Live a Richer Life – Ramit Sethi on CreativeLive

Ramit Sethi, the author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, was on CreativeLive yesterday for a session called Live a Richer Life. Over the three hours, he shared loads of useful tips and advice. Here are just a few:

Passion alone is not enough. You become passionate when you are winning. Get really good at something first and as a result you will become passionate about it.

You don’t need a novel idea. It’s not about finding a unique idea, but a profitable idea. If your idea exists already, you can still make it your own by positioning yourself differently. So where do you start? To come up with a list of potential ideas, think about skills you’ve developed, knowledge you’ve acquired and challenges you’ve overcome. To determine which ones are profitable, figure out if those customers have the ability and the willingness to pay.

Front-load the work. Do the research upfront instead of just throwing it out there and seeing what happens. He suggests talking to at least 20 people who are potential customers and finding out the answers to these questions:

  • What are their hopes, fears and dreams?
  • What are their obstacles?
  • What have they already tried? Why didn’t it work?
  • Are they men? Women? Young? Old?
  • Any other interesting stories?

As a UX designer, these are the types of questions we ask when doing user interviews and trying to put together personas. A lot of people still have a tendency to skip this step. Ramit and his guest Vanessa Van Edwards give another reason for why this is crucial: they will tell you the language to use and how to speak to them. Because words matter. Sometimes the slight variation in words can be very subtle, but the impact can be huge.

Ramit also talked about having the right mindset in order to be successful. He was then joined by Chase Jarvis, photographer and founder of CreativeLive. I really enjoyed their discussion on pricing as well as roleplaying what successful and unsuccessful negotiations looked like.

It doesn’t matter how good you are, if you cannot sell yourself and your work, you will not be successful.

Chase stressed that it’s not enough to be the best that you can be at your craft, but you also have to be able to communicate it. Take the time to understand what is important to your client, and then take them on a journey to get to the price. You want to be hired for your vision, so weave your experience into the narrative as authentically as you can. Ramit gives Ghurka and Five Mountains Tea as some good examples of great narratives.

You can watch this session at CreativeLive.