If you want more money, one of the most important things is believing you deserve to have more money. 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.
For example, 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 was down ~20% over the past two years while the S&P 500 was up 40% for 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.
Want More Money? Then Go Get It
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.
Found The Big Money-Making Job
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.
Want more money? Ask yourself this one qustion:
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.
In retrospect, I should have tried my best to get the Chief Content Officer at Personal Capital in 2015. If I did, and worked for them for the next five years, I probably would have walked away with $1,000,000 in stock. How so? Personal Capital got bought by Empower Retirement in 2H2020 for up to $1 billion.
What I’ve Learned As A Small Business Owner
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 Youself 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!
Start Your Own Business
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
Manage Your Finances In One Place: One of the best way to become financially independent and protect yourself is to get a handle on your finances by signing up with Personal Capital. They are a free online platform which aggregates all your financial accounts in one place so you can see where you can optimize your money.
Before Personal Capital, I had to log into eight different systems to track 25+ difference accounts (brokerage, multiple banks, 401K, etc) to manage my finances on an Excel spreadsheet. Now, I can just log into Personal Capital to see how all my accounts are doing, including my net worth. I can also see how much I’m spending and saving every month through their cash flow tool.
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.
Finally, they recently launched their amazing Retirement Planning Calculator that pulls in your real data and runs a Monte Carlo simulation to give you deep insights into your financial future. Personal Capital is free, and less than one minute to sign up. It’s one of the most valuable tools I’ve found to help achieve financial freedom.
Updated for the new decade