From roofless school to a book author
This is how Ashraf Chaudhry, Pakistan’s #1 Sales Trainer, started his life journey.
47 years back, when he opened his eyes in a far-flung village of Pakistan, dust, hunger poverty, disease and darkness welcomed him. His school had literally no walls, no roofs, no teacher.
In his early childhood, he used to work with his parents tending sheep and goats on farms to earn a livelihood for mere survival. Intense poverty devoured his sister who died of asthma because they couldn’t afford few hundred rupees for medical treatment. Later on having an excruciating situation in the family, his father compelled to sell chickpeas in his school where he used to support him to earn few bucks. But this was not the end of his journey. These hallmarks conspired by the nature to turn his attributes into a fortress of Iron-clad. And yes he responded zealously. In fact, all these scarcities infused an unbridled burning desire in him to break the chains of poverty and take revenge from wretchedness.
Inflicted with miseries he came across the translation of a Dale Carnegie’s book “How to win and influence people”. He was still in 7th grade, but this book changed the direction for rest of his Life. He developed the mad love for books, tickled his surreal fantasies and found this secret idea that with the knowledge he can wriggle out of the vicious circle of disempowering mindset resulting in scarcity.
He used to go to school on the roof of buses, without slippers in his foot, with lacerated clothes maimed with wounds intrinsically. Despite these obstacles and nerve-shattering challenges, he topped the school in 10th grade. This was the first time in his life when he started believing that he can dare to dream and topple this shattered life. His consistent hard work and patience led him to gate-crash into the top-notch business school of the country (IBA Karachi) without a penny in his pocket. Although he grabbed the full-fledged scholarship, still there was an insurmountable mountain to reach because his family couldn’t even bear the expense of travelling, but when there is a will there is always a way. They sold out some basic household items to manage the fare.
With an MBA degree in his hands, and dreams to reach the elite league he blitzed his career working for blue chip companies with tremendous performance. In a blink, he snatched parade of promotions in diversified business sectors. For one and half decade, he enjoyed lucrative positions in sales & marketing fields for companies like Chevron, Tapal tea, Pearl-Continental and Marriott hotels and rose to the position of General manager Sales with one of the biggest industrial houses.
At the age of 38, while enjoying a gratifying life filled with ecstasy, he ruminated the nailing spark missing in his life. Therefore he retired to pursue his passion for sharing his lifelong learning with the world which was impossible without disposing of those deluxe positions. This was again a quivering decision for his colleagues, but he was trained to crap out and jumpstart new projects throughout his life. In just 21 days, he wrote his Bestselling book, The Craft of Selling “YOURSELF”, published in the USA. This new journey was again unbelievably devastating; he ruined financially, was teased with mockery and humiliation but he combated this nasty phase with the hope to rise again. With his brutal resistance, he literally slayed his critics backed with some stunning results.
Today he is Pakistan’s most talked about corporate strategist. A spell-binding conversationalist and virality master. More than one million people follow him at his social media. He teaches Sales and growth hack marketing techniques to celebrities as well as corporations.
During last eight years, he has trained CEOs, Directors, and a crop of sales professionals.
He was once rejected for a waiter’s job he applied in sheer desperation and deadly rage, and in his 30’s he was the corporate manager of 7 five star hotels. According to him, “I “sold” challenges and crises to myself as opportunities to grow, to expand, to stretch… I “sold” to myself scars as stars, rejections as results, failures as feedbacks, denials as delays, defeats as detours and diversions.”
Mr. Ashraf’s approach to business is also unique from the status quo. He strongly believes that companies underestimate their customers while executing their marketing and sales strategies. Instead of deploying the pressure cooker selling approaches, corporations need a severe paradigm shift in their marketing philosophy; which is to add value to the marketplace that will ultimately enhance their customer’s life. They don’t buy the product but the perceived value. Currently, marketing is done solely to seek profit, truly not a win-win relation-the prime reason why companies can’t sustain a lifelong relationship with their customers. Great products are not even conceived by customers, because of inefficient marketing approaches.
Success Story of Mr. Ashraf with Perseverance, grit, and determination reflects; within every obstacle, there is always a way, within every crisis there lies an opportunity. We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn’t be this way. The icons in history with their objective analysis of the situation, endurance, compensating for disadvantages turned obstacles into opportunities, produced astounding triumphs when faced with impossible situations.