Want to earn more? It's time to learn more.


I recently heard someone say, “You can’t outperform your knowledge.” It took me a minute to fully absorb the insight. You may be putting in your 100%, but your 100% only goes as far as your current knowledge goes. You can’t be any more successful than your current knowledge allows you to be. So in order to achieve greater success, you must consistently increase your knowledge.

In business, this means you must learn more in order to earn more. In this age of technology and networking, our opportunities for growth and education are abundant. Start with a list of skills needed for your career path, and then be willing to think outside the box to find ways to master these skills.

Interview Successful People in Your Field

Gleaning wisdom from the experience of those who have walked the path several miles ahead of us is always an effective learning method. Schedule coffee or lunch with such a person who is willing to share their experiences with you and then prepare your questions. Jo Miller, of Be Leaderly, suggests thinking of questions in four different categories: Stories, Situations, Self-Awareness, and Skill-Building.

1.    Stories – Ask questions that will spur them to tell their success story, such as:

  • “What do you think has been the biggest contributing factor to your success?”
  • “If you could tell your 5-years-ago-self anything, what would it be?”
  • “How did you learn to deal with setbacks and failures?”

2.    Situations – Ask for advice on specific situations, such as:

  • “My supervisor is difficult to work under. How do you think I should handle this?”
  • “Here is where I am on my career journey. What do you think should be my next step?”
  • “I am considering switching careers. Do you have any tips to keep in mind?”

3.    Self-Awareness – Sometimes it’s hard to see your own strengths and weaknesses. Ask them for insights, such as:

  • “What areas do I need to improve in?”
  • “What do you think is my biggest weakness?”
  • “What do you think is my greatest strength?”

4.    Skill-Building – Ask for specific “how to” guidance for skills you want and may need to master, such as:

  • “How do I keep my business details organized?”
  • “How can I become more confident on the phone?”
  • “How do I build my subscription list?”

Build Communication and Leadership Skills by Volunteering

Taking on a volunteer position gets you out of your comfort zone and into unending opportunities for learning and growth. It can feel awkward at first, but your adaptability and perseverance will build confidence. As you communicate with other volunteers and with those they assist, you will develop a stronger sense of compassion, an ability to communicate with those who differ from you, and a broader perspective on the world. Learning new skills and strengthening the skills you already have keeps your mind active and alert.

I have volunteered at my local library in the past, and currently, volunteer at my local chapter of the International Coach Federation here in San Antonio.

If you’re ready to get your foot into the volunteer world, there are several resources for finding the perfect fit for you. Check if your city has a volunteer center. They should have a booklet or other resource listing volunteer opportunities in your area. You can also check out Volunteer Match or Idea List for some leads.

Complete Courses

If you’re in the San Antonia or Austin area and pursuing a digital marketing career, check out the Digital Creative Institute. They offer a 12-month program and connect fresh talent with local businesses.

Check your local university for certificate programs in your field. Many of them offer various courses. Or if you want a truly unique educational experience without the debt sentence, check out Lumerit Education.

Many professional organizations and societies, such as the American Chemical Societyand the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, offer field-specific courses and other educational opportunities. Attend trade conventions in your area. Network with peers in your field. They may know of educational opportunities to enhance your skills.

There are an endless number of online courses for an endless number of skills.


Resources offering courses in various fields

There are far more ways to learn to earn, so feel free to add your favorite resources below. The opportunities are limitless if you decide to think outside the box.

What are you going to learn next?




In previous articles, we’ve talked about being a giver v. taker, solving your own problems, solving your boss’ problems, and knowing your bottom-line value.

This week, you’ll get two more strategies that you can use as you negotiate your salary.

Have fun with this!


Asking for a raise is not a one-time deal. Rather, it is a series of conversations built on a strong relationship you have with your boss and other decision-makers.

If you’ve had success using the one-time salary negotiation conversation in the past, good for you. I assure you, you are part of the minority.

For the vast majority of us, getting a raise requires patience and persistence. It requires building a conversation. It requires actually being worth the salary that you’re asking for and building the trust necessary to ask for it.

In fact, depending on what type of bump in pay you’re looking for it could take weeks, months, or even years to ask for more green without appearing mean or demanding.

One of my favorite books on how to build an effective job promotion plan is 30 Day Job Promotion by expert career coach Susan Whitcomb. Also, there are some great tips found in this Harvard Business Review article.

Remember, it’s not a one-and-done, it’s an authentic and strategic conversation.


Negotiating your salary requires you to be awesome at work by delivering bottom-line value and building an authentic conversation with your boss.

As you both discuss salary, understand that money is a touchy subject for the majority of people. There can be a lot of emotion attached to it. This may be  true for you and likely is true for your boss.

So, as you broach the subject of money, be aware of your emotions around it.  And help your boss stay calm in the process too. Tread carefully.

How can you do this?

First, it’s helpful to know what triggers someone’s fight - flight - freeze response or “crazy” mode.

David Rock published an article in the NeuroLeadership Journal that outlines the five threats that cause others to go into “crazy” mode. The threats relate to a person’s perceived status, autonomy, certainty, relatedness, and fairness. You can read more about the threats here.

As you negotiate your salary, you’ll want to manage your own threat responses and help manage those of your supervisor’s. If you accidentally trigger a threat response in your boss, responding with calmness can do much to deflate the situation.

Remember, the threat is not real!

Second, focus on gratitude and the long-term relationship you’re building with your boss.

Let’s say that you get told “no” to your raise request. After all, “no” is one of the options in salary negotiation.

Prepare yourself ahead of time by painting a picture of how you want to respond to that answer.

Remind yourself of the long-term, big-picture partnership that you want to have with your boss. Remind yourself about how grateful you are for the job you have. Remind yourself that this is not a life and death situation - you are okay!


If you’ve found this salary negotiation series helpful, please leave a comment below. And, if you’d like other career-building strategies and tips, sign up for your free course here. Make it a great day!