How Much Is 10 Figures Really?

10 figure salary

You may have heard of 5 figure, 6 figure, and even 7 figure salaries, but what about a 10 figure salary? A salary this high may be rare, but it’s not unheard of. As technology advances and world economies bloom, more and more people are earning 10 figures or attaining a 10 figure net worth.

So how much is 10 figures really? Let’s dive in on who can earn this much and what kind of job you would need. Only the ones who have achieved the 10 figure milestone really know what it’s like to earn this amount of money. However, this kind of lifestyle is theoretically available to anyone.

What the term “figure” means for salaries

You may have heard an entrepreneur say they had their “first 5 figure month” or a relative boast about their son’s “6 figure salary” job right out of college. But you may be wondering what they mean by the term figure. Figure simply refers to the number of digits in a number. For example, the number 1,302 has four digits (or four figures): 1, 3, 0, and 2.

With that in mind, a 5 figure month could be anywhere from $10,000 to $99,999. A 6 figure salary could mean anywhere from $100,000 to $999,999.

While these may seem like a lot of money, many people are finding ways to earn 7 figures or higher with high-paying jobs or successful small businesses. Some of the most successful businesses have earned their CEOs a 10 figure salary.

How much is a 10 figure salary?

So, how much is 10 figures? Well, 6 figures mean you’ve earned a salary in the hundreds of thousands. 7 figures mean you’ve earned a salary of one million dollars or more.

Anyone with a 7 figure salary or a 7 figure net worth is considered a millionaire. An individual who earns 10 figures, or who has a 10 figure net worth, is considered a billionaire. (These are all high incomes!)

Although the millionaire status used to be considered very rich, rising inflation means that most millionaires don’t live as richly as they used to. Most millionaires still have to be careful about the money they spend.

If they’re retired and need their money to provide financial independence for years or even decades, they have to be even more careful.

Billionaires, on the other hand, don’t have to worry much about finances. Billionaires can afford to live in enormous, expensive mansions. They can also afford to hire serving staff to take care of their every need.

And for billionaires, spending $1,000 on a dinner for two might be no more alarming than if the average person spent $1 on a pack of gum.

Who can earn 10 figures?

While earning 10 figures is very rare for the average person, extremely successful business owners and other influencers can earn this much in a year or over several years.

In fact, many women who have become billionaires started from nothing and are entirely self-made, including Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Blakely.

Hypothetically, anyone can become a billionaire! Most billionaires are made as a result of a lifetime of good business and investment decisions. Becoming a billionaire really starts with good business intuition, creativity and innovation, and a solid foundation of financial literacy.

Examples of women that make a 10 figure salary

Earning 10 figures isn't impossible! Here are a few examples of women who have earned 10 figures to give you a little inspiration.

Oprah Winfrey

One of the most successful 10 figure women is Oprah Winfrey. Oprah, who has a $3.5 billion net worth, grew up in poverty as a child of a single mom.

She got her start as a successful talk show host. As her popularity grew, she scaled her talk show into a media and business empire. Her empire ultimately resulted in her own cable network, OWN.

Diane Hendricks

Another successful woman who earns a 10 figure salary is Diane Hendricks. She co-founded a building materials distribution company with her husband in 1982.

Since his death in 2007, she has successfully chaired the business to earn over $9 billion in sales. She is one of the most successful businesswomen in the United States.

Marian Ilitch

Likewise, Marian Ilitch, another 10 figure earner, is the owner of Little Caesar’s pizza, which boasts more than $4 billion in annual sales each year. She also owns the Detroit Red Wings and MotorCity Casino Hotel and is building a $1.2 billion sports and entertainment district in Detroit.

Judy Faulkner

Judy Faulkner, whose net worth is $6.6 billion, is the CEO of the leading medical-record software company in the US, Epic. Her software is used by top medical centers in the United States, including Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic.

Sarah Blakely

You can thank Sarah Blakely for the epic invention of Spanx! She went from selling fax machines to selling leggings, maternity clothing, undergarments, and swimwear to over 50 countries.

Her net worth is now a whopping $1.2 billion. In 2012 she was listed on Time's 100 as one of the most influential people in the world.

Sheila Johnson

Sheila Crump Johnson is the CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, the co-founder of BET and she is the first African-American woman to be an owner/partner in three professional sports franchises.

These franchises are WNBA's Washington Mystics, NBA's Washington Wizards, and NHL's Washington Capitals. She was also the first African-American woman to reach a billion-dollar net worth!

Although most billionaires today are men, these women and others like them show just how possible it is for women to successfully earn 10 figures, too.

Top ways to earn 10 figures

Even though earning 10 figures is difficult, there are a few paths to becoming a billionaire. Some of the top ways to become a billionaire are entrepreneurship, influencer stardom, authorship, and investing.

If earning 10 figures is one of your dreams, it may take some time to get there. But even the smallest steps can result in the most audacious results!  

1. Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is the most common path to earning 10 figures. You’re unlikely to earn 10 figures working for someone else, but there is no ceiling to how much you can earn as a successful business owner. Most successful 10 figure entrepreneurs share some common traits, some of which include:

  • Drive
  • Determination
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Creative thinking
  • Self-confidence
  • Intuition

As seen above, billionaire women have been successful business owners in all kinds of industries. Many kinds of businesses can generate 10 figures for their owners. For instance, franchise restaurants, clothing companies, software technology, etc.

Some of the most successful billionaires have made their fortunes by starting innovative technology companies. If earning a 10 figure salary is one of your goals, you may want to increase your skills in software development or engineering to start a company in this industry.

2. Influential Media Stardom

Media stars such as singers, talk show hosts, internet celebrities, and actors that are very influential may also be able to earn a 10 figure salary. However, influential media stars are only likely to become billionaires if they can leverage their star status into building successful businesses of their own.

For example, Kylie Jenner gained her following from the popular reality television series Keeping Up With the Kardashians. In 2019, she was dubbed the world’s youngest “self-made” billionaire due to the success of her company, Kylie Cosmetics. She showed the world that earning 10 figures is indeed possible for influential stars.

3. Authorship

One of the richest authors in the world is Elisabeth Badinter. She has an impressive net worth of $1.65 billion. Part of Elisabeth Badinter's net worth can be attributed to her inheritance. However, her success as a feminist writer has also contributed to her 10 figure net worth.

Of course, a big part of earning 10 figures as an author is having merchandising rights and earning from products that were inspired by your book. For instance, toys, clothing, stationary, etc. that stem from the author's book. This is why it's important to understand the details of a book deal before you sign on the dotted line.

So if you have dreams of becoming a successful author who earns a 10 figure salary, start writing! You never what kind of success your stories will result in.

4. Investing

Although investing by itself may not be enough to earn you a 10 figure salary, it's an important component of any billionaire's journey. Having a sound investment strategy to grow and protect your wealth is essential.

Most billionaires are savvy investors who recognize a good investment from a bad one. Also, having a diverse portfolio is a crucial part of successful investing.

Are you scared of investing or don't know much about it? Learn how investing works with our completely free course! You will learn how to create a plan for your future self through investing!

Financial freedom is possible, even if you don’t earn 10 figures

Most people may not earn a 10 figure salary, but earning this kind of money isn’t out of the realm of possibility. With the right skills and a whole lot of hard work, it’s completely possible to become a billionaire.

The good news is, you don’t have to earn 10 figures to achieve a financially free lifestyle. Whether you earn 5 figures or 10 figures, learning to live within your means is the best way to become financially successful.

Learn more about how to achieve a financially free lifestyle by subscribing to the Clever Girls Know podcast and YouTube channel. You can also learn how to create the right financial goals with our completely free goal setting course!

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