John Carpenter is one of the most universally admired leaders in the Cutco/Vector Marketing sales organization. He was the company’s #1 sales rep in his first year, and has been the long-time leader of the Texoma Division, headquartered in Dallas. A veteran with the company since 1987, John has produced well over $100 million of Cutco sales throughout his career, and is a member of the company’s Hall of Fame. He has been married to Monica — his 6th grade sweetheart — since 1985 and has 2 kids, both of whom have sold Cutco. John and Monica love life and help everyone around them to do the same!


Q: Tell us a little about yourself before you started selling Cutco.

  • I started working when I was in 3rd grade because my parents are deaf (my mom is blind too). They liked bowling, and I was able to be their automatic score keeper.  It paid $2/ hour plus 3 free games every hour I worked.
  • I had a yard maintenance business.
  • And when I was 16, I got a job in construction with my grandmother’s company. I was making 3 times minimum wage.
  • When I was in school, I was an accounting major, and I figured I should get a job more in line with business, and that’s how I started with Cutco.

Q: What were some of the initial experiences that stand out?

  • On the 3rd day of training, I refused the base pay because I was confident that commission was going to be better for me.
  • I had great confidence in the product and I had really great mentors.

Q: What made your manager (Mark Karuza) so special to you as a leader?

  • I felt like he had a wealth of wisdom when it came to being great at making a great future and making a great life.
  • He taught me how to be a better man, husband, and a father.
  • Great leaders find the time to take an interest in other people.
  • Mark had a great work ethic.
  • He also taught me the importance of taking time away with my wife on a regular basis and have a date night.

Q: I would like you to tell us about your first summer as a Vector District Manager because some amazing sales leaders came out of your office that first year.

  • At first I wasn’t doing very well and one of the managers pulls me aside and points out that I wasn’t being myself — I was trying to be my manager. I realized I needed to be John Carpenter and no one else.

Q: You have an amazing reputation for uplifting other people around you.  What do you think creates that and how can other people capture a little of John Carpenter into their own personality?

  • I have to be up front. I’m not an innovator, I’m a stealer of other people’s stuff.  My manager turned me on to Zig Ziglar and he always talked about how important it is to be positive.
  • I love life!
  • I love over tipping service people, just for how it makes people feel.

Q: For young entrepreneurs just getting started in business who want to advance their careers, what advice would you give them?

  • Ask yourself who’s getting the result you want to achieve and find out what they’re doing and do it. Get around them and learn their thinking.

Q: You’ve mentioned your wife, Monica, a number of times and she’s played a major role in the advancement of your career.  What role has she played as your partner and leader to help you grow and advance?

  • She’s been my biggest cheerleader and she’s always believed in me.

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

  • I want to keep helping people in Cutco. We are the sure thing and we can help anyone succeed in their life no matter what your goals and dreams are.


  • I want to reiterate the idea that every person has self-doubt. Having someone there for you to tell you, “you CAN do it” makes all the difference.  It’s important that we are that person for people too.
  • “I love life!” Have gratitude for every day we have and have a generous spirit to help others feel that way too.
  • “How do you make people feel?” Are you an uplifting force?  How can you become more uplifting?


Show Notes for this episode provided by Carlo Cipollina.


To get access to all episodes and free resources, visit our podcast page!



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