Making $100K a year is a popular goal. Maybe you want to buy a house, improve your lifestyle, or have more financial security. 

Whatever the reason, hitting that magical six-figure mark will help you get there. So what’s the best way to start making that kind of money?

Well, there are many options. But most boil down to one of the following three:

  1. Work a full-time job
  2. Start a business
  3. Do both (aka start a side hustle)

Let’s go over all three strategies in more detail. 

1. Work a full-time job

Anyone knows getting a six-figure job isn’t exactly easy. It takes a lot of work, focus, and ambition. But if this is the route you want to take, here’s what you do: 

Get good grades in school. School is a stepping stone to the workforce. If you get bad grades, you’ll have fewer opportunities when you graduate. 

Next, enroll in a college program that prepares you for a high-earning job. Not every degree is created equal. You could get a humanities degree, for example, but it probably won’t land you a 6-figure job. So opt instead for something with more earning potential, like business, finance, or STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). 

Once you graduate, you can start applying for jobs. Top-paying industries include venture capital, investment banking, technology, engineering, and internet companies. 

You probably won’t make six figures right off the bat, so work hard and ask for a raise when the time is right. When you do, come prepared to negotiate and demonstrate your value to the company. 


2. Start a business

Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. But it can be lucrative. In fact, as a business owner, there’s really no limit to how much you can make.

To start a successful business, you need to find a hot market, learn how you can add value, and then market yourself.

Again, it’s not easy. But if you build relationships in your industry and you’re genuinely helpful, you’ll eventually find clients. 

You could become a real estate agent, a freelance copywriter, a consultant, a professional drone operator, and so much more. 

Pick something that interests you and learn all you can about it. Then find a mentor to guide you and don’t give up.

3. Work full-time and start a side hustle

Lastly, you can start a business while working full-time—aka start a side hustle. These days, there are so many side gigs to choose from. You can:

  • Deliver food for DoorDash
  • Blog on the internet
  • Start a dropshipping business
  • Drive for Uber or Lyft
  • Rent a room on Airbnb
  • Sell stuff on eBay and Etsy

And the list goes on and on … The point is to supplement your full-time income so that you can work your combined salary up to six figures. 

Ideally, you should choose a side hustle that you could scale into a full-time gig to replace your day job. Or at least reinvest the extra cash into something that will generate passive income, which brings us to our last point …

Reinvest in yourself

Whether you earn money from your full-time job, a side gig, or some combination of the two, it’s important to reinvest it. Don’t succumb to lifestyle creep, i.e. letting your expenses grow as your income grows.

Instead, reinvest added income into assets like rental property, digital products, and other business ventures that generate more money. That way, you’ll reach six figures much faster and eventually not have to work at all. 

So don’t give up and remember that a little discipline can make all the difference in the long run. You got this!

I am a Secondary Principal and Career Guidance Counselor. I work with students who have questions about different careers and educational paths. I help them make the most of the planning and decision-making process, and hopefully find a job path that’s perfect for their needs.
I evaluate students’ educational backgrounds in order to help them determine what they need to do next to achieve their goals. I advise them about what courses and educational programs they need for particular careers. I also help them select the right schools or programs for their needs.


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