top of page

Michael Gardon

  • Writer's pictureMichael Gardon

The Most Direct Path To Making More Money in 2023 - The Break Issue 27

Updated: Mar 19

Welcome to the new members of The Break since last week!

If you like what you’ve been reading follow along on Twitter ( @mngardon ) and Linkedin for more community and conversations about breaking work.

Today's Issue

In today’s issue, I'm detailing the number one way to guarantee you make more money this year.

It's not sexy, but the bar is low.

Let’s dive in.

Looking for a last minute Holiday Gift?

Check out my kids' side hustle, Quotebook . Quotebook is a great gift for a young couple or family with young kids to start building the daily habit of being (and capturing) funny(ness). The kids and I built Quotebook out of our tradition of capturing all the funny things we say in our family, and reliving them whenever we want to laugh.

How to make more money in 2023

Want to make more money in 2023?

There is a high odds, low risk, sure-fire way.

And the bar is really low.

Get better at your job.

Becoming noticeably better will directly lead to more responsibility and higher pay. In times of cost cutting crisis, companies pay up for great employees because there’s better ROI.

Luckily 85% of people don’t take steps to get better. Instead they “Quiet Quit” or whatever other word of the day.

Here’s 12 dead simple ways to get better, be better and make more.

1/Deliver on time

Half the battle is managing your boss’s expectations. Deliver your results on time. Give a realistic time frame, and then pad it some more. Your boss is playing multi-dimensional chess - she need reliable time frames.

2/Ask for outcome based pay

If you know the value of the work that you do, take a little risk. Tell your boss you’ll trade a lower salary during a project, for ‘bonus’ payment based on the long tail outcomes of your work. This is how VC’s and the smartest actors and singers get seriously paid. If you’re offered high fixed salary, you’re almost always long term underpaid.

3/Raise your hand for a hard project

No guts, no glory. Stretch your capabilities. Your boss knows a hard project when he sees one, and a good boss will give you the support you need to grow into the project. Going out on a limb to do something meaningfully hard is where the growth is.

4/Say no and also why

My old company used to put 15-20 people in meetings. I would say ‘no’. Then I would email my boss how much money that one meeting cost by estimating attendees’ hourly rates. I then put that figure into the company’s product terms which was insurance policies. “This meeting equals 15 yearly insurance policies. Do you still think we should have it?”

5/Conduct a pre-mortem

Amazon is famous for this. Before a project, assume you failed and write an analysis of the ways you failed and why. It’s a great way to address points of concern and go in eyes wide open.

No one does this.

6/Conduct a post mortem and take responsibility

After a tough project, volunteer to document a thorough analysis of what went wrong, why and what you learned. Organizations are learning organism that need to update how they invest in new projects. The learnings are value added and show initiative. Bonus points for accepting responsibility for the failure shows courage.

7/Be prepared

Like Scar from the Lion King. Take 5-30 minutes before important meetings to get your shit together. You’ll feel more confident, and people will notice.

8/Under promise, over deliver

This is a trick I learned pitching VC investors. There was our public plan and our internal plan. Our internal plan was always more aggressive than what we put in pitch decks. This is a key principle of managing expectations.

9/Communicate up

Your boss has anxiety juggling projects from all her reports. Communication of status, work done, roadblocks and help needed on a consistent basis, in digestible format will get you noticed.

10/Go out of your way to get feedback

Receiving feedback is about good questions. Not “what’d you think?”

Get specific.

What was confusing?

What can I do better?

What am I missing?

What skills should I add?

No one does this.

11/Build transferable ‘meta’ skills

Meta skills are skills anyone needs in any situation to be successful. Focus on acquiring skills like writing, speaking, sales, presentation, operations and finance instead of job specific skills. That way you can take them with you on to better places.


If you’re still not getting what you’re worth, go freelance . it’s the easiest way to earn extra money for the same skills that you are currently being paid for in your job now. Go get one client and learn what it feels like to have more freedom and control over how you work and who you work for. The money may surprise you.

See you next year!


P.S. I'd love to hear from you.

What’s your biggest takeaway from this issue?

Reply to this email and let me know.

I personally read every email.

If you enjoy The Break, please share it with a friend .

Are you stuck? There are 3 ways I can help you:

1. Get in the Breaking Work conversation on Linkedin. Messages are open. Follow me here .

2. Book a free 30 minute call to join a small cohort of people helping me design the Breaking Work curriculum. You'll get it free when its done!

3. Find your new job! Remote tech jobs curated for you. Follow me on Pallet .

The Break Job Board

I teamed up with Pallet to create a curated job board for our community ! These jobs are tech focused, remote first opportunities. I’d love it if you followed. Maybe, just maybe you’ll find your next big opportunity here.

Here are a few featured opportunities:

Also, If you’re looking to support the community and have a job to post, you can do so by clicking the ‘ Post a Job’ button.

What’s happening on the pod?

A little throwback before the year ends! In this episode, I chat with Adam C. Bandelli. Founder & Managing Director of Bandelli & Associates, Dr. Adam C. Bandelli is an organizational psychologist and seasoned leadership advisor with over twenty years of corporate consulting experience. Adam's calling and purpose in life is to help the leaders identify, embrace, and unleash their true authentic selves.

In his latest book Relational Intelligence, he details the five essential skills he has found to create life-changing relationships. Adam received his Ph.D. and master’s degree from the University of South Florida in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Now, he runs Bandelli & Associates where he and his consultants leverage psychological insights to help their clients unleash their true leadership potential.

You made it to the end! Hopefully you learned something about breaking your career today! If so, please share this with someone you care about.

P.S. What did you think of today's email? Click one of the ratings below to send us your feedback. We'd love to know what you think!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This was super helpful! ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Could be better. ⭐️ This one needs work!

36 views0 comments
bottom of page