Earning $1k and Beyond

My progress of Ramit Sethi's Earn1k Course

Update 2018

I still check this site and re-read Ramit’s I Will Teach You to Be Rich book. It’s been about four years since I made my first post, and I still can’t believe I get as many readers as I do. Hopefully, I have provided good information that is used to make informed decisions about Earn1k. Feedback is always much appreciated!


What I liked About Earn1k

Some things I liked: I did like the two qualifier method, as well as the Ideal Client Profile. These were very helpful in getting rid of non-paying clients and figuring out the target market. I also liked the case study about Ramit at the IWTYBR blog. It was really good. I also liked how he admitted he got into the  minds of us customers. Ramit knows a lot about his customers so we should do the same for our clients.

He is really good at marketing, but it may be the reason why he is  able to get so many clients without delivering on the content that Earn1k promises. I don’t want to be a part of his upsell to get the details I thought I was paying for when Earn1K is the most expensive of any legitimate freelance guru I’ve come across. His reputation on Lifehacker and his IWTYBR book convinced me to buy the course. I know his advice is valuable, but I would’ve just appreciated less sizzle and more steak.

Fake Earn1k Testimonials?

I was on YouTube the other day and came across some testimonials from Ramit’s first season of Earn1k. The videos I found were from back in the winter of 2010. I think Ramit asked students do video reviews of Earn1k because YouTube is a great marketing platform. It is completely fine for a business to ask their customers to make a public review, just as long as it’s honest, but these seem made up to trick potential customers into believing the hype. Read more of this post

How Many Students Actually Make $1,000?

Ramit constantly says he loves feedback and improving on his course. He demonstrates this mercilessly by bombarding any visitor to his sight with a pop-up question in the right hand corner or a survey link in every email he sends you. If this is true, why doesn’t he release his add/drop rate or the amount of money students have earned within 6 months of completing the course.

 Of all the people who have joined the course, what percent actually made at least $1,000 on the side?

Ramit isn’t shy about his confidence nor faith in his course so then why doesn’t he release those numbers? Maybe those numbers aren’t that good and its bad for business. That’s one reason why these experts and their courses turn me off is because they can’t be undermined or critiqued. Maybe this is why he doesn’t have at least a blurb saying 60% of all students earn $1,000 without 6 months of completion.

Earn1k’s Cost and Pricing

Earn1k costs about $1,000 to $1,200 depending on if you pay all upfront or with payments.  It is a high costing course, which should mean it’s full of details, but I didn’t find it to be worth the price. Ramit claims that if his price is too high for someone then his product isn’t for them. In Module 3, lesson 3 slide 46 he says that if a freelancer’s price is too high for a potential candidate then the freelancer’s service isn’t for that customer. This philosophy could be true in some circumstances, but if there is a high price, then there better be a high amount of material, and I think Earn1k is lacking key things so it isn’t worth its price. These are some things it is lacking. Read more of this post

Earn1k Forums Do Not Exist

One thing that could help fill in the blanks the case studies didn’t cover was forums. Unfortunately, Ramit got rid of the forums he originally had because students were  spending too much time in the forums and not enough time taking action. I can see how this could happen as most people who are too afraid to a risk dwell on it and try to develop plans or consume all the information they can in order to feel properly prepared. Read more of this post


Ramit talks in great detail about the difference between frugal and cheap people in his I Will Teach You to be Rich book, which I highly recommend getting. It provided good reasons why there is a difference and how to spot the two. He basically says cheap people want things to be free or close to it as possible. Frugal people see the value in something and use that to base how much they are willing to pay for it. I found myself to be one of these frugal people as I spend my hard money on the best items that I want and spend little on things that I don’t care for too much. Sethi criticizes cheap people and doesn’t like them, but he feels admiration for those who are frugal. He even calls himself a frugal person in his IWTYBR book:

Spend extravagantly on the things I love and be relentlessy frugal about the things I don’t (e.g., spend lots on visiting family in New York, but don’t buy the flashiest sports car).

It looks like he loves being frugal, yet in Earn1k on pg 36 of Module 1 Lesson 4 he attacks frugal people. What this means is he openly admits he is one thing and encourages others to be that way, yet in his next product completely bashes those type of people. If you listen to that section of Earn1k he says“I’m not frugal and I don’t market to them.” I’m at a loss, he’s got me on this one. This also made me think that this course wasn’t for me.

My Overall Review of Earn1k’s Case Studies

I don’t think any of the case studies said how long it took them to do all of Earn1K. Amanda said it took about a year to get that one client, but she made it sound too easy. The people in the studies did have bumps in the road but nothing major. Where’s the case study on the person who has a hard time starting, but then gets that one small traction and then the next? Not these stories. They all said “I got a contact and was lucky enough to get into a magazine, and now I have a mass marketing program.” How come there isn’t a roadmap that shows when they got their  first client, how they got that client, when they started doing advertising, how many calls they made before the first sale, then the 2nd, and any other time frames? It would help us students out a lot to know what worked and what didn’t. It would’ve been great if Ramit showed how one tactic worked for a web designer but fails miserably for a writer.

It would be nice to have a step by step walkthrough for a specific freelance gig like designing websites so we can use it as a guide.

Am I asking too much out of this $1,000 course?

It’s Jessica’s Turn

Jessica – again like the other examples used a contact to get her first client. It so far appears that you need to network and have a warm lead in order to bait them and then you can use Earn1k techniques to land the sale, but this doesn’t cut it for me. I want to know how to land a first cold client. A brief summary about how warm leads are best to start with would help but Ramit never says you have to go through contacts first. Read more of this post

Michelle’s Case Study

Michelle – She used contacts to get more information about numerous things, which is good, but it doesn’t help us who don’t have the network she does.  Just like job hunting it comes down to your network, but Ramit never emphasizes this in the course. He doesn’t tell you how it’s basically who you know. You need to use your network to find your right client. In Earn1k, you are supposed to select your ideal client and only market to them. Do not try to sell to everyone Ramit says. Well, if these types of people are out of our network, what do we do? If it is a numbers game, how can you pitch to 100 people if you don’t have 100 leads? Read more of this post