What makes you valuable to an employer or to the market?  This philosophy my own, developed over the last fifteen years of working with and looking at thousands of companies and leaders through my profession.   It was also inspired by four leaders I’ve worked with including a former boss who is now in executive management for a public company and an early corporate retiree who’s second career was growing the largest private company in their segment.

So what allows you to provide value?

  • Develop a unique and marketable skill set
  • Master the ability to sell and influence people
  • Learn how to lead and inspire people

The highest earning individuals in the world usually have a some combination of the three qualities above.  This comes from years of observing companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals along with the insight of reviewing hundreds of personal and business tax returns each year while asking myself the question of “How do they earn what they earn?”.


Unique and Marketable Skill Set:

These are specific skills that are developed through a combination of education and on the job training.  Examples of these skill sets are:

Accountant,  Engineer, Medical Professional, Mechanic, Construction/Repair Trades, Computer Programming/Coding.

The unique skill sets allow someone to earn a higher exchange rate of their time for money.


The Ability to Sell and Influence People:

Sales should be viewed as a fast path to a higher income.  Salespeople have one distinct advantage over others in earning:  They are paid a direct and proportionate amount relative to the value they generate for a company.   The most basic example is if a car salesperson sells you a $30,000 car with a 10% ($3,000 profit),  their commission will be a percentage of that profit to the company.   The higher the profit you bring to a company, the larger your paycheck.  As a general rule, salespeople earn 25% of the gross profit they generate, otherwise known as the difference between what they sell and the cost of the good/service they sold.

Related Posts:

Five High Paying Sales Positions

Best Jobs to Learn Sales Skills in College


The Ability to Lead and Inspire People:

Leadership matters in your career:  Are you someone who the boss trusts to lead a project?  Are you someone the company trusts to put in charge of people?  Can you develop a following of people that believe in you and your goal?  Great leaders develop a great following.   I was once told by a respected leader that he never recruited anyone, but built a culture that attracts people.  This creates value and a leader can be rewarded appropriately.


Each person has a limited amount of time to work.  If you’re seeking to pay down debt, retire early, or enjoy a higher lifestyle, increasing your income is one half of the financial equation.   The faster you can develop the skills above, the quicker you can increase your income!