Freddie the Great.

Freddie signed on about 6 months ago as my Field Manager, without the salary. I couldn’t afford to actually “hire” him. He told me shortly after we started working together that he had been given a vision and knew that we were going to do big things. Initially, I thought he was just kissing butt. But, I have seen this belief he holds proven true with the ups and downs we’ve experienced in the industry. Once he told me his whole family was behind me. He literally works all the time. He texts me at odd hours, mostly after 10pm. Lots of times I have to turn off my phone to get away from him.

It was a few months before I met Freddie in person since I came to know him through a third party and we conducted business over the phone. I was based a few hours south and he in Dallas. Our rapport was great as he seemed to hold the same values and work ethic as I try to build upon.

He didn’t tell me immediately that he was an amputee. Then, I met him at an in-town job I’d asked him to manage. He’d recently fallen out of his recliner while asleep at his home right on the amputated leg. It had swollen to such a point that he couldn’t wear his prosthetic. When I walked in and saw him for the first time, he was hopping around on the one leg painting trim. It was glorious.

He wasn’t guarded when he told me about the motorcycle accident he’d had at the age of 19, which led to the amputation. He was sober, and completely aware of his surroundings. He was driving responsibly. Then, a wrecker truck of all things met him head on coming from the oncoming lane. It turns out the driver was drunk and he swerved into Freddie’s lane. Though he tried to compensate, it was too late. His face slammed into the driver’s side rear view mirror and he screeched and landed in the ditch. Shortly thereafter, he lost an eye and a leg. A man following in his car pulled over quickly and found Freddie in the ditch, conscious. He asked if Freddie was ok, and he was able to respond. His thinking was clear enough even under shock to give the man his social security number, his date of birth. his name.

Then, they rushed him to the hospital. He flatlined on the surgery table more than once, and miraculously he survived. Months after he went home from the hospital, he was mowing out in the yard, on his riding lawn mower. He came to a stop and forgiveness came to his mind. He knew he had been harboring intense feelings of resentment toward the drunk driver who had hit him, changing his life in one moment. He actually knew the man who hit him, he had grown up with him as they lived in a small town on the outskirts of Dallas. He knew what kind of person this man was, an alcoholic. He decided he would call the man.

Freddie told the man who he was, and that he had made it out of recovery and now he was at home. This man never went to the hospital to visit or offered an apology to Freddie after the accident. Freddie then told the man that he forgave him for what he had done and there was no need for him to carry a burden over what had happened. The man simply said “Alright” and hung up. Freddie moved on with his life.

The most disarming thing about Freddie is that he wholeheartedly believes in me. He listened to me on the phone as I struggled over whether I should let go a client who until that time had been our greatest source of revenue. Most contractors might have convinced me to stick with it for their benefit. Freddie knew the situation and said we would do even better once we let this one go. He has been by my side form start to finish.

I realize that an entrepreneur has to be guarded when it comes to those he/she works with. It is not always wise to convey what you are feeling. One does well to keep more under the table. But, I’m just saying we’ve got something good — Freddie and I. Where his “limitations” are concerned in terms of his physical condition, this does not slow him down.

For the past month, he has had his dad drive him to a pain management doctor, who administers injections to reduce the severe aching he has developed over time. Because of the tears and breaks, his body formed arthritis in the wounded joints. While we are carrying on over the phone about life and work, this thought occurs to me very little. I consider that a credit to Freddie because he never makes a big deal out of it. He even jokes about his single leg.

I hope to God that I can build a team of Freddies while I grow Integrity REO Solutions. I’m the kind of person who finds someone he loves working with and takes them all the way.


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