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.

SEO: getting consistent traffic by writing AWESOME content about your keywords (there’s a phrase “length is strength” in SEO and this paid off big time for me). Maybe you’re doing videos or an eCourse, but I found blog posts WAY easier to update which means less maintenance. The biggest factor by FAR was the time I spent meticulously creating my tutorials… which eventually resulted in a sudden 3x increase in SEO traffic


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.
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 didn’t go back to technology until 2004 and didn’t start getting more focused on reclaiming financial independence until about 5 yrs ago, I guess. I’m still not as focused on FI as you and many of your readers are (or maybe used to be) – balance NOW is just as important to me as FI SOON. I’m wary of selling the present to the future, even if the future promises a sweet deal in exchange.
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.
As is the case for most professional reviewers, many of the books I review on this site have been provided by the publisher or author, at no cost to me. I've also reviewed books that I bought, because they were worthy of your time. And I've also received dozens of review copies at no charge that do not get reviewed, either because they are not worthy or because they don't meet the subject criteria for this column, or simply because I haven't gotten around to them yet, since I only review one book per month. I have far more books in my office than I will ever read, and the receipt of a free book does not affect my review.
I also worked my ass off during high school, went to a public university with enough AP credit to graduate in three years with an English degree (gasp!) then received a Master’s in journalism (double gasp!) that costed next to nothing, because I moved back home with my parents and didn’t have to divulge their income on the FAFSA for a graduate degree. I went into tech marketing and was making six figures by the time I was 25.
“Just remember that your happiness, as measured by income will continue to grow until $200,000 and then stop because of government persecution and the bitter populace who want to keep you down. After you break $200,000 you need to start going into hiding. So if you discover after taking my advice that you are on pace to blow by $200,000 a year, don’t forget to create an exit strategy!”
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.
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