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8 Ways To Maximize Your Earning Potential

Sarah Li Cain5-minute read
June 05, 2021

Who doesn’t want more money, right?

No matter the reason, increasing your income potential can be a great way to achieve your financial goals faster – just think about what you can do with an extra few hundred dollars or more in your bank. Plus, the ability to earn more money doesn’t require you to work long, tedious hours, though it might involve some more upfront work on your part.

Let’s take a look at how you can shift your earning potential by working on your mindset and choosing one of the many strategies mentioned below that suits your lifestyle best.

What Is Potential Income?

Simply put, potential income means the amount you can earn based on your employment, experience work history, qualifications (including relevant certification) earning opportunities (like the current job market), where you live and even where you put existing money.

In other words, what you earn now doesn't need to be how much you earn in the future.

How Can You Increase Your Potential Income?

Learning how to increase your income isn’t exactly rocket science. It does require that you commit some of your time and capital to see what sticks. Of course, you can use all the suggestions on this list, but try not to do too much at once or else you could find yourself overwhelmed or stretched too thin.

Even if you start small, you’d be surprised at how much of an effect it can have on your earnings.

Shift Your Mindset

Some people believe they can’t increase their earning potential – this can make it hard to earn more money. One of the best ways to motivate yourself and be open to more opportunities is to try to instill a positive mindset.

Hanging out with positive people or those who are doing what you want to do can help. You can lean on each other for support or ask advice when needed. Your network can also introduce you to money making opportunities, like referring you to a hiring manager for a reputable company, referring clients for your budding freelance business, or sharing the best times to drive for Uber.

Even if these people are just there to help shift your energy to help you become more of a go-getter, it’s still helpful.

Learn How To Grow Your Salary

Negotiating a raise at your current job can be one of the simplest ways to boost your income quickly. It might seem like a scary conversation, but if you’ve done stellar work at your company, your boss will want to make sure you’re happy.

To prepare, start by looking at websites like Glassdoor that can help you navigate the salary negotiation. Then, list out how you’ve helped the company and what you’re hoping to be compensated.

Other ways to grow your salary include switching jobs – even if you land a similar position at a different company, your income can shoot up. If you’ve gotten extra certifications or have enough experience to land a higher position, don’t be afraid to do so.

Grow An Existing Business

Do you have a business? The good news is that as someone who’s responsible for your own income, you can increase your earning potential right now. It means scrutinizing your to-do list and cutting out tasks that get in the way of growing your income. Having a profit motive is what will keep you in business.

In some cases, you may need more capital to increase your income. For example, the holiday season is coming up and you know your customers love homemade pottery mugs since you sell out each year. Unfortunately, you don’t have enough cash flow to order more at the moment. This would be the perfect opportunity to take out a business loan since you have a clear plan on how you’ll grow and have the money to pay your loan back.

Rent Out Your Home

If you have a spare bedroom or if you travel for months at a time, consider putting your home up for short-term rentals – websites like Airbnb and VRBO are some popular options.

To start, you’ll need to create a listing and set a price. Also consider sprucing up your home with amenities like coffee, tea and luxury towels so guest will leave you favorable reviews.

Work A Side Gig

There are so many side hustles it’s mind-boggling, but that just means there are numerous ways to earn money. The best part is that there are side hustles for people with varying schedules, all the way to folks who can’t be bothered changing out of their pajamas.

Some of the best side hustles include:

  • Driving Uber or Lyft
  • Filling out paid surveys
  • Freelance writing for websites
  • Becoming a virtual assistant
  • Work as a transcriptionist
  • Design items

Sell Stuff

Speaking of designing, you can sell your items online – websites like Etsy and eBay make it super easy to do so. There are even websites like Teespring where you can upload your own designs and they take care of the rest (they do take a cut of your profits for this service). 

Not a creative person? Not to worry – look around your home for things to sell. Items that are gathering dust in your home aren’t doing much good sitting there, so you might as well try to find a better home for them. There are websites that will buy back your textbooks, electronics and even collectibles. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a gem in your home that’s worth thousands of dollars.

Become A Consultant

If your skills are highly sought-after, think about working on a contract basis as a consultant for companies. For example, if you’re really great at social media engagement and can show results like successful influencer campaigns or increased brand awareness, companies will hire you.

Be careful: you could be violating your work contract if you decide to become a consultant in your current  industry, especially if you’re hired by competitors.

Become An Investor

One of the best ways to earn passive income is to invest. Why not make your money work for you by using the power of compound income? Investing early in retirement or brokerage accounts means the interest you earn on the principal amount will start earning interest for you – you don’t need to do much else.

As for where you invest your money, it’s up to your risk tolerance, financial goals and the amount you can afford. Navigating investing in general can get complicated, so it could be a good idea to seek the help of a financial professional.

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Maximize Your Earning Potential

Implementing the above tactics to increase your income doesn’t have to be hard. As long as you’re willing to put in the work and seek out professional help when it makes sense, you could be well on your way to a secure financial future. For more articles like this one, check out our personal finance learning center.

Sarah Li Cain

Sarah Li Cain is a freelance personal finance, credit and real estate writer who works with Fintech startups and Fortune 500 financial services companies to educate consumers through her writing. She’s also a candidate for the Accredited Financial Counselor designation and the host of Beyond The Dollar, where she and her guests have deep and honest conversations on how money affects our well-being.