“Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.”
Want to earn more money? Most people would say unabashedly, “Yes, please!” Yet how many people “wish” and “hope” for a higher income or more cash without taking concrete steps towards that goal?
As Zigler’s quote above reminds us, money isn’t the most important thing in life. Yet it touches nearly every area of life that we care about. More money can help you:
- Fulfill a travel or adventure goal or “bucket list” item
- Leave an unfulfilling job to find work that fulfills you
- Give more to the people and causes you care most about
- Save and invest more, and sleep better at night
- Purchase a new home or something else that is important to you
- Improve your work-life balance to spend more time with the people you love, or
- Up-level your health through improved nutrition, supplementation, physical training or other expert help.
The good news is you DON’T have to wait for someone to give you a raise to make more money. Here are seven ways you can raise your own income!
#1: Provide more value.
If you want to RECEIVE more, the ticket is GIVING more. Consider learning new skills or how to implement new strategies, especially those in demand in the marketplace. Marketing, sales, coding and programming are just a few in-demand skills that can grow your income. In whatever field you’re currently in, if you can help companies attract more business or increase efficiency and profitability, you’ll be valued.
Sometimes it takes more learning or education to provide more value, which could be:
- A formal degree or education (especially important in some fields where a degree can open a door, raise your pay grade or allow you to advance to the next level) or
- An informal education such as a mentorship program, marketing certification, or learning an in-demand skill on your own through tutorials, books, a mentor, or trial-and-error.
#2: Ask for More.
Perhaps you’re already providing value, but undercharging. And while everyone may feel some pressure to compete on price, doing so can actually backfire if a low price is perceived as a warning sign and conclusions are drawn that “you get what you pay for.” If you believe you are undercharging or are being paid less than the fair market value of your work:
- Negotiate for more. If you are an employee, ask for raise and give reasons why you believe you are adding extra value.
- Raise your prices. If you are a business owner, consider if you are priced appropriately in the marketplace. It may be that costs have inflated or competitors are charging more, yet you have remained at lower prices.
- Shop around for a new employer or new customers/clients. You may find your skills or service can command higher pay or revenue beyond the boundaries of your current situation. You might receive a better offer from your current company if they know you have a better offer. If customers/clients pay late or always demand discounts, find new ones.
- Provide (and charge for) a premium product or service. Just because your competitors charge $10/widget or $100/hour doesn’t mean that’s what YOU should charge. Does Oscar de la Renta assume that “women won’t pay more than $200 for a dress”? Did Apple lead the Smartphone revolution by competing on price or by offering a superior product at a premium price?
#3: Be more productive.
You can work harder, work smarter, or best—do both.
While I don’t recommend a “workaholic” routine, when Gary Vaynerchuk speaks about “hustle”—his term for the fiercely productive work ethic he has consistently modeled while growing multiple mega-businesses—he challenges us to consider if we are working as hard as we think:
To me, hustle means putting all of your effort into achieving the goal at hand and that means making every minute count… Talent is not enough; you’ve got to put in the work.
Did you watch the latest episode of House of Cards? Did you eat lunch with your friend? Did you take 2 hours to respond to email? If you’re honest with yourself… you really didn’t work that hard. All and all… most people in a traditional 9–5 work 3–4 hours a day. They take lunch, check email, spend 20 minutes on Facebook here, 30 minutes on Buzzfeed there and have two 30 minute meetings that could have been cut to 5.
…Real hustle is deploying your energy in an actionable way toward some goal… Hustle is waking up the day before you die and realizing you gave it your all: the parenting of your children, the building of your businesses, the philanthropy that you wanted to do. Whatever you wanted, it’s just going all in.
—Gary Vaynerchuk.com, “Hustle: The Cure for Those Who Complain”
Another way to increase productivity is by working smarter and more efficiently. I keep productive with a time-system developed specifically for entrepreneurs that I learned from Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach. I separate my week into work (“focus”) days, free days and “buffer days,” which are days to catch up with miscellaneous “stuff”—chores, shopping, non-work appointments, or travel days. This keeps me focused and has made a big difference in the quality of both my work and life!
#4: Leverage work already done.
How can you get paid multiple times for work done once? Answering this question will raise your income.
We leverage work already done through:
- Book royalties
- Content licensing, and
- Repurposing information.
We also leverage technology such as podcasting, YouTube, Facebook and this blog so that the content we create keeps working for us long after it is first published.
#5: Leverage the efforts of other people.
Delegating work to more people helps you move much more quickly towards your goals.
Professional network marketers are experts at leveraging the efforts of others. I have clients who have succeeded tremendously in this field by mastering this art.
At Partners for Prosperity, we leverage efforts through our team, keeping each person focused on their Unique Ability, another Strategic Coach concept. Unique ability is characterized by four qualities:
- Superior skill—what are you really good at?
- Passion—what do you love to do?
- Energy—what activities give you a boost of energy?
- Never-ending improvement—you may already be exceptional in these areas, and you continue to seek out ways to get better.
I leverage the efforts of assistants who enjoy dialing in details and processing paperwork. I leverage the efforts of writers who help me write books, of managers who are excellent at documenting our processes, and of marketers and social media experts who help us spread our message.
We leverage the efforts of others by inviting them to speak at our annual advisor event or on a podcast. I’m not a tax expert, marketing expert, or legal expert, so I leverage their knowledge.
#6: Leverage your money.
Do you have “lazy assets” that could be put to work earning money? Perhaps you have many thousands of dollars of home equity earning you zero interest that could be borrowed at a low interest rate through a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and used to increase cash flow. For instance, consider using lazy assets as a down payment on an investment property that would produce significant cash flow.
Or you may have a sizeable cash value account in your whole life insurance policy that could similarly be leveraged for profitable investments, either by borrowing against your policy, or borrowing from a bank, using your cash value as collateral. As we describe further our article, “The Power of Leverage: 3 Reasons to Use Assets as Collateral,” leverage can increase cash flow and expand your asset base.
Another profitable strategy is a primary profit methods of banks: borrowing low and lending high. Banks do this by paying depositors paltry sums, perhaps 1% on savings to “borrow” money, which is then “lent” out to others at higher rates through lines of credit, mortgages, car loans, and credit cards.
For instance, you can leverage home equity or whole life cash value to borrow from a bank at 5%, which can then be put into bridge loans or other investments earning 7%.* This does NOT represent a mere 2% rate of return—the difference between 5 and 7—as many people mistakenly believe. As banks know, the annual rate of return on this scenario using borrowed money is 40%:
Similarly, if you purchased a widget at $5 and sold it for $$7, it would represent a 40% gain, not a 2% gain. (To understand this concept more thoroughly, watch this Truth Concepts video in which my husband, Todd Langford, explains “How Banks Make Money.”)
*Never speculate with savings for a “hoped for” return. To reduce risk, only invest in cash-flowing real estate or lending in exchange for a contractually agreed upon rate of return from a company with a reliable payment history.
#7: Increase your rate of return.
Similarly, if you have “lazy assets” earning 1% in a savings account or money market fund or 2% in a bank CD, you can raise your monthly income through private lending strategies. Examples would be bridge loans, peer lending and fractional real estate investing. These investments pay returns that far exceed what banks pay in exchange for the temporary use—six months to about three years—of your money.
How Can We Help You Make More Money?
Is it time to revisit your overall financial strategy? Time to put “lazy assets” to work? Time to increase your returns and protect your portfolio from loss?