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Ramit Sethi on “I will teach you to be rich”

Ramit is smart, helpful and inspirational – all at once. His blog “I will teach you to be rich” has chock-full of information. Over the years, Ramit spent part of his time researching and trying out things that will benefit his audience, part of his time marketing (building relationships with other influencers) and part of his time working on startups that he is involved with – building his brand.

It all started during his high school when his immigrant parents told him that if Ramit wanted to go to college, he needed to apply for scholarships. Ramit created a system to apply for about 70 scholarships. The very first scholarship that he received was $2000. Ramit immediately invested the money in the stock market and lost half the money. That was disappointing but also a turning point – Ramit got really interested to understand how “money works.” Adding to this, Ramit had deep interest in human behavior. He had been studying that for over four years.

That started the journey that finally led to his book by the same name becoming an instant New York Times bestseller. As it’s common for “instant” successes, Ramit had laid the foundation for his success over seven plus years.

The journey was not on a straight line to stardom. Ramit first created a one hour course about money and “tried” to teach the course to whoever were ready. Surprisingly, not many people were interested. Being a student of human behavior, Ramit analyzed what was happening – while everyone wants to do “something” about money, it’s hard for most people to change their behavior that’s affecting them to have a better relationship with money.

Ramit quickly changed his strategy – he decided that he would teach someone who was willing to change rather than trying to change everyone. How do you find such people? Well, he didn’t have to – he started a blog and started posting really good information and slowly but surely, the people who were interested started to engage with him. Soon he had a small tribe built around him. Over the next seven years, Ramit did everything to bring value to his tribe. The result: the tribe started growing significantly. The tribe in most part was responsible for making his book an “instant” bestseller. Over the years, Ramit had given so much to his tribe that it was a “no brainer” for the tribe to return the favor back.

How did Ramit silence his critics (I don’t think there were many) that he had still not “made it” to give advice on money. Ramit’s answer: Lots of research on the topic plus where applicable, he had tried most of his advice in his own life. More important than that, people who started using his strategies started reporting their success – starting with simple things like saving a ton of money to getting a raise in their jobs. Soon, there were enough compelling testimonials that it was not worth ignoring Ramit anymore. In parallel, Ramit’s work started getting featured in prestigious publications, getting him a steady stream of new tribe members.

Even over a quick phone conversation, Ramit was generous in sharing a ton of insights about networking and building relationships, marketing and simply how to build and grow a tribe. He didn’t say this but it was clear that this kind of generosity is one of the reasons why his tribe was and is behind him.

My Notes:

Ramit’s instant success story is backed by years of thoughtful and disciplined hard work. He definitely paid the price first to win the prize later.

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