Freeman Cebu Business

Inspiration comes from you

TRADE FORUM - Chris Malazarte - The Freeman

I’m curious. Curious because it amazes me to see people rise to success in spite of the odds.

 With Netflix and Hooq, I already got rid of cable TV. I figure that cable TV will eventually find its demise if they don’t change business models, which is to bundle internet in their service.  But that is another discussion.

 I’ve seen this movie before but as I skimmed through the titles on Hooq, which is by the way cheaper than Netflix, there I saw “The Pursuit of Happyness” starred by Will Smith. I thought I give it another watch to deal with my insomnia attack that night. But alas, that did not happen. The movie conspired with my insomnia which stole a good hour and half of my already very short nap times. But it was well worth it because it got me thinking that I can use it as one of my sales training materials and my personal sales training material too.

 Simply, the movie was about the triumph of the human spirit; of strong resistance to mediocrity and a personal revolt against poverty. The story circles on Chris Gardner whose failure as a salesman cost him his wife, savings and a home. At times he sleeps in government shelters or worse, in a restroom of a subway with his son until he finds his way as an unpaid intern of a stock brokerage firm which made him as the superstar stock broker later because of his unorthodox methods and perseverance in spite of his lack of credentials and his shabby appearance.

 In his words, “The future was uncertain, absolutely, and there were many hurdles, twists, and turns to come, but as long as I kept moving forward, one foot in front of the other, the voices of fear and shame, the messages from those who wanted me to believe that I wasn't good enough, would be stilled.”

 I can’t put all the details as to the kind of life he lived at the time when he had nothing. But I can imagine how terrible it is when you are homeless in America. Believe me, the homeless people here in the Philippines are better off because they have shanties and neighbors to run to for food. When you’re homeless in America you have to beat the cold and people treat you like a rug. 

 As I was immersed in the movie, I was also imagining myself if I could be as tough as Gardner to beat the odds and don’t know what will become of me in that situation but I know some people who are in the same situation who ended up robbers or mendicants. What I’m trying to say is that, people respond differently to difficult conditions. Some rise up and others become pests to society. But Gardner chooses to sail against the wind the waves. Somehow there are also people I know who, like Gardner, also tread the streets for survival. He would hate me for putting his name here, but I can’t help but mention his name because we were once neighbors. 

 Arnold Nolasco was a street-child who made a living on the streets of Carbon public market as a cargo-boy for an ukay-ukay (used clothing) vendor in order to finance his way to college. He is no stranger to hunger and deprivation and was exposed to all sorts of crime, from petty to syndicated crimes, but resisted the way of the mob in spite of the temptation to become the next “capo di tutti cape” in the underground world.

 As a very successful real estate broker, he takes inspiration not from any mentor or teacher. He takes inspiration upon himself that he can change his circumstances. That poverty is not a reflection of himself but a point of reflection that he can remake himself in order to forget the pains and displeasures of his youth. His is not just an isolated case of success. I’ve seen many successes from people who were not born with a silver spoon but who have reborn themselves from out of their dearth situations.

 In other words, one can actually be someone else if he chooses to leave his old and worn-out self. “Others may question your credentials, your papers, your degrees. Others may look for all kinds of ways to diminish your worth. But what is inside you no one can take from you or tarnish. This is your worth, who you really are, your degree that can go with you wherever you go, that you bring with you the moment you come into a room, that can't be manipulated or shaken. Without that sense of self, no amount of paper, no pedigree, and no credentials can make you legit. No matter what, you have to feel legit inside first.”

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