This is an interview with Anthony Walick, Brand Manager at More Than Gourmet, Inc.
Where were you at 22, and how did you get to where you are today?
At 22, I just graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Business Management. I had accepted an inside sales position at a logistics firm prior to my graduation so I was excited to jump right into the ‘real world’. I wanted to be a sponge and learn everything I could from the most successful people in the company. In a short time, I became the highest selling inside sales person outperforming people 10+ years older than me. I got to be where I am today by hard work and perseverance. I focus on building strong relationships and be as reliable as possible. I love selling a product that I believe in and am passionate about, that makes doing what I do much more fun.
When did you really decide to “take ownership” of your career? What inspired you to pursue your passion?
I think after working professionally for a few years, you really get to see what makes you happy. I wanted something where I’d be excited to come into work and go that extra mile. I didn’t want to put in my time, get my paycheck, and go home, I wanted to make a difference. Then, I started to look for careers within companies that shared the same vision/goals that I had and that is when things changed. My parents’ work ethic has always inspired me but definitely more lately than I realized. I’ve always strived to make them proud!
All good career stories include some aspect of “risk.” Was there a moment in your career where you felt that you were risking something, but looking back on it now, that move made all the difference?
Absolutely! Early in my career, I decided to take a risk and move 2,500 miles away to Seattle, WA. I wanted to take on a new challenge for my own personal growth as well as a professional one. I ended up coming back to the midwest but that decision to head out there changed my entire mindset. Learning how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable is a very important aspect to growth. Also, learning how to walk into unfamiliar situations and feeling like you belong.
Where do you find significance in your work? What gives you the most satisfaction?
In sales, you are always working on the next project / the next sale. For me, I really enjoy when I work on a sale from beginning to end and then see the products on the shelf in the store. For example, I was working on a retailer that we didn’t have products in for the past few years and after a year of work, finally seeing my products on the shelf is one of the best feelings in sales. We deal with a bunch of rejection so each win gives you the fuel to keep going.
How do you measure success in your role? How do you know you’re succeeding?
There are many ways to measure success in this role. Obviously, the growing sales/profit numbers are a clear indicator of success. Adding additional products to the ones you have already on the shelf at the retailer is a great indicator. For me, I like seeing relationships grow from a retailer who didn’t know who you were, to them asking for more products. Another great indicator is when your employer trusts you with more important responsibilities which I also take much pride in.
If you could offer your 22-year old self one piece of advice, what would you say?
I would tell him to not be afraid. Do not worry about the unknown, the new places, the new people, the new experiences. Take it all in and learn everything you can, every day. Also, I am a firm believer in good things happening to good people so work hard, do the right thing, and treat people with kindness.