How to Maximize Your Income Potential | Gen Y Finance Guy

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In today’s episode, Cody and Justin bring you an incredible story that starts in poverty but ultimately dismisses a strict following of frugality. Dom was raised in unfortunate circumstances but quickly started latching onto mentors at a young age. He even had a pretty successful business selling candy bars at school as a young kid.

Since those days Dom has continued to sharpen his skill and has outlined a method for gaining promotions and raises at a high degree of success. He now brings in over $300k per year and is ahead of schedule on his amazing goal of $10M!

He also gives an interesting take on becoming an “Intrepreneur” where you still work for someone else but with the autonomy and compensation you desire.

Episode Summary

  • Grew up on welfare
  • Parents were drug addicts
  • His dad spent a lot of time in jail for producing meth
  • He gained sight of the FI movement through “Rich Dad Poor Dad”
  • Finds his motivation from people who are more successful than himself
  • In 6th grade, he found out about a place that gave you free pizza if you folded boxes
  • He got to know the owner who was his first mentor
  • At the pizza place, he learned about inventories and staffing
  • That little job also helped him understand the correlation between the amount of work you put in and your reward
  • He started selling candy in elementary school and was making 60-100 dollars per week just selling candy
  • Around 2014 he started noticing extreme frugality wasn’t working for him and he went to a 50/50 model where he saved 50% of his income and spent the other 50% guilt free regardless of income
  • They now spend $110-120k per year
  • He interned with a company in college and would eventually take a job with them as a financial analyst
  • He really focused on outworking his coworkers and worked 80-90 hours a week for his first 7 years out of college
  • Some of those hours were on the side learning new skills and not just on his job
  • He talks about the importance of marketing whatever your skill is
  • Knowing what you’re good also means being very self-aware
  • A great quote he had was “failure isn’t because you didn’t have the resources, it’s because you didn’t have the resourcefulness”
  • He also talks about how important “Luck” is but refers more to being prepared when these seemingly random opportunities come along
  • The skill he learned was being the translator between the Financial and IT sections of the company
  • To help find your own skills you should hone in on, ask other people what they think you’re best at, what are you getting complimented on.
  • He gives tips on getting pay raises and when it’s time to just jump ship
  • He actually recommends sitting down with management and agreeing to what it would take for a raise or promotion and what your pay increase would be and have them sign off on it, email it to them, and track throughout the year
  • sign, scan and email it to them and then come in at review time with evidence that you met it and asking when the raise is happening? I mean I love that but never heard of it and secondly when you’re swapping jobs, do you have a time frame like X number of months prior to leaving that you start scouring linkedIn, are these contacts from your current business, how does finding that next job look?
  • He used this method at one point to gain a $60k a year pay increase and promotion
  • Dom was able to make this deal by implementing a strategy that would save the business 60k every year indefinitely
  • He also recommends staying in touch with recruiters to check in with periodically to see what other people are making at a position similar to yours
  • This also leads into a term he calls “Intrapreneur” where he’s more than an employee and has earned a lot of autonomy
  • He has since negotiated a stake in the company and bonuses so he has the best of both worlds
  • While he has to work a lot and across a lot of time zones he’s able to work from anywhere and at any time so he blends work into his life instead of simply balancing the two
  • He and his wife intentionally waited until 32 to have their first child so they had the flexibility and wealth to be able to go down to a single income if they needed
  • The 10M dollar plan he made was a 20-year plan he started in 2015

Key Takeaways

  1. Practice the work-life blend: Dom doesn’t believe in the work-life balance. Instead, he practices what he calls the work-life blend. The time he spends working on his day job is indistinguishable from the time he spends working on his other tasks since each individual task is a separate fulfilling job in itself.
  2. Mentors are everywhere: Who would have thought that Dom would learn some of his most valuable lessons from the owner of the pizza shop he worked at? Never underestimate people and absorb as much information as you can.
  3. Frugality is relative: Although Dom spends between $110,000 and $120,000 per year, he still is able to save between 57 and 60% of his income. Financial independence definitely isn’t all about deprivation and frugality and personal finance is personal. Find a level of spending that makes you happy while you save as much as you can.

Call to Action

Figure out how to earn a raise and create a concrete plan to get there. Draft a clear strategy with tangible checkpoints and check in with your boss at the end of the year once you’ve met them.

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Links from the Episode

Dom’s Blog


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Twitter: @GenYFinanceGuy


Learn More About Your Hosts:

Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)

Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)

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