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But the most important thing youíll need to do is this: Master a financially valued skill.
What Is a Financially Valued Skill?
Letís start with this last concept and work our way backward.
A financially valued skill is one that plenty of other people are willing to pay good money for. How good? Iíd like to begin the bidding at, say, $130,000 per year.
This is, admittedly, a somewhat arbitrary number. But it does have the advantage of giving you an after-tax income of about $90,000. Thatís enough to allow one or two people to enjoy a reasonably comfortable lifestyle and put at least $13,000 into savings. Invest $13,000 over a 15-year career at 12 percent and youíll have a net worth of more than a million dollars. (And Iím going to show you how to do much better than that by investing your time and money in ways that will create additional and automatic streams of income for you.)
Before we take a look at the sort of jobs that pay a $130,000 salary, letís say a few more obvious but important things about the termjinan-cially valued.
ē We are talking, now, about monetary value only. We acknowledge, as I pointed out before, that there are other, more important values in life.
ē I am using the word valued, rather than valuable, because I want to emphasize the idea that the perception of value that counts is in the marketplace. We are not concerned, for the moment, with what you may personally find valuable or fulfilling, but only with what other people value in terms of money.
ē I am emphasizing the idea of skill rather than profession, because skills are transferable in a way that professions arenít. Also, it is possible to combine several valued skills within a given profession and thus multiply your income. Iíll explain more about that later.
ē Finally, note that I used the word master. That will become important later on.
Step 4: Radically Increase Your Personal Income 115
So letís take a look at some popular professions in terms of their average incomes.
Figure 4.1 shows the average incomes of 14 U.S. professions. Those that fit my definition of financially valued (i.e., paying in excess of $130,000) are highlighted.
It may surprise you to learn that the median income for a dentist or lawyer is less than $130,000. But thatís just median income. Median income includes all businesses, big or small, weak or strong, and in all sorts of industries.
Obviously, larger businesses often pay more than medium-sized ones. Small businesses pay practically nothing at firstóbut when they
Figure 4.1 Median U.S. salaries by profession.
Venture capitalist | | | I
Engineer Optometrist Veterinarian Industrial production mgr ~~~]
Sales executive ~~|
HR specialist ~l
Staff nurse Insurance agent
$0 $50,000 $100,000 $150,000 $200,000
116 AUTOMATIC WEALTH
begin to grow, the money they pay their top people can meet or exceed even that of some Fortune 500 companies.
If you consider the top-paying jobs within these professions, the numbers get larger. (See Figure 4.2.)
So What Can You Do with This Information?
If you are already employed in a financially valued profession and are already making at least $130,000 (and assuming that youíre happy with your career choice), you have three objectives.
Figure 4.2 Top U.S. salaries by profession.
Venture capitalist Physician Orthodontist Dentist Lawyer Engineer Optometrist Veterinarian Industrial production mgr Sales executive Architect HR specialist Staff nurse Insurance agent
$0 $100,000 $200,000 $300,000 $400,000
Step 4: Radically Increase Your Personal Income 117
1. You must master the essential skill of your professionóthe skill that brings in the most money for your business.
2. You must become adept at selling the idea to other people that you are masterful.
3. You must keep your spending in check so that as your income skyrockets (and it can easily rise to double or triple the standard for your profession), you will be able to invest a larger and larger portion of it into (a) creating additional streams of income and (b) building equity.
If you can boost your income to $130,000 a year, you should be able to create a million-dollar net worth (not counting your house and car) in 7 to 15 years, assuming you keep your expenses in check.
In the pages that follow Iíll tell you several ways to do that. Weíll begin by talking about how you can boost the income you get from work.
HOW TO BE A TOP EARNER IN YOUR BUSINESS
Basically, there are three kinds of jobs in the business world: technical, administrative, and profit-generating.
ē Technical jobs include most positions in information technology and engineering, and some positions in legal, financial, and accounting fields.
ē Administrative jobs include most positions in corporate management, product fulfillment, operations, and customer service, as well as some positions in finance and accounting.
ē Profit-generating jobs are those that are directly involved in producing profits for the company. Profit generators include marketers, salespeople, copywriters, people who create new products, and the people who manage all of these employees. In most companies, the leading profit generator is the CEO, because the CEOís main job is to deliver a bottom line.