Good To Be Me

“Stuff is just stuff. You’ve just gotta keep the people around who mean something to you. Focus on them, that’s the stuff that’s important.” – Joe Baskin

Standing there next to his beautiful bride-to-be Joe knew the stuff he had in this moment came directly from his heart. After months of trying to plan a wedding, the planning had become overwhelming and so Joe and Stacy decided they would get married on their company trip, overlooking the beach in Cabo San Lucas, one of the most beautiful places in Mexico. But mother nature was trying to postpone the ceremony and the party.

“With just a couple of days to go before our trip Stacy found her dress, got it fixed just right and as we get into Cabo, there’s a hurricane,” says Joe. “It rained every day, except for the two days we had meetings scheduled. On the last day we thought we might catch a break. That morning it was cloudy, but by the middle of the day the clouds broke and we finally had our chance. We got married under a cabana overlooking the ocean.”

What Joe didn’t know at the time was not only would his team members from USHEALTH Advisors be present at the ceremony, so would the leaders of the company. As the hurricane winds blew during the week, many had gotten wind this wedding ceremony was happening and decided to show up. “I only met our CEO Troy McQuagge a few times,” says Joe. “But Troy and all the other guys I had never met – I turned around and there they were. It was special. That would only happen with a company like this. Andy Montague, my division manager, was the one who married us. He got certified as a minister just to conduct the ceremony. It was pretty awesome.”

While Andy was the one who married the couple before the eyes of God, Joe says it was Stacy who brought him closer to a relationship with God, especially when his path to finding this company was along the broken road of desperation.

“In 2006 I bought a small, custom automotive shop,” (in his hometown of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee), says Joe. “And we made a ton of money. It was called Cowboys Custom Auto Works. Then the greatest recession since the Great Depression hit in ’08 and ’09 and folks didn’t need, or certainly couldn’t afford custom cars. I lost everything. It got so bad I had to move back in with my mom and dad. I got divorced from my first wife and lived with my parents. I borrowed gas money from my mom just to drive to the job interview with USHEALTH Advisors.”

Joe also credits meeting Stacy with helping him to overcome the challenges life lay before him. “After my divorce and losing everything, Stacy saved me,” says Joe. “She brought me to know God. That was the greatest gift I ever got.”

Joe says he was also given the gift of a mom who he watched work so hard, as well as survive an abusive relationship with Joe’s father, whom his mom divorced when Joe was only 8-years-old. “Many times divorce is hard,” says Joe. “But I was happy about my parents splitting up. My dad was abusive to me as a kid, so I was happy to get out of that atmosphere. A few years later my mom remarried to a man who had the hard job of raising a very rambunctious 12-year-old boy. But he was very different, he was very loving and patient. I was a typical teenager growing up in the country in Tennessee. I was into motorcycles, horses and fighting. As a teenager I would as soon fight a fence post as anyone else. The norm was fighting, everybody had a chip on their shoulder. But after a fight everyone would then go sneak a beer with each other. I’ve got real good friends I grew up with. Everybody still sees each other and keeps up with each other.”

 

Joe continues: “I never got in real serious trouble, was never in the back of a police car, or anything like that. I was too scared of my momma. Being a single mom, out of an abusive relationship, she worked her brains out. She was the comptroller of a high-end automotive dealership, I got my work ethic from her. It’s why I’m not afraid to jump in and get stuff done. My mom made sure you walked the line. If not, she would whoop that booty! It happened a few times. I never got a whoopin’ I didn’t deserve, but there were a bunch I got away with – because I didn’t get caught!”

As a recently promoted Division Manager, Joe’s responsibility now is  keeping his agents in check, but Joe says it’s his wife Stacy’s job to keep him in line. “Stacy does some sales,” says Joe. “But she does a really, really good job of recruiting and filling the room. She also attempts to keep me organized which is a full-time job. My support from Stacy with this company has always been really high. What I have had, that not all the agents have, is that support at home. That’s important.”

 

Joe says now he gains so much satisfaction out of helping other agents become successful. “Watching an agent write their first new piece of business, that’s the greatest feeling, without a doubt. The worst feeling is watching an agent not get it and then get washed out.”

But Joe emphasizes it doesn’t have to be like that, it doesn’t have to happen. If he did it, anyone can do it.

“When I came here, I used my mom-taught work ethic,” says Joe. “Even when I had no money, I had a strong work ethic. Stacy also knew what we needed to do. When you come here, (to USHEALTH Advisors), everyone tells you how much money you can make. My first commission check was $2,400. I went from no money, to earning that in a week. I saw that if I did what they tell me to do, the way they tell me to do it, I can make this happen and make a living. Anyone can do it. You’ve got to keep working, when you get down you’ve gotta get back up. Life is gonna knock you down, but you’ve gotta keep punching. I don’t look at life focusing on any great disappointments or big challenges, it’s a bunch of small things you overcome. Figure out what your roadblock is and get around it. I lost it all, came here broke and destitute and the next thing you know life is great.”

Joe and Stacy’s wedding in Cabo on the beach in 2014 was appropriate since they are self-described “water folk”. Not only was it the perfect place for the couple to get married, they just closed on a lake house they always wanted and where they now live full-time. Joe says being out on the water is like a mini-vacation every day, taking he and Stacy away from the demands and stresses of every day life.

Life is good. Joe says at a recent company rewards trip, the CEO, Troy McQuagge walked up to him with a big smile and started laughing and he said, ‘Baskin, I was just thinking about you! You met the girl of your dreams. You got the house of your dreams, man it’s pretty good to be you.’ “I said Troy, it’s damn good to be me!”

 

Until next time thanks for taking the time,

Your Storyteller,
Mark Brodinsky