I promise I can make you wealthier in one easy move this year. Pick your number! Call your shot! Just the way Babe Ruth did in the ’32 World Series, or with the bravado that Joe Namath had when he guaranteed a win before Super Bowl III. That’s right, you’re going to choose how much you make in the upcoming year. Become the “swami of salary!”
If you’re siting there saying I’m crazy, then read on, because this blog is really for you! Too many of you set out each year saying, “I’m going to work hard doing the same old thing, and hope that it amounts to something decent this year.” This is already a failing approach. No different from running a fundraiser, or working out, you cannot start out without a firm goal in mind. If you’re single, this is a good exercise for you and your budget, and if you’re a couple, this is even more powerful of an exercise, because you will hold each other accountable to delivering on your “number.”
I’ve done this my whole working life, and now Lori and I do this every year, and you know what? It works! It works because all of your energy and focus goes toward hitting this number. You simply choose what you want to make in the upcoming year, and the start working it backwards to see how you’re going to get there. Now, I know what many of you are thinking; “I have a salary, I don’t get to choose, my employer chooses for me.” WRONG! Your full time salary, if that’s the position that you’re in, is just one of the pieces of the puzzle. Here’s how it works:
1. Choose together. If you’re a couple, both of you must be bought in and committed to this. And for God’s sake, think big! Don’t sell yourself short, it’s time to get ahead!
2. Think Monthly. Meaning, determine your monthly outgo, then add some savings and a nice cushion to it. A real fluffy cushion if you want…but without being unrealistic. Take this number multiplied by twelve months, and you’ve got “your number!”
3. Now, take your number, and start subtracting your income sources below it. First, your guaranteed income (salary, pensions, etc..), then, your likely income (bonuses, commissions, side jobs). If you were ambitious enough in choosing your number, this should leave you with a balance yet to make up.
4. Next, to fill this remaining income gap, have fun and get creative. List new ways you can createadditional income. Perhaps this is a second job, maybe join a network marketing company, or turning a hobby or a talent into new income. There is always something you can do extra if you really want to. The key is to make it something you enjoy or are interested in. Think outside the box, and have confidence in yourself. You can accomplish more than you think!
5. Write this plan out, put it up somewhere visible, and start working it immediately. A plan without action is not a plan at all. Refer back to this plan, and tweak it when necessary, but never lose site of it, never giving in. You will hit your number if you’re committed to it year round.
Let me spell out an example for you. Pretend your “number” is $120,000 a year. Monthly, that’s just $10,000 per month. You know that you have a salary of $60,000 annually, and that you’re likely to get a 10% bonus of another $6000 that year, totaling $66,000. Your spouse has a $36,000 salary and receives no bonus. You now total $102,000 per year in guaranteed and likely income, leaving you with an $18,000 gap. Sound like a lot of money? It’s not, if you break it down monthly to just $1500 per month.
Now the fun part. You love Yoga, dance or bootcamps, and could get certified quickly. You teach 3 classes a week, splitting the class revenue 50/50 with the studio. Assuming your average class is just ten people at $15 per head, that’s 50% of $150 per class that you keep. Take that $75 per class times three classes per week, times four weeks per month, and you just added $900 per month to your income, leaving your gap at just $600 per month. Where could your partner find that $600 per month? A second job of just fifteen hours per week? Network marketing? Serving or bar tending? It’s out there if you look!
The more you do this, the better you’ll get at it, and it works no matter what your number is! You’ll start to become excited, and even addicted to your number! It can be one of the most fun, and even healthiest exercises you’ll do as a couple. Imagine the stress you’d eliminate if each of you knew you were carrying your weight on your way to a financial surplus? Incredible feeling! Single? Then choose a friend to do this with for accountability.
The bottom line is this. If you read this and say it sounds like too much work, then that’s your problem. Enjoy another year of financial hardship and mediocrity. If you say you’re not interested in money, fine, but I know you’re interested in more freedom and less stress. You must call your shot! You must do some planning, and you must put some work in, and if you do, you then have earned the right to expect all the benefits that come along with it!
As I write this on my porch, a gentleman in his black Lamborghini just drove by. I assure you he chooses his number, and you can too! I hope this exercise brings even a couple of you more happiness and freedom this upcoming year!