Ramit Sethi, author of New York Times Bestseller, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, and “new finance guru on the block,” as the Fortune Magazine calls him, fireside chat with Google’s Rachael O’Meara.
Female Speaker: Before we do the introduction, I have a quick clip that I wanted to show first.
Ramit Sethi: Hey, guys. Ramit Sethi here. I’m actually in the studio right now here in San Francisco, recording some videos for another project. Today I want to talk about social skills and how I used to be a freak of nature. You have funded your 401(k). You’ve funded your Roth IRA. And it is all automatic.
Chase Jarvis: How’s it going? I’m Chase Jarvis. I’m an artist and an entrepreneur. And I’m lucky enough to be sitting here with my man Ramit.
Ramit Sethi: It’s because we really got deep into the psychology of, you know, becoming the best.
Chase Jarvis: Yeah.
Ramit Sethi: I want you to ask yourself the same question. What business are you really in?
Susan Cain: Hi, I’m Susan Cain. I am author of the book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”
Ramit Sethi: Your book made that very clear. And, as you mentioned, it’s almost, in a word, stigmatized.
Pamela Slim: I’m Pamela Slim, author of “Escape From Cubicle Nation,” and the upcoming “Body of Work.”
Kris Carr: Hi, everybody. I’m Kris Carr, and I’m the founder of kriscarr.com.
Ramit Sethi: Thank you for coming in.
If I asked you, what percentage of your income do you invest back in yourself, what would you say?
[Video Playback Ends]
So that video clip was a good intro for Ramit. But just for those who are not familiar with his work, he’s known for his witty advice on a wide range of topics, from personal finance to negotiation tactics, to testing systems. That’s a lot of what we’ll talk about today, to be your own master of personal influence.
And what he shares is based on results of hundreds of tests he’s run in his personal laboratory of 500,000 monthly readers and about 56,000 Twitter followers, I guess. That’s just a little bit of Twitter there for us. And much of his work is based on his background in personal influence and persuasion that he studied at Stanford.
So today we’ll hear from him and talk about his personal experience and how he’s leveraged his background in psychology to grow himself and his business.
So please welcome Ramit.
Ramit Sethi: Thank you.
Female Speaker: How are you today?
Ramit Sethi: I’m great. Thank you for having me.
Female Speaker: Yeah. Actually, let me kill the video here so we can see that.
So let’s talk a little bit about your background first. And we’ve known that you have worn many hats. You’ve been an entrepreneur, a best-selling author, business owner, financial guru, and you started out as a finance blogger a couple of years ago. So you even spoke here at Google a couple years ago about that book, “I Will Teach You to Be Rich.”
So tell us a little bit about where you’ve come from. Where have you been? And how did you go from being that entrepreneurially minded person– graduate, to where you are today?
Ramit Sethi: Well, I remember — I have a pretty big family. And when I was in high school, my parents were like, Okay, you want to go to college, which you have to because you’re Indian — so if you want to go to college, you have to find scholarships because we can’t afford it.
And so I remember building a system to apply to scholarships rapidly. So I applied to about 65 of them. And it occurred to me, I love the systems part of this. I built the system. That’s one of the systems I’m most proud of because I applied in a really cool way, and I ended up paying my way through school. And I took that first scholarship, and I invested it in the stock market. This is like ’99, 2000. That’s what you do, right?
And then I lost a lot of money. And I was like, I better learn how this money stuff works. And so I started reading books on personal finance and investing. But at the same time, I was studying psychology and persuasion. And do you remember that book, “The Emperor Has No Clothes?”
Female Speaker: I do. Movie too.
Ramit Sethi: Yeah. And I’m looking at this advice that everyone’s telling us. Keep a budget. Stop spending money on lattes. And I’m like, nobody does this. Nobody listens. My friends, the people in this room — they don’t want to stop spending money on lattes. They want to live a rich life. They want to go out. They want to buy a round of drinks for their friends. Maybe they want to live in an awesome apartment or even have two apartments.