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6 Years to 6 Figure Income

How I Went From 30K to 103K in 6 Years

Have you ever wondered how this guy besides you is dressed-up like a million bucks and got the promotion you ever wanted? Have you ever wanted to know what you need to do to reach the magic number of a 6 figure income? I dont think I have a secret formula to make it happens all I know is that I did it in 6 years, so YOU can do it too!

Table of Contents
Chronology of My Income............................................................................................................................. 2 Why Should You Listen to Me Anyway? ................................................................................................... 3 The One and Only Principle That Rules The Universe................................................................................... 9 The Pareto Principle .................................................................................................................................. 9 My trick to reach a 6 figure income job ...................................................................................................... 15 How to Get a Better Job.......................................................................................................................... 21 How to get an income raise years after years ........................................................................................ 22

Welcome to My World
The very first thing that comes to my mind before I write anything about how to make a 6 figure income is Thank you for reading this eBook! The idea of creating this eBook actually came from one of my friend and colleague. He was amazed to see where I started my career (as an admin clerk making $30,000/year) and where I was standing right now (a successful banker).

As he is slightly younger than me and just starting his career, he asked me for help. He wanted to know what I did to follow such a high speed career path while getting married, having 3 kids and finishing my MBA with honours. After telling him most of my secrets, Ive thought of writing this quick eBook and give it to my most important reader; YOU!

You wont find any shady shortcuts to achieve a high level of income. This eBook is simply the description of all the things I have done to make it happen in 6 years. Those tricks may or may not be all applicable to your situation. However, Im sure that after reading this eBook, you will get a few tricks to get, at least, a juicy raise!

All the best,


Chronology of My Income
Why Should You Listen to Me Anyway?
I must admit that I have a pretty short work history (I only started working back in 2003 and this book has been written at the beginning of 2012). However, Ive been able to use this time to maximize my income progression to a 6 figure salary in only 6 years of work.

Did I start to sell drugs in the process? Nope! Did I work over 60 hours a week for 5 years before hitting the jackpot? Nope! Did I have to be a brown-noser? No way Jose! So how the hell I was able to grow my income faster than a 15 year old footballer eats a double pepperoni medium pizza? Keep reading, youll get the answer

2003 $30,000 $37,000

I finished my bachelor degree in finance & marketing in 2003. At that time, I was able to get a cool job as a clerk in the back office of a trading firm. My job sounded cool at first as I was dealing with traders to clear their trades at the end of the day. It was in the stock options and futures department (also called derivatives). But the sad truth is that it was boring me to death! I could have been asked to paint stop signs red and it would have been more fun! All I did all day was balance numbers in an excel spreadsheet and was desperately waiting for the clock to hit 5pm! After 6 months only, I quit my job and watched TV for 2 weeks until I found a better job for a better salary (from 30K to 37K) in a bank.

2004 $47,000
The start of 2004 was a great adventure as I started it by being in charge of a $25M RRSP loan campaign. I was in charge of making sure that everything ran

smoothly and that all the loans were approved and disbursed on time. As I didnt have many employees under me, I did the whole job and was working 14 hour days with no breaks (literally, people were dropping food and coffee on my desk so I didnt die). I was looking like those Chinese zombies who play World of Warcraft non-stop. 2 months of work that gave me my first raise (from $37,000 to $42,000) along with a $5,000 bonus at the end of the year. Man, I was almost at $50K after only 2 years on the market.

2005: $55,000
I really liked where I was working back then so I continued to hustle hard. My biggest strength was that I was able to do my job and then find ways to improve our processes within my work week (which was 37.5hrs/week at that time). Therefore, I earned my first promotion (with another raise to a base salary of $48,000). My boss liked me a lot because all those improvements in his department were making him look good big time. He was a nice guy so he was sharing the wealth and gave me a lot of tricks to go higher. One of them was to get all my tuition fees paid my employer. This is how I got my stock trading license along with my financial planner courses paid.

2006: $61,000
Another year, another promotion. This time, I was promoted as the senior of my team. This came with a hefty salary raise (up to $52,000) along with a bigger bonus at the end of year ($9,000). I really like this year at work because I was adding a lot of responsibilities and I was invited to all kinds of important meetings with the big bosses. I was about to join the big guys one day. This is when I realized that my sacrifices and hard work started to pay off. I was now known by VPs and my name was getting around.

2007: $63,000
A year later, I was starting to get bored. I realized that being the senior of my team wasnt only about its advantages. On the other hand, some people were getting jealous and I didnt have many friends there anymore. While work became another synonym for routine, I had the great opportunity to go on my first week long business trip. To date, this was one of the best professional experiences I have ever lived. I had the opportunity to go visit much of British Columbia speaking with many very interesting individuals. But when I came back from this trip, I got the bad news that our bank held a lot of commercial paper (also known as ABCP) and that our bonus was going to be cut big time. So even if I had a salary increase that year, my overall income almost stagnated for the first time. I was due for a change!

2008: $64,000
I didnt tell most people in my entourage but the real reason why I quit my job at the bank to become a financial planner in 2008 was because I didnt win a contest at the end of 2007! I know, I can be a big baby sometimes, but I really deserved to win that darned contest. This is why I decided to change jobs in the middle of my MBA. It was a really hard year for me; I had to adapt to new colleagues, new systems and a new job while finishing my MBA. On top of that, it had to be the worst year on the stock market for the past 50 years! Anyways, this job change didnt bring me much in terms of income and I didnt perform well enough (I had only 6 months to add assets to my book). This is why I finished the 2008 year with the smallest bonus I have ever had: $2,300!

2009: $103,000
While 2008 was really rough, 2009 was life changing for me. I was performing like there was no tomorrow and I finished the year at almost 200% of my objectives. In the meantime, I finished my MBA and asked for a sizeable raise due to my performance and my new degree. I was becoming a pillar employee in my branch and the manager wanted to keep me on his side. This is the first year where I started to combine my online income to my day job in order to break the 6 figure income for the first time in my life (at the age of 28!). While my online income wasnt that much at the time, it was just enough for me to bump up my total income in the major leagues. The biggest change in 2009 was not about my income; it was about how many hours I had to work to make it. In 2009, I started working 4 days a week, so 30 hours a week at my day job. It gave me more time to spend with my family and to work on my online company.

2010: $135,000
2010 was literally a continuation of the past 2 years as I completed a second year in a row with 200% of my objectives. The bonus was similar (roughly 33K) but I was able to negotiate another income raise based on my past performance. In addition to that, the benefits earned from my online company started to increase at that time. My partner and I decided to pay me for my full day of blogging at the same rate I was earning at my day job (bonus excluded obviously!). This was one of the best decisions we ever took as the business has grown way faster since then. With less than 10 hours/week, we were able to make it grow significantly.

2011: $176,000
There is not much difference between 2010 and 2011 while the income is larger. In fact, 2011 is definitely the sum of all the good decisions I have made over the past 8 years: - Getting my CFP title - Completing my MBA with honours - Moving towards a job where the bonus is linked to my performance - Working 4 days a week to become more productive at work - Giving awesome service to my clients - Concentrating on my online business to generate a steady flow of income - Focusing on value added actions instead of doing what I had to do 2011 is my ultimate proof that when you have a solid plan and work on it for several years, the sum of your actions generates exponential results.

Whats next???
In 2012, Im not expecting to make as much as 2011. I think this will be my record year for a few years to come. As I mentioned in my 2012 financial goals, my objective will be to pay off debts and take care of myself. Ive reached very high level of income quite fast without having to work numerous hours (remember, I worked 30hrs/week at my day job in 2011). I think that the most important part is to do things that you love. This is how you can make money and crush it like I did. My ultimate goal is to stick to the 6 figures without having to work much. I am not aiming for a 250K or 300K salary even though I now know that I could eventually get there. I would rather have a low 6 figure income and enjoy life now instead of waiting desperately until retirement to enjoy it! Keep reading this book and youll how I was able to manage a high quality of life while managing a high income.

The One and Only Principle That Rules The Universe

The Pareto Principle
If there is one thing you need to remember from the whole book, it is the Pareto Principle. This is also known as the 80-20 rule where for many events; roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes (Wikipedia source ). Lets bring the rule back to your most important asset, yourself:

20% of your effort will generate 80% of your result

This is true at school, at work andobviously with money. This is based on the rule that you should manage your time. Work on the 20% and forget about the rest (but make sure to read my word of caution in a few pages!). Its useless anyway as you will spend 80% of your time and effort to generate 20% of your results do you really want this? I have run into several workhorses in my life. You know what? We dont call those people workhorse for nothing. A ho rse is pretty strong and works very hard. But is it half as smart as a rat? If you put a horse in a maze, chances are that he will never get out and would

die in there. But he will work like crazy to get out though. As you may know, some horses even die du ring a race because they couldnt stop running and they ran until they die. The problem is that he wont be working on what is important. Workhorses at school will study for hours and hours until they master every single word of every single page of their books. Most of them will obviously succeed and have awesome marks. But Im asking you: at what price do they succeed? Even worst: if they were to study 80% less, they would probably end -up with a reasonable mark. So tell me: why should you spend 50 hou rs to get 95% when you can spend 10 hours and get 80%? The key is to know where to put your 20% of effort. So at first, you might want to consider working 40% or 30% in order to get your 80% results. Overtime, you will master the rule and how you should ap ply it and reach almost a perfect 20 -80 balance. In order to apply this rule in your life, you should ask yourself a simple question when you are about to do something: Am I creating value right now or am I just doing something because it has to be done?


Heres an example
Cutting my lawn: I spend some time and effort to do something that has to be done. However, I am not creating any value; the grass will grow again and Ill have to be back behind my lawnmower in 4 days. Im wasting my time and I am n ot productive. What if I pay the kid next door $10 and save an hour? This would make sense as long as I would use this hour to work on my business and generate more than $10 during the same time.

This is also how I manage my online company

Each week, I spend 6 hours in a row working on my company. I call it my blogging day. 6 hours is not much when you have tons of things to do. So I am trying as much as I can to do things that create value (such as writing, keeping in touch with important connections, learning new techniques or working on strategies). In order to do this, I have to outsource many has to be done tasks. For example, Ive hired someone to keep track of all private advertising and contact advertiser upon renewal. Everybody can follow up on advertisement with an excel spreadsheet. It needs to be done as we would not be paid for private advertisement if we werent asking for payments. However, it doesnt create any value. This is why I outsource this task while I concentrate on writing this b ook for example. But wait! Im not telling you to pay for everything you dont want to do. This would be stupid and you would be spending a lot of money without keeping control of your wallet. However, there are ways where you can optimize your time and e nergy without paying. So Im

telling you to outsource what someone else can do for you while you can use this free time to create more money. For example, you can easily ask your manager to give some reports you have to generate to a junior or a stagier w hile you are doing something that creates value (e.g. generate more income or save time for the department). If you can prove to your manager that you will generate more money for the firm while doing another task than reporting, then you will be free from this boring task and climb in your boss esteem. What if you dont have enough resources to outsource your reporting to someone else? Why dont you ask a friend in the computer department about how to streamline your report process? When I was working at my first job, we used to do a lot of reports through Excel. I knew that there were some ways to automate a part of it through operating macros, but I had no clue how to do it. I decided to take some time with Excel wizards in the department so they coul d help me build those macros. At the end, Ive spent a few extra hours of my time to build a new Excel spreadsheet but then, I have saved 4-5 hours or work per week to this department forever. This frees me up for doing more projects while improving my cha nces of earning a promotion. Most people just follow processes without asking questions. So if you only take 15 minutes out of your lunch hour to think about your processes, you will definitely find where and how you can improve them to make your life easier. This is how you will use 20% of your efforts to generate 80% of your results!


Action Step: Create Value

This step action is pretty easy to understand, but will require some time. I want you to make a list of all the things you do in a week. Classify it under separate categories to make sure you have everything: Work Family Chores Hobby Side income Etc. Once you list all your tasks (start with your job, this is where you will find most of the juice to work on). Mention if it is a productive task (e.g. creating value) or if it an outsourceable task (e.g. it is not creating value and can easily be done by someone else at a lesser cost). Once you have identified the tasks requiring you 80% of your time but generating only 20% of your work, yo u should then try to find ways to outsource or improve them. I understand that outsourcing is not always an option; especially at work! Nobody will want to do a part of YOUR job unless you are lucky enough to have a student by your side. So the other opti on you have is to improve your efficiency by performing those tasks. Here are a few examples of how you can do it.

Voicemail and mailbox management

Do them twice a day (at 11am and at 4pm). Notify your coworkers, your boss and your clients that you will t ake care of their voicemails or emails twice a day and not to expect an answer between those timeframes. You will become more productive on your actual tasks (instead of jumping from one task to a voicemail to another task between 2 emails) and you will be more focused when you return telephone calls. If you are good with computers, you can call people back while answering quick emails. Focus is the key to being productive. If your mind is doing 3 -4 tasks at the same time, you are just running around and playing your role perfectly as a rat in the maze!

Doing reports
Most reports can be completely or partially automated through Excel macros or other software. It is important to take some time to figure out a way how you can run reports automatically. This will save you a lot of time and, if you require a few hundred bucks to manage this project; your employer is most likely to approve it if you can prove that you can save 30 minutes per day (30 minutes at $20/hour is $50 saved per week forever it definit ely worth the investment!).


My trick to reach a 6 figure income job

Work hard until you get your promotions
For several years, I worked very hard and always did more than what I was asked. Most people wont do this, because they think they are not paid to do extra. While they are right in a way, climbing up the company ladder require sacrifices and extra work. How can you shine if you do exactly what your co -worker does? You do your job right and you are good at it? Congratulations but you are already p aid for doing your job right, and for that they let you come to work tomorrow. If you want a promotion, you have to step up and go the extra mile. My first boss always told me that if I want a position, I should act, dress and work as if I had it. It doesn t mean to be cocky, it means to work some extra hours, do some extra projects and prove that you can actually do the job before getting the promotion. Ask to replace your senior during his vacation for example. Spend some time with him in order to know more about his job and how he deals with it.

Dont complain
Another important point is to avoid complaints. You can argue, you can debate your point of view (this is another good way to shine) but not in a negative, whining fashion, (want some cheese with t hat?). People dont like whiners in general, they like winners . Complaining

is against any corporate view. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, you better walk the walk!

Get your employer to pay for your tuition

My employer paid for my mutual fund s licence, my CFP (Certified Financial Planner) designation and my MBA . While I cant quit my job for the next 3 years without leaving them a big check to reimburse those fees, I now hold a plethora of diplomas to improve my employability and salary (compa nies tend to pay more money for someone with a lot of paper to put on the wall ).

Join a Big Firm

I finished my bachelor degree in finance -marketing back in May 2003. Prior to this date, I had already signed my contract with a big financial firm. The job was okay but it wasnt exciting either. However, the point was to get hired by a company with thousands of divisions. My employer currently has more than 17,000 employees. This meant 2 things for a young wolf like me: #1 There is a lot of potential for pr omotions #2 I could try 5 different careers and still be working for the same employer for 25 years When I started working, I was looking for these 2 things from my future employer and I didnt mind my starting level. All I needed was


an entry point. Because most of the good jobs in big firms are given to existing employees As an admin clerk, I was balancing trades all day long. The first 4 months were very interesting as I was learning about the stock market and how stock options work (I was in the deriva tive products department). However, after a while, you get tired of opening the same Excel spreadsheets and solving the same issues over and over again. This is when I quit my first job. 2 weeks after, I was hired by the same company but in a different department. This is where the real story started

Get Your Managers Attention

Before you start thinking you need to be a brown -noser to get promotions, Ill tell you upfront: brown noses dont get the real jobs . One day or another, somebody detects their little game and they get stuck where they are. When I write about getting your managers attention I mean about by bringing results t o the table. Im talking about asking your manager questions in order to improve the way you work and behave.


Do More Than Expected

If you do your job right, thats expected. If you do your job better; its appreciated. What you need to do is to: a) Do your job better than most people around you b) Think about how you can improve your job or anything else in your department Once I had mastered my new job (we were granting investment loans for high net worth clients), I was always thinking during the day (or after work!) about how I could improve the way I work. I had setup a unique office organization and created many excel spreadsheets to help me improve my job. Each time I had an idea, I put it into place and then, I showed my boss the benefits of it. By doing more than expected, I was always my boss radar and my name started to be heard in upper management. Some people told me that I was doing too much for what I was paid and that I should just do my job well and wait for my promotion. They were basic ally thinking that my extra work was just a freebie for my employer. I started this job at 37K in November 2003. In March 2004, I got my first raise of 5K I was then making 42K. I guess my extra efforts paid off pretty quickly after all.


Show Some Interest

On top of doing more than expected, I was also showing interest in getting a position higher than mine. I asked my manager how to get to my next promotion. Since he saw great potential with me, he guided me with what I needed to do in order to get the promotion I was looking for. At that time, all I needed to do was to follow his advice. This was because we had very open communication and I never hesitated to ask for his opinion. A year later, in 2005, I got my first promotion and started taking ca re of bigger files. My salary went from 42K to 47K and my bonus was around 9K back then. I had now gone from 30K (with barely no bonuses) to a 56K job in not even 3 years.

Beware of the Water Cooler

The last piece of advice I want to give you today is to beware of the water cooler . How many times have you heard an employee bad mouthing the company he is working for, his department, his boss or even worse; another employee? This happens at the water cooler, in every cafeteria of every company. This is why yo u have to be very careful. You dont want your name to come up as a troublemaker and certainly dont want other employees to loath you because you are bad mouthing. During these conversations, always stay off the radar. No need to be a fierce defender of e verybody, but you dont have to participate either.


Action Step: Ask For It!

Act like a real soldier and get yourself a raise this year! I have given you enough hindsight that you now know how to approach your manager and get what you want. Dont be rude, dont be cocky; just be confident and apply the rules mentioned above. Youll definitely be able to pull out your card and get a winning hand! If you are too shy to ask just think of how slow your salary will grow if you sit on your chair and wait/hope for your yearly annual increase. This increase is usually pretty low and you know why? Because someone else asked for a bigger raise and got it. You, poor rat, get what is left from the big envelope. I think its time for you to get your share, dont yo u think?


How to Get a Better Job

This brings us to the next level: getting a promotion or a better job. Why work on climbing the corporate ladder when you actually want to leave the rat race? Isnt that getting deeper in our rat hole? Ill be honest with you, while you work on getting a higher pay check, you are not working on getting out of the rat race. In fact, you are probably digging your role and might fall into it. Many guru books will tell you that you need to focus solely on your business/project and basically leave everything else on the side. They are right in a sense that you need to focus on your business if you want to aspire to financial independence before the age of 65. However, I dont drink too much Koolaid and I am very aware that you may already be stuck with your load of bad debts and financial obligations. If you are reading this book, it is probably because you are stuck somewhere in the Rat Race. If you are stuck, it also means that you are limited with the actions you can take to get out of your maze. Quit your job and apply the Secret oh boy! Some people are not living in the same world as I do. You know what? Positive thinking will definitely help, but believing you will receive checks through the mail because of the laws of attraction is a bit too much. Youll have to work on top of being positive! So Im not asking you to jump off the cliff and believe. I rather give you a few hints on the jump and lend you a parachute to make sure you are not hurt in the process! When I started to seek assets to build a few years ago, I had kids, a mortgage and other financial obligations already. I was too afraid to

leave everything behind and make the jump. I believe you are like me; you want a better financial future but you are too afr aid to jeopardize what you have already. Gurus will tell you that fear only restrain you from acting and that you have almost nothing to fear. Well sorry, I dont drink that Koolaid and I will reach financial independence one step at a time. So in the meantime, I have spent my time at work doing something way more interesting than only working: I have spent my time trying to get salary raises and promotions. The following part can be found somewhere on my blog but I thought this topic was well covered and that you need to read those articles.

How to get an income raise years after years

From 2003 to 2008 I went from a $30,000 salary as an admin clerk to a 6 figure income professional position. Aside from the diplomas (we will cover that later one), there a re a few tricks on how you can get not only an income raise each year but you can surpass all your coworkers as well. To begin with, I would say that asking for a raise is like playing poker, here are a few rules I used.


#1 Know What Your Hand is Worth

~ You cant ride the table with a pair of clowns in your pocket! ~ Before you start betting, you must know if you have a winning hand or not. This depends on several factors: Your performance at work Your coworkers performance compared to yours Your diplomas The companys or your departments financial health Potential competitors you can work for Internal moves that can be done (lateral or promotion) in your firm If you dont have anything at the moment, its time to look around in order to either improve your performance or look for another job elsewhere. Dont stay on a sinking boat youll end -up the same way as people who stayed patiently on the Titanic; drown under water with handsome Leonardo DiCaprio!


#2 Know Who Your Opponents Are

~ Talk to a few people before sitting at the table ~ During a poker game, you certainly dont want to make enemies just as you dont want any specific player to try to nail you more than others. When you are asking for a raise, you better make sure you know who you will ask and how to go about it. Managers r eact differently to this kind of request and this is why there is a preferred method and time to ask for a raise. Heres a quick example of how I got 3 income raises in 2009: The first raise I received was during the time of the year they position each employee according to the salary grid. Then, I asked for another raise at the end of the financial year (in November) based on my overall performance and on the basis that I had finished my MBA. The third one was provoked by a position opening in downtown. W hile it was almost impossible for me to move from one branch to another in the same area (our branch is considered downtown but we dont get the downtown premium ), I thought of applying and explained that it was because I want to be paid the premium (as the branch next door is only 10 blocks away!). As you can see, I have brought along my file solidly without putting any ultimatum. I also work on my cards (my pe rformance, my diplomas and then, possible internal moves). I could have also used an offer from the competition but this is a very tricky game and I dont advise it. If you play this card, your employer will know that you are nothing but a cash wh*/$/. You dont want that. Actually, you better approach your boss by telling him that you really like your job

and you like the company and you want to stay with them. Then, you ask him to help you stay and still be a key employee in the department.

#3 Know When and How To Bluff

~ You dont want your employer to give up on you, right? ~ When you ask for a raise, you need to put a little bit of pressure on your employer so they realize what life could be without you. This is why it is always good to mention that you recently turned down head hunter offers because you are happy with your current employer and that you believe that you will be able to find a solution to your salary situation. So they know that other companies would like to have you on board but you didnt threaten them. If your bluff is too cocky, your employer will obviously give up and tell you that you may be happier elsewhere be careful! As is the case during a poker game, overusing bluffs can cost you the game. In fact, when you are sitting dow n at the poker table with your employer, you can always assume that he has a stronger hand then you do. Underestimating your boss during salary negotiation is probably the worst move you can ever make.


#4 Know When it is Time to Pull Your Chips off the Table

~ There is a time to cash out this beautiful money ~

We all want more money (all the time!) and a raise will keep you happy for only so long. However, at one point, it is important to avoid pushing your luck. I was able to get 3 increases in the same year and they are now looking at the option of giving the downtown premium to our branch (which would become my 4 t h raise in a span of 12 months!). However, now that I have pushed the HR machine to the max, Ill just watch it run and see what comes next. I wont ask for anything or apply more pressure. It is actually time to pull my chips off the table and start working to show them they were right to give me this raise. In 2010, I didnt say much about my small income raise because I had so many in 2009. However, because I kept hustling, I got a significant raise in 2011. At one point, your employer will realize your value and income raises will come easier and more naturally.


#5 Play your winning hand till the end

~ You want to use each card in your hand ~ When you ask for a raise, there is more at play than the market and your performance. those two aspects will greatly affect the negotiations, you can also ask what your direct manager thinks of all of this. If you were not able to sell yourself to your manager, he wont be able to turn around and ask his boss or the HR department (remember the evil group that holds the purse strings ; -( ) to increase your income. Since he will do most of the hard work, it is important to supply the ammunition for him to work with, give him argument and keep doing an awesome job. Never let him down, talk behind hi s back or complain about your situation. Keeping a professional attitude will definitely lead the way to your next raise . One last thing, regardless if you achieved what you were asking for or not, keep your mouth shut . You dont want to create inflation in your company as your manager wont appreciate that you tell others that they can earn more. What if you are not a poker player (e.g. you are not too good with the negotiating games), thats all right; I have more tricks for you.


Now Its Your Turn!

To the best of my knowledge, Ive shared several of my tricks in this eBook. I wanted to be straight forward and give you as many practical tips as possible. Theory is fun, but making more money with real life trick is better.

If you want to continue your learning, be sure to go back each Friday on where I will continue to give my career tips and money management strategies. Make sure to pass by and drop me a comment!

Now its your turn to shine and get that raise you deserve!

I hope you enjoyed my stuff!

All the best,