Many people are interested in owning lots of assets – be it stocks or rental real estate – for the sole purpose of reaching financial independence. While owning these assets are a great thing and are needed for reaching financial independence, there is one asset many people tend to overlook: themselves. In fact, you are your greatest asset. It’s true. You will never own an asset that will produce the amount of income you can potentially generate in your lifetime.
Think about it this way:
If you own a rental house that nets you $500/month for 30 years, that comes to $180,000. With a good job, you could make that in a few years.
If you own 1,000 shares of a stock at $4 per share and its price skyrockets to $50 per share, you made $46,000. You could generate that in less than a year from a job.
So how do you invest in yourself, and generate the most income possible? The first thing you need to do is go to college. I know, college is expensive and in some cases, college is not needed for a good paying job. But as it stands right now, getting a college degree is in your best interest.
Here is a breakdown of the typical annual salary for a person with the highlighted degrees:
Over 40 years of employment, your lifetime earnings break down like this:
That is a huge difference. But, don’t let these numbers fool you. You can’t simply get a college degree and think your work is over. It’s not. You still need to put forth the effort.
You Are Your Greatest Asset
By getting a good education and working hard at your job, you will learn more and be more productive. This means that you will become more valuable to your employer and ideally, invaluable. When you become invaluable, you earn higher wages.
How To Become Invaluable
While you are at work, act professionally with everyone: co-workers and outside clients. Word travels fast. Find ways of improving current processes, or recommend getting rid of processes that no longer serve a purpose. Document all of this so that you can present them to your boss.
Go above and beyond what the job entails. Ask your boss what he or she dislikes doing and see if you can find a way to automate the process or even take control over it. With how quickly technology is evolving, you are certain to find something that you can improve upon.
When you become invaluable it will lead to you earning more money and getting larger raises (assuming you ask for larger raises). If you want to retire rich or even comfortably, you need to earn as much as you possibly can.
Getting Larger Raises
After you go above and beyond your job duties and record everything, schedule a meeting with your boss. Don’t wait for your annual review. By then it is too late. Salary increases have already been budgeted for. Whenever your review is, schedule a meeting 3-4 months before that date with your boss.
Show them how valuable you are and tell him/her that you would like an “X%” raise come review time. This way your boss knows what you have done, knows what you are looking for, and can “go to bat” for you to get you a larger raise. There is no guarantee you will get it, but you have a much better chance this way than by waiting to bring it up during your review.
You are your greatest asset. Invest in yourself. You will pay huge rewards by doing so.
The more you make, the more you can save, the more your money grows. The more your money grows, the richer you become. The richer you become, the more options you have in life, including retiring early.
It all comes back to you. By continuously growing and learning, you not only become a better person, you also become more invaluable. Earn as much as you can. If you have your high school diploma, look into night school, an online degree program, or other ways to get your bachelors degree.
If you have your bachelor’s degree, see if an advanced degree is appropriate for your career.
In either case, if you have a job and are looking to further your education, there is a good chance your company will help you pay for it.
You control your future and how great of an asset you are. Make the most of yourself and earn as much as you can.