Looking back at his fussy attitude prior to going into comedy full-time, Sharif advises graduates not to be picky when searching for jobs.
He recently met a Masters student selling vegetables in Kundasang, Sabah. The student couldn’t find a job as he is “overqualified” and employers would have to pay him more. Sharif advised him to stop being picky and just start from the bottom.
He says: “Apa pun bidang yang kita ceburi, kita kena buat bersungguh-sungguh.”
(Whichever field or job we go into, we must give it our all.)
In today’s world where we are spoilt for choice and come under societal pressure to have a good job, some may argue that it’s acceptable to be picky. After all, what’s so wrong in wanting a great job that provides us with growth opportunities, pays well and comes with good benefits?
Personally, regardless of one’s socio-economic status, I think everyone has the right to be picky. But, you are only allowed to be picky provided the circumstances are in your favour. Get me?
Otherwise, the best thing to do is to grab the opportunity in front of you and make the best of it. Who knows, you might just discover your lifelong purpose and the next employer may just come knocking on your door because he/she sees value in you.
3. The sky’s your limit
I never fully understood the saying above until I heard this story from the brothers.
Sharif tells us that his father became deaf and mute from chickenpox.
“Apa yang menakjubkan ialah dia pandai menghiburkan orang – dia boleh buat orang gelak. Dia juga boleh buat magic show. Kami pun hairan, dari mana dia belajar.”
(What’s amazing is that my dad is able to entertain people – he can make them laugh. He can also do magic tricks and we wonder where he learnt it all.)
Sharif says that despite his dad’s condition and small income, he managed to take care of his family.
“Bapak saya potong gajinya dan bagi saya duit harian supaya saya boleh pergi jual ikan di tempat lain.
“Kenapa orang yang begitu boleh menyara keluarga, tapi kita ini yang ada degree, yang ada semua keupayaan, masih lagi complain?” he says.
(In fact, my dad used to give a portion of his salary to me so that I have some pocket money to go and sell fish at the market.
If someone like him can take care of his family, why can’t we – the ones who have paper qualifications and physical abilities – do the same without complaining?)
On Oct 21, 2012, their father passed away in his sleep. When he received the news, Atu was packing to fly to Africa for a Fear Factor programme he was a part of.
By the time he flew from Kuala Lumpur to Kudat, his father’s body was already buried. Atu never got to say goodbye to his father.
What I learnt from this is that you are the one limiting yourself. Not the people around you, not your circumstances and not your parents, or bosses either (This is a humble reminder to myself).
There are people out there with different abilities who have braved through all sorts of challenges to come out as achievers.
In life, it’s easy to blame the things around us for our lack of progress or failure, but Zero’s father proves that it’s just not a valid excuse.
He is proof that anyone can do anything.
4. Know what your consumers want
Sharif says: “Sebelum ini, sebelum masuk mana-mana pertandingan, kami memang rasa yang kumpulan kami ni tidak cukup bagus. Sebab satu, kami punya dialek lain sikit. Kedua, kadang-kadang orang tidak faham idea kami.”
(Before this, when we participated in any competition, we would sometimes feel as though we were not good enough. One; our dialect is different and two; some people don’t understand our ideas.)
The brothers failed to make it past the fifth week for the first MLM competition they participated in 2013. That didn’t hold them back.
Instead, the brothers took whatever feedback which came their way, assessed their strengths and weaknesses and changed their strategy.
They tried incorporating numerous elements into their comedy sketches to make it more versatile such as lion dancing (Click here to watch), acrobatic movements and singing.
When they tried their luck again in 2014, they won first place.