Reality check time: it’s completely your fault if you’re not making more money (I warned you I’d be brutally honest).
I was in denial about this for years.
When I was a teacher, your salary was determined by the type of degree you got and how many years of experience you had. I never negotiated my salary because it was all laid out in a chart, so all I had to do was look up how much I was going to make, and that was that.
That’s not to say I was happy about my salary. I actually used to complain about how I wasn’t making enough to fund my dreams.
If I made more money, I could finally sleep better.
If I made more money, I could travel more.
Stupidly enough, I put a lot of my dreams on hold because I blamed someone else for my low earning power.
Is that you right now? No really, are you making excuses about why you’re not earning more?
Crushing Your Own Dreams
What are you putting on hold because you don’t make more money?
Do you want to buy that dream house, with a yard for your puppy and a walk-in closet for your shoes?
Do you want to finally take a six-month sabbatical so you can travel the world?
Do you just want to finally sleep better, knowing that your financial needs are taken care of?
I’m not trying to bring you down, far from it. I want you to realize that if you can’t get your money stuff together, you’re destined to crush your own dreams.
Most people may not realize this, but deep down you may not feel like you deserve more. Yeah, quite the shocker, but if you keep telling yourself you can’t do something, you’re letting your excuses become your reality.
Take my teacher’s salary for example. I used to accept the fact that I couldn’t make more because well, I couldn’t magically have more teaching experience under my belt. Yes, that may be true, but I used that as an excuse to stop looking elsewhere for income earning opportunities.
It wasn’t until I found myself briefly unemployed that I decided to start freelance writing. When I kept it as a side hustle after landing another teaching job, I realized that I held myself back for all those years for nothing.
I want you to go grab a piece of paper right now and write down a list of things you want to do if only you had more money. For each one, write down why you can’t. Read each one out loud and tell yourself that these are merely excuses.
Hold onto this piece of paper. It will serve as a powerful reminder that you need to stop holding yourself back.
Earning More is Sleazy
To earn more money, you have to go out there and sell yourself. No, I’m not talking about standing on a street corner sort of thing (unless you’re handing out flyers for a local pizza shop). What I’m referring to here is showing others that you are valuable, and you deserve to earn more money.
The term selling might seem sleazy, but let me tell you right now that is not the reality at all.
Here’s the cold hard truth: you’re always selling.
Yes, you read that right. You. Are. Always. Selling.
Selling is simply a message you send someone about who you are, including how much you think you are worth.
It’s as simple as the clothes you wear, the words you choose to say, your possessions and even the people you surround yourself with.
All of these creates an impression of who you are, what you are about, and the value you can provide.
And guess what? When you’re negotiating a salary, a contact with new client, or even bargaining for an item, they’re the same as choosing what clothes you are wearing.
Think about it. You wear a bridesmaid dress to show you’re part of the wedding party. You wear sweats around the house because you don’t care about what you look like. I wear a one piece bathing suit because I want to be more modest. It’s certainly a different impression than if I were to be topless and in a thong, right?
So get over the fact that selling is not something you do, because it is.
You Don’t Know How to Objectively Explain Your Skills
I’ll admit, when I first started charging more with my content marketing business, all I saw was dollar signs. When I kept asking myself why, I realized it was about not feeling guilty about working around the clock. For me, earning more means ultimately spending more time with my son. Not that I haven’t been away from him, but I know that I can’t keep just working nights and weekends and miss all those milestones he’s raring to achieve.
And here’s a little secret too: he doesn’t really let me work all that much. Actually, as I’m typing this post right now, he’s grabbing my pant legs, looking at me with cute puppy dog eyes and waving his little car.
When I negotiate my rates, of course I’m not going to tell them I’m making more money to spend time with my son. Instead, I’ll tell them it makes sense to hire someone who is experienced at what they do so they themselves become more efficient. And time is money right?
Almost all of the time, I get the rate I ask for.
If you’re not making any more money right now, it’s most likely the fact that you’re not able to explain what you do and how the company can benefit. As in, maybe you hold back when explaining your accomplishments or skills because you don’t want to look like you’re bragging (or insert another reason here).
Sometimes, it’s as simple as missing the obvious.
Remember when I said I had to accept my teacher’s salary? Well, the principal at my last job offered me a chance to negotiate for a higher salary. I knew that I was a damn good teacher and got results. Sure, I can tell my principal that, but that’s not solid proof.
Instead, I looked through my test scores of my students and showed her where they were at the beginning of the year to now. I also showed her (even though she probably knew) the projects my students completed, how what they learned went beyond what they needed to learn and community feedback for the project (this was a private school, so reputation was super important).
I even took it one step further to show her I had skills as a marketer to help bring on more students (hence more money) to the school. I brainstormed and showed her copywriting ideas to improve marketing materials and ways to manage the flow of crowds as we had open days at our school.
The next week, I got what I asked for.
I Give You Permission to Brag So You Can Earn More
I get it, it’s scary and intimidating to brag about your accomplishments. But you’re doing your employer (or client) a disservice by not showing them what you’re capable of. You’ll end up resenting your job and burn out, or worse, do a poor job. Right there is a ticket to not earning more money.
Believe it or not, there are bosses out there that want their employees to succeed, and helping them earn more money is a part of it. So why not let them by showcasing your strengths in a way your boss can understand?
Go on, write down all your accomplishments, it doesn’t even have to be work related. For each one, write down what you did you get those results. If you need get some data to back up your claims do that now.
Once you have all that, get a friend or someone you trust to look it over. Are you missing anything? Was there anything that was unclear you need to rework? Are there more accomplishments/skills you forgot?
Keep this for when you’re working on a side hustle, your business or day job. It’ll come in handy, trust me
Go Forth and Conquer
Earning more is completely in your hands. Start training your mind to see the opportunities all around. Work on your blocks around earning more and push out of your comfort zone.
Most important, take responsibility for how much you earn.
Now go forth and conquer.