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The surprising insights going from $20/hr to $3,000/hr

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I used to get really weird reactions when I would quote my hourly consulting rate — and it was only $20 back then.

Fast forward to the last time I did consulting, when I quoted my hourly rate of $3,000, and I got barely a raised eyebrow.

How did I go from $20 to $3,000/hour in a few years?

People always think it’s some fancy script on raising rates. I’m actually going to give you a word-for-word script you can use right here in this post.

But it’s actually much deeper than that.

This is what the GIMME THE CRUNCHY TACTICS!!! people miss. They genuinely believe if they discover the “right” words, they can “convince” someone to part with their money. But they miss a much deeper strategy.

(Btw, candidly, most people will not be able to charge this amount. It is a ridiculous amount and we all know it. It just happens that I have a few esoteric skills that are highly valued by business people. In truth, I wish they would pay me the same for my extensive knowledge of ironing shirts and habanero salsa, but the market is the market.)

More importantly, it’s about a deeper strategy of being an ADVISOR rather than trying to extract every little bit of money from the people you’re trying to serve.

See, you can go from $20 to $50/hour with a little work. It’s actually not that hard.

But to really move into the next level — into the $100/hour, or $250/hour, or even $1,000/hour stratosphere — you have to take an entirely different approach.

Many of my students have begun this ascent. The best part is, as they move their rates up, they’re forced to deliver increasing value to their clients. Win win.

Today’s question is from Stephanie, a tutor who wants to know how to raise her rates, even when it may mean saying “no” to parents of a struggling child. I’ll give you the word-for-word script, but I’ll show you a deeper strategy that helps put your client at the center of your world — instead of trying to make a quick buck.

Take a look:

LEAVE A COMMENT: Share an example where you COULD give someone advice that would hurt you in the short term…but benefit you BOTH in the long term. It could be with money, relationships, health, whatever.

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26 Comments on "The surprising insights going from $20/hr to $3,000/hr"

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CL
CL
3 years 11 months ago

The new IWT version of the Marie Forleo video!

Qaadira
3 years 11 months ago

Yes, and I love it!

J
J
3 years 11 months ago
Here is an example of my current supervisor, an academic, who recently did this and I guarantee it will pay off for him in the end. He has some funds for having me stay with him, but not enough for me to make a sustainable living. It just so happens, that a company that I applied for a position at, asked him to come in and consult for them. He said, “Yes” but only if I could come along, which allowed me to meet more people within the organization in a role which allowed me to highlight my talents and… Read more »
Tyler Huff
Tyler Huff
3 years 11 months ago
Ramit, just as a general ‘CreativeLive’ comment. THANK YOU for this wonderful surprise. When you first sent the notification a week or two about this CreativeLive event, I thought it would be just a 20 minute live interview. I was confused why it was Wed – Fri. When I saw that it was 9am – 4pm, and was an entire 3 full day seminars of Ramit’s top stuff. I was FLOORED at the opportunity to hear for FREE 21 hours of Ramit’s talks. This was such a rare opportunity given your hourly rate, the fact that you rarely do seminars… Read more »
Tanya Malott
3 years 11 months ago
I just had to laugh at this phrase in your newsletter, “My goal is to earn my way into your inbox every day by making my free stuff better than anyone else’s paid stuff.” LMAO! Uh, my (virtual) friend, you did that a YEAR AGO! I can’t even bring myself to delete your emails that are irrelevant to me (about jobs/raises/salary negotiation….because I am self employed already). I save EVERYTHING you send, even if I can’t read it at the time, because if I ever want to learn something new/original/different, it is probably in one of your letters. Plus, your… Read more »
PointSpecial
3 years 11 months ago

I WISH that I had given my friend the advice not to marry the woman he was engaged to… She was the type of girl you date (if you’re into that sort of stuff) but not the type of girl you marry.

I balked at the chance… and before they’d gotten two years in, they were already divorced.

That advice could have certainly strained our friendship for the short-term but it also could have potentially prevented him from making a decision that is still haunting him 4 years later and has made him a much more jaded person.

Jon
3 years 11 months ago

It is great to give people specific advice, but I also think it is important not to try to control the person’s decisions. Present the information in the most logical way possible (be honest about what you see), and then let the other person make their decision. Even if that person ends up doing their own thing anyway, it’s nothing personal. Every man has to make their own decision.

Kim
3 years 11 months ago

I have been watching you on Creative Live the past few days and LOVE the info you are giving us! Thank You! Straight forward and I am looking forward to putting it into action! I will give you the reviews…….

🙂
Kim

Sudan
Sudan
3 years 11 months ago

Hey Ramit!
I truly love your writing style. It cuts like a knife but even feels alright. There is only Derek sivers whose writing i keep on waiting like yours. Others come and go. Like you say, Yes! your free stuffs are much worthy than other peoples paid stuff. Keep up the good job and rock the world that cares about you.

Steven D.
Steven D.
3 years 11 months ago
Any situation where you point out that the Emperor’s New Clothes…aren’t…is probably a prime example of taking action which hurts you in the short term, but helps all parties involved immensely in the long term. It could be explaining, politely but frankly, to a colleague or manager that a given idea might not work quite as its currently set up; it could be a (good) career counselor explaining that based on previous academic performance and ability that for a student to choose Career X might set him or herself up for failure (unless their performance changes dramatically and tangibly in… Read more »
Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey

Great post. I have been with a client for more than a year and I would like to ask for an increase. I would also like to try your suggested script. I hope that it will also work for me. Thanks for sharing!

Jon
3 years 11 months ago
I had a situation years ago where i was considering having someone take over the payments of my mortgage in a ‘deed-in-lieu’ arrangement with a complete stranger. I didn’t want the house anymore and I was tempted to sign over the deed or some contract that did some kind of quick claim deed for the property. I told my father this and be went all out to talk me OUT of the deal. He insisted that no one, even your best friend, would pay my mortage before they pay their own house payments; the risk was too high. I finally… Read more »
Caleb Page
3 years 11 months ago

I like the points you make about raising your rates. One of the areas where I meet resistance is helping employees feel confident in supporting rate increases. It’s as if they are worried about appearing to ask for more when the reality is we are undercharging. Has anyone had experience in implementing increases through a small team? I’d love to hear some successful examples!

Susan
Susan
3 years 11 months ago
First, thanks for your wonderful CreativeLIVE program. It was incredible! I was going to watch for free, then bought it after only an hour of watching–it was that good! The situation where I had to say “No,” even though if I could have worked it out, it would have been win-win. I thought it would be a great experience for my kids to have high school exchange students live with us throughout the years. 99% of the time it was fabulous–a wonderful cultural exchange for all (not to mention free language lessons!). Then came a male student from Uzbekistan. He… Read more »
Stephanie B
3 years 11 months ago
Ramit, I was surprised to see my questions answered with a video response, so thanks for this info that can be applied to SO many situations. I know at face value, the advice on your site is about how to become rich, but deep down, it IS about serving people and seeing those results, whether it’s in tutoring, in consulting, or any work someone puts in. People who are successful, in my mind, see the results, measure them, and in return earn a compensation that comes in non-monetary forms- spiritual and emotional satisfaction. In my mind, this is a more… Read more »
Teresa
Teresa
3 years 11 months ago

Hi Ramit, I’ve just watched your seminar on creativelive yesterday and wanted to buy your book. Is there any chance it will be translated in Italian?
I understand English pretty well but I’d be glad to focus on the tasks to accomplish more than on understanding the language.

Thank you for the amazing free contents you’re providing,
Teresa

Shawn Hill
3 years 11 months ago

Great information. I love how it always starts with confidence and not an apology. I think that builds credibility in the customers eyes. Nothing works every time all the time, but I think this is a great way to handle it.

Jan Easter
3 years 11 months ago
Hello Ramit, I have been looking for places to thank you for your amazing 3 days at Creative Live. I am very grateful for your time, and have already ordered the book and been applying your ideas. My husband and I have been all over your website. I also sent out a massive email blast to my family members and friends to watch you. My mom is even watching the rewatch so that she can be part of our strategy! I will keep you posted and hopefully, mine and my family`s will be examples of some of your greatest success… Read more »
Lucy Ra
3 years 11 months ago

Next year I plan on taking additional training to move from a 200 hour to a 500 certified yoga teacher. This video just showed me how not to make it awkward when it’ll come to updating my rates and notifying my clients. Thanks!

In the meantime I’ll continue adding value by utilizing my knowledge of anatomy and nutrition to help clients (esp. the ones with injuries and past surgeries).

Kevin
3 years 11 months ago

Man, I just had to say that the creative live sessions were amazing. I learned soooooooo much.

And as a 20 yo I am eager to start investing my money. I just stopped by to say thanks a lot

Stuart
3 years 11 months ago

Good God! Can you imagine that rate? imagine working just 5 hours a day with that?

Camilla
3 years 11 months ago
Hey Ramit, I used this script (a version thereof) today to double my rates with a client. I’m at the point where I’m so in demand now, I can afford to lose a few clients who don’t want to front up the cash for quality writing. Turned out the client didn’t go with me for both the jobs (I thought she was going to freak out, but she responded really professionally and respectfully – awesome!). She also seemed very appreciate of me suggesting I’d help her find someone else who could do the job for less (followed the script closely… Read more »
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[…] Ramit’s handy script for how to tell people you’re raising your rates. […]

Sunil @ CPA Career Success
3 years 10 months ago

very interesting in that effectively hourly rates can certainly be improvised, especially in professions like mine (Accounting, CPA) that are conducive to it and automatically lend itself to the market.

as Lucy pointed out there is a certain element of perceived “guilt”. we each need to learn how to overcome that and move on. we are worth what we think we are.

great discussion

dsebd
3 years 10 months ago

RAMIT SETHI, you are an amazing asian person and I believe you are proud to be an Indian. I live in Bangladesh and I am 27 years old. I am also trying to be rich and earn like you but opportunity is not same here. But I believe if I work smartly, then I might be rich like you! Thanks for this wonderful article.

mercadeo
3 years 10 months ago

The government is scrutinizing the finances of 15,000 Greeks to see if they have stashed money abroad — about $5 billion in all over the last three years — to avoid paying taxes.

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