Look at this photo from the latest edition of Forbes Magazine:
Who’s that good-looking, friendly guy? And then there’s me on the right.
Do you recognize the man to the left? That’s one of my heroes, Warren Buffett.
The funniest thing is how I found out about this. Last week, my mom calls me out of the blue. Before she even says “Hi,” she blurts out, “How many teeth do you have?”
Mom: “How many teeth do you have?”
Me: “Uhh, more than you, I guess…” (I thought she was going to tell me she got a root canal or something.)
Mom: “You know, you have really nice teeth. You should thank me for your genetics. Those teeth are from my side of the family, you know.”
Me: (WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME RIGHT NOW???)
Mom: “I’m looking at your picture in this magazine and your teeth are really beautiful. This Forbes Magazine just came in the mail today.”
First of all, my mom should be a military interrogator, since her questions had me so off-balance, I was speechless for the first time in 30 years.
But more importantly, I’m THRILLED to present the article that Forbes just featured me in:
(Of course, any book/article I appear in MUST have the scammiest-sounding name on Earth.)
And here the blurb specifically about me: How to force yourself to go to the gym
These moments don’t come along that often, and I wanted to take some time to share what this means for the IWT community.
It’s a huge honor to be profiled next to Warren Buffett. As one of my friends said, “Man, you’re good, but not that good.” I nodded in agreement, then plotted how I would get him back later that day.
But the real achievement here isn’t a random press article. It’s other people recognizing the work we’re doing together here, which is HIGHLY unusual for the world of psychology, careers, and money:
- We’ve scoffed at the typical “cut back on lattes!” advice, which nearly 100% of experts advocate, and instead focused on Big Wins
- We ignore the career pundits who talk about how horrible the economy is, while thousands of IWT readers get Dream Jobs with enviable salaries
- We’ve started side businesses and created a lifestyle WE want — not what pundits tell us we should have (buy a house! cut back on everything! frugality forever!!!)
There are a lot of people you can turn to for advice on money, psychology, entrepreneurship, and careers. I know a lot of the other people in these areas, and I respect many of them. But I try to do something very different.
To my knowledge, no other community is going against the grain like this to live a Rich Life.
But most of all, I love how the little “personal laboratory” I created in my dorm room in 2004 has grown beyond just money into entrepreneurship, psychology, careers, social skills, even relationships.
Along the way, there are a lot of things I’ve done behind the scenes that I never talk about. But I figured today would be a good time to lift the veil.
This site has its built-in biases by the name alone. Have you ever tried recommending IWT to one of your friends? How did they respond?Exactly.
People come here and they’re immediately skeptical. I get that — and you can look at it two ways: Waa…I wish I had chosen a different name…why don’t people understand me?? That might work, except I’m not a bougie emo hipster whose apartment is being paid for by his parents. Get a job.
The other alternative is to work EVEN HARDER to get your trust.
I want to pull back the veil to share what goes into creating material that’s worthy of your time, because to be blunt, I know that every time I write something, I have to earn my way into your inbox.
That means I do the following things different than almost everybody else:
- I spend years building our flagship courses, including collecting 100,000+ data points and often throwing away months of work if it’s not working. Our last flagship course cost over $1mm to build, test, and promote.
- Earlier this year, I pulled a highly profitable course off the market because the student feedback was not up to the standards I hold all my courses to. (We also have courses in the “IWT Vault” that are 100% complete, and would generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in a month, but we’ll never release because they’re not good enough by our own product standards. My team believes in releasing the best, or not playing at all.)
- I offer full money-back guarantees and I actively forbid anyone with credit card debt from joining my flagship courses, a decision that now costs me well over $1mm/year.
Did you know that with my Dream Job course, we spent 6 months designing the first version…only to test it with 20 people who ALL failed? There were even some people crying. I don’t do well with crying women, so we scrapped the ENTIRE course and started over. We ended up building 16 more versions until we finally got it just right.
Now, part of this is my super-anal weirdo love of analytics and metrics. But I also spend the time out of a profound respect for you allowing me in your inbox and the blogs you read. If you continue to read my material, of course I’m going to go the extra mile to create amazing curriculum for you.
Anyone can write a crappy ebook, slap a $29 price on it, and make $100,000. That doesn’t interest me. (That’s why I love when people say, “Your course is too expensive. I’d pay $39, but not $1,997.”) Guys, I’d rather give away 98% of my stuff and leave the premium material for the people who are ready to invest. That’s win-win. Why play in the $39 sandbox?
I think this is an important metaphor for all of us. Why play in the little kids’ sandbox? Can we all aspire to play a bigger game?
I started this site as a hobby from my dorm room at Stanford. I never imagined it would grow into a business (in fact, I didn’t even make a cent off this site for years). I never believed I’d be in Forbes, featured next to Warren Buffett. I never dreamed Fortune would write a 6-page profile of me a few months ago. But those things happened because of systematic steps WE all took along the way. Not me — all of us.
So today, it’s a treat to take a break from the normal material on this site to appreciate you for reading — and to recognize all of us for taking an unconventional approach to living a Rich Life.
Thanks for reading.
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