How to Make More Money

Oooh. I like that.

My general answer is to deliver tremendous value.

What is value?

One form is making the company money by doing things that aren’t being done today. The xxxxxxxxx program is a perfect example of this.

Or by fixing things that lose us money in both the short and long-term.

Measuring the long-term, more indirect effects of your actions is a bit challenging. But through creativity and logic, it can be done.

Value is also visible when you innovate.

A solid employee (SE) can do what he/she is told. SEs are necessary, but decently easy to replace. A company owner knows this. So if that SE wants more money, there’s no real urgency by the owner, because if the SE walks, a new one can probably be found (though sometimes owners absolutely underestimate the difficulty of finding SEs).

Compare that attitude to what an owner thinks about innovating employees (IE). IEs are very hard to replace. IEs go beyond following orders. They can:

  1. Come up w/ their own orders
  2. Still follow orders when those orders are smart, but find better ways to accomplish the goal when the orders are not smart

If an IE gets another job offer, the owner rushes to match it. IEs do more than merely keep the business running, they move the business forward in meaningful ways.

Some ways to become an IE:

  1. Output excellent work
  2. Train yourself to think differently/creatively
    1. Consume content that you disagree with
      1. Easy test: are you ever reading things that you want to stop reading because the author’s perspective so bothers you?
    2. Understand how humans think
    3. Challenge the status quo by seeking out the other side
      1. Practice making and defending all sides of an argument
    4. Become a healthcare expert and think differently about healthcare
      1. That book I gave you is a nice starting point for unique thought
      2. Here’s my favorite blog
      3. Be able to write 20-page essay explaining why healthcare costs so much (not that you actually need to write this essay. ha)
    5. Get better at questioning
    6. Get better at negotiating
    7. Get better at persuasion and presenting
    8. Get better at writing
    9. Maybe 4-7 don’t all interest you. Cool. Pick one. Dive deep.
    10. Think like an owner
    11. Think like a startup owner
    12. Focus on what is important
    13. Build principles for yourself
    14. Dream
    15. Have fun

Meanwhile, I will fight to make xxxxxxxxx the most valuable team at xxxxxxxxx. Saying “no” to trash. Saying “yes” to big opportunities. Figuring out the rest.

So no, I don’t think there is a simple A+B=C equation to compensation.

I can’t know exactly what you need to do because I don’t yet know what problems we will face.

I do know that if you are so incredibly prepared to deal with all sorts of problems, it will be obvious to everyone that you are an IE.

Summary: be able to ask for a raise and KNOW that you earned it and KNOW the company would suffer massively if you left.

This may not have been what you wanted, but it’s the truth as I see it for anyone, anywhere, regardless of position (i.e., I would basically write the same e-mail to xxxxxxxxx if he asked me how he could make more money). I see no reason why you can’t embody this truth and totally, completely thrive (which, yes, includes making more money).