The worst mistake when trying to earn more…

Ramit Sethi

How to stop feeling overwhelmed: If you feel overwhelmed by your life, here's an effective technique for conquering those feelings so you can accomplish more

This week I have an example of the worst mistake I see people making when trying to earn money on the side.

This is subtle, but profoundly important. You could have the greatest idea, and if you fail to pay attention to this (I’ll show you below), you will never make money.

Ok, check this email back-and-forth out. This is from a real email I recently received.

[Enter Beth]

I got a 1,231-word email the other day. 99% of it was irrelevant (which is already a red flag), but here’s the main paragraph:

I’d actually be very proud to work for and with you on your newsletter and web content, proofreading your work. NYC is very competitive and with no degree as of yet…I have no way to enter the bustling magazine industry. I’m highly intelligent and learn things immediately, often intuiting them for myself, even coding and mathematical principles taught to me on dates (say, for example, the bare bones of the power of 72!). If you’re interested in someone motivated, perceptive, honest, usually able to rewrite sentences or concepts that are intrinsically flawed…I’d love to heighten the impact of your messages. What prompted me to take this leap?

Ok, so this is already very odd. Why do I care about your power of 72 or math principles? IWT readers will be sighing out loud at how convoluted and confusing this pitch email is. Anyway, my response:

Hey Beth,

Thanks for the kind words.

I appreciate it but I’m going to pass. And here’s why: Editing typos is just not that important to me.

I’ve been teaching my E1k students that a lot. Many of them go in with ideas about stuff that seems important to them…but is just not important to their potential clients. I write a LOT. And once in awhile, I have a typo. If this hurt my business or reputation, I would care.

But even when I send out an email to 50,000+ people, hardly anyone notices. And hardly anyone cares. It’s just not important to me.

So my advice (and this is stuff I cover in much greater detail in Earn1k) is to find out what you are good at…that your prospects have the ABILITY and WILLINGNESS to pay for. THAT is what will help you get hired.

Thanks again.

She responded:

so you think no one would ever hire me as a proofreader?

And I said:

i dont know about “no one” but it would be difficult

This was her final response:

doubt it…once i have the proper degrees =D or the business acumen to start the writing services biz my friends have been asking me to start for deaf people since 2003.

anyway, sorry to take up your time =D

am actually an amazingly talented poet, jewelry designer and illustrator. just zero business know-how!

have a great weekmainder…no worries, the tor(m)rent ends now.

She then went onto Twitter and accused me of audism (discrimination against deaf people) for suggesting that getting paid for proofreading might be difficult.



Not only did she ask me for my opinion, then reject it and insult me, but she genuinely believes that a “degree” or mysterious “business acumen” will help her make money as a proofreader.

Here’s the thing that Beth missed:

If your service isn’t important to your target market, you could be the best in the world and you will still get zero clients.

I just don’t care that much about proofreading. I catch 99% of my own errors, and even when I publish something that has mistakes, nobody cares.

Why would I spend money on a proofreader? Or time? It is simply not a problem for me. I JUST DON’T CARE.

Unfortunately, Beth displays one of the classic mistakes that first-time entrepreneurs do: She’s obsessed with her idea instead of what the market actually cares about.

I see this a lot.

For those of you who have graduated from Earn1k, you know how hard we drill this concept into you, using case studies, exercises, examples, and simple examples like the STHU Technique to listen to your market.

For those of you who haven’t joined Earn1k yet, be very careful when you start thinking that you’re looking for a “magical idea” that will help you earn money. Your idea matters, but what matters far more is the techniques you use to validate your idea. In other words, you want to figure out if your idea will ever make money before you invest tons of time in it.

This is what distinguishes some of my extremely successful Earn1k graduates, who are earning thousands/month on the side, versus people like Beth, who are unfortunately obsessed with a futile idea that will never pay.

Use customer-research techniques you’ve learned to validate your idea and test for profitability before you spend hundreds of hours on it. Doing this work up front is counter-intuitive, but that’s how you can earn significant amounts of money.

P.S. I’m gearing up for a massive writing spree. What do you want to know more about? Just leave a comment — I read every one.


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.

Start The Quiz

Takes 3 min


  1. Li

    After I read 50 proven email scripts, that email exchange made me cringe a bit.

  2. Sandra

    My landscape is littered with things I tested and no one really wanted. In the past I felt bad, thinking I had failed. However I have learned from each attempt and want to get to the point where I test ideas in a smart and faster way.

    This is why I keep reading what Ramit says…

  3. Kenley

    I want to know about how you test. Although I’m more interested in testing the market or testing lines without unintentionally provoking people, I’d like to know the principles that apply for all your testing strategies.

  4. A.T.

    Thanks Ramit. Great article.

    I’m very interested in you writing about psychology and mental barriers, like you’ve done in the past.
    Just to give a little backstory about myself- I have a liberal arts degree (total BS major) but for the past 2.5 years I’ve been working as a bartender. I got into bartending after I lost my job as an account coordinator back in 2010. Bartending was meant to be temporary, but I made good money doing it (while having a lot of fun). BUT at the same time I know I can’t do this forever and I WANT to find a good career, but my barriers are holding me back. Ive been researching new careers (ex entry level project management position) but my fear is that with my experience as a bartender no company will hire me.

    PS – I started my own bartending business on the side (thanks to you)

  5. Peter

    I think you should write about getting your first sale/client

    • Paul

      Did you mean how we can get our first client, or how Ramit got his actual first client? Either one would probably be great to know.

      I second this request.

  6. Julian Hearn

    1200 words in an intro email, wow, that is super crazy.

    Not only does she not understand what your require, she doesn’t understand that time is money, so get to the point quickly.

  7. Jennie

    Hi Ramit,

    I just recently read your book and started reading your blog. Both have been immensely helpful, many times because of the reminders that its not enough just to learn about these things but you actually have to take the steps to put them into practice. I’ve definitely been doing that!

    I’d love to learn about things to consider when getting married. Not the wedding part, but more on the myriad of financial decisions that have to be made. Things like joint or separate bank accounts, filing taxes jointly or separately and the impact of that on things like student loan repayments and contribution limits to retirement accounts. I feel like every time I figure something out, I find out a new piece of information that changes things.

    For example, my significant other and I were planning to file out taxes separately after we are married because of my student loans that are on IBR and because my career is project-based and my income can vary wildly year to year. But then I found out that you can’t contribute to a Roth IRA if you file married filing separately. Perhaps the solution is to contribute to a traditional IRA and roll it over into a Roth, but I feel like there are probably a ton of other things to consider that we haven’t thought of yet. For people who believe in learning and doing it themselves instead of hiring someone to take care of it, I think even a list of all the things to consider would be extremely helpful.

  8. Vicky

    Right, here’s a very specific one:
    I’m currently an international student. With another six months until my studies finish (and another six months after that on my student visa, though I’d rather risk that as I can’t come back into this country at that point) I’d like to try moving to another country rather than this one or my homeland once I finish. I’d like to try another country as this one is too cold and dark and I have no ties anywhere. However, common wisdom is that I need to move somewhere and try and get work. How are there ways to get companies to help me move?
    More info: I’m in the tech and design sector, and a good all-rounder (though I understand that startups don’t really have capacity to deal with visas etc).

    • Jessica

      I don’t know which country you live in, or which countries you are considering living in, but I might be able to help you with some advice on different ways to do that. Are you currently living in one of the Nordic countries? (You said “cold and dark”, and I have lived in both Denmark and Sweden, and it could fit either place.) If you are living in Sweden, you can try going to the arbetsformedlingen, and they will help you get jobs in neighboring countries (or anywhere else in Europe). Are you currently an Erasmus student? I have lived/spent a good amount of time in: Sweden, Denmark, and Mexico, and some time in France. I am American. If you need advice, let me know. I don’t know if there is a way to private message here, but I will send public links or do anything else that I can, if not.

  9. Larry

    Hi Ramit,

    Enjoy all the information you offer to people.

    I woudl like to see you write about how to start a business venture. What and how someone needs to setup or structure the business to deal with local, state, and federal tax issues and other obstacles in starting a part time business.

  10. Chris Johnson

    Productizing service businesses. Do you do it? How custom do you recommend leaving things? When do you do it?

  11. Alison


  12. Cat

    After seeing you and Tim Ferriss talk, I bought his book. It took me months to read it but I know I’m picking up his other two after this one. After doing the Dream Job course and then reading this, I can understand its value rather than just making excuses while reading it. Now I have the attitude of “Okay how can I challenge myself with this information”. Being my own boss has always been an invisible barrier because of how hard my mom worked at her own company and I knew I didn’t want to do the same.

    This just opened up a new door for me! Thanks for planting the seed Ramit!

  13. Emily

    I love it when people use big words when a smaller one would do, all in an effort to make themselves seem smarter.

    If anything, it’s not audism. It’s stupidism.

  14. JZ

    I’m 18 years old and in a couple of years I’ll have a business and economics degree and an MD from some of the most prestigious schools in the world. I am considering work in the pharmaceutical industry, but I haven’t decided. What kind of experience should I get to be attractive regardless of career choice?

    • Alberto Chavez

      If you have the money, or your parents are willing to sponsor you… Join Dream Job, otherwise: get in touch with people already in the pharmaceutical industry, you can look for them on linkedin, and ask THEM what experience should you get to be attractive for them, and try to land internships.

      Work on your soft skills, and you’ll be ahead of 80% of your competition.

  15. Jaime

    Would be really cool to know what to do when your idea failed? like to determine the causes, besides not taking your course yet, but to know where it failed, and also what to do? it is a hard punch failed with an idea, or with two, gets more difficult to recover from failure even if like me that haven’t lose too much money and still young but is something about inside that feels bad.

    Thanks for your content

  16. Aaron Wolfson

    I’d like to know more about your internship with Seth. What was the narrative of your pitch? What were your goals for the internship, what steps did you take to achieve them, and what did you learn? What advice do you have as a result of your experience that could help others who are currently searching for a great mentorship?

    • Marc Koenig

      Seconding this.

  17. Mary

    Hi Ramit – I’d like to know more about what to do if you try to network with someone you’d like to have mentor you or for potential future job prospects or otherwise stay in touch with before using your scripts and botch the initial try to meet/get more information from you email. Just keep going with efforts to network with other similar people and call it a lesson learned or when is it worth additional efforts to follow up again with better scripts? Main problem I have is that I am not geographically compatible to follow up with this person in person at their available meeting times.

    [long story short deleted for probably not really mattering to question above]

    • Sparatikness

      Oh yes, second this one.

  18. Winson

    I want to know how to sell physical goods better.

    • Marilyn

      Me too! Physical goods can’t just be ramped up in price as easily as a skill sales. I have hesitated buying any courses because it seems like it won’t fit my business at all. I don’t have clients, I have customers. I have a storefront.

  19. Susie

    How to test a business idea and do market research. No matter how often we talk about this, it is often where we get stuck. I don’t have a good idea, profitable idea, can I sell it, will anyone pay? This part has fear written all over it, doesn’t it?

    • Jules

      Susie, get on Ramit’s email list and sign up for his Earn1K program when it opens up again. Earn1K addresses precisely what you need.

  20. Gwen

    Ouch. For one thing, if I were offering proof-reading services, I would use more punctuation and fewer smiley faces…

    I would like to read more about applying your techniques within our existing day-jobs, either when dealing with our managers/co-workers, or clients. A lot of the material I’ve read from you seems applicable, but with a few tweaks. (For example, I do a lot of demos over WebEx, so I can’t do the Briefcase Technique EXACTLY as you describe it… but I can certainly do something similar.)

    Basically, any advice on how to apply this stuff for those of us who are not our own bosses!

    • Kim

      Second this!
      Especially in non technical positions. For example, I’m a trainer. Unless I can get audit or other info (not always likely) there’s no known problem that I can use the Briefcase Technique on.

  21. Bobby

    Would love to get more info and help with how to use “customer-research techniques…to validate your idea and test for profitability before you spend hundreds of hours on it.”


  22. aminah

    I’d like to learn more about how to narrow down potential ideas, that is how to pick the most appropriate one as well as how to determine what one is best at.

    Thank you!

  23. Bill

    You asked what I’d like to learn more about. I already have an overflowing toolkit of techniques and tactics.

    For me, the most valuable lessons from you expose the mental barriers, attitudes, motivational problems, and energy management issues in day-to-day life. Resolving these provides great payback.

    • MarkF

      very much so! we are often our worst barriers to success.

      “The most valuable lessons from you expose the mental barriers, attitudes, motivational problems, and energy management issues in day-to-day life. Resolving these provides great payback.”

  24. Alberto Mera

    Hey, I want to know more either about Alison, who commented up there, or negotiation techniques… Cheers, dude! Really appreciate your writing!

  25. kim

    MOTIVATION!! All ideas are great but, until you are self-motivated to improve all the reading and ideas in the world will not help you accomplish anything. I know, reading more about motivation is, again, just reading more. But, I have heard there is more research being conducted about habits and how our brains create new habits and break old. It would seem to me that all this is tied into motivation — moving forward the do something to accomplish something meaningful.


  26. Olga

    Hi Ramit,
    Nice to write you!
    I am Spanish (From BArcelona, Spain). I got finally to learn English well (been in Germany learning English working for the military American community there), so I I teach English here in Spain and to complement income from English classes, I would like to teach Spanish to English speaking people around the globe through internet.
    As I know now how English people think I can personalize the way of teaching Spanish to the English speaking community around the world. But before doing the web and everything, investing time, effort etc etc……How do I know it is going to be a profitable bussiness/idea for me???…….HELP !!THANKS!…..Love your articles!

    • Lisa

      Olga – I am American and would love to learn more Spanish (I know a little from high school)! Americans in general are busy, and I think if there was a place online for us to learn Spanish on our own time it’d be a great idea! I am taking a class online at a local community college for $99 to learn a software. It’s all online 6-week course. Something like that would be ideal for you.

  27. Omar

    This was an awesome share Ramit.

    I love this!

    Because it proves one amazing psychological point about us weird human animals:

    Many of us just want someone to tell us what we WANT to hear and when they don’t – we get mad, really mad.

    Hence, why so many top performers -seem- to not want to help others, because they know they won’t be able to help most people, because of all the hidden barriers.

  28. Barry

    Ramit, I always appreciate your directness. I agree that “great ideas” in and of themselves are not worth much. Sometimes people are looking for validation because of their ideas (“Aren’t I SMART?”) rather than using it as an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Your point, though, is well taken. 1) Get an idea. 2) Identify the target market(s) for it. 3) How much does your market(s) care about your idea? 4) If they care (or you predict they will) document (for yourself at least) why you think so and under what conditions they would… and get started developing. Otherwise, return to Step 1.

  29. Dave K.

    I own a retail shop and I invest in real estate for a living. Could you talk more about real estate investment, in particular building cashflow through residential property, finding money for investing, and tax lien certificate auctions?

  30. Jin curry

    Hello Ramit,
    First, I just want to say, haven’t you shown this email example before? Not that it isn’t worth showing again but if you haven’t shown it before I’m having extreme déjà vu.

    ANYWAYS, I would love to see examples and/or tactics on how you do research into people’s mindsets. A lot of your advice focuses on getting into people’s heads. However, how exactly is that done? I don’t completely lack empathy but even having taken earn 1k I still can’t seem to really get into people’s thought processes, at least not enough to sell to them!
    I honestly want to produce a good, helpful product/service to my niche, but I don’t really know what they want.
    Another point of contention is finding those potential customers. I really never got the concept of generating leads. Maybe it’s something that would come easier if I could just get into their heads, I don’t know? However, for now I can’t find people to either ask if my ideas interest them or to even purchase my offerings. Besides literally walking up to random people, of course. But I’ll tell you now, with y anxiety, that is not happening…
    I apologize for this being long but I thought that the extra detail might help you glean some useful data. Hopefully that will be the case.
    Regardless of my negativity however, I am a long time reader and I appreciate all that you do for us. I have learned and changed a lot because of what you do, so thank you.

  31. Shannon Collins

    I’d like to know more about how you test and how to figure out what you want to do (how to find your dreamjob).

    Love your posts!

  32. Karri

    Efficient tips on testing & tracking would be great.

  33. Maureen Manasco

    Did you always know you were going to be successful, was it gradual as you learned things in school growing up or did you have to turn a BIG corner? I find immense value in hearing about challenges that have been overcome, socially and businesswise, plus the combo of both.

  34. Kaitlin

    Hi Ramit,
    I remember earlier in the year you sent us some worksheets/homework that lead into your re-opening of Earn 1k. The worksheets were to help us create VERY SPECIFIC small business ideas (one of the example results was “teaching english to french immigrants in SF bay area”. something like that). I’d really like to see some more worksheets and emails on how to not only come up with a strong business idea, but how to test multiple facets of it, and maybe even figure out what the market for that kind of idea might be.

  35. Jo

    Excellent advice. This is why I read.your emails…we all can let our egos and ideas get out of line, but it unfortunately can and often does hurt our bottom-line.

  36. Rachel

    So I responded to your post last week about what kind of communication skills I’d like to learn more about … I said reading body language. In answer to your question about my current roadblocks to taking my OWN initiative in that area, I used as my “excuse” that I didn’t know which books would be the best. Well, after posting that, I thought: “What would Ramit do?” Answer: “Ramit would say I’m being lazy. And he’d be right.” So in response, I went on Amazon, found the few most popular and highest-rated books, and bought them. I am currently reading them, and have learned SO much already. I thought you’d appreciate that.

  37. Sonia

    As a translator and a proofreader, your post made me smile. While typos do irritate me tremendously (I am paid to find them after all; it’s automatic), when it comes to your material, it bothers me very little because 1) I get so much out of your material and 2) you are correct that you make very little typos for the amount of material you produce.

    I would love to read more about ways to branch out or switch fields. Even tests to see which fields are best when you have too much choice. Meaning how to build on a solid set of skills in a specific area to move to something else. In my case, I have been in translation/proofreading for almost 20 years, and I’d love to move to a role where I actually create my own material as part of a team instead of fixing up other people’s.

    As a side note, your material, especially DJ and your brain trust have made me realize that spending your day finding what’s wrong (typos, bad sentence structures and so on) puts one in a really bad mindset. You start being blind to the cleverness and genious of content and focus on the minutiea of a friggin’ typo.

    Chances are there are typos in this comment. This is intentional to break the chain…

    Love you stuff! It feels great to get unstuck and take control!


    • Rivka

      I’m a proofreader and translator as well, so I’m with you on that smile! And to repeat what an earlier poster mentioned, if I were advertising my proofreading services I’d try to use more punctuation and fewer smiley faces…
      As an editor-for-hire, I learned the lesson from Ramit that Beth refuses to learn. In my case I was all excited about pitching to college kids, offering to help them with their papers and thus improve their grades dramatically. Except that THEY ARE NOT GOING TO PAY FOR THIS (and neither will their parents). If they care enough to pay, they’ll pay for plagiarism, not expert feedback. Ramit’s free Earn1K material taught me to recognize inconvenient facts like this.
      Instead I’m pitching to business people who are (unlike Ramit!) feeling held back by inadequate English. I already have two great clients like this, and I can see growing to many more — proofing important emails, reviewing and sometimes rewriting letters, including my comments so you can learn from your mistakes. It’s less varied and exciting than the college editing idea, but interesting enough and a lot more sensible/profitable.
      Your comment about proofing putting you in a negative mindset — very insightful. I’ve actually mellowed since beginning to proof people’s writing for them (as opposed to my life-long habit reading everything with a critical eye) — especially since my first clients were people I already cared about, I found myself looking for the good in their writing, and being surprised by how easily it surfaced. People with imperfect grammar can have interesting ideas too, and even excellent communication skills; who knew?
      As an editor and writing coach, I make a point of writing down my positive comments when they come to mind. If you trust me to tear your sentences apart looking for the missing comma, you deserve a respectful treatment of your writing and its message.

  38. Michael

    Hi Ramit – I’ve been signed up to your newsletter for a few months now and find your advice to be refreshingly direct and ‘actionable” (not to overdo the jargon).

    Your Earn 1K course sounds great, but I’m wondering about whether or not a particular passion of mine is actually viable for a side business. I work in marketing full time, but have a huge passion for films, and my dreams would be to start by doing something related to films on the side to build a business. Trouble is, I just don;t know how to do this and whether or not not someone would be willing to pay for this massive trove of film knowledge I carry in my head.

    At what point can you tell if a passion is only just that, or if it can be marketable for a side business?

  39. Gina

    Kudos to Ramit for figuring out what the heck she was trying to tell him in the first place. Glad you shared it with us, so it wasn’t a total waste of time. All feedback is helpful, especially constructive criticism, and should not be taken personally.

  40. Sam Title

    As someone who has earned a living writing and editing (among other things), her writing hurt my head. Frankly, I don’t know if any amount of target market research will help that.

    Just my $0.02.

  41. Mishka

    Ramit! I would like to hear your advice on successfully testing biz ideas “before you spend hundreds of hours on them” when the product that needs to be produced will take great effort to materialize before you can seduce your various potential markets with them (or not, and move on). What if the product is not an e-service, but something that requires lots of craftsmanship and handwork and intense detail-oriented labor before it exists? I don’t want shortcuts, but I do want to know if there is a better way to figure out potential markets befoer investing in materials and time hardcore.

  42. Ville Kavilo

    How to test a new idea on a established market?

  43. John

    Hey Ramit,
    I love your material. I’m a DJ student and the course has helped me change my life. I love the “what’s going on here” analysis you provide for the majority of the face-to-face interviews, and email exchanges.
    I would absolutely love to read a content/course on the psychology behind success. It really fascinates me.

  44. Sarah Bohm

    “If your service isn’t important to your target market, you could be the best in the world and you will still get zero clients.”

    PRE-freakin-CISELY Ramit. This is a good reminder to all.

  45. Stephen

    Great advice, and I’m surprised you waded through an essay, and took the time to respond. Honestly, anyone should be happy to just hear back and get feedback, throwing it back in someones face isn’t the best strategy. I’m a student of Earn1k as well as “Find your Dream Job” and I suppose my biggest question so far is regarding “Time Management”. I’ve done some side projects (after seeing you on CreativeLive) and made some money, I think $2,000-$3,000 since November, but I am finding it hard to keep up my life, work, and freelancing. Your thoughts on time management and prioritization might be good for me, or anyone else in a similar situation. Thanks in advance, and keep up the good work!

  46. Allison

    Hi Ramit,

    I’d be interested if you wrote about how to find job markets that allow you to work from home or choose your own hours, but maybe without having to own your own business. I graduated college last year and am working as an engineer now but I’ll likely be marrying and having a family in the next few years, and won’t want to be working the 9-5 in an office once that starts. I don’t really have the money to join your Earn1k course as I’m currently paying back study loans, but I’d like to know if there’s anything I can be doing now to help prepare myself for a few years from now.


  47. Jason

    Hey Ramit,

    I know validation is key so please write more about that. Specific techniques for info products, books, blogs, etc. I think this is where I’m stumbling. Noah Kagan wrote a beautiful piece for Tim Ferriss’s blog about validation but most of it was over my head, much too technical.

    Think you could simplify some of this for a novice like myself?


  48. Kim

    HI Ramit!

    I’d like to know a) how you test ideas and b) what you do when they failed?

    I’d also love to know scripts and psychological techniques for us introverts out here who have trouble with the whole contacting people part. It’s probably my biggest barrier.

    Although, I like Gwen’s idea above about how to use the psychological techniues to get ahead in our current jobs.

    Thanks for the terrific writing.

  49. Kimberly

    That was an entertaining exchange, with a great point. Thanks for sharing. It reminds me of when I used to watch American Idol, and when people in auditions would get shut down and told that singing should not be their career choice. Quite a few of those competitors reacted with disbelief and anger. Here they have an expert telling them that they are not talented enough to really make it in the entertainment marketplace, and they say something like, “I know that’s not true, my Mom has told me my whole life that I’m an outstanding singer.” What a waste of time denial can be when you get a rare chance to have an expert share their opinion with you. We just have to learn to listen and consider, and try to get our ego to step aside long enough to take the useful advice and try another angle! Think of it as a gift to get you off the wrong pursuit so you can move on.

    • MarkF

      Agreed. Peoples’ reactions to being told they don’t have the talent are quite telling in & of themselves.

      Disbelief & anger: Throwing a hissy fit like Justin Bieber did in London last week might wash if one is an established artist. Not so likely when one is not even ‘up & coming’.

      So politely say “Thank you for your feedback” to the judges & bow. Go home & have a good drunken rant with your friends.

      The next day you either decide to continue your studies to become an accountant or you use that feedback as fuel to say “I won’t be stopped” and figure out what you need to do differently in order to astound the world for the better next time around.

      Not everyone gets the trophy -or the contract for that matter. That’s why American Idol has tryouts. And jobs have interviews & presentations.

      Denial + entitlement make for a warped view of the world.

  50. Kwan

    Hey Ramit,

    I would love to get some strategies on getting a good mentor.

  51. Terri

    Hi Ramit,

    Have you ever written about rebounding after a termination for turning in a regulatory violation against your employer? I was recently terminated for reporting a regulatory violation through the company’s business conduct line. Actually I was terminated 3 weeks after the report for not completing an assignment that was not assigned to me. The company as a result offered me a severance for 6 months of wages and a status of resigned rather than terminated if I agreed not to file a lawsuit. Since then I have found it a struggle to find employment at the same level. Many times when I tell the prospective employer of my reason for leaving I don’t hear from them again. I am not sure how many of Your readers have experiences something similar and how they rebounded. I had worked for my employer for 14 years going from controller of the company to director o operations for a pharmaceutical supplier. The violation had patient safety implications, so I could not let it go. It was a devestating blow to my self-confidence. Like many people, I have never been terminated and the all of my reviews referred to me as a high potential employee. Any advice would be helpful.

    • Rivka

      Advice: Don’t tell prospective employers the facts you just shared. They are afraid of people like you, even if they don’t do criminally negligent stuff, because the fact is people do exist who love to whistle-blow as a first response and companies are afraid of this. Work on your story.

  52. Logan

    Over the course of a year using just your free material, I developed my idea, bumbled into some clients willing to pay me, and I’m now earning on average, 1K per month. Even better, I’m spending less than 10 hours doing it.

    Quitting my day job and doing what I’m doing on the side full time is a goal I’d never thought attainable until now, so first, thank you!

    I would like to see you write about is how to successfully seek out new clients. What I do is fairly niche and I’m not entirely sure how to locate companies that would be interested in my services. It’s one of those things many corporations don’t realize they want or need until they see it (or in my case, hear it).

    Thanks again for all you do. You’re very appreciated, Ramit.

  53. Helen

    I’ve been going to a lot of networking events to promote my freelance copywriting and video-scripting business. Any tips for homing in on target-market folks at these early morning schmooze-athons? Thanks.

  54. Casey Berman

    Hi Ramit

    I have a nice blog I’ve been writing for a few years now, with a core following. I really enjoy writing the blog, it means a lot to me, and I get some real good feedback and ideas from my audience. There is a money angle here, and while my love for blogging (and not money) has really compelled me to keep writing, I do want to begin monetizing my efforts.

    So, I would love to hear some nuts and bolts ideas on (i) how to grow my email list and (ii) how to build a product (course, ebook, consulting services etc) that I can actually sell.

    I have read a lot on this, and taken other online courses, but I’d love to hear your take. For (i), is at mainly about guest posting, having a nice landing page, having an auto-responder set up, etc. Or is there another “formula”? I’m not looking for a magic pill, I know it’s hard work. But I would appreciate any structure for this process if you can provide one.

    And for (ii), how do you get over the self doubt that anyone would even want to dish out money for something I could create? Any thoughts on how to go about building an awesome product to help people would be most appreciated.


  55. Dodie Jacobi

    HA! I literally sighed just before I read your word, “Sigh.” Just reading this exchange wore me out. Thanks for your patience in teaching, sharing such exchanges, and generally making the game of finding moula from meaningful work much better from every angle.

  56. Dona Collins

    There is so much wrong with the way this person approached you, I don’t even know where to begin.

    If I wanted to talk to you about proofreading your work, I’d start by pointing out some flaws – if there were any that mattered – which is risky. I might ask if you even have a proofreader or if you are in need of one. I would not outline my flaws and inability to get work elsewhere, and I would NOT regress to a lack of punctuation and grammar in my future replies just because I know you aren’t offering me a job. I would, personally, prefer to keep a professional face in case you might want to refer me to someone who does care.

    Oh, there’s so much more…

  57. Maja

    Hi Ramit,

    Your advice rocks! But when I try to act on it, something blocks me; it is frustrating beyond words.

    What I would like to ask is – how do I change careers?

    I am a lawyer, but the job became so depressing that I quit and also moved to another country (different reasons). I have now been struggling for a few months with how to find (or come up with) a job, that would take advantage of my talents (analytic, precise, reliable, organised, excellent people skills, passion for writing and editing, yoga teacher, healthy food enthusiast, blogger) and no degree other than law and yoga teacher certificate. ..

    Thanks for taking the time! 🙂


  58. Ingemar

    My question–should I quit Earn 1k because I lost my job?

  59. Layne

    Hey Ramit,
    I have a really fleshed out idea for a side business that I would definitely want to make my full-time gig – I have no idea where to start. I don’t know if you can really help me either without just sending me to your Earn1k class which I intend to take next time it’s open – but I really am at a loss for how to find clients and get started. I have talked about this idea with a couple groups of friends who think it’s a fabulous idea (a few of which who would be interested in my services – though I’d feel funny about charging close friends – for my line of work it’s better to work with people you don’t know so intimately – but it’s not completely out of the question). My best lead so far was a good friend of mine knew someone who (relatively) did what I want do – but more geared towards businesses rather than the individual which is the market I’m more interested in. She’s probably my best lead, and I intend to chat with this lady and get some input from her, but other than that, I have no idea how to get off the ground – except to keep talking about it with more people and see what happens.

  60. Kate Phillips

    Wow… Well, she’s right about one thing… I’m pretty sure that there’s a market for proofreaders, and yes, even deaf proofreaders. But if she’s been thinking about starting that biz since 2003 (???!), anticipates that she’ll need a degree to succeed, repeatedly pitches people who aren’t interested and can’t edit her own work… Well, she’s the only one stopping herself from success.

    Tho it’s easier for her to blame you than than to take responsibility for herself and the unprofitable result of her own thoughts and actions.

    Hmm, sounds like she needs earn 1k….

    • Rivka

      She doesn’t need Earn1K… she needs a solitary clue.

  61. patti

    Would love to know more about finding the perfect job to suit your strength and passion.

  62. Anouar

    I hire a proofreader once in a while. Because I’m not a native English speaker. Maybe there would be less friction for her to find work in Europe or elsewhere in the world.

  63. Lauren


    Thank you for the laugh! You have made me laugh several times the last few weeks (gee one was brilliant BTW). Honestly, I need to hear more of these kinds of stories. I already have my idea, I have already surveyed my potential audience and I know it is a profitable idea, but I am in mid-stream of launch so right now I need exactly what you have been sending: time management and productivity, seeing the forest through the trees, your experiences as a reminder that things get crazy for everyone trying and successfully starting and growing an online business.
    I think I really need the wisdom of what experiences other people have had when breaking through from unknown to known in the online business world. Resources you use regularly, things you do yourself and things you pay others to do. I am doing everything on my own right now, but do wonder what do you spend your most time on for your business?
    For me, right now, I am spending the most time compiling and editing material for launch and making sure my ducks are in a row- meaning the website is smoothly operateable, social media platforms are in place and linking properly etc.
    Anyway, thank you again for the laugh, you really do crack me up!


  64. Jenn

    I understand the point of your article, but I disagree with the premise that no one cares about typos or grammar. I spent 7 months making acceptable money doing proofreading. When people make errors in their business websites I find that, to me, it implies they are not careful about other areas of their business as well. If you can’t take care to spell something correctly, how much will you take when it’s important?

    • Rivka

      What you’re saying is very true about many websites, but as a proofreader myself I can easily identify Ramit’s site as an outlier. Besides for that the typos that exist are not the ‘too lazy to use the language correctly’ type, they are the ‘too busy producing to bellyache about a lone typo in last week’s post’ type.

  65. N

    Hi Ramit,

    Quick followup question on biz idea validation process:

    In “Finding Your First Profitable Idea”, you wrote about finding an idea that pays you your first $100 as business idea validation.

    In “Earn1k”, you talked about finding your first 3 paying customers – after validating the demand for your idea with enough experts.

    Those are two different validation benchmarks.

    In my case, I recently started with your “work for free” method from “Finding Your First Idea” without doing the more intensive validation process depicted in Earn1K first. (I was unsure of my skills and wanted the practice.) Ironically, the “free” case study client ended up paying me over $100 anyway for the work I performed plus a shining testimonial, while I got a paying passive lead (who I turned into a client) in a similar target audience via oDesk for the same type of work starting soon.

    Is is safe to say that my idea has been validated? Since I did things a bit out of order, I’m trying to figure out if I should go back to the official customer research & validation process before continuing or go straight to pitching for my third client since I did make over $100 so far, thereby surpassing the “Find Your First Profitable Idea” validation benchmark.

  66. Jina Chan

    Ramit, I’ve bought your creativeLIVE class and love your stuff about social skills and networking. Some of your most valuable material is about the gotchas that you run into *after* you do the initial steps: for example, you’ll run into someone who goes on and on, and have to exit the conversation gracefully. Or some people will ask you for a favors and you need to know how to turn them down, otherwise you’re stuck saying “yes” to everyone and you decide that networking sucks. So my request is that you talk more about problems that beginners can run into just when they’re starting to get some momentum.

  67. John Carvajal

    I’m newer to getting the emails, but I’d like to hear about how to make a career change into an area that you are knowledgable (and passionate) about and have some experience in, but not a degree/significant experience in that area. I see holes in their system and know I can significanlty improve their productivity, because I talk to their clients about which areas they were helped in and which ones weren’t addressed. However, this would seemingly be entry-level for me(on paper). How do I get my foot in the door on this? Thank you for your time, Ramit.

  68. SC

    Hi Ramit,

    I am a great fan of your IWTY book and emails. Thank you for sharing your easy and logical advice. My question is the similar to Bobby’s above. I have an idea, and yes, it is most important to establish the “real” need before investing the time and money into something that is only established to be a “perceived” need. Where do I go to “test it out” without giving away the idea? Thank you for your help.

  69. Brian

    Hi Ramit-

    Just recently found you and started reading your blog. All I can say is…wow! I recently started dabbling with a side venture, and I am now getting a hundred+ people registering for my webinars…and have been invited to speak to some large groups, but it has been a slow uphill battle. (and fun!)

    Wish I had found you sooner; it might have shortened my learning curve.

    I just want to let others know that getting the traffic (again, i get people to come hear what I have to say) is one thing, but getting the to BUY is something else all together.

    Anyway, I look forward to reporting my continued success, and utilizing some of your tools.

    Keep on keeping us all inspired…and thank you.


  70. Megha

    I want you to write more about communication. Not just the basics of how to get over shyness, or how to take criticism, but more in detail about the subtle things we may be doing that lead to miscommunication. For instance, I talk really fast and people would always tell me that, but I never understood HOW It affected my professional life (and other aspects) until you talked about it in one of your emails/webcasts.

    I tend to have a lot of great ideas, but it is hard for me to convey them to others in a way that gets my point across and tackling some of the more subtle communication cues could possibly help that.

  71. Ashley B

    I want to learn more about taking my business to the next level.

    In 2012 I got a great side business going, thanks in large part to all of the amazing free info on your site, and I’m making a full time income. But I want to totally dominate in my field.

  72. Kent

    Thanks for sharing, Ramit. Reading emails from bizarre people really fascinates me on some twisted level.

  73. me

    Couldn’t find any twitter post mentioning that … would be interesting to see.

  74. angie

    with regard to Beth, she mentions that she is ‘a talented poet, jewellery designer and illustrator’ why proof reading then? better to focus on something you are talented at and enjoy. Aside from that, I am British and live in the U.K, please can you tell me the differences if any, between American and U.K business principles. How do I capture an American market?

  75. The only business class I ever took - Steve Benjamins - Toronto designer / developer.

    […] Ramit Sethi made a point today on his blog that made me want to stand up and clap: […]

  76. Lucy Ra

    Ouch! People don’t usually reward honesty in a nice way if it hurts their feelings.
    On the bright side, our fits give you content for your blog and I like reading about them. Please keep them going. It gives good insight into our behaviors.

  77. Andrew C.


    I would like to learn more about how to keep myself motivated.
    I went through your earn1k course and learned many different things. Techniques that apply not only to starting a business but to my current job as well. My idea failed because I didn’t validate it and was stuck on it like Beths. Right now I’m going through the “Find my first profitable idea ebook” to make sure I validate my idea this time. To stay motivated I just try to read 2 pages a day (if I’m feeling up to it i’ll ready more! [idea from the dental floss post]) Also I increased my salary by 5%…. but got an agreement for a 6 month review in the process.

    What rituals or set of actions do you do/suggest to stay motivated with the world feels like it’s on your shoulders?

  78. Tom T

    Hey Ramit,

    I’d be really interested in learning how to distinguish oneself as an associate new hire at a Big 4 firm.

    You’ve spoken to this subject before, but I’m having trouble thinking about how to apply your advice when being hired in as part of a new hire class of 50+, all with stellar skills themselves, in the same service line. Everything seems so formal and standardized in that realm.

    I’m starting this summer with the aim to truly excel, any advice would be much appreciated.


    Tom T

    • david

      My advice (been in one for 6 years):

      1. Be a speed demon with excel, powerpoint, and word. Learn your shortcut keys. If you don’t know how to format, align, make pivot tables, and organize complex sets of data clean learn now.
      2. Do things faster, more accurately, more consistently by leveraging 1. Doing it right the first time with minimum instruction always makes people happy.
      3. You are the bottom of the totem pole. You will get some shit work. Deal with it. Learn how to automate it and make it fast so you can focus on more important things and ‘overdeliver’.
      4. Manager your manager. Communicate your priorities and let him re-arrange them for you. As long as you focus on high priority/impact items and get buy in, you will be more valuable. Too many people sweat small-stupid stuff.
      5. The less you have to bother your supervisor for stupid stuff, the happier it is. An independent worker (who does what they are told to do + more with minimal hand holding) makes a huge difference.
      6. Find out who is doing what you want to do. Ask to help them with something. Expect nothing in return. You just want to develop the relationship first, and someday they may think of you and pull you on to do that stuff you want to do.

      In short, if you suck up my time, make me explain myself multiple times, and show me crap work for review, I won’t want to work with you again. If you make my life easy, are predictable/reliable, and don’t have lots of ‘surprises’, I will remember it and give you high ratings and pull you onto the best projects (where you get the best opportunities).

      It’s that simple.

  79. Scott E

    Great Post!

  80. Laura


    Another great post. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but I’ve recently been going through old material to gear myself up for a job change. I plan on staying in the same job category, but increasing scope. One thing I’m having trouble with, and would like to hear more about, is how to spin my experience and awesomeness for interviews, cover letters, and resumes.

    Specifically, most of my great work over the past year was spent fixing and cleaning up after my coworker. We each work 24/7 for 3 weeks and then take 3 weeks of vacation. Every time I came back for another hitch, he’d left me a veritable mess in which he’d botched troubleshooting a major piece of equipment and ordered thousands of dollars in parts or technicians to fix it. I would roll up my sleeves, find the *real* problem, cancel the parts, cancel the technicians, and fix it myself. I estimate that I saved the company around $50,000 last year in just cleaning up after my coworker. My company is great and awarded me a tidy bonus for the hard work. I know I’m not the only one out there with this problem, though, of trying to pitch yourself to another company as a knowledgeable and competent worker without having to bring up the schmuck whom you swept up after.

    Thanks for all the great content!

  81. Fez

    Ramit, I know what I want to do, its something I really enjoy. But I don’t know if the market will pay (well) for exactly it. and I don’t want to do a bastardized version of it just to cater to the market. I mean, I’d be wasting so much time & energy to only end up making money, but deviating from the original thing I loved that made me want to start it all! Help?

    For instance, smartphone apps seem to be a ‘hot’ market these days. I can program, and I could learn the skills but hell I’ve no interest in the area whatsoever.

  82. Susan

    Hi, Proofreading is a needed skill set in the publishing world, but is clearly not important to you (as you have said more than once) and she should have known that before writing to you. She has a lot of hard lessons in front of her.
    I’d like to know more about testing.
    For instance, if something you want to do has a crowded market- high competition, what do you test for?

  83. Sarah

    Wow. She is very delusional. I feel fortunate to be in Marketing, focused on consumer insight driven innovation, as I work to identify my own business opportunities. I forget that entrepreneurs (if you can call her one) would possibly approach business development in such a dated way. Years ago, it’s my understanding that products were developed more internally, and it was marketing’s job to craft the message to serve it back to the market, as she attempts to do with you. It’s since been discovered, and proven again in this case, that pushing an idea onto a target is so much less effective (or non-effective in this case) vs extracting what people want or need and serving it back to them.

    Back to basics!
    Who is your target?
    What do they want? And, even, what do they REALLY want? They may never be able to tell you directly. You may have to extract it.
    And to add the 1K spin-
    What do I do that is valuable to a target such that they will pay for it such that I make money! It works, of course! I made almost $1K in just one conversation for some business consulting after you suggested just doing it. Just the push I needed. Thx!

  84. Michelle

    How do I price a service that is both fair (for my time and costs) and affordable (clients’ time and costs)?

    • Barbara Saunders

      My suggestion: remove the word “fair” from your vocabulary on this issue. It is defensive. For that matter … so is “affordable.”

      Why not just price the service so that a) clients perceive its value relative to the cost, b) it’s targeted to clients who are willing and able to pay that cost, and c) it earns what I need it to (given my entire income picture)

    • Rivka

      Great comment, thanks Barbara.

  85. Sarah B.

    This sort of hits home because proofreading/copy editing IS my Earn$1k job. I not only make a little more than $1k/month in my off-hours but I have plenty of clients. I even have to turn people away on occasion. There’s *plenty* of demand for these skills if you put the effort into figuring out who really needs your services—and why—and market yourself appropriately. And, of course, do a good job.

  86. Christina

    I want to learn how to develop a product and bright it to market. I’d be the first to sign up for that class!

  87. LBD

    Hello Ramit –

    Thank you for all that you have studied, tested, and shared – about yourself and about the facts. I’m fairly new to your posts, and already learning a lot. I really appreciate your personal touch, not just dry charts and statistics.

    re: your massive writing spree –
    I’m a freelance graphic designer who is ready to get a full-time job again. I know which (awesome) company I ultimately want to work for. They aren’t hiring at the moment, but I want to find a way to introduce myself. I have some ideas going. And, I’m wondering if you have suggestions for a graphic designer regarding their “visual” portfolio vs. how much one needs to add in “description using words” in their resume and/or their website. I’ve been told many times, that design companies hire based on what they “see,” not on degrees (though I’m glad that I have both).

    Also, what would be the best starting place regarding your materials, book/s, or seminars (online or in person)?

    Thanks for your time!
    One of those “typical” artists who is creative, but not so good with finances (yet!).

    p.s. I’m new to “commenting” on blogs – wondering, is my email address and website only visible to you? And will I be notified if you respond to my post? Thanks for any info.

  88. Nadine Michel

    Tips for students who are about to graduate college and have no idea what they are going to do after.

  89. Jason


    I’d like to know more about the tools and techniques of changing one’s career path into another industry or area of expertise and how to test and accomplish it successfully.


  90. Christie

    This post and comments are interesting and a bit sad. It is so much easier to see how someone else is sabotaging themselves then to see how we are sabotaging ourselves.

    Ramit: how do you prepare for a writing spree ?

    ~ C

  91. Denise

    Ramit, I am currently reading Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In”. She states that women have to negotiate differently than men; for example, invoking common interests, approaching negotiations as solving a problem, emphasizing larger goals. Furthermore, she claims that it backfires on women when they advocated for their own interests when negotiating. Men, on the other hand, are expected to advocate for themselves, point out their contributions and be rewarded for them. When women do the same they are looked upon unfavourably. Ramit, as someone who has studied and taught negotiation techniques and their outcomes, do you find this to be true? What has been your experience of men vs. women and certain negotiation techniques and their outcomes. I would love to see you do a post on this. However, even better, would be a video of you and Sheryl Sandberg sitting down and discussing whether gender is a factor when negotiating, with comparative outcomes.

    • Stephanie

      This would be great material. I’m in constant negotiation with clients and have noticed that many things often work for my male counterparts that wouldn’t necessarily work for me.

  92. Kathy

    “P.S. I’m gearing up for a massive writing spree. What do you want to know more about?……”

    I would like to read about up and coming business ideas or industries that will be highly changing in the next five to ten years.

    Peace & Blessings,

  93. RD

    Excellent insight Ramit.

    Eric Ries, author of the Lean Startup, touched on this point in one of his talks. He recalled a feature that took 6 months of development time only to find out that that his expected market didn’t want it.

    Afterwards, he considered how much time it would have saved him if he had simply thrown together a splash page with a download link, ran an ad campaign, and monitored how many people clicked on the download link.

    I’ve tried this a few times to test markets I thought for sure existed only to find out the opposite. Testing constantly surprises me too.

  94. Barbara Saunders

    Re: Beth. Been there, done that! Sometimes the thing that is important to you is not important to prospective customers. I doesn’t always mean you can’t do the activity you want to do – often you just have to do it within some other service. (E.g., I’ve found that “writing to sell” sells better than “writing to achieve ‘good quality’ writing” – and no wonder!

  95. Mariya

    Hey Ramit,

    Any email over 100 words is already insane. She’s clearly not a very good proofreader if she can’t cut her fluff down (or keep the emoticons out).

    To answer your question, I’d love to learn more about good vs. bad email scripts for any situation. I’ve been testing out a few of the email scripts you have put out, and noticed that one works better than the other. I’ve been trying to come up with my own, too (some of which work quite well), and I’d love to compare some more of your samples against mine.

  96. Giri

    God! There could be at least one such person in our lives.God forbid, sometimes a sibling or a child or someone really dear. It is a terrible scenario, with or without the disability. You know Ramit, communication skills to make some inroads into such closed minds would be of immense help. (You recently sent a survey about what we wanted out of a communication course.)

  97. Liam O

    Ramit, I’d love to know more about how you systematically improved your social skills. I’ve read your posts on it and I realise there’s no “aha!” moment. I get that there’s no spotlight which shines on you, and then all of a sudden you level up. Instead, it’s a grind of running little tests and watching people’s reactions. And of course you front load the process, literally writing down word-for-word what you say when you introduce yourself (professionally and casually). And then record yourself saying it. And cringe. Does that sound right? I’d love to hear more from you on improving your social skills through front-loading.

  98. Peter Hedstrom

    Hi Rammit,

    I think it would be very helpful if you could write about how to deal with difficult people at work. How to deal with office politics. How to deal with power struggles etc. It is inevitable at some point in a persons career they will encounter these and since you are such a good communicator, I would love to hear some insights you might have on that.


  99. Ajay Adlakha

    I would like to learn more about relationship management

  100. Chelsea

    Hey Ramit,

    I accidentally subscribed to your email quite some time ago when I was helping my husband look for a new job. We are a young couple with 2 young kids, I am a stay at home mom with some college education. I have been trying to find a way to make some extra money so we can fix up our house and do more fun stuff as a family (say finally take a vacation where I don’t have to cook!), but without losing time with my family. I enjoy reading about your experiences and am hoping that we will able to use your advice to achieve our goals!


  101. Margaret

    Your posts breaking down common pitfalls of first-time entrepreneurs are really helpful for me – they help me keep an eye out for those tendancies in myself.

  102. Anna

    Hi Ramit,
    I would appreciate it if you would talk about defending ones fee. I am in the commission business and sometimes client want to cut my fee. I would love to hear your responses.
    Best regards, Anna

  103. Kristie

    Hey first off I just want to thank you, your website and newsletter have been invaluable to me in the past 3 weeks. I live very simply and don’t need a large income to sustain my ideal lifestyle. However using several of your techniques I landed a new client and an incredible new gig. I went from $1500 a month to $6000 a month in just a few weeks.

    What I would like to learn more about is your media training / grooming…

  104. Elisabeth

    Hi Ramit,

    You mentioned “customer research techniques” at the end of this e-mail. Would you please elaborate? How do you research whether a business idea would be profitable or not? Thank you! I really enjoy reading your e-mails!


  105. Annie

    I’d like your thoughts on how to overcome occupational burnout. For example, things you recommend one considers before totally changing careers, questions to get at the root cause, etc…. (Or perhaps you’ve already written about this? I’m a relatively new reader.) Thanks for sharing so many of your insights.

  106. Jessica


    Thank you for the article! “Kill your darlings!” Business isn’t about what we want it to be about, but about what the clients want it to be about. Holy crap, what a pain-in-the-ass lesson that has been for me to learn! (“You mean that nobody wants a Swedish-speaking baker-stenographer?!”) Ah, to be free of marketable skills!

    I would be willing to work for very little pay, at something meaningful, at this point, just to build up a “reputation” (a portfolio of some sort) in something that is not call center work/meaningless secretarial bullshit.

    I think that “prestige” is more important to me than “pay” is. Do you ever write about that aspect of what you do, or do you think that that is overrated, since it can’t be measured as easily?

  107. Leah Cutter

    >>P.S. I’m gearing up for a massive writing spree. What do you want to know more about? Just leave a comment — I read every one.

    Of course, when I saw “massive writing spree” I thought you meant you’d be working on your next book, and so would need to be writing a lot of words every day. (I’m currently on a “massive writing spree” ~10,000 words per week, on top of a day job, taking an online class that requires 10 hours of work per week, and running two small businesses.)

    I’m actually interested in the advanced communications skills you’d mentioned before. As well as what you jettison when you have too much on your plate.

    • Rivka

      Ditto this:
      I’m actually interested in the advanced communications skills you’d mentioned before. As well as what you jettison when you have too much on your plate.

  108. Gail

    I would like to see a case study of how someone used this technique with hiring managers. I want to know if they surveyed a number of different managers or did they target just one? If they surveyed a number of managers, how did they survey them to find the characteristics of a “dream job applicant?” What is another way to identify what a manager wants along with emails and info interviews?

  109. Aileen

    Thank you for today’s post. It changed my perspective on writing and how I look at my second income.

  110. Matt

    It speaks volumes about your willingness to help when it is quite obvious you would have been better off completely ignoring such an e-mail. Granted you turned it into an opportunity but such interactions can go very badly and suck up time.

    That situation actually reminds me of the models on America’s Next Top Model who desperately want to be models but cannot handle criticism or rejection. Seriously? Have you seen the show? Do you know what models do? Anyways, I’ll stop that rant there.

    I would be very interested in seeing more info from you on why people are looking for “lists”. “Give me a checklist to be successful Ramit.” Are we all just that lazy? Do we all actually believe that if I follow the same exact steps as someone else I should experience the same results? The model analogy works here as well. You will not see a checklist to be a model because the first requirement is written all over your face. 🙂

    I recently attended an interview prep course offered by my employer (mostly just to spend some thought time on the subject). Many of the attendees wanted exact checklists of when to send thank you notes, on what type of paper?, e-mail and thank you note or just e-mail? … I wanted to stop the instructor from offering exact answers because every case is unique and requires discernment but I didn’t. I then thought that packaging some of the content you did on CreativeLive into an interview prep course for corporations would be profitable for you.

    Another area I’d pick your brain on would be the psychology of calibrating communication for different audiences. When someone gives a technical talk to a technical audience they make assumptions. A lot of times technical people forget they are not talking to a technical audience and neglect to calibrate. Obviously, reading into body language and reacting to your audiences feedback will help but I can’t help but think there is a good psychological way to approach this. Whether it’s having different avatars in mind when you prepare the discussion or having a mock discussion with a non-technical or average audience member.


    Thanks for helping us with our thinking Ramit.

  111. Swadeep Pillarisetti

    Dear Ramit,

    I am definitely a fan of your work! I have been following you for quite some time now.

    A quick intro:
    After a degree from IIT, and advanced degrees in the US, and several years of “hustling” and leading key initiatives in startups, I am currently a well rounded sales professional making a decent living. In fact, I started tutoring freelance on the side a few years ago (before I came across IWTYTBR). I have successfully surpassed my primary income now and I don’t know which is which anymore, which is a good thing! And I am now seriously thinking about expanding my freelance business full time into an online tutoring company and creating my share of “wealth”. So when I come across a course like E1K, I see some interesting / general “stuff” in the newsletter / intro to the course, I don’t see any major “aha” ‘s which I haven’t come across amongst the dozens of top management books that I have read and implemented. So do you honestly see there enough value for a person like me? And if so, how do you think there will be a value add? Is there a money back guarantee? I know that you are a busy man and that one extra sign up may not mean much to you financially, but I also know that you are an avid fan of “reading every response”! 🙂

    Looking forward to hear back from you soon.

    now in Bangalore, India

    • Simi

      There is a money back guarantee.

      And also, in some of his pitches for the course he talks extensively about how to determine if this course is for you. From what I remember (which admittedly isn’t much), based on what you said about your freelance business resulting in more money than your primary income, Earn1K might not be as helpful to you. I seem to recall him saying that Earn1k wasn’t designed for people who are already making a considerable amount of money already on the side…forgot the exact amount.

  112. Vanessa

    I want to know how to keep persistent with an idea that works for someone that has a habit of not finishing what they started.

  113. Jeffrey Rosan

    The Beth Email and Twitter response bring up a very interesting subject and one I think all business people and regular folks should understand more about. How to deal with attacks upon our business, or personal character in a world where memory is not short…and a response to such an attack can yield even more damage.

  114. Allie

    I’d love to see more advice about how to negotiate higher pay in cases where salary was determined by the wages of your previous job.

    I’ve had no trouble finding work in my industry since graduation (2008) but all of my employers have either blamed the economy for not paying me more money, or said they could not raise my pay because of the salary I made at my previous job.

    How the eff do I break this cycle? So far, my only solution has been to change jobs as frequently as possible. I’d much rather know what to say when it comes to negotiating pay.

    • Carolynn Ananian


      No-Stress Negotiation covers this in detail. There’s a LOT you can do without job hopping. Ramit goes into detail in the course about how to build your case, become a top performer, wow your boss, and negotiate.


  115. David

    She seems like a baby. You reject her offer so she insults you over Twitter. Real high class. Instead of bothering you about proof-reading she should offer her services to someone who is a non native speaker of English. That’s a market that will pay her.

  116. Kathleen

    would love to learn more

  117. Rose

    How do you determine the “voice” you use when marketing content? I feel its important to push a message from the point of view of the customer, but sometimes the message or purpose loses its clarity, i.e. The Company Difference (what I want to say) vs. What this company does for you (the point of view of the customer). Thanks for your help

  118. Amy R.

    My friends introduced me to your “briefcase technique” (fantastic) a few weeks ago and I’ve gone down the Ramit rabbit hole from there. I’m currently halfway through your book right now. I love it. I just do what you tell me to do and I already feel more in control of my financial future. Thank you! I also can’t wait to see you speak at the 99U Conference and I will be taking Earn1k as soon as I pay off my cc debt (only $500). I really can’t get enough! As far as your massive writing spree goes (yay! moar awesome!)… I am a single mother, and have calculated that I have 10 hours per week when I don’t belong to someone else’s clock (full time job + full time mom). Is it possible to complete your course work with that kind of schedule? Should I download your productivity pack first and then take Earn1k? Where do you think my limited time will be best spent? I need to prioritize. Thank you for your time!!!

  119. Divya

    Other topics: How to use virtual assistants effectively.

    • Carolynn Ananian


      Tim Ferriss has written extensively about this, actually:


  120. Shaily

    What are your metrics to test the market? Trial and error could be one, but knowing how you like study everything, Im interested in the tactics you use to test an idea.

  121. Simone

    Testing business ideas.

  122. Patryk


    Briefly and to the point.

    Do I need a business plan or summary to launch a social media website? Would writing it increase the chances of gaining interest from potential investors?


  123. Andrew

    If you had a history degree, one year of law school under your belt, but didn’t want to practice law, how would you go about making the decision of whether or not to stick with it or move on?

    • Carolynn Ananian


      I’d say if you KNOW that you don’t want to practice law, cut your losses and get out now. Law is already a glutted industry, and a law degree is good for only one thing: practicing law. It’s an expensive piece of paper for a precarious career you don’t even want.


  124. Gail

    What is the first step Beth should have done to find out what you need?
    Should we make a list of general skillsets that are in demand & pick the most fun one to pursue? Or learn the most fun skillset and target the industry that uses that skill the most? Or test both of these approaches? I’m confused about whether to make myself employable across industries or just target one or two industries with a niche skillset.

    • Rivka

      The free intro material to Earn1K answers this.

  125. Craig Deakin

    So your going on a writing spree…need a proofreader? 😉

    Couldn’t help myself, sorry!

  126. Martha

    How to stay focused and moving forward, something I expect you’ve covered somewhere in your writing. If so, I will eventually get to it.

    I do well with goal, schedules for awhile, but I always seem to derail and start over.

    • Lindsay

      A few suggestions:
      – Short daily to do lists (i.e., 2-3 important items).
      – “Don’t break the chain” method on Lifehacker ( and Ramit’s site (
      – Break long-term goals into smaller and realistically attainable chunks (e.g., “write one chapter a week” instead of “write a book this year.”

  127. Marion

    I’ll second a few requests:
    1. Anything on testing & TRACKING
    2. Motivation, especially “breaking out of a funk”
    3. Finding a mentor
    Thank you angel in my inbox!

    • Lindsay

      Tim Ferriss talks about finding a mentor in The 4-Hour Workweek. It’s a great book that resonates with a lot of Ramit’s ideas.

  128. Lindsay

    I would love to see examples of emails, conversations, etc. with more subtle errors that aren’t easily caught by the untrained eye.

    • Rivka

      Yes. Less screaming fun for us, but more educational.

  129. Sparatikness

    More resume testing, including portfolio testing (for interactive designers)

    Successful freelancing for 5+ years, until now. I used your resume tips, am using your natural networking tips (having fun doing it) as well as your other info on invisible barriers, etc. I would love to hear anything more about continuing to work daily towards success while fighting through the mental barriers of work all of a sudden stopping for no apparent reason, despite running tests on my resume and portfolio.

    Love your stuff Ramit. Thanks!

  130. Aaron

    I’d like to hear about a combination of customer research and interpersonal skills. I only interact with my customers in person and I’d like to get honest feedback on what they’re willing to buy without me screwing it up. I’d like to know what to ask and how to ask to get the most useful information.

    It would also be cool if it worked on coworkers and attractive women.

  131. Emily

    This may not be the most relevant subject for most of your readers, but I’ve been wondering since I read IWT how to go about finding good bank accounts in foreign countries. In America, I have the Schwab One checking account and love it, but now that I live in Canada I am unsure how to go about finding a good bank.

  132. MarkF

    Quite honestly, this poor girl doesn’t sound right in the head.

    First off, Ramit *gave her a personal response*. That doesn’t happen often; particularly for a ‘no’ answer.

    “so you think no one would ever hire me as a proofreader?”

    Hey Beth, consider something like “Do you know of any other individuals/companies/markets where my skillset may apply?”


    NO emoticons in professional correspondence!! Right away, that shows how much her proofreading skills are worth.

    “am actually an amazingly talented…”

    How can we tell?

    “just zero business know-how!”

    Got that right! Subscribe to Ramit’s FREE newletter! You might LEARN something.

    “no worries, the tor(m)rent ends now.”

    A shame she did not keep her word as evidenced by: “She then went onto Twitter and accused me of audism (discrimination against deaf people) for suggesting that getting paid for proofreading might be difficult.”

    Wow. Just WOW!! The moment you start accusing people of racism, sexism, audism…….et al, even if it’s true; that just shows you are lawsuit-bait. Entitlement does not build a business case, it destroys it. I mean, if Ramit needed a proofreader in the future, he’s definitely not going to contact Beth. I would not either.

    Ramit, you are a patient man. Thank you for using such entertainment to teach us.

  133. moom

    You don’t care about proof-reading because the marginal benefit for you is very low. You are a native English speaker, with a very good education, who writes well. There are lots of people out there, though, who do need the service. It won’t make you a ton of money but you can make a living at it. But Beth’s writing isn’t that good so I wouldn’t hire her even if I needed her.

  134. shawn

    Thanks for the reminder of how important customer validation is.

  135. Alec

    Here’s what I’d love to see you write more about: When testing a business idea, how do you determine if you’ve really tested enough to know the idea is invalid?

    It’s easy to invest a lot of time and money testing a single business idea because there is so much you can test including email/phone scripts, benefit statements, web copy, classified ads, Google ads, talking to the market, checking for competitors, etc.

    The testing never ends but it’s hard to know if you’ve reached the point where you’ve tested enough to conclusively know to quit and move on, or if perhaps one more test will yield positive results.

    So in Beth’s case, how does she know if she should continue testing or quit this idea?

  136. Stephanie

    I’d love to learn more about how to better market yourself to potential clients.

    I’m the youngest commercial real estate broker in my region and also only one of three females. I have a hard time getting my foot in the door with some clients as it seems they just want to work with older, more experienced men.

  137. Russell

    How to write a cover letter and what to include with a resume, eg. Uni results etc

    • Carolynn Ananian


      Ramit covers this extensively in Overnight Resume Makeover. Worth the investment.


  138. judith a shimel

    why would a former census taker be intimidated by the idea of going up to people and asking them questions in a home made survey??


    i know i can do it but Ramit i can’t help it

  139. Erika

    I have a somewhat technical question that has a lot of different answers depending who you ask. But for a lot of reasons, having thought about it, you’re the only one whose answer I’ll trust on it. (Not sucking up; just a statement of fact.)

    I occasionally get offers in the mail to pay off old debts at greatly reduced rates. I’m wondering what you think of these.

    For example, today I received an offer for 80% off a debt I racked up back in the 90s when I was stupid and in my 20s.

    I know there’s a kind of legal statute of limitations on these. If a debt is beyond N years old (7?) you’re not legally obliged to pay it. But I do feel some moral obligation to make good on my debts. And I have heard conflicting information on whether or not, and to what extent, these very old debts impact your credit rating.

    In the last few years I have greatly improved my financial situation (thanks mainly to your advice). But it’s still very much a work in progress. For example, I’m still paying off several thousand dollars I owe to the IRS, and I have less than $500 in savings. So it probably doesn’t make strict financial sense for me to pay off an extremely old debt like this.

    However, it would feel good to have this nagging debt off the books. I have received (and ignored) many collection calls and letters about it over the years. And a lot of what I’m doing now is trying to lay groundwork for the future, and cleaning up my credit report is part of that.

    Just wondering what your take on it is. And thanks, as always, for everything!

  140. Sally

    So yesterday, I received an email regarding a job interview where I was given the choice of several interview times (Mon – Tues, 10am – 2 pm). I chose to go with 10am Monday morning.
    Reasoning: first interview means every other applicant will be compared against me – I have a chance to set the standard, due to the way memory works I thought it better to be the first or last as I would be better remembered by the interviewers, and as it is the first I thought interviewers would be ‘fresh’ and be more engaged in the process than they would be at the final interview.
    Question: Given the choice, what timeslot would you have chosen?

  141. Bobby

    Is applying for a company the same as reaching out to help an online entrepreneur as yourself.
    Can you talk about someone who has reached through to you through email and ended up working for you. The excat emails etc…

  142. Sami

    Hi Ramit,

    I would like to learn a lot more about customer research, if you would have the time.
    Stuff like; most effective way to contact potential customers/clients.
    The best questions to ask of them.
    How many people, minimum, should we be talking to?


  143. Sarah Collison

    Selling an idea to yourself. What are some generic rules or a simple process to take something nagging inside to a decision to move with it or along without it?

  144. David Lloyd-Jones


    You’ve been too kind to her. She’s simply unqualified.

    First, she’s semi-literate, as shown by her own writing. (You, by contrast, are too modest in your reply to her. I’ve read a good deal of your stuff and never caught a typo, and one of my Net nicknames is Granny Grammar.)

    Second, she doesn’t know her market. The world of New York publishing is highly populated with very well educated and highly intelligent young ladies in the word trades. It’s simply One Of Those Places where the Seven Sisters, and many of America’s other colleges and universities, send their female graduates, to seek security, sex, or literary success. She’s one of several tens of thousands in her age c ohort.

    Cheers: I do like, and benefit, from your good advice.


    • David Lloyd-Jones


      “benefit from” and then the comma


      Granny Grammar

  145. Jarrod

    Can you do a list of the top ten commonly misspelled ways to save small amounts of money?

  146. George Peck

    I would like to hear more about what steps college students should be taking to progress their careers. As a college student, I feel I am doing a good job of finding my passion, getting experience, and networking, but I am really just winging it.

    • Carolynn Ananian


      Next week I turn 30, and I’ve been out of college 7 years. My 20s would have gone *much* smoother had I begun gathering mentors when I was younger. I tried “winging it” for years and didn’t understand why I kept hitting a brick wall. I’d have wasted less time (sometimes years!) trying careers that were unprofitable or draining. I know I’d have progressed quicker through unhealthy relationships if I’d had people around me to pull my head out of my ass. Going it alone is a sucker’s game.

      Basically, my friend, my advice is get yourself a network – not just of colleagues, but older people whose work you admire and from whom you can learn. You will get much faster to wherever you want to go and recover quicker from your mistakes. When you fall down, your network will help you back up. And of course you’ll do these same things for them, because that’s what a community does.

      2 things that I have found invaluable in this:

      1) Ramit’s Brain Trust. It’s Top Performer Central. You have to do the work or don’t bother joining; it’d be a waste of your time. Active participants are seeing huge results in their lives.
      2) Michael Ellsberg’s “Education of Millionaires”

      If I had a time machine and could hook my younger self up with these resources, I would.


  147. Joel

    I’m living in japan and working as an Assistant Language Teacher. My passion for Pilates led me to gain certification as a Pilates Instructor.

    On top of the full time ALT work I also do private English teaching and recently gained a part- time position at a top ranking Pilates studio in Tokyo, catering to the foreign community.
    I love your material, but the scripts and tear downs do not match my needs as the majority of my clients do not speak English.
    I feel that cultural differences also cloud translation and add a layer of complexity.

    I am finding it difficult to balance marriage and my suddenly very busy schedule.
    I have many challenges in my chosen field and wonder if your material can help me to reach my ambition of owning my own English and Pilates studio.
    In weaker moments I doubt my decision as I am relatively new to Pilates, (4years) and my Japanese is not perfect yet, at around Pre-Intermediate level, not to mention…well you get the idea.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated and humbly received.

  148. Trevor

    Another great post Ramit! As for your question, I would like to know more about building a great blog. There is a great deal of info out there on blog marketing, but all anyone ever says about content is “content is king”. I get that, but I would like to hear your thoughts on making great content, and other aspects of building a good blog.

  149. Patrick

    Bottom line, it’s not about what YOU may think/care/love/do/eat/whatever, it’s all about your client/customer and providing them with the VALUE they seek.

  150. Danielle

    What is the best way to wow in an interview with multiple people when one of the interviewers is phone conferencing in?

  151. Tate

    In many of your pages about interview and negotiation, you build credibility by saying “scripts that are tested” or “look at my students success”.

    How do you get early testers who are willing to try your material for free when starting out?

    Do you ever ask your students permission before making their testimonial public?

  152. Kerry

    Please can you explain the best way to break in and start a successful business?

  153. Arielle

    I’m just ready for you to open one of your courses whether it’s earn 1k or dream job. I’m at a point in my life where I’m gaining momentum. I’ve been taking your advice but I’m realizing i can do better.(with in two years moved from a cashier to HR and within 6 months promoted to HR Lead) Even thought the pay isn’t all that great, I’m going to learn everything I can and then move on. For now I’m ready to either dream job or Earn 1k. I’m up to the challenge.
    I’ve been following through on more things and I feel like I’m in control.

    I would actually like a “TEN COMMANDMENTS of RAMIT”
    like the laws you apply to your life whether it be about making money or connecting to people. Almost like if you could never meet your future kids what 10 things would you write to them to put them in the right mindset

  154. Reyna

    Hello Ramit, I would like to thank you for presenting the topic at hand. I am a physician in line for submitting a patent to a commercial device related to my field. . In order to not be “Beth-like” I was wondering if you would even know where I can investigate medical angel investors that would be interested in such a device. It definitely seems difficult to find these opportunities that are reputable online..,

    Thanks Ramit

  155. david

    I’d like to see some “blast to the past” old school savings/investment Ramit. I started following your advice early on and have made enough right decisions that I have ‘good’ problems to have, e.g., I can’t contribute to my Roth IRA anymore. I think you had some material before about what to do next, but I’d be interested in an article of “I did most everything Ramit told me to do. Now what?” I guess that was the intent of your Earn1K courses, but it would still be nice to get some reinforcement in the fundamentals.

    Should I get more life insurance? do traditional roth and do backdoor Roth? Focus on index funds? Start taking more risks? What would be the key drivers/motivations/pros/cons for each?

    Or maybe a series on people’s questions on ‘old school” ramit items. e.g., I “could” pay off my mortgage in two years, and financially, it may make more sense to invest that in index/mutual funds, etc…but I still think I’d like to do it so I don’t ‘owe’ anyone anything. I know we can google the hell out of it, but I feel like the community/feedback/thought is a bit more insightful on this page than yahoo answers.

    Something that would be interesting to me, too, would be what ‘your’ problems are. When you started breaking through those barriers where money was less of a concern from a ‘living a decent lifestyle’ to ‘making money work for me”, what did you do? How did you mitigate your risk of loss, or improve your return? e.g., if we got the 80% right, how can we start making the remaining 20% better for optimization?

  156. jodie

    everything about overcoming shyness

  157. Laura Louise

    Hey Ramit,

    Could you do a piece about finding a job when you graduate, and how to make yourself more employable as a student?? I know there’s loads of advice out there like volunteer or join a society, but I thought you might have a few different ideas to throw into the mix

    Thanks 🙂

  158. sullivan

    help me out here.i want to start a company , business development being the focus.I am good in research and get too analytical i end up crushing my hope.dnt reply telling me why not research more and start up ,you are prone to do that.i hev already done that.and i have a accompanying strength to development which is carismatic marketing.not essentialy human personality but i know how to personify objects such that they appeal to any individual’s mindset intelligent affluent my worry is i dnt know which industry will find this more attractive and willing to pay for can give me an example of a case study it will be fine if you cant explain much of what i requestesd.two things i price most your opinion and recommendation as Ramit not just the famous guy but the advisor i saw that side of you wen you did the salary negotiation videos

  159. Allan

    Hm… in my own experience, an email like this is about ego. I have fallen into this trap myself more than once.


    My questions are:
    * What are your favourite pastimes (outside of this blog, being an author and appearing on TV)
    * What is the one test that you have performed that you most cherish
    * What is the most unexpected result you have ever obtained from a test.

    I am asking these questions because someone suggested I ask a busy person for lunch and I am trying to understand what would apeal to them :).

    Regards and best wishes

  160. Kurt


    If you are really as busy as you say that you are….then it confounds me why you found so much time and energy to invest in Beth given what you say is the irrelevance of 99% of her content and the obviously obtuse 1% content that you decided to share. Moreover, you invested even more time into her equally diffuse follow up responses to your suggestions…which causes me to question more your judgement, not hers…..she got what she wanted, your audience!!
    Maybe this is true only for me, however I find the proposed value of your letter, is scrambled into the story you recounted, which I am guessing was supposed to be your vehicle for actually delivering or framing the value of your advice or content. But in this case, the story competes with the ‘message’ rather than elevate it, clarify it, or give it ‘impact’!!!
    Last point, in my opinion, belittling someone in a public forum, even if her identity has been protected does not show good form on your part. If you are as successful and as widely read as you claim, then exercise some magnanimity, set an example for your readers to aspire to, not compare with…….

    Best regards;

  161. Riley King

    Great point in the article about knowing your market. I would love to hear more about the next stage of IWTYTBR investments such as income producing assets for people that are debt free with the goal of becoming financially independent within 5 years.

  162. Michael Wilson

    You are a patient man, Ramit. That was an incredibly uncomfortable exchange. Even if she finds a market with demand for a proofreader, I can’t see her getting much custom with email messages like those illustrated above.



  163. Kirstin

    Please keep sharing real success and failure stories from your students. It is extremely helpful to see how people put your material to work.

    I want to continue to learn about finding and qualifying leads. And always more about communication skills and how to practice them.

    Your theme of taking control is a great motivator to me so more content on ways to do that and staying accountable.


  164. Nebula Haze

    I have a successful online business, and I have a million ideas on how to take the business to the next level.

    How do I choose what to focus on first? Is there a process or strategy that you recommend?

  165. Marie

    Your site often mentions the “insignificance” of proper spelling and proofreading. As an editor, I can’t help feeling defensive when someone calls my profession useless. Why should people in publishing follow your advice, when you insult our careers over and over again?

  166. jenn

    i would say the worst mistake was coming at you with that dumbass email, and not being able to put a coherent thought together.

  167. Jeanette

    Hi Ramit,

    Thanks for all the information and insight you share.
    I would like to know more about when to persist and when to give up and try something new. While every situation is unique, do you have any general pointers to help determine whether some activity is worth your effort?

  168. Rick Francis

    What skills would you be willing to pay for?

    -Rick Francis

  169. Raj

    If you’re on a writing spree, I’d love to know your thoughts on 2 things:

    1. How would you attack the challenge of developing excellent questions for an executive level audience at a large organization?

    2. How would you go about correcting a deeply ingrained habit of explaining too much and not giving others an opportunity to ask questions? This goes double for conversations with a senior / executive level audience who tend to get things quickly.

  170. Jen

    I’d love to see some advice/scripting on getting money owed out of clients, especially previously reliable payers who become unreliable.

  171. Tierney Kuhn

    My favorite feature of the website is the Money Diaries – are any more of those coming down the pipeline soon?

  172. Matt

    Great article Ramit, a very not so subtle reminder that if you are planning on working for yourself its about solving other peoples problems and addressing their needs rather than pushing a product or service you have. The funny thing is Beth could probably do very well proofreading work for people, lots of people use and hire proof readers on a regular basis but its finding out where they are that becomes the most important.

  173. Heather

    I like learning how to harness fundamental psychological impulses (of others but also ourselves) to get better responses from people and be more successful at work. I’m currently reading Cialdini’s “Influence: Science and Practice,” (which I won during one of your webcasts, so thanks!) – very instructive.

    Your recent series on relationships was also fascinating, so I’d love to hear more of your observations on that – I think your advice on things like confidence triggers, psychological barriers, etc, is just as applicable in the dating market as in the job market.

  174. Michael

    Beth did a poor job at getting into Ramit’s head. It looks like she tried getting Ramit as a client her own way and it completely backfired.

  175. Bryan

    I’d like you (Ramit) to write more about the sales process you go through.

    I notice you have remarkably long sales pages. They scroll for days and are full of very persuasive content.

    How do you decide when to funnel your traffic to the sales page? How do you warm them up to your pitch before pitching? What is your general process of turning a first time visitor into a paying member?

    Obviously I don’t expect you to answer all of these questions. It’s just what I’d like to learn more about.


  176. Cameron

    Hey Ramit,

    I would like to know why your long, scrolling course sign-up/closer pages work. Not that they do, I know you’ve tested them, but why? I am pretty sure that nobody actually reads the whole page, regardless of content quality. My first guess is that by the time someone gets to the price the sheer volume of content above makes it seem better value…


  177. Adam Rogers

    Ramit, I’m looking for advice on being a student. The broad question: how do you build relevant experience and money whilst studying to increase your future prospects?
    My tailored question: I’m a UK student coming up to the end of my 2nd year in psychology, getting a postgrad job can be quite challenging, I’m looking into the field of health/clinical psychology, I want to help people through their problems in life but I can’t do that without any chartered qualification. I’ve not got the money for earn 1K even at a discounted rate, but I don’t want to sit around passively for the end of my degree, but I just don’t know where to start.

    Thanks in advance

  178. James

    People are so used to other people talking like a 13 year old female on the internet that they’re happy when someone actually uses english.

  179. Guro Weich

    It seems that Rambit does have a audience that is Deaf, since 80 percent of Rambit’s material is accessible to the Deaf, and myself being 100 percent deaf I’ve been able to use his teaching to help me find a job, make money and get my life on track to make money and live a “rich” life on my own terms and not somebody else’s terms. “Beth” might have possibility a great idea but viable idea? There’s only way to find out and that is to test it. There is plenty of free material on this Blog to explain many of the concepts that Rambit is teaching. So “Beths” out there Read on! Then, take action! Reading is only portion of the work.

  180. Fresh Business Info – Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    […] The worst mistake when trying to earn more… […]

  181. Chris

    I’d like to learn how you balance the self-imposed demands of your business and personal relationships (girlfriend, friends, family). I’ve heard it call life management vs just work-life balance, but I’d like to hear your take on it and how you’ve overcome some of the hurdles.

    As a side note, I can’t help but laugh at some of these comments. Folks obviously don’t read all of your emails, especially recent ones, because some of their suggestions have been covered at agnostium (in a good way) in recent weeks.

    • Linds

      ad nauseum? 🙂

  182. Sarah

    I wouldn’t hire her because her pitch sounds so narcissistic, she claims that her writing skills are impeccable but she is neither accurate nor concise and her grammar and punctuation are both poor. You were kind to offer her a constructive reply. She was trying to sell you a service which she was inept at providing and doing so in an obnoxiously verbose, hubristic way.

  183. George

    Hi Ramit,

    I would like to read more from you about networking, particularly how to leverage up a relationship with a powerful contact. I can see how extending it might be valuable to me, but I struggle to see the value for the other person.

    Thanks for your efforts,

  184. Nate Anglin

    I am speechless although I shouldn’t be.

    People act like this way to often but it always shocks me. I should be immune to it by now.

    P.S. =D. Nothing like a good smiley face for a desperate hire me email.

  185. Patrick

    Hi Ramit,

    I’ve always been in awe of your marketing abilities. I love the stuff you teach but the way you sell is what really keeps me reading. Even the small stuff, like always, ALWAYS putting the link to your product TWICE in your newsletter.

    I’d love to learn about your selling tactics, e.g. the long-ass sales pitch, reverse psychology, constant references to your material even in seemingly unrelated correspondence(e.g. the email with Beth), and all the tricks I haven’t noticed.

    I’ve always envisioned your strategy as “first i’ll make great products, sell the shit out of them using ingenius psychological techniques that i test and refine on my hordes of test subjects(readers), then when I’ve taken that to it’s logical end, i’ll start talking about how I did it, what i learned from my experiments, etc. First I get paid for selling, then I get paid even more to talk about my selling. Then I take over the world muahahahaha”


  186. Mark W. Guay

    Hi Ramit!

    Eek. Sorry that woman displayed terrible manners. It was nice enough for you to reply.

    I would love to learn about what you’ve learned with teaching. I work with the future of education and think experts like yourself can provide valuable advice on how to engage and access learners in the 21st Century.

    Specifically, what are three techniques you use to teach your students and maintain engagement?

    Thank you!

    Mark W. Guay
    Educator / Change Agent

  187. Michael

    Ramit – excellent, thought-provoking writing as ever. I really like your focussed, rigorous approach.

    What I’d like to know more about is: how to connect with really high-profile people in your industry. AND how to move that relationship to the point where it really gives you heightened credibility and thus better brand and ultimately more earning power.

    Looking forward to reading your new strategies…

  188. A Simple Customer Profile Template to Increase Your Sales

    […] of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, is always ranting and raving about how many freelancers focus on things that many ideal clients won’t care about. He says that if you want to work with him (as a web designer), he cares more about turn-around […]

  189. Rob at

    First, let me say I love your teachings!

    Just playing devil’s advocate here:

    How are people supposed to validate their ideas on any kind of relevant scale with little to no capital? Specifically, when it comes to creating a new info product.

    P.S. just subscribed, and excited to hear your answer!

  190. Mick

    Thanks for this: I think more people need to understand the poetry of brevity and cutting the chaff from emails.

  191. Linds

    Aww, poor pumpkin. For an editor/proofreader, Beth could use a mirror – 1200 words?!

    I myself am not an editor. That said…
    I’d like to hear you expand on your “testing” processes as well, particularly with regards to “I try this behavior and it gets this result from other people.”
    My F&F know that they are my guinea pigs, but I’d like to hear how you separate good ideas in macro from “this is how my mom/boss/friends respond” as individuals. I anticipate some amount of straight up number of individuals tested, and I’d like to know how to gauge responses and eff up without torching that bridge for good. Examples below in case this is unclear. If you’ve gotten the gist, stop here. Thanks for your time.

    storytelling – friends will humor you, colleagues don’t so much, strangers not at all unless they’re just that polite. how do you get an accurate read on their responses?

  192. Chiara

    Didn’t realize she was offering proofreading services…

  193. Cheryl

    Hi Ramit,

    I own a branding and design firm, I’ve been working in the design industry for over 20 years. I’m excellent. However, when I sit down to quote a job, my inner scripts battle it out and I’m left bruised before I ever send out the quote. Will they pay what I’m worth? Am I really even worth what I think? Am I charging to much? Who am I to ask for so much money? People are struggling out there…and down the spiral goes. When I look at what industry market rates say I should be charging, I scoff…’That’s way to much! No one would ever pay that.’ In the past, this battle of self worth has led to self sabotage. Low self worth won out and I ‘forgot’ to send out the quote and lost the opportunity along with my confidence. Really, I was paralyzed…stuck. I was to afraid to tell someone what I thought I was worth. I don’t do that anymore, but it is still a battle.

    What I would like to know more about is fearlessly charging what you are worth and avoiding self sabotage. What is behind that inner script that tells me I’m ripping people off rather than charging a fair price for my skills, talent, time and experience?

    Thanks so much,


    I am fascinated and thinking about what you’re writing about below.

  195. When you should NOT hire a professional photographer - Marcela Macias Photography

    […] willing to delegate, implement, and commit, in order to thrive. This is what Ramit Sethi calls ” the willingness and ability to pay test” and, if you target those who don’t pass the test, your business risks not being […]