Crazy story on how how I learned to double my salary…
Fresh out of college I am engaged to be married, I have my degree in business, and I scored my first salaried position with a military gear distributor. I had no idea what they actually did, but I knew I was going to do a little bit of sales, some service work, and play with knives, grenades, weapons, and any cool military gear before it’s even out for sale – PERFECT! Oh ya, they were going to pay me $30,000 a year to do that! (Guns blazing)
I remember after they gave me my employee packet, I was literally outside and about to close the door I asked, “So does this mean I will have health care too?” This was my first REAL position and I had no idea what I was getting into.
Scopes and Stuff
I couldn’t have been more green to this world. There was security at the gate, locks on every door, and security cameras everywhere. I felt like I just jumped into a secret wing of the FBI. Day one I start out in a sales position, but really it wasn’t a whole lot of “sales,” it was more order taking than anything else. The government has money to spend, we had things to sell – Boom, sale.
They soon asked me to start doing some outbound sales because they knew I did a little bit of that in college. Once again, they had money to burn, we had things that made things burn – BOOM sale.
Even though this company was a fairly new company, being less than 10 years old, they had a ton of inefficiencies. Dealing with the government will do that to you. There were some things I shook up in meetings and made some processes a little cleaner. I quickly became the top sales person and within six months of working there, they moved me into a director role of their largest government contract. I thought I was big time.
The Big Move
Back at home my new wife wasn’t excited to live in Florida any longer. About 90% of our friends had moved away since college, we had no family within three hours of drive time from us, and her entire family lived within 500 yards of each other in Kansas. So, being young with no kids, a happy wife was going to take precedence over climbing the corporate ladder for now. So we decided to pack up and move to Kansas.
The decision was tough and felt risky, but we had family to fall back on, and we wanted to travel the world and we decided “why not now?”
When I went in to my sweet job controlling a billion dollar government contract (yup, with a ‘b’) and tell them I was leaving, they weren’t too happy. In the nicest way possible, they told me I was crazy. Looking back now, I’m sure the decision did look crazy, and in my head I thought I was too, but it was the right decision. Sure I moved my way up this company, I had a ton of responsibility for a 23 year old, but when our heart and the vision of our future family was not being isolated here, we needed to make the change.
I gave my manager a months notice, but at the end of the day that first day they already offered a 10% increase on my salary to stay. Sorry Charlie, that wasn’t going to cut it. Decision is made, we are moving to Kansas!
Every week of my notice, my boss threw out new numbers at me. Eventually on the last week I was there, he offered me double what I was being paid! Whether he was able to put the wallet behind the offer, I don’t know, but it was out there for the taking. At that point, it was a tough pill to swallow, but the bags were packed, moving truck rented, travel plans made, we were moving to Kansas and even a 100% increase was not going to keep me there.
That is when I realized what I had done at this job in a very short period of time. I had become priceless to them. They knew I brought a very high level of value to their business, but also because I was straight out of college and they also taught me everything I knew, they kept me on the same track as everyone else. Once the carrot was taken away, they realized what they were losing. They weren’t just losing another employee, they were losing something of value. Something they didn’t even know what it was worth. Something I didn’t know what it was worth either!
I had become priceless.
I thought about those conversations for months afterwards. I couldn’t believe they thought I was worth double what I was being paid. I went from mad, to sad I missed out on an opportunity, to eventually learning a massive life lesson from it. I learned how to become so valuable to my employer that I was worth double of what they hired me for. There was an unbelievable amount of power in that, but I didn’t realize how to use it or that it was even there.
I spent a great amount of time diving into the details and the steps I took to become basically priceless to them. I jotted them all down and narrowed them down to five major steps. These steps were at the core of everything I did to be promoted quickly twice within the company and eventually have the power to double my salary within 18 months time.
Five Steps to Become Priceless
1. Be an Intrapreneur
2. Be Willing to Create
3. Bring Value
4. Start up You Inc.
As you might notice already, when I was becoming priceless selling military gear, I missed an important step…Step number five: Negotiate. If you only apply just a few of these steps, you’ll be on a quick path to earning a raise or promotion, but it’s not anything unless you are willing to negotiate and know what you are worth.
I recently created an eBook on these steps to help dive into each one if you’d like to go even more deeper on how you can do the same as I did.
This is how I was able to double my salary in 18 months…
Steal and become priceless!