ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST | JAYMISON JONES
Q&A WITH JAYMISON JONES
Q: Let’s start by hearing about your life before Cutco.
- I was born in Stockton, California. I was about five when my family relocated and bought a piece of property in Valley Springs. Unfortunately, a short while later, my father passed away and we relocated back to Stockton to be close with the family.
- Growing up, it was me, my mom, and my sister and occasionally we lived with other family members. I ended up going through elementary, high school and a little bit of community college in Stockton. The first time I moved out of the area was to run my Cutco branch.
Q: How did you end up getting started with Cutco?
- A buddy I grew up with ended up doing a Cutco presentation for my mom. I’m in there, watching him do the presentation, and long story short, my mom ends up buying some stuff.
- My buddy Nick had a $10,000 fast start. He was already making 30% and I was kind of pressing to find out what he made. He made close to $100 on that sale for my mom. That was way better than I was making at my own job, so I went in for the interview process and ended up selling Cutco.
Q: What do you feel like were some of the early lessons you learned from your experiences?
- When it comes to selling Cutco, I’d say the first thing was learning work ethic. Sticking to something and learning how to work hard.
- I also learned the importance that sales is a skill, not necessarily a talent. There’s a misconception that you’re born a salesperson. It’s something you put in the effort and energy. You can learn it and get better at it.
- Another thing I learned was the idea of surrounding yourself with the right people. I found that when you’re around a certain group of people, you actually rub off on each other.
- Another big one was this idea of investing and saving money. I had purchased a new stereo for my car with my first comma paycheck and after showing it off at the team meeting, my manager pulled me aside and called me an idiot for purchasing it. He pulled up the compound interest calculator on Vector Connect and showed me what I could have done with that money instead of spending it. That was a good lesson.
Q: Anthony Pimentel was your Division Manager during that time?
- He became my District Manager after about five or six weeks of me selling Cutco. He was my District Manager and then Division Manager when I became a District Manager. I worked with him pretty closely for about ten years. He’s probably one of my number one influencers in my life.
Q: What else would you say were some key experiences you had or lessons that came out of your early days with Cutco?
- This idea of assuming responsibility for our results. I remember hearing Winston Churchill’s quote at a conference, “the price of greatness is responsibility”.
- I learned if I was to do some reflection and take responsibility for the results I’m getting, I’d have the ability to influence and impact them. If there’s a desire or outcome I wasn’t achieving, instead of blaming circumstances or things around me, I had the ability to assume responsibility and focus on what I could control. That allowed me to make progression towards what I actually wanted.
- I also learned early on the value of being paid or compensated based on your value versus your time. I felt great about the idea of improving myself, self-development and improving my skill set because I knew that was going to reward me.
Q: This aspect of success is certainly one of the key things we could talk about. It’s something you feel like has evolved in you from where you were as a kid to your early stages of your Vector career to where you’re now as an exceptional leader. What can you tell us about this area or character? What can you tell us about the evolution of your own character?
- After my father passed, there was this part of me that wanted to be accepted in a lot of different environments. I did have my grandpa who was a really great guy. Everybody respected and liked him. He had a tendency of displaying a strong character.
- You do the right thing; you treat people well. You don’t do the right thing because you want to get the rewards, but because it’s the right thing to do.
- As I aged, I wanted to be accepted in my peer group and community. Unfortunately, where I wanted to be accepted wasn’t with the best crowd. There were times we would almost go out looking for trouble or finding ways to ride the boundary lines between right and wrong.
Q: Where did this lead you as you moved out from been a kid into been an adult?
- When you surround yourself with a certain type of people, you start to become like those people. We are naturally a product of our environment. I love the guys I grew up with. We’ve all learned and grown from where we were.
Q: What was the turning point for you?
- The biggest turning point for me was when I found out I was going to be a father. As a 20-year-old, I wasn’t sure how I was going to be a dad because I was still a kid myself.
- Based on the way I grew up, I always wanted to be a father. I have realized life will sometimes give us exactly what we want, but sometimes, it’s not packaged the way we expect or like. As the moment unfolded, I realized this was what I wanted out of my life. I needed to make some shifts into my behavior and the way I did things to be a better father.
Q: You had just started in Vector, maybe one or two years prior at this point?
- I was actually about to open my branch office. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do because I knew to be the father I wanted to be, I needed to be fully engaged with my daughter. I wanted something that was going to allow me to have flexibility in my schedule and able to be present when I needed to be. I found the District Manager role was the vehicle that ended up fitting the best for that situation.
Q: The birth of your daughter was your turning point. You ran a branch, you did well. You decided you were going to be a District Manager. Over the next few years after that, there was a dramatic evolution in who you have become. Tell us a little bit about how you feel your character and leadership evolved as you advanced into management with Vector?
- In the beginning of being a single father, learning how to juggle all that was really a challenging situation. I learned to be more efficient.
- Another thing I learned was this challenge I was experiencing was only going to make me better in the long run. Our perception of challenge influences how well we respond and where we choose to go after that. Being a father has made me a better District Manager and being a District Manager and running a business has allowed me to be a better father.
- The second thing would allude to a process of self-reflection and really taking ownership of the outcomes. Whenever there’s a sense of being a victim, it’s very difficult to stay in the same space as somebody who’s proactive and go seek out solutions.
Q: Having your daughter in your life probably increased your inspiration, caused your work ethic to evolve and develop in a different way, and gave you more of that sense of balance. There are so many good things that came out of that, that helped you evolve at a younger age than others, right?
- Right, it’s almost like taking the idea that life isn’t happening to us but happening for us, and seeking out the lessons that we’re trying to learn. The irony in that is sometimes life will continue to give us the same tests over and over until we pass that lesson and graduate to newer and bigger challenges.
- I shifted my perspective from the idea of trying to accomplish something to focusing more on who do I need to become to accomplish the thing I want and be satisfied with the character and person I’ve developed into.
Q: How did that focus manifest in your life? What were some of the things you did to be able to grow yourself during those years?
- There’s a lot of challenge in being honest with yourself. I noticed in the beginning of seeing that I had character flaws and habits that weren’t serving me well, there was a lot of resistance. I wasn’t taking responsibility; I was blaming the circumstances.
- As soon as I took responsibility and acknowledged that I’ve made these choices and now I have to follow the course, it became extremely freeing. It made it easier to continue to make the right choices and built on that character.
Q: Have you noticed when someone is not taking ownership? What does that look like? How does it manifest for someone when they are in that phase of blaming circumstances and not taking ownership? What advice do you give people for breaking out of that?
- One of the common identifiers is the blame. The refusal to accept where they are.
- I used to coach with Hal Elrod and he mentioned that as soon as we take responsibility for everything, we have the ability to influence anything. When people take time to recognize everything going on around them, the things they want to accomplish and the person they want to become, and take ownership of that, it becomes easier to move forward.
- The advice I’d give people is to take some time to do some self-reflection. One habit I developed here in Vector is journaling and doing that consistently and reflecting on those things. Also, planning and goal-setting. Knowing where you want to be going and having a vision of what you want your life to be.
Q: During these years, you met Kristen, who’s now your wife. I assume she’s had a large role in your development. Could you speak about her powerful impact on your life?
- I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Kristen. She’s extremely selfless. She’s got a tenacity and this element of grit where she sees things through and gets them done, but she does it with so much grace and makes it look so effortless and everybody loves her.
- She’s someone I feel great about having in my corner because it makes the challenges that may present themselves easier.
Q: Throughout these years you have developed as a real pillar leader in the Western Region. You had a couple of breakthroughs along the way. 2014 was a huge breakthrough for you. You ended up becoming the Division Manager of NorCal. What can you tell us about taking these steps in your career?
- The first real big step in my career was in 2012. That made the big shift in my trajectory as a manager. It was a year of a lot of self-reflection, being honest with myself, and seeing some of the things I was doing well. But also the things I wasn’t doing well.
- Going into that summer of 2012, I made a commitment I was no longer be cutting corners. I wasn’t going to do things minimally just to get them done. I wanted to do them to the best of my ability.
- We had a great sales summer and were number one or two in the region for new business that year.We also had this great team development.We had twelve Assistant Managers and that team propelled us into an even bigger year in 2013.Over $900,000 for the year and 2014 was the year where everything kind of came together.
- It was a decision which compounded itself and attracted other people who also wanted to have that type of support, who wanted to become the best versions of themselves.
Q: What do you feel like are some of the characteristics, phrases or words that sum up your leadership?
- I would say servant leadership is one big thing. There are probably things I wouldn’t be able to teach my team. For people who are in that position, I try to support them in the best way I can.
- I also try to live in alignment with the best version of myself. Trying to set a good example of what would be good for them to follow.
Q: What are the ways you are working with your people to help them with their own development, starting with the development of their character and skills that help them do well?
- Most of the success patterns started by adjusting and developing better habits. I encourage people to identify some of the habits that are hindering or helping them succeed and making sure they’re focusing on developing great habits.
- One of the ways we do that is we have a lot of 40-day challenges. Those challenges make it easier for people to breakout into the next step.
Q: Any other cool stuff you’re doing with your division you think people ought to hear?
- Our events team is great. They are really hungry, and they’ve got a lot of different events and are solution oriented. During COVID-19, our team has decided to not just focus on resources but become resourceful and they’ve found solutions.
- Another thing I’ve done with people I’m close with is the words of the year. We have these bracelets with words you can engrave. The word I chose for this year is “discernment,” which essentially means to judge well. Having that on my wrist all year has served as an opportunity to look at it and reflect on if I’m making a decision that the best version of myself would make.
Q: How do you feel like these concepts we have talked about carry over to your family and your role as a father today?
- With parenting, there isn’t a playbook that’s going to be 100% on the point. I’ve also learned, good times or bad, the kids are going to learn more from what you do versus what you say. Modeling behavior and being this person who shows the family the right way to show up. I also teach my kids the importance of just being kind and supportive.
Q: What are you most excited about as you look into the future, five to ten years from now?
- I hope I still get to coach soccer. That’s my favorite thing. In five years, my eldest will be 18. I want to continue being a great father and have a great impact on my family.
- As far as my division and business goes, I obviously would love to see a continued growth year after year.
- Also, I feel really motivated to help other fathers give back. To offer coaching and guidance to other fathers in my community and insights on how they can show up well for their families.
- Sales is a skill. Virtually everything we want to develop in our lives is a skill which can be learned. We can learn anything whether it is a skill to influence others, leadership, or personal characteristics. Character development can be viewed as a skill.
- The power of self-reflection and a particular distinction of what he wanted to achieve in life versus who he needed to become in order to put himself in the position to achieve what he wanted.
- The idea of assuming responsibility for where you are in your life. For a lot of people, that word, responsibility, can be heavy. I can offer you another word I’ve learned which is complicity. Complicity is a softer way of looking at responsibility and asks the question, how have I allowed this to happen?
- In terms of business, the important idea of not cutting corners. He stopped cutting corners and that helped him move his business in a positive direction. Cutting corners erodes our self-worth and expectations for success.
Show Notes for this episode provided by Brian Njenga.
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