When one gets serious about meeting their financial goals, the obvious immediate focus is to lower expenses. If you want to get out of debt, stop going to Starbucks. And find a way to be content with not having it anymore. But there is another side of the equation as well: your income.
Back in 2010 when I shifted my personal finance perspective, I decided to get serious about my income as well as my expenses. And I thankfully found the book Negotiating Your Salary: How to Make $1000 a Minute by Jack Chapman.
The book changed my thinking in three important ways:
Everything is negotiable. Stop looking at things as fixed. They aren’t. You need to create more value for your company, and they will be willing to pay you more. Negotiate for the value that you are creating, and by all means work hard to create the value. But don’t just passively go through life accepting whatever is given to you. Negotiate.
Be intentional. Don’t let performance reviews happen to you. Be intentional. Be clear about your goals and work with management to accomplish them. Don’t just accept what they’re telling you, but press in and make sure that they respect you.
Stop talking. When negotiating, the one who talks is the one who is losing. Be simple about your goals and stop talking. This is the part that I struggle with the most. I can’t stop talking.
This turned a perceived static situation I had no control over into a dynamic situation where I increased my value to my employer and in return over time increased my income. It takes a while, but if your goals are realistic and if you work hard, you’ll get there. I know as a manager I love managing people who are intentional and motivated to work hard to create an outcome. I’ll always take that person over an unmotivated lazy person who is fine with their salary.