When I was a first year university student looking for part-time work, I was initially attracted to
Vector Marketing Canada
because of the flexibility and income opportunity. Many years later as a career professional, I look back at my Vector experience and realize just how important the skills were that I learned.
"Skills For Life"
More than just a catchy slogan,
Skills For Life
has grown to embody what may have been the most valuable and formative years of my professional growth. I would like to share five important life lessons I learned while working with Vector Marketing:
1. Entrepreneurial Spirit
When I graduated from high school at 18-years-old, I was convinced that money was the root of all evil. I enrolled to study Social Sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. My plan was to become a journalist, or as a back up plan - a teacher. I certainly never thought that sales and business development were in my future. Through my many years of selling CUTCO products, I learned to embrace being entrepreneurial. I learned the cause and effect between my efforts and financial rewards. I also learned that financial freedom created an opportunity for me to empower others and to become philanthropic in my own way. I eventually went on to manage and run a Vector office of my own - two, in fact - both enterprises sort of a local micro-entrepreneurship. What I learned quickly was that building a business for myself had a positive impact on my community, my team, and our customers. Not to mention it was a lot of fun! Perhaps being entrepreneurial was not the evil I once thought it to be.
2. Positive Attitude & Personal Development
I am sure there are many people in my life who may still describe me as somewhat of a cynic. But I remember how I thought when I was 18-years-old. I had a perception that the world around me was somehow a "bad" place. I was often very skeptical to embrace new challenges, and often failed to see the beauty in the world around me. A core fundamental of the culture at Vector is eternal optimism. I was encouraged by many of my mentors to read books on the power of positive thinking, to assume the best in all situations, and to see the world as a place full of wonder and opportunity. And through various incentive programs, I had the opportunity to travel to many parts of the world and experience that wonder first hand. Vector helped me to become a more positive person.
3. Goal Setting
One of my most favorite things about selling CUTCO with Vector Marketing was the abundance of contests and sales rewards I could win. There was something gratifying about being recognized for outstanding performance. But moreover, it caused me to become more introspective and to learn that I had a lot of potential - and a lot of growing I needed to do if I were to realize that potential. I began to learn more about myself and more importantly, what I was capable of accomplishing with the right challenges, the right rewards, and the right coaching. Not only did I learn to achieve more through working tirelessly at my sales goals, but that spilled over into other areas of my life. I learned that setting goals gave me a measurable way of increasing my capacity as a person.
4. Time Management
Getting to set my own schedule with Vector gave me an appreciation for my time I never had before. It meant that I had to learn to invest my time rather than simply spending it. After moving into management with Vector Marketing, I remember teaching sales reps in my office that there was a fine line between flexibility and laziness.
means you get to choose the days you work.
means you get to choose to take as many days off as you want. One of the most important lessons I learned with Vector was the difference between importance and urgency- and there is a major difference! To this day, I manage my time based on the principles I first learned with Vector.
Perhaps the greatest lesson I learned with Vector was that I could sell. As a matter of personal opinion, I think everyone can sell. Both in and out of Vector, I have recruited, trained and developed sales reps who began with little-to-no experience. I have found that the key to success for most is attitude rather than aptitude. Nonetheless, if you were to go back in time and ask 18-year-old me what I would be doing more than a decade later, I would have never guessed a career path involving sales. But I have now been:
- a sales rep
- a sales manager
- a sales trainer
- a sales recruiter
- a sales coach and mentor
In fact, sales is something I have come to love. It is certainly never a boring career choice. It is full of endless challenges and opportunities. And a big part of my selling style to this day still revolves around the friendly, low-key and helpful approach I first learned working with Vector.
Selling "Cutco" was for me - at first - just a part-time job to make some extra money while going to
. But in retrospect, it was so much more than that. My Vector experience taught me important life lessons that comprise a big part of who I am today. Additionally, I built numerous quality relationships that still remain meaningful. Vector Marketing Canada may not be the right fit for every job-seeker, but I can say with confidence that I am so grateful that I took a chance and gave it a shot.
I took the [path] less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost