Cathy Christen

019: Life As A Masterpiece with Cathy Christen

Podcast

ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST | CATHY CHRISTEN

Cathy Christen is the current Division Manager of Cutco/Vector’s Gulf Coast Division, headquartered in Houston, TX. She is a 9-time National Champion in Office or District sales, and a member of the company’s Hall of Fame. She also runs multiple other businesses in several industries, and she mentors entrepreneurs across multiple markets to succeed in their business and life. Cathy is the best-selling author of “Life As A Masterpiece,” and is in-demand as a keynote speaker. A 17-year veteran in the Cutco/Vector business, Cathy is one of the company’s most dynamic and powerful leaders.

Q&A WITH CATHY CHRISTEN

Q: Let’s start with how you got started in the Cutco/ Vector business.

  • I found a business card advertising “Student Work” and I thought, “I’m a student. I need work.”
  • I was saving up to go study abroad the following semester so I wanted another part-time job so I went into the interview and saw a friend of mine who was working for Vector/ Cutco in the office.

Q: What were some of the initial challenges that you experienced?

  • This was a whole new world to me. I had never done anything like this before.
  • I had never been in charge of making my own schedule, contacting people I didn’t know on the phone,
  • My first challenge was actually sitting down to make a schedule and actually create work. Fortunately, I had a ton of support from my managers and they helped me make a schedule that would work around my other commitments but still enable me to reach my financial goals.  Once I had my plan in place I was able to just focus on executing the plan.

Q: Who were some of your initial influences in the business?

  • Jon Hoffenberg was my initial manager who worked directly with Scott Dennis.
  • Kelly (Gainer) Norman was my original Assistant Manager. We both ran Branch Offices at the same time. We both helped to run the Pilot Office at the same time and became a really good friends.

Q: What were some of the early lessons you learned from your rep and management experience?

  • The first big one was time management and really getting organized.
    • To this day, I take a weekend and map out my entire year including what goals and dreams I want to accomplish.
    • Every quarter I take at least a full day to make sure everything looks good for that quarter.
    • Every month I take about a half a day to make sure the month looks good.
    • Every week I take an hour to look back at the prior week to reflect on what went well, what needs to be better, what didn’t get done, and what are the main focuses for this week that need to get done.
    • Every day I take 5 minutes to review the day really quick so my mind is focused on what needs to get done.

Q: Jim Rohn says, “Don’t start the day until you’ve finished it.”

  • Yeah, time management has been the most impactful for me.
  • I also learned networking, rapport building, the self-confidence that comes from working with so many different personalities, presentation skills, closing skills, and transferring enthusiasm to other people.

Q: I’d like to hear about some of the most important experiences from your life and your business. Times that were transformational experiences that had a profound effect on you. What are some times that you can share?

  • The year before I started to sell Cutco I was in a car accident. This was something that really caught my attention that I had been wasting a lot of time.  At the time I always thought, “I’ll get to that later” or just partying and wanting to just go have fun.  But I knew I was supposed to be doing a lot more with my time and I had just been goofing around.  But I should have died in this accident and I felt like my Creator was telling me to get my act together and stop wasting my days. I really became more purposeful.
  • In my career center I was chatting with the counselor about my major and what I wanted to do after school and he asked me what title I would want to have on my business card.
    • My first answer was “International Food Taster” which Vector has really allowed me to do.
    • My second answer was “Maximum Potential Finder”
    • What’s amazing is that the next year I was able to run a Branch Office, an entrepreneur program most commonly for college students to run their own business for a summer between semesters.
    • I got to work closely with people and help them realize their potential and pour belief into them and really watch people grow. I saw the seed of possibility inside of people come to life because they were in the right environment and surrounded by the right people to help that potential become reality.
  • Another transformational experience was the beginning of my 3rd year running an office my cousin passed away and that shook me to my core. He had really helped me to build by business and we had a goal to break the record that year and when he died part of me just froze.  But one of my friends reminded me that he had worked so hard to help me and he was so excited to break these records that I should go out and do it for him. I felt like he was really watching over me that year.
    • I realized I can’t change it but I can take on a bigger mission moving forward and I can make positive meaning from negative situations.

Q: As you look over your Cutco/ Vector career, what do you feel like are some of your favorite highlights or some of your proudest accomplishments?

  • I’m most proud of the people who, when they eventually move on from Cutco/ Vector, have been the most desirable and most recruited people because of their resume and who they’ve become as people from their time with Cutco/ Vector.
  • Through the process of helping people become their best we’ve won a bunch of national titles and set a bunch of records, many of which are still records today.

Q: Let’s talk about your book! It’s called, “Life as a Masterpiece” and I’d like for you share what you think are a few lessons or takeaways people will get from the book.

  • The premise is that you can create the life you want.
  • In the beginning I go through figuring out what you want and why you want it.
    • If you don’t know what you want, your mind has no idea where to go. Your mind is like a GPS, you have to put in the destination and your subconscious know where to go.
  • The second part of the book goes through how to get it.
    • Goal setting and breaking down the process step by step.
  • The last part of the book is all about creating the right environment for growth.
    • What is your circle of influence?
    • What is the energy around you both internally and externally?
  • The book ends with some tips on adversity.
    • The fact is, adversity is part of life.

Q: I noticed in the book that you have sections called, “Pause and Reflect.” I’ve also noticed you have a lot of exercise questions in the book. This book is obviously designed for people to pause and write in the book and interact with it. I’m wondering how you recommend people using reflection and journaling in their life?

  • First of all, the book was designed to be a blueprint and not just another personal development book.
  • But to answer your question I think journaling is an amazing way we can decompress as well as a way to paint a vision for yourself.
  • If you keep it in your mind, situations can seem overwhelming but once it’s all laid out it seems to make more sense.
  • I use journaling for a lot of things. Prayers, future thoughts, things I’m excited about, people I’m thinking of, think out ideas, mediation, and even thoughts throughout the day.
  • Sometimes things seem a lot bigger in our head, but when we put it on paper whatever is overwhelming us, it becomes a lot easier to take on.

Q: I heard Denis Waitley say, “All lessons will be repeated until they are learned.”

  • Oh, I don’t want to forget another thing I use journaling for; gratitude!
  • Being able to flip back through my journal and see all the blessings I’ve already been given makes me feel so grateful for everything I’ve been given.

Q: What other advice do you have for someone who wants to be successful in business or in life?

  • Having vision. Having purpose. Really defining them.
  • Your brain needs to know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
  • When you know why you’re doing something that’s part of the daily grind, you know that each of those actions is moving you closer to your goal.
    • “20 calls a day = life of my dreams”
  • This gives you more meaning and purpose to the little things we do every single day.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

  • There are so many amazing people who experienced immense challenges and out of those challenges evolved their strengths. And that’s what helped to make them great.
  • Think about the idea of reflection and planning and how those ideas can help you to navigate the inevitable challenges of life.
  • What we do matters. We all have an impact, a ripple effect on the world, and it’s so important that we bring the best energy we can to our days, our interactions, to all the people we’re around to help make the world a better place.

 CUTCO/VECTOR TERMS

  • Division Manager- a Cutco/ Vector manager who runs a team of District and Branch Managers as well as their own “Pilot Office.
  • District Manager: a Cutco/ Vector office/ manager that runs a year-round office full time.
  • Pilot Manager- right hand to the Division Manager. Responsible for day to day operations in the Pilot office.
  • Branch Manager- a Vector/ Cutco manager, often a college student, who runs a sales office during the summer months.

 

Show Notes provided by Carlo Cipollina

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