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Losers love tactics

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Here is a fascinating insight I discovered out of the millions of emails I have tested and sent to my IWT Insider’s List: You would think the best emails I send are the value-packed psychological insights, or the marketing nuggets, or the interviews I do with close friends like BJ Fogg and Tim Ferriss.


The single-best email I send is where I tell you what I’m GOING to give you.

Note: That’s NOT the actual email with the amazing material or life-changing insights. Instead, it’s the email telling you what you’re GOING to get.

Any idea why?

Two reasons:

  1. Because we love the anticipation of a free gift
  2. Because someone telling us what we’re GOING to get requires no work

In other words, it’s easier to feel good about the good stuff that’s coming than to actually USE the good stuff!

This is actually a very deep lesson on human behavior.

We “Claim” We Want to Do Something…But We Don’t

Any of these sound familiar?

  • “Yeah, I really should work out more”
  • “Yeah, I really need to get my finances together”
  • “Ugh, I hate my job. I need to figure this shit out”

We intuitively know this. All of us have something like this in our lives, usually around money, health, relationships, and careers. And when you ask people why, they are often unable to explain their own behavior — but they are delighted to opine about others.

Question: Why do some people whine while others take action?
Answer: 380+ responses. Answers like, “It’s very simple…people are just lazy” or “He is clearly afraid of XYZ and if he just did ABC he would be successful.”

Question: Why don’t YOU take action?
Answer: “I dunno…” or “I’m just lazy…” or “I had a really busy project last year, but this year is different…”

In other words, we feel ultra-confident about assigning reasons for OTHER people’s behavior…but we are clueless about our own. In fact, we’re terrible at both!

Be honest: All of us have something we “claim” we want to do, but we haven’t taken action on it. Why? Do you really think you’re going to figure it out later? Do you really know why you haven’t done it?

If your answer is “I’m lazy” or “I’m not motivated,” then you are missing the entire point. You’ve already lost because you’re using the wrong language. See, if you believe you’re “lazy,” then the only solution is to “try harder” — and we know that simple willpower alone won’t solve it. So what do we do?

We try random tactics. If we’re looking for our Dream Job, we decide to fix up our resume…or go shopping for new clothes because it’s an “investment”…or browse around for “interview advice.” But we don’t understand why. When it doesn’t work, we do it again. And again and again! Kill me please. Worst of all, we have no insight into how the actions we’re doing will pay off.

‘How does this resume fit into my entire job search? Oh well…I should just do it anyway. It can’t hurt…’

Our fears start taking hold:

“…if I met someone today whose brother was a fiction editor at some great literary journal, I’d be terrified to ask for the connection, because then I’d have to show some of my work to the editor, and then he would provide feedback, and then I would have to do more things to get better.”

“I learned about weaknesses I didn’t know I had–communication, procrastination, sabotage.  I remember saying how it felt like such hard work, but as I look back, I was working harder, not smarter, in fear of going at it on my own.”

“Self confidence is a major contributing factor.  I’ve been reading Ramit on and off for years and never implemented any of his strategies.  I rationalized that I was a perpetual loser, and that these were all great things for someone really together and talented to do.  As a consequence, I’ve struggled as the low employee on the totem pole with the lowest salary, most hours, and least fringe benefits.  At home I just left the big pile of bills sit there for MONTHS unopened because I was too scared to face my own debt.  And I’ve let my personal life and family ties go to hell because I was so used up at the end of every workday.”

There’s a better way. There’s a way to actually see the entire chessboard in front of you instead of moving one piece at a time. Instead of using random tactics, it’s possible to have a bird’s-eye view of the entire game.

So, instead of random tactic after random tactic, what should we do?

The answer is to use systems.

Systems and Tactics: What a Personal Trainer Taught Me

I was always a tall, skinny guy. In college, I had the body of a supermodel…a female supermodel. So I decided to change that and start working out. And over the next few years, I tried a series of tactics to see what would work.

Since I started, I’ve gained 45lbs (intentionally) and learned how to look like a normal human being.

The way I did it is directly related to how you can find your Dream Job.

See, I could have just picked a random tactic. Let’s say, lifting. Or eating more. Or reading a ton of books, or betting with my friends (which I did).

Recently, I decided to get a trainer to get to the next level. Look at the psychology behind this decision — and how you can apply it to your next 8 weeks.

The psychology of using a personal trainer

(Note: If your first thought is, “But Ramit, waa….we can’t all afford a personal trainer,” then you have missed the point. First, this is an EXAMPLE of a tactic you can use. Second, the system matters, not any individual tactic. Third, most people reading this could afford a trainer if they prioritized it, which I cover in my book.)

What you are seeing here is the game being played around you. Clueless people look at random tactics. They jump on the fad diet, the shiny budgeting software, the fanciest productivity tool. Smart people see behind it and realize any individual tactic is just a random tactic — but the SYSTEM of testing different approaches is profoundly important.

How to Use this Systems Approach to Radically Improve Your Resume

I’m going to show you a tactical approach to improving your resume and making it stand out more than 99% of other people. In fact, in our research, we’ve seen this approach help people’s resumes “semi-automatically” float to the top of the pile.

Then, I’m going to show you how this tactic fits into the entire system of finding your Dream Job. The actual psychology and nuts & bolts behind it.

Here’s how I’m going to do it:

  • I’ll show you the actual resume I used to get job offers at Google, Intuit, etc — and the psychology and reasoning behind the EXACT words I used
  • You’ll learn how to get deep in the heads of the hiring manager so you can read their minds
  • By the end of this, you’ll have insights into resumes that you can IMMEDIATELY put to work

Once you know how to make your resume stand out, you’ll also see how this fits into your entire Dream Job search. This is a powerful strategy + tactics approach.

Many of you listed your #1 challenge as improving your resume. Some of you said, “I send in resume after resume, but I never get a response.” That is a problem with a clear fix — EVEN if you don’t have massive experience, EVEN if you didn’t go to the best college, EVEN if you have spotty work experience. The actual language you use, the positioning you adopt, the methods you employ — these are immensely powerful.

This is something I want to help you with because even with this small tactic, you can see immediate, astonishing results.

If you’re interested, I’m inviting you to my Dream Job Private List Page, where I share resume secrets and more insights about finding your Dream Job.

You can join here:

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  1. I loved IWTYTBR. Made me better.

    And the thing is, when I automated finances, what else could I automate?

    Food- instead of waiting till I’m hungry to eat, I have pyrex dishes for most of my meals. I do it on Sunday while football is on. I don’t have to wait till I’m starving to figure out my meals. And so I don’t hit five guys.

    20# (of 80) gone so far in about a month.

    Takes me 2 hours a week. 2 hours that I would have spent anyway, in a drive through line.

    • Successful people have coaches and mentors in all areas of their lives

      1. finances
      2. health
      3. relationships etc

    • Hey Jack,
      If you used a png (or upped the resolution) for your banner instead of using a jpg, your site would look 1000x less sketchy.

  2. Good post,
    I love the ideas of systems and was wondering if you have any advice/ideas on creating specific systems for myself? Maybe books or resources?

    Thanks Ramit

  3. I’ve always been very into the psychology of persuasion. “Buzz words” that catch immediate attention such as yes, because, and free, have always helped me whether in business or everyday communication. I’ve never considered “going to” with it’s anticipation factor for receiving something….a ‘gift’ as you say it.

    Thanks for the interesting post Ramit

  4. Really looking forward to digging into this material. It is the first program that Ramit has offered that is timely for me personally, and I cant wait.

    I have one question though. If the resume is indeed the fourth step in a linear dream-job process, then why start with it?

  5. Hey Ramit,
    just a short question, will we be able to see this video after you did the live webcast? I’m a student from Germany, so the webcast would be at 3am on a school night, where it’d be better if we could see it the next day.

  6. I got an email exactly like this earlier this morning, someone “going to do” some cool thing with one of my WordPress plugins.

    Before Ramit (BR): waste time enquiring, encouraging, enlightening.
    After Ramit (AR): “Show me when you’re done.”

    Acting on Ramit’s advice saved me at least an hour, maybe two, given how much I truly enjoy helping people.

  7. Ramit,

    Will the web seminar be posted anywhere after for viewing? I am new to your blog but have loved everything I read so far and really believe that this can help me find the job I want.


  8. I’m hoping there will be a recording available.
    At the time of the webinar, I am committed to family time. I’m not going to blow that off for a webinar…

  9. Stoked on the resume class. I’d be watching even if it were 3am in Germany. I’ve been looking forward to implementing your interview tactics, but haven’t had a chance…maybe because my resume (and story) paints me as a commodity. Working on my story…

    “The single-best email I send is where I tell you what I’m GOING to give you.

    Note: That’s NOT the actual email with the amazing material or life-changing insights. Instead, it’s the email telling you what you’re GOING to get.”

    I have a question about how this is demonstrated in cover letters or client proposals. It’s a very direct approach (I like), but I’m not sure HOW to effectively & convincingly tell people what I’m going to do for them or what I’m going to give. Obviously, just saying:

    “Hi, here’s what I’m going to do for you” or “Here’s what you’re going to get” and follow with a list of bullet points isn’t effective. OR is it? I’d definitely like to see an example of a wowing cover letter, so I can really get a concrete idea of what works.