Better Off

“God will not have his work made manifest by cowards.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Want to build a bigger life and a bigger business? Then stand in courage, keep the faith and keep moving forward. It’s easier said than done, but this is how Randy Hildebrandt is creating his life. Born in the big state of Texas, Randy is bent on living the big life – big on heart, big on work, big on gratitude, big on giving. After all, Randy grew up idolizing a man who was bigger than life.

The king of the “K”, Nolan Ryan.

 Ryan was a giant among the pitches of his era, with an imposing presence on the mound and a fastball to back it up. Retiring from Major League Baseball in 1993 with 5,714 strikeouts, Ryan was the best-of-the-best. For 13 seasons of his major league career, he played for two Texas teams, the Astros and the Rangers – Randy, the Texas native, looked at this human accomplishing inhuman feats and dreamed a big dream. He too wanted to be the king of the hill and become a major league pitcher.

Randy was working hard like his idol, burning fastballs as a pitcher for Anderson Shiro High School in Anderson, Texas. He was getting a lot of looks, throwing 92-mph fastballs as a junior, but blowing it up on the mound, lead to blowing out his shoulder in Randy’s last year of high school. He underwent successful shoulder surgery and made the team at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. But his shoulder didn’t survive the stress. “You get a lot of attention when you’re doing well,” says Randy. “But as soon as you get hurt, you’re a liability.” The last blowout meant the dream was over.

With baseball behind him, Randy figured he would look to make it big somewhere else – in the field of business and economics. Accepted to A&M, Randy became a Fighting Aggie, but his chosen major became a major disappointment to Randy. “It sucked,” laughs Randy. “I took the major because those were the highest paying jobs out there, but it was no fun. In the meantime, I waited tables and worked as a bartender in college and saved up about $2,000 by the time I graduated.” Randy says he had his degree and his truck and something else – no idea what he wanted to do.

Desperate for a path – Randy put his resume up on two websites which were just starting to blossom – Monster and Career Builder. Shortly thereafter, a woman named Connie came calling. She told Randy she had an opportunity for him. “Connie said it was selling insurance,” remembers Randy. “I said, ‘I can’t do insurance’, but she told me her kid was an Aggie and I was an Aggie and I could do it. I asked her where would I be working? She told me the office was in Round Rock, Texas, near Austin. That was 200-miles away! I kept saying no, I kept turning her down, but Connie wore me down, so eventually, I made the trip.”

“I remember being in a room with probably eight people besides myself and as the guy was explaining what the company did I heard the door open and close about seven or eight times when I turned around to look there was no one else in the room but me! The presenter looked at me and said, ‘if you are going to get up and leave also, I might as well save my breath.’ I said if I’m the only one left then I guess I got the job. The guy said, ‘you might’. He put my resume on the desk of this guy Kevin Ferrell and then I left. Connie called me back a day later to say Kevin wanted to interview me, so I made the 200-mile drive back to Round Rock. Kevin said get your license, get this book, study it, pass the test and then come back to talk to me. I did it, then I did the company training and got started.”

For the next six months, Randy faithfully made the 200-mile drive each week to Kevin’s mandatory Monday morning meeting in Round Rock. “I would go to the 2-to-3 hour meeting, get up and go home,” says Randy. “I still really had no idea what we were selling, how we marketed and what I was doing. I sucked.”

“The more you run from your fears, the bigger they get, but the more you go into them, the more they tend to vanish like a mirage.” – Terry Crews, former NFL player and actor

Close to giving up on the opportunity all together, Randy did the “big” thing and took a look around and what the “big dogs” were doing in his division, the ones putting up the “big” numbers. Randy studied them, then asked one of them to be his mentor, and just like he modelled his baseball career after his idol Nolan Ryan, Randy got to work. But this time Randy was intent on blowing up, not blowing out the opportunity.

“My mentor said to me, ‘dedicate yourself to me for twelve months if you are not helping more people and making more money than anyone you graduated within your class at A&M then you can quit.’ The guy said it has to be twelve months, nothing less. So I rode with him for the next year, I did meetings with him and he did them with me. I listened to how he talked to people on the phone. I realized I was trying to be a salesperson and not someone who protected lives and families. He was right, he did it right. I had been on the cusp of leaving, if not for the “big dogs” doing it and me wanting to do it just as big, I would have left and gotten a salary job at a bank. It would have been the biggest mistake of my life.”

Fast forward to today. At the urging of his friend and leader Kevin Ferrell and Kevin’s wife Lucy, and after an intimate conversation with CEO Troy McQuagge, Randy eventually made the move, (in 2012), to USHEALTH Advisors, where he serves as a Satellite Division Leader.

 

Randy says it wasn’t an easy decision because he was doing “fine” at his former company. “It was definitely a leap of faith,” says Randy. “But meeting and seeing Troy for the first time, looking into his eyes, shaking his hand, I could feel his passion. No one I’ve ever met is as charismatic, caring and passionate as Troy. He is one of my favorite people on the planet. The guy is one-of-a-kind, there’s no one like him. We are all blessed to have him in our lives.”

 

The blessings have manifested for Randy. Doing what the big dogs taught him years ago, simply caring for his clients and doing what’s right, this Fighting Aggie is consistently one of the top producers and leaders at USHEALTH. Two years ago he married Ashley and took on the role of being a father and friend to her son Rylan, who is now 11. Recently the couple welcomed Kingston into the world.  Randy and Ashley both agree that raising a pre-teen and a one-year-old is truly their biggest, but most rewarding challenge in life. “Their schedules are very different,” laughs Ashley. “So every day is an accomplishment and a challenge for two hard-working parents to manage their needs.”

  

Randy and Ashley both come from large families, Randy grew up with three brothers, Ashley also has three brothers and a sister. The couple understands and constantly focuses on how important family is in their lives. “Ashley and I we were meant for each other,” says Randy. “It may have taken us awhile to find each other, but there is not a more perfect fit for two people.  She is an amazing, loving mother and wife.  She is absolutely the rock of our family. God truly blessed me, with Rylan, Kingston and Ashley.  Ashley also comes from a large, God-loving, faithful, and upstanding family. There could not be a better fit for me. I have been truly blessed, in every aspect of the word.”

  

“Don’t aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference.” – Academy Award Winner, Denzel Washington

Randy says he tries to live life by the golden rule. “I know it might sound generic, but that’s the truth,” he says. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Provide the mission of hope to someone you meet in business, on the street, or even standing in line at the store. A smile, a handshake, give that person a little bit extra. That’s the person I try to be. Always make somebody better off after having come in contact with you, then they were before they met you. That’s the mantra I live by.”

Well said.

(Merry Christmas :))

Until next time, thanks for taking the time.

Your Storyteller,
Mark Brodinsky