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Validating Your Business Idea

Lesson 17 from: How to Make Money

Ramit Sethi

Validating Your Business Idea

Lesson 17 from: How to Make Money

Ramit Sethi

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Lesson Info

17. Validating Your Business Idea

Lesson Info

Validating Your Business Idea

Now I said earlier that I was comfortable stereotyping because I was going to test it this is where we're actually going to test it, so we're going to test it by doing a couple of things member I talked about the ask without selling technique when you go out you find a bunch of mothers you see like I tell me about your problems etcetera you're going to find out if the things you think they care about are the things they actually care about now when I launched burned one k I I thought that people wanted to earn money well, let me ask you why you guys think someone one would want to earn an extra thousand dollars a month on the side what they want to do with that money my audience my audience is about sixty five percent men thirty five women but let's you know, for the audience of earned one k let's assume it's twenty seven to thirty four year old people they tend to skew male but there's a lot of women in there as well. So why when they read my stuff they read tim first stuff etcetera, ...

why would they want to earn a thousand dollars a month, huh? What does that mean just so they don't have to get stuck in a job that they don't want or, you know have to put up with jerks you know, if they want to walk away they couldn't you know save score you they can because they know that they're they're solid very good what else? Travel party uh very good anybody else? I'm just gonna say them I have a particular financial goal. So whether that's investing our you know, traveling yeah that's pretty broad though financial goal I would say like twenty seven year olds don't usually have financial goals they have, like drinking even the ones who read your stuff not even then yeah, after a while they do, um okay, so so I was like, I know my audience so well, we don't even need to do this research bubble bob but we did it and way discuss I thought it was for sure they want to take this thousands a month go to vegas, get a table live like a baller and I'm like, I know because that's what I would do if I were like in these shoes et cetera wrong I was so wrong it wass exactly what you said on it was freedom and when I said what does that mean? I got deeper. I rolled out thousands and thousands of survey responses it was I want to have the ability to quit my job if I want not to actually quit it but to have the ability to do that that profoundly changed the way that I built my material, right because, for example, let's say that you wanted to use it to pay off debt. Well, that's totally different, it's a totally different way of messaging it of the actual product, and this is what I'm talking about when I'm talking to everyone here. If your client wants if your clients of photographer and they want a website where they do nothing, then you're going to talk about easy, how you're gonna handle everything, you'll send them a report so they feel in control if they want some that's gonna drive sales it's a totally different type of messaging, it's a totally different product you're delivering. Does that make sense? So you can't just sit around in your head, apply that pay certain detective, technically, like I did what remains said no, don't be lazy, you have to go further and validated in the real world. Now, how do you validate this one is to actually go out to people in your target market? Just ask them questions right now. What questions you ask and all that stuff I cover that the second is to do a survey, and I do lots of surveys people actually more than willing to do surveys, but most people surveys air horrible, they're like thirty questions long blah, blah blah so I actually did a survey tear down so I have surveys that have made me a lot of money, a lot of money and they've really helped me get into my client's heads forget the money part actually help me deliver like massive value like the pitch I did that made a pitch I did on the web designer that was based on research, right? So if you go to this site, you'll get a survey tear down records show you howto someone actually one of my students she had to serve and I was like this surveys horrible get on the phone with me and I have an interview with her and I showed her how to take that survey turned into something really good and I put one of my own surveys would you guys could just rip off use so it would give me great pleasure to see this survey go around the web because I know it works I tested it myself on like over one hundred thousand people, the point here on step three is you have to actually go out and ask people their questions we're going to practice that right now I'd like each of you you know, your service you know, your product I want you to pretend just give me a one sentence thing meet you, you're going to tell me like just going to meet pretend that you're on x y z age gender person and you want to buy a hat for your kid hear my questions for you so I want you to ask me two or three questions on when you wrap it I find out if you're an ideal client for us and to find out if your assumptions are correct so you're going to basically do a little interview of me simple simple stuff does not to be fancy let's take a couple questions tell me who the client is cathy you look like you're ready to go yeah go ahead so the client is a thirty two year old woman considering a career change perfect that's exactly what I am okay go ahead. I'm named catherine today huh? So I understand you're going through a lot of changes um and do you have any fear associated with these changes or and where do you feel that in your body is that how women talk to each other? I'm like really wait wait no you're right you're right you're asking you're totally doing it perfectly but like have you ever actually said out loud to someone do you have any fear in your body? Yes you have and did they answer you? Yeah okay then your client is like a little more room fine I'm going with it I'm gonna ride this train okay? So I'm gonna answer I usually they exactly so why are you here today? Okay, so why are you here today? So, let's, let's, start there. Okay. Let's, let's, build some report. All right, all right. So I'm here because blah, blah, blah. Ok, so why are you here? I'm here because, you know, like, I just feel like I work so hard and like, I'm not getting recognized work, and I just don't feel appreciated, and I really kind of want to figure out, like, some kind of life change, okay? And as far as the change goes air, you're talking specifically about your job or how is the rest of your life outside of your job? It's ok, I mean, my husband is pretty supportive of me, you know, sometimes he doesn't really understand what I'm trying to do and why I sometimes seem to be unhappy, but I just really want to find something that makes me more fulfilled, you know, with work, and I feel like the rest of my life will sort itself out. And what are those things that make you feel most alive? That's a good question. Um, you know, like, when I'm with my husband, when we don't have any worries, or also when I'm at work, and I feel like I'm actualizing my potential like I've done an amazing job with my excel analysis on my boss and team recognized me and how does that feel in your body when you I feel like alive like tingles I just feel like really good and is there a specific part of your body where my back your back and lower back or upper back I guess lower because where you're going with this let's speed it up okay, sorry um then basically I just work on like work with clients on cultivating where they feel the best and that felt sense and then bringing that out and growing that great connection I really like these questions they were logical, we sped through them but they were very logical friendly I didn't feel like you were like being intrusive even though you were asking about like my body but I felt like they but I didn't understand where you're going with this so I would have made it a little bit clear somewhere earlier but I mean also here's the thing you have a lot of experience doing this, but you were clearly going towards a goal but you were guiding me right? We all felt that however, when you're asking without selling you aren't you have no goal it all because you have no idea what the hell your client wants at that same conference with two hundred fifty for women, another a young woman came up to the mic and she was like she goes she was she this was amazing she goes uh I mean, I have a question for you on she said some she was trying to pitch me like in front of everyone else on the mike she's like have you ever felt like you weren't living up to your full angel and what she was doing what she was trying to use this exercise and I said, uh I guess and she goes you know, have you ever thought that I just cut her off? I was like, listen, I understand what you're trying to do but by trying to guide me at this stage he asked without selling stage it actually comes office super sleepy okay, so this is when you go out and you start asking questions people can detect it very carefully very quickly that you're just asking fake questions with an agenda to sell them on something here your questions are like super different I'm not coming down on you did a great job you're more experienced but what the questions you want to be asking here like really wrong like all ask questions like uh you know, how do you think about money? How does it make you feel um like what it's like what are some things you think you should do what you haven't done yet? Um why not if you could do anything with your money what would you do if you could do anything with website what would you do notice I'm not being like if you could do anything with your website including improved conversion rate so what would you do wrong? We're not trying to be sleazy and like sketch people out by taking them down this path I'm literally curious what I want to know what words does the client use? What are their hopes, fears and dreams fact I'd ask him what are you like one of the things that make you really nervous because in my market for guys we don't talk about fear guys don't fear things right they don't they don't ever say you never hearing two dudes yeah really fearing this I feel fear in my body no we don't talk like that we'll say nervous or we'll say um I don't know I'm just like it's just on my mind we just won't talk about it all you have to understand your market I respect what you're market is but here were asking questions at a really high level and you can't ask someone you know, fifty questions online you might be able to ask him five add some value to them and follow up later in a conversation you could probably go back and forth adding value saying you know that's so interesting you say that like for example let's pretend that I'm uh I happen to know someone who lost a lot of weight after having two kids she actually weighs twenty pounds less than her pre pregnancy weight and she has been trying to help other mothers lose a lot of weight so she's going through this research phase right now so she's discovered a lot of insights on you know you could go to him and say oh it's so interesting that you mentioned energy because I've been talking to a lot of other women and they've mentioned that energy is one of the big things that they want more up is that something that like do you feel the same way or is it different for you notice notice the tone notice I'm asking these questions I'm not leading anywhere I'm just genuinely curious we're going to go to the web in the second seat reactions but the whole point of this is not to guide someone along we're not at that point yet we're asking broadly and then later once we narrow it down even more specifically then we're going to guide people questions you at the place where the violin teacher was just gathering a group of moms to find out who your ideal client is yes I'm finding out like is it actually what their needs are what their needs are do you actually care about this don't go in assuming that you're right you're like for example you're still our stereotypes about earned one k fifty percent of them were wrong I thought they want to be vegas ballers wrong I thought they want this wrong wrong wrong wrong but we found out a couple things we were right about and then we found out a couple things we didn't even know what so you want to find out like do you actually even care about violent for your kids? Which kids? Son daughter have you ever done this before? This is a really important one have you ever done this before? If so, why did you stop? If not, why didn't you start? Because if you're selling to people who have never done this service before it's tougher like if you find me and I used to pay for violin for a son and I stopped what? Why did I stop mebecause the violin instructor wasn't doing x y z and now we can deliver that let's one more question for me they were gonna die part of my businesses wedding photography would I be speaking to engaged couples to get my information? Or would I be speaking to couples who have already gotten married and hired a and had the experience both but I would care more about well, I would care yeah do both I would talk to the married couples and say, like what? What was great? What would you change? How did you feel before you selected me like you were evaluating all these other people. Why did you choose me also? I don't really think your client is couples who is your client? The bride the bride correct uh, any other questions from here then we'll go to the web that was actually destination some my client is the bride so as you were talking to dawn on me there is a silent force which is the groom who never speaks but he is yeah he's in her head she he doesn't speak so how do I? Because I often feel like I could have a connection with the bride and then they could have because he's not involved like he doesn't come to the meetings he doesn't do that. How do I get how do I connect with that silent force? First of all great that you're realizing this second of all let's just brainstorm right now on the back of a napkin what could the groom's concerns be? Uh her happiness is usually like usually they just whatever makes you happy, baby and can he afford it? Okay, good. Can he afford it? Okay, very good. And also like, can we just check this off so we can get to the rest of the wedding? Yeah, can you make it really easy so that this is one thing he doesn't have to think about if you understand that and you theorize that, then you go out to the market, you talk to grooms, particularly grooms who've already gotten married because they're like, look this woman's not trying to sell me she's just trying to understand me, they'll definitely take your meeting, you say, like, what was your feelings when you met all these photographers? How did you decide among one versus because they're going to get a photographer? It's just a matter of who? Oh, our wedding planner, etcetera. So you want to understand that? And yes, you want to probably pay attention to the the gentlemen a little bit he's, not your main client, but you certainly want to put him at ease because you you're so smart to realize that the dynamic exists when they leave the room. They're going talking, talking, he's the money I like, she could be connected, and she'll pay anything on the second they walk out that door he's like yeah, very good, very good. So notice how unpolitical correct that is to say it is right. Okay, so in your market, for your experience, it's true, I respect that. You've said, look, I've had experience with fifty clients, one hundred kinds that's the case, so if that is the case, like I said, I'm comfortable stereotyping up front that I want to test it to find out if it's right, you've tested it fine. If the money is an issue, what could you do? You could lower your rates, but what else could you do? I don't, I don't know, I got to get him to say yes, it's uh, it's, always through her. She I can't. I don't know, I've never been a value. You could add value instead of lowering your rates, okay, you could just give you some trivial examples. You could have more photographers if they if they worry about missing moments that or not here, there you could send them different types of photos you could do. You could do a follow up six months later, you could do a free fall upon their one year anniversary that would be incredible and plus that would allow you to raise your rates because its massive value at to find out what it is you should offer. You have to find out what it is they care about. Okay, so what are their concerns? I'm concerned as a groom and bride that um they're not going to get the right shot that they're going to take up too much time that I'm not gonna get my photos back that they're not gonna be good blood what are whatever my concerns find out address that's what you know to address rather than randomly coming up with services to offer stan a gator says asked without selling technique actually helps finding specific problems that they care about that you can charge money for it um and um see guthrie was saying it sounds like he's asking for information not selling something I'm not it's called the ash without selling technique I'm not selling you're not even allowed to sell at this point you're not allowed to you know people like what did I say about joining my earned one k program? You can't join because I want to know more about you what your challenges where your concerns ok there's a stage at which you do things and there's a stage in which you wait and if you wait and you developed a relationship and I try we find out if I find out from my client this potential client this prospect I'm doing so much homework I'm studying their website, I'm listening to them, I'm reading everything they've sent me I'm going to determine whether they're right for me or not if they are not right for me I'm going to put them in the center of my world and say you know what I love what you're doing I would love to help I don't think I'm right for you I do think that a couple of these people would help I'm not making a cent off this referral but I'd be happy to introduce you however if they are right for me and I offer the world's best service because I listen to them I understand that I'm great at my craft I know their hopes fears and dreams and it's my obligation it's my duty to try to convince them ethically to join to offer the massive value not to short change myself and how much I'm charging because charging a premium amount allows me to offer a premium service and I showed on that I don't just tell them I show them that is how you get the right clients that is how you don't worry about dealing with the unwashed masses that is how you deliver massive value to the world instead of sitting around worrying about people who are freeloading in negotiating nickel and dime ing you for five or ten dollars it's your duty if you understand people if you understand your client and you understand the hopes and dreams two ethically persuade them to join in the right way okay anything else from the web silent pause because that was awesome and I feel like that might be a foreshadowing of what we're going to talk about tomorrow when you like, shift that paradigm about um not assuming that you are right for everyone or that everyone is your right client it's kind of same thing is when you're looking for a job and you're with an employer and you're saying, well, I'm figuring out if you're right, ronnie not if not trying to convince them that they're right for you correct? We call them competence triggers and we'll cover this tomorrow but imagine let's take the example of walking into a bar okay, so let's pretend let me just show you instead of telling you, let me show you so I walk into a bar and and you're like, got a few ladies here they're like just looking around the bar, checking out guys who walk in whatever I walk in and I'm like this like walking around like this I just drink I'm like nursing it like I'm on my phone, you know? I'm just like and I'm looking around every girl, what do you think of me kind of creepy no good, right? Not not necessarily a high status guy I walk in have a drink with my buddies, I'm telling some jokes I'm open body language there cracking up I'm cracking up, we're having a ball on her own what do you think approachable interesting uh what's up with this guy that's called a competence trigger in other words, something that high status people do right now there's a phrase act as if we're going to cover this in detail tomorrow in a more nuanced way, but what if you actually were really nervous about going to a bar? But you went in there and you just in a way imitated what a high status person would do after doing that for a while and truly understanding psychological triggers you might actually become that that's why I teach my students when they're asked you know what's your previous salary say look, we could discuss salary later, but for now let's just figure out this is a good fit for both of us. Why? Because that's what a top performer would do and when you do that all the client sees or the hiring manager sees is what you said they don't steal this inner turmoil in your head I know creatives loved have always angst in their head like, oh my god are they're going to love me my mother hated me she still thinks I should go work for a nine to five job that client can't see all that till you open your stupid mouth and when you open your mouth and start blabbing on about oh I could lower the price for you nobody just shut up, shut up and act like a top performer. Would and that's what they see. People see your behavior, not your attitude.

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This course changed my life. After watching Ramit on Creative Live, I bought his book, then signed up for his newsletter, then bought several of his classes. You could say I am officially drinking the Ramit Kool-aid now, but I'll tell you why... His stuff works. You have to trust the system, but I've been able to create a rich life for myself by my definition of rich and I am so happy. It takes work, but I am so grateful I found Ramit in my 20s so I can truly enjoy my 30s over the next decade. Without this course, I would still be complaining that people don't want to hire me because my prices are too high and whining that I am not valued, when in reality, the problem was me. Thanks Ramit for always speaking the hard truths and giving people wake-up calls to get their act together and live the life they want... It's possible!

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Ramit is a huge inspiration, he is not just a 'been there and made loads of money' kind of guy, he is a 'been there and made loads of money, and here's how I did it' kind of guy! Ramit really gets down to helping you understand not only how to make money but also how to save it too. I am looking forward to reading his book and plan to implement a lot of his systems into my own life.


I have taken a few business classes for creatives online, but this is by far the most comprehensive, most practical course of all. Especially for someone like me who loves Ramit's work but has not made a decision to commit to his full courses, this is a great introduction for what he can offer. He pushes you to think outside the box and see all the possibilities that we can have in a very clear, logical way. If you are unsure which class to take to learn about business, this is all you need.

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