Make art, make money — at the same time

Ramit Sethi

I was speaking at a conference recently and my buddy pulled me aside. “You have to meet this guy Chase Jarvis,” he told me. “He’s one of the world’s best photographers.”

Chase and I ended up sitting next to each other, and I learned some fascinating stuff about him. For example, I learned that if he gets TEN photo clients per year — just 10 — that’s a “great year” for him. (Just think about that. Is anyone else also fascinated by mastery?)

He also runs a web show where he interviews people like Sir Mix-a-Lot (a personal writing hero of mine for his timeless classic), Tim Ferriss (who introduced us), and famous photographers. Now, you’ve heard me mock Twitter as being worthless for my business. But when Chase tweets, 15,000-30,000 come and watch his web show…concurrently. Holy shit.

Anyway, at this conference, I ended up giving him some advice about the business side of photography while sitting on a bus, my usual spot for wisdom-dispensing, which he later wrote about:

“No one has single-handedly given me better insight about the business side of art/photography than has Ramit Sethi. [Go ahead and read that again.] In a single conversation earlier this year he dropped so much knowledge on me that I couldn’t take notes fast enough.”

I’m telling you this because he recently invited me to his studio in Seattle, where he and I recorded 1.5 hours of material how creative people can master business. This is usually material I save for private talks and my premium students, but today I wanted to share it with you.

The video is 90 minutes long and you guys are gonna love it. It includes word-for-word scripts you can use in negotiations, business, and even personal relationships. You’ll learn some of the material I learned from my top instructors and mentors. And I dig into the psychology of creative people — or anyone who’s tried to persuade someone else to do something.

The URL I mention in the video is

Check out Chase’s blog — it’s got amazing material for creative people and I guarantee you’ll find at least 3 game-changers in an hour.

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  1. Maria

    Ramit, this is one of your BEST videos ever!

    Folks, if you want to get a bomb of content from Ramit then watch it!

    Happy New Year!

    • jack foley

      Yea that contact blew me away…

      And what do they say.., once a mind has been exposed to a different idea, it is never the same after…

      all about changing that context..

  2. Timm Von Derau

    Awesome Ramit, I watched this live when you and Chase were broadcasting! My buddy and I agreed, this was the BEST cjLIVE for ANY creative.

    Ps, just bought your book, because of Chase having you on the show… (now he owes you a drink, right?) SO much good info! Thanks!

  3. Robert

    I bought your book because you killed it on chase Jarvis live. Props, and thanks for sharing the knowledge.

  4. Lesley Myrick

    Wow Ramit, this is awesome. I’m looking forward to spending some time watching the video this weekend. Thanks so much for generously sharing.

  5. Mark

    I have been following Ramit’s content for several years now and this interview is one of the best materials he has ever provided.

    This video is not only an excellent summary of many different strategies, but if you watch the video correctly you can get a very good understanding of how to transition different strategies into tactical actions. I am personally not interested in artist-type work but this video should help anyone who wants actionable content for any niche.

    90 minutes is rather long – I personally have trouble even listening to a full song before flipping to another – but I am very grateful that I took the time to pay attention to this.

  6. Kellie Brooks

    This was incredible! I’ve had the good fortune to hear you present in person (RHH Live) and to have watched Tim Ferriss’ appearance on CJ Live, so it was without question I would invest 90 minutes. I’ll be replaying it again (taking notes this time) and sharing it with a couple friends of mine, both photographers. They’ll certainly be enriched by what you’re offering up.

    Thank you for all the work you do, and for sharing your brilliance! May 2012 bring you untold success!

  7. Chris

    I agree with the comments, I usually don’t watch long videos but you guys made me watch every minute. Tons of advises in this video, we will be fools to ignore them. I suggested this video to one photographer, who had to sell his photo equipments, hope he sees this video and turns his life around. Thanks again Ramit. Cheers.

  8. Peter Weis

    Ramit thanks for posting the video. I caught most of the live broadcast and were truly some gems. Thanks for all the great wisdom in your book IWTYTBR. Here’s to dominating in 2012. Happy New Year

  9. Sima

    Thank you so much! I’ve been following you for the last little while (a year maybe) and have thought, “good advice, next” With this show, I thought “I should have asked for his book for Christmas!”
    Because you like specifics:
    I really enjoyed the consistency of the examples as they were all about photography, (of course it’s a photography show) but when you change only one thing, your techniques, your advice shines. I hope you continue to do shows like this. Kudos to Chris for keeping the advice in the photography context. Also, in a Vidiot world, where attention spans are 3 min, I loved the 90 min segment, because everything was coherent and brought together in one sitting.
    Thanks to Chris for creating the framework. I completely understand why they pay you the big bucks. Happy New Year!

  10. Jaxi

    Seeing this video made me very happy.

    My mother’s always been hounding me on how I’ll end up poor for choosing to pursue a career in art. But I really like art and intend to go to art college. This video made me gain more confidence in my career path. So thanks!

  11. Lizzie Larock

    Yes Ramit – this video is how I found YOU! I’m actually a HUGE Chase Jarvis fan and watched the video and was stunned at the info you provided. Love the negotiation tactics. So simple – yet so friggin’ effective. Rock on in 2012!

  12. Lucas Martling

    Ramit-this video is superb! Chase and you knocked it out of the park, and without a doubt had more than a few game changers in it! The breifcase technique will def be brought out soon!
    Cheers & thanks for all your endless work!

  13. Frances

    Thank you, Ramit. This was very helpful in reminding me that everyone must do their “homework” in life to be successful. I think a lot of young people look for the easy button and avoid work. Your comments reinforces, for me anyways, that “luck” is the intersection where preparation and opportunity meet. With out preparation, you cannot take advantage of opportunity (if only I had this or that excuse).

  14. L. Marie Joseph

    I agree, this is your best video ever! Not a minute was wasted clear, concrete advice without being so mushy!

    Cheers to a great 2012! Looking forward to your great financial and career advice!!

  15. Monica

    I can’t believe I just spent 90 mins. on New Years Eve to watch a finance video, but holy shit! Thank you Ramit!
    I am an artist, and I know when I charge more for my work I sell more, but I didn’t know how to provide a rational for it. Now I do. Thank you.
    I purchased your book about a year ago, and I love it!
    You are outstanding.
    Happy New Year!!!


  16. Terry

    Hey Ramit, I hope you’re enjoying the new year so far.

    As you’re already aware, the level of content you put out isn’t to be readily found elsewhere, and because of this I both wanted to thank you and offer you an apology.

    About 6 months ago I was in a more survivalistic mindset and, among many necessities, I stole a copy of your book. Weird right?

    Anyway, since then my salary has gone from 0/annually(joblesss, no employable skillset) to 45k/annually with a respectable bonus on the way, and because I’m in a position to do so, I’d like to offer you compensation – if you’ll accept it.

    I pay for value based on principle… In this case – at the least, you’ve saved me some firsthand trial and error, but I think more fittingly you’ve probably provided me a mental archetype and a source of constructive competition.

    In any case, enjoy your best year yet. I know I will.

  17. Vicky

    The video stops at 31.27 and I can’t watch beyond then. Ramit’s advice up until then is incredible; thanks for giving us so much information and value! Happy New Year!

  18. Ian

    I want to download this and keep it on my phone as a reminder. Awesome video.

  19. annie andre

    WOW, this was chalk full of information. I was actually pausing the video to wrtie things down and then i had a major moment of inspiration and wrote down at least a dozen ideas i could implement with an upcoming product.

    • journey

      Yessssssssss!!!!!! Me too!!!!!

  20. Victoria @ My Daily Cuppa

    The best thing about this video is the way that you are able to hear how the methods you teach can be used in all types of industries. Chase is also a very good interviewer. Definitely worth watching.

    Thank you for sharing.

  21. rackgen

    Mother of god, thats a great video. Thanks Ramit and a happy new year to you (and IWTYTBR readers as well)!

  22. kari

    Well yes, thanks!…. that was a great content, to close out 2011…fully enjoyed the two of you and the bonus of all the info that spoke by language as I am a creative as well…again thanks!

  23. THE aSTIG @

    Hey Ramit! I’m a photographer like Chase though not on his level yet. I found out about you from that Chase Jarvis Live video, and man, the things you said blew me away. I ordered your book 2 days ago and it will arrive within the next 2 days. Anyways, you said towards the end that you’ll be giving out some scripts we can use. When I logged into you, it has this video with a great designer guy, but doesn’t actually have the scripts. How can we get hold of it? Thanks! And more power!

    • Sean

      Yeah I actually didn’t see the scripts either. Will those be posted as well?

    • Ramit Sethi

      Yes, will be sending these out ASAP. Give me a couple weeks….we are a bit behind working on Dream Job stuff. Thanks guys.

  24. Marcella

    Thank you for the video. Although I’m not a photographer I learned so much.

    Happy New Year!!

  25. Sue

    Excellent content which can be used in so many areas / industries. Thank you Ramit, much appreciated.

  26. Silvio

    Hey guys

    Many thanks for your free material. I learned a lot of lessons in the last days and will try out your strategies immediately. I’ll keep you posted about my progress.

  27. Holli

    Good thing I follow you on Twitter! I am a lucky girl who was able to attend in person and ask a question because: a. I live in Seattle, b. My kids were in school during that time.

    I was struggling with pricing my work for a Photography Show opening on Jan. 12th (my very first). A former Wedding Photographer, I had no problems pricing my work as a service. But, as I’m entering the art world, I was insecure and frankly scared. What if my work isn’t worth $x? What if I am charging too much? Too little?

    Your and Chase’s insight into the process of putting time into research, feedback, identifying customers, and being confident helped. I literally placed prices on the wall beside each piece of Photography today, and am eager to see what the results are. I’m not afraid of them. If they all sell, I’ll dance a jig of joy. If nothing sells, I can count it a lesson and lick my wounds before doing my next show.

    So, thank you, and a huge shout out to Chase, for providing this kind of clear cut advice and insight!

    p.s. My husband bought your book in 2008, and it changed our marriage for the better. He was an Earn 1k student last year, and it was worth every penny. Although I knew about your techniques, it was hard to apply toward my art. In less than 2 hours, I am grateful I could learn it in person:)

    • Michael D'Angelo

      Amid working through todays Time management for top performers module of Ramit’s 7 day MBA on earning more money, I found this amazing video that Ramit and Chase recorded. I run two businesses, one for nearly 12 years and the other for 2 and have found some truly great advice and found myself taking lots of notes on things that I can easily apply or slightly tweak about how I already work.

      So before I end, I’d like to share one of the most valuable quotes.

      “You don’t want to be the technician (its not the role you want to be in)- you want to be the visionary. A technician is a commodity like salt. Do I care if I have one brand of salt or another brand? No- there the same to me- there a commodity. Someone who has a vision- a narrative a story and can walk in and show me why its right for me- price goes out the door and I want you. They buy the vision and someone who brings vision.”

      Thanks for sharing.


  28. Jerri Lynn Hogg

    OK, what we really want to know is which conference? 🙂

  29. PJ

    I think you are naively optimistic in thinking that creative companies want “vision” from their employees on the lower levels of the corporate hierarchy. “Vision” simply falls on deaf ears. They DO want button-pushers in my experience. Its very difficult to re-frame a conversation away from them viewing you as an interchangeable commodity.

  30. jack foley

    all about moving the free line..

    Giving away as much value as you possibly can…

    That’s the secret..

  31. Andrew Seher


    This is unbelievably good. You always bring great free content to the table and I want to thank you for it. Keep up the good work!


  32. Anca

    Took me a few days to watch the whole thing…partly because every 2 minutes I had to replay something you said and take notes. You’re always saying to extract the lessons applicable to your situation from unrelated things, and this video was the ultimate example of that (my field is completely unrelated to professional photography).

  33. Chris

    Can there be a Ramit & Chase show? 🙂

    I can’t believe how awesome and tactical this show was. It took a couple of the ideas from Earn1K and reframed them for a creative business which is exactly what I didn’t know I had been hoping for! Thanks a bunch Ramit!

  34. cornersandmoments

    Wish the other guy stopped interrupting….:( Was such a distraction and annoyance.

  35. Neha

    Ohh sorry I understood now, it was an interview for his readers so I guess he had to fill in. But such a great content – Love it everytime Ramit ! Thank you !

  36. Mickey Oddwin

    Two seriously charismatic guys right there, delivering some awesome insights and techniques. Cheers to both of you.