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How to Make 100K a Year – 8 Strategies (2024)

Updated April 1, 2024

Imagine if you could make 100,000 a year. That’s 8,333 per month. 1,923 per week.

When I first broke the 100k mark, it was huge! I don’t know why breaking six figures was so symbolic for me. Maybe it was because I grew up poor, in a town where the people who made 100k were the rich ones. Breaking that six-figure mark meant something.

In this post, I’ll show you what it takes. Let’s learn how to make 100k a year.

If you want to know how to make six figures, I want you to hear this. There’s a way for everyone to do this. Whether you have a degree or not. Whatever your skills are. There are literally hundreds of different ways to get to 100k a year.

Just because you never have made $100,000 doesn’t mean you never will!

Here are 8 strategies that will start you learning how to make 100k a year. But you don’t need to do them all. Even one of these done well will get you there. Here’s how to make six figures.

If you prefer to watch–here’s the video!

Some of these are affiliate links to products we’ve used and love. Thanks for supporting Roostervane! 

100k a year is how much an hour?

It depends on how many hours you work in a week. But to keep it really simple, the average American workweek is 37.5 hours. Multiply that by 52 weeks in a year and you get 1,950 working hours. Divide $100,000 by 1,950 and you get $51.28. If you earn $51.28/hr and work the average American hours, you’ll make $100,000/year.

But let me be really honest here. Most people I know who make $100k or more DON’T work by the hour. Most people over $100k are salaried, meaning they don’t punch a clock.

Is it easy to make $100k a year?

It can be difficult to get to the place where you earn $100k a year, and will require dedication and strategy. But once you earn $100k a year, it might not be any harder than earning what you earn now.

People who earn $100k a year have the same hours in a day that you have… If they can do it, you can too!

Is 100k a year good?

100k a year is a great salary! It would put you in the top 18% of Americans by earning. And if you’ve never made $100k before, it’s a fantastic first step.

But modern life is expensive. I personally found that $100k a year still left me struggling, especially after taxes. If you live in an area with a high cost of living, you might find $100k still doesn’t feel like enough–especially if you have a family or dependants.

It really comes down to the life you can get for $100k where you live, and whether you can hit your savings and retirement goals!

Tips to make 100k/year

  • Get over your money blocks: Everyone has money blocks. Thoughts and beliefs you have about money. I grew up poor. So I used to think, “people who are rich are bad.” Whatever your money block is, you need to grow past it. I’m not much on the flakey positive affirmations, but I do think that listening to money mindset videos on YouTube helped me. But really, the way I broke $100k was just to DO IT, and I got used to it after a while. That’s how my money mindset grew.

  • Learn how to be valuable: You don’t break $100k by wanting to earn more. You make $100,000 a year by learning skills and harnessing strengths. Become VALUABLE to employers or clients (if you’re an entrepreneur). Solve problems for them. Show up and be worth $100k to them, and you’ll make $100k (we’ll talk about how).

  • Don’t be afraid of change: Last year, I interviewed people who doubled their income. Many of them had to change jobs to do it. Studies have shown that moving jobs can earn you an extra 10% each time. I’m sorry to say it, but the people who are loyal to employers often get screwed. Be open to moving around until you can find the place where you’re paid well.

  • Hang out with people who earn more than you: It’s really hard to succeed when you’re in a social group of losers. I’m not saying that you need to go try to find billionaires to be friends with, but let go of the people who are dead weight–ESPECIALLY if they make you feel bad about earning more.

How to Make 100K a Year

1. Learn to do things that are in demand

Have you ever heard of scarcity?

It’s something every Economics 101 class will teach you.

Scarcity is the idea that things that are in short supply but in high demand are worth more.

If you need to hire a plumber to come fix your drain, and there’s not many in your town, you’ll pay more (that’s why a lot of plumbers break $100k!). If you want to buy a diamond ring, it’s more valuable than a fake-diamond, glass ring. Scarcity.

When I graduated with a liberal arts degree, I had a great skill set–but it wasn’t that valuable. A lot of people can read and write.

Thousands of people had the EXACT SAME degree as me.

You need to find something you can do well that not a lot of people can do. Eventually, I realized that I was really good at writing blogs and sending traffic here from Google–something companies also value.

So I started earning a lot of money by helping others do this.

You need to find your scarcity factor! Figure out which of your skills or competencies is in highest demand.

AND if you don’t have in-demand skills, who cares? You can often learn them online! Learning an in-demand skill gives you scarcity. I have a list here of 11 High Income Skills You Can Teach Yourself.

There are so many awesome platforms to learn skills online, but here are a few of my favorites:

2. Learn to do complicated things (AKA complexity)

So you want to know how to make 100,000 dollars a year? The second principle to making $100k/year is to learn to do things that are complex.

Why does a manager earn more than the people they supervise? Think about it. It’s likely because their work is more complex. Each person has one job to do. A manager has to understand how all these jobs fit together and make sure everything gets done. A CEO does the same thing, but oversees many managers.

You might have this ability.

You just need to apply it in the right place.

Usually complexity starts with taking responsibility. Try to learn more and more about how organizations work and look for opportunities to grow and try new things.

Eventually you’ll move up.

Find ways to show that you handle complexity in organizations–whether complex projects, managing people, or dealing with budgets.

Here are some courses in dealing with complexity as a project manager

3. Scale

Serve as many people as possible. This is the principle of SCALE.

The more people you can impact, the more money you can make.

The more people you impact, the more money you make. Ok, this is not a perfect science. But impact and influence are the core of leadership.

A best-selling book makes its author lots of money. Why? SCALE!

A course that explodes in popularity makes money. SCALE

Heck, even the elusive influencers make money… Why? SCALE! They can reach thousands or even millions of people by building an audience.

You don’t need to be Kim K to scale your impact. That bakery in your town with the line out the door is serving thousands of people. They’ll make bank. The one that’s empty has no scale. 🙁

If you want to make $100,000 a year, especially if you’re entrepeneurial, you need to find a way to impact as many people as you can.

4. Choose high-paying fields

One key to breaking the $100k mark is to actually go where the money is. In some fields, breaking $100k doesn’t take that much.

I’d think of tech, where high valuations and recurring revenue means tech companies can just pay more than others.

I made this job talking about whether tech is a good career path.

I’ve worked in non-profits, and while the work was meaningful to me, it was never going to pay a lot of money (incidentally my non-profit work hasn’t been any less meaningful to me).

We all make choices, and that’s cool. But if you’re banging your head against the wall of a low-paying industry, you’re wasting your time.

Look for industries that pay well. And no matter your skill set, they exist.

  • If you’re good with your hands, maybe choose high-value trades.
  • If you love people, look for high-paying jobs in consumer services.
  • If you’re creative, choose tech or marketing.

Do your homework, and pick industries where your work will be valued.

5. Never stop job hunting

This may sound a bit cynical, but you’re unlikely to start at the bottom of a company and work your way up. If you do, great, but I call it like I see it.

You should constantly be growing your skills and value, but one of the quickest ways to get a pay raise is to get a better job.

Never stop job hunting.

NOW, I don’t mean handing out resumes all the time!

If you’re read the career advice on this website, you know that I rarely advocate the mass-resume strategy. Instead, focus on connecting with new people, building your personal brand on LinkedIn, and networking.

Yes, these activities are “job hunting,” just as much as applying through an online portal is job hunting.

One of the quickest ways to get a raise is to change jobs. Employees who stay in the same job longer than 2 years earn 50% less over their lifetime.

I’ve seen this play out in my career too. I once worked a job that paid $75,000, and I was TERRIFIED to make the jump and leave.

“What if I never make this much again,” I told myself as I cried myself to sleep at night.

My next job broke $100k, and it was offered TO ME by text message.

Yes, it’s terrifying. And I’m not saying quit your job tomorrow. But I am saying to always be open and ready for new opportunities.

Here are some of the screenshots of jobs I got offered after I started networking hard. Before I started doing this, I never would have believed I’d get great job offers come to be by text or LinkedIn messages. And yup, one of these was that first job that put me over $100k.

get a job without applying - image of job offers

Related Post

3 Tricks Leaders Use to Get a Job Without a Resume (Video)

11 Boss-Level Tips on How to Network

6. Become an entrepreneur

Let me tell you something.

When you sell your time to an employer, they usually get the better value. Do you think they’d keep you around if they didn’t? They can sell your labor for a premium that makes them money off of the difference. If they couldn’t do this, you’d be laid off pretty quick.

Let me say this one more time.

Your employer probably makes more off your work than you do!!!

Let that sink in.

You trade your actual value for the security of a paycheck and a pension. And the employer takes the risk–but also gets the reward.

If you’re willing to forego a bit of security to start your own business and take control of your labor, you may make what you’re worth.

But let me tell you, most entrepreneurs break even or lose money!

Entrepreneurship offers unlimited potential! But it also offers unlimited downside!

That’s why, although I love it in principle, if you’ve never been an entrepreneur I’d recommend starting a side hustle (below) to get your feet wet and learn, before quitting to go all in.

Let me say that again…

I’d recommend starting a side hustle (below) to get your feet wet and learn, before quitting to go all in.

However, once you’ve mastered scarcity or complexity through a high-demand skill or competency (above), especially if you’ve risen as far as you can go with that skill in your job, it’s worth thinking about entrepreneurship.

One of the most lucrative and simple entrepreneurship options for people who have an in-demand skill set is consulting.

This is also great if you have an advanced degree, but you don’t need one.

In this situation, you basically become self-employed and sell research, projects, advice, you name it to an employer for somewhere around the actual cost of what your labor is worth.

7 Easy Steps To Launch Your Consulting Business This Week

What My $40,000 Client Taught Me About Starting a Consulting Business (Video)

7. Start a side hustle

We live in an age of side hustles. If you have time and energy left at the end of your day job, it might be worth considering a side hustle!

This doesn’t mean burning yourself out by cramming every waking hour with work. (I reflected in this post on how hustle culture can be damaging.)

If you want to use a side hustle to get up over $100k a year, you’ve got to be realistic. If you make $30,000 a year at your day job, it’s going to be REALLY HARD to push an extra $70k with your side hustle. It’s possible, of course, but not easy.

Stories of people making $10k/month with their side hustles are the exception, not the rule. But even making an extra $1,000/mo can be a huge boost.

Be strategic about your side hustle, and how much you can ACTUALLY make.

I know someone who bakes and sells cupcakes. It’s a labor of love, and that’s great! But since she sells about 200 cupcakes a month for $2 per cupcake, there’s no way it will EVER make more than a few hundred dollars a month.

Choose a side hustle that’s lucrative and in high demand. One of the reasons I chose blogging as my side hustle is that this website keeps on truckin’ whether I’m here or not.

Even if I go on vacation for a few weeks, it keeps generating traffic and revenue.

That’s why it’s one of my favorite passive income sources!

12 Side Hustles You Can Start While Studying

How to Start a Business Online + 16 Cool Ideas

How to Make Money Blogging in 2022

How to Make 200K a Year

8. Become a thought leader in your field

I know some people who are thought leaders in their field, internationally respected. One, for example, whose specialty is AI, gets invited to nearly every round-table across the country.

There are those who are thought leaders, who can consult at a rate of $1,000 a day. They command massive sums wherever they go and are in demand. Organizations clamor to make sure their name is on a report on their area of knowledge, because if X is on it, it’s good.

This, my friends, is a product of growing your knowledge in an area and learning to share it with as many people as possible. It comes from being a thought leader in your field combined with having a platform made up of lots of people who respect you (scale).

The internet is full of people who have just started writing about ONE THING, becoming known as an expert in that, and eventually getting hired to do or teach it. It’s what happened to me with this website — I do talks at universities and colleges on careers.

You don’t need to be online to be a thought leader. Be the person in your town or company who’s known for expertise on something. If you become the person in your company that everyone comes to for advice on X, you will be serving more people.

If this is what you want to be, start building yourself as a thought leader now.

Start posting on LinkedIn, grow a following, and just basically get yourself out there.

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So these are some of the things to consider if you want to know how to make $100k a year.

We all have the same value as individuals, but we don’t all have the same value in the marketplace. Learn to maximize your value and you’ll have a great career.

There’s no shame in wanting to earn what you’re worth, so don’t apologize for it. Keep growing and learning, and you’ll get there! Good luck!

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