Many of us are making the same money we did in 2007 and there are no bluebirds on the horizon. So, it’s up to us to do something.
If you are happy with your income level and not phased by the way everything has become more expensive in the last year, save time, stop reading, go take a nap. If however, you want to get a leg up and you are willing to do the work, read on – these will help you on your journey.
So here are some things you can do to put yourself on a track headed for higher salaries, higher commissions, and higher rates. No one is going to do it for you, it’s your ship to navigate.
- Wake up early. Did you miss this one already? Don’t worry because we have 8 more things you can do to increase your income – today.
- Practice and improve your speaking skills. Join a Toastmasters club if there is one in your area. If there isn’t one, get a few like minded people together and start one.
One of the most touted things people in business recommend to help others improve their income is to improve their communication and leadership skills. Being able to confidently stand up and speak in public is one of the most visible and recognized skills you can have at your disposal. Being able to present a compelling case to a customer prospect or to your boss as to why they should spend more on you or whatever you are selling likely won’t fly if you are a wallflower or turn to mush when called on to speak. You should instead stand and deliver your message in a clear and compelling manner.
- Sharpen your analytical knife. Whatever your area of interest, become better equipped to perform analysis. Practice reviewing financial statements. Pay attention to the various aspects that experts in the field are looking at. Start with whatever your company or organization pays you. Whether you own it or not, learn to analyze it as an owner does. If you are in a technical area, practice analyzing the problems you are working on as though you were an expert or an owner with a vested interest in the outcome.
- Ask. Ask for the order if you are selling something. Lift the telephone even if it seems to weigh 10, 000 pounds when it is time to ask a customer prospect for an appointment. When facing this person, ask for the order even if it is not highly likely you will get it and the odds are high that you will face rejection. Ask your boss for a raise if you are indeed as valuable as you think you are. Ask for candid feedback if you are not sure. Ask for a more generous severance package if you were wrong. People who tend to avoid asking difficult questions, generally do not fare as well as those who do ask such questions.
- Focus. This is stressed so often in so many places by so many people that it has become cliché. But that doesn’t make it any less valuable. So, like so many others before us have said: focus, focus, focus.
- Spend less. Spending money usually takes time and effort away from making money. It can substantially weaken your power base if you squander your financial resources and leave yourself dependent.
- Increase your documentation habit. Writing or somehow tracking information in a permanent form dramatically decreases the need to remember stuff. It frees up tremendous mental capacity if we don’t need to rely on our memory for everything. In practice, those who document stuff well (from long term goals to short term stuff like contact information and item lists) tend to enjoy increased memory capacity.
- Review meaningful stuff in a meaningful way. Find ways to immediately assess what you are doing so that you can determine what creates value. Then focus on it, and scrap the stuff that does not. Chances are that most of your value creation occurs in a relatively small amount of time. This works well with having good documentation habits.
- Take your best shot first. If you only had a day left to live and wanted to accomplish something meaningful, how would you approach the day? Don’t waste time fumbling around on unimportant or trivial tasks that won’t help you make an impact. Set the unimportant matters aside, focus on what matters and make the best move you can toward accomplishing what you need to accomplish to make your last day count.
Use this same philosophy when it comes to increasing your income. If you have a good customer prospect or some opportunity to demonstrate a high value proposition to your boss or co-workers, don’t wait. Do it now. If it doesn’t work, you might still get another shot. And if it does, then you have just increased your income!
You might have noticed that some of these above things are slanted from a financial perspective. This is not by accident. There is a strong correlation between one’s income and his or her proximity to the financial aspects of the business or job. Owners, lawyers, accountants and top managers who tend to be involved with the financial aspects of life and business, tend to have much higher incomes than people who do not.
Written by Peter Roosen and Tatsuya Nakagawa from Atomica Creative.