I completed my Masters in Business Administration in 2011. Of course, the next step was getting a good job. Back then, startups were not the sensation like they are now. So I chose to work as a marketing executive at a medium sized enterprise.
What followed were a few years filled with frustration. At the end of each month, I got an SMS that a decent salary had been deposited in my account. But I could distinctly feel the absence of something.
I switched jobs. This time, I moved to a conglomerate. On paper, I got a thirty percent pay hike. But in hand, it translated to less than fifteen percent. Nobody was ready to pay me any more since that was the ‘standard’ for someone with my experience.
Frustrated, I quit the corporate and started working for myself. Yes, the first year was tough – I earned less than half of what I earned in the corporate. My mother kept telling me to join a company again. But in one year, I was making double of what I earned in the corporate.
How did it happen?
Looking back, I realized that while working in the corporate, I focused on doing things that would make me earn more – appeasing the boss for a good increment, giving into office politics, doing the same mundane tasks repeatedly.
But while working for myself, I focused on developing the ability to earn more.
It’s likely that with my current skills, I will earn even more in the corporate. But it also will stifle my ability to increase my earning potential.
How does increasing your potential to earn more benefit you?
- People will readily pay you the amount you demand for services rendered
- Organizations will be keen to hire you for your skills, leaving you in a more powerful position on the negotiation table
- You will have more sources of income than just one
- Your expertise will be recognized, and appreciated, by others.
Here are some steps to increase your earning potential, and subsequently, your earning:
- Read good books
Reading self improvement articles is a good habit. But good books provide far more insightful and well-researched knowledge, which proves beneficial in the long run. Read books on investment, human behavior, biographies, spiritualism, and diverse topics. Over time, you will feel your knowledge, and self-confidence, evolve. All successful people are voracious readers.
- Focus on depth
In today’s world of 140-characters and Facebook updates, we consume information in breadth and not depth. But you develop expertise about a subject when you go deeper into it. So first work on developing your focus. And then, pick a subject of your choice and go in depth into it. Online courses at really low cost, and blog posts from influencers in the field are useful in helping you develop your skills and expertise.
Merely possessing knowledge about a subject is not good enough. You cannot preach something, or become good at it, unless you experience how it functions firsthand. Contextual learning is important to imbibe a concept deep inside your mind. Hence, to learn a concept, practice it. Work on an idea that you develop. After that, take up some freelance projects (it will also increase your income). The more you practice, the better you get. With this comes expertise, and the potential to earn more.
We have been taught about a textbook formula to earn more money. Study hard, work hard and become successful. Millions of people tried following it. Yet, just a handful achieved success. Were those handful more fortunate? Probably. But a key trait which differentiated them from the rest of us is their desire to keep advancing their knowledge and abilities. That, in turn, increased their ability to earn more.
Focus on money. It is important to enjoy a quality life today. But increase your earning potential so that you live a happier life. Do this not necessarily by choosing the opportunities that pay the most, but the ones that cause you to grow the most.
Vishal is the founder of Aryatra, a venture to help individuals improve their productivity and live more fulfilled lives. He also is a digital marketing consultant helping businesses generate revenue from their online presence.
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