But How Can You Make More Money If You're An Employee?
By AgathaKulesza on February 01, 2012
I wrote an article on my money tips blog on how I started making more money in my business when I started feeling more powerful. I received a fantastic question from a reader about how this could work if you’re an employee with a fixed income:
“I keep hearing you say, the more powerful you feel the more money you will make. I work 40 hours per week for a salary. No matter how powerful I feel, that paycheck will be the same every month. Could you elaborate on what you mean by this or how it might apply to those of us who have a more fixed income?” – Jennifer
I am a business owner so most people assume I have more control over how much money I make than someone who is an employee and has a fixed income. And that can indeed be true, but employees have a lot of power over their incomes too.
FIRST…here’s my business owner perspective:
To make more money, business owners can do a variety of things like get more clients/customers, raise their prices, or find ways to diversify their income.
But here’s the thing – it takes confidence and fearlessness to do all of those things. And even more so than confidence it takes a lot of self worth to step out into the world and say to people “Hey, I’m great at what I do and here’s how much I charge for it.”
So in my 20′s when I was broke I felt financially desperate and not very confident. My crappy financial situation made me feel like a failure. And I was constantly stressed because I was usually only one client payment away from not being able to pay my rent.
This made me very scared to make any changes with my current clients because I was so financially dependent on them. I was scared to raise my rates, scared to drop current clients to take on new ones, and scared to do anything different than what I was doing.
I thought if I made changes I would lose everything I had. I was paralyzed by fear to try something different, even if it had the possibility of improving my situation.
But once I started paying myself first (instead of my bills) and actually saving some of my money I had a safety net. I was no longer solely dependent on my current client income to help me pay my rent, because I could use my savings if I had to. This made me feel a lot more secure and in charge over my own finances and entire life actually.
And because I no longer felt so desperately reliant on my current client base, I found the strength to make changes in my business. I raised my rates because I wasn’t afraid of losing a client if they didn’t like it. I found the confidence to got out and network to bring in new clients. And finally I added more income streams to my business.
Funny thing was the more fearless and confident I was, the more people wanted to work with me. Money is really all about self worth.
It’s a lot like dating – when men smell desperation they want nothing to do with you. If you show them confidence and a “Hey, I’m worth it” attitude they flock to you.
It’s the same thing with money. If you ask for what you are worth with confidence, most of the time people will give it to you. In my experience, once I took on a much more powerful attitude I tripled my income in 3 months.
So that’s how feeling more powerful helped me make more money as a business owner.
SO….How this works for an employee:
If you are working a 40 hour per week job with a fixed income it may seem like you don’t have options to make more money. But I actually disagree.
All it takes is some thinking outside the box. This can be easier for an entrepreneur to do because we’re used to having to find creative ways of making money, while employees often are not.
So here are just a few things I came up with on how employees can make more money:
1. Ask for a raise (if you deserve one)
2. Get a higher paying job (never hurts to look, no matter what state the economy is in)
3. Get a 2nd part time income (something easy like part time secret shopping)
4. Invest in inexpensive assets that can make you more money (like stocks)
5. If you have a spare room in your house, rent it out
Those are just 5 solid options that I have seen work very well for employees I’ve known. But what happens so often is that employees become paralyzed with fear (just like I was) to make changes. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen employees not ask for a raise, not take a new job, or not start a side business because they were scared they’d lose their current job.
And a lot of times they are scared because they are so financially dependent on their current employer, just like I was on my clients. They have tons of debt, no savings, and would be up sh*t’s creek if anything happened to their job.
That’s why saving money and building a nest egg for yourself is so liberating. If you have money in the bank than other people (like your employer) have less power over you.
That could easily give an employee the courage to start that side business or ask for a well overdue raise, so they can make more money even on what was previously just a “fixed income”.
So, Jennifer…that’s how feeling more powerful can help you make more money. As you can see, there are many similarities between my story as a business owner and an employee perspective.
Throughout my 10 years in business I have found that making more money is possible for anyone, if you have the confidence and open mindedness to think and step outside the box.
Thanks for your insightful comment Jennifer and inspiring me to write this article!
Agatha Kulesza is an accounting nerd who believes that dealing with money can be simple and fun. She has a Bachelor's Degree in accounting and her mission in life is to show people that money doesn't have to be the boring snore fest you see on MSNBC. If you liked today's article and want more help with your money sign up for her money tips at www.Agatha-K.com.
Agatha K @ Free Money Tips
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