Randy Quiring graciously shared his story in my book “ACHIEVERS ORDINARY PEOPLE WHO DO EXTRAORIDINARY THINGS” It is a great story of a man who left the small town he lived in to seek opportunity, then realized his best opportunity was right in his old home town. He built a successful business, a wonderful family and as mayor of Fairmont, Minnesota he worked to make the town better.
Sadly, he lost his battle with cancer this week. I enjoyed getting to know him when I interviewed him, loved his posts on Facebook, and loved his sharing of his faith everywhere. He was a great example for all of us!
I know his family and loved ones will miss him; I will too.
SMALL TOWN SUCCESS
It seems a lot of people who grow up in small towns leave after high school to seek their fortunes in the city. It certainly is common to believe that the big city has more opportunities! Such is true with Randy Quiring who left his small home town to go to college for a few years. But in his words, “I redefined what partying really was!” He did just enough to get by. He didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life, and he lost interest in studying. He had only a few credits left to graduate when he got a call from a friend who told him of a job opportunity in Denver. He was easily lured to Denver to take a job as a delivery man for a printing company that reproduced maps for the oil and gas industry. It wasn’t a dream job at all. It paid $3.75 per hour, which was probably the minimum wage at the time. But Randy thought it might be an opportunity to get started in the big city!
Raised with a good work ethic, he did his job well even though he knew he was at the very bottom of the company. But he was a natural networker and soon developed a relationship with the sales manager in the company. Believing Randy was capable of more, the manager brought him into the company sales group. He began to call on print buyers in the oil business and enjoyed meeting and servicing their print needs. Sales were a familiar part of Randy’s upbringing as his dad had been a traveling salesman. He knew what it was all about. His dad had always told him he should go into sales as he seemed to be a natural. Randy had no interest in sales when growing up, but now with his “schmoozing” style, he quickly picked up the art.
Already valuing relationships, he joined a networking club. It was designed to help members find business opportunities. He developed a relationship with one man who eventually recruited him into the insurance business and financial product sales. Here he found his passion!
The insurance business required licensing, so Randy went back to school to earn his securities licenses. This time he excelled in school; he was motivated to learn what he needed to be successful. He went from just getting by as in his college courses to getting A’s in the insurance classes. He was becoming an achiever!
A few years passed and Randy did a remarkable thing. He returned to his small town to build an insurance business there. He had learned the business and was now eager to return to his roots to live and serve people there. He realized he really had enjoyed growing up in the small town and wanted to raise his family in that same environment. Probably more importantly, he realized his passion really was back home!
Now married, he and his wife are the parents of five children who have changed their lives. His wife, a successful independent art designer, downsized her job so she could stay at home to raise the children and manage the household. It was a big sacrifice, but they both agreed their family was more important than the income she would have contributed. Randy’s insurance business was doing well, and they decided they would have enough money to be comfortable and provide for their family. His parents instilled the importance of family when he was young, and these values have stayed with Randy as he has matured with a family of his own.
Randy recalls a comment by a friend of his high school age child who was visiting their home. At dinnertime all the family was present, and the chatter flowed freely. The visitor remarked that he wished his family would have dinner together and not just eat in front of the TV. Randy’s family eats dinner together every night, putting family first at mealtime! Such a small yet very important statement about priorities.
Randy loved his little town and wanted to serve it in the best way he could in order to keep it strong and successful. So he ran for mayor and was elected. Now with a family, a successful business, and a city to run, he has become a very busy man! That is not unusual for achievers. The old saying is, “If you want something done give the job to a busy person.” And Randy is certainly a busy person.
This summer he was dealt a tough blow – melanoma. In the process of seeking medical help, he lost one eye as the cancer had manifested there. Fortunately, he had many loyal friends and family members to support him through the ordeal. He also credits his faith as the real source of strength for getting him this far. He knows the cancer can still be problematic, but he is at peace knowing he is in God’s hands.
Cancer can take the ambition out of anybody, and the thought of dying may lead to depression and a lack of motivation. Many come to grips with it as did Randy. He took it in stride, dealt with the problem medically, and had an eye removed. He is optimistic, and his faith keeps him motivated to work and serve others through adversity as well as through easier times. Although presently he feels he has overcome the cancer, realistically he understands it may be a longer process for him.
He is still thinking of more things to achieve. His next goal? To complete his college work and get his degree!