it will serve you well, that’s Hustling.

  26. In business (as in life) the hustling is constant, the winner out hustles the looser. The best teacher is the best hustler, for example. Learn your craft well and it will serve you well, that’s Hustling.

  27. University for my Master’s degree, Master thesis, the prolongation of my scholarship and my master plan for the time after the Master in 2012. Definitely. Plus, the creative side – web design, illustration, translations, writing – some for money, some just for myself to improve my skills. I have a seemingly unachievable goal in mind for 2012, but it’s probably also just a question of working hard enough and not giving up.

  28. There is a corollary to putting a tremendous amount of work into something. For those of us who are perfectionists, it gives us an excuse to polish and polish forever, never shipping. Completely agree with putting in the effort to make something great, but it cannot always be complete or it will never ship.

    @Pramit: There are many examples of individuals doing sketches on demand for a low cost to individuals (for avatars, zombie drawings, custom cartoons, etc.) but I haven’t seen any targeted at small businesses. The logo creation business is pretty full, but what about all the other ancillary art needs of a small business? Working with a graphic designer can be expensive and weird for no reason I can see – or you could be the exception.

    My favorite positive hustling example is Domino’s Pizza (once upon a time). Aside from the 30 minutes or less, every driver was encouraged to run from the car to the door and back. Really changed the mindset – and increased my tips them.

  29. I want to hustle to find myself a best friend who I can share my life with (I think that traditionally, people would call this a husband) this year. I’ve worked hard, and been successful in several fields – I’m within shouting distance of my PhD. But I want to focus on my romantic relationships now :)

    btw, Ramit, what are you looking for in a partner?

  30. I like that you suggested charitable contributions as a goal. Well done.

  31. I want, in 2011, to earn enough money to move me and my wife into a new house, big enough for our upcoming family.

  32. Hey Ramit,

    I want to travel abroad for an extended period. I am halfway through a gap year, but none of my big plans have been able to materialize because I simply don’t have the money.

    I have an abundance of time, few responsibilities, and plenty of smarts – what can I do to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity!!!

  33. Hi Ramit,

    So excited about embarking on 2011 with you! I love this ‘hustle’ theme (though I agree, it can be difficult to shake the negative connotations of the word).

    I have a small business that I know is on the brink of success. I want to build confidence, materials with all the knowledge I already have (but am sometimes skeptical is of value, though my clients consistently prove that it is), enlarge my presence in my market and triple my income. I think much of this might be linked to choosing well-suited opportunities and making the most of them. If you can support me to these successes, you’ll have a devotee for life!

  34. After 29yrs of working for the same company, I’ve been served notice that I’ll be let go at the end of the 1st Quarter of 2011.
    My Hustle goal this year is to switch gears totally from my I.T. / Database Developer to a Full Time Photographer.

    Looking forward to ALL your Articles :-)

  35. I want to find- and be accepted for- affordable health insurance so that I can work for myself 100%.

  36. Im going to change careers, which involves getting into a highly competitive graduate program for which I have zero background! (Poli Sci BA (Corporate background) moving into psychology sans human service background). I’ve already started positioning myself to make this move, so Year of the Hustle fits perfectly for me!

  37. I like to think of Ramit’s ‘hustle’ like a horse race, the horse that gets last may be 95% as fast as the horse that wins, but the winning horse gets all the prize money.

    I am in the process of launching a “proof-of-concept” for my wine import and distribution company, if I stay focused and hustle this will allow me to raise angel money and create a wine distribution channel unlike any in America that will change the industry.

  38. I’ve gotta start bringing in some extra income. 2010 was a crap year that destroyed me financially…even with IWTYTBR. I’m hoping your posts will help me figure out how to create a successful side hustle.

  39. Hey Ramit! What a wonderful article and a great kick start to the new year! I am currently self employed and I will be launching another business in 2011. I am hustling everyday to make this dream come true. It can and it will! Keep up the great work!

  40. I want to get a good, paid summer internship working in health care in DC. This will be challenging for a couple of reasons: I’m not living there currently and don’t have many contacts in the area, and I’m an international graduate student. That said, I’ve got good things to offer a potential employer and I’m looking forward to employing your advice.

  41. Ramit, you should have seen my face light up when I got your email. Your timing could not be better.

    We got a call on Dec. 26th that my younger brother had been in a car accident. He was in critical condition at the hospital. The doctor was straight with us- if he survives he’ll need full-time care and a ton of rehab to relearn how to live, and if he doesn’t I was looking at helping my parents plan a funeral for their son.

    I’ve written before to thank you for your briefcase technique and how it helped me earn thousands more over my coworkers at a non-profit (because I was already viciously outperforming even their most experienced people). I called work Monday following the accident and explained what was going on, volunteering for a leave-of-absence, even if it had to be unpaid, so that I wasn’t constantly pestering my boss for time off at random points here and there when I go to visit my brother in the hospital, help my parents take care of paperwork or babysit my younger siblings so that my own mother can visit her son. They said there was no real way to give me what I wanted, so I said goodbye.

    It felt great to quit, but you should have seen people freak! My friends, family, even my old coworkers were having a cow. “How selfish!” “What about all your benefits?” “How could you just throw such a great job away?” “You’re way too young to do this!” “You don’t even have a college degree, you’ll never find a better job than that.” “You don’t know what you’re doing, you’re just being young and foolish.” “Why couldn’t you wait until it was a better time to quit?” Some people don’t realize that at-will employment is a two-way street, and went so far as to demand an explanation from me.

    Better how! More convenient? Better for my employer? I know it couldn’t have been better timing for me. Their freak-outs turned to panic when I didn’t immediately turn around and start putting in applications to some other cubicle farms.

    I’ve got no problem with working hard, but this year I’m focusing on compacting my work so that instead of being stuck at the office for 8 hours, banging my head on a keyboard for 3-4 of those hours and getting things done the rest of the time, I’m actually /working/ and getting those disproportionate results we’re all so fond of.

    Benefits be damned! I’m relaxing at home, studying the work of your buddy, Tim Ferriss, and plan on making sure my next “job” has flexible hours and doesn’t require me to ask permission from someone to take time off for things that are important to me. The year of the hustle, indeed.

  42. My hustle would be to start earning enough money to make at least half of my parent’s mortgage payments so they can stay in their house.

  43. My hustle goals this year are a website/blog about writing and self-publishing, and finding a day job that doesn’t depress me when I get up in the morning. It would be wonderful if said job could also earn me more.

  44. I am a young attorney. This year I want to hustle more of my own business so that I can have a bonus at the end of the year. So I am looking forward to figuring out where I should be working hard to make that happen!

  45. Hey;

    My hustle is an odd one – I want to hustle balance.

    I’m a sophomore in college working on Music Performance and Composition degrees, and I’m interested in pursuing:

    Design, graphic design, playing viola, playing piano, writing classical music, writing video game music, playing video games, creating video games, writing hip hop music, studying psychology, studying philosophy, making money ((loved your book, learning to love this blog), playing jazz, listening to plenty of music, and becoming a better person.

    I have varying levels of interest in all of these things, but what people don’t get is this: I’m serious about this. All of this. I might not want to “major” in all of these interests (I definitely don’t, in fact), but through describing these interests, I describe my life and myself.

    So, I want to hustle having a reasonable balance while continuing to follow the paths of improvement (or just relaxing, as I don’t want to be a tournament-level gamer or something – which is the only semi-practical application of playing games that I can think of).

    What do you think?

  46. A new job isn’t the goal itself. Finding a workplace with people I respect and enjoy is the golden egg I seek. Life is all about connection, but I’ve only started to learn how to better connect with friends and family in my 30′s. Now it’s time to connect for the other 40 hours of my week!

  47. I want to hustle the email of the ruby on rail programmer that emailed you so I can hustle him too. Either that or hustle my tail to understanding it myself so I can pull off the idea that has been percolating in my brain for the last 3 years.

  48. I have to say that I haven’t publicly admitted this goal to anyone, but what I would really like to do is become a TV host. Whether it’s hosting an interview show like “Big Idea” by Donnie Deutsch or a business makeover show like “Peter Perfect”. I decided this year I’ll try to make it happen; I signed up for a couple of broadcasting classes which starts in Feb. and I’m currently looking for opportunities where I can get my foot in the door at a local TV station here in the DC area. All this will require some serious hustling as I don’t have TV experience, so it should be an interesting journey :)

  49. Hustling in product creation – so inspired by your guest post example.

  50. I’m getting a fairly good raise this year. I want to hustle in side-ventures. I have a dropship e-commerce site that I want to make profitable. I have a blog that I would like to get to over 1,250 monthly views. I also have a product-review website which I want to make at least $50/month off of.

  51. I want to raise $1000 dollars for the Becel Ride for Heart and Stroke. It’s a 25km, 50km or 75km cycle on the highways of Toronto, ON (Canada-1hr N of NY state) that I’ve done for the past couple of years. I want to raise $1000 and then get to $5k or $10k.

  52. I want to work for myself and start something that affects people. Where I work, anyone could do my job, including a high schooler. And that’s that I have a college degree. I want to do something that requires hustle, something where I answer to me and my goals.

  53. Ramit,

    Thanks for all the great free info you have given your readers in 2010, and I’m really excited to see what the year of the hustle brings us in 2011. Keep up the great work!

  54. I want to hustle in increasing my pay. I plan to do this by getting a certification that will allow me to go from day-to-day tasks to a more managerial role but will that be enough or is there something bigger??

    P.S.- People hate the hustle word but I think you made the right choice. It fires people up. Can your theme song be “Cassidy: I’m a hustler??”

  55. Self-employment, i.e. freelancing. I have multiple ideas, I need to cull out the crap as well as finish my self-education that will put me head and shoulders above the rest. That’s my area. :)

  56. To become a world leader in teaching businesses how to change their management systems.
    I want to do this by (in no particular order):

    a) Writing a NYT Bestseller
    b) Advising Fortune 500 CEOs
    c) Conducting high quality seminars which earn me $30,000 each

  57. Hi Ramit,

    I’d like to figure out a way to leverage my skills (especially writing) to earn at least $50,000 a year in 10-15 hours a week so that I can spend the rest of my time taking care of my young children. It has to be something that I can do on my own schedule (e.g. not lots of meetings or travel) so that I can be around the times my kids need me. Also must require very little start-up capital.

    Any ideas are welcome!!

    Laura

  58. Time for me to sack up an hustle myself some revenue. I’ve left Google two years ago and aside from learning to sail, building some Android apps and doing some consulting I haven’t earned much revenue. I need to amp it up and start bringing home some cheddar again.

  59. How to Hustle without compromising your integrity or values.

    I naturally shy away from anything involving Hustling. I’ve stayed away from sales for this exact reason. I don’t feel comfortable doing it. I feel like I’m selling myself – even with an ‘elevator speech’. What gives and why?

  60. You got me all fired up Ramit! Love this, and here’s to the hustle!

  61. Re: advice #1 above – I read this a few times, just because it was obviously correct, yet something I almost never think about doing (addicted to the content consumption cycle).

    Relatedly, my main goal for 2011 is to increase (by alot) my output of creative writing projects. My focus for now is on quantity, since I’m a good editor but terrible at actually producing first-draft content. Steps I’ve thought of so far:

    1. reduce consumption (reading) to make room for production (writing). reading is good, but not all content is equally valuable. ID’d this step after reading this post via email the other day.
    2. put words on paper every single day. even if it’s only a sentence or two. tweets don’t count.
    3. find deadlines – writing contests work well for this, since they typically provide both a prompt/topic (stimulating production) and a deadline.

  62. Can’t wait to get started on this. I’m a hobby musician and I deeply believe that social media can help me reach an audience outside my local watering hole, so my year of the hustle will focus on finding that audience by offering things that other musicians don’t. I think disproportionate impact is a key strategy. I can spend an hour and a half each night recording a cheap quality youtube clip of myself singing at home, or I can spend the time and money to create a quality recording and release it properly through the right channels. I’m looking forward to your guidance and advice.

  63. This year I want to be able to walk away from my 9-5 and focus entirely on my web design and photography business without sacrificing my current lifestyle ( my house, my two pets, and my social nights & weekends). I want to push my preconceived notions of my “limits” so that I never undersell myself but am always producing great product for my customers that they’re happy with, that I’m happy with. I want to go to a good school for something like an MBA so I can meet and compete with people I can look up to and learn from, learn about some business minutia from, and to whom I can offer mentoring based on my experiences.

    Anyway. I am totally stoked for this year already. 2010 was amazing (partly due to IWTYTBR content helping me out) and I’m so ready to dive in and HUSTLE!!

  64. Hello Ramit. I want to quit my job and travel the world!! I am willing to work my ass of to do it, and have set myself a goal: I will quit my job no later than June 15, 2014, once I have paid off all my debts.

    Thanks and best regards!!

  65. One thing that has always fascinated me is the eerie ability of some people, despite no obvious surplus of intellectual ability or effort, to hustle. I’ve seen it in my father, friends and others, and I’ve always wanted it. By “hustle”, I mean that they see opportunities that others don’t in the market, whatever that market may be – school, prison, the internet, etc – and they meet that need at the right time and price. For example, my grandmother had a label machine back when label machines were a big deal, and my dad sold labels to people who didn’t have one. This was somewhere around the age of 7-10. No one told my dad to do it, it just came to him. There are countless more examples, but my point is this: what, exactly, makes you and others so good at identifying needs in the market and selling a product that destroys the competition (if there is any)?

  66. Just another vote of confidence comment.

    Go Ramit !

  67. Hi Ramit,
    Interesting post as always – thanks for keeping me thinking. There are several things I’d like to “hustle” this year. In no particular order:
    1) A 3rd career path (I’ve had 2 major careers thus far) which provides me with new interests, a chance to express my learned skills from the past 20 years of employment, and aligns with my personal mission to create positive change in the world.
    2) A house in good condition of at least 1400 square feet in a safe neighborhood, with a reasonable commute (in Los Angeles).
    3) Starting a family with my husband before my biological clock ticks down, and being financially solvent to make it happen.

    That’s it. But wow — won’t it be amazing when I can make them all come true??

  68. To get more exposure for my clothing line and to actually make a living off it!

  69. Ramit – thanks for the blood-pumping pep-talk. As a trained marketing person, I totally get your choice of the word “hustle” and as a wordsmith, I get why people are put off. But it fits you and your brand and it gets attention, so you have my approval (not that you need it).

    I am here to state my SPECIFIC hustle goal. I have an opportunity to turn my spare room into a nice bed and breakfast. So I am going to do that. It will take some investment, but we have the money and plans and I think I can get about half the money back in the fees I charge over the first 12 months of operation (that might be optimistic, but I will crunch numbers later). I want it to be rated one of the best places of its type in my area. I also want to add a complimentary web product that is a travel planning service. Not booking airfare and hotels, but customized itinerary planning for visitors to my area – the things to do part. I want to focus on working moms, but will take anyone who wants help getting the most out of their trip to my town. I want to make at least $3K on this over the course of the year as I start up.
    Finally, my husband has stated a goal of raising $100K for pediatric cancer research and support this year. AHHHHH! Please help with that! I have a feeling I will be doing some of the leg work on this.
    Specific enough? If not, help me with that, too.
    Thanks for your blog. Big fun, big inspiration!

  70. I would like to hear a hustle on developing streams of income. I love my work, but I want to make more money.

  71. Agree with Ramit on focus and putting effort on few important things rather than scatter your energy on many things and ending up unsatisfied on all of them.
    But choosing the right thing to focus on would take some due diligence, risk analysis…..

    Skepticism is not always bad …..but being skeptic always is bad…..looking into a problem with skeptic point of view does help to prepare for worst case scenarios.

  72. I plan on hustling in these three areas:
    1. Get my own business off and running.
    2. Start travelling and seeing the world.
    3. Improve my artistic skills.

  73. My one area of hustle in 2011 is to finish my doctoral dissertation. It has been dragging on for too many years. So I am setting aside all my short-term projects for the sake of completing this one long-term project.

  74. My hustle for this year is to start selling my art profitably.

    Thanks for the reminder about not being a cynic. And happy new year!

    Take care,
    Jay

  75. My side hustle this year will be strategizing a way to enter an already crowded market sector and still be able to get awesome clients and make decent money. There are many questions to be worked out including the best way to credential myself (the sector has a pretty rigid system but I’d like to see if there’s a way to hustle around it), further defining who the right target clients are and if I can develop them as clients even before working out the credential issue. And (eventually) finding a way to create a product that assists my clients but doesn’t directly trade my time for money (in order to achieve some scale).

    My fear is that I spend the year hung up on the credentialing and don’t lay any foundation for the actual business. And that I spend too much time consuming blogs/daydreaming during my 9 to 5 that I don’t kick its ass as well and spend a lot of time being unhappy rather than achieving incremental goals.

    Looking forward to the advice Ramit.

    • Why don’t you convince your husband instead to donate something like $10,000 to malnutrition (or, e.g., malaria research) and save many millions more children every year?

    • very sorry–that was a reply for #80

  76. My hustle for 2011 is to tweak my latest major lifestyle change to gain meaningful returns. Re-invention is a subject common to every life.

    I was an employed single divorcee for 25 years. A year ago, I relocated, married, and started producing artwork. My aim is to find several ways to create personal income and to support charitable endeavors.
    endeavors.

  77. Bring on the Year of the Hustle! I’ve already started clearing out my junk email box and unsubscribing to things I don’t care about anymore and am already feeling better. I’m excited to see what you have in store for us Ramit. I’m going to break down your question into two specific areas. Personally, I want to travel more and have more life changing experiences rather than stuff. And professionally, I want to help grow Adaptu’s user base and community.

  78. My hustle this year is networking locally. I’ve always been painfully shy, so it’s not my strong suit. I need to break out of the sending-email-that’s-easily-ignored trap.

  79. I currently have multiple “side hustles” but feel I need to be more focused. Hustle goals for the year:

    1. Increase photography sales by $500 per month
    2. Create website to sell graphic templates
    3. Learn ruby on rails
    4. Volunteer with non-profit to teach financial literacy to teens
    5. Learn Brazilian Portuguese
    6. Use the 5 above to quit my day job.

    Chris

  80. Ramit, you’re the best, seriously. I want to hustle this year and change the world– literally. I want to give young professionals the tools to be GREAT communicators at work. I want to take my thriving small business (whose clients include the top MBA programs and Wall Street banks) and make my content available to everyone outside of my niche consulting business. I want to make people sound smart by giving them the tools to ask for help without sounding dumb, answer questions they don’t know the answers to, raise red flags when the sh*ts about to hit the fan…share information, ask for feedback, you name it. I love your stuff and am eagerly awaiting your tips. all the best, a huge fan, jodi

  81. I want my income to be non-location-specific, so I can live anywhere.

  82. This year, I want to shift into a different career that gets me out of the administrative ghetto, uses my actual skills in a fun and engaging way, does something good in the world, and makes me six figures.

    LET’S MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!!

  83. 1. Grow my blog into a top 25000 site in 2011
    2. Quit my day job and freelance

  84. I want to travel the world, performing/singing for a living! I have the qualifications and experience to do it, but I will need to get my ass off my cushy job!

  85. I want to be able to start my own company which will make more than $15000 per month. I would love to be able to give at least $10,000 to a charity of my choice this year and I am willing to work my ar$e off for both of these

  86. Just found your blog after getting your complimentary stuff through the 4-Hour Body. I’m excited to see what you have to offer.

    I would like to hustle my personal brand.

  87. Setting the bar high for posts in ’11 already I see. I loved the way you articulated your thought process/reservations about working for someone else’s company.

  88. I want launch at least 2 products, start freelancing, and either quit my job or be well on my way to quitting my job!

  89. Design a life for myself in 2011 that lets me do the things I want to do with my focus is on living and thriving instead of getting by and surviving, so I can move forward!

  90. Also, really entertained by the number of responses to Ramit’s question that focus on earning side income. Where were all these folks last year, during the year of Earn1K?

  91. This post sounds like its going to be a great series.

    I would like to learn some tips to help me grow my recurring monthly customer base. The larger I can grow my paying monthly users the more I hope to reinvest into the acquisition of new customers. The hope is that this will create a sort of snowball effect until I get to the desired recurring monthly income.

    So any advice on gaining and retaining a loyal customer base would be appreciated.

    FYI. I am willing to hustle.

  92. I am going to create the world’s sickest slip on shoes. Bet on it.

  93. Wow, great post as usual. This year my hustle goal is to become a trusted expert in my country. I’ll know that I’m trusted when I get 2000 subscribers to my blog.

  94. Ramit, I’ve only been reading your site for about a month now, but so far, I’ve gotten a high-yield savings account, gotten overdraft fees refunded from my brick and mortar bank, increased my credit, and am in the process of opening an online checking account. Oh yeah. And I got your book.

    Great stuff, man.

    This year, I’m going to hustle in my job (sales rep for Vector Marketing), schoolwork (architecture school), and starting up a side presentation creation business.

    Maybe even some blog writing of my own.

    Thanks so much for your insight and voice.
    Rod

  95. I want to help make processes throughout my company more efficient, and get paid more for doing it!

  96. Loving it, Ramit. I’ve already unsubscribed from all the feeds that provide me with zero value, and you’re still there, so that’s a testament to the quality of your work.

    Anyway, here’s my question: how do you go about setting a good foundation for building wealth? I’m only 18 and I’m a senior in high school. What do you recommend I do NOW in order to give me the best ability to earn money in the future?

    • Brett, you should definitely pick up Ramit’s book. It’s definitely something that you can use to help build a great foundation for great habits now and wealth in the future. It will guide you in optimizing your spending habits now and setting up savings and investment accounts for your future.

      You could also check out earn1k.com for a Freelance Idea generator tool. This will help you figure out something you could do that you would enjoy and help you earn money while in school or getting a regular job right out of high school (of course most of us here would encourage you to go to college even if it means getting loans (even though Ramit did it for free with scholarships to Stanford.), but it’s your choice).

      If you need any help with earning in college, Brett, email me at rodwaynick@gmail.com and I would love to be a kind of mentor.

      But my best advice, as Ramit would probably tell you, is to just do SOMETHING. Even though whatever you do may not be the greatest option, at least it’s something. Try to follow the 85% rule, and you should do fine.

      -Rod

  97. I’m a musician, and the evolution of the internet has made it hard not only to sell physical copies of music, but to get gigs at places who have decided to find “DJ’s”(guys who press play on an iPod) as opposed to live music, so I’ve had to negotiate lower prices for almost every gig over the last year. I’ve embraced the internet, have music in the listening phase for Pandora, songs are available on iTunes, all the social networking pages first myspace now facebook and twitter as well as a website and a mobile version of that website. I’ve also spent many countless hours designing merchandise, learning software (all of adobe cs4) to improve my website, just an endless cycle of the next thing. I quit my day job to do what I love years ago, but it seems everyday to feel more and more like a job or two jobs some days. I can’t afford to hire people to do these things. The music is good and there IS a market for it, it’s just about getting it heard. How do i make the disproportionate impact in an over-saturated market like music?
    P.S. Been hustling and willing to outwork anybody.

  98. I’d like to earn 10,000 USD on the side.

  99. This is great stuff ! I want to learn how to hustle a better job . This quote comes to mind. ” When the student is ready the master will appear” . I am ready to learn and apply your teachings thanks in advance.

  100. 1 SPECIFIC area you want to hustle in -
    I do want to get a better job. My current one is good, but I feel like I can get more bang for my buck. Right now I have a 2 year plan to take courses and become certified in virtualization, basic networking, and project management. I expect to be promoted this year to Manager, as well, in my current job. With those 3 certifications + the promotion and 5-6 years experience behind my belt, I feel like I am positioning myself for something.

    Uh…problem though: I’m not sure specifically what yet, although I have a couple ideas. I have 3 companies (that I respect) where I have good relationships with people who have weight at the company and can get me hired. It’s just whether or not I maintain satisfied with the status quo…

    Can I hustle at the black jack tables in las vegas ;)

  101. Ha! Just noticed the quote above that I sent Ramit after going full time.

    YES it takes hustle. A lot of hustle. I spent 4 months hustling on a freelance idea that didn’t pan out. but I was working hard, exploring the options and testing the market. It didn’t work out but I learned from the experience and the hustle.

    And once you get the freelance job, quit your day job or get that dream client you STILL need to do the work. Impress the client. Solve their problems.

    Hustle is not so much short bursts of productive energy and effort, it’s doing the right things consistently over time.

  102. 2011: I want to move to a job in Finance Treasury at a higher position and pay than what I am at now in IT in the co I work at. How’s that for a disproportionate impact!

    I know most readers on this blog are on the self employed wagon, but Ramit I would like your thoughts on advancing disproportinately up in a corporate environment.

  103. Hi Ramit,

    Great post, inspiring!

    I need help on breaking through $100K salary, by finding a new job or earning money on the side to supplement my $70K income. I work as an Information systems auditor in a CPA firm in NorCal, there’s some limit on what free lancing gig I can do to earn money on the side since that becomes a conflict of interest with my current employer, so I’m trying to figure out my passion like computer security and use that to either make myself more marketable for a new job or start something crazy and quit my job.

    I am ready to hustle man, thanks for sharing your knowledge,

    Jack

  104. I’m interested in traveling the world and creating a mobile income. Any posts/products that can help with this would be much appreciated.

    PS. Favorite thing about this site is how Ramit simply keeps it real. Keep it up!

  105. Great post Ramit.

    I would like 2011 to be the year that I break the $100k mark (I’m 26 and earn $70k now) and to launch a bootstrapped startup that has a $5k/month in profit by the end of the year.

  106. Michael Wainright Link to this comment

    Ramit,

    Can you share the actual email you sent to your friend regarding the tech you used, pricing, etc.

    For 2011 I want to learn how to get more done in one day and how to strategically network. Both topics you have touched on but not hustled on.
    Let me know.

  107. Ramit, I’ve been to your site before, but am now subscribing to your e-mail newsletter. You got me with “anyone can consume, few can produce.” I consume way to much media (mostly internet related) that doesn’t get me where I need to be. So for 2011, I’m going to try and consume media that helps me in what it is I’m trying to produce!

  108. Dude, this is some of your best stuff so far. It got me excited.

    This is the year I´ll make my first million.

  109. I want to read about everything you posted lol! Traveling the world, giving more money to charitable causes, getting a raise, all of it. Now you’ve got me thinking about what I really want for 2011!

    This post makes me really excited. I’m not in a position financially to do Earn 1K but I read everything free you post. Thanks!!

  110. Hi Ramit,

    This is the first time I’m commenting on your blog which I have been following for about a year.

    Here are my professional goals for year 2011:

    1st priority: Get a work permit (I’m an Indian in France) and an amazing job in an ad agency. By amazing job I mean: 1) quickly rise from entry-level position to a strategic planning post. 2) have a decent salary which allows me to save and travel (30-35k euros)

    2nd priority: Write quality posts on my blog regularly. Become better at blog promotion and have at least 1000 followers by the end of the year. Use the blog to find freelance work and earn some side income (1 to 2k euros a year)

    And my personal goals:

    1st priority: Marry my boyfriend and be able to have a nice ceremony in India and France by the end of the year.

    2nd priority: Pay off my student debt.

    I can’t wait to embark on this “hustle” adventure!!!!

  111. Hi Ramit,
    I’m going to change the country I work in and got a 75% raise.
    My “hustle” adventure : being great in my new job, pushing my limits and getting a significative raise at the end of the year.

    Thanks for all your material

  112. Get a new job – one that pays much more than my current job since my wife is expecting our first baby in August. My wife will be quitting her job she has the baby so I need to make up for the gap in income (she currently makes almost twice what I do).

  113. Since we’re casting aside skepticism, did you guys know that a local mom has figured out the one trick to lose belly fat AND make $173.29/week from home?

    But seriously, my hustle is to make 2x what I make in venture capital selling my low grade and undifferentiated art. Then I want to travel the world.

  114. Getting more quality sales leads for my business.

  115. I need to work on my hussle. I’m basically a smart guy, but got taught that hard work is for suckers and its hard to make the shift psychologically to being a hustler (even though I know its right).

    I’ve needed to get an online income going so that I can stay here in Asia with my partner, rather than going back to Canada. My visa options preclude my from getting much work in this protectionist country, so I want to work around that. But so far I haven’t done anything. I’ve just kept working at my job here and my contract will end in 7 months. In order to enroll into a language school or something to extend my stay here I need a different source of income coming in. I don’t know why I haven’t done anything. Maybe it’s because I don’t really know where to start. Also I’m a bit afraid of trying really hard at something and seeing it fail. I’ve only ever failed at things I didn’t try to do, and if I don’t try then it seems like a good excuse that doesn’t damage my image of myself.

  116. Now that’s a good post. Bravo! It made me feel icky and good at the same time.

    This year I aim to finish and publish some of my awesome, as yet unseen, fiction writing.

  117. I love my work, but I want more recognition for what I do. My hustle this year is to become a prominent voice in my field, with an eye toward eventually becoming a public intellectual in the larger world. Hopefully I can figure out some concrete goals and identify some big wins in this area!

  118. Frankly, the area that I want to hustle in is to actually turn my blog into something full time. It’s doing well, at around 900,000 uniques/month, but it’s within a niche industry, and I want to build it into a business that’s full time for not only me, but several of my staff members.

    • Yep, that’s us, but those numbers don’t reflect our metrics on Google Analytics/Sitemeter.

  119. I’m 25 and married. I want to hustle to buy my “dream house”, establish a one-year emergency savings, buy a new car and go on our “dream vacation” by the age of 30. My hustle goal is to build multiple sources of residual income.

  120. @Brado, aight, compete seems to be always way off

  121. I just came across your site and I have to say, good stuff here! I have big goals for 2011 and I’m looking forward to seeing more of what you have to say. After having been laid off a few times in the past, I realized the value of a side hustle. It’s always good to have a few irons in the fire in times like these where jobs and income can be so uncertain. Additionally, it’s important to build yourself a strong financial foundation so you remove a lot of the risk that comes from an uncertain economy. If you have few bills, you don’t need to worry as much about income in the first place.

  122. My hustle this year will be to improve my social life and help more people, so that I can rebuild my personal life after my divorce. I already put some of the “earning more” material to use to improve my social life, and I am looking forward to what you have to write about this year.

  123. Luca Degasperi Link to this comment

    In 2011 i want to become a better person, learn a lot of new things and make some great project with some friends. I want to be happy and satisfied with what I’ll do! This is really a nice post, I’m going to follow your updates from now on! Thanks!

  124. My hustle for this year: more upscale, paying clients. My goal is to be a professional fashion and portrait photographer; I opened Girl Plus Camera LLC (click my name for the link!) on March 18th, 2010. By December 31, 2010, I’d earned well over my first $1k, but as a start-up, I ended up in the negative at the end of the year (a necessary iMac purchase wiped out my profits early on…) and so I couldn’t leave the day job to make my side hustle full time.

    This year, I want to kick ass, take names, leave the soul-sucking office job, get out of the red and into the black. The first step is to get paying clients who won’t blink at the rates I have to charge as a freelancer in order to get out of the office job.

  125. “Imagine being able to systematically focus on doing just 10 high-impact actions per year.”

    That changes everything. It changes how I approach my day job, how I approach my dream job, and how I approach my personal life.

    Thanks, Ramit.

  126. New me in 2011 Link to this comment

    I have to admit… I read half of this article then went to Amazon and ordered your book then finished the article. This site has been amazing to read and I look forward to reading your book.

  127. My motto : Do less better.

    I will continue to “hustle” to do that. I’m a developer so I’m not OK at a bunch of languages and technologies, I’m great at a few. I’ll let other people be great at the ones I’m not.

    Poo poo to the job adverts that read like Wikipedia’s web page for “programming languages” I’ll have one page to myself titled “Why Jeremy owns LAMP and loves PHP”.

    Cheers
    ———

    Quality over quantity every time.

    I do less work (hours) though the output is more focused and far better.

    I have less things (possessions), though the ones I do are of higher quality.

    I don’t have 4000 friends on Facebook, I have a few in real life and have quality relationships with them.

  128. Ramit,

    New reader here. Excited by your challenge to stop consuming mindlessly. Looking forward to more inspiration throughout the year…as one of my line items for 2011 is to create a low-overhead side-business that doesn’t consume a ton of time (http://www.dan-oliver.com/2011/01/2011-year-of-discipline.html).

    -Dan

  129. I just got a new contract, freelance job but am getting paid little. I’m going to kick ass and do an incredible job, but I want to ask for a raise, and I want them to give it to me. Teach me how.

  130. Hustle goal for 2011: Relocate. That includes earning/acquiring a better job and moving across half the country.

  131. I would like to create a second income stream that I can quickly grow large enough to leave my job.

  132. I want to climb the seven summits. That takes serious cash and time.

  133. My Hustle goal in 2011 is to outhustle the ultimate hustler: Join the Earn1k course for a discount.

    Well that and do remote work for my current job and move over to Japan.

  134. I want you to teach me how to hustle myself. I am tired of accomplishing the mediocre and presenting myself as such. Teach us how to “wow” the hell out of people so that they realize they would be insane to not jump on my bandwagon.

  135. Very inspiring post!

    I’m working on my “Freedom 2011″ project and took a break and started to read your post.

    In my current job, I make a difference for others 1to1. But where I will make a difference in 2011 is 1to100 or 1to1000.

    Thanks for your partnership.

    Darcy

  136. I want to come up with a freelance business that gives me enough time to finish the web application I’ve been working on.

    Finish the damn web app and make it work.

    Travel the country and world photographing beautiful women.

  137. Thank you for your awesome post.
    My hustle is:
    Go back to my country and become a public speaker on personal finance.

  138. Two hustles for the year:

    1. Create non-location-dependent income so I can move to Scotland, spend months soaking up the culture and connecting with relatives, while researching top-winning Scottish Deerhound lines, and bring back a nice little Deerhound to Scottsdale.

    2. Create a team of residential design professionals willing to experiment and apply new sustainable technologies to aging, inherently inefficient, small red brick homes, and reanimate and repurpose the homes, their neighborhoods and their beauty.

  139. Robin M. Dragan Link to this comment

    What do I want? I want flexibility, as opposed to more money. I earn about $75K a year (gross) and frankly that is plenty; it’ll be more than enough once I pay off the grad school loans. My job is okay and I’m fortunate to have it, especially in this economy; but between the commute and the hours at a desk, it “costs” me in other ways. I yearn to work for myself so that I can test my ideas on their own merits instead of having to “run them up the flagpole”.

    A lot of bloggers, mostly guys, are motivated by wanting to do physical feats: travel the world, run marathons, hack the human body, etc. Me, I want to be able to take a yoga class a couple days a week, and to start a garden, and to bake bread and have the time to cook real, fresh food. Is that too much to ask?

    Thanks for an incentive to be ballsy! ;-)

  140. I’m new to your blog at possibly the perfect time. My husband and I are expecting our first baby in April. Our plan is that I’ll stay home with the baby, but ideally I’d like to pull in ~$1k/month while doing so. I have a few ideas but want to make the maximum impact with the least amount of time to ensure that I have plenty of time for my family.

  141. Better job in 2011

  142. I like the concept you have exhibited here. I have been doing spontaneous writing on my blog and thus does not quite take time to think my concepts, poems and stories properly. I am an impulse doer. I get impatient with ideas that take long to fruition. I have learnt a great deal from this write-up.

  143. I want to make money from photography, and help my dad grow his business. He is self-employed and really needs a website/some marketing. I’m not a website or marketing person but I guess that’s where the hustle comes in!

  144. I want to hustle how to better position myself to help me decide what I’m going to do with life after college, as well as hustle to build my network

  145. This year I’ll FINALLY be able to take my professional engineering exam to be a licensed engineer. So with that in hand, 2011 will be the year I explore living wherever I want (not sure where yet, but not where I am) and working flexibly via as-of-yet-undecided engineering avenues and writing (also write a somewhat silly yet fun blog for a magazine).

    Looking forward to your posts to come!

  146. I believe in abundance and know we live in amazing times but I admit that I can be cynical at times. There are so many people peddling mediocre garbage while calling it ‘epic’ and life-changing.

    I have created the travel lifestyle of my dreams but I have found out that it is not enough. I need to be part of something bigger and to that end I am going to stop thinking small. 2011 is the year of delivering amazing value through a lot of hustle.

  147. I need to hustle to get out of debt. My wife and I are currently over our heads in debt and I need to hustle to make more money to get out of debt so that we can take a vacation for once. To accomplish this hustle I am selling some things I don’t use, I am trying to find a part time job in the evening, and am going to offer tutoring service on Craigslist. Once we make head-way I will be able to automate our finances and then get going on what I really want to do….work for myself, selling real estate and real estate investing.

  148. I want to make enough money on the side, quit my job and manage my business and financial assets full time.

  149. My 2011 Hustle:
    I starred this post in Reader, thinking “I’ll try to get back to that” or “What would my Hustle be?” Then, I read the “Wednesday Workout.” So, here I am overcoming the assumption that I’ll have time to get back to it, and instead I’m making time to get back to it. So here’s my hustle: All my life I’ve done what I thought was expected of me, what my peers were doing, what was “logical,” or what I was good at. I want to figure out what I like. I want to have ideas of what to try, a method to evaluate and rate them, and a plan for paying for it and making it happen. By 2012, I want to be pursuing activities I love!

  150. My “Hustle Goals” for 2011:
    I will:
    1) Obtain 48 new career/business coaching clients
    2) Make 12 presentations made to groups
    3) Introduce my services to 240 people face to face
    4) Introduce my services to 12,000 people through the internet
    5)Earn $1400 per month=$16,800
    6)Open a 401K and save $3000
    7)Pay off our Prius=$8000
    4)Fully fund a one-month emergency fund=$2688
    5)Save money to go to Florida next Christmas=$1700 ($500 gas, $600
    hotels, $600 food)

  151. @Heater, that sounds like a lot of work for not enough returns, you might want to revise your biz model

    • Yohami,
      Could you please elaborate? I will only be working 10 hours per week, but a “hustling” 10.
      Thanks!
      Heather

    • yes, too much work, not enough returns. this is exactly the opposite of the hustle idea, yours sounds more like busy work with minimum returns. some basic math: 48 clients + 12 speakings = roungly 266 usd each

      you could instead focus on way less clients and x10 the returns, and make your work count. your comment says you do biz coaching, so you could find a better idea for yourself and make 100K this year, with the same amount of hours, but working on one sole project instead of wasting yourself with on so many venues

  152. Thank you to Yohami for pointing out my mistake! Shows what happens when I stay up late…
    When I “hustled” my client numbers, I didn’t change the income level.The earnings should be $2,400 per month=$28,800.
    This, of course, gives me more money for investments and debt reduction. Yea!!
    Points 2, 3, and 4 are my tactics for gaining these new clients. I want to start a blog or website, and hope to reach 12,000 readers by the end of the year through that venue.While I am certainly open to making more, this is a good amount based on where I live, and the area economy.

    Also, I am currently specializing in sole proprietor businesses, and people involved in direct sales (cars, cosmetics, etc). I have helped several clients double their sales figures! I love what I do, and it is a market currently under-served in our geographic area.
    Thank you for the ideas!

  153. Ramit, first I appreciate all the information and motivation that you have provided in numerous blogs, and your book. You have lit a proverbial light under me to achieve more than every in this new year. I agree wholeheartedly with your assertions on “hustling”. I have taken to heart the message to find your niche to achievement. I have done this by helping my fellow soldiers in the United States Army combat negative debt, re-establish positive fiscal skills, and learn to manage personal finances. Continue to great work. You are my blogging role model. HA!

  154. [...] of hustling….I know many of you have BIG plans for 2011. Me too. This is a great read on how to make some big waves from Ramit [...]

  155. Why get a better job… there aren’t that many around. I want to be better AT my job. Everyone wants a raise. I want to be valuable enough that I don’t have to ask. I want a better work ethic. Staying late and working hard aren’t enough. Just like in saving money (cutting out lattes doesn’t cut it like automating my savings and debt payments) I want techniques that I can’t sabotage through my own habits and psychology.

  156. [...] Sethi at I Will Teach You To Be Rich has declared 2011 The Year of the Hustle, promising to devote this year to showing us how to create for ourselves opportunities that have [...]

  157. I want to hustle at my job to publish papers in peer reviewed papers and contribute new knowledge to my field of study.

  158. Great Post Ramit! I have continued to hustle and have been infectious on others with this attitude.

    The information consumption versus action ratio is exactly what I struggle with students attempting to learn hand to hand close quarters fighting. Learning techniques does not make you better. Experiences in implementing strategy in a “live” environment does! “Deeds, not words!”

    My Goal: Pursue my passions for teaching Close quarters combat& knife fighting over the next year and then take a year long sabbatical in Thailand in 2012.

    I am looking forward to future content and the vision you have to share.

  159. Ramit,

    I would LOVE to hear what you have to say about donating large sums to Charities.

  160. Hi Ramit,

    In 2011, I am going to stop consuming and start producing to create my first business.
    I prepare this for years now and I finally feel that I need to make the leap.

    Let’s see what will 2011 become.

    Maxime

  161. I am going to hustle at:
    1. Taking some great photos. Not for money, not for a 1k/mo. idea, but just for me and my family. Get outside, get up close, using the gear I have.
    2. Getting more out of the job I currently have. The pay, flexibility, benefits are excellent, but I feel I could be doing so much more to make myself more fulfilled intellectually and professionally.

  162. [...] MD One of my favorite blogs is I Will Teach You To Be Rich. This past week Ramit announced that 2011 is the year of hustle. This really got me thinking. Will 2011 be the year of hustle? Some readers complained about the [...]

  163. Ramit, you’ve actually convinced me: after being a lurker for some time, I decided to comment. Having failed getting into my dream college last summer, and not applying anywhere else, I’m sort of “stuck” for a year. This is why I’d love it if you could continue posting on how to get into your dream college, how to get the needed scholarships, how to live life in campus, etcetera.

    Thanks for everything!

  164. [...] Be Rich (and author of NYT Best Selling book of the same title) is thinking the same thing. He is declaring 2011 the year of the Hustle; a year to get the most out of our activities and our time, to increase income, increase the impact [...]

  165. [...] Be Rich (and author of NYT Best Selling book of the same title) is thinking the same thing. He is declaring 2011 the year of the Hustle; a year to get the most out of our activities and our time, to increase income, increase the impact [...]

  166. Just started reading the blog and really like the way you are trying to force people into action. I know I definitely need it. My hustling goal this year is to create my own online income streams so I can make money without having a boss.

  167. i want to hustle to figure out how to retire from my day job and not ever hav eto worry about earning money again so I can focus on my family, friends and doing what I do best. I am frugal and have saved a chunk of money but am not sure it is enough and i don’t want to have to bag groceries when I am 70

  168. I wish to learn to hustle so that I can focus on travelling the world, spending my time with my family as well as helping those in need. I have specific goals such as building schools and aiding improvished neighbourhoods but I need time away from the office (and the country in that manner) to achieve this.

  169. Ramit,

    What an enthralling post. It really conveys the need to get off your ass and get to doing something, anything other than what is either not working or not working well enough and leading us to read financial / business motivation blogs such as yours.

    In 2011 I want to hustle at expanding my own freelance business. Last year I was able to net just under $6k profit. A disappointing number because I KNOW if I had hustled that number could have easily been double or triple. I’m in a very specialized, very niche sales market. The obstacles I encounter are not those generated by a poor economy or due to sales declines as the unemployment rate rises. My only obstacle is myself. I allow myself to slack off about answering emails with the detail and proficiency I should, I all too often get home from my day job and choose to turn on the television rather than sit down and make an action plan for the coming weeks or months. An action plan covering marketing, markups, and inventory acquisition. None are foreign concepts to me, none are too difficult for me to setup…my goal, hustle to overcome my only obstacle, ME!

  170. Very interesting post. You hit close to home with that section on skeptics, it seems my family is full of them and I am guilty of being a skeptic myself. I really need to get out of a rut I’m in career-wise…looking forward to engaging in some serious hustle in 2011.

  171. [...] So, go ahead and get your hustle on. Automate your money coming in and pay yourself first. Ramit Sethi, also a big fan of automating your finances, provides excellent encouragement for starting afresh this year. [...]

  172. What can I do in my current job that would bring value for them and $$ for me? and also fun. :)

  173. Here it is Ramit:

    I applied for a job last year and have been placed on a short list. I have already been doing weekly follow ups by email. I will now increase my game by maKing an excel sheet of every manager in the company. The excel sheet will include who I contacted, the last time I contacted them, if I got a response, what is was, as well as how and when I will follow up. My goal is an interview a week until I’m offered a job offer in which I will negotiate a larger job salary and thank Ramit for this post that is even pushing me further to achieve my dreams.

    On the side, I’m in the process of finishing an e-book (thanks to Ramit again) that I estimate that in a worst case scenario will bring me around 75k. I have performed a SWOT analysis, finished writing the content and will finish formatting and publication by January 31 st. After the first 7000 copies are sold, I will start on a complementing book that can generate an equal amount of income. This income will then be invested to bring in approximately 20-25% gains this year ( I have already doubled investment amounts so this number is being extremely conservative). With these funds, I will take a mini-vacation to build. a few schools in developing countries. As well as purchase uniforms for the local children.

    • Suzy, worst case scenario is always 0. Im curious about a book whose worst case scenario is 75k, and why would you even apply for jobs if you have that kind of business going already. Better write more books. Whats your pdf about?

      For the contact / leads tracking I recommend http://www.highrisehq.com, but also dont obsess about it!

  174. I’ve been the cynic, the skeptic, and the bright sunny optimist. The optimist produces more, without a doubt. Thank you, Ramit, for your usual butt-kicking posts. Your blog (and others like it) have given me the inspiration to use my meager website-building skills for my own websites, rather than an employer’s. While the sites I’ve created haven’t made much money – they have paid for themselves many times over and continue to teach me daily. With a little “hustle”, I expect more from myself this year. Keep up the great posts.

  175. My one specific area for the Hustle is a return to the IT field. If i were to add more than that i’d add not take 2 weeks (or longer) to read/act on your posts. But i bet that is part of what the Hustle is all about.

  176. I like your focus on action.

    Reading your stuff on automation it sounded like something I’ve been doing for about a decade now – but I add a little twist. What I do is start by automatically transferring $X a pay into my savings. I record in a spreadsheet the levels of my accounts after each pay and set up formulae to extrapolate out a couple of years using the increase in my accounts from the last pay. This gives me a way of seeing how much I could have a year from now if I keep going as I am. But then, after I get comfortable with the amount being auto-transferred, I up the amount being transferred by $100 (note: I get paid in NZ$ so readers should adjust appropriately). I keep doing this until it feels painful then I drop it back by $100 and leave it at that level. Doing this I have saved an amount equal to my annual takehome salary in the space of just under 4 years (it would have been more but I spent half a year’s saving replacing my car when it succumbed to rust). This isn’t the first time I have done this. Each time I use it to make a change and do something different. I have just resigned and am going back to university fulltime to continue my German studies fulltime at graduate level, just for fun (during the past two years I was also studying German part-time at university while working fulltime). Also because I’d reduced my spending to save I can continue spending at my current rate and my savings plus student allowances (this is NZ) will last me three years without any additional earnings.

    Thank you for your focus on hustling – it is a helpful reminder of what is possible. Right now I am focused on preparing for my study and thinking of how I can work these techniques into my study (I’ve found the StudyHacks site incredible).

  177. Hi Ramit, thanks for the writeup. I like your style!

    Britney

  178. I’m a freelance MUA who’s just come back from a two year hiatus (I went to work for Carnival as a karaoke host) Now I’m back and determined not to fail. I’m hustling hustling hustling by sending out a minimum of five resumes a day. I’m finishing up my reel and have created uniformed letterhead address labels and cd labels to be sent to a minimum of three relevant companies a week. I have joined up with any relevant meetup on meetup.com and even have a gig this Wednesday! Look out Hollywood I’m gonna change your look!

  179. [...] his post titled Introducing 2011: The Year of the Hustle, Ramit discusses the idea of disproportionate rewards.  That by investing a small, or large, [...]

  180. [...] his post titled Introducing 2011: The Year of the Hustle, Ramit discusses the idea of disproportionate rewards.  That by investing a small, or large, [...]

  181. My main focus for hustling this year will be to get my side-job to produce reliable income each month. I want to do more than break even.
    So far, I’ve been revisiting the Earn1K material and applying at least one aspect a night.
    Since the beginning of last week, I’ve managed to get more “I should” things done on my list than I did the entirety of last year.

  182. Masked Identity You'll recognize my email Link to this comment

    Ramit,

    First, I apologize for the anonymity, but you should recognize my email address. I want to Hustle my way into certain New Orleans Carnival Krewes. I want to be more connected to the history and tradition of the season. Also the opportunity to revel and parade ant the latter portion of the season is a dream.