I believe for many people including myself, the elusive passion that yields happiness and fulfillment is still unknown even well into adulthood. Personally, if money wasn’t a factor I’m not sure what I would be doing…and that’s what I’d like to figure out. In the meanwhile though, building financial independence can provide options down the road and keep you flexible.


I’m also with you John, wondering how my life would have turned out if I went into Finance… (I’ll be finishing my mba with that focus and real estate though so perhaps later in life I’ll find out). There are plenty of opportunities to crush it out there folks. However, be weary of living in the Valley, cost of living will eat you alive. I know a few engineers I met when I was on my campus tour at Berkeley getting starting offers on their BS 105-115k + 40k in stock options at companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple… After you factor in costs you can’t save much so from building your NW I’m not sure that’s the best play…
Some—like coaching and tutoring—are fairly specific to our careers. Others, though, are things most people could pursue. As teachers, we also have the option of picking up extra work on occasion by joining various curriculum teams (Who am I kidding? This is very rarely ever a paid assignment.), subbing, or even proctoring tests on the weekend or over the summer. It all adds up.
There are a limited number of scholarships available for flight students but I wouldn’t count on those; competition is fierce and there are very few awarded. Anyone starting now and taking the civilian path to a flying job needs to be prepared to make a hefty initial investment. There’s really no getting around that, but as you said there loans are certainly an option. Also, for those with prior military service, the GI Bill can be used for flight training. Hope this helps.
Hi, thanks for another awesome article. I understand EVERYTHING on this subject but what’s the best course of action when your website is lacking a tight focus? My site is based around the concept of stop doing the things you hate and start doing what you really want. Which started out with ‘how to quit your job’ but I thought that was too limiting so now it now covers all aspects of lifestyle, interacting with others, thoughts on life and health & fitness. (using personal experience where applicable).
Marrying for money always works. Furthermore, you can start your own business or work two jobs. Making an online income seems particularly trendy nowadays. Join the federal government and rake it in after a while too! Nothing is stopping you from breaching the magical $100,000 a year mark except for your own desire, effort, knowledge, personality, and optimism.”
If you have an inclination to chemistry, biology, can present your science well and work well across line functions, the biotech / pharma industry is a great place to build a career. And it’s not cyclical. Huge unmet need in so many diseases and the constant demand for more efficacious medicines will always require innovative young scientists to come to the fore.
How to Get This Job: Actuaries must have a bachelor’s degree in a concentration like mathematics, actuarial science, or statistics. In addition, they may want to take coursework in programming languages, databases, and writing. Actuaries are certified by two professional societies: Casualty Actuarial Society, which certifies professionals who work in property and casualty, and The Society of Actuaries, which certifies professionals who work in life and health insurance, as well as retirement and finance.
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.

How to Get This Job: Actuaries must have a bachelor’s degree in a concentration like mathematics, actuarial science, or statistics. In addition, they may want to take coursework in programming languages, databases, and writing. Actuaries are certified by two professional societies: Casualty Actuarial Society, which certifies professionals who work in property and casualty, and The Society of Actuaries, which certifies professionals who work in life and health insurance, as well as retirement and finance.
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in terms of pay, sure, eventually you’ll make $100k at Booz Allen, but you’ll reach that number much sooner at other firms. Booz Allen pays $50-60k to Consultants fresh out of undergrad. Year over year raises are insignificant (they cap at 3%, unless your Principal/Senior Associate goes to bat for you on market rate adjustment). Promotion raises are also nowhere near market rate. Additionally, levels below Senior Associate do not receive a performance bonus. You will likely not reach $100k at Booz Allen until 2nd Associate (see below levels).
While there are lots of ways to boost your ranking in search, we get the best ROI from optimizing content for popular keywords, especially headlines. We spend a lot of time perfecting headlines both for The Write Life and for our client blogs, researching keywords using Google Adword’s keyword planner and Google Trends. (If you want to learn more about our SEO strategy for The Write Life, this post explains it in more detail. I also offer a free webinar called Easy SEO Tips for Bloggers.)
In the classical music industry, teaching at school and orchestras are about the only jobs that pay living wage. Also, students (especially string instruments and piano) almost never get into top music schools if one starts after 10 years old. I started practicing my instrument when I was 5. You cannot decide in your high school years that you want to become a member of the SF Symphony, it’s too late.
100k in the Bay area is like 50k in most of the country adjusted for cost of living. I really wish we used adjusted salary more frequently in the US – including welfare, taxes etc. So many T10, T20 B schools are graded based off average nominal salary, which drastically overstates NE and California B-Schools in terms of their value due to their typical placement location.
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Income is commonly used to measure affluence, although this is a relative indicator: a middle class person with a personal income of $77,500 annually and a billionaire may both be referred to as affluent, depending on reference groups. An average American with a median income of $32,000[7] ($39,000 for those employed full-time between the ages of 25 and 64)[8] when used as a reference group would justify the personal income in the tenth percentile of $77,500 being described as affluent,[7] but if this earner were compared to an executive of a Fortune 500 company, then the description would not apply.[9][10] Accordingly, marketing firms and investment houses classify those with household incomes exceeding $250,000 as mass affluent, while the threshold upper class is most commonly defined as the top 1% with household incomes commonly exceeding $525,000 annually.

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.
If you decide to become a patent agent (no law degree) or a patent attorney (law degree), you can crush it (multiple six figure income by age 30). Some of the jobs are a big grind, like IP litigation, which I do not do. I found an awesome mid-sized law firm where I write patent applications for inventors at big tech companies. At the right firm, you can make multiple six figures working a reasonable 45-50 hours per week.
The nice thing about computer science is you don’t have to be a top student to get a good job. The market tends to be very healthy and a computer science degree gives you a nice edge over most applicants for IT positions (experience of course trumps this, but entry-level IT positions really like math, engineering, computer science and statistics students).

Income is commonly used to measure affluence, although this is a relative indicator: a middle class person with a personal income of $77,500 annually and a billionaire may both be referred to as affluent, depending on reference groups. An average American with a median income of $32,000[7] ($39,000 for those employed full-time between the ages of 25 and 64)[8] when used as a reference group would justify the personal income in the tenth percentile of $77,500 being described as affluent,[7] but if this earner were compared to an executive of a Fortune 500 company, then the description would not apply.[9][10] Accordingly, marketing firms and investment houses classify those with household incomes exceeding $250,000 as mass affluent, while the threshold upper class is most commonly defined as the top 1% with household incomes commonly exceeding $525,000 annually.

If you aren’t smart enough to get into a top school, then you aren’t smart enough. Period. At some point, you can’t just throw more effort at academics to be better. People have natural limits. So I don’t believe “anyone can get an education at a top university if you try hard enough” is true at all. That would be like saying “anyone can play quarterback in the NFL if he tries hard enough.”
My company has a program to promote people into jobs at the corporate office. The interest in these roles isn’t that great as the initial pay is comparable or less than what you make working in operations. Can’t forget the negatives of having to work in a corporate environment…commuting every day, being within driving distance of the office, having to maintain a certain appearance, etc. For me I have no interest in working a typical schedule ever again.
Hey Brian! I don’t have an affiliate link in my review of it, but I think STM would be the better fit if product creation is your focus. As far as promoting the product once you created it – I think WA would be a good fit. But they’re pretty affiliate-centric, therefore there’s not much material regarding product creation (whereas there’s bound to be some with how experienced many of the contributors at STM are).
Hi, thanks for another awesome article. I understand EVERYTHING on this subject but what’s the best course of action when your website is lacking a tight focus? My site is based around the concept of stop doing the things you hate and start doing what you really want. Which started out with ‘how to quit your job’ but I thought that was too limiting so now it now covers all aspects of lifestyle, interacting with others, thoughts on life and health & fitness. (using personal experience where applicable).

1. I’m no longer a solopreneur. If I was a solopreneur who netted $5K from a website I ran on my own, that would be pretty darn good. But I don’t do everything myself. Instead, I run a company that has a lot of expenses. My team manages a number of blogs, and I pay six team members each month, as well as dozens of writers who contribute to our blogs, plus a tech-support team. That $5K goes into company revenue, not directly into my pocket.
My grades were terrible in high school. I did better in college. I still graduated debt-free, and made very little money the first few years in business. With positive mental attitude and a game plan in place, I was able become debt-free by 35, and my income is very good for my age. Now that I’m debt-free, I’ve been able to save for retirement (what I should have done first).
The standard route is to work in public accounting and then branch out. So, I wouldn’t consider the public accounting route to be typical, but within ten years you can expect an income to be closer to 200k or as high as 350k if you make partner. Making partner also requires a lot of buy into the partnership shares, so you can think of that as taking on a mortgage. I could get into more detail, but I hope that answers your question!
You’re absolutely right about that time. Never give up. Content marketing is a hard job but you got to look at it like this. The internet and side hustles are here to stay. It goes Way Beyond making money online. We both know there’s no more traditional job security in America today. These narcissist employers are nothing nice. They will hire you 1 minute. Harass you on the job. Steal your commissions and laugh at you behind your back while you continually work hard and put more money in their pocket, then try to enslave you into making more money for them and continually disrespect you to your face. This is the Ironclad indicated it’s time to walk away and start your own business online by working part time on your side hustle weather to Philly at marketing, blogging, or selling your own product service online. There’s billions of dollars to be made in the affiliate marketing industry. With that said, it’s a good thing to know the side hustle is here to stay to those who dedicate themselves to creating quality content on blogs and websites and taking a side hustle to the public nightstep. Agree? :-)
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.

Yeah… HS was a busy time! School 730-230, sports 3-5, hw 7-12 M-F, Sunday hw 10-1am. I did that grades 9-11. Grade 12 I was ahead and worked a ton during the school year (32 hours a week) + sports + school. I actually didn’t do any community college courses, I did them at the state college that I attended. I was admitted as a HS student and the school district paid for everything – made it easier not having to worry about transfer credits.


Once you’re financially stable, I hope you start giving back. It feels good and people like the idea of supporting a good cause (they will be more likely to click your affiliate link in your disclaimer). This also means you don’t have to use as many links in your content and risk getting a penalized. Last year I donated $3,000 to Red Cross At Hurricane Harvey.
However this would only cover a small percentage of my E-mail marketing campaign, I would also market my most “popular” posts within the newsletter and have links within those reviews that point to the product review page. It would be a good way to interact with my visitors as well and like you say, answer any questions they may have (My affiliate covers this pretty well though). I will also add that my affiliate has a lifetime cookie and regularly sends out E-mails to repeat customers however I may lose the “last referrer” sale if they visit a competitor when making the purchase.

Now you don’t need college credits to make school affordable. I went to a private school myself which I paid for all of except part of my first semester which my parents split until I had better jobs. By the time I finished I actually paid less than what my parents paid to put me through a private HS which at the time averaged $3,900/yr. I did it with scholarships and grants. I applied for everything I could. In total my 4yr degree cost me around $3,400/yr. You could add in maybe another 200/yr for books as I always kept a tight lid on that expense. I also worked hard as heck. At one point I even decided to take out a student loan to invest it in CD’s since the rate was much higher. Why? I wasn’t even concerned with paying it back since I had built up the money, and it’s not often you get a highly discounted lunch.

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.
I think it can be hard, although not as hard as it’s sometimes made out to be. If you do well in school, go into a field where you can earn six figures shortly after graduating, do well in said field, there’s few reasons why someone who’s smart, hard-working, interested in working in a high income field, and determined to make a six figure salary can’t do so. That said, how many people do you know who meet all of those traits?
Interesting and motivating article. I didn’t take high school very seriously, and I only took my last 3 years of my 4.5 years of college with strong intentions to succeed. I got my GPA back up to a 3.33 from a 2.76 and landed two summer internships with Fortune 500 companies during school. I now work at one of those said companies and will gross just north of 85k after base salary, relocation, and sign-on bonus (also, could be closer to 88-90k depending on my performance bonus).
If you are a teacher and salary is your number one priority you better make sure your bargaining team knows, or better yet get involved in bargaining yourself, because the people with other priorities like pensions, healthcare, and paid leave certainly speak up in my local! Though thanks to the incredible work in states like WV, OK, and AZ I think teacher pay is finally being addressed.
Great post, Penny! As you know – I am finishing up year 29 in education. I have two Master’s degree and a doctorate and I’ve never earned six figures. Had I stayed as a principal in the last five years, I would have made six figures. I’d likely be at around $120,000 right now. But I gave that up to go teach at the college level, not work 12 months a year, and have fun educating the next generation of teachers. Five years ago, I knew I was almost to FI because of this community (and that’s never making six figures and being a single mom for a number of years…)
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.
I think it can be hard, although not as hard as it’s sometimes made out to be. If you do well in school, go into a field where you can earn six figures shortly after graduating, do well in said field, there’s few reasons why someone who’s smart, hard-working, interested in working in a high income field, and determined to make a six figure salary can’t do so. That said, how many people do you know who meet all of those traits?
What is your oppinion, and what advice would you give someone who dropped out of High School because they dont want to “go to college to get a career job untill retirement… I think school (atleast the schools I attended) trains students to believe that is the only means of achieving financial stability”… “I asked a teacher once ‘how come we dont learn how to make money instead of learning how to physically labor for money you know “work smarter not harder”… Lol that was a mistake on my part!
Beside reading this post which is great for information. i really loved your comment. I feel you. I am also 31yo currently making around 100k living in an Eastern European country and trying to make more by finding new oportunities. Somehow i connected with your comment, i feel atracted to it. If you would like to continue comunicating in private just let me know. Cheers
You can’t make $1000 per day with Michael Cheney’s Commission Black Ops. It’s composed of rehashed information you probably already have. Some of the information are readily available on the Internet for completely free and the bulk of the training is theory that can’t get you started on your way to Internet Marketing success. It’s getting a D rating instead of an F because you might pick one or two concepts that you might find new and useful as nobody knows it all in the Internet Marketing industry.
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