Ed McClain credits perseverance, dedication, and patience as the keys to his success in selling Real Change for 11 years
He calls it the phrase that pays and it’s been working for over a decade.
“Real Change ma’am? Real Change sir? Have a great day ma’am, have a great day sir,” Ed McClain calls to passesrby while sitting in front of the Safeway in the University District. He rattles off the phrase so quickly it sounds like one long word.
“Everybody knows me all over town,” McClain says. “I don’t care where I go they say, ‘Real Change. Thank you much, ma’am, thank you much, sir.’”
He’s been using the oft-imitated phrase since he began selling Real Change 11 years ago after arriving in Seattle from Minneapolis to see his son. He’s been a top vendor for the past eight years.
McClain, 63, says his keys to success as a vendor are perseverance, dedication, and patience.
“I sell papers every day,” McClain says. “Even when I’m sick I go sell papers, I don’t do anything else but sell papers. It pays my rent, telephone bill, cable bill, food bill, and medical bill. It pays for everything. Not only that, I send my grandson’s mother $300 a month for him to attend hockey, karate, and baseball.”
A degree in sociology and the freedom to be his own boss help him excel, but there is one myth he’d like to dispel, “I’m not homeless,” he says. “This pays my rent. If I were not selling papers I’d be homeless or I’d have to go get a job. I would have made it without Real Change, but Real Change has made it easier.”