Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
By Christy Newman
Christy is a 1998 graduate of KAHS, daughter of Ken and Bonnie Zutz of Kimball. Tim Schiefelbein of Kimball is one of Christy's former cattle-buying supervisors.
My Dad used to always tell me that it's what you learn after you know it all that counts. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I didn't have the GPA to get into vet school. Before that, I thought I knew exactly where my life would lead. God had another plan when I was set to accept a job with Land O'Lakes until they had a hiring freeze in the winter of 2002. As it turned out, that trip I took to Greeley, Colo. to do 16 interviews in one day "just for the experience," turned out to be the career that would lead me down the aisle to my husband and to now expecting my second child.
I've learned a lot as the only female, fat-cattle buyer currently employed by JBS USA, formerly Swift & Co. and also formerly ConAgra. I didn't know that what I learned in sales selling sweet corn as a kid would still apply when I grew up. The truth in any sale is to convince the other person that they want what you have: your product, your bid, your service. I used to put flyers with our family's frozen corn recipe and my phone number in with every dozen ears of corn I sold. I grew up selling sweet corn to people, so I could pay for college and, in turn, I became an outgoing "people-
In one of my interviews for my cattle buyer position, I told them that I didn't know much about buying cattle, but they could teach me that; what they couldn't teach me is how to work well with people. These last nine years I have spent countless hours on the phone promoting my bid, my packing plant, my company's yields and especially my personality, in order to try and win over my feedlot producers, week after week, to convince them to sell me their cattle. I learned that this business was less about how much I knew about cattle and more about working with people. Mary Kay Ash said, "Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, "Make me feel important," and I try to apply that concept to everyone I meet.
I started my Mary Kay business in February 2001. I always knew that having a good attitude was valuable, but I never knew there was a company out there that promoted positivity to such an extreme. Through all the years I bought cattle, I continued working my Mary Kay business, earning three career cars and four diamond rings, not because buying cattle wasn't making me enough money, but mostly for the positive environment and girlfriend time. Daily I worked mainly in the company of men; men that seemed to be never satisfied with the economy of the cattle industry. I decided long ago to keep my optimism and upbeat attitude from Mary Kay and bring it into the cattle industry as best I could. I'm sure that I'm the only cattle buyer that would respond, "Awesome," when asked how I was doing each day. Successful Mary Kay consultants will tell you that your subconscious only believes what you tell it, good or bad, so why not make your mind believe that you are fantastic, amazing and fabulous? "If you tell yourself something often enough, you'll eventually believe it," my Dad says.
My husband, Troy, came to appreciate my time away with my Mary Kay girlfriends, because he thought it would keep me feminine in a man's world, which it did. Another Mary Kay girlfriend of mine used to say her husband always wanted her to attend events, because she always came home in a good mood. I think what has had an even greater effect on our marriage, and our family, is the positive attitude that is rejuvenated with each event that I attend. Mary Kay Ash said, "You can do everything wrong with the right attitude and succeed." As I continue to work my Mary Kay business, soon as a stay-at-home-mama, I will still set goals to achieve. Mothers in Mary Kay have said that our children will learn more from watching us fail forward to success, than from watching everything go perfectly. My goals? A girlfriend getaway to Nashville in 2013 and a 10th anniversary trip with Troy to Australia in 2014. Then, why not a trip to Disney with the kids after that?
Some day, I hope little Peter, now almost 2 and a half, will find the motivation to be the best fishing-worm salesman this area has ever seen. Who knows? He may learn the skills needed to negotiate a better deal when buying his first house in Republic County, Kan. someday. At the very least, I hope my kids will do whatever they choose to doÐwith a great attitude.
So, as I retire one of my two cell phones and turn in my company vehicle this week, I am reminded daily how fortunate I am to have had this opportunity to learn from and work in these two distinctly different fields and how blessed I am to be able to stay home and raise my family, which will grow by one more come January 2012.
For my loyal Mary Kay customers, thank you so much for allowing me to be home with my babies. For those I've worked with in the cattle industry, thank you for giving me a chance to stand with you on this wild market ride. And thank you Troy, and especially God, for your support and faith in me to follow my dreams. I hope everyone who reads this will be "Awesome" the next time someone asks them how they are doing. Let me know what kind of response you get at