I remember my trainer stacking on weights and saying, “OK, 10-10-10.”
He meant 10 cleans, 10 pushups, 10 pull-ups…times 10.
I just shook my head and got started.
On the 5th set, I had slowed way down. I was catching my breath when I heard the voice in my head, “I can’t do any more. My heart is beating too fast. I should just sit down and rest.”
I hate that voice. I hate it because every time I listen to it and quit, I regret it and want to go back in time and slap myself in the face. But it was getting louder and louder in my head.
Then something happened. As I was thinking about quitting, I saw my trainer add more weight for my next set. I was about to quit, and he was adding more weight!
He said, “COME ON!!”
And I shook my head again, took a deep breath, and went for it.
I wasn’t the fastest, but I finished. And as I walked out of there, I realized I’d learned more in that one training session than from reading 20 books about business.
I thought I couldn’t go on, and I was getting ready to quit, but instead of letting me quit or even coast, my coach pushed me to do even more.
And I did it. This was a magical moment for me.
It made me think about how easy it is to quit — and how rare it is to find someone who’ll push you harder than you even thought was possible.
Lemme show you another example — this time, one that was responsible for millions of dollars of IWT revenue. And shows how you can significantly boost your own income.
Back in 2006, I decided to sell my first ebook. I was terrified that nobody would buy it. I didn’t think anyone would pay for anything online, so I sold the book for just $4.95.
My first product from 2007
You can guess what kind of comments I got. “WHAT A SELLOUT!” and “This site has jumped the shark!” and “I see this is about I will teach RAMIT to be rich, you scammer.”
Try to imagine how horrible that felt. I’d been writing for free for 2+ years and the first time I tried to sell something — for less than five dollars — I got accused of being a sellout.
Here again was a choice. Listen to those voices, or double down and keep going.
Luckily, I had some signals from the world pointing me in the right direction. Like in the lifting example (where I wasn’t dead yet), I knew I could go on. In this case, while I was getting these antagonistic comments, other people were quietly buying and telling me they loved the ebook.
My first sale
So, I made the decision to grow. I doubled down.
Let’s fast forward a few years. IWT now has 18+ products.
It’s easy to look at that chart and say, “must be nice,” when in reality, that all started with the simple decision to not give up when I heard the voice in my head telling me to quit.
Think about all the little voices in our heads that stop us in the earliest parts of stumbling on to something big.
If it’s starting a business, what are the voices in our heads?
- “I don’t have an idea”
- “Who would want to listen to me when there are tons of other experts out there?”
- “I don’t have time”
I know those lines. I hate them with a passion since I used to say all of those things to myself for years.
Earn your first $1,000 online
In 2006 building an automated online business was a fairly new idea. Today, it’s common, and tons of resources are out there to help you. The hard part is 1) overcoming the voice in your head that says you can’t and 2) knowing what advice to follow.
After doing this for 10+ years, I know exactly which steps are dead ends and which actually grow your business and make you money. I also learned how to keep that inner voice from holding you back as you go through this process. Over the past year, I’ve taught these steps to thousands of students who have had success creating their own online businesses. You can meet some of them here.
Now it’s your turn.
Next Monday, August 3, I’m hosting a special live mini-class where I’m going to show you what I taught them.
You’re going to learn how you can make your first $1,000 online even if:
- You don’t know the first thing about online business.
- You don’t have a business idea (I’ll help you find one that’s profitable).
- You have no special skills, training, or certifications. (I’ll show you how to turn the skills you already have into a profitable online business).
All you need is a computer and an open mind, and I will show you how you can generate $1k online. Then, I’ll show you how to scale your business and turn that $1k into $10k, $100k, and beyond.
P.S. This will not be recorded, so if you want to see how you can make your first $1,000 online and scale that to $10k, $100k, or more, don’t miss out.
If you could work from absolutely anywhere, where would you go?
The beach? A big city? Would you travel around Europe working out of coffee shops? Or just work from the comfort of your own home.
People dream about having the freedom to work from anywhere without realizing how easy (and common) it’s actually become.
This “dream” is very attainable thanks to how simple it is to create your own online business (all you need is a computer).
If want you to experience the work-from-anywhere lifestyle here’s something you’ll enjoy:
This month I’m giving away $7,600 in prizes for my Instant Vacation Giveaway.
The winner will receive a free trip anywhere in the world, plus a fully-stocked “digital office” that makes it easy to work from the beach, the city, the cabin or wherever you decide to get away to.
Here’s what the prize package includes:
- A $2,500 flight voucher
- $1,000 to spend as you travel
- Macbook Pro ($2,500)
- iPhone 6 ($850)
- Bose QuietComfort 20i Noise-cancelling headphones ($300)
- Minaal carry-on bag ($300)
- Kindle ($100)
- Field Notes notebook ($50)
- Total value: $7,600
You can use the flight voucher however you want. You can take a solo trip around Asia, fly family and friends to a beach in Southern California — it’s up to you.
And that $1,000 is your to spend however you see fit.
I just ask one thing. If you win, let me know how your trip went.
P.S. There’s no second prize, this is winner-take-all. Sign up here.
P.P.S After you signed up leave a comment below with a spot you’d love to work from (a Caribbean beach, a cafe in Italy, the Grand Canyon, etc.).
You don’t have to have an amazing idea to start an online business.
There are tons of new business ideas surrounding you every day. In fact, you might be surprised when you see how many people will pay for the oddball skills and interests you already have.
I’ll prove it.
Here are 3 unusual (yet successful) business ideas that you can use for inspiration to launch an online business of your own.
New Business Idea #1: I Want to Draw a Cat for You
About the business:
The name pretty much sums up the business: This guy, Steve Gadlin, hand draws pictures of cats (fat, small, wearing hats, tap-dancing, etc), posts them online, and then sells them to people all over the world.
He came up with this idea just for fun. But what started as a hobby, quickly turned into a real business with real revenues, almost overnight.
Results: drawing cats = getting paid
He sold more than 18,794 of these simple drawings in 5 years, before closing the site down to start other wacky businesses.
Just before he closed up shop, his cat drawing were selling for as much $29.50 each. Turns out, those “silly” drawings generated some pretty serious revenues with hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales.
He also managed to get a $25,000 investment out of billionaire Mark Cuban on “Shark Tank”, using this song-and-dance sales pitch:
All that from taking his vague idea for a fun business and seeing if anyone would pay him for it.
The takeaway: You can use the skills you already have (as weird as they may be) to start a new business.
Here’s a test that guarantees people will pay you for your idea:
It’s easy to sit around, come up with ideas, and imagine how much money we’re going to make. But if you want to make your dream a reality, you need to test it. Just one test can save you months or years of effort going down the wrong path.
Here’s how to test an idea in under 20 minutes to see if it’s worth pursuing:
- Find 1 person — JUST ONE! — who might be interested in your idea. You can reach out to this person via email or meet them face-to-face. If you’re not sure who’d be interested, ask ANYONE remotely close to the idea, even if it’s your parents. You’re not aiming for perfection right now, just people.
- “Test” for language using this script: “I’m thinking of starting some kind of website around [YOUR IDEA]. What’s the biggest problem around [YOUR IDEA]?”
- Write down the exact language they use. Did they really say, “I want a solution that’s easy, fast, and secure”? No, they did not. WRITE DOWN WHAT THEY ACTUALLY SAY. “I hate how these jeans look on me” is a terrific response. Why? Because when you create your product/solutions for this need in the market, you need to consider what people actually want. NOT what you think they want, but what they actually say they need.
This exercise will help you determine what they would be willing to pay for. Who knows, you might be a dog-drawing superstar? But you have to test it to find out.
New Business Idea #2: Fluent in 3 months
A brief history of language “hacking”
Benny Lewis spent years struggling to learn a second language, and it was really frustrating for him. Despite taking language courses and trying to learn on his own, nothing seemed to stick.
Then, one day he came up with a strategy that helped him learn Spanish in 6 months. At first he thought it was fluke, but then he did the same thing, only faster, with Italian, French, German, Portuguese, and Esperanto, Mandarin Chinese, Dutch, and Irish.
Now he teaches people how to do the same through his online courses and workshops.
Results: an entirely new world with new opportunities
Even though he’s not a credentialed expert, Benny has become a thought leader in the language learning space.
His site and advice have been featured in The New York Times, National Geographic, The Four Hour Workweek, Business Insider, and Forbes. He was even invited to give a TEDx talk on language hacking.
Remember, he started as someone who couldn’t even speak a second language. But now, he’s built a platform to make an amazing impact all over the world.
The takeaway: You don’t need any advanced degrees or “credentials” to start an online business. You just need to deliver results.
Think about it. If you’re in the market for a personal trainer, do you walk around saying “I really need someone who’s NASM and CPT certified”? Of course not!
You want someone who can help you lose those last 10 pounds or get back into your high school jeans. In other words, you want someone with proven results over the credentialed expert.
New Business Idea 3: How to be Instantly Irresistible
From vague idea to real online business:
Felicia always had a passion for communications, sales, client work, and writing, but she didn’t know how to combine these vague passions into a real business.
She started by working with women on their communication skills and writing, but quickly realized she had a knack for coaching. She eventually started teaching those skills online, and it turned out to be a really good way to make an income for her.
Result: earning more money, while working less
Felicia isn’t an “expert” in her field, she simply teaches people social skills and charisma from what she’s learned through years of personal trial and error. But she now earns up to $10,000 a month with her online business, while working only 30 hours a week.
The takeaway: You’re already good at something; you just have to find what it is.
It would have been easy for Felicia to give up because she didn’t know how to turn the things she really enjoyed and the things she was good at into a real business.
But she kept digging to find 1) what she LOVED to do and 2) what people would pay her for. You can do that too with any skills you have. See more on how she built her business here.
Even more ideas for your online business
Take a look at 30 more examples of successful online businesses in this free guide. You’ll quickly see that no matter how weird or “niche” your skills are, you can turn them into a successful online business today.
Download this free guide for “30 Successful Online Business Ideas” you can learn from (or start) today
Almost 11 years ago, I started IWT as a simple blog in my dorm room. It was called “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” and in the beginning, I wrote mostly about personal finance.
But beneath the nerdy posts about Roth IRAs and tax-loss harvesting, I was actually more interested in psychology and helping people live a Rich Life.
Notice the route we took:
I started very intentionally with personal finance because it’s the foundation of everything: Get this right by automating your money, and you’ll be in an enviable position to make amazing decisions without worrying about money. Save it, spend it, use it to live whatever a Rich Life means to you.
(Wait until your 50s and…well, just look around at the 50-year old people you know. Their #1 worry is money.)
Over the years, we branched out into other areas of living a Rich Life.