Richard Ruvin of Falk Ruvin Gallagher: “Give yourself time for reflection at the end of the day”

Give yourself time for reflection at the end of the day. Think about your ‘ups’ and ‘downs.’ After getting into this habit, I realized how many more ‘ups’ than ‘downs’ there are in a day or week and it comes naturally to be thankful for that. I had the pleasure of interviewing Richard Ruvin. Richard Ruvin […]

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Give yourself time for reflection at the end of the day. Think about your ‘ups’ and ‘downs.’ After getting into this habit, I realized how many more ‘ups’ than ‘downs’ there are in a day or week and it comes naturally to be thankful for that.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Richard Ruvin.

Richard Ruvin is the Lead Partner at Falk Ruvin Gallagher — a leading real estate firm in Southeastern Wisconsin. Ruvin has held this role since January of 2020. Previously, he served as the President of NAJR Properties, LLC, CEO of Falk Ruvin Real Estate and President of Circle Realty, LLC. Richard is a running enthusiast and proud father of two sons.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive into our discussion, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about you and about what brought you to your specific career path?

I worked my way through college running a small painting company. After college graduation, my brother and I took it to the next level by evolving the small business into a remodeling and home building company. As it grew, we opened construction and architectural offices in Chicago and Milwaukee. In 2003, we sold the businesses. Upon doing so, I entered the world of real estate development focusing on multi-family, commercial and medical properties and grew a real estate brokerage team. Today, I serve as the Lead Partner at Falk Ruvin Gallagher Real Estate Team and focus on team growth. I am so proud that we are the number one real estate team in the State of Wisconsin.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

When I was in my early 30s, I was fortunate to be one of a handful of up-and-coming local leaders who had the opportunity to meet with three of Wall Street’s biggest titans. The first titan shared stores about his deals and the financial rewards he earned. The second titan followed and immediately said to the first titan, “You know, you spoke for an hour and never mentioned your wife and children?” to which the first titan curtly stated, “You are right. I don’t spend much time with my wife and kids, but when I do it’s totally quality time.” After a brief pause, the second titan ripped up the notes from which he was going to speak and simply said “I am going to share with you one very important point — when it comes to your family, it is all about quantity time, not quality time. You need to provide the quantity time for those quality moments to occur.” That’s it. That’s all he said. We sat in silence for the rest of presentation. When time ran out and the third titan was scheduled to speak, he said “I am so humbled and moved that I have nothing else to add.” The short, second presentation has impacted my life ever since and has shaped how I raised my children. From that point on, I became a very early riser so I could work out and prepare for my day before my kids got up. This has enabled me to spend time with them every morning before school. I have also been fortunate to be able to tailor my workday, so I enjoy quality family time with my wife and kids during the evening and on Sunday’s. I have a standing date every Wednesday with my oldest son. The weekly date has been on the calendar since he was in kindergarten and takes place rain or shine as he’s grown up and is now off on his own. I also have a standing Thursday date with my younger son, who is a senior in high school and has no shortage of fun things to do. The fact that he chooses to spend time with me is very humbling. My boys and I have enjoyed too many walks, dinners, concerts sporting events, movies and plays to count.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote?” Why do you think that resonates with you? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

I am voracious reader and listener of business and personal growth books and podcasts. I also have personal catalogue of quotes for nearly every occasion. One of my favorite quotes is one my youngest son said to me during one of our weekly dates. We were talking about my leadership style and he said “Dad, you just need to decide who you are and then go out and prove it.” When you think about it, at the end of the day, that’s all any of us really need to do.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story about why that resonated with you?

The book An Introduction to Buddhism that I purchased from a used bookstore in Arizona has made a significant impact on me. The jacket cover was missing, and you could tell it had been read and reread many times. Prior to reading it, I had always been an incredibly goal-oriented person. I know what I want to accomplish and what I want to accumulate. However, after reading the book, I permanently shifted from creating goals to intentions. I no longer live my life based on what I want to do or have. I now focus solely on who I want to be. I openly share my intentions, and as a result I have become a happier and more successful person.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

As the Lead Partner at Falk Ruvin Gallagher, I invest in people. I am currently building my third, incredibly successful team and I find that to be incredibly fulfilling, most business leaders craft teams to advance themselves and their bottom line, often at the expense of others. I believe, to the core, that success comes from the wins of others.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born, and the day you figure out why.” I figured out my why the day my first son was born, which was further reinforced with the birth of my second son. They have somehow managed to collect all of the best attributes of their parents, but none of the worst. Their kindness, loyalty, generosity, wisdom, humor and true sense of what is right and wrong motivates me beyond belief. I strive to be all I can be for them and because of them.

Why do you think so many people do not feel gratitude? How would you articulate why a simple emotion can be so elusive?

Look at how the typical American, single-family home has changed. It’s bigger, with bigger closets, refrigerators and garages. We have been trained to seek more and more. In that frenzy, we have given up one of our most precious assets, which is time. Part of gratitude is slowing down to appreciate the little blessings that each and every day brings.

While this may be intuitive to you, I think it will be constructive to help spell it out. Can you share with us a few ways that increased gratitude can benefit and enhance our life?

Increased gratitude reminds you of what matters. I have a reminder in my phone to pause every afternoon to reflect on something I’m grateful for in my life. Those few seconds reframe what’s going on at that moment. Two years ago, I began to practice this with my clients. We’d pause in the middle of meetings — often at awkward moments — to reflect on something we’re appreciative of. Candidly, it surprises my teammates when I first introduced this practice. But there’s something incredibly powerful about stopping a meeting to recognize how fortunate we all are and often in different ways. Try it! You’ll find that energy in your meetings remarkably approves after doing so.

Let’s talk about mental wellness in particular. Can you share with us a few examples of how gratitude can help improve mental wellness?

To me, the key to mental wellness is how we speak to ourselves. We often say things to ourselves that we would never say to others. Being grateful doesn’t have to end at what we have or those around us. Being grateful for who we are, what we’ve overcome, where we are at in our journeys and where we are headed is incredibly important. Also, be kind and patient with yourself. When you lead a life of intentions, rather than goals, you begin to truly like and respect yourself and find happiness because you are in your life.

From your experience or research, what are “Five Ways That Each of Us Can Leverage the Power of Gratitude to Improve Our Overall Mental Wellness”. Can you please share a story or example for each?

When you wake up, decide what you want to be that day and imagine how that will feel to you and others. Be sure to thank yourself for the day’s intention.

Schedule a mid-day check in with yourself. I do this on my phone. It brings me back to the day’s intention. You will find that you’re thankful for dedicating time to check back in.

Pause to reflect on what you’re personally grateful for during the day. Remember to focus on the little things.

Find opportunities, at inopportune times, to have others pause and reflect on their good fortune.

Give yourself time for reflection at the end of the day. Think about your ‘ups’ and ‘downs.’ After getting into this habit, I realized how many more ‘ups’ than ‘downs’ there are in a day or week and it comes naturally to be thankful for that.

Is there a particular practice that can be used during a time when one is feeling really down, really vulnerable, or really sensitive?

I am a huge ambassador of running and meditation, because I find that both level me. While these work for me, they may not work for you. But I encourage you to find something, purely for yourself, that flattens out the swings in emotions. This, in itself, has a profound impact. Also, when you are feeling sad, mad or scared, remind yourself that what you are feeling is simply what you are feeling. You are not sad. You are feeling sad. You are not scared. You are feeling scared. Trust in yourself. Recognize that what you’re feeling is temporary. Believing in the temporary nature of things makes the beauty of life more wonderful and the pain in life more tolerable.

Do you have any favorite books, podcasts, or resources that you would recommend to our readers to help them to live with gratitude?

This might sound odd, but nothing beats loving what others in your life love. Nothing is better than reading a book or listening to a podcast that is special to someone you adore. They say that one of the keys to happiness is the quality of our connections. I believe who you read with us just as important as what you’re reading. Over the last few months, I’ve read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown with a friend, The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel with my sons and The Four by Scott Galloway with my brother. I also listen to the New York Times podcast called The Daily with my wife.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could start a movement, I’d call for the world to celebrate what makes each of us beautifully unique and harness the richness that different experiences, cultures and perspectives bring. Simultaneously, we should embrace that, at the end of the day, we all share common hopes, dreams and aspirations no matter who we are and champion the success of each other.

What is the best way our readers can further follow your work online?

Don’t follow my work. If I am successful in what matters most, please follow the work of my teammates by visiting, liking Falk Ruvin Gallagher on Facebook or following the company on Instagram.

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