After experiencing a major setback in his professional life, he found himself on the crossroads. During the last two years, he’d depleted all his savings. He borrowed Rs. 7000 from his childhood crony; took a public bus from his far-flung village of rural Punjab—one of the four provinces of Pakistan; set off to the cosmopolitan city, Karachi, to start his career afresh. He boarded Karachi-bound train from Multan, a smaller city situated at 100 kilometers from his small town.
A few minutes after boarding the train, he found that some pick-pocket had stolen away all his money. He was rendered penniless. The rail ticket luckily was in the front pocket of his shirt. The boy had two choices…..either to go back to his home to arrange more bucks or continue his journey despite all odds and odysseys. He opted to move forward, come what may. The train sprinted towards Karachi blowing ominously echoing whistles in the horrifying darkness and chilling cold of December night.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling
but in rising every time we fall.”
The boy, lost in varied thoughts, kept lying on wooden berth of economy class with his head perched on a small bag having shriveled clothes and some books inside. The gushes of cold air loaded with sand and dust entering through cracks and crevices of rail cabin were adding to more pain of the journey. It was morning when he reached Sukkur, a city located on mighty Indus River and still nine to ten hours journey remaining to reach destination. He sold his watch for Rs.50 to one of his fellow-travelers to buy some loaves of bread along with a cup of tea to suppress his pangs of hunger. After eighteen hours of grueling train journey, this 30 years old man landed in Karachi with ruffled hair and messy clothes and carrying the agonizing load of past failures, strenuous setbacks, frustrations and high expectations of his rickety parents; took a taxi from railway station buzzing off straight into the house where his bachelor friends of university days were staying. Stepped into the house and finally managed to stabilize his derailing steps; being conscience of his frail position as a penniless he suppressed his inflated ego and placed a meek request to his friends to pay off the taxi fare on his behalf.
His friends welcomed him; offered him all sort of moral, material and professional help. Next evening he discussed with friends his possibilities of job. He took CV from one of his friends and wrote his own CV copying the style; in a week’s time, he sent out around 50 CVs to HR departments of all major potential employers; flipping through the papers, responded to all job advertisements. One month, two months, three months flew away. All sweating endeavors turned into fiasco and the result was zero. He visited the office of his old friend and sought his help; in a few days he got a trivial job with some marketing research agency. His search for the job remained in full throttle. He was struggling like a fly trapped inside the car that keeps on bouncing her head against the windscreen and never looks around to find other ways to get out of the prison.
But only Allah Almighty knew that his adversity was subtly taking him to a discovery of ideas which are so priceless and which are so invaluable. As Napoleon Hill says that ‘every adversity carries with it seeds of equivalent benefits’, it was a defining moment of his life when he’d a paradigm shift about an entire process of job hunting. His area of interest was Sales & Marketing and he was looking for a job in Sales & Marketing field. One late night when he was twisting and turning, he put a question to himself that if he couldn’t sell himself in four months’ time how could he sell the inanimate products of a company. With this intriguing question, the ideas started pouring out.
Thoughts started flashing in his disturbed mind that in order to push any product in the market place, you need to apply the principles of “Sales Management”; and to create pull on your product, you need to exercise the principles of “Marketing Management”. And he realized that so far he’d been violating the principles of Sales as well as Marketing Management. “Enough is enough. Dude, go back and read books on Sales and Marketing. Refresh your knowledge and read with a new perspective. First, try to absorb the principles. Apply those principles in your own life. First sell yourself.” He said to himself.
What a great question that he raised to himself!
“If I can’t sell myself in four months’ time how can I sell the inanimate products of a company?”
For the first time in his career, he considered himself a brand, before that he was a commodity. Instantly, he made a fundamental decision of de-commoditizing himself; and it was a strategic marketing decision. In order to evolve as a brand and promote himself like a brand, he started thinking like a Brand Manager. In a month’s time, this broke and unhappy person was literally working as a Brand Manager for one of the largest confectionary companies in Pakistan. Afterward, as a part of branding strategy, he invested so heavily in his Brand Equity that his employers failed to retain him. In five years’ time, he re-positioned himself four times and with each repositioning, he changed his target market. He changed four customers! He increased his price by 1000%!! Changing four jobs in five years broadened his horizon. What a joy of changing jobs and industries!! In five years:
He worked for a blue-chip tea company.
He worked for five star hotel chains.
He worked for telecom giant.
This story isn’t of someone else; this is my own story….a true story…..a real story……not even a speck of exaggeration…… What a difference eight years can make in one’s life? A ‘loser’ boy of 2000 is unbelievably blessed and incredibly lucky man of today. God has given him what not during this period?
I’ve been a practicing human being for the last 40 years. I’ve experienced excruciating times in life. My own story is a story of motivation and inspiration for those who face insurmountable challenges but have the burning passion of wriggling out of the morass of abject circumstances and want a transition from mere survival to significance in life. I retired from the position of General Manager from WorldCall Group, one of the largest business conglomerates of Pakistan, to dedicate my rest of life to share with others what I learnt in my 40 years of tumultuous personal expedition and 15 years of turbulent professional voyage. The Craft of Selling “YOURSELF” is my first attempt to help corporate executives sell their skill-set in the market place at premium. Every loser will catch the train of life after reading this book. This is the first chapter of The Craft of Selling “YOURSELF”.
“The essence of greatness is the ability to choose personal fulfillment in circumstances where others choose madness.”
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