Career Woman

How big salaries can kill you


Five years ago, I thought I had everything I could wish for, a big salary and an excellent reputation in my field. Despite my earnings, I was still living paycheck to paycheck, paying for more than I could afford, racking up credit card debt, all while believing I ‘deserved’ it all, and could afford my lifestyle, because my job was eternal.

However, when my boss insisted I cancel a holiday I had been planning and paying for over the past two years, and told me “I pay you enough to ask you to stay, and I can always find someone who will replace you if you don’t,” I began to question everything I had been working for. On one hand, I didn’t want to lose my job, and the lifestyle I had created, but I wasn’t prepared, or deserved, to sacrifice everything for my work. I asked myself, ‘is this really what life is all about? Am I supposed to look forward to 30 more years of a 12-hour-a-day corporate lifestyle, and forget about everything else I desire?”

I had always been proud to consider my life as my primary business, and, at that moment, I realised what an unfulfilling company I had created. The one mistake I made about my big salary is that it would last as long as I wanted – which meant I was living on credit, with no assets, only one source of income and no alternative investment for the future. I realised I needed to change the way I functioned to never be out of options again.

Here are the tools I used to change my mindset towards money and my job, allowing me to create more and feel fulfilled in all areas of my life.

1. Choose yourself

Corporations usually revolve around the company’s needs. Follow their example and apply this to your own life. Get clear on what you need and desire and ask yourself “Am I getting what I want?” If the answer is no, start looking at what you require to create it. What if you could use the system to work for you? Pursue your hobby or start volunteering for activities that make you happy, inside or outside the office. When you are having fun, it shows, and people notice your value.

2. Create your ‘’ fund

We often believe it’s important to spend money, but actually it’s having money that changes your whole sense of self and security. Start contributing at least 10% of what you earn to an account. As it grows, you will get the sense that you have money, and with this mindset, you will be able to generate more in your life. This process can also help you become aware of the areas in your life that aren’t working or fulfilling you.

3. Make your money work for you

If your salary is your only revenue stream, consider diversifying. Invest in something you’re interested in or find exciting and learn everything you can about your new investment. Look at business that make you curious, or things you enjoy. For example, I’ve been researching silver, gold and antique coins and identifying any risks involved in investing in them (as there are many forgeries). The more I learn, the better my choices when making future investments.

4. Be pragmatic

A big salary is not enough. Most people do not know how much it costs to run their life and think that as long as they receive money, they get to spend it. Create a budget and define exactly how much it costs to run your life – including paying any outstanding debt – and then compare that amount to what you are making now. Look at everything you are buying as if you were a business: Is this an asset or a liability? Is this going to create value, or is it an unnecessary cost? Will it be worth something in the future? Also, if what you are earning less than your desired lifestyle costs, ask: “What else can I add to my life that would make me that kind of money right away?” And take action.

5. Be willing to change what doesn’t work

If you are constantly dreading your work day and waiting for the days and weeks to end, then it may be time to consider a change. Look at pursuing a new career or company that will fulfill your needs and bring joy and excitement back to your work day, as though you are your own corporation, looking for the perfect candidate.

6. Recognize what works, and create more of that

We usually underestimate where we are excelling. Start looking at what is working for you, and be grateful for it. This habit starts to shift your focus to see what works, and you give your mind the job of creating more of that.

Our hectic lives make us live as if tomorrow didn’t exist. I found out the hard way, and I am now sharing with you what I have found to work for me. Now it is your turn.  What if you started today to create the future you’d like to have, instead of stumbling upon it when it happens? With these simple tools, you can do just that, on your terms.

About Elena Blanco

With over 20 years of experience in executive roles within world class corporations, Elena Blanco is a skilled communicator and negotiator. She has created and lead high-performing teams and successful business strategies both in the public and private sectors. She is an entrepreneur, with an international practice where she coaches others on how to change their lives for the better. She is a Wealth Creators Anonymous facilitator, a special program of Access Consciousness, and a business coach with an MSc. in Economics. Her unique combination of corporate experience, coaching and entrepreneurship, along with her passion for creating a greater world, gives her the capabilities to empower others to create more in their lives and businesses.

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