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How to Make Six Figure Income in Any Economy

By thought, the thing you want is brought to you. By action, you receive it. — Wallace D Wattles

Making six figure income remains a major milestone for most of us, especially in this tough economy.

While six figure income may have lost its once elite status, there is no dearth of people who consider it as tough as climbing Mount Everest.

It never cease to amaze me that there are those who blame America for lack of jobs while there are plenty of high paying jobs around.

I don’t blame you if you are skeptical about my opinion, but I have seen a friend who went from living in a hotel room to a six figure income in less than a year.

Since I was involved in his pursuit to find a job from the beginning, I have some lessons to share with you. It dawned on me that if my friend — after not having a job for more than 12 years — can make six-figure income, anyone with desire to work hard and stay the course can make it to the elite club.

Lesson 1:  Find your niche

Concentrate your energies, your thoughts and your capital. The wise man puts all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket. — Andrew Carnegie

In the new global economy, knowledge is far more important than having a diploma from a University.  I am not downplaying importance of a college degree, but you can’t ignore the power of specific skill that demands big salary. Most high earners make big money by specializing in a niche skill. Think about it.  It’s tough to become average at many things to demand high salary. On the other hand, if you possess skill for a product or a service that’s in demand, you can’t entertain enough recruiters.

You have to do what you love, but I am a big proponent of learning job specific skill and then going extra mile to become as best you can.  Information Technology has transformed our world for the past 20 years. Anyone can learn one of many high demand IT skills and make six-figure income either as a freelancer or an employee.

My friend learned SQL(Structured Query Language) and then took online training to become a Quality Assurance Analyst. There are specific automation tools that you can learn to become proficient. He initially accepted small jobs on one of many freelance sites for a modest amount to gain experience. Within the first six months, a fortune company offered him contract job making $45 per hour.  He called me last week and informed me that the same company hired him as a systems analyst for six-figure income.

There is no secret to his success. He first found skill that’s in demand and learned about it like a mad man. Next, he put twice as much effort than average Joe to become good at his profession.

The good news — for those who work hard — is that our world is full of mediocre people. It’s not that they are not smart; they are simply not motivated to become best at their skill level.

Lesson 2:  Be the best

Give every man more in use value than you take from him in cash value; then you are adding to the life of the world by every business transaction. —  Wallace D Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich

Those who create value for their employers have no dearth of high paying jobs. In my professional life, I have seen countless examples of finest individuals who not only mastered their niche skill, but also created value for their employers.

If you invest in the success of your boss, you are ensuring rich reward for yourself. Try to create two dollars worth of  value for your employers for every dollar you earn. I’ve personally increased my salary by more than 40% in the last three years by applying wisdom of Wallace D Wattles.

The road to six-figure income is simple. Isn’t it?  First, find your niche skill that is in high demand. Learn it. Second, go above and beyond to create value for your employer. That’s it.

Helpful Hints:

“How do I find skill that can make me six-figure income in short order?,” You might wonder. I am in IT field. You can learn to become a certified database administrator. Or, with the advent of cheaper hardware and growth of data, most businesses are focusing on how to use Business intelligence to make sound decisions. You can learn to become good at Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence development to make six-figure income.

There will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data. By 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions. – McKinsey Global Institute

Many universities are offering majors in Health care Informatics as — with the recent health care mandates — hospitals are investing heavily in IT going forward.

The idea is to focus on a niche skill — by knowing macro economic changes — that can not only bring lots of job opportunities, but also handsome salary.

Even with the unemployment close to 9%, if you decide to make six-figure income — no matter how much you make today — you can.

Readers:  Are you making six-figure income? What do you think it takes to join the club?

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.  — Henry Ford

(Photo courtesy: Robert Lz)

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Comments (44)

I am not, but this is truly an inspiring story about your friend. And just goes to prove that if you’re willing to work hard enough, anything is possible.

Do you imagine that new skills will have to be learned as technology progresses, or do you think that this skill will be marketable for the rest of his career?

He is constantly learning. For example, he is working on getting PMP(Project Management) certification. You have to keep learning new skills in any profession to demand six-figure income.

I desperately need to find my niche. I especially love the idea of passive income 😉 So nice to meet your blog! Love it!

Thank you for stopping by. Find what you love to do(something that is in demand) and then drill down to what excites you to get up everyday(your sub-niche skill). No wonder that people with licensed skills make more money than someone who is jack of all.

I can’t say making a particular income level has ever been a goal of mine. Rather I’ve aimed to have interesting and fun jobs with co-workers I like. The modest wealth I’ve achieved has been more through ‘slow and steady’ earning, very controlled spending, and investing than earning a big income.

Slow and steady wins the race!

This is a motivating story. I’m glad your friend’s hard work has paid off! For me, I feel I obsess a bit much about how much money we’re making or spending, but once we are out of consumer debt and able to save up for our futures, it won’t matter how much we have over the basic needs. I can say that easily, but I still need to work on believing it fully!

I believe that, saving money is far more important than just making six-figure. Nonetheless, you can have best of both worlds by making and saving more at the same time.

It’s the same for business, if you’re of the entrapreneurial mindset. Find an in-demand niche and strive to dominate it.

You achieve expertise in a field needed by other businesses or consumers, then provide it to others. It can be the basis for a job or your own business, depending on which way you’d like to go.

Well said Steve. In fact, entrepreneurs have better odds of making six figure for the fact that they are working on a niche business. You can’t be an entrepreneur with jack of all skills.

I work in web development. Design Frontend layout using HTML 5, Ajax, and JavaScript Frame Works. This is very much in demand. We are having very hard time to find workers. Those that we find get high salary and demand to work from home or work from home for 3 weeks a month.
If you learn HTML 5, Ajax and JavaScript to create responsive design web site than you are sure to make six figure income and be in demand.
Some one with little web experience can learn these in six months.

Agreed. HTML5 is very promising platform for open innovations. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, AJ!

Example of responsive web site is http://bostonglobe.com/

BTW this web site is not responsive.

It looks like good old hard work is the way to success. It’s a forgotten skill. Everyone is waiting for their payday but no one wants to work for it. I’m glad someone recognizes that and explains how it’s done.

Well said Dave. There is no substitute for hard work. It always pays off! Thanks for visiting.

I don’t think hard work alone is enough. Although hard work always pay dividend.

I think you need three things:
Mind – Be smart (observe and think)
Body – Work Hard (require time and effort)
Soul – Pour your soul into it (passion)

All together success will knock your door, success will follow you, success will be like magnet to you.

That’s the surefire formula for success. We live in the best country on earth.


I am proof it can be done. I worked in the 9-5 world for my entire career until I decided I wanted ‘something else’.

It took me 3 years of working part-time (while working the 9-5 as well) before I could leave the 9-5.

That was over 3 years ago and now I run my own on-line business.

All the normal traits like drive, energy, persistence come to mind but the one thing that is crucial…getting your niche right.

I tried to make an income in niches I knew nothing about and failed.

Oh and that’s another thing…you must be willing to try things and fail. Then pick yourself up and start again.


That’s awesome Andrew. I’ve learned a great deal about ways to improve blog traffic from your site. You are really passionate about it, and that’s the key my friend.


And I love every minute. I know the cliche…”find a job you love and you’ll never have to work again”…that’s how I feel now.


A six figure salary is a wide range….. are we talking $100,000 or $900,000? :)

Good article and another reason why I’m a bull!

That’s true Sam! The idea is to inform readers that despite the political rhetoric, if you decide to work hard — and stay focused — then you can make 6 figure salary.

I think we are talking a range of $100,000 to $999,999. It is up to you where you want to be in that range. It is up to your thinking ability, hard work and passion. You have to go and get it.

Also choose a field you’ll enjoy. I know a few co-workers who absolutely detest their jobs! Money apparently, is not buying them happiness.

Good point MC. Finding your happy niche is the most important step!

I’ve heard it said that your salary/income is a direct reflection of the value you bring to your company.

If you’re highly knowledgeable, skilled, and work hard (while fitting into a small niche), then you’re going to make a lot of money.

That’s true, Jason. We don’t invest when we don’t see return on our investment. Why should it be any different when a private corporation hires an employee?

I’d have to agree that anything is possible if you really try hard to solve the puzzle of how to get there. I have also seen my income triple over the last 9 years and it is all thanks to many of the simple tips listed here. Especially the part about making your bosses happy and creating value at work – that one really goes a long way for your career!

I’ve increased my salary by more than 40% in past two years by investing in my Senior VP’s success. By all means, work like a mad man if you want to make more money. :)

Nice work, Shilpan! The story about your friend going from no job and living in a hotel to a six-figure income is not only inspiring, but is almost embarrassing to those of us who complain about the economy and joblessness.

It comes to show that it’s possible to go from nothing to a lot of something. However, let’s be clear. Your friend didn’t get where he is now in a short sprint. I’m sure it took him a lot of time and hard work.

Thanks for sharing. This was such a great read.

Yes, it did take careful planning and relentless execution. But that’s how it should be anyways.

Just working hard is not enough. You also have to be at right place at the right time call opportunity. Some time your have to create those opportunity yourself.

My friend who is a waitress in restaurant work harder than me, handy man who fix my plumbing working harder than me, my cousin who is a make up artist work really hard and get very little time to lunch. All of these people barely make with their bills.

You also have to work hard in line of work where there is more demand and reward.

Agreed. You have to be prudent when you find a niche skill that not only excites you but also can offer six-figure salary!

I agree with AJ. You have to bring value but then also make sure you’re working at the right tasks, not just the ones you think you should be addressing at the time.

Great story. Motivational post, as always!

Joe, I can’t agree with you more. It’s good to do what you love, but it’s even better to love what you do. It’s akin to a healthy relationship. :)

[…] How to Make Six Figure Income in Any Economy – Street Smart Finance […]

[…] @ Street Smart Finance writes How to Make Six Figure Income in Any Economy – Making six figure income remains a major milestone for most of us, especially in this tough […]

A few people have stated this was an inspiring read and I echo those words! I don’t make 6 figures yet but I’m motivated to work hard and hit the 6 figure mark…then move on to 7 :)

I am in the process of mastering my niche…finding ways to stand apart from all others. It’s not easy by any means but it’s gratifying. I guess if it was easy everyone would do it…

Thanks for sharing!!!!

Thank you for stopping by!

[…] How to Make Six Figure Income in Any Economy By thought, the thing you want is brought to you. By action, you receive it. — Wallace D Wattles Making six figure income remains a major milestone for most of us, especially in this tough economy. While six figure income may have lost its once elite status,… Read more […]

[…] Shilpan from Street Smart Finance continues to inspire with some very interesting facts about money in How to Make Six Figure Income in Any Economy […]

OK, I gotta ask: :)

what was your pal doing for 12 long years before he got the 6-figure gig?

He owned businesses. But, his last business venture failed. So, he lost a great deal of money.

[…] How to Make Six Figure Income in Any Economy on Street Smart Finance […]