In November of last year I set an income goal for myself for and by the end of April I had achieved that goal – so as long as I keep doing what I’ve been doing I should at continue to increase my income. How? Well the answer involves two elements which are closely related – the way I think and the way I behave. I’ve got three questions which will help you apply this process.
If you run your own business or you are in sales I’m sure you’d like to double your results and presumably therefore double your income, but if you are not in sales please don’t stop reading this. I’m sure you’ll be able to find ways to double your income as well, you just may need to be a bit more creative and use different thought processes to get there.
The first question to ask yourself is: Are there people who do what I do, that earn twice what I earn? Now, the answer to that question is almost certainly yes. However for the few of you that can’t answer yes to that then you may like to consider doing something additional or something else to earn more. If there are people that earn twice what you earn then let’s consider a few other questions. Do they work twice as hard as you do? Do they put in twice as many hours as you do? Are they twice as smart? Do they have twice your experience or double your skill level?
In my experience the top earners in any profession don’t work harder or for longer than the average earners. They don’t necessarily have more skills or more experience and they aren’t usually super smart either. The difference that makes the difference is in the way that they think. So what that tells us is that if you thought the same way the top earners do then it’s possible to earn twice as much as you currently do.
Now we need to consider belief and the next question you should be asking yourself is. Do I believe in myself enough to earn twice as much as I am currently earning? Don’t just quickly answer yes, consider this experiment that’s been done many times: If we placed an exciting job advert in the paper stating the complete job description and showing a salary of $65,000, we could expect to receive many applications. If we took the exact same advert and placed it in the same paper the following week but this time said that the salary was to be $650,000 how many applications do you think we would receive? Most people would love to earn that salary but very few people actually believe that they are worth that amount of money and therefore they wouldn’t apply.
So now we know that in order to double our income we need to change what we believe we are worth. Just a quick note here: many people make the false assumption that their self worth is determined by what others think. In other words they are only worth what someone else decides to pay them. It might be an interesting exercise to ask an employer (not your own boss!) how much they are prepared to pay their staff. Some business owners will give you the answer that they’ll pay as little as they can get away with, which is understandable as that way they get to keep more of the business’s profits.
I think that the starting point to doubling your income is to believe that you are worth that much and the only way to do that is if you are giving a better product, a better service, doing more and going further than the next person.
Now we need to ask ourselves: What do I need to change about the way I work that could help me double my income? Some people feel that this would involve a massive change which would be too big or too scary to take on. Just consider the following story:
Two identical yachts leave the Bay of Islands on the same day and both captains decide that they are going to sail due north for a week until they make landfall in Fiji. Now they sail at approximately the same speed and experience very similar weather but one of the yachts has a 1 degree error in it’s compass readings that it is not aware of. For a while you wouldn’t see any difference between their paths but after a few hours you would start to see a gap building up between them and by the end of the first day they would be a few kilometres apart. 7 days later one of the yachts would happily make safe harbour in Fiji. A couple of months later the other yacht would run aground on the coast of Alaska. Do you sometimes feel you want to be on a path towards sunshine, but it seems to takes you ten times as long to get there as it should and when you arrive it‘s the wrong place anyway!
Very often the changes that we need to make to improve our results are very small, but if we consistently apply those changes over and over again we can achieve some great results. These alterations might be as simple as changing the questions you ask people when you start to work with them. Perhaps it is offering your product or service in a slightly different way. It could even be as simple as selling to a different type of prospect.
In November of last year I made some very simple changes to my business model and decided to stop chasing my clients for business on the telephone and concentrate on marketing through my newsletter and by email contact. This approach wouldn’t work for everybody but for me the results have been wonderful, including having a smaller phone bill! My whole attitude has improved as I no longer experience the frustration of not being able to speak to people because they are away or in meetings and I think I’ve probably stopped chasing some people away by being too pushy. Now I’m sure some people would respond better to a phone call rather than an email so I expect I’ve missed out on some business but the net result to me has been very positive. Not only have I doubled my income but I’ve reduced the stress in my life and increased the time I can spend with my young family.
I’ve achieved all that just by making a few tiny changes to the way I’ve been selling and I’d love to tell you that it’s been easy but it hasn’t. I’ve found myself falling back into my old habit of telephoning on a number of occasions and when I do my stress levels rise and my free time disappears. I’ve had to work really hard on not feeling guilty because I’ve not been on the phone for 4 hours a day. Now I understand that for some of you that may sound really stupid but I’ve been spending half a day on the phone for the last 20 years and to me it feels normal. If I don’t do it my brain tells me I’m being lazy and ineffective and therefore I won’t be successful. The new approach is simpler, easier and more effective but my old habits are difficult to break.
Change is never easy especially when you are trying to alter habits that you’ve had for years but the results of making these small changes can be spectacular.
So, let’s summarise those 3 questions that you need to ask yourself in order to double your income.
Are there people who do what I do that earn twice what I earn? (The answer to this one is almost certainly YES).
Do I believe in myself enough to earn twice as much as I am currently earning? (Be honest with yourself and if the answer is no then you need to work on your self worth. You could start by reading Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz – the best book I’ve ever read on self image.)
What do I need to change about the way I work that could help me double my income? (You are only looking for small changes but ones that you can apply on a consistent basis. The problem for most of us is overcoming the old habits.)