| Real Life Strategies for Building Wealth

Would you like to increase your income without working more?

I would. In fact, I did that – today my income is twice what it used to be eight years ago in 2013.

But before sharing with you the ten steps that will help you to increase your income without breaking your back, let me tell you why I created this post as a celebration of International Women’s Day.

In brief ladies, we have a big problem.

On average, we earn less than men, we invest less than men and we live longer than men. Until relatively recently, we women exchanged 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 take ensure that our final years in this realm are not marred my poverty, deprivation and lack of care.

We must solve the PROBLEM and learning what to do so we could increase our income seems to me as a good place to start.

Here are the ten steps to help you increase your income and transform you into high earning women. These work for men as well but have been found by research to be harder for women to master.

#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.

To succeed in life, your careers and to increase your income you need two things: knowledge and networks. Going to university, and continuing to do 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.

#2. Lean 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 price for advertising, they ignore you and offer a fifth of what you quoted. This obviously doesn’t fly.)

Attending a course on how to negotiate 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 the others want.

#3. Learn to spot opportunities

To increase your income, with or without further effort, you need to learn how to spot opportunities and act on them.

There are no hard and fast rules except that anything that makes your life difficult or annoys you may turn out to be a problem that many people share. Solve this problem and there is your big break.

Think that I’m being very abstract? Than think Pension Bee and how it was started by Romi Savova when she realised that tracing her pensions is nearly impossible; and decided to solve the problem.

It also help to remember that many miss their chance to contribute value and increase their income manifold because ‘opportunity wear overalls and looks like hard work’.

#4. Find good mentors

Contrary to the mythological beliefs that have developed around professional success, money making 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.

#5. Learn to ‘work smart’

When aiming to increase their income, most people choose to work harder. They take more shifts, they take the shift no one else wants, the work long hours. Working hard doesn’t increase your income in sustainable ways. Furthermore, it can give you weakened immune system, fatigue and divorce.

The key to increasing your income without working yourself into the ground is to learn how to work smart. And a corner stone 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 my 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 would give you for it.

(There is a caveat to this, though: you also need to make sure that what you are paid reflects the value you contribute. Research shows women often under-value 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 need to 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 being respected and independent.

Increasing your income is not an easy thing; it is up to you what you are prepared to give up so that you 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 risks.

I’m talking about risking security for better shot at earning more; about leaving a dead-end 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, place where there are no surprises, no big losses and no mind-blowing gains.

To increase your income, you need change, and this is not likely to occur if you keep to your comfort zone.

Tim Ferriss in his book ‘The 4-hour Workweek’ 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 finished with them. I believe, that this was a truly transforming moment for me.

#10. Dream a BIG dream

To increase your income, you need a BIG dream.

This is the one step among the ten that is specific to women.

Research shows that when it comes to money – making it, investing it and even spending it – men and women are very different. Men generally enjoy the process and see it as a school game that you win or lose. Women, on the other hand, are motivated by the outcome; e.g. what is at the end of the process.

Neither of these is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This 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 material acquisition; it can be a life style change, a relationship development etc.).

Finally…

In this post I shared the ten steps you must take to increase your income without working more. These I worked out by researching, 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?

Editor’s note: This post is part of the UKMB’s campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day and provide knowledge and inspiration to the sisters out there who want to improve their money situation but don’t know where to start. Here are the rest of the posts, written by UK Money Bloggers, celebrating:

International Women’s Day – Financial Empowerment for Women

3 ways women can stretch their pension after retirement

Recognising the value of phenomenal women who do menial work

Do women do Customer Service better and if so, why are they paid less?

How to close the financial gender gap together to reach gender equality

Why women (including me) don’t invest

Start your journey as an investment wonder woman here

My thoughts on International Women’s Day

Why is balance better