My Three Pillars – Pillar #2: Earning More

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Regardless of your skills, abilities or position, there is a good chance there is an avenue for you to earn more.  I am still on this journey so this is very much a work in progress, but let’s take a look at some of those avenues.

Relentless Hard Work

Hard work is noticed, sometimes even when you feel it isn’t.  It doesn’t guarantee anything, but it makes you valuable and gives you a healthy conscience.  Those of you who have worked through economic ups and downs know that jobs are not necessarily guaranteed.  One way to protect yourself is to make yourself valuable.  Do the best with your own tasks and be quick to help others with theirs whenever you are able (and you’re confident you won’t screw it up).  If a promotion or a decision to keep someone on comes down to you, who gives your all in your own job and is quick to help others, and someone else who doesn’t do those things, you’re in good shape and may see your earnings increase, or at least protected!

Skill Stacking

This is a concept I learned from Scott Adams’ amazing How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win BigThis concept states that for each skill you add, you double your chances at success.  It’s a bit of a “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” kind of theory.  This is the reason I am getting an accounting certificate.  I may never be an accountant and I kinda don’t want to be, but understanding the language of business gives me a leg up on other operational types who perhaps do not.  This can help me make better operational decisions and understand what is happening where I work and in my own business ventures.  Being more marketable doesn’t hurt either.

Having an understanding of human psychology is another valuable skill.  The ability to understand the perspective of other people, how they communicate and, in turn, how to best communicate with them could be more valuable than any other skill you could have as a professional.  If you are the most brilliant person in your field, but cannot understand others or communicate with them well enough to convince them to be on board with you, you may not be able to put your expertise into action.  Of what value is it then?  To really rectify the whole challenge of getting others on board with you, let’s look at the next avenue.

Side Hustles to Prime Hustles

Be your own boss!  The ultimate freedom.  Find a skill you have or learn one, then put it into action in a way that makes you money.  Suddenly work doesn’t seem so bad.  And, the only person you need to convince to get on board with you is you!  Thanks to technology today, there are a number of ways we can start a business and make a living that were much more difficult to do before.  For example, are you skilled in arts & crafts?  In previous times, you could make something then rent a booth at a flea market and put on your best sales pitch.  But today, you can go online and sell them at a place like  If you have the mind of an entrepreneur, perhaps you can make a little extra money and figure out a way to scale your business and make some more.  Then who knows what the limit is.

Freelancing websites are also sprouting up everywhere these days.  Whether you are an aspiring writer, copy editor, coder (you can get a certificate in these things if you are interested), there are now organized websites available where you can market your services and apply for work.  No more knocking on doors, making cold calls, etc.  There are now services that bring these opportunities to you.  Of course, there is competition, but if you can get some work and make a name for yourself, maybe you can make some money or grow it into something more.

There are a number of ways you can either make yourself more valuable at your current job or take on a side hustle to increase your income.  Maybe that side hustle could even turn into a prime hustle for you.  Whether that happens or not, by focusing on pillars one and two, your additional earnings can speed up your path to financial independence.  Why?  Because you already have your spending under control by identifying all the areas you can prune and save without restricting your life.  With expenses under control and perhaps even static, additional money earned doesn’t just get spent.  That money can go straight into the retirement fund and, the bigger that nest egg gets, the closer to financial independence you are.

See the other parts of this series:
Pillar #1: Saving More
Pillar #3: Investing More

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

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