Many people would love to double their salary but feel it is almost impossible. That's why when they come across an article with such a promising title, such as this, they disregard the information presented, because it seems too good to be true.

However, there are practical actions you can take to dramatically increase your income. I’ve used many of them to double my income several times. Here are my suggestions for how you can make doubling your salary in less than a year a reality.

Identify and Maximize Your Specific Skills

Everyone has naturally given talents, and you must identify and enhance these skills. This is especially true if your skill is unique among others in the organization. Having a unique talent will set you apart from others in your field and increase your value to your employer or your clients.

Do research on salaries in your specific profession on sites like PayScale and see how they may vary in different areas of the country. If you find there's better pay outside of your location, perhaps you may want to consider moving. Also research the cost of utilities, housing, and other expenses as they relate to your potential earnings. You may receive a bigger salary in San Francisco, but the cost of living could be more expensive than your current location.

Take the Initiative

Go beyond your job description. Take on projects beyond your assigned responsibilities. Make suggestions that will improve the operation of the organization, and assume new responsibilities, something introverts do very well. This will demonstrate that you have ambition and are willing to help the company in whatever way necessary. Doing more than others in your group of co-workers or other professionals in your field will show you have initiative, and enhance your reputation.

Taking on new responsibilities also creates opportunities to learn new skills, which can help you attain a promotion or a higher-paying job with another company.

Always Interview

It is a good practice to have a job interview at least once a year. You will keep your interview skills honed and will learn about other opportunities and salary ranges in your field. Also, apply for other positions within your company. One of these interviews may lead to a higher-paying opportunity. If not, your skills and résumé will be well prepared as new opportunities arise.

Expand Your Knowledge

There is always something new to learn in any profession. Take some classes related to your current job, or study a new topic. This will enhance your knowledge and expand your skill set. It will also help you become better qualified for promotions. I love to be reading (a.k.a. listening to an audiobook) on a daily basis.

Be sure your manager knows you are taking job-related classes. Become a certified professional to help you become a more valuable asset to your company, or demonstrate your expertise to the customers of your business.

Double Your Prices

This suggestion applies to business owners and may seem rather unorthodox at first, but doing so may significantly raise your income. Promote yourself as an expert in your profession or offer additional products or services to justify the price increase.

If you double your prices and lose half of your customers, this can be a positive thing. You will be making the same amount of money but doing less work. Devote this extra time to learning new skills or developing ways to expand your business. How much should you charge your clients? Here is a guide I put together for freelancers, designers, and programmers.

Help Others Make Money

People are in business to make money. Companies exist to make a profit. You can show yourself to be a valuable asset to them if your actions can increase their profits. Once you establish your reputation as such an asset, you can ask for higher fees or more pay.

I’ve been helping others make money for years. One of my students went on to start, grow, and sell a million-dollar business. Guess who funded my last startup? You never know whose life you’ll impact in an amazing way. Special note: It doesn’t always have to be with money.

Establish Your Own Business

Take a skill or hobby in which you are highly skilled and build a business. You can do this on the side while keeping your full-time employment. Not only will you be making money doing something you enjoy, your income will rise as your customer base increases.

I was able to do this at the last full-time job I had. Before I quit (which was so hard), I was making twice as much money in my business as I was in my day job. Being your own boss will give you the ability to make more money than you have ever imagined possible.

Change Jobs

If opportunities are limited at your present place of employment, consider changing jobs. Most of the time, when you switch jobs you’ll get a little bump in pay. Look for a company where you will have chances for advancement along with higher pay for the same work you are presently doing. Be willing to move to a different part of the country if the pay is higher for your profession and the cost of living is affordable.

While there is no simple way to double your income overnight, the above suggestions can serve as guidelines for doubling your income in the shortest time possible. These ideas, along with your hard work and dedication, will help your income increase.