Sure, in my earliest years, I was accumulating experience (I remember having the title "Junior Programmer"), but once I was valuable, I named my own price. My last decades were as a consultant, and I peaked out at $2,000/day, because I had letters of recommendation from major executives (with phone numbers, so prospective clients could call them; the never did, but that was often a convincer.
The 1%-ers win because there's always some jerk who will accept their offer, no matter how demeaning it is. Turn the tables: Spend all you time performing, and learning how to perform even better, and ask superiors (the highest-level you dare approach; preferably "CxO") for letters of recommendation that describe how much money the company made and continue to makes, because of your work. The best time to ask is right when the project is about to become that "all hands" push near the end...they NEED you then, and if you promise not to leave for some time, they'll give you the kind of recommendation you can use a year later, when the project's been long done.
Some tricks from a well-paid consultant, now happily retired.