How much you earn is a function of how much value you add to an hour of work. There are two levers you can pull to move the needle. Either, you work more hours or you find a way to increase the value you add in an hour.
It’s comfortable to work more hours. We do what we know. We merely dial up the volume. There is no learning curve, no uncertainty, no risk. It’s an expensive trade-off though. You effectively chose to trade time for income. This creates an upper limit to your earning potential and affects your life balance, which eventually catches up.
Finding ways to add more value is tough work. It comes with uncertainty and the risk of ‘wasted’ time looking for ways that end up not working. It is also the most hyperbolic investment you could ever make. The returns are limitless and provided that you continue to learn, even failures and dead ends are valuable.