There’s nothing quite as stressful as receiving your credit card statement in January, once the holidays have come and gone. (And perhaps, robbed you blind.) This puts everyone in overdrive, critically thinking about ways that can improve — and increase — their cash flow. In addition to finding a side hustle that could bring in the bank, there are also strategic changes you can make in your current gig to benefit your financial picture. If you are aiming for 2020 to be your most lucrative year to date, try these smart tips from finance pros:
Invest in yourself.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of deliverables and to manage the expectations of your manager, and the company that signs your paychecks. But take a step back and remember why you were hired for the gig: your talent. Your experience. The special, unique qualities that make you a stronger candidate than anyone else. Now, try to remember the last time you truly invested in yourself. If it’s been a while, it’s time to explore opportunities that make you that much more competitive, according to Brent Weiss, CFP, the co-founder and chief evangelist at Facet Wealth. “If you want to bring in more cash and create more wealth in the future, start today with an investment in your education or your career. Start developing the skills you need to move to the next level within your organization, to join a new firm, or to start your own business,” he continues. “Determine what skills you need to develop for your position, your field, or your firm and make the investment. Your value will begin to rise and then others will invest in you in the form of higher compensation or even equity.”
Make a financial plan.
While Weiss says most successful folks take extra care to attend conferences and strengthen their knowledge base, very few carve time to understand and strategize their financial aspirations. This is a missed opportunity since Weiss says highly-paid managers, leaders and executives, can forgo thousands (if not millions!) if they don’t set up the right systems to make their dollar stretch further. “Having a personalized and comprehensive financial plan that includes a tax planning strategy can save you money today while developing a foundation for greater wealth tomorrow,” he adds.
Work on your public speaking skills.
So, perhaps you aren’t interested in being in the limelight. Or giving a Ted Talk. Or being on camera, in any capacity. That’s okay! But as a leader, you are a public speaker — even if your audience is only a handful of employees who report to you. The more self-aware you are of how you come across to others, the brighter you will shine in your job. And in turn, that could definitely help make your case for moola.
As co-founder of EnrichHER, Tiara Zolnierz explains, overcoming your fear of being seen and heard can supercharge your career to the next level. “Leaving your comfort zone and getting used to being on camera. Webinars, zoom meeting, and remote work has shifted how we work and interact. In order to get the impact, we desire taking the steps to get your communication skill tight is a must,” she continues. “Having the confidence to speak in public craftily articulating your story, ideas, and persuasively connecting with your target audience is a life changer and a money magnet.”
Ditch the cash comp and get equity.
This varies greatly by industry and your temperature for risk, but Weiss says if you’re a manager within the company and you don’t have equity, it’s time to start thinking about how to get it. It may not be an option but if it is, ensuring you have a stake in the company may not bring more money right now but it has the chance to pay off big in the future. “An investment in firm ownership and equity may not bring immediate cash rewards today, but, over time, it will help you create more significant wealth,” Weiss continues. “Whether your company is privately owned or publicly traded, finding a way to invest in your company will pay dividends over time.”
Ask for a raise more strategically.
When your review rolls around, you probably have a goal of more cash. But, considering everyone hopes for a raise, Weiss suggests approaching the topic differently. How so? By asking for an influx in cash based on a very specific performance goal (that ahem, you know you can meet). “Asking for a raise that is paid in the form of a bonus or even stock options based on performance will set your request apart. Your employer will most likely respect the request as it shows your commitment to a goal that will be beneficial for the company,” he adds.
Search for start-ups with great ideas.
If you’re at a point in your career where you are doing well financially and you feel comfortable, it could be time to take on a different title: investor. You may not be swimming with the sharks right away, but if there is an idea or a start-up you really, truly believe in, consider putting your cash toward growth. As Zolnierz explains, this could not only be lucrative but potentially exciting, too! “Investing your knowledge and a small amount of capital in exchange for equity could result in making a large amount of money over time as well as a new sense of personal fulfillment,” she continues. “Just think of companies like Uber, Lift, Airbnb, GrubHub, Netflix, Yelp, Snapchat, and others. Less than ten years ago, most of these companies were only in the idea stage, if that.”