Would you like to increase your income without working more?
I would. In fact, I did that – today, my income is nearly three times what it used to be in 2013.
But before I share the steps to making extra income without working more, let me tell you why I wrote this post.
In brief, ladies, we have a big problem.
On average, we earn less than men, invest less than men, have no passive income stream, and live longer than men. Until relatively recently, we women swapped looking after grandchildren and general household help for care in our old age. This time is gone, my dears. In today’s fragmented world, we are on our own and must ensure that our final years in this realm are not marred by poverty, deprivation and lack of care. The best way to do that is to make extra money now, even if we must learn some new skills.
We must solve the PROBLEM, and learning how to increase our income seems a great way to do it.
Here are ten creative steps to increase your income and transform you into a high-earning woman.
Are you ready to sort out your money?
Creative Steps to Increase Income Without Working More
Here are ten steps to increase your income. Some you have heard about, and others will surprise you. I have intentionally avoided generic ideas like starting a side hustle or getting a second job. I did promise you creative ways to make extra cash, right?
So, no credit cards hopping, digital products selling or youtube channel to make you a star. Instead, I give you a skill set to build additional income.
#1. Prioritise Your Education
A form of anti-education sentiment has been spreading around the internet lately. This is about bloggers and ‘influencers’ telling you that you don’t need to go to university to succeed.
Don’t believe it! Education is still your best income-generating competence.
You need knowledge and networks to succeed in life and your career and increase your income. Going to university, and continuing to do online courses, give you access to both.
Oh, and while we are at it, please check the biographies of the anti-education gurus: probably all of them have been to university, and many among them have had the opportunity to attend a top university.
I’d leave you to make up your own mind as to whether education is important for money making and increasing your income.
As an afterthought, ensure you don’t only learn narrow professional skills. Educate yourself about mutual funds, index funds, real estate investing and the stock market to increase your earning potential.
#2. Learn to Negotiate
Learning to negotiate is a key competence to increase your income with very little further effort. And I’m not talking about the kind of negotiation some PR and SEO professionals try to pull on bloggers. (You know, the one where you tell them the advertising price, they ignore you and offer a fifth of what you quoted. This obviously doesn’t fly.)
Attending a course on negotiating is probably one of the best investments you’d ever make. Failing that, there are rules of negotiating that you can practice on your own.
One thing we often get wrong when negotiating is that we focus too much on what we want and largely ignore what the other party wants. Let me say you get more of what you want when you give what others want.
Go on. I dare you! Negotiate pay rise, a new business deal or backing for a good idea.
#3. Learn to Spot Opportunities
To increase your income, with or without further effort, you must learn how to spot and act on opportunities.
There are no hard and fast rules except that anything that makes your life difficult or annoys you may be a problem many people share. Solve this problem, and there is your big break.
Think that I’m being abstract?
Then think Pension Bee and how it was started by Romi Savova when she realised that tracing her pensions was nearly impossible; and decided to solve the problem.
It also helps to remember that many miss their chance to contribute value and bring higher income because ‘opportunity wears overalls and looks like hard work’.
Making the best of opportunities is not much effort when you are burning to achieve.
#4. Find Good Mentors
Contrary to the mythological beliefs that have developed around professional success, making good money and investing – this of the lonely hero who makes it because fortune favours the brave – success is rarely a personal achievement.
To succeed, you need good mentors who impart tacit knowledge, share practices and lend you their reputation when starting out. They can be family members or colleagues.
#5. Learn to ‘Work Smart’
When aiming to increase their income, most people choose to work harder. They take a new job, hustle in their spare time, work long hours and try to improve their hourly rate. Working hard doesn’t increase your income in sustainable ways. Furthermore, it can weaken your immune system and cause fatigue and divorce.
Learning how to work smart is the key to increasing your income without working yourself into the ground. And a cornerstone to making the transition from ‘working hard’ to ‘working smart’ is to stop selling time and start selling reputation.
#6. Focus on Value, not Money
This a point about making more money that has always fascinated me:
You don’t increase your income by aiming to make more money by nearly as much as you increase it by focusing on the value you contribute to people’s lives.
Hence, to increase your income substantially, train yourself to focus on the value you contribute rather than the money people give you.
(There is a caveat to this: you also need to ensure that your pay reflects properly the value you contribute. Research shows women often undervalue their contribution.)
#7. Decide What You Are Willing to Sacrifice
Regretfully your time is a zero-sum game.
This means that when you devote your time and attention to one thing, you must stop doing something else.
This decision is not only about time, however. It is also about changing your values, shifting your outlook on life and sacrificing the need of most women to be liked to be respected and independent.
Increasing your income is not easy; it is up to you what you are prepared to give up in your own life to achieve that.
#8. Learn to Take Risks
To increase your income, you’ll have to learn to take risks.
I’m not talking about mad, all-or-nothing recklessness.
I’m talking about risking security for a better shot at a salary increase, about leaving your dead-end current job that stresses you for the uncertainty of doing something your find meaningful.
It is scary, I know. I also happen to believe that Goethe was right when he said:
Jump, and the net would appear.
#9. Breach Your Comfort Zone
Most of us spend most of our time in our comfort zone. This is the place of the familiar, where there are no surprises, big losses and no mind-blowing gains.
You need change to increase your income, which is not likely to occur if you keep to your comfort zone.
In his book ‘The 4-hour Workweek’, Tim Ferriss shared some imaginative ways to push yourself beyond your comfort zone.
While I never tried asking strangers in shopping malls for their phone numbers, I did ask strangers to sell me their ski passes when they finished with them. I believe that this was a truly transforming moment for me.
Reaching beyond your comfort zone is the first step to better jobs, new certifications and in-demand skills.
#10. Dream a BIG Dream
To increase your take-home pay, you need a BIG dream.
This is the one step among the ten that is specific to women.
Research shows that men and women are very different in money – making, investing, and spending. Men generally enjoy the process and see it as a schoolyard game that you win or lose. Conversely, women are motivated by the outcome, e.g., what is at the end of the process.
Neither of these is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It only means that women are more likely to increase their income and be financially successful if they have a BIG dream to motivate them.
(Note that the dream doesn’t have to be a big purchase; it can be a lifestyle change, a relationship development etc.).
In this post, I shared the ten steps you must take to increase your income without working more. I worked them out through research, observation and experimentation.
My late mum, however, has always provided the motivation for my strife to become a high-earning woman.
My mother didn’t tell me much about how you make and invest money; she did much better than that.
She taught me that every woman must make it her sacred duty to ensure she is self-reliant and earns enough to keep herself and her children.
I’ve always followed this advice.
Have you increased your income lately? How did you achieve that?
(This post was last edited in July 2023.)
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