Our focus for this month is all about finding extra income sources that will give you the ability to save towards your financial goals. It's not enough to just have a clear and specific dream that you are passionate about; you also need to identify exactly where and how you are going to create additional income to invest in your plans.
Last week we set a challenge that was especially directed at employees and anyone who believes that a job is the only way that they can earn. Your mission is to find a product or service that creates values for customers, and offer it to your friends, family and colleagues for profit. The objective is for you to get accustomed to making money from your own efforts.
With the current economic challenges, most people have few opportunities to increase their on-the-job income. Those who are fortunate to get a raise or bonus will find that inflation eventually eats away at the extra earnings they make. If you are determined to have enough money to improve your standard of living and attain your dreams, then you need to look within.
Putting a value on your work
Let's now discuss an important concept that will help you to understand why generating income for yourself may be the best way to obtain the funds you need to accomplish your goals. There is an interesting correlation between your time and your income that you may have never really considered what is the true value of your work effort?
In a previous column, we looked at the importance of making smart choices with the utilisation of your time. Since you only have 24 hours in a day, you have to carefully make use of each hour, minute and second to further your goals. You also need to place a value on your time that will allow you to reap the highest reward from the time you spend working.
To find out the current value of your work effort, calculate how much you are being paid for your time by dividing the salary you receive by the total number of hours you typically work in a month. For example, if you earn $80,000 monthly and work eight hours per day for 20 days in a month, then you would be earning at a rate of $500 per hour over 160 hours.
Who determines your worth?
Perhaps you have heard the old joke, "My job pays me just enough money to keep me from quitting!" This amusing comment actually highlights a crucial aspect of most work contract arrangements - the amount of your salary is established by market rates and your employer's budget, not by what your work effort is truly worth.
In other words, there is just so much that you can earn in a certain job position, regardless of your belief in your intelligence, ingenuity or importance. If you think your work effort should be worth more, or if you need to increase your income to achieve your goals, you are usually constrained by what your employer, trade union or other outside forces decide is appropriate.
Although many sales positions offer employees an open-ended ability to earn as their income is influenced by their performance, it's unlikely that they will ever make more money than the boss!
If your dreams require a significant amount of income that is currently out of your ball park at work, then you will be only be frustrated trying to obtain your required earnings from your job.
Getting more from your work time
According to Bill Quain, author of Overcoming Time Poverty, most people will try to increase their income by spending more time earning money. They will seek to get overtime pay or work part-time at another job. However, Quain insists that the solution is to "make our time more valuable ... so that we can spend the same amount of time, or even better, less time making more money".
Quain explains that because we have been trained to wait for an employer to determine what we are worth, this presents an obstacle when we want to increase the value of our time. "The only one who can place the correct value on your time is you," he asserts. If you really want to earn what you think you're worth, you have to give yourself a raise.
To start making what you truly deserve, you should spend some of your time creating your own source of income. Quain suggests that after calculating how much more you need each month; set aside 10 hours each week to go after that income goal. So if you need an additional $40,000 per month, you have to find a means of generating $10,000 per week or $1,000 per hour.
Understanding and believing in the true value of your work time is a vital factor in the process of increasing your income to accomplish your dreams. In upcoming columns we will look at what you can do within your spare time to earn what you are really worth.
Cherryl is a money coach, business mentor, and founder of Financially S.M.A.R.T. Services. Her upcoming book, "The 3 Ms of Money" will reveal all the secrets she learned about financial success. Get more advice on money and business matters at www.financiallysmartadvice.com and www.entrepreneursinjamaica.com. Email comments to email@example.com.