Todd exemplifies everything about I Will Teach You To Be Rich — focusing on the big wins, negotiating a raise from his ordinary salary (see chapter 9 of my book), and always looking for a creative solution to earning more while others complain.
Check out how he earned more than $13,000 in 5 months (and turned down $25,000 during the same time). I’ve bolded my favorite parts.
I feel like I’ve known you for a long time. I’ve been reading your blog since the middle of last year… and ever since, I’ve really had my financial life turned around.
It sounds dramatic, but honestly, my entire outlook on life has changed. A small bit of history before I get to the really juicy stuff.
I worked at a company for 10 years – ever since I finished college. After 10 years, I was only making about 55k/year.
Most of it was my fault – I was always comfortable with my salary since I lived with my parents and I felt a sort of loyalty to the company that took me in when I was really down on my luck. Once I got married and moved into a house… that changed.
I worked my ass off – especially the last couple of years I was there. The final couple of years of my employment, I spent at least 10 hours a day doing whatever I could to learn more about the industry I was in. I took the company up on all offers to send me to formal Oracle training. I took advantage of opportunities to learn new software products, and take on as many responsibilities as I could. When I was diagnosed with cancer (Lymphoma), I didn’t quit my job or anything else… I worked harder. I felt that if I focused my mind on something positive that it would help me beat the cancer, which it did. (today I’m cancer free, by the way!)
However, it didn’t pay me what I was worth – at least not in my view, my coworkers view, or any of my clients’ views, and definitely not in my wife’s view (the fact I could barely pay the bills despite working 10-14 hours a day really strained our marriage). Once I beat cancer, I found your blog. I spent a while just reading it and considering the various advice you gave, etc. Meanwhile, I was getting deeper and deeper in debt.
The big thing that changed my life was realizing that one should not “spend less than you earn” but “earn more than you spend”. That right there changed my life!
Immediately I asked for a raise. I was promised a 25% raise – which never came after several months. I would followup every 2 weeks (when I got paid) and I would keep getting stonewalled – one excuse after another. Finally, I stopped asking. I took the initiative to update my CV and asked some colleagues to review it. One of them, a lady I now work with, saw it and her jaw dropped. She forwarded it to a manager at her company and a few weeks later I had a job offer.
I put in my 2 weeks notice – and immediately the company freaked out. The vice president of the division made a special visit to my office and offered me not 25%, but 25 THOUSAND to stay. I was tempted, but the new job was too tempting.
I declined and moved on. In a matter of days I more than doubled my salary, all because I started reading your blog.
Now the juicy stuff!
Since then (October 2008), I’ve reduced my non-mortgage debt by more than $10,000 and increased my savings from a big fat $0 to over $3000. I’ve also increased my credit score by over 100 points. Oh! Another benefit? The company I used to work for now pays me $65/hr to do consulting work on the side… more than double what they used to pay me full time. In fact, I did 2.5 hours of work for them tonight as a side job (thanks again to your tips)! DO NOT BURN YOUR BRIDGES! 🙂
Honestly most of the things you preach SHOULD be common sense… but the fact of the matter is that most people don’t THINK that way. The sooner they do, the better off they will be.
This is a great kick in the ass for people who feel stuck at work. Note: Yes, in this economy it’s extremely difficult to negotiate your salary…but how else could you apply Todd’s principles to your own situation?
Note: In Chapter 9 of my book, I include a highly tactical script + multi-month plan to getting a raise at your current job.