When to worry about a big purchase

Ramit Sethi

Years ago, I heard an amazing concept called “The Kiss Test” from Eben Pagan.

The concept is for men who are interested in dating: “How do I know if I should kiss her?”

Most guys are looking for a secret trick — her eyes dilating, when she flips her hair, etc.

Eben’s point is: She already decided LONG AGO. It’s about your confidence, how you talk, your jokes, your clothes…everything.

Guys want to focus on the specific moment — the SYMPTOM.

But the real situation is about the CONTEXT — and the key decision was usually made long before the critical moment.

I think this is true of lots of things in life.

  • You worry about the math test…but the real work was done weeks ago, as you practiced with the homework week in and week out.
  • You’re worried about your new product launch, but the real work was done months ago when you did user research. (Click here if you’re interested in seeing how this applies to growing your business.)
  • You’re worried about your bratty 9-year-old son, but the real work was done at age 3 when you gave him anything he wanted — chicken nuggets, an iPad, chocolate — so he’d stop crying.


I thought of this when a friend saw a new coat I bought — an expensive one — and asked, “Are you ever worried about how much it costs?”

No — hell no. I set my life up so I wouldn’t have to worry about micro-decisions like this. I don’t want to live a life where I’m walking around worried about random decisions like taking a taxi vs. the subway. That’s my ultimate hell. If I walk into someplace and worry about spending too much on a coat or a meal, I’ve taken a wrong turn long, long ago.

I also hate the concept of “worrying” about money. Why do we do this? Is worry really a productive emotion?

NO! So let’s stop worrying and instead change it. You can automate your money in a couple weeks. Do it and stop worrying for the rest of your life.

My dream is for you to never “worry” about micro-decisions ever again. Spend that valuable time on the things that matter — your work, your relationships, and your business.

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  1. Will Chou

    I hope to get there one day too. Expensive leather jacket? No sweat.

  2. Clinton Holmes

    I try to emphasize this concept when I’m coaching business owners or entrepreneurs. It is important they understand the customer’s decision to purchase from you was decided LONG before the sales conversation. That’s why the initial introduction is so critical.

    When I work with a client to optimize the sales funnel, we spend majority of the time nailing down the first interaction. You want to make it easy for them to say Yes in that first introduction.

    Like in the kissing example above, you want to show up, and make it obvious to them they want to kiss you. If they have to think about, or you have to convince later on you already lost.

  3. Cody Red

    Wow that’s a nice retainer check (oggles in amazement)

    Yes, well, great advice. I’d love to be able to take out all my friends on a Friday night (and I mean everyone I know) for a hearty meal, laughs, and drinks

    While I pay the whole bill – without worrying about breaking the bank.

    To me, THAT is a rich life.

  4. Svetloba

    I love the work that Eben Pagan does. He completely deserves that check – and you do as well Ramit.

  5. shreyansh jain

    Amazing , Impossible for me to earn this much