It’s Cool to Be a Geek! How Rami Smooshed Together his Interests in Video Games and Dating

It’s Cool to Be a Geek! How Rami Smooshed Together his Interests in Video Games and Dating

Written by Emilie

Topics: Renaissance Business

There’s something about this story that really tugs at my heart.

When I first met Rami in 2004, he was a harmless, lovable nerd with a creative streak– a video game champion who studied kung fu and played the harp. He was a sweet guy, but definitely not what I’d call a chick magnet…

We lost touch after film school but reconnected again four years later, when he saw what I was up to on Puttylike and got in touch. To say he’d changed would be an understatement. I almost didn’t recognize him. Rami was still the same lovable geek, but now he radiated confidence.

From Geek to “Gutsy Geek”

In January, 2011, we began working together and a few months later, he launched his Renaissance Business, Gutsy Geek.

This is a story about turning your own struggles into a platform to help others. It’s about being proud of who you are and featuring the things that make you unique.

Rami didn’t get the girl by denying his “geekiness,” he got the girl by becoming the proudest geek he could be.

Because it’s so inspiring, I’m going to let Rami tell it in his own words.

The Vision Behind Gutsy Geek

In Chapter two of Renaissance Business, there are a bunch of exercises to help you figure out what sort of message you’d like to share with the world. Rami’s answers come almost directly out of that worksheet.

If you could have a conversation with your former self, would you tell him?

“I’d tell him to stop trying so hard. I used to do that a lot, I would try so hard to be funny, to be likable. I would agree with what people said to be pleasant. I’d tell jokes. I would talk incessantly. I didn’t realize that people could love me for me, and I constantly needed their validation to know that someone cared.

If I could, I’d tell old Rami: “Stop that shit. You don’t need to try so hard. You can just be your awesome self, and people will appreciate that.”

How have you changed in the last 5 years?

“I have a little Excel spreadsheet that organizes my life by semester. I checked it, and this is what it says about 2006:

  • Winter: graduated
  • Summer: boredom
  • Fall: started playing Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike

I remember 2006 as the year where I stagnated. I studied til April, then was elated at getting my BA. After that, I was lost. I couldn’t find a job. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I was terrible with women. I was in mediocre health. I was obsessed with recovering from a serious undiagnosable stomach ailment. But nothing seemed to work. About the only real thing I had going for me was my kung fu, and energy healing.

I look at myself today, and I’m a completely different person. I’m happy, confident. I’m in great health, great shape. I’ve fallen in love twice since then, and constantly have women in my life. I’m also really good at SFIII: 3rd Strike :D

Overall, I guess the biggest change is in confidence and maturity. I know who I am, what I believe in, and what I want. I’m happier because of it.”

Rami’s Overarching Theme

Can you give us a quick overview of your interests?

  •  Video games
  • Magic cards
  • Kung fu
  • Tech stuff
  • Social dynamics
  • Comics
  • Personal development
  • Meeting ladies

What sort of topics do you discuss on Gutsy Geek?

“Two types of things:

  1. Geekery: I bring up videogames, comics, movies, tech stuff, magic cards constantly. If I can, I’ll relate something in real life to one of those aforementioned topics, more often than not a fighting game.
  2. My personal life: I sometimes need a place to express my thoughts, and tell the world how I feel about my relationship with someone, or how awesome my recent adventure was. The blog serves as my outlet, and really lets me cut loose and talk about the things that have happened/are happening in my life.”

(Note from Emilie: First of all, we all know that what Rami means by “my personal life” is dating. Lets not kid ourselves. :p Second, notice how we used the “smooshing approach” to blend two of Rami’s subgroups into one overarching theme? Geekery and dating are two topics that don’t typically go together. Combining them makes for a very unique spin.)

Coming Up with a Title and Tagline

How did you come up with a title and tagline for Gutsy Geek?

“For the title, I wanted it to be two words, and not more than 4 syllables, to keep it catchy. You know, G-Mail, Face-Book, You-Tube… That way if I give someone the URL, it’ll be simple, and will better slide off the tongue. I wrote down a bunch of two-word combination, knowing that I wanted the word geek in there. I eventually chose Gutsy Geek from that list.

For the tagline, Emilie helped me brainstorm what umbrella all my articles would rest under. The key was geekery, but I didn’t want to use the word geek again.

The first part, Get guts, came from the title Gutsy Geek. I wanted the readers to grow some balls, and step out of their comfort zones. I also wanted to make it video games related, but also about meeting women, so Save the Princess was added, referencing both Super Mario Bros. and attracting women.

Finally, I wanted to bring it all back to the real world, because gamers often get infatuated with the virtual at the expense of everything else. We like to win – I just reminded them to do it “in real life”. Voila! The tag line was born.”

(Note from Emilie: see how his title and tagline beautifully communicate his overarching theme and also keep the focus on his community and their needs instead of on him?)

What’s your mission with Gutsy Geek? What message do you want your readers to take away?

“Hmmm, this one is tricky. I guess my message is it’s cool to be a geek. My mission is to better the lives of the people that read my blog, but not necessarily by preaching self-help.

At first, I tried to teach my readers something in each article. Slowly that changed, and Gutsy Geek has become more of a place for me to express my thoughts on life, gaming, and geekery, as well as occasionally impart some knowledge to the world.

Hopefully, my blog will impact geeks’ lives in a positive way, and move them to action. It’s very easy to read something and say “I was touched”, another thing to say “I’m going to do something about what I just read”, and even more difficult to actually do something. I hope to hit that 3rd option.”

Your Turn

Does your blog or Renaissance Business address the struggles that you, yourself used to deal with? (I sure know Puttylike does for me.)


If you’d like to learn more about turning all of your interests into one business, check out Renaissance Business.


  1. Rob says:

    Another great example of the work you do Em! And congrats to Rami for such an amazing transformation. Confidence is always something I’ve struggled with and it’s so easy just to get stuck in that vicious circle that merely exacerbates that lack of confidence. The hardest part is just the push to do the Gutsy, and that’s what Rami is inspiring us to do, so thanks , man :)

    • Emilie says:

      Thank you Rob! Confidence has been huge for me too. Learning how to create my own, pretty much from scratch, is probably the most valuable thing I’ve learned.

      Actually, I bet if you asked Rami about the moment we reconnected, he would probably tell a somewhat similar story about me. :)

    • Hey Rob, it’s my pleasure! Thank you for the compliments. Sometimes we forget to sit back and take stock of our accomplishments.

      We’re constantly thinking about physical accomplishments, like cash in the bank or buying a new car, and don’t take the time to be satisfied with giant leaps forward in personality.

      Every time I forget about how far I’ve come as a person, someone (like Emilie) gives me a little reminder kick in the ass :D

      Damn, I should write a post about this.

  2. Hey! The image you chose is AMAZING!

    And the first section of this article got me all mushy inside. I have a slight lump in my throat, remembering all the changes I’ve been through.


    • Emilie says:

      Aw I’m so glad you like it.

      I love when I get to integrate my design chops into the mix. Multipotentiality to the rescue!


    • Lesley says:

      So awesome what you’re doing, Rami! I’m going to be talking with Emilie soon and hope to blossom in a similar way (plus I’ll admit I’m a pretty big geek!).

      I had one random question – you had a stomach ailment. Are you comfortable saying what that was or how you overcame it? I’m going through something really similar with feeling kind of obsessed about trying to get to the bottom of a stomach problem that’s plagued me for years. Also feeling stress and stagnation at times, so I’m wondering if they’re interconnected (I’m sure they are in some way but I’m doubting it’s the total cause).

      Either way, keep up the great work and props to Emilie on this as well!

      • Emilie says:

        Hands up for the undefined stomach ailment/food intolerant people! I’ve got my issues too (we should chat about this briefly before our coaching session)…

        But yeah, I’d be interested to hear what Rami has to say about this too. Actually, Rami, you should write a post about it if you’re comfortable.

        • I will write a post about it. Maybe in two weeks, when my life calms down a bit.

          And Lesley, the reason the stomach ailment I had was problematic is because it was unidentified. Doctors ran all kinds of tests on me, from x-rays to ultrasound, culminating in an endoscopy.

          All to no avail, because the final word was “we don’t know what’s causing the pain.”

          I then went on this rampage where I did nothing but eat like a saint, meditate, and do some energy healing on myself. I stopped drinking for 1.5 years, ate only healthy food I cooked by me, and slowly it faded.

          These days I drink and eat junk food, but I’m very attentive to the signs my body gives me. If pain starts, and it’s always lurking in the background, I know I’ve gone too far, and I eat healthier.

          If there’s no pain, I’m eating well. It’s almost like my body’s way of telling me to “watch it buster, this is the limit.”

  3. Howard says:

    Remember this story from the book. Love that Save the Princess line.

    Well done both Em & Rami, great stuff :)

  4. George P.H. says:

    Your story makes me think of the hunger that only people with a background of dissatisfaction have. The truth is, the most motivating experiences happen when we hit rock bottom. You started stagnating; you got fed up; you made a change.

    Congratulations, man :).

  5. Jeremy says:

    Nice post. I like Rami’s blog and think it’s a great example of this idea-smooshing concept. What I’m less clear on is what makes it an example of a business, renaissance or otherwise?

    • Emilie says:

      Simple. The business part happens when you offer a product or service through your site. Rami could do this now if he wanted to. Actually I believe he’s started coaching a bit in “real life,” but hasn’t launched anything on the site yet.

  6. Rami says:

    Correct! I’ve begun coaching quite a bit, and will soon offer some online lifestyle coaching for geeks at a cheap rate.

    Shhh, it’s a secret. Or is it? :D

  7. Cathy says:

    A great example. It got me thinking how I could improve my own tagline, for the title will not change (it totally came from my soul, as big as it can be, and I think it’s not so bad…).

    Emilie, thanks for the advices and examples.

    Remi, way to go! Loved the whole concept of your bizz and I do hope you get to rock many nerd’s world!!! (I believe you do!). I guess you’re their hero-support, as Robin is for Batman… ;)

    Keep it going you guys!

    Cathy ;)

  8. Nic says:

    This is great!
    love it

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