Andrew Nickerson is the East Valley District Manager for the Cutco/Vector Marketing sales organization, located in the Phoenix AZ metro. A 2-time National Champion manager with the company, Andrew has achieved the pinnacle of success in his role while navigating significant personal adversity. Andrew is a single father of 2 young daughters, one of whom has special needs that demand much of Andrew’s time and attention. Through growing himself and others in his organization, Andrew has been able to build a highly-successful business, while navigating several personal storms. His story is one that will inspire you to overcome your own challenges and succeed in the work you do.


Q: Tell us a little about how you got started selling Cutco with Vector.

  • I was a senior in high school and I was referred to the job through from someone who I was not a big fan of, but I was looking to earn some cash over winter break and I loved the people and the culture and I felt like I was growing a ton.

Q: What were some of the early experiences you had selling Cutco and what were some lessons you learned?

  • Figuring out some talents I didn’t know I had and learning so much so quickly and so noticeably from doing the Cutco demos.
  • The Cutco process reveals you.

Q: You’ve had a very unorthodox path through the company.  Tell us a little about how your path unfolded.

  • My first year I focused on finishing high school and then working with Vector/ Cutco through the Summer. I didn’t know if I wanted to stick with it but I was invited into the Leadership Academy and loved it so I started to prepare to run a Branch Office the following summer.
  • I am really competitive and wanted to be the #1 branch in my division.
  • At that time, I realized that the traditional path through college wasn’t for me, and I decided that I wanted to open another Branch office the following year. So I went through the Leadership Academy again and ran another summer office the following year.
  • After my 2nd summer running an office, I decided to leave the company because I didn’t get the results I was looking for, but after a few months I realized that Vector was where I wanted to be.
  • I became an assistant manager for a newer District Manager who had won a Silver Cup and was really great at developing a staff, which was something I wasn’t very good at.
  • Some time after that my girlfriend and I found out she was pregnant, and soon after that, I decided to leave Cutco/ Vector again to find something that I thought would be more stable.
  • My friend’s dad owned a car dealership so I got a job there selling cars. I had just started to feel like I was getting the hang of selling cars when I found myself mistakenly arrested and accused of committing 4 felonies that I had nothing to do with.  And as I was thinking this couldn’t possibly get any worse, my daughter was born 9 weeks early with a genetic disorder.
  • That’s when I knew I needed a more significant opportunity so I could take care of my daughter. Coincidentally, my former Cutco manager posted about some new bonuses which led me to call him to see about coming back to the business.
  • 11 months later my 2nd daughter was born, but unfortunately things with their mother didn’t work out, which put me in the position of being a single dad. That’s led to some challenges in learning how to give my girls the love and attention and parenting that they need while also growing the business.
  • And it’s been a process learning how to balance the business with my personal life. Really mastering my schedule and figuring out what the non-negotiables are in my office and in my business as well as out of the business.
  • And even though I’m now spending a lot of time in doctor’s appointments with my daughter who has the genetic disorder, I find that our office is still performing at a higher level that it ever has.

Q: How does that come together?

  • When you’re forced to be on top of your schedule and you have so many things going on, it forces you to really focus on things that move the needle for the office. I used to confuse being at the office with working.
  • I was also forced to get good at developing people so they can help out when I’m not there.

Q: Let’s talk about that a little more.  What are some of the keys to successfully developing people and getting people tied into your vision.

  • Having a clear vision and a plan that you’re excited about and committed to. Your people can tell if you’re excited and committed to the vision you’re promoting.
  • I also had to learn to trust people and be ok that they aren’t going to start off being as good as you, but learning how to train people and then delegate tasks to them.

Q: So while you’ve been experiencing all these challenges you’ve also been able to develop an organization that has been #1 for 2 years.  The road has not been easy for you, but can you speak to how you’ve continued succeeding and continued to get better and better in your business while navigating personal adversity.

  • Realize that there are very few times in your life where the sky is actually falling. And even when it’s really hard, even the worst storms eventually move away.
  • The other thing is to just show up. Sometimes that’s easy.  Sometimes it’s really hard.

Q: As you look into the future, how do you aspire to change people’s lives through your work or through your influence?

  • Something I tell my reps is that I didn’t move to a new area just to open a Vector office. I moved and opened a Vector office to start a movement.
  • Whether someone is in my office for 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, or 2 years or more, I want everyone who comes through my doors to grow personally and professionally.
  • As long as God continues to give me the ability to speak and inspire people, I’m going to continue to do what I’m doing.


Show Notes provided by Carlo Cipollina.

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