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Leaping into a 6 figure salary, the pros and cons

Updated: Jan 11, 2022

My first job at 16 paid me £3.25, it was the entry level of a Sales Associate in the North of the UK, and yet, the most incredible way to start my retail life. I remember my first months wage was around £85 then the months after £150-£250.

I felt so rich!

I had very little knowledge about money, other than 'it doesn't grow on trees' and one must look after the pennies; which, I did.

Each month I'd save at least £100 into my Post Office savings account and some months later, used that money to buy my first car, a Fiat Punto L Reg.

It was the biggest and most significant purchase of my young life.

Shortly after my 22nd Birthday, I moved to Manchester and secured my first salaried role which was circa 18k per annum. I came to learn that my peers in an identical role in the region were paid more than me.

This was the first time I felt that I was cheated out of the right pay possibly because of my gender; all 3 of my sidelines were male and paid more.

It was at this moment I knew needed to work harder and smarter to climb the corporate ladder.

Mid twenties I was running a large portfolio of Concessions inside House of Fraser.

I recruited, trained and led teams across Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, Oxford Street, Exeter, Plymouth and more. It was a career defining time.

My leader at that time was based in Barcelona at the Head Quarters.

One day, I decided to put together a presentation of highlights regarding the work and impact for the prior season, but in a very different way.

I didn't regurgitate the numbers or spew out every single KPI - what would be the point, anyone can access that at anytime. It only proves I can present numbers in a different format. Little to no value there.

I wanted to show the realness of everyday efforts, the compound efforts we were making with the host partner, management and teams. I wanted my leader to feel inspired by the presentation and to feel like 'she gives a damn' which, I really did and I passionately wanted to get this across in the mid-year rounds.

This presentation literally changed my salary overnight.

I went from 19k to 25k in one pay increase. That was a 32% increase!

I was astonished, grateful, over the moon, shocked, elated, every emotion was running through me! I felt rich again; more so, for proving to myself 'see you can make anything happen'

The power and gratitude were flowing in my veins.

At 27 my monthly income increased to around 4k, NET. I was living in Kuwait. It was the equivalent to a UK salary of around 60k.

If you want to work harder than you can imagine, drive big muscle cars or sports cars (I had a Dodge Charger V8), save money, travel too much (yes, there is such a thing)! And learn from hundreds of cultures, with varying backgrounds, a stint in the Middle East is a must. More on that in a future blog!

Fast forward further in time, my last jobs paid significantly more.

I had made it into the 6 figure realm. Not only did I have 'the salaries of my wildest dreams' I also enjoyed other benefits such as company cars, health insurance, better bonuses, corporate expense card etc.

More importantly, I had a seat at the table of decisions.

I had made it to the boardroom! The place where I imagined great conversations, innovation and future planning by a bunch of incredibly dedicated visionaries.

Sometimes this was the case, sometimes not...

Did my 16 year old self imagine this was possible?

Yes, I did. I just didn't at that time know how. But, I knew I wanted it.

Way back then, I had a very clear vision of what the financial future would look like for me and I knew very quickly that I would need to learn fast, observe, listen and execute.

Learn fast, observe, listen and execute.

Keep on doing this and in time, your goals become your reality.

Now you may be thinking why I am writing so much about money, isn't this private?

Depends on how you were raised and what circles you are in now.

We are after-all, products of our environments.

What we see, we tend to copy, what we hear, we tend to speak and so on.

I am writing this to share my learnings, to pass on knowledge and experience in the hopes that you get to your next level with complete ease and enjoyment.

That you take the required steps to progress and move forward.

Without action, nothing changes.

This is why year after year, people tend to earn about the same as the previous year. Perhaps in the mind, people want different things or want more...but without action, it just remains a thought.

You see, money is everywhere. Paper and coins are produced every single day. All we need to do if find out how to earn that, how to make it come to us.

If you want to learn about this deeper, go read Robert Kiyosaki 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad'

Money affords us the lifestyle we have, which brings me onto the PROS

  1. Enjoying a lifestyle that is defined by you and served by your salary. Once my annual salary surpassed about 70k, all of my needs were met. The mortgage was paid, the bills, nice meals out, nursery bill, annual holidays, weekends away, material things here and there, nice gifts for family & friends. There are studies to show that once you reach this pinnacle moment, the buzz of earning more quickly fades away; as you already earned enough to afford the lifestyle you wanted

  2. Not worrying about too much month at the end of the money. That goes away. If you're good with money on 70k or more, you'll have plenty and over 100k, no worries. A warning! The more you earn, the more you spend. At 35k could you get a mortgage approved for half a million or more? No. Over 100k is it possible? Yes

  3. Choices and helping others. I've given to charity consistently every month since I was a teenager (Save the Children). Additionally, I give a portion of my profits to a charity I've partnered with. I pay for strangers food in the supermarket in-front of me, I support family when they need it and lots of other things. I think to live in happiness is to give and when you earn, you can have the choice to give too. Here is the thing though, if you are tight with money when you have very little, what makes you think you'll give more when you have more? You won't. The life habit created and ingrained is to store it, like a hamster...with more of it, your cheeks will simply swell more

Now, moving onto the CONS

  1. Expectations from people. You may start to hear things like: You can afford it, so you pay. Or the passive kind of look 'you got this right' You have money so you can buy that for me You won't miss a few hundred pounds This is the fact and you need to be very clear how to approach this. Let me give you an example. My Husband and I were invited to a dinner, there were 8 of us. At the time, we were not drinking alcohol and our diets were very strict, so the consumption of our meal was around £80, total. All other 6 people ate freely and drank lots of wine, expensive wine. When the bill arrived, the person who invited us out candidly said to split the bill. I turned to my Husband and said this doesn't feel right - we need to tell them. So I had a quiet word with his partner and said we won't be paying £400 as we had no alcohol and this is why the bill is high. Her response 'you can afford it, what's the big deal' I simply said 'what I can afford is not your concern and the big deal here is that you invited us for this meal, knowing our health situation and yet you expect me to fund your alcohol. This is not happening, the answer is no - what would you do in my shoes' And that was that, we all paid fairly, we left. No more to be said. I'm a generous person, but that expectation was too far.

  2. Tax. The more you earn, the more you are taxed. Until you experience the pain of seeing your gross vs net when you reach 6 figures, my goodness, you want to cry. There you go though, it is the simple reality and I view this now as giving, which, feels so much better than 'being ripped off' !

  3. Economics; can I maintain this income or will an economic crisis hit? This is a very real worry for people new to 'bigger money' if that is 40k to you or 300k, it is a feeling and a voice inside. When I hit my first 25k jackpot salary and then I simmered down, I did think hmmm is this going to last. What if this, what if that...

And so, it came to pass. My last corporate role was made redundant. The economic crisis of Covid-19 came to punch me. Much was lost. Yet, much was gained...I saw this as the time to launch my business. As I write this, my business is entering month 4 and my income is not 6 figures in case you were wondering.

I have new goals now.

Like everything in life, if you want something, you need to have a clear vision, and a purpose.

Then get to work on executing it.

My leaping into 6 figures is so much more than a few thousand words here, but I hope I've given YOU some hope and insights to support your next move!

Money isn't everything, but it helps to live a life that you envisage.

Wishing you happiness,

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