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 32-year veteran with the company, John has produced nine figures of Cutco sales throughout his career. He has been married to Monica — his 6th grade sweetheart — for 34 years and has 2 kids, both of whom have sold Cutco. John loves life and helps everyone around him 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 provided by Carlo Cipollina.

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