Selling can do more than offer a financial step up. Learn how selling helped Mustafa Hamed, who has been selling on StockX since 2017, spark his drive to better himself and get out of a depressive state.
What got you into selling?
I was buying sneakers for myself and I just came back from playing minor league baseball. I came back from getting released and I was trying to make something for myself. I came home, my family still had this car dealership, but I wasn’t really into selling cars at the time – that wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was super down, super depressed for a long time and I pretty much had nowhere to go. I had like $900 on me at the time and the water company shut off my water randomly one day because we didn’t pay our water bill, so I paid it and was down to $200, and to top it off, I was a couple of days away from my paycheck.
So something had to change. One day, this Kobe documentary came on and it got me so hyped. I learned that he was not the most talented on the court, but he worked the hardest so that just really stuck with me. I just kept watching these Kyrie Irving videos right after that, which was also after the Cavs won the championship. Me being from Cleveland originally, this was so inspiring to me. And as I was watching these Kyrie vids, that same day, a commercial for the Krispy Kreme Kyrie 2s came on on YouTube and I wanted them. I didn’t know about the shoe game at the time. I didn’t know that you couldn’t just walk up in a store and get them, so I went to Footlocker and obviously they had none left. Instead I grabbed some Kobe 10’s. That was my first purchase and then this sort of had a spiral effect where I was thinking of getting into sneakers to take my mind off a lot of other things.
How did your interest and passion develop after that?
I decided I wanted to buy a pair of Jordans. I went on Reddit, found Flight Club and realized I didn’t have enough money at the time. This is like 2017ish when the Flyknit Jordan Bred 1s came out, and I missed the release because I didn’t know there was like reservations – like I said, I was super new so I didn’t know. Then I stumbled upon StockX and I saw the price was like 200 bucks which was definitely affordable. I did some research, bought the shoes, and long story short was like “OK, this place is the real deal.” I really started off as just a buyer and I wanted to buy more. So a couple of months went by and I still wasn’t selling much. Then I got the [email protected] Dunks and I still didn’t really know anything about what I had my hands on so I sold them for like $260, only paid like $170 originally then I shipped them and was paid out. Then I realized “damn that was super easy”, so I started selling like 3-4 sneakers a month and I just really loved it.
Then StockX Day 2 came around and I applied to come and was accepted and this really started my drive to sell. After talking to [co-founder and former StockX CEO] Josh Luber, and other sellers who had more sales than me, it gave me the drive to want to sell a lot more. This made me love the company and made me want to become one of the biggest sellers.
What is it about selling and the hustle around it that drives you and has enabled you to learn about yourself and grow as a person?
For one, I love the rush of it. Also, it’s taught me a lot about how to make progress with goals. Every year on my StockX account I’ve progressed. I know that you have to work hard every day and you reap what you sow, so selling has taught me that you can’t just be a seller today and not a seller tomorrow. It’s an everyday thing. It’s made me learn how to work harder. I loved baseball and went really far into the minor leagues but only got so far because I had no confidence in myself. So when I found sneakers and became a hustler I learned that you really reap what you sow. I love the competition.
How has what you learned as a seller affected your life?
I wasn’t doing good at my job, I wasn’t succeeding at anything. The drive from the sales turned up in the way I acted. During the time I was starting out, my life was not on a good trajectory. This hustle changed my life in a good way. It made me this person that people wanted to be around. I turned into this guy who wants it. I want something in life and I don’t want to lose anymore. Back then, I just didn’t care whether or not I lost because it made no difference, but now, selling makes me feel like I have a purpose. I know people look at sneakers and are like “Oh it’s just sneakers it’s just this and that,” but, to me, when I look at a sneaker, it’s my life.
Five years ago, if I had the work ethic that I have now that I gained from selling sneakers, I would have definitely been in the pros. I had the most talent but I didn’t know how to work hard because I was lazy. This hustle turned my life around.
For a lot of people selling is solely about making money, but it sounds like selling gave you a hustle in which to learn about yourself and grow as a person.
Absolutely! It was the Krispy Kreme Kyries that drew me in, it wasn’t the money. I think when you fall in love with it and work hard you’re going to make crazy money either way because you actually love that thing. Reselling has opened so many doors for me, from meeting important people to having amazing life experiences. I’m constantly reminded to keep working, you’ll never know how far this can take you, and I still don’t know to this day. I feel like it’s gonna take me to all the places that I want to go. I’m thankful for it.
What are your goals for the future?
Every year I want to be better. I just want to keep progressing because I feel like that’s what my two “mentors” Kobe and Kyrie would say. Their drive, especially Kobe, that “I will stop at nothing to get to this position” attitude – I want to be that guy.
Where would you be if you hadn’t discovered this passion?
Ya know I don’t think I would have figured it out. Originally, my dream was to be a baseball player. That was my goal, there was no end game. I was 26 when I got released. So to answer your question, man, I don’t really know. I don’t think I would have figured it out. I think what was meant to happen, happened. So many things have gone right for me to be in the position I am today.