One of the more interesting people I've met since moving to San Francisco is Ramit Sethi, bestselling author and blogger at I Will Teach You to Be Rich.
He takes an out of the box approach towards personal finance that resonates well with me. In particular I like how he focuses on conscious spending and automation. His stuff is extremely practical, to the point of sharing fill-in-the-blank scripts to be used when calling credit card companies and banks.
His advice is practical and immediately applicable, and he focuses on getting people take action and really improve their lives, rather than sit and read about it all day.
Needless to say, his stuff gets my seal of approval. He gave me an early look at some of the materials for his upcoming 6 week financial bootcamp and asked if I'd be interested in promoting it on my site. I liked what I saw, and felt like it could benefit my readers.
The bootcamp has a different focus each week, and is a mix of take home exercises (which you submit to Ramit and his crew for feedback), live webcasts with Ramit and some cool guest speakers, and a bunch of other stuff. In other words, it's interactive and engaging. He also backs it up with a 30 day money back guarantee (which I will also personally guarantee, since you might know me better than Ramit at this point).
To make things interesting, we decided to also do a contest!
Here's how the contest works:
Ramit and I played five rounds of Liar's Poker, a bar game played with dollar bills. On Thursday I'm going to post a video of our game. Your job is to guess the final score AND the last digit on each of our dollar bills from the final round of play.
So a sample guess would be: "I believe Tynan will win, 5 to 0, and the final two numbers will be 0 and 9".
Put the guess in the comments and make sure you've used a valid e-mail address.
Here's what you win:
The winner will join Ramit and I in either New York or San Francisco for a tea or latte. You're welcome to ask us anything and get some advice and coaching, or just hang out and chat.
If you can't meet us in NY or SF, we'll do a 30 minute or so conference call with both of us.
Here's a video of us talking about his bootcamp and the contest:
For more information on the bootcamp, click here.
On Tuesday I announced a contest to help Ramit promote his upcoming six week financial bootcamp. The premise was this: we played five rounds of Liar's Poker, and whoever could guess the final score and guess the final digits on our last dollar bills would win.
Before I show you the video with the results, I have a few comments. First, I wish that everyone won who predicted I would win 5-0. If I had giant buckets of money, I would buy each of those people a baby elephant for a pet. I would also buy wild hungry crocodiles for each person who said that Ramit was going to win 5-0.
So who won? The ex professional gambler or the bestselling financial advice author? Well, I'm not going to tell you -- you'll have to watch the video and find out!
I'm in the middle of trying to start a business. One of the main focuses at this point is creating several agreements between partners. In these negotiations, the other side almost always wants more than they deserve. Part of this is probably my fault for not setting realistic expectations, but it's also partially due to human nature.
That being said, the lesson I've learned is to not be greedy. By offering these partners more money and/or equity, I could choose to react by recognizing that I will not make as much money. Every dollar I give them is a dollar I do not receive myself.
The better way to view this, though, is that every dollar that I give them is spent on something that benefits me. We're creating this company as a team, and the whole reason I offer them anything is because they are providing a benefit. In a few cases, I can honestly say that without a specific partner I would not have a business. Every dollar I give these partners is not a dollar lost, but actually several dollars gained.
Overall, this is the attitude I try to take when spending any money at all. Spending money on a gym membership is not a waste, but rather an investment and a savings on future doctor bills. Spending money on good food is not expensive, it's a low cost health plan. Spending money on education, of any kind, ultimately can pay dividends way beyond the original investment.