The Shoe Salesman Story

There was a successful company that manufactured and sold shoes. One day the management had a meeting to consider opening their market in Africa. They sent one of their top salesmen to Africa to make a study of the market potential there.

Upon arriving in Africa he noticed that most of the Africans were bare-footed. He faxed home the message, “Bad news, nobody wears shoes here!” And he followed up with the report that there is no market for shoes in Africa.

The management considered it wise to have a second opinion, and decided to send another salesman to Africa to assess the market there.

Upon arrival in Africa, the second salesman was so excited that he quickly faxed a message back, “Good news, nobody wears shoes here!” He hurried home and reported to the management, “Gentlemen, we are going to be “rich”, there is a big market in Africa, and what we need to do is to educate them on the benefits and importance of wearing shoes.”

Learning: Life is how we perceive of it. There is a positive side and a negative side to everything and every circumstance. You can either look at a cup as “half full” or “half empty”. You can look at the hole of the doughnut or the doughnut itself. The choice is yours and yours alone. But remember that the choices you make will determine your success or failure.

Prof. (Dr.) Sunil Patel, Unitedworld School of Business (UWSB)

Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.