My daughter is at a state university now finishing in 3 years (Chemistry) and we are currently “engineering” my son’s last year in high school so that he will finish college easily in 3 years or less (at a state school too!) I told him he couldn’t go to a school that wouldn’t accept his AP/Community College credits and when he saw that he would be starting as at least a second semester sophomore – he “got it”.
I don’t think I would have done worse financially at all. I just think it evens out in the end of you make the right choices. I probably would have started with a much higher salary out of the gate. Put there’s a possibility then I would have been spending my time with people who put value on superficial items, and I’d spend more money on my apartment, car, clothes, etc. I’d probably try to stay in that job for many years, if it were paying well, versus having a real reason to leave positions to quickly move up and try different things. Right now I’m in a private company that is excelling and due to being open to any opportunity I was able to work a job that paid relatively little compared to market rate in exchange for a large amount of options. It’s yet to be seen if these options are going to be worth anything, but at this point there’s a reasonable change that I could meet or exceed the amount of savings I would have had, say, if I were making $100k out of the gate after graduating from an Ivy League school. Having a low income out of undergrad forced me to prioritize and learn how to save, and also how to live on a salary of under $30k a year in the Bay Area. While I’m still scared of losing my job, I understand how to live cheaply, which I consider a value-add to not having such high expectations and requirements for lifestyle out of the gate. Now, I am considering getting an MBA if I could possibly score well on the GMAT (I believe if I could get a high score on the GMAT I’d be an interesting candidate for a top-tier MBA program given my experience working with multiple successful startups as an early employee) but I’m not sure I want to take two years off to do that. If I were to go back to school I feel it would be more valuable to specialize in technical development or analytics, to really address areas where I am weak that would lead me to be a much better professional today. It’s unclear if an MBA program would be able to address my weaknesses — or give me the salary boost you speak of as with bonus I now make up to $130k per year (last year I closed out the year with about $110k.) I’m 29 and 7 years into my career. I save, I invest, and I’m glad I didn’t make all of the “smart” decisions in my life because this made me hungrier, potentially more well rounded, and less scared of taking risks as I had so little to lose.
Every time I got stock from my company I tried to sell as much as I could every year and diversify into other asset classes like real estate. The banking industry stunk, and I didn’t want my career, salary, and stock to all be tied to the stock market. But stock grants as part of my bonus kept coming faster than I could sell. My old company stock is down 50% this year alone!
First of all great article John, and thanks for sharing your story. What Vicki says about her kids resonates with me. My parents limited me to schools I could commute to. In the back of my head I always knew that was better financially, but it was still tough to think of what I was missing out on. I still got by and had a blast in school so it worked out. Everything is what you make of it.
Many people who do not attend college earn six-figure incomes and become successful without four-year college degrees. In fact, studies revealing that high school graduates earn an average of $1.2 million over the course of their working life illustrate that opportunities exist for those without degrees to make $100,000 or more each year. Achieving financial success without a college degree requires a lot of determination, risk-taking, and networking, but the opportunities are definitely out there.
Amazon Associates – for pretty much anything sold on Amazon. If you have links to your books on your website (and you should do!), this is a good way to start with affiliate marketing and you will receive a little bit extra if people shop through your link, as well as a percentage of other products that people buy within a 24 hour period. You can use your existing Amazon account and then find your books, copy the special link and then use that on your site. You can also use a site like Booklinker.net or Books2Read.com to create one link that works for all stores and contains affiliate links.
I’m always surprised by how many people feel “icky” about promoting affiliate products – I started my blogging “career” building niche blogs specifically to sell Amazon products, then branched out into other affiliate programs. I’m a big fan of affiliate marketing, provided that the blogger/marketer is also providing quality content with their links.

Amazon’s affiliate program is the most popular of them all. I don’t participate myself (yet) but the majority of affiliate marketers I know use Amazon because… it’s Amazon. You can review products you have used or write tutorials (eg. how to connect computer to TV) and drop an affiliate link to an HDMI cable… just a couple examples. You may want to build relationships with the manufacturers so you can get products before they’re released – giving you time to create a review before the product is launched and capture sales during peak buying times.
Thanks for the really insightful reply. I really appreciate it. Now, what if I did not want to be a network engineer dealing with hardware? I definitely do not mind taking certifications, but if I just wanted to become a business analyst or QA Analyst…some IT profession that doesn’t require too much programming or developing because I need the time to learn at the programming languages…Like I’m trying to get a plan going here…BTW, i’ve heard of the CCNA thing over and over again…is that only for network engineers? Because..I dont really want to deal with hands on material or travel too much…I’m tryna be in a position where I earn certifications and learn stuff online and gain experience doing projects online or volunteeringly taking on work to contribute to the IT department to showcase my interest…
While I've sampled a few other programs along the way, I continue to promote only a select few programs on a regular basis. As far as affiliate program marketing goes, you won't find too many marketers who are as picky as I am. But picky works. Had I joined that very first affiliate program I looked at, I would have been lucky to make $5,000 last year in affiliate income. Not bad, but a far cry from 80K.

I’ve just started my blog. I feel that I definitely stand out when it comes to promoting my blog posts on Pinterest because I create illustrated blog post images and don’t use stock photos. But I’m trying to own it. Like you said, there’s a lot of learning involved and there is no better way to improve in Blogging other than actually getting down and dirty with it, lol.
I’ve seen college programs where they tell kids to “slow down” and take fewer credits to “ease in” to school and be successful. (My most recent job was college professor!) SURE – fewer credits, more years of college and a crapload more money for the school and debt for the student. There’s a difference between part-time (living at home, working, etc.) and slowing down (living on campus, taking at least 5-6 years to finish a degree).
Is becoming a $100k+ earner in orchestras like SF symphony just as competitive as joining a major sports league? Maybe. It’s just that $100k+ symphony job openings are so rare that no one can really count on it. Orchestra is a very unique job and often general public don’t know how people got there. Of course not everyone value and want to support arts. But when those few $100k orchestra job salary disappear, the live symphony music we hear today will die.

I was recently looking into this and came across a few videos online. There was this guy who said you can make commissions in under a week. I dont know if thats true but wanted to know if hes genuine or a scammer. This is the video he said it in: https://youtu.be/7sN6U73pZr0 . If not then who would you recommend for learning this stuff as it seems so confusing for me!
I was researching affiliate programs because I own a small business and we are getting ready to do an event I wanted a few blogger to blog about and I came across this article. It was not quite what I needed but I was intrigued enough to read to the end. I do want to say the best part I found about this article is that you took the time to respond to everyone that left a comment, even for this article that was done over a year ago. I just want to say great job and I wish you the most continued success.
– The most important. TIME. Value your time and make sure your plate is clear to focus on growth of your most valuable skills. Time also gives you time for reflection, relaxation and a balanced life. Hire people to do redundant stuff. I’m currently dating but not married so I have someone come and clean the house, mow the lawn and do the laundry. This stuff would take me 3-4 hours a week. That’s 1.25 weeks in a year. At my earnings level, I’m “worth” $80-$100/hr with expected 50 hours working. For $10/hr someone else can do these tasks while I relax or make money. Same things in the work place. Reports, data collection, number crunching, answering non money making calls or emails etc…..
I definitely agree on taking as many AP classes and college classes as possible. I did 13 APs in HS and 2 college classes. My only regret is I didn’t take fewer AP and more college classes. An AP class takes 1 full year and an exam you have to pay for at the end of the year. The college class takes 1 semester and usually the school district pays for it… and the classes are usually a lot easier than an AP exam.
Great article! So I was wondering if I could get your advice? I’ll be graduating college in about 3 years and I should have around $200k saved in mutual funds, I’ve considered getting my degree in accounting (although I want to become a physician once I have a solid amount of money saved) and I was planning on trying to go work for my family’s CPA firm. What’s a reasonable amount I can save at most so I can attain a million in mutual fund savings? Considering that it’ll gain roughly 10% a year
I love your post. I have been following you over the years. I want to shed some light to others who are in pursuit of the “Six Figure Salary”. Upon graduation, I set a goal to make six figures by 30. I started off making only $33k a year. However, I out worked everyone in my office and established a reputation as a hard work and smart worker. I stayed at the firm (insurance) for 4 years and somehow networked and found an opportunity in management consulting. I stayed there for 10 months and made approximately $95k. Next, i took the experience came back to the insurance industry and now make $125k at the age of 27…. 3 years earlier!. My best advice for everyone is to work hard, follow the opportunities, strive for constant improvement, and be open to change. PS. I went to a “B” school and was a “B” student. Unfortunately, I was an underdog through out my career because of my school, but I balanced it by tremendous work ethic and self taught myself in business. Work hard, keep reading, and continue to improve. You will make six figures!
I have never struggled with grades. Foolishly, as a high school senior at the top of my class, I chose a small private liberal arts school to attend for undergraduate studies. Even worse, I majored in the humanities, and obtained a Bachelors in Social Work / minor in Spanish. Since a masters takes only one year if you have your BSW, I obtained my MSW directly after graduating.
The day-to-day work of a patent examiner involves reading, researching, and writing about new technology. The job of a patent examiner is to make sure that patents are only granted for inventions that are new. A typical day involves reading a patent application to understand the invention, searching for related patents to see what already exists, making a decision regarding whether the invention is new, and writing a report about your findings.
At the time, I had a ton of people reaching out wanting to hire me (I ranked my self #1 in Google for WordPress SEO Consultant, WordPress SEO Expert, many other good keywords). Unfortunately I struggled with basic things you need to run a service-based business… keeping track of clients, time management, and making sure I was charging clients for my time (and getting them to create content which often seemed impossible).
Oh, I absolutely could have chosen to pursue a more lucrative field. I just very firmly believe that I wanted to pursue my passions now, not later. There may be plenty of teachers, but there are other ways that teachers can distinguish themselves within the field. Unfortunately, it doesn’t net the pay increase that we might like. But that’s the trade off, I suppose, for pursuing this field. And you’re spot on with still being able to accumulate wealth. I’m working on it! 🙂
It is all relative. I am making six figures in my early retirement side gigging a couple of days a week doing consulting I enjoy even though I do not need an income at this point. It is hard to get there in education because of the supply demand equation. As you said hundreds of people applied for the job you got. When I graduated with a chemical engineering degree I got eight firm job offers before I even got my degree because there were only a handful of graduates for the 120 companies that came to our university to recruit us. Certainly teaching has more social value than making gasoline but the market is based on supply and only a tiny percentage of the college going crowd choose chemical engineering while many graduate with a teaching degree. As long as some jobs are under supplied because of the difficulty in obtaining the degree those jobs will be the ones paying six figures and up. The same thing accounts for high pay for medical doctors, electrical engineers and other specialty fields that require a ton of math and science to graduate. However even at relatively less pay there is no reason you can’t accumulate and grow great wealth while still having the satisfaction that you are changing people’s lives through providing them education. Most people would hate the kind of engineering I did, even though it was a great fit for me.
Ahmad, Great post and great information. I have some more specific questions for you relating to my personal company and how affiliate programs can tie into it. Is there a chance we could talk sometime soon? I think you may have the answers to several of my questions on whether affiliate marketing is what I am looking for or not. And if it’s not what I am looking for I think you can direct me in the direction I need to go.

The second thing you’ll want to consider is whether or not it is a receptive audience for both your message and the final sale. For example, doing a guest post on a site about Japanese culture might be a good idea for your Bonsai affiliate post even though the community might not be currently interested in Bonsai growing. Or you could go to a photography blog and do a link-bait post about beautiful Bonsai photographs. The site’s traffic might not buy from you but once the post gets indexed a lot of Bonsai-lovers will find it. Remember, these guest posts, videos, etc. should be sending relevant organic traffic that converts to sales over the coming months and years.
Economic well-being is often associated with high societal status, yet income and economic compensation are a function of scarcity and act as only one of a number of indicators of social class. It is in the interest of all of society that open positions are adequately filled with a competent occupant enticed to do his or her best.[10] As a result, an occupation that requires a scarce skill, the attainment of which is often documented through an educational degree, and entrusts its occupant with a high degree of influence will generally offer high economic compensation.
I rarely work more than 40 hours (neither does my boss), my job is challenging in terms of problem solving but not stressful- read i’m not bored, my coworkers generally keep to themselves – no office drama, I get a nice raise and bonus every year, time off is generous, I work from home 25% of the time and I make around 150k all in. Graduate school was free through research and my undergrad degree cost less than my annual salary – paid for by bank of daddy. My house costs less than my annual salary. I don’t know of any other field that gives you such a high reward for very little effort. I didn’t have to go to med school for 10 years neither do I have to work 60 hour weeks or wear a stuffy suit. I wear blouses and jeans to work everyday and I’m easily the best dressed. Instead of jumping ship to management like many Engineers I’m developing my skills in a highly technical and specialized area with hopes of becoming an Independent Contractor around the 12 year mark, targeting around $220 and hour. You can do anything with a Chemical Engineering degree – both the diploma and the skills you will learn, I can’t sell this dream enough!
As you can see from my abbreviated history above, I hustled. I’m in my 40’s now and glad I did and haven’t let up. Didn’t have the best SAT scores, not the best grades. Read business books voraciously including The Millionaire Next Door and realized my grades ages 14-22 didn’t define me unless I let them. Everyone else was drinking and parting, and I was busting my butt in my 20’s. Glad I did.
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
My parents had never went to college. When I applied to school, it was mostly based on schools that received my SAT scores and followed up with advertisement. A lot of those schools are private liberal arts colleges. I went to the one that cost the least in terms of loans. Sometimes I wonder if I’d applied to Yale, Harvard or MIT if I would have gotten in. It’s more a curiosity at this point.
But getting 1000 visitors to any given affiliate site meant I'd have to get about 10,000 visitors to my own site. If I could do that every week, I'd be doing OK for a small business site with a marketing budget close to zero. But I was already learning that it takes time and money to get 10,000 visitors a week. And let's see... for all my traffic generating efforts I would pull in a cool $180 a month? It didn't take a genius to figure out that it might not be worth the effort. I passed.
Why you should trust me? Well, just take a look at my background in reviewing online services and how I helped many people to stay away from hundreds of scams that are waiting for you out there. 7 Figure Franchise is a product made by Michael Cheney. This is not the first time that I’m reviewing a product from Michael Cheney and that’s why I’m familiar with the type of product he’s making.
I post around 2 articles per week related to my niche, I mainly link back to other blog posts within my site where the anchor would fit it’s purpose but I also link to the homepage with various anchor texts. I build guest posts on a regular basis as well (1 per week or so) and one of the links posts to a blog post on my site and the other to my homepage with varying anchors.
7 Figure Franchise does cover traffic generation and includes topics like social media marketing, guest post marketing and paid traffic via solo ads. Traffic generation techniques require work though. It's certainly not going to pop out of the ‘biz in a box' you just bought. Getting traffic is always a process, one that takes time, research and implementation. But, wasn’t 7 Figure Franchise meant to be turnkey? Didn’t Michael claim it would ‘force you to make money’? What happened to that idea?
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