How Much Do You Really Make?

I bet that you make a lot less than you think you make.

man working in office

During my school career, I had many a counselor, teacher and even my parents tell me to work hard, get a good education, find decent employment and I can work my way up to being the boss.

Back then, I took it at face value.

I assumed that if I wanted to make good money, travel the way I wanted, get the things that I desired, I’d need to work my way up to being a manager or boss. It seemed to make sense and sounded reasonable.

Everyone Was Wrong

I still feel like everyone that ever told me that did a great disservice to me. It’s like telling someone they can only travel 30 miles of a 1000 mile road trip. Sure, it makes sense for those who’ve never had the dreams I had or wanted to do anything with their lives but work for the almighty paycheck. 

I suddenly realized how wrong they were when I was reading the 4 Hour Workweek.

When you’re an employee, you get paid the minimum amount you’ll actually work for, and it’s up to you to make ends meet.

When you’re a manager or boss, They give you a bit more, but also pile on three times the responsibility and expect three times the dedication… I don’t know about you, but my wages never were increased three times over for the amount of extra work they expected. If anything it was always less than 20%.

In order to get a raise, the only thing I knew how to do was find a different job that was willing to pay me the minimum I’d take above my previous wage.

Don’t Work For The Minimum

The problem in both employee and boss positions is that you still answer to someone that cuts you a paycheck. Although the two salaries may be different, it’s still the same principle: You trade time for dollars, work for the minimum payable wage that you’ll accept, and answer to a boss that has higher expectations of you that he or she is willing to compensate you for.

Massive Action and Lifestyle Design Depend on Ownership

Most employees (bosses included) can’t tell work to take a hike. Neither can they control much in the company. Sure, an employee can make suggestions, and guess what? If the idea takes off and the company makes a lot more money, who actually gets that? Not the employee…

This is why ownership is the holy grail. Why give your great ideas to a company that will take them, have success, and just give you a pat on the back and maybe buy you a lunch.

Have You Ever Felt Under Appreciated?

That’s exactly what happens. You’re there to make the company and owners money. I’m sorry, but there is no owner that I know of that is willing to sacrifice all company profits, the vacations, Bentleys and five-star restaurants to ensure employees are fairly compensated for their contributions.

Think about everything you sacrifice as an employee:

Time – A resource that can never be replenished. If you actually think about it, how far off is working a 9-5 from being imprisoned eight hours a day? You dedicate so much of your life to work, and in the end, what do you have to show for it? Pensions don’t exist… Retirement is like minimum wage, IRAs? Can you even save enough to put away, and if so, how much more of your life did you sacrifice to do that?

There is no paycheck in the world that can compensate you for the time you miss from family – your spouse and kids, watching them take their first steps and so on. If you don’t have a family, then think in terms of how much your life is actually worth. Is your life worth $15 an hour? Really?

Freedom – Work rules your life. You report to work every day. In harsh words, You are a lowly paid servant to the owner of the company. You have to ask permission to take off work, even though it’s your life we’re talking about. Some people have to clock in and out because the company doesn’t trust anyone to be truthful.

Let me ask you in a different scenario: Would you get married to a spouse that made you check in every morning and night? Would you marry them if they explicitly told you that you needed to do exactly what they told you to do, and show your work as proof you did it? Would you marry someone that was only willing to give you the lowest amount of attention that you’d stick around for? Does anyone like it if their spouse reprimands them for what they do wrong?

Why Are You OK With Your Employer Treating You Like Crap? It might not feel that way, but remove all the distractions and see it for what it is: You work (as do we all) in a workhouse where you are told what to do (tasks and projects), you are told how much you’re worth (paycheck), and you’re really not allowed to live your life unless the company gives you permission (vacation & sick requests). 

Consider what little money you actually take home that is honestly yours. Your takehome pay is probably about 20% less than what your paycheck says you make, but in reality, your gross pay is just a number. 

A huge mistake everyone makes is to divide the paycheck by the number of hours worked. THIS IS WRONG! All this does is give you the amount you make per working hour, NOT how much you’re making per hour when considering absolutes.

To find out what you’re making an hour, divide your NET income (the after taxes and extras amount) by the number of hours in a year rather than the number of hours you work.

For example, If you make $50,000 a year, and there are 8,760 hours a year, you are actually making $5.70 per hour that you breathe.

Now let me ask you to reflect on your working conditions knowing what you know now… You work for a much lower amount of money than you thought you did. Are you still just as happy and excited about going to work tomorrow? Methinks not.

The reason for doing this isn’t to bring your spirits down, but rather, so you can give yourself a baseline to start from.

Knowing how much an hour you make is extremely important, and the goal is to increase your hourly income based on this number.


Six Cups of Coffee

Written by Six Cups of Coffee

Being Friendly, Functional and Productive requires Coffee and not just one dinky little cup. For some of us, it's a few cups. Then there's those that drink it all day. Not just because they need it, but they're genuinely in love with the stuff. I fall into that type. Always with coffee on the desk or in the hand.

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