Increase Your Income with 5 Key Strategies
Now that you’ve focused on saving, it’s time to get to work on the second half of the financial freedom equation: increase your income. If you work for someone else, you can ask for a raise. Alternatively, if you own your own business, you may be able to raise your fees or add another product or service. If you are already making more than the market rate, perhaps you could moonlight in a second job to raise your income.
Strategy 1: Ask for a Raise
Let’s start with how to ask for a raise.
First, do a bit of research online and find out what people at similar companies doing your job are earning.
Business magazines publish national salary averages so look at the library or search the internet to determine what the salary range is for someone in your position.
Second, write down a list of all your accomplishments over the past 6 months to one year and type it up in a memo.
You want to build a strong case for why you deserve a raise. Use as many concrete, numeric figures as possible and demonstrate how your performance helped improve the bottom line or the company’s results. Your boss may not remember everything you did. Stick to the positive facts.
Third, request a meeting to discuss your performance in person.
At the meeting, ask for what you want. The person who asks and makes a solid case is much more likely to receive a raise than the person who may be working just as hard, but never states his or her case and asks for a raise. If you’ve done your homework, you can point out that you are a top performer, but only earning the average industry wage. Of course, you had better demonstrate that you are a top performer first!
Before you speak to your manager, practice asking for your raise in front of your bathroom mirror first. You might discover that you look nervous or uncomfortable or make some odd gesture with your hands. Keep practicing until you sound completely confident and cool. If you can practice with a friend or your coach, even better. I find it also helps to get into the right mindset if you write down what you want 15 times a day. For example, “I am earning an annual salary of $_______(fill in the blank).” This will help boost your confidence before you go in and make the request.
If you own your own business and have already cut your expenses, it may be appropriate to raise your fees or rates. To do this you need to be continually adding value to your services so the increase is worth it for your current clients. Alternatively, you may be able to grandfather current clients at your existing rate and raise your fees to all new customers.
4 More Ways to Increase Your Income:
- Moonlighting or working in a second job can be a great way to make extra money while experimenting in a different field. If you are wondering where you will find the time, try turning off the TV and taking a break from social media. The average American watches more than 20 hours of TV a week and 26 hours on social media—enough for a part-time job!
- Better yet, start your own business. What are other creative ways you could increase your income? Perhaps a favorite hobby could net extra income if you got creative and turned it into an online business. The majority of America’s millionaires own their own business. It is one of the fastest ways to create wealth.
- What about leveraging your natural strengths or unique skills? If you are super-organized, then you could start a sideline business as a professional organizer. Or if you speak French, then you could tutor students in the evenings. If you have an interesting story to tell or specialized information to share, you could write a novel or how to book.
- If you are handy, you might consider buying properties to fix up and sell or rent as an option to increase your income.
Take a moment and write down 10 possible ways you could increase your income.
Read the related article, Play for Financial Independence , here.
101 great tips can be found in the book, Coach Yourself to Success, by Talane Miedaner. Published by McGraw-Hill, 2014.