Sep 8, 2008  •  In Career, Finance, Marketing/Advertising, NYC

The Best Salesman in the World

The last time I was in San Francisco, I ran into the world-famous Bushman as many other tourists do at Fisherman’s Wharf. After getting the crap scared out of me, I had a little chat with him, and even asked, “Do you make enough money doing this?”

“Hell yeah, I sent two kids through college doing this.”


(image source)

Now I have no idea if this claim is true or fale, but his Wikipedia page indicates that he makes up to $60,000 a year – well above the U.S. average annual income.

I was reminded of the Bushman as I read a blog post titled The Best Salesman in the World at Get Rich Slowly.

Joe Ades, dubbed “the gentleman grafter,” may possibly be the best salesman in the world.

Mr. Ades was born the seventh child of a poor widower in Manchester, England. He now owns a 3-bedroom Park Ave apartment. He and his wife dine at some of the finest establishments in New York, and never get turned down for a table.

So what exactly does Mr. Ades do? How has he found such success?

Wearing pristine British gentleman garb, Joe Ades sits at a corner of midtown Manhattan and sells potato peelers. At $5 a pop.

See him in action here:

Get Rich Slowly estimates that Mr. Ades makes about $200/hr selling these potato peelers.

I’ve never had the chance of running into Mr. Ades, but after watching this video I have a sudden urge to go seek him out – because I now want a peeler!

Joe Ades’ remarkable story even made the pages of Vanity Fair last year. If you have the time, read it – it’s a terrific narrative of a New York legend.

It just goes to show that you don’t need to go the conventional route to succeed. If you have a special talent or an extraordinary idea, keep pushing forward with it. Because even at $5 a pop, you can still become a financial success.

2 Responses to “The Best Salesman in the World”

  1. anne:

    you can always find him at 14th street, union square by the farmers market. i see him all the time while walking past. he is usually sitting directly across from the big PETCO (860 Broadway) at the corner street.

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