GE 172: How Bestselling Author Ramit Sethi Generated $5M in 6 Days (podcast)

Ramit Sethi

Hey everyone, in this episode, I share the mic with Ramit Sethi—personal finance genius, and creator of I Will Teach You to Be Rich and Growth Lab.

Listen as we discuss the process behind his $5-million week, why if you want to become great at marketing you need to get off the Internet, how he grew his blog audience to 1M readers per month and turned it into a revenue-generating business, and why good information is nothing if you don’t deliver it to people in a way they want to receive it.

Special offer just for our Growth Everywhere listeners! As a special bonus, Ramit is giving you GrowthLab’s Ultimate Guide to Starting an Online Business! Click here to download the free PDF!

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How Bestselling Author Ramit Sethi Generated $5M in 6 Days TRANSCRIPT

Show Notes:

  • 01:06 – Eric introduces Ramit to the program
  • 01:31 – Ramit shares his story
    • 01:47 – Personal finance isn’t what gets him going—identifying the difference between what we should do versus what we actually do is
  • 02:53 – How Ramit got into cooking
    • 03:10 – He got sick of eating take-out every night in New York
    • 03:28 – All the people Ramit admires take food seriously
    • 04:09 – Nothing changed Ramit’s perspective on business more than food
  • 04:51 – How Ramit built up his initial audience
    • 05:05 – Losing half his scholarship money in the stock market
  • 05:25 – Everyone complains about money, but nobody is willing to learn
    • 05:48 – Good information is nothing if you don’t deliver it to people in a way they want to receive it
  • 07:09 – Ramit’s audience is over 1M readers per month
    • 07:35 – Ramit had zero commenters for the first six months—it was a dark, scary time
    • 08:10 – In the grand scheme, you will never think about the time you put in, you will think about the value you’ve created
    • 08:39 – Writing evergreen content is easy in theory had in execution
    • 10:08 – Consistency and distribution are key
  • 10:40 – How Ramit snuck into making contacts with the NYTimes and WSJ
    • 11:29 – Be willing to write for free
  • 12:15 – Your motivation needs to be found, it won’t fall into your lap
  • 12:30 – Growth Lab
    • 13:10 – Zero-to-Launch
    • 13:28 – Nothing is available to buy—there’s a waiting list and it’s all at a premium
  • 15:45 – When you don’t know how to teach something you’re afraid to sell it
  • 16:42 – Developing a way to teach online business
    • 17:03 – Most people pick the wrong audience and the wrong product
  • 18:28 – People respond differently depending upon the communication medium being used
    • 18:55 – Survey buyers versus non-buyers
  • 19:45 – Ramit’s favorite Psychology Books
    • Mindless Eating
    • Age of Propaganda
    • The Social Animal
  • 20:30 – If you want to get GREAT at marketing—get off the internet and get into the real world
    • 21:00 – Engage in magazines, newspapers, and TV—those are windows into pop culture and your local community
  • 22:36 – People fixate on numbers, but what they should fixate on is the process
    • 23:30 – People are drawn to how much money they make and it’s stupid—results are deeper than money
  • 24:20 – How to make a million dollars over 5 years
    • 24:54 – It’s just math
  • 26:00 – Entrepreneurs have a bad habit of surrounding themselves with cheap people
    • 26:09 – Most entrepreneurs offer discounts way too easily
    • 26:40 – If you really built the best product, would you be willing to discount it?—no way
    • 26:48 – Cheap people overshadow the people who are willing to pay for value
    • 27:27 – Surround yourself with people willing to pay for value
  • 27:48 – The Ultimate Guide to Starting Your Business
  • 28:15 – Ramit is not in the business of value, he’s in the business of PREMIUM
    • 29:05 – Giving away material for free is another perk of a premium business
  • 31:23 – The premium product sales funnel
    • 31:35 – The higher up you go, the more highly refined your sales funnel
    • 32:50 – Be careful about what you promise, and back it up with guarantees
    • 33:15 – Many premium funnels push the sale too quick
  • 34:05 – What are some crunch tactics you can give people RIGHT away
  • 34:43 – “We can talk about money when the time is right, for now, I’d just like to see if this is a good fit”
  • 35:35 – Don’t try to be 40 before you’re 40—don’t try to put your business at a higher-stage than it’s ready to be at—make the most of the stage you’re in, learn as much as you can
  • 36:23 – Allow your employees to contribute ideas
  • 37:17 – The first hire Ramit made was a virtual assistant
    • 37:30 – You’re going to SUCK at making your first few hires
    • 37:57 – Treat it as a skill
    • 38:00 – Biggest mistake people make? Waiting too long to hire
    • 38:27 – Build the skill of hiring
  • 38:48 – Holding employees accountable
  • 40:05 – Case studies around Growth Lab
  • 41:41 – Ramit’s ONE big struggle
    • 41:53 – Failing in his first attempt to sell something
    • 42:42 – You’ve got to learn how to sidestep the negative feedback
  • 43:48 – Make sure you have the right product and the right audience
  • 45:28 – Delegation has been a problem for Ramit, but he’s gotten better at it in the last year
    • 45:53 – Successful entrepreneurs are naturally control freaks so it takes time for them to learn how to let go
    • 46:29 – A team is much smarter than one person
  • 46:45 – If you could go back in time and give your 25 year-old self ONE piece of advice, what would it be?
    • 46:58 – DUDE!—learn how to dress better.
    • 47:25 – There’s more to life than the quantifiable—find the symbolism
  • 48:15 – Subtle things matter

3 Key Points:

  1. The true benefit of living a rich life is in the simple things—“yes, I will take a taxi,” “sure, let’s go out to dinner tonight,” etc.
  2. There ARE people who will pay for value—it takes time and persistence, but they’re there.
  3. Growth over the long-term is never an accident.

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  • Jon

    Hey Eric,

    Great episode, thanks for sharing! I’ve bought Ramit’s Zero to Launch course some 2 years ago, and I’ve benefited a lot from it. However, buying the course on monthly basis, it cost me roughly 2.4k bucks. Since I’ve no use for the course material anymore, I’d like to somehow resell my account membership for a discount of up to 50% from the original price. Do you have any idea where to do this, or do you happen to know someone who would gladly buy the course cheaper?

    Anyway, keep on writing/podcasting!