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How a random Twitter follower got $20,000 of my time — free

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I recently met someone who, in short order, convinced me to give him $20,000 of my time — for free.

How? Let me share his story.

A few months ago, somebody named @michaelfishman introduced himself to me via twitter. He said something interesting about copywriting (I don’t remember what), so I clicked through to his website. It looked interesting…but vague.

We struck up a conversation via email, and he mentioned some more interesting things on copywriting, marketing, and analytics — deep, non-obvious stuff that showed he actually knew what he was talking about. Then he mentioned a couple of big names he had recently met and spoken with at conferences.

I happened to know one of the guys, so I checked with him. “Is this guy Michael legit?” I asked. See, in the marketing world, there are a lot of scammy weirdos.

Turned out my friend respected him.

So when Michael invited me to lunch in New York, I went.

When we got to lunch, he gave me a gift — a book called Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz. I didn’t know it at the time, but it costs around $100. More importantly, I’ve come to realize it’s one of the most sophisticated books on human behavior and persuasion I’ve ever read. He also gave me a couple other books that have since shaped my views on copywriting and psychology. These were incredibly thoughtful gifts that were not only on-target with my interests, but obscure pieces I’d never seen.

When we talked, we discovered how we share many of the same views on persuasion, yet we approach it from different angles.

A few weeks later, Michael invited me to a Boardroom dinner, one of the most exclusive invitations you can receive. I put on a suit and went to The Four Seasons, where I met some of the top authors and businesspeople from the worlds of health, psychology, and marketing.

Long story short, over the next few months, he:

  • Threw a dinner party and introduced me to fascinating people I would have never met
  • Offered to connect me with VIPs who I’d tried to meet (and failed)
  • Linked to several articles I’d written and emailed me some behind-the-scenes advice

At the same time, I was helping him. He’d asked me to record a few videos for his site, Spendlesstv.com, but I was always busy. But finally, I cleared my schedule to record 3 videos for him. You can watch them here.

After all, how could I say no?

Finally, last time we met, Michael told me he was throwing a health summit where he wanted me to be the keynote speaker on behavioral change. Unfortunately, he couldn’t pay my normal speaking fee ($20k) but would I be able to do it?

The magic of his request is this: Not only did I say yes, but I wanted to do it. It wasn’t a chore. It was a pleasure.

And this is how “networking” is done.

Notice all the things Michael did before he ever asked me for something substantial? He introduced me to people I never would have had access to…he gave me thoughtful gifts on topics I’m fascinated with…he offered to help with several parts of my business…and he never asked for anything.

Compare this to what most people think of “networkers” as: sleazy, slimy, and scammy.

When you use networking effectively — when you help other people before you ever expect anything in return — you can get more than you had ever imagined.

And you can use these same principles in negotiation.

In fact, I have 4 more case studies to give you:

  • 2 stories from the hiring side of the negotiating table (what not to do)
  • 1 phone call, 1 interview, and 3 emails = 28% increase in salary
  • $5K per week, 6 month contract
  • An automatic $5,000 raise in 6 months

I’ve added them to my private bonuses area, enter your info below to get access to them now.


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Random things….

  1. How can I help you more? Let me know in this quick survey.
  2. We were going to have a live call tonight, but due to scheduling conflicts, I’ve recorded it and will release it tomorrow. Hint: It’s with Derek Sivers (read his blog and be amazed)
  3. Remember to fill out your WEEK 3 NEGOTIATION RESULTS here. Best answer gets $200 in negotiation books or a negotiation consultation with me.
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20 Comments on "How a random Twitter follower got $20,000 of my time — free"

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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CollegeDegreeHelper and Belinda Fuchs, Stephani. Stephani said: How a random Twitter follower got $20,000 of my time — free: I recently met someone who, in short order, convinc… http://bit.ly/dW4UOU […]

wilson usman
5 years 6 months ago

You gotta give to get right? But the cool thing of your story is that it seems to be more natural and I don’t think he had it all planned out, it just happened.

Joe
Joe
5 years 6 months ago

How a random blogger got $5 of my time for free…..

Barry
Barry
5 years 6 months ago
Ramit – This post proves that what you’re REALLY interested in is selling and marketing — to your readers. I mean your personal finance philosophy is pretty simple, no? Remove all barriers, automate, automate, automate!, buy all the lattes you want or else you’re going to kill yourself and instead focus on the big wins. Am I missing anything? Ah, of course. We can only cut our spending so much. Instead you gotta earn more!!! Oh, add words like complex, systematic, behavioral, methodical and psychological whenever possible. It’s funny what Ramit does if you really think about it. His job… Read more »
sambista77
sambista77
5 years 6 months ago

@ Barry
I am amazed that people like you waste their time bothering to leave a comment, unsubscribe dude, and do something more profound with your time.
I had confronted and overcame hurdles bigger than myself in this FREE course, thanks to Ramit, and I find your comment intentionally disrespectful and a bit pathetic.

Stepan
5 years 6 months ago

It’s ok Barry, I still think you’re cool and smart. Let’s all blind ourselves of what’s possible. Definitely safer, right?

Regards,
Stepan

Gal @ Equally Happy
5 years 6 months ago
I recently got in touch with an old co worker that I hadn’t spoken with in a long time. I asked her to lunch and she responded with “sure, but can you tell me in advance what position you’re applying for?” I asked her what she meant and she told me that no one gets in touch with her unless it was to ask for a specific favor, usually in regards to a job (she works at a large, very well respected company here in Silicon Valley). She was amazed when I told her I simply wanted to have lunch.… Read more »
cukamunger
cukamunger
5 years 6 months ago
He wasn’t necessarily some random twitter follower now, was he? Unlike myself, he knew someone you trust. You might not ever have agreed to lunch had he not given you a reliable source to check him out. Oh, and congrats for letting us know that you are now such a big shot that people are giving you lavish gifts and invitations. I think that you are well on your way to becoming a politician. Just please keep a level head and don’t resent those people you wanted to help in the beginning. It’s a good blog, don’t ruin it with… Read more »
Chris Clark
Chris Clark
5 years 5 months ago
@cukamunger – I totally understand your vitriol with this post. I’ve been there, but it’s a losers mentality. And I mean that as someone who has erupted in similar ways in the past. Your point is dead on. The guy knew someone that trusted Ramit. But at some point he didn’t know that person. I think being open to meeting new people and being nice/helpful to everyone you interact with is a better long term play than immediately jumping to skepticism about someone’s position of advantage. If you don’t like someone you don’t have to spend time with them and… Read more »
Ramiro
5 years 6 months ago
@Barry I don’t think you can generalize by saying that money doesn’t make you happy. You have to say that when you pass a threshold, money’s power to produce happiness diminishes, but you can’t say it doesn’t affect your level of happiness at all. I believe that more money is better unless the monetary increase is producing you unhappiness (maybe because you are stressing out, burning out or whatever term you want to apply to being unsatisfied/unhappy). With money you can do things that you can’t do if you depend on one source of income or are tied to a… Read more »
Ramiro
5 years 6 months ago

@barry, also, not to defent Ramit, but I haven’t seen him linking money to happiness. If he did come out and say you will be happy if you earned 1K per month, then I would have to agree with you, but his blog is a personal finance blog, not a happiness blog.

Stacy
Stacy
5 years 6 months ago
The definition of “free” in this case seems to be “for things worth more to me than the money”. Networking has always been about a complicated structure of mutual obligation/gratitude and barter to hopefully provide benefit to all parties involved over time. While it’s true he didn’t pitch “I can introduce you to X, Y and Z in exchange for a speaking engagement by you” the effect is the same. Again, as you say, don’t expect people to fork over chunks of cash (like an Earn 1K subscription) if you haven’t proven you can provide value through smaller demonstrations of… Read more »
Barry
Barry
5 years 6 months ago
@Ramiro – huh? That’s the point. You can’t find evidence that more money increases happiness once you’re past a certain point. Of course, Ramit doesn’t explicitly say money will make you happier. Nor will he ever link to research proving that. He sells a dream. Whether it’s how he doesn’t work full time, or he’s able to work whenever/wherever he wants, etc., that’s all designed to make you unhappy with where you’re at. Sure, it would be nice if everyone could be self-employed entrepreneurs but the reality is 99% of people are better off as employees. He sells hope. What’s… Read more »
Chris Clark
Chris Clark
5 years 5 months ago

@Barry – If happiness is your goal, and that’s a great goal, skepticism and antagonism is a terrible way of achieving said goal.

Dave
Dave
5 years 6 months ago
@Joe: good joke! thx 4 the comment bro!! @Barry: Uh.. I’m really not sure where you’re going with your posts. Are you better than Ramit because you’re not doing what he does? Do you not find these posts helpful? I don’t know why you’re taking the time to leave comments. It’s up to the individual what they want to get out of iwteach and I’ve never seen Ramit write “This is the key to your happiness” or anything like that. You’re not really proving anything, but if you want to feel like you’ve one upped anybody, then go for it… Read more »
Lewis Howes
5 years 5 months ago

Ramit, I love this post.

1. Because I use this same philosophy in my day to day life in terms of networking.

2. Because I have had many similar interactions with Michael (in fact he introduced us at Tim Ferriss book launch party)

3. Because everything you say here works incredibly well… and everything is about networking (the way you describe here) and building quality relationships.

Thanks for sharing this, as it makes me a bigger fan of Michael even more now 🙂

Khai Yong
5 years 5 months ago

Dear Ramit,

I loved this post and I would like to share this with all my friends in the “networking” industry. But I couldn’t find any social sharing buttons.

Guess i’ll have to manually share the link because the post was so darn good.

Was there any particular reason you omitted the sharing tools?

Simon
Simon
5 years 5 months ago
@Barry Much of what you saying may be true with “Financial Gurus” in general. Specificallly: “I mean your personal finance philosophy is pretty simple, no?” – True, still most people does not implement this or something similar and many may just need a framework and a bit of encouragement, if they are interested. “that’s all designed to make you unhappy with where you’re at.” – Not necessarily true, I would make risk a guess to say most people following Ramit is not happy in the first place. “He sells hope.” – Cannot see how that is bad “it’s very easy… Read more »
Tabor
Tabor
5 years 5 months ago

Your a good guy for being open to new contacts Ramit. I’m like you more after trading this article. Thanks for all your helpful info.

Tabor
Tabor
5 years 5 months ago

Reading not trading

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