Like it or not, money is a reality we all have to face. Most of us understand that the things that are really important in life are experiences, friends, and family, but it is hard to escape the fact that financial freedom gives you a lot more time to make the most of those things. Couple that with the fact that not being able to pay your bills is one of the most stressful experiences a person can have, and you begin to understand that the ability to generate income is a key skill for most people. So what can you do to most effectively increase income?
1. Make a plan.
As with most things in life, the key to making money is to have a good plan in place. Having a set of instructions to follow will keep you on task and help you feel like you are making progress even on days when it is hard to see any movement. Each week, think of what you want to accomplish and write down the things you will need to do to get there. Break down the steps you will take to reach you goal and assign each of them to a day on your calendar. When that day comes, make sure you are doing everything you can to move towards success.
2. Prioritize your actions.
It is a simple fact of life that 20% of the work you do will be responsible for 80% of the success you achieve. Whether you call it the 80/20 rule or Pareto’s Principle, the lesson remains the same: you should prioritize the 20% of your work that is likely to lead to success. Identify and focus your energy on proven sources of income or projects with a good probability of paying off big time. You still need the other 80%, which is usually side projects or ideas in the making, but build your day around your core projects and avenues for success.
3. Try something new.
Nothing will erode your confidence like spinning your wheels on a project that ends up going nowhere. If you have committed a lot of time to a project that isn’t paying off, don’t be afraid to walk away. There is a principle in psychology called justification of effort that says people are more committed to things that they have invested a lot of time and energy in already. This can lead to stubbornly wasting your time on things that will never pay off. Know when you cut your losses and move on to something new.
4. Say “no.”
Your time is the most valuable resource you have and overextending yourself will drain it. Taking on too many projects will also lead to increased stress and less opportunity to pursue exciting opportunities. Cultivate your ability to say no to things. When a new opportunity comes along, ask yourself if the investment of time it requires is likely to pay off in a way that you feel is appropriate. If the answer is no, walk away.
5. Surround yourself with success.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but a great way to achieve financial success is to act like you already have. The notion of “fake it until you make it” actually holds some water. If you spend your time hanging out with successful people in places where money tends to concentrate itself, you will stumble into more opportunities to achieve success yourself. Make friends with people who have already achieved what you hope to achieve and use those ties to your advantage.
6. Be a leader.
A well-known key to success in business and in life is the ability to recognize an opportunity before anyone else. With that in mind, you should always be on the lookout for the next great path to success. Keep your mind as open as possible and never stop engaging with the world in creative ways. Expose yourself to as many conflicting perspectives as you can by reading books to disagree with and taking meetings with people you don’t like. Viewing something from all angles is the best way to really understand it and will help you blaze a new trail.
7. Understand time versus replication.
The idea of time is so important, it is worth mentioning again. It is the only resource you can’t do anything to change. No matter who you are or how much money you make, there will still only be 24 hours in a day. For that reason you should focus your energy on sources of income that you can easily reproduce. Do something once and then replicate it as many times as possible to bring in the most money. This is the philosophy promoted my creator of the Dilbert comic strip Scott Adams in his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big and it holds true for you too. Now he makes a living drawing a single comic and having it published in thousands of newspapers all over the world. Time is valuable, so make sure your work transcends it.
How To Dramatically Increase Your Income, Starting Today
Zig Ziglar said “Money isn’t everything, but it’s right up there with oxygen.”
The topic of wealth, income, and making money is often discussed and viewed in a negative light. Our society is afraid of being labeled as greedy or money hungry, but what must be understood is that money is a crucial part of freedom.
I personally know what it’s like to have nothing, to stress about paying my next bill, and to feel hopeless. I also know what it’s like to thrive, and I’ve been fortunate enough to create some great income as well. Having money is a lot more enjoyable and fulfilling, but most importantly it gives you options.
Have you ever heard anybody say any of these?
“Money is the root of all evil.”
“Rich people are greedy.”
“Money won’t make you happy.”
“You don’t want to be one of those people.”
“I don’t need money.”
It’s usually those who claim they don’t care about money that are broke. Why not get wealthy? Why not become a millionaire? Why not focus on making as much money as you can? As entrepreneurs, I know you have goals of increase your income. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so those thriving financially must be doing something different, right? Better yet, they must have a better perspective about money and how it’s earned?
Let me give you eight very tactical and straightforward tips that can be used right away to catapult your income.
1. Stop doing what you’re doing.
We all know the saying “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a difference result.” If you aren’t satisfied, the first thing you must do is stop doing what you’ve been doing because what you are doing is what is creating your dissatisfying, current reality.
What’s great about life is the opportunity to completely change your story and direction overnight. Regardless of your past decisions, you’re always one decision away from making the right one.
2. Don’t let money define you.
Your self worth has nothing to do with your finances. Whether you have a negative bank account or $5 million in the bank, your confidence must never waiver. If anything, your confidence needs to increase when you are stressed so you are motivated you to never feel that stress again.
Being wealthy is a state of mind, but so is being broke. You are what defines you, not what you possess.
3. Start prioritizing your profits.
When you set up your weekly schedule make sure you start with income producing activities. Of all your activities, 20% will account for 80% of your income. Figure out what those are. Really think about the the top two or three things you need to do to create income. Now put those in your schedule consistently to assure you are creating income.
Constantly ask yourself if what you’re doing is profitable. Focus on doing what you should versus what you feel. Never forget that impact drives income.
4. Start placing a higher value on your time.
Time is more valuable than money. You can always get more money, but you can never get more time. It is possible to become twice as valuable, and make twice as much money in the same amount of time. There is nothing more valuable than time invested wisely. We all have the same 24 hours, and it’s what you do with them that determines everything.
5. It’s Ok to say no.
Steve Jobs once said, “It’s what Apple said ‘no’ to that ultimately made them successful.”
If you’re over-extending yourself and committing to too many things, this word will change your life. Say “no” to everything that doesn’t create income for you until you get your income to a place you feel confident and secure. Make a commitment to yourself that you will focus on income-producing activities versus tension-relieving activities.
6. Proximity is power.
Most broke people hang with other broke people and they usually stay broke, together. Elevate your peer group by reaching out to those playing the game of life at a higher level than you.
Find those people because you’ll become a lot like the people you spend the most time with. Their belief systems, their ways of being and their attitudes are contagious. You’re either surrounding yourself with those who hold you accountable, or let you off the hook. Choose wisely.
7. Lower your excuses.
As the excuses go up, the bank account goes down. The best excuse makers or “validators” have the smallest bank accounts. The energy and time you spend on creative excuses is better invested in thinking of actual solutions that move your life forward. Excuses are a disease and those who continue making them will continue to have money issues.
8. Shift your focus from victim to leader.
Stop blaming the economy, stop blaming your past, stop blaming your boss or company, and stop thinking the world is out to get you. Charge more, switch jobs, become more valuable. My friend Hal Elrod says, “The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life, is the moment you can change anything in your life.”
The difference between ordinary income and extraordinary income is fast implementation. How quick will you get on your grind to start increasing your income? I assure you if you take these tips seriously, and want it bad enough you will create an income explosion the next couple months. I want you to realize that your bank account isn’t who you are, it’s who you were before you made the decision to focus on wealth.