Courage comes in surprising forms (like Chipotle)

Ramit Sethi

It takes a lot of courage to be brutally honest about what you stand for.

And courage comes in different forms.

For example, you know about Chipotle, the “fast casual” restaurant that’s dominating because of their quick and healthy food.

One of the things they do is take a strong stance on where their food should come from.

So when they heard one of their suppliers wasn’t following their rules, look what they did.

“Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. suspended sales of pork at about a third of its more than 1,700 restaurants after finding an important supplier didn’t comply with its animal-welfare standards, a spokesman said Tuesday.”


THEY LITERALLY JUST STOPPED SELLING PORK AT HUNDREDS OF RESTAURANTS, COSTING THEM MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. For a company that generates hundreds of millions of dollars a year, that is an incredible decision.

They could have ignored it. Hidden it. Massaged the truth.

Instead, they just said “Nope. Not gonna happen here.”

Can you imagine making a decision that would cost you $10 million overnight…because it was the right thing to do?

That’s courage.

Or this guy who was climbing Everest, noticed it had gotten unsafe, and turned back when he was just 300 feet away from the peak?. Sometimes, courage is knowing when to turn back.

When I come across stories like these I start to think about courage in my own life.

They don’t have to be massive moments where the sun rises and Hans Zimmer plays in the background. Courage can take small forms. For example, turning down a safe job at Google to start something on my own, even though I had no idea if it would work or not.

Or the courage to move away from personal finance into all these other areas of a Rich Life — entrepreneurship, psychology, fitness, even food — even though people “knew me” as the personal finance guy.

What about you?

What are small acts of courage you’ve made?

* * *

Here’s an example of what courage is NOT

This person emailed me 2 days ago:

I’d really like to write a book to teach these high school students or kids you speak of about money and the challenges they will face after the high school level. Its something I’m passionate about because I didn’t really have the help until I picked up your book but I think there is a way to get across to them sooner and put a face with it. This will create a motivational speaker out of me and that’s my goal. I’ve started writing but I don’t have clear enough structure so if you could help I’d appreciate it.
–Dorrell W.

It’s not courageous to wait around for someone to spoon-feed you an answer.

It’s actually cowardly to say one thing and do something totally different.

How many of us have been walking around dreaming about losing weight…and have done nothing about it? You can’t blame a lack of information. That shit doesn’t fly with me.

How many of you read blog post after blog post about starting an online business…but don’t do anything? Oh waa, it’s so hard, I don’t know how to find an idea. Really? Even though I’ve shown you how time and time again?

The problem is not the world. It’s not a lack of information. The problem — and solution — is you. That’s harsh, but true. You can choose to win or you can choose to delude yourself into saying you’ll do it some day.

Now, I told you that we’re going to create a Rich Life together. That’s what this series is all about.

For me, living a Rich Life means being able to check out random whiskey tastings or try this crazy cryochamber last weekend:


NBD just spending Saturday in a -150C cryo chamber

A photo posted by Ramit Sethi (@ramit) on

What does it mean for you?

Feel free to be UNAPOLOGETICALLY GUILT-FREE about what a Rich Life means to you. (Hint: Your Rich Life is going to be very different than your parents’ 2.5 kids, white-picket-fence dream.)

If you want to work from the beach, awesome. Admit it, embrace it, and I’ll show how to do it.

If you want to start a family and work from home (or your partner works while you stay at home with the kids), also cool.

By the way, my standards are high. Look at this email from Cody B.

“A good (Asian) friend of mine and I were taking our real estate exam at the same time and we both passed but when his mom called him to ask how he did and he said she passed with a 91% she told her how disappointed she was. He later told me he got an ‘Asian F’.”

As far as I’m concerned, most of you get an “Indian F” 364 days of the year. But perhaps not today.

I say that because it takes a lot of brutal honesty to admit the difference between what you SAY and what you DO.

So if you’ve been curious about how to get to the next level, what do you do?

  1. Admit you have to take a different approach than what you’ve been doing. As they say, “what got you here won’t get you there.”
  2. Stop beating yourself up for the past. It’s done! So what if you didn’t achieve all the arbitrary goals you set out for yourself? The best thing you can do now is focus on today and the future.
  3. And the big one…actually SET TIME IN YOUR CALENDAR TO CHANGE. Don’t just say, “I’m gonna try harder…YEAH!!” Wrong. I recommend setting aside three 1-hour blocks this week to focus on what I’ll be sending you.

“But Ramit,” whiners say, “I don’t have that kind of time. It must be nice being SINGLE and having people to do all your WORK FOR YOU.” These people are losers and will never win at life. But for the rest of you, if you can’t spare 3 hours this week…just start with 2!

There’s courage in starting fresh and saying, “it’s time to put myself first.”

Start today by going through the three steps above.

P.S. If you’re serious about a Rich Life, let’s dive into the specifics. The nitty-gritty, step-by-step of how you actually do it.

One of the best ways I crafted a Rich Life for myself was to create an online business that let me take my unique skills and knowledge and share them with the world (even when I’m sleeping).

I can show you all about that. But the first thing to cover is how to find an actual idea that could turn into a real online business.

That might sound easy and obvious, but this first step is the barrier that stops 95% of people. You don’t need to get it all perfect right off the bat, but there are some critical DO’s and DON’T’s to navigate.

Take a look, and enjoy. I’ll talk to you tomorrow with more.

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