We’ve been talking a lot about finances over the last few weeks and that’s because it’s a very important aspect of autonomy and your well-being. I’ve always said that when you don’t need anyone, you’re able to make better, healthier choices.

Earning a living is necessary, earning a great living is a skill.  Your confidence and sense of self-worth are, too often, indicative of how much money you earn. When you believe that you don’t deserve much, that’s exactly what you get. When you don’t know how to ask for what you want, the better things in life allude you.

This is why it’s essential to learn how to conduct yourself in business and to learn that you don’t have to settle and that you do have options. I’ve compiled a few tips to help get you the money you deserve:

Heading into an Interview: The topic of salary can be very uncomfortable for those who suffer from low self-esteem, but it’s essential for your well-being. Before you head into the interview take note of all of your qualifications and those of the job you’re applying for and be sure to list them and how you meet the criteria they are searching for. When it comes to salary have a number in mind and if what they’re offering is lower than your number don’t be afraid to say, “That’s lower than I had in mind. I don’t think I could accept less than $XXXXXX.” People have a tendency to believe that the higher the price the more valuable something is, employers are no different.  Let them sleep on it, you might be surprised at what happens. If they don’t match your price, then it wasn’t meant for you. As in relationships you get what you settle for, know your worth and raise your expectations.

 Having a Review or asking for a Raise: There are few things more painful than going into a closed-door meeting to discuss your worth, with people, whose job it is to keep costs low.  Before you head into such a meeting make sure that you have compiled a list of all of your accomplishments, successful projects, and your plans for continued future successes for the company.  Basically, here’s how I have improved and benefitted the company, here’s what I’m currently doing and here is what I’d like to bring to the table in the future. Again, have a number in mind and don’t be afraid to say, “That’s lower than I had in mind. Can you tell me what I can do, to warrant the figure I’m asking for?” Write down what they say and make sure that they see you writing it down. Not only does it show that you are serious and conscientious, but when you hit every marker they’ve listed your next review will be quite different.

 Don’t be afraid to leave: Too often, we get stuck in jobs that don’t pay well and that we don’t like, because they’re comfortable. I’d estimate that the vast majority of people are unsatisfied with their salaries and feel like there is no room for growth in their current employment. I have kids, I have a mortgage, I’m too old now… are some very common excuses for staying where you are. Many people find comfort in sameness and the idea of walking into a new environment can be absolutely terrifying. I have a friend that has a B.A. which is kind of like a high school diploma in this day and age and from her first job on, she made a point of learning what she could and moving on to something better. She has continued to do that, never getting too comfortable and always looking for a new challenge and a higher salary and now she is a director of an insurance company.  When you’re not afraid of change the world is your oyster.

Have a Side Gig: If you’ve ever had a conversation with me you will have heard me say, “You need to have multiple streams of income.” It has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur.  There are so many ways that you can make money online, you can blog, you can sell and drop ship products. You can create things and sell them on Etsy, You can self-publish your writing. You can make YouTube videos and earn income from ads. You can open an Amazon store… there are so many alternate ways to earn money that just having one job will soon no longer be the norm. I have a friend that got so interested in stocks that it became an obsession for him. He decided on investing in stocks that paid out monthly dividends. So, every month he would invest as much as he could from the pay from his day job and he would then reinvest the money he made from the monthly dividends back into the stock. His goal is to continue to do this until the dividend is paying him out $5000/month. Then he can quit his day job.  Not a bad way to earn a living.

Really think about what’s stopping you from making a move. What’s the worst thing that could happen if you asked for that raise? What have you got to lose by applying for better jobs? Figure out what you love and learn to make money from it. There’s no better time, than right now, to take that leap.  Make up your mind that you deserve more and do something about it.

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