Greetings Revered Master!
Greetings fellow practitioners!
It was in October 1997 when I started Dafa cultivation. In the course of my cultivation over these years, my every step could not become possible without Master's benevolence and care. Master's infinite grace is beyond words. Today I would like to share my experiences in advertising sales of Epoch Times newspaper over the past seven years.
Advertising sales is an urgent matter for saving people with media in Fa-rectification
Seven years ago, my family came to Sweden. First we lived in a small town, soon after we moved to the capital city Stockholm. Then I went to tourist sites with fellow practitioners to hand out Epoch Times newspaper to Chinese tourists and to clarify the truth to them. I understood that Epoch Times plays an important role in saving sentient beings. When I heard that Epoch Times newspaper in Sweden was sponsored by practitioners, I had great respect for the practitioners, but I did not realize the importance of marketing. Later, by chance I attended a marketing seminar of NTDTV in USA. Master came to the seminar and gave us a brief Fa-teaching. So I realized how important and how urgent it was to save sentient beings with marketing. I had a thought that I wanted also to work for advertising sales when I was back. But later many human thoughts hindered me; it took a long time before I started.
We had only 300 copies of Epoch Times newspaper for each issue. These were not enough in the summer but became redundant in the winter. When I started sales, this circulation was not enough again. Thus I agreed to increase it by 100 copies. At that time I was studying Swedish in a language school. I knew nothing of the town. I had no friends in ordinary society. What I did was to search Chinese restaurants’ addresses on the Internet and to publish my mobile phone number in Epoch Times newspaper. With the help of my husband who is also a practitioner, every week after school, I carried over 100 copies of Epoch Times newspapers and distributed them to Chinese restaurants along subway lines. At the same time I tried to find opportunities to sell advertising.
When I started doing it I found that it was not easy. In the beginning, I often encountered some Chinese who did not know the truth. I was ridiculed and abused by them. I had received threatening phone calls from unknown people. All of these disturbances could not affect me. But distrust and misunderstanding from fellow practitioners made me really sad. I realized later the cost of the newspapers was paid by practitioners, because there was no one who worked on marketing. It seemed like I should not agree with increasing it. If I could not sell advertising, wouldn’t it mean bringing a heavier burden for everyone? I felt a lot of pressure.
I understood that advertising sales was an urgent thing to do for saving people with media in Fa-rectification. I calmed myself down to study the Fa. I was tearful and asked Master to help me. I called to all sentient beings in the whole universe from my heart: "Listen to me, I am Master’s disciple, assisting Master to rectify the Fa. I will not see the Epoch Times newspaper disappear. I want to sell advertising. Please all Gods help me." I wrote these words down in my laptop to encourage myself. Though I had many attachments when I began with advertising sales, Master saw that I had the will to save people, so He allowed me to witness the magnificence of Dafa. Master took care of me to overcome the most difficult period.
We get help from Master as long as we work diligently with our heart and do not give up
To reduce the pressure on myself, I decided to look for a job first. So I could afford the cost of the extra newspapers if I could not sell enough advertising. Soon after I got a job. Then I started selling advertising on top of working. After I had worked for one year, I experienced a transition phase with unemployment and re-employment, which enabled me to get a regular income and at the same time gave me more time to do things for Fa-rectification and saving people. During this period, I made great progress in advertising sales, which was a good preparation for later development of marketing. When this phase was over, I successfully got another job. I continued to distribute newspapers and to sell advertising in my spare time. In fact, what I did for advertising sales was just to collect advertisements from other newspapers, send emails to potential clients and look around for Chinese businesses. I kept the thought of advertising sales in my mind all the time. As soon as I got a phone number or an email address, I followed up immediately to make contact with them. In some cases it took several years to make the deal. When I distributed Epoch Times newspaper, I always contacted those businessmen often and made friends with them. Gradually I gained their trust and they also gave me a lot of help and support.
Take an example, I had sent Epoch Times newspaper to a restaurant for more than three years and often mentioned about advertising to the owner. Before last Christmas, the owner finally agreed to do a colour ad in the newspaper to support Epoch Times. Another example is, an owner of another restaurant had changed a lot after having seen the Shen Yun show, she agreed to display the newspaper in her restaurant so that Chinese tourists could learn the truth. I'm not good at the Swedish language, but with Master's help, I sold advertising to Swedish companies. Once I spoke to a Chinese man over the phone, he worked in a Swedish company. Through constant contact, he helped me to get a Swedish accounting firm to advertise in the newspaper. Another interesting case was, one of my Chinese clients recommended his Swedish friend to advertise in our newspaper. He offered to be my translator and provided a meeting place, he helped me to introduce Epoch Times to his friend, I added extra explanation. We cooperated very well. The meeting ended in a pleasant atmosphere. Later, with Master's ingenious arrangements, many practitioners came to help and we got this Swedish company to sign an advertising contract. When I started selling advertising, I was only thinking about sharing the cost, but with the help of other practitioners, the revenue from advertising sales could already cover the cost for the first year. Then the revenue increased each year. Thus I increased the circulation by half a bundle, and gradually by one bundle. Along with the increase in the circulation, the number of newspaper pick up points was not enough. Other practitioners came to help and together we found more pick up points and at the same time sold advertising. Soon we had the newspaper displayed in several large supermarkets in Stockholm. This has expanded our newspaper’s influence and also become a powerful blow against the evil!
People around me often asked me: “Can you live on advertising sales? After this ad, what is the next that you can sell?’’ What they meant was that the Chinese market is too small, it is difficult to make a big deal. I answered: "I do not think about this at all. I sell advertising as much as possible. There must be someone to do it." In fact, I didn’t dare to think more. If I followed such a thought, I would doubt myself, so I could not continue. Very few practitioners came out to sell advertising. There was also a lot of interference. The pressure was huge. At any time a thought could come out that I could not continue anymore. But every time I thought of this: “if I do not sell advertising, if the newspaper disappears from Sweden, how disappointed sentient beings would become.” Merciful Master often lets me be encouraged, for example, once a Chinese person ran after me on the street for a copy of the newspaper, saying how good our newspaper was. Once another Chinese told me that the newspaper had become spiritual food for Nordic Chinese. Many Chinese like reading the newspaper, even those who work at the Chinese Embassy. Once when I felt frustrated, I got a mobile phone call from an early client who wanted to sign a new contract right away. Master always lets me see hope. Many ads, some big, some small, came in one by one from time to time magically. Along with increasing advertising sales, I could also sell more and more Shen Yun show tickets every year.
I started by selling 50 Euros ads, though I was nervous and did not dare. Once a client’s contract would expire soon and he did not want to continue. I wanted to keep him. I was well prepared before I met him. I cleared away all worries, anxieties and negative thoughts. When I met him, I felt emboldened. Before I talked to him, he started to analyze his business and said: "What do you think, is my ad too small? I haven’t had any calls." I told him: "Exactly! Your ad is not only too small but also too short. Listen to me, make a big ad, at least for one year, repeating it periodically. I am sure it will work." I also told him about Epoch Times in more detail. I listened to him too about his stress and anxiety at work and home. I then gave him advice according to the Dafa principles. Finally he said, "OK, I'll listen to you!" A few days later, he renewed the contract and paid for the whole year's advertisement with cash. When I changed my thoughts, the client was kept. This client has remained with us for seven years. I understood that when we do not put too much weight on the circulation, clients do not care about it at all either.
This deal made me think a lot. I reminded myself about not having the attachment of complacency but just going forward. One day I dreamed that I was selling advertising. When I woke up, I recalled: “why was it still a small ad! Master wants me to sell large advertisements, preferably in colour!” Later, when I could sell large advertisements in color for several thousand Euros, my heart actually became calm. This was because I had understood that it is not me who manages to achieve it. It seems to disrespect the heavens if I brag about it myself. There are not so many Chinese in the Nordic region. The circulation of the newspaper is small. If we want to change this situation, we must to do something, I think. Facts have shown that as long as we work diligently with our heart we can get help from Master, as long as we do not give up we can succeed in the end. An additional point is that we must be able to bear hardships and make efforts.
During these years I have also made many costly mistakes, and met with many rebuffs. But I do not give up as long as there is a little hope. One example is, for several years I have contacted five food wholesalers. They all rejected me. But I felt that one of them was kind on the telephone. I therefore wanted to talk more with him. I visited his office twice but could not meet him. His secretary tried to hinder me and said to me clearly: "Our boss is very busy, he will not meet you!" I did not want to give up on this company, which is a logistics business. I did not want to give up on this person who has a predestined relationship with Dafa. So I continued to follow up. Meanwhile, I studied the Fa more intensively, participated in more Epoch Times sales training, kept charging myself up. With the help of Master, I applied marketing skills and met him eventually. The meeting was not long but the effect was very good. During the conversation, I kept sending righteous thoughts to him. I told him: “At the historical moment of change, whoever chooses Epoch Times has chosen a bright future. It is the best opportunity to win the market and it is your wise choice.” I also told him: “I sell advertising in my spare time. I deliver newspapers and take care of several pick up places. I collect back the remaining copies and re-sort out scattered pages into a complete version and then give them back to readers since I understand that it is not easy for our advertisers to earn money. We do our best to give our advertisers the best market feedback.” It seemed that he was touched by my words. Finally he said: "I will consider advertising and having a long-term relationship with you. Additionally I have more than 300 Chinese clients throughout the whole of Sweden. There is no problem to distribute 500 to 600 copies!" His change in attitude made me understand that Master has put the money right in front of us for us to save people. It is up to us whether we want it!
When I first started selling advertising, I was not qualified at all. I just had a heart to save people. With the heart and an honest face over the seven years, what I did was just go around and talk to people. Step by step, I realized that Master had arranged everything well and pushed me to go forward. Master knows my thought. It has been my wish and goal to do sales and distribution at the same time. This time I have not only sold advertising but also found new distribution channels. Master has helped me to realize my wish again!
Cultivate myself down-to-earth at work in advertising sales
When I was in China many years ago, I worked in local government and was in charge of a finance and accounting department. I was striving for perfection in my work and did not like any comments from anyone else. Master has arranged for me to sell advertising, which is not just to let me save people, but also to show my attachments, such as competitiveness, disputing, showing off, jealousy, sticking to my own opinion and so on. I had to pay attention to my Xinxing cultivation. I understood this but I could not handle it well when conflicts came up. I quarrelled with others with no consideration as to whether they did not agree with me. I wanted to change. I asked Master to help me. I warned myself to look inwards. Some years ago when I heard somebody saying Epoch Times was not good I would definitely argue and quarrel with him/her. Later, I tried to look inwards and cultivate myself.
One day I called a businessman who had advertised on a pro-CCP newspaper. On the phone he reproached the Epoch Times newspaper. I held my Xinxing and did not get angry. I suggested to meet him and asked him to point out where we did not do well. If his comments made sense we would like to correct it. When I said so, he became embarrassed. It is really that cultivation is up to you and Gong is up to the master. He signed a one-year big contract at last. When his contract expired, he decided not to continue. But we had not got a new ad contract. If he withdrew, what should we do? He did not answer my call. I had to visit him many times. I talked to him: “Money is not the most important thing in life. You need to do more good deeds and to accumulate virtue. I hope you can continue to help us for a period of time. It gives boundless blessings to help this newspaper as it tells the truth and has justice.” He did renew a half-year contract. All his staff thought he was muddle headed due to being busy at work when he renewed the contract. But I knew, it was his knowing side that delivered his prehistoric commitments. I was just a messenger of the Gods to find him.
Once, I had conflicts with two fellow practitioners. We decided to study the Fa and look inwards together. One complained that it was me who had not cooperated with the group. The other one gave supplemental comments. This triggered my grievances and resentments burst out. I argued with them loudly. Suddenly Master’s poem came to mind: "He's right, and I'm wrong" (Hong Yin III, "Who is right, who is wrong"). I was in amazement immediately: "Oh, it is Master who disciplines me. I must have done something wrong now!" To adjust my mind, I stood up and said, "OK, OK, you're right, I'm wrong. I'll get you two glasses of water. You continue to comment." But actually I forced myself to hold down my anger when I served water for them. But when I came back and sat down, it was as if my head had been replaced with a new one by Master. I did not want to dispute any more. I told them sincerely: "OK, I have done something wrong before. I'll do better in the future." I stretched out my right hand and added: "I am willing to work with you. We, hand in hand, together to assist Master with Fa-rectification." To my surprise, we three, who quarreled a moment ago, now all joined closely hand in hand like magnets, with tears in our eyes.
This experience made me realize: when conflicts appear, it is my own attachment of sticking to my own opinion that hinders me from seeing the shining side of fellow practitioners. When I can let myself go, it seems that an electric current is formed between me and other practitioners, which connects us closely to Master's Fa-rectification. This scene is still in my eyes, reminding me to look inwards. I know that there are still many aspects that I have not done well. But I have Master, I have the Fa with me. All of my attachments will be removed in Dafa cultivation. I will save more people and follow Master to go home! Here I would like to thank all practitioners who work for Epoch Times. Thanks to all western and Chinese practitioners for your selfless cooperation, help and support over so many years! Finally, I want to tell you especially, when I get to know that each payment has come into our account from an advertising sales regardless being big or small, every time my heart is filled with gratitude!
Thank you, Master!! Thank you, fellow practitioners!!
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