I’ve Tripled My Income in the Last Five Years. Here’s How I Did It

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

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

Important points

  • I have been a freelance writer throughout my career.
  • I have tripled my income in the last five years.
  • I’ve done this by taking a few key steps, including knowing what my time is worth and investing in good tools.

I’ve been a freelance writer since 2008, when I started writing after graduating from law school. But while I was just making ends meet in the beginning, I was able to slowly build a successful business. However, over the past five years, I’ve embraced some new techniques that have quickly helped me triple my income and improve my personal finances.

Here’s what I did to dramatically increase my income in a short amount of time.

1. Experimenting outside of my comfort zone

One of the biggest factors that made the difference for me was the willingness to learn new things and 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. However, the writing I did didn’t pay off that well.

When I saw job offers in various industries that offered far better prices, I took the time to research the subjects I would need to be an expert on in order to be considered for them. I’ve developed the skills necessary to get paid a lot more than I could have if I’d stuck with the status quo.

2. Knowing what my time is worth

I used to take almost any writing job that was offered to me. But as I developed my expertise and ended up getting a lot of job offers, I realized that I wasn’t using my time that wisely. I started turning down some jobs to focus on finding more profitable work, developing the skills I needed to get much higher paying jobs, and doing work that brought more money into my bank account.

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I actually work less now than I used to, even though I’m making more money because I know my time is valuable and I only take on jobs that allow me to earn a certain minimum hourly rate.

3. Treat my work like a business

When I started writing for money, I treated it like a hobby—even though it made me money. But I realized if I was going to make this work lucrative as a full-time job, I had to treat my job like a business.

I started an S corporation, started tracking my income and expenses much more carefully, and I set a minimum number of hours I wanted to work each day on different things, like pursuing new opportunities and completing existing projects . I also set minimum earnings targets.

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

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I’m now more than willing to pay for a quality computer and software programs to help me track my tasks, organize all my many links, monitor how much I’m spending on each task so I can make sure I’m doing it worthwhile and easy to see if my daily goals have been met.

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

Ultimately, investing in myself, taking my work more seriously and educating myself to take advantage of new opportunities has made a huge difference. Thanks to the steps I’ve taken, I’m saving more, paying off all my non-mortgage debt, and spending on the things that matter most. And maybe they could work for others too.

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