Ripley’s World: The First Steps To More Money, Part II

How do I turn my situation into more?

If you’ve actively read my last post – “actively” does not mean to skim it over and think to yourself “great idea” or “stupid article” – then you have a fundament and maybe a new understanding for your financial situation. Many people who have written a book about their life, a serious illness, a distressing personal situation that had accompanied them for a long time, about financial problems or drug addiction, mention afterwards that writing helped them to process these issues. For the first time, they had lined up everything in a clear structure.

When I was starting my training in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), it was similar for me (to learn more about this topic, click here). I was already aware of most of what NLP taught me, I had just never put it together for myself. To see connections in a specific order – a schedule for life, if you wish – adds another perspective and opens up new possibilities.

Making money, spending money … a simple cycle that accompanies us every day. We buy necessities – plus a few luxuries, while we’re at it -, and pay bills that we can’t avoid. Making the table as described in Part I will only show you how you are spending your money – and you can ask yourself whether the items are worth it or not ( Maybe you are completely satisfied, which is good; maybe you realize that you spend too much  (or may be too little) on certain items, which is also good.

However, if you read this post, you are asking yourself the legitimate question: How can I earn more money? I already mentioned in my first post that I am not the person who can give you advice on investing at Wall Street or on earning $100 Million within 4 years ( I know nothing about that advice, and I doubt that you can implement it after reading such an article. I’d like to give people who have a “normal” income the possibility to earn more money after reading a simple post – direct and immediately.

Ok, one thought first. If you think about “more money”, you may believe that only many thousand dollars more would really be MORE. This is not the case. Imagine someone who earns $2,000 a month and spends $1,900 for regular expenses (rent, electricity, mobility, food …). That leaves him an excess of $100. He can add that to his LIFE. If he now only spends $1,800 a month, he would have $200 a month for his LIFE. In a way, his quality of life has doubled. At least his free money has.

This thought leads to a not insignificant idea, a sub-thought, so to speak:

Earning more is more fun than saving!

I find this very small mental leap very efficient – to be honest, I had to overcome my education to get there. I learnt that if I wanted something, I had to save for it. Forgoing one or the other item to finally affording my goal. Early on, however, little Peter countered his mother’s standard wisdom, “You can’t have everything!” with a “Why not?”. This defiance in early childhood developed into a tangible question in advanced age. Thus, if I don’t want to restrict myself, because I am happy with my life as it is – but still want to afford more, there is only one move forward: earning more.

Now, the calculation from above becomes as follows. I am now earning $ 2,100, still have the same costs of $1,900 – and yet doubled the money that is freely available to me.

It’s in the nature of man. This is more fun than saving. Saving is defined as absence of consumption, and no one likes abdication. Abdication makes you think about dieting, and that’s the reason why you don’t lose weight, when you want to. Instant gratification beats long-term benefits, in other words: renouncing the candy bar now is harder than having a bikini figure after the winter.

Since I am a fan of 3-point plans (which I, by the way, at any time totally unincidentally and unscrupulously change into a 4-point plan, if I feel like it), here are 3 possibilities to make more money – regardless of the situation I find myself in.

1. pay raise

2. change jobs

3. get an auxiliary income

Thus, in order to immediately have the promised increase in earnings after this post, here is the tip: tomorrow morning, walk up to your boss and ask for more money. See? Easy. Oh, you already did that, without success? Well, tough luck. Does not work.

But why do other people indeed get pay raises? How did the conversation go with your boss? Did you prepare for it? Which arguments did you have? Did you have precedents? Sounds all … ???

Imagine you work in construction. Your boss is the owner of a small building company. For a completed project, he receives $100,000. Every additional spending he has now reduces his profit, i.e. his own money. He buys material, he uses his equipment, pays rent for his office, official fees and the paychecks for his employees. That’s you. Every $ that you earn reduces the money that remains for your boss. How much more would YOU like to pay yourself?

So you walk up to him, say, “Hey boss, I need more money!” – And he says, “No!”. A more than understandable reaction.

In my first article, “The Pen Moment”, (, I wrote that we are all sales people and have to constantly sell ourselves. Selling means that you present such good arguments to someone who he recognizes the benefits of your item and wants to buy it. Thus, you are selling the benefits. The benefits that your boss gets from YOU. The sentence “Hey boss, I need more money!” contains an important element (a clear demand), but no benefit.

To carve this benefit out is your first requirement. That falls under “Interview Preparation”. Suddenly, you are a top lawyer who must take all aspects into account and know all objections and counter-arguments of the other side to lead yourself towards the verdict: Not guilty!

Your benefit could be, for example, that you make fewer mistakes than others. Mistakes cost your boss money. You produce 10% scraps, others 15%. These 5% are direct savings for your boss. Lay it out for him, best with examples. Prove your skills as best you can. Don’t drag anybody else down, but tell your boss why he WANTS to give YOU the pay raise. You are always on time? Maybe you come 5 minutes earlier than the others and stay 5 minutes longer? Suddenly, you can pay yourself the 10 minutes you have invested daily.

Maybe you have a different offer where you get paid more? You don’t want to go, though. Meet your boss halfway with your question for a pay raise. Do other colleagues already have a higher income? Mention this to him.

Fact: Prepare yourself for the interview and put yourself in the position of your superior. What are his arguments against yours, how can you counter those? Be also honest with yourself. Maybe you aren’t the good worker? Do you make a lot of mistakes and have had a bad education? Does your work not have as high of a value as that of your colleagues? If you assess yourself poorly, have excessive demands and fail to prepare  yourself adequately, the interview can suddenly change into a performance review – at the end of which you leave the company. You have it in your hands.

Point #2 is almost the same as point 1, even if it sounds different. Perhaps you think you earn too little as a construction worker, and your boss is not ready to give you a raise. However, there are probably other positions in your company that are better paid. Maybe the crane operator? But that job needs a qualification that you don’t have.

Openly talk about it with your boss. Why not? You want to have a better position with more income. Don’t conceal your motivation to earn more money at all. You do not work for fun, you simply do it for the money. A reasonable boss will appreciate that as a businessman. Thus, ask him about job training – how can you become a crane operator? Is there even a need for a new crane operator? Perhaps the current guy on the job will retire in 2 years. Perhaps the company is expanding?

If not, other parents have beautiful daughters as well. There are more jobs out there, even if everyone says it’s a “difficult” job market… it can easily become difficult for people with bad or no qualifications. However, not everyone can operate a crane. Thus, how can you qualify yourself further outside the company? From simple certificates (necessary for driving a crane or forklift) to additional licenses (e.g. trucks) to online courses, the world is yours. All these cost money and require careful time-management, but … how many years will you still be working? 10? 20? 30? If you spend 3 years and $10,000 on a high-level qualification today, and after that earn $200 more per month, this investment will have paid for itself after 4 more years. If that’s not worth your time or money, and you’d rather drive a bigger car or have a flatter screen: your decision.

In summary, these are your options:

  • You can earn more money for the same job in the same company.
  • You can earn more money for the same job in a different company.
  • You can earn more money for a job with higher qualifications in the same or a different company.

This looks incredibly simple, because it is. You need to do it though, somebody else won’t do it for you.

It is actually almost the same if you are self-employed. If you are a contractor, charge $110,000 instead of $100,000 for the building – and there’s your raise. Too bad that it won’t work, since another contractor (i.e. your former boss) offers to construct the same building for $100,000, because he pays his people less.

But as a self-employed person, you have to know your premium products. What do you earn the most money with, and are there additional services that you can sell? Do you offer them to each customer and do you have a strong case to sell them? Do you even know how much you earn with which product?

Until the beginning of 2014, I worked in a bank and sold mortgages. My earnings were distributed as follows: 25% from mortgages, 25% from additional insurances and 50% from building loan agreements (a form of investment that is not very common in the United States, as far as I know). My colleagues at a central location sold mortgages through an enormous investment of time, but very few loan agreements and insurances. The argument went like this: We do not have time for those. We are working on so many requests, we can’t handle more.

As a salesman who is paid commission, my shirt is nearer to me than my coat. In other words: my earnings are more important than the statistics of the bank. The time required for the individual products looked like this: Mortgages 8 hours, Insurance 20 minutes, loan agreements 20 minutes. Let’s put this into manageable numbers:

The First Steps to More Money, Part II




Thus, if my colleagues produced $4 million in mortgages, and I myself only $1 million, but could sell additional products, then we’d have the same income by the end of the month, but I’d have more free time.

If a salesman tells me he has no time for consulting and processing of his top-products – a behavior rubber-stamped by his superiors and company executives themselves, because it’s indeed hellishly busy at work, then I have to question every level of the process. For the salesman the question “Why do I work here?”, for the superior “Why do I work with him?” and for the company execs “Why are so few people working there?”

I made the leap of changing the company (that I’ve described above) myself. I am now working for a company where I still sell mortgages, but with the following commission structure:

The First Steps to More Money, Part II




It is indeed tangible what I am telling you here.

And then … there is still point #3: auxiliary income. If I really want to get qualifications for a future position and have to invest money, but want to make more money right now, we have to look at extra income, if point #1 does not work at all.

What can you do? Becoming a paperboy is one possibility, but just as poorly paid as a cashier. Yet employers often search for both. Just go through your city once and check the shopping windows for lists and “wanted” ads. Can you think of doing one or the other? Are you asking?

Let’s say there is a business that you already know well and you could imagine working for them. Talk to the people. That is called a speculative application. Of course you don’t talk to the temporary help or even the woman at the checkout counter. Instead ask for the boss. The store manager, the department head or whoever else making personnel decisions.

You have a penchant for marketing and like selling or could even imagine selling yourself? From pots over winter gardens to insurance policies – almost everything is sold by salesmen who receive a commission. Hang in there. Talk to people when you see them or simply search for them in the Internet. Probably every housewife can sell Tupperware, and any interested man can stand a few hours on a Saturday in the car dealership around the corner. Jobs can be quite more lucrative and perhaps become a long-term perspective. Try it.

There are a million possibilities, you only have to choose one and: DO IT! And if you don’t, nothing will happen. You can’t talk your way out of it. Remember the pen moment.

Click here to read Part I of the series “The First Steps to More Money”:

Check this link to get back to the overview: