This is the story of my friend Yusuf Moses, one of the most motivated people I’ve ever met. After years of ups and downs, he is now a respected ABET teacher, happily married father of two daughters. When we first met he worked in a factory building components for Volkswagen South Africa:
Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape not very far from Port Elizabeth, is a place I call home. My name is Yusuf Moses and I am the eldest of four children. My mother is a soft, understanding, and loving yet strong women. She has been a housewife for as long as I can remember. My dad is proud man, a bricklayer by profession. He was always motivated to improve our situation. So he sold items such as peanuts, oranges, sweets and anything he could get his hands on from age of 10 when his own father passed away.
Growing up we were not rich or wealthy in any way. Besides that we never went to bed hungry, we stuck together, worked hard, never begged and were always honest. My taught us the importance of books and religion as well as what was considered ethical and moral. My dad worked long hours and would come home very tired. He bought items and would force me to help him sell, “we are poor but we are not going to ask or except any handouts, we are not a charity case,” he used to say. God help those who help themselves and with those words without any further discussion he motivated me to also go out and sell for my family.
I wasn’t always motivated because I felt uncomfortable in the early days. It felt like begging to me, walking through town or any other place where I could find a crowd. The taxi rank was the best place, there were always interested and interesting people that made it worth it and I did not have to walk to far to get it all sold. So free weekends and playing after school was not part of my childhood. The only thing worse than selling was Monday morning at school because that was when all the kids that saw me and poked fun at me would start again. Most of the time there was nowhere to run or hide. I have been called so many different names, one could probably write a book on that. All this influenced my selling on weekends, but as I was selling.
Eventually I started seeing and realising things that I don’t think I would have noticed if I did not sell. I found that not everyone is what they would pretend to be or say who they are, people will in most instances try to bargain with you and pay less than what you were offering. In the end I learned the most valuable skill for anyone who lacks motivations i.e. persistence. My exploits on weekends were training wheels for adult life. Selling eventually became a passion and I’ve since read many books on sales that continue to motivate me.