Are You Income Stagnant?
Your income. Are you happy with it? I mean really happy. Are you happy where it is? Are you happy with the growth each year? Are you happy where your income will be in five years if it stays on it's current trajectory. Well, if you're like many Americans, you may be what I call income stagnant.
What is income stagnant? Income stagnant is where you get comfortable with your income. You're comfortable where it and your comfortable with it's meager growth each year. I was such a person many years ago.
I grew up in a lower middle income family. Our gross household income was between $30,000-$40,000. During my first year out of college, I made $39,000. That was at least 6x more money than I'd ever seen in my life. I was making more than my mom and dad and I thought I was living the high life of success. I didn't know any better. Since I made more money than my parents who'd been in the workforce for 30 years, I naturally felt successful. I had no idea what real success was, but in my defense, I was 25 years old. You know, that age where you think you know everything, when you know almost nothing.
My income grew steadily up as my hourly wage increased, while my goal was to dial back the hours I worked. Over several years, I went from working 55+ hours a week to 45 hours per week. After six years in the workforce, my income hit $47,500, an $8,500 increase from when I started or a 22% increase. Little did I realize, I was income stagnant. During that time, I became antsy and started job hunting and looking for new opportunities. I decided to make a career change from the engineering field into online business development and programming. My income dropped from $47,500 to $35,000 to make the career transition. Over the next several years, my income grew substantially. $50,000, $70,000, $90,000, $100,000. As my experience and capabilities grew, so did my income. I learned quite a bit during this time of my life. Things like where I grew up shaped what I thought about myself, my capabilities, but most of all, it shaped my expectations for life. You could say my income was stagnant because my view of life was stagnant. Is your income stagnant? Is your life stagnant? What are you going to do today to change it? Set Some Goals
Can you increase your income $10,000 this year?
Can you increase your income $10,000 or more a year for the next five years?
Name a new thing you'd like to try this year. Do it.
Learn something new this year that you expect to pay dividends in the future. Ideas: read a leadership book, read a family book, learn about sales and how to sell, listen to some podcasts on a topic you want to become more proficient in.
Life is what you make of it. Don't let yourself become stagnant.