During the 2008 election, Senator Obama went to visit Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape, to discuss tech policy. Andreessen, never one to mince words, asked Obama, “How concerned should we be that you haven’t had meaningful experience as an executive — as a manager and leader of people?”
“Watch how I run my campaign — you’ll see my leadership skills in action.”
That is a powerful response. And like him or not, his campaign was executed masterfully.
“Watch me and see.”
My goal is to give you the strategic and tactical advice to say that with confidence — and then back it up. Say it when you’re starting a new side business. Say it when you’re negotiating for a job. Say it when you’re trying to pick up a new hobby.
In fact, this is exactly what I said on the first day of this year. Whenever you try something different that challenges people, you’ll get trolls and whiners. So when I launched my 30-day course on hustling, the common criticisms were: This is the same old stuff, you’re only doing it to make money, this stuff doesn’t work, I don’t have time.
“Watch me and see,” I said.
30 days later, here are some of the incredible results that IWT readers have gotten:
“When the interview panel asked about my education experience, I handed each of them a copy, explaining that I wasn’t able to fit all my experience on the previous resume. They were definitely impressed by the preparation and foresight. I start next month earning $13,000 more a year! (Plus I used your techniques for not giving away my salary expectations.)” – Amy
NO MORE PROCRASTINATION + $2,500
“In the course of just a few weeks, I’ve essentially BEAT my procrastination habit, which was slowly killing my freelance writing career. I applied for and landed a new gig editing and writing for a well known personality’s website. I earned about $2500 more (AMAZING!) than I usually do simply by accepting more assignments with the confidence that I could complete them.” – Tanya
“In the last month I have successfully negotiated a promotion that includes a 6k raise, with an additional 1k each month for the next four months, and then a review to see if the 1k per month continues.” – Karen
“Prior to taking the hustle course, I sold my hand made gnomes for $40 each (in December I sold 13 X$40 for a total of $520). Using the info from the hustle course, I have sold 7 gnomes X $200 for a total of $1400–nearly 3 times the profit for half the price.” – Karen
Negotiated $1,500 in savings on a Ford F-350 Pickup
“I did successfully help a friend save more than $1,500. I started by just offering general money saving advice to a number of people, but that was not well received. A person who doesn’t even need the money–took my advice (and the free copy of IWTYTBR) and used it to negotiate an additional savings of about $1,500 on an Ford F-350 pickup.” – Wayne
Now I want to show you what I was doing behind the scenes.
A 30-day hustling challenge: Why?
I started off with several bombastic promises for the course:
- You’ll get more done in 30 days than you accomplished in all of last year
- You’ll be able to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars
- You’ll be able to get disproportionate results, or extraordinary outcomes that are disproportionate with the amount of work you put in.
Most people have become comfortable with mediocrity.
For many of us, the people around us rarely challenge us. For example, it’s almost taboo to call someone out for bullshitting their way through yet another excuse. Instead, we allow ourselves to use the same old tired cliches: “I don’t have enough time to do that,” “I could never get X results,” “I didn’t go to X university / I don’t have Y,000 blog readers / I don’t live in Z city.”
Interestingly, when I call out loser commenters on this site — respectfully but firmly — they love it. Few people around us have the honesty to tell us we’re simply making excuses for things we could do.
And so I wanted to show you that with a week’s work with the right guidance, you could accomplish more than in an entire year.
I got 2 months’ of results from 2 months of working out with a personal trainer. I learned more from a conversation with a master copywriter than from 4 months of reading books. And in this course, I showed you tested methods to change your behavior, including experts like BJ Fogg, Derek Sivers, and Tim Ferriss. Telling yourself to “try harder” is not enough. Telling yourself you could get the information for free “if you really wanted” is delusional. Trusted guidance matters.
I’m well aware that the surrounding market is sleazy.
The name “I Will Teach You To Be Rich.” A course on earning more money. If you were to stumble on this site, what would you think first? Scam, of course.
I work in one of the most difficult markets of all: money. Where there’s lots of money to be made, there are scammers. There are schemes. And there are a few legitimate people who offer incredible value.
That’s why I have to prove that my material works — to separate myself. And proof doesn’t come from me saying it works, it comes from you actually getting results on your own.
Yes, there are other background factors that enhance credibility — like the fact that I have a book, or went to X college, or have 300,000+ readers/month — but there is nothing as persuasive as you getting results.
But if we’re speaking frankly, most of the material on earning money is pure sleaze. In fact, go search for [earn more money] to see what I mean. Compare any of that — free or paid — to the material you’ve read here.
My goal is make my free content more valuable than anything else out there. Which means that my premium content is of a quality level that most people have never seen before. Here’s what one of my readers sent me:
“I really like where you are heading. Your free material is better than what I paid for in college. You should have a “Ramit in lieu of college” course, because your info is much more applicable to the actual world.” – Wayne Patton
I hope I can continue to do that for you, because I know that in a world filled with “Top 10” lists and linkbait junk, true quality is rare — and when I spend time investing in you and you get results, you’ll keep coming back…and one day explore some of my premium offerings.
Skepticism is not a strategy.
I spoke to one of my top Earn1k students last week — she earned over $80,000 in 8 weeks — and she was talking about how much her entire viewpoint has changed. Once you realize that you can control your situation — how much you earn, how much you work, where you live, etc — it’s amazing to look back at ourselves a few years ago…when we were skeptical and disbelieving that any of this could work.
Skeptics always have an excuse because it’s easier to be skeptical than to take the risk of trying something and possibly failing. Skeptics use codewords — much like racists do — to mask their fear and loathing of something different. For example, they’ll say they don’t have enough time (when everyone has the same 24 hours per day). They’ll complain about having “already tried that,” but when you dig in and ask them what they actually tried, they’ll demur.
There’s nothing I hate more than vocal skeptics — not only because they cheat themselves out of their own potential, but because they convince others that they can’t do it, either.
As Seth Godin said,
“A check in your wallet does you very little good. It represents opportunity, sure, but not action.
Most of us are carrying around a check, an opportunity to make an impact, to do the work we’re capable of, to ship the art that would make a difference.
No, the world isn’t fair, and most people don’t get all the chances they deserve. There are barriers due to income, to race, to social standing and to education, and they are inexcusable and must fall. But the check remains, now more than ever. The opportunity to step up and to fail (and then to fail again, and to fail again) and to continue failing until we succeed is greater now than it has ever been.”
I write for the As, Bs, and Cs — but I systematically ignore one of them.
Imagine the world has As, Bs, and Cs in any field. In this one, the As are already managing their money, they’ve read my book (and others), and they’re earning as much as they need to lead the lifestyle they choose. They’re already doing it.
The Bs are the greatest in number. They have the potential to do something great, but for whatever reason — like actual barriers, self-imposed barriers, or external responsibilities — they haven’t achieved what their potential first. They can be reached if you communicate to them in the right way.
The Cs are a lost cause. Sure, they might be salvageable to help, but that’s not something I’m interested in or capable of. This enrages certain people who believe that we should help everyone, but I live in the world of practicality, not utopia. If I have the chance to help an A become an A+ in 3 months, or a C become a B- in 3 years, who am I going to choose? There are other people who make it their life’s work to work with Cs, but it’s not me.
And so this is also applicable for you. When I teach negotiation, or interviewing, or automation, or even earning more money, I teach you how to focus on the right level of analysis for you. It’s ok not to please everyone. I’d rather spend my time hyper-focused on exactly your needs than try to serve everyone.
I’m separating out the people for the next step.
The first step was hustling. We covered how to use automated scripts to live anywhere, quit your job, or get promoted.
Then we covered the psychological techniques from the worlds of social influence and persuasion to dominate your goals.
Next, I showed you how to negotiate better than 99% of people to get higher hourly rates, meetings with top executives, and how to convince people to pay you for your valuable services.
And finally, I showed you the fundamental differences between people who win and people who dream, and the characteristics of both.
Now I’m turning the entire hustling series on its head to show you how to take your new skills…and get paid for them.
For the last 30 days, every post on this site has had a box to join a free Earn1k Insider’s List. While this is the last public post on the 30-day hustling course, I have an entire week of new material for the people who took action and signed up.
Even with tens of thousands of new people who signed up, it’s still incredible how few people (relatively) take even the smallest step to sign up for something where they’ll get more free material. It goes to show you how low the bar is for taking action — and why people who take action get disproportionate rewards.
The Invisible Scripts — What’s stopping you from the next step?
Last week I asked you “What do you want more of?” But inside that survey I snuck in a question: “What do you worry about?”.
Do any of these sound familiar?
“I worry about spending too much time doing the wrong things.” – Justin
“I worry about being ordinary when I see others doing so well for themselves with the actions and risks that they have taken.” – Erik
“I worry about not having big enough ideas, or not knowing enough people.” – Erica
“I worry about wasting all my time reading your site and like minded sites and not taking action, missing out on a great deal of reward. I just don’t think my ideas are good enough and that I have the determination to carry them through. I’m very good at starting things, not so great at finishing.” – Phil
“I worry that about not having enough savings to launch a business. I worry about not having enough skill to make money on the side. I worry about not being able to connect with the right people to make money.” – Wade
“I worry that I will be stuck in my current low paying and dead end position because I do not know how to tackle applying for and landing better jobs.” – Julie
This month has been all about giving you baby steps to show you that hustling works. Negotiation works. Your own barriers can be overcome (relatively easily) to get you disproportionate rewards.
You can get big results with small actions.
You can leave your job within 6 months and work for yourself (or travel). Not all of you, but many of you.
You can control how many hours you work, how much you make, and where you live.
So in the survey, I also asked this:
Based on those responses, I’ve put together a 1-week MBA on hustling — going step-by-step to find the right idea to start earning money on the side. This starts on Sunday.
In private, I’ll include far more detailed material than the stuff you’ve read so far. For example, in a webcast, I’ll show you not only what to say, but how to say it — and then I’ll do live teardowns of negotiation tactics.
Here’s some of what I’ll be releasing next week on the Insider’s List only:
- A 3-step process you can follow to find your first profitable idea and start getting paid right now
- Live webcasts, including The Psychology of Mind Reading: How to Get Deep Inside People’s Heads
- Case studies on how some of my students — just regular people — earned tremendous amounts of money and have quit their job, traveled, or simply stuffed their bank accounts
With the free material you’ve seen so far, my goal was to get you to accomplish more than you accomplished all of last year.
With this Insider’s List, I’m stepping it up: My goal is to make this one week worth more than the average MBA.
And after a week of that material, which is still free…
Earn1k 2.0 launches
Earn1k 2.0 is the culmination of the work I’ve been doing on hustling, earning more, and psychology over the last two years.
Personally, I don’t really care about the dollar value in my bank account — but it’s a fairly accurate marker of whether you’re doing something valuable or not.
That’s why I teach my students how to earn $1,000 on the side first — then $1,000/month — then $2,000, or $5,000, or $10,000/month.
Some of them want to work more to earn more. Others want to work less and are more than satisfied with a few extra thousand dollars every month.
Some of them quit their jobs, never to set foot in a 9-to-5 office again.
But it’s not for everyone.
By definition, the people who haven’t taken 8 seconds to sign up for the Insider’s List will not be invited to join Earn1k. That’s because I’m not publicly releasing it this time. I’m just opening it up to people who have raised their hands and asked to take it to the next level.
It’s not for people with credit-card debt.
It’s not for people who are still stuck on basic questions like “How do you stay motivated?”
It’s a little ridiculous to tell people who Earn1k is NOT for, but I also feel confident enough to choose my customers since I’ve helped hundreds and hundreds of students get results.
Here are a few Earn1k students telling their story:
You can join the Insider’s List here: Earn1K insider list sign up form
Sneak peek at next week
This is a simple overview of what’s coming next week. You’ll see far more detail starting Sunday.
Step 1: Start with your goals
Too many people jump into the tips/tactics without understanding why they’re doing what they’re doing.
It’s better to do something WRONG than to do nothing at all. But if you can spend a little time planning — and still continue executing — you can save hundreds of hours of missteps. Starting with your goals helps point you in the right direction for getting started.
“I just want more money” – Let’s say you simply want to earn an extra $1,000/month because you want to pay down student loans. Great! Your first goal, then, is to generate income. As a simple rule of thumb, figure out the most profitable market that matches your skills and pursue it relentlessly.
“I am passionate about painting” – Conversely, if your passionate about painting, you wouldn’t want to, say, start a freelance business helping with marketing and sales. You already know you want to earn income painting, so spend your time researching different services you can offer to create paintings that people will pay for, like re-designing an entire room of your customers house to fit the painting.
Remember: Start with your goals and follow up with the tactics.
Step 2: Match your skills to earning money on the side
This is a simplified process to turn your skills into side income. Next week during the private course, I’ll get into it in extreme detail. But I encourage you to try these principles with your skills.
I’ve written about this in detail, but just take it one step at a time.
- What industry are you in? Oh, finance? Ok, you probably don’t want to be a freelance investment banker. But..hmm….you spend all day doing analyses. How can you use that? Example: Excel is a breeze to you. Maybe there are people (like me) who HATE Excel yet need detailed analyses for their business. Could you build models for other people?
- Identify your skills and interests — then think more broadly. People want to pay you money to solve their problems. Are you great at writing press releases? (I’d pay for that.) Are you fluent in Chinese? Boom, I’d instantly be a tutor for Chinese kids since their parents will love/trust someone who speaks Chinese — even when tutoring their kids for any subject.
- If you don’t have any marketable skills, there are still options. Etsy is a perfect example of people making great side income — and many of them don’t have any skills that would commonly be considered “valuable.” Yet they do well selling niche products to a niche audience. If you aren’t some professional with software-engineering skills or online-marketing experience, that’s okay.
Remember: People pay for solutions, not your skills.
For example, last year I did a webcast where I was suggesting ways for people to earn money on the side, and I mentioned that I hate cooking, am not good at it, and would love it if someone cooked for me. I got an email later that night from Andrew who said, “Ramit, I can help. I can teach you everything you need to know over one weekend, and you’ll know 3-5 great dishes to cook.” I appreciated the offer, but wrote back, “Thanks for the offer! But you don’t understand. I don’t want to learn — I want someone to do it for me.” He ended up sending me another proposal and 2 weeks later I started paying him over $1,000/month to prepare all my meals (Read the detailed case study on how he did it here: from $0 to $1,500 in 2 weeks.)
Again: People have problems. They want solutions. They don’t care what you’re “interested” in.
Step 3: Identify skills that people will pay for
Start by thinking of how your skills can solve other people’s problems right now. Write down the top three skills you have that can solve other people’s real problems today.
Now, which one of those is most likely going to actually pay you for your services?
“Niche it Down” to target your market.
You’ve probably heard this a million times, but note that this is a critical piece in selling your skills as a service, and one that many people skip for the latest SEO tactic because tactics are easier to chase.
The first question: Who are you targeting?
Most people will say: “Anyone interested in using social media for their business.” Or, “Uh… people with terrible websites!”
Wrong. It’s nearly impossible to reach everyone and anyone, being specific is key.
Let’s say you need a website for your carpet cleaning business. Who are you going to hire to handle that for you? Acme Graphic Design and Web Development, where they build websites for giant corporations and commercial industry? Or Jack’s small business web design, which targets only local small businesses looking for a simple setup?
Of course you’d choose Jack… and you’d pay more, too.
Remember: the more specific you are, the more you can charge.
During the bonus week I will be walking you through step-by-step how to go even deeper and identify skills people will pay for with 2 more advanced frameworks.
Do you know your actual earning potential?
Get started with the Earning Potential quiz. Get a custom report based on your unique strengths, and discover how to start making extra money — in as little as an hour.
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