In an ever-changing economy, employers are being squeezed to maximize what they are getting out of their employees. Instead of being generous with wages, most are finding creative ways to cut back, even going so far as to hire contractors vs. employees and work them right to the point where they would be required to offer all the benefits of an employee … but not a second more.

Regardless, several new ideas to help increase your earning potential are emerging. A recent article published by Discover Online provides 5 insightful suggestions that can increase your earning potential this year:

  1. Ask for a raise: a good short-term solution
  2. Explore new opportunities: update that resume and identify companies
  3. Find a mentor: someone who can guide your thinking
  4. Start a “side hustle”: add additional streams of income
  5. Learn to code: most new growth opportunities are in the tech sector

The first two are truly short-term solutions. They can help for a year or two, but you could be back where you started … or even out of a job down the line. And learning to code just might be too daunting (and terrifying) for some. Finding a mentor can help you get your mind right and more importantly, change the way you think about money, how it’s earned and how to grow your ability to attract more.

The rise of companies like Uber, Airbnb and the like, are reflective of this new economy and provide a way to pick up some extra cash as a “side hustle,” but have no guarantees for sustained income growth. Truly, any “transaction-based opportunity” will always be limited.

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Changing the Way We Think

Best-selling author of the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and renowned economic forecaster Robert Kiyosaki provides some interesting insights that can help us reframe how we look at our earning potential. He offers his “cash flow quadrant” as an explanation of the different ways money is made.

In his first two “quadrants,” he lists Employees and the Self-employed. This is where an individual works for money. The next two quadrants are Business Owners and Investors where money works for you. Your goal is to move into either of these last two quadrants. Kiyosaki suggests that, if you don’t have funds to open a store or the education to start your day trading career, an excellent way to accomplish this is by starting a “side hustle” that has a future.

One side gig that has stood the test of time is network marketing. While many who do not fully understand this business model will mock it, it is hard to argue with the results. Today, there are thousands of independent entrepreneurs who started their own business with a minimal investment and have grown multi-million dollar organizations simply by sharing a product or service they are passionate about.

Solid, established companies like Herbalife, NuSkin, and LegalShield are great examples of outstanding products sold through a network of independent distributors who have embraced the potential to earn “residual income” on an ever-growing organization. The beauty of this is you can begin building this kind of “side hustle” for a minimal investment and start to grow it by referring products or services while you work your “main gig.”

When all is considered, network marketing really is the best combination of all your available options not only to begin being a business owner today, but finding a mentor in your organization and learning how to grow yourself while you expand your income potential for years to come.

By Skyler West

Piper Skyler West: Piper, a sports medicine expert, shares advice on injury prevention, athletic performance, and sports health tips.