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The Mortgage Godfather: What Is Time For?

Ralph Lovuolo
Mar 10, 2020
Photo credit: Getty Images/artisteer

For more than a month, this subject of this article and every version that I’ve written, has seen the figurative bottom of the circular file. It’s so personal to me, that I’ve been unable to properly express my feelings of sadness, faith, anger, hope, fear, optimism, apprehension, courage and gloom.
Ralph LoVuolo Sr. has nearly 60 years history in the mortgage businessWhat do I use my time for, what did God put me on this Earth for and how about you? What are you here for? Is time something that is in such large supply that we have no need to try to save it. Should we hoard it?
I have long sought the reasons for my work ethic, some might call it “aggression” and some call it “action” akin to Napoleon. How could someone who lives in a body not more than five feet seven inches and never more than 170 pounds be so aggressive? Believe me, it is difficult to live in this body. I’m lying of course, because while suffering a serious illness many decades ago, my skinny body ballooned to a very chubby 186 pounds. But mind you, I never had an increase in weight when healthy.
I recently visited with my son, Ralph Jr., an executive officer at Plaza Home Mortgage who has moved back to the East Coast. That’s what he says, so I’ll live with that description. I’m not fully prepared to call Pittsburgh the East Coast, but won’t make a federal case out of it. Anyway, while there, my wife Chris and I were entertained to the max, spent lovely holiday time with Ralph and his angelic wife Tracey, and their extremely talented and beautiful daughter Alexis, now a member of the freshman class at Penn State. I don’t want to deviate too far from the subject, but a clue to my dilemma presented itself while driving with the family. My granddaughter asked her dad if she could drive us to the mall and was quickly given the keys. I was already in the shotgun seat, having called for it while coming out of the house. Ralph told me to stay. It is the seat of honor while traversing the hills of Pittsburgh on anyone’s family vacation. Holy crap … what an experience! That kid drives like Mario Andretti with the mindset of Evel Knievel! I was scared to death. So frightened that I was anxious enough not to utter a word while not enjoying the experience. I was truly fearful she might take her eyes off the road and take a glance at me while maneuvering a left turn. When that short drive ended, miraculously able to breath since I had not taken a breath in the previous 20 minutes, I escaped to have a cup of tea, stress relief Purely Plants Anxiety Away Non GMO Organically Grown Tea Stress Relief with Rhodiola, Linden, Milky Oats, Licorice and Skullcap.
Taking Ralph Jr. aside, I asked if she drove like that all the time.
“Sure, just like you,” he replied.
“What?!” I almost screamed, “Get out of here!”
“Dad, she drives just like me and that’s just like you,” Junior replied.
“Ralph,” says me. “Not possible, I never took that many chances in my life.”
“Oh yeah?” he asked. “Look up your driving record from when you were her age!”
Eventually I did review it, mentally. I got into an accident on the day I got my driver’s license. And that about sums it up.
Now, as to the question at hand … why was I such an aggressive, pushy little snotnose? Blame my father. My saintless, overbearing, in-your-face, loud-mouthed father. The guy who taught me the mortgage business. The guy who pushed me over the edge more times than can be counted. The root cause of me spending 19 years in therapy. The guy who stood in my attorney’s office when I was negotiating to be un-married and told my attorney: “Give ‘her’ whatever she wants.”
You’ll notice the quotation marks. It never occurred to him what it would cost “ME!”
Look, I don’t want any of you to be like me, at least the old me. I swear, I’m not like that guy anymore. At least until you piss me off. And God saved me the pain of having any offspring that fills that bill. My son, God love him, is the nicest person walking the face of the Earth, next to his sisters. He’d give anyone the shirt off his back. My daughters have no reference to the me that they knew when growing up. They are both so pleasant and kind, they take it way too far for my liking. They decided that not being around me was enough to let the world know they would be different than their old man.
Where did I learn these habits of being so concerned about time? When did it dawn on me that there is a limited supply?
What do I use my time for, what did God put me on this Earth for and how about you? What are you here for? Is time something that is in such large supply that we have no need to try to save it. Should we hoard it?
I’m now asking you? What are you waiting for?
The other day, I was on the phone with a couple of young clients who are new to my way of thinking. They never met anyone like me, thank you! And they found that out after a couple of sessions where I had pleasantly requested a set of goals and action plan for 2020. The conversation was so agonizing for me as I listened to why they couldn’t do this and shouldn’t do that and that brokers would get tired of them if they followed my schemes. This was the fourth or fifth time spent with a couple of guys who finally pushed me too hard and I lashed out.
Please understand, my dear reader, when you get to be my age the thought of dying enters one’s head every single day. People my age who would deny that are lying, even if their family tree shows a life expectancy of being a nonagenarian.
My advice to you as we enter the 20th year of the 21st Century is to get on with it. Move faster, be more interested, do more with your time. Read as much as your brain will absorb.
Dispense with failure. Be unmindful of fear. The worst thing someone with whom you want to do business with might say to you is “NO,” and I promise you that “NO” is not personal, it’s just business. They don’t mean “NO,” they mean “Maybe.” You just haven’t yet given them a good reason to do business with you. But you should find that reason as soon as you can because maybe you won’t get another chance. Time might run out on you.
Before you go to see someone, find out whatever can be found about them. It will pay off surprisingly well. Use your time wisely. You can’t do business with people who don’t do business. So being sure you’re not wasting your time is paramount.
Get yourself organized, have a productive daily routine. Spend your time in productive endeavors. Do you know what “time is of the essence” means in a contract? Look it up. It will be a good investment of your time.
It’s about time that I came to end this. Or maybe you think it is past time.
Me, I’m going to take a nap.

Ralph LoVuolo Sr. has nearly 60 years history in the mortgage business. He was a co-founder/president of the NYAMB and a long-term member of the Board of Directors of NAMB. The Mortgage Godfather is available to help your salespeople do more business. He does sales rallies, Webinars, personal coaching. Call, text or e-mail (917) 576-1230 or e-mail [email protected].

This article originally appeared in the January 2020 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

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