I have tripled my income in the last five years. Here’s how I did it

A young woman works on a laptop in a sunny cafe.

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Could the techniques I used also help you increase your income?


Central points

  • I have been a freelance writer my entire career.
  • I have tripled my income in the past five years.
  • I did this by taking a few important steps, including knowing what my time is worth and investing in good tools.

I have been working as a freelance writer since 2008, when I first started writing after graduating from law school. But while I was just scraping by when I first started, I slowly managed to build a successful business. However, in the last five years I have adopted some new techniques that quickly helped me triple my income and improve my personal finances.

Here’s what I did to dramatically increase my earnings over a short period of time.

1. Experiment outside my comfort zone

One of the biggest factors that made a difference for me was being willing to acquire new knowledge and being willing to step out of my comfort zone to try new things.

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I had done the same type of work for the first 10 years of my career and was very familiar with the subjects I was writing about. But the writing I was doing wasn’t paying so well.

When I saw job opportunities in various industries that offered much better rates, I took the time to learn about the subjects that I needed to be an expert in so that I could be considered for them. I developed the skills necessary to be paid a much higher rate than I would have if I had stuck with the status quo.

2. Knowing what my time is worth

I used to accept pretty much every writing job I was offered. But as I developed my expertise and ended up with a ton of job offers, I realized I wasn’t spending my time so wisely. I started turning down some jobs to focus on finding more profitable work, on developing the skills I needed to get jobs that paid much higher, and on doing work that paid more my bank account.

I actually work less now than I used to, even though I make more, because I realize that my time has value and I only take jobs that allow me to earn a certain minimum hourly wage.

3. To treat my work as a business

When I first started writing for pay, I treated it as a hobby – even though I was making money. But I realized that if I wanted this work to be lucrative as a full-time occupation, I would have to treat my job like a business.

I formed an S corporation, I started tracking my income and expenses much more carefully, and I established a minimum number of hours I wanted to work each day doing different things, like pursuing new opportunities and completing existing projects. I also set minimum earning goals for myself.

Finally, one of the biggest changes I made was investing in tools that allowed me to stay organized and work efficiently.

I am now more than willing to pay for a quality computer and software programs that help me track my tasks, keep all my many links organized, monitor how much I spend on each task so I can make sure they value , and easily determine if my daily goals have been achieved.

This may seem like a small thing, but setting up my tools in a way that works for me helped me single-handedly increase my income by tens of thousands of dollars over the past year. I no longer waste time and I am more motivated to get things done.

In the end, investing in myself, taking my work more seriously and educating myself to take advantage of new opportunities has made a huge difference. I can save more, have paid off all my non-mortgage debt and can spend on the things that matter most thanks to the steps I’ve taken. And maybe they could also work for others.

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