Morning Mojo: 21 Gun Salute

People measure success by the money they make, houses they own, cars they drive, toys they have, or title on their business card. The true measure of success is none of that stuff. The true definition of success in life is how much you have loved and been loved. He was a great leader, father, and friend to many. With hundreds of people in the room he was honored with tears, smiles and laughter. One of his best friends, Roger Malech, gave him what he called his 21 gun salute at the memorial. He shared with us the 21 most important things he taught him. Based on the number of people in attendance at his memorial I think he taught them to us all. This past week we honored the life of one of Intero’s original Founders, Kevin Moles…a man who defined success. Kevin unexpectedly passed away at the age of 55 a few weeks ago, this is his 21 gun salute.

1.      Cowboy boots go with anything - even a Tuxedo.

2.      It’s okay for a man to smell good, I mean really good. No man smelled as good as Kevin. I remember more than once my wife would come home and I would say, “Why do you smell like men’s cologne?” and she would say “I saw Kevin today and he gave me a hug”

3.      There’s no situation so bad that a little Beach Boys won’t help.

4.      A party is not a real party unless Hank shows up. And we all know he was talking about Hank Williams Jr.

5.      It is possible to pass another car on a freeway on-ramp. I learned this first hand because I was with him when he passed Kristi Pritchard on the Leavesly on-ramp.

6.      The top speed on 101 between the Dunne and Cochrane exits is 130 MPH.

7.      It's completely acceptable to take 2 hours off in the middle of the work day and see a movie, even if it's just the movie "Joe Dirt" and it’s playing in Kevin’s family room.

8.      The best way to solve a problem is to start by putting your feet on your desk.

9.      The worst day selling real estate is better than the best day picking strawberries. Kevin had this fantasy of loading up all the agents on a bus for a mystery play day. He wanted to take them all to a strawberry farm on a summer day and have them pick strawberries for 4 hours. He was convinced that this was the way to stop the whining about how difficult selling real estate was. We never did that but I can’t pass a strawberry farm to this day without being thankful that I am in the business I am.

10.  In the term "Independent Contractor", the word "Independent" is greatest, by far.

11.  You never know what the tide will bring in. This is from the movie “Castaway” and it references when Tom Hanks is hopeless and can’t get off the island but is looking out to sea and notices a piece of an old port-a-potty floating in the surf. He eventually uses it as a sail to get off the island. When Kevin would tell me “You never know what the tide will bring in”, he was offering hope. It was his way of saying keep going. Keep looking to the surf. Don’t give up. Life may give you a port-a-potty but you can use it to sail to freedom. Kevin really believed that.

12.  The most important recruiting technique is to keep the people you have happy.

13.  The second most important recruiting technique is to be attractive to other agents.

14.  If you treat a group of people with respect and love, give them what they need, and then leave them alone, they will follow you anywhere. This was proven 9 years ago when 42 of us left the company we worked for and joined the first Intero office here in Morgan Hill. We didn’t know what Intero meant, we didn’t know what to expect, and we didn’t even know what our commission splits were going to be. None of that mattered because we wanted to be with Kevin. Last week I was talking to Ira Marshall, a financial planner that Kevin used. He told me that every time he met with Kevin, Kevin would share concerns about the agents. He would talk about them by name and asked Ira if he could meet with them and help them. Ira told me “Kevin had a love affair with his agents. He really did care about them. It wasn’t just about business.”

15.  If the term "generous to a fault" were true, Kevin was the faultiest man I’ve ever known.

16.  Real men can kiss and hug each other.

17.  Real men can say "I love you" to each other. Often times, including the last time I saw him, Kevin would ask me “Who loves you baby?” I would say “Ummm you?”

18.  Real men admit their mistakes. One day, after his divorce, Kevin and I were having a heart to heart and he said “I really screwed up Rog. Tesha is the best woman I’ll ever know.”

19.  Yesterday is a cancelled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is legal tender, spend it wisely.

20.  God can use us, however flawed we might be, to have an incredible impact on others. I am not the same man I was as before I met Kevin. He was a friend, a brother, and a mentor. He will not be forgotten because I feel like I owe him a debt that can never be re-paid. He was instrumental in helping me get sober 15 years ago and I dedicate the rest of my days of sobriety to him.

21.  You can’t outrun God. Kevin wrestled with God his entire life and we had many discussions about spiritual things. The last time I saw him it was very evident that his wrestling was over. He had made peace with God and told me He had committed his life to Jesus and had been baptized. That doesn’t mean his troubles were over but it does mean that I will see him again. I look so forward to that and I can’t wait until we can both share a glass of wine (without the burden of addiction) with Jesus and I will hear those familiar words "Who loves you, baby?”

We love you Kevin and we will see you in Heaven.