ABOUT TODAY’S EPISODE | KATE VASEY
Kate Vasey is currently the DC Metro Division Manager for the Cutco/Vector Marketing sales organization, headquartered in Rockville, MD. A 19-year veteran with the company, Kate advanced rapidly into a Division Manager position after graduating from college and excelling as a District Manager. Responsible for over $40 million in Cutco sales, Kate is a member of the company’s Hall of Fame. She was married to her husband, Patrick, in 2016, and they have 2 young daughters. As a shining example of a success as a Divisional Executive and mother, Kate is a role model throughout the entire company.
Q&A WITH KATE VASEY
Q: Tell us a little about how you got started selling Cutco with Vector.
- I saw an ad for the job in the newspaper when I was a tutor as a senior in high school. I held on to that ad for a few months until I graduated in June. I was so excited about the job that I told some of my friends and had a blast.
- I sold Cutco all 4 years in college where I had the chance to work with Jeff Gamboa, which was a life-changing experience. I went through the Leadership Academy while helping to run the office and when I graduated from college I became a District Manager.
Q: What were some of the early experiences you had selling Cutco and what were some lessons you learned?
- One that stands out was when I was a new District Manager. We had a decent first summer, but when we went into my first Fall, I experienced pretty significant failure for the very first time and it wasn’t connecting for me.
- I still remember where I was when I called my manager, Jeff Gamboa, and I remember crying to him for the first time on the phone and sharing with him how embarrassed I was that I wasn’t creating what I thought I should be.
- I don’t remember what Jeff told me, but I do remember how he made me feel. And something I’ve learned from him is his incredible ability to make people feel special and feel loved. I left that conversation knowing that he believed in me 100%.
- Shortly after that conversation we had a company trip and I got to take some time away from work and just clear my mind a second, and it’s where I crafted my first million dollar year in a business plan. I crafted a list of questions I was going to ask myself every single morning and I mapped out what I needed to do day-by-day and week-by-week for the rest of the year.
- And at the end of that year we had achieved our million dollar goal and when I looked back at my business plan we had achieved our goal almost exactly how I had mapped it out.
- I learned that there was real power in making that decision but then also implementing the daily routine that coincides with that to really make the change happen.
- Every morning when I was eating breakfast I would set a kitchen timer for 10 minutes and I looked over the questions I had written down as part of my plan. Questions like, “what type of leader do I want to be today?” And “who can I influence today?” And “what can I do to take a step forward in creating a million dollar year?”
- I would also look over the Top 20 report every day. I wrote my name at the bottom of that report and I would look at that every single day just to set my intentions.
- Aside from Jeff’s loving leadership, one of my main take-aways was the power of putting that goal to paper plus a daily routine that will help you achieve that goal.
- One last take-away through all of my experiences early on and something I reflect back on now, more than I did when it was happening, is the importance and power in getting comfortable with who I am as a person and really loving who I am.
Q: Tell us about some of your other transformational experiences in your career and how they’ve shaped you into who you are now.
- One experience that stands out significantly picks up where we left off was when I was executing on this plan to sell one million dollars in our office for a year. We had 2 chants that year: “the thrill of a mill” and “capture the cup!”
- These chants embodied our two goals for the year; selling one million dollars AND winning the Silver Cup- the trophy awarded to the #1 office in a competitive category.
- All through this year I dug in and focused on developing this amazing group of leaders and as we went into the fall we started our Leadership Academy to further develop some of the top people in my office. We get all the way to the last week of the year and going into Christmas we have a $40,000 lead on the #2 office and we were running a massive training class and all of my top people were there helping and learning during this training class which means none of my top people were out selling.
- The final report came out on the last day of training and all my team was there and they all knew the report was due so we all sat around my computer and opened the report to find out that the number 2 team who was down by $40,000 had sold $70,000 and beat us for the Silver Cup.
- In that moment, even though I was mad and frustrated and wanted hide out, I closed my laptop and I brought everyone around and told them that the #2 team had beat us in the last week of the year and we didn’t win the Silver Cup. And I proceeded to tell each of my teammates how proud of them I was and we spent the next 90 minutes going around the team sharing what we like about each person, we shared stories, and we celebrated what we had built together.
- Even though I’m a very competitive person, in that moment I realized as I looked around at each person in that room that my team had won that year because of who we had all become.
- That group went on to become the foundation of our team for years to come.
Q: Tell us about the experience of having your first child while running your division and the challenges you’ve had in that experience.
- Well anyone who’s ever helped to run a Cutco office knows that the summer is a manager’s busiest and most important time of the year to be fully present in your office. And our girl was born on May 8th, so that presented me with an immediate challenge from a timing perspective.
- I realized that I had some real limiting beliefs around that and I had to learn to lean on others to help me succeed as a working mom in Vector/ Cutco but I knew from a young age that being a mom in Vector/ Cutco is what I wanted. When I shared the news with all the leaders within the company, they were all so excited for me and every single one of them offered to help me in any way they could.
- It’s helped me to think through things differently and ask myself, “I’ve always done it this way, but how can I do it now? What can it look like this time?”
- One thing I’m so grateful for, now more than ever since becoming a parent, is being Vector-trained. This is really the PERFECT place to be a working parent.
- I like how Kate shared some of the difficulties of being a new manager running a new business as a District Manager and the challenges from her first summer. Most new businesses have challenges in the beginning and Kate shared how she navigated those challenges by gaining support from others.
- I loved how Kate talked about how Jeff Gamboa would make her feel. It reminds me of the saying, “people won’t remember what you say. People won’t remember what you do. But they will remember how they made you feel.” What is the emotional response you’re creating in the people that you’re dealing with on a day-to-day basis? How are you making people feel?
- Through some of the most challenging times of her life, Kate learned the value in coaching, she learned about the idea of leading with love, about pouring into her people, and helping others around her.
- It’s great to see the example she’s setting right now as a new mom in the business. A great friend of mine has said, “you can’t be what you don’t see.”
Show Notes provided by Carlo Cipollina.
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