Ever noticed that some people seem to move ahead in even the toughest, most challenging environments?

How is it that a lucky few seem to be able to get promoted, move into better jobs & earn stock options / more income; while the rest, who may be just as dedicated, seem stuck?

Over a lot of years, I’ve asked questions like these to people in all sorts of organizations and roles. I’ve had the great fortune to be able to talk to top corporate leaders, high earners in multiple fields, senior executives, individuals who owned their own businesses and teachers recognized for their brilliance.

This much I know:  While others are struggling or giving up on their job, there are always a few individuals who seem to be able to overcome their environment. And - regardless of their location, industry or sector, (even age and educational background) - those people continually move up the ladder & income scales.

So, how is it that certain people seem to be able to succeed when the majority of people around them are stalled or even out of work?

The answer is - like so many other ‘secrets’ - hiding out in plain site. Here are the common denominators used by the most- successful individuals. Test them out:

Indispensable people provide a highly valued service or products. They make goods or provide services that are simply and obviously better than others. So they stand out.

These individuals get recognized for continually going “over and above” expectations. And with such recognition comes rewards, including:

  • More interest in what they are doing
  • Higher levels of earnings / long term incentive programs
  • Increased recognition for performance
  • Greater levels of personal satisfaction
  • Promotions / Increased level of responsibility
  • Credibility - people trust them
  • More interesting opportunities
  • Career satisfaction, confidence, health
  • Improved health

So, the question is: “What is it that these successful individuals do that caused consistent success regardless of the environment or economy? And, can they be reproduced by others?"

The answer to the last question is…Yes.

But the likelihood of others doing it? Not much.

And that’s the real reason why many don’t succeed. Or perhaps they did but lost steam and became like the rest of those around them - forgetting how they got ‘there’ in the first place.

They lost their passion.

Where once they were really excited about what they were creating - something better or more valuable - they then became more focused on short term earnings and the next steps in their own career growth.

They forgot that they had become successful because they were more focused on their ‘art’ - what they did that was really remarkable when compared to others. It was that focus that attracted the clients or the boss to promote them.

An ‘artist’ - in any industry, job, country, or outlet - cares about details and having things come out ‘just right’. This is what had differentiated them from others.

At that point, they’ve become just another person offering a similar service, or a product like many others are also offering.

And when things look and feel the same, the final decision factor for the client or customer becomes….”how much does your’s cost?”  That's the beginning of a downward spiral in income with slowing upward mobility.

This is true in virtually every industry, and for most individuals. What to do?

Be indispensable.

Regardless of your job, your industry, or your company; if you make a conscious decision to provide something uniquely yours, something that's appreciated and valued by others - your future is going to be much better.

Your customers, bosses and clients will recognize it. You'll be regarded as doing 'something special' in your work or service. You'll be rewarded accordingly.

But if they don’t - then you’re in the wrong place.  In that case - leave. (Quickly.)