If you are writing online your posts should be brief, clear, checked for spelling and grammar and consistent. Your blog may not have broad appeal if it has limitations in these, so your EBooks and public posts can benefit from a professional proof-reader, or extra classes in English, whether it is your first language or not. Whether you write a blog, a book or anything else, your only tool to deliver your message is language, and you should gain all the skills you can with it. If you don’t have time for this, use the services of someone with the best language skills you can find.
I have a very similar story. I became a nurse as a career change, and now make over $200k. It’s very easy to work OT and second jobs as a nurse. My wife and I live in our 2 family, and rent out the basement apartment to help with the mortgage. Drive Prius and used Subaru, still able to do vacations, not worry about money month to month, we are in our late 30s now, 2 small kids, net worth over $600k and saving >50k per year.

I am a recent graduate from college of business with an MIS degree. I am very fortunate to say that my starting salary is 70k. I truly believe that I have the capability to have a six figure salary in my 20’s (currently 22). I loved this article and the comment section. Aside of what the article has mentioned any tips/advice from someone who can help me add an additional 50k to what I will be making? I’m sure that I will have a side hustle or start a small business while working my full-time job but I’m perfectly fine with that.
Great post. Good to read from someone whose career does not involve making 6 figures (sometimes while they are in their 20s)- if one follows the PF blogs, it’s easy to forget that the majority of the population makes nowhere near that! But being in that vast throng does not mean that it’s impossible to improve one’s lot, eventually make a high income, and someday reach FI.

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.
I sometimes question choosing a career that was safe and paid well over chasing my passions. In a way, it comes down to passions now or passions later. If you earn big and save you can FIRE and the start your passion work then. Or you can be working on your (presumably lower paying) passions all along and wait until a more traditional age to retire.
We are inflated with humans that hardly get the chance to a good upbringing let alone a good school system. The average wage in America is under $50,000 per family. Per family. Maybe you could actually help us and write a blog on how we unfortunate, 4.0 GPA or not, cant progress past a shitty system. These are the people that need financial help. Its the majority of America…..So, instead of taking your already privileged people in high school and making them richer, because if i could make 75000 a year i would be so grateful and fulfilled, as majority of us would, we would work harder for these companies than the average “privileged” kid…privileged i mean, good parents, good home life, decent teachers and help when needed……which is what America is so lacking, on paper we look great, so does my exhusband whom abused myself and my children for 7 years, maybe you could look at a bigger picture and help us. Help us and we will help you. You have the knowledge, take it to a lower level and help the less fortunate. We need it.
I say invent yourself into a six figure income. I spent (wasted) 20 years building a professional appraisal firm only to watch hundreds of banking clients disappear into thin air with the advent of 2009’s HVCC legislation. I fired everyone once the business once the industry was transformed into nonprofit work. I spent the next couple of years searching for the next best thing and came to one conclusion. Adobe Software is an incredible bargain for anyone wishing to start their own business. As an appraiser I spent thousands of dollars each year on software updates, MLS fees, E & O insurance, gas, office space, etc. With Adobe’s cloud system you can lease every software item in their arsenal for $50 per month, meaning you could create publications, videos, web designs, and so much more for $600 per year. That’s roughly 1/50th of my annual expenses in the appraisal business. In the appraisal business you craft and sell your work one piece at a time…much like a custom furniture maker. With Adobe you could easily create one video and sell it 100,000 times.
Great article, thanks. My question is slightly off the affiliate topic. I am curious about how Authorship will effect people running blogs on different topics.I run a marketing creative firm and want to start moving into information product sales, but I want to be able to write about our firm expertise (membership marketing) as well as try out products and blogging for people who want to start creative firms. How will people who want to write on unrelated areas manage things like G+ profiles as Aurthorship and authority become bigger deals? Do you think it will be a problem in Google to have the same author writing about different topics?
In order to make sales you first need to find people to buy those products, right? For many people starting with the 7 figure franchise the topic of getting website traffic is going to be a little new to them and it’s something that can stump a lot of people. The truth is many people who try internet marketing will give up purely because they don’t have a way of getting targeted traffic to purchase the product or service that they’re selling/promoting.

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).
Electrical engineers can crush it out of the park. Think startups and stock options. There’s not too many startups in oil industry, and I’m guessing only high level employees get stock. In electrical engineering, low level employees get stock. For me personally, despite earning a very high salary, it’s nowhere near what I made from stock… salary is almost negligible.

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.
In your opinion what college degrees and respective careers are most likely to help me accomplish this financial goal? For example, I was once advised that a BS/MS in electrical or computer engineering paired with an MBA was one of the safest routes to a high-paying career (meaning you don’t have to rely on working for a specific company or in a specific area). Would you agree with this, or do you have other thoughts and ideas on the subject?
Yes, people who perform on stage look like a big group of people and they have union. Perhaps when you read the article about the strike you were surprised to know symphony players earn six figure salary, but only about 1% gets to play in the 100k+ salary orchestra from top music schools (Juilliard, Curtis, NEC, etc). I am a lucky few who plays in a major orchestra with 100k+ pay, but I spent my 20s practicing everyday earning $10k-$20k until I finally won the audition at age 30. (33 now) In order to be competitive in auditions, I own (parents and grandparents paid) an instrument that costs $300k. Most of the straight A students from top music school I know now earn below $50k. As a music student, it is a big success if one wins an orchestral job with $50k salary. Many try to teach and freelance at a $5k orchestra job to scrape by.
Don’t get me wrong…Sponsored content is great (and next month we’ll be publishing a post on how to work with brands), but I love having total freedom in what I write and–especially now that I’m pregnant and due with my first baby boy in September!!–I really wanted to ensure I could start to rely more heavily on automated and more effortless income.
Manage Your Money In One Place: Sign up for Personal Capital, the web’s #1 free wealth management tool to get a better handle on your finances. You can use Personal Capital to help monitor illegal use of your credit cards and other accounts with their tracking software. In addition to better money oversight, run your investments through their award-winning Investment Checkup tool to see exactly how much you are paying in fees. I was paying $1,700 a year in fees I had no idea I was paying.

I only ask because sometimes I feel like my undergrad degrees are in subjects that people don’t care about in the finance or technology sectors. Where I live it seems like the people I know are getting paid $15-$18 an hour right after graduating college. The high positions I can qualify for after working for 10+ years at my non-profit only pay around $60k a year. I want more than that.

I, too, work in an industry with salaries that are tied to budgets and salary cohorts. But I have found that side hustles, both in and out of my field, help to increase my income. It is sad that we have to give up even more of our time to get there, but I guess the sacrifice makes the reward even more satisfying??? In any case- thank you for sharing your journey, your goals and your insights. It is comforting to me to realize that there are others in my circumstances.

This is a great place to start for beginner affiliates. The deeper you get into affiliation, the potential is even great than $50 to $100 in the following industries: Gambling, Adult and Pharma…these industries can get an affiliate a $250+ CPA commission + Rev Share for successful affiliates. The sky is the limit and many people fall into the most amateur affiliate programs which is probably why most affiliates are not successful. I’ve been an affiliate marketer for many years now and if you’re just starting out, the one thing I recommend is first of all: Get familiar with all the tools, affiliation strategies…get to know the programs, establish a connection with your affiliate managers and if you put a lot of time in it and take it seriously…Sooner or later you will succeed. I’ve done it and I am still doing it. I have a few successful sites that I operate, I work both with Click Bank and independent affiliation programs…One word of advice, Amazon and Ebay are over-saturated…Try an affiliate program with a higher CPA and less competition…Competition can be measured simply by using the Google Keyword Tools. Great article! I love your blog. Cheers! Mike


After you link all your accounts, use their Retirement Planning calculator that pulls your real data to give you as pure an estimation of your financial future as possible using Monte Carlo simulation algorithms. Definitely run your numbers to see how you’re doing. I’ve been using Personal Capital since 2012 and have seen my net worth skyrocket during this time thanks to better money management.
I earned a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering Degree and a Masters in Management. The University I attended didn’t offer petroleum engineering but I do have several friends that were ChemE’s, as we used to call them. I agree that my ChemE friends who went into the oil industry definitely started out with highers salaries. But from my perspective these guys are working significantly more than the standard 40 hours a week contrary to what the article proposed.
It’s not just working hard, although that was a part of it. I was trying to make the best of every opportunity that came by, and I think a lot of people ignore those opportunities because they’re scared of change or unwilling to open their mind and take on another job that might not seem so interesting or great, but ends up being your dream career.
Internship definitely helps. My GPA was so bad I was embarrassed to tell anyone, but one internship landed me another, then landed me a full time job, and now I could go where ever I want. If you don’t have GPA or internship, I’d say you might be screwed and your starting point after graduation will be much lower than those with internship experience or good GPA. There was a point I felt like my life was over and I’ll never be able to get a job after graduation. There were also thoughts of working at McDs or a sales rep at the mall.

In recent years, college tuition costs, which have been growing faster than the rate of inflation for more than two decades, have slowed a bit. According to the College Board’s annual Trends in College Pricing report from 2014, the average cost of in-state tuition and fees at a four-year public university increased by 2.9 percent between the 2013-2014 school year and the 2014-2015 school year to $9,139. The past two school years were the first since 1974-1975 in which increases were less than 3 percent (not adjusted for inflation). That doesn’t mean college is cheap.
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…
Love this article! Another thing I wanted to add to the part about not being a donkey was debt. For instance, I am a sophomore at a Community college(getting my pre-reqs there for half the price of a state university), and because of my scholarship package, I am literally not paying a cent and this semester I got to pocket $2,000 of excess scholarship money, which I plan on saving for upcoming semesters or paying off a small loan I took out a while ago. Long story short, at this rate I forecast graduating debt-free(I am planning on attending undergrad b-school at UF or FSU since I am from Florida and can save a ton.) That won’t be the story of someone who squeaked past high school with a 2.7, and must graduate with a $30K+ student loan debt. Even if they land a good paying job, that debt will bite you in the butt.
The quest for six figures gets even more complicated when you consider the ways in which our country tends to vilify any individual with a big income. Let’s look at Scrooge. Whether we’re talking about the original Dickens character or the McDuck cartoon version, one thing is abundantly clear: Rich people are misers who think little of others without divine intervention. News headlines describing real-life millionaires aren’t much more generous. But net worth doesn’t dictate self-worth. No one should apologize for seeking wealth.

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).


This post was so helpful! I launched my blog in January and just started to try and monetize it in June. I’ve added some affiliate links for a few of the programs you recommended, so hopefully, I will see some results soon. I’m realizing that this is gonna be a harder journey than I originally thought, but thanks to bloggers like you I have great resources to guide me! Twitter.com/Disfordollars
Fantastic, thanks for sharing your story John! I am curious, you talk about UT a lot, are you by any chance from UT or in the Texas area? I’m not sure I can make 6 figures before the age of 25 with my employer but I’m going to look for other passive income opportunities to make sure that I get to make 6 figures by that age. It’s a bold goal but I hope that I can make it. Petroleum engineers are having a hard time right now but that’s the boom and bust of any commodity, right?
This is totally true as many people are non traditional learners and the academic system is just not appealing to them and learn faster by doing. I come from an entire family of folks like this..barely scratching through state college but always excelled in paying our way through them by opening small businesses and earning lots of money over the summer. Net is, I make more than the average Harvard grad with a state college degree. Look at big corps that offer leadership development programs, work hard, be willing to relocate ad take risks, have a great attitude even when you get a hellish assignment as it’s an opportunity to learn – always treat people well and if you don’t, learn from it and get better. All in all you’ll keep rising or decide you want to do something else and will have learned a ton along the way.

I got an email saying that he guarantees that you will make money with the Seven Figure Franchise, and quite frankly, that’s a pretty bold claim if you ask me. One of the things that really makes me suspicious about this, or any product of this tipe is that they don’t mention the price straight up front to people. I don’t have $4000 just laying around to purchase this, and even if I did, I would invest it into something like my Internet radio station and promoting it. Yes, I own and run an Internet radio station that plays country music, and it is a very professional-sounding station complete with jingles, and lots and lots of great country music.

×