Blog Posts by Ramit Sethi

  • A 3-step strategy to make your first million

    POP QUIZ: What’s the difference between a professional salsa dancer and a millionaire?

    The answer: Nothing. They both know how to use simple mental “hacks” to become highly successful at a new skill.

    Learning any skill (even salsa dancing) gives us the chance to set measurable goals and test our approach over and over again until we finally see success. You just need to experiment with enough approaches to find the one that works best.

    Here's a great example from my friend Lewis Howes, who taught himself salsa dancing -- and in the process, devised a 3-step strategy to make his first million.


    How salsa dancing helped me make my first million -- by Lewis Howes

    I’m 6’4 and 225 lbs, and when people look at me I’m sure the last thing they’re thinking is, “I bet that tall white dude is a good salsa dancer.”

    But, with all humility, I'm not bad for a white guy. And, the lessons I learned along the way to becoming good on my feet are the very principles that helped me make my first million

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  • How to talk your way out of late fees

    Credit Card Fees

    Isn’t it odd that most of us would rather pay the exorbitant fees from credit cards and banks... instead of picking up the phone and getting them waived?

    In other words, we’d rather pay hundreds of dollars a year instead of enduring a few minutes of awkwardness.

    But the good news is companies are happy to waive these fees. As a customer, you’re worth hundreds -- sometimes thousands -- of dollars to them. They don’t want to lose you for one $35 fee. (In fact, when you take advantage of their credit card benefits, you can often make hundreds of dollars per year!)

    So here are the word-for-word scripts you can use to negotiate these fees. Thousands of my readers have used these to negotiate lower bank fees and credit card fees, as well as lower their cable bills.

    Quick tip: practice reading this out two or three times before you actually make the call. Even though you'll have the words right in front of you, it helps to understand the logic and tone that you are using.

    You: Hi, I noticed I

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  • 3 Ways Personal Financial Advisors Mislead You

    Money Secrets

    Why is all money advice the same? Why do so-called “experts” keep giving us confusing advice that never seems to work?

    For example, my favorite chestnut -- “Keep a budget!” -- almost never works. Yet do we question the advice? No. We blame ourselves, instead of realizing that budgets almost never work. (If you want a better way to manage your money, try automating it.)

    Your financial life would be tough enough if all you had to sort out was the confusing advice, but when you peek behind the veil, you’ll discover several money secrets that the money pros won’t tell you.

    Secret #1: Cutting back on lattes almost never works

    How many of us have heard this advice? “If you stop spending money on lattes, in 30 years, you could have $90,000 saved!” It sounds logical -- but it doesn’t work. If it did, we all would have cut back and we’d dutifully be stuffing our bank accounts with $3 every day. Here’s why saving money on lattes is futile:

    1. We love our morning coffee. It’s not just the

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  • Master your job interview with these preparation secrets

    If you've nailed the job application and are preparing for the interview, there are some simple steps you can take to maximize your chances of getting the job offer -- and leapfrog over people who have many years more experience than you do.

    I learned how interviews worked while I was interviewing for college scholarships. I secured interview after interview, but I kept losing -- until I finally videotaped myself and realized I never smiled! I was speaking in a monotone, and finally saw how I may have been qualified, but my body language was making me look like a boring, unfriendly candidate.

    Once I cracked the code, I changed my presentation and starting closing interview after interview, netting me enough scholarship money to pay my way through my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Stanford.

    I refined my techniques to land job offers at Google, Intuit, and a multi-billion-dollar financial firm, then I tested them with thousands of students to help them find a job they loved.


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  • Secret credit card perks that could save you thousands

    When you make purchases on your credit card, you're automatically eligible for secret perks that almost nobody knows about.

    I'm not talking about the standard "cash back" or "frequent-flier miles" perks, which are great.

    These are hidden perks that can easily be worth over $1,000 per year to you.

    I got sick of credit card companies taking advantage of readers on my blog, so I wanted to figure out how to take advantage of every perk they offered. I spent almost two years studying these perks and testing them to figure out which were worth using. For example, did you know:

    • If you buy something and it gets stolen or broken in the first 90 days, your credit card will write you a $1,000 check?
    • You get an automatic extended warranty up to 1 year, which means no need to waste money buying extended warranties?
    • Your credit card may offer a "concierge" service that can get you hard-to-find tickets...for no additional charge?

    Here are my 7 favorite secret credit card perks (but do check your card

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  • Worst. Career Advice. Ever.

    Aren't we all tired of the same old career advice?

    I'm talking about advice written by people who haven't gotten a job in 30 years. If they haven't interviewed in this job market, how can they help you find a job you love?

    You can spot these so-called "experts' because they slap on phrases like "social media" onto the same old tips that have been passed around for 50 years.

    It's even worse for women, where career advice is almost unreadable. With phrases like "You go, girl" and thousands of references to shoes and "climbing the ladder," I found myself wondering: Are women really this dumb? The answer is no. But the advice is.

    Don't believe me? Check out these 5 winners of the "Worst Career Advice Ever" award:

    1. The #1 thing you need for a job search is…

    Yes! If you've been looking for your Dream Job, the first thing you need is NOT a strong network, or a process to identify your targets, or a way to narrow down the infinite universe of job options available to you. No, you don't

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  • Never say these five things in a job interview

    Is the interview going well?Is the interview going well?

    By Ramit Sethi

    We are terrible at interviewing. We walk into the interview room without preparing. We spend time worrying about "trick questions" and about what shirt we should wear, instead of the things that really matter. Worst of all, we believe an interview is intended for us to simply answer the questions that the interviewer gives us.

    I say this as someone who's sat on both sides of the table: as a candidate, interviewing against some of the world's toughest companies (like Google and a multi-billion-dollar hedge fund), and as a hiring manager.

    Yet once you can master the interview process, you can secure job offers against other candidates who have many years more experience than you. In today's economy, knowing how to interview is a killer skill.

    That starts with knowing what to avoid doing in a job interview, or what I call "5 Interview Killers."

    1. "I just sort of... and then... and like... and uh... yeah."

    If you ramble, you lose.

    Think back to when you last met someone

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