A Tale of Two Salesmen

November 10, 2007 § 2 Comments

“The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.” – Helen Keller

“The poorest man is not he who is without a cent, but he who is without a dream.” – Pennsylvania School Journal

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Maybe you have heard of the tale of the two salesmen who went to Africa. The story goes like this.

A western shoe salesman went to Africa to scout the market. He wired his manufacturer, ‘I want to come home. Nobody wears shoes in this part of Africa.’

They brought him home and sent another salesman. The new salesman hurriedly wired an order, ‘Everybody here needs shoes!”

Seeing everyone barefooted in that area of Africa may have discouraged the first salesman.

He must have thought, “Geeesh, nobody uses shoes here, not even a hand-made footwear. How in the world can I sell shoes here when they don’t see the benefit of it? I better go home.”

He missed the opportunity to make it big. He could not see.

On the other hand, the second salesman thought, “If I can only convince them to wear shoes. If I can show them the benefit. I can almost imagine whole villages buying my shoes. Wow! Aside from helping them enjoy the benefit of wearing shoes, I am going to make a great profit! I can get married and start a family and I can buy that dream house…”

When I first heard this story, I said to myself, “I am determined to be the second salesman who saw the opportunity rather than the trend.”

I must admit though that there were moments in my life that I stayed on the “what is” and accepted it rather than on the “what can be” and dared to make a difference.

Now I cannot imagine life without vision. It is not worth living.

Which of the two salesmen are you? The one who could not see the potential or the one who could see the vast opportunity?

If you choose the former then you have destined yourself to be average or less. But if you wish to be the latter then you have taken the first step to a great life.

By Ed Pilapil Jr. ©

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