Child Fasts a Whole Month From Food & Water And Survives To Tell The Tale

This creepy story about the little boy who went without food or water...isn't for the fain-hearted
This creepy story about the little boy who went without food or water... isn't for the faint-hearted

Gurus lie.

There I said it. And I don’t trust them. There’s only a few legitimate guys who “spit” truth. But their image is smeared with the rest of the hall of shamers that make up the majority of Information product marketers.

Like seriously…check out these headlines:

“Dumb Kid Earns $301,866.50 in One Weekend”
“How To Use Twitter to Get 50,000 followers”
“How I Made Over 4 Million In 24 Hours Using Nothing But E-Mail”

Ok, it’s marketing and if that gets people to listen to you, it’s fine. But I guess my trouble is that customers buy the story as it is, without questioning its reality.

What if I told you,

“11-Year Old Fasts From Food and Water for 30 Days Straight and Survives.”

Would you believe me?

You should. Because this story is true. In fact, it’s a page torn right out of my own childhood. But at the same time, there is an element of untruthfulness to it. And I knew this when I wrote that headline.

After all, I suppose it got your attention because you incorrectly assumed certain things from my phrasing that made the story seem extraordinary. Because the truth certainly is NOT exciting.

Bear with me, I’ll tell you my creepy story from the start…

I was a “fraidy cat”.

Night was my most dreaded time of day. I am not even gonna try to deny that. When I was five-years-old I had so many nightmares that I once ran myself into an honest-to-goodness fever.

My dreams were filled with ghosts and demons
My dreams were filled with ghosts and demons

My dreams were full of the demons and ghosts my neighbor’s older sister put in my head with her frightening stories. Often, I’d wake up in a cold sweat and rouse my mother claiming I was thirsty–just to feel the safety of her company. She’d bring me water and stay up with me holding my hand across my baby sister’s sleeping body.

On this one night, I wake up to discover that both my parents gone.

I’m alarmed. Where are they? It’s pitch-black and I can’t see a thing. I feel around nervously for them. Did they leave me home alone with my sisters?

I don’t know. I lie in bed breathing heavy as I consider the scary possibilities. My heart pounds fast in my throat.

Suddenly, I hear noises in the distance.

Who is it? Intruders? Murderers? Thieves?

Or could it be just my parents?

I strain my ears to hear if the voices are friendly ones. But I can’t make out a THING.

I remain motionless under the covers afraid that the voices may discover me. Time passes and my mind keeps racing with horrible possibilities.

Had my parents been kidnapped…or worse…murdered?

I debate with myself to get out of bed and check or just stay in bed and hope for the best.

Finally, I can’t take the suspense any more. I muster up my courage and get out of bed, creeping in the dark to the doorway. My sister’s light snores are behind me. I take comfort in her nearness as I peek out into the hallway.

What’s that?

The kitchen light is on...who goes there?
The kitchen light is on...who goes there?

The kitchen light is on.

I strain my ears again. Is that mum’s voice?

A few seconds pass before I make my way slowly down the corridor toward the lit kitchen. I keep both my ears perked for danger.

As I approach the kitchen, the voices become clearer. It sounds like mum and dad speaking quietly. All of a sudden, I become aware of how far i am from my sisters now. I feel an unsettling chill in the dark hallway and wrecklessly run the last few steps into the kitchen.

I halt at the entrance.

The light hits my eyes and hurts my dialated pupils. The voices stop. I rub my eyes and my heart jumps to my throat. I swallow it back down.

There, on the kitchen floor, sit mum and dad with concerned faces staring up at me.

To be honest, I think it’s a look of guilt they’re giving me. I feel like I caught them in the act of doing something behind my back.

Because the kitchen floor is where we normally have our meals. And in front of them is the pink disposable nylon we usually eat on.

i wrecklessly run the last few steps into the kitchen imagining ghosts behind me
i wrecklessly run the last few steps into the kitchen imagining ghosts behind me

Atop the nylon is a spread of saucers filled with goat cheese and olive oil, thickened yoghurt, strawberry jam, a plate of tasty scrambled eggs, a bowl of honey and half-empty cups of tea and coffee.

My heartbeat settles slowly.

I’m hurt. “A secret midnight meal!?” I think to myself. “Why didn’t they tell me?”

Mum calls out to me, with mouth slightly full, “Hi habeebi (my dear). Do you want me to make you an egg?”

I nod silently. I know my voice is still hoarse with sleep. Dad asks me to come sit with him.

I sidle over slowly and sit confused and groggy. My nostrils flare as I soak in the mouth-watering smell of hot olive oil and frying egg from the stove.

My mind is racing. What’s going on? How long has this been going on for?

“Dad,” I say hoarsly. “What are you guys doing?”

My mother looks over from the stove and laughs. “We’re having sohoor. Today’s the first of Ramadan.”

“What’s Ramadan?”

I ask curiously. My voice working a little better now.

“In Ramadan we aren’t meant to eat the whole day. We need to eat now so we don’t get too hungry,” she responds.

As I later learned, my parents would be fasting the entire month. No food or water from sun-rise to sun-set. They’d been doing it forever around the same time each year.

Now it DID sound difficult at first, didn’t it? Until I just revealed to you that fasting was only for part of the day. Actually, there are two main meals that my parents would have each day. One, is called Sohoor–which is what I caught them having–the morning meal before sunrise. The other one is named Fotoor (break-fast) which they would have later, at sunset.

And only between those two meals was there no eating or drinking.

So as you can imagine, fasting Ramadan isn’t so hard. And while my story’s headline earlier would lead you to believe that the “kid” was starved and thirsty for an entire month,

it’s simply not true.

That’s why, when I read a sales letter headline, I always implicate the essence of the incredible statement. But I never take it literally. And neither should you.

As you’ll discover, in time, most of these raw dollar numbers are in fact revenue, not profit. Meaning, the sales letter is quoting you a number of dollars they collected in sales. Which does not factor in the cost of advertising and the months–and more often years–of failure it takes to acquire the skills that eventually result in those ridiculous numbers.

For example, if you hear of someone who made 4 million dollars in 24-hours, it’s very likely they spent 2 million dollars in affiliate commissions, and a few grand for copywriters, designers, and programmers. Which is still incredible, no denying that.

But is it really something a “dumb kid” can replicate without a large marketing budget?

And can a “dumb kid” really pull off such a stunt? Doubful. Mate.

There is no “dumb” person who makes 300,000 in a single weekend or 4 million in 24 hours. Unless it’s dumb luck, like in a lottery or something…

Which, let’s face it, isn’t exactly teachable.

No. In most cases, the person behind the headline is a savvy business person who either built (over time) a bigass list or has access to a network of BIG BOYS with lists.

It could have taken them 5 years to build up an email list that would buy 4 million dollars worth of product in a single weekend.

I’ve been in the game long enough to know the part you’re not told is what makes all the difference. I’ve seen some of the worst marketing campaigns with poor sales letters written in second-language-English…still making a fortune in sales…only because the marketer tapped into mailing lists of millions of subscribers.

Last year, I attended a seminar where a guy claimed to earn over

$100,000 dollars per day in affiliate sales.

He told me personally that he spent between $50,000-$100,000 per day on Google to make that money.

And yet, even when he launched his own “guru” product, he partnered with some of the biggest marketers to make 2 million in sales. Of that 2 million, he gave at least 1 million in commissions to his affiliate partners and spent a further few hundred thousand in prizes.

The lesson here is that no big result comes without an equally large investment of time, networking with the right people, and financial spend.

Before that, it’s all baby steps.

After all, that’s how every amazing feat is achieved in real life. An olympic swimer wins a gold medal in days. But no body wins that gold medal without having spent his or her life dreaming about it, working at it, practicing, failing, and trying again and again.

In fact, that’s how I was able to start fasting with my parents at such a young age.

As I eat my egg beside dad,

I listen to his conversation with mum, and I feel more left out. I want in on this secret “club”.

The next morning, I ask my mother if I can fast Ramadan with them. But she didn’t think it was a good idea.

“Honey, you’re too young right now. You need to eat or you’ll be tired all day and won’t be able to study.”

For a while they didn’t let me.

But I drove them crazy. I begged my mother all day and night to let me take part with them in this “fasting” business. She finally yielded and allowed me to do it until the afternoon.

“Ok, mum. But if I find it easy, can I do the whole day?” I asked with wide-eyed enthusiasm.

“Sure, why not.”

For the next few days, I fasted until after school. It was difficult missing lunch when all the other kids around me were eating. And saudia arabia, where we lived at the time did not have the mildest of weather. By the time I got home, my lips were parched with thirst.

All the same, I was proud of myself. I showed off to my friend from upstairs while we played on the staircase.

Soon, he too started fasting with his parents permission. And we competed at who could last longest.

These are the baby steps that made my above headline possible.

That’s the part most marketing neglects to tell you.

If they were to tell you the real work it takes you might not buy whatever they’re selling.

Before I learned to fast Ramadan, I wasn’t QUALIFIED to be a part of the “club”. No matter how badly I wanted to be included. In the same way as many students of marketing are not yet qualified to take part in the marketing game at the same level as the big boys.

Few of the marketers who teach lead generation actually use those methods in their own business. Because it takes too long that way. But that’s the part of the game they don’t tell you.

I was talking recently with a colleague who told me he knows that only about three of the most well-known information marketers actually generate their own leads.

The rest commit “incest”…

with each other’s lists, bastardising the crap out of them with multiple-launches.

The truth is, they belong to a club of “big boys” who few people are qualified to talk to…let alone run with.

If you want to know who those guys are, just watch your emails when a major product launches. How many emails do you receive from all your most respected gurus?

Last week, I unsubscribed from all of their lists. Because I simply got tired of the tens of emails I received every few days about the same product. I don’t trust their recommendations any more. I know they don’t even bother to check out what they’re promoting before they decide it’s really worth staking their reputation on it. I may as well make my own decisions about what to buy or not buy.

You’ll notice I rarely ever send you a promotion for anyone else’s product. Unless that product is one I actually own, benefit from, and I genuinely believe you should own.

And all the same, I don’t expect you to take my word for it. Because a product or tool I find useful may be a waste of your money and time.

I Finally Did it When I was 11.

As for my fasting experience, you probably have figured by now that I eventually managed to fast from food and water for the whole month of Ramadan. It took me all the way until I was 11 years old before I was finally a proper part of the “club” though.

In fact, many young children around the world are pulling this off every Ramadan. And their parents teach them to fast with the same baby steps.

Goofy 14-Year-Old Sells His Consulting Services

It was 1995. The internet was still on dialup.

He scored his first computer consulting contract. Amazing. Fuzzy little boy, dressed in daddy’s shirt and tie, with awkward, patchy blond fluff growing out of his upper lip. Everything about him screamed,

“Don’t hire me!”

Could you imagine this guy as a consultant?
Could you imagine this guy as a consultant?

Silly-looking teenager. Wanna-be consultant.

It was me.

I suppose it’s hard for you to imagine me like that. You know, since I grew up into such a handsome, cool, heart-stealing, hairy feller. Haha. On second thought, maybe it’s just me mum who sees me like that, aye.

So there I am, standing at the doorway of the office building. Uncle Trevor hurrying me along as I stopped to tie my shoe laces. Dipping my tie on the concrete. I looked up to see an attractive, well-dressed Chinese woman at the entrance.

“Hello,” she said to Trevor.

“G’day,” he called out. “This is Jim, the fella I was telling you about.”

She leaned out with her arm extended and smiled. I firmly shook her hand and mumbled something. Could’ve been “hello” under my breath. I was a notoriously shy mumbler. But hand-shaking, I was used to.

I wondered for a moment if maybe I was in over my head.

Just a few days ago, I was a regular high-school kid. And today I’m a consultant, shaking hands with the CEO of an international company. Intimidating, certainly.

This deal was brokered by Uncle Trevor. A family friend from New Zealand who had moved to Malaysia a little before we did.

As we walked through the office-cubicles and they spoke of business deals, my memory drifted back to Friday, the week before.

Uncle Trevor often dropped by dad’s office on the way home from work to ask us over for dinner or check-in on us. He was a good ole’ Kiwi bloke.

That particular Friday afternoon, I was pretending to do some homework.

The grown-ups spoke.

I eavesdropped on their conversation and heard Uncle Trevor complaining to dad about a communication difficulty they were having with their various international offices.

I looked up from my books and interjected, “Why don’t you get them to use the Internet?”

Even though I was pretty new to the web myself, I was already creating websites and internet applications. Few people even knew what it was at that time.

But to me, the Internet was AMAZING. I thought it was the solution to just about anything. My idea was that they equip all their offices with modems, get internet subscriptions, and communicate by chat and e-mail.

To you that might sound like it’s “duh” obvious. Except you’re forgetting it was 1995 in Malaysia. My Hayes 96,000 bps modem was considered cutting edge.

My old Hayes dial-up modem loved to download at a whopping 7kb/sec lol
My old Hayes dial-up modem loved to download at a whopping 7kb/sec lol

Dude, I was downloading at 7kb/sec and that was the shit!

Trevor liked my suggestion. A week later, he phoned me to ask if I would be interested in coming to his office and speaking with their CEO about my ideas.

I agreed.

And that’s how I got myself in this big mess.

“Why did I open my big mouth?” I wondered. Homework was never so appealing as it was today at Uncle Trevor’s office.

But there was no running away now. And I’d look like a right fool if I ducked behind my father’s friend.

The CEO’s name escapes me, but she was friendly enough. As we chit-chatted, I became more comfortable.

All the while, I was having a conversation with myself. I was insecure about my appearance. I knew that in spite my best efforts, I wasn’t fooling anyone into thinking I was some bad-ass, hot-shot consultant.4

How could I gain their confidence in my abilities?

How could I make them forget my age and awkwardness?

In an instant, I knew.

My plan was marketing in its crudest form. Even as a boy, it was pure instinct.

I had many disadvantages working against me.

  • I was a kid. That was a fact.
  • I was unprofessional. That was a fact.
  • I was a one boy show. And that was a fact.

What possible reason could they have to hire me instead of another expert, older, and more experienced?

They could certainly afford someone else. But I was confident I could serve them well.

And that was my biggest advantage. I was actually very competent as an advisor. It’s important when you are disadvantaged that you draw on your strengths. Computers were my thing. I lived and breathed computers.

I could offer a better deal, faster, for cheaper, and still deliver the same service someone else would.

My reading material in those days consisted of technical manuals–I read them for sport. I downloaded nerdy jokes. I programmed computer games.

For god’s sake, I used to prank-call computer technicians and operators to ask them questions they wouldn’t be able to answer.

Then…

I’d swear and call them names before hanging up.

Silly, I know.

A simple presentation technique I discovered when I was 14 allowed me to nab that consulting contract for myself. And even today, I use it to build trust with customers so they will choose me over everyone else.

With my short-comings and all.

Have YOU felt this way when marketing online?

For example, you might have a small downline or customer base. You might make a few bucks here and there instead of hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. Or you might still be stuck in a 9-5 job rather than get a full-time income from home.

Who hasn’t been there, aye?

In my early days of selling business opportunity, I wished I could drive a half-million-dollar car like my upline’s. I imagined that would make it easier to presuade prospects to buy. I didn’t know, of course, that this had little effect on recruiting real business partners.

Funny, that as a kid I had better sense than I did three years ago, when…

I was naming my unemployment “financial independence”.

Little did I know that my prospects were smart enough to see through that. Just as easily as the CEO could tell…

My stupid “consultant” clothes were just a front.

Presentation of expertise flips the perception of your prospects.

It’s critical for building credibility and trust.

Companies rent out large office buildings in the heart of town to present themselves as professional. They spend millions of dollars on a single television ad campaign to present their products and services in the best light. They print letterheads and logos and come up with corporate-style slogans to present a large and experienced image.

Billions of dollars are spent every day on this type of presentation.

You can do the same without spending a cent.

Because the kind of presentation I’m talking about isn’t achieved by “dressing for success” or faking your image. It’s achieved by demonstrating real honest-to-goodness authority. The greatest advantage prospects have in dealing with you.

After all, everyone is an expert in something compared to other people.

She was no Computer Expert…

When I met the CEO, I discovered quickly that she was no computer expert. No one else on her staff had more than a basic knowledge of how to use their computers. I only had to demonstrate that I brought to the table the expertise they lacked.

And I certainly could.

Yet, without making a display of my expertise, I would rely on nothing but my unfortunate appearance. Something I couldn’t change.

When the CEO let me get to work, I looked at her office’s computer set-up. I explored each computer in the DOS prompt. That black screen with white characters flying up the screen was intimidating on its own.

I appeared thoughtful. I let it sink in. That this is some heavy, technical shit. Certainly not something that just ANYONE could do.

Then I spoke rapidly in geek-talk:

“The specifications of your machines are too low to handle the load of a TCP/IP application. You need faster CPU, an expanded RAM, and more hard drive capacity. You could communicate with your other offices by getting a server setup in each office with a 96,000 bps modem or a dedicated fibre optics line. Then you’d need Ethernet cards with LAN connections to create intranets within each office.”

Of course, she didn’t understand.

She wouldn’t be able to do much with that vomit of jargon.

I only said it to show that I was an authority. Had I left it at that, I wouldn’t have got the contract. She still needed to understand what she had to do.

I repeated slowly, “You need to get at least one modern computer in the office and setup the others with a special part that will connect the office computers to one another. You need one more piece of hardware that communicates between offices through the phone line. Kind of like a fax machine lets you use the phone lines to send documents”

This set the CEO at ease.

I nailed it home by showing her I had a complete and simple solution.

“I will write for you a full report to explain what you need and where to get it from. As well as an estimate of your cost. Then I’ll suggest a few experts I trust to install the setup for you. How’s that?”

“Of course. That would be wonderful,” she replied.

And just like that, the deal was made.

Be careful.

You don’t want to come off like a show-off. People don’t buy what they don’t understand. Excessive jargon will only confuse your prospects.

Only the tiniest expert language is needed to demonstrate your knowledge. It helps implicitly address all their objections by letting them know that YOU know what you’re on about.

They rather buy an expert than learn all that complicated crap by themselves.

If prospects trust that you have a thorough knowledge of the product or service you’re selling, they’ll automatically trust your advice.

By the way, this isn’t just a face-to-face sales “trick”.

You can pull it off just as easily in a google ad, a sales letter, or even a video presentation. Lightly sprinkle a specialized word here and there. And you’re in.

For a long time, I didn’t know that what helped my upline sell was not so much his flash car or his numerous business trips. But rather that he kept up with current events in the stock market and real estate. He sprinkled that information in conversation and stories he told. And it was in fact, the very reason I had trusted his advice when he suggested I start a home business.

Whether he really did well in real estate or not, I believed he had. And when a savvy businessman tells you that he’s building a Network Marketing business full-time, you listen.

Imagine if Donald Trump told you that a building was a good buy, you’re likely to take his advice.

That evening, when I returned home, I told Dad the full day’s events. He beamed with pride as I explained what I did to established authority.

Later, he gave me a report template and helped me create a professional written presentation of my recommendations.

I submitted my consultation along with a $3,000 bill for my services.

The Apple model I bought with my consulting money...
The Apple model I bought with my consulting money...

With the money I made, I bought the first computer I ever paid for. It was an Apple Power Mac I had my eye on for months.