The James Altucher Show Ep. 247 – Ramit Sethi Part 2: Challenge: Start Living Your Ideas Now

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Ramit’s New Book – Your Move: The Underdog’s Guide to Building Your Business
  • What’s an underdog? – You may not have the blog traffic or huge email list that other people do
  • Having something unique and valuable to say is more important than the above metrics
  • Numbers are important (likes, follows, views etc.), but you also want to make sure you’re posting things that move people
  • Ramit has two major email lists, one with 600,000 subscribers, and one with 10,000 subscribers
  • Both lists serve their purpose, one helps spread a message to a large number of people, and the other, smaller, list is more likely to generate revenue
  • 1,000 True Fans by Kevin Kelly
  • Do you have something people want and can you find a way to stay in touch with them when they’re ready to buy?
  • Quality is important, this makes it easier to charge a premium price
  • When you have quality customers, it trickles down to every part of the organization
Process is Art
  • James tells a story about a customer who wanted a refund, 2 years past the cancellation period, who has opened every single email, and read all of his books
    • Ramit suggests going to visit this customer with James, and really finding out what’s going on
    • What is this really? – Two peers exchanging ideas and coming up with solutions
    • A mentor will tell you to do something, a peer will do it with you
    • If James and Ramit actually did this, they could write about it, and share the lessons both they and the customer learned – Process is art, every step of the way
The Nuances
  • If you are thinking of doing anything, you have to be versatile at every level of the game. At every level there’s nuances you won’t understand until you do it.
  • You have to do things to learn
  • “Stop thinking about ideas, and go out and live them”
  • James didn’t discover the nuances of stand up comedy until he started performing. There’s many subtle difference between being a well known performer who typically does hour long sets, and getting up on stage in a comedy club, where no one knows you, for 5 minutes.
  • “When you create one opportunity for yourself, often times that opportunity will create more opportunities. So get off your ass and go do something”
  • When you find something you truly love, go deeper. Don’t let it stay at the like level. Turn it into a business, write a column on it etc.
  • Diversify your sources of freedom by having more interests and more things you love
  • See the joy in the craft. It should be hard at first because there are so many nuances. Eventually, if it’s right, you’ll grow to love it.
Getting Rid of Your Crutches
  • When was the last time someone looked you in the eye, and said you could have done better?
  • Most people are not pushed hard enough
  • What if we took away our crutches? People often say they can’t do something because (insert some bullshit reason).
  • Cool Story – Ramit applied to many colleges without the $50-75 application fee, as it was a lot of money at the time. He included a note saying “Listen, I’m not including the fee. I’m applying to a lot of colleges. If you need the fee, write me back and I’ll send you the fee. I hope you can understand this is a lot of money.” – Not one college asked for the application fee
  • James’ daughter complained she needed a real headshot in order to start applying to acting gigs (crutch), so James took out his phone, and took one himself – Done is better than perfect
  • There’s always a good reason , and there’s always a real reason. Always ask, if this the real reason, or am I just afraid?
  • “You keep a sense of well being by improving in something you love, having friends, and finding freedom.”
How do Ramit and James deal with being busy?
  • Ramit wrote a great article – Productivity Advice for the Weird
  • Ramit tries to follow the motto of “Keep the paper moving” – get it done
  • For Ramit, sometimes certain things fall off the map (like doing dishes), but he always protects working out and eating
  • For everything James has going (podcast, 3 businesses, writing, stand up), he’s learned to not be overwhelmed over time
  • James never looks at social media feeds when he’s busy
  • For everything James does, he tries to connect the dots. For example, the podcast gives him ideas for writing/stand up.
How to Meet More Successful People
  • People like to be liked, do some research on someone, and go meet them for coffee. If they’re more experienced than you, suck it up and go to them instead of vice versa.
  • Become more successful yourself. You need to be pretty good already before people want to meet you. It should be easy, if it’s not, go get better at your craft.
  • “The world doesn’t owe you anything. You need to get better, and when you get good, then they will come and beat down your door.
The Psychology of the Idea
  • Door Room Ramit vs. CEO Ramit – ask yourself where you are on that spectrum. Door room Ramit thought everything needed to be perfect. CEO Ramit knows there are some things that need to be perfect, but many things you can let slide.
  • It’s important to internalize the concept  that as you start to develop a business, there are certain things that are just going to be broken in your life, and that’s okay
  • The participation trophy is encoded into adult life  – we accept the fact that “I don’t have time” or “I don’t have an idea” are legitimate excuses
  • It will be hard, but you will grow
  • Ramit recommends reading Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham
  • It’s important to do something different
  • There are a TON of interview podcasts
  • James tries to separate himself by weaving personal experiences from both the guest and himself into the interview.
  • Many people want Ramit to start a podcast, but he struggles to find something to differentiate himself
  • 5 People who have influenced Ramit a lot in life – parents, Jay Abraham, coworkers, fiance
  • James suggests Ramit do a podcast called “Ramit Sethi: My Influences” and have an episode with his fiance where she discusses all the thing she hates about him
  • Ramit’s article – Please…stop writing about how “vulnerable” you are – READ
  • It seems like nowadays, it’s more popular to be vulnerable than be good
  • Lead with excellence, not vulnerability
  • There are a lot of subtle things society tells us (be vulnerable, buy a house, have kids etc.) – start questioning them
  • “There are a lot of rules in society that are not really rules, you just think they are”
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