8 Core Reasons – Why your income level remains STAGNANT (part 1/5)

POSTED BY Nandish Desai ON October 16, 2014 COMMENTS (37)

At jagoinvestor we have always been trying new stuff  and this time we are coming up with 5 article series on the topic of INCOME every Thursday. These articles will be inter connected and they will help you to work on any one specific area related to money, this time we are going to focus on increasing your income (I know that you are interested in this topic). Now, there is no formula available in the world or with us by which you can magically increase your income. But we strongly feel that by engaging with certain set of conversations you CAN increase your income.

This is the 1st article of the series where we are first going to look at why a lot of people struggle to increase their income. What is it that stops people to increase their income ? And then over the next few weeks, we will go deeper in this area and touch other points around increasing income. You may be into job or business the series will be helpful to you.

How to Increase your Income

8 Core Reasons why  income level remains STAGNANT

Lets examine some of the key reasons or pointers which can help you to introspect in the area of income generation.

Reason #1 – Overfocus on Controlling Expenses and not ON increasing Income

You will always meet two kinds of people. There are people who focus on increasing their income and you will find people who are always busy controlling their expenses. Now, we want you to focus on increasing your income because increasing income is ALWAYS in your hands; whereas controlling expenses is not in your hands. For e.g. if tomorrow petrol or diesel prices touches Rs.100 per litre you can’t do anything about it. When we work with our clients one on one we always encourage them to work on increasing their income. We ask them to figure out ways by which they can work on increasing their income. Along with making investments it is extremely important to work on increasing your income.

Now, let’s assume that right now you are not exploring your full income potential and we invite you to inquire how you can explore your full income potential.

Reason #2 – They are HIT by “BUT” syndrome

I find a lot of people saying, “This year I was all set to get promotion BUT office politics got in my way” or “This time I was all set to get big business order BUT my competitor stole my order”. The three letter word “BUT” is a bit nasty by nature. The word BUT is a beholder, it beholds some kind of underlying truth in it.

The truth is, I am not promoted and the truth is, I did not get the business order I wanted. You may be in business or job, if your income is not increasing check whether you are hit by “BUT” syndrome or not? – Tell the truth and start taking required actions instead of swimming into the pool of reasons and thinking why you could not produce desired result. Every time when things don’t turn out the way you want, instead of finding reasons go deep inside your own self and get honest with yourself. People who struggle to increase their income are more in love with reasons than results and actions.

Reason #3 – Virus called “What’s in it for me?”

This virus simply corrupts you as a professional. The virus gets in your mind and it keeps you away from identifying opportunities where you can make a difference. If possible for 10 minutes every day keep the thought “what’s in it for me” aside and bring a lot of passion and love into any work that touches your hands.

I was once in a restaurant with Manish and he said something very interesting. He said, “Some waiters expect and work for getting tip (and they don’t get) whereas some really serve well and people appreciate their effort by offering tip to them”. Can you see the difference how your approach impacts your income?

Whats in it for me ?

Increasing income is not a function of greed or expectation . People who fail to increase their income are insanely affected by the virus “What’s in it for me”. You may say, but that’s the way the world works or it is practical to think about your personal interest. This attitude is the root cause of all your struggle. May be a lot of people are searching wealth on the wrong side of the river and so they struggle to increase their income all their life. Empty your mind for 10 minutes and focus and you will start to see many opportunities right in front of you.

Reason #4 – They don’t understand the word “Service”

The word literally trains you to become a go-getter. As a go-getter you get up every day with a thought, Today how can I get more money and from whom? In my view people who struggle to increase their income have yet not experienced the power of word “Service”. If you start operating from service you start to grow inside your profession or work. Every day look at how best you can be of service to your organization or to your team members or to your clients. If your relationship with word “service” is weak it fills your life with struggle and resignation.

Always remember – “When service is rendered, payment gets due”

Reason #5 – They don’t invest in their training and development

If you are useful, people will get ready to pay you for your services or offerings. To be more useful you have to constantly work on enhancing your skill set. There are very few people who invest in themselves. A lot of people wait for their company to sponsor for their training and development program. This is a wrong attitude and it wont help you to grow your income.

Do you keep some percentage of your income aside every year to invest in some skill development programs or not? You have to be really good at your craft for people to invest in you. Increasing income is all about asking and inviting people to invest in YOU for producing measurable results. When people or organizations stop investing in YOU, your income gets stagnant.

Reason #6 – They don’t have a mentor in life

In your professional life you need to find and make someone your hero. It has be someone who is living your dream; he or she is right now in a position where you desire to be in near future. Majority of people try to do everything on their own,they dont have a mentor in life. Now, there is no harm in doing things on your own but having a mentor helps.

You have to find someone who dreams big like you. If you are a writer your mentor will constantly help you to get better at writing. My fitness coach once told me that “Exercise without having a fitness coach is all warm up”. If your income is stagnant having a mentor in life will help you a lot.  In this week spend some time and energy, schedule a conversation with someone and invite someone to be your mentor. (If they charge be ready to pay them) . If you need a coach in your financial life, you can set up a call with us

Reason #7 – They Focus on ‘low paying’ activities

There are three kinds of activities you will engage with; high paying, low paying and no paying activities. Take out your calendar and make a note of what kind of activities you spend maximum time with. People who fail at increasing their income are not wise with their time.

Low paying vs High Paying Activities

I once gave an interesting assignment to one business person, I asked him to track his weekly time engagements, after a week he told me he was focusing more on no-paying and low paying activities. He made a commitment to focus his time only on high paying activities and his business income started to shift. You may be in job or business look at what kind of activities consumes your time. Be honest with yourself because where you invest your time matters when it comes to income generation.

Reason #8 – They fail at creating wow experience

I was once invited as a speaker by one Asset management company. I had to deliver a 25 minute talk to a group of financial advisors and planners. I asked the group “Where does wealth reside?”- I got variety of answers from the group which very interesting to hear. I finally told them that wealth resides in the very next conversation that they were going to  having after they leave the room. You may be into job or business we are all into conversation business and your only job is to leave people with wow experience. You may be in job or business make a commitment to create wow experience for people who come in touch with you.

People, who fail at increasing their income, fail to CREATE wow experience for others/people they work or collaborate with.  Your conversation has to fill the other person’s mind and heart with fresh and new energy. Not just with your boss or important clients but every person you meet from morning till night your only job is to create wow experience. For next few days examine what kind of experience you are leaving people with? Be Honest with yourself and see if you can bring some improvement in this area.

Upcoming article topics of “Increasing Income” series (Stay Tuned, Every THURSDAY)

  • What is Income a reflection of ?
  • Two different types of income
  • Master key to increase your income
  • Completion Article

Work on what best you can do to increase your income

This week take out some time and work on what best you can do to increase your income. Share your insights in the comments section, if you have got some success story, do share with us in the comments section. This week do a lot of introspection and figure out actions that can help you to increase your income. As I said in the start there is no formula to instantly increase your income.  Your sharing will make “Increasing Income” Series more alive and interactive and so we invite you to share your experiences in the comments section.

37 replies on this article “8 Core Reasons – Why your income level remains STAGNANT (part 1/5)”

  1. Ravi says:

    Hi Manish,

    I am 28 years old and working in Software industry. I want to start my own business on Referral model. can you help me how should I go ahead.

    Ravi nagar

    1. Please ask specific query

  2. Jay says:

    Hey Manish thanks for your inspiring article.

    I am a CA student, right now undergoing my articleship.

    I want to increase my income, I tried finding some clients on my own for Income Tax/TDS/Accounting work but didn’t find any.

    Apart from Income Tax and Finance I also have passion for WordPress and I also know HTML/CSS

    As I know WP, HTML/CSS and a bit of Photoshop I can also build websites.

    As a result of which I tried to sign up with freelancer, but its next to impossible to land a project with the given amount of freelancers out there.

    I would love to have some clients for Income Tax work or Accounting work, but I have no clue as to how should I find clients?

    1. You can just find clients like that . Do you have any single reason to show why someone should hire you compared to someone established ? I suggest try some ways of builidng community , helping people for free to start with or charging extremely low fees and then scale up !

      1. Jay says:

        Well thanks Manish.

        But how do I get about getting the first few clients.

        All these years I have been a big introvert as a result of which I don’t know many people. And the people I know already have a tax consultant for filing their income tax returns.

        I am really confused as to how should I get my first few clients.

        1. Thats the tougest part 🙂 . There is no one answer

  3. deepakjindal7 says:

    I always wait your Articles. I got associated with you/ website jagoinvester around 1-1.5 years back, read all your books and my Financial life has changed. But still only 50% things are changed, 50% are still remaining. I wish that you should tell us more about how the money will earn for us.

    1. Thanks for sharing that .. what is missing in your financial life which is that 50% incomplete thing ?

  4. Avadhut says:

    Hi Manish/ Nandish,

    “Some waiters expect and work for getting tip (and they don’t get) whereas some really serve well and people appreciate their effort by offering tip to them”.

    This is true. The way they serve reveals their motive.

    I have a question: How can someone make use of his skills/knowledge and create a product/service that people in India will be ready to pay for?


    1. Avadhut

      You can record videos and create a course on udemy.com .. its one great way to earn online provided you make something amazing


      1. Avadhut says:

        Thanks Manish 🙂

  5. Sandeep Wagh says:

    The people who have taken home loan from SBI can go for maxgain option.
    it will help you to park your salary, Bonus, LTA etc there for few days or month and indirectly increase your income ( Interest saved is Interest earned).
    I also request jagoinvestor readers to share their ideas about generation of income.
    spread the joy of sharing.


  6. arunava_ghosh says:

    Exciting! Being a government servant, I am still in a fix on how to increase my income. I am looking forward to upcoming articles.

    1. Arunava

      Side business , working more is the only option i can see ..

  7. Jayant says:

    Superb and hard hitting article ! This is so true!

  8. keyur_foryou says:

    Hi Manish,

    Thank you so much for the blog and all the articles that I have read so far, all were simply great and impart lot of knowledge to the reader.

    I would like to ask a question to you and also fellow readers that – I am a software developer with good enough pay to survive and save some 10-15 %. Though I am doing good now but I would really like to increase my income other than my job but not in same stream as my day job. What can I do to increase my income in my free time daily and on weekends. Any opinions would be helpful.

    And yes I do little tech reading and improve my skill set too, but till the time I dont change my job I dont expect huge jump in my salary, so would like to have some secondary source on income as well.

    Again thank you everybody.

    1. Keyur

      Surprise for you. I am interviewing a person who is into day job like you and he has created alternate source of income and I have asked him few things to share with others

      I will post that interview very soon . As of now – look at our thursday series and read more about this “increase income” ..


      1. keyur_foryou says:

        Woww.. Thanks Manish. Waiting eagerly

  9. kani says:

    Well article.

  10. Gabriel Nadar says:

    Good article nandish…

  11. Vikas Rana says:

    Dear Manish and Nandish,

    You stated the reasons quite well.

    Reminds me of a quote by Charlie Munger:

    “Ordinary Efforts will produce Ordinary Results”..that’s the problem with most of the folks. One has to be a continuous learning machine, needs to experiment and venture out to take calculated risks.


    1. True

      and the thing is one should have the courage to take 10X efforts also , not just “a bit of more effort”

  12. mil says:

    These are really good points. I think its far more important to have a secondary income source rather than doing all sort of cost cutting in day to day life.

    1. Yea .. I also feel that .. thanks Mil

  13. Mohan says:

    Great and appreciable article.
    Your article hit my core and I kindly seek your guidance and advice .

    I have a full time PSU (secured) job . I have my family and parents (5 ) to support.
    Somehow, I am tied up to my salary – which by the way is the best in the Industry. My job is not stressful ( in fact, it is comfortable) but I am not passionate of the job . Even though I enjoy my job sometimes, yet I do not feel like continuing with it, as I want to realise my full potential. I find it difficult to push aside the comfort zone of the current job ( in which I am working for the past 25+ years) because, I hardly find any other employer who pays a higher salary . Also, I do not want to relocate to middle east countries because the salary for the skill set I posses is not very encouraging.
    The only thing I am passionate about is stock markets/ finance/ financial planning . I earn a decent sum playing the markets as a swing trader which requires small commitment of my time . When I think of shifting to this field completely, and quitting my job, I get afraid. Also, I do not have any professional qualifications in finance other than my actual earnings track record in the stock market. Even though I earn a considerably decent ROI on my capital (as a swing trader) in the markets, to replace my entire salary with the income generated in the capital markets would call for a high level of investment based on my personality and current style of investment .
    Can you please suggest some course of action. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Mohan

      There is nothing wrong to be in your current job and continue it for some more years . But at some point of time, you should have the plan to move to something which you truly enjoy . If you cant move to something new , I think somewhere you do not have backup and now you need to plan for it, it can happen after 5 yrs or 10 yrs , but it has to happen !

      1. Kshitij says:

        Hi Manish/Mohan/Eshwar…..,

        I understand that everybody wants to earn money by doing something other than your job.
        But I know atleast a dozen people in around me (through-out my career) who neglect ignore their primary job and pay more attention to the “other” earning work.
        (E.g. stock market update/order on their smartphone in meeting – without which the meeting could have ended 5 mins early – so to potentially earn, you are making 5-15 people lose 5 mins)

        Doesnt this reflect badly on the work ethics?

        1. Kshitij

          By alternate income, we are not talking about something which affect primary job . We are talking about something which one can do over weekend or after office , something like consulting , something like having another business entirely seperate from the primary job .


  14. Eshwar says:

    Nice article…a similar article or a similar thought provoking piece by Ramit Sethi started me on trying to find alternate sources of income on top of my professional job. Now I have a additional source of income (varies between 20-50% of my actual monthly take home). I do this by consulting part-time and through freelancing. This does not take too much of my time (20-30 hours a month).

    The biggest thing is attitude. That’s the one thing I changed. Instead of finding reasons like “oh, I don’t have the time”, “I am tired”, “I rather spend time with my kid and wife”, we need to have a “go-do!” attitude.

    Besides my additional source of income has made me learn and improve my skills. This has made me better at my regular job. So it is win-win-win situation. My family also does not mind the additional income 😛

    1. Thats really great Eshwar ! … You have really done something which millions of other salaried people only dream of ! ..

      1. Eshwar says:

        Thanks Manish, your book and blog has helped me immensely in my outlook of money related matters. Everything started from there…Who says we waste time in office on browsing random stuff?? It was during one of those browsing sessions I stumbled onto this blog….

        I want to take this opportunity to Thank you and Nandish…you have helped me and others like me more than you know…

    2. Anjan says:

      “I rather spend time with my kid and wife”

      What’s wrong with that? Trust me when I say the time you spend with your loved ones is infinitely more valuable than 20% increase in your income.

      1. Eshwar says:

        Anjan: You are right of course. But I have seen people using it simply as a reason and not actually spending that time with their family anyway….As long as you are happy with your income level then I guess you need not do anything..This article is with respect to people who feel they want/can earn more.

    3. Suresh says:

      Hi Eswar,

      Good day!

      Please help me to get the jobs in Freelancers, I dont have system. I am planning to work from browsing centers only. Please help me with the steps i.e. how to get the job in Freelancer website.
      It would be great if you share the information.

      Already i spent approx.100 rupees No use for me!

      Mail id – sureshdevendiran88@gmail.com

      Hoping for the fruitful income!

      Suresh 🙂

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