I’ve heard of people quitting lucrative careers to go into ministry, and it makes you wonder if they just went into ministry because they couldn’t cut it in the real world. So you might be thinking, maybe I just left my sales career because I wasn’t good at it, or it wasn’t for me. This is not the case, at least not for me.
For over a decade I worked in sales and I became the top salesperson at my first sales job. Sales is definitely something I am good at, and considering that I achieved the top position in sales at one of the largest global tech companies, there is no question that the reason I am quitting the entire sales career is not because it’s not for me, and it’s not because I’m not good at it. I was one of the best and my experience and success proves it.
So why did I decide, after much contemplation, prayer, and self-reflection, to quit the entire career of sales?
Does Sales really make the world go round?
They say that sales is what makes the world go around. After all, sales is the lifeblood of nearly all major companies today. Without sales, the company has no money. So sales makes the world go around, right? No. This is completely false. Sales makes the current, wicked, materialistic, consumerist world go round. It does not make the world go round in the effect of benefitting the quality of life for everyone. Much the contrary! The problem is the entire global system. It is systemic consumerism that the entire information-driven world is driven around in today’s day and age. But this is not the ideal situation, and it is highly unlikely that there will be any people selling goods in eternity.
But that is not my primary reason for quitting the sales industry. So why did I decide to quit sales? Why did I give up a lucrative career in sales where I could make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year or more, even after I have invested over a decade of my life gaining these skills? The reason I quit is because of the nature of sales, and the western mindset.
Now, there is a difference between being a career salesperson, who spends their day selling and only selling, versus a small business owner who is producing goods that people need to benefit the local community. What’s the difference? The difference is that sales is selling and getting people to buy, whereas the small business has people buying without the need to sell. In the former, people do not really need it, but you need to convince them that they do. In the latter, people do need it, and they do not need to be sold for their product to be needed.
Consumerism and the artificial creation of need
There is value in providing a product or service that people need. There is value in making people aware that the product exists to solve their problem. But Sales in today’s world is primarily driven around creating a fictional need that formerly did not exist, and then using tricky words to manipulate people into being convinced they really need said thing.
Do they really need it? Well they lived without it thus far. While it’s true that the products and services being sold could make life a little easier for the consumer in an ideal world, the problem is the entire system itself is broken and is providing meaningless services and products to consumers who waste their lives doing meaningless work and service that isn’t even necessary in the first place to live a happy and productive life.
Let’s look at some of the industries that require Sales to be successful:
- Retail Stores (consumerism)
- Digital Products (apps, SaaS, etc)
- Big Food (it is technically a chemical industry, not a food industry)
- Big Pharma (which is drugs, not medicine)
- Jewelry & Cosmetics (vanity & idolatry)
- Automotive (idolatry, not mere transportation)
Retail: The majority of retail products are junk. Of those products that are not totally junk, the majority of those are unnecessary. And for the things that are needed, people already know they need them, so Sales is not necessary, only customer service. And just because something could be useful, doesn’t mean you’ll ever use it. This is why Storage Units are utilized across America – because Americans have too much junk they don’t need and can’t possibly use it all.
Digital products are great, but we already have too much information, And the truth is that these corporations are so unethical and poorly run and their products are so poorly designed (e.g. Salesforce), that they do not benefit the public good as much as they harm it. And you can’t practically use 1,000 apps. You could use 4 or 5, but beyond many more and you simply don’t have the time or energy to use them all, so it’s pointless to sell them. Games? Waste of time. Television? Pure wickedness and full of Satanic propaganda.
Big Food is the commercialization of the food industry. People already know they need to eat every day. Why do you need sales? So you can sell them chemicals instead of food and promote gluttony and idolatry. It is an egregious harm to society. I am not talking about Farmer’s Markets where a farmer works hard and needs to sell their own goods they grew with their own hands. The problem is literally everything else. It is a chemical industry, not a food industry. And let’s not even touch the alcohol industry.
Big Pharma is a fraud from the very outset. It is a criminal enterprise designed to make and keep people sick. Pharma sales is only done by the most unethical scum of society. Jewelry and cosmetics are 100% unneeded. The Bible says women should not wear jewelry and costly apparel (1 Timothy 2:9), and the one person who is described as wearing makeup was Jezebel, a witch whom God hated so bad that He made sure she was torn limb by limb by wild dogs so that “no one can say this is Jezebel” (2 Kings 9:36-37). God hated that wicked woman, and she was known for having “painted eyes” to increase her sex appeal.
Automotive: The automotive industry is not about transportation, it is about greed, idolatry, and covetousness. If it was about transportation, then cities would be designed like Europe where you can walk and bike everywhere. Driving is not practical, but American cities were designed in such a way so you can only drive everywhere. You don’t get a nice car because you need to get somewhere more quickly, you can do that in virtually any vehicle with 4 wheels. You do it because it’s a fancy thing you want. You don’t need it.
I could go on, but the same is true with virtually every other modern commercial industry. After you get beyond the base needs of food, water, shelter, relationships, and transportation, almost everything that exceeds this is unnecessary and in many ways harmful to society.
The harmful mindset of consumerism
The mindset of consumerism has so driven people that they have become conceited, self-centered, greedy, and hyper-materialistic. New phone, new cars, new televisions, new appliances, new this new that, new AC unit, new house, new etc. Me me me. I want, I want, I want. Gimme, gimme, gimme. What’s in it for me (in sales, WIIFM).
When you’re in sales you are concerned about what’s in it for the consumer, because the consumer buying your product is materialistic, conceited, greedy, and self-centered, and only cares about themselves, and that’s how you convince them to buy, by appealing to what’s best for them.
On the surface, it sounds good. As a salesperson who is actually good, you are not pressuring people to buy, you are trying to provide a product or service which benefits them. But are you? No, because people in this world are so wicked and self-concerned that the cumulative effect is those who have want more, and those who don’t have anything do not get a chance.
The truth is that the products that are sold, unless it’s directly from a local farmer or narrow scope of other essential needs, are not what’s best for the user, it’s only what they think is best for them because that’s what society taught them. Instead, the product is only appealing to their wants, their greed, their idolatry, their consumerism, their lust, their superficiality – you get the point.
Sales causes the consumerist mindset
But that’s not the only reason I’ve decided to quit a successful career in sales. Even if I insist on being absolutely ethical, the fact does not change that the only way to get someone to buy who did not otherwise want to buy, is to find some mental or psychological trick, a way to get into that person’s head, and find a way for them to want your product or service. But when I don’t even believe that the current world consumerist mindset is even good for society at all, then it would not be moral for me to choose to sell something to someone who was not already ready to buy, thus eliminating the need for my job in sales.
The secret of sales is to be as genuine and honest as possible, only tell the truth, and find out what people need, and convince them that they need your service and that your product or service will make their lives easier. And then, you help them get past their own inhibitions in order to convince them that they really need it; and to do this, you first need to convince yourself that they really need it. But how can I genuinely convince myself that people need something that will improve their lives or business or whatever, when I have come to realize that the entire world system is broken, and I am only helping to contribute to the materialistic mindset of WIIFM for the customers, a mindset of trying to make life as easy as possible?
Life is not supposed to be as easy as possible. Providing more conveniences is helping people in the short term, but at the cost of the long term. Now, this isn’t true for everything, but it is true for most things in our consumerist-driven world.
Breaking free from consumerism
Breaking free from consumerism is the hardest thing for a person who comes from a [formerly] wealthy country like the United States, Australia, or Western Europe. The culture of hyper-materialism and consumerism is all around us. In the recent years I have been trying to become less materialistic, and it is a long and hard battle, because it goes against everything we were taught. We were taught to come up with innovative ways to make our lives easier, and stuff stuff stuff, and collect more stuff to make your life easier. But does it? Absolutely not.
It’s the law of diminishing returns. On the one hand, going from having nothing in a forest to having a house with a washer and dryer and dishwasher is a massive improvement in quality of life. But the more stuff you have on top of the basics, like 20 different appliances, and 20 different accessories to go with each of the appliances, and so on and so forth, life doesn’t get easier, but it starts to reverse direction. Is it easier than living in a forest with nothing? Yes, but is it easier than living a simple life with the essentials? No. The problem is that the more stuff you have, the more conveniences that you have, then the more time and effort that you have to balance your time to even use all this “stuff” and conveniences. Before you know it, life is a lot more complicated because of all your stuff, and you are so overwhelmed that you use none of it. So what good is that then?
Sure, when you look at each individual item, this useful app, that useful appliance, that useful service, that useful convenience, that useful technology, each one can be sold on its own merits. But the problem is people are losing the forest for the trees. The job of sales is to make people forget about the forest and look at only the tree in front of them. This is a good tree! And they agree and buy it. And then it just sits in a forgotten space in their home or a storage unit or a hard drive, and they are a little poorer and none the wiser for it. This is the reality of life.
It would be great if we could really use every single product or service in the world to make our lives better; but the truth is that this is not the reality of life. Unless you have enough money to hire teams of maids, cooks, servants, assistants, and staff, it is impossible to utilize all these products and services.
Less is more, simple is better
So this has brought me to realize that less is more. Less, not more. Less is better for people, not more. Providing another useful product or service sounds nice, but the truth is that one additional product or service is not helping anyone, unless perhaps it also comes with a team of staff who do it for the person. If you aren’t selling labor with the product or service, then it is no good to the person, which is why the vast majority of products and services goes unused. It’s why most gym memberships go unused – because one more thing to do, although it sounds nice, is just another thing to have to do. And without someone hovering over them telling them to go to the gym, they don’t. And the same goes with almost all the other products and services and apps and software and hardware, etc. It isn’t truly helping anyone.
Let me put it this way: there is a massive difference between something that will make someone’s life better or easier, versus something that has the potential to make someone’s life better or easier. And let’s face it, almost all the products and services being sold today only have the potential to make people’s lives easier, but in the end do not have the effect that was sold. It ends up in a corner somewhere, unused, or rarely used. And this is not even a problem with the product or service itself in many cases, but more so a problem with society as a whole.
I contend that in eternity, there will be no buying and selling. Or at the very least, there will be no salespeople. In a happy and productive society where all people work toward the good of their fellow man, there is absolutely no need for salespeople, because if a product is needed, then it is requested by the person who needs it, or it is offered freely by their family, friend, or neighbor.
The idolatry of consumerism
The entire philosophy of running a society based on buying and selling “stuff”, instead of based on God, relationships, and people, is the antithesis of all that is holy. It is idolatrous, covetous, and I daresay wicked and Satanic. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their sexual immorality, but what is less known is their other crimes, which included oppressing the poor and the needy. Satan’s economy runs on money. God’s economy does not need money.
The Bible says that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10, KJV). Actually, it is not merely cash money as in coins and dollars, but as the 1535 Coverdale Bible (the first English Bible) translates it, it is covetousness which is the root of all evil. That is, “lusting after” things. Craving material things and pleasures. The entire sales industry is built around promoting covetousness, instead of allowing people to be comfortable with what they have.
Using washing machines as a practical example, it’s one thing to want a washing machine so that you can free up time and energy from handwashing clothes. It is quite another to want a stainless steel washing machine of maximum capacity with all the latest features and gadgets. Is it fine to have such a machine? Sure. Why not buy the best one if you can afford it, and there are no starving or needy people on Planet Earth. But if it will not provide much benefit over the budget model, why do you buy it? Because you are greedy for something that is shiny and new and better. If what you have works, live with it, and focus on what matters, not on what will marginally improve your life. You don’t have to handwash all your clothes forever, but you also don’t need the absolute best top of the line model either. This is a want, not a need.
The job of a salesperson: To sell, is the problem
As a salesperson, your job is to extract the most money out of the customer that you can convince them to buy. A good salesperson will convince the customer why this particular expensive washing machine is better than the budget one. The salesperson’s job is not to simply sell a washing machine to someone who does not have one, but to sell the absolute best washing machine to someone that can afford it, which usually means someone who has one but wants a better one. They don’t really need it, they want it, and your job is to satisfy this covetous, materialistic mindset. But even more than just satisfy it, your job is to stimulate covetousness and greed. Your job is to spark a fire under them to light them aflame with passion for material goods, material conveniences, and superficial pleasures.
This is even more true when the good being sold is a useless, meaningless good, like jewelry and diamonds. There is no reason to buy this other than it looks good – and worse, the Bible commands women not to adorn themselves with expensive jewels. The Bible commands women to “adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array” (1 Timothy 2:9). So, no Christian should work in a jewelry store, as this is in opposition to biblical values.
If you are to be successful in sales, you are being employed by corporations who have hired you to sell the most goods. Otherwise, you are in customer service, not sales. So, the point remains that a salesperson is not beneficial to society, they only fuel the current godless materialistic consumerist society that is fueled by covetousness, greed, and selfish desires. “Buy this, buy a better one, buy the best one.” If you are a salesperson but you do not feed this mindset, then you will not sell many goods and you will quickly find yourself unemployed, because you will not meet your sales quotas. Sales quotas ensure that the salesperson is compelling people to buy more than they need. This is the only way to be successful with sales.
Sales: A cog in the machine of idolatry
In my first sales job right out of high school, I was ignorant of this cultural crisis. My reason for getting the job was because I liked the products myself, and I wanted to help people. At the time I had no idea that this was another cog in the wheel of consumerism and idolatry. Even though I refused to sell certain products in the product line that I did not agree with, and yet was still successful, I was really just fueling the materialistic mindset that has broken society and corrupted society from a godly one into a Satanic, idolatrous and covetous society.
It is for this reason that I have become spiritually convicted that sales is not a good for society but an evil. And therefore, having come to this knowledge, I have decided to abandon a whole career, because that career is not in line with God’s will and divine plan, not just for me, but for the world. Most of today’s evils stem from the love of money by corporations (especially wicked ones like Big Pharma), and fueled by the covetousness of consumers. Salespeople are an important cog in this wheel and enable the greed of corporations to translate into covetousness in consumers.
Does this mean that nothing should be bought or sold? No, there are some essential goods that need to be produced. Do you think that if the sales industry was eliminated, people would not buy any washing machines, or refrigerators, or cars? Of course they would. Without sales, people will buy what they need, when they need it. What would not occur without salespeople, though, is that probably 99% of all industries would disappear overnight, because most of those things are not actually needed. Isn’t it amazing that for 6,000 years humans survived without 99.999% of consumer goods that we have today? Some of these goods are useful, but most of them are unnecessary; and the cumulative effect of all of the extensive goods and services drags down everyone.
Most industries in today’s society are not only ultimately useless in the big scheme of things, but acutely harmful to the spiritual and moral values of society. The industry of sales perpetuates this wickedness. The commandment against covetousness is one of the ten commandments. The sales industry perpetuates covetousness, and therefore it is evil and promotes idolatry.
Christ and angels would not work in Sales
I contend that angels, which are required to be 100% perfect or be cast into Hell, could not work in Sales. I contend that Jesus the Christ or John the Baptist would not have worked as a salesperson, neither in retail stores nor in large corporations. I contend that if Jesus were born in our generation, He would not be found making sales calls to get people to buy products or services, or stopping people in a mall trying to get them to buy these goods.
On the contrary, Jesus in His day was found to be overturning the tables of the moneychangers who were, albeit dishonestly, profiting off of a societal need, in that case, the need for sacrificial animals to offer to God. Jesus was a carpenter and Paul was a tentmaker, but neither spent their days coming up with the best psychological strategies for convincing consumers to be more consumerist and materialistic.
Instead, they provided a service that was needed and likely offered it when it was needed. They did not stand preaching about collecting tithes and offerings to build a bigger church. They did not shout from the synagogues about how valuable their new form of carpentry or high-tech tents would change people’s lives. Their work was to provide sustenance, and their life was spent to the glory of God. Not to make people’s lives easier with better products and gadgets; but rather to save people’s souls from Hell.
If we are to follow after this model, the model of Christ, the model of the biblical patriarchs, then we should not participate in this world of consumerism, except to provide for our families or to help fund our ministry (by our work, not tithes), or to give to the poor. We are not to amass worldly wealth, but heavenly wealth. A lucrative career in sales requires buying into the world’s ideologies and setting God’s plans on the backburner. Do you not think that if you give God your mind, heart, and soul, and are diligent in all that you do, that God would not provide for your every need? Of course He will. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:11).
Prudence with God’s blessings
But what you think you need is not necessarily what God knows you need. You do not need a Lamborghini or a mansion. What you truly need is food, clothing, and shelter, family, and friends. Anything more is excess, and while it is fine to have, it is only fine if you can have it without being drawn away by the lusts of the flesh. “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).
And if God provides you enough money to buy a Lamborghini or a mansion, should you buy it? Or would it be more profitable in eternity for you to give that money to the poor and to use it for God’s kingdom? You cannot take it with you, and the pleasures of the flesh are fleeting. The moment of pleasure passes like a mist in the wind; it is here for a moment, and then it is gone. Why spend your life pursuing such transient vanities?
But if you do good to use your wealth for God’s kingdom, or help the poor, and needy, and fatherless, you will store up treasures in heaven. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21).