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How To Earn 10 X Market Rate

How to Earn 10 x Market Rate

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 244).

This comes under the heading of “things I wish I understood in my 20’s but was too stupid”.

Who wants to earn 10 times the market rate salary? The answer is, everyone! The real question is, what are you willing to do and give up to get 10 x times the market rate with no guarantee of outcome?

Your value at work is equal to results produced. To earn more than the market rate is simple, you have to provide value in excess of the market rate. The deeper question is how do you provide value in excess of the market rate? There are 2 ways:

  1. Have a special, gangster skill that few people have and charge a lot of money for it.
  2. Deliver at scale.


This is the route with the most predictable outcome, it requires skill acquisition via study and practice. Specialization equals limited supply i.e. your skills and qualifications are so specialist that you have little competition and can charge above market rate. How do you know if you have this? IMHO, you earn greater than 1.5 x market rate.

How do you achieve this?

  • Study your market, identify gaps and required “high touch i.e. hard to deliver with software alone” specialisms.
  • Study, take exams and get certified.
  • Develop mastery in delivery of results. This is how you are judged and is the path to above market rates.

Examples in the property industry:

  • Artisan stone masons, carpenters and metal workers.
  • Rights of light consultants.
  • Building automation and data analysis technicians, their era is just arriving.
  • Building envelop testing, their era is just arriving.

Deliver at Scale

This is more difficult as it requires soft skills plus effective leadership. If you see someone being paid multiples of market rates, I can assure you they are selling or delivering at scale.

Scale in the property industry is measured in millions & billions of $ in project value and numbers of people under management. Scale is also measured in sales performance, revenue generation and importantly, profits.

How do you achieve this?

  • Acquire soft skills e.g. communication, NLP, leadership, public speaking, sales and marketing.
  • Always optimize for performance.
  • Take leadership roles and be accountable for outcomes.

Examples in the property industry:

  • Project managers on large & mega projects.
  • Company CEO’s and division leaders.
  • Sales managers.

The dirty secret of senior professional life is that results trump qualifications and cronyism.

Being great at your job, on your own is only enough to get you 1.0 x market rate. Delivering consistent high quality results via teams i.e. via the actions of others, is the start of being a high value professional.

The killer combination is specialism with delivery at scale. This is how you capture a market and charge what you like. Think of Autodesk CAD software or Star Architect firms like Sir Norman Fosters.

They have combined deep specialization with delivery at scale to the point where their branding is simply, “we are the f$%king best, so just pay us”.

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