Everybody wants to get rich but very few ever get there. Why is that? Of course, somebody earning minimum isn’t likely to ever build a significant amount of wealth; that’s just how the world works, but for most people with a middle-class income, retiring rich is very attainable. If you make less than $50,000 per year, the best financial advice anyone can give you is to figure out a way to earn more money. If you earn more than that, this advice is for you.
Get A Raise By Providing More Value Than The Next Guy
Sounds simple, right? Whatever you do, whether you work for The Man or you’re self-employed, you’ve got to provide more value than the person next to you. Being good at what you do just isn’t enough if everybody else is working harder. Sure, you can earn a decent salary working 40 hours a week, but how likely are you to get ahead, to end up a VP in the corner office? If everybody else is putting in 40 hours per week, you’ve got to put in 45. If everybody else is going the extra mile, you’ve got to go two.
It might sound like I’m advocating a poor work-life balance, and I am. But if you want to be wealthy, you have to make sacrifices, especially early in your career. There will be plenty of time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor later on.
Shamelessly Promote Yourself (But Not In An Obnoxious Way)
What do the top people in almost every field have in common? Talent? Maybe, but not necessarily. Ambition? Probably. Connections? Likely. But here’s something top performers usually have in common that almost nobody ever talks about: they are shameless self-promoters.
Promoting one’s own accomplishments seems too much like bragging to many, but it’s really not. If you did a great job landing a big account, make sure the higher-ups know about it. If you had an idea for the company website that increased sales by 15%, say so. It’s not bragging if it’s true and if you don’t speak up, people will tend to attribute the victory to whomever is the most visible person on the project (usually the boss). Don’t let somebody else get credit for your hard work.
How to do this without coming across as obnoxious? It’s really not as difficult as it sounds and there are a ton of great resources on the web for how to do that sort of thing. Study up and apply what you learn. It’s an investment that will pay huge dividends for the rest of your life.
Cultivate Alternate Income Streams
In this economy, I simply cannot stress enough how important it is to have more than one stream of income. Two working adults is all well and good, but ideally you should have a third or even fourth stream of income that’s completely unrelated to what you do for a living.
Most, though not all, people have the capacity to own and operate a side business in addition to their day job. Perhaps you have expertise in a hobby other people would pay for (think golf or musical instrument lessons), are hand with home repairs (think rental properties), or are good at marketing (think ecommerce website). If you think about it, there’s almost certainly something you’re good at and could turn into an additional stream of income.
Even just $10,000 per year in extra income, if invested wisely, could make a huge impact on your living standard in retirement. What can you come up with?