Grow Your Business

The Progression Principle: From $4.95 to $15,000 in a single day

Like a burlesque dancer, I’m going to pull down my thigh-highs just another inch so you can get a peek.

In this year of MORE, I’ve been showing you how to create an online business — even if you don’t have an idea yet or don’t know how to scale from $50 to $25,000.

Earlier this week, I showed you one of my first sales, for $4.95. Then a day where I sold $11,000.

2007_2015_comparison
Left: $4.95 sale (2006). Right: $11,000 in a day (2015).

 

When I looked at that post again (What? I re-read all my stuff and laugh at my own jokes repeatedly), I figured — what the hell. Why stop there?

I rarely talk about our revenues because I’d rather focus on our successful students, but when I started out, I know how much I benefited from seeing others people’s revenues and business models. It helped me demystify this business stuff and realize I could take the first step, even if I didn’t know how to do it all.

Let me show you.

  1. Do you think you could get a single $4.95 sale if I showed you how to find an idea, what technology to use, how to sell it, etc? I think you could — that’s pretty reasonable.
  2. Do you think you could turn that into $100/month? I think with a little work and guidance, you probably could — that’s only 20 sales, or even 2 sales of a $50 product.
  3. Could you turn that into an $11,000 month? Probably not right away. When you’re starting from zero, that number can seem daunting. But eventually, with some help, you could.

But then there are even higher levels. For example, here’s a chart showing $15,000 in revenue — from one day.
$15,000 in one day.

aug2014_sales$15,000 in one day

 

What happens when you make $15,000 in a day? How does that change your perception of the lifestyle you can afford?

Remember how we’re talking about MORE? If you could have a business that made that much — or even 1/10th that much! — what kind of opportunities would open up to you? I think a lot of us would be happy with a $15,000 YEAR in our online business. When I started, I would have been ECSTATIC with that.

Going deeper: How do you build a repeatable “sales machine” so that $15,000 happens over and over? Even while you’re away from the computer?

When I started writing my blog, there’s no way I could have even imagined this would happen. Now I get it. It’s not magic. It’s math.

I want to show you how to get to whichever level you want.

$100/month? No problem.

$1,000/month? Sure! If you can make $100, you can make $1,000.

$10,000/month…$50,000/month…even $100,000/month…or much more? Imagine what you could do with that. (Btw, notice the dollar amount where your mind started saying, “That’s crazy, I could never do that. That’s your barrier point for now.)

Yeah, $15K a month (or later, $15K a day) might seem crazy right now, but every successful person started somewhere — and they slowly, gradually grew.

IWT_Growth_blogSales for random Sundays over the past 3 years.

 

 

Today I want to talk about PROGRESSION. I want to strip away the BS that so many others try to sell you — as if they have some magical formula — and show you what I had to go through to make it to this level.

Think of it like this:

Someone’s going to do it. Why should it be someone else? Why shouldn’t it be you?

This stuff isn’t rocket science. But it takes you putting aside those barriers in your head — the one telling you, “You can’t do this…you don’t have an idea…you’re not an ‘entrepreneur’…why would anybody listen to you…you know NOTHING about business!”

I did it. Thousands of my students have done it. Now it’s your turn.

So, today I’m going to talk honestly about how I pushed through the darkness to start a business — then scaled it to thousands of ecstatic customers — showing you the warts, mistakes, successes, and all.

Let’s dig in.

 

“I worked out twice last month. How come I don’t look like this dude?”

workoutguy

You and I both know how ridiculous that sounds. Nobody would expect to work out twice and look like this guy.

Yet we ALL DO THIS in very subtle ways.

It is a hilarious phenomenon that we look at others and compare our Day 1 with their Day 500. I do it, you do it, we all do it.

We might not say that…but we’ll say something like, “I could never look like that. I’m just a skinny Indian guy.”

My trainer tells me about people who say, “You’re so lucky, your shoulders are only that huge because you’re black.” He laughs and tells me, “Maybe. Maybe it’s also because I’ve been working out since I was 14 years old.”

You’re not going to make $15,000 in a day right now. You don’t know how yet! Even if I gave you the reins to my business, you’d have no idea what the hell to do!

But you can start today and with consistency, get to higher levels than you ever thought possible.

Losers don’t want to hear this. They want to set up a business in two weeks and make $2,000…or “it’s not working.” Do you see how ridiculous that sounds?

Winners know that by showing up, every day, they’ll outlast all the jokers, dreamers, and lazy lumps.

Guys, we all start at zero. I wasn’t born some genius or online business whiz. I learned it and practiced the skill of building a business every single day. You can, too.

I’ll show you by starting at MY zero. God, I sucked.

Nobody cared about what I offered — AND IT WAS FREE

IWT originally started with me trying to give free talks to my friends at Stanford. I say “trying” because nobody ever came. I spent a year and a half doing this and it was one of the most frustrating, depressing times in my life.

Imagine if I’d stopped there. You wouldn’t be reading this and I would have a depressing desk job as some god damned network engineer. I would have just let failure stop me and change my life forever.

Key insights at $0:

  • You could offer something for free, but if they don’t care, they don’t care. Free doesn’t make people interested in something they don’t care about.
  • When people talk about “the tough times,” THIS IS WHAT THEY MEAN. It’s in those moments that you decide if you want to give up — or if you want to stick with it and adapt because you know there has to be a way to succeed. After all, other people did it.
  • At this stage, it’s all about tackling your mental fears. There’s no money involved, just you and your mind, which wants to play every trick it can to keep you from succeeding.

 

Ugly blog, no comments, no money, ugly barriers

Eventually, I changed approaches. I started a blog in 2005, but it was just an ugly blog that no one read.

IWT_EarlypreviewI didn’t know how to make my design look better, so I used a free pre-made template.

 

This is uglier than me as a child, I know. I started to notice small things starting to change. At first, nobody left comments. Then they started to. I started to get traffic. I even got a little media coverage.

On the other hand, I still generated $0 in sales. I had no idea what I could even sell. And I didn’t want to be “salesy.”

Key takeaways at this stage:

  • I started to see a little traction — a few comments, a little traffic — but I didn’t really understand how to go from “here” to “there”
  • I didn’t understand what I could do besides more of what I was already doing. And remember, I was still making $0. Infinity times $0 is still $0, so….
  • I decided “I don’t know” was not an excuse. I started to learn about different business models and started learning lots of different ways to go from “passion” to “business”

Here are just a few surprising examples of real successful online businesses and how they actually make money:

 

My first, terrifying sale

The first thing I ever sold online was a $4.95 ebook. As you can see, I had a flair for names even back then:

guidtokickingassYou remember how scared I was of selling anything?

I had such low self confidence that I didn’t think anybody would buy it. And I was petrified they would call me a “sellout” for selling anything. You can even tell how scared I was by my copy — go look for yourself! It’s still online.

So how do you actually sell without being labeled as a “scam” or a “sellout”?

 

But do you know what’s crazy? People STILL buy this simple ebook — almost 10 years later. The money doesn’t matter (since then, I’ve moved onto courses that cost over 2,000x more). But people loved this…and it taught me so much about just getting started, and conquering my mental barriers.

$600,000 launch: IWT gets more sophisticated

Because of the $4.95 ebook, I knew I could sell. Now I wanted to create something that would leave a bigger impact. With Earn1K — my first flagship product — this was my first crack at a really sophisticated course.

Like an awkward kid going on a date for the first time, we were kinda ready, but kinda not.

We’d grown up and had new capabilities, like our research knowledge, but we didn’t have things like a real video studio. We actually had to BORROW a “studio” to record in! It was hilarious. The company’s employees would literally come in while we were recording and say, “Uh, we have a meeting right now. Can you go outside?” and we had to just stop recording and leave. Another time, we shot on 9th Street in SF and a homeless dude started screaming right outside. Not great for video, I can tell you that.

You can tell it wasn’t as smooth as you see today. I WANT you to see this to show you what PROGRESSION looks like.

ramit_firstlaunchLeft: Dying plant on the left (borrowed office). Middle: My SF apartment on laptop camera. Right; An ill-fitting shirt in an echo-y sound studio.

 

But things were starting to take shape: People bought the course at $497, or 100 times what I had charged for my $4.95 course. We made something like $600,000 with that launch — our biggest to that point.

Interestingly, the day I closed the course, I immediately doubled the price, and I’ve never lowered it since.

People were getting great results with Earn1K, so I knew I was onto something. Remember, this was FIVE YEARS after starting IWT.

Here’s what I learned by moving 100x up the value chain:

  • The more I demanded of my students, the more they achieved. Turns out people don’t just want the easy way out. Interesting…
  • Some of the things that kept me up at night — like the visual look of our backgrounds — didn’t matter as much as I thought. But you’d better be BULLETPROOF on the things that do matter, like the quality of your material
  • We started to see glimmers of light that this could grow and scale.

It was at this point that people started to pay attention. What kind of guy tells everyone he’s going to double the price…then actually does it?

People started emailing me telling me they thought it was a marketing trick, they couldn’t believe I actually did it, that I had huge balls (the last one is a lie).

If they had simply looked at my $600,000 launch, it would be overwhelming. But you know the background of what it took to get there. Baby steps, lots of mistakes, and a homeless dude on 9th street.

My key insight was avoiding getting overwhelmed and taking it step by step. The rest would work itself out.

 

The $15,000 Day

If you’re still getting excited by the same thing that you did 5 years ago, you’re not trying enough.

At first, I couldn’t fathom having a $1,000 day. Later, a $5,000 day. Later, a $15,000 day (and even more).

But it happened.

Remember, it’s not the money itself that matters. That’s just a marker that people are finding enough value to pull out their wallet and pay. The important part is the GROWTH. If you grow in all ways — personal, intellectual, spiritual, financial — that drips over to every part of your life.

It’s no coincidence that while my business was growing explosively, so was I.

Today, IWT looks nothing like when we started.

Today we have $10,000/day studio sessions where we fly students in from around the world. We have analytics, our own software, and the ability to click “Send” and instantly reach hundreds of thousands of people.

Filming begins #sf #newiwtprogram #shouldwebowlinthisstudio

A post shared by Ramit Sethi (@ramit) on

If you looked at IWT today, it’s easy to say, “I could never do that.” NOTICE how the voice in your head will do ANYTHING to keep you from changing.

  • “I don’t know anything about business or money, so I could never create a business like that. I don’t even have an idea!”
  • “I don’t have time”
  • “I’ll do it later”

We all started the year agreeing on wanting MORE. That’s the easy part. The tougher question is who’s going to do something about it?

 

Using a Playbook to shortcut 10+ years of pain

When I started, I would have killed for a “playbook” I could follow instead of meandering my way through all the unknowns. It would be like a cheat sheet to starting an online business.

I would have learned that a real business is not about one shiny tactic like “You NEED to get on Facebook!” Tactics go stale and expire. But the powerful strategies to craft a profitable idea, test it, and make it available to people who want it…those strategies never go old.

You’ve seen how a successful business is really years of work underneath a pretty facade.

I want to help you shortcut that time and share your unique experiences with the world. Not just so you can make a bunch of money, but so you can go from dreaming about a life of MORE to actually getting it. Yes, you’ll be able to afford virtually any luxury by the end of the year. And yes, you’ll be one step closer to your definition of a Rich Life.

I know how powerful it is to enlist the help of an expert when I’m stuck. If you’ve ever wanted to start an online business — to grow something from nothing, to profit even while you sleep — I can help.

Others look at a business and talk themselves out of it. They don’t know what we’ve seen. We have the wisdom to know how something subtle today can turn into 100x revenues tomorrow. When you’re armed with a playbook that’s paved the way for you, you’ll know exactly how.

If you’re curious how, I want you to take away 3 things:

  1. Someone’s going to do it. Why not you? Don’t compare your first day to someone’s 500th day. When I started out, I was jealous of people with more traffic, bigger email lists, etc. But I turned my jealousy into curiosity and decided to learn how they did it. Bet on yourself.
  2. Control the voice in your head — don’t let it control you. My blog design looks great now. It didn’t always look like that. You don’t NEED everything to be perfect to get started. If I had waited, I would have never done anything. That voice in your head wants you to stay stagnant because it’s comfortable and warm. Don’t let it control you.
  3. Study the masters. I took every chance I could to learn from people who knew more than I did. I read their interviews, I bought their courses, and I meticulously studied their website. You can do it all on your own — but why would you? There are lots of smart people out there who have paved a way for you. They want to help other ambitious people become successful. Reframe: Successful people want to help great people become more successful.

You can start a successful online business, even if you don’t have an idea yet. One that takes your unique experiences and skills and shares it with the world — and lets you generate sales even while you’re sleeping. One that helps you make this a year of MORE.

What’s your biggest question about starting an online business? Also, what’s one thing that surprised you about online businesses from my material this year?

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There Are 173 Comments

Join The Conversation

How do you keep a business going? I’ve seen some bloggers who launch a small course or sold a product that created a big hype, then afterwards it faded and they never talk about it again, like it never existed in the first place. From what I’ve learned on this site, it’s to offer valuable information, but what if you run out of ideas to give?

this is a huge problem with some bloggers who relied on JV traffic, one hit wonder, or those short term fads like Ramit talks about.

I know because i am those guys.

Ideas are dime on the dozen, its ideas that works that give you a course that you can sell even after 20 years. Sometimes you need to update the course but generally a strategy will never change even when tactics change.

And generally strategies that lasts you a long time (that means traffic keeps coming) will take a lot of hard work and some time to implement.

Great question. Anyone can create a one-hit wonder. The key is to build a machine that keeps running — and actually, keeps INCREASING in value — over time.

In ZTL, I have specific ways to show you how to take one idea and turn it into dozens. But more importantly, an idea is just one small part of a business. There are so many other things at IWT you don’t see. Those are the things that actually make a huge difference in sustaining your online business.

More to come Sunday night. I hope to see you there.

Is there a replay of “Sunday night” since I can now see this is a couple years old?

Ramit I have a problrm I don’t know which type of busness can be ran using an internet, and I can’t reach a point where have to decide which busness idea will be good for a target clients pleas help I’m in South Africa

Ramit, I find this quote above very interesting “Yes, you’ll be able to afford virtually any luxury by the end of the year”

Interesting because this is quite a huge claim. Are you saying that it’s possible to start from zero regarding online business and literally being able to afford virtually any luxury in 11 months with your course?

Now, granted you said virtually any luxury but still, a luxury flying business class to Asia (from US) would probably cost around USD 4000.

Another luxury would probably to pay off the house, now this would probably cost USD100k. Probably not realistic for most people starting from zero.

Is this really possible? 11 months of hard work changing your whole life around. Is the information really that powerful?

Zero to Launch is one piece of the solution. I’ll be sharing several more this year. If you follow every action step I give you, yes, you have a good chance at being able to afford virtually any luxury this year.

To note:
– Starting a successful business takes longer than 11 months. Anyone who tells you different is not being honest with you
– We all start at different levels. Some people will take 3 years to accomplish what others will do in 3 months. This is normal
– We want to be realistic with our expectations. That means buying a private jet in 2 years is not gonna happen
– Still, most of us expect TOO LITTLE from ourselves. I’ll never allow that for my students.

Hi Ramit,
I have been overwhelmed, researching and consuming information. Then do not know what to do next. Then you will see a website where it does what you are thinking.

Joe,

Don’t worry if it has already been done. That is just market validation. It proves that it can be done.

Have you ever wanted to buy every book on a subject that your were passionate about learning? This is because each author will give you a unique perspective and you may learn something different from each one.

You can do something that someone else has done already. Just make sure you brand yourself and put your unique spin on it.

Hi Stephen,
Thanks for the support. Though I am still overwhelmed on how to start because of all the things I consumed that I thought I REALLY needed, I am looking forward to be able to learn and invest in myself and to be able to do more.

This site is great, not only because of the content but also the participants sharing how they did it. How they overcame the invisible scripts and all the barriers.

Current ZTL student here and my biggest takeaway from your material is the realistic approach and actionable steps it takes to building an online business. My site has been growing steadily over the past few months and I can now see how I can take $100, to 1,000, to $1mill. I already hit one benchmark of making $50 this month!

It’s all about planning out your time and making progress. I like how you mentioned don’t compare your day 1 to someone’s day 500. Very true.

For anyone interested in ZTL – I think it’s an amazing course. I can’t count how many times I’ve been thankful for the purchase and gotten support on challenges I’ve had while building my business. I have a sense of comfort knowing that the plan is all laid out and all I need to do is follow the system.

Charlemagne

Hi Ramit,

I’ve seen some students from other parts of the world make it big with the ZTL course. That was the biggest surprise I’ve seen so far, and that is also my biggest question — since I come from outside the US as well, is that bound to affect the way I can use the techniques in the ZTL?

We tested ZTL around the world before releasing it and we have success stories from many, many countries.

In general, there are very minor differences when you create online businesses around the world. Most people get caught up in their local culture and forget this one important thing: People are people!

For more information on using Zero to Launch around the world, click here.

As a current ZTL student I can attest to the fact that if you trust the system, this stuff works. I’ve been implementing these systems slowly, spending only a few hours a week (all I have free right now), and am currently bringing in over $900/mo of recurring revenue from subscription sales to my coaching service (With in the first 90 days of launching a site/product). This has been done with little to no promotion, only polling & surveying my potential audience.

I’ve got great content in the hopper and a plan to step up promotion getting ready to start by the end of this week and I’m hoping to hit 2 sales per day ($47/mo x 2) consistently in the next 60 days. That math will add up fast and seems pretty realistic and reasonable!

Do yourself a favor and at the very least attend this webinar!

“Like a burlesque dancer, I’m going to pull down my thigh-highs just another inch so you can get a peek.” Now THAT image is burned in my brain. Gee, THANKS, Ramit! 😉

Elaine Smith

Ramit,

The burlesque dancer comment offensive undermines the professionalism of your overall brand image. You are reaching a diverse target market and many people will be turned off by this comment.

Ramit,

You mentioned in one of the previous posts that you’re relaunching ZTL with new material. Can you elaborate on the new content?

Mike, I’d imagine he’ll be covering this in the webinar….and if you don’t make the webinar, I’m sure there will be a sales page listing out all the details. Just my 2 cents :)

Guys, ZTL IS a GREAT program.

I’m a current student, and I was a bit worried in the beginning of everything, specially because the dollar is currently 2,7x more expensive in Brazil.

I tried to argue myself out of it. “It won’t work in Brazil – the guy is talking about the States, where everything is easy and ‘salable'” or “it’s too expensive, I’ll do it later”.

Turns out I know myself and I knew I’d never do it. I would always find a reason not to do.

But I didn’t need a reason to do it. I just need to look at what I said I wanted but did not really acted upon.

I was writing for a year and didn’t make a single dollar out of all the hundreds of hours spent in everything (design, content creation, marketing, networking). I was on the edge of giving up when I decided to come aboard.

Man, was I relieved I did.

Fast forward a few months, I already made more than 100k. My last launch alone was worth more than 50k (it’s growing fast) and I’m planning on leaving my day job in the next few months to work on my online business.

It’s not so muck about the techniques, which are great, but also about the mindsets. The barriers, the invisible scripts, everything that holds you back, that prevents you from having the life you can have. It’s insane how much we dumb down to comply with people we don’t even like.

My biggest takeout was to know that I can do it if I set myself to do it. As Ramit says, “someone will do it. Why not you?”

It works. You’ll have to work a lot. You’ll struggle. But, as far as I can say after some time in this life, I appreciate every day of it.

Do it now, or you’ll never do it.

Love it. Thank you, Fernando.

Everyone reading: Notice the difference in the people who invested in themselves through ZTL. The way they talk, their poise, their mindset — all transformed.

Hi Fernando,

I’m from Brasil too and can understand your initial concerns and fears. I have been following Ramit for over 5 years and this will be the year I start earning more.

Thanks for your testimonial.

Thanks for your comment. I’m also from Brazil and I have the same doubts if course content would fit our country culture.

Besides, people from Brazil, we have such a huge market that’s unattended. We have terrible online services and many people are working on things they don’t understand. So, after a program like this, you are probably in a situation where you can gradually gain terrain and make yourself a name – just because you’re doing your homework.

Lots of opportunities for those who do the work. It’s that simple, really.

Come on Rámu! Is it really necessary to make NOT recorded sessions at sunday 9PM EST? That is 3AM on monday in CET ! Why want there be at least one time replay for guys from Europe or at least do it on saturday so we can watch at 3am sunday? Or make webcast in the morning EST time (As for exemple IBM CEO did last tine). This is something you could definitelly improve 😉

Current ZTLer here,

My biggest takeaway is simply knowing the different stages of creating an online business.

This is where ZTL shines.

Imagine not being frazzled, harried, and confused. Imagine the power of knowing, not dreaming of how you’re going to grow your online business.

Me before ZTL:

-MAKE A WEBSITE! (or 3)
-GET ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
-FACEBOOK ADS!
-CHANGE THE FONT OF MY WEBSITE 17 TIMES!
-ALTER IDEA EVERY 2 WEEKS!
-Repeat.

Ugh. Gross.

Me during ZTL:

-Calm.
-Deliberate.
-Understands the process of creating an online business.
-Focusing on the right things instead of EVERYTHING.
-Ignoring all the noise of trying 100s of random things for promotion (Marketing tactical hell)
-All of my anxiety of starting an online business is replaced with excitement and pride of what I’m creating

Three questions to ask yourself:

-What have you tried in the last 6-18 months when it comes to creating an online business?
-Has it worked?
-What could change in the next 6-18 months for you if you invest in ZTL (and yourself)?

—Also: It’s Ramit. He ONLY makes world-class products.

Join.

This just makes SO. MUCH, SENSE. to me – I’m excited to learn more!!

Hey Ramit, fantastic post.
How do you get so deep into customers’ heads? I’m focused on coaching right now for exactly that purpose. What’s the best tip you have for market research via coaching?

Surprising is where you started. From a random office “table scrapped” to you… to your 10K studio. That’s amazing dude. It’s really powerful and encouraging to see where you started.

Research. There are a lot of different ways to do this. Most people have no idea what it takes to get to be master-level at this. We spend millions of dollars a year doing this (and in ZTL, we show you the difference between when we did it right vs. when we did it wrong).

Coaching is interesting because you get the chance to test different approaches and see what resonates. You always want to put your client #1, but you can tailor your approach and measure the results. Stay tuned for more.

Ramit:

Another great post. I enjoyed “I Will Teach You to be Rich” and I’m enjoying the “Year of MORE” even more.

I guess my biggest question is this: how do I market my competence and ideas? Much like yourself, I want to be an author that focuses on behavioral change. My goal is to target different demographics than you (e.g., those entering college or those still in college), but I’m really not sure how to make sure that readers think I’m a credible source.

For instance, if I were to write about personal finance (which I’m strongly considering), should I start a blog? A Twitter handle? A Facebook Page? What should I do so that by the time I do release a book, there’s a customer base that will support me? Or should I just start writing right now?

Ramit actually made a post about this sometime last year that basically was: “You don’t need my (Ramit’s) permission to start a blog.” Someone had written him an email asking similar questions as your last paragraph, and his response was close approximation of: If that is something that you want to do, why aren’t you doing it?

The Twitter and Facebook, etc., are tactics, that while may help you get attention across channels, are secondary things (or even further down the list). Content and testing idea first, tactics second. That was the general idea I remember from that post.

Good luck on your ventures…

Adam,
Have you read how Remit started…offering personal financial advice to college students? No one came to his sessions, no one was interested. Also, most don’t have the money to pay you.

Research is the key to finding what will work. No matter what it is you do, just get started. Your idea will develop and change as you continue to analyze results.

Best Wishes!

Ramit’s stuff is awesome. His book and blog posts transformed my thinking on money. Using his free material I have automated finances and I save $1-$3k per month without sacrificing my favorite things (ridiculously good coffee beans from Blue Bottle). I have also negotiated thousands of dollars off of an endless variety of things from rent to department store purchases. Thanks Ramit!

I think the 2 biggest things holding me back from starting an online business is, 1. I’m not a writer. Do I need to learn how to write articles for a blog and awesome copy for a sales page? and 2. I don’t think I have a skill with marketable value. I went through Earn1K and I really struggled with this. Ramit has said that most people have a skill/knowledge base that could become a business. What if I actually don’t? Any insight would be really helpful! Thanks!

Reframe: “I’m not a writer” –> “I don’t have a lot of practice and experience writing the right way.”

That changes it from innate to a skill you can improve. And we can teach you this in ZTL.

I don’t think you need to write your own copy — it’s pretty easy to hire someone to do that. I know because I’m a professional content marketer, and I often outsource work to people willing to write for a lot less money than me. The main thing is just being able to recognize what’s good copy and what isn’t; what marketing tactics are working, and which are not. Otherwise you’d have to hire someone expensive who is able to make that judgement for you.

However, judging from your above comment alone, I don’t believe you when you say you’re not a good copywriter. You totally just sold us all on Ramit’s program.

As for your lack of skill/knowledgebase, I think that’s something that you might develop with time. You seem pretty young, maybe you just haven’t found your thing yet.

What do you do in your job? What have you studied? What are your hobbies? I can try to give you some ideas :)

The first step might be to get more experience in the areas that interest you before trying to turn it into a business.

I’m SUPER afraid of rejection. Like, to the point that I was extremely depressed and suicidal well into my 20s (I’m 30 now) out of the sheer fear that I’ll always be a social pariah for one reason or another. This fear has stopped me from having the courage to even BEGIN working on any potential business idea, and I’ve only ever gotten entry-level jobs that pay minimum wage or little better. How do I overcome this, especially since I don’t earn enough to afford a therapist?

You need to focus on getting a higher-paying job before starting an online business. Especially if you’re financially limited. Finding a job is much easier than starting a business. Use the free material on my site and my videos on YouTube.

I agree with what Ramit is telling you George. I’ve been reading and watching his free stuff and he has some amazing advice and tips. I’m in the “financially limited” (read: dirt poor) segment too, so my focus right now is finding and getting the higher-paying job and clearing my debt with that income.
For you, I would suggest not only reading and watching Ramit’s material, but practicing your interviewing techniques on a trusted friend or family member; one that can tell you when you’re being a douche-canoe and you can both laugh about it. Make sure that person will give you constructive feedback on all aspects of your technique, including your body language, speech, bodily and verbal tics, etc. and practice, practice, practice! (You’ll hear Ramit tell you this approximately 1.2 bazillion times…) Good luck George…YOU CAN DO IT!!

In a way, you’ll have to tough it out. Find the edge of your comfort zone, where you’re afraid, but can still take action and do that.
You’ll do this every single day until you’re able to do it easily enough, then find your new edge and continue from there.
This might be as simple as telling a friend “Hey, I need ten minutes of your time. I’m going to ask you to do some things, and I want you to refuse.”

There might be better ways to do this, that’s up to you to discover. But you will have to deliberately work on expanding your comfort zone.

As a bonus, tongue in cheek suggestion: Get a cat. Cats are jerks and will constantly reject you just because.

Hey George. Definitely trust this ‘get a job’ next step thing. Ramit’s advice on this is solid, you know that already. Delegate choosing your next step to your coach – if you feel lost, trust the expert you are already following, he thinks job and stable income savings first. Overwhelm crushed step #1.

But maybe keep some time aside for your business ideas for what you’d parcel up and give the world. The nice part of having been a pariah is you’re already trained in the fire of how to be the one with all the focus on you. Like clowning in comedy.The black sheep can take a stage with a lot less fear cos you’ve done it.

Also pariah has its advantages. Anything that you do that is impressive is amplified. You get extra cool points like Napoleon Dynamite. Do not underestimate hipster cool factor. You can be political: you can get cheeky and say things no-one else can dare, you can break the conventions. Send up a flare for other unconventionals. A lot of us are bored of the same-old. That is why I follow this blog.

You’ll be fine. Job, read his blogs, get customer-centred (and distract yourself from your own stuff by caring about them), get the raise that’ll bring you via the briefcase technique, get your therapist, and get over the fear by getting so in action that you forget to be fearful till you surprise yourself that you made your first £50$50 using free advice being a good indian stepchild and you got out of debt being a smug initially-solo artist. You won’t feel alone for long :) pick a nice job, tho x

Thanks for the advice, everyone. It’s just hard to follow a lot of the advice because of the situation I’m in.

Can’t get a raise because I work for a government-funded non-profit, where there are a lot of strict laws and regulations about how income is allocated. The wages we are paid are fixed, despite everyone asking for a living wage and the administrative staff saying their hands are tied and wishing they could pay us more.

Can’t find other work because I live in a tiny, blue collar mountain town (surrounded by other tiny, blue collar mountain towns)–ALL the work here is minimum wage or little better, and there basically is no middle class.

And I can’t afford to move because I barely get paid enough to keep my head above water.

This is why I’ve been trying to figure out something I can sell online to make income on the side.

My question is product creation. What is the difference in a $47 course vs. a $497 course? If I feel my course should be at least $497 based on how it would impact someone’s life, how much production value and content is required to justify that price?

This is a good overall question, but I’m going to challenge some of your assumptions.

Put your feelings aside, as well as your concerns about “production value and content.” I have an 8-week course for $2,000. I have a 14-day course for $9,000. Clearly there’s something else besides length and video quality!

There are some specific criteria that differentiate a $47 course from a $497 (length, quality, competition, etc — all covered in ZTL). More importantly, there are reasons to start at $47 and move up. If you skip directly to $497, you will miss a lot of subtle insights on the way up. This is about being deliberate and methodical. We’re not in a race!

Thanks for the reply Ramit. Looking forward to Sunday night’s webinar.

Elizabeth Manka

Hi Ramit,

Thank you for what you do. I have taken a couple of your courses, and was able to negotiate a higher salary at my current position.

One thing that I am having a hard time getting past, is the idea that one can do this even without an idea. Since you began these posts, I have been mulling over 2 or 3 different possibilities and still need to work on narrowing down my target audience. Do you discuss how to determine whether one idea vs. another will work, or is it just a process of trial and error?
Thanks,
Elizabeth

Yep, we cover how to come up with many ideas, then how to validate them to make sure they’re profitable. All of this is before you ever start building a website or any of the random tactics that so many others recommend (“social media!!”). This way, you KNOW your idea is profitable before spending tons of time on it. In ZTL.

Christina Deaver

I think my biggest question is: how do I get people to come look at my material in the first place?

That is not the first question. I could email your link to 350,000+ people tomorrow and less than 0.01% would buy.

The question is — what can I create that’s world-class that the world wants to pay for?

How do you figure out if your idea is viable enough to turn into a business or service that will make money? You may think it’s a fantastic idea, but are there enough people out there that want/need the service and would be willing to pay for it?

Ramit,

Could you advise as to how Zero to Launch differs from Earn $1k?

Thanks,
Laura

From the FAQ:

“HOW IS ZERO TO LAUNCH DIFFERENT FROM EARN1K? WHICH IS RIGHT FOR ME?” Earn1K is about freelancing. Zero to Launch is about starting an online business. Both are very different, but both are complementary. We’ve had Zero to Launch students who first took Earn1K and were very successful. We’ve also had ZTL students find success without Earn1K. If your idea involves a service-based business — coaching, consulting, writing, etc. — I recommend you join Earn1K. Zero to Launch is about productizing your knowledge.

I have a similar question (actually a few related questions).

I have over 15 years corporate functional and leadership experience.

There were time I loved what I was doing, who I was working for and with, I learned so much, and I actually love working …. ***but I have a visceral hatred for “corporate America”. I know that’s a generalization, but I have worked some pretty nasty places for some really nasty people.

I was laid off with severance in May, and have been using this as a launching off point to focus on building my own businesses – which I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember.

I have owned my own online yarn business for 10 years, I am not new to online business or e-commerce… I’ve dabbled in blogging (never for profit), am starting a new site with a partner (and thanks in part to this site have new thoughts on immediate productization of existing material), am selling pretty successfully on Amazon and eBay (increasing range of products). The present state of my website shows how it’s barely remained a hobby – yet I still make sales every month.

So, now for the actual questions (no one has ever accused me of being too brief):

(1) I have semi-launched a consulting business to replace enough of my former paycheck to keep the bills paid, and give me sufficient time to work on other endeavors. I believe I will sign my first client this week.

I want to further capitalize on that work through online content which I can monetize.

(But, I suffer from the “who the heck wants to hear from me” syndrome. I am terrified of someone commenting or replying to something I write or do with a “you’re an idiot, you don’t know what you’re talking about, etc.” type comment. I’m more afraid I will think they are right.

Would Earn $1k be a good place to really double down and focus there to bring in sufficient business – albeit trading time for money for the foreseeable future?

(2) I am technically unemployed & we are not debt free (yet) so I technically can’t take ZTL per Ramit’s student requirements. And, being fiscally responsible I’m not sure that’s the best use of my funds … Should I take Earn $1k? I want to take ZTL at some point not too far off … But it seems like that’s more of a second step?

Thoughts? Guidance? Experience?

Katie

The tech, that’s definitely my biggest question about starting an online business. I have many good ideas and a small few I think are great, but I stall every time I think about the how… how do I start a blog? I feel stupid every time I even consider asking this question. If high school girls can do this in their spare time, why am I finding it so difficult to create the blog itself? I’m a quick learner but I learn best when something is explained to me. I could surf the internet for hours and learn the tech used to create a blog (wordpress, etc) but I always prefer to have someone break it down for me. It always feels like common sense when I learn this way, so it ‘clicks,’ It’s not that I’m not willing to do the research, or put in the time. I just don’t like to waste my time searching and searching for hours and days what someone could explain to me in a shorter time.

Don’t worry about this.

We have all of this done for you as an optional add-on in Zero to Launch. A few clicks and it all “just works” for you. Don’t let this get in the way. It’s an easily solved problem and we’ve done it for you. Your time is better spent on sharing your unique idea with the world, not fiddling with tech. We already know how and we can make our technology available to you.

Biggest questions – How do you pick an idea that scales well? I can charge $225 for my resumes, but because I can’t build an automated system, I’m limited by my time. Also resume customers are mostly not repeat customers.

It’s not new, but I’m still surprised by the idea that you can start without an idea. I like it :)

Can you train others to make resumes as good as yours, and do it for.. say, $100? Automation doesn’t have to be based on technology!

If you had others writing the resumes, you could focus on marketing the service. I’m pretty sure there are millions of people who need help with their resumes.

Also, like Ramit mentioned in one of the videos, you could offer a smaller, cheaper service to people who aren’t looking for the full $225 resume re-write. You could do an e-book or video series analyzing some common mistakes people make and they could learn and write their resume themselves, thus saving money, and then they’d have a valuable tool to use when they apply for other jobs in the future.

I remember sometime in the last year you offered a course that was specifically about how to set up and offer an online course. I can’t remember whether that was ZTL or if it was something different. Can you please share whether ZTL is the right class for selling online courses or if there is another course you’ll be offering again with that focus? Thanks!

My biggest concern is whether or not I have a skill that is marketable in what seems like (to me) an already flooded market, which is urban homesteading/urban farming. What would be the best, most saleable way to get my expertise out there? Subscription magazine? Simple handbooks/guides? Blog? Is it even possible to market this skill set?

As far as the biggest surprise, that would probably be the visual of how your business scaled up over time. You’ve been saying it forever, but for some reason it really just struck home now. It definitely takes away some of the fear.

The Year of More is already helping me focus and become more confident, and I’m starting to formulate an idea. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate that you do this for us.

Nathan – if ‘someone’ is doing it, that means there is a market. You say the market is flooded which seems to indicate it would be profitable.

I am also a permaculture and urban gardening enthusiast. What way are you looking to go with this?

1) Landscape Design/Installation
2) Growing/Selling Produce
3) Seminars/PDC classes?

Look at Geoff Lawton – he is teaching permaculture online with a $1000 training program. ZTL could be perfect for something like that.

What is your interest?

Emily

Great post!

I always have questions regarding the price point of potential products (alliteration, yay!). I was under the assumption that the lower you priced something the more people would want it. After listening to Noah Kagan on the SPI podcast with Pat Flynn, however, I realized that you can actually increase interest in a product by increasing its price.

It actually makes a lot of intuitive sense. People often times perceive value as “how much they paid for something.” You can take a sh***y product, slap the word premium on it, jack up its price, and a lot of people will tell you have valuable it is. Not saying you should do that, just a funny look at the human psyche.

I know you went over it in your earn 1k product, but for the sake of this post, how have you been able to successfully identify price points? For a lot of us, the right price point, coupled with an amazing product, can be the linchpin that gets us out of our day job.

Example: selling 1,000 products at a dollar a piece, vs 5 premium products sold at $500 each. Any info appreciated!

Cheers,

Evan

I recently left the road…traveling 50 weeks a year for Tony Robbins… Ive done over 2,220 of my own seminars for TR and I’ve been the guy that gets to intro him so I have a bit of a following…..his endorsement has clients coming to me. I’m making a decent living with coaching but I have no system… I’m trading time for $, I have no products to sell, and my site isn’t so great, etc.
I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. I love your stuff….Cant wait for the launch. To the year of more….Thank you Ramit, you rock brother!!!

I’m a self-published novelist, with 16 books out and more on the way. I’m intrigued by ZTL, but I have zero interest in setting up online courses or premium $497 ebooks. I write fiction and that’s what I want to do. Would any part of ZTL work to improve my business, do you think?

Thanks for the honesty, Ramit! And you’re right, Konrath’s blog is a gold mine – have been there for years and it’s made a ton of difference. I’m looking for even more on the business side at this point, but I will keep looking (and writing, of course).

Biggest question: for tax and liability purposes, should one incorporate or run this business as an independent contractor/sole proprietor?

Michael
Good question. That depends on a number of factors. Two of which are what you are looking to accomplish, and the amount of revenue you are bringing in. As your business grows an LLC can be an extremely flexible business structure as you can elect to be taxed as a sole proprietor, and S-Corp, as an LLC (imagine that), or as a c-corp. And you are not married to anyone in particular.
Hope this helps
Tyler

Spend $100 and talk to an accountant. This is the least of your worries. Focus on creating something that people want to pay for.

Ramit-
Thank you for reading everyone’s posts. It speaks to how much you believe in what you do.

I am wondering if you have put together a recommended course progression (e.g. Take 1k, then 6 figure, the ZTL)? Does it matter?

They all sound valuable.
Thanks,
Tyler

Ramit-
I’m excited about the new ZTL course because I believe I have a scalable idea.
I’ve been taking your advice and paying off my debt before committing to any of the courses. Would you suggest I continue until I’m 100% debt free (car loan and credit cards) or invest in the course now? I’m hoping the online business will generate revenue that I can put towards my debt…or should that money be reinvested back into the business.

You know Ramit’s advice: Pay off your debt (namely high interest credit card debt) before investing in a course. Don’t keep spending money you don’t have.

Your business could make you lots of money, or it could eat more of your money. If you’re in debt, you should go with a less-risky course of action, like getting a better paying job. Once you are in the positive, then consider taking Ramit’s course.

you know, Ramit’s advise sometimes sound so simple but its definitely not what people want to hear.

I suspect that’s why even though people “hear” it they still can’t apply the advise into their lives. It’s fascinating how I am the same. It takes a lot of cognitive load to really hear things and think deeply.

I want to join ZTL really badly but I’m going to take this advise and get a high paying job, settle all my credit card debts and then join next year, probably this year if things go well and ZTL reopens.

When’s the next ZTL course re-opening? I want to set a goal to settle all credit card debts by then. Thanks

Ramit…been reading and watching your videos since long time. Today almost spend 6 hours going through all the information you are providing.

Wanted to ask some questions:

“Want to satrt an online business thats really scalable, but the concepts that I have are already in the market and there are some really big players(i.e. ebooks). How can i understand the actiual concept of competing…no getting ahead of these players and be a captain of the league.”

He

I want to sign up. Looking forward to the moment when you open your doors again.

Will paypal be an option to pay for this course this time?

Great post! I’m excited to join ZTL when it opens.

A question about credibility. You said in the video that results speak for themselves. What if the only person you’ve got results for is yourself and no one else yet? Of course you have to start small and maybe work with one person in the beginning, but what are your thoughts on that? Is there a different way to position yourself (without looking like you’re lying about the “amazing results” you got) when you don’t have testimonials or success stories to back you up? Does ZTL touch on this? Thanks!

Hi Ramit

I recently started following you and the information is awesome! I’m very interested in online marketing as well as other freelance work, my issue is that i tend to consume soo much information that I don’t even know where to begin. I see me taking action in my mind, but to actually physically apply and take action, i feel stuck becuase i don’t know where to begin.

Hey Ramit,

I really, really, want to attend this. Going through all this text and the videos I got really excited.

But keeping me from focusing, was the question, how much does it cost?

I really want to participate and learn this stuff, since I just begun my journey and though I’ve been searching up the most information my self and planning on how to write and produce an E-book, how to make an appealing cover, make a launch, landing site, drive traffic and convert with a VSL, I would love to partake in a course about and get more effective guidelines.

I want to enroll ZTL, what do I have to invest?

Thanks a lot for great inspiration, motivation and value!

Kind Regards,
Mio

This is what scares me the most…
“But you’d better be BULLETPROOF on the things that do matter, like the quality of your material.”

Just starting out, being bulletproof is extremely difficult – or so it seems. How do you KNOW for sure you are getting it right before launching something big? I understand making mistakes is all about learning, but losing major credibility because you misplaced an effing comma or something could kill your business totally. Or am I blowing it way out of proportion? Just trying to understand your entire post. Thanks!

You test it carefully. For example, do you think we just launched ZTL to the public and hoped it would work? The vast majority of the work happened before the public ever knew the name, “Zero to Launch.” We show you how in the course. Check my YouTube videos, too — I cover some of this testing there.

I gotta tell you man, I am sick and tired of being a skeptic. Every month or so I get on another email list of a person or group promising to lead me to the life I desire and help me to get out of my own way. I end up consuming hour after hour of mostly hot air but I am persistent and have always been the type to dig through the coal if there is the slightest chance I might find a diamond. So far I’ve ended up feeling like Peter Pan sitting down to eat with the Lost Boys; I was told there would be food but its all just pretend. What makes you different from the rest?

I want to find answers to my problems. I want to find answers to the problems I don’t know I have yet. And I will work hard if I can figure out how. So far my attempt to “learn from the masters” has left me high and dry. I keep reading these comments about the great value in the information provided in this post and I am wondering if my computer is filtering them out or something. What am I missing? I clicked on a link to see “what it REALLY takes to build an online business.” Where in this article does an answer to that question exist?

I am not saying that you can’t help me to start an online business, I am saying I don’t know if you can help me to start an online business, and that is pertinent information. I am getting dizzy navigating through the endless funnels between your emails and landing pages.

I am tuning in Sunday (if you’ll still have me) because I am persistent (see above). I really hope I find something to chew on.

I probably can’t help you. If you are “skeptical” and “dizzy” with not knowing who to trust, I recommend you sign off and try it yourself. You don’t NEED me or anyone to tell you what to do. The students who are successful with ZTL are ready to follow the program to a T. They’re past the skepticism, they have occasionally tried it themselves (and realized what they don’t know), and they’ve carefully evaluated the other options out there.

damn it man, you provide so much value and you seem so honest and throughput. thank you! you’re one of the few who I dont mind getting so many emails.

I have a side business selling tshirts & stuff. I used to love everything about printing garments. Then one day my full time job and commute started wiping out my energy and drive. I’m curious. Did you work full time when you started? How did/do you find balance?

I was about to procrastinate and say I am going to read this article later but thankfully I didn’t.
Don’t get me wrong it was fucking long and took me a while to totally go through all the videos and content in here but it was so worth it . I have been going about this earning process all wrong.

Thank you Ramit for the amazing post, your articles always resonate with me on a very mind opening level. I have just recently started my own blog and I am slowly learning the basics of automating it and delivering on my promise to give value to my readers and followers.

Keep up the amazing work.

P.S : If any want’s to check out and give me suggestions on my blog, here is the link : http://walkoflife.io

Rodolfo Oliveira

I can’t believe I lost this launch… so sad… I was eager to jump in but unfortunately I was at my honeymoon and had no internet (at least that had a reasonable price) in the cruise ship… I am also brazilian and that was my only fear, but now I see that it was as stupid a fear as any other one… guess I will make it to the next time it opens =,(

Great Post!

Can’t wait until I launch my first product and make my first sale. I will likely start monetization in March or April of this year, since I promised myself that I would wait until the blog had been live for 6 months before I did.

Still trying to brain storm product idea. In the mean time I will likely start off with affiliate links.

Cheers!

ifeyinwa ejike

Hi Ramit, I really appreciate what you are doing here, I had a friend who ran a website, and along the line, I had interest in blogging on fashion, healthy living, music. My friend created the site immediately which i paid for, he also thought me a thing or two on how to post content, but since we parted ways it seemed like I cant carry on anymore, I dont know what to do with it, I dont no if my idea is sellable as I dont know what should be sold and what not, I know I’m not bad at selling.

I recently asked him to sell the website, so I can get my money back, but deep down I want it to work, I’ve done many things that havnt worked out, right now am afraid of being a joker..

please mentor me..thanks

Hi Ramit,

Great new design, I love it!

I was wondering, do you use any lifelogger software or similar to track your activities and check on productivity? I’ve been searching for something and recently starting using Qustodio to track my computer usage, but I would like a software that includes offline activities also.

I seem to remember that you recommended one to track your sleep, but can’t find the link anymore.

Thanks!

Eduardo Velez

Great shaer Ramit. You were one of my original inspirations when I got started and today I’m another example of a $100k month online defying 3rd world payments. I completely agree with you that this is something that requires patience. As long as the person sticks to a solid business plan they will make it as well. Few businesses allow us to create the lifestyle that we want.

Ramit, I am truly inspired by this particular post. Seeing the transformation from your first product to where you are now is incredible. This post it what got me excited about starting an internet business again.
I recently signed up to the ZTL wait list which prompted my comment here. In your email you request your recipients to take 2 steps. First, complete a survey. Second, leave a comment on the blog post titled “How to start an online business – the straight truth” on what most excites me about starting an online business. I completed the survey but was unable to comment on the blog post. Forgive me for leaving my comment here, but I believe that you asked those two things of me for a reason. I want to take direction from someone much more successful than me. I don’t want to mess with success. That is why I’m leaving my comment on this post instead.
What most excites me about creating an online business is the freedom and flexibility associated with it. The ability to take a day to help a friend or spend time with family or just do something I want to do is exciting. More excitement comes from, at this stage, dreaming of creating amazing products that blow my customers out of the water. With this excitement comes a ridiculous amount of fear as well. Fear of not knowing how to create such content. I’m sure more will be revealed in time. Thank you
-Jim

I have been a consumer for years. Major aha moment when I read “Producers, Consumers, and the Information Diet”. I have been overwhelmed by so much information that although is very good, I don’t know where to start. I have been trying but as soon as a start one thing I discover that I should have done something else first, or I should have done this step a long time ago, I should have never done this step. I need an action plan. I don’t mind putting in the time and the work but I do want to work on the next most important thing that will get me to the next logical step.

Hey Ramit,
I discovered you recently through Tim Ferriss podcast. I was just wondering (a totally AMA type random question) if you were ever involved in Amway/BWW or any other MLM business when you were in college. In your speaking, I could see some of that “good attitude” that I loved. I myself was an Amway IBO for 2 years back in the college days and I learned quite a few important lessons. In your interview with Tim, I hear you speak some of the same things, with same passion and with same conviction. Just wondering.
Rest, you have a new fan in me now.
-Sal

We have just entered into the era of online business, it is the new booming market . every single arena of the life of the people is now touched by the online market. not only daily living but other important things are also available in online and most importantly what made the life of people more easier is the online banking. I hope this winning conquer of online biz goes on and on.

Andrea Robbins

Not that I was feeling overwhelmed with a million questions or anything 😉 but I’m taking it step by step now. Thanks!

I’m plugging away at creating my first online course (rough draft title: Managing Your Creative Business With Google Tools). As someone who loves systems, I still find so many people who don’t know the depth and breadth of how Google’s system of tools can help them manage so many areas of their businesses.

Instead of working with multiple systems that don’t talk to each other very well, why not use the Google system of tools that are already connected and talk to each other well?

My challenge is in learning how to best create the language that helps people see the value in what I have to teach. I’ve got a MacGyver brain…so I connect the dots in unusual ways and invent solutions that make magic. I’m not warm and fuzzy or creative in the artistic sense. My engineering brain gets the deal easily. Putting my head in the head of the creative person who needs what I have to offer so I know how he/she needs to hear it…that’s my Everest.

Mary,

Talk to them! Find creative people who could be your target market, buy them a coffee, and pick their brain. Ask questions about how they feel about their tools, what a successful toolset would look like to them, etc. Then, use that knowledge, along with the exact language they use, to craft your sales materials and direct your marketing. :-)

I’m new to your site but I have been enjoying it all! I listened to your podcast with Amy Porterfield and love it. Your straight forward, cut-to-the-chase way is EXACTLY what I need. I just finished up Marie Forleo’s program and working on Amy’s now.

In my online business I’m failing, then adjusting. Sometimes it’s hard for me to know what to adjust – that is my biggest question about online business at the moment.

Your view that “it’s not a failure it’s a test” is game changing and has given me way more confidence when it comes to failures.

How do you get people to notice your business website? And what was your approach to getting “known” when you first started out?
I have been enjoying all the information I have been receiving by email. Thanks!

I’ve tried way too many “plans” to create a successful online business. I currently have my own brick-and-mortor business (production company) but I long to create my own content. Right now I have a lot of ideas and I’m hopeful that ZTL will help me choose the best direction to go. I’m not a member yet but have really enjoyed reading everything I’ve received so far.

I have a business idea, I have a very specific target market, and I know how to reach them with $0 advertising cost.

What I don’t know is how to set up, or how to get the money to start my buisiness. I’m a student in university, so I don’t have much money to launch my idea.

What tips/resources can you direct me to so I can launch my buisiness from where I currently am with knowledge/finances?

One thing that did surprise me is that you don’t make your products directly and readily available for purchase. I’m very interested in how you reached this level of exclusivity?

I have a full time job, working about 60 hours a week. I’m wondering how deep in to the success of your online business were you when you decided that a full time job doing something you’re not passionate about is getting in the way of the full potential of your online business?

It’s interesting that since signing up for your emails I’ve been getting lots of spam regarding entrepreneurs. Apparently my email miraculously ended up on a number of lists and while I enjoy reading your posts, I don’t like spending the time moving the others to my spam folder.

My biggest concern is “wasting” what I think is a really good idea — in other words, launching what could potentially be my best product — before I have much experience launching smaller products. If I make mistakes on this really awesome product, will I be able to repair the damage in the future by making changes, or will it automatically be a flop. If I make this product the best of its kind on the online market, I could potentially charge $100/month for it or more. If I’m not able to make it stand out, I could charge $10/month and not make a single sale.

Cracking read, watch and listen. Really inspiring. Many thanks Ramit. :-)

My biggest challenge has always been: how to quickly find out if my product idea will in fact SELL – when I don’t have a list to survey, and I don’t have the $$ to pay to have a survey done? I really don’t want to ask my social media friends; is there another method that I’m overlooking?

Great post, BTW :-)

We are a startup currently developing a subscription based pay-per-use product. We need initial funding or looking for Founding members to invest in the startup. Any thoughts are appreciated.
Thanks.

Ramit: Thank you for your smart , constructive, witty webcast, emails. I watched your webinar for the dream job and the emails are amazing. I look forward to reading them.
Sometime ago, I started working with an unethical superior. He was beyond unprofessional. I found the courage to get around the slander because of your blog. The central theme is that we create barriers. He did slander. I persisted.
I have a long long way to go before my research gets published DESPITE the rumors.
I did some #Ramit’sMath: A 100 million could use my products. One slanderous statement should not stop me. I asked myself: What have I done today towards my launch? Why is it different?
If there are any investment gods, hope they bless you. ( And u them, LOL)

One thing that surprised me is that this is not a scam. I was expecting a scam but you’ve convinced me this is not… and I haven’t even taken your course yet!

Another surprise is that you don’t necessarily need to have credentials in order to teach. I already know this for a fact, but to see it acknowledged by a successful business person is awe-inspiring.

Thank you Ramit!

Ratna sari

A dumb unemployeed girl want and insist to be success in online business.
Thank you Ramit, I really love to learn everything that resonates with me in this blog.

Biggest question about online business…. I have accumulated a lot of information over the years of wanting to start a business, however, I don’t have a fancy job, title, or specific skill set…. I do believe in me and I’m willing to bet on me too…. How can I take a whole cornucopia of knowledge and make it into a sleek product to sell and to turn into a scalable business….

The most amazing thing is 1 how I’m just now learning of you I feel silly, but 2 how you can talk to me and the voice in my head and make us both be quiet and listen AND amp me up to get on fire about just don’t something and allow the progression to show through….

I have listened to literally thousands of podcasts, read hundreds of books, and seen thousands of similar course’s like this and even though I want to believe that this works and that this information will change my life and help me to have an online business, I cannot help but see that everyone that is actually making money is selling information on how to make your business better these same people always have written books, they do ebooks, and give you free information to get you to trust them as you buy there product.

Now don’t get me wrong I want to have a mindset that says there is more than enough for everyone but sometimes I wonder how many people actually make something from these courses and I understand that education is forever and I want to be always educating myself but I could be spending thousands a week on online education and not really sure if the value is there.
Please help me believe.

Kindly what kind basics am I.suppose to be with to start such kind of a business please.

I just started getting your Mails and I am so thankful for all of the things you teach us. I want to know how can I watch you live? I mean By Periscope or What?

What’s your biggest question about starting an online business?

Honestly, my mind goes straight to all the things that freak me out. For example, I have NO idea how to structure my material in a way that would make anyone remotely interested NOR do I have a clue about sales. I realize, after reading and watching all of this information about ZTL that I need to relax and be deliberate. With that, I guess my biggest question is, how much time do I need in order to get things going? I have a full-time job and am mother of two.

Also, what’s one thing that surprised you about online businesses from my material this year?

I haven’t taken a course yet so the only material I’ve seen is through blog posts and emails. Of that, what surprises me the most is how helpful all of Ramit’s little insights have been. So far I’ve used his advice about requesting testimonials twice and it worked both times! I also shared my business idea with someone and in two minutes she provided me with amazing insight into a niche market I never would have thought of. I am very excited about learning more!

My biggest question: Does a fledgling online business owner need to consider protection from piracy or copycats?
My biggest surprise: Starting and growing an online business is not quite like an episode of Shark Tank.
My overall opinion of business ownership (and owners) increased as a result of your series of emails.

Thank you for another excellent post.

hmm, my biggest problem is just not knowing how to use wordpress and set up a non-dinosaur looking website that looks ridiculous. I don’t have the time to figure that out at this point:

This was far too long. Could have done with it being quarter the length to hold my interest. Also you repeat yourself. And you don’t completely clarify your point. I’m sorry to sound negative. Just constructive criticism. A lot of the time I love what you say. Could just do with less of it.
Loads of love
Linda

The biggest question I have seems so simple: how do I find my people? I’m pretty sure that they are out there but the means of connecting with them seems muddy at best.

My biggest surprise from your material is how spot on you are about how I feel inside as far as putting myself out there for everyone to see, and my fear of not doing well or looking stupid. Even though you keep bringing it up over and over, each time I vet an idea in my head I am thinking the same thing: Why would someone listen to me about this? What credentials do I have? I literally laughed out loud when you looked into the camera and said “what credentials do you have!” in that voice. Thanks for calling me out!

My biggest question about starting an online business is how to differentiate my business idea or as you called it TMSNOGTFO? This seems like an incredibly important part of the process.

Hey Ramit,

Love your stuff! Bought your book and crushed it in a few days and implemented the systems. I have started a business that will be going live in two weeks and my cofounder and I are super pumped about it. Two questions.

1) Will you have a link to the webcast to view after it airs? I will unfortunately be traveling on Sunday night.

2) Does the zero to launch course touch on more than a content creation business or selling courses? Our business has an element of that but the major focus is retail sales.

Thanks!

Using the ZTL system, is it possible to make a business out of absolutely anything? Any skill and talent? I really hope so, and by the testimonials, I’m thinking it’s an emphatic ‘YES!’
I may not know a whole lot about what I need to do or how, but I love learning useful things to improve myself and whatever I set out to do, and in turn, let others set out to do.

I’m loving such a simple straightforward approach in talking, it’s such a relief to not have to read deep between the lines or puzzle out what the hell I’m supposed to be learning, let alone DOING! And for that Ramit, I thank you whole-heartedly. Finally! A teacher more than worthy to learn from! -^,..,^-

Ramit,

I have been working on trying to figure out online business for around a year now, and sometimes I feel more confused today than when I first began. I just want to say that I honestly appreciate how straight forward, no BS your approach is to the whole thing.

I’m still working on building something for now, but also looking forward to ZTL opening back up in the future

Hi, Ramit. Does it take a lot of money to start online business? Because I don’t have much money as I have low income from 9-5 job…

Thanks!

Ramit. Enough foreplay man I can’t take it anymore. No WAY I can wait until Sunday. Friday is a holiday for Christ’s sake (literal). I can’t make it through the weekend without getting started. If you won’t do it for me, do it for millions of poor kids that will get a better education because of this business. Send the link and I promise to act surprised Sunday…

I’ve been following along through what I would consider the most compelling and epic sales pitch I’ve ever come across. I’m always so excited when I see a new email from Ramit. There has been so much value in the free content thus far.

I don’t have a website yet. I brainstormed some ways I could provide value to people based on some things I’ve done in the past and shared some of my ideas with a family member, who then passed my information on to someone they know. This company has offered me a $10,000 contract for a service that will take me very little time to manage- I’ll be able to complete these tasks while sitting at my desk at my current job (

I will be using some of this money to pay for Some student loan debt and ZTL. How could I not?

How do i sign up for thie event this evening? Can someone post it?

My biggest question is about the price. I know it’s worth the money you charge for ZTL, my fiancee doesn’t believe it’s a good time to invest in it, and we share our money with each other, so my biggest question is twofold: what kind of payment plans do you offer, and will I be able to jump back in after a few years if it doesn’t pan out sooner? I am itching to pay for this by the end of the summer, and I am exploding with ambition to get down and dirty with this business thing.

As for what surprised me, it’s the fact that you are the only guy I’ve come across who makes millions a year who actually wants to take others by the hand and walk them up their own ladder past their barriers using what you know. You’re a man of character, and a rare kind at that. So good job, man. Keep doing what you do.

Amit Sudan

Hi ramit I am an indian and can you please tell me exactly what I have to do??

I’m just now learning about monetizing our blog. We do so much work on it, but we have no idea how to make a spirituality website make us money. I’m researching affiliate marketing, but not sure how the products we’d like to promote would generate enough cash. We don’t want to deal with Ads and we’re not ready to write any Ebooks yet. It’s just hard to know where to begin

Looking forward to learning more. This is great information!

Any tips for an author and podcast host? I have 3 books on Amazon and the biggest problem I think most authors have is discoverability. What are your thoughts?

Shelly Floyd

I have 10+ years as an Aesthetician. I would like to bring my knowledge of skin care to the masses. I just don’t know if/how I can do this. I know my clients pay good money for facials and my knowledge in spa, I just don’t know how to transfer that into an income stream that continues to pay. I have read your emails and blogs saying you have to test the idea. Does ZTL help with the testing? If so, how? Also, does it give an outline on how to set up courses? Does it come with actual human support if we get stuck? Thanks!

Nirmal aditya priyan .m

1)The thing is i need to know any computer language to start a online business?This may sound crazy but actually im a mechanical engineer. Im interested to do this online business apart from my studies as part time.more important is it should not ruin my academics.2) i understood that ,only by day and days of work we get perfection and could mould our progress.

My biggest question about starting an online business has been how to focus in on the right idea. I’ve gotten stuck there for a couple years, but I’m learning from your material how to discern which ideas could be businesses and which are labors of love. This has been a major takeaway because just this one step has moved the dial for me and put me in action. Thank you!

opiughie emmanuel

I’m from Nigeria i’d plan to start up my online business but like Jeff had said there’s too much to decipher. How do I get on the ZTL course? I want to start up the right way.

Ephraim Wesley

Thank you for all the comments, advice and testimonial about online business. I just recently join and continuously receiving all Ramt’s word by word course and advice, it’s very helpful. I will definately launch my idea soon. Thanks Ramit for your continous support.

Lawal azeez ayodeji

I have interest in online business, but as you can see i know nothing about it, that is not the excuse for me I personally know that . but if I wanted to be on it finally, is it through all this that I’m learning from you. If so, I will be with you till I get it.

I am generally very sceptical and the examples provided by those that have done the course, don’t appear to mention what they have sold? Nor what their website is? It kind of looks like the business is selling the idea of a making a business to everyone. So the more that buy the course, the more money is churned, thereby making the originator of the course more successful.

What are all these ideas that people are selling each month? I can see sales figures, but what was sold? A course on how to be rich, which makes the author rich?

These products that everyone talks about that are so great, aren’t they guides to setting up the very business that is selling these products? A bit like motivational speakers, who become successful at being motivation speakers but have never built an actual business themselves. Happy to be proven wrong, as i am interested in the concept of passive income but always seems to come at a price, not in terms of time spent or infrastructure, but in courses and programs from a myriad of sellers.

Ben Mlotja

I am so keen to learn more, because i would like to be my own boss. I wish i had this info long time , i would have been far by now. Please do not grow tired for being helpful.

Hi Ramit,
It seems to me that most (if not all) of your ZTL’ers are people that aim for online businesses are all about coaching.
Does ZTL have a lot of value for someone who is looking to sell a product or service as well? How about a website business that tracks a person’s data?
Thank you for any help you can provide!
Dan

mohamed kuuriya

First thanks for your lessons i like people having a far goal like you I have no idea also have no money so how can I start abusiness to be rich?

Thank you! I love your emails! Currently working on writing an ebook to generate additional income. Check out my site ! :)

Hi Ramit and All

One question I have is how someone just starting out can ensure proper citations are given? If I sell work that is my own ideas, surely some of those ideas were inspired by something I once read or watched, but most of them probably don’t have a traceable source.

Accepting that I don’t have a team of lawyers, and fresh off college where academic honor can make or break a student, how do I make sure I’m not going to get sued for copyright infringement?

Jeremy Ansel

Hi Rami, and IWT community,
My biggest question is where to start? I love the idea of online businesses, and I’ve been thinking about starting one for a while, but I still don’t have an idea. I guess the answer to my question would be to start there, so to refine my question: Where/how can I find ideas for an online business?

Thanks in advance.

:Lanita-Derese:

Great day Ramit!

I think my biggest question about online business is how do you get over the fear of being successful? I know I have what people demand. Could I be sabotaging my own progression by putting off that which has given me success before? I am aware of the one step at a time, which reduces being overwhelmed. I feel I can handle it but when it happens I just want a break and be left alone.

What’s the head job on that?

Be honest, I am willing to make adjustments and be done with this recurring mentality…

Much appreciation!

What’s your biggest question about starting an online business?
My biggest concerns up until this point would be being able to manage all the tech stuff. Also having the confidence to sell is a big one for sure {it has been drilled into my head since childhood from my beautiful christian mother that I am never to be boastful, always humble, gentle, etc}. And then the last big question I have is whether I know enough about my craft to have 95% of it that I can give away for free? Am I expert enough? Do I have enough knowledge that there will be plenty to spare {the greedy part in me is freaking out about that}? I know this will come, but its a little scary when you have no idea what that looks like.
Also, what’s one thing that surprised you about online businesses from my material this year?
The one thing that has given me confidence to pursue this is that it can be done in such a small commitment a week. I am a mother of 3 young children, I also study Fine Art at University part time. I thought I would need to finish my degree before pursuing my own business again! I am beyond excited that I can actually begin now. I can commit one day a week and begin! yay!

Hi Ramit, thanks for all the material Andy the insights. My questions are:
Is there any rule to create a product? How can I create my product and my sales machine?
Thanks again

Hi ramit, From all I read so far (4 blogs), I can say I’m so exiting to start my business, I’m always searching a chance that I can find & fulfill my dream to be rich man, the problem is I don’t have any single dollar to start, even I couldn’t save any during my 15 years work in retail, I’ve many idea to start my own business but it’s not online business, for the business I thought just to have a restaurant on small company, but now I’m keeping read your emails to find out where it will lead me or how to create or start my own business, thank you for giving me that opportunity & I’m waiting for real start to build my business.

Has anyone received a personal response from Ramit at this point? I notice there hasn’t been much communication or any public responses for the past year.

Natalia Meléndez

Hi Ramit,

Thank you for all the free material available here. Regarding the questions following are my answers.

What’s your biggest question about starting an online business?
I don’t know where exactly to start and the process. Moreover, I don’t have a clear business idea that suits my skills. I am 27 years old and currently doing a master but have been working 6 years in marketing. As many of us, I want to create a profitable business based on something I really like. Although I have fears because nobody wants to fail (of course), I am more willing to start working on an online business project.

What’s one thing that surprised you about online businesses from my material this year?
What was more surprising is that there are so many unbelievable ideas that have turned into online businesses. However, the bright sight is that there is room for new business ideas. Also, I read a comment from a ZTL student from Brazil, who explained that he was doubtful about if the ZTL course would work in his country, and then he realized that it does.

Thanks!

nakaayi Beckie

Wooooooooooow!!!! RAMIT SETHI ,thanks so much for the mails! Still looking for a starting point! But am in love with what your doing ,and its one of my dreams !! Thanks (NAKAAYI BECKIE from UGANDA.

Eridon Elshani

Hi, Ramit. The most surprising fact since I heard about you is that you’re teaching me every day and step by step. Nobody did this. ” Buy this ebook, buy this book”etc. Thank you for your mail lists, I’m still taking my first steps, and I even don’t have a website, but I hope I’ll learn more and start a business because I live in Kosovo,EU(43 % POOR) and still not accepted in E.U,15teen years old, and I know that I will face problems about paypal and this stuff. Hope we’ll keep on touch, and I extremely want to be in sunday weebinar.

Hi Ramit,
I’ve started writing about sales and marketing tips in FB with only 100+ friends only to get 5-10 likes and comment a day.I participate and made it interactive as to get more comment and more lively.
No money earned just passionate about sharing.
Whats next for me?

My biggest challenge is having nothing to build on. I had a site that made 25-30k a year for a few years…then tanked. Now I’m starting a fitness blog, and I’m afraid nobody will come – which so far is true. At this point I would gladly take a $4.95 sale. Even by sheer luck. At least that would be something to build on. I only have 7 subscribers – 5 of whom are family. Just one sale would change everything – thanks for the motivation to keep trying!

I have a friend who joined ZTL and the coaching/accelerator program (sorry, I forget the exact name…) and she said it was awesome and really helped her move up a notch (or 2 or 3) and I’m definitely convinced that investing in the course is what I need at this point!

Just to give some background, I teach English as a foreign language online and publish weekly YouTube videos for free. I sell online courses and also have private coaching programs for people who want the individual, tailored attention.

I created my first course in March 2016 (did a 2nd launch just a week ago), created a 2nd course in September 2016 (just finished an affiliate launch of it) and the sales were present, enough to show that there’s an interest, but not as great as I’d like.

Now’s the time to take action: Invest and accelerate, or continue to piddle along being present but not at the level of success I know I can achieve with the right tools and systems.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to make the live session because of the time difference (I live in France), but I’m definitely keeping an eye out on my emails for the next messages about joining ZTL !

Josh Zimmerman

My biggest challenge is that little voice inside of my head that prevents me from building out my online business. I also get discouraged because my niche is really, really, really niche. At times I wonder if I will ever be able to drive traffic to a site that caters towards individuals looking to break into the National Security profession with the U.S. Government. I want to build a site for individuals interested in a shadowy industry. How can I drive traffic when these people do not use social media like the masses? Also, there is a lot of bad advice out there and most of it is “tactic” based. “Do this and do that” they say, filtering all of the granular advice is exhausting.

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