Increasing Your Earning Potential
By Brian Tracy
most of human history, we have been accustomed to evolution, or the
gradual changing and progressing of events in a straight line.
Sometimes the process of change was faster and sometimes it was
slower, but it almost always seemed to be progressive, from one step
to the other, allowing you some opportunities for planning, predicting
however, the rate of change is not only faster than ever before, but
it is discontinuous. It is
taking place in a variety of unconnected areas and affecting each of
us in a variety of unexpected ways.
Changes in information processing technologies are happening
separately from changes in medicine, changes in transportation,
changes in education, changes in politics and changes in global
competition. Changes in
family formation and relationships are happening separately from the
rise and fall of new businesses and industries in different parts of
the country. And if
anything, this rate of accelerated, discontinuous change is
increasing. As a result,
most of us are already suffering from what Alvin Toffler once called,
do very much about the enormity of these changes, but the one thing
that you can do is to think seriously about yourself and your basic
need for security and stability. In
no area is this more important than in the areas of job security and
financial security. You
must give special attention to your ability to make a good living and
provide for yourself in the months and years ahead.
Above all, to
position yourself for tomorrow, you must think continuously and
seriously about your work today, your earning ability, and the work
that you will be doing one, three, and five years from today.
You must plan to achieve your own financial security, no matter
Kettering said that you should give a lot of thought to the future
because that is where you are going to spend the rest of your life.
One of the greatest mistakes that people can make, and the one
with the worst long-term consequences, is to think only about the
present and give very little thought to what might happen in the
months and years ahead.
grandfathers started work, it was quite common for them to get a basic
education and then go to work for a company and stay with that same
company for the rest of their working lives.
When our parents went to work, it was more common for them to
change jobs three or four times during their lifetime, although it was
difficult and disruptive.
increased turbulence and change in the national and global economy, a
person starting work can expect to have five full-time careers between
the ages of 21 and 65, and 14 full-time jobs lasting two years or
more. According to Fortune Magazine, fully 40 percent of American employees in the 21st
Century will be “contingency” workers.
This means that they will never work permanently for another
company. They will
continue to move as needed, from company to company, from job to job,
earning less money than full-time employees and accruing very few, if
any, benefits in terms of health care and pension plans.
your job will look like five years from today. Since knowledge in your
field is probably doubling every five years, this means that fully
twenty percent of your knowledge and your ability in your field is
becoming obsolete each year. In
five years, you will be doing a brand new job with brand new skills
and abilities. Ask
yourself, “What parts of my knowledge, skills and work are becoming
obsolete? What am I doing
today that is different than what I was doing one year ago and two
years ago?” What are you likely to be doing one year, two years,
three years, four years and five years from today?
What knowledge and skills will you need and how will you
acquire them? What is your plan for your economic and financial
We are now in
the knowledge age. Today,
the chief factors of production are knowledge and the ability to apply
that knowledge to achieving results for other people.
Your earning ability today is largely dependent upon your
knowledge, skill and your ability to combine that knowledge and skill
in such a way that you contribute value for which customers are going
The Law of
Three says that you must contribute three dollars of profit for every
dollar that you wish to earn in salary.
It costs a company approximately double your salary to employ
you in terms of space, benefits, supervision, and investment in
furniture, fixtures, and other resources.
For a company to hire you, they have to make a profit on what
they pay you. Therefore,
you must contribute value greatly in excess of the amount you earn in
order to stay employed. To
put it another way, your earning ability must be considerably greater
than the amount you are receiving, or you will find yourself looking
for another job.
yourself for tomorrow, here is one of the most important rules you
will ever learn: “The future belongs to the competent.”
The future belongs to those men and women who are very good at
what they do. Pat Riley,
in his book The Winner Within, wrote that, “If you are not committed to
getting better at what you are doing, you are bound to get worse.”
To phrase it another way, anything less than a commitment to
excellent performance on your part is an unconscious acceptance of
mediocrity. It used to be
that you needed to be excellent to rise above the competition in your
industry. Today, you must
be excellent even to keep your job in your industry.
marketplace is a stern taskmaster.
Today, excellence, quality, and value are absolutely essential
elements of any product or service, and of the work of any person.
Your earning ability is largely determined by the perception of
excellence, quality, and value that others have of you and what you
do. The market only pays
excellent rewards for excellent performance.
It pays average rewards for average performance, and it pays
below average rewards or unemployment for below average performance.
Customers today want the very most and the very best for the
very least amount of money, and on the best terms.
Only the individuals and companies that provide absolutely
excellent products and services at absolutely excellent prices will
survive. It’s not
personal. It’s just the
way our economy works.
To earn more,
you must learn more. You
are maxed out today at your current level of knowledge and skill.
However much you are earning at this moment is the maximum you
can earn without learning and practicing something new and different.
the rub. Your accumulated
knowledge and experience is becoming obsolete bit by bit, day by day.
The knowledge in your field is doubling every three to five
years. That means that
your knowledge must double every three to five years just for you to
to the dilemma of unavoidable change and restructuring is continuous
personal knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge are your
most valuable assets. To
stay on top of your world, you must continually add to your knowledge
and your ability. You must
continually build up your mental assets if you want to enjoy a
continuous return on your investment.
And only by building on your current assets do you stop them
in continuous self-improvement, you can put yourself behind the wheel
of your own life. By
dedicating yourself to enhancing your earning ability, you will
automatically be engaging in the continuous process of personal
development. By learning
more, you prepare yourself to earn more.
You position yourself for tomorrow by developing the knowledge
and skills that you need to be a valuable and productive part of our
economy, no matter which direction it goes.
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