2012: The Year of Mastering The Game Being Played Around You

I want to help you learn some of the most important techniques and tactics you can use to live a richer life.

Ramit Sethi

I have a special talent for making women cry. It’s not intentional, it just happens. I remember, one year during college I was an RA, and one Saturday I had a series of back-to-back meetings with my residents to try to resolve all kinds of problems. I hate my roommate! I just failed my test. What should I do with my life? Stuff like that. By the end of the day, I was pretty hungry. So it was with great disappointment that I looked at my calendar and realized I had one more meeting, this one with two roommates.

One of them was a really sweet girl who just wanted the normal college experience. The other roommate was a little odd — she would wake up at 5am and immediately start typing really loudly and calling people on the phone to talk about her grades. While I was hearing their complaints, all I could think about was how my stomach was slowly eating itself. 15 minutes later, I found myself in the very odd situation of having two women crying on my futon while I ate a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos. “Want some?” was pretty much all I could muster. The Cheetos were really good though.

What I learned from helping my residents — and later my friends — was that for many young people, there’s a game being played around us that we just don’t realize. It’s true of money (nobody teaches us this stuff), of jobs, of relationships, and of health.

This year, I want to help you cover some of the most important techniques, frameworks, and tactics you can use anywhere to live a richer life. These will help you find your passion, earn more, find your Dream Job, learn extreme social fluency, interview against the world’s top companies (and win), and integrate powerful systems into your life — instead of relying on fleeting willpower.

I was also debating including a 3-month series on cutting back on lattes, but I decided I would rather inflict 1,001 teen-angst/emo-style cuts on my body, then have my bloody corpse kicked around in a citrus field.

So, let me show you how I learned about the game being played around me — the origin of these powerful systems.

What Is The Game Being Played Around You?

In my early 20s, I finally discovered there was a game being played around me that I didn’t even realize.

I was working out regularly but not seeing any real results: Even after 6 months of trying to gain weight, I saw exactly 0 change. As a tall/ectomorphic guy, I had the body of a supermodel — a female supermodel. Not good.

I wondered why girls always went for bad boys, then complained about how these guys treated them…but avoided nice guys.

I couldn’t understand how some authors, bloggers, and business people blew up, while my blog couldn’t even get more than 5 comments per blog post.

What did I do? Did I decide to do exhaustive research and unearth the secrets of working out, women, and business? Did I dedicate 4 hours per day to create and test different approaches, then take detailed notes, then iteratively improve?

Of course not. I told myself I needed to “figure it out” some day. When I was out with friends, I would complain about it with them. Then I did nothing.

It was completely irrational! In the back of my head, I never connected this low-level feeling of complaint/malaise with actually CHANGING THINGS. I was just content to complain…or defer it until another day.

You guys know that I was studying persuasion and social influence at Stanford. I started to understand how human behavior really works. And as I started to study it intensely, I discovered fascinating insights. Mostly about myself.

Like your racist uncle who monopolizes Thanksgiving by saying that Obama is “too different than us Americans” (but who is really just racist), it turns out that, for people in our 20s and 30s, the phrase “I need to figure it out” is also CODE for something much deeper.

Here’s what it really means:

Look at that shirt. Shit just got real.
(In the video, you hear me referring to a Dream Job course. More on that later.)

For most of us, there is a game being played around us that we don’t realize.

For example, look at this quote from the New York Times:

“We did everything we were supposed to,” said Stephanie Morales, 23, who graduated from Dartmouth College in 2009 with hopes of working in the arts. Instead she ended up waiting tables at a Chart House restaurant in Weehawken, N.J., earning $2.17 an hour plus tips, to pay off her student loans. “What was the point of working so hard for 22 years if there was nothing out there?” said Ms. Morales, who is now a paralegal and plans on attending law school.

The game being played around Stephanie is that she believes she is owed a job. I’m willing to bet she believes if she sends out her resume enough, she “should” get a job. Only when it doesn’t happen, we blame everyone else…but ourselves.

“I have applied to hundreds and hundreds of jobs in that time, and despite a strong educational and professional background and outstanding references I have yet to get so much as an interview. ” –NYT

Over the years, I learned that I could blame the economy, I could blame women, I could blame everyone else…or I could try to deeply understand the game that was being played around me. For example, there were guys working out who were getting pretty ripped. Why wasn’t I? Ok, so women kept going back to what I considered “bad boys”…why? And I systematically learned the intricacies of building a business until, for example, I earned over $100,000 in one hour.

I found it fascinating that we’re “supposed” to know how to master these skills, but nobody ever actually teaches us how. Think about it: You graduate from college and you’re suddenly supposed to get a job. Who taught us how to do that?

We’re supposed to find a life partner. Who taught us how?

We’re “supposed” to buy a house, provide for a family, be healthy, respect our elders, have proper etiquette, travel around the world…but who taught us how?

That’s what I want to teach you: the actual strategies and tactics that I tested to get disproportionate results. Not vague platitudes (“keep a budget!” + “spend less than you earn!” + “Be yourself!”) but rather, actual strategies that have worked under repeated stress-testing. Stuff that is bulletproof and will work — including the actual word-for-word scripts that IWT has become known for.

It strikes me that the vast majority of people have huge, unrealized potential. Think about all the things we dreamed about doing at 22, right out of college. By 25, how many of us thought we’d have traveled around the world? Be making 6 figures (for some of us, even more). Or have an enviable job that we were passionate about — and made a huge impact?

Just a few years later, it’s amazing to see the difference between dreams and reality.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. MOST people, looking at the difference between their dreams and reality, begin to blame some external forces. The economy is bad! Those girls should choose me for me. Ramit, you’re out of touch…it doesn’t work like that.

But a very elite group of people realize that external forces like “the economy” mean very little to them. Look at this link, for example — it’s a discussion thread about a guy choosing between working at a hedge fund or Facebook/Google/etc.

Stop. Don’t throw up your hands in exasperation. Don’t say, “That might be fine if you went to STANFORD, but I could never get a job like that.” Maybe you can’t. But you can certainly learn from the discussion. Study the words they use. Analyze their mindset. What makes these people able to get elite jobs, while other people complain about the economy?

For my IWT students who have internalized this, they realize that macro-economics has nothing to do with their personal finances. These people begin to focus on systematically improving themselves.

I’ll prove it to you. In 2010 and 2011 the press was writing about how the economy was in tatters, which is a great way to sell advertising. OMG! CHICKEN LITTLE! RUN LOLFTW!! Yet in that same year, here are the results some of my students got:

“I’ve been a IWTYTBR reader for years, have the book and bought Earn1K. I’m now running a side business… that earned $25k+ last year.” – Jordan G.

“I finally asked for a review from my boss about a year after I began working here (freelancers don’t generally get a review)… Instead of making about $28,800/yr I now make $38,400. Almost a $10,000 raise feels like a lot, but I feel even better about it being a 33% raise – which was not left unmentioned by my boss. He told me it was unprecedented.…it’s really thanks to you that I had the confidence and the script to execute. A $10,000 raise was earned from about $15 for your Ebook, and a little extra reading and planning. I will definitely buy more products from you – whatever you’re puttin down, I’m pickin up!”
— Tessa

“[I interviewed for a senior position and] blew the interviewing managers out of their toilet seats. Why: because I changed the script, used the briefcase method, job shadowed my potential client, wrote a detailed proposal with 5 things they can do TODAY to save the company $1500/week EVEN IF they don’t hire me. Ramit, thanks for the extra $10k, 5+ weeks of vacation, and 6% 401k.” – Justin R.

(There are literally thousands of other comments like this here, here, and here.)

Bottom line: Let other people accept macro circumstances as an excuse for not hitting their goals. You know you have a very good shot at controlling your results using a systematic approach to testing. All to discover the game being played around you.

What I Learned From Testing My Assumptions

This is where it got interesting. As I started building systems to crack these codes and I started testing them, I found patterns I hadn’t seen before.

Think about these scenarios:

We all have friends who somehow knew what they wanted to do from day one. Not only are they successful at it…but they love what they do! How did they do that? Most of us have multiple interests, and it’s insanely hard to choose something and close the other doors. Yet somehow, these friends chose something, focused on it, and it worked. How did they do it?

Or we all know friends who are not as smart as we are, yet they’re more “successful” (whatever that means, e.g., more money, better lifestyle, etc).

Or we have friends who walk into a room and command attention, but we can’t put our fingers on how they do it.

Interestingly, we often complain about these important areas of our lives, but we do nothing — the exact behavior I exhibited in college. I was going to “figure it out” some day. For example…

Money complaints. I learned that most people complain about money for their entire lives, but never take one weekend to read a good book about how to automate their finances. They believe in “trying harder” to save, rather than using the power of psychology to make their money automatic.

Why “bad boys” get girls. I discovered that the “bad boys” most guys complain about actually have certain confidence triggers that they display. Had I not learned this, I’m sure I would still be complaining bitterly about the girls making these choices. Totally irrational! Yet how many of us do this with jobs/money/careers?

Interviewing mastery. If you ask 100 people what they do in a job interview, 90-95 will say “Answer their questions.” Congratulations — they’ve already lost. “Answering questions” is what everyone else does, while top performers walk in and convey a crisp message. These two approaches might sound similar, but they are profoundly different in practice. (I’ll show you the actual videos of how I did this later.) Once I learned how this worked, I started getting closing interview after interview, even beating out MBAs while I was a sophomore.

For the past 8 years — since this blog has been around — there have been random commenters/emailers who asked for access to the system I built to secure $100,000+ in college scholarships, or how to ace the world’s toughest interviews.

I was never comfortable releasing them because they had worked for me, but I wasn’t sure they would work for everyone. But about 18 months ago, I started thinking what would make the biggest impact on us living a Rich Life.

Not yet another post on cutting back on something, but something transformative.

Beyond Money. A Rich Life

I want to live a rich life, so it’s amusing to me to see that so many sites focus only on the money part, as if money is everything. Hilariously, even within the money part, these “experts” focus on one thing: cutting back. “No, you can’t buy that latte! No, you can’t buy those jeans. Of course not, you can’t go on vacation.”

If you’re reading this site, you realize you don’t want some 60-year-old dude waving his finger in your face and telling you what you CAN’T do with your money.

You certainly don’t want to be making your own laundry detergent.

Instead, let’s talk about what we DO want. I WANT to buy my friends a round at the bar and not worry about my credit-card statement the next day. I WANT to take spontaneous trips. I EXPECT to be able to buy a gift for my family and not worry if I have the money in my account.

How do we do that? Money is a part of it, but only a small part. I’ve covered earning more money, saving money, and automating money, and I’ve been impressed with the results that you’ve locked down.

Then, over the last few years, I’ve been doing research to figure out the BIGGEST area with the most potential on helping us live a rich life.

Think about it — where do 97%+ of us spend 8+ hours/day?

At our jobs.

And when you think about it, these 3 areas of living a rich life — our jobs, our finances, and our relationships — have one thing in common: We’re “supposed” to know how to master them, but nobody ever taught us how.

That’s why I’m delighted to share some of my very best material on Finding a Dream Job with you in 2012.

This year, I’m going to pull back the curtain to reveal some of the techniques I’ve used to secure job offers at some of the world’s top companies (including Google, Intuit, and a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund), generate millions of dollars of revenue, and negotiate hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary increases. Every one of these techniques is tested and proven to work with not just me, but a panel of students and friends who I’ve been quietly working with for several years.

Not just how we did it, but the actual word-for-word scripts, the actual emails, even the intonation I used in negotiations — all of which you can use, immediately.

It’s finally time to unveil them.

Now, it would be easy to roll out twenty “Top 10” lists, but I find them to be totally worthless, and I’m not here to waste your time — or to be your intellectual entertainment. Go read TMZ if you want that.

If you’re in your 20s or 30s, the rest of your career is a long time. To not be spending your time doing the HIGHEST and BEST use of your time is a travesty — something I find depressing. Can you imagine being in the same company 15 years from now? On the other hand, can you imagine strategically using your job to help you live a rich life?

What’s amazing about your dream job is that the vast majority of people do the exact same thing: They “update their resume,” (if you use these words, you have already lost…I’ll explain why in Week 3). They submit their resume through a website. And they wait.

Again, if you’ve done any of these things, you’ve already lost.

I can walk into a non-profit tomorrow and get a job. I don’t even like most non-profits. My top-performing friends can get laid off on Tuesday and have a new job by Thursday. I have access to people at the world’s top companies, and I’ve secured permission to have them share their best techniques on how to beat the hiring process. Not through tricks or manipulation, but through a thoughtful, systematic process — not random tactics (“Submit my resume to that job posting!!”) that 99% of job-seekers do.

This includes a SYSTEM everything from figuring out “What is my Dream Job?” to the most tactical questions of all, like “What is the perfect answer to that interview question?”

Sorry, but I won’t tolerate excuses. I’ve catalogued literally thousands of excuses and I’ve tested responses to all of them. For example, one of my favorites is “That only works if you went to Stanford.” False — I’ve tested this material with people from all levels of education. Another: “Well, you need more experience to get that job.” Maybe, but I’ve showed people how to beat out people with 10 years’ more experience. Imagine walking into an interview and getting a Dream Job — more responsibility, higher pay, and something you’re excited to do every day — and watching those people with 10 years’ experience walking out the door, rejected, stopping at the donut shop to contemplate their next pointless tactical maneuver. Ah, the love of watching dejection in action.

Anyway, what if you could use process for discovering your Dream Job, then know how to set yourself apart from other candidates…before you ever walked in to the interview room?

What if you could use these very same techniques instead of sending your resume through worthless recruiters or job-hunting websites?

I know you can, because I’ve tested it with thousands of data points. This will be challenging. This will require a total mindset shift as I show you a new way of approaching a rich life, because this material goes to the core of psychological and behavioral change techniques I write about.

But the rest of your life is a long time.

Some of the material you’ll learn:

  • How to discover our passion. This is the #1 question — “What is my passion?” What if there was an actual, step-by-step process that worked? One that didn’t require you to try to guess what you’ll love doing for the next 30 years. (Hint: It does not involve sitting in your room and making lists of the things you love…no matter how many career books tell you to do that.)
  • How to interview against the world’s top companies — even if you don’t have as much experience as other candidates. (Hint: 80% of the work is done before you ever walk into the room. But the other 20% involves very specific phrases and body language.)
  • How to negotiate the salary you deserve. (My students negotiate, on average, $10,000 more per negotiation.)

You’ll learn how to make your resume stand out so it rises to the top of the pile without submitting it through the “Black Hole of Doom.” And how to use your network to find jobs for you (even if you don’t think you have a network, you do).

All of this, to understand the “game being played around you” — so you can first see it, then master it.

You know what I’m most excited about showing you? The actual, nitty-gritty tactics, including the ACTUAL COPY of emails to send, the ACTUAL WORDS to say when you take people out for informational interviews, and the ACTUAL WORDS and BODY LANGUAGE to successfully interview and negotiate?

You can tell how much I love using actual, tested material, rather than worthless high-level career advice (“Don’t apply for a job you’re not qualified for!” “Make your resume 1 page!” “Definitely get on Twitter!”). Get the hell out of here.

If you want to stay at your current job, great — let me show you how to get a substantial raise and more responsibility.

If you want to find your Dream Job, even better — I can show you how, and I can point you to other people doing what you want to do who have made similar transitions.

And if you want to use this material for more than just your career — for example, to improve your social fluency, storytelling, or even psychological insights of what other people want — feel free. It’s here for you.

Here’s the plan: I’ll release a lot of this material here, on the blog. It will be free, but I’ll challenge you with lengthy posts, videos, and scripts. I love when whiny people complain about the length of my posts, because they are basically raising their hands and telling me they’re illiterate.

The rest of your life is a long time. And a core part of living a rich life is about mastering your career. Use these frameworks and techniques however you like — but I’m confident you’ll be surprised with how effective they are. These are some of my best techniques that I’ve ever developed.

In 2012, I’m going to show you techniques, frameworks, shortcuts, and actual tactics you can apply — tested techniques, including the very word-for-word scripts and emails that have secured 6-figure jobs, meetings with CEOs, natural networking to meet new business contacts and friends, and insane results in interviewing and negotiations.

Finally, this is important, and it’s important now. When we’re in our early 20s, most of us take whatever job we can find. We mess around for a few years, but in our mid 20s, something changes: Some people find careers — discovering what they love and what they excel at — and they rapidly advance. Others meander around, never sure what the next step is. By 30, the chasm between the two is so large, it’s difficult to bridge it.

Which do you want to be?

That’s why we can’t wait to “figure it out” some other day. Let’s start right now.

Today, I have three questions for you:

1. Is this interesting to you?
2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be? Please be SPECIFIC — write as much as you need to — so I can hook you up with my best stuff.
3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.

Leave a comment below!

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  1. Dilanka Wettewa

    Holy Fucks Sake. Ramit.

    I am not going to complain about the utter length of this post – but I must admit, I think I am feeling a bit of a bulge in my pants.

    I won’t waste your time with a useless comment here – mainly because you laid down everything on the table with nothing more to discuss. Looking forward everything you have talked about thus far.

    Thanks dude.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Ok, the first comment in 2012 is about this guy’s erection. This is gonna be a great year.

    • drea916

      Well, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that has that kind of reaction.

    • Stephanie

      Did you get an erection, or shit yourself? I could see how the post could inspire one or both.

  2. Sterling

    1. Yup
    2. Negotiation – my weakness is that I often empathize with the other side and sacrifice more than I should to make sure they leave happy.
    Social Skills – I have a number of passions I pursue, including my job, however I’ve put socializing on the back burner with a move to a new city and the start of a new job
    Relating to passions – I consider my job one of my passions and I’d like to learn how to create a system that allows me to learn what I need to learn for my work while still having time to pursue all of my other passions.

    • Danielle

      I second that, how to carve out time to learn what you know you should amid continuous barrages for results/answers in your job.

  3. IH

    I’m also looking forward to all your ass-busting info to come.

    Personally, what I am still struggling with after several months of reading your blog/book/tweets is how to build and maintain a system to find one’s dream job.

    Other than that, I’ve been taking notes, experimenting, and am constantly looking for new ways to implement what I’ve learned here.

  4. Liz

    Did I ever tell you you’re my hero?

    I’m teaching abroad this year and already that year is half way over. I have no idea where I want to go or even what kind of job I want to pursue 5 or 6 months from now.

    This year I’m going to take my finances seriously and move towards automation (it’s virtually impossible when you’re working with int’l banks) and make my money work for itself.

    This year I’m going to try to find that dream job, and hopefully even secure it before I even set foot in the U.S. again. So, in response to your questions:

    1. Yes! This post was probably the most inspiring one I’ve read, and the nitty gritty specifics really turns me one because I always feel so lost in “the real world.”
    2. Yes. I want it all. Right now, though, I want to start looking into what my dream job is (at least for the time being), what my opportunities are. Should I be looking into my networks? Where do I look for those? Should I set up informational interviews? What are those supposed to look like? How can I get the person to even reply to my request? Basically, what steps do I need to take to find my passion if I don’t already know it? Making a list of the things I love sounds fun, but I don’t know how kittens will get me a great job.

    • Elaine

      Same situation.

      Ramit, any advice you can give for those with geographical barriers would be greatly appreciated!

      Writing emails that get a response? Fostering relationships with someone in a different city/country? Getting informational interviews without face-to-face contact?

      Thanks!!! You rock!

  5. amit

    Resume and job related stuff
    Social skills

    in that order and a gr8 post.
    Thanx for changing my paradigm.


  6. Dominic Henry

    Social skills – I work in the finance industry and while I think that I do well in one and one interactions (especially in a formal setting), I fail horribly at networking. I tell myself it is because I prefer to listen more than I talk, but then I see everyone else having a seemingly better time and I just wonder could a system improve my networking skills.

  7. Mark

    How to prepare for interviews for promotion.
    How to find my skill sets that I an bring to new positions.
    How to network in my field and outside of my field.

  8. Chris

    Ramit – great post as usual. I must admit I am different than your normal readers as I am a 40 year old accountant with a CPA, but I am just like the woman you mentioned earlier who thought that a college education would be enough to get the dream job, and the CPA would get me six figures. Hardly. I have spent too much time watching those less qualified get the higher level positions, and am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Time to learn a new approach and get off my ass. I’m looking forward to your posts this year and to “The Rich Life”.

    • G

      People tell me CPA will get my Resume to be noticed… how do you feel about that? (I’m in my 20s)

  9. Jos

    Good post. Please fix the axes on the graph 🙂

    • Ramit Sethi

      Fixed! Thanks Jos.

  10. Ana

    Ahhh right on time! I am three months away from finishing my mandatory internship and 4 or 5 months to finish my master thesis in engineering (of course, if it depended on me, it would be 4 months, but some bureucracy you just can’t fight…). I will start looking activelly for a good job in the middle of January. So thank you!!

    1. YES!

    2. Interviewing (I am still not confident enough) and negotiation. The second one if I really really need to pick just one.

    Thank you for all your wonderfully uselful material!


  11. Anders

    Thank you Ramit for all the great stuff you produce!
    1. Yes, it’s very interesting.
    2. The invisible script I call “What if I succeed?” Often career advice deal with the question “What if I don’t succeed?” The question holding me up for years was “What if I succeed?” (I didn’t realize that of course.) Sounds ridiculous, but that was more scary because it involves a lot of change. Once changing my mindset, taking action was piece of cake.
    Thanks again!

    • Troy

      This resonates with me. Can you tell me more about how you got over your “What if I succeed?” mindset?

      I have always been a high achiever scholastically and excelled at every job – often getting quick promotions. However, the jobs have generally been low-level (retail, entertainment, etc.) and not reflective of my complete skillset & abilities. I don’t doubt my ability to be live a Rich Life, and with hard work and Ramit’s help I’m confident I’ll achieve it. However, when thinking about, “What would my life look like if I realize the success I dream about?” I find myself frightened. For me it is because the large changes I need to make in my own life to move to the next level will probably entail leaving behind the accustomed comforts of certain people, behaviors, locales, etc.

      Any thoughts on adjusting my outlook would be appreciated.

  12. TGunn

    Seriously though, Stanford… fix the graph.

  13. Coop

    1. Yes
    2. I seem to be able to get a foot in the door / start off at a lower level than I want to at a company I really like. What I would love to hear about is how to create a better job for myself once I’m there — how to get promoted, get a nice raise, etc. Thanks!

  14. Darren

    This is perfect timing!
    1. Absolutely, this is exactly what I’m looking for.
    2. No really, this is perfect. I just turned 25, and I’ve been at my first job after college for 3+ years. I’m struggling with negotiating for better pay. I’m repeatedly told that I’m one of the best workers, but I know that my peers are paid more than I am because they have 10+ years “experience” in the industry. Beyond that, I want to find a job that I’m passionate about. It’s time I start thinking about the long term future.

    Thanks for the great post, can’t wait for 2012!

  15. Ash

    Honestly, I know what my passion is, I know what I want to do for the rest of my life…I worked hard for about a year to figure that out in high school! Yet now that I’m in my early 20’s I’m still not doing it. Why? Well for one I am still in college and finishing up my degree, but lets be honest that’s really just an excuse! And yes, what I want to do is something that some people may not see me as an expert as because I’m so young. (It’s working with families and relationships, so an almost 22 year old won’t be taken very seriously, or so I think.) I have tons of excuses and sh*t, but no results! I really need to get working on this before I graduate so I’m not forced to take some HR job I hate or a burn-out in 3 months job with the GOV in social services (I’m a sap, that type of job would be torture for me.) So basically, I know what my passion is and what I want to be doing, yet I’m too much of a scared sissy to do it! So that’s my 2 cents of some info I’d like to see. Thanks for everything Ramit!

  16. Kat

    1. Very enthused and interested!
    2. I’m most interested in the section on finding your passion – I have a lot of hobbies and interests but a hard time focusing on the one I like the most or determining which I’m best at.
    3. I’ve used the tips from your book to great effect so far – it helped me save enough and make enough money to buy my dream house this year!

  17. Jim

    1) Yes, this is very interesting

    2) Networking – I’d love to hear you talk/write more about networking. I know how to contact friends from school and have them get me some leads, but how do I get an introduction to decision makers at target companies?

  18. David

    Ah, excuses… Seems everyone around me has excuses why this and why that. Just do it! I’ve been at my job for 3.5 years and they only hire people with college degrees, and the last time I checked I didn’t have a college degree (and NO, I’m not cleaning their toilets).

    Here’s a website where all of the interviewees could have the greatest excuses of why they can’t do this or that, but they don’t let it stop them.

    It’s all about getting off your ass and just doing it!

    Keep up the great work, Ramit.

  19. Krista

    Ramit you out did yourself. As always, awesome material. I can’t wait to see some radical changes in my life in 2012. No more talking and complaining, it is all about taking action.

  20. G

    1. This was highly interesting to me, and motivating, also forwarded to a friend who is planning on job switching as well, although I doubt he reads it.

    2. Negotiation – In a standardized field: engineering, accounting, law, etc, where the goal would be (seemingly) to make it to the partner level. when switching cities, and subsequently a new firm, I am concerned with my ability to prove I deserve a higher salary than the people they currently have at my level.

    2b. Getting in the Door – I feel I am a good interviewer when I can get there, and I am looking forward to your interview techniques, but I am more concerned with getting the interview, and standing out among 1000 candidates.

    3. I have your book and have set up automation, beginning of the month X goes to my savings from pay check on the first, I am paying double on my student loan which automatically goes after 16th pay check. 401k is auto set up as well to deduct. I also use credit card for day to day purchases (use the Star-rewards you suggested), and pay off the balance every 2 weeks.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Interesting. How come you doubt your friend will read it?

    • G

      Idk, I just have a feeling he will say, Ya I read the first few paragraphs, but I didn’t want to read it all on my phone, or didn’t have time to read it.

      We are both looking to leave jobs in a medium city, (hometown), to find a job in a big city, and test out life in a big city.

      Seems content with his recruiter looking for him. I think he could really benefit from you b/c has mentioned boss said He doesn’t care where he lives as he will be traveling across US for his job, but I don’t see him, on his own, telling his boss I’m moving to LA, so I need a 20k increase to equal cost of living increase for me.

      Seems like only half motivated to actually make the move, and because of it, only half motivated to spend time to make it happen.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Yep. My research shows the same thing — especially the recruiter part, which is classic. People love to delegate their job search to other people. Unfortunately, most recruiters are completely worthless, so the results suck, and people get nowhere.

      More on this later.

  21. Zak Katz


    I delved deep into IWT and Earn1k materials during 2011, and the 2012 Dream Job materials look amazing Ramit. Last year, I got my finances sorted out via IWT, and I used the briefcase technique to build some contacts in the industry I am targeting. I then proceeded to blow the interview so I would absolutely be interested in learning about your strategies in approaching both informational meetings and formal interviews.

    In hindsight, I probably should have saved my briefcase material for the interview itself however I was having a very hard time getting the attention of people and found that I left a very good first impression by reaching out to experts and decision makers with detailed proposals. If you had any strategies for networking in unfamiliar waters, I think many people who want to change industries or the nature of their work would benefit from this as well.

  22. Jialu Cai

    Ramit! I used the script from your IWTYTBR book to negotiate a $20 charge out of my VISA. BOOM! Your book just paid for itself. I’m looking forward to more of that!

    • Ramit Sethi

      I love it. Nice job.

  23. Sarah

    1. This is awesome and is getting me so, so pumped. Yes, yes, yes!
    2. ‘Finding your passion’ and ‘negotiation’ are the two that interest me most – specifically, narrowing down your field of focus, passion-wise (to excel at one thing as opposed to juggling everything), and negotiating your way into the best possible client relationships for both yourself AND the client.
    3. I discovered ITW in March 2011, when I was barely scraping by – literally. I had just left a job which paid alright, but that I HATED with every fiber of my being, and as such working as a…errr, waitress at a diner to pay the bills while I ‘figured things out’. The briefcase technique, paradigm-exploding interview advice and negotiation tips from ITW took me from barely having enough to pay $800 in rent a month to making over 110K last year. I moved into a beautiful loft that I’ve furnished from scratch, I’m able to do whatever I want, when I want, and I haven’t worried about the balance of my bank account for even a moment ever since.

    I sincerely cannot thank you enough, Ramit. The fact that there is someone like you out there who says ‘ENOUGH!!!’ to the bullshit of my generation – let alone gives the actual tools away – makes all the difference in the world.

    Here’s to making 2012 doubly successful as 2011 was with your help!

  24. megan

    1, Yes
    2. Finding my passion. I join clubs and take classes that I think will be interesting to me, but nothing sticks. How to find your passion when your likes arent even clear.
    3. I automated my accounts!

  25. Jonas

    This is awesome, Ramit – over the years I’ve come to expect only the best from your material and this post didn’t disappoint.

    I am supremely interested in learning more and know my weakest area has been in interviewing, (specifically phone interviews).

    In the last year, I have carried over zero credit card debt, doubled my credit limit, increased my 401K contribution by 20%, and saved enough to pay for my wedding without any additional debt.

    Happy New Year and all the best in 2012!

  26. Brad

    1. this is very interesting material.
    2. I’m a grad student (getting a Ph D in physics), and I will be one for ~1.5 more years. The city I’m in now is terrible, so the plan is to move west (Colorado, Oregon, Washington) as soon as I graduate. I’ve read your material about meeting people in your desired field to help land a ballin’ job. As my goal is to move across the country, I can’t go meet people 10 states away for coffee/lunch. What steps could I take to get my name out there during the next year or two while still in school? I will be giving conference presentations and plan to make those as kick-ass as possible since that is the best opportunity I can think of to show myself off.
    3. In 2010 I got a side job teaching 2 nights a week ~10 hours which increase my annual pay 60% (and I can always teach more if needed, so there is some extra security in it). In 2011 I’ve finally gotten on top of automating my bills as much as I can/am comfortable with (I’m not comfortable automating my credit card payment, I do pay it off in full every month).

  27. AKM

    1. Holy Kaw !! You mean all of it. Interesting… huh. I would delete all my social media accounts right now, If you asked me to, to get your awesome scripts and tactics.


    3. Here’s my story. You have to imagine an Indian scenario for this ‘coz many of the things won’t be valid for US.
    I am doing my engineering right now. I am in my 5th year of Electrical & Electronics Engineering. We are supposed to complete the 4-year course in 4 years. I failed a year (year back is what they call it here), primarily because I had no interest in Electrical Engg. You could ask then, why I chose this branch of study. But then you would have to know that kind of thing doesn’t work here.
    So, while in December 2010, my friends were getting campus placements in MRCs (Mass Recruiting Companies, you get the idea how that works). And well, I had to temporarily discontinue the course for an year, and could continue only when I had the requisite number of credits. Basically, my classmates would get a campus placement, graduate and would have already worked in a job for an year by the time I graduate. So, this was the scenario and I had failed an year. The BEST THING EVER to happen to me.
    I took to the internet researching about stuff like Entrepreneurship, PFinance, after discontinuing in July 2010. In August 2010, I had created my first business plan. By November 2010, I had won 4 elite B-Plan competitions along with the help of a ‘thought-aligned’ friend. By January 2011, I had started my own company at the age of just 22 (‘just’- Indian Scenario). We were doing some worthwhile work in the Grades 6-12 school education sector. By this time I was following almost 15 blogs mainly entrepreneurship, PF and stuff. I don’t know why I didn’t come across yours. But by October 2011, I was feeling like the Startup setup was not for me particularly, the model I was working on , or it might just have been the bad Incubator relations. So, I decided to pursue my Dream Job.
    This was, or may be a few months earlier, the time I came across IWTYTBR and boy, it was a revelation. Suddenly, I had a mindset change and completely let go of the limiting script I was telling myself that no one was going to hire me with a failure -ridden academic record. I started being proactive. I learned that my friends and classmates are actually part of my network. I started to approach them for advice or to just talk about what they did at their respective jobs. I had already found out by then, with the help of programming and testing, that my Dream Job would be something that would integrate my passions namely; love for data, analysis, content development, a kind of flair for consulting (I always loved giving advice to my fellow mates too, some unsolicited, but mostly they came to me for it), New product strategy and development (something from my startup days). After a month of facebook chats, email conversations, phone chats and a few coffee outings, I had found my Dream Job.
    Now, I, thanks to my friend’s referral, had landed an interview. I did hours of research about the company using your materials. I was very confident of landing the job even days before the interview was scheduled. On the day of the interview I used the briefcase technique to full use. The interviewer was blown away. I had given him solutions for 5 of his major problems that he was caught up with at that time. I landed the job.
    Here’s the best part. Most of my friends have an average pay package of INR 325,000 (yeah that’s an avg package for a non-IIT undergrad in India) and the highest that my batchmate got was a CTC of INR 675,000. My starting package for my Dream Job is 650,000. Not bad, haan.
    Thanks Ramit for all your stuff. As you keep saying 98% of your stuff is free, I would add that its worth atleast INR 300,000 in extra salary for me. I thank you for your material from the bottom of my heart and hope to use it to help my other friends in the same pursuit.

    • AKM

      Sorry. Forgot to mention the best part. I have not even graduated yet. I’ll be doing that in this month and starting with my job February 2012 onwards. \m/

  28. Chris

    In my last post, I should have answered your questions. Sorry.
    1) Yes, this is interesting.
    2) I would be interested in finding your passion topics, interviewing, and negotiation tactics.
    3) I have gotten off my ass and gotten tax and political treasury clients. I had formally been sitting around thinking “but no one would pay me for what I do”. I started putting myself out there, and earned $2,500 in income last year. Your topics changed my thinking on what I could do. Thanks, BTW.

  29. TJH

    1. This is very much interesting to me. I am slow to implement, but keep hitting me over the head. I’ve come to realize that trying harder gives disproportionate the wrong direction.

    2. Hook me up with negotiation. In my job, I have to negotiate with co-workers with competing ideas, clients for fees, and contractors trying to cut corners. Heck, everything seems to be a negotiation and as a typical American, I’m terrible at it.

    3. Your contest for the personal assistant triggered a light bulb in my head. My team at my company has an assistant, I spent 45 sec talking to her and realized she makes copies and gbc binds reports all day. She is totally bored out of her mind and woefully underutilized. She is now in charge of my appointments, travel arrangements and taking meeting minutes. It’s awesome, I don’t have to do those things any longer AND, she is more than happy to do it. I also signed up with ing for my savings account and charles schawb and have automatic deductions for just about any account I have.

  30. Philipp Ulrich

    #1 – Yes, totally.

    #2 – What to do if you face special challenges. In my case I am dead sick and have 10 years to live at best. This does create problems at a job interview, because I’m quite often being prejudiced (“Sorry, but this is too difficult for us” is the nicest version of “Bad luck, we’ll find someone healthy and better looking than you, sucker.”). The thing is that I absolutely don’t want to lie about my health state, because it prevents me from doing my best at a job if I have to keep it a secret (have tried for a while, but it didn’t work out!). Obviously a life situation like this creates a load of other problems, e.g. with long-term planning (I’m 21), but that would be too complex to be fully examined in this series I guess.

    #3 – I found out about your site through your interview with Chase Jarvis and I haven’t implemented your techniques for myself, but I have sat down with my mother (who is a fashion designer and started her own business in 2010). Based on your tips we completely changed her business cards and advertising. We also raised the prices for all of her products, some by as high as 75%. Within the last few months we’ve seen a drastic change. She now has more and happier customers than ever, delivery times have gone up to 4-6 weeks, she has gotten some really awesome teaching jobs (which she always dreamed about!) and gets so much recommendations that she has to do almost zero advertising by herself now.
    If I ever get to be able to work again (have spent most of my time at home and in bed over the last months) I will definetely refine my techniques in job interviews (even though the last ones went quite satisfying for me. It’s best to always stay hungry I guess!).

    I want to thank you deeply for all the advice your giving and am really looking forward to the new content you’re about to publish.


  31. Margo

    1. Yes

    2. I would like to hear you write more about combating the assumption of “I’m not qualified.” I’ve found that many people (myself included) discredit and preemptively disqualify themselves for positions based on how they perceive of their own skills and experience. I would love to expand on how to think outside of the box when it comes to our skill set so we can think bigger when it comes to our careers/job search.

    3. After I graduated from grad school, I found that I was guilty of reading and reading and reading about what I “should” do to find a job, but never actually doing it. I had placed myself on a self-righteous pedestal thinking that the universe owed me something (wrong). Reading IWT helped to propel me into ACTION. I started contacting people at companies I wanted to work at or industries I was interested in and getting answers. No solid jobs have come out of it (mostly informational interviews), but I learned how to change the way I approached my search. People WILL talk to you if you just ask. I also have learned (well, it’s a work in progress) to be impervious to the negative influences in my life (aka well-meaning friends and family or acquaintances who reinforce false scripts and cause me to feel insecure or second guess myself or my path). By reevaluating things I thought were true (my scripts – ex: pursuing money is selfish, pursuing academia is honorable), I have been able to shed the resentment and blame I placed on others and take ownership and responsibility for my own job search / future.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Love this comment. And “I’m not qualified” is something I have an incredible amount of material on — including SPECIFIC techniques to get around it.

      At the end of the day, though, you have to be seriously good at what you do. So if people are looking for a magic bullet they should just go away.

    • Georgia

      While I was reading your comment I could relate to the “I’m not qualified” but at the same moment I was ready to BLAME somebody else… how OTHER people made me feel that way, funny, it’s almost an automated reaction….

      I hope Ramit can provide some further insights… His material are simply GREAT

  32. Lang

    1. Is this interesting to you?

    Yes, it is, because I like to know about the games being played around us. The systems that are in place, that have limited our beliefs.

    2. Please write more about finding your passion. I feel like I want to do something else then my current job, but don’t know what my passion is.

    3. I have automated my savings. I use to manual go to the bank, or log online and transfer $150 dollars each month to my savings account. This took time and mental effort, and the result was I was never consistent. When you said, you can actually automate this, I was dumbfounded. How did I not do this before? There were invisible scripts I had, I was afraid I wouldn’t have the money in my account, I was too lazy to figure out when I good time was.

    But then I did figure it out, because I asked my self ” Really?… is that really the reason?, is it really true?”.

    So I automated my savings and never looked back.

    – Lang

  33. Jordan M

    I would like to see your take on Cal Newport’s rejection of the idea that “following your passion” is the key to a successful working life. This is one post of his general thesis but gets the idea across:

    Worth reading the others linked to at the end of the post as well. I’d like to see Ramit’s reponse to that.



    • Ramit Sethi

      Cal is the man and I agree with a lot of what he says about passion.

    • Tammy

      Love Study Hacks. I’ve been reading every one of Cal’s posts since my freshman year.

  34. Mel B

    1. Of course this material was interesting, how could it not be?
    2. I would be interested in anything about resumes. I seem to be creative with everything else except for my resume. It is a chronological accounting of where I have been and what I have done. In other words, it is boring.
    3. I actually used your negotiation tactic to negotiate a 25% raise and more responsibility within the first 90 days of my employment. Being a contractor at this company did not make it an easy task for me to get more money before I had been with them for a year.

  35. Charissa

    1. Is this interesting to you? Yes, you read my mind.
    2. Negotiation-How do you come to the table in an less emotional state? You don’t really know what’s going to happen and sometimes, women especially, begin to get nervous and emotional which begins to break down their ability to communicate the need/want sometimes? How do you lessen your anxiety about being a better negotiator?

    3. Actually, working on doing my research in the area of interest for my business, to become more prepared when I work to solicit those first 3 clients. I’m polling, and going out into the market to see if my assumptions are what is in the actual marketplace.

    Happy New Year!

  36. Laura in Cancun

    1. Yes.

    2. I don’t need much more job advice because I’m already making 5 times what all my friends earn thanks to two very low-stress jobs, but my husband and I plan to get started buying vacation rental condos by this time next year so we can quit our day jobs by the time we’re 30. So I’d love to read advice on real estate, investing and saving, not to mention your usual inspirational posts that really kick me in the ass. (like today)

    3. You inspired me to earn more at my current job, and I now always aim for the highest monthly productivity bonus possible. (My company has made it abundantly clear that raises aren’t a possibility right now, but at least I can take their money by doing ridic amounts of quality work.) I also talked my husband into automating our savings starting this month, and we plan on inviting some local real estate friends out to dinner to pick their brains.

    I also promise never to make my own laundry detergent.

  37. Raj Rajendran

    1.. Yes
    2. Challenges (And solution) of Fresh off the boat Indians trying to influence folks in this society (Traditional/Geeky Nerds)
    3. Bought your books and have automated my accounts to a large extent !
    You are a force to recon with !! You are now in the lead for becoming the “my mentor of year” award for 2012

  38. Kathy

    1. very interesting

    2. resumes, cover letters and acing the interview

    3. I’ve connected with a former coworker working at a location I want to get a job.

  39. Juan

    Hi Ramit:
    Yesterday I met a student (in tech area) who said:
    * Not being interested in humanistic classes.
    * All about ‘he’ and ‘his’ aptitudes, interests and how ‘he’ is the best in his area.
    I remember I was that way, not seeing what’s the game played around my selfish (and desperate) soul… until You got my attention.
    This post is utter interesting for me.
    After getting my brand new dream job, I’m going for more (your blog is addictive for me).
    I’m interested in how to get into their (my boss and our clients) minds so tehy can’t refuse giving support to the growth of my career:
    1. Negotiation.
    2. Networking.

    • Ramit Sethi

      I call this “I, I, I” Syndrome. At least 50% of people in their 20s have it and I want to kill them all. I have lots of material on this.

  40. Alex F

    Ramit –

    Great stuff and coming at a good time for me–I have an interview tomorrow and am in the middle of getting my briefcase ready.

    I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on how relationships interact with a career and a rich life. Can someone be successful in his career and also be spending a lot of time dating? Is a solid relationship a precursor for high performance for most people? Is that kind of companionship like 8 hours of sleep or three meals a day, something that most of us need to thrive?

  41. Brian

    Great stuff, everything hits home! I would love to learn more about finding my passion, creating more effective resumes and cover letters, networking, etc, etc.

    Ok I get it. I am responsible for all that has occurred in my life thus far. My past does not equal my future. I know, I feel, I desirethat I must have a change in my life. I know I want to be in a situation where I have my own business, not trading time for money and not bound by geography. Where I contribute something meaningful to others and we all become wealthy, healthy and joyful, etc,, etc.

    I have the desire however I need help to move forward. Not just the usual rah rah you can do it hype. But real substantial help that I can hang my hat on. I am willing and ready to take the next steps. I just need some guidance and mentorship to move forward.

  42. Jay

    I’ve been following your stuff for just over a year now, and admittedly been challenged with implementing a lot of this stuff, I’ll spare you the details since I know you don’t care.

    That being said, to address those details I’m using what you have shared so far to land a ‘dream job’. My target is to land the job and negotiate a salary that is 100% higher than what I made at the height of my career to date. I plan to have a positive report in for you by January 14th.

    Happy New Year, and thanks for being you!

  43. Richard

    1. This is interesting – although I run a business and I’m not looking for a permanent job, I am always looking for ways to leverage that into more interesting things and possibly bigger 1-2 year projects where I could develop new skills&experience without abandoning my own business. Many of the techniques are applicable to this as well.

    2. Aside from narrowing down what would be most interesting to do (still a bit of a challenge) I would be interested in learning about how to get more focused on a smaller market within a broad skillset and networking within a market that’s not well-organized (it’s not something that has its own magazine).

    3. I was in the first earn1k course and started using better pricing (I raised my prices 60% half-way through the course) and qualifying customers better. I also started using the techniques to stop selling like a beginner and got some of my biggest sales yet by the time the course ended.

    Last year I came across a huge opportunity (potentially increasing my income 5x in one year and hitting a lot of professional goals in one go). I opened the conversation well with a focus on solutions that showed what I could do, skipping past most of the usual fluff. It fell apart at the last minute due to some things I had overlooked and not asking enough questions. Even without that I increased my income 2.5x and got much better projects to work on by using the mindset I learned from earn1k and I have no plans of going back to the way things were before.

    Losing that opportunity was not a big deal except that I’m not sure how to find something else like it. I was looking in the wrong place at the time because it was all I knew and finding something really good there is once in a lifetime, hence my answer to #2. Maybe I’m just not applying one of the earn1k lessons correctly so I will be reviewing it again and testing some new things.

  44. Girl in the Ball Gown

    1. Is this interesting to you? Absolutely, especially the system-based approach.

    2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be? Please be SPECIFIC — write as much as you need to — so I can hook you up with my best stuff.

    How to “figure out” my passion, and how to make the most of informational interviews–what to say, what to ask. I’ve done some informational interviews, but I find that I tend to get stuck with boring answers, platitudes. Something must be wrong with my approach.

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.
    Test your assumptions:
    -Asking for leave even when I thought my boss would say no=> I got it
    -Committing to a mini version of my warm up in order to get myself to do it and build the habit (BJ Fogg’s advice of only flossing one tooth)=> it’s been working
    -Meeting a NYTimes best-selling author in New York, although I thought I wouldn’t get an email response=>It worked

    I’ve made it my motto to test my assumptions, and get out of my head.

  45. Sarah L

    1. Yes. Very much so.
    2. I would love to hear some job tips for new graduates, starting with how to make a resume that wows and paying particular attention to interview tips when I don’t have a lot of experience. I feel like entry level jobs trap new graduates at the bottom of the corporate ladder for the first 5 years. I don’t want to spend the next 5 years of my life doing inane paperwork and customer service calls. The biggest hurdle (for me at least), is to show interviewers that I’m qualified to do more than just paperwork when I only have minimal experience in my field from an internship. I break it down into three stages: 1) resume 2) first interview 3) second interview. I can’t even get past the first stage, and on the rare occasions that I do, I fail miserably in the first interview because my lack of experience is so obvious.
    3. I negotiated my lease for the next year and saved $1100 in ONE email. Ramit, you’re awesome.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Nice! If other people want to learn how to negotiate your rent, here’s a link: Negotiate Your Rent.

  46. Shantanu

    1. YES!
    2. techniques for natural networking, “confidence triggers”, revamp our resume, of course interviewing and negotiation scripts/body language
    3. I used your ideas to negotiate a 20% lower cable/internet bill with comcast for the basically the same service! plus another $30 bonus! 🙂 Interviewing tips landed me an on-site interview with a top chemical co. used the briefcase technique. only 2 (includes me) out of 40 that were interviewed in the first round on-campus made it to on-site. interviewed on-site recently, awaiting a reply. Thanks!

    • Shantanu

      @Ramit: self-marketing techniques

  47. Louis

    1. Yes! It goes without saying, but the best quality of your material is that it is tactical, not preachy.
    2. What I hope to learn this year is how to measure my improvements at work. We all know when we get a new skill, but how to you measure you gain in the skills you already have?
    3. The IWT book has helped me completely organize my finances after graduating. I can now laugh at people who have no idea how to save money or what to do with the money they’ve saved.

  48. Sean Vosler

    I’m thinking this needs to be a book! “I’ll teach you to be awesome?”

  49. Aaron


    Have fun reading all these comments (I must admit I skipped most of them).

    The top thing I want you to write about is how to figure out your passion. I’m a relatively bright guy, but my problem is that so many things seem interesting & I tend to go from one to another. I’ve gotten better at it by reminding myself that if I want to get really good at anything, I can’t work at everything. But what techniques do you have?

    I have used everything from your book that isn’t aimed at people who are in debt (I’m very fortunate to have had parents who taught me about finances & were able to help me through college). Automatic savings, automatic retirement savings, your book is one of the best $10, or so, I’ve ever spent.

  50. Brolin

    I love your no BS approach to everything.

    People claim to be straight shooters, but they always usually have an angle that they don’t tell you about.

    You on the other hand, have put your angle right out in the open for people to make their own decision.

    Thanks for everything Ramit! I’m currently setting all my friends up on automating their finances so I don’t have to her about their poor money management anymore.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Thanks, Brolin, I appreciate that.

  51. Lisa Fine

    1. Yup.

    2. Interviewing. I’m tired of leaving interviews feeling unsure whether I nailed them. I want to leave feeling like I wowed these people.

    3. I’m making money from my blog, and not just from some stupid ads. I got a sponsor for a trip I was planning to take anyway, and got media priveleges, which is leading to lots of great promotion and networking.

    Bring on 2012, Ramit! Give it to us.

  52. Amanda

    1) YES!

    2) Id’ be interested in reading about Negotiation, Finding your Passion, and social skills.

    3) This past year, just utilizing the free info you put out there, I automated my finances, and ended up finding 3 new wholesale clients. Thanks!

  53. jen

    I am in that black hole of sending out resumes, and having the education but not yet the work experience. I would love to know your way around sending out resumes and waiting. So many companies don’t even accept follow-up phone calls or in-person applications. How do I get my resume in front of the right people and nail the interview?

  54. Edgar Bateman III

    Awesome post as usual. Time and time again I have found that my weakness is in closing. I don’t have a problem creating interest, building value or other parts of getting deals done. However, I always have trouble closing the deal. I do know that it is a mental thing more than it is technical. Please help!

  55. Mike

    Hi Ramit,

    #1) Yes

    #2) Perhaps what I feel is my biggest obstacle is that I enjoy too many things. I can spend hours learning about microbiology, robotics, then go out and run for hours at a time. Followed by coming home and yet spending possibly too long being creative in the kitchen and at some point in between tackle the problem of providing clean water to a remote village in Nepal. Where to start because right when I start to get going, I typically have to get back to my day job and have not figured out how to monetize my passions listed above.

    #3) How do you know I’ll do it. We can make a wager. If I don’t earn say $1000 more by the end of the year, then that’s my penalty.

  56. laura

    networking info, please. I suck at it, and have always felt it’s lame and a waste of time. i’d love to know your thoughts about the subject.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Why do you feel it’s lame / a waste of time? Can you be more specific?

  57. Cindy

    1. Yes, very interesting! I have a career I couls be launching into, but there are some challenges. (plus going back to college next fall)
    2. How to talk to a group of people and have them smile back and enjoy themselves. How to approach a leadership position, even if I despise leading. How to want to do presentations and get past the dread. How to sell myself even if there are skills I personally feel aren’t perfect yet. How to inspire my husband; he has an exceedingly low opinion of himself and is much more valuable than he says.
    3. I automated my finances through my bank for the first time. I “test” social situations when I never did before. I’ve negotiated some of my bills. When my company put a lockdown on raises, I still got a 20 cent raise. It wasn’t much but I wouldn’t have gotten anything if I didn’t ask.

  58. SAO

    1.) Yes, totally stoked
    2.) I work in a tiny, specialized part of a massive industry. There are only a handful of high-paying positions, in fairly isolated parts of the country. Do I compromise and work for a company I don’t feel connected to for the paycheck, do I start my own thing, or do I hunt for one of those positions?
    3.) The strategies on this blog helped me move from an hourly position into a salaried job with benefits, 401(k) match, and a MUCH better paycheck.

  59. Jen

    1. Interested might be an understatement.
    2. Is “all of the above” not specific? My first choice: negotiation. I undervalue myself. Most recent example: a professor I had nearly 3 years ago wrote to me to contact a person who needs someone to write a grant. He said to write to her and say he referred me. He also said that they could only afford to pay $20/hr, which suggested to me that $20/hr might be less than what I’m worth. Yet, even with that thought, I told myself I should do it for less (I’ve never written grants except for class, what if my grant proposal doesn’t win $, yada-yada…). WHY??? I turned down a part-time job about 1.5 years ago because it was under $20/hr and in the long run my babysitter would earn $8/hr watching my son (which is one of the greatest privilages in my life) while I netted $7. In that instance, when I asked the interviewer for an additional $2/hr (still not that much $, right?) the door closed. She just said, nope, sorry, not in the budget, thanks and we were both on our ways. That made me second guess whether or not I’m worth the additional $2/hr. Of course I am. So not only do I need to learn negotiation tactics, I need to learn that I’m worth what I’m asking for.
    3. I’ve just finished reading I Will Teach You To Be Rich, which is how I got to your web site, which is how I got here. I’ve considered opening a Twitter account just to follow you there, too.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Classic undervaluing. I have tons of stuff on this. There are also subtle, often unconscious behaviors/language that people use — especially women — that signals they undervalue themselves.

  60. Mohammed Shareef

    1) Yes
    2) How to go from “just good enough” to “girls are clinching on to your pant legs” confident while interviewing.
    3) ask for help and test, test, test

    • Mohammed Shareef

      Sorry, forgot to be specific in number 3.

      My resume’ sucked. My interviewing skills sucked even more. I used my university’s career services to help improve my resume and interviewing skills. My interviewing skills didn’t improve at all. My resume’ got scored a B- on Rezscore.

      I used my networking “skills” (reinforced by Ramit’s awesome articles and videos) to contact some of my friends’ friends and dad’s friends. I found a few founders and upper level managers that have helped me re-write my resume’ to get past the humdrum crowd, getting an A+ on Rezscore. Now they’re helping me tune my interview responses and questions.

      My biggest weakness that I need to conquer before my next interview (next week) is “wowing the audience as soon as I walk on stage”.

  61. Kirsten

    1. Yes.
    2. Finding your passion. I’m 42 and just retired in September. Since then I’ve been aimless and unable to get started on anything. I busted my ass to retire at this young age, but in doing so I burned myself out on the career I had. I don’t need to work for money, but I need to do SOMETHING to create structure in my life and get back the self-esteem I didn’t even realize I was getting from work.
    3. I’m an Earn1K member. I used it to start a sideline doing math tutoring. I set my goals and timeline to failure, and I did everything I knew I should do. To make a long story short… I failed spectacularly, not even making $1 at it. AND, I was never happier than the day I reached my deadline! I tried that idea, and I actually hated most of the time I was working on it, but I am confident that I exhausted my possibilities and now I never have to worry about it again. That led, though, serendipitously to an online tutoring job that I am exactly qualified for, I can do at home in my pyjamas, and I have a blast doing. I only make $30 but I can choose to work from 4 to 20 hours a week until the end of June. It’s not quite a dream job and it’s only for another six months, but it’s a start that I’d like to build on.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Nice. Sometimes discovering what NOT to do can be (almost) as valuable as discovering what TO do.

  62. Michael Houlden

    Fabulous. I saw your interview with Chase last week and loved what you had to say. Last year, I stood up and left a great paying job, moved across the planet to pursue my passion and got stuck on figuring out how to meet people to provide my services to and who can help me advance my business. So, what I’m most interested in discussing with you is how to network effectively and how to get my services in front of people and then help them decide that I’m the best person to provide them with that service. What am I going to do about it? I have chapter 1 of IWT which I will read this week and create a short list of actions to execute next week.

  63. onkar

    1. Yes
    2. Influencing people in decision making roles
    3. I took your advice about not falling into the trap of trying to build a secondary income stream at the cost of my job and in the last one year I’ve earned a promotion and a switch to a role I love in the same organisation.

  64. anne marie

    How do I get access to decision makers?

  65. Brian

    Hey Ramit! Thanks for the New Years shout out. I know 2012 is going to be an awesome year.

    1. Heck yes!

    2. Social skills. I want to know exactly how to meet interesting people and ask them out to coffee without, ya know, coming off as a weirdo. I also want to know exactly what to ask them and how to build a relationship that doesn’t end after the first time getting coffee.

    3. I’ve set up automatic investments to my Roth 401K (company matched), Roth IRA, ING saving acct, and after-tax Vanguard acct. I also earned $500 on the side as an SAT tutor.

  66. Sam Taylor

    Hi Ramit

    I’m new here, I joined just after your show with chase Jarvis.
    I’ve just turned 18 and I start university next year to study film production (providing i get in. Lets hope, its my dream job! Huzzah!)

    Personally I find your content extremely interesting, especially because it sounds like the majority of the world seem unhappy and poor.
    I haven’t had that work experience yet, I have no idea what it’s like to be under a boss I hate whose paying me 10 grand less than he should. But it scares me that I might!
    I’m very young and inexperienced, so therefor interviews and approaching clients is new and scary. But I have that drive of wanting to succeed more than anything. So I would benefit from content that explores approaching people essentially way over your head. I’m an unqualified student, how am I gonna land a job on a £6,000000 film set? I would love to learn how. Because I unfortunately was under the impression I get a degree from a good film school and with a sprinkle of talent I walk into a job like that. Guess I’m wrong.

    I would also love to see some content that deals with more art related (I’m sure you have loads) issues. I loved your show with chase, I want more like that!

    3. If you can send me that information right now, I would clamp down and start work on my short film project so my showreel (which is basically my cv, right?) would be better suited with showing that i had more experience and showcasing my talents. I would then approach all my interviews with the top universities with all the things you have suggested. And then after, aim to work on a real film set during the months before I start at one of the top universities.

    Thanks for the post,
    I’ll continue reading all the same,

    • Kate

      Hey Sam,

      Being a film producer – I can tell you don’t need a sprinkle of talent – you either need a shitload of talent or be incredibly resourceful and well connected and have a good work ethic.
      Know what you want to do as well – so many film students come out thinking they are going to be directors. Not many of them are actually that talented and if you want to survive directing aint the right thing to do.

      Pick one thing (either writing, cinematography, gaffing, producing, make up, distribution etc) – don’t be an auteur – there are like 10 of them in the whole world! Go and find the person you admire the most in that field and ask if you can shadow them for a week. If they see in that week you are a good worker they’ll keep you in mind for their next job. The key is not being taken advantage of once you have those connections and learning to say no to unpaid gigs.

      All the best!

  67. K

    1. Yes
    2. Finding your passion
    3. Automated deposits into various savings accounts; using a virtual admin

    • Ramit Sethi

      This is exactly the kind of response that is super-undetailed and therefore nobody reads it. Chances are, if you left this comment, you do the same in your Dream Job/passion search. Step it up.

  68. Matt

    1. Absolutely! There’s so much here, I’m going to want to go back and re-read it at least a few times, assuming something new will hit me each time.

    2. In my current company I’ve been told I’m ready to move up into a Management position. However, I’m interested elsewhere. I’ve made it to some management-level interviews recently outside of my current company, but I’m told the one thing that’s holding me back is my lack of management experience. I’ve managed volunteers in non-profits, and I’ve led and coached peers in my previous positions. However, hiring managers tell me they’re looking for “hiring and firing” responsibility experience. How do I influence hiring managers’ thinking about my experience?

    3. I’ve used some IWT techniques in various areas in the past, but specifically this past year I used them to train for and complete a half marathon (I had run before, but never more than a few miles, a few days a month, and never regularly). I removed barriers and negative scripts by laying out running clothes the night before, writing and following a night and morning checklist of all things needed to prepare for the day, doing as much day preparation the night before in order to give me more “time” in the morning (Negative script: I don’t have the time to run). I joined a running group as I realized that I alone would not be able to hold myself accountable. The running group had baby steps/milestones along the way that helped me feel accomplishments towards meeting my goal.

    Result: I ran two half marathons this year. My second was nine minutes faster than the first. I now have a “positive barrier” built up from forming the habit of running that I can’t go more than a week not running and feeling something’s wrong. Thanks for your techniques!

  69. Tim Webster

    New Year… New haircut! 🙂

    1. Definitely interesting
    2. I think there’s a gap between finding your passion and honing the skills and expertise needed to turn that passion in a profession. ie You’ve got a job you don’t like, you have a passion but it’s not realistic so you use some Earn1K tactics to test whether your passion could work out for you. Meanwhile, you build your network in that field and then find your dream job.

    So, I would like to see tips on systematising that networking process

    3. In the past 3 months since discovering your blog, I’ve automated all my finances, have helped my wife negotiate increases to her freelance fees by more than 200%, have completed your Earn1k course (which has paid for itself already – but is in a lull since brazil doesn’t start up again until after carnival), and I’ve been documenting my own self-education in marketing and entrepreneurism… It’s been very useful, especially as part of an arsenal of people like you. Nice one.

  70. Brit

    1. Yes, definitely
    2. Two things: One, building a support network within your own industry, but also how you begin to build networks outside your industry, in case you choose to transition elsewhere (i.e., if you transition from journalism to business, law to higher ed., etc.).
    3. I’m a recent IWT convert…I got your book over the holidays and I just started it last night. Since then I’ve been in touch with my credit card company and received more credit, and my automatic payments are set. Great start.

  71. Fernando


    Damn!! This post was great. I recently finished school and am at a point where this is exactly what I need. The main issue that I have had is finding my passion, something that I REALLY want to do and not just go through the motions.



  72. rose

    1. absolutely.

    2. negotiation: I just have no idea how to approach getting a higher salary or better benefits.

    telling other people how great i am at my job: how do I build a network of people I don’t already work with without sounding like an egotistical asshole/making people feel like I’m just using them?

    3. I focused on networking vs. my cover letter and resume. I got a new job this year due to networking — the new employers didn’t even ask for my resume when they asked to meet with me about the position. The word of my internship supervisor was all it took to get an “interview.”

  73. Camilla Hadlock

    1. Very interesting to me. Thank you.
    2. I’m sorry to say I can’t be specific — I need all of it, probably repeated over and over. You see, I am not in my twenties, I am 61. I have lived that meandering life. I have heard about the game, but never “got” it. Now I am looking at possibly 30 more years, half of the life I’ve already lived, and I want work that’s challenging, absorbing and remunerative. It would be really nice to get out of my head and into the world, so I will be very receptive to your advice.
    3. I read IWTYTBR, and implemented the ideas I hadn’t already figured out. That is, I automated my savings, and I view my income differently. I already worked out some of the automation simply by knowing that I didn’t want to be that person who was surprised every six months when their car insurance bill arrived. I wanted the money to pay the bill. What I had not done was to plan savings for vacations, fun things, and serious things like re-roofing the house. At my level of income, (I was a secretary), fun things didn’t come into the picture very often, and I figured I’d never have the money to re-roof the house. Now I am in a different place in my life, and I don’t want to go on the way I have been. So 2012 is my year of change, and I will take all the help I can get — thank you!


  74. Bhoopathi

    1. YES
    2. Need to clearly articulate my passion. I am in my mid 30s and I need to find my dream job in this year at any cost.
    3. Looking forward to your help; this is going to be like my part time job until I realise my rich life in this year.

    • Ramit Sethi

      You say “at any cost.” What does that mean? What would you do / pay to figure out what your passion is?

  75. Dave

    1) Of course I’m interested. I don’t waste time on useless crap. I’m the lone bread winner of my family with three kids (one autistic).

    2) I want to follow my dreams of entrepreneurship in areas that I currently consider hobbies but no work experience (building a hockey rink for my area, solar power in central Illinois, car detailing). Time management is a big struggle here if I still need to keep my current job to support family while spinning up other opportunities. Also, techniques/scripts for selling investors in bus plans when you have little pro experience in the area you’re starting.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Hey Dave, I hear you about wasting time on useless crap — that’s one of the things that drives me crazy about most useless advice. 2 things: (1) I don’t know your business idea, but chances are that looking for investors is a waste of time. (2) I covered entrepreneurship/earning more for the last 2 years w/Earn1K. How come you didn’t check it out?

  76. Chris Hughes

    Ramit, this is the first time I’ve come across your site and I’m definitely impressed.

    1) Yes this is very interesting to me.
    2) I’d love to learn more about finding my passion. I love working with people and have been managing a small internet marketing business for the past 3 years, but I feel like I might need to get a job in order to make more money. I seem to be stuck at the same income level and I believe it’s because I have a hard time telling people I charge $50-$100 an hour when I know I should be charging that.

    3) I just found your site so don’t know if I’ve implemented any of your stuff yet..

    Looking forward to more!

  77. Joanne Giordano

    Hey Ramit,

    1) Thank you SO very much for your intelligent insights and for taking the time to share them with us. YES, this stuff is more than interesting; it’s tectonically mind-shifting!

    2) My burning question is whether your material is meant to also work for a mid-career person (I’m in my early 40s) who spent the bulk of my early career in classroom teaching (somewhat fulfilling, but NOT financially) and has been dead-ended for the last few years. I feel like I have no network and never realized the fruit (a RICH life) of my potential (I was always a top student & hard worker) because I always lacked focus and, it appears, the skills to get a truly great job that would be satisfying on all levels. Needless to say, this “career failure” has negatively affected every single aspect of my life, and I really need it to change quickly. I still haven’t given up on myself despite everyone around me, even my family, having done so. I still believe I have something great to offer the world and look forward to being rewarded appropriately for it because my greatest joy is being able to contribute, impact, & give back to others. And by the way, THANK YOU for the long posts; finally somebody is taking the time to give an actual, proven, detailed road map to what is truly important in life. We should all be grateful for your work; I know that I am, and I’m hoping you respond that it’s not too late for me!
    3) I just found out about you so haven’t yet applied your teachings; but I’m on it now! A great way to start the new year!

    All the best to you, Ramit,
    with gratitude,

    Joanne Giordano

    • Margo

      Don’t discount your former students as part of your network. Chances are you had a few that you connected with and for whom you made quite a difference. What are they up to now?

  78. Ariella

    1. Yes, this post was very interesting, and I read through the entire thing. No TL;DR here.

    2. I’m most interested in negotiations and finding my passion. Both of those choices might seem surprising given that I am an attorney (you might think that I should be an excellent negotiator on my own behalf, for example, or that I already know my passion because I’ve got a career), but they’re not. I just moved from a job at a firm to an in-house position, which resulted in a 100% salary increase. The problem is, I’m not feeling very passionate about this job (which is something I was afraid of when I decided to make the move). And even though I negotiated a good package for myself when I started here, the raises are only about 3% per year, and I want more than that.

    3. Mostly automation. Your Earn1k isn’t all that great for me in my profession because there is really no way to “freelance” legal work in the way that a software engineer might do it. What I HAVE done is to get a job at the local law school as an instructor/professor, and that has brought in about an extra $7-10k/year, depending on how many courses I teach. It’s very time-consuming, and probably not the best idea in terms of my hourly worth, but it is something I really enjoy and cherish. So it’s a benefit both financially and personally, which is why I’ll continue to do it.

  79. Cornelius

    1. Hell yeah, hell yeah, hell yeah

    2. Improving social fluency, followed closely by finding my passion. By social fluency, i want to understand how to focus on the other person and nudge/persuade them to do what they already want to do, but have yet to act on it due to whatever BS reason they have created.

    I love music. I have always been fascinated with how song writers and producers work together to create songs that tap into people’s emotion. I believe music is my passion, I “haven’t figured out” how to leverage that passion into a career or to generate income.

    3. After reading your book, I negotiated a lower insurance premium with geico, got a few bank and credit card fees waived, and also automated all of my finances. I also took your advice and opened up accounts with Charles schwab and used my great fico score to get a awesome rewards card (that I use for everyday purchases and pay off the balance every month)

  80. Will

    Hi Ramit,

    Thanks for the email, I am a first time poster from the UK. I can tell you that a lot of your techniques resonate across the pond too.

    1. I usually find all of your material interesting and this topic is no different.
    2. I’d be interested to hear a little bit more detail about the science behind willpower. I know we have limited reserves of the stuff which is why it is important to create systems and understand psychology but do you have a set amount of systems, habits and rituals you try to implement at one time? I often try to implement a few at a time which often ends up in at least one failing – is there a way around this or is it simply that one at time is more successful?
    3. I used my own network on LinkedIn to get my CV in front of a internal recruiter at a company I had been trying to get an interview at for months. My previous methods involved using recruiters and applying to a generic careers email at this company. I start at the company tomorrow!


  81. HeyItsMeSJ

    1. Yes
    2. Turning networking/meeting people/shmoozing into job offers
    3. Paid off my credit card debt.

  82. Simone L.

    1. Absolutely. 2012 will be the most important year for me in terms of career development, so I’ll be devouring all your material.

    2. I would love to read more about how to score a job at one of the top tech companies when you’re not an engineer & don’t have an MBA, but “only” an MA and a few years of professional experience (not in a leading role) — and especially when you’re not from the US. The whole process of blowing your own horn is completely different in Europe. Also, when I look at the job offerings, I get the impression that creative thinking and innovation is about engineering/coding or finance & sales. So how can I tweak my resume or what can I do to increase my chances of reaching the next stage without meeting those requirements? I think getting their attention and appearing on their radar as a potential candidate is the most important thing.

    3. I implemented your advice related to developing a strategy to reach my goal, as opposed to “figuring it out” or saying “they’ll never accept me”. I did not realize my business idea yet, but I found it with your material. The fact that every now and then something appeared in my inbox that made me think about the future was both amusing (“wtf, I’ll never do that”) and inspiring (“actually, I might give it a try if I do x, y, and z”). It felt like a kick in the ass that there’s more than one way to reaching a certain goal, so it made me think, develop a concept, and start market / target group research. Also, your performance at #cjLIVE on December 13 was my personal highlight, showing me that my business idea(s) can be about art and creative practice as well.

    How will you know that I’ll take action? Well, I don’t have a choice, I’ll be graduating with an MA in June, so I need to find THE job if I fail with my Ph.D. applications (the “they’ll never accept me” things I mentioned earlier).

    I’m looking forward to your emails.

  83. Dana

    1. It’s highly interesting to me.
    2. I need help most with negotiation. I’ve been in business about 6 months and I know I need to raise my prices but I often find myself low-balling projects for fear that if I request “too much” I may not get enough higher paying clients to cover the deficit. This is a huge thing that I need to fix this year, starting TODAY! I also think having recently moved I need to be more active and known in the community. I know some people in town that are “known” for certain things and people talk about them when they show up to events or are seen out at certain bars. I want to be known locally (and have enough time to be seen at functions – right now, I’m a hermit working away except for weekend evenings).
    3. I have been following your emails and applying some of your free insight to my own personal business approach. I’ve began asking for more money per project, and quite honestly, I have to make these changes if I want to take the business I’m currently making ends meet with into a business that is more profitable. I also noticed a small fee on one of my Credit Cards statements I did not authorize. They were tricky in not including it in the “recent activity” online and I was charged approximately $3-6 per month. I wrote to them complaining and after looking into it, that program was automatically put on my card after someone had tried to use it illegally a year ago and they set me up with all new account info. They refunded me my $90+

    • Ramit Sethi

      You should check out Earn1K. It’s more appropriate for you. It’s closed now but you can research it online for when I open it up later this year.

    • Dana

      Thanks! I’ve read up on it but financially not only do I not have the money to join at this time but I also have credit card debt which I believe I’ve read you don’t accept from your students. I also feel like maybe I am in limbo of that program because I have my idea and am making more than 1k doing it, I actually started doing my dream job on the side before a friend of mine introduced me to your lovely emails – I made 1-1.5k nearly every month on the side, but unfortunately when I left my full time job I realized I had more expenses involved and worse, I don’t always make what I was at my full time job PLUS the additional money. I’m working full time on my own already now, is Earn1k still something I should aim to participate in?


    • Ramit Sethi

      Yep, I have several people who were working FT on their own business, took Earn1K, and their businesses skyrocketed. But please don’t try to join until your CC debt is paid off.

    • Dana

      Awesome thanks! I am pretty interested in that program, have been ever since I read about it but I was unsure if it was fit for where I was at with things.

      I’ll get your book, pay that CC debt off and be in the class soon enough hopefully!

      Thanks again for all the great info/material!

  84. Andy

    1. Absolutely
    2. I’d like to read more about mastering social settings and using them as a way to enhance my career. How to leave a lasting impression on the CEO when you have 30 seconds of his time. How to effectively network and then utilize that network to get the opportunity you want. Methods to follow to become more comfortable in professional social settings . . . etc.
    3. Just grabbed a copy of the IWTYTBR book and signed up for your blog over my holiday break and have already made changes. Set up a ING savings account today, filled out paperwork to transfer my IRAs out of the hands of a useless & overcompensated financial advisor and into a Vanguard account, and am starting a brokerage account with automated transfers this week.

    I’ve been lazy since I got my rear end handed to me when my investments tanked in 2008. I’ve gotten away from disciplined investing and I’m rotting away in a job I could care less about. But I’m finally optimistic about being able to change my position in life. And I’m taking action.

  85. laura

    to answer your question, i have always found networking meetings and get-togethers too planned. i get most of my clients through word-of-mouth, (which, i guess, is a type of networking — albeit a passive one). when I TRY to network at those stupid chamber of commerce type events, or networking meetings, i find it’s a lot of losers standing around handing out business cards … desperately.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Ugh, networking with losers is the worst. I will show how to avoid that entire game and use what I call Natural Networking to surgically hone in. In fact, I’ll show you how in the next few days.

  86. Bharat

    Maybe your target market has the time to read this shitty (a word I’ve never used in a comment before) long-winded post, but next time could you include a link that gets to the point in 10-30 seconds of reading? I will probably subscribe to whatever you’re selling this year, but please respect your audience’s time, if it’s not too much to ask.

    • Ramit Sethi

      No, probably not. Hopefully there are other sites that are more appropriate for you.

  87. Eve

    Ramit, this is awesome.

    1. This is fascinating. I started working this year fresh out of uni – as ‘good’, ‘promising’ kids do (immigrant upbringing seeds the need to be good very deep) in the City of London. I’m bored. The assumptions that got me through school and uni make no sense.

    I want different results. I want passion and purpose in my life regardless of what the economy is doing. And not live confined by fear – because the genuinely huge stuff will never occur to you anyway.

    IWT is great. Helps getting advice on change from someone I can relate to, close to my age, reassuringly interesting in background is great. Takes away the excuse of – step out of the rat race only after you have ‘earned’ the right after years of abuse, just like your parents did.

    2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be? Please be SPECIFIC — write as much as you need to — so I can hook you up with my best stuff.

    2. What process do you use for narrowing down your passion? What if you’re into many things, and are good enough at enough of them to make it difficult to decide on which few to focus so that you can be great? How do you pick your starting point?

    That kind of indecision bites a lot of my friends, and is the cause of my paralysis at the moment too.

    3. I found out about this blog 3 months ago, when I moved to London and started my first job. Got your book, and set up an automated finance system, an ISA with my first paycheck – and actually read all those emails.

    Now I want to let take the next steps with taking that rational, personal approach to my career.

    Thanks for all the material by the way. It makes a difference.

  88. Hooker

    Wow, I for one am looking forward to all of your upcoming info. This was some post. I am 39 and looking at a career change, so I appreciate your insights.

    I don’t lack motivation. I think I lack focus most of all, having trouble deciding on where to put my attention and then keeping it there.

    I’m glad I found your blog.

  89. Terrie

    Wow, Ramit, you’re talking to me. I am almost fifty, went to Stanford, and I am that person who has meandered aboutt. I’m in a passionless career in order to pay the bills and be near family — and my job doesn’t even pay well! I look at my classmates and wonder where did I go wrong? Well, I’ll tell you where I went wrong. I felt so lucky– not entitled, but lucky- for the weak opportunities I had that I didn’t think I could have more or could ask for more. Well, that shit’s played out in 2012 because I’m not getting any younger.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Love the last line. All right, let’s make some big changes this year. Stay tuned.

  90. Paul

    1.Yes, a different though process entirely.
    2. How do you start? It sounds simple, but it stops me cold all of the time. I love going out social dancing. The only way to get better is through getting up and practicing. I know this, yet I will sit there at the club, party, etc wondering how that guy got so good. He practiced, he took classes and lessons. He spent the time. This year, I signed up for classes and lessons. I have blocked out time for practice. Now I just have to start.
    For a dream job, it is much the same. I have small, big and huge ideas of what I want to do. Some take a few bucks, others would literately be millions invested that I don’t have. The research portion is what intrigued me the most. How to hone in ideas and wether or not they are workable.

    3. The advice I use the most is splurge on what is important, cut everything else. I sold the big fancy truck I couldn’t afford. I moved to a smaller house with roommates to cut back on rent. I used this money to set a fixed amount every month that goes to paying down debt. I used the money left to further study It isn’t fancy, but it is working.

  91. James

    I’d like to see more on how to practically test your assumptions/invisible scripts. It makes a lot of sense to me but I have a tough time making it actionable.

  92. Bob Schad

    Yes job searching is a very interesting topic for me right now and into my future as I am trying to relocate and then go back to school to get the education I need to get my dream job. I am finding it very hard to make it through human resources and other barriers to even talk to leadership at new hospitals about potential job openings. I am a highly qualified and confident applicant and I would love to know I’m doing the best job I can in letting a potential employer know that.

    I would have to request that you write about interviewing and negotiating Also if you can how to negotiate with hospitals and health care settings in general. When you ask for more than your 50 cent raise here they can only tell you that’s where you fall on “our pay scale” even when you present the evidence that you do more than most of your co workers combined to increase efficiency and save the hospital money.

    I have in the past year honed my automatic payment and automatic investments that you taught me in your book. I have also strongly considered joining the earn 1k but it was not the right time for me. I know that’s just an excuse but it’s the truth right now as I would not be able to put in the effort I would feel necessary to be a success.

  93. Will G.

    Hi Ramit,

    I was laid off in mid-2009 and when you released your Earn1K course in early 2010, I had completely lost track of the course of my life. I’m the guy that always has a plan and always knows where I’m going, but being laid off killed that in me. I signed up for Earn1K and partially got my ass back in gear doing photography and IT consulting for photographers, but I just never took your course to heart like I needed to. It took more than a year of finding crappy gigs here and there before I really put your material to good use. I started targeting my photo IT consulting clients much more efficiently and this got me a lead on a true dream job for me. I sent the CEO an email (I still read this email almost monthly) using the scripts you outlined for freelance clients daring him to go to coffee with me and had a response with a date and time within 2 hours. It is really my own dumb luck that this all worked out because I was looking for this CEO to introduce me to his clients for me to sell my services to and after the coffee date, I had a job offer. I even remember telling this CEO over coffee that “the last thing I want right now is a full time job.” Go figure.

    Now, here I am 8 months into a job I like a lot and looking for a raise and more responsibility. But, this time, I’m not finding that dumb luck and keep rolling over and saying to myself “I’ll figure it out.” Seems I’ve heard that somewhere else recently…

    So yes! I am extremely interested in this material! I tried to get a scholarship app together for Dream Job Elite, but with the short turnaround time, I wasn’t able to get the app to a point where I felt it was worth submitting. I love that you are going to continue down this path so I can gain the knowledge I need to make major career advancements in 2012!

    I am most interested in learning more about negotiation. I recently presented a plan to my boss (the CEO) to generate a significantly larger amount of revenue through our website and he loved it. Then, a week later, I asked about it again, and his response was “what, do you think you are in charge of our website now?” We currently have no clear person in charge so I am trying to take the helm, so his response really took the wind out of my sail on the plan I spent months working on. So now what?

    Also, I need to enhance my social skills. I see very clearly now how a good network can find dream jobs but I find myself being lazy and not knowing who to ask to coffee or even what to talk about while I am there with them. I’m always the guy who has nothing better to talk about with strangers than my job and their job and where your from and so on. Boring conversation for most and I need to figure out how to strike up good, stimulating conversation that leaves a lasting impact on the other party. I don’t see myself being the life of a party, but I do know that I am capable of having these great conversations and I feel like this will help me to be invited to even more social events to meet more people.

    I’ve used the advice in your book and blog to completely automate my finances, I have a $100 credit card balance currently, and I am making huge strides in paying off my student loans each month. I also love latte and enjoying my life, so your teachings speaks to me much more than pretty much everyone else out there. Thank you for devoting you career to helping folks like me.

    Finally, the production value on the three videos above is superb! You sure have come a long way in that front since the first Earn1K. Being a photographer, I always notice the visuals and you have really come a long way. Happy 2012 and here’s to a great and rewarding year for us!



  94. Marcella Burnard

    Interested. Have the passion – doing (and selling) the work, but now it’s time to learn the lessons that will teach me to blow sales out of orbit.

    Need Networking badly (I am a geek, ergo, socially less adept than some of my peers. Scripts are brilliant because then I do not have to be.)

  95. Deborah

    1) Yes
    2) Passion: How to go from your list of what you love to do to figuring out what job is your passion. Need more info about social networking and how that helps/works.
    3) After my car insurance went up 2 x within the last 2-3 months, I called them and was able to save $540 per year! I did spend 1.5 hours on the phone doing this and got apt. insurance which leaves me with peace of mind, all thanks to you.
    4) Did the briefcase trick and it worked like a charm – got a job within 4 days.

  96. Nathalie

    1. Yes please.
    2. Social relations and negotiating. I am moving country soon and will live in a town where I’ll know no-one so I’ll need to get out there to meet with new people, create new contacts,….
    3. I’ve started automating finances and saved. As a result, I am moving and will be able to support myself while I’m building a business.
    p.s. thank you for your video with Chase Jarvis. I really enjoyed it.

  97. Lilace Guignard

    1. Absolutely
    2. Interviewing and negotiations primarily. Also resumes, but I work in higher ed so it’s a bit different on the page (resume vs cv). There are a lot of unwritten rules about what you can and cannot negotiate for once you are hired or if you are part-time (like I am). I’d like to use your tips to bust out of that box.
    3. What I’ve used from you this past year is to re-market myself in an area I didn’t have as much experience when the adjunct opportunities in my primary field ran out at the local university. I’m in a very rural place–by choice–and my husband is a full prof/PhD. The university s the best paying gig around and I only want to teach part-time. When adjuncts in the English Dept. were dropped because of the budget and because all full-time faculty were qualified to teach composition, I started looking around at other departments. I have a lot of experience outdoors but no degrees, so while I really wanted to be involved in the new outdoor recreation leadership program taught by part-timers I didn’t think I was qualified. At first. But I was reading your stuff so much I started thinking differently, reframing my experience and highlighting the ways all my academic training would help (the folks with practical exp. that didn’t have experience teaching were not doing so well), and recalling all the practical experience I’d forgotten about or hadn’t given myself enough credit for. Long story short, I am now the main part-timer, teach the core courses, and am building the program in ways my chair is thrilled with. Now I want to learn how to negotiate a better, more secure deal than most part-timers have in higehr ed. Specifically, I want to gain permanent part-time status, which comes with benefits. We are in a time when even tenure-track profs are getting retrenched, but I’m committed to letting go of what I can’t control and forging ahead. I know what I have to offer them. I want to find out from you the best strategies for negotiating within this rigid structure.

  98. Angie

    Hi Ramit, for me the “problem” with your advice is that I get all excited reading/hearing it and I really think that you are saying the right things, but I am not yet able to actually DO your advice, I mean getting active and get my butt off the couch. I just do not know where to start. Money is really tight for me and I know I need your tips more than everything else. But I kind of think; “Yeah, he is right, but he is in a much higher league than I am”. Damn, I have this feeling of: if only Ramit would take my hand and guide me through that money/dream job jungle…. Saying all this, I will tell you something that makes you probably laugh (or cry, lol): I am a lawyer in Germany, should not be in a position to worry about money at all…..

  99. Susy

    1. Yes!
    2. Finding my passion…negotiating and social skills. I am a chemical engineer and I hate it!!!! Ideally I want to have my own business; I have been a wantaprenuer since I graduated college 6 years ago. My biggest challenge has been finding something to do that doesn’t feel like “work” and that will let me have a flexible schedule. I am also pretty shy, so socials skills are a must. And I have no clue how to negotiate, but would love to become bad ass at it.
    3. I just started following your blog…

  100. April

    I’m self-employed, but I wish more people with regular jobs would read this stuff — then maybe I wouldn’t have to suffer through stories about how So-And-So graduated with a 4.0 from Ivy League University and can only get a job waiting tables at Applebees. Then everyone shakes their heads at the state of the economy, and I have to bite my lip to stop myself from saying “What a dumbass!”

    1. Yes, even though I don’t want a 9-to-5 because E1K helped me quit mine! 🙂 I’m really interested in the part on finding your passion, though. While I like what I do, I feel like there’s more out there to explore — still writing, but writing about other things.
    2. I want to learn everything, do everything, go everywhere, and the result is that I wind up not doing much of any of it. How do you narrow down your passion if there are too many things you think you want to do? How do you test each avenue and then stay focused on one?
    3. I used the 30-60-90 day plan to get a new client. I outlined how I’d get started, and I didn’t even have to negotiate to close the deal. I got a “Sounds great, when can you start”?

  101. Rob

    Hey Ramit,

    Great questions. I’ve put together a couple of answers for you:

    1. This is definitely interesting, as social interaction is the basis of everything. However, like cutting the onion, you can always learn a better way to do things – and you might not have known it exists.

    2. Negotiation and Social Skills. Sometimes you don’t get a chance to hand in a well crafted Resume or have an organised interview when an opportunity comes along, and it’s important to be able to assess and act on it as best as possible. If you can’t capitalise, forget it.

    With Negotiation, I’d like to learn more on your thoughts about the nitty gritty. Specifically:
    + how the “best” can get 2x – 5x greater pay from a company than their peers (Quora Link, first response)
    + how to best demonstrate value before, during and after (beyond the brief case technique)
    + how to best prepare for negotiations – both on the spot (or, alternatively, how to gracefully put them off) and in advance

    And Social Skills, I think there’s always more to be learned. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on both the philosophical and tactical sides.

    3. a) I cut out shit that I didn’t need at the time. Specifically, it was the IWTYTBR email, which I emailed you about in November. This year is a year of Consolidation, so I’ll be picking up a copy of the book (consolidate finance).
    b) I used a variation of the briefcase technique for cold emails, and then for closing other freelance jobs.

    – I want to learn more, build more and earn more. Order not necessary.


  102. Jared

    1. Definitely.

    2. I’m extremely interested in how to systematically approach finding your passion. As a renaissance soul, I’m interested in just about everything…yet much of that interest is surface level. I want to know a little about everything, but most things I’m not willing to take the time to put in the effort to become knowledgeable or skilled in. I want to employ a systematic approach to identify what interest(s) I am passionate enough about, so I can devote my time and energy to the places I want to go in deep, instead of distributing it across a huge range of activities and seeing few results. Additionally, I continue to be interested in a concrete method for turning this passion into a job, and building, maintaining and employing an effective and mutually-beneficial network.

    3. I stopped applying for jobs via random job search websites and devoting time to updating my resume and firing it off to random potential matches. I began reading this blog, signed up for the newsletter, and added a daily task of checking for updates/new posts. I watched the 80/20 Guide video and continue to work through the other bonus material, and am taking notes and highlighting specific techniques to employ. Phase 2 is prioritizing and employing these methods, with the first step being asking a successful local photographer out for coffee.

    Looking forward to 2012 and all the new material!

  103. Annie

    Hi Ramit,
    I am relatively new to your blog. I read your book and find what you gave to say very interesting and insightful. As for what interests me, I just started a new job and want to make the most of not only what I do but learn from everyone else around me. I would love to see info about how to intelligently approach upper management and my co-workers to learn and aquire new skills to add to my portfolio. Also, I want to incorporate a side income to help pay bills and live life! I can’t tell you how the results of your advice will work with me…but I can promise to give you updates and really pay it forward when I can. Also, I will be getting my Master’s degree in May and the job I am in will not recognize the degree as an influence for a raise. How can I persuade them that getting my Master’s is important to my position? There is probably more, but cannot think of it now.

    Thank you!! Happy New Year!

  104. Jennifer

    This information was very useful! Since using your stuff I’ve been testing my assumptions more, moving past excuses. I’ve been getting out into the world more by finding people to help me solve problems instead of me “figuring it out” on my own. Your advice has saved me years of frustration.

  105. Bruce

    1. Yes, this is interesting.

    2. Salary Negotiation At Big Companies: At the big company (+40,000 employees), salaries are based on defined ranges and the whole process seems bureaucratic. What is the best way to approach salary discussions at large firms where so much is defined by HR departments?

    3. I started freelance writing in November 2011. In December 2011, I earned over $1000. I’m on track to earn over $1000 in January, but I want to get that up to $3000/month. The Earn 1K material helped inspire me to do this. Specifically, the concept of qualifiying prospects (able to and willing to paying for work) helped. Further, I was inspired to get to work on my freelancing when I received news of my salary increase for 2012 – only a $1500 increase. Increasing my income through freelancing seems far easier and faster than attempting to get increases at the large company I work at.

  106. Omar

    Explain the step by step process in helping someone find their passion(s) they want to make money on.

    No making a list until you cry bullshit.

  107. Kristi

    1. Definitely interesting

    2. Social skills/psychology, interviewing (personal brand messaging and how many questions to counter with), negotiation (ENTIRE compensation package, financial affairs like credit cards, recurring utilities and major purchases), research phase of dream job (websites & other places you research the companies and individuals, how to find red flags like lawsuits) and finally, how to ask a potential employer about possible red flags I encounter during my research phase (rumors discovered through common acquaintances that cannot be verified by internet searches).

    3. I am focusing far less on cost cutting and putting energy and time into networking with high achievers and coaches in my healthcare field. Our finances are 95% automated and I successfully got AMEX to drop our APR on credit card. Bank of America would not waive the annual fee, foreign transaction fees or lower our APR, however, I plan to call monthly until they do. We do not carry balances, so the APR isn’t so important, but learning negotiation is. I’m currently interviewing for my dream job and have made it past stage 3 of interviews. I’ve practiced deferring salary discussions until I know they are ready to hire me and it has worked delightfully well. I’ve also discovered it is a great tool to weed out those employers who are looking for a cheap deal instead of the right candidate.

    Thank you for your tireless devotion to excellence, Ramit.

    • Kristi

      Oh, and I used my brainstorming from Earn1K to negotiate a trade with my personal training gym. My photography for monthly dues. Win-win.

  108. Pilar

    Good evening Ramit,

    1. Absolutely

    2. Negotiation. I found out about you through your interview with Chase Jarvis, amazing program. I’m a photographer, sure about what my passion is, but getting wrong about marketing techniques or skills; it is complicated to establish a price on a creative work. Must the artist assume this part of the negotiation? Sometimes have to sacrifice any remuneration to pursue a passion and made the artistic work even knowing it`ll be for free. Is that part non-negotiable?

    3. I think I have experience, skill, enthusiasm, but I`m using the wrong tools; I am desiring to know the mistakes and fix them, learn continuously and your words help so much; I am committed to my career and will certainly follow any of your advices; by now I’ve changed the way I present my portfolio and my cards, no doubt.

    Cheers and Thanks Ramit. All the best for 2012!

  109. Gina Campanile

    1. Yes!
    2. Finding your passion.
    3. Automating my finances–so simple and effective. I’ve recommended your book/site to all my family.

  110. Jenn Mc

    1. Yes
    2. Social Skills – I need to learn to network more strategically. Most of my circle are people that I have something in common with (duh). I need to learn to network with those that I may not have much in common with. For example, most males in the workplace revert to sports talk before meetings. I dislike sports so I’m out of the loop.
    3. Through your strategies I have identified my Dream Job (I’m in first runner up right now) and I am taking steps to network and gain experience for this (teaching) position.

  111. Ray Johnson

    1. This is interesting to me
    2. I would like to know more about how to interview and landing interviews .

    3. I have started researching a potential career in marketing. This has led to me working on creating my first marketing plan.

  112. twong

    1. Yes, I’m interested in this material.

    2. The one thing that I want Ramit to write about…

    How do I identify the people who have my dream job, talk to them face-to-face and then get there myself?

    My dream job is one that will allow me to live a high lifestyle in an awesome, downtown area of a beautiful, coastal city, e.g. San Francisco, New York City, Vancouver, Hong Kong, etc.

    So far, my best technique of finding such a job is to go on LinkedIn and search for all jobs earning $100,000+/yr and within X kilometers of the said cities.

    I have some vague notions of people working in finance or medicine who are making such sums of money and living in such areas… but that’s all they are – vague and untested notions. e.g. Is $100,000/yr even enough to power such lifestyles? I don’t know.

    How do I find out who to talk to and find out what kind of game they had to play and win to earn such a lifestyle?

    I feel that I can’t use the IWT dream job tactics (e.g. interviewing, salary negotiation, etc.) unless I can direct them toward one, clear dream job that I want to find.

    3. Action that I have taken May to December 2011 (since I graduated)

    I attached all my checking, savings and credit card accounts to Mint. Now, I see all account activity and income/expenditure statistics from Mint and I only log into the other accounts to move money if necessary.

    I setup a no fee, no minimum balance checking account at a big 5 Canadian bank that has convenient branch locations and a much better online interface. My previous bank didn’t offer no fee accounts, didn’t have convenient branch locations and had a bad interface (in retrospect).

    I setup a no fee Visa card with minor rewards and negotiated a $5,000 credit limit simply by making the bank representative “go first” when he asked me what kind of limit I wanted. The rep gave me $5,000 because my credit history was “disciplined”, when I really wanted $2,500 because my student credit card was $1,500.

    I setup a tax-free savings account at ING Canada and moved most of my money there except what needed to be in checking.

    I moved all of my expenditure to my new Visa card and automated the bill payment. I also automated most of my other bills.

    I have taken more action in my personal finance area than ever before and these results/past-action do increase my likelihood of following through with future IWT tips but I still worry…

    … because my finances were never seriously dysfunctional, so using IWT tips to build my personal financial system wasn’t that hard. Comparatively, I haven’t taken any action to finding that job that will let me live in the city, I got stuck with a job that I took because I didn’t have alternatives and this dream job thing is a WHOLE LOT HARDER.

  113. ReneeFrancesConn


    Happy New Year Ramit and Crew!

    This one was not on the list….but I think it would be helpful to me. Maitaining focus. Passion, I’ve got plenty of it….for plenty of ideas some I’ve taken almost to the tipping point. How to keep the faith and the laser focus required to take it to the next level.

    Understanding networking: Once upon a time I had it, after the death of my second parent, I went into hiding and although I didn’t burn bridges, I slacked on maitaining relationships for years. I still feel disconnected and want to change my attitude toward networking.

    Improving social fluency: I’m not even sure I understand what this is, so I think it must need to be improved.

    I was just watching the Chase Jarvis LIVE interview with you, while I’m working on designing a market research project. Love to get this email from you at the very moment I am being inspired by you.

    Funny to realize that all the great work you’ve gifted to me over the last year, I find myself wanting to make you proud. Maybe this is kind of weird.

    I want to be sucessful for my self and to make a postive contribution to family and community but I am also really grateful to the business muses who have inspired me to be my best. I see thse qualities in your approach to success, its more than money, its a way of living and contributing.

    Thanks again,

  114. Austin Yoder


    Screw people who complain about the length of your posts or emails. They must not get many lengthy emails, so can’t compare quality-length to fluff. The writing, videos, topical content of your emails and posts is not the only thing people can learn from here. There are lessons beneath the surface.

    Thanks for taking the time to put together such thoughtful resources for the internets. I’ll sign up for whatever list you’ve got so I can study the writing.

    Peace and happy 2012!

  115. terry

    1. Very interesting.
    2. Several things, resumes, interviewing, and engaging business plans.
    3. Automating my life. It has truly been transformational. I had no idea how much time I was wasting on the small daily/weekly/monthly tasks.

  116. Alex Berman

    Hey Ramit,
    1. This is exactly what I was planning on doing this year regardless of DJE.
    2. I would love to know exactly where to start. How do you find what you want to do? How do you research companies? Once you have a list of companies, how do you get over the self doubt or the lingering feeling of “this isn’t what I want to do?” What happens after you’ve been at the job for a few months, the novelty wears off and you’ve mastered what they’re having you do?
    I worked at a Jimmy John’s doing deliveries and mastered that in a week. I interned at a radio station, took on a crazy amount of responsibility (the audio engineer and show producer both would leave the room while I ran the talk show) but even that got boring and monotonous.
    Ramit, I’m not afraid to try new things, I’m not afraid to acquire new skills, but I hit these walls of achievement, realize the skill I though was impossible was much easier than I thought it was, and then lose interest.
    I’m excited about your course, and glad that you picked this year specifically to be the dream job year. This is my last year in college and my mom is paying me a weekly allowance; I’ve had no problem achieving specific goals in the past, and I’m excited.
    I’m dedicated, and I work toward what I want, and having a job that matters is what I want.
    3. I started reading your blog last February, and after reading a few posts, I went out and bought the book. Since then my savings have been automated, and I’m building credit (I did everything you suggested). I’m way happier than I was last year, and I am looking forward to another great one.

  117. Laura

    Interesting? I’m devouring every word, link and video!

    I’ve found my passion…I’ve even been able to early a fairly decent living as a working artist and event producer. But I want more: I want to be fired up about my work, so much so that I engage the best clients with my enthusiasm and expertise and command rates that allow me to stop living paycheck to paycheck.

    In the last week, have opened a Schwab checking account and automated my bills. Now it’s time to automate savings.

    Thanks so much for all you do!

  118. Arti K

    1) Yes! And I’ve been looking forward to your posts and emails on the subject. I have a ‘dream job’ search going on right now, and I’ve been incorporating all your advice to date in my job search. It’s been working (will provide more details in #3)

    2) Networking – You mention ‘Natural Networking’ in the post and in one of your responses to the comments above, and I really want to master this. Scripts will help, but what would be awesome is to get in the heads of people you want to network with, and anticipate what they need even when it might look like you have nothing to offer them.

    3) I’ve learnt so much from your various posts this year on Earn1K and Dream Job, from your book, from your videos and livecasts (bravo on the Chase Jarvis video.. incredible!).

    Couple of things I’ve done in the past year as a direct result of your materials –
    signed up for a balance transfer of several thousand dollars, but to do that, I had to get them to increase my credit limit by almost the same amount (because I wanted my debt utilization ratio to stay about the same). Requested a credit limit increase with the first representative on the phone, got a measly $500 increase, refused to take no for an answer, kept insisting I needed a much larger increase, stayed on the phone with at least three other reps and GOT EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED. This would not have happened without your book.

    Dream job search – stopped worrying about my resume (after optimizing it, getting it reviewed by 3 people, and quantifying every single achievement), stopped sending my resume into the ‘black hole’, recently interviewed with a recruiter who complimented me on being ready with an answer for how I was a great fit for every single aspect of the job, regardless of whether I was ‘qualified’ on paper. Ramit, I was mentally thanking you.

  119. Vincenzo

    1. Is this interesting to you?
    yes your tips are very good
    2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be? Please be SPECIFIC — write as much as you need to — so I can hook you up with my best stuff.
    I am trying to find my passion. I am 50 and a jack of all trades, I service my cars and motorbikes, I carry out repairs on my house, boiler, washing machine, fix appliances, i will try to repair any item. I have built a brand new drive from design to install with my wife (design and hard work dad). From leaving school, I worked in mechanics, telecommunications, went to college at 35 changed career to social work, I enjoy working with people. I worked in a secure unit then changed again back into Networking, took cisco exams. changed career again after made redundant 3 times. started a Self employed catering van franchise worked hard for 3 years and the company ended in receivership. I am back in employment working in Network communications.
    I have the tenacity to aim and work toward a goal when i set the goal. I want to leave my job and be self employed so i have more control when i want to take holidays. I also would like a few more toys, eg a nice ferrari or new Ducati motorcycle to replace my older one.
    I am finding it hard to focus on a product, muse or service to start.

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.
    i started the franchise from wanting to go self employed. I started college from working out a plan of wanting to go into social work. I passed cisco exams from working out a plan. I got into my first it job with only it exams and working in a secure unit.
    I just feel i need some help to move into my next business that i start up.
    regards vinnychoff

  120. Kay

    1. Oh yes, cannot wait for the content to be released. I could have used this years ago. Perfect timing.

    2. When I had my first office job, I did really well and got a raise (without negotiation) and a promotion (when the position was open and I applied for it). They all told me I was a star and had tons of potential but the job was dead end and boring, so I opted to be laid off instead. Anyways, had I actually known anything about career management/interviewing/networking (of which I am horrible at) I could have spared myself the pain of being trying to find a decent job. Now I am in the same type of position again (boss loves me and gave me a promotion and a raise) but this time I do not want to waste another year in this position with no goals in sight. I am definitely interested in how to get a foothold in different positions/industries and not have to waste potentially 2-3 years earning a degree that was never needed in the first place.

    3. I have used your strategies to help waive my overdraft fees and also I have followed your strategies for automatically saving money from your book

  121. Comet

    1. Everything I’ve read or viewed of yours has been very interesting and applicable.
    2. I think it would be very helpful to have information on engaging other people. I am a very friendly and welcoming person and I have a dynamic personality. I am very comfortable in conversation with others. I could use help in getting interaction started, whether it is socially, teaching, business related or networking. I just never feel comfortable finding a starting place in engaging others.
    3. I have applied the information you provided about negotiation in my life. Being a college student struggling to get by, any money I have goes towards food and gas. Since money is not a significant negotiating tool for me, I have found other ways to negotiate. I negotiated a free 2 night stay at a lodge by being the DD for the weekend (I also drove someone else’s car so I didn’t spend any money on gas).
    I have applied your Craigslist Penis Effect principle to my physical activity. Every day, I at least do something active. I have found some good, quick workouts that I can easily incorporate even on a day when I am very busy.
    My next step is to apply your preparation strategies for finding my dream job. I will be graduating in May, following my semester of student teaching. I am in the process of preparing to be memorable.

    Thanks Ramit!!!

  122. Andrew

    1) YES!!!
    2) I would like to learn about meeting more women, especially in non-bar settings, social psychology, and leadership.
    This might be too far off topic but, most of all, I would LOVE anything that pertains to academia. I am getting a Ph.D. in a scientific field and I would love to stay in the field after I graduate, but the academic path is extremely constricting — oftentimes, you don’t have a choice as to where you end up, you only get one job offer and you either take it or you don’t. A silver bullet like the briefcase method, but more specific to academia and science, would be phenomenal.
    3) I automated my finances a couple of years ago, and have saved up more than $2,500 on a grad TA salary of less than $20,000 a year (before taxes) plus money from tutoring on the side. I have used your scripts to negotiate away fees and reduce my bills — most recently, I got a $25 AMEX fee removed, and I negotiated with DirecTV to get my NFL Sunday Ticket package at half-off without signing a contract. Finally, this past semester I doubled my tutoring rates from $20/hr to $40-50/hr (50 if I drive to the student’s house, 40 if they meet me on campus). I did this despite the fact that all the other tutors with my education level were charging $12-20/hr, and have been very successful with it — so successful, in fact, that some of the other tutors have since raised their rates to $30/hr.

  123. Steve

    1. Incredibly interested. This post has prompted me to reflect on my experiences in the past year, while attempting to pursue a “better living” (for me : more money and free time, with enjoyment in each day. Not much to ask for right?)
    2. I feel like I could use your advice for pretty much all of the topics you listed relating to finding your passion.
    Finding you passion – I have found small successes in my career path to this point because I pride myself on achievement and won’t allow myself to fail at any task I take on. This attitude has not been carried over into finding my passion, as I have been afraid to start at the bottom, and ultimately fail at a new path. This fear has lead me to undermine each career idea that comes to mind before it is researched.
    Interviewing – I actually do well in interviews, but in the last year failed to land a great opportunity. I justified this to myself because it was down to me and another candidate. He had qualifications that better suited the role, and they were interested in keeping my info on file for future opportunities. This never panned out, so I suppose tactics on follow up and networking would aid me.
    Resume – I have never received a great response from my resume, but have been able to get by because I usually land interviews through my network, where I felt the resume was not a deal breaker. After reading this post, I feel like maybe this might have cost me opportunities.I also feel a more effective resume would help me land higher profile positions.
    Negotiation – I have attempted to negotiate better salaries recently, but was told my company had frozen salaries with the economy in the state it has been in. I accepted that and continued to plug away by saving and/or making the company money. In retrospect I should have asked for target or performance metrics that I could be measured by, and if those were achieved, they would put the company in a position where they could increase my salary.
    Social Skills – I have always been somewhat of an introvert. I seem to be afraid to offer my opinion in fear that I may be judged or crucified by it. There was a period of time when when I pressed myself to become more outgoing and found success in this area, but it definitely puts me out of my comfort zone, and is something I need to continually work at.
    3. In the last year I have implemented many of the strategies in your book including using my travel rewards credit card to make everyday purchases, and I pay this off weekly. I have actually just booked flights for my wife and I to Hawaii using these points.

  124. Kelleigh

    Hi Ramit –

    Yes this is very interesting to me and great timing. I’m “mid-career” (early 40’s…) been working for 20+ years and I don’t know where to go next. I need help with both finding my passion and negotiation. I really suck at that.. no matter how prepared I seem to be it never goes the way I’d expect. I always end up caving in and settling.. not sure how to fix that or what I’m doing wrong. I have a decent job, but I know I could do better. I often take on learning new skills or roles (that the company needs or wants – often they ask) and enjoy doing that, but it never seems to help my position within the company – when review time rolls around I get great reviews, but everything else is swept under the rug. I feel stuck.

    I just found you, so I haven’t implemented anything yet, but I’m looking forward to learning more!

    Great post! Happy New Year!

  125. Lesley Myrick

    Ramit, I’d love to learn more about negotiating a great salary. I’m an artist and interior designer, and I work in a creative job as a copywriter and design blogger. Because I don’t directly produce revenue for the company, I find it challenging to negotiate a salary because I don’t have any specific numbers or stats that I can present to back up my work. Thanks!

  126. Patrick

    If this wasn’t interesting and motivating as all hell, I wouldn’t be leaving a comment right now.

    Interviewing and negotiation would be my two biggest wants for reading material from you. Looking to make a career altering change in which I want to look back 20 years from now and say fuck yes Ramit, fuck yes.

    I’ve automated all of my bills and have started my own company to increase my revenue instead of cutting back on lattes and other pity ass expenses.

  127. Odette Bradshaw-Sheeley

    Yes, yes, yes – this is interesting to me. Like several others above, I’m no longer young and have spent way too many years being one of the herd.

    I am very interested in having a better script for contacting potential mentors. One of the things that I’ve done after receiving many of your emails is to take a deep breath and send an email to a perfect stranger and ask them to lunch, Only one, but damn, that was hard! I haven’t heard back yet, but I feel really good about taking that first step. Having said that, I felt awkward – like I was asking for something for nothing and was constantly second guessing what I was writing. I’m sure there had to be a better approach.

    Of course, that also makes it apparent that I need help with the words to use to approach potential clients.

  128. Mark Hanson

    As a photographer how do you get Creative Directors and Art Directors to trust you enough to give you a chance over someone they are already using and how do you get them to agree to a meeting with you?

  129. Michael

    Ramit, i’m 61. I worked for 20+ years at a job that i really loved and excelled at, but ultimately reached an executive level where my day-to-day tactical way of dealing with issues at the job, combined with an economic downturn (of 10 years ago), ended up in a lay-off – after i had laid off most of the people that worked for me, it became my turn. I had kept my head down, working diligently, enjoying, excelling, pleasing customers, but it ended up not being enough. I kept telling myself i’d figure it out. I’ve spent the last 10 years starting a moderately successful business, learning some of the lessons i *should* have had nailed when i had that executive position. At 60, and given my love of what i do, i don’t really expect to retire, per se, for a long, long time yet. Your message is just as relevant to an “old guy”, and perhaps even more urgent, since we have even less time remaining to make a difference for our descendants and our legacy.

    Love your attitude, your blog, your message, your lessons. Thank you!

    • Brian

      I guess I could still be considered a “young guy” and I love this sentence:

      “Your message is just as relevant to an “old guy”, and perhaps even more urgent, since we have even less time remaining to make a difference for our descendants and our legacy.”

      I hope 2012 is a great year for your business.

  130. Thadeu Freitas

    1. Yes, this is very interesting to me.

    2. I am 35 years old and I would like to read about finding my passion. I’ve had a number of different roles throughout my career so far and now it’s time to specialize. They have all been generalist type roles, most related to data analysis and building reports. I have lots of different interests and I used to be afraid of picking one in detriment of another but I am OK with that now.
    My only insecurity is that I enjoy technical stuff and I feel that people much younger than me are light years ahead. To be specific, I have always enjoyed programming but have only done it as a hobby, except for some situations at work where I had the opportunity to put it to good use.

    3. In regards to IWT advice, last year I have:
    1. Set up my SMART goal of earning money on the side;
    2. Worked through the ideas spreadsheet to figure out what I could offer;
    3. I’ve asked some colleagues at work what they think I am good at;
    4. I have NOT been wasting time with tasks that do not help me get three paying clients, like making business cards, social media, etc.

    I am not afraid nor lazy of doing the work required to succeed. I just need to be given some direction.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Ramit Sethi

      I can definitely help. Stay tuned.

  131. L Short

    Thank you for the great post.

    This is extremely interesting to me

    Previously I worked a shit job in my early 20’s. I am now 25 and am working as a 9-5 photographer for a small company. Specifically I would love to figure out a way to quantify the importance of what I do to my boss in order to secure a better salary in the future. He considers me an important part of the company but I need to find a way to show that the quality of work I produce has increased the bottom line.

    Finding a way to quantify how what I do on a daily basis in my 9-5 photo job is the key between me getting a small raise and quite possibly being one of the higher paid, and higher valued employees in the company. It would be foolish not to implement it.

    • L Short

      As a side note I am new to your blog and have loved every bit of it so far. I have Chase Jarvis to thank for finding your great advice.

  132. Patty

    1, Yep, this is interesting to me . . .
    2. Finding you passion. I think many entrepreneurs have three of more ideas rambling around inside their head, and find it difficult to isolate/dedicate themselves to nurturing one idea.
    3. One of your posts focused on asking five questions to distill how to achieve a goal – from “I want to lose weight and get into shape” to “I will visit the gym twice a week and work out for an hour” – again, people with multiple ideas seem to need direction to funnel energy into just one of them.

  133. James Robertson

    This comes at the perfect time for me because I will be getting married in 2012 and this has cause me to reflect a lot recently about what where I am & want to be in my career.

    I’m very interested in the shallow steps you describe to start to find my passion and the additional research that will increase the likely hood for success later on in the dream job search.

    With the last couple years I’ve used your framework for automating my financies to simple my life & save for retirement.

  134. David

    Hi Ramit,

    New to the site, learned of you from the Fortune article.

    1) Yes this is very interesting, I think I am pretty well automated and will be purchasing your book for more insight, if that is my best option (see #2)

    2) I am a wealth manager relatively new to Seattle, most of my clients are on the opposite coast from where I live now. I am in my dream job, I love investing, I think any networking advice you have would really help me. What I am looking to do is add more high net worth clients in my area. I am hyper-confident in my method of investing, I hate going out and selling myself. I’ve never had a client leave, once they’re in they stay in, I need help in attracting them to my business. I’d also love to see the interview advice you gave to the big-time hedge fund candidate.

    3) Just got on the site in the last few days so nothing implemented yet (except I automated a few more things). Should I grab the book or something else? Oh I have no debt except a mortgage.

    thanks, digging what I see so far!


  135. Joshua

    1. Yes!

    2. How to balance between a full time job and freelancing. Last year I managed to up my income by getting jobs on the side but as a result it totally drained me because I could only work on them after my full time job. My health took a toll and this year I’m reassessing how to do this better so that I can still continue to increase my income without killing myself in the process. The way I see it, aside from cutting back on timesuckers activities, increasing my productivity and possibly outsource some of the things I do for my clients, I also need to find higher paying clients or increase the value of my services without sounding like a sleaze bag.

    Talking about any of the things I’ve mentioned would be great.

    3. I’ve tested several of my freelancing ideas and now have an additional long term client that has increased my income by an extra $300+ a month. I’ve also renegotiated my salary and had a 20 percent increase.

  136. Tammy

    1. Great post
    2. I would like to learn more about interviewing, social skills, networking, and a little about finding your passion. For interviewing, I want to know more about body language, how to speak, and how to be more natural. I’m quite awkward and it takes tremendous effort to sound natural. For social skills, its the same as interviewing, I need to be more natural and less akward. I also don’t have much to say. For networking, I just don’t get it, know how to build a better one, or how to use it. I have a few prospects but I’m not sure about how to ask them out for coffee. And for finding your passion, I’d it if you could talk about those that find it and then leave it years later for another one.
    3. I found your site through Budgets Are Sexy about 5 days to a week ago and joined the mailing list about a few days ago. So, I have been reading and watching your 30 day hustling series. I have narrowed down my freelance idea to two and I’m leaning towards one, I began researching my prospective clients last night, I found out where I can test my theories and ask the prospects what they want, right now I’m trying to implement the briefcase method and how I’m going to approach them. But I know where I’m looking is the wrong place. At this point I’m still researching.
    I’m going to create a freelance side business to increase my income. Have been trying since beginning of 2011 with little ideas or understanding of how to do it. “If u can’t find a job, create one.” I’m 20 and I’m using my time wisely. (^_^)

  137. Luke

    Nice! That was a ridiculous amount of info to give away for free – thank you! This topic might be a little out of your area but since you recommend automating I thought I would throw it out there. It could be related to social skills. I’m sure most of the readers have a people in their social circle that we consider to be our closest friends as well a significant other. I really do want to invest in those relationships but at times they get put on the back burner. Specifically with the significant other I would love to be able to be a more loving and romantic partner. Is there a way to apply automation to those social relationships? Would love to see a post about that! As always thank you for doing what you do and the thought you put into these posts! PEACE!

    • Ramit Sethi

      Thanks man. Just so I’m clear…you want me to help you automate your relationship with your significant other?

    • Angie

      Now I am looking really forward to Ramits answer 🙂
      This is a question that could never come from me. My problem is exactly the opposite. I am perfect in investing in people and loved ones, only the making money question is unsolvable to me:-)

    • Luke

      Haha, I know that sounds bad, but just as most people get lazy financially I get lazy romantically. To clarify, is there a way to apply automation to relationships? Can we put systems in place that direct our romantic “capital” to the best accounts? Horrible analogy. May not be possible but just wanted to throw it out there and see what you thought. Thanks for the reply!

    • NC


    • Margo

      If you were periodically prompted to do something (buy a gift, plan an activity), would you follow through?

      My dad is a total gem but my stepmom says he’s not spontaneous in the least. He is, however, super organized and good at following through when prompted.

      Solution: at the start of the year, he pre-programs things like “buy wife flowers” or “buy theater tickets” or “leave love note on kitchen table” into his Outlook calendar on random dates throughout the year. This reminds him to do the things he’d be more than happy to do, but aren’t always top of mind.

      I use the same technique to remind myself to follow up on my strategic ‘weak ties’ at least once a quarter.

  138. StephanieK

    1. Yes, definitely.

    2. Finding my passion and social skills/networking are most valuable to me right now. I find that I can get jobs fairly easily but quickly become bored with doing the same job day after day. On the social skills/networking side, I discovered that I have a terrible habit of talking about myself too much during conversations.

    3. One o the most impactful things I’ve done from your book is automate my savings. There’s no way I would have ever saved $1k+ in 3 months with willpower alone!

  139. Mike L.

    Improving social influency

  140. Jason

    1) This is very interesting to me! Life long learner always looking to make more money to pay off my school loans!

    2) It would have to be about negotiating salary. I have found my passion and love my job. However I started with them early on in college and just don’t feel I am where I should be salary wise. I have been there 6 years. Although I have been given more responsibility I don’t feel the pay reflects it. I am a very poor negotiator and lack confidence when I get in the room with the big dogs. Co-workers say no one around here gets large raises unless you move on to another company, you make your deal coming in they say. Any tips for yearly reviews would be great as mine should be any day now.

    3) -Implemented sell anything eBay tricks cleaned house out through the year and made ~ $500

    -Learned how to Hustle, do homework on people before making business negotiations and show them how much I know about them and their business before we even get started. Saves them there spiel.

    -In the process of using FYFPI and other emails from this site to try and start a side business to generate income to pay off student loans. So much good info here trying to put it all together and GO. I have my first customer lined up and delivering product this week but not sure if my pricing is correct. Oh well, its a start!

  141. Peter


    I am absolutely interested in this. As someone who graduated college during the peak of the recession I found myself without a job for long time; even now I’m only employed part-time, though at a place I fairly like doing somewhat interesting work which is completely unrelated to my degree. In general I’d like to move toward being full-time employed this year doing similar work, preferably by convincing my current place.

    Specifically on resumes/interviewing – how do I deal with large employment gaps? How do I deal with the fact that my technical expertise is limited to my 2 years experience and on-the-job training as opposed to someone who has a degree in the subject?

  142. Donna

    Hi Ramit,

    Great post and superb videos. In response to your questions:

    1. Yes.

    2. I am having difficulty getting to speak with my potential new boss. I would love to see scripts that would help me get my calls put through or emails that would get a positive response without sounding like a sleezy salesman. I’ve been using my university’s careers advice about cover letters and it is not working.

    3. I don’t send a resumé until I’ve thoroughly researched the company, and my potential boss (and her boss). I’ve also been using my network much more than before IWT.

    The length of your posts is just fine. I like to no BS attitude.



  143. PJ

    1. It sure is. I’m a USMC officer who isn’t afraid of working hard to get what I want.
    2. Everything you’ve mentioned above would be great but I would like to see some information on finding the right people to talk to and how to get in front of them in the first place.
    3. In the short time I’ve been following your stuff (7 Days) I have already started working my network and have two people from my network out there tracking down stuff for me. If you want to help I need an introduction at Amazon! I’ve also started preparing for the interview, picking apart the job posting and planning my attack.

  144. Peter

    Ramit, This one struck deep with me. My script is one form or another of “I’ve got to figure it out..” I’m 55 and saying that for a long time. I’m intimidated by most of this material because I’ve been blue collar all my life and only graduated with a high school degree. I’ve always wanted more but have all kinds of internal dialogue that repeats constantly. I am currently working on clearing up debt but really want to work on the other areas of my life. My current job is frustrating at best..And I would like to live a full life…I am glad you have chosen the the path you have. It is refreshing..

  145. Kyle

    1. Yes!
    2. I would like an article with an easy streamlined way to look into my past to put clues together about what my passion is deep down.
    3. I just found your website at the end of the year but have started to implement the atomization of my finances!

  146. footinmouth

    1. Yes.
    2. How do I go from sitting behind my computer to hooking up with an old coworker to talk about possible jobs they might know about? I feel cheesy asking like that and I actually really want to see how they are doing as well, but need to know a classy way of also conveying the message that I’m looking (even though I have a job) for a new job or contracting work.
    3. Read your book 6 months ago, had to read many of your posts like the fortune one and watch the chase interview to figure out how to apply to my situation. I finally wrapped my head around creating an automated household finance system and separating my personal expenditures from it. Go figure. =)

  147. Heath

    This is super interesting to me.

    Networking. All my best jobs have come from people in my network, but mainly by accident. I know I have a network, and I know it’s more extensive then I realize, but I’ve no idea how to really put it to work for me.
    I’d most like tactics for:
    Discovering how extensive my network is.
    How to put my network to good use.
    And a system I can use to maintain and grow my existing network. I’m terrible at maintaining relationships with people I don’t see on a regular basis.

    Creating a conscious spending plan and automating my finances. This has put the idea that I really *can* control my life into my head. Now, of course, I want more.

  148. Shannon

    1. You already know the answer.
    2. How to figure out what your passion is – I have a lot of diverse interests and random expertises that make those list-making ideas a little problematic (I’m good at math, baking, knitting, construction management processes, puppies, etc). The closest I’ve come to figuring out what drives me is I enjoy improvising new processes, learning new things, and creating something. I’m horrible at maintaining systems, but I try.
    3. A goal for this year is to go through the Earn 1K course for real, I caused myself issues last time. This past year, I reached out to my network (on fb) for a contact at a company, ended up with a letter of recommendation and an interview with the company CEO.

    • Ramit Sethi

      What issues did you cause yourself / why?

  149. Lisa

    1. Is this interesting to you?
    It is, but I’m not always sure how to apply your career advice to my career and place in life right now – an engineering/science Ph.D student.
    2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be?
    I’d like more advice on staying in touch and networking non-obtrusively with former employers / mentors. I’d also like advice on how to convince interviewers of ones qualifications in a “hard” field like the sciences. After I graduate I want to move into a field that is only loosely connected to the one I am currently doing research in. How can I make this switch and convince interviewers that I’m excellent for the job when other people have more lab skills than me that specifically pertain to it? Maybe a guest speaker from the science/tech field on dream jobs in academia / research.

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.

    I’m a pretty shy and retiring girl in real life. Your book convinced me that maybe I could be a tough Indian-like negotiator and I used your advice last year to buy a new car at $600 below invoice. A few weeks ago I bought an expensive laptop. There had been a 20% off Black Friday sale on the same model, but at that time I had not been ready to buy. I kept missing smaller sales (15%, 10% off) while waiting for it to get back to the 20% sale. Finally I got tired of waiting and called the manufacturer, tried to stack the current 10% discount and a 10% coupon I had found online. The sales rep told me he couldn’t stack them, so I was at the end of my rope and told him that if he could get me a 20% percent discount I would buy the laptop right then and there, and could he please talk to his manager about this. His manager approved a 19.5% discount and I bought the laptop, saving $300. That’s a lot of lattes. The best advice that I think I got from you in negotiating was never to ask a question that someone can say “no” to. Now I try not to ask questions at all when I’m negotiating, and especially not ones to which there’s never a yes or no answer.

  150. Prue

    1. Yes!
    2. I’ve worked out my dream job but it doesn’t have a nice traditional name. How do I get other people to value my skills? (ok SPECIFIC) I love to network and connect people, if you like I’m a bit like a business matchmaker. I find networking really easy and I get a huge buzz out of it, unlike some others. I particularly love doing this internationally – so I help exporters (from Australia because I am an Aussie) to find markets, buyers, collaborations etc. My skill is knowing who is who in the zoo ( especially who is the “right” person in the zoo) and how to get next to them – how people and business can work together for mutual benefit. But I must be doing something wrong (I can’t work out what it is) when I try to get a job using this skill, because if I can’t give the interviewer/recruiter/decision maker a “job title” they don’t know what to do with me….but will always come to me to find out who they should talk to about “such and such” – so they actually do value my skills after all. I can only think that this is an intangible skill unlike an accountant/engineer/doctor/plumber so its harder for them to work out how to use me or see that this is an important skill? I think that this is a skill useful to any company in any industry. In which case I have to do something about that and am quite prepared to. I am trying a few different strategies – resumes online, registering with recruiters but best success is from when I’ve approached my networks directly. I am getting some interviews, but I obviously need to change something still to land a job. I’m willing to try lots of strategies to make this happen – any suggestions? Make up a new job title? Work out how to sell myself better? Work out how to make them realize they need me?
    3. Sorry I’ve only started reading your posts in the last few weeks, so nothing implemented from the last year yet – but “automation” I am working on right now. It is kind of like my “5 minute commitment” idea. I never liked going to my karate classes much but knew I had to do it. So I made it a manageable 5 minute commitment. It only took 5 minutes to put on my Gee, walk out the door, get in the car and drive out the gate. I could manage that every time. Because I wasn’t going to turn around and go back home once I’d done that. But if I made the mental commitment for a 90 minute class of karate that I knew I wouldn’t enjoy much – I stayed on the couch feeling guilty that I’d failed my 90 minute commitment to myself.
    I still have a lot to work through on your site/blog etc, but am really loving it all. Thanks and here’s to a fantastic 2012!

  151. Dave Lane

    Very exciting, Ramit! I’m totally ready for this.

    2. The networking and social fluency seem most useful to me at the moment, but negotiation is definitely a big life skill i want to master.

    3. I have automated my finances and invested in an index fund based on advice in IWTYTBR the book. I also rehearsed a successful job negotiation based on tips from taking the earn1k course. Finally, I recently got a refund on a stupid bank error with zero effort – I just walked in with confidence and asked for it.

  152. Shannon

    @Ramit – Don’t know how to respond directly in the thread. The issues I had were that I let myself get overwhelmed with the picking one thing part, and overwhelmed with the amount of things I wanted to try. Led to paralysis, overwhelm, and procrastination, the usual. I’m great at starting things, not always great at the follow through. Around the same time, I got a new job. So between that and choosing to invest time into my relationships (boyfriends/girlfriends are not able to be automated, no matter what that guy above is hoping for), I read the material and paralyzed myself (baking? knitting? photography? dog related something? freelance estimator?). What’s different this time is I’ve picked two goals that I’m going to use the material for – getting a job working for high end interior designer (technically have none of the schooling qualifications) and possibly having my own green painting business on the side. Can’t stay where I am, all I do is look at pretty pictures on the internet now.

  153. Heather

    2. Re: Finding your passion –
    I’m not sure if your other readers have this issue, but I’m having a problem with seemingly conflicting desires to have a job that I’m passionate about and having a job that provides stability. I find happiness being a cog in a wheel (I made this unsexy realization about a year ago) but I also want to feel…I don’t know, freedom? Control? Sacks full of money?

    3. I haven’t implemented anything major, just small things like negotiating with my credit card to remove an interest fee (even though I paid late, I usually pay it off on time so removing it was no problem) and getting my credit card limit bumped up. I actually like negotiating with financial institutions now. Oh, and I automated my retirement savings, but I’m not sure if I can attribute that one to you (or even to myself), since my finance guy set it up for me.

  154. Lindsey

    1. This was interesting, obv!

    2. Here’s what stumps me/something I need help with — I have AMAZING contacts and resources at my fingertips from my first job at a startup which sold for 40 mil 3 months after my first day. I am still in casual contact with the CEO, CTO, and one of the VPs. We live in the same area and hit the occasional group happy hour. They have helped others find good jobs and have been great resources for others. Good stuff right? Well, here’s my dilemma – I want to get closer to them, and I want to feel comfortable calling them up for a cup of coffee, but I don’t feel confident. I’m unsure how to call them for a cup of coffee, and I’m unsure how to re-ignite our communication, without specifically asking for help of some sort. I would love to get a cup of coffee and just chat, but I now they’re busy – and unless I specifically need help, I don’t feel justified in calling them up for a coffee date. On the other hand, one of my old coworkers is on a totally different level with them, and seems to hang out with on a friend level that I’m aspire toward.

    Summary – How can I be-friend my old CEO, CTO, and VP AND is this even a fairaspiration?

    3. I started using and 1) automated my finances (about 80% automated), 2) paid off 2 of 3 of my student loans!!! Not to mention, I performed BJ Fogg’s course in 3 tiny habits/week.

  155. David Weisberger

    1. Nice technique with #1, Ramit!

    2. Networking – not to get a job, but to get known as an expert and leader within a field.

    3. Automated finances to pay of family debt faster and make some of your other techniques possible.

  156. s.

    1. yes
    2. social skills- I’m a girl- so how should I talk to guys, etc. totally clueless
    3. I automated my money into savings

    • Ramit Sethi

      Yes, it turns out that it’s surprisingly difficult for women to do certain types of informational interviews because guys often think women are hitting on them. We dealt with this in testing and with one of my awesome Dream Job Elite students, and I have some specific strategies to recommend.

  157. s.

    hahah, i meant more like in the dating world. u talk about guys have “confidence triggers” that women are attracted to, what about the other side- how are some women (who might not even be that pretty) constantly dating great guys? these guys are approaching them one after the other and seem to meet them out of nowhere.

    thanks for the reply 🙂

  158. Angie

    1. I found this engaging so I didn’t mind the length.

    2. The briefcase technique and getting inside people’s heads to ace interviews like Justin in the example above. This sounds wonderful, but I can’t figure out how to execute the briefcase technique, and I’m not sure how to get inside people’s heads. How can I get my hands on this kind of information if I don’t work for the company? Through my network? Perhaps my real question should be about effective networking – a term that I still detest greatly. Any tips for getting past the bad taste networking leaves in my mouth?

    3. I automated my finances – except for my mortgage because I couldn’t find an easy way to do it through my huge mortgage company, and my credit card, which I manually pay because I have to pay at least one bill manually otherwise I would never check my statements if everything was automated. Doing this has been great though. I don’t worry about late bills anymore and I can focus on other things.

  159. Julien

    Wholly fuck Ramit, I was excited about 2012 before I read this article, this is going to be an awesome year.
    1. Fuck yea.
    2. I want it all, but specifically I’m eager to better my social skills. I’m not exactly bad, but I find it hard to get the quiet people to talk (including myself…) and I tend to sit back when a whole bunch a people are talking and just listen.
    3. I’m new to your site (first came to it less than a month ago) and I very recently signed up to Earn1K. I’ve set my goals and pin-pointed my field and now finding my target market. Nearly done with Module 1 and I can’t wait to get through the rest. 2012 is going to be a huge year!

    Thank you for all your info! Your no excuses, no bullshit approach is awesome.

  160. Colby

    1. Yes, I find this interesting.

    2. There are 3 things: (1) what to say when reaching out to someone new for an informational interview and whether to use email or phone; (2) I’m still in school and many employers have rejected me for that reason – should I include I’m still a current student in my job search or what scripts/transitions can I use to take the focus away from my studies and towards my skills; (3) what are the behavioral and verbal cues that show social confidence?

    3. I negotiated a 25% decrease in my rent; I paid off my credit card debt with a system in place to start paying off my student loans; I automated my bills.

  161. Frankie

    1. I’m extremely interested…I have been since you announced Dream Job Elite.

    2. I’m having trouble finding my passion after graduating from college in May. I’m interested in startups and entrepreneurship, but I can’t tell you what field/industry. I feel like I have so many choices, yet I don’t know where to start. I’d absolutely prefer working for a smaller and/or innovative company.

    I also have been getting interviews at great companies (i.e. Google, Dropbox, etc.), but haven’t been getting offers. I know my interview skills need to improve, but honestly I don’t know how to do that. A lot of the advice I get is redundant, but I want a surefire way to nail an interview and walk out confident. I’m really tired of giving flat answers.

    3. I’ve automated my finances with the Schwab checking and brokerage account. I’ve negotiated several fees when I had Bank of America (switched to Schwab after I read your book). I just graduated from school, so right now I’m paying off my loans with the highest interest rates so I can eliminate those faster. I have been experimenting with social media to get interviews (i.e. I sent you an email on how I used Facebook ads to get an interview at Zynga). I’ve been unemployed since school ended, but my absolute focus right now is to find my dream job.

  162. Ramit Sethi

    I’m interested that so many of you are interested in this material, yet relatively few of you applied to Dream Job Elite. Why do you think that is?

    • Sven

      Because they are in debt?

    • Frankie

      Honestly, I think people saw the price tag and became apprehensive before they even thought of the value they would get from your program. That goes for anything beyond Dream Job Elite as well.

      I have a bit of loans and a family situation at home, so I’ll admit that not having a job made me a little uneasy to apply to the paid program (even though getting picked had higher odds). My thought process unfortunately wasn’t “how could I afford this?” I did apply to the scholarship, but looking back on it I think I should’ve just applied to the paid program because a) I’d probably have a job I really wanted by now and b) I’m sure the value was more than my Ivy League education could provide me and for way cheaper.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Sven, hah that would be a pretty straightforward one: “I didn’t apply because you didn’t allow me to, you ass.”

      But let’s hear what others have to say.

    • K

      For myself, I am terrified of asking people for recommendations. That’s my barrier. Also, I don’t think all my accomplishments were good enough for your program.

    • K

      Also, my dream industry/dream job looks like internship (or so I think) at tiny little company (though the company is aligned with major corporations). I am not sure I could shell out 12K to land my dream job that may not even pay.

    • Sarah

      I didn’t apply because I found this site too late. But if it costs $12k to join, I also just don’t have that money to invest right now, haha. The question of “would I?” here is a bit like asking “would I buy a Merc?” Sure, I’d like to, but again I just don’t have the cash available at the moment.

      Working on changing that though, and two days into 2012 and I’ve already started earning more. Gonna keep going with that and upping the ante every time until I can buy both that Merc and a spot on your course!

    • Troy

      Can’t speak for the others, in my case I was still paying off credit card debt. (Down to the last $500 now though, so close I can taste it!)

      I did spend almost an entire day working on my application to the scholarship and would have applied for the full course if eligible, even if that meant taking out a loan or borrowing the money from relatives to pay the $12K. To me that is a small price to pay for the lifetime value the course would have provided.

      Anybody who has spent time with your material knows that you’re the real-deal, and as long as they are willing to put in the hard work you’ll provide the goods.

    • Jake

      Too much time to invest, and couldn’t afford it, despite you offering the payment plan. In addition, I can’t guarantee to make the flight out to NY or wherever it was.

    • Noah C


      I’m going to guess it has to do with hidden scripts. I’ve recently been working on some of them with a business mentor/friend of mine and it’s amazing how much we confront them.

      Working with him helped to reveal a hidden script that rich/successful people are bad people. I’ve found that this hidden script plays through my mind 20 – 30 times a day as I work, etc. Why would I apply to a program that is going to make me a bad person?

    • Chris

      I didn’t reply because I think the premise might be flawed for me. We talked by email a little bit, but I’m interested in hearing your thoughts more on this topic. I’m extremely skeptical that everyone even *has* a “dream job”. Of course there are many activities which it would be a dream for someone to pay me to do (I love reading, learning new skills, playing video games, playing board games, learning languages, astronomy, photography…my list of desired hobbies is endless). However, many of those things are not real jobs – no one is going to pay me to sit around and re-watch Lost and Battlestar Galactica every year, even though that would possibly be a “dream”. I’m read TONS of books on finding your passion – What Color Is Your Parachute, What Should I Do With My Life, I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was!, the list goes on… I have a binder and notebook with all the activities they’re described. I’ve talked to others with cool-sounding jobs in informational interviews. I’ve taken in-life and on-line classes on interesting new topics. Many of the potential jobs sound interesting, but none of them are what I would want to do forever as a Dream Job. My real Dream Job would be to get to do a little of each of them every year.

      I’ve done a lot to try to find a Dream Job and I really doubt that it exists. I can’t be alone, can I? I’m also a huge fan of Cal Newport, and his philosophy is that the “search for passion” is some of the most misguided advice of all time. I know you’re a fan of his because I found him from a guest post or link on your blog. How do you reconcile my problems and my desperate search for passion with his thoughts and your claim to be able to find anyone’s Dream Job? If you could do it, I’d easily pay thousands of dollars, but I’d need extreme assurances and confidence in the results.

    • Maxime

      For me two reasons :
      I’m starting my startup so I don’t really need to find my Dream Job I “just” need to build it.
      I live in Europe and was afraid I couldn’t follow on with the weekly webinar. I tried for your BootCamp in 2009 and I think I just participated of one of them.

  163. Sven

    Yes it is interesting. Sometimes i will skip through some of the text but i read every word on this one.
    I moved from the big city in England to rural New Zealand to make a new start four years ago but I seem to be doing the same job but just in a different country. I would love to be doing something else but am afraid I won’t earn enough to cover the debts/mortgage. I do not have any children but I do support my wife as she has struggled to find a job in this location. I want my wife to contribute to the household income and would like some help persuading her to get going. Ideally start a business. So I would be interested in how we could both find our passions
    From IWT I have automated bill payments and split my salary at source into a savings account.

  164. Amy

    1. VERY
    2. I guess this would fall under social skills–I struggle with projecting confidence in the workplace. I’m indecisive by nature, but my job (public relations) depends on my clients having confidence in my skills and recommendations. My natural impulse is to temper my recommendations with, “I think…” and I speak rather timidly (often doing that annoying thing where I turn my sentences into questions with my intonation). So…help!
    3. Haven’t done it yet, but planning ahead to negotiate during my annual review later this month.

  165. Rajesh

    Thanks Ramit, for the awesome post. Always inspirational.
    Reading from your post I sense you read a lot or better being automation fanatic you automatated your body and mind, pls. share some tips. Thanks. Being a lawyer it helps.

  166. Meredith

    This is so exciting!

    I actually do have my dream job working in arts education management and research. The problem in my field is getting paid and no institution seems to have the money to do so…I don’t need to make a million dollars but I need more than I am getting right now if I want to achieve my long term financial goals.

    I do work as a musician on the side but that doesn’t pay a lot either. So I’m thinking about adding some consulting in my field on the side. My invisible scripts are that consultants are slimy, that I’m not experienced enough (although I know objectively that I am), and that arts organizations don’t have enough money to pay for consultants so I shouldn’t bother asking. My problems are probably pretty common among people in the creative fields.

    • Meredith

      Oh, and in the last year I have implemented IWT advice from Earn 1k on the side (started a side business which has been successful thus far), negotiated my way into a management position, and have been devoting more of my resources to various investments as you recommend in your book.

  167. Rakhee

    HI Ramit,

    Happy 2012!
    I have been reading your post of and on for about 2 years now.
    1. Yes, this post was interesting because you talk about a “rich” life. I have always known that just “money” would not make me happy.
    2. Finding my passion is important to me. So far I know what I don’t want to do.
    3. Well, none (saying it like it is). I have been lazy. I hope to take action this year!

    Thank you!

  168. Mark Dansie

    1) Yes, keep up all the good work!

    2) Negotiation, social skills and building up personal business is towards the top of the list I desire to learn about, yet I have found VALUE in everything you’ve put out.

    3) Ramit, It has been less than two weeks ago that I have come across your materials through Chase Jarvis. Already I believe this will be a turning point in my life! I have up to now finished most of the material sent on the back office including: Idea Gen, 12mo goals / Time Clinic (starting 30day Hustling with a Mastermind Friend Tomorrow)…I love your No B.S. approach & all the Psychological info you go in depth with. Personally I’m into Pro Nature Photography, each week taking & producing new Top End Nature Photography. I want to Stand out as being different, always growing & also being one of the best in the field! Early last Spring I stared everything up from building a list to building a following online. It has been fun & now is the time to start turning up the Heat & turning the Key to Success.

    Thanks In advance for a great year!
    Mark D.

  169. Rahul

    1. Yes
    2. I am passionate about my current work although I have to admit that the promotions and recognition has been slow to come. I just suck at selling myself and my accomplishments and I have lately started acting upon it systematically. I am also about to finish five full years at my current work and it’s time to reevaluate my options. It would be interesting to find out what it takes to get hired into some of the other great companies out there. I will be interested in finding out what it takes to get through the door and secure the interview as well as techniques to ace it when there.
    3. I have been following IWT since I laid my hands on it. I have automated my finances as well as used the scripts in the past to negotiate better insurance rates. I just enrolled in the Earn1K program but have to admit that I have been falling behind in reading up all of the great material out there. Reading you has given me new hope that I can focus on slowly but surely build up a side business that lets me achieve my goals in life. Keep the good stuff coming.
    Happy New Year!

  170. Jeremy

    1. Hell yeah!

    2. Pitching, negotiation, etc. I need more confidence and better strategies for pitching my photography services/stories to clients and raising my prices confidently and steadily. I’d like to (quickly) move into more higher paying clientele.

    3. I’ve automated my expenses and investments/savings using your strategies… and I only discovered IWT a few weeks ago!

  171. Keith

    1. Interesting? Yes. Specifically, the idea that there is a game being played around us is VERY interesting. I am soot not sure that I believe that anymore. This is something that I felt my entire young life…that there was something underneath it all that I needed to figure out in order to succeed, and that others had already figured out what that was.

    The reason I felt that way is that the people I saw as successful acted so confident. No…it was more than that. They acted as if they understood how things work; as if they had figured things out and were living in accordance with that knowledge. It was unstated, but it was there.

    And it seemed difficult for me to figure out how to ask for the right information from those people. It was a catch 22 (in my head anyway) that without knowing the answer, it was hard to know what to ask.

    But then a funny thing happened. I started to see that there were things that successful people did not have figured out. It was as if there was a level of confidence on the surface due to a BROAD knowledge, but no deep level of understanding beneath it all. This was easy. I found this out by asking more philosophical questions. Funny, but people tend to give canned answers to philosophical questions. Then it is obvious that THEY have not really thought about the topic at a deep level, but are simply parroting what they have heard or read.

    So I came to the conclusion that since I was s deep thinker, I could learn anything that these shallow thinkers had. Ergo, I should be more confident and then people would infer that I had figured things out. Strangely, this worked very well in my early career. I would not lie about things, but I would be very, very confident when I was explaining what it was that I did not know. This afforded me the opportunity to learn a crap load of things I would have missed out on otherwise. All I had to do was deliver.

    Just one problem…this did not get me any closer to figuring out how to succeed long term. Why? I think it is because of the “common sense” factor. From law to education to economics, there are always these common sense solutions that people come up with that FAIL in very extreme ways. But because the current approach is so common sense, few question it. So I wind up wasting the MAJORITY of my time on ineffective activity. The point is, success seems to require cutting through that bullshit, to get to the philosophical stuff…the deep learning that only experience will usually teach you, so that you know what NOT to do (spoken like a true E1K graduate 🙂 ).

    But to reel it back in, I find the idea of a “game being played” hard to swallow because that sounds conspiratorial…and I just fail to see how such a conspiracy could exist.

    So yes, if you can show me how to figure out any games being played around me…I am interested. Show me how to take my confident, super-sized ego, and cut through the bullshit and you will have my attention. But until then, I am skeptical.

    2. Of your topic list, finding my passion is the main one I am interested in. Related to that topic, there are 3 things that I struggle with that I would love to see you write about:
    a) Finding my passion takes time. I am 49…so not interested in wasting time…investing time is good, wasting it is not. How do I avoid wasting time while finding my passion? Examples of waste might be, going too far down paths that do not bring me closer to identifying my passion, spending money to have someone else tell me what they think my passion is (I believe someone might be able to tell me HOW to find it, but not WHAT it is),
    b) I am not sure I have one. I tend to lose interest in most things (not just money making things), no matter how difficult or fun they are. It usually happens after achieving high level of fluency and deeper understanding. I know I have achieved that when I am able to add something of value; when I am able add some new knowledge to the field. That is about 2 years on average. Then it is on to a new chew toy. So maybe I don’t have one, or maybe I have already found it and do not realize it.
    c) The challenge with some techniques is that they chain you to ideas instead of liberating you from them. For example, one strategy for moving faster in your area of interest is to find a mentor. Sounds great. Reads well. Makes sense at a basic level. But it can chain me to a way of thinking that makes it more difficult for me to know when I am ready to leave the master, and become a master myself. In a sense…it sabotages my end goal which is to challenge the current masters way of thinking…to take the field to a new level. It sabotages my goal, because I build in someone else’s approval into my progress. And since their approval of my perspective might mean the death of their most cherished ideas, it never comes. So I need a way to identify and pursue my passion that is liberating, not limiting. I need a way that is generative, not entropic.

    3. The advice from you that I have most used in 2011 is to test my assumptions. The reason this sticks out is that it answered a basic question for me. I have known that questioning my assumptions is good, but testing them is more active. I am good at asking questions…but that is passive so by focusing on the testing aspect, I build in action.

    When you linked this idea to the idea of failure as a means to achieving your goals, things clicked into place. Telling people that failure is good is just the WHAT, not the HOW. Testing my assumptions now adds the HOW…I test, fail, and as a result, learn…faster than ever. Before I would have an idea, and go and look for what the experts thought of it. But I realize that is trying to learn from others failures, which is an avoidance strategy…fear-based! If I avoid the little failures, I realize I can miss the big successes. If I truly want to create something new, I need those interim failures to take me beyond the current perspective of those that have come before me.

    So will I take action? Yes! But if you look at my E1K performance, you might not see that. So will have to believe me for now. What testing my assumptions did there is they showed me I needed further development of some key knowledge, and that a time-based goal of “3 clients in the next 3 weeks” or some such just did not make sense based on where I was at. I needed to fill in some gaps, and that development took time. It was not on your E1K timeline so you might not agree. And it does not read well. Taking a year to further develop my knowledge for my service is not something you could use to sell more E1K spots. It’s not sexy. But I can tell you that I do not make excuses. I am not sitting here saying that things did not work for me because of some external factor and blah blah. It worked.

    And I can tell you that I now have my first client so there is evidence that I did take action, and I continue to take action. Success is in my future…there is no stopping me. And your input is proving to be a big part of that. So why wouldn’t I like to see more.

  172. ashley

    1. Yup

    2. I have a killer job that essentially has a fixed term of 5 more years. My job provides an incredible opportunity, if I knock it out of the park, it will likely ensure that the rest of my career is as meaningful and rewarding as I want it to be. I spend half my time convinced I am on that path and the other half sure I am not experienced enough and everyone knows it–which leads to me sitting quietly, afraid to say something stupid, in rooms with the top people in my field. So, I am interested in the skills and tactics associated with interviewing, resumes, and social skills because I think they will help me promote my work and my ideas more effectively in the position I already have. Basically, I already have my dream job and I want to make sure I earn it.

    3. There was a productivity/time management podcast released early last year that I loved. Because there is always more to do, I spend a lot of time half-working. The podcast discussed the need to take breaks that are truly different from work (ie, go for a walk instead of reading blogs about the field). I have done my best to make space for lunchtime walks, which allow me time to absorb what I have been thinking about and move to the ‘idea/concept’ level from the ‘fact’ level. (Also, over previous years the blog has encouraged me to put in place a financial management system that enabled me to save for wedding, car, house, etc.)

  173. Nikki Syreeta

    Can I just say an email from you just lights up my day. I know I’m going to learn something exciting that day.

    Answers to your questions:
    1) Hell Yes. Somehow I always feel like i’m not alone in this.
    2) I’d love to learn about the research part of it. I’m pretty good with research but I don’t know how or where to look for the job I want with whatver company. I mean, once the job posting is up I don’t have “weeks” to reseach before I send out the resume. How do I find the job before its posted?

    Six months ago everything I thought I had and had been working toward I found out didn’t exist. The foundation of my life disintegrated underneath me and I’m in the process of rebuilding everything in my life. My resume doesn’t reflect the direction I want to take my career (I’m self taught on most skills I need) and I need every bit of advice to get people to look past that and recognize my skills.

    3) I got ahold of your book in late December and I’ve been working through it for about a week. I’ve been working on cleaning up my credit and clearing out old debts. After, on to automation which could be tricky because its a joint account.
    I’ve watched the creative livecast with Chase Jarvis several times and I’ve been prefecting my interview technique and working on trying to indentifying the fears of the interviewers.

    Thank you, Ramit…for showing me how to get my dream back.

  174. Brandon

    1. Yes
    2. Interviewing. I go in to them knowing I’m qualified and can do the job, but leave feeling like I haven’t done enough to convince the interviewer of that. I’ve tried practicing, roleplaying with other people, but I just feel like something is off when I interview. Also, I’d love help in figuring out what my dream job is and then going for it.
    3. Lastly, I’ve used the debt snowball to pay off three credit cards in 2011, and I’ve got two more to go before the only significant debt left is my student loan. Can’t tell you how exciting and relieving it is seeing these debts disappear.

  175. Craig

    Hi Ramit,

    1. This is all very interesting. It’s great to see the progress you’ve made in your material and presentation in the last year. Your Hustle posts leading up to Earn1k were very useful to me; they helped motivate a complete turn-around in my business and led to the best year of my life personally and financially. I am certain this pre-sell is going to be significantly more useful and much better presented.

    2. I’d really like resources on networking and social skills. I used to be incredibly active socially. My 75k graduate school fellowship was 100% because of who I knew and how I related to them as friends and peers. I learned early and often to be exceptional at what I do and to cultivate friends and peers who are exceptional at what they do. But I moved to Singapore two years ago and Thailand one year ago and have been building my business. This is an online education program and I’ve basically spent the last 2 years sitting in my condo making magic, working out, and going to dinner with my girlfriend. Business is great, but I’ve hit a sort of social and professional plateau because I’ve lost that networking/social ability. Whenever I go to business meetups or lunches with entrepreneurs or friends, we talk about travel or adventure or business, but I feel as if I lack the focus. I’m always in my head thinking about the next tweak, move, or product for my business. The money is better than ever, but life is not about the money, so I need to get that balance back. You’ve spent a lot of time learning and doing the social thing – even if you haven’t put together material, could you forward some links to great material?

    3. I followed the hustle project last year (read your book and automated finances the year before) and re-booted my business. I quit my job and have been supporting myself for one year. I used to make 3-4k per month, now I make 8-12k per month and I used to teach or tutor 3 people per day 6 days per week and now I teach or tutor 1-2 people per day 4 days per week. You helped increase my rates, focus on big wins, and focus on investing my myself. I went to 1 conference, bought and read at least 15 books, and paid for 1 course on targeted traffic.



  176. Sarah

    I’m pretty good at networking, but my resume and cover letters suck wind. Not surprising I got headhunted for or alternatively ended up designing/creating every (highly competitive) job I’ve ever had. Yet, for the jobs where I have actually applied through standard procedures, I’ve generally failed to get the job, sometimes even failing to get an interview. When I can get headhunted for jobs way beyond my experience based on networking but fail like this, I know something’s going very wrong – a little help please Ramit!

    Same goes for negotiating/pitching work when your only interaction is by email. I’m finding it hard to keep price on the backburner in early days here – the back and forth makes it easy for them to bring it up before we’ve had a chance to discuss (or for me to sell myself and make a connection), and I’m rubbish at negotiating prices by email if I make an offer and they come back with a lower one. A lot of my work (and hopefully my future work too) involves doing just this, so I know I need to nail it.

    I’m really new to IWT, only found it right before Christmas, but I’ve already started taking steps to automate finances by getting all direct debits moved to the same day, and I’m applying for a credit card (no previous debts, just had one card for emergencies but used debit cards because my family thinks they’re the “better” option…). Working towards automating my finances, and then looking at your other tips. A copy of your book is on order, too.

    Good work Ramit, keep it coming!

  177. Stephen

    1. Yes
    2. How to identify true passion and how much time spent doing undesirable tasks I should consider acceptable. My first instinct is to say none since it can be delegated.
    3. Finances are automated and briefcase technique already used for successful promotion.

  178. Bradley C

    1. Fascinating.
    2. For me, finding a job that I can be passionate about. Almost all my life I’ve always assumed that it was impossible to have a job that’s exciting to go to. No one around me seems to like their jobs, so I kind of figured that’s how it is. Also, how to be a better storyteller. I’m not good (yet) at captivating my audience.
    3. 2 weeks ago I waived a late payment using the script from the book, after being at my current job for over a year I finally enrolled in my companies 401k and I’ve automated most of my bill payments. Thanks, btw!

  179. Wee

    Once again, excellent, excellent job Ramit.

    I’ve just started (for about a month or so) on a job and feel the need to get out of it. Technically, it is my dream job. I’m working with a company which does the exact services as I defined in my dream job description in college. It even pays as much. How could I be so wrong? Maybe because I defined my dream job based on what everybody else thought would be a dream job in my field (so guys, don’t do this :))

    What I’d be most interested in reading are the exact steps which I should take to find my passion. For instance, I’m interested in a lot of things – photography, graphic design, public speaking, social media. But I know I can’t do all of them. So one of my questions would be, would it be fair game if I picked one? Would you recommend testing each one of them to see if they fit? The problem is, I don’t have superb technical skills related to any of them. Would it be better if I abandon them?

    I’ve applied your briefcase technique to get my current ‘dream’ job. It was basically a position for an Instrumentation Engineer and required skills in control and safety. Networking and my grades got me the interview but I blew them away by bringing in all the documents I did in college related to control and safety. I showed them how I was technically competent and they bought it. They were totally fascinated. I beat out all the 20 people who interviewed for that position and was offered this job 2 days later. I’ve also used your techniques in negotiation to help raise the rent on a family property by 25%. Other than this, I’m actually trying to apply the automation techniques on managing my pay right now.

    Great job Ramit! Can’t wait for the upcoming materials!

  180. AAR

    Sounds pretty good,

    I’ll be testing your approaches on my test dummy (girlfriend).
    It’d be cool seeing to see your work translate into her world as a “struggling actor”.

  181. AAR

    Sounds pretty good,
    I’ll be testing your approaches on my test dummy (girlfriend).
    It’d be cool seeing to see your work translate into her world as a “struggling actor”.

  182. Harry

    1. Yes (duh)
    2. I have Aspergers/very high functioning autism. I know full well that there are games going on over my head right in front of my face, but I don’t learn anything by “picking it up,” especially social stuff. I need someone to break it down and explicitly explain what it is that I’m supposed to learn and the logical context of how and why. Once I’ve got it I’m golden, and this works great for engineering, but not for *life*. Most people can just look at someone and know how they are feeling – I need to study a face intently and spot a specific sign that I know means a specific thing (“a raised eyebrow *LIKE THIS* means she thinks you’re a weirdo looser and you’ve just alienated everyone in earshot”) to get an instant of that, usually too little too late. Sometimes I’ll be walking away from a conversation and part of it will replay in my head and THEN I’ll realize I messed something up, but on the rare occasion I can pin down what it was that I did wrong, it’s too late. You can imagine how awful this makes my relationships with women, and my business negotiations.

    3. I automated transfers from my main checking account to a high interest savings account, this nest egg I had built up saved my bacon when I was unemployed for a few months.

  183. Karine

    1. Yes, very interested.
    2. Getting a resume, improving social networking, getting a job after a 5 years off the working market because of illness –> I think it will be a nice challenge for me to convince a company and people to hire me after so many years away from the market. I hope you can help about that. I’m a good storyteller, though. I know I’ll be ok. I have the good mindset.
    3. I didn’t find the script yet (since this page is the first one I’ve read but I’m on my way to do it and try it to negotiate something this week.

    Your website is great, I’ll buy your book so far!

  184. Sophie

    Hey Ramit,
    Loved this article, and the momentum behind it. If I could have my pick of articles to read, I’d love to hear how to directly approach potential clients and convince them that their business needs me. I’m starting a business in 2012, creating custom Facebook pages for local SMEs. We’re targeting businesses with a client focus, eg sports clubs, gyms, hairdressers etc. However I’m nervous about doing the cold-call approach, and my sales technique needs work! I’m starting with sports clubs, as I know one or two people in local football clubs, but many of them are old men who don’t see the value in FB, even when 90% of their athletes are on the page. I’d love to know how to convince them they need a FB page, and why they should pay me to do it.

    The IWT advice I’ve taken from you in 2011 is to be more specific, which is why I’m focussing on local businesses with customer engagement – and where I can, where I already know people at the business, e.g. my gym, my hairdresser, the footy clubs where I know the Operations Managers etc. I’m also taking your specific advice to do three clients in 8 weeks, but I’ve upped it. I want to do 4 clients in 8 weeks, adding one not for profit business. I’ve come a long way since I was contemplating the E1K course to do tutoring of ambassador kids last August! Thanks for all your advice.

    • Ramit Sethi

      I covered this in great detail in Earn1K for the last 2 years.

  185. Georgia

    We all know that you do an amazing background research ,that’s why each one of the subjects you defined are all on my new years list! Looking forward reading your material.

  186. Nathaniel Wyckoff

    Hi Ramit,

    I’d like to know more about finding a different set of projects within my current employer’s company – not necessarily more responsibility, but different and more interesting.

    I’ve recently read your book and started an automatic savings plan, soon hoping moving on to more complete automation of finances.

    Thanks for all this material.

  187. Mike


    Great post. Here are the answers to your three questions + BONUS material (two questions that you MUST ask in any interview / sales prospecting etc.)

    1. Yes
    2. How to discover your passion? I have read several books, tried workshops, talked to friends, and still have not gotten great results. They tell me I am friendly, a people person, thinker, listener and that I am an ENTF (or some crap) personality. All these things just give you a personality profile and stop short at that. How do I take these traits and find the right role, industry, profession etc. Right now my only option is through trial and error….but that just takes too long (although I must confess..that I have enjoyed the journey)
    3. Love the briefcase technique, I have used it several times in the past but I do like your take on it about the dramatization of pulling the proposal out of the bag.

    BONUS Material:
    Two questions that you can ask that will literally change the nature of your conversation / dialogue during any interview / sales prospecting meeting. Asking these questions (the right way) will make the other person sit up and set you apart from the millions of other interviewers / competitors.

    Asking question 1 gives you the insight on their hopes, dreams, and pain points and more importantly gives you what is on top of their mind. Once you know what they are thinking, you can then start sharing with them ideas / experiences of how you can solve these problems for them. You can point to your resume of specific items that may be applicable. In other words, ask them what is important to them and then share with them that you have exactly what you are looking for (this works great when you combine it with the briefcase technique). If executed successfully, you have now turned the interview from a Q&A to a more useful dialogue on solving a specific business issue. Already you have blown the other candidates / competitors out of the water.

    As for question 2, it takes real guts and it means looking into the eye of the other person and asking them the question without any hesitation. If you do that..then you have pretty much sealed the deal on you being the ONLY CANDIDATE for the job / sale.

    So the questions are (drum role please):
    1. What specific goals, plans, objective would you like to achieve in the next month (or quarter, 6 months, or any other appropriate time frame) within your org. / dept.? (this question is simple, open ended, guaranteed to draw the other party into a conversation, and most importantly delivers to you key information on what is important to the other is amazing how may people simply fail to ask this question)
    2. What will it take for me to get this job / sale? (direct and to the point, most people go into the meeting and never ask for the job / sale…how asinine is that)

    One caveat, timing is everything. While question 1 can be asked early in the process, it is best to save question 2 for the end of the interview or when you think you have already made a good impression and need to close the deal).

    What do you think Ramit??

  188. Ole

    Hi Ramit,

    I’ve been struggling making a choice. I get passionate about a thing, learn it really fast to the point where I know the stuff but not an expert – then I loose interest and move on to the next thing. I’ve pursued both employment, start up and freelancing.

    The result of this is that I’m getting nowhere. I now start year 6 of freelancing in a field that I’m pretty good at but that I’ve considered temporary until I “figure it out”.

    So I’d like to ready more about finding your passion, but also committing and sticking to it long term

  189. David K

    1. Yes, you hit the nail on the head. I have a habit of saying “I’ll figure it out” and “I did everything I was supposed to”. Both of those lines of thinking have left me only with a job I despise.
    2. Specifically what I can do to get a job I have minimum qualifications for that would be considered an unreasonable leap above my current job.
    3. I raised the limit on my credit cards to improve my credit score.

  190. Michael Graf


    Thanks for releasing so much for free, no one made you do it and I think you’re a good person for doing it.

    1. Is this interesting to you?
    This could not be more interesting. I am at a junction in my life, one that says “To hell with all this effort, its all a lie” and one that says “Holy shit, I never knew I could leap from there to here”. I really want to be the latter, but will definitely require all of the network support I can find.

    2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be?
    I really have issues with feeling under qualified. I am a very passionate person in the sense that I am usually really excited about what I am doing and I find ways to get challenged and enjoy the challenges. I would love all the advice I can get on eradicating the qualifications barriers. I never went to Stanford, I have a B+ average etc. etc. But I am confident that vision and drive should be able to override these barriers that some job posters erect.

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year?
    I have begun preparing my briefcase technique for my upcoming 1 yr review at my job. I am going to double whammy it with a combination, “What I did for you in the last year” section and with a “Here’s what I’ve identified for this year” section. I’m going to couple that with a few job posting salaries that are +10k over mine and hopefully a competing job offer that is +$10,000 or more above my current salary. What do you think about my combined approach?

    I’m looking forward to applying more of the Dream job materials to finding a top performing Computing job such as a Quant Analyst. The high performance computing aspect of it has me salivating and a little adrenal. On top of that I literally could make 10x as much money doing that job as what I make now. 10x is an entire paradigm shift, and adrenal about work is unheard of.

  191. Cathie

    I’m on the older side (43)of your demographic. And in a new phase of life where it’s not about moving upwards, but in a totally different direction. From running my own businesses to now being an artist I have a dream of having my creativity in the public realm in large scale. I have no contacts, and my confidence is a little shaky.
    I know that I have something to share on a large scale. Just picked up your book a week ago and have implemented a few things with more to follow. Once I put my mind to something it happens. I have climed Mt. Shasta it took 2 tries but I made it. I have hiked the whole Tahoe Rim Trail 186 miles in 2 weeks. Any way I can do anything I put my mind to. But like you said there are systems and I’m not sure what that system is. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

  192. Chris L

    1. Yes
    2. Once I found my dream job how do I stay passionate about it or know when it’s time to move on?
    3. I’ll write back to report my success

  193. Mercy

    Hey Ramit! Great post. I have been following your blog for some time and I have been trying to translate your material to what would work for me as I am not in the USA. Tough, but it’s coming along. I am interested in negotiating skills and social skills as well as selling myself. I have so far automated my finances so far and enrolled in the Earn 1K program.

  194. Vivella

    Still trying to find my ‘passion’. I am in my fifties already and am generally good at everything I do. Been doing bookkeeping all my working life, but I don’t enjoy it. After being retrenched from my last job a year ago, I have applied via email for over 60 positions and rarely even get a reply, despite the fact that I have excellent references, am professional, etc etc. From what I see (here in South Africa) they have hundreds applying for the same job due to the economic situation. I feel deflated because I KNOW I make a great impression if I could get as far as an interview, but have had only one actual interview – was offered the job but it was so awful, disgusting salary and not a prospect. I have realized that being efficient, intelligent and hardworking does not automatically get you a job. It also doesn’t seem to have helped me so far that I make good personal impressions if I cannot get into an interview! I will be honest and also say that I don’t have a fire in me for the jobs I do actually apply for, because I would prefer to do something more interesting, like working with people or communicating. I feel stuck. I know this is probably why I don’t find work. I have been reading about psychology, etc for years, but enjoy reading all your posts very much because I realize being a ‘people’s person’ is not enough to go blindly ahead, and from you I am learning to be less subjective and ask myself what is it the other person is wanting or looking for, so that I can be more tactical – very hard to do without a ‘plan’.
    So, I would like to learn how to find my passion – I have tried all the usual crappy avenues which don’t work for me – reading books, reflection, self examination etc.
    I would also like to know how to go about getting to an actual interview for a change, and once there, how to negotiate a better salary when a poor one is offered. In my last job I literally ran the office but never got a raise in two years, even if everything worked like clockwork, because I knew there were no funds.
    I have been getting your emails/tips for some time and appreciate them as they help me see things differently instead of the usual blah blah boring rubbish one reads from apparent financial gurus that should be self evident in the first place. Thank you!

  195. Geoffrey Williams

    1. Hell yes! This just seriously got me thinking of the Futurama fry theme “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”

    2. I would like to know more about the emails or phone calls you make to schedule an appointment to meet someone in a field your interested in. For example, how can I get in touch with the decision makers at a medium sized website? And if I can get in touch with him/her, what in the hell do I say to not sound 1. creepy 2. spammy 3.needy; and rather, come off sincere and non-needy (lack of better word)

    3. Ramit, three things you have helped me with.
    1. The day I bought your book I used your techniques to call and get rid of overdraft fees, usually I would just pay them but I was surprised that it took two sentences to get them to remove it.
    2. I have a direct ing savings account THAT ACTUALLY WORKS. Meaning, its on auto-pilot, so I don’t feel guilty when I forget to put money in it. Now I’ve saved more than I ever had, and I’m 6 months away from saving up to go to Japan (something I’ve been saying I’ll save up for, for years) Now instead of just talking, I’m actually making it happen.
    3. I’m the only 23 year old in my whole group of friends that has a Roth Ira. It actually makes me feel good that I’m thinking about my future and honestly I never knew how easy it was before I read your book.

    Not to mention your ass got me interested in behavior psychology, now I have read every psychology book I can get my hands on and have been doing “Derren Brown” type mind tricks on my friends. Every time people call me weird I’m like “Now, why do you say weird?(creepy stare) What are the words that I use that sound weird to you?”. Ha! Makes for good laughs….or people running away

  196. Renee

    1. Shooshyeah this is interesting to me!! I need to know this stuff because I am graduating college in 5 months…I WANT A FRICKIN AWESOME JOB when I get done. Besides, I have a business concept (several, actually, but one that I am working on right now) that I want to take more action on when I’m finished with school. The one I am working on right now may require a meeting with a CEO and I need to be able to make them understand why I would be of value to them instead of them doing the business on their own. I need to know the techniques to use that will make them practically beg me to carry out my business plan because they know what’s its worth and they know that I am the person for the job (aside from it being my idea in the first place and I could sue them for taking it).

    Also, I am one of those people who want to do SO many things in life. I want to work here, I want a career there, I want to have a job in that…..I can’t narrow it down specifically.
    I want to do that though. I want to find that thing that I would love so much to do. BUT I would also like to have options because I honestly don’t want to work in the same job for the rest of my life. Maybe in the same field, but not the same job. After working hard to gain the life I want…I would honestly just do a lot of work for free because its what I care about. I don’t have to spend my entire life doing only jobs that earn money.

    Having said that, I am here because I do need to earn money though. I need those interview techniques that others coming out of college with me most likely will not have. One of the professor’s at my college asked an entire class of us students (at the moment there were more than 20 of us in there) how many of us expected to find a job after we graduate…no one raised their hand. At this point in time, I am a little concerned about finding a job after I graduate. So, I’m sticking with you to make sure that when I graduate, I have what I need to go get a job without expecting to be handed one just because I graduated. I understand that there’s a lot of work involved…..I don’t mind a bit.

    2. I should really write about all of them, but one thing that really sticks out at this moment is social skills. Okay, I’m not that confidence when it comes to social stuff. I used to be back in grade school but since I’ve been in college, for some reason, that has deteriorated. I trip over my tongue, I lose my train of thought (even more so when I’m using my peripheral vision to check if the person is looking at me) and I can never say what I truly want/need to say. Also, when I am explaining things I have the tendency to be unsure of what I’m saying. I’ll say things like “it seems like this” or “maybe this is that” or “it sounds like maybe, perhaps, possibly..blah, blah, blah”. No confidence there at all. I wish I could have that confidence that you have. I use the words “um”, and “like” way too often. I’m not sure if you would consider those to be deal breakers because the things you explain are often outside of the rules that we’ve been taught (which is awesome….down with rules! jk, lol). I’m often afraid that if I’m wrong about what I’m saying, someone will call me out on it and make me look stupid so I always leave room for correction so that I don’t have to look stupid if I am wrong. Its like, I give others too much credit for knowing more than I do. In my mind, everyone knows more than I do and I’m just slightly picking up on stuff and handing it back to everyone in pieces that may or may not fit well into the giant puzzle that everyone else seems to have completed in their minds (man, I hope this makes sense to someone else other than me).
    So, what I’m saying is that I’d like to know if you have any techniques on gaining that social confidence, and speaking as though you truly know what you’re talking about. I know there are simple answers to this, but I have heard most of those things before. I want to know if YOU have any outside of the rules (or box?) techniques that you know will work in resolving these things. Social skills are obviously very important when it comes to any of the things that we’ve been learning about. I know I have a problem with social skills so I want to now how to improve them so that I can get the deals I want, ace interviews that are important to me, and get the career that I have always dreamed of having.

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.
    I’ve implemented quite a few things but in smaller ways I can’t think of at the moment. Those things such as getting stuff done, knocking down barriers, changing your mindset..etc are kind of spread out and placed into smaller areas of my life so I cannot determine the exactly how I have implemented them. However, there is a particular piece of advice that I have more noticeably implemented. I have been building relationships with people who are senior to me. I have about 4 people who are much much older than me. I get certain times to sit down with them and ask them questions about their careers and their life or their retired life to find out what they did, if they enjoy what they are doing or what they have done, how they got there, what things they thought of and so on. I often cross paths with them and that allows me to pick their brains even just for 5 mins and at least until I can meet them for lunch or coffee/tea.

    I am absolutely looking forward to the stuff you’re bringing this year, Ramit. I’ve told another friend of mine that they better get on board right now so they don’t get left behind. I raved to them about you last year but they didn’t listen. So, hopefully they will this time because I told them about your testing and techniques and the people who have succeeded and how valuable it really is and a bunch of other wonderful stuff. I kind of got inside their head and made them see how beneficial you would be to that business project they are working on but are struggling with. I expect they will be signing up in just a couple days (if not tomorrow).

    • Renee

      By some weird mistake, the submit button got clicked before I could edit it any further than #2.

  197. Kerry NZ

    1. Hell yes!
    2. How can I best establish social connections with women (and finding women who are interested without going to bars).
    3. I have obtained $22,000 in graduate scholarship stipends (plus a fee waiver) for the 2012 academic year (and might be in line for another $6,000). The key was ignoring my internal scripts – the I’m too old to have a chance (I’m 40), my academic record is too patchy, my subject area (lit) isn’t a priority for research funding, etc – and ACTING. I’ve also applied for the US Diversity Visa scheme (will know if I got selected in the lottery in April) and if that comes through I’ll be very interested in 2013 in your advice on jobs.

  198. Hitendra

    I read about you in the Fortune magazine and then landed up on your website. And since then, I have been reading and reading. I have decided not to given to the “later” syndrome and I want to connect with those who have the resources to execute my pathbreaking ideas that will literally change the world for millions of people. I absolutely have ideas that, when executed, will absolutely benefit day to day lives of millions of people. And I am determined to see it happen.



  199. Thoa

    The sad thing is I’ve been reading your blog for many years but I still haven’t gotten past just the saving money every month part [$1,000/month].

    I want this year to be different. The only worry I have with finding something I love to do is that I might have to work for myself and that thought scares the shit out of me.

  200. Randhir

    Ramit – Great Post!!! Truly inspirational.

    Don’t remember which one. But one of your posts in early September got me off my backside and into action. I decided to launch my own Resume Critique and Feedback Service on my website and this was more to prove to myself that there is money that can be made online. More than did that over the 3 months with just one campaign. Have now set some ambitious goals including setting this up as a stand-alone website and launching some related services. I am also working actively on an ecomm startup (more details later).

    On what I want to hear more from you on, discover your passion is one topic I’d love to learn more from you on. It is a vague and open-ended topic and everything available today is around making a big list of everything you love and since you don’t think highly of it, would love to hear what works and has worked with your clients.

  201. Paul

    1. Yes, it’s more than interesting.

    2. I think social/networking skills are where I really need help.

    My life is comfortable, but limited. As a 45 year-old who has spent over 20 years reading and practicing “improvement” strategies I’ve changed a lot yet it’s clear I’ve missed something.

    I’ve thoroughly mastered “cutting back” – frugality in the extreme has made me feel perversely proud of myself for being able to get by for a month on what others would spend on one night out. But at the same time there’s an intense frustration at now having to be frugal rather than choosing to be.

    My life isn’t shit at all though – since realizing in my early 20s that there’s more to it than being on a treadmill I’d read Anthony Robbins, Jim Rohn, all those guys around at the time. The main thing I took from it was the fact that I needn’t chase money, but look to create the feeling I wanted in my lifestyle. That was mostly about freedom.

    So I left my “good career” to follow freedom and since then I’ve travelled, lived in a number of countries, worked in various fields and always supported myself through it. I also haven’t committed myself deeply to any specific field, always free to leave and move on to the next place that fascinates me, confident that I can land, get a visa, find work, explore.

    I’ve thoroughly mastered “cutting back” – frugality in the extreme has made me feel perversely proud of myself for being able to get by for a month on what others would spend on one night out. I can now get by working 3 days a week while living in one of the most expensive cities on the planet. But at the same time there’s an intense frustration at now having to be frugal rather than choosing to be.

    It seems kind of glamorous to others, people regularly refer to my “well-varied and interesting” life. And to be truthful I’m living with the exact things I had as my goals all those years ago – the freedom to move, explore my creativity, lots of free time, etc.

    I have new ideas almost every day, am incredibly creative within my work. I work a number of varied part-time jobs, each of which is interesting in its own way. I excel at the work, master it quickly and people in those immediate environments appreciate what I do. But having gained an understanding of it, I’ll move on to the next thing.

    So my lifestyle has become one which on the surface seems blissfully free and flexible, never trapped in huge debt, very adaptable, able to experience new countries, etc. But at the same time having a relatively low income means I can’t buy a round for friends, or spontaneously travel for a weekend away, or even at times afford new clothes or shoes.

    It would be easy, but I don’t simply want to take on more hourly-paid work to earn some extra coin. Nor do I want to make my part-time work full-time and be a salaryman. I’ve been there, done that when I needed it for survival but now want (or need) to build something more substantial.

    It’s difficult when you can’t go out with friends because you don’t have the cash. In my 20s these things were much more acceptable in social circles, but now they’re not. At my age people expect me to have more, be more.

    Another downside which is becoming more apparent each year is that even when you’re healthy and with a positive attitude, it’s difficult to establish a relationship with a woman when you’re in your mid 40s, not “settled” and living frugally!

    My personal confidence is high, but my social confidence is not. Nowadays when I meet anyone “successful” I almost feel embarrassed to tell them I have no substantial career, no close dynamic network of contacts in business (or otherwise). They seem to expect that if at 45 I haven’t such things then I’m not going to in future. Yes, I know age is no barrier to achievement in itself, but how does one overcome the built-in prejudices of society (and women!), and encourage people to be willing to offer an opportunity to someone they think has missed the boat purely because they’ve maintained youthful enthusiasm at an age most people have settled?

    3. I only discovered your website 2 weeks ago, Ramit. Since then I’ve collated notes on my experience from my last few years of work and made an outline of how I can convert it into a course to teach others what I’ve mastered in that time. Planning to make a professional-looking package to present to the relevant authorities. Getting a foot in the door presents a major challenge as I’m living in a country where I have a very limited grasp of the language. Social/networking help required!

  202. K

    1. This post made me very excited about 2012.
    2. I would like to know more about how these techniques can work internationally. For instance, if I am in a job in one country but want a job in another, how can I network from across the world?
    3. My main problem is time management. I’m looking forward to learning how to save time with tasks at my current job and free myself up for more time to spend on my passion.
    Thank you for the kick in the right direction.

  203. shiggi

    Awesome read, and truth written in regards to folks who complain about posts being too long. If you’re looking for answers or pointers you’d read until you were blind (but hopefully find the answers/pointers well before that!).

    1. Yes, hugely interesting. I’ve given myself 5 months not to figure shit out, but to get shit done! (it was my 26th birthday yesterday…i completely threw away my 25th year and i’m really pissed off at myself for it)

    2. I’m 99% sure my passion is DJing (and sound engineering for events). When I do it I’m happy and so are people around me. I had a residency for 5 years but I reached the top of the game there and didn’t know how to jump higher. So I’ve fallen into a pit of tar and need to work my way back up. I’m not about to do request nights for 3 years then get to do my own night to reach where I was 4 years ago. There’s a lot of “I-itis going on”…anyway, my passion is DJing and I want to do it full-time (much to my mother’s dismay “get a real job”). I know that I can either market myself to “the world” or present myself as a premium package “that you’d be insane” not to take on board to the top agencies in London.

    So negotiating and the social skills required to get agents to pay attention and take me on board would be ideal.

    3. I’ve identified a network of people whom I forgot I had (top end DJ’s I had done warm-up sets for or been their contact for whatever as a sound engineer/venue supervisor) and been systematically sending out e-mails to them. Nothing baited, just genuinely seeing how they are. They’re coming back in slowly but surely and some of them actually remember me. So further to that…if I can get agents out to talk to them over a coffee or whatever and leave them thinking they’re onto something (one) it would be a great start.

  204. Anne

    Ramit, every time I read your stuff one of two things happens-

    1. I feel like I just got punched in the gut (’cause you are calling me out on stuff that I need to be called out on).
    2. I feel like I am one step closer to living the life that I really want.

    Both of these happened for me in this post. 2011 for me was spent working really, really, REALLY hard on ‘Random Tactics.’ Oops. 2012 for me is going to be much more focused, precise, and spent working less with bigger results. One of my 2012 commitments (who actually keeps resolutions?), is to spend time with people who challenge me. Even though we have never met, I plan to use your posts to whip my booty into shape.

    Awesome marketing strategy btw- letting us pick the message that is going to speak to us the most- brilliant! I’m totally borrowing that!

    Happy New Year! It’s going to be a great one!

  205. Brooke


    Thank you for this. As someone who can’t afford to spend money right now on a course…this information is a God send. I woke up today and am fed up with feeling horribly stuck in my life. In my job….in my relationships…in my money world. I want to know more about landing a job. What it takes to write a winning resume and cover letter. What it takes to get that offer. And as I’m searching myself, I will use your tips. I want to win at this “game”. I am tired of living my life in fear that I’m stuck inside a hell I’ve created for myself and I can’t/won’t get out of debt, find a job that is my passion, and get my energy and life back. Thanks for your information. I am looking forward to 2012 being the year I turn my life around.

  206. Daniel W.

    1. Yes, this was extremely interesting to read/watch.

    2. I would most be interested in learning about Social Skills & Networking. I’m still not exactly sure how to use those for business purposes.

    3. I took your Earn1K course at the beginning of 2011 and in the process was able to use your negotiating scripts and tactics to get a nice raise and a promotion from my current job!

  207. Stephen

    Thank you for this post Ramit. It is very obvious that you have put a lot of time and effort into the presentation and delivery of this valuable content. As I work in the creative field, I particularly enjoyed the high quality audio and video production. In my opinion, it goes a long way towards conveying the “telling it like it is” theme of this post.

    In response to your questions:

    1) Yes, this is very interesting to me. It’s easy to read, well organised and puts across some strong messages.

    2) If possible, it would be great if you could cover salary re-negotiation within the first year of employment within a company. I have recently started working for a company that is due to take on many valuable projects throughout the year and would like my salary to increase in line with the workload and my increased importance to the business.

    3) Yes, the word “I” is used frequently in the piece below, but it is my only way of putting across just how valuable the material in the Earn1K course and IWT has been to me.

    Before investing in Earn1K, I was a pretty haphazard freelancer. I could not nail down a permanent job within my industry and even though I was “knocking on the right doors”, I wasn’t doing it right. 2 weeks into the Earn1K course content, I started an internship with one of the largest companies in the industry in my country. I did it by outlining the benefits and value I would add to the existing framework.

    Witihin my first few weeks, I used “The Briefcase Technique” to create a well-crafted document that outlined some ways to increase the value of the business and quality of service to our clients. Over the next few months, the elements of the Earn1K course were used to organise and streamline the sales funnel and day-to-day business of the company. This led to higher value clients and rates, along with providing us the opportunity to “fire” some clients that were no longer working out for us. When I joined the company, the bookings were week-to-week. By the end of 2011, we had already secured a contract for the next 18 months.

    I forgot to mention that my internship role no longer exists. I am now the youngest person employed full-time in my role in the country. Salary negotiations actually didn’t take place. In the lead up to my role becoming permanent, myself and my employer had a few casual conversations in which I used techniques from Earn1K and IWT to convey my value. When it came to an actual job offer, the salary on the table was exactly what I wanted.

    In May 2010, I left a job for which I had an extreme dislike, to pursue my Dream Job. I started reading your material in May 2011 on recommendation by your brother. I became an Earn1K student in July 2011. By October 2011, I had my full-time Dream Job and a growing freelance business. I couldn’t be more grateful, but it could all have been achieved quicker if I had discovered IWT earlier.

    Your IWT advice has helped me to apply many valuable principles to my new full-time job, freelance business and personal life. 2011 was great and I know 2012 will be an even better year for all the IWT readers and Earn1K graduates.

    By the way, that was an inspired shirt selection!

    Thank you for everything. I truly appreciate all your hard work and I can’t wait to take action on what you have planned for 2012.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Love it! You are the man.

  208. L

    1. Yes Of course
    2. I will like to know how to improve my social skills, because I can understand that networking will help me with negotiation skills, and more in interviewing, and in addition also the talking to different people and broaden my circles.

    3. From the 1K course, I am currently helping my friend to startup a non-profit organization now in a foreign country. I am hoping with more materials and more insider help that it will provide a good example for you to talk about and also a successful organization for me.

  209. Adam

    Can’t wait, Ramit! Your blog & Earn1k have really helped my freelance business. I know how to ask for almost twice what I was making as recently as July, because I know I’m worth it.

    I have recently stumbled into helping businesses directly–working directly with the CEO of a pretty good-sized company, doing high-level conceptual work–and I wonder if I can find more projects like that. Normally I work for a production company who works with an agency who works with a client exec who works with the CEO. I think it might be much more interesting and lucrative to be working directly for the top.

    I would like to have a strategy for finding more of these kinds of projects. I should probably start by asking him for recommendations when the project’s complete. If anybody in my circle knows CEOs, I’m guessing it’s him. I will definitely be listening when you talk about confidence triggers. This client radiates confidence and competence; it’s kind of amazing to behold.

  210. Aaron W.

    1. Hell yes it’s interesting to me. Is that even a question considering I read the whole post?
    2. I would have you write about the interview approach: what are key phrases to use and to avoid? what are the biggest body language factors? how quickly do hiring managers REALLY make their decisions?
    3. Many things. I signed up for ING and broke out my savings into various subaccounts. I began using a credit card (secured) for the first time. I found my first profitable idea (website design for small businesses in my city) using your e-book, then I began working on Earn1K (nothing to report there, I just started). I crafted a new interviewing and job search approach using your 80/20 guide.

  211. Ramit Sethi

    Notice how many Earn1K students are here leaving their results (ctrl-F for “earn1k”). Everyone should take note that they are disproportionately responsive in the comments, and also have disproportionate results. Anybody care to guess why?

    • Jesse

      While most people wait to “Figure it out”, or read another top 10 list etc etc, Earn1k students have proven that they’re willing to TAKE ACTION. No more excuses, no more bullshit.

      It took me a while to get around to reading this post. I guess I just didn’t have enough time… Because I’ve been finalising plans for a 9 week trip to the USA. A trip where I’ll be attending a weekend workshop on success and finding my passion, plus two workshops on building relationship skills.

      2012 is the year of ACTION!

  212. Jake

    1. YES, extremely.

    2. Passion, passion, passion. I need systems and proven examples of people discovering their passion(s), and then FINDING and LANDING those occupations of choice. How did they identify the passions? And don’t tell me they wrote down their habits or skills, or things they find themselves thinking about. I took your $100 course on it, and it was excellent, but I already had 95% of that info. And by the way, thank you for giving me the requested refund. I’m still here, and still absorbing your material like a sponge, and forwarding your content to friends and family.

    I have no college education, but am smarter than most of my college friends. I’ve started 3 businesses in the last year and earned more than $1k collectively (family photography, wedding videography, small biz marketing/consulting), but stopped each one shortly afterwards because I changed my mind and decided it wasn’t something I wanted to be doing long term. I still turn customers down saying I’m not in business any more.

    I hate to admit it, but I’m 27, make $45k and have been in a cubicle doing shitty office work (clinical software analysis for a 40,000 employee company) for the last 5 years, and I have a shitty pin and certificate to prove it.

    If I don’t create my own business, help me find one that fits my passion, and then help me get an interview there, and get the job there. How do I find that job in this small city area? How do I get an interview there? And how do I prep for the interview to get the job?

    3. I have automated my finances with your advice (bills, saving, etc). I have implemented your career advice to getting a raise. Went from $33k to $45k. Only thing is, I hate my job, so now I regret getting more responsibility.

  213. Kate

    1. Of course I’m interested!
    2. I would say it’s a toss up between interviewing and negotiating. I feel fairly confident interviewing, but I’d like to leave with the certainty that I have the job in the bag. Additionally, I’d love help with negotiating. I’m working on changing my view on this (what I can do for them, etc) but not entirely sure what would be the best verbiage.
    3. Since finding your blog about five months ago, I’ve begun automating my finances and paying off credit card debt (two down!). Also, your book is awesome 😀

  214. Ada

    I’m interested in interviewing techniques.

  215. B

    1. Yes
    2. Finding how to translate what motivates me into something that will make me money. Step by step on how to accomplish all of the stuff you mentioned. At the moment i lack focus, and need help figuring out what i need to focus on.
    3. Advice about investing in yourself (working on identifying and budgeting for courses I feel might help me – not easy as i want to it all). Advice about find your niche (still experimenting with best way to market the niche)

  216. Stephen

    Earn1K students are both disproportionately responsive in their comments because we know that over-communication is a good thing. It isn’t possible to leave constructive feedback if you only reply with very basic information. Most responses have been constructive and interesting to read, but some lack specificity. If you can’t communicate what you need help with, how do you expect someone else to help you achieve future results?

    Disproportionate results are as a result of working things through a systematic process. We haven’t just thrown everything at the wall to see what sticks. We have begun to understand the game played around us, and now it’s time to master it.

  217. Stephen

    Forget the “both” in the first line of the comment above!

  218. Jeremy Roell

    I am using the briefcase technique today to try and help land a job. I am 25 and interviewing for Director of Marketing for a non-profit. If I land this job, I owe you!!

    • Jeremy Roell

      The briefcase technique worked wonderfully! Already have a second interview for tomorrow.

  219. Ken Siew

    1) It’s very interesting!

    2) I’d like you to write more about social skills related to networking with people who could lead you to your dream job. What questions do you ask? What words do you use? Where do you bring them to? How do you prepare for conversations like this – what types of research and knowledge do you need to demonstrate? Most importantly, what do you say before you leave the place – Do you ask to meet up again, or ask for someone who could potentially hire you?

    In addition, I’d like to know what you should convey in the interview, and specifically what answers would make you stand out (even if the question is the usual boring one).

    3) I bought your book and implemented the personal finance automation, created tens of thousands of net worth through Roth IRA/401k alone! I’ve also managed to waive overdraft fees using your negotiation script. Bought the Earn1k course and landed my first client for $1,000.

  220. Smit

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.

    1. I’m absolutely interested in learning more about the game being played around me, and I’m looking forward to more IWT material in 2012.
    2. Interviewing/resumes – You say top performers can be laid off and find a new job in under a week, and I’d like to learn how to leverage my own support network to get similar results. (I’m only just starting my first job next week, but I can see this being immensely useful in the future, when I want to switch jobs or if/when I’m ever laid off)
    3. I used IWT posts about job hunting to develop a more targeted approach to my job search. I worked with my career counselors, classmates, and alumni to determine which companies did/didn’t hire out of my program, what type of experience those companies were looking for in candidates, and which companies offered jobs which appealed to me. I then used this data to develop a shortlist of companies which I applied to. I applied to 12 companies, got 6 interviews, and had 2 competing offers. Compared to the 75+ applications submitted, 1 interview, and 0 job offers I got in 2010, I’d say your material really made a difference!

  221. Nick H.

    1. Phenomenally so!
    2. I’m interested in all of the areas you listed, but most of all would have to be finding my passion. I’m quickly approaching that mid 30’s point you referred to and still feel like I haven’t hit on what I really love doing. I know several things I don’t care to do after experiencing them first hand. I often enjoy what I do now, but I can’t say I love it. I think this likely will extend itself to the social networking aspect as it is likely to be the best way to get insight into other areas that I have not worked in and may provide the best road map to getting a foot in the door in the area once it has been identified. In fact, reflecting on the subject matter makes me realize more and more that it is likely the social networking that is lacking in my career and that all of the other aspects inter-relate.
    3. Using your book I automated my finances and have negotiated the reduction of bills and the waiving of fees.

    I would love to see more of the data you have collected, maybe even some of the worst ideas you’ve tried and why they bombed so horribly.

  222. Trevor

    Sweet Sassy Molassy!

    This post is the most exciting thing I’ve read in a long time.

    1) Yes!
    2) Finding my passion. I feel like a spinning compass. My career has been one of those Family Circus cartoon routes that weaves everywhere with no purpose or intentionality. I’ve made a million lists of things I love to do and I feel no closer to really truly identifying passion.
    3) I’m just getting started. Got your book 1 month ago and I’ve automated all bill payment and stopped making only minimum credit card payments.

    • Trevor

      To clarify #2, I find it hard to be specific about what I’m looking for because I feel so incredibly lost about where to start with regard to finding my passion.

  223. Steve

    When you already have your dream job and good side-income, the only thing remaining is getting the pay you want at your dream job!

    I’d love some scripts and scenarios on getting a 33% raise. That will put me right into the pay target I’m seeking for this year.

  224. Nat


  225. John M.

    1. Tremendously.

    2. Negotiation. This is an invaluable skill that I believe few take the time to truly master. I recognize that the ability to negotiate with confidence and charisma can save you thousands – e.g. when purchasing a car, home, etc. – as well as earn you thousands – e.g. job interviewing, negotiating a raise, etc. By that logic, negotiation has to be one of the most profitable skills with the highest ROI for your efforts. As I have recently begun a career in Business Development, I also recognize that negotiation is a skill that I will use everyday. Therefore, I would immediately put into practice any useful advice, scripts, strategies you provide on the topic.

    3. I actually have to thank for introducing me to your stuff, Ramit. A couple of months ago I absentmindedly missed a credit card payment and was charged a $35 fee. Mint notified me of my goof-up and provided some advice straight from you on getting out of paying the fee. I read the article, called the credit card company and followed your script to get the fee removed. Seeing as you had already saved me $35, I had no problem justifying the $15 purchase of your book. I have since implemented the advice from the first several chapters of IWT and continue to press on diligently.



  226. Z1229

    1. Does a bear shit in the woods!

    2. Early 30’s and would like more information on how to get my wife on the same financial mindset after reading IWT. We have two credit cards we stopped using and paying them down ($1500 and $900). Monthly we go over a spreadsheet of our financial obligations (mortgage, student loans, medical bills, etc.) and know what we’re paying and why.

    Over Christmas our family gifted us money and the first thing from my wife was “We really need a couch!”. How am I to answer that? I tried “Hey, I thought we had the same goals of paying off debts and we’ll save $50/month for the couch”, but it just seems the financial goals haven’t hit home yet…Suggestions or resources?

    I have two jobs and my wife stays home with our daughter (6months). Things are starting to move more positively. Full-time – Software developer, part-time (nights and weekends) – Server/Bartender. I would like more information on negotiation/selling/target marketing/closing for building my own website business to replace my part-time job and eventually the full-time. I have one client now, our church, but didn’t know how to package the development and hosting. I am charging them $40/month to host the site and developing it for free. Since we’re members and my first client I felt I “needed” to save them money. Slippery slope and I think I undervalued my skill set.

    3. We automated finances and paying down cc debt, also negotiated interest rates down. Going to negotiate a higher raise…Reviews are in a few months. The book is out in the open and it referenced every month! Since purchasing IWT (July 2011) and reviewing these life lessons…it is my obligation to teach and pass this along to my children.

  227. Leslie

    I’d love to see some information about re-entering the work force. I willingly left my great career about 10 years ago to sling apple juice, wipe noses and kiss boos boos for my 3 kids. Now I’m ready to get back out there. I’m 10 to 15 years older that your demographic but have been a follower of your blog for years. I can assure everyone out there that making your own laundry detergent sucks.

    • Ramit Sethi

      But…but…you can save $0.48 every 2 months if you make your own!!

  228. Mini

    I have not read your book but read some of your blog posts and resources. Your article sounds promising.
    I want to know more about networking, interviews and social fluency.
    After reading couple of your posts, I actually started interacting with my network.

  229. Ali

    1. This stuff isn’t just interesting, I feel like I should take it to my Head of Department and get them to implement into the degree I’m studying.

    2. Personally I would be most interested in Resume and Interview techniques. Applying for internships, I know I should be writing something completely different to what everyone else is (your Chris Rock essay springs to mind) but I’m struggling to find a way of saying what I want to say without sounding like I’m kissing their ass (though this could be an invisible script).

    3. I have automated savings in to a tax-free account, increased my credit card limit twice (to try and give myself a decent history of credit), started my own side income and sought help from a mentor who is in the same field. It goes on; invisible scripts, thinking more consciously about spending decisions and trying to find the reasons behind why I do everything that I do.

    I’m glad I found this site during my 2nd year at university, it’s helping me lay down habits that will help me for the rest of my life. Thanks, Ramit.

  230. Gus

    1.- Yes
    2.- Finding your passion will be the first one, others will be good to know.

  231. christie

    1. Yes, it is interesting. Would love to know more about the psychology of change and taking action. I don’t want to read textbooks… I want a simple outline with a reading list. Change can be very hard. People seem to want to do the same thing over and over .. ( My favorite restaurant knows my drink order with out asking.)

    Very impressed with your comments about how no one teaches you HOW to find a life partner. There is another website and book series on that one.
    2. Need to change mental scripts about what I “should” do and what a “good” job is. Internet , media, family provide so much negative stuff and “things you should do to get a job”. It is hard for me to stay clear and focused.
    3. Working with a budget, not “guesstimating”. Moved to a cheaper place.

  232. Asav

    1. Yup, I’m in.
    2. Improving social fluency is one of my 5 goals for 2012. Perfect timing Ramit — last night, my s.o. and I were discussing each goal and planning out how to execute on it this year. My ‘improving social fluency and deepening relationships with people’ goal was the most amorphous and ended up being the least developed, so I’m all ears.
    3. Over the past year, I’ve been taking advice from your book. I bought it when I graduated from college a year ago, checked the box on what I had already done and set a few more things in motion (e.g. choosing better checking/savings accounts, making sure I’m paying no fees, getting a credit card, etc).

    Let’s go 2012!

  233. Stefan

    Hey Ramit, this does indeed sound interesting. In this post I can recognize the same “psychological hooks” used in marketing “wonder pills” and “wonder workouts”, so I am intrigued whether if the followup will really deliver.

    As for number 2, i am interested in persuasion, negotiation, psychology and anything that could aid in closing a sale, as next week I will be starting my first days in the sales field 🙂 (nevertheless i have already started learning about this)

    • Ramit Sethi

      Probably not. I just like to leave people hanging

  234. Paris H.

    1. How can turning my life around NOT be interesting?
    2. I would like you to write about social skills. The reason for that is because I think with the right social skills, in any situation, they can help overcome lack of experience, a tough job interview, a flimsy resume, a nervous first date or what have you. The best social skill I would like you to talk about is being charismatic. I think having people like you (or want to like you) is a big leg up. It works even better when I know what i am talking about.

    As an aside, thanks to your materials and stuff, I realize dating will be hard. If they aren’t on the same page/mindset/etc, it makes it worthless for me to pursue anything. Not that I am complaining,

    3. I used the briefcase technique and DIFT technique in order to secure a bonus at my previous job. I left that job because it was actually boring and killing me (call center) but I plan to have another one shortly by using your techniques. Your techniques proved the following 1) they really work and 2) they put me head and shoulders above anyone else. Not to mention they aren’t that hard to do.

    Oh, the side effect is that everyone thinks I am great and oh so smart. Now people listen to what I say and stuff. Great stuff Ramit.

    Lets bring in the new year by me doubling my salary ( so I can pay off debts and go to Vegas for fight week).

  235. Ben

    Love the long form sales technique. Works for time share, works for you.

    1. Yes
    2. Finding my passion. I achieved my ambition years ago and have been drifting ever since, I need to find the next thing I really want to do.
    3. Bought Earn1k, health got screwed (not an excuse, actual medical fact), I’m recovering and looking forward to the next challenge

  236. Wendell

    Looking forward to it Ramit! Looking forward to info regarding salary negotiation.

  237. Adam

    1. This is VERY interesting to me. The economy may be in the toilet, but there are always jobs for people who know how to be creative and know how to solve problems for people willing to pay. The issue is finding the people willing to pay and knowing how to appeal to them.

    2. I’m very interested in negotiating, and also interested in social skills. If I had to pick one of the two, I suppose it would be social skills. If you have exceptional social skills, perhaps you won’t need to negotiate as much right?

    I’m interested in negotiation to help me solve problems and create situations where everyone wins, not just the typical compromise. This isn’t just about negotiating a pay raise or removing a late payment charge. Everyone compromises at some point (except maybe Ramit) and NO ONE likes it. Everyone wants to win. If you can make sure everyone wins, you’re golden.

    As for social skills, it’s an area that I am lacking in terribly, and I feel like social skills LEADS to networking, which LEADS to negotiation. If I lose my job, it’s harder to find a new one unless I’ve kept in touch with my network. Also, I have to make a good impression on this network so they will want to, as Ramit said, look for a job FOR me.

    3. I’ve automated my savings, and payment of bills. I pay myself first. I’m paying down debt. But at the same time, I’m willing to pay good money for newsletters and classes for things that I find interesting or want to know more about. I consider it an investment in myself.

  238. David

    1. Hells. Yes. This is one of your best (public) posts ever. (And I was doubtful you would ever top the Hustle posts from January 2011.)

    2. I work in Sales at a young B2B company (3 years old). I have never worked B2B sales before this gig, and I owe my boss (VP of Sales) big time for taking a chance on me. I have learned and executed an crapload in the past two years (over 800% bookings growth from FY10 to FY11), but a few things stick out for me:
    1) I still suck at negotiation without bringing in the VP of Sales.
    2) I am 28, with a BA and am selling into a field where the average age of buyers are ~50 and have JDs and MBAs. I constantly think they think I am too young, which I’m sure fulfills itself. I’m AWARE of this, but I just can’t STOP for some reason.
    3) I know I need to do more in terms of looking out for myself in the organization. I trust my team implicitly, but I know better than to trust any company to do what’s right by me. I’ve done well with raises and commissions so far (partly thanks to E1K, actually), but with more sales people coming on and 2012 looking to be a year of rapid scale, I feel like I need to better positions myself not to get sucker-punched by The Game That’s Being Played.

    3. 2011 was back-to-basics for me. I earn 2-3x what I was when I began reading your blog in 2008, and admittedly had fallen off the bandwagon with some automation stuff. Especially since I had met my now-fiancee and we began sharing some expenses (rent, credit card etc). So I got her and I on track per your book. That said, in 2010, I applied E1K in my Full Time job and:
    *Increased response rates to outreach twofold
    *Got a promotion in responsibility from inside sales to direct sales
    *Increased my yearly salary 20%
    *Negotiated a 5% commission, with no minimum (!) and no cap (!!)
    Can’t wait to hear more about what’s you have in store for Dream Job.

    • Ramit Sethi

      You make me very proud

  239. Jonathan

    1. This is very interesting and inspirational. The thought of having my dream job while in my 20’s sounds incredible.

    2. I am a “jack of all trades” so it is difficult for me to determine exactly my dream job would be because there is so much that I am capable of doing. I would love to nail down what it is I’m passionate about but I don’t know where to start. Also, I would like to know what makes a resume and cover letter good. I know updating your resume is one of the detractors from doing what really will get you your result of landing a dream job but it is also a necessary evil. Lastly, yet equally as important, because I’m fresh out of college I don’t have as much experience as most my colleges so what can I do to stand out in an interview once I get one?

    3. I have set all my bills up on automatic bill pay from the credit card I just applied for. I opened a separate online savings account. Started an IRA account. I have a side videography freelancing gig that I am creating an ideal customer profile for and have been talking to business owners to get inside thier heads.

  240. Mike Russell

    1. Definitely interesting to me!
    2. I am 39 years old and I have no idea what my passion is. I have the ability to do very well at any job, but it’s never my passion. I have found myself (yet again) in a rut. I’m not a “master” at any one thing, but can do many things well. I need assistance with interviewing, resumes, and especially negotiation.
    3. To-date, i have purchased the first profitable idea e-book. To be honest, i didn’t read all of it, that’s my mistake. I have no choice but to be engaged now with your programs. If i were fired or laid-off tomorrow, i have zero confidence that i could find a job in the next few weeks, or maybe months. I am 39 years old, with a family to support. I make 6 figures, but am extremely unhappy and have to know that there is something more out there. The fact that i don’t have a college degree also scares the hell out of me. Will the programs work for me without a degree? I have enrolled in college but only have 3 credit hours. All of these thoughts have literally been keeping me up at night, and to be honest, making me quite depressed. There’s my pity-party story.

    • Ramit Sethi

      Why are you buying my stuff and not reading it? If you can’t follow through with the materials I spend years on, let’s not waste each other’s time.

  241. Chris U.

    1. yes, this is super interesting. long is good: more stuff to learn.

    2. anything you can teach about finding your passion would be of immense value to me. Something beyond the usual advice and woo-woo tactics of following your dream, follow your heart, what are the things you used to do in childhood that made you forget time…I have done years of reading (and all the exercises!) in “finding your passion” books, taken Myers-Briggs indicators, worked with life coaches, etc etc etc. I’m still nowhere. I feel a bit like Jake above: I have started several businesses that seemed to align with my interests but then stopped because I ultimately realized that the interest wasn’t that strong. I have been in a corporate job for over 10 years, but it’s not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life — or even for the rest of 2012, for that matter.

    2012 is my year for personal change and I could use some help narrowing down my choices. I like a lot of things and I’m good at a lot of things. I’m in my mid-40s and have a job that pays very well, where I’m well respected and which I can do relatively easily. And I’m bored to tears. My next step up the ladder is a VP level which comes with responsibilities and tasks I want to do even less. And changing to a different industry would just be a cosmetic change. I want out of corporate America but am not sure what to do instead. Finding what would make me excited to get up in the morning is my first priority and my second priority is to monetize that passion.

    3. I did all the paperwork for the Dream Job course and actually corresponded with you privately about the passion component of the course — and at the last minute I chickened out thinking that it’s a lot of money for something that probably won’t get me to my passion either. A bit self-defeatist, but I’ve tried so many different routes to get to my passion over the last 5-7 years and none of them have led to success…Looking forward to having you prove me wrong and kick my butt in gear so I can make 2012 my most passionate year yet! : )

  242. Rebecca

    1. Well, duh.

    2. Passion! Even though I really dislike the phrase, “Find your passion.” Sounds cheesy. I’d really be happy “finding something that I’m good at, like, and that has a positive effect on my personal life.” Less catchy, though, isn’t it? Anyway–I have this really lovely, extremely vague picture of me doing something that I enjoy, do confidently and well, and earn a comfortable living by doing it. But I’m so far unable to get that picture to crystallize. Partly this is because of a serious issue of under-selling myself to, well, myself. I’m not good enough/who would want to pay me for that/etc. From what I’ve seen so far, those are the internal scripts, the barriers, you discuss. A little insight into overcoming those in order to have the courage to figure out what you want to do is something else what I’d like to see more of, as well.

    Also, social skills/networking. I believe it’s true that most (not all) good opportunities come up because of who you know. You mentioned in response to another commenter that women in particular are bad about not grabbing situations by the balls (my takeaway, not your words, of course). Some strategies for women on behaving confidently without feeling like or coming across as a bitch would be great (even if that means reworking what those of us with this problem define as “being bitchy.”)

    3. I’ve only just begun reading your stuff, though I’d heard of the blog before. But I’ll pat myself on the back and say that my finances were already automated. Roth IRA is being maxed for the 3rd year in a row, I save with a high-yield online bank, and have for a number of years, and the few bills I can’t or don’t want to automate, I still have calendar reminders that the bills are coming due. My fiancé and I are about to pay for our wedding and honeymoon without financing any bit of it (save for a few smaller purchases–BOOZE!–that will be charged on the CC and paid in full the following month, so we still don’t pay any interest), I have zero debt, and he only has a student loan that we plan to attack once this wedding is done and paid for.

  243. Allison

    1. Can you please write a book on this
    2. I need 2 things happening in my life this year. One, miraculously getting a market level raise at mid-year. (I jumped a project within the company and the new project is using my another skill. Now I am being underpaid. I am earning 85k now and the market norm with my skill set is 120k-150k. Not seeing how this can happen without finding another job. But I love my team and the company. Two, I want to expand my network. I am an introvert and have some nasty childhood/college social traumas. Now I’m all over that. Gone is the fear but I need specific skills. And I want a boyfriend.
    3. I consumed all of your blog posts then I bought IWTYTBR book. Here’s what I did in 2011 after reading your blog & book.
    #1. Opened up schwab & ING. Now I use my Schwab for all my ATM cash withdrawals and foreign transactions. ING for my sub-accounts for yearly payments and all the other mid- & long-term savings.
    #2. I was already sitting on a pile of debt. Around $50k. I called the collectors. Used your script. Negotiated the debt that I owed down to $20k. Now I’m debt free. No more collection calls.
    #3. Learned IWT mentality. I now call all my utility companies twice a year. Just did a round last week, saving over $150 over 6 months. I am not no longer afraid to call, write letters and ask what I exactly want. This is actually the biggest accomplishment that I have ever done in my life. No longer afraid of rejections. The easiest thing that you can do is to ask. That’s it. That’s what I learned. And it literally saved my life: financially, at work and in relationships.
    (I was already an avid student of 401k, Roth IRA, passive-investing, index funds, so I’m solid with that part, maxing out my contributions. Next step for me would be a diversification.)

    • Ramit Sethi

      Wow nice job

  244. Steve

    1. This is interesting to me.

    A lot of your material from the last… year? More? … has been, or seemed to be, about entrepreneurship and freelancing. Entrepreneurship and freelancing aren’t interesting to me at all. Learning how to reliably secure an ongoing job? That’s interesting.

    2. Really and truly, I’d love material on the entire job-hunting process – how to find or create opportunities, how to apply, how to interview. All of it.

    I’ve been at the same company for close to 6 years, with what I consider a good amount of advancement in that time (one large title promotion, steady increases in responsibility, infrequent-but-large raises). I’m happy here. But I know it only takes one round of layoffs for all that to be taken away. I look at friends – smart people, great workers, people who’re an asset to any company that’ll have them – and I watch them go *years* without finding a job. I don’t want to be stuck in that same abyss.

    3. Your money automation CHANGED MY LIFE, but it was more than a year ago. It got me out of debt, and now it lets me sock away large amounts of money each month for annual goals, build a large emergency fund, and make significant, regular contributions to my retirement investments.

    • Ramit Sethi

      >Your money automation CHANGED MY LIFE, but it was more than a year ago.

      Damn you guys have high standards

  245. drea916

    1. Of course.

    2. Once I get out of paralegal school, how am I going to find a job when all the jobs require experience? I have a few ideas, like trying to get promoted at the firm I’m at (not likely, but I’m going to try anyway) or do an internship or two. I’m afraid that I’ll end up at some sole practitioner’s making minimum wage for two years. Right now I’m an office clerk at “big law” making a great hourly wage (for the work that I do.) I don’t want to go back to poor for a couple years.

    3. I learned to not be so extreme in both money and fitness. I was taking the Dave Ramsey approach (Gazelle Intense!) and burning out. I would sock away a ton of money (no vacations, no eating out, etc) That would last a month or two and then I would go to the other extreme and indulge. After I read some of your stuff, I put away a more reasonable amount of money and was able to stick with it. The balance in my savings account actually grew, as opposed to bouncing up and down. I’ve also taken this approach in fitness. Before I would aim to work out 90 mins each day. That would last about three weeks. Now I work out 30 minutes, four times a week (slowly working my way up to an hour four times a week) This time I’m actually sticking with it.

  246. Nichole Girard

    I don’t have an erection, but pretty f&%*ing close. At 34, I’ve been freelancing (multimedia/web design/DJ/music production) successfully for years now, but you have opened my eyes to A LOT and got my ass moving even faster down the road of Being Happy.

    1. Um, YES.

    2. I’m still new to you so maybe you’ve written about this already and I haven’t found it yet. I’ve built up a great reputation over the last 12 years so I get called for work most of the time, but a few months out of the year I have to go on a hunt to keep the work coming in and try to acquire new, cool work. I would like to build my social skills so that I can continue to get great projects naturally (fun socializing) rather than sending the stupid f&!*ing resume down the black hole of abyss. Also, I would like to figure out the EXACT steps I need to take to begin to do more DJ/music production work (money in the bank) and less design. I’ve been “trying to figure it out” for years now.

    3. In November 2011 I bought your book IWT. Since that time, I’ve asked for lower interest rates (success!), opened a high-interest ING savings account and set up it’s automation, paid off my car, paid down credit cards, and will be opening a T Rowe Price brokerage account THIS WEEK with the money saved from not having a car payment anymore. I’m going to write about you on my blog, TODAY, to try and help friends and family, and also plug your shit, because you’ve got something really great.

  247. Patric

    1. Incredibly
    2. I would ask you to write about becoming tech-savvy in implementing the automation of my finances/business. I’m old enough to be pre-computer age, and the multifaceted nature of the rapidly merging technosocial learning curve is exponentially steep for a stone ager like myself. I’m finding it to be one of the major issues in implementing certain aspects of your financial strategies. I grasp the broad strokes of your concepts, yet the technical details are a bit overwhelming. I’m learning all the time, but it seems I’m always playing catch-up. I really want to find a way to become current in my technology skill set, with a minimum of expenditure in time and resources.
    3. I just discovered your Websit/blog, but I’ve already filled out the 12 month goals worksheet, and signed up for the insider’s kit newsletter. I am buying your book today. ASAP.

  248. Liz | Two Weeks to Travel

    1. Keep this stuff coming, it was an epic post and I cannot wait to see what else is next.

    2. What I’d really like to know more about is the networking/social part of moving to the next step. I am building a side business that I want to lead me to location independence in 2012 and want to know how to improve my success rate in being able to connect and build relationships with people both online via social media and offline. I think this could be a big aspect in being able to get more clients/testimonials/opportunities/friends etc., but unsure of where to start with it all. I love to help people when I can, but its the networking that gets me stuck.

    3. Using your book, I fully automated my finances. I get paid once a month (torture!) and by the 3rd day I have every bill paid, money into my savings, money into my 401k and money into my ING Direct buckets for travel, emergency etc. I called and got $20 a month off my DirectTV bill. I researched and found a debit bank card that earns me miles. I make a good amount less money now than in my former job at a hedge fund, and I feel much more financially sound. I’ve started to look at the psychology of the why I do things and have been able to make some adjustments from there.

  249. AP

    1. Yes.
    2. Specific scripts for setting up informational interviews while conducting a cross-country job search. Actual wording. I’ve tested some responses on my own, but I’d like to speed this process up as my list of target companies is pretty small (it’s in a specific, small niche).
    3. Finances are automated. Have a Bento database running for said cross-country job search which I use to test responses to my networking inquiries. Used that method to score two meetings last month in San Francisco (100% success rate).

  250. Alex

    Wow, Ramit, that’s quite a promise!

    I would be most interested in learning about how to avoid the “unconscious yourself”; how to create systems that let you push yourself to the right track. A classical one is “do not save what you are left with after saving, create instead automatic transfers”. We are not rational human beings and therefore we should learn to navigate through our shortcomings. In have some ideas but I would love to get your fresh, practical point of view on such matters.

    Perhaps I am being too unspecific, so:

    – How do I show confidence on an interview?
    – How not to unconsciously undermine my message by tone and insecureness?
    – How to get that confidence triggers from the bad guys to be automatic?
    – How to detect your own problems that you don’t even know about?
    – How to detect that there is an unknown game being played?
    – How can we be proactive and not wait till some great guy like you stops to help us?

    Thanks a lot for what you do!

  251. Peter

    1) I found your blog through the AJ and Jordan podcast and the material you’ve provided have been highly interesting so far. It’s great to see that you’re not someone who just rehashes the old advice about scrimping and saving and not going out so that you’ll be a few thousand richer when you’re old and boring.

    2) I’m highly interested in “mobile income”. That is, a job or business you can run from anywhere and without having to be tied to a 9 – 5. I’m highly interested in travelling/seeing the world and as someone who is leaving their 20s, its the right time to do it. Kind of what Tim Ferriss preaches, but your take on it. Note that I mentioned “mobile” and not “passive income”, I believe that you have to work hard for anything in life and the phrase almost implies that you can just be “passive” about your ambitions.

    3) Just found your blog so I haven’t reached that stage yet but I can say that A) I’m always willing to learn and not let EGO get in the way and B) I work my butt off for anything I really want.

  252. Alex Drysdale

    1. Is this interesting to you?
    2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be? Please be SPECIFIC — write as much as you need to — so I can hook you up with my best stuff.
    –I would love to learn more about learning more social skills to start growing my network to include more high value, motivated friends. I have been doing better at it myself lately having decided not to hang out with all my buddies I grew up with that still live at home and play video games with all their free time. The problem for me is making friends with the people that I can help and can help me. It may be a confidence thing and I sometimes catch myself saying ‘He’ll only thing I’m a young punk cause I’m 25 and we have completely different social interests” even writing it now makes me realize how dumb that is cause we have one major interest that is the biggest part of our conscious life… WORK. So any info on how to start associating myself with people that have that same motivation and drive but are maybe 15-20yrs older than myself that have the experience and learned their lessons… if this is even the right approach.

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.
    I came up with a great business idea this past March that I just KNOW WILL WORK. Although I’ve been procrastinating on it for the most part until I worked through your “Finding Your First Profitable Idea” ebook. After completing that I realized why I wasnt getting at it… and its because it involved me quitting my current job, selling my house and moving to Texas from Canada. Now even though I’m confident it will work its hard to give up a steady six-figure job even though I hate it. The reason I wasnt doing it was because of the massive change and loss of security it would cause. So having worked through the ebook, I came up with 3 great ideas that will be just as good and have been able to work at ON THE SIDE without having to make huge changes to my current situation. Now my ecommerce site will be open by the end of this month and I have secured 3 huge suppliers, have free warehouse space and logistics, as well as have many customers anxiously awaiting the sites launch due to the ease and quickness it will bring to an already current market that has not made it on the web up here. The two other businesses are currently being researched to check their validation and if there will be a sufficient market to support them


  253. NE

    Ramit, the small things you do make a difference:

    1) I used your script to get out of paying a late fee on a credit card, and
    2) I got two top people in my field (education) to email me back a response. But how do I stay connected to them?

    The SMALL things you’ve given me are working. I have no doubt it will move to bigger things.

  254. Madz

    1. Definitely!

    2. I’d like to know more about interviewing (vs. just getting a laundry list of usual questions and “expected” answers) which i can use for my quest for my next dream job and also about negotiating tactics / mindset which i want to use not only to get the salary i want but also for negotiating with banks and clients (more on this below)

    3. I’ve really learned a lot from your blog so much so that it really led me to evaluate if I was still happy doing what I was doing. From an outsider everything looked great – promoted in 2010, nice title, leading an managing people, etc – but I thought this just seems great now but could prove to be a dead-end road in a medium-sized company. Your blog taught me that we may only be using less than 50% of our thinking (doing and earning) capacity and if we maximize it, who else would benefit right? I realized we did not need permission from anyone to have a different career track (vs the standard expectation of get a job right out of college and rise through the ranks) and we definitely do not need anyone’s permission to be successful (yes, even in our mid-20’s). I tried to explore other profitable interests and one is real estate and my life has been changing since! From having attended a whole day seminar, reading books, constantly checking out bank foreclosure properties, always getting in touch with their property managers, and actually attending a property auction (just for the heck of it), now I’m on my way to getting a broker’s license in March 🙂

    On the side I’ve also checked out Odesk, sought out friends who were already successful at finding freelance work here and have just built my profile.

    Oh, and I also tendered my resignation already but I’m happy to note that even without having sent my CV to any company yet, there are already people in my network who do part of the work for me by giving me a heads up on openings. I’m confident I’ll be able to get my dream job before my last day at work.

    Thanks Ramit! There’s no denying you’ve also had a hand in all these 🙂

  255. Tiffany

    Yep, kinda loving this site, the information you offer and the *real* way you deliver it. So 1. Yes, this is interesting. Its a topic I’ve explored (and continue to explore) at length… the figuring it out phase post undergraduate degrees. I went from (what I thought was) my dream career to a hedge fund without batting an eye. Then when I was banking what others were making annually through my holiday bonus, I left. To follow my passion. When music education began to take a downturn, my interests have transitioned to entrepreneurial endeavors and I have a few years left to launch my own business before 30.

    2. I’d love to read more on what you say for those interested in finding their passion. I know how to get a job. I moved to a completely different city with no house and no job just this summer and I had a job within the month- in “this economy” no less. And I love my job… and it’s part of a bigger strategic plan I’ve put in place. However, when I read about business development and inspiring resources like your eBook, I have SO Many ideas… but again, ideas don’t generate revenue and they won’t get me into business for myself. I want to begin making my own six figure salary so tools and resources for how to clarify the mess of creative ideas would be helpful.

    3. I can’t answer this. I just found your sight through Ms. Laura Roeder and some affiliate emailing she did for you at the end of last year. So, I guess you need to go on faith that I’ll take action on what you share just like I have to have faith that you’ll give me some resources worth putting into practice. 😉

    Thanks again for everything and I’m excited to follow you and be in communication with you this year!

  256. Emma

    1. Definitely. I know what my dream is and want to get paid for it.
    2. Love the idea of a mind shift – absolutely agree interviewing is not answering questions…how can we “bring it” and upgrade the game ourselves? Also tips on negotiating the familiar power dynamics of person with a vacancy/money to pay/contacts and person wanting the job/opportunity.
    3. Found you in Oct. Implemented the 3 question email to professional contacts- fantastic results- engaged them in an interesting conversation two contacts of which i had never met but they were responsive and generous.

  257. Jonathan

    1. Is this interesting to you?

    2. SPECIFIC want: Scripts that show how to socialize with industry/corporate/start-up people to learn more inside information about jobs.

    How else do we find our dream job? It is very difficult to know what type of job you would like unless you hear the insider perspective on it. I would love to have ACTUAL scripts on how to set up lunches/coffees and then follow up and create relationships that allow me to gain insider information to find out what jobs are ACTUALLY like. I want to learn how to tap the so-called “secret” job market of unlisted jobs by becoming extremely good at networking and finding how skills/experience I have can make me a good fit for these jobs. My current strategy is by meeting people, and taking them out to lunch/coffee. But, I only have a limited amount of time to do this, so what are the 20% actions that yield 80% results in learning about cool jobs that I would have never realized existed?

    3. Gained confidence in negotiation and negotiated ~70% Salary increase. Having multiple job offers helped. Doing an 80/20 analysis on doing things that ACTUALLY help me. SPECIFIC example: Contacting someone who worked at the company already and having him mock interview me before the actual interview. Other SPECIFIC example: Helping friends by mock interviewing, mock negotiating. Other things from IWTYTBR: Negotiating increased credit limits with credit cards (Up from $4k to $14k), saved overdraft fees, automated my 401k, Roth, etc.

  258. Kevin

    Damn, this post really speaks to me. Alright, here goes.

    1. Yes
    2. Social skills & finding your dream job.
    3. I’ve automated my credit card payments and have opened a savings account. I’ll be opening a Roth IRA this year.

  259. Jalil

    Firstly awesome post. It really not only teaches me things about my job but how you are so successful in the first place (given that I am new to your blog and book).

    I think most valuable is the ACTUAL emails & language to secure meetings and get the desired outcome.

    Also anything about sales and how to be the best at getting deals.

    Lastly is just a tip cause I liked your post on StumbleUpon and realized it hadn’t been ‘liked’ yet so I left a review. You should get set up with them as they drive tremendous traffic.

  260. Katie

    1 – of course, or I’d be too lazy to leave this comment.
    2 – negotiating a raise. I’ve never done this and find the idea of it terrifying.
    3 – I nabbed two wonderful tutoring clients after subscribing, reading, and actually implementing your advice. I also got a part time gig teaching MCAT and have made some phenomenal contacts. I needed a butt kicking to garner the courage to get out there and DO something besides study all day and evening.

  261. Katie

    Just forgot to check the insider’s kit newsletter box before.

  262. jimb

    1) Absolutely! Short story time: 2010 was hands down the worst year of my life. The girl I wanted to marry left me, and a few months later my mom passed away. 2011 was my recovery year (emotionally as well as financially), and now I’m ready to kick ass in 2012.

    2) Social skills. I’m definitely shy and an introvert. I don’t necessarily dislike interacting with people and networking, but it takes a lot of effort on my part and wears me out, and I need alone time to recover from “social time.” For example, I play bass in a really popular band; we have 2-3 gigs a week at clubs and private parties (I made over $1k in December with the band), but I hardly ever interact with fans or party-goers. It’s just so much easier and more comfortable for me to go to the bar, get a beer, then go to the green room and have a few minutes alone than to be outgoing and interact with the crowd. Part of it, I think, is that I just don’t know what to say beyond “hey, how’s it going, you enjoying yourself?” So anything that can help me overcome my lack of social skills and be a better networker would be awesome. Plus, I know improvement in this area will help in virtually every other aspect of my professional and personal life.

    3) I’ve (mostly) automated my finances, and thanks in part to cutting mercilessly on things that aren’t important to me (and the side income from the band and my other freelance work), in 2011 I took my credit card debt from about 8k to zero, and now I actually have a (small but growing) cushion of money in the bank! I also was prepared to use the briefcase technique in my yearly review at the beginning of 2011 to support my case for a raise. It turned out that my boss and his boss liked my work enough that I didn’t even have to whip out the iPad with my customized-for-them demo reel; they said yes right away. I work at a non-profit, so it was unrealistic (and honestly probably a little unethical) to get a 20 or 30% raise like some of your students, but when a company’s cash flow is completely reliant on donations, even a modest raise is a win.

  263. Leo Altenberg

    1) Yes, This is everything I have secretly wished my parents had taught me.
    2) I would like to learn more about networking, social skills and more about being a top performer.
    3)I am new to IWT and have started the job I have wanted for years and am restructuring my finances / automating rewards credit cards.

  264. Chris J

    1. Wouldn’t leave a comment otherwise.
    2. Beneath the idea of “I’ll figure it out” lies fear that I’m really not that good enough, that anything new I try I’ll fail at. I know you’ve mentioned this concept before in some of your material, but somewhere along the line adults forget how to fail with a purpose. We get embarrassed, and rather than taking another shot, we quit. Maybe it’s because the older you get, the more you’re surrounded with people who are more successful than you. And it’s worse for those who did well early on, since learning from failure is a skill that early succeeders never developed. And that brings me to the roadblock I’m at in life. Any sort of meaningful expansion involves failure. How do you psychologically manipulate that failure into growth? Scary as hell.
    3. Small steps, but I’ve built more systems into my life rather than complaining all the time. I used to have a ton of trouble sleeping, but now I have a routine, even though I thought it was stupid at first. I’ve been flossing regularly for the last month. I wanted to cut back on drinking, and rather than just saying that, I alternate water and alcohol at bars. I’ve realized it’s not weakness to tweak your life to use less willpower – it’s efficient.

  265. B

    I am a scientist. I know you say not to make excuses so I am not. I want to know how I can make this difference in my job search. I cannot go into an interview and tell my future boss I can save them money or sell the most advertising. I want to know how I can sell myself as a great scientist, even if I am not!
    Also, I am not even sure that is my passion anymore. So I guess I would need help there too.
    How do I go after a job I have never trained for? To be specific: I am trained as a scientist. How do I prepare to go after a job in sector I have never worked in and has no job openings??

    • B

      1. Is this interesting to you?
      2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be? Please be SPECIFIC — write as much as you need to — so I can hook you up with my best stuff.
      3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.
      1. Very Interested
      2. I am terrible socially Socially awkward they call it. I just want to learn how to keep a conversation going, anywhere! I always freeze up, and then feel like a moron. If I could get passed that, I feel like I would have a lot more confidence for networking and selling my best self.
      3. AUTOMATION! Best and easiest thing to do ever and has helped me immensly.

  266. Jen

    1. Is this interesting to you?
    No, I clearly meant to spend time at icanhascheezburger instead. (See novel below for rebuttal of that snark.)

    2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be? Please be SPECIFIC — write as much as you need to — so I can hook you up with my best stuff.

    If I could have you write about anything, it would be about finding the RIGHT social situations and networking events so I wouldn’t find them so incredibly boring and useless as well as getting past my hatred of these “acquaintance” situations where I don’t know if talking to anyone is going to be awesome or lame.

    For example, I go to this “mini-lectures at a bar” series in DC that are full of people who should be right up my alley. Usually, I find 1-2 of the 4 lectures interesting and the rest of the time I sit with my gf and a hard cider wondering why no one in DC can ever relax enough to wear jeans and a cool t-shirt. Yet I would think I could meet people who I could befriend at these events as well as people who would be great networking contacts…and yet I sit there feeling resentful. I hate that I have to convince these people I’m good enough to hang out with or that I’m more than a sounding board for their pretentious non-profit dreams as I do not give a crap 95% of the time.

    I guess that’s what frustrates me. I’m really good at what I do (I’m maybe 5K underpaid, but bonuses have generally made up for this and I’ve increased my salary 20K in 2 years), I work well with others, I can’t stand not having work to do so I “take initiative” and I like where I work and would happily be there 10-15 years from now if I can increase pay and responsibilities on one of two job tracks. I’m a published author who “should be” pursuing side work in my secondary area of expertise or at least publicizing the books. I even actually have an amazing network of friends and associates I could use to do various cool things, though many of them live far away so I’m kind of lonely in DC.

    …and instead I curl my lip and think, “ehhhhh” while knowing I’m holding myself back. Which I don’t want to do because I’m potentially up for a promotion and April and I WANT IT. I like my company a lot and I want to get a pay and responsibility increase…but I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to show that my company would be making the smart bet by giving me more to do because I don’t know how to express the value of what I do even though *I know* about gaping needs we have in my company for something I could do and I know I would be awesomely good at addressing the issue if I could get the resources I need to do it.

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year?
    + Moved all the monthly expenses I could to a rewards card
    + Started doing like 85% of my spending on my credit card and paying it off every month <- such a good tip! It has reduced my money anxiety a lot.
    + Automated my finances (2010), increased Roth contribution in 2011
    + Read the original book and moved my 401(k) to a Vanguard fund when I got my new job last May
    + Negotiated to increase my salary 10K and get a week extra of vacation, and have the prospect of a 20% bonus at the new job I was recruited for
    + I also make sure my 401K contribution = employer match
    + Tried seeing if I needed a gym to do my fitness by trying different ways of working out – turns out I do best with a gym membership, but I got the cheapest one in the area ($10/month) so overall win.

    I already had an ING account in 2010 – likewise a Vanguard Roth– but I'd been "bad" with credit cards before so I waited til this year to try that strategy cuz it made me nervous — but that actually has really helped because I have a very good idea of what I actually spend without doing much budgeting so I can spend on stuff I love.

  267. Rich

    As a long time reader of your blog and also your book I have learned to apply certain teachings toward accomplishing some goals. As with anything you have to get past your own bullshit to get ahead. I respect that approach 100%. I emailed you awhile back about my situation as I was curious on your opinion. For whatever reason either the email never reached you or was just not something you could comment on. In any case I learned that the biggest hurdle is me.While my situation in severely different then any of your readers I know a time will come when I can apply your teachings to the fullest. Till then I will continue reading and studying. If you do come across my email I would still love to hear from you.

    • Rich

      I hit submit too quick but wanted to say that you have done a magnificent job helping tons of people. Keep up the great work

  268. Vinayak Maheswaran

    Hey Ramit,

    This is fascinating stuff as always. Really good mental tactics in dealing with the negative stuff on the media and a wonderful point about the love affair with the 8% unemployed when there are 92% who have jobs and are looking to get ahead.

    I really I am focusing on investment banking and I want to be an investment banking analyst. Looking to get into private equity and a hedge fund in 3-5 years probably after an MBA at an elite school,

    I am looking forward to your material on mastering interviews and the social network side. I think I have the resume and cover letter side down though.



  269. A.

    I can say 2011 saw a lot of change because of the advice I used from these types of posts. In January, I negotiated a 50% increase in my salary, which I renegotiated in May with another 30% increase – this, at a company supposedly “crippled’ by the economy. I automated my expenses and am finally saving 20% of my income without even noticing it leave my bank account. I can’t say that I am doing my “dream job” but maybe after implementing some of the tactics in this post I’ll make my way there. Thanks, Ramit!

  270. Erik

    1. This is very interesting and I want to learn more.

    2. Social skills is a must. It’s an area that I know I need to improve on immensely. I just never know what to say and dread the awkward pause.
    Communicating effectively is 90% of the battle for me. I just want to be able to speak with confidence and not be tripping over my tongue sounding as if I’m nervous around the other person. I want to know what to say in order to keep the conversation going and sound confident when I’m talking about something.

    3. In the past, I know I wasn’t trying hard enough. If I were to recieve a grade on this part, it would be a D-. The trap I often got caught in was telling myself “I’ll figure it out.” Now I know to eliminate that from my vocabulary. Fall seven times, stand up eight.
    This year I am starting with a clean slate and intend to focus on implementing one step at a time. I’m currently reading the Finding Your First Profitable Idea e-book and the IWT book again. Also, I’m reading your blog and setting specific, measurable goals to achieve.

  271. Greg

    I went and read animalsbeingdicks, then I came back to finish the article and sign up for the e-mail list.

    I’d be interested to hear more about:

    1. Narrowing down broad interests to a manageable set of positions.
    2. Writing resumes and cover letters that stand out from the pack.


  272. Steve

    1. Yes

    2. I’m a musician with a day job. My dream job is to perform and create music for a living however, with the changing landscape of the music industry, it’s difficult to focus on where sales come in. You get people to join an email list with a squeeze page where you send periodic updates that get them to a show, then offer an exclusive that gets them merchandise and inside info, then offer the smaller percentage an opportunity to play a house show for a much larger price and make a living playing house shows. Here’s my conundrum: the day job allows me to afford the equipment I need to play, but limits the amount of time I have to a) create, b) record, and c) perform. At my day job, I have too much responsibility and no support staff which equals 60 hour work weeks. I got the job through a network I didn’t even know I had, but it really is only an income source on the way to what I really want to do. So, how do you keep or increase income, but get rid of responsibility, stress, and time suck? Even though I have some time left in a day that I don’t work, there’s hardly any energy to do anything but eat, read your latest update, and go to bed. How do you maximize limited time with little to no energy? How do you attract people to your way of thinking? How do you create your own gravity? How do you turn your passion into a dream life not a dream “job”?

    3. In the past two years I’ve paid off my car, paid off my student debt, started a Roth, got an interest bearing checking and savings account and used your travel tips to help save on my sister’s wedding and save my company sometimes $1000’s of dollars on travel a month. Thanks for the excited feeling I get when I check my balances, before that I wondered where my next tank of gas was coming from.

  273. john

    This is very interesting stuff. I can’t count how many times I too have fallen into the “ill figure it out one of these days” trap. I feel that I do it almost every day too!. I’m a year out of a masters degree in my later 20s and started my career at a big firm, still I feel that I have underutilized potential and feel an entrepreneurial spirit building inside me. I see myself going 1 of 2 routes, either jump ship and start a business, god knows what that would be. Or gain insight into building a killer network, become a rockstar and efficient at the office and the go to guy eventually leveraging contacts at my current firm to launch myself into the service line I actually picture myself exceling in.

  274. Financial Advisor Sydney

    Love your passion, Ramit. Going to check out your book.

  275. Keith

    The quote in this post from Tessa, “I finally asked for a review from my boss about a year after I began working here (freelancers don’t generally get a review)” encouraged me to do the same thing. Just sent an e-mail to my client for a review so I can offer him improved service in 2012. This is just one of the many great things from this post. Thanks Ramit!

  276. Rick McClelland

    Currently in college and preparing a reel & resume to search for an internship. Specific tips for how to properly do this would be the bomb.

    Used your advice from the website/book in the last year to:
    Sign up for my first credit card
    Open a Roth IRA
    Get better bank accounts (ING & Schwab; I now also mock my friends for having poor ones)
    Automate finances from my part-time job
    Secure $3,200 in scholarships (Which is a million times better than my previous amount: $0 Didn’t even bother to take action until I read your stuff.

    Likely could have done more, but it’s definitely a start, and that’s the most important thing. Thanks for everything you do.

  277. Chris L

    looking forward to what’s to come. It sounds exciting and very helpful.

  278. Jaisy

    I got what I thought would be my dream job about 7 months ago. What I wasn’t ready for is the 2-3 hour commute each day and working through lunch culture here.In addition to a change in responsibilities from originally discussed and re-org effective this week. Now I’m sitting here writing this and just hating my job. My finances are getting in order but my work and personal life could use work. I need to know simply how to get along with the people I work with and deliver beyond performance goals inspite of my lack of experience/drive and/or mediocre training all while I find the energy to look for a new gig.

  279. Tony Zarembski

    Ramit, thanks for kicking my ass into gear. I’m going to email you the specifics of how your site helped change my life. In the meantime, I have to ask: does your site track which links people click on? I’d love to hear how many people visited

  280. Jeremy

    1) YES!!!

    2) To find out my passion. I would also like to find a company or place to work that is a good fit for me, so I can be excited when I go to work. I want to be valued as an employee, not just another number to the company I choose to work for. So pretty much everything you talked about now comes into play…

    3) I have automated my finances

  281. Laura

    1. Yes, very.

    2. As many people have mentioned, I’m interested in the “not enough experience” problem — especially in a field (teaching/school administration) where many job descriptions have very specific experience requirements (I do have the necessary certifications).

    3. Through my network I heard about a job that was way above what I would have thought I’d be considered for (and that would have tripled my current salary). I applied anyway and got an interview. The weekend before, based on the idea I got from your blog, I spent several hours putting together an eight-page “briefcase document” detailing proposed strategies for how the organization, with or without my help, might address its current problems. The interviewers were very impressed, and I went through several rounds of interviews, finally losing out to someone with literally forty more years of experience in the field than myself. Although I didn’t get that particular job, I made some great contacts who are happy to help me going forward, and I got way farther than I ever would have thought I would.

  282. Jodi Combs-Kalla

    Good stuff. I’m officially a fan. I really appreciate what you’re offering out here. Thanks for the help.

  283. Mark

    1. Yes, this is always interesting.
    2. I’m interested in negotiating a raise in a large company that is very strict on rules & fairness. An example of that is being denied a health incentive credit because it wasn’t coded as such on the bill and HR rejecting my personal appeal “because of the necessity of applying eligibility conditions equally to all members”.
    3. I automated my finances (set up credit card/ach’s for all bills), asked for 2 credit increases now, and set up a target retirement roth IRA.

  284. Elizabeth

    1. 50% applies to me, but there are enough gems in there that I know I’ll follow along to glean what I can.

    2. I already know what I want to do & have been doing some freelancing (pattern making for the garment industry), but want to increase my freelancing so that I can leave the 3 day a week job, or at least get them to pay me more. At the same time, want to start my own product based company (4 hour work week, baby). So, networking and negotiating are key.

    3. In the past week I increased my credit limit, made sure there were no fees on my credit card & confirmed my rewards rate, checked my credit score, and am refinancing my house for a better rate.

  285. Keith

    Ramit, I love your stuff, and if all your posts are going to be like this, I think 2012 is going to kick ass. I know where I want to work, I have networked and researched the hell out of it and know who I need to talk to. What I need to know is how do I make my Resume and Cover Letter stand out so that I can get into that interview. I know my interviewing skills will get me the job, but I have always had trouble creating a kick-ass resume and cover letter. Please help me with that.

    How do you know that I will take action? This is the place I want to work at. My wife works for this company and this is where I want to be. This is my Dream Job.

  286. cjhuitt

    1: It was interesting enough I also read through the comments to see what other people were saying… well, OK, I skimmed them, at least.

    2: I would like advice on molding a job at a company into one you enjoy more. Specifically:
    a) Introducing new processes, or changing processes. There are many ways we do things at work that could be better in the long run, but the short-term costs are often all that’s seen. Of course, the long-run results are only a possibility, not a certainty.
    b) Introducing and changing tools. Many of the same issues apply for tools as for processes, although the costs are much easier to define (and therefore see), while the savings are often estimates of improved productivity. Plus, one potential drawback here is my supervisor’s (somewhat valid) concern that productivity improvements will just give people more time to slack off while doing the same amount.
    c) Ways to begin working from home, and work to gaining that benefit. Note that I don’t actually want to work from home anything near all the time, but would like the option for one or two days a week.
    d) Alternately, ways to begin working a non-standard schedule. Right now I’m a salaried 8hrs/5days employee, but I might rather work 10hrs/4days, or even 9hrs a day, getting a day off every other week.
    e) Alternately, tips for negotiating extra time off. It might not even have to be paid, but if my wife says “Let’s take a vacation in Cancun again this year”, I’d like to not have to start mental gymnastics to know if I have enough time.
    g) I think there’s a customer desire for a set of features from our company. Others acknowledge this desire also, but I believe they are approaching it too lackadaisically. How could I suggest a new department be created to handle this, with this aspect as their sole focus, instead of wedging bits and pieces into different departments? This may be trickier by the fact that I might be seen as wanting to create my own personal kingdom… which is partly true, I’ll admit, but mostly I want to see it done. There are also side-benefits that could show up in the company if it were done well, although the primary benefit will be supplying customers what they want (for a given price).

    3: The biggest thing I’ve done in the past year (as pushed by IWTYTBR, anyway) is stop putting so much time into money items. By this I mean the minutiae of tracking the money, paying bills, etc. My wife and I are earning enough to be comfortable, so instead of worrying about it all, I got as much as I could easily automate put on automatic. I still check up on things once or twice a month, but I’m no longer spending a couple hours every weekend going through receipts and making sure all the bills are paid on time.

    Non-IWTYTBR-related, I’ve spent a lot of time editing a book I wrote last year, along with getting comments and critiques on it, and some time writing another.

  287. Jesse

    Ramit – I recently took a great job at a financial startup (doing well, but lots of work). I desperately need help in socializing with my co-workers and billionaire boss(es), as well as handling the political game. This is new to me (with a background at very small businesses), and I cannot afford not to be a master socially (like at the holiday party when you see some people connecting and advancing while I wonder what the F to do!). I have a huge opportunity before me and my family needs me to make the most of it.

  288. Leon B

    1. Yes Ramit, this is interesting to me.

    2. I would like you to write about dealing with setbacks in your life, when things don’t go to plan and I believe you mentioned briefly in the above post about having lots of passions/things that interest you and not knowing what to go for. Surely it can’t be as simple as going for the passion that is the biggest earner financially can it?

    3. I have only recently discovered you through Tim Ferris’ Facebook post referring to you. IWT? (I Will Teach?) I dunno.
    I’ve signed up to your newsletter and I’m very interested in your work, I have recently purchased an internet marketing package before I discovered you. I don’t know whether implementing two at once would be a good idea. I’m soon to be a customer of yours one day, I can feel it. Thank you for your inspiring posts.

  289. Jessica Rudder

    Right now I could use some hard core resume advice. I’ve read resume info in your archives, watched the Penelope Trunk interview on resumes you recommended (good stuff!) and so on. Then I sat down, hand wrote a resume, thought, “This is kick ass and as soon as I type it up I’m gold” and didn’t touch it for four months. When I came back to type it up, I discovered my ‘kick ass’ resume is actually lame and cheesy. It would settle nicely into the middle of the pack which is not where I or my resume want to be.

    I know that making a good resume will take work. Right now I’ve got a measly 2 hours of effort in there and I’m more than happy to spend more. However, I don’t want to waste my time doing the research if someone else (you!) has already done a lot of the leg work.

    If you provide me with well-tested and actionable resume writing tips and techniques, I will put in the time necessary to utilize them to write an amazing resume. In return (if you’d like) you’re welcome to the honest before and after resumes as examples (with personal info removed, of course, so my fans can’t find me…) and I’d be more than happy to provide detailed feedback on what did and did not work as well as follow up information on how well the resumes are doing (with the understanding of course that the resume can only do so much and I have other work that needs to be done to get an amazing job).

  290. Julia Megan Sullivan

    1. Yes, interesting. Scrolled through the comments looking for a “no” for fun – and to see what I could learn from their comment. No dice.

    2. When researching a company/dream job/lunching with someone in the inner circle of the company, how do you know when you’ve struck gold and found the nugget (or nuggets) that you need to move forward and really nail it? You talked about going deep, but how deep is too deep? At what point are the diminishing returns of research just not worth it?

    3. Totally different approach to preparing for interviews. Starting with research, using your tactics to get connected to people on the inside of the hiring process, and then wowing them with what I can do for them in the first 30/60/90 days beginning with this proposal (whips out proposal). Briefcase technique all the way.

  291. Justin Mares

    1. Yes

    2. Knowing specifically how to get people to meet with you in their field of expertise, even before/when you aren’t doing anything they might find interesting. I found that I only had people wanting to meet with me after I started executing on some things in my own life, and not before.

    3. Automated my finances, bought and read first profitable idea which lead to over $1000 in income in 2 months (I’m still in college). I also got offered 2 jobs by people in my network I had to turn down, and landed a $50k development contract for a dev shop I started by applying your Earn1k free material (getting in the client’s head, focusing on benefits, briefcase technique). I also used a horrible pickup line (Harry Potter themed..) as part of a system to force myself and my friends to be more outgoing with attractive girls.

  292. September

    I love your writing. Thanks so much for sharing – and being open and trusting to your followers.

    What would I want most from you – to meet you. I would just really enjoy talking to you in person. But that isn’t what you asked. I would want some help narrowing down my market, marketing my services and tweaking my business idea. I have started a consulting biz to help companies with social responsibility, team building and event coordination. Apparently it is a great idea when I tell people about it – but I am having a tough time converting it into sales. I have been considering doing the 1K Idea course – but I have been balking at spending money on a course….

    Some things that you have said that changed my outlook are:
    Get out of your own head and get out there. Try things, talk to people, etc – but stop thinking about it, or figuring it out.
    Narrow down your market, then narrow it down further.
    And your language/vocabulary is great. I learn what I am thinking at every turn – but in so much clarity thanks to your words.

    What have I done specifically? I have definitely made some advertising decisions based on I what I think my market is. A couple advertising opportunities came up and once I thought about ‘will it reach my target market’ it made it easy to pick the right ones.
    I have shared some of your concepts with my business coach and we have integrated it with some of my plans.
    I don’t spend much time stewing anymore – ever. I recently had a ‘I am scared to take the next step’ phase. I did spend some time ‘inside my head’, thinking about what I needed to do next and talking to some friends about my trepidation. But then I decided enough is enough, I need to make those the next steps. Which I have done.

    Thanks again for all your insight.

  293. Rachel

    1. Is this interesting to you?
    Yes, very much so

    2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be? Please be SPECIFIC — write as much as you need to — so I can hook you up with my best stuff.
    A combination of negotiation/social skills, interacting with colleagues, my former colleagues/network, with c-suite, groups of girlfriends, men. I am a “textbook INTJ” and sometimes these interactions drain me way too much. I tend to swing from one extreme to another; either I kick ass at work and have zero social life, or I date a lot but my work output is meh. I’d like to be able to do both. Beyond the shallow social interactions with men, I’m single and would love to be with a man who likes “my type” (aka, me) and would be a partner in crime. I’m failing when it comes to blind dates, church, airport/airplane guys and online dating.

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.
    I recently began a new job, and on one of my first flights out to the client, I read IWT in one sitting. That night I went into the self service site and automated my paycheck/finances. Already had the multiple bank accounts, just wasn’t putting ’em to use. Then I went and scheduled automatic payments for all my bills. I use different bank accounts for different spending categories and this makes me feel totally guilt-free for not following a “true budget.” I travel extensively for work and it is extremely comforting to know I’m on track at home. The OCD in me doesn’t even need to obsessively check all those multiple balances, either.
    You could probably say I picked an easy IWT advice topic to implement and you’d probably be right. I’m willing to take action on something more tough though 🙂

  294. C

    I know my passion, or should I say, passions. I’m a truth-seeker when the world wants engineers. In the field I work, lots of people (including a 2nd level manager) are offended when I point out what they’re doing wrong. Rather than say something like, “Wow! I never though of X that way!”, I get, “You hurt my poor little feelings.” I actually stopped dressing up for conferences because of the tremendous discomfort I felt: I was competing with the other clown suit wearers to impress others. Now, if it weren’t for my Southern accent, I could say I was from California. 😉

    My autism lies behind this. (I explained more in response to the career advice post.) Having to do something that doesn’t coincide with a passion, interest, obsession or what have you is very stressful, even if I’m good at it, like computer programming. As for games being played around me, I have no clue what they are. Only in retrospect or by talking to others can I get an (imperfect) idea. Often, I simply get the wrong idea. I can have what seems to be a great interview, only to realize that I blew it and have no clue why. Interviews are very biased toward neurotypicals (non-autistics). Much of what they’re about is whether the interviewer wants to play with the interviewee. NTs find us strange and don’t want to play with us. Things have gotten worse, as fields which were safe for autistics are now filled with NT applicants. Most interviewers will trade an autistic’s competence for an NT’s social abilities. The increase in team environments worsens this. We can collaborate but don’t care about the team: we care about the work.

  295. Julie

    I am so tired hearing I have to be passionate about my career. If I did not grow up hearing about this, I probably would be in a much better position today and have initially explored careers outside of art in high school. Some of us are quite content with a sounds sorta boring day job that pays the bills. I’m trying to find one of these. Not that I’m a slacker, but I do not have the capacity to be passionate about everything in my life. I want to pursue my passion outside of work, for enjoyment.

    However, I really enjoy the posts about personal finances and travel. I’ve automated my savings and I’m going to automate all of my bills this year.

  296. Maureen

    I apply the 80/20 rule regularly to my retail business. During peak retail season (Q4), I only concentrated on re-stocking my top performing products versus researching new products.

    Thank you Ramit!

  297. Syed

    Former student of yours from ‘Earn 1K’

  298. Sarah

    1. Is this interesting to you?


    2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be? Please be SPECIFIC — write as much as you need to — so I can hook you up with my best stuff.

    I’d love to work through some material on social skills. I’ve swung and missed at many a networking event namely because I’m not sure how to strategically move around the room figuring out which people I could forge a mutually beneficial relationship with. Do you have scripts for these type of events? A way to move quickly through the shallow in order to know whether it’s worth going deeper with a person or moving to another conversation? I’d LOVE to hear these. What about follow ups? How can I develop meaningful relationships beyond these initial, often rushed and superficial interactions?

    In short: how do you turn your contacts into profitable projects, and/or dream jobs? Insight into this would be greatly appreciated?

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.

    I chose skill-building over resume-shotgunning, and used the briefcase trick to land my first job as a college drop-out. After spending a miserable week checking Craigslist every two seconds and applying to 50 or so asinine jobs, I decided enough was enough. I sat down with a friend of mine and identified a list of my strengths and narrowed it down to one – generating hype online. I went to the library and read every book on social media marketing (I feel you cringing) that was available. The week before the interview, I picked the hiring company’s existing online presence to pieces in a two page report of potential projects and specific steps they could take to become a bigger deal to local companies through these different social media channels. I was hired. I quickly moved on from social media marketing, but have continued to use the same technique with decent results. I’m so good at getting jobs I’m qualified on paper for, it’s practically a hobby. If I could add onto my answer to question 2, I’d like more insight on ‘hacking’ jobs I’m not technically qualified for. I’m sick and tired of hearing, “Oh, you’re a great candidate. Your credentials are just what we’re looking for, but we really need someone with a BA or X arbitrary years of experience.” Since I’m not in the field of civil engineering, rocket science, or heart surgery, I know that skills matter more than credentials, but how do I prove to potential employers that I’m just as qualified as college graduates?

  299. Marian

    1. Yes!
    2. I know what I like to do and I know the fields that interest me, but that’s still too broad. How do I narrow down the options I have? How do I know what jobs fit best with my skills, interests and ambitions? I am currently in an interesting job, but I know there are many more out there, and a lot higher paying as well. I am pretty sure these jobs aren’t the ones advertised. So HOW do I find them and let them know I exist?
    3. I have automated my finances, asked for a raise and secured a new job paying over double what my former job paid.

  300. Tim Brauhn

    1. Yup
    2. Social fluency – I have not a lick of understanding when it comes to turning “Oh Tim, that sounds really interesting” into “Oh Tim, let me give you some money for that interesting thing.” I guess that’s mostly face-to-face sales conversion stuff, but I could use some guidance on essentially telling people what they want and need instead of getting a bland response to “Are you interested in these products?”
    3. This is too general: I got inspired and got off my ass and set up some hustles. Some of your invisible scripts stuff got me into a tizzy of productivity, and I anticipate that social fluency education could do the same.

  301. John

    I want to know the confidence triggers you discovered that “bad boys” display. There.

  302. Olivia

    This is all very interesting. Though I guess what makes me stall on all of your advice is self confidence. I want to do it all but I really cannot believe that I can. I’ve been starting out small and testing bits of advice here and there and I’ve gotten a few results – mainly sit some one down and talk about their job. It was a great experience for me – I’ve managed to network and considered a job that I see potential in though a year ago I would have never even considered it. Yet despite the success I’m stalling and freezing up.

    I would love to hear more about breaking psychological barriers. I definitely use “I’ll figure it out” as a mantra and no I haven’t gone anywhere when I do use it.

  303. Paul

    #1. Yes. this is incredibly interesting. I did my Masters at Columbia University in the Psychosocial Study of Human Movement. It was a program based in NLP, Ericksonian Hypnosis and Gestalt Therapy. I know better than to “keep trying to figure it out” Unfortunately I’ve often spent more time helping others to take action while sometimes the advice myself.

    #2. I am 49 years old and have been a Division I college coach for over 20 years. For most of that time, I worked 80 hours a week, 45 weekends a year and at least 35 of those weekends on the road. Last December, I left college coaching to get to know my wife and three children. I have several different ideas I have been testing out over the last year, but am finding that I’m a bit too spread out and need to focus more specifically on one or two things. My goal is to find work that allows me to spend quality time with my family and stay out of the work cycle I was in previously. My personality lends itself to working constantly. For me, living rich would be doing something I enjoy (or not) that earns enough money for me to enjoy my time with the family without constantly analyzing my finances.

    #3. This is the fist time I have delved into your emails. I am going to complete your One Week MBA program this week.

  304. Chad

    Honestly I never feel like I can add anything to the conversations here, and I almost closed the window rather than write this.
    I have been lurking on your site for 5 years and am ready to pull my head out of my ass. I’m moving to the other side of the world in a few weeks and have spent the last 3 years breaking through my psychological barriers (Think hiking 2,000 miles and living in a disaster zone). Now I’m more than ready to hammer on the job front.
    I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts and insistence on a bullshit free environment. That said I’d love to learn more about developing my networking skills (how to get the coffee date / how to job shadow). Whether this means approach techniques or ways to get an “in”, if for example you don’t have one through an existing connection.
    The resume stuff is intriguing, but obviously it is for way further down the line. So It strikes me that a well defined research framework for studying a field or company is the first interest. Then how to apply that to actually making contact and developing a relationship with the people that can help you get your dream job.
    It seems like people get all hung up on the reasearchy BS, so if there was a framework that they could use to get the studying done they could be pushed out there to engage with the outside world. That’s what I would be most interested in.

    in short:

    1. how to effectively research a field (without wasting time and procrastinating)
    2. how to apply that research to making initial contact and developing a relationship.

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.

    • chad

      oops, didn’t realize that I left the 3rd question blank. I took a lot of your advise on networking and tested it in an environment where I built an NGO from the ground up. Our work was focused on logistical support and connectivity so it was an interesting place to try different networking techniques. Other than that I have to say that last year was a bust for using your advise. This year is a whole different matter.

  305. Abhishek

    1. Is this interesting to you?
    Fuck yeah

    2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be? Please be SPECIFIC — write as much as you need to — so I can hook you up with my best stuff.
    I would definitely say negotiation and social skills. I graduated college a few weeks ago, am 21 years old, and am a very social person. But I don’t seem to know how to use these skills to even find the answers I am looking for in my dream job search. It all gets a bit overwhelming, and I sort of get lost/confused in my own thoughts. Your posts before have greatly helped me become better at networking and negotiation, but in terms of my dream job search, I am still at a stand still in terms of going about it. I would love to see more examples of how people got their dream jobs, and then use those examples to make my own path.

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.
    -I have integrated your negotiation skills form your book about negotiating with credit card companies. I’ve gotten every credit card fee removed. Every. single. one. I’ve truly changed my mindset about how to go about doing something, meaning in the past I used to psyche myself out and would say “whats the point? I probably won’t get it.” or “its probably not worth to go to”. You’ve changed me from being a lazy-ass to a proactive person (still lazy at times).

  306. Holly

    1. ABSOLUTELY!!!
    2. I’m interested in learning more about networking and social fluency. It’s only been recently that I’ve been introduced to the concept of networking. I find it incredibly intimitdating.

    I’m also interested in learning how to land interviews and blow people out of the water. I’m wanting to do teach internationally. Getting interviews and building connections overseas is something I need to learn how to do. With the distance how do you get a foot in the door in another country, even without experience? I’m curious to see your info and learn how I can apply it to my career. Working in education is a unique field. When I first read your stuff it made me wonder… “How does this apply to my job?”… a question I’m sure you’d love to rip apart. 🙂 I look forward to seeing how I will use it.

    3. Automation has greatly improved my stress levels. I like to take a nice relaxing breath when I hear people talk about how stressfull it is to pay their bills, making sure they mail them in on time, worring the money might not get to the right place, and hopeing they don’t forget one. Unfortunately, my attempts to express how easy it is to automate it are usually met with a fear of the internet. Not to mention the other benefits of earning points and saving.

    I also used your form to look at passions and skills. I combined my love of dancing and teaching to earn some money on the side as well. That’s a skill that I’ve found I want to continue to develop and use more in the future. I would have never thought it was possible or considered the option without looking at those things. Networking and social fluency would be a majot help here as well!!

  307. Virginie

    Dear Ramit,

    I am 37 and working in a full time job that I love, so probably a bit different from your normal demography. However, I would benefit from those two topics:

    1. I would like to negotiate the possibility to work in the summer from our beach house. I am already in a remote office so I proved to be independent and efficient by myself; however working from home has not been so far accepted by the company.

    2. I am interested in your outsourcing ideas. I am going through my work week to check what I like and I do not like and check how I can outsource things I do not like. In particular, do you have recommendations for outsourcing companies that would compile reports out of notes taken in a meeting ?

    Many thanks

  308. Jonathan Chhabra

    1. Yes it’s very interesting!
    2. I’d love to learn more about social skills. I could always use some more tips on networking.
    3. Your July 11th post on how to stop being lazy has helped a ton! I’m trying to teach myself coding and your baby steps advice keeps me going everyday.

  309. Pat

    1. Yes

    2. How to negotiate a better salary. Scripts and the % of what works.
    3. Automating my finances. Stop wasting time paying the mundane bills every month, take the time to get things setup so that they are paid for me monthly and I just review the information monthly.

    Do the research to start my own business and to start small… eating an elephant, one bite at a time.

  310. Jim

    I’ve always excelled at my jobs but I’ll admit there were times I asked myself how I got it. I always felt confident in the interview process but I did wonder what it was that I was saying right that got me where I am. I’ve never felt uncomfortable when I’m being interviewed. Negotiating however, is my weakness. To the point I’ve been trying to help a brother who has been beat down job wise and I’m struggling. I do feel action will be one of the best ways to show him using your processes will give him the kick in the butt he needs – I just wish he would work through this with me at the same time. You’ve definitely changed my life Ramit, I only hope it does the same for my brother!

  311. Nick S

    1. Yes.

    2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be? Please be SPECIFIC — write as much as you need to — so I can hook you up with my best stuff.

    I am interested in overcoming my fears and anxieties and learning how to talk to the right people and start conversations which will help me land my dream job. For some reason I’ve been hesitant to actually reach out to people to try to learn about the industry I am interested in, even when I know that is what I need to do. I guess the specific stuff would be how to reach out to people and then what to say once I get some face or phone time with them.

    Also, any tips on how to get a credit card when I don’t have any rotating credit history?

    3. I cleaned up my finances, paid of my student loan debts and maxed out my Roth IRA.

  312. Katja

    Hey Ramit,

    shouldn’t read your posts before bedtime.. call to action collides with
    a call from my bed. In answering the question in your blog post:

    I’d like to know more about the process of finding my passion, I’m
    having a serious Ugh field [1] around the whole future planning process. While I’m still a student there’s already been trouble because I missed deadlines on optional but great stuff (like exchange programmes) because I wasn’t sure what I really wanted and whether I was on the right path anyway.


    [1] You most certainly don’t
    have a lot of time, but I highly recommend the whole Less Wrong blog!
    (If you don’t know it already.. you probably do.) TL;DR version: Ugh fields occur around some areas and let you flinch away every time you try to touch them.

  313. Omar Hashmy

    1. Abso-fu**-lutely
    2. Would love for you to elaborate on the “confidence triggers” that bad boys display, and also more about finding my passion. While I have a pretty good feel for what I’m good at, and can excel in, I am always struggling with committing because I fear that I will get uninterested in the work I’m doing, and others will not be so impressed (petty, I know).
    3. Automating my finances. The biggest help for me has been setting up the ING account that automatically withdraws money from my paycheck deposits every week. Also, I have set up 2 lunches with influentials in my industry. While they didn’t prove to be super helpful, I am definitely getting more comfortable approaching successful people and asking for their time.

  314. Allen Youdim

    1. definitely
    2. I would like to know what steps can be taken before or to get the interview. I have done the research for the company, using the 80/20 approach, but what can be done to influence your resume’ getting chosen or being considered for interview.
    3. I use the briefcase technique when I sign up a client for my freelance social media services. I do my research and impress them with what I have came up with. Also I will be applying for jobs next year and my cumulative gpa is not too good (hopefully this past semester’s grades will boost it), so I will be capitalizing on your information to showcase my work and strengths outside of school.

  315. Todd Medema

    1. Definitely – I’m more of a startup-creator than a job-seeker, so as I read I’m mentally thinking of how to apply these strategies to making my startup ( successful
    2. The most useful to me would be on the negotiation and networking fronts. I’ve always had a knack for only doing things I love. Because of that, I’ve been free to notice how many opportunities in my life have come from seemingly “chance” connections, which are really just the results of networking. Once the opportunities come along, though, I struggle to negotiate them to their absolute maximum potential (sometimes even failing the negotiations so bad as to lose the opportunity, such as our most recent attempt to partner with another startup)
    3. Hard call since I started reading about 3 weeks ago 😛 So far, it’s mainly been food for thought that I’ve been sharing with the AutoRef team. I will be adopting your philosophy of trying lots of different approaches and measuring results, however, next week at our CES booth. I’ll let you know how that goes!

  316. Marcos

    2. Social skills will be the best, but all topics are interesting. I’m very bad at interpersonal relations, and I have almost no social life, and no network.
    3. I cant say now, because I discover you site this 2 weeks ago, but I reading your archive and the email list and soon I will can tell the results

  317. Leonel

    I am very pleased with this post. You’ve done an incredible job marketing yourself, it takes a great deal of skill to do that.

    I am a struggling serial entrepreneur with a passion for art, mainly acting. I’ve gone on auditions and haven’t booked a gig, 2012 is my year.

    I want to be wealthy and debt-free. I have to network like crazy and study my craft and how to market myself more.

  318. Marie Dela Torre

    Of course IWT is always interesting. I always love to read more from you.

    I’d love to learn more about negotiating and being more assertive, learning extroversion. Being authentic and being professional at the same time. Transitioning from solo entrepreneur to employee.

    I applied your briefcase technique at a job interview, where I was referred by my colleague. Nailed it! Now, I actually have my dream job, focusing on doing what I love and loving what I do — while learning to once again tread corporate waters.

  319. Nemy

    2.Are there social skills that are universal in most situations…the ones that the cool guys have down to a habit?
    3.Implemented conscious spending technique for my travel desires…went down to my local credit union,sat down with a rep,and had rep create savings accounts titled Japan Travel,and New York…as reminder to pour money in.

  320. Whittney

    Deeply excited for this. I’m a law school almost-graduate – this feels perfectly timed to get me changing everything from job searching to life-management in this next year.

    2. For me personally, right now I’m focused on resumes and interviewing. I graduate in May; student loans start coming due in November.

    3. I’ve been on your email list for a while, but mostly skimmed – currently looking back through all my kept emails for things I can start implementing now.

  321. LaughingMouse

    1. YES! Very very interested.
    2) Negotiating in a current position. You talk a LOT about systematic and strategic process, but it’s hard to “experiment” on your boss. You can only go in and try to ask for a raise so many times.
    –Also, YOUR techniques for me as a single 30-something at finding love. Not the “straighten your hair,” “Lose 40 pounds,” “Go where the men are,” types of advice that are old and either don’t work, or aren’t working by themselves.
    3. I think what I have implemented would be more like not following the advice you’re not giving. Gawd that sounds ridiculous and borderline nonsense. I lost my Dad unexpectedly in April, so my whole life has shifted in the last 9-10 months. Even before that, I recognized that I was not prepared, ready or willing to systematically test my ideas for my freelance work. I’m 95% certain I could be reasonably successful and that there isn’t a lot of work left to be done in narrowing down my focus. But, I also know that in grappling with my Dad’s death I’m not in a good place to achieve long-term success and because of the grief and processing of everything, I’m fairly sure I would RUIN any reputation I might be able to build. So, I am waiting until I can see a future clear enough that I think I can create and maintain the success I believe is out there.
    –As far as doing whatever you tell me to in regards to #2, asking my boss for a raise is a completely different situation than seeking to launch freelance work that would rely almost 100% on word of mouth and local reputation. If she says no, I still have a job and my apt etc. If I try to launch freelance and drop the ball entirely because I’m not actually ready, I may not be able to recover from that.

  322. Katie

    1) Yes
    2) Negotiating a raise. I love my job, but my firm is very standardized in terms of raises and promotions. Despite this, I feel like “top performers” could make it work (and what’s the harm in trying?). I see two outcomes: I get a raise/promotion or I learn that I’m not doing top performer work worthy of a larger raise/promotion, which in itself is useful feedback.
    3) I felt too intimidated to start investing and was stuck in the “reading, not doing” phase, although that’s what brought me to your blog (it was a link from GetRichSlowly, in case you were curious). After reading your blog, I bought your book. While reading your book, I opened my first Roth IRA as well as set-up my 401K with my company.

  323. Zari

    1. Definitely

    2. Social skills – I want to become more outgoing and friendly. I tend to be the shy, observant person in the crowd. I want to be able to walk into a room full of strangers and strike a conversation whether its in a group of peers (twenty somethings) or an older crowd. Also, in conversations I usually ask all the questions and end up hearing whole life stories from the other person. I want to know how to turn this around to the point its mutual sharing of information. What are the cues that can shift conversation in a crowd, one on one? I also want to be able to speak more in depth about my work as a photographer.

    3. IWT advice that I used in 2011. I took five professionals in my field out for lunch and coffee who all gave me invaluable advice. I’m going to do this every month in 2012. You were right Ramit, there’s tonnes of people out there who are an incredible source of information and will share it with you at no cost other than a coffee. All I needed to do was ask.

    • Marcos

      Your #2.
      Start small. Don´t expect to become that outgoing person in a party first-time. Start with your aunt – next time you see her, don´t let her tell you her whole life again. Just nicely walk away if she does not show you some interest too. Or your boyfriend, friend, etc.

      Post it back when you´ve managed to give the first two steps in this direction!

  324. Topher

    1) Yes, this was very interesting. I especially like when someone can bring something to light (say, if 2k resumes didn’t work, 2k&10 won’t be any better) that seems obvious, but CLEARLY is not. I’m always trying to look at my personal system and see what repetition isn’t working for me, but I also look to outside advice to make it more apparent. I have not sent out 2k resumes by the way. I also enjoy the fact that we’re reading the same articles and having the same feelings/annoyances when finished. I appreciate your writing, because its another point of view that keeps me engaged and thinking/questioning what I assume to be true/right.
    2) As for a personal request, my situation pans out that, I didn’t want to intern for a large firm and all the lawyers I talked to said wait until after the new year to apply for mid-sized firms. Well, the mid-size firms claim they aren’t hiring interns. Here is where I’d like suggestions or work arounds; even just new ways to look at the situation. I am using my network to talk to lawyers in mid-size firms and look for opportunities, however the majority of my network is relatively new to the field and claim they don’t have any influence over who gets hired. Besides having these people refer me upwards to people that “do have the power;” what else can I do to become noticed and open up my own internship. I’m not looking for a craig’s list posting, I”m looking to make my own position.
    3) It has been well over a year since I implemented your IWT book’s lessons. I have convinced a couple people to buy the book (I’m too greedy to give mine up) and have helped convince them that its easy enough to do the matching for their retirement fund at work.

  325. Tj

    #1 YES

    #2 Negotiating would be a great skill to learn in general.

    #3 new to the blog and mail list but eagerly awaiting your advice.

  326. Judd

    G’day Ramit,

    If you’re willing to tell people to go away, I’m willing to stay.
    As my Dad use to say, “Give it to me straight Doc, don’t sugar-coat it.”



  327. Amy

    I am looking for real life ways to handle internal salary negotiations as I find them different from changing companies and being on the outside. There is poor info from what I can find and realizing other advice I am getting is not so good either.

    My personal case is – I have interviewed, been selected as their first choice but have not received salary details (yes I want the job). I am feeling at disadvantage since they have salary history and details on me but also benefit of stellar track record and reviews. I have found to similar info to show my value, results and competitive data. The company default probably like many is too base increase from where you are at now rather than the market. I have researched similar jobs and have info to show if needed but don’t want to have to go there. I do have view of company pay scale by job as well which is one benefit of being inside company. What advice and ways should I handle challenging offer to be higher? Should I let them put out the first number or I drive the first number? Other ideas?

    Thanks much!

  328. Meo

    1) Yes
    2) I’d like to learn how to get around the barriers (read minimum requirements) that companies have to apply. Or at least learn how to spot the ones that aren’t really requirements even though they say they are. (I want to get into banking, but it seems everyone requires the series 7, 63, 67 or some combination of those. Unfortunately, you can’t take the test for them unless you’re sponsored by a financial institute. Talk about a catch-22 for a fresh out of college.)

    I’d also like to learn more about how to get around the hiring websites. I did the apply through the website thing, and that just seems like throwing my resume into a bottomless pit (probably because I know it is). I’m certain there’s a better way, but aside from “network” no one has any advice.

    3) I’ve been reading IWT for the past 3 years (at least) and it inspired me to stash away money, quit my dead end job, and I’m frankly sick of all the useless advice there is regarding finding a job. I worked hard to get that (very expensive) piece of paper that says I’ve got more than a high school education, I refuse to take a job working alongside people who have no want or desire to do anything else after high school.

  329. Andy

    1. Is this interesting to you?

    Definitely. Particularly because I’ve been job-seeking since April! I’ve had loads of interview with great companies (Google, Amazon, EMI, Sony Music, the list goes on and on) but I think my price point has been too high (or not justified.

    2. If you could have me write about anything related to finding your passion, interviewing, resumes, negotiation, or social skills, what would it be? Please be SPECIFIC — write as much as you need to — so I can hook you up with my best stuff.

    Interviewing – I consider myself an above average interviewer. I have relevant questions and have had loads of experiences. However, I know I need to make the next step and basically already have a plan of action mapped out for any given position I’m interviewing for to become top-notch. Is that a correct assumption? If so, how do I know my plan of action, once crafted, is going to fall inline with a company’s goals/strategies with just the limited internet-searching I can do? In other words – how do I better prepare my plan so it hits the right chord with the interviewers?

    3. What IWT advice have you implemented in the last year? (In other words, if I give you what you want from question #2, how do I know you’ll take action?) BE SPECIFIC.

    I am constantly reading books to help my business/personality skills and to help me meet and achieve goals. I have also implemented the procedures and have made money doing everything from personal training, to web design, to consulting for a large independent music publisher. I’m a jack of all trades. My big issues is honing in on one thing and getting it to be THE BEST. I feel I can do many things well, but still have a tough time communicating to potential clients/companies that I am top-notch.

  330. Galen

    1. 400+ comments later it is still interesting. But like your other blog posts and newsletters, what’s best about your material is that it is challenging.

    2. More material about social skills and networking would be instrumental. I’m bad at talking to people when I have any kind of motive or desired outcome, like acquiring/sharing information, asking favors, etc., probably because it makes me feel disingenuous. On the other hand, I could be friends with anybody if I’m just having fun and being casual. To be honest, I don’t think I even understand what “networking” really means, how to define it, and how to expand it.

    3. Things you’ve brought to the table that I’ve loved and actually done tend to be small behavioral changes that don’t change a lot but are a big deal. For example, job-seeking and spending a disproportionate amount of time sending resumes instead of all of the other essentials you could spend time on more productively–changing that alone has saved me buckets of time and naive frustration. Overcoming behavioral barriers by working around excuses and internal scripts has been fun, too. As just one example, don’t know if anyone else is doing this, but I started the Insanity workout program almost solely because all the workouts are under an hour and can be done almost anywhere, even while traveling. Makes it hard (read: impossible) to skip one and convince yourself you have a good reason. Testing, testing, testing, have been the most helpful and fun advice from you. I’ve always played games at jobs to make the day more interesting, but now I test the results, ex., as a waiter I used to make a rule for myself that I had to follow all day no matter what, like (A) only make 90 degree turns while walking (B) don’t look customers in the eye (C) raise eyebrows and smile when you pass a coworker or boss, etc. The answers for these three are (A) doesn’t make a difference (B) bad for tips (C) that alone makes people’s days better and gets you tons of friends.

    As an aside, it’s great to hear you mention how the media says what appeals to the LCD. My friend said something similar recently when we saw some news clip about a presidential hopeful, and it’s really stuck: “They’re telling you this because it’ll sell, because they were told to, or both. But they’re definitely not telling you because they’re genuinely concerned about your making the right decision.”

  331. Marcos

    OK, I´ve been reading your posts for like… 3 days, so what I´ve done is technically not in the last year. But,

    1. I´ve challenged you to let me translate your works into Spanish. I´d never had done that in the past (BTW, telling me you were not interested was one of the most valuable answers I´ve ever got)

    2. I´ve shared with many what I´ve learned, what is gaining you more readers, and me more “listeners” 🙂

    3. I´ve determined to take an MBA in Stanford or Harvard (instead of the average college I was planning to attend before)

    4. I´ve started a job recruiting help site – FOR FREE – to help my newly graduated colleagues find their first job. I´ve committed before all of them, and I´m going to gain myself – not money – but a lot of great connections from here, AND a nice story to include in my MBA´s application (BTW, I´d like you Ramit to write a recommendation letter for me. How do I earn that?) [see, and check it back in two weeks]

    5. I´ve started my own blog, after yours´ example (but it´s not a copy – it´s mine! and you can visit it too, if you read some Spanish) [see]

    6. I´m negotiating tomorrow the best possible salary + benefits, on my job offer I got today – I´d have never negotiated before (in fact, I hadn´t EVER)

    7. I´ve already asked experts to come out drink something with me – I pay (since I´ve just a couple dollars to spend, let them be well spent)

    8. I just can´t wait to see what I will apply tomorrow. Check back on me! (and visit my sites)

    *BTW, you comments´readers, ever thought of writing your own good, content-filled blogs and posts? It´s pure adrenaline. Believe me. I´ve already done two posts 😉

  332. Sarah

    1. Yes
    2. Social skills & networking. I know I express low-competency ALL THE TIME (like here, heheh)
    3. After listening to your briefcase technique this afternoon, I used a modified version of it in a meeting an hour later – prepared a detailed plan & reasoning for my decision.

    • Marcos

      Your #2
      What´s with girls? I recognize there´s the culture and us men´s bad influence, telling girls they´re not worth what they really are. But you can change that.

      Start your confidence workout plan by promising yourself YOU will never, EVER again talk about your supposed -or real, I don´t care- low competence.

      That would be a GREAT fresh start. Let´s see. How would you rewrite your #2? (Ask Ramit what you want, but making you sound like a winner) Come on! [Tip: Be more specific. Exactly WHAT about social skills would you like Ramit to write about in one post? Think you´re Ramit. You´re out of ideas or whatever. How on Earth would you develop the topic ´social skills´ in one post? But, ´how to approach a dominant manager to ask him for a salary discussion interview´ is different]

      Repost! I´ll be waiting 🙂

  333. Maxime

    1. Yes. I don’t remember when or if you wrote something that wasn’t interesting.

    2. I want to use your material for more than just my job. I’m a Belgian starting a new eco-industrial plant in Cameroon with a Cameroonian partner. I know there will be a game played around me and I want to master it.
    I don’t know if you put it in negotiation, persuasion, networking or social skills but I’d like to read your advise on how to enter and influence the business decision-makers people in Douala, the town where my startup will be.
    Maybe this need a little more explanation: it is not totally a myth that African society is based on human interactions. This is the kind of environment where your success depends on who you know and who these people know. I don’t want my business to fail because I don’t network correctly.
    There is a lot of work to help Cameroon become an emerging country. My business has the potential to become one of the biggest Cameroonian companies. I’ll need to be part of the top players for that to happen and I’d like your advice on this.
    I suppose your material about finding a dream job in another town or country will already help me.
    I will also struggle with cultural incomprehensions but my last travels went perfectly well on that point of view.

    a. I convinced my boss to let me work on my startup during my office work. I must be one of the happy few who are paid by their boss to create a startup to leave them. I’m doing this since April 2011 and he also paid 2 travels (one month each) to Cameroon to work with my partner.
    You teach me so good to get inside his head that he even propose me to keep my current job as a freelancer while being in Cameroon BEFORE I asked him. I think this will mean 25 kEUR extra plus 50 to 100 kEUR in commissions.
    I didn’t need to negotiate his participation in my startup because he offered me MORE than I wanted. I need equipments from his company to start mine and he offered it for 100 kEUR when I was ready to pay 150 kEUR.
    b. I restarted Earn1K but put it on hold to focus on my Cameroonian startup.
    c. I finally applied your advice on behavioral change to go back to the gym. It took me months to go back there but I feel this will be one of my best decisions of the last few months.

    Hope this heps,

    • Maxime

      Oups, a little mistake.
      I meant : I’d like to read your advise on how to enter and influence the *club of* business decision-makers people

  334. naresh tahiliani

    I find it very interesting— can’t wait to hear your response to my queries.
    I would love to hear from you on how to find my Passion.
    Normally if i find something interesting in any interaction, o make it a point to try out same in my life within next few days.

  335. Diana

    1. Well, duh. I read the whole thing and watched all the videos without complaining.

    2. I need help creating and maintaining a wide network that will allow me to explore the job world as a recent graduate. To be more specific, how do I present myself to others in order to maximize the given situation/to get off on a very solid footing without a) talking about myself too much while b) making it clear that I’m awesome?

    3. This past year I’ve successfully automated my (meager college student) finances (after reading IWTYTBR). All of my bills are automatically paid and I have automatic deposits into external savings accounts that each have a specific purpose. I’ve also implemented priority-based spending: even though I’m “just” a college student, I have a pretty rockin’ wardrobe because I choose not to spend money on things I don’t care about, like cable TV, a car, a fancy apartment, etc. All about figuring out what actually counts.

  336. LisainAustralia

    Hi Ramit, I always find your stuff interesting and am glad you’ve branched out beyond personal finance to material that’s applicable no matter your country.

    So far I’ve taken your advice to get specific about what you want in your dream job and am in the process of taking out for coffee the people who have the jobs I want to find out exactly what is done day-to-day so I can be even more specific. I work in PR and already know I never, ever want to do change management stuff, it’s just too “big evil corporation” for me – and I *like* working for the big evil corporations!

    What I’m struggling with is getting over the barrier of “they won’t want to waste time talking to me” and “it feels rude to just ask for a job”. This issue is only regarding people I don’t know/ don’t know me from a bar of soap. Scripts for emails/phone calls to line up a chat and then opening/closing the informational interview would be a great help!

  337. Anna

    Ramit, I’d like to learn more about and really just HOW to go about finding my passion. I’ve been following you as of a few months and watched your Webinar late last year and your resume presentation last night. You mentioned that along with “figuring it out” (something I’ve been saying for a while” and beginning a job search comes this feeling of anxiety and in my case, hopelessness. I realize that a “dream job” isn’t one that will necessarily last forever, but I am ready to find my passion, something that will not only show my worth to others but will make me realize what I’m worth myself.

  338. Jack Yagoda

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