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.
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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…
Great post! I majored in Electrical Engineering, instead of going the tech route (mistake?) I went into infrastructure and engineering services. The work is pretty easy and I work no more than 40 hours a week. I’m in my early 30s moving up proves to be very hard even with PM experience and being a licensed PE, this industry is very flat… So I’m going to business school this fall to get an MBA part time. I sat in some classes and I actually love it. I never explored the possibility of studying business before but nonetheless I’ve had side interest in economics and leadership psychology for a long time and read a lot. Don’t know if I will see an ROI immediately but I am probably going to enjoy these courses.
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’m not a teacher. So what? Figure out what makes you worth as much money as possible. What skills or talents do you need? Then, invest in yourself. Be smart about how you pay for that investment. Inquire if your work covers tuition or will provide some kind of financing. See if there are cohorts or other ways to acquire discounted tuition if you are in need of more traditional schooling.
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.
to answer the question – yes it is very easy to make 100k – or more. why don’t many do it? many do not know how to go about it (how to even start). that issue stems from education and awareness (no exposure to that environment). those with the awareness do not have the will, or desire as you called it out. it takes a combination of awareness, desire and action to get there. you are right in that anyone can get there – IF they really wanted to
Most of them are common sense but you do need to be aware of things like disclosing that you are an affiliate for that product, and that it needs to be clear and early on in the post. You have to be very transparent about it. I mention it in a big clear “NOTE” at the top of any post that contains affiliate links, as well as again down the bottom in a disclaimer.

Learning and reading and trying things is fundamental to success. Anyone can do anything if they truly put their mind to it. This is not a get rich quick scheme, this is an idea board and an educational blog for people to explore, learn and try innovative ways to make money and retire early. It does take money to make money, but driving Uber for a couple of months until you have $3,000 to either invest or apply towards your startup won’t kill you. Yes, you may work 60+ hours for a short time, but it’s a short term time investment to a long term monetary payoff.
First, much of that income came from the initial hype that surrounded the product. Once people started trying the products and reviews came out, sales would have dropped considerably. That’s largely because the reviews often aren’t positive and the products don’t tend to live up to the hype. I can see my own traffic stats from reviews, and after launch, product interest dies out considerably and never returns. Can you expect to make sales from these year-old products?
Whenever we see a blog post catch on in search for one of the blogs we manage, we celebrate, because it will probably send lots of traffic to the site over time. Unless you have a massive email list or rely entirely on Facebook shares like BuzzFeed-type sites, you should aim to get a good portion of your traffic from search. (Though a massive email list and lots of Facebook shares are pretty great too, and will help your site catch on in search… so all of these traffic-generating activities feed into one another.)
Upper middle class[1] (15%) Highly-educated (often with graduate degrees), most commonly salaried, professionals and middle management with large work autonomy. Upper middle class[1] (15%) Highly-educated (often with graduate degrees) professionals & managers with household incomes varying from the high 5-figure range to commonly above $100,000. The rich (5%) Households with net worth of $1 million or more; largely in the form of home equity. Generally have college degrees.

As someone that works offshore. Yes all of those things are free but with Ebay and Amazon a click away it’s easy to spend money. Having the discipline to save when you’re not working is harder than you think. I find it easier to travel(this is me), stay out late, and justify more expensive hobbies which all of these can drain the money you’ve saved while working. .


The Cost of Living Index compares the cost of housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods. According to Bankrate’s cost-of-living comparison calculator, you’d need to earn about $141,000 in Boston to have the equivalent of $100,000 in Houston. And if you were living on $100,000 per year in Memphis, Tennessee, you’d have to earn roughly a whopping $245,000 to maintain the same standard of living in parts of New York City. While salaries are often higher in cities with higher costs of living, they don’t always match up to provide the same quality of life.
I have spent the last 4 years doing B2B business development for a small electronics engineering & manufacturing firm. I am going to break 100k this year, but it has been a struggle given that my products are commodities essentially and my engineers won’t tackle anything too difficult (lucrative) unless I put up a massive fit or try figuring it out myself. My company treats me very well, nice office, great boss, flexible hours etc.. but I sometimes wonder what greener pastures may exist for me in the future. At the last small company I worked for there were three sales managers making 200-400k, but they were all in their 60s, 70s(yep), or the son of the owner. I would like a faster track to higher pay. By the way I live in Chicago, I’m in my early 30s, and I have an MBA(although not top 15). I think that education is extremely important, but in sales it is very much my impression that it is all about experience and results.

I loved the landing page idea. This would be very effective in one case ONLY. If you are promoting a product or a an eBook this would work very fine OR increasing an Email list by offering something for FREE. You know in this life “Nothing is for FREE”. So you are giving your visitor for an example “A guide to how to install a blog template in wordpress or blogger” or “how to monetize your blog?” a FREE guide will drive this visitor to type his email and hit the subscribe button right away. But if the visitor a PayPal Button he just click the MAGIC X button on the top of his browser. Landing pages are very effective when you know how to use them.

And don't forget, in order to truly make personal recommendations, you'll need to be a CUSTOMER as well. I see far too many affiliates making personal recommendations without even making the investment in the product or service they are promoting. Not only will you lose credibility when you do this, you'll be limiting your marketing potential by not knowing the product like you should.

A wise man once told me…, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.!” Networking is important, but how do you know, you are networking with appropriate people that want to see you make the same six ball park figures that they do, you then become competition, and unless they are frequently throwing you under the bus. I don’t really see networking as the great ideal, education is important but whose to say you might not be educated in a particular area, to keep what you have worked so hard for, I see this article as a hit and miss, and unless you can stay “Motivated” which can be extremely difficult in some cases, What’s the real obstacle. I know this is possible, but I don’t think anywhere as much information that is needed. How ever if anyone has any idea of any jobs that a twenty-two year old can become employed in a short space of time and make $100,000-$250,000.00 please allow me to know.
Steve has been extremely clever here because his affiliate product is completely owned by his company. This is the perfect example of matching an affiliate to a traffic stream. He wrote a high quality evergreen article that naturally developed trust due to his strong brand and large community and then developed the app to solve the problem of thousands of people asking him, “Dude, is that food Paleo?”
A great point you made there though. Too many people try to take on too much at once and end up spreading themselves too thin – trying to conquer all the niches at the same time. Marketers also do this with advertising. Instead of sticking with one platform until they are generating a consistent number of leads they will jump from platform to platform, in essence chucking a load of crap at a wall and seeing what sticks.
This forumla you have makes sense for some people, but not all. Case in point – I went to a college in the midwest that no one has heard of, graduated with a 3.2 GPA, and at the age of 29 closed the year with a $110k salary. My boyfriend went to one of the top 10 public institutions in the country, graduated with a 3.8 GPA, and last year earned about $20k. Yes, having a degree from a top-tier institution may have increased my current salary even more, but I think had I gone that route I would have went into a less exciting career and given myself less chances to fail. Instead, with my average academic background, I’ve been able to live out many careers in my 20s – as a business journalist, and then in a variety of roles in startups where I could put my writing skills to use. I learned how to negotiate and that’s why I’m making six figures today (and I also have a sizable stock package that could be worth more a few years down the road.) My salary clearly has nothing to do with my academic performance. Sure, Google would never hire me because I don’t meet their hiring criteria, but who needs Google when you can start out as one of the first employees of a startup and help make that startup worth hundreds of millions of dollars?
Interesting article and dialogue. I went to a lower end UC, and graduated in Political Science, a major which doesnt pay right away. I instead got into direct sales for a cable company and made 130k my first year out of college by selling cable door to door. I made even more the second year. Been there for fooir years now – earning 100k-150k but dont see it going mucb higher. Not sure what to do to hit that next level. Toying with the idea of going ack for my MBA to take that next leap of faith but its hard to leave my income and incure a 100k debt for a goood business school. I agree, being motivated, working hard, being positive, not being a hard partier- but a hRd worker has helped me reach that sox figure mark. Thanks for the article.
Just a quick note on the consulting firms you listed. Although the Big 3 are obvious to include in the list, I would certainly remove Booz Allen Hamilton, and even Arthur D. Little. Booz Allen is notorious for under-paying, especially when compared to much better firms. Booz Allen is also primarily a Federal contractor with very limited commercial work (granted their non-compete with Booz & Co. [now Strategy&] is over) – commercial strategy/ management consulting out-pays Federal counterparts.

Most of them are common sense but you do need to be aware of things like disclosing that you are an affiliate for that product, and that it needs to be clear and early on in the post. You have to be very transparent about it. I mention it in a big clear “NOTE” at the top of any post that contains affiliate links, as well as again down the bottom in a disclaimer.


Thank you for your comment, but I don’t think I felt the need to comment if your post was about “six figures can be achieved in a variety of industries if one is the top of their field”. Don’t we all know that? College prof, photographers, athletes, actors, dancers, musicians, designers, personal trainers etc. You wouldn’t list these as $100k+ industries, do you? I wrote my last comment to explain that symphony orchestra industry also does not fit into the “industries that often pay six figures within 3 years out of school”.
Education. Your thirst for education should be constant and voracious. I don't care if you're reading this in your twenties or your sixties. There's always something new to learn that you can add to your well of knowledge to draw upon. So take that improv class you've been thinking about or buy that course you're interested in. It's always worth it if you learn just one thing from it.
Anyway, back to this program called the Seven Figure Franchise. There have been many affiliate programs that have come and gone over the years promising all sorts of wealth and prosparity. Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe that people make money with affiliate marketing, but like some of the people her have mentioned, you have to do it in the right way.
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