Hi Escapees! It’s Liz here; former Escape intern, current Escape blogger, and lifetime Escape fan. Yeah that’s right- I’m an Escape groupie and I’m owning it.

In light of the upcoming holiday season and a new series of blog posts we are doing on giving and entrepreneurialism, I’d first like to highlight an entrepreneur who inspired me this weekend.

I recently found out about Ramit Sethi. This guy is….how do I put it?…..kind of a douchebag. I bought his book this weekend. Maybe some of you have heard of him, but I just recently discovered him upon recommendation from a friend as we were discussing salary negotiations. My friend’s exact words: “This guy’s kind of an ass, but he is absurdly helpful.” His book was published in 2009 and it is called I Will Teach You To Be Rich. It has lines like “Okay, listen up. I’m not your grandma and I’m not here to coddle you and make you cookies.” See what I mean?

And yet, on another level, I’m really appreciating this guy right now. I’m always fascinated by people whose words seem to go unapologetically from brain to mouth, and Ramit Sethi is the poster child of this phenomenon. Aside from his brazen self-confidence, which is highly entertaining and convincing, he has great advice about high-yield savings accounts, investments, paying off debt, and practical decisions facing young people in a horrifying economy. He has ridiculously practical content in his book and on his website that I’ve never seen before, and trust me people, I am a career-advice-industry addict. I cannot emphasize this enough, I am seriously obsessed with this stuff! So I thought I’d seen it all, but not so. I was pleasantly surprised to read word-for-word transcripts on how to negotiate a pay-raise or lower an APR on a credit card. The advice may not be couched in the nicest of terms, but when I’m telling you that this dude cuts through all of the b.s. that’s usually out there, I really mean it. And for all of us desperate job-seekers and meaning-seekers and seekers of the opportunity to get paid to do stuff we love, Ramit Sethi is actually sort of likable. Like that friend that you can always rely on to tell you to go back inside and change your outfit because you look horrendous and s/he is not allowing you out of the house dressed like that, no way, not now, not ever. Ultimately it’s in your best interest to listen.

Now I know you may not automatically correlate something like I Will TeachYou To Be Rich with social enterprises, charity, or giving back. But I would argue that inspiration is inspiration. If that inspiration comes by way of a slap in the face from the painfully honest Ramit Sethi, so be it. The sooner we can all find inspiration to financially fuel our career goals or put an entrepreneurial idea into action, the sooner we can contribute something meaningful and give back. And that’s when everybody wins.

In that light, please stay tuned in the upcoming weeks on this blog. We’re going to highlight some real initiatives for those folks who don’t have the luxury to contemplate escaping the city this winter. In particular, we will be drawing attention to some fantastic initiatives in our hub cities, New York and London. Plus, also stay tuned for a spotlight on some of our most socially-driven, entrepreneurial Escapees!

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