Earn Salaries

4 Women On How They Reached A Six-Figure Salary

Lindsay Tigar  |  March 25, 2021

Looking to join the $100,000+ club? Here’s how to work toward -- and achieve -- that six-figure salary that you most definitely deserve.

Do you have a six-figure salary goal for your career? Hitting the point where we’re bringing in $100,000+ is a significant milestone for so many of us, and it puts us into a different category as earners. Depending on where in the country you live, this much income can be a lifestyle-changer. Take a look at where average American salaries stand, by age group, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • 16 to 19 years: $21,944 annually
  • 20 to 24 years: $27,300 annually
  • 25 to 34 years: $40,352 annually
  • 35 to 44 years: $50,752 annually
  • 45 to 54 years: $50,700 annually
  • 55 to 64 years: $50,232 annually
  • 65 years and older: $47,008 annually

When we take a look at female six-figure salary earners in America, we see that fewer than one in every eight female workers earn that much money. We also see that more than twice as many men earn a six-figure salary as women — just 6% of women say they earn $100,000 or more, compared to 13% of men, according to a YouGov survey. 

If you have your sights set on joining the $100,000 club, we’re rooting for you, and we’re here for you if you want to ask for a raise, get a promotion, or find a higher-paying job. We also know it can be inspiring to learn from other women who have accomplished this impressive feat. Here, they share their stories and most useful advice. 

“Identify what brings you joy — and don’t label it. 

Fitness coach and YouTube personality Angie Bellemare built her personal brand by consistently creating valuable content centered around her life. Her topics range from organization and planning to routines and fitness. She also developed partnerships with brands and companies she supports, which boosted her social media footprint. Her result has been a residual income streaming from a variety of sources that equates to more than $100,000 in annual earnings. 

She recommends starting with some self-discovery and figuring out what brings you joy. But then: don’t label it. As she explains, rather than saying ‘I want to be a doctor,’ phrase it differently and say, “I want to serve people by giving them the tools to be healthy.’ “When your work is sincerely your passion, and you are naturally motivated to put in the effort that will lead to you being great in that field of work, then you will happily and naturally become a part of the 1-percent,” she continues. “All too often, we label how we want to make a successful living, only to find that the job is nothing like what we hoped and thought it would be. This leads to a constant up and down in motivation and some intense soul searching. That is exactly what happened to me before finding what truly brought me joy.”

“Never let anyone tell you you can’t achieve your goals or dreams.”

When Kaeleigh Testwuide started The Diamond Reserve, the six-figure salary was not her top goal. While, sure, she wanted to make money, it wasn’t how she measured their success. She aspired to bring the Denver market an engagement ring-buying experience founded on education and honesty. Over the last six years, she hyper-focused on ethics and values — and it paid off in more ways than one. “I truly believe I am where I am today salary-wise in that I don’t do this for the money; I do this for the lifestyle. I love my office, I love my people, the industry, I truly love what I get to do each and every day, and when you love what you do, you just might find your payday,” she continues. “None of this came easy, and it still isn’t. I am constantly learning, from diamonds to marketing, and working tirelessly to stay on top in an ever-changing business world.”

Testwuide’s best advice is to follow your gut and stick to your guns. In other words: never let anyone tell you that you can’t join the six-figure club. “As a female in a male-dominated industry, I have been told no, told I couldn’t, been told this isn’t how things are done, and the list goes on,” she shares. “Never once have I accepted someone else telling me how my path would be paved. If you truly — and I mean truly like a fire burning in your soul believe in your dreams — and work, work harder than everyone around you at accomplishing those dreams, there will only be one way to go. I believe that. You have to manifest your dreams and have to be willing to put in the work.”

“Adopt a reflective practice.”

In 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, accountability and money mindset coach Mary-Theresa Tringale reached her long-term goal of a six-figure salary. She credits her success to three critical practices: listening to her inner wisdom and aligning it with her work, creating boundaries around people, places and things that didn’t support her vision, and lastly, asking for help when she needed it. Her best advice for other women is to find a practice that allows you the opportunity to explore where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.

“I adopted meditation followed by journaling; I enlisted in programs with coaching that encouraged me to lean into who I wanted to be. I surrounded myself with people who wanted to support my journey,” she continues. “I invested to ‘get into the right rooms,’ which often can feel like rooms we don’t actually belong in. I said ‘yes’ to opportunities that felt good and said ‘no thank you’ to those that would drain me. Without the practice of meditation and journaling, I wouldn’t have even known what these opportunities looked like.”

“Under promise, and over-deliver.”

As the CEO of a hair salon and product line, Tonya Fairley had to pivot this past year in order to service clients and reach her six-figure income. When the world changed, she quickly put on her innovation hat and took her brand online, offering virtual consultations, and then redesigned the salon to allow for safe 1:1 visits, and restructured the services offered. All in, she was  able to bring in $130,000, she says. “In the process, I also streamlined the products that were not being used and donated them to our local women’s shelter,” she adds.

Fairley says to follow the age-old rule of under-promising and over-delivering for those who are trying to remain competitive and reach their $100,000 milestone. “Be open to a new way of servicing that will bring you joy and allow your clients to feel a sense of importance,” she continues. “ I made sure my clients received what they paid for — and a little extra. I let them know I was paying attention to the details and would address minor issues without charging them. In response, they showed they were grateful.”


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