Q&A: Ramit Sethi is back
after 10 years with advice for entrepreneurs
Send a link to a friend
[August 29, 2017]
By Chris Taylor
NEW YORK(Reuters) - Known for his bracing,
no-bull personal finance advice aimed at Generation Y and beyond, Ramit
Sethi is also patient.
After hitting the scene in 2007 with the bestseller "I Will Teach You To
Be Rich," he has waited 10 years to release another book, focusing
instead on building his brand into a financial education company.
The new book, "Your Move: The Underdog's Guide to Building Your
Business," doles out the important rules he learned along the way, such
as getting paid for the value you create.
Sethi, now 35, spoke with Reuters to talk about his new book, and how
entrepreneurs can navigate an increasingly unpredictable world - and
still come out on top.
Q: Your last book was a big success in personal finance circles, so why
10 years until your next one?
A: There are a lot of authors I respect who write a new book every year.
But thatís just not me. I spent years writing my last book so it could
stand the test of time. I wanted to wait until I really had something to
say with the next one.
Q: The world has changed a lot in that time. What have you learned since
A: In "I Will Teach You To Be Rich," I focused on automating your
personal finances, which is one of the most important foundational items
of a rich life. But since then, Iíve gone much deeper on increasing your
income, freelancing, and starting a business. Thereís a huge trend of
people starting something small on the side, and we help them turn that
into something big. We share all their stories at GrowthLab (http://www.growthlab.com).
Q: What entrepreneurial tips would you highlight?
A: Focus on the profitable, not the sexy. There are way too many
entrepreneurs focused on the number of Instagram followers they have
(and other worthless vanity metrics). We spend way, way more time on
customer research than on Instagram. I guess it shows, too. My Instagram
Q: Among your unconventional wisdom, you question homebuying as a
typical road to wealth. Why is that?
A: A lot of people hate me for saying this, but itís true. People think
The American Dream always includes buying a house. They also think if
youíre renting, youíre ďthrowing money away on rent.Ē Most of these
people have no idea what theyíre talking about.
[to top of second column]
A sale sign points to a home in Dallas, Texas September 24, 2009.
If you actually run the numbers and take all the phantom costs into
account - taxes, maintenance, interest, and more - youíll discover that
real estate is not the best investment of all. In fact, real estate is
often a terrible investment.
Q: Where do most personal-finance experts go wrong?
A: It's tiresome to read yet another financial expert lecturing people
about spending money on lattes. Why do so many experts tell you all the
things you can't do with your money? Iíd rather show you what you can
do. Oh, you want to take an amazing trip to Bora Bora next year? Great,
Iíll show you how to save and earn so you can do it.
Look, I know a lot of these experts. Most of them donít even follow
their own advice. More importantly, even if you save $3 a day, youíre
not even saving that much.
Iíd prefer people focus on the 5-10 'Big Wins' in life, like automating
their finances, finding a dream job, negotiating their salary, and
possibly starting a business. You do that and youíll never have to worry
about coffee, or appetizers, ever again.
Q: You are famous for in-your-face advice, so what harsh financial
truths do you have for people reading this?
A: Iím actually a big teddy bear. But here are three truths that have
1: Nobody is coming to save you. People love to complain about the
government and millennials, but your personal finances are your
responsibility. You can automate your finances in about a week using
this system (http://bit.ly/2waXHQk).
2: You decide what a 'Rich Life' is. If you want to buy a $1,000 coat,
or you want to pay for your parentsí retirement, great. Donít let anyone
tell you what a Rich Life is. Decide for yourself.
3: Itís not that hard. The internet has made it popular to complain and
commiserate about how hard life is. Thatís nonsense. We have amazing
opportunities that didnít exist even 10 years ago. You can get an
incredible amount done in 30 days if you decide itís a priority. You can
change your life in a month.
(The writer is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his
(Editing by Beth Pinsker and Steve Orlofsky)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.