earned $115,000 at age 26

The Complete Guide to Earning More Money in Your 20s and 30s

Erik Featured, Make Money 6 Comments

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To improve your financial situation, you can either make more money, or save more money.

While cutting expenses is great, and will probably work for awhile, it will only get you so far. Saving money is not enough to build a financially secure life.  If you’re going to become financially stable, you need to find a way to increase your income.

Crushing your 20s and 30s can lay an incredible foundation for future success. By earning more money in your 20s and 30s, you can create an amazing financial base for your future goals.

Are you looking to make more money? I want to help you grow your income and become financially successful.

If you are an income minded millennial, and a young adult focused on making more money, you NEED to read these tips.

In this post, I will be sharing with you tips to making more money and becoming a high earner in your 20s and 30s. I’m going to look to answer your money making questions and provide you answers on the following topics:

Let’s get started with why focusing on value will help you increase your worth, and allow you to raise your level of pay.

Becoming More Valuable Will Lead to Increasing Your Income

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” – Albert Einstein

Increasing your income, salary, hourly rate, and earnings comes down to a simple variable: value.

If you can create and provide tremendous value and results, you WILL grow your income.

What is value?

make more moneyFor getting paid to do work, value is the monetary and assessed worth of a service.

Becoming more valuable, and increasing the worth of your service go hand in hand. Creating value in yourself, for an employer, or for others is not too complicated, but it can be complex.

How can you create value for others, or an employer?

There are many people we interact with on a daily, weekly, monthly, etc. basis.

With each person we interact with, there is an opportunity to either add to that person’s life, subtract from that person’s life, or leave that person’s life be.

Think about this for a second: how would you feel if you could add to every single person’s life you came across. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? If everyone walked away from interactions with you saying, hmm, I really like that guy/gal.

It’s not going to be easy to always be providing value. However, through becoming a servant and giver, you can receive anything you want in the world.

Value in the business and money making world is a combination of skills, likability and experience.

Becoming a person of value and putting the best version of yourself into the world will lead to a higher wage.

Since graduating college in 2013, I’ve increased my value, and have grown my income from $12 an hour to making over $100,000 a year. In the next section, I’ll share with you how I became more valuable and increased my income by over $100,000 in my 20s.

How I Grew My Income from $12 an Hour to $100,000+ a Year

Making money and increasing my income are two of my overarching goals in my life. If I make more money, I can put more money to work via investments. With more money in investments, I will grow my net worth. Then, with a growing net worth, in the future, I’ll have more options. And with more options, I’ll be able to do anything.

In 2013, I earned $14,800 as a bookkeeper making $12 an hour.

By 2017, I was 25 and earned over $105,000. Then, in 2018, I was 26 and earned over $115,000.

How was I able to grow my income so fast? How was I able to earn over $105,000 at age 25, and make over $115,000 at age 26?

  • First, I increased my value with an advanced degree to secure a $63,000 job at age 23.
  • Second, I added a number of soft and technical skills to further increase my value and worth.
    • Once on the job, I’ve increased my value by becoming a better communicator and problem solver, working for a growing company, and staying hungry and patient.
    • This has resulted in an increase of $40,000 in day job wages.
  • Third, I created multiple income streams for myself, and earned over $1,000 from multiple side hustles.

Below are two tables of my 2017 and 2018 income statements:

how I earned over $105,000 at age 25

2018 earnings at age 26

Both of these tables show the potential of increasing your value over time, and how adding in side hustles can further increase your earnings and income.

While making $100,000 in a year in your 20s or 30s is becoming more common, what sets my story apart is:

  • how I applied various concepts of personal development to achieve my goals over time
  • I’m living in the Midwest (not in Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, or Washington D.C.)
  • and my focus on multiple income streams

Next, I’m going to go more into detail about my story of growing my salary over $40,000 in the last 4 years. Then, we will get to money making tips you can apply in your life to grow your salary and income.

How to Create Massive Value at Your Day Job

Increasing my income at my day job by $40,000 in the last 4 years came through 3 main actions.

The actions which helped me grow my salary were:

  • Providing Value to the Entire Department through creating Efficient Solutions
  • Securing a Job in a Highly Visible Department at a Reputable Company
  • Working on Communication and Leadership Skills

Let’s discuss more in depth each action to help you understand examples for growing your income.

Create Solutions which Benefit Everyone in the Team

“You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit.” – Harry Truman

Some work situations are difficult to navigate. Many people are trying to back stab you, and nickel and dime their way to the top.

Backstabbing is a not a sustainable strategy.

Instead, I look to GIVE, and provide solutions which make processes more efficient. This will help the company save more, allow others to work less on busy work, and more on important work.

In my first year in my current role, we needed numerous codes to run testing on our models. Many of my teammates had their own code for these models, but there was not a unifying set of codes which could be used across all models. In addition, we were interested in adding a few more tests which would require new code.

I was up for the task.

One thing I’m very good at is creating scripts which are usable for multiple situations. I ended up adding 4 different sets of code for the 10 team members over a 3 week period, and became a friend to everyone.

I ended up helping everyone and ended up saving potentially 10-20 hours per person.

Being a servant to your team and wanting to help others is definitely a recipe and strategy to follow to be more successful in your career. I look to serve others and add value in any way I can, and I hope you will as well.

Now, my managers have shown their appreciation for my work through raises and promotions.

Projects like these have definitely helped my case for a higher salary over the past few years.

Work at a Great Company in a Highly Visible Department

My current job is in a department which gets a lot of scrutiny from various regulators at the federal level. The department I work in builds statistical models (different varieties of regressions), and requires skilled programmers and statisticians to create robust models.

In the banking industry over the past 10 years, there has been an increased need for compliance in a variety of areas. Combining the high scrutiny with required programming skills, you get a very specific skill set with few people fitting the mold. This allows for a higher level of salary across the department.

In addition, the company I work for is a Fortune 500 financial institution.

All of these factors can contribute to a higher salary over time.

Working for a company which is not growing, or does not provide you opportunities for more responsibility, will, unfortunately, limit your earning potential over time.

Focus on Communication and the Soft Skills

working on communicationA few years ago, there I was, age 24 and sitting in a room of 30 people presenting our models to regulators.

To my right, I had a few team members – some senior analysts and managers – who weren’t presenting.

I’m not bragging, I’m telling you the raw facts of the situation. I was chosen by the head of our department to present because of my communication skills. I’m able to translate technical concepts into every day speak, and help others understand more easily.

I’ve been working on my communication skills for a number of years – through everyday conversation, by creating this website, by podcasting, and by learning about interactions and conversation over time.

Communication is only possible if the other person understands what you are trying to tell them. Focusing on the other person is of utmost important in communication.

To conclude on this point, through increased responsibility and solid communication skills, I’ve been able to increase my value and increase my salary.

Now, I will share with you 8 important skills you can learn to help grow your value and increase your salary.

10 Important Skills to Learn to Grow Your Salary

To grow your income and increase your wage at a job, there are many skills, thoughts and abilities you can work on and improve upon.

However, through my experience and learning, there are 10 important skills which have lead to my success. Making more money at your job is possible, and some of these skills will be good to learn, while others might not be as important.

These 10 skills are broad, but can certainly be applied to other disciplines and fields of work:

  • Communication
  • Discipline
  • Teamwork
  • Big Picture Thinking
  • Leadership
  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Time Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Job Specific and Technical Skills

Why are each of these important? Below is a description of each skill necessary for increasing your income, and tips on how you can increase your abilities.

Communication

Communication is arguably the most important skill to have and focus on growing in a person’s life and career.

In every day life, we interact with many different people.  If you can’t communicate your thoughts and feelings in a coherent way, you will struggle.

Similarly for your career, written and verbal communication is so critical.

Being able to listen to instructions and ideas, and then go out and execute or instruct others effectively is part of almost every job out there.

As I discussed above in my income story, when I was 24, I found myself in a conference room full of people presenting because I knew the material, was confident in my understanding of the material, and could clearly express what was necessary.

Even though there were senior members in my department around the table who knew the material as well as I did, I was chosen because I was confident and clear in my verbal communication.

I’m a natural introvert, but I’ve improved my communication over time.

A few ways to improve your communication include:

  • Writing in a journal or blog
  • Recording yourself speaking on a topic, start a YouTube channel, or start a podcast
  • Reading books on communication and practice with friends out in the world
  • Joining a local Toastmasters club

Communication is so critical, and it’s essential for success in the world.

Discipline through Consistent Efforts

Success is the culmination of days, weeks, months, and years of work.

Being a servant at work for a month, and then taking a month off will not lead to increased pay. Working on yourself and taking a break won’t lead to self improvement.

Showing up day after day, week after week, and month after month, will lead to getting what you are looking for: more responsibility, more knowledge, and more pay.

Consistency and discipline are things we as humans know what to do, but sometimes lack.

Consistent daily efforts added up over time WILL lead to success.

Implementing a strong work ethic and mindset geared towards doing a little bit each day can get you on the path to increasing your skills and income.

Teamwork

Being able to work on a team is another skill employers want.

Being an effective team player means being able to work with people from diverse backgrounds to best get the job done.

A good team player is reliable, genuinely committed to the task at hand, is respectful of others and is always ready to help.

A team player doesn’t care about getting credit, being right or “winning” – they only care about how to best get the job done.  Doesn’t that sound like an employee you’d want to hire?  😉

Big Picture Thinking

Big picture thinking is a rare skill. If you want to connect with your manager at a higher level, big picture thinking is a must.

Big picture thinking is the ability to take in many different pieces of information, understand how all of the pieces of information work together, and then provide a strategy to produce a favorable outcome.

Maybe, you have a strategic role that requires big picture thinking and you are fine in this area.

But, many people are still in the lower levels of an organization. It’s a difficult place to practice big picture thinking on a daily basis if your primary job functions are relatively static or routine.

However, through playing strategy games, learning about strategy, and taking a step back from the detailed processes can lead to improved big picture thinking.

Big thinking can bring big results!

Leadership

As with being a big picture thinker, leadership is a quality many want but few posses.

But leadership is an essential skill to have in business, because leaders:

  1. Create an inspiring vision of the future
  2. Motivate and inspire people to engage with that vision
  3. Manage delivery of the vision
  4. Coach and build the team so that it is more effective at achieving the vision.

A true leader is one that encourages us to do our best, helps us when we need it, is honest, trustworthy and confident.  A leader knows when to push and when to pull back.  They inspire us to do our best and their vision takes us where we want to go.

A good leader is indispensable to any organization.

Sales and Marketing

Even if you don’t work on the revenue side of a business, learning some sales and marketing strategies can benefit you in a few ways:

  • Getting buy in on an idea or project from your managers and co-workers
  • Raising awareness effectively of a new project or feature
  • Selling your abilities and skills to get paid your worth

If you understand sales and marketing, you can apply sales concepts into your work and watch as other people start to buy into what you are saying.

Learning sales and marketing can be done through reading different books, watching videos, or trying to sell a product yourself!

As a friend once told me, without sales, you have no business! With sales, anything is possible!

Customer Service

At work, your customers could literally be the customers of the business, but they also could include your managers, regulators, auditors, other members of the organization, or anyone you come into contact with on a regular basis.

When you walk into a store, how do you like to be treated?

I’m guessing you’d like to be treated with respect, to have your questions answered in a clear and concise manner, and get on with your day stress-free.

Again, this isn’t rocket science, but if you don’t have much experience, start trying to become more friendly to people around you. Once you are on the job, you can continue these practices.

Likability is a huge component in raising your value as an employee or worker. Working on your customer service skills will lead to increased likability, and will help with increasing your pay.

Time Management and Planning

Meeting deadlines and expectations is a necessity in the world – but some people still don’t prioritize time management as much as they should.

Growing up, time management was stressed to me as important, but my parents seemed to dictate what I did and when around their schedule.

When you look to increase your income, all of a sudden your life becomes a balancing act between your day job, your side hustles, your personal development, your family, your friends, exercising, and relaxation time.

Being able to balance these things requires higher level thinking (something we just talked about), as well as the ability to prioritize and execute on your plans.

Creativity, Design and Problem Solving

A skill listed on many job listings is problem solving.

In jobs which are straightforward and grunt-ish, it’s very difficult to work on problem solving on the job.

However, for business owners and managers, thinking outside the box is a must. If someone can help solve a problem, they are instantly more valuable to you.

A few pieces of problem solving include creativity and designing a solution for the situation at hand.

Learning how to problem solve can come through playing games, doing puzzles, and studying strategies for problem solving.

Becoming more creative and working on your design skills can come from TRYING things. If you want to be UNIQUE and ORIGINAL, you need to triple your output.

It took Thomas Edison 1,000 attempts to make a light bulb. Do you think you’ll get it right on the first try? I know my first attempt at creativity was a fail…

Becoming a better problem solver will lead to increased value and over time, more pay.

Job Specific Knowledge and Technical Skills

The 9 skills I’ve listed above can help in many situations, but ultimately, the job you do will have some job specific knowledge and skills required.

The knowledge needed will depend on your job. This is obvious, but worth mentioning.

If you want to be a doctor, you’ll need to go to medical school. For a lawyer, law school.

For other roles, like becoming a electrician, carpenter, or plumber, a trade school, getting the appropriate certifications or becoming an apprentice can help you learn the necessary skills.

In many office roles, programming and the ability to make processes efficient is a great skill to add to your talent stack.

The Microsoft suite has the ability to automate processes with code (VBA) or with features (mail merge and Excel functions). You can learn how to use Microsoft Excel better with a site like Excel Easy, and learn pivot tables, VBA, or just basic functions to help make things more efficient.

Something I did this past quarter was automate reporting for a manager in our department. She was spending 10+ hours formatting charts and tables after manually copying and pasting in data (what a headache!). I added a few buttons to the Excel sheet, wrote some VBA code, and now, the process takes less than 5 minutes once the data is right.

If you don’t use Microsoft products, then learning how to code might make sense.

At my day job, I use SAS, Python and Javascript – these I either learned on the job, or at home by using sites such as Code Academy or learning from YouTube. R, Java, C, C++, Ruby, or C# might make sense to learn depending on your goals and wants.

Over time, adding new skills to your talent stack will lead to increased earnings. These skills can come from certifications, doing side projects, or getting more formal education.

Create Multiple Income Streams to Increase Your Earnings

Unfortunately, increasing your income at a day job can only happen so fast. There are budget restrictions, managerial approvals, and advancement structures which get in the way of growing your wage.

For example, in many jobs, there are strict time tables for advancement. After 2 years, you can become a senior analyst. With 5 years of experience, a manager. After 8 years, a senior manager.

Even if you have the ability to become a manager after 3 years, your pay and responsibility will be capped.

Fortunately, through side hustling and making money on the side, you can grow your earnings this month!

Side hustling is tough and not for everyone. However, if you are looking to grow your income fast, then side hustling is a must!

Below, I’ve created a list of side hustle ideas for your to possibly start to make more money this month.

Thousands of Side Hustle Ideas to Make More Money

There are thousands of ways to make money in this world.

Finding a side hustle which utilizes your existing knowledge is a great way to make money.

Below, I’ve listed a number of skills and interests which can be monetized. Maybe one of these will fall in line with your skills and you can start to work to monetize your life.

I hope that with the list below, you will have some ideas for earning some extra cash.

  • Tutor Students
  • Help with Yard Work
  • Edit Audio or Videos for Others
  • Build Furniture or Make Household Items
  • Referee Sporting Events
  • Start a Business
  • Help Others with their Businesses
    • Bookkeeping
    • Web Design
    • Social Media Marketing
    • Content Creation
    • Graphic Design
  • Rent Out Your Spare Things
  • Sell Your Stuff and Become a Merchant
  • Help Move People Out of their House
  • Edit Resumes
  • Invest in Income Producing Assets
  • Deliver Things in Your Car or Bike

Below is a description of each of these side hustle ideas. Maybe one of them will catch your interest and be the side hustle for you!

There are so many ways to make money in this world!

Tutor Students

If you have knowledge in math, writing, science, or history, you could become a tutor for high school or college students.

Many students need help with catching up to other students, or getting to the next level, and tutoring can help fill those gaps.

Help With Yard Work

Many people don’t like doing yard work – especially when it’s just snowed ten inches and they don’t want to go outside!

Getting outside and shoveling or mowing people’s lawns can earn you a decent amount of money for just a few hours of work.

When I was younger, I mowed 3 yards a week and was paid $20 for each lawn. For $60, I worked about 3 hours a week. Again, I was able to get some exercise and help out in the community. If you can handle some extreme conditions, mowing, raking leaves, or shoveling could be for you.

Edit Audio or Video

Video and audio quality is so important for businesses looking to attract views and listens online.

If you know how to do sound quality, video production, or sound mixing, you could secure a fun side gig helping others make amazing videos and sound clips!

Build Furniture, Do Repairs, or Make DIY Household Items

If you are handy, you could custom build things for others, or help friends with repair projects for pay.

Maybe you are someone who is DIY obsessed. If you love doing crafts, you could make custom crafts and sell these at local craft fairs or open an online store.

There are so many things people need help with around their house, and also, people love custom and handmade products.  You could fill a need with your skills and abilities.

Referee Sporting Events

When I was in high school, I refereed elementary school basketball each weekend during the Winter.

For an hour of work I got paid $15 a game, and got some exercise as well.

If you love sports, this could be an easy money maker for you – a few hours a week in exchange for some exercise and helping out your community.

Help Others with Their Businesses

Are you good with Excel or have a knack for social media? Business owners are paying top dollar for virtual assistants, marketers, and other helpers to grow their business.

Offering your skills for a certain hourly percentage could bring in some serious cash.

If you want to work online, I’d recommend looking at Fiverr, Upwork, or Freelancer.

Below are 5 side hustle ideas for helping small businesses:

  • Web Design
  • Bookkeeping 
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content Management
  • Graphic Design

Website Design

make money on the side

Every website that is created on the internet utilizes HTML, CSS, and Javascript to present data and content to the end-user.

For many websites, the goal is to sell the user on some product (information, a physical or digital product, or a service).

There is a lot of technical information you need to know, but website design is a skill not many small business owners have. With that said, if you are a small business and you don’t have a website, good luck!

Small business owners are always looking for an edge over their competition. A nice looking and functional website can be the difference between a deal and a lost deal.

Web design could be a great side hustle for you if you enjoy programming, design or marketing, as these skills all lead to a great looking website!

Bookkeeping

When I was in college, I worked as a bookkeeper for a hotel management firm. It wasn’t sexy work, but it was extremely necessary for the business.

All small businesses need to have tax records, receipts, and documentation on their various financial activities, and many small businesses owners do NOT want to do this work.

It is tedious, it is a grind, but it is completely necessary and really only requires organization, data entry skills, and some finance and accounting knowledge.

Bookkeeping would be a great side hustle to get into for someone who is currently, or is looking to go towards, working in corporate finance or accounting in the future.

Social Media Management

Similar to websites, social media is another one of those must haves for small business owners. If you do not have a social presence, then the business brand will potentially look less desirable.

There are many different social platforms, each with a unique strategy and feel for connecting with potential customers and users.

The main social media platforms I will focus on discussing here are Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Managing the social media accounts for a business involves coming up with a strategy for engagement, scheduling out posts and content on the different platforms, interacting with followers and potential customers, messaging any potential partners, managing paid advertising campaigns, and executing on the engagement plan.

Many small business owners want to focus in on what they are good at, and social media might not be their expertise.

Roles that could come from this idea are Facebook ads managers, Google Adwords Manager, and Twitter and Instagram profile building.

Social media management could be a great opportunity for someone who is talented at marketing.

Small Business Content Management

Going back again to how important a strong website is, content is king when it comes to showing your brand is knowledgeable and worth trying.

Many small business owners are not experts in writing content, or determining which content is best for their audience.

A small business content manager is responsible for helping manage the existing content on the website (optimizing and cleaning up old posts), ensuring new web pages are strong, and communicating with all authors, editors and social media managers to make sure the message is consistent across platforms.

Some of the roles that come out of this idea could be website manager (webmaster), content site auditor, editor, and writer.

If you are good at writing, or enjoy some of the technical aspects of editing and formatting, content management could be a great side hustle for you.

Graphic Design

Every website needs a logo, every social media platform is image heavy, and how well printed and digital content is received is based on how visually appealing it is.

If you are good at graphic design (either in Canva, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.), helping small businesses with their image creation could be a decent way to earn extra money on the side of your day job.

I’ve paid $20 for logos in the past, and now that I’ve also created a few logos myself, I could imagine myself being able to do 1-2 logos an hour.

If you can get involved with managing multiple pieces of the business and become responsible for a number of designs, this side hustle could easily scale up to a handful of hours per month.

There are so many ways to help small businesses out. Searching and finding what you will like to do most, and how you can be helpful can be done through communication and networking.

Rent Out Your Spare Things

Over the past few years, I’ve made over $40,000 in rental income from house hacking. In July 2015, I bought a house with two spare bedrooms. Each of these rooms I rented out for $600+, and now, have made over $40,000 over time.

House hacking, the act of renting out your spare rooms to monthly renters, or to people using a service such as AirBnb, can be a great income generator. If you aren’t using those rooms, why can’t someone else use them and pay you for it, too?

There are also ways to rent out your car and other things, like appliances, storage, and parking.

These rental options are great since the incoming money is passive income once set up!

Become a Merchant and Sell Your Stuff

Over the years, people tend to accumulate stuff – I know I have. This stuff sometimes will end up sitting on a shelf in your basement or closet for years, never to be used.

Why do we hold on to these things?

Selling this stuff will free up space, and will put cash in your pocket.  It’s a no brainer.

Don’t have stuff to sell?  Buying under-priced things at garage and estate sales and flipping them on eBay has proven quite profitable for many people.

Becoming a merchant sounds intimidating. However, it can certainly be done by going to thrift shops and finding under-priced items you can flip for a profit.

Start a Business

Coming up with something simple to sell isn’t that hard when you fully immerse yourself in the product development and brainstorming process. Satisfy the needs of others and you’ll be able to make money.

There is no guarantee of making money when starting a business, but it is a possibility if you have the right product, connection and skills.

Help Move People Out of their Homes

If you are physically up for it, moving people out of their homes is a great way to pick up some extra cash. It’s definitely hard work and not for the faint of heart.

It does pay quite well though – in college, I had a few gigs with my friends moving people, and we charged $15 an hour.  After the tip, it was closer to $25 an hour!

Invest in Income Producing Assets

Investing in income producing assets should help boost your income.  DIY minded people who are handy can buy real estate in a nice location, fix up whatever is necessary, and rent the property for a monthly income.

Real estate is just one of the many income producing assets a person can get involved in – and the hours associated with this side hustle is typically quite low.

Deliver Things in Your Car or Bike

Driving for Uber or Lyft, or making deliveries of food on the way home or on the way to your destination for Doordash or Postmates are all effective ways to multitask and earn some money.

There are so many ways to earn extra money through hustling on the side of your main occupation or job.

Do any of them seem interesting to you?  Start with one or two and see how it goes – you may find yourself earning enough income to one day quit your day job!

As I mentioned above, there are so many ways to increase your income and earnings through side hustling!

Real World Examples of Side Hustlers and Side Jobs

On The Mastermind Within, I’ve had the pleasure and honor to feature some amazing side hustlers in my Side Hustle Spotlight series.

These side hustlers are making great money on the side of their day job. Here is a list of the side hustle interviews I’ve featured so far:

Hopefully, these amazing interviews give you inspiration to start your own side hustle (and if you do, I’d love to hear about your side hustle!!)

Now, I have a few common income questions which I will answer before wrapping this post up.

Do Advanced Degrees or Certifications Matter for Growing Income?

Advanced degrees are quite valuable, for both personal development and career enrichment. By obtaining a graduate degree, you can expect the following:

  • Personal growth
    • You should grow intellectually, but through your experiences you might also enhance your emotional capabilities.
  • Wealth
    • On average – across employment fields and U.S. state lines – Graduate degree-holders earn about 30 percent more than workers with merely a bachelor’s degree. (I was able to increase my salary $20,000 through my graduates studies!)
  • Connections
  • Recognition
    • Those with graduate degrees often enjoy higher social status than others. Master degrees and Ph.D.s are prestigious and earn praise and respect as a result.

At the same time, you don’t necessarily NEED an advanced degree for higher income. It really is dependent on your GOALS and your dream job.

Some of the most successful people I know didn’t go to college. Other successful people I know have multiple degrees.

Real world experience and knowledge are what will make you valuable at the end of the day. If you can provide enough value, you can do whatever you want, and make whatever wage you want.

If an advanced degree makes sense for you, go for it! At the same time, you could reach your goals without one.

How Important is a Growth Mindset for Making More Money?

growth mindsetPersonally, I try to live my life with an abundance mindset. Living with a growth mindset can lead to amazing results.

Life is not zero sum: You can win, and I can win.

With an abundance mindset, I believe I can do anything in the world, become anything, and have anything.

With an abundance mindset, I know that you can improve our financial situation through increasing our income – there’s unlimited potential on the upside for income.

Provide value in places you haven’t provided value before and you will be compensated.

With a little more money each month, you’ll be on to bigger and better things.

There are billions and millions of dollars out there in the world today – do you think it’s possible we can skim a little bit off the top and make our financial lives a little better than the day before?

What Kind of Company Should I Work For to Increase My Income Potential?

Let’s be honest here: some situations have no ceiling and no chance for advancement. Part of emotional intelligence and being aware of your situation will allow you to realize this and get the heck out of there.

In my first role, I saw that it would take a while for me to gain the necessary skills to get to the next level. Even though they valued my work and I created some cool automation and Excel reporting, I didn’t fit in with the group’s vision.

I started looking after my first year, and found a job that had room for growth and the ability to advance in a shorter period of time.

During my second summer, I mentored an intern and this year, I’m leading a group of roughly 15 in learning Python and building multiple pieces of code to compare to our current production runs.

In my first job, I wouldn’t have gotten either of these opportunities. These opportunities have lead to more responsibility and higher pay.

If you value having a higher wage, then getting into a situation with opportunities for advancement, training and responsibility will be very beneficial for growth.

Next, I want to share with you a few books which have been beneficial for my income growth.

Resources to Further Your Personal Development for Income Growth

“Your level of success is rarely exceeded by your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.”

Education doesn’t not stop after high school. Becoming a successful person and growing your earnings will require personal development.

Below are 7 books which have made a profound impact on my career growth, and have allowed me to increase my value and earn more money.

Skill with People, by Les Giblin

Skill with PeopleYour skill with people determines the quality of your social life, your business life and your family life. 

Interacting with other people is extremely important in today’s world. Communication is the #1 skill many employers and people look for (we discussed this above!)

To be able to navigate a variety of social situations – disagreements, negotiations, friendly conversations – is a skill we can all work on.

Skill with People, by Les Giblin, provides you with actionable advice to help you in your interactions with others.

Skill with People goes over many practical tips to dealing with people, ranging from talking to people, to making people feel important, to critiquing some successfully, to making a good impression.

Check out Skill with People.

The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson

the slight edgeHumans are creatures of habit.

Every day, we make simple decisions: what to eat, should we exercise, should I call my parents, should I read my book, etc. Are the decisions you are making helping your life? Or are they detrimental to your life? Are they bringing you closer to your goals? Or are you still a long time away from achieving those goals?

The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson, walks us through a strategy to achieve success in anything we want in life. Do you want to lose weight?

Well, first, you have to start. You have to be consistent. Small and simple daily disciplines will lead to massive success and happiness.

The Slight Edge will help you get to your goals and dreams.

Check out The Slight Edge.

Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman

Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman

What matters more for success, IQ or EQ?

Everyone knows that high IQ is no guarantee of success, happiness, or virtue. Until the book Emotional Intelligence came out, we could only guess why.

Through vivid examples, Goleman delineates the five crucial skills of emotional intelligence. Goleman shows how they determine our success in relationships, work, and physical well-being. What emerges is an entirely new way to talk about being smart.

The best news is that “emotional literacy” is not fixed early in life. Every parent, every teacher, every business leader, and everyone interested in a more civil society, has a stake in this compelling vision of human possibility.

Emotional intelligence is a piece of communication, the most important skill for success. Learning emotional intelligence is critical for increasing your value over time.

Check out Emotional Intelligence.

Stealing the Corner Office, Brendan Reid

stealing the corner officeWhy does your co-worker who seemingly does less work get the promotion? What skills and strategies are they using which are helping progress their careers?

In Stealing the Corner Office: The Winning Career Strategies They’ll Never Teach You in Business School by Brendan Reid explores the dynamics of career advancement in Corporate America.

Stealing the Corner Office is a fantastic guide for advancing through the ranks in Corporate America. Reid, a seasoned executive, offers a collection of controversial yet effective tactics and strategies for people who want to learn the real secrets for moving up the corporate ladder.

Check out Stealing the Corner Office.

How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

One of the most influential books on personal development and human relations, How to Win Friends and Influence People is a must read.

For more than sixty years,How to Win Friends And Influence People has carried thousands of people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.

In How to Win Friends And Influence People, you will learn:

  • fundamental techniques in handling people
  • ways to make people like you
  • tactics to win people to your way of thinking
  • strategies to change people without arousing resentment

Check out How to Win Friends And Influence People.

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, by Chip & Dan Heath

decisive
Decisive-How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work, by Chip and Dan Heath, is all about improving your decision making.

In Decisive, you will learn about the villians and common pitfalls many people struggle with in making decisions, and a framework to enable better decision making.

These villains are:

  • Narrow Framing – People naturally view a problem as “this or that”
  • Confirmation Bias – People naturally will seek information that support their beliefs and this tends to warp their understanding and perspective
  • Short-Term Emotion – People are influenced by emotions that will fade over time
  • Overconfidence – People generally will have too much faith in their predictions

Decisive will help you get past these villians and make smarter decisions.

Check out Decisive.

The Personal MBA, by Josh Kaufman

the personal mbaWhen Josh Kaufman was in his undergrad years in college, he had secured a management position at Proctor and Gamble by his second year. This position was typically reserved for newly graduated MBA’s.

After graduating from college, he considered going to get an MBA, but decided against it. He realized the return on investment would not be great – he already had a job that usually required an MBA. Instead, he set out to pursue self-education in business.

By reading and studying over 100 books in finance, accounting, management, people skills, psychology, etc., he was able to accumulate a vast amount of knowledge.

Through his learning, he created The Personal MBA, a book which covers all of the topics an MBA would cover for a fraction of the cost.

Check out The Personal MBA.

With these resources, you can learn and apply your amazing knowledge to reach your full potential, and earn more money.

Increase Your Income and Welcome Endless Possibilities

Over the past few years, there have certainly been many times where I was frustrated with my level of income, or lack of side income.

In 2013, my income was $20,000 – high for still being in school, but not where I wanted it to be.

In 2015, my income was $63,000 – high for 22 years old, but not where I wanted it to be.

I wanted more, and wanted it in those moments of frustration.

What I realized though is no matter how much I wanted something, unless I internalized those emotions and did something about it, nothing would happen.

I started focusing on what I could control: my thoughts and actions.

A few years later, I’ve improved my financial situation through improving myself, and have increased my income.

Reading books and blogs, watching videos, talking with successful people, learning, and then applying and trying things in the real world. All of these actions have been critical to my growth.

What did I learn about and then go out and apply? How to communicate more effectively, how to think a little bit bigger, and how to be consistent. I learned new programming languages, learned some marketing and web design, and joined different communities who needed help with different tasks.

Showing up is half the battle – I could have just as easily stayed at home, been content in my current role, and just met expectations. But, instead I made the choice to push the envelope and become better. But it wasn’t a one time choice; rather, a daily, weekly, and monthly choice.

Doing a little bit each and every day is so critical to working your way towards a higher income.

It will take time – patience will be required.

However, once you gain new skills, increase the level of your current skills, and provide value to the right people, the sky is the limit 🙂

I hope this post has been inspiring for you as an income minded millennial pursuing a higher salary.

Please let me know if you have any questions and how I can help you on your income growth journey!

How to increase salary. Six-figure salary. Make more money.

How to increase salary. Six-figure salary. Make more money.

How to increase salary. Six-figure salary. Make more money.

How to increase salary. Six-figure salary. Make more money.

How to increase salary. Six-figure salary. Make more money.

How to increase salary. Six-figure salary. Make more money.

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Comments 6

  1. This is seriously a damn great post. So many great thoughts and ideas. Control what you can control. Let good luck happen to you because of the work you put in (luck, timing, etc. usually means IT’S NOT LUCK!). People see the big promotion, but they don’t see all the sweat equity that was built over literally years. And stay humble, but always hungry.

    My only comment would be the expansion of “Providing Value to the Entire Department through creating Efficient Solutions” to Providing Value to the Entire Company.

    What other areas around the company can utilize the amazing process, tool, widget, etc. that we just built? And be willing to help them. How can we utilize the amazing process that Joe in the department next door just built? And be willing to listen to them. It goes both ways and people notice when you are a genuine team player for the good of the organization.

    -TFG

    1. Post
      Author

      Thank you the FIRE Guy for the comment! That is a great point you bring up, and I’ll make an edit in this post above.

      It also ties to thinking bigger picture and looking to add value where value was not there before.

      But yes, depending on your department or organization, there could be huge opportunities which you could tap into for a successful outcome. 🙂

      Have a great day!!

    1. Post
      Author
  2. This is amazing. I’m bookmarking this for anyone who asks me about these topics, this is such good advice.

    Becoming more valuable to your company is certainly a huge boon. Finding high visibility roles and killing it is a surefire way to make yourself much more valuable.

    These are all the approaches I take that have helped me be successful. I am starting to even get freelance contracts I have to turn down because I don’t want to over commit. These could probably bring in even more but it’s important to say No sometimes. I have 2 kids and so I am very intentional with how I use my evenings and weekends. I split time about evenly between paid contracts and then my own side projects. It would be worse to say Yes then do worse work because you’re not focused. I always do one contract at a time. It makes it easy to stay focused and I do quality work that pays off in spades for future opportunities.

    In 2018, I made enough in side work that it covered my kids’ daycare. 2019 is going well too though I toned it down to spend time with my second baby. I’ve still done 4 pieces of paid content since January so I’m still happy with that. If you can become good at making compelling content or being a great creator, it’s kind of awesome how much you can get paid to do it.

    In my career, next month I’m looking at a promotion and move to a high visibility team where I’ll be working on a site millions of people use every day. Will I be able to make a big impact? Heck yeah! It’ll be a challenging and rewarding role so I’m pretty excited.

    1. Post
      Author

      KR, wow thank you for the high praise and comment 🙂

      Last night, I just finished up the book Launch by Jeff Walker. In the final chapter, he talks about how as you start to become more valuable, you HAVE to say NO to things… and that is so true (and sounds like you understand this, which is great!!)

      I’ve always had a tough time saying no, but now that I’m a few years older and (hopefully) wiser, I’ve learned it’s okay to say no!

      Congrats on he promotion and hope that the move brings abundance into your life 🙂

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