Reaching Your Goals When Times Are Tough
September 4 2019
StandUp for Kids - San Diego
My name is Sean Pour and I’m the co-founder of SellMax, a company that started out in San Diego and buys cars from customers all across the country. You may be wondering why you should read my story, or what I could possibly share with you that could be useful in your own life. Well, I was 14 years old when I started worrying about money. I was growing up in San Diego and my father owned a used car dealership. Times were tough, and my parents were struggling to pay the bills. At the time, I was in school just like any other kid. I couldn’t wait for class to end so I could shoot some hoops with my friends, but I realized that I had to make some sacrifices. I didn’t want my family to lose everything they’d worked so hard for.
I started helping my father out at the dealership after school, and I realized our main problem: not having enough cars to sell. I spent a few days scratching my head, wondering how I could possibly begin to fix this. I didn’t have bags of cash, a driver’s license, or any of the resources that most adults do. I was a freshman in high school, but what I did have was the internet. There’s so much information out there, and I figured it would be a good place to start finding ways for my family to buy more cars. Eventually I decided to create a small website. Trust me, I wasn’t born as some kind of computer genius, but I was able to learn how to do this by doing one thing: working hard.
What I quickly realized was that my limited resources didn’t have to be the reason why things didn’t work out. I just had to dedicate myself to learning the skills I needed to make it happen.
I’m not going to lie and say it was easy, because it wasn’t. Figuring out how to make something of yourself at a young age isn’t something everyone else is doing. But if you are wondering what you can do, and how to do it, keep on reading.
We all known that the internet has endless information and tutorials. In fact, I found everything I needed on the internet. If you’re saying, well Sean, that’s great, but I don’t have a computer or laptop—don’t worry. I have some ideas for you. Depending on where you live, there may be public libraries nearby with computer access, as well as computer labs at your school. Asking adults around you for access is a good idea too, they might be willing to help you out.
In order to make my website successful, I had to learn how to code. I taught myself HTML and PHP, and whenever something went wrong, I’d search the web for a solution. You can learn how to code, or any skill for that matter, just through the internet alone. There are so many tutorials and resources on the internet that you don’t need to look much further. As each day went by, my skills got better and better—and yours can too.
That’s the thing, you don’t need any fancy equipment, tons of cash, or Einstein’s brain to accomplish your goals. But you do need to have passion and motivation, and those two things cannot be bought or learned, you need to find it within yourself. When I saw my parents pinching pennies, almost losing everything they had worked so hard for, I took on a mindset of “failure isn’t an option.” I decided not to be afraid of what I didn’t know, and instead faced it head on.
Growing up wasn’t easy, and it was hard to watch my friends have fun while I was trying to save my family’s business. But those difficult times made me stronger and pushed me to challenge myself. My mom used to tell me that anything can be earned, and she was right. Through all that hard work, I found out I was capable of much more than I ever imagined. The website I started when I was 14 became a successful business and is still growing today.
Our very first office was here in San Diego, and now SellMax buys cars from all across the United States. It’s become the biggest cash-for-cars company in the area, and it all started from my family’s struggle to put food on the table. Life isn’t easy, but I believe it’s not really supposed to be. When you find yourself in difficult circumstances, you can find a way out of it by having a positive mindset, believing in yourself, and never giving up. I understand what it’s like to find yourself struggling, but you don’t need to settle for that. Most people don’t figure out what they want to do until they’re much older, but learning new things is actually much easier when you’re still young. It’s okay not to know exactly how to do everything, you just need to get started.