The direct sales industry lost a great one this week. Rob Renick was a close friend and someone I had the pleasure of associating with and working with in different capacities over the past 15 years. I learned a lot from my time spent with Rob, traveling around the country while working with different direct sales companies. Some of those lessons were about direct sales, but most of them were about life. Here are a few of those lessons:
Rob fought leukemia for years. Frequently, I found myself chatting with him while he was in Houston getting treatment. It was a part of life. He didn't complain about it. He never asked "Why me?" He just fought it head on. And, he didn't let it control his life and who he was. He was the same with COVID. We traded daily messages for the last few weeks where he talked about the fight he was putting up.
The takeaway: Regardless of your circumstances in life, be a fighter!
Rob was a connector. He was gifted in that sense. He knew everyone, and everyone knew him. I always knew on my birthday I'd get a special message. On holidays, he would send me a cartoon meme (that he’d sent to hundreds of other individuals, I'm sure) celebrating the day. I had Rob train our full team one time on "The Fortune is The Follow-Up." The main takeaway that has stuck with me was so simple, yet really powerful: Follow-up is a discipline. And it has to be mastered on a daily basis. Let people know you care about them. The most important aspect is to be consistent. Every day requires a follow-up.
The takeaway: Build relationships, not business.
Over the years I came to know several of Rob's close friends and family. His wife Leigh (whom he adored), his son Ryan (who was his world), his friends at the country club...I became a part of Rob's life. And, it was more important than business. Even when we stopped working together for a time, we would check in and just talk about life. He would update me on Ryan's latest project and how proud he was. He would tell me about Leigh's mom. He would tell me about the meatballs he cooked for Ryan's buddies. Regardless of what was happening with work, what mattered most was the people in Rob's life. That's it. People matter. Family matters. All the rest is just a part of life.
The takeaway: Spend time living life with the people who matter the most!
Five years ago, my wife Andrea and I were debating buying the kids a dog. They had been begging for a dog for years. I loved Rob's dogs and loved seeing them when we would stop by his house. We were worried about training the dog and all the work that came with it. As we were looking at the puppies, I sent a photo to Rob. He immediately called me and said: The point was simple. Don't overthink it. Live life. Enjoy the journey. Buy the damn dog.
The takeaway: Take the trip. Go to that restaurant. Live your life. Buy the damn dog.
I am going to miss Rob. And the things that I will miss are the little things. Him rubbing his buckeye on me for good luck before an appointment. Chatting up the NFL and college football (his Buckeyes and my Utes). And just talking about life as we drove from appointment to appointment. He was one of the good ones. If you knew Rob, hopefully there are some lessons you can take away as well!
Please comment below and share a story about Rob, a lesson that you’ve learned, or a memory you have of him. I want to share those stories with Leigh and Rob’s family.