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4 Habits of $100K Employees

Apr 5, 2008
The US Dept. of Commerce only 5.6% of individuals make over $100,000 a year, based on 2006 statistics. If you throw in combined household incomes over $100,000 that number rises to 15.8%. Companies just don't hand out six-figure incomes for mediocrity. Even if they do, those being paid will be found to be lacking and replaced. Making six-figures has nothing to do with being luck, having a "good job", or what you majored in. I first earned $100K when I was 29 (now I'm 38). I completed only 3 years of college. Still, I've consistently be earning a income in the top 5% since. If you can't seem to break the $100K barrier it may be one of these four habits missing from your career advancement arsenal.

Six-Figure Habit #1 - Make and Keep Really Big Promises

Most employees believe they can't make promises and commitments unless it's spelled out in their job description. They're really happy to drift through their jobs, be mediocre, and cash their paychecks. The $100K earner loves promises and commitments. For them, these are opportunities to demonstrate their significant value to their clients and company. These high achievers think meeting a quota is failing. They rewrite and shatter quota systems by consistently delivering on big promises and commitments. They're keenly aware that as their reputation for making and delivering big promises grows their company, and competing companies, will in turn make big promises and commitments back to them.

$100K Habit #2 - Astute Problem Awareness

Being aware of the latest gossip is not the problem awareness I'm talking about. Six-Figure Acute Problem awareness is understanding the purpose of your role and what you do. What problems do you help people solve? You might say, "I'm just a ___" and that is why you aren't earning a six-figure income. Six-figure earners know they must be acutely aware of the problems they help clients, co-workers,and management, solve. They develop their awareness for being problem finders and look to solve them. This is also where they're likely to find big promises they can make and deliver on.

$100,000 Habit #3 - Bring Innovations To Clients and Company

If you're afraid of making mistakes chance are high you'll never join the $100K club. That's because you never question what you're told, and don't ask questions when other people's emergencies abuse your valuable time. It's not a problem, if you're ambition is to earn less than you're worth. $100K earners make lots of mistakes and stir up trouble because they're all about trying to rally support for solving meaningful problems. They challenge co-workers and management to rethink "we tried that" attitudes and stale knowledge. They don't hesitate to call upon their past experiences. And borrow ideas from colleagues in other industries for innovative approaches to long standing problems that will create new offerings, reduce costs, and increase revenue for clients and their company.

$100,000 Habit #4 - Nimble Decision Making

Look no further than the gobs of hours shriveled away in meetings for proof that mediocre employees hate decision making. The $100K professional doesn't let it deter her. She knows she's a skilled decision maker because she takes responsibility for her information and the well reasoned thought process behind them. This builds trust with her clients and company because they know their concerns come before her career advancement. Her motto with decision making is "every decision has a consequence" and she's thought through every one of them. Because of her confidence in making excellent choices, she's nimble in making decisions, slow to change them, and highly valued.

What about your career? Are any of the habits missing, or lacking consistency? How long is your list of Big promises, made, kept and delivered? Only 1 or 2, Find and deliver on 1 every month. What painful problems are your clients and management dying to have solved that you've ignored? What mistakes are you afraid to make? Your clients and company are eagerly hiring consultants who they'll pay 10 times your salary to help them solve their most painful problems, how about they pay you instead? If you want to be highly PAID here's an acronym to keep nearby: Promise. Awareness. Innovation. Decisions.
About the Author
Need help developing $100K habits? Work with Life Strategist John Reisinger to develop your own Career Advancement or Career Change strategy.
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