Ben Lee is a young leader with a true passion for excellence. In high school, he was a captain on 2 California State Champion football teams. He started selling Cutco in 2019, and was #1 in sales among over 40,000 others recruited by the company that year. He advanced to the position of District Manager in 2020, and became the company’s #1 New District Manager out of over 100 dynamic competitors. Ben has the will to win and the ability to inspire others to join him in his mission. Now Cutco/Vector’s manager for Ventura County (CA), he’s one of the finest young leaders you might ever encounter.



Q: Listen, you’re a new guy in the company. We haven’t had any live events this year. Most people throughout Vector/Cutco don’t know you. I’d love for them to get some insights into who you are. Why don’t you take us back and share a little bit about your background?

  • Growing up from 6 to 18 years old, it was football and school and that was me for a very long time.
  • I believe a lot of who I’m today came from lessons I learned through my football years. I had dreams and aspirations since I was a little kid playing football.
  • I had to put my heart and passion into something else. I graduated from high school and had a look at the opportunities.

Q: What got you into selling Cutco?

  • In high school, I had an older brother figure. He was a junior when I was a freshman. This guy gave me a call one day and said, “I’ve got a cool job opportunity selling knives, you should go check it out!”
  • I thought he was joking.
  • That’s how I ended up in Cutco.

Q: Who was this?

  • Niko Harris.

Q: What were some of the most memorable experiences from your first summer of selling?

  • Selling knives wasn’t something I had a lot of confidence doing.
  • First I hadn’t sold much. Second, my dad was somebody who didn’t say much and I actually took after him.
  • I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I went into it
  • My first 10 days I sold $16,000 of Cutco and my manager was telling me how good that was.
  • A couple of weeks later, we had our SC1 push period and I sold $11,500, but I lost and got 2ndThat drove me to work harder in something I’d never done in my life.
  • During SC2, I prepared for a couple of weeks and sold about $26,000 of Cutco. It really showed me a lot on who I was.
  • I got promoted to Assistant Manager and sold $58,000 in my first summer. I was #2 rep in the Region at that point.

Q: I love how you used competition to drive you. Is that something you developed playing football all those years or is it something you’ve always had?

  • In high school, I was in 3 state championships. I lost one and won 2.
  • I’ve always surrounded myself with really competitive people who share the same common goals that I have.

Q: You said something about being wrong about who you were … You learned that you were wrong about who you were after having these successes. Can you explain that?

  • I was kind of average in school about 3.5 average grades.
  • When I played football, I struggled to find something that I really enjoyed. Playing football was something I genuinely loved.
  • When that dream was crushed, I was put in a spot where I had a lot of self-doubt. It was really tough. It was really a bad point in my life.
  • I took a lot of hard work to get out of that, but it happened.

Q: What do you feel was the biggest lesson you learned during that first summer?

  • You are who you see yourself to be. I truly believe it was one of the biggest things I learned in Vector.
  • You can think yourself into who you want to be.
  • The only thing that holds you back from doing anything you want to do is yourself.
  • The only reason why I held myself back was the way I thought about mysel

Q: You sold more than any other reps trained in the company in 2019. $84,745 starting June 8th through to the end of December. What do you think sets you apart as such a great sales rep?

  • The first thing that comes to mind is something my coaches used to tell me in the locker room. We were never the biggest, fastest or strongest team. The reason we won is because we always wanted more than the other teams.
  • That’s what I believe set me apart from other reps. I wanted it more than a lot of other people. I had things to accomplish in my life and I turned them into my goals.
  • I also was someone who was genuine and passionate with the customers.

Q: You described wanting it more. Now you’ve worked with reps and you lead people. How come everybody doesn’t want to be as successful as you have?

  • I think I know what it’s like to be the best of the best, be #1. There is no greater feeling to me than winning a championship. Winning with people that I know love and support me.
  • This is also because of how I was raised. My father and mother did a great job raising me and giving me a good perception of life and the way to attack everything that comes my way.

Q: What else do you try to get people to do to capture that feeling and know what it’s going to be like to achieve their goals? What comes to your mind?

  • First things first, a lot of people have different things that mean a lot to them. I think the level of how they feel about certain accomplishments is one of the things I do a lot with my reps. I try to find out what means a lot to them.
  • What is their true sense of purpose and passion for the things they do?
  • I think all my reps feel how much I care for them. I’m here for them. They understand I want their success just as much as they want it. I think that’s something that is very powerful. Something that can go a long way.

Q: You went straight from rep to DM.  What made you decide to take that quick route up the Vector ladder?

  • You (Dan Casetta) did a talk. I think it might have been a summer conference. What got me thinking is you talked about aligning what you do with your core values. After that talk, I went home and I remember sitting down and asking myself, “What do I love to do?”
  • I know that I love to bring smiles to people’s faces. When you look at the DM opportunity, it was a combination of that.
  • I had an important conversation with Kevin Donahue about the Pillars of the LA Showtime Division.

Q: The plan for you was to get your office started. We usually open new offices in May, and 2 months before that, the shit hit the fan and COVID-19 struck in earnest. All of your plans were sort of thrown into a bunch of uncertainty. What was your mindset at this point? What were you thinking?

  • I was in a spot where I thought okay! this is weird. I wasn’t too sure what was happening.
  • I remember you telling the whole management staff a story about Deanna Scortino when COVID-19 broke out. She was the first person to give you a call. No one knew what was going on or what was going to happen. But Deanna said, “I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I do know I what’s going on right here and I’ll make it the reason for why I have the best year ever and why I’ll become #1 in the company!”
  • I remember sitting in my apartment thinking “What if this is your time? What if this is going on for you?”

Q: What were some of the challenges you encountered when trying to get this off the ground and build a business in the early days?

  • I was just starting to get some traction with my management training, then had to make a huge switch to the new things we were innovating. It was a struggle for sure.
  • Learning how to properly train representatives – especially on the new virtual demo – was a big challenge.
  • One of the biggest challenges was making a new game plan.
  • I worked as hard as I could and it was a success.

Q: You certainly adapted pretty quickly to everything and got off to a good start right out the gate and kept on building momentum throughout the year and finished strong in fall. You ended up as the #1 New DM in the company. This is something that a high number of very talented people took on all across the company. You were competing against some really incredible individuals and you won. What do you feel are some of your success factors as a leader?

  • I wasn’t too sure how good I was in training, interviewing or anything like that. But I knew the combination of success I had had in football and selling.
  • I knew how to send the message to people that I cared about them. I knew for sure how to let my people know I had their backs.
  • My work ethic. Being a leader, leading by action. I’ve never worked as hard as last year. 12-15 hour workdays. It wasn’t easy, but it inspired my people.

Q: You’ve referenced your long-term friend and right hand guy that helped you throughout this whole process, Adam. Can you tell us a little bit of the role he played?

  • Adam is someone who I believe was bought into everything I wanted to do last year like I was.
  • He’s someone I can genuinely call a brother.
  • Someone who has fought so hard professionally, for people in his team, for his family.
  • It’s amazing to see the man he’s turned into.

Q: What’s next for you in 2021 and beyond?

  • I’m going for a $1 million year.
  • This year is all about taking what I did last year to another level.

Q: As you look further into the future, what are some of the ways you aspire to change people’s lives through your influence?

  • I believe I’ve been given gifts.
  • I’ve being brought to this planet for a certain reason. I’m supposed to bring a lot of happiness to a lot of people. I’ve found myself here in this world to give that to as many people as possible.
  • Diving in this year and figuring out and mastering my craft to get to the point where I could do that as authentically, genuinely with many people as possible. That is my goal.



  • What an amazing individual Ben already is and is continuing to evolve into.
  • He was part of 2 state championship teams. He had a $16,000 first start, #1 rep trained in 2019.
  • All this great success building in his young life.
  • Ben said, you are who you see yourself to be.
  • He described how he wants it more than others.
  • I really want to encourage people. if you can just know what it’s like to be a champion, be the best at what you’re doing, your motivation and inspiration to achieve at a high level can be great if you evolve in that way.
  • Ben described the idea he wasn’t more skilled than most people, but was able to communicate his care to people.
  • He wasn’t the best manager technically speaking in the Vector business, but was great at working with people. That’s a trait anybody can bring to what they are doing.


Show Notes for this episode provided by Brian Njenga.

To learn more and get access to all episodes, visit our podcast page!


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