In order to get rich, one of the most important things is believing you deserve to be rich. There are trillions of dollars out there for the taking. Why shouldn’t you enjoy some of the world’s prosperity as an honest, diligent, and talented individual as well?
I began developing my money mindset after reading countless stories of CEOs earning millions of dollars while driving their companies into the ground. They would get massive multi-million dollar severance packages for crap work that even a baboon could do. As soon as I started believing in my worth, my confidence shot up and the money started coming in.
IBM’s CEO got a $100,000 base pay raise to $1.6 million in 2015 along with a $3.6 million bonus in 2014, and a $13.3 million stock incentive reward payable in 2018. Meanwhile, IBM is down ~20% over the past two years while the S&P 500 is up 40%, a 60% underperformance! For half the compensation, you and I could do just as good a job as the IBM CEO. I’m picking on IBM here because I bought the stock in my active portfolio. One day this dog will bark!
On a more common level, I’ve seen people who are utterly unqualified get hired for jobs making multiple six figures with multiple six figures in stock options. Every time I see such an event I’m thinking to myself a couple things. The first is, What the hell were they thinking?!
The second question is the subject of this post.
MAKING BIG BUCKS IN CORPORATE AMERICA
For the longest time, I couldn’t find any other industry that paid as well as the finance industry. For example, first year analysts out of college are now earning $80,000 base salaries plus $25,000 – $50,000 bonuses after their full first year. Dang, I wish I was 22 years old again in order to make that type of money!
When I left finance in 2012, Directors were making $250,000 base salaries plus bonuses that could easily equal a full year’s salary or more. It was only a full year after I left the industry that I truly appreciated how good the compensation was.
All the tech jobs I was interested in after leaving finance “only” paid between $120,000 – $160,000 full-time plus stock options, which are a complete crapshoot. So I figured, might as well focus on my online media efforts instead of working for much less compensation in a new industry. But after learning how much Chief Content Officers at large companies make, and reading about the Content Marketing Revolution in Harvard Business Review, I’ve come to realize I can finally replicate my finance income doing something else in an industry that I love. I just never thought I deserved it, until I saw someone less qualified than what I expected, get the job!
Chief Content Officers make $200,000 – $300,000 a year in base salary and have an equivalent amount or more worth of stock options. That type of compensation is definitely enticing enough for me to go back to work full-time if I found the right company to join. And it’s not just the money either, but the ability to have a C-level leadership role and affect positive change.
What you’ll notice as you get older is that your options for work become more limited because you don’t want to go too far backwards in your career. But a CCO role is tantalizing, especially since the requirements I thought to land the role are so much lower than what I thought based on what I’ve seen.
So ask yourself this question:
WHY NOT ME TOO?!
When the NASDAQ bubble burst in 2000, a disproportionate amount of Managing Directors were laid off because they didn’t cover any clients. All they did was manage a team of producers. As a result, Managing Directors wised up and began covering clients along with managing people. Having revenue associated with your function became imperative for long-term survival.
I’ve learned that a large majority of Chief Content Officers do not produce any content (equivalent to MDs not covering any clients). Instead, CCOs are in charge of a team of content producers, managing the editorial calendar, and maybe editing the content. Not a bad gig!
The people who make the most money actually are the ones who just tell other people what to do (and take credit)! It’s the creators, the ones in the trenches, who sadly get paid the least. This fact is consistent across all industries and all departments. Instead of creating the work yourself, you hire an agency. Instead of bringing in the business, you hire someone to bring in the business for you.
For six years, I’ve been the CCO and CEO of my own online media company. I created the Financial Samurai brand, wrote 99% of the content, wrote a book, figured out how to rank well for important keywords, marketed the work, and generated a significant, organically-driven revenue stream that would make mom proud.
How many existing Chief Content Officers can say they’ve successfully built a profitable media asset from scratch? They might have helped grow their company’s online traffic, but how hard is that really, when they have millions of dollars to spend every year on content and marketing?
So instead of looking at the Chief Content Officer as an unobtainable position because I’m too young, too inexperienced, or don’t fit the mold, I’m now asking myself, why not me too? The next step is overcoming the hurdle of going back to work full-time.
DON’T SELL YOURSELF SHORT
Confidence is sexy. Just don’t be delusional. You could probably do a better job than many people out there who make more or who are more senior in title. But guess what? They are likely older, and have paid their dues. If you really believe in yourself, then you might as well try your hand at entrepreneurship.
There are a lot of innate biases in the workplace that we must try and fight through. Old leaders often have a picture in their mind of what a person should look like (age, gender, race, background) when filling a role. This is why everybody tends to look the same in leadership roles across companies. It’s up to us to fight the power and prove them wrong!
I hope many of you get motivated in making the money and landing the role you deserve. It’s fun to push ourselves to see how far we can go. The next time you have doubt on whether you deserve a particular role or pay amount, write out a list of your qualifications. I’m sure you deserve more than you think!
Take matters into your own hand and start your own business online! It used to cost a fortune and a lot of employees to start your business. Now you can start it for next to nothing with Bluehost. Brand yourself online, connect with like-minded people, find new consulting gigs, and potentially make a good amount of income online one day by selling your product or recommending other great products. Not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for starting Financial Samurai in 2009. I have maximum freedom now thanks to working on my side-hustle while working for 2.5 years. You never know where your journey will take you!
Wealth Building Recommendation
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A great feature is their Portfolio Fee Analyzer, which runs your investment portfolio(s) through its software in a click of a button to see what you are paying. I found out I was paying $1,700 a year in portfolio fees I had no idea I was hemorrhaging! There is no better financial tool online that has helped me more to achieve financial freedom. It only takes a minute to sign up.
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About the Author: Sam began investing his own money ever since he first opened a Charles Schwab brokerage account online in 1995. Sam loved investing so much that he decided to make a career out of investing by spending the next 13 years after college on Wall Street. During this time, Sam received his MBA from UC Berkeley with a focus on finance and real estate. He also became Series 7 and Series 63 registered. In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 35 largely due to his investments that now generate over six figures a year in passive income. Sam now spends his time playing tennis, spending time with family, and writing online to help others achieve financial freedom.
Updated for 2018 and beyond.