By the way, your blog convinced me to more than max out all my retirement plans and then some. I naively neglected my savings during my early/mid 20s as I pursued more adventurous(low paying) work in Europe and took out loans for an MBA. I envy your ability to live and work from beautiful Switzerland. I hope that I too can establish myself in such a way to split my time between Chicago and S. America (where my wife is from).

I think you are on the right track about his willingness, or lack thereof to relocate. Knowing him, he is quite passive and possibly only limiting himself to local options. He has interned and maintained good grades. Despite his lack of ambition and possible reluctance to relocate, I am still surprised that he is having such a hard time finding something local as if there are no jobs in NY in Chem Eng field at all. Any advise I can pass on to my passive friend other than relocating?
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 34, female, no college degree (but loans from part time schooling) making $38,500 as a person who has no kids but lives with a boyfriend (not all bills are split but rent is). I’m okay each month but still feel like I live paycheck to paycheck. It would be nice to have more to put towards savings each month or go shopping once in awhile for clothes WITHOUT feeling guilty. My boyfriend makes about the same as me and he has a college degree, same age. I guess we both need to strive for something closer to $100,000!
While I was doing WordPress speed optimization I noticed lots of people needed it, but very few people supplied it (there were a lack of services and tutorials when I researched Google). I also knew hosting was the #1 factor of website speed factor and these companies paid up to $200/sale. Hosting is a competitive space but the commissions and lack of supply enticed me.
– Don’t get stuck in a rut. Meaning, if a job or opportunity has no more learning potential then get out and get a different orange to squeeze. Until your late 20’s or early 30’s, consider education, experience and opportunities the #1 form of payment. An environment that allows questioning the workings of an industry and one’s company with answers from higher up is a gold mine.
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I say models, but truthfully, an oil reservoir is not something that can be automated and predicted with high certainty. By the time you learn everything about the field, there’s not much more oil left and you’ve already spent the capital. And every single oilfield is different than the next one. You can press buttons and get a number, but without knowledge of the underlying physics and experience of theory vs. practical, you’ll have a hard time defending your forecast.
I will give you a very simple example. Let’s say you build up an audience of 50,000 readers and out of that 50k you have about 1% that trust you (1% of people that trust you online is actually very huge), so that equates to 500 readers. Out of that 500 readers you will have about 10% that will buy your eBook and other affiliate products, so 50 people total. So, if you are selling your eBook for $10, you will make $500. Of course it doesn’t stop there, those people that buy the eBook and like it will most likely recommend it, and you will have a snowball effect where more people keep buying your book and other affiliate products. This is just a rough example that shows you some realistic numbers. Do not ever think that if you build up a huge number of readers that they will all trust you and buy the products that you promote; if it was that easy everyone would be a millionaire by now.

As for my young self’s income, I’ve told a few pieces of my story in comments for other FS posts, but here is some history that aligns with the content of this post and answers a couple of Sam’s questions: I can’t remember if I made over $100k by 25 or by 26, but was a millionaire by 27 due to a mostly lucky break with tech company stock options in the Roaring 90s. The path: I graduated high school as co-valedictorian, but will call myself #2 because the other guy took harder classes so deserves the #1 spot. I started college in mechanical engineering, hated it (and esp. one evil professor), switched to international studies, liked it. I got decent grades, partied a lot to make up for a choir boy high school experience, and worked all the way through college…full time my senior year…but just sweat jobs, no internships. Paid for college myself. After college, I traveled and partied a bit more, dabbled in a few different jobs and ended up convincing a small software company to pay for a basic software testing programming course in exchange for about 6 months of service (got that through casual networking inspired by a dose of nepotism). I wrote a test script they were able to sell, so negotiated an early break and landed a test engineer contracting job at a large software company via the worst interview in the history of interviews (the recruiter had to come get me in the parking lot as I was getting in my car to leave…the hiring manager’s closing question was an incredulous “…ummm…so, why should I hire you?” which I answered by jumping to my feet with both arms in the air to yell, “Cuz I’m the best!” He laughed and told me to get lost.). After a year at that job, I did a couple other tech contracting gigs, then converted to a full time gig with a pay cut for a junior mgmt job in exchange for lots of stock…which split 4 times in 12 months, thus the millionaire thing at 27. I lost 75% of that money via bad (a.k.a. zero) investment mgmt by 29, but had a fantastic time bouncing around the world adventuring and doing a little non-technology work (including teaching English in a Mexican university and training teachers in Los Angeles, both of which I liked). I eventually got married and went back to madam technology, but as I hinted above, this old whore (hey, “44” rhymes with “whore”..whaddyaknow..I’ll remember that for my birthday next week ;-)) has about run out of energy or interest for working the corporate red light district. I’ve created some other income streams, but want more of that before I leave tech and spend more time the way I now want to. This site is good inspiration for that.

Thank you Andrew! Also what is your take your data analytical roles in corporate? Do you think data analytical roles will be short-lived due to all the hype and the analysis part will be automated soon within the next 10 years or so? Even if it was automated, EXPLAINING the data and EXPLAINING it to your investors, stockholders, clients to basically tell them how they’ll make money from what they wanted me to analyze and interpret will still be the HUMAN aspect, correct. U you can’t automate that, right? Idk if this kind of role will be short-lived compared to a functional IT role. Moreover, I eventually want to hold a managerial role in corporate, but I want to deal with a line of business where there is a lot of money within IT. Projects that deal with SAP? CRM? <— This isn't programming right? I don't mind working for healthcare companies since that's where alot of money is for stuff like ^.

I am so glad you speak so openly and honestly about being paid what you’re worth. As an ESL teacher who’s a contractor, I find it hard to give up my contractual gig to jump on the salary scale of a school because I feel like I would be underpaid. And unfortunately, I still find it hard to shake the feeling that what I’m paid equates to what I’m worth, professionally speaking. Despite teachers’ relatively lower earning trajectories, though, Thomas Stanley of The Millionaire Next Door found they were more than twice as likely as the average American to be prodigious accumulators of wealth. So, despite low pay, or perhaps because of it, teachers tend to save and invest more than doctors, lawyers, and other traditionally higher paid professions. So I hold that thought close.
Remember: your audience is coming to you because they a) like you and/or b) find your content helpful/consider you an expert, or someone with more knowledge than them in a particular area that they’re interested in. They WANT to know what food, supplements, cleaning products, makeup, tech tools, knitting yarn, [enter your niche items here] you use… so don’t be afraid to share it with them!
Get good grades, go to a top school, get hired by a prestigious company in IT, finance or become a doctor, lawyer, engineer. DUH!!! Nothing Earth shattering that I didn’t know. If you don’t have the aptitude for those careers, you’re screwed for 100K salary I guess. Actually, you can become an entrepreneur, buy a franchise, write and sell a screen play to a hit movie, write a best seller, or offer specialized personal services to rich people (chef, trainer). Of course there’s also pornography. The sex trade makes billions.
I liked your post. I was a Mechanical Engineering undergrad and got a Masters in Aerospace Engineering and was working by age 23 for a Fortune 50 company making Aircraft Wheels & Brakes. Since then I’ve moved to several fields and got into management. Made over $100k per year ($140K) at age 27 and onward and upward from there. My grades were poor, too much lack of focus the first two years of undergrad so then did an undergrad research position and co-published a paper to help me get a scholarship into grad school. Now I love learning about new businesses and leading people to achieve good business outcomes. It makes me a better investor too.
North Dakota had a very significant boom and nearly all of that was tied to oil companies paying top dollar to relocate. Most positions were temporary or related to field operations rather than corporate offices moving in. When prices and activity fell, unfortunately these people had limited options for finding work in other industries in North Dakota. Perhaps the growth was too dependent on a single factor.
When one of our readers at The Write Life buys Chris Guillebeau’s $58 Unconventional Guide to Freelance Writing through our link, for example, we earn $29. When James Chartrand’s Damn Fine Words course sells for $1,599 through our site, we earn $200. Lots of creators offer affiliate programs for their products; the key is finding products that appeal to your audience, so you readers want to purchase them.
p.s the mechanics of this particularly industry is old hat for me, and historically I’ve built multiple 7 figure net profit businesses using old tech like ‘telesales. I’m interested in SEO because I just think that cold calling and interrupting people is just inefficient and SEO sounds/feels like a really good way of giving people the information that they are searching for without bugging the s&1t out of them.

It seems like you no longer want to work so much and are trying to break free ASAP in your mid-to-late 20s? Is this true? If so, why do you think you burned out so quickly from petro engineering, especially if it only takes you 40 hours a week? 40 hours a week is a walk in the park in comparison to banking, consulting, law, medical etc. Why not just work as a petro engineer for longer?

I was really surprised not to see unions mentioned at all in this article! You talk about steps and lanes a little but what raises the wage is the collective bargaining process which doesn’t means unions get everything they want but they have a lot more power and knowledge about the employer’s financial position than an at-will worker bargaining on their own.


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.
2. Back to #1: Other aspects. You must become educated in all facets of internet marketing. You need to watch a lot of instructional videos and read online articles and books. You MUST learn how to build a website, create a landing page, how to work with a large variety of traffic sources OUTSIDE of Facebook and solo ads. I’m talking about other resources such as techniques used with Reddit, for example. GET SMART.
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