As you look to 2017, you can pretty easily add $10,000 to your income. Here’s the math:
$10,000 = $5/hr more than your current hourly rate. (divide your salary by 2,000 for a quick hourly rate)
If you’re making $20 – $25 per hour, then you need between 400 and 500 extra hours next year. This is 8 to 10 extra hours per week. An extra hour per day, plus 3 – 5 hours on Saturday morning will do it. Not only that, but the extra time you put in should move you up to a mid-level freelancer.
If you’re making $30 – $50 per hour, then you need between 200 and 350 extra hours next year. This is 4 to 7 extra hours per week. An extra hour per day Monday -Thursday and a few hours on Saturday will do it.
If you’re making $50 – $100 per hour, then you need between 100 and 170 extra hours next year. This is 2 to 4 extra hours per week.
If you’re making more than $100 per hour, chances are that you’ve built a system of work where adding more time isn’t going to move your income needle enough to offset the loss of free time and big thoughts.
The lesson here is twofold: first, the extra money is easily within grasp if you spread out the effort through the whole year. Secondly, working on your value (aka your rate) will give you more leverage than simply throwing additional hours into work. If you’re early in your career then put in the time, collect the extra money, invest in yourself, and learn as much as you can. By accelerating your experience with the extra time, you’ll hit mid and senior levels earlier and find compounded returns later in your career.