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The bane of underestimation


After 8 hours of overnight work, thinking every aspect 100 times each, the Proposal was finally sent and I was waiting for the response from client. This was possibly the most expensive proposals I’ve ever sent to anybody and hence my anxiety was on it’s peak.  I’ve given an absolutely best price that I could and have included all the possible features/services. I have still left a margin of negotiation if they ask for discounts, so everything was in place.

I was anticipating a positive response but there were big companies in competition. Part of me was absolutely unsure and scared, not knowing what will the result be.

The email chimed. It was the reply from client. My heart beats were on a marathon.

“Hi Prateek. Read through the proposal. I’m very impressed with the detailed analysis and proposal you sent, including all the services and features I’ll need.

Do you really think you can deliver all the promised features and services in this price? I must tell you that your price is lowest, nearly 30% of the next cheapest proposals I’ve got out of more than 100 others. Let me know if you’re really sure that you can offer the promised in the stated price. I can pay right now and we can begin.”


I was stunned. The most expensive proposal of my life till that time was selected without any negotiation at all, but this was the cheapest out of 100 other proposals the client has received  and merely 30% of the next cheapest that they got over all.

I could clearly see how much I was underestimating myself, my prices and my skills, and I was in a difficult situation again.

Was I really promising too much in too little of a price? Why are all the other proposals that cheap? Am I missing something from analysis? All those questions got at the top of my head. I re-read requirement specifications, re-analyzed everything and found that I’ve not missed anything.

I however could not get away with the thoughts of me being cheapest amongst 100 others, so I replied:


“Thank you for your email. Yes. I promise to provide all the services and features on the proposal within the stated timelines. All these, shall in fact be the part of a written legal contract which will be signed by both of us. Let me tell you, I’m new to the industry and I’m still learning how to price. I’m open if you think you can throw-in any additional amount that you think is fair for this contract. No obligation about that though.”.


So I’ve agreed on the same cost but asked client if he’s willing to give any extra bonus. This is the reply I received:

“Sounds great, Prateek. I think It’s fair to increase the price of what you proposed to it’s exact double. Let’s get started. Just make sure to deliver great work.”


It was unbelievable! Not only my most expensive proposal till date was selected, but the client has doubled up the price that I quoted at the first place, which as well I quoted keeping the margin of negotiation.


In the words of Craig D. Lounsbrough,

“We are always immeasurably bigger than the little person we’ve too often doomed ourselves to be”.

Often when we get a task in front of us, we feel as we’re not capable of doing so. The little  voice inside us  starts screaming “You will fail.”, “No way you have the ability to do this task”, “She’s way more prettier than you”, “Others are bigger and better, you don’t stand in competition with them” and so  on.

The little voice asks us to shorten our goals, lower down our standards, reduce the prices, cut down the expectations and we follow the advice.

We fear asking for salary raise, we end up not proposing the girl/boy of our dreams, We choose not starting the business venture which we know could be successful, all because we under estimate ourselves.

So Many of our dreams die merely in the plight of self-underestimation.



In reality, no matter where you are and what you’re doing at this point, you always have incredibly more capabilities, power and possibilities than you think yourself to be. All the people  who are  famous, rich or successful have  felt the same more than once in their  lives and the only difference they made was that they chosen to go beyond what their little voice said. They chosen to believe in themselves and they could do what they did.

The key to success lies in believing yourself. Not overconfidence, but self confidence. Not underestimation but true identification of who you are.


Don’t let your dreams die,

aim, expect and achieve high,

Don’t kill the prospects,

Believe yourself and respect,

Just don’t underestimate,

remember that you’re great!


and when you do that, the life is sure to transform!



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