Thursday, July 29, 2010

On the road to success

In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate; peace and blessing be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

"Say, (O Muhammad to mankind): If ye love God, follow me; God will love you and forgive you your sins. God is Forgiving, Merciful." (Ali-Imran 3:31)

AFTER sitting for my Higher School Certificate (HSC) at the end of 1981, I applied for many jobs but failed to land any. One day, while reading the newspapers I came across an advertisement inviting young men and women to market a certain product. It was a direct selling job; one has to be a member of the said company.

Since I desperately needed a job to kill off my boring times and further more I needed money to sustain my little needs such as buying newspapers and magazines, I became a member of that company after paying RM10 for registration.

Then after a simple briefing and paying another RM50 for the company’s products, I was on my journey ‘to become a rich and famous businessman one day’, that was what I had in mind at that time when I was a young energetic man of barely 19 years old.

At about 8.00 am, I put on my best black slacks and long sleeve shirt and then spend a few minutes tidying myself in front of a mirror. I smiled, the ‘handsome’ face on the mirror smiled back, so I had the confidence. I then put on my best pair of shoes and walk to my bicycle which was parked under my family’s wooden Malay house.

Before going on my way, once again I checked my wares – five plastic containers of multipurpose detergents which were placed inside a black bag.

Reciting ‘Bismillahirrahmanirrahim’ (in the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate), I jumped on the bicycle and cycled a few kilometres away to be in another kampung. I purposely did that because I was shy to do business amongst my own kampung folks.

After reaching my destination, I parked my bicycle under a tree; put on a tie, tidied my clothes and after combing my hair; went straight to a house nearby. I tried hard to convince the occupant (a housewife) to buy my multipurpose detergent but it was in vain. From house to house I went, but until midday I sold nothing.

In the afternoon, I went back home and after lunch and saying my zuhr prayers, I went to another village to try my luck but my effort was fruitless. At 6.00 pm I called it off and during night before asleep I stared the ceiling, knowing that I was on the road of failure.

DAY 2 – I did my rounds but failed to sell anything.
DAY 3 – I was about to give up but gave myself another chance. I made my rounds in another village but still I could sell nothing.
DAY 4 – This is my rest day, I made the decision myself and spent the whole day resting.
DAY 5 – Once again I was on my rounds but the hard work was fruitless. I spent much time in the mosque sleeping that doing my work.
DAY 6 – How about quitting from the sales job? I kept on thinking about this alternative for the whole day.
DAY 7 – I went to the agent’s office, returned the wares and got my money back.

From that day onwards, I realized that business was not my line of work. That experience gave a great impact on me; the pain of failure in business scared me not until I read the book ‘Dare to Fail’ by Billy Lim.

After that, I tried to do a few more business ventures such as selling books and opening a tuition centre but they too failed, I was convinced that my hands did not suit business; perhaps they are good at other fields such as writing.

Admitting that business is not my line of job, one day I was amazed on hearing the news that one of my sister in laws, Zainon Mohamed who at the age of 40, was honoured as the Top Distributor of The Year 2009 of an internationally well known direct selling company.

Perhaps readers and I could learn something from this gutsy lady. For a kampung girl who started her career as a production operator at an electronic factory in Malacca after a dismay SPM results in 1987, her achievement rising from a member of that company in 1997 to the rank of Royal Crown Manager in the year 2001 to being bestowed as the Diamond Star from the year 2002 till 2006 and now being honoured as the Top Distributor of The Year 2009, should be emulated by us, especially boys and girls who still have blur picture about their future.

In a recent interview with the writer, Zainon said money is not everything, her intention in joining the business was to help others around her; her family's members especially her parents and husband, Mohd Shamshir Mohd and their children were her first priority.

Her first bonus was merely RM312 but in increased to RM460 in the following month and then rose to RM965 in the third month - an amount which almost equal to the basic salary she earned from her job as a technician.

When asked about her monthly income nowadays, the mother of four children aged between nine and 18 years old, giggled and seemed reluctant to say it, but when the writer suggested it should be a five digit payout, she nodded happily. Wow, what a huge pay, earning at least RM10,000 a month.

Even with that generous income, she chose to maintain her modest lifestyle and continue staying at the house owned by her parents - a kampung house that is shaded by different kind of fruit trees and has a chicken coop and a fish pond. To her, this is the kind of modest lifestyles that has bought abundance of happiness to her and her family.

Dear readers, let's ponder and learned something what this successful lady has to say about her achievement: "'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step' - these are the inspirational words that motivates me to always do my utmost degree to bring out the best result when I embark on the new undertakings. Even though such recognition has never been my goal when I joined the golden business world, I do really appreciate this priceless accolade." (from the booklet 'Top Distributor of The Year 2009).

In the Preface of the book, it was written: “Upholding to the golden principle ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ she has demonstrated her earnest virtue and her insightful leadership, thus earning herself the award…”

To the writer who had failed miserably while trying to get involved in direct selling job, the top distributor said those concerned had to have the right intention in joining such businesses.

“The road to the top is full of obstacles and tribulations, there are always people trying to stab you including from the back but with a sincere heart including clean intention, you would be guided and protected by The Almighty on your road to success,” she said.

In Islam, a successful person is one who is blessed in this world and Hereafter. In ‘azan’ (the call to prayer), among the 15 lines recited, there is one that says ‘come to success’, but for one to become success, he or she has to oblige to the call ‘come to prayer’ first.

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