Mind the Career – With Zero Excuses!

This continues the series on achieving Mind Like Water, with the goal of creating a life of effortless abundance.

As a reminder, this does NOT suggest that ANYTHING will come to us free-of-charge. In fact, we must work our tails off. The reality is, however, many work their tails off going around in circles, without achieving the life that they’d REALLY like to experience.

We hear and read a LOT about income inequality. I’m kind of sick of it. I’m not suggesting that all labor practices and compensation plans are fair and equatable, or that nothing should be done about it.

My concern is that all this talk about income inequality creates an unnecessary obstacle in too many minds, as they come to “think” that they cannot achieve the income of their dreams.

I’d rather we reinforce the fact that, with few exceptions, EVERY individual has a choice with regards to how much they can “earn.”

We can setup obstacles to earning more (in our mind) and complain, or we can acknowledge that there are unlimited opportunities if we only reach for them.

Bottom-line: We are ONLY paid for the value we deliver to society.

If we decide to remain stagnant by not continuously learning, growing and improving, our income will remain the same. Worse, considering inflation, our actual buying power will be reduced over time. And, finally, the world will definitely leave us in the dust.

The government will not fix this. Your employer will not fix this. The only person who can set your income is the one you see while looking in the mirror.

And, a “mere” college education is NOT a guarantee to ongoing and increasing earning power. In fact, some of the wealthiest people on the planet didn’t attend college or dropped out before earning a degree.

We can increase our earning power by doing several things, most of which relates to increasing the quality and quantity of service we provide society, including:

  • Doing more than we are paid for
  • Constant and never-ending improvement

Doing More Than We Are Paid For

I like a quote of Napoleon Hill’s (author of Think and Grow Rich), which goes something like:

If we only do what we are paid to do, then we are getting paid for all we are worth, aren’t we?

Want to earn more? Do more than asked. While you may not immediately realize the payoff, it will ultimately come, in one or more forms.

  1. You will be recognized for going the extra mile and your employer will adjust your compensation.
  2. You will learn new things along the way. It could be that you develop excellent time management or productivity habits that increases your output. And/or, you may pick up new job-related skills and duties that increase your worth to the company.

In any case, your compensation will catch up. If not where you are working now, then at the next place you decide to go.

Constant and Never-Ending Improvement

To reinforce, the primary approach to increasing our earning power is continuously (that means never-endingly) investing in the process of educating ourselves. Education does NOT stop after high-school or college. That was simply the foundation.

It is a bonus if our employer will send us to, and pay for, training. Whether they do or not, we have many hours every day (during our commute, after work, on weekends) to invest our time in self-development.

If we hone our skills and abilities every single day we make ourselves more valuable in the workplace. The result: we will find ourselves being elevated in our career as we are given increased responsibilities which comes with higher pay.

I know this, first hand.

I “only” acquired an Associates Degree from a community college, in northern Maine. This provided a foot in the door to my first “real” job. And, starting with pretty much NOTHING (other than some bad habits), I invested years in self-development and hard work (all of which has been described through-out this blog) to achieve some pretty outstanding results – did I mention, over time.

And, if I can do it, you can do it!


Realizing that some organizations don’t have the wherewithal, in terms of funding or management practices, to pay us what we are truly worth, we must never forget that we have the ultimate choice as to whether we continue to work there, or not.

If we find ourselves in such a situation we need only explore the MANY other opportunities that exist in the marketplace to earn a living. It may be in the same, or different industry; the same, or different field; the same, or different geographic location. But, we do have the FINAL choice.

If you are in that position (contemplating moving on) and could use some guidance on how to land that next job, you may find some useful tips in a prior series: How To Land That Professional Job. Simply click here.

In closing, to ensure there is no misunderstanding…

I’ve hammered pretty hard on the fact that we, ultimately, set our own salary. It is realized that there are people who cannot work, or are limited in their ability to work, due to mental or physical handicaps. These are the “rare” cases (real people) that we must help. And, I’m more than happy to do my part!

For the rest of us…If we don’t like our paycheck, we can make a change (in ourself, the name of the company that employees us, or both)! It is our choice!

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