There are two ways to build wealth: you can earn more or spend less. However, there is a limit to how much you can save after paying for essentials, which can leave you with only the option of raising income to improve your finances.
An employer controls your wages, in relation to your education and experience. As a result, boosting pay can mean finding additional income streams through a second job, a side gig, or other means. The increasing popularity of a “gig” economy creates ample opportunities to earn extra money. Today, you can work from home and have more control over your schedule, without changing your primary source of income.
The following strategies can help increase your wages, allowing you to pay off debt faster, increase retirement savings, and meet other financial priorities.
Focus on Your Skills
Online resources enable millions of people to earn part-time wages independent of traditional employment. Whether you have skills in technology fields such as programming or web design, or hard skills such as sewing or woodworking, there is an opportunity to parlay your skillset into income. Websites such as Fiverr connect skilled workers with individuals and businesses in need of services such as translation, web design or video production. Sites such as Etsy provide a marketplace to sell hand designed goods including jewelry, clothing, or woodworking.
Independent work allows you to build a schedule around your full-time job, earn money in your free time, unlike a retail position, which requires you show up to work at certain times.
If you can’t identify marketable skills, or do not want to invest the time and money into promoting your services, you can join companies such as ridesharing, meal delivery, or house sharing options to increase income. The sharing economy can include driving others in your personal vehicle or renting out your home, car, tools, or yard equipment.
Put a Plan in Place
The simplest strategy always begins with a plan. Failure to plan leads you to the path of least resistance, which rarely takes you where you want to go.
Give yourself a specific set of instructions to follow. Include both big picture success and daily actions you must take to reach your larger goal. Breaking items down into small actionable steps can increase your rate of success. It is not necessary to create a path from scratch; you can follow others who have reached the goals you want to achieve.
One effective method is to develop a task sheet and update it weekly. Each task completed will lead you closer to your goal of higher income. Sharing your plan with others is another strategy, which can significantly increase the rate of success.
Set Your Priorities
In 1906 Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to illustrate the unequal distribution of wealth in Italy. Through his observations, he found 20% of the population held 80% of the country’s wealth. Now known as the 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle. Use this principle to prioritize and manage your daily workload.
In most cases, 20% of your efforts are responsible for 80% of your outcomes. Dissect your to-do list to focus on the most productive 20%, and cross off tasks that do not add value or contribute to your primary goals.
When you overbook your time, by taking on too many menial projects, you will not have the energy to capitalize on high-value opportunities.
Learn to Say No
Your time and skills have value. Harvey MacKay, a businessman, author, and Universal Uclick columnist said, “Time is free, but it’s priceless… Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.”
No one else will value your time the way you should. When promoting your skills charge a fair price. If activities hold little value and do not lead you toward your long-term goals, be willing to walk away.
It can be challenging to say no, and easy to invest a lot of time in a project that does not increase your skills or provide enough pay to justify the commitment. The more you respect your time, the more others will too.
Use Failure to Your Advantage
Babies do not immediately run after they stand. They take a step, fall, get back up, and try again. Increasing income will also include one or more false starts. Instead of allowing mistakes to discourage you, use failure as a teacher. Evaluate each step of the process and discover what worked and what didn’t. Then make adjustments and try again. A scientific approach to testing and moving forward is the secret. Failure is not a failure unless you quit.
Become a Leader
Earning income outside of a regular job requires leadership and capitalizing on opportunities that come your way. It is not necessary to have an abundance of capital to get started with independent employment. In many cases, you just need one or two items and some basic skills. For example, to be a graphic designer, you need knowledge and a laptop. To drive for Uber, you need a reliable car and a driver’s license. To rent a room through Airbnb, you only need a spare bedroom. Look for chances to initiate and grow your income.
To be successful, you must act successfully. Associate with successful people and read books from successful authors. Opportunities can come through these associations.
Increasing income is not a one size fits all prospect. Each person has different time constraints, skills, and capabilities. In some cases, you can increase your education to find a better position, other times you might negotiate higher pay within your existing company. For others, the answer is creating a side income that is flexible enough to maneuver around current work and family demands.