Defeating the Hourly Pay Trap

Are you trapped in the “hourly pay trap”. . . many people are stuck in this TRAP! How often do you think about your work and think I am making $20 or wasting $20 an hour doing this particular project? If you think in terms of hourly rate, you will ALWAYS be UNDERPAID. Do you really think that your brilliant idea that made your company $10,000 in added revenues was only worth twenty bucks? Read Kristina’s article. 

Defeating the Hourly Pay Trap

Kristina BlasenBy Kristina Blasen

So, I was getting ready to speak at my second conference ever last night when a friend stopped by and wondered why I was still working so late that night…after we talked about the conference; he made the offhand comment, “I hope they pay you well for all this…”

I was wrapped up in preparing for my presentation and when what he’s said finally registered and replayed in my head I was really taken by surprise and blurted, “I don’t get paid for all this…”

He looked at me like I was crazy and thought I didn’t understand the question so he added, “You know, hourly pay?”

Flustered, my reply was really an “auto-reply”, but this whole conversation made me think about this mentality that so many people are stuck in, I think of it as the “hourly pay mentality”…the idea that a traditional job, with a guaranteed “hourly” pay and certain benefits and earned vacation time that is carefully laid out for you is somehow safer and a smarter path than working for yourself and building your own business.

Are you stuck in the hourly pay mentality?

Even if you’ve stepped out and are working on building your own business and multiple streams of income, a lot of people slide back into the hourly pay mentality when they run into challenges and problems in growing their business or maintaining cash-flow. Why? Because they grew up with the hourly pay mentality and so many people around them live this way that when things get hard it is easy to slip back into that out of fear and forget about all of the benefits and joys when YOU ARE THE MASTER OF YOUR TIME AND YOUR INCOME—instead of a company!

If you are stuck or find yourself sliding back into this mentality, I thought it might help if you could see the difference between how I think about “work” and this idea of getting paid for my time in a very different way, sort of seeing an inside view of my thinking and decision making process. If you’ve always made your WORK decisions either by default (you apply only for jobs you think you can get) or you take whatever job is available and offered to pay the bills then this thought process might seem very foreign to you.

For a long time I really struggled with making LONG TERM plans and matching my education and employment decisions to those goals. Why? Because it is easier and somehow “safer” to take any job that is offered and stay as long as your bills are paid and you don’t get laid off. It is EASIER, but maybe not better in the long run.

The Concept of a “Career” and “Work” Isn’t What it Used to Be

Recently, I have had an amazing learning opportunity to interview on video several women who are retiring after as many as 30+ years in the same career and with the same company; in my generation, staying in the same position, or even with the same company for more than a few years is increasingly rare. One woman asked me just before I interviewed her if I would consider myself (at age 33) as part of the new generation or group of incoming educators. I thought and then said I would if I went to work there full-time once my schooling was complete.

We ended up having a really interesting conversation, one very different working generation to the next, about “why” young people don’t stay at jobs, or even companies for their whole career anymore in the way that was considered “normal” in the past. It was hard to explain something that is just “the way it is” to me, so I settled on what I think is my personal reason for job-hopping every few years.

Chose Jobs According to Opportunities to Add to Your Skill Set for Long-term Goals

For me, I take jobs for skill and experience building leading to much bigger, long term goals. If there is no clear path for me to move to a position with new knowledge or skills to be learned and of course, when raises are given on a standard percent system without consideration for merit increases, then I’m more likely to job hop to a different company and a related, yet different growth position to continue to build my skills.

Keep Learning – Create a Lifelong Plan to Grow Your Education

I’ve often left good positions with stable and growing companies seeking higher education opportunities that couldn’t be had in my small hometown, but the underlying reason for seeking those additional educational opportunities was a belief that higher education provides the key to opening many doors and opportunities for the future and I strongly believe that education has an intrinsic value no matter what job or business you made run in the future— it is an old fashioned value, but I believe that education is something that cannot be lost or taken away from you. Think about it, businesses can fail, economies can falter, companies can lay off workers, but what you learn stays with you and benefits you no matter what. Education can be formal classes you take or degrees you earn or informal learning, the things that you teach yourself and learn about because it is something you feel will help you grow your skills or that will move you one step closer to your long term goals.

So, stop worrying about how long something takes and set your sights on gaining experiences and collecting skills that will take you in the direction you want to go to build your future.

Kristina BlasenMy life’s journey is about helping others to realize their potential, to mentor others and encourage their dreams to become reality, to help others grow, to offer counsel and support, to offer a helping hand and is realized by being a catalyst for change.


Kristina Blasen is a transformative life coach. She specializes in working with teens and adults to help them discover their life purpose and create a plan to turn their dreams into reality. She believes strongly in radical change! Do you need radical change in your life? She may be reached at:

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