Not to bum anyone out, but only 9% of Americans earn six figures a year.
With the cost of living continuously rising in the US, this number is way too low. Like, way too low. Plus right now inflation is growing, making each dollar you earn less impactful.
I want you to be making six figures because that’s what Americans need to be earning to live a life free of financial stress in most states. And I’ll tell you from personal experience; earning six figures a year helped lessen my financial anxiety, turbo charged my savings and investments, and made my life easier.
If you’re supporting yourself, family members, trying to save, invest, pay off debt, and enjoy a few of the things that make life fun, you need six figures in income. Housing is expensive as hell, food prices are going up, college is getting pricier, and since Covid is now a part of our daily lives forevermore, some of these changes in price are likely permanent.
How to Earn Six Figures a Year
The path for you to earn six figures a year is going to look different for each person, but I bet it’ll involve these four steps:
Let’s break these each down a bit so you can harness each point to make it rain in your own life.
Job hopping is looked down on by older generations, but guess what? The “work at one company for 40 years, get a pension, and earn enough annually to buy a house and send your kids to college” job doesn’t really exist anymore!
The definition of work has changed drastically in the last two decades, with entrepreneurship on the rise and many companies choosing to hire contractors instead of full time employees. In turn, jobs with benefits, with retirement plans, and with pensions, are on the decline.
If the company isn’t loyal to you, why be loyal to it? Switching jobs can net you a bigger salary increase than an annual raise at your current job. More and more people state that they increased their income by switching jobs, not by only negotiating.
If you’re looking to switch jobs, make sure that your new company has what your current company lacks. Ask questions during the interview about workplace culture, job expectations, and moving up within the company.
Repeat after me: I will negotiate at every job interview I ever have in my whole life, I pinky promise.
Now that we have made this solemn vow, allow me to guide you through your negotiation.
You have to know what you want before you enter the room. That means doing research! Know what the role pays in your city, know what skills you bring to the table to get more money out of the company, and know your lowest acceptable offer.
Generally speaking, the bigger the company, the more money they have. You might not be able to negotiate yourself from $50,000 a year to $75,000 a year at a small business with one other employee.
And even with bigger businesses, the internal hierarchy and systems will determine how much room the hiring manager has to negotiate. However, it is absolutely possible that you apply for a job that they say pays $50,000 a year and get them up tens of thousands of dollars.
Position expertise can be your meal ticket to earning six figures a year. The more specialized your skill set, often the higher your pay.
Tech is a well known high income area, but did you know that plumbers, carpenters, and commercial pilots routinely earn over six figures? Pilots in particular can earn specific certifications to increase their pay.
Take your area of expertise and grow it through experience, certifications, and networking.
Don’t just work in coding. Be the person who understands how to fix a specific coding language when it bugs out. If you’re the only one that can do something for a company, you can command much more in pay.
I mean, that’s how I did it! Who knew this little English major would one day run a six figure personal finance business, holy moly.
I do think with the growing fragility of the American workplace (by which I mean the loss of benefits, the increase in corporations using contract workers and the lack of broad wage growth) that having a business of your own is a good idea.
I support entrepreneurship as sort of a trauma response to capitalism, rather than just a blind belief that it’s the right choice for everyone. Owning something in your own name is badass though, and you can set your hours, choose who you work with, and develop community with a set of people you never thought you would.
If you’re interested in starting a business, I always tell people to get the legal and financial side of things set up correctly. Get an LLC, get a business bank account, and don’t just focus on the shiny metrics of social media.
We have a course that walks you through exactly how to open, fund, and protect your business on the financial side of things. We walk you through marketing, building an email list, and pitching clients as well, so if you want the shortcut, it’s right here!
Do you earn six figures a year? How did you make it happen and what advice do you have for others? Let us know in the comments!
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