mears-family

From left to right, in the words of our winner: Travis (a.k.a. Big Sexy), Vicki (stepmom and all-around awesome person), Pops (father, a.k.a. Pete Mears, a.k.a. the maker of perfection), Kyle (older and not as handsome but the best brother a little brother could ask for)

Travis Mears and his brother Kyle had a normal childhood, playing soccer and listening to music together. But after he flunked out of college, Kyle’s life began to unravel, culminating in a rock-bottom existence of living on the streets and doing drugs. Things began to turn around for Kyle when he joined the Marine Corps. He excelled in the Corps, receiving awards and promotions throughout his four years of service—and he returned to being the brother that Travis remembered from his childhood; caring, thoughtful and strong. He’s now a family man with a growing business.

To enter our #MadeMentor contest—and win an adventure trip to Lake Tahoe—Travis posted a simple, funny remark about Kyle on Made Man’s Facebook page: “My brother, older and not as good looking but a proud marine husband and father of 2 girls.” We called up the lucky winner to ask him what he’s learned from the bro who’s seen it all. Here are a few tips Travis shared.

1. Stand up for yourself and be confident
“This has helped me immensely throughout my life. Being in sales and corporate environments, I was lucky to learn at a young age to trust my outgoing, confident personality.”

2. Hard work counts
“As we got older and his company started taking shape, what I could tell immediately was the amount of work and dedication it takes to become successful in business.  This wasn’t something he would say or tell me to do; it was more leading by example and knowing I was paying attention—which is probably something he learned in the Corps.

3. Be a good husband first
“Being a good husband means more than being a good friend to your mates. What he said time and time again was that it is all about my wife and me. We have to depend and be there for each other. Friends will come and go but your wife is your life now!”

These days, Travis and Kyle spend time with family, taking their trailers to the beach and mountains, barbecuing and watching Kyle’s daughters grow up. “Counting on someone to guide you in the right direction—whether or not either one of you know it is even happening at the time—looking back on it now, it’s very humbling.” Congrats, guys! And thanks again to Jeep Cherokee for sponsoring Men of the Moment and #MadeMentor!