JVM Advent

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Increase your Yearly Income as a Java Developer

Increasing our yearly income is an important part of our career planning.

But… Before we talk about money, let me be clear from the start. In this article, I’ll talk a lot about money. But… This is NOT an article about money. Money is not important.

What really matters is what money can make possible in your life.

  • Maybe you want to buy better gadgets or build a more sophisticated office or gaming setup for you.
  • Maybe what you need now is to invest in your growth, or the growth of your kids or spouse.
  • You can also be looking to enjoy life, travel, create experiences.
  • Many times you will want to help your family, church or any person in need.
  • Maybe you are having to deal with life’s very difficult moments…

The truth is, we all can do with some extra money…

Not because money is important. But because we have very important things to do in our life.

Increase your Salary is an option…

Clearly the more direct way to increase your income is by increasing your salary.

We want our salaries to grow year over year. Many people even change companies for a better opportunity, that usually includes a better salary.

No matter if you stay where you are or you move somewhere else, the path for salary increase is delivering value, and negotiation.

The key to get a better salary is not to go and demand it. Salary negotiation is not a sporadic, dreadful thing that you force yourself to go through every year.

Salary negotiation is a continuous, ongoing conversation with your boss. Together, you plan your future inside the company. That includes salary yes, but it is more about planning your responsibilities and what is the best path for you, for your boss and for the company.

If you don’t have that ongoing conversation, start today.

The more value your boss and your company sees coming from you, the better salary negotiation you can have.

But focusing on your salary is just one way to increase your income…

Salary increase Is not the only way. And maybe not even the best!

For one, there are strong limits on salary negotiation. And there is just so many times you can change project or company to justify it.

If you want to really increase your income, you have to go beyond that.

The importance of multiple income streams

What if you could have more than one income stream at the same time?

Parallel income streams allow you to grow your monthly income, without needing to grow your salary.

It allows your income to grow faster. No need to wait your company to raise your salary and no need to change companies for better pay.

It gives you freedom and predictability. If one stream dries or changes, you still have other income streams to rely on.

Because of that, you should have at least 3 different income streams. 3 or more income streams will give you a good path for wealth generation.

But you are probably thinking: yeah, I barely have time to work one job! How can I get multiple income streams!

Very true…

Trading time per money prevents multiple income streams

There is one very scarce resource you have to consider: your time!

If your income stream is basically trading time for money, there is a limit on how much time you have to trade…

Your job trades time for money. You get a salary to work so many hours per week/month. This limits how many salaries you can get at once!

Another common way of trading time for money is by charging per hour. For example, doing freelancing and consulting.

Charging by the hour usually works well. You make good money!

And then… You start counting your hours…

Suddenly, things start to look weird. 3 hours to attend a Meetup? I could be making a lot of money in this time!
Take 2 days off to go to a conference or a training? No way!
Family wants vacation? You have no idea how much that costs me!

Trade time for money is not good for you…

-> It limits how many income streams you can have
-> it has very small limits… You have just a few hours a day…
-> It creates a perverse exchange for your rest, entertainment and family time

Trading time for money can be a good deal for one income stream. Maybe even your primary one.

The company gives you a guarantee a monthly salary. You give them your time and expertise. That’s a good thing.

But it is clearly not ideal for MULTIPLE income streams…

So, how can we run multiple income streams?

2 Ways of EARNING Money

There are basically 2 ways of earning money:

  • earn money for the things you WILL do
  • earn money for the things you ALREADY did

Let’s explore them a little.

earn money for the things you WILL do

This is easy. That’s your salary. Or your hourly rate. It can also be a fixed price project you accept or some results you sell that you have to build.

This is (mostly) trading time for money.

You put the work, create a result, and get paid for it. It’s awesome.

But, we already know that this has a big limit: the time you have.

earn money for the things you ALREADY did

But you can also make money for the things you already did.

Developers know this well. That’s what software is all about! You spend time creating a software, and once ready, you can sell it for many people. You are earning money for the things you already did.

This has a big advantage: because you already did the work, there is no time involved. So, you are not time-limited.

You just broke the strongest limit you have.

There are many ways to earn money for things you already did. For instance: software, books, video classes.

Some are more obvious than others. A reusable framework that helps you spend little time doing a new fixed price project is an example of a not so obvious way. Your customer may still count you as trading time for money, but you know better.

Ok, I get it. But so what? If I have to put the time upfront, doesn’t this invalidate the whole thing?

the secret of earning money for the things you ALREADY did

The secret is simple.

First, earn income for things you WILL do.

Then, turn those things into things you ALREADY did, and add them to your income streams.

You just went through a complex problem at work?
Record a video, write an article, prepare a step by step procedure. Make this a content you can share to others and create an income stream out of it. It can become a training or a book for instance.

You were hired to build a software solution?
Contribute back to the open source library you used. Create a tool to solve a problem. Increase the functionality on your own component library.

Many people call this “passive income”. I don’t like to call it passive, because it is not passive! You continue to build on it. You write more books. Add new features to your software. Record more videos and classes.

This is the secret: continue to work, but turn all this into things you already did, and create multiple income streams out of it.

Once you have this mindset, you will see opportunities everywhere.

You can even to mix things up!

Are you starting a consulting engagement?
Instead of only selling hours, build a larger package. Include access to your customer for your recorded trainings, books and software. That way, you are billing hours for the things you will do. And also selling access to the things you already did.

Give high value to your customers

Once you start building your multiple income streams, you will be serving your customers in multiple ways.

The more value you bring to them. The larger the problem you solve. The more results you facilitate. The more your customers will trust you. And the more money you will make.

With this mindset of bringing high value for your customers you can start to build your strategy.

You can have a spectrum of “things you already did” to support them. From free material, books, videos, trainings and software, there are many ways to help your customers succeed.

Get started

I hope you take this next year to build your multiple streams. Start small, and build on top of what you have.

While you are doing things, you can look for opportunities to turn them into things you already did.

The beauty of multiple income streams is that even small ones add up. And can give you a boost to build your wealth.

To help you build your product and income strategy, my Christmas gift for you is a full process to build effective income streams. In the book “12 Steps to Create Unique Products” I walk you through a powerful strategy to turn things you already did into awesome income streams. Check it out, it’s free for you!

Author: Bruno Souza

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