• Patrick Nielson


What if you could double your income overnight?

I would never have thought it was possible. Until I had an experience that completely changed everything I understood.

Of course it sounds ridiculous or too good to be true. That’s exactly what I thought before it happened to me.

The story

I got a job helping a man work on the deck of his cabin before the winter snow came. It was contract work so we had to come to an agreement on the hourly rate before I began the work.

During the project I did the best work that I could. I wanted to make sure he was getting his money’s worth.

Finally the project was completed and he returned to inspect the work and pay me for my labor.

But then he surprised me.

He didn’t give me the money that we agreed upon… He gave me 2x as much.

I told him that he didn't need to give me that much for the job, but he insisted.

But what he told me next changed my perspective forever.

He said that the deck had been looking pretty bad for some time.

He was so grateful to have it looking nice again.

And that I deserved every dollar that he had given me.

I had never experienced anything like that before. I would never expect it in a million years either.

Who pays 2x what they promise? And who does so willingly and happily?

That day I came to realize a few things:

1. There are different kinds of employers and different Kinds of customers.

Some people will always be cheap. Never work for them.

Some people are willing to pay good money when they want quality work. Work for them if the situation is right.

And some people will pay good money for everything. The golden goose. But these people are rare.

So what's the lesson?

If you want to make good money you need to work for the right people.

2. People pay for the perceived value they will receive.

I love sushi, it's delicious, I love trying new kinds and seeing what I like. I am also willing to spend more on it than a normal dinner.

However, my mother hates sushi and all seafood and would not pay a dime.

The lesson?

So if you want to make good money you need to make sure that you provided a service or product to someone who will value it.

3. Don't base the income you could make in the future on what you are currently making.

The most that I had ever made up to that point was $20/hr. But that did not mean that my next job had to be $23/hr or $25/hr.

If I could provide the right service to the right person I could jump to $50/hr or $100/hr per or even more.

And in case you were wondering, no, this is not how I doubled my hourly wage, but merely where I learned what was required.

Doubling my wage

I had learned what was necessary to make a lot more money, but having that knowledge without using it wouldn’t get me anywhere.

So I came up with a process and broke it down into the following four questions:

1. What skills did I already have that could be valuable?

2. Who could use and would appreciate those skills?

3. How would they learn about me?

4. What price?

1. What skills did I have?

Over the previous 2 years, I had worked for a couple of different companies and developed a skill for analyzing websites and their performance.

That was a skill that was in high demand and one that I felt I could excel at.

2. Who could use and appreciate those skills?

After brainstorming there were only two options: a growing business or a marketing company. And I needed to make sure they didn't have someone doing the work already.

3. How would they learn about me?

This is probably the most difficult part of the whole process. And fortunately, I had some luck here. I had a friend working for a marketing company that gave me a referral. That’s what I needed to get my foot in the door.

However, it was just one shot and I would still have to prove myself to the company.

4. What price?

This was the simplest step of them all, but far from the easiest.

A simple search online provided the salary information for different positions in the industry my skills were in. All I had to do was figure out where I fit in.

Then I had to make a choice. I settled on $50/hr.

It felt so strange to think that I could make that much so quickly. And that I would actually be asking for that much.

I doubted that it would work, I was afraid to ask that price. It seemed ridiculous.

A voice in the back of my mind was saying “you've never made this much before, you've never made anything near this much before. What makes you think you can ask that much”.

I had to remind myself that other people were making this much, and a lot of people were making even more. So why couldn’t I?

The reality is that I didn't have much to lose. Maybe a little bit of time? And whether it worked out or not I would be learning from the experience.

The outcome

I met with the company in the morning and spoke with one of the owners. We had a great discussion and I felt my proposal went well.

Then it came time to discuss money. I got nervous my palms are sweaty, And that was about to forget my plan and give a more “ reasonable” rate.

But I went for it.

The seconds that followed after spoke the words “$50 per hour”, were some of the longest of my life.

And then came the response: “That sounds reasonable”

I almost couldn't believe what just happened. I ended up doing some contract work for them at my proposed rate and later received a job offer.

It was so simple and that it worked! I had increased my income from $20 per hour to $50/hr.

By measuring myself by my value and not what I had been making I was able to double my income practically overnight.

An unexpected lesson

After the meeting was over I thought to myself, what would have happened if I had proposed making less money? Like $30/hr? I would obviously be making less money but was there anything else that could have happened?

What if you wanted the top of the line brand new phone? Would you even look at one that was $90? Not a chance.

Two words come to mind: cheap and garbage.

Price is one indicator of value that we use regularly whether we recognize it or not. Cheap = low quality and expensive = high quality.

If I had proposed making less it could have decreased the trust they had in me and my ability to do the work.

My skills could have looked inferior like I might not really know what I was doing. Or at the least, that I wasn’t that good at it

But having the confidence helped the company have more confidence that the work would be done right and that I could deliver what I promised.


It’s possible to increase your income quickly without any additional schooling or experience.

Just because you work for $9, $15, or $20 per hour doesn’t mean that’s what you are worth. It only means that is what that job is worth.

The difference between making mediocre money and good money is changing from a person who fills a job to a person who adds value to a company.


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