One of the Greatest Things…

2500768232_1d7e6cc015About the Direct Selling industry is the ability to offer opportunity and development to those who might never experience the chance otherwise.

Growing up in the Raz family wasn’t likely a totally normal experience; I think we were a family of restless overachievers yet at the same time each of us were and are, in my opinion, fairly normalized people.

family-christmasFor example, at the Raz household for Christmas, one of the annual gifts was ALWAYS ALWAYS a Day-Timer calendar for each person (seven in total) — this is pre ’95, which was the introduction of the Palmpilot which quickly replaced the Day Timer in our family of early adopters, so late 80’s and early 90’s it was Day-Timers all the way around. Even though, in the picture above, the decor actually looks a little late 70’s or early 80’s (so we kept it going about a decade longer). And, odd as it might seem, all of us were quite excited for our annual supply of Day Timers — my younger sisters included, despite the fact that friends of ours were singing Christmas Caroles, dreaming about Santa (which never really existed in our house past the age of four), and opening up gifts of Tony Hawk Skateboards and Atari game systems we somehow settled into a sense of satisfactory existence with the practical and probably peculiar annual family gift. Okay, so some of the kids (see tears below) weren’t always enthusiastic about the Day Timers…but those also weren’t the only gifts mom and dad gave us.

sad-gift750px-atari_game_consoleSo fast forward a few years, though throughout all these years we received the annual supply of Day Timers, when I was in high school and most of my buddies were out mowing yards for summer jobs and drinking kool aid in the evenings, I yearned for something else — a job or activity that might put to good use my unlimited supply for Day Timers and penchant for calendaring and scheduling and deal-making, a desire to just do something unique…Different. I was seeking adventure, financial opportunity without limits, teamwork, personal development. I wanted to be stretched. I wanted to wear a shirt and tie to work even though I was in high school (though, based on the picture below, I am now cringing at several things about the wardrobe — including the tie clip and too short tie among other things!).

raz-selling-cutcoAnd, alas, I found the opportunity in October of ’91. I was 17, Senior in High School, and saw a sign that said “Part Time Jobs: $9/hour”. So I called, went to the meeting and learned it was for Vector Marketing — a job selling Cutco! And, it was the most influential job of my life. It taught me about leadership, people, personalities, listening, tenacity and perseverance…

product_giftAs I write about it a flood of memories come back to me, because it wasn’t just a three month gig for me. It actually put me through College where I worked as a Sales Rep for a year, an Assistant Manager for a year, and then led my own office as a Branch Manager when I was 20, and moved up to Sandusky, Ohio (by myself) to do it as my college job.

The point isn’t really what I did or didn’t do with Vector, it was that it served as the PERFECT vehicle to fulfill some of my needs — which weren’t just income (I could have cut lawns too, in fact I did the years before — I just got bored with it more quickly than my buddies) but also personal development, a sense of satisfaction in what I did, a purposeful mission coupled with self development.

What made me think of all this today?

The Wall Street Journal.

eco_journalismYes, I know, many think it’s all just boring financial blah blah in the Great Grey Lady (WSJ), but it really is a wealth of recycled papers wrapped full of compassionate and compelling stories of human interest and human spirit, in addition to a bunch of boring financial blah blah.

And today the WSJ ran a great article on a young man who is a Vector Marketing (Cutco) sales representative that reminded me of what makes this Direct Selling industry, and also Univera, so outstanding.

We have the opportunity of not just financial success, but also personal development. To develop the skills of time management. Perseverance. Teamwork. Enthusiasm and optimism. Where else can you learn such life-changing and beneficial skills than in this environment?

What I loved about Vector, in looking back, was specifically the personal development and how I was stretched, molded, and developed by the experiences and the people. Sure, I made quite a bit of money, but I could have done that anywhere. Truly, knowing what I know now, I would have done the whole Vector/Cutco thing for FREE just for the experience. It affected and changed me that profoundly. And, so too I think it is with Univera (but you don’t have to do it for free!).

Beyond just the benefits, what I also love is that there’s no filter in our industry. There’s no “ivory tower” or pedigree that’s required to engage or be considered for the role. No matter your situation, your background, your skills, your history, this is the land of alternative opportunity. Just a spirit of willingness and zeal is all that’s required, and sometimes not even in large doses – -for some it’s simply the willingness to “try it out”, though like with anything try should be accompanied with some type of sustained commitment to yield the best benefit.

Our industry is unlike that at any other business environment. For example, when I worked at Johnson and Johnson they required a huge number of hurdles to get in the door and to become hired was a fairly Herculean task. Consequently there’s also a bit of a “mold” that they look for as parameters. If you walked the halls of J&J, I’ll bet I could pretty simply categorize people according to background, MBA, sales/marketing expertise, and the like. Certainly, there’s good reason for this in that environment, but the beauty of the direct selling model is that there is no bias. There is no filter, and there are no prerequisites. Nor is there prior judgment. It’s an open door. It’s so…American…and Canadian…

Are you a doctor? Great, come join us. Dropped out of high school? Fantastic, we’ll see you at Diamond Club in Hawaii. Love a challenge but hate your current job? Start today! What, don’t have a job? Beautiful, we’ve got one for you! Love your job but need a secondary income? Order the 100340 and get your gifting pack, 10, 30, or 60 gifts, and let’s get gifting.

Really, it’s a beautifully unique and compelling model.

I’m not trying to overly simplify this, but rather point out what struck me today as a few of the amazing aspects of our business. Specifically, that anybody can join and do this. And, importantly, that it provides something more than just income. It provides a rich set of experiences with personal and physical transformation, self development, teamwork, patience, and developing skills to work with other people that will help to transform your life — and those of others.

It’s the amazing thing about this industy, and it’s the luster of Univera.

And the WSJ article that prompted all these thoughts is accessible via the link below.

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10 Replies to “One of the Greatest Things…”

  1. Well “Vector Marketing” was a blast from the past here as well. I worked in the office for Vector placing the advertising, answering the phones, and doing whatever the manager Tony need done. We had alot of fun in and out of the office.

    I was really surprised to see your blog!

    Wow, did that bring back memories!

    Thanks, Tracey Brucker NY

  2. Rich
    Love this blog because it invites all to join.
    No matter your religious background, color of your skin or your age, everyone has an opportunity to discover health and wealth.
    Blessings from this 71 year old Jew.
    L’Chaim “To Life” Univera Team
    Lake Oswego, OR

  3. Tracey NY, great to meet a fellow former Cutco-er. I used to go to Regionals out in the NY/Olean area. Ever been to the factory? Pretty impressive.

    Charles, I love your comments and contributions–if it were just you and me on this blog, I would continue writing with the same desire and enthusiasm. Thanks for your contributions and perspectives.

    Best to you both,


  4. Your blog brought back pleasant memories. As a young woman trying to build up her credit, Cutco was the only company to allow me to charge my purchase. Now, after the loss of my husband, I’m once again “starting over”, this time with the help of Univera.

    By the way, the Cutco knives are still sharp!

    Thanks for the blog, Rich.

    Kathy Perciful, Olympia

  5. In my days it was encyclopedias to service men’s families. Didn’t last though. I recommend reading of “Day by Day with James Allen”.
    I start and end my day with positive thoughts and readings, because I hear so much negative talk during the day.
    L’Chaim “To Life” Univera Team
    Lake Oswego, OR

  6. In my days it was encyclopedias to service men’s families. Didn’t last though. I recommend reading of “Day by Day with James Allen”.
    I start and end my day with positive thoughts and readings, because I hear so much negative talk during the day.
    L’Chaim “To Life” Univera Team
    Lake Oswego, OR

  7. Raz, love your Blogs. Univera is my 1st & only Relationship Marketing Company. I did not find Univera, it found me (thank you God!). Even though I had some good success in traditional businesses by developing & running my own companies, I don't know were to begin with the personal growth I have experienced in Univera over the past 2 years. Its like a "Comp Plan" & a "Personal Development Plan" all wrapped up in One. I am waiting for the day when Univera is my Primary Business. Too Much to learn & Too many people to enjoy. I am about to help a friend launch a business in the technology service industry, but thanks to Univera this time around I will be able to implement what I have learned & continue to learn and apply it to this traditional business. Thanks for all you do… Keep these msgs coming, you are a Great Writer…


  9. Great entry! I too worked for Vector. It helped me pay for things through college and was a great learning experience for me.

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