“Quit your job you wage slave.”
That’s the conventional advice you get online. When I had a regular job for 10+ years, after being an entrepreneur at 26, all I heard was this.
It made me mad.
While I believe the best path for most people isn’t to work a 9-5 job forever (although it’s a good place to get started), it doesn’t mean you can never be wealthy working a job.
People say jobs are bad to make you mad. They’re not quite right. Here’s how to get wealthy working a 9-5 job (and the blueprint I followed).
Use this uncommon strategy to be more valuable than anyone else
The customer makes you wealthy.
Most people don’t know this. Let me explain. When I worked in banking I realized the word “customer” was the most powerful word there was.
Every time I said it people listened — and senior leaders became intoxicated by it. So instead of sucking up to my boss or colleagues like everyone else, I became the customer’s best friend.
At one point I came into contact with one of the largest fintechs in America. I milked the opportunity bone dry.
Whatever they needed, I did. I acted like a good little social justice warrior and advocated for them internally.
That customer became my best friend.
They told my employer lots of nice things. They even told them to give me an oversized bonus. My employer couldn’t argue with them. So they paid me more than I was entitled to.
I went and bought a brand new car. I paid in cash. My girlfriend didn’t get it. She thought I’d won the lottery.
Focus on the customer more than your career.
Spend less than you earn
Many people get pay rises.
Then they go out and buy a boat. The extra cash is gone. Lifestyle inflation wins the war in their head. So they have to keep making more and more money to fund all the new expenses.
This is hell.
The key is to increase your income from a job and let expenses remain the same. Or god forbid, lower expenses more over time.
This means you won’t have to work so hard. And you’ll have more money to put toward your wealth goal.
Cheat on your boss with recruiters
Recruiters are like magicians.
They can say abracadabra and pull a bunny out of a hat (aka a kickass job). I didn’t learn this lesson until much later in life.
I applied for jobs like a sucker to slowly grow my income. Then one day I discovered recruiters. I connected with 1, 2, 3 — pretty soon I had them calling me every day.
They messed with my head.
“Yo Timbo, I got a job at Google paying twice your salary. You interested?”
How the heck does anyone ghost a text message like that? You can’t. And that’s the power of recruiters.
Stop kissing your boss’s hairy butt.
Take recruiters out for coffee. Get to know them. The #1 way you can help a recruiter and become top of mind for them is to refer high-quality candidates to them. That’s what I did.
I worked in sales. I knew all the top performers, so I referred them to my favorite recruiters. In return they gave me life-changing job opportunities I could never find on LinkedIn or internally at my current employer.
Remember: Give to recruiters before you take.
Sleep with the enemy
In medium to large companies there are departments.
They’re often at war. They all have their agendas and love to throw each other under the bus.
“IT is lazy. They don’t answer support tickets.”
“The sales area are a bunch of liars. They oversell promises.”
A fast way to get a pay rise is to trade your way through jobs that are in different departments. Your current work area is unlikely to pay you more. But another department often will.
And once you work across multiple departments you become multidisciplinary. People see you as a guru, and you can get things done faster because you know more people across the business.
Sleep with other departments and climb your way to the top.
Prostitute yourself around
Sounds a little sleazy.
Let me elaborate. The way to get wealthy from a job is to become a master networker. People make people rich — never forget.
Now, you don’t need to be an extrovert or kiss ass to get good at it. All you have to do is be a people connector. Find out what people are good at. Understand their goals.
Then play matchmaker.
Being proactive about relationship building is key because one of those people you help will end up giving you a new opportunity. Or giving a secret reference about you to someone who will.
People lack opportunities because they don’t network. They focus on the dreaded “experience” or getting new skills. But skills are useless if no one knows you have them and no one will vouch for you.
Also, attend live events in your industry.
It’s an easy way to get out of your own career bubble and get in front of other people. Don’t hand them a business card either. And don’t for the love of god ask them for anything.
Just meet people and listen. Take notes. Follow up with a LinkedIn DM, but again, don’t ask for anything.
Work quietly in the dark hours
Wealth from a job doesn’t just come from an employer.
Few understand. Those who get wealthy from their career have multiple income streams. The best way to find a new one is with a side hustle. In the dark hours when I got home from banking, I wrote online.
It became my obsession.
I didn’t make money from it for 5+ years. But I was always building something online that I fully owned and had control of.
Later in life that made me extra money. It meant my job didn’t have to be my sole focus. If I got laid off or fired, it didn’t matter as much.
As it turned out, in 2019 my skinny ass DID get fired. I was pissed. I cried like my 7 month old daughter during teething.
But I got over it quickly.
“F*ck that cranky old man. 500,000 people follow me online. My life has value. My experience has value. He’s wrong.”
So I bounced back and became unstoppable. I went on to make 7 figures. That’s how a side hustle makes you unstoppable. Why not you?
Invest instead of save
Saving is how you lose money.
The bank makes a nice profit margin while the interest they pay you is less than inflation in most countries. Don’t fall into this bear trap.
People who get wealthy while working a job invest some of their income in proven financial assets — stocks, real estate, ethereum/bitcoin, gold/silver.
If you don’t know how, then use self-education to learn from people like Raoul Pal and Real Vision.
Make your own luck for free (here’s how)
Most people are ghosts.
No one knows they exist except their dog and family. If you google the average worker nothing comes up.
This is bad. If you don’t share your thoughts and be proactive in life then you’ll get left behind. The easiest way to fix this problem is to post on platforms like LinkedIn. It’s how you become an opportunity magnet.
Once people can find you and they come in contact with your ideas, it changes everything.
Things go from hard to easy.
Since 2014 I haven’t had to apply for jobs.
No. Jobs and opportunities come to me. Even stupidly high-paying random stuff like board positions with a 6-figure retainer.
Not cause I’m smart, but cause I’m visible.
Visibility increases your perceived IQ. And the stories you share show EQ.
Value money more than time
A job sells your time.
It’s why critics love to throw bananas at them and call former bankers, like me, monkeys. But I’m okay with it. I have big monkey ears after all.
The key to a job is to value your time. Don’t waste it. Guard it.
- Say no to useless meetings.
- Answer fewer emails to get fewer emails.
Then with the time you save you can invest it into new opportunities. When you upgrade to new jobs, look at opportunities based on how much time they will rob you of.
Like is overtime likely? Are they well-staffed? What do existing employees say about how many hours you’re likely to work?
I never took jobs that required me to work 7 days or were in departments that were notoriously busy and understaffed. So I had more time to think and be strategic in my career.
And when it came to negotiation time with job offers, I convinced multiple hiring managers to let me work 4 days instead of 5. I used the extra day off work to build wealth.
Wealth is a mindset
Getting wealthy at a 9-5 job is all about mindset.
Mindset drives everything in life, including your career. If you have a negative or outdated view of the working world, you’ll go nowhere, fast.
Upgrade your mindset. Program your brain with new ideas. Brainwash yourself to understand true freedom.
This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.