ABOUT TODAY’S EPISODE | MIKE ABRAMOWITZ
Mike Abramowitz is without question the greatest District Manager in the Cutco/Vector Marketing organization today. He won 2 Silver Cups in 2019 and 3 more in 2020, as the #1 DM office in New Business and Total Business, and the #1 District Team with over $2.4 million in sales. His successful career has been a testament to the power of ambition, willingness to work, and the ability to choose a positive response to all of life’s challenges. Mike is also an active philanthropist who has been honored with the company’s prestigious Marty Domitrovich Triple Crown of Service award for his important contributions to his Tampa Bay communities and others. A 16+ year veteran with the company, Mike is of course a member of the Cutco/Vector Hall of Fame.
Q&A WITH MIKE ABRAMOWITZ
Q: Tell me a little bit about what you were like before Cutco/Vector?
A: Youngest of 8, overweight, and lacked confidence. In fact I walked into the Cutco interview with a “fro” that had been donned with cornrows. I played basketball, admired Michael Jordan, played video games, was a self-proclaimed big nerd.
Q: How did you find Cutco?
A: Ironically, I had applied in my freshman year, and got declined. Who knows why?
Then the next summer I got a letter in the mail and it got my foot in the door.
Q: Tell us about the most important experiences in the early part of your career, and what you learned?
A: Six weeks into my career, there was a summer Conference sales contest that in Cutco is called SC2. And my sample kit was stolen out of my car. I had gone through most of my initial list of people, and in my sample kit was a list of all of the referrals I had generated in those 6 weeks, plus credit card info, order forms, etc. It was bad!
My manager Andrew Teichman brought me into his office and I cried my eyes out saying I didn’t wanna quit. But in that moment, I felt like I had to quit because all of my resources had been taken away from me.
He said “You have a choice. To back away or to choose to find a way. Whatever you decide everyone will be ok with. It just might define the rest of your time working here. And it might define the rest of your life … who knows?”
So I decided to stay. I went through all of my chicken list, I called my ex gf’s parents, my kindergarten teachers. I was digging deep out of desperation and I was not getting results. AT ALL. And it was really challenging. I was failing.
My manager then asked me: “Tell me, what are you telling your customers?” I told him that I was telling my story! I had my stuff stolen, I have no money!
He shared with me the idea that, If you’re sharing your story from a position of scarcity like you’re behind, nobody wants to be around that negative energy. If you want to enroll people into the opportunity, into the success, tell your story as if your story was for sure going to be a success. So, I changed my story. And there was an award at the conference which was actually a set of Cutco. He told me that he wanted me to imagine the story of winning my sample kit back that was stolen from me.
I got back on it. I rallied. I hit my goal and won my sample kit back. And just the pride of going through the challenges, going through the slump, and pushing through, helped me become a lot tougher. It was so rewarding early in my Cutco career.
DC: This is a huge concept about a past versus future orientation. When you speak to someone with a past orientation. It’s not as powerful as when you speak to someone with a future orientation.
Mike: I had no idea that first challenge would have prepared me for much more challenging experiences. One that stood out was when my mom got cancer. I didn’t have to take 26 trips back from FL to NJ during school, but I did that. I chose to deal with the situation and I don’t know how I would have dealt with it if I wasn’t prepared from an early age to learn to take challenges and expand my capacity. I didn’t have to stay open as a manager when she did die, but I stayed focused. The positive future story after the circumstance empowered me to do so.
There will be life beyond the circumstance.
Dan: There’s a quote – that says success is being faced with dozens of decisions every day and always making the tougher one. Choosing the most challenging path is almost always the right call. And looking back you’ll always be glad that you did that.
Q: What else did you get from that?
A: I teach my people about being anti-fragile. We get stronger through challenge.
There’s fragile, which is a wine glass, Durable which is like a sippy cup. And anti-fragile which is our immune system which gets stronger by getting exposure to challenges.
Q: What do you think are some of the qualities that make you tick?
A: Ambition from my dad. He owns a plumbing business and at the age of 79 he still works 5-6 days a week. He defines ambition. He’s in the gym 4-5 days a week.
Compassion from my mom. She was always willing to help others. She was the one who saved all the pets, stray animals, and helped kids, had anyone stay at our house, gave food to the less fortunate. For my bar mitzvah, we did random acts of kindness. Watching my mom fight all the way through cancer.
From working with my DVM Matt King. I learned tremendous masculinity. Internal strength. Testing boundaries. Bettering myself.
Alignment and Abundance. I’m great how I am, and I have a lot of work to do.
From my wife, I learned patience. How to seek to understand vs to be understood. She’s fire and I’m water. Empathy.
How we view ourselves impacts the kind of legacy we can leave behind.
You can have anything in life that you want as long as you help other people get what they want. -Zig Ziglar
Q: I know you have a lot of passion projects: Can you talk about PB&J for Tampa Bay, GRAB Community, Better than Rich? Tell us about these parts of your life.
A: After attending a Tony Robbins conference, I learned that it’s not about me, it’s about “we”. I started speaking at local schools and spoke 300 hours, turning my mess into my message and came up with GRAB message.
Later, myself and a rep of mine in my office came up with the idea of feeding people and we got like 6-7 reps and got some donations from customers and made 350 sandwiches that next month and they loved it. Then it was 500 meals, then more. Now we’re up to 75,000 sandwiches made! It got picked up by FOX, podcasts, and while it was not why we did it, we’ll definitely talk about it. Other offices nationwide did it too, so we changed it from PB&J for Tampa Bay to PB&J for USA. It inspired others!
I gotta thank Bobby Lewis. He wrote a book called Finding Joy Beyond The Headlines.
And I was featured in a chapter in it on ambition.
It’s also allowed me to contribute to Junior High Schools where we teach this concept.
Tell me more about GRAB tomorrow?
A: It’s a message for young people about life outside the classroom, more of winning the inner game. Affirmations and incantations. “All I need is within me know.” Our thoughts are not US. We are the observers of our thoughts and we can influence them if we know how to. I teach how to design your mission statement. The questions we answer are:
- What are the things we want?
- Why do you want it?
- Who do you want to be?
- Who are some mentors you have in your life and who are your role-models?
- What are the characteristics they embody?
I spoke to a juvenile detention center and a few of the inmates asked me after why I spoke there? I said to them that “where you are” is not “who you are.” The actions you did in the past happened because of the thoughts that went through your head. But obviously you’re open to this message because you’re still having this conversation with me so you can choose a different path. Just like we choose a new thought, you can choose a different path.
Dan: You talked about affirmations and incantations, and not everyone understands it. Some may think it’s strange. But the idea is that we need constant repetition to have the ideas become engrained. It’s like bathing, it’s a constant process.
Its not about modeling people, its about modeling the belief system of successful people.
Q: What other advice do you have?
Be selfless. Be willing to give. But not because you want people to “know”. It puts me in conflict when I get interviewed, since I don’t want to do it for the spotlight. Give to give. That give is hope , is love, is the feeling of being seen. It can cause someone to change. Even random acts of kindness. In my Jewish faith, we call them Mitzvahs.
When we give, we get oxytocin from our brain, and it gives us permission to feel good.
Seek out 3-5 ways a day to give and be positive and unspoken towards others selflessly. That’s over 1800 activities you get to do every year!
DC: Successful people look to see why they’ve gotten success . Yes we’ve worked harder. But somewhere along the way we’ve also been lucky to be exposed to different things. We’re lucky we found Cutco. Saw Tony Robbins. We have an obligations to pass forward that information to others who aren’t so lucky.
Also note how we feel when we do these actions.
Give without judgement. Often times I think, do they deserve that? I worked for my stuff. Note that regardless of anything, it doesn’t matter, still do what’s right. Give anyways. Don’t let 1 bad apple impede everyone else’s ability to receive from you. Small actions Daily. #SAD 🙂
5 things daily!
Q: How can people follow you?
Text GRAB to 66866, you get on an email list, copy of an e-book.
www.staymotivedguide.com – speaks on journaling
YouTube + IG
Show Notes for this episode provided by Demian Scopp.
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