Get Paid More: Earn the Right

This article is the third in a series of articles on How to Triple Your Income as a Consultant.  Before you move into consulting you have to identify the need:  Are You Saving Your Company Time or Money? Once you identify the need, you can begin crafting solutions to solve this problem.  Your solutions must provide value, and one way to demonstrate value is with your results; results that your employer will pay for.

Before I quit my salary job in 2008 I realized the company I worked for had specific needs: they wanted to save time and money.  I realized that if I could do this better than most others I’d increase my value to the company and in return be compensated for this.

Earn the Right

At the time I had a pretty good track record for completing construction projects on time and under budget.  I had started to build a reputation for myself.

Earlier in 2006, I was assigned to a specific project where the company had a budget of $5,000,000.  The project was completed over a year and a half time period.  It was completed on time and under budget.

It was under budget by about $500,000.  If you told a company that you were going to save them half a million dollars on a $5,000,000 budget, do you think that would get their attention?

Do you think they would compensate you for creating these results?  They sure would.  They would be more than happy to pay you a good fortune to solve one of their two biggest problems; saving time or money.

Your results are one way to demonstrate value and expertise; results can position you as an expert in your field.  It gives you credibility and earns you the right.  Once you earn the right it’s almost easy and even effortless to sell your services.  If you think about this, it’s true.

Where Most People Go Wrong

Most people ask for money before they demonstrate value to the company.  For example, think about the last time you asked for a raise.  Did you ask for a raise before or after you delivered high value?

If you’re like most people, you asked for a raise before you delivered value; before you earned the right.  That’s the problem with people today.  The first place they look is to what they can get – they want to know what’s in it for them.  They’re looking to get before they even started giving.

You can never gain before you give.  It doesn’t work that way.  It never has and it never will.

I hate to generalize because not all people are like this, but this mindset is still a big problem in corporate America.  People internalize their focus and energy.  They focus on themselves.

Are You Worthy of More Money?

Let’s go back to the last time you asked for a raise.  Did it feel awkward?  Were you embarrassed?  Did you feel worthy of the money?

Let’s really explore it.  If you didn’t feel worthy of the money, have you ever thought to ask why?

You see, some people don’t feel worthy because they haven’t put in their worth.  They haven’t delivered value and therefore don’t feel worthy of the money.  It makes sense.  Of course you would devalue yourself if you hadn’t put in your worth in the first place.

You’ve got to start by providing great value; really delivering to people.  The more you do this and demonstrate value, the more valuable you become; and the more worthy you become.  The more worthy you become, the more worthy you feel of receiving money.

If you felt uncomfortable asking for that raise it might be because deep down you know you’re not worth the money. You haven’t delivered your worth.

What are you going to do to change this?


It’s no different with consulting.  It doesn’t matter if you want to be paid $10/hr, $100/hr or $1,000/hr you’ve got to demonstrate value to the people who are paying you.  You’ve got to earn the right before you ask for the money.

Give great value first.  Demonstrate your value, earn the right and the money will come.  The money is always the last step in the process.  A lot of people dream of making big money, but most people are not willing to give big service in exchange for that money.

Remember this,

Effective Action

Earning the right is an important step to build credibility and demonstrate value.  But getting there requires that you take effective action.  It’s probably one of the most important pillars to being paid as a consultant.

Taking effective action means taking the actions that produce the greatest results.  You won’t get paid a premium dollar unless you provide premium quality.  This means trimming the fat and doing the things that matter most.  Using the 80/20 rule is a big proponent to effective action.

To read the next article in this series see: Effective Action and The 80/20 Rule

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