Bringing Home the Bacon (to Your Company)

If you want to make a super-high corporate income, you have to become a super-significant contributor to your company’s success. That means being an influential force in product creation, marketing, sales, or profit management.

If your current job is outside any of these areas, you must either switch roles or expand your position so that it is directly involved in selling, marketing, product creation, or profit management.

This is not as farfetched as it might seem. Let me give you two examples of people I know who have done that.

When I met Tamara Jennison in 1998, she was employed as a mid-level fulfillment manager for a health publishing business I consulted with. I was impressed with her right away, because she had the courage to disagree with me at our first meeting. I had advised her boss to take a certain course of action regarding an advertising campaign. And though Tamara was hardly a marketing expert at the time, she said “That doesn’t make sense to me.” And so we discussed it.

Tamara wasn’t right. But her reasoning was sound and her instinct for marketing was apparent. I told her boss that she should groom Tamara for a marketing position. Within a year, she was in charge of one of the products.

After that, there wasn’t a week that went by when I didn’t hear from Tamara. She was constantly bombarding me and her boss with all sorts of ideas about how to sell more product, increase customer satisfaction, increase renewal rates, and so on. Not all of her suggestions had merit. But those that did were implemented.

Meanwhile, her enthusiasm and activity never wavered. With each month that passed, she learned more and her intuition improved. That made her suggestions more valuable. And the next time a marketing management position opened up, she was given the opportunity.

Tamara’s transition took less than two years. And her salary almost doubled: from $31,000 to $59,000. Once she was in a position to create her own products and run her own advertising program, her learning curve accelerated even faster. In the four years that have elapsed since then, her portion of the business grew from $1 million to $16 million. (With more than a 20% profit margin.) She was clearly the key person in this expansion. And so it was easy for her boss to justify Tamara’s phenomenal rise in income: from $59,000 to more than $400,000 in 2004.

Another example is Michael Oaks. He was working as an editorial assistant for another publishing business that I consulted with. Also about 1998. After listening to a seminar his boss and I gave about why top-notch copywriting was such an important element of their bottom line, Mike switched from editorial to copywriting.

For almost two full years, his income stagnated. Then he wrote his first breakthrough promotion. That success inspired him to work even harder. Within the next 12 months, he was generating millions every quarter in additional sales for the business. And his income skyrocketed. From about $50,000 to $240,000 in 2004.

If you would like to experience a radical salary increase like this, here’s what you have to do:

* Figure out how your business creates profits.

* Understand how your job contributes to that process.

* Modify your job so that more profits are produced as a result of what you do.

* Make sure the people who are in charge of giving raises know that you’re making more money for the company.

Start by learning the core profit strategies of your business. Once you’ve done that, it will be relatively easy to figure out how to make the work you do essential to the growth and profitability of the business.

By making yourself one of the few people in your company who know how to bring in the bacon, you give yourself the greatest chance of getting big raises, big promotions — and, eventually, earning a six-figure income.

[Ed. Note.  Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]