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Give Yourself a 20% Raise

It is easy to increase your income doing exactly the same job you are doing now.

Sound impossible? Actually thousands are doing this every day with little to no effort. Just follow a few simple strategies. The goal here to perform the same quality work but simply get paid more to do it. By the end of this article you will see 5 proven methods to give yourself a 20% raise!

5 easy steps to give yourself a 20% raise

  1. Velocity of turnover – What does that mean?!? What we all have is a finite amount of time, or hours in a week. This is finding ways to be more efficient in what you do. Here’s an example, I have been building websites since 1995. The first website I did for a customer was brutal. It took an entire week for a simple 5-page website. I learned a lot and only charged $500. That was $500 for an entire week of coding. Like I said, I did learn a lot and by my fifth or sixth website, I was able to reuse some of the code in other projects and shortened the production time to 2 days. In this example, I went from $500 of billable work in a week to roughly $1250 of billable work in a week…a 250% increase! Just by getting better at what you already do is the most efficient way to give yourself a 20% raise or more! Look for efficiencies and you can turn jobs around sooner and get paid more in the same time. We all have the same amount of time in a week. If we can turn around jobs quicker, we can get paid more in the same amount of time.
  2. Kill Time Wasters – How many times you say, I need a break and play solitaire on the computer or skim through social media sites. Personally, this used to be a bad habit of mine. Put another way, one hour a day is 5 hours of billable time lost each week. If you plan to work for $25 per hour, a 40-hour week would net $1000. A 5 hour loss of productivity would equal $125 out of your pocket. This is a staggering $6250 a year. I don’t know about you, but silly videos and the latest meme is not worth $6250 a year to me. Keep business hours for business, you can check your social media on your own time. Now, I am not suggesting pure drudgery, see my article Reward yourself along the way for more details.
  3. Compartmentalize Email – Tim Ferriss, in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek (find it on Amazon here), stated he only checked email once or twice a day. Eventually he set up systems to eradicate email altogether in his life. How many times do we feel the need to instantly respond when our inbox “dings?” You have to gauge the type of email you get. I would suggest checking email first thing in the morning, and responding to everything urgent and be done for the morning. Check it briefly (and put 5 or 10 minute limit) immediately after lunch, then check to see if any emergencies came in just before you quit for the day, or let it simmer until the next morning. There is no rule you have to sit in email all day long if you don’t have to. This frees you up to do more profitable work.
  4. Do the expensive work – If you want to make $25 per hour, don’t waste your time doing minimum wage work. Our family has a friend who is an auto mechanic. To keep him the most profitable for the garage, the owners only allow him to fix and customize the hot rods coming into the shop. The owner hired a couple of employees to do nothing but clean up, run errands, get parts and wash the cars. These are minimum wage tasks. It is easy work for high school students to perform, while the mechanics bill work at a higher rate. In my website building business in the past, I trained an intern to perform certain tasks, paying them $12 per hour yet legitimately bill the customer $20 per hour. The intern learned new skills and there was another profit stream for the business.
  5. Use the exchange rate – Lastly, I believe this is the easiest way to give yourself a 20% raise. In today’s digital economy, geography does not matter where you perform quality work. The only difference is where your client sits. Outsourcing companies have understood this for decades. Find less expensive labor oversees to perform the same work and charge the difference. However, let’s look at this from the other end. Why not BE the person who can charge the same rate, but use the difference in currency to improve your bottom line. Often, we tend to think in very provincial terms. For example, Americans tend to only think in US dollars. Consider if you are a $40 US per hour technical writer, why not write for a company in the Cayman Islands or the UK? If you consider $40 KYD (Cayman) equal $48.78 US or $40 Euros is the same as $43.60 US, why wouldn’t you look for foreign clients? Many are relocating to areas with lower costs of living so the increase to your bottom line would only be more. Just by using arbitrage, you use the currency of your foreign clients to give yourself a 20% raise easily doing what you are doing now.


As you can see it is absolutely possible to give yourself a 20% raise (or more) just by thinking about sources and processes you already do. Would you agree that none of this is hard? Take 10 minutes to write down some actionable steps to start employing these strategies with a deadline. It will be time well spent and you will benefit in the end.

William R. Wheeler, CEO/Principle Consultant

William Wheeler is a consultant, storyteller, teacher and IT expert. He has been a national subject matter expert for several universities and has written dozens of college level courses and is a published author.

William R. Wheeler, CEO/Principle Consultant

Wheeler Management Group

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