The secret to drastically increasing your income

Work more.

That’s the advice Krystal Yee shared in a recent post. Over the course of 2011, she has boosted her income by 50 per cent by adding 20-30 hours per week of part-time and freelance work on top of her full-time job. She took on two part-time writing gigs, freelance graphic design work, and she wrote on her own blog (earning some cash with Google Adsense). To keep a handle on all this extra work, she breaks it down into hour-long blocks, to track and eliminate any activities that weren’t contributing to her income, such as watching TV.

But, we have to ask, is telling people that working longer hours will boost your income really a “tip”? A 70-hour work week isn’t an ideal situation (though, of course, many people do this to get by), and while Yee’s work ethic is impressive, her strategy is not realistic for everyone and likely not sustainable for her in the long run.

Work-life balance is a big issue for freelancers. When you don’t have set work hours, and when paid opportunities present themselves, it’s tempting to take on as many gigs as possible. After all, who knows if work will dry up in a few months? Tucking some money away for dry spells is shrewd, but there’s also a cost to working 70 hours a week. It can impact all other areas of your life, including your personal relationships and your health (both mental and physical). If you’re not sleeping enough and not giving your mind time to relax, it can also impact the quality of your work.

What do you think of Yee’s advice? Would she have been better off finding a higher-paying full-time job? What are your strategies for boosting your income besides simply working more hours?

[Hat tip to Luigi Benetton for alerting us to Yee’s article.]

Posted on November 2, 2011 at 9:49 am by editor · · Tagged with: , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. Written by Melissa
    on November 2, 2011 at 10:09 am
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    I could not agree more! While I applaud Yee for all of that hard work, it’s not realistic, or healthy, advice for most people. A good work-life balance is much more valuable to me than an extra paycheque, and I don’t want to wake up one day to realize I’ve missed my 20s because I was working so hard for extra cash (key word being extra).

    Unfortunately, short of winning the lotto, I don’t know of any tips to boost my income short of just working more. I do try to be choosey with the freelance projects I take on (as I work a full time job, also), and only take on work that pays fairly and that I think I would genuinely enjoy. Beyond that, I just try to limit my expenses, thus allowing my smaller amount of money to go further without sacrificing more time by working 80 hours a week.

  2. Written by editor
    on November 2, 2011 at 10:52 am
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    Good points, Melissa. I think your comment about being selective about what projects you take on is key. Looking at your free time as having value beyond just “how much money can I make during this time?” is the best way to keep things in perspective.

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