ABOUT TODAY’S GUEST | ROBERT B. MCGUINNESS
Robert B. McGuinness is the CEO & Founder of Soul Venturer, a company that helps corporate professionals navigate a smooth transition from just a career into their calling. Robert shares a unique methodology that evolved from his own deeply personal journey to live out his own calling. Now, he helps others to navigate their own journey to find, then clarify, then walk their own path in life. Robert has been seen in many publications to talk about this process such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Disrupt, Thrive Global, ABC, NBC and FOX.
Q&A WITH ROBERT B. MCGUINNESS
Q: Take us back to 2006 and tell us a little bit how you got started with Cutco.
- My mom loves Cutco, and I already had such conviction of the Cutco product.
- I started in a branch office. I was so excited. I think I did $3,400 in my first start.
- The Cutco opportunity called me. I knew there was something there.
- The next winter break, I came back to sell for about 2-3 weeks. I decided what I wanted to do next summer.
- I knew I wanted to stay with Cutco. What called me to the Cutco opportunity is it was different. It wasn’t like a normal job. So, I sank my teeth into an entrepreneurial-like experience.
Q: Getting to work with people like Mike Chu, Mike Huboky, that must have been really cool. What do you remember about working with those guys? What do you feel were some of the lessons that came from your early days with Cutco?
- I think the thing Mike Chu brought was the idea of teamwork. He was a great developer, really great at developing the team. Creating the team culture and environment.
- There is a leadership saying that goes, “leaders see in us what we cannot see in ourselves.” That’s the beauty of the Cutco experience. It’s putting people in a business container that allows you to play out your gifts. What you get to learn is there is something that transcends experience or a resume.
- The other thing was I got a chance to learn what it means to set a goal and vision for myself. Whether it’s the push period, or my goal for the summer or year. All of that helped me to hone my emotional intelligence.
Q: What do you feel like was a transformational moment in your career?
- I was taking a professional sales course in college. I was once asked to help with a presentation.I brought my Cutco knife set. I gave a presentation that knocked out of the park.
- I remember deciding between studying for one of my finals vs. training for branch. I remember feeling so confident. I was going to be a branch. I felt certain what I was going to gain would far outweigh this class.
- I ended up recruiting 135 reps my first summer, but my PPR was terrible. I remember feeling so defeated. I said, I have to commit to this because I still believed there was so much to learn in the Cutco experience.
- The branch experience put me at the top of the map in terms of the interviews. I got a lot of offers. I remember turning them down and my parents thinking I was crazy.
- I ended talking with Mike Chu and became his Pilot Manager and we crushed it. We did over $1 million. I remember saying I’m going to crush the District opportunity. Right from the gates, we did really well.
- Two years later, I took a break and decided to give the corporate world a try. I landed a sales job in New York City and the first 6 months I did really well.They had offered an incentive trip, and I remember I did everything to get that trip and I did. Right after that trip, all my momentum flatlined again.
- I felt I didn’t belong, I felt like I was a black sheep. I ended up on a personal development journey for about 5 years.
- It was actually Ben, a former Cutco DM, started a sales training mastermind. I thought this felt like the right fit. Ben brings all his experience in such a robust way. He helps people not only uncover a big vision, but how they can find a path that’s true and authentic to them. That was a huge catapult for me because it opened up a whole new world.
- I knew I was getting a call to coach in some way and Ben helped me to home in on what that looks like and how to make it happen in a profound way.
Q: So, this led you to founding Soul Venturer, right? What is Soul Venturer?
- Soul Venturer is an archetype of expression of the individual who consistently says yes to the call for more in their life.
- It’s related to my journey. I felt that what I wanted to come out. There was a call for more.
- It’s your gifts that say “hey! If you go down this path, you’ll make an impact for the greater good of humanity.”
Q: You described this roadmap that people could use to find their calling. Tell us about that.
- There are 3 phases to it. Finding your path. Clarifying your path. Beginning to walk in your path.
- I believe finding is all about reorganizing our values.
- My underlying value was I was going to business for money. When my value changed from me to impact, my path became clear.
- This whole process is an identity shift. We’re going from who we think we are in our mind to who we really are in our hearts.
- Clarifying is all about removing all obstructions, all obstacles that are in the way of our path.
- Clarifying is about remembering who we’ve always been and working to live that.
- As we start to live that, we become this walking, talking living billboard of our mission’s message and truth.
- Then, our path begins to manifest itself and actualize effortlessly because we’re embodying the truth and wisdom.
Q: What are some questions someone can ask themselves to figure out if they are on that path, if they are in that calling?
- It isn’t a question, but a practice that could help them. The practice is a practice of presence. You’re going to need some aspect of contemplation, giving yourself space to listen. Practice is really listening.
- The question to ask is, “are the deepest values in my life been honored in this moment?”
Q: For the people who are listening and have made Cutco-Vector their calling, what advice would you have of how to make the role as meaningful as it can be?
- Stay in your gifts and stay in what works for you.
- Develop others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and develop others
- Live from your heart. If you stay true to that, everything else will work itself out.
Q: You said earlier something about the soul standard. You said it’s finding something that’s aligned with who you are. This soul standard is something you feel like all leaders must learn to honor. I would like to give you an opportunity to expound on that briefly.
- Souls aren’t roles and roles aren’t souls.
- What this means is you can’t bind our authentic expression in a box. What roles do sometimes is they help put someone in a box and are meant to fit that box with the soul standard. We have to break the box.
- Our deepest and authentic expression will have to be honored and considered in our vocation. For that to happen, we have to find a way not to create a box.
- As leaders, we have to consider that for ourselves first and also for our team.
Q: As you look into your own future, how do you aspire to change people’s lives through what you’re doing?
- The only thing I can do is to continue saying yes. Yes to this soul venturer identity. This part of me that needs to be the walking, talking billboard of my mission’s message and truth.
- One of the first things Robert said about the lessons from his Cutco experience was the ability to set a vision and a goal and to understand how to achieve it.
- Someone who’s great at goal setting has the ability to clarify that long-term vision, but also be able to see what is point B or C and what are the steps to get where they want to be.
- That ability to clarify and break down goals and visions is applicable to succeeding in all areas of life.
- Robert also said most people don’t have the experience they want in business the first time, and recognizing this is the key element of staying in the game to be able to get the success you want.
- I like the way Robert finds a soul venturer is an individual who consistently says yes to the call for more in their life.
- The importance of having a vocation that takes into consideration the authentic expression of ourselves that allows us to stay in our gifts, bring our true genius out.
- Robert wrapped up by suggesting we continue to say yes to the things in our lives that will put the authentic expression of ourselves first.
Show Notes for this episode provided by Brian Njenga.
To learn more and get access to all episodes, visit our podcast page!
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