Rod Aparicio

May 12, 2022

How To Get Wired To Win The Race To Zero. A Foolproof Way To Underprice Your Work.

Underpaid at work. 10 years of that. It sucked ass.

And since I didn't know better, it was "fine". I was doing alright. When comparing with what some friends were making in the same space I felt stupid, but the money was good enough. I was also holding to something that was certain.

When i saw back at all the value I helped create, it felt even worse (talking millions in direct revenue).

Penalizing efficiency

Got to do my job better than others. And still do the same hours despite, being faster.

Didn't want to stir the pot. Why be the one who creates the hassle? Don't burn bridges, right?

How did this conditioned me to approach the next opportunities? Underpricing myself, my work. To "show my value (for free) to only then talk money". A vicious loop.

But that's not it. It affected my way to entrepreneurship.


Founded a "business". Got great ideas. Designed them. Delivered them. And made them fuckin' awesome. Everyone loved the products and events.
The dark side: What's not to love when things are underpriced, huh?

I was wired to win to race to zero.

And nailed it. Thank you uni and education for the great classes on:

  • "lead the market with a cost leadership 'strategy'"

  • "use penetration pricing to get more market share (when i created the category)"

  • "you have to cut the possible competition by being aggressive in your low pricing"

  • "You. Have. To. Win"

That was the great fail (and learning) of under pricing and undermining what we created.

The dangers ahead

Here comes the worst part, though. If you're starting to build your business, being a creator or anything that has to do with exchanging value and money, you'll want to pay attention to this:

  • underpricing, underpromising and overdelivering

  • constant discounts for "exposure"

  • "promised" future work

It all spoils your relationship with clients and with yourself.

Referrals? You don't want referrals from them.

You'll be seen as the cheap option. Or at least the one that can be pushed around. The one that can be leveraged by the promise of uncertain future work.

THE foolproof way to win the race to zero —and get burnt out and fighting for shit money.

It's not too late

If you're getting into this stage, you're on time to stop that and change the rules of the game. To YOUR rules.

Rod Aparicio

Brand Strategy Advisor for Indie Consulting Firms.