ABOUT TODAY’S EPISODE | EVAN KELLER
Evan Keller is one of the brightest stars in the Cutco/Vector Marketing universe. An 18-year veteran with the company, Evan was one of the company’s top student sales reps during his years at Marquette University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with degrees in Finance and Marketing. As a New District Manager, Evan was #1 in the company his first year, and his office broke the all-time company record in 2014. He was promoted to South Coast Division Manager that year, and his Division has been among the top Divisions in the company every year under his guidance. Evan has been married to his wife, Annie, for 10 years, and they have 3 young children. Evan succeeds at everything he does, and is the ultimate role model for so many others in his circles of influence.
Q&A WITH EVAN KELLER
Q: Tell us a little about how you got started selling Cutco with Vector.
- My friend recommended me for the job, but before I went in for the interview I had gone to several appointments and seen the demo, so I knew a lot about it already. I sold Cutco that summer and then went off to college.
Q: Tell us about your early years in college while selling Cutco. What were some of the early experiences you had selling Cutco and what were some lessons you learned?
- In my early years I was focused on school during the school year, and I sold Cutco primarily during the summer and winter breaks. I was fortunate enough to earn enough during my breaks to pay for all my school bills during the year.
- My District Manager, Blair Berkley, played an immense role in my development during my first summer.
- My 2nd summer was an All-American Scholarship winning summer, which was momentous for me. That was the summer I flipped a switch and realized I could do something significant here if I stuck with it.
- A lesson I really value having learned early on was the power in hearing “NO” and pressing on anyway.
Q: Why did you decide to become a District Manager once you finished with college?
- I was pursued heavily by my Division Manager but I did interview at other places just to see what was out there. But if I’m being totally honest, as a 21/ 22 year old graduating from a business and marketing school, I was looking at where I could start with the highest pay possible. It’s funny to say that now, because this has become more about helping to impact people than it is about money for me.
Q: Tell us about some of your more transformational experiences you feel really shaped you into who you are today.
- I was an Assistant Manager in an office where the manager was being promoted to another territory, so he wasn’t as engaged as he could have been. But soon after, I was transferred into an office where the manager was hyper-engaged and I thrived in that.
- Another transformational year for me was my first year as a District Manager, which was in 2008. If you can remember, 2008 wasn’t a great year for our economy but that was the year our office won our first Silver Cup. My parents were very reluctant about me starting an entrepreneurial venture during one of our most challenging economic years, and my team really rallied around that.
- Another transformational opportunity was getting promoted to the position of Division Manager. I’ve never been more scared and excited at the same time.
Q: Let’s talk about what are the keys to achieving excellence both personally and professionally. How do you strike that balance and what are some things that help keep both of those plates spinning at a very high level for you?
- I don’t look at it as being balanced or even being two different things. Of course I can separate the two when I need to but overall I try to integrate my life.
- This year I decided to be really intentional with my time. Wherever we are, we need to be there. When I’m with my family, my phone is down and I’m engaged and trying to play full out as much as I can in those moments. Even though I might spend most of my time on my business, the time that I spend with my kids or my wife resonates at a bigger level when I’m showing up for the hours that I am putting in at home.
- And when I’m at work I’m choosing to make those hours really, really count so that way I don’t have anything hanging over my head.
- I don’t just want to work hours, I want to be effective in the hours I work.
Q: What are some of the most important activities in your work that enable you to be the most effective? What are you doing on a day-to-day basis that help to bring out the best in yourself and your people?
- Planning and forethought are the most important things for me to do. Vision-casting and laying out a framework and programs is where my time is best spent.
- Studying and learning and accessing new content helps to keep me fresh.
- Also, running training for my people to help develop their skills plus 1-on-1 meetings with my leaders is another great use of my time.
- I find that I’m at my best when I’m ritualistic. Getting up early (before my kids) and get in a workout and anything else that needs to get done I’ve found is an important ritual for me personally. Professionally, I make sure I have time in my calendar to plan out my business and what I need to do.
- I also like to set rewards for my family for hitting a big goal or after my really busy season.
- Another habit, is taking time to be with my wife 1-on-1.
- Lastly, being willing to put in the hard work and long hours.
Q: As you look into the future, what are you most excited about?
- I’m really excited about where my family is right now. I just sat down with my wife and reviewed our dreams list, and I’m so excited about achieving those in the next 10 years.
- I’m also really excited about where our Division is headed. We’re going to have a break out year in 2020.
- I’m also really excited about gaining knowledge. At the beginning of 2018 I just decided to become more curious.
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