Build high-income skills

Your income determines not only your purchasing power, but also your general capacity to improve your life and get ahead. Earning (abundant) income eludes many of us, and it’s easy to become disillusioned. When you’re not achieving what you want in life due to a lack of resources, direction or drive, it can be a slippery slope into complacency, apathy or despair. You might be tempted to jump ship or settle instead of pursuing your dreams. But just like everything in life, your income is within your realm of influence if you’ll commit to learning new strategies. You can learn high-income skills in 2020 and beyond that allow you to reach your goals and create meaning in all you do. 

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13 high-income skills in 2020

The income gap between rich and poor is wider than ever, leaving many to wonder: When it comes to making an income, how is it that some people seem to end up on top, while the rest earn less overall? Is it about personality, or is it a straightforward matter of your profession? It’s both. To build high-income skills that make money in any economy, you must leverage your personality and build your skill set. Your personal traits – your values, emotions and passions – are the driving force behind every decision you make. When you harness your internal resources, you’re able to focus on building a skill set capable of reaching your goals and increasing your income. You’ll find that the same high-income skills in 2020 will also serve you in years to come, since they derive from your inherent personality traits. 

The personality traits of incredibly high earners distinguish them from lower-income earners. High earners consistently implement the following high-income skills:

1. Thinking ahead

It’s impossible to predict the future, but strategic planning is part of every successful outcome. High earners plan ahead on how to leverage the resources they currently have to generate more income.

think ahead

2. Being a perfectionist


Perfection is impossible, but if you’re seeking to learn high-income skills in 2020, up your perfectionism a notch. The search for perfection – results that are as close to what you envisioned as possible – distinguishes high earners, since they won’t settle for less than the best.

3. Sticking to their passions

For people earning a high income, passion drives every decision they make. When you’re living attuned to your passions, you’re living life instead of working a job. You’re able to find meaning in your work since it’s part of your larger life strategy.

follow your passion

4. Being reliable


Reliability is one of the high-income skills that is attractive at any income level. Being reliable is key to building connections. When people know they can rely on you, they’re more open to furthering their professional relationship with you.

5. Staying driven

When you lose your drive, you lose your ability to confidently take massive action. As your enthusiasm shrinks, it’s tempting to slip into complacency. Overcome this trap even when things aren’t going as you’d planned. By tending to your self-confidence no matter what happens, you’re able to keep your momentum going.

stay driven

6. Staying neutral

stay neutral

The ability to think clearly under stress is one of the most advantageous high-income skills in 2020, since grounded thinking clears the way for sound decisions. Keep your thinking balanced by considering alternatives, seeking the input of trusted friends and taking a break when you feel overwhelmed.


7. Communicating clearly

From the boardroom to the family room, unclear communication can wreak havoc. High-income earners consistently rate clear communication as one of the most powerful high-income skills in the long run.


communicating clearly

8. Exercising self-control

self control

One of the most valuable high-income skills you’ll ever develop is the self-control necessary to distinguish between problems and opportunities. There is a time and place for both control and release, and high-income earners know the difference. Your next great product idea may come over drinks on a Wednesday or it might come from buckling down in your next staff meeting – if you’re open to input from your entire team. Or maybe you asked your team for a new product idea, but they didn’t deliver. The key to demonstrating real leadership here is realizing that everyone on your team is a problem-solving resource – and recognizing barriers to your desired outcome is the first step to getting there.

9. Behaving consistently

Given the rapidly changing pace of technology, markets and the economy, consistency is one of the most powerful high-income skills effective not only in 2020, but for years to come. To consistently earn high earnings, you must be… consistent. Your workflow, schedule and interpersonal manner must be stable so others can trust you to get your job done.


10. Believing the impossible is possible

believe in the impossible

At the end of the day, you won’t feel driven to try the impossible if you don’t think there’s a chance of success. Your ability to solve problems and leverage your existing resources is one of the most powerful high-income skills you have.

11. Valuing “soft skills”

In work and life, “hard skills” like technical expertise only get you so far. While hard skills help you make confident business decisions, they don’t help nourish the basis of your career: the people you interact with. Businesses are not machines – they are groups of people working together to achieve a common goal. When you embrace the soft skills necessary for collaboration, you take your earnings to the next level.

As you work to develop high-income skills in 2020, focus on developing empathy, deep-listening skills and a growth mindset that fosters input from all levels of your organization. These are strengths that will take you leaps and bounds in your efforts to increase your income. 

soft high income skills

12. Leveraging existing resources

leverage resources as a high income skill

It’s tempting to think that to develop high-income skills you must recreate the wheel and start over from scratch. While this is true for some people, it’s not necessary for everyone. The skills and resources you already have are an arsenal for increasing your income. The pathways to advancement are numerous, from seeking a promotion at your current place of employment to reaching out to your network or even becoming an entrepreneur. Exploring the possibilities opens doors you may not have even realized existed.

13. Realizing their power to influence

Whatever your industry, harnessing the power of the internet is one of the most readily-available high-income skills in 2020. The digital world is one where everyone has the capacity for influence. From creating online communities to providing affiliate marketing, with just a keyboard and internet connection, you’re able to expand your reach to create multiple revenue streams. 

use the power to influence as a high income skill

High-income skills require high-income behaviors

You’ll notice that the list of high-income skills that make money does not include high-income roles, like brain surgeon or nuclear physicist. Making money is all about your mindset, no matter your current occupation.

Improve your overall skills

For overall improvement, look to Tony Robbins’ resources on career and business success. You might enjoy getting started learning about high-income skills related to building client confidence, building a rockstar team, redefining risk, gaining the upper hand in negotiations and turning potential business problems into opportunities.


improving overall skills

A special note for recent grads

recent grads

If you are a recent graduate, money management is key to planning for a successful future. Financial planning for recent grads is actually one of the most powerful high-income skills when you’re first starting off, since it gives you a solid base. Start by creating a spending (and saving) plan that’s realistic and flexible. If you take out college loans, be smart and minimize your debt. Build your credit by making timely payments on everything, and be wary of using your credit inappropriately. Now is the time to start thinking about how to invest your money so that it expands your options in the future.

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