On June 8th 2011 I walked into a little basement office in Missoula Montana, with a great deal of fear and self doubt swirling all around me. It was my third really job interview and even though my cousin Danae had assured me that I would get hired I was still scared to death. I remember sitting in the parking lot before going into meet my soon to be manager and future friend Isaac Cervantes and calling my mom trying to calm my nerves. I sat there for about 5 minutes just breathing slowly trying to relax and not throw up.

My cousin was already there in the office sitting behind a desk with two full sets of cutlery on each side of her. Normally Danae and I would have started chattering away in movie quotes that no one else could follow but that day I was so unsure of myself I could hardly talk at all. There was also a man sitting on a folding chair near the desk with on leg across his knee propping up a Mac book on his lap intently staring at the screen. At the time I believed him to be deeply engrossed in something work related but knowing what I know now I am rather certain he was on Facebook. He half rose to greet me, holding his computer with his left hand and offering me his right. “Isaac Cervantes” he said as he shock my hand. He didn’t even have both feet on the ground but really that’s so Isaac. I sat down across the room from him and filled out a questionnaire and looked over at Danae for occasional support. A few other people showed up for interviews as well. Isaac interviewed me and another girl together and about all he really said to me was, “I know Danae has told you pretty much everything so…” he pretty much focused on the other girl asking her questions. I am not sure he really said or asked me anything through that process. His dog Ruby emerged form behind his desk at one point to see who was in daddy’s office, giving us both a sniff and laid back down behind the desk. Then I went on to the long group interview where we where give an in-depth demonstration of Cutco Cutlery and told what the position would in-tale for us. From my former conversations with Danae I actually knew most of what we where being told but it wasn’t hard to be interested and pay attention just for the sheer excitement that oozed from Isaac. After that we where all dismissed and told we would get a phone call later if we where hired or if we weren’t. I left the office quite relived to be out of there, and called my mom. I headed toward the Barnes and Noble, which has alway been an escape for me and called my mom to tell her how it went. I wasn’t 10 minutes down the road when another call came in, It was Isaac. I pulled off into the parking lot next to the Taco Bell and the last part of my interview commenced. He asked me one question, and it was possible the hardest question anyone could ask me at that time in my life. “If I was only going to hire one person why should I hire you?” Seams simple enough, but for me, I had no idea why anyone would want to have anything to do with me. I fumbled around for several minutes while he waited silently on the other end of the phone. I finally pulled out an acceptable answer and he asked me if I wanted to become a representative with Vector Marketing? I believe my initial response was “Really?” and then a quick and emphatic “Yes!”

I remember being so excited, I knew it would be this great opportunity, but at the time I had no idea how it would change my life. Danae meet me about an hour later at I was still over the moon. I was going to sell Cutco for 6 months, hit FSM and then get a sales job at Best Buy. I was going to get the experience I need to work where I really wanted and I was going to make enough money to travel where ever I wanted as much as I wanted. I was going to have everything I wanted. And I wasn’t wrong, I just didn’t know yet what I really wanted.

I can’t remember exactly what was covered in day one of training but I do remember being pretty overwhelmed with information about knives, and steel and how the company works. Of all the day, day one was the lease emotional for me. That being said I felt pretty overwhelmed, I believe we went over the guarantee and that night I was so excited about it that I pitched it to my mother over the phone with out notes. There is a pretty quick learning curve in this business. I remember taking extensive notes that where so sloppy and scattered I can’t read them anymore but if it was on the white board I wrote it down.

The next day we did food cutting and that is when I became a Cutco Believer. The moment of truth involved a pineapple and a Butcher knife. Never in all my life had I used a knife that slide so smoothly and easily thru anything, much less the briny center of a pineapple. I looked over at Isaac while still holding the pineapple juice cover Butcher knife with an expression of pure shock and uncontainable excitement. I think my eye must have spoken because he grinned at me and said, “I know right!” We cut up all kinds of stuff that morning, apples, potatoes, bread, tomatoes and cheese. Oh the Cheese knife, don’t get me started. We ate pineapple the rest of the day of training. We continued learning the manual that day by reading it out loud to each other but it was when we started to work on the phone approach that my stomach turned to knots. We had already been making lists of all the people we knew to call and I felt like I had a great list of people to work from but it was about to be crunch time.

Our first phone time was in the office, we had to set three appointments before we could leave also we where supposed to ring this bell on Isaac’s desk each time we set an appointment. I remember sitting at the desk in the back room of the office, I called my friend Renae first, but the first person I actually talked to was Linda Cavigli. I was so freaked out I was stammering and stuttering like I had never talked on the phone before but I got an appointment and I rang the bell. I set two more appointment before I left, but by that point was pretty frazzled, to the point I was actually on the verge of tears. I reported back to Isaac, that I had set my three appointments and that I was going to make more calls that evening, but truthfully I just had to get out of there. I was so overwhelmed, I need to be alone, and make my calls where no one else was around. I left the office and went back to Danae’s apartment where I was staying and buried my face in a pillow and cried. I was so thankful that Danae had gone back to Kalispell that day so I was alone. I felt like I was failing even thought I wasn’t I had set three appointment and by the time I went to bed that night I had a total of 8 appointments set. But I still had to cry and scream into the pillow before I could do anything else. That was the start of it, when you face things that scare you there are two options, run away or take it as it comes. I have learned in my life if you really want to face something and succeed you can’t expect yourself to be able to handle every single bit of it at once and you are silly to believe that you won’t fall apart at moments. I learned to take each moment in stride and if something is just to much for now, put it on the back burner, I promise it will show up again. Also don’t disqualify yourself just because you have a melt down, just remember to pick yourself back up and leave behind what you don’t need. “accept what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is specifically your own” -Bruce Lee. I know that I had to have my little breakdown at that moment or I would never have been able to keep going. I will be honest it wasn’t the last one I had but it was significant.

Final day of training, this was the day we got our sample kits and learned how it cut pennies. A skill I use at parties at my house now. Also the day of my first demo, which was awful, just awful. No sale, no recommendations, fumbled thru my blue book, and didn’t know answers to half the questions I got asked. Oh and I cut myself with my own knife in the customers sink while cleaning it, good thing they where close family friends and had Band-Aids. I now write-off Band-Aids as business expenses. So I got all the cliche things that could go wrong done and out of the way with my first demo. I went home that night and read my manual over three more times and went to bed, hoping the three appointments I had for tomorrow would be better.

My second demo Danae come with me on and observed. I did the whole demo and it felt so much better but when it came time to close the sale I froze and Danae saved me. I know love this line now, “Mr. Jones, even if you buy just one thing it make you a preferred Customer and it allows me to offer you great deals in the future.” That closed my first sale, a set of four table knives. I was so excited and this trend carried over to my next two appointments, where i sold two custom like lists, both to people who already owned Cutco. You can always use more Cutco.

From there everything snowballed, my first weeks CPO was 629, week two which was my first full week my CPO was 1,803. I continued with an average of about 1,000 a week for the next 6 to 8 weeks. I reached my first promotion the on June 14th. My second promotion on June 22nd, and my third by July 13th which put me at 6,000 in career sales. Today I am at 21,072 in career sales and sitting at a position of Field Sales Leader. I am still shooting to reach Field Sales Manager with the company but frankly that is only the tip of the iceberg.

I sit her now a year after taking what I thought to be just a job but it has changed me and challenged me. It has shown me more about who I am deep down in the areas that I have been hiding from. It has shown me that I am more than I thought possible, that I am not some silly little girl who dream of walking on the moon but I am a powerful women who can have whatever she sets her mind to achieve. I never would have started a blog a year ago, I would have talked about it but I used to be too afraid of what people would think of my thoughts but now look at me, blogging everyday. I never would have even considered moving or moving to California but thats what I am doing. I have found freedom to be whoever it is that I am and the confidence to love all that I am. That is what a year with Vector has done for me.

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