By: Dylan Parobec
July 26, 2017
“Major steps are taken when people are fed up, I was fed up” said Amer Abu-Shakur, the 19-year-old Ferrari driving Entrepreneur. Amer is no stranger to hard work and has dedicated himself to working 72-hour work weeks to achieve success.
“I’ve been a ghost, the only time I would only see my friends was after 9 p.m.” His business, Pro Works Painters focuses on the “high-income, old houses gold mine”. Amer immigrated from Amman, Jordan at a very young age and has been dreaming of owning his own Ferrari from the age of three.
On July 26, he got to live that dream as Amer rented a Ferrari to drive around to thank, take pictures and discuss future business with clients. The most important part of his business? “Customer service,” said Amer.
Amer has been selling his entire life, at the age of 16 Amer was cleaning and sharpening forgotten pencils found around his school. During exam season Amer would sell them for a dollar. How did he come up with a dollar price? A standard meal at the cafeteria would retail for $4 dollars leaving those who bought a $5 dollar bill a loonie in change. Amer would exploit his first market in Grade 11.
“I want to be extraordinary and I can’t do that with limitations stuck on me. I didn’t want the typical 9-to-5.” Amer previously worked a full-time job at the St. George’s Country Club. “Quitting my server job that was giving me good money at my age, stability and I loved the people was very hard but was the best decision I ever made. Just do it.”
“I challenge you to find me someone successful who has not failed.” Amer cited citied Oprah Winfrey as an inspiration who started her empire in her mid 40’s. “I’m 19 let me make mistakes. Give me something that’s more risk and higher reward.”
“I knocked on over 11,000 doors. Half of those doors people opened for you, from there divide by 17, that’s how many give you their number, divide by 50, that’s how many people give you an estimate and from those 2 estimates you book a job.”
“Two weeks in a row I turned zero dollars in a row and my projected numbers were very low. It didn’t look like I was going to hit my goal and that was going to be very disappointing.”
Amer describes the struggle for success as climbing through a tunnel where hitting a wall doesn’t mean that it’s over but that you need to readjust to reach the end of the light. “Failure has become this thing that’s needed, If I don’t fail I don’t succeed.”
Getting out of this slump Amer persisted and would book his largest job which eventually came to over $80,000. Amer followed up through phone and visited the residence over 20 times between the months of February and July. If one of the residents wasn’t available, he would contact family members until the job was booked. “We’re not there to paint their house we’re there to give them the best quality service” said Amer.
Amer keeps himself focused with small reminders as to why he wanted to become an entrepreneur in the first place. At a young age Amer saved his phone screen background as a bright red Ferrari and still has not changed it. Amer’s largest investment this summer was 700$ on a suit he wears everyday.
“I don’t consider myself in the painting business, I consider myself in the people business. I’m smiling all the time. Let me kill it and retire at 30 and enjoy my life.”
Next year Amer has his sights set on investing, accepting failure and hard work.
“Everybody has what it takes. Hustle, Hustle, Hustle.”