Updated: May 12, 2022
Most people’s pay is directly related to how easy it is to replace them, and what their replacement is willing to charge for their work.
“Hourly rate” workers are usually easy to replace. In some cases, the hourly rate is higher (dentists get paid more than grass cutters), but they are still paid for their time, not for their value. Dentists don’t charge based on the lifetime value of your teeth or how many meals you will enjoy; they get paid an hourly rate for their dental services.
Hourly rate workers, no matter what they do, are paid the established rate set by the market and they’re replaceable. Dishwashers and brain surgeons are paid the going rate.
However, some people are paid based on what they are worth. People who are paid what they are worth are usually difficult to duplicate or replace. These people bring value that is not easily found in another person.
To be truly worth something, you have to be irreplaceable.
There has to be something to how you do what you do that makes it different, more engaging, more indispensable than your competitors.
That usually starts with being in demand.
And the scariest, but most certain way to be in demand isn’t doing more of the same, only better. The scariest, but most certain way to be in demand is to do what nobody else is doing.