ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST | NADINE MCGOWAN
Nadine McGowan was a successful leader in the Cutco/Vector Marketing sales organization, ultimately reaching the role of Indiana Division Manager. On a mission trip to Africa, Nadine came to realize that pouring into the women of a community, we could truly impact the next generation and shift the whole culture. She founded Purposeful Living, Inc., as a non-profit to invite women to find and live their purpose. Nadine’s organization is changing the lives of over 2000 women in the Indianapolis area, and by extension, creating a ripple effect that extends well beyond.
Q&A WITH NADINE MCGOWAN
Q: What’s happening with you and your family through this pandemic situation?
- If someone had told me at the end of 2019 that this is what 2020 would look like, I wouldn’t have believed them. But here we are.
- It’s been different than expected with some challenges as well as some joys and highs. The “take it one day at a time” concept hasn’t been more necessary than it is now because it’s been such an emotional rollercoaster. I try to be extra gentle with myself and other people.
Q: Is there any specific advice you’re giving to some of your clients about how to handle this situation?
- One thing that we have found is that a lot more trauma has come out and is being unleashed. All the riots are trauma coming out in unhealthy ways.
- What we’re trying to do is attune the women and help them work through that trauma so it can come out in healthy ways.
Q: Let’s hear about your interesting personal story dating back to where you were born.
- I was born and raised in Lebanon in the middle east. We had moved around a lot because of the civil war going on at the time and I remember staying at a shelter with other children from the neighborhood and would play a guessing game of where the next bomb was going to land. I remember my younger cousin once saying “that bomb landed on the refrigerator!” And we’d all laugh.
- We moved to America when I was 10 and started school as a 5th The other kids weren’t nice so it was a new challenge of learning a new language and learning a completely different culture.
Q: How did you end up finding Cutco?
- I was just starting college to become an elementary school teacher, and saw an ad for Cutco with a base pay of $10. So I called and went in for an interview.
Q: What were some early experiences that stand out to you when you were a Cutco rep?
- I had no sales experience, didn’t have much family in the area as most of them were out of the country, and I had gone to 15 different schools before going to high school. So I had a few challenges to overcome.
Q: What do feel were some of the success factors that helped you do well?
- I focused a lot on recruiting, it was my priority. I also worked on investing a lot of time in my reps to help them be successful rather than focusing on my numbers or competing with other managers.
- I had really good training because I took Leadership Academy so seriously.
Q: What are some of the lessons that stand out from your time with Cutco that have helped you to this day?
- A big one that stands out to me is that time and energy management is a skill that has helped me in my relationships, as a parent, and in work. It’s important to know how to invest your energy into things that matter.
- People skills helped me learn how to connect with others. Not being scared of rejection helped me accomplish so much more because rejection isn’t a big deal to me.
Q: Any other experiences that you feel were transformational during your time advancing toward Division Manager?
- Knowing and learning how to work with others as a team was pretty beneficial. Goal setting and having a system in place to achieve that goal, and knowing how to respond when you hit a goal or don’t.
- I would not be who I am today without my Cutco and Vector experience. It has given me confidence.
Q: You mentioned knowing how to respond when you do hit a goal and when you don’t hit a goal. Can you unpack that concept a little bit more?
- When you do hit a goal, it’s important to know how to respond with humility and not in a boastful way. When you don’t hit a goal it’s important to not let that steal from the future, but to take it as a learning experience. Learning what you can do different next time.
Q: What challenges do you feel you experienced as a pioneering female leader in the company?
- I personally didn’t experience any challenges because I was a woman, but I do know some who have in other jobs.
Q: Do you feel Vector created an environment where you could be who you were and that it was comfortable for you in that way?
- Yes, I feel Vector encouraged me to be who I was and celebrate that.
Q: Who were some of the key leaders that influenced you during this time?
- Jeff Bry, Chris Heigel, Tim McCreadie, and Jen Song.
Q: Is there anything that you feel like the leadership you were around could have been more proactive about helping more women leaders, or do you feel they did as well as they could to help you?
- I thought they did amazing. I felt well taken care of, well nurtured, and well respected across the board.
Q: Tell us about your path after Cutco?
- After Cutco, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I ended up pregnant and had a boy. I didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom so I ended up doing a little bit of coaching. I eventually realized that I wanted to coach women specifically.
- I had gone on a mission trip to South Africa and put on a conference. The concept of the conference was that if you pour into the women of the community, it’s going to impact the whole generation and the next generation is going to impact the whole culture.
- I started the non-profit, Purposeful Living three and a half years ago and our goal was to support and encourage 50 women in the first year. We ended up serving 307 our first year, 585 in year two, and 810 in year three. Now we have almost two thousand in our community right now all through word of mouth advertising.
Q: Tell us more about Purposeful Living and what some of your goals are.
- Our mission is mostly to serve the modern woman. We define the modern woman as a woman who looks like she has it all together, but behind closed doors she’s hurting, searching, or lonely. We want to help bring these women out of isolation and into an authentic community.
- I believe isolation is the root cause of many mental health issues. Social media doesn’t help because people start to compare themselves.
Q: Tell us more about some of the methods you’re using and the stories you have to share from your experience.
- We have four core pillars in Purposeful Living. First one is coaching. We give out free coaching and women can come to be coached or they can be coaches themselves.
- The second pillar is our growth group where we put them into small groups where they focus on a topic for the year and help each other grow and hold each other accountable. It provides them a safe place to be vulnerable and not be judged.
- Events is the third pillar. We have small and large events. The small events are like workshops and a large event would be like a breakfast we have coming up that will have about 600 women.
- The last one is a care team. Our care team walks alongside women who are going through a difficult time to help support them. For example, if a woman finds out she has cancer, we’ll help to provide care baskets, watch the kids for her, and make meals.
Q: What is the vision for the future?
- I believe we can shift the culture. I want to help women heal because I believe that if our women are healthy, we’ll impact the next generation.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to share with the Vector audience or any other words of advice?
- Take advantage of the opportunity you have. You don’t know what you have until you don’t have it anymore. Give it everything you have because you’ll get the most out of it and enjoy the process.
- I believe the depth of experience that came from Nadine’s background is the key to her having the empathy to be good in sales, to be a good leader, and the inspiration to start her non-profit.
- Don’t allow failure to steal from the future. Learn how to win and learn how to lose.
- Purposeful Living offers coaching, growth groups, events, and a care team to the women in the Indianapolis area. Women outside that area also have an opportunity to be part of the community through the Facebook group and the podcast, Linking Arms.
- You can change lives one person at a time through your influence. Be aware of the ways you’re impacting others and share positivity and encouragement.
- Purposeful Living
- Linking Arms podcast also on Apple Podcasts
- Purposeful Living Inc Ladies on Facebook
- Leadership Academy – Representatives who show drive, initiative, ambition, and a desire to learn are personally invited to become part of our Leadership Academy. This consists of attending additional functions centered around Vector management topics, but also personal development, money management, and skills for life.
Show Notes for this episode provided by Darien Romero.