There is a general belief that you cannot be rich working for someone else. I’m not referring to high-level execs who have big salaries, huge performance bonuses and other perks that make them millionaires. I’m talking about ordinary employees who hustle every day with sweat, tears, and blood to make a decent living.
Why is it difficult to become rich as a salary earner?
You’re building someone else’s wealth: They say that all your intelligence, energy, and ideas are aimed at making someone else’s business become successful.
Salary makes you comfortable: Nassim Taleb says the 3 most addictive things in life are heroin, carbohydrates, and salaries. Most salary earners are afraid to take risks because the thoughts of losing their steady paychecks in comparison to trying new endeavours like entrepreneurs scare them.
Time is greater than money: Time is the most precious commodity you have and the company has exchanged it with your salary.
For a fixed number of hours each month, your job is to achieve certain deliverables for a fixed amount of money. If you had control over your time, what you could probably create is unlimited.
What you must do
Even if the postulations above are true to a certain degree, I refused to give up on creating wealth. This is why I started reading a lot and observing those I consider wealthy. Below are the things I’ve observed that rich salary earners do.
A rich salary earner ensures he is physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy every day.
Physical health: Every day, he/she ensures to sleep for 8 hours and ensures to eat healthily.
Mental health: They constantly task their brain muscles for ideas and solutions to various problems.
Emotional health: They surround themselves with people that uplift them.
A rich salary earner loves the product(s) of the company he/she works for. You not only have to know all the products, you must also study the history of how the products came about, what are the lags with the products, what have been the innovations around the products, and what modifications can be made to the products.
If you love the products, you will tell family and friends about them and they will tell others. Doing this will result in more sales for the company.
It doesn’t matter if you work in a bank, insurance company, or a fast-moving consumer good (FMCG); the mentality is the same.
Think like the boss
A rich salary earner thinks like the business owner. So, he/she is constantly learning about the following:
- The history of the market space the company plays in and how it has constantly changed over the years through government regulations, innovations, etc.
- History of the company and how the owners of the business started.
- Competitors of the company and their strategic moves.
- Industry trends in the future.
- Financials of the business.
A rich salary earner always makes his/her boss look good. They don’t do this by merely discharging their duties effectively, but by also crediting their bosses for the jobs they do and helping the boss get promotions, raises, bonuses, etc.
A rich salary earner understands that his boss is just like him, trying to survive the competitive world. Therefore, he/she helps the boss with his goals, ambitions, family troubles, fears, etc. By doing all these, the rich salary earner stands a greater chance of being promoted.
A rich salary earner asks himself at the ends of the day, “Who did I help or what value did I add today” – and answers the question convincingly.
A rich salary earner helps other employees in the organization succeed, builds and maintains relationships with other colleagues beyond the walls of the company.
Improve on yourself and act now
A rich salary earner does not wait for the company’s sponsored training programmes before developing his/her skill-set. This means he/she is currently reading new books, paying for training courses to improve and expand his/her knowledge base.
A rich salary earner knows the values of his/her company and aligns the company values with their personal values.
A rich salary earner understands that the salary doesn’t matter, as he doesn’t look for ways to benefit from the company. He thinks of the values he can deliver and knows that money and rewards will come over time.
A rich salary earner always tests his value in the market at least every 2 years. He understands that the job market is like every other market with forces of supply and demand at play, so he isn’t scared to move to another job because he has developed his skill-set over the years.
A rich salary earner sees himself as a business. Therefore, the salary is just one source of income to him amongst other sources. This means he has side hustles and constantly builds up other sources of income, either by selling products on or offline, starting a blog, doing consulting on the side, etc.
A rich salary earner doesn’t just save money for the rainy day, but invests across different asset classes and watches the value of his investments grow over the years.
A rich salary earner quits his job to work for himself. He understands that after a while, no company can pay him for his expertise, and the rewards he will get from working for himself are unlimited. His goal is not just to be rich but ultimately create wealth.
Credit to the book Rich Employee by James Altucher – I got a lot of ideas from it. It’s a must-read.