What was the first thing you thought of when you read that title? Did you think about the stock market? Real estate? Crypto?
Or did you start thinking that this was going to be about how you should be saving, or be using this credit card to get cash back.
Well, I can tell you what I tend to run into when I talk about my goal of showing people how their money can fuel their aspirations. The conversation goes somewhat like this:
“Do you tell people how they should be investing in the stock market?”
“Nope, I don’t like researching these things; I have other things I’d rather do.”
“Do you tell people to buy real estate?”
“I do, but I wouldn’t tell you that unless I knew you are ready.”
“Do you tell people what crypto to buy?”
“Nope, I leave that to specialized experts (you know, those people who get excited looking at graphs). My focus is elsewhere.”
“Do you tell people how they should save for retirement?”
“Not really; saving for retirement is a shitty way to live.” (You can read more about that here.)
“So how do I make more money?”
I don’t blame people for asking those questions. It’s really the only thing that gets talked about online by bloggers. Most end up talking about getting the best credit cards, the lowest insurance, the highest savings rate. Sure, that makes an impact, but it won’t give you the best life you’re meant to live.
Then there are some who talk about investment returns, compound interest, best performing unit trusts. Definitely better than the first set of topics. But still, that requires you to already have money and I argue that the return of these is still not as high as what I suggest.
I agree with those ideas. You do need a solid foundation to keep the most money. You also need a few different investments to have your money work for you. But before that, you need to be making more money.
Let’s look at it this way. Say you have an entry level role that makes you 3000 a month (36,000 a year). What would happen if you can increase your raise from 2000 to 10,000? Doesn’t that mean you would have another 8000 each year that you can then use create that perfect life?
To give you an idea, I was making about 55,000 a year but after 9 months, I was up to 65,000 a year. That’s more than a 18% return in one year. Then I was scheduled to make 80,000 and would have probably passed the 100,000 within another year. Who knows what would’ve been the next number after.
But can you say that your investment will be able to do that? To make you 100,000 a year in 2 – 3 year’s time? I highly doubt it.
Before I get to the secret to scaling your ability to make money, let me ask you a question.
Have you ever gotten a job offer and was told how much you were going to get paid? Have you ever thought that it was far too low, and that you’re worth far more?
Or have you ever asked for a raise, but was told that you’re not ready for one yet?
If so, you’re making the mistake that most people make.
You are letting someone else decide how much you’re worth. And then you decide to agree with that person and act as if you are only worth that much, validating that person’s belief about you.
So what should you do about it?
Well, it starts by you believing that you’re worth more. Like REALLY believing that you can do much better than what those people say.
What is that role or job you think you really believe you would be capable in doing in 3 year’s time? Do you believe you would be able to lead a team? Be a senior? Be the top performer? Handle much bigger clients?
Once you know what it is you know you can be doing in 3 years, it’s time to create a list of the people who are already in those roles that you would be able to reach out to.
The final step is to contact those people and take them out for coffee or lunch. Then learn all about how they got to those roles. What skills do they have that you need to improve? What events do they go to that helps them be good at their jobs? What suggestions do they have for you to become like them in a few years? Write it all down and start working on growing yourself.
Let’s use my example. I started off in a junior sales role. I was guaranteed $39,000 but I worked hard to be the top within my team within 3 months and was on track to make $55,000. But I wanted to move onto the next team, and my manager said I wasn’t ready for it yet.
Instead of sitting down and being all frustrated (which I was), and conforming to what he believes (I knew I was ready), I decided to start talking to the people on the team that I was interested in joining, and learned what they were doing. What skills do they have that I am still not there in?
Once I knew what those were, I started to develop them.
I initially started by asking my manager if I could buy a few different books that I knew would really help me develop the skills I needed to excel. But I was shot down – there was no budget to buy those books. In other words, he didn’t believe it was worth investing in me. (Starting to see a pattern here?)
So what would you do if you were me? Would you go back to your desk and whine about it, accepting that you weren’t worth the investment? Or will you take the matters into your own hands, and show yourself you were worth that investment? Well, I took the latter approach. I used my own money to buy the books I wanted and I studied them in detail. I practiced what those books were teaching and I saw my income slowly grow from the increase in sales I was able to create.
Within 6 months, I was given a raise and was next in line to go join that team I was striving for.
This all happened because I took my value into my own hands. I invested in myself and ultimately, they were forced to acknowledge that I had the potential.
So what are some of the best ways to quickly grow your career?
Understand what is needed to advance in your career.
Similar to what I did, you first need to understand what skills people who are currently where you want to be have. The best way to do that is to take them out for coffee or lunch. Once you’re with them, pick their brain. Ask them questions like:
How did you get to where they are today?
What do you notice about the best performers on your team?
What books, blogs, podcasts or thought leaders do you read or follow?
What’s the one skill that you believe is the most helpful in your success?
What do you suggest I do to be able to get to your level as fast as possible?
Take down all the notes you can, and then repeat with other people in similar roles. You will naturally start to notice a trend.
Do most of them practice some sort of skill regularly? Do most of them listen to specific podcasts, read specific blogs or books?
Or do they read about specific topics?
All you have to do is start taking actions on those notes.
Buy books related to the area you’re most interested in improving
You now know what you need to do to really stand out. The next step is to start showing yourself that you really are worth it by buying the most helpful books in the areas you’re trying to improve.
If you’re not sure what books you should be reading, to to the website http://www.bookxcessonline.com/ (or their physical stores) for some super cheap books.
If you’re not the type who likes to read or don’t have the time to do so, try audio books. Sites such as mentorbox. These types of companies will read the book, summarise the main ideas in a short pdf and / or in a short audio clip. So all you have to do is read that summary to get the general idea. If there’s anything you want more information in, then you’ll have to buy the book. However, book summary sites can really save you a lot of time as you’ll be able to listen to almost 1 a day, giving you a lot of great insights in a very short amount of time.
Another way to learn the stuff you need to get those promotions is by reading blogs and listening to podcasts. Although they do not dig into as much information (compared to a book), they are completely free and can give you a lot of great actionable suggestions within minutes, allowing you to quickly test what works for you and what doesn’t.
And as you are improving your skills, it’s also a good idea to increase your options. Instead of having to rely on getting a promotion within the company, spend some time and money going to conferences focused on the skills you’re looking to build. Then spend your time getting to know people at those events and do the exact same thing as how you started – by taking them out for coffee and picking their brains. That way, you’re not only getting more ideas for how to improve, but you’re also making yourself known by other people in other companies, which gives you more opportunities to getting the job you want.
Yes, putting your money in a savings account will make you some money. Yes, finding the best credit card will also give you some cash back. Yes, your investments can do 7% in one year. But the big money is made by growing your self worth. Show your company just how valuable you really are, build out those skills and you will naturally be able to get a much higher pay, either at that company or at other companies.
I promise you that you will not find a better way to have more money thank this.