Author Archives: Greg Hague

About Greg Hague

I am an entrepreneur, attorney, author, motivational speaker, pilot, and world motorcycle traveler. First and foremost I am a dad. And, I am the founder of www.savvydad.com.

My new book, How Fathers Change Lives, is a “Chicken Soup” collection of stories about remarkable dads… 52 examples of doing it right. What they say. What they do. Best advice. The stories are inspiring, touching and fun. The life lessons are great.

This book has been recommended by some very special people including my friend, NY Times #1 Best Selling author Harvey Mackay (“How to Swim with the Sharks..”). In its first month it received over 50 five-star Amazon reviews.
Learn more about Greg. Follow Greg on Google+

My Pop-Tart Dad

“The smallest gestures often make the biggest difference.”

—John Wooden


Today’s story is from Sharon.

Dad was distant. We never had a close relationship. Did he even like me? Sometimes I wondered.

pop-tart-dad

Sharon’s Dad during a recent family Christmas.

My father was taciturn, reserved, an academic. Neat freak. Perfectionist. Workaholic.

We were like sugar and salt. I was full of words — and problems, too. Dad said little, buried in work and his books. That’s why my sister and I first lived with Mom in Illinois. But as I grew older, it didn’t work out. Mom and I had issues.

I was bipolar, had OCD and an eating disorder. It became too much for her to handle. So at 18, I packed up and headed for Minnesota to live with Dad. At least he would just leave me alone.

He was exactly as I remembered. Introverted. Distant. But he had a razor sharp intellect, and was very observant. READ MORE 

Terrible Car Buying Tips

by Greg Hague

Terrible Car Buying Tips (Terrible for Them, Not You)


bigstock-car-used-salesperson-selling-o-20875271

Buying a new car?

Here are a few savvy tips to snag your best deal.

1. KNOW THE REAL DEALER COST – Through the Internet you can usually find the dealer invoice, the dealer “hold back” (extra profit dealers receive from the manufacturer not reflected in the invoice) and any other dealer or consumer incentives offered by the manufacturer. The point is to know the real dealer cost before you start to negotiate.

2. SHOP BY PHONE – You lose a HUGE advantage when you’re standing on the showroom floor. Before you go anywhere, negotiate dealers against each other by telephone. Get your absolute best cash price. Dealers will be less resistant to negotiating by phone if you say you’re from far away (you are – it’s a relative term).

3. NEGOTIATE A “NO TRADE” PRICE – If you have a car to trade, don’t let the cat out of the bag until the end. Dealers often pad the value of a trade (inflate the price) with extra profit built into the car you’re buying.

Dealers know that buyers are usually more sensitive to the $$ they receive for their car than the $$ they pay for the new car.

You will never know how much you are really receiving for your trade unless you first negotiate the lowest no-trade price on the car you’re buying.

4. FINANCE THE PURCHASE – Consider financing your new car for a few months, even if you can pay cash. Dealers often receive a large spiff on buyers who finance their cars (through the dealer).

This spiff is often substantial because it presumes, based on averages, that you’ll keep the loan in place for several years.  But you don’t have to. You can pay off most car loans at any time with no penalty.

So, once you’ve negotiated your best no-financing price, see if you can obtain an additional $300-$500 (or more) discount if you finance. Then pay off the loan in the first month or two. Your interest on a $20,000 loan at 5% for one month is only about $85, (and you’ll be earning some offsetting interest on the extra $20,000 in your account during that time).

5. SAY NO ‘TIL YOUR TONGUE BLEEDS – That’s a favorite phrase from my friend, Harvey Mackay. Cars go down in value (even on the dealer’s lot). Remember, the deal tomorrow is usually better then the deal today. When buying a car, time is on your side while the cash is in your pocket.

bigstock-Car-Sales-Man-32072360



Why Rich People Aren’t Happy


by Greg Hague


Rear view of businessman with luggage walking towards corporate“I had everything I dreamed but wasn’t as happy as when I only had dreams.”

When I was a kid, I was convinced life would be perfect when I could buy my first Porsche (a black Targa to be precise).

Burning up the road, making my friends jealous, and trying to impress girls; what more could a guy want?

Dad was in real estate and I quickly saw the big money in selling homes. So at 18 I took the exam, got my real estate license and started selling while in college at Miami University.

Fast forward – middle age. Real estate had treated me well. That black Porsche Targa had come and gone. I had run through an array of homes, cars, motorcycles, boats and planes. As soon as I became bored with one I bought another.

These days I look back and realize I wasn’t buying because I wanted the thing…I was buying because I needed some thing to do. At one point I accumulated so much motorized crap that I “hired” one of my sons to keep all the batteries charged.

I had everything I dreamed but wasn’t as happy as when I only had dreams.

Then, on a Saturday motorcycle ride, my friend, Bruce, made a comment that changed my perception.

“Greg, do you know why rich people aren’t happy?” he asked.

I gave him a skeptical look, waiting for the punchline of what was sure to be a joke.

But Bruce wasn’t joking…

He continued, “Of course, not all wealthy people are unhappy, but many are because they’ve forgotten what happiness is.”

“So what is it?” I asked.

“It’s three things, actually.  Happiness is the deep sense of satisfaction that comes from the enthusiastic pursuit of a worthwhile goal of your own choosing.

Bruce emphasized the key points:

* The goal needs to get you excited (enthusiastic pursuit).

* The goal needs to be worthwhile (not something trivial like an everyday errand).

* The goal must be something you choose (not something you must do, something you want to do).

I got the point. It was the difference between short term pleasures and long term purpose.

Chocolate cake, Porsches and vacations are great, but when it comes to life, they’re icing, not cake.  They’re rewards, not pursuits. While they can add to happiness they don’t make happiness.

Today’s Takeaway:

Being better off is better. But it should be more about the freedom to pursue purpose than the bucks to buy stuff.


 

When Disappointment Pays


by Greg Hague


Business men hand shake in the office

If you do enough business, you will have disputes . . . honest disagreements over an invoice, a promise, or quality of work. Disputes also arise in friendship and marriage.

With disputes you have three choices:

1) Fight

2) Ignore

3) Settle

As a lawyer, I’m inclined to say fight, but that would be lousy advice. Fighters are losers. It’s financially, emotionally and reputationally stressful, and potentially ruinous.

Fighting is more about ego than good common sense.

Of course, you could ignore your disputes. But disputes are problems, and problems grow over time.

Ignorance can be costly.

If you’re smart, you’ll settle.  Whether in business, friendship or marriage, it’s the smart move.

But to settle, you must reset your frame of mind from what you honestly believe you deserve to what you can live with.

Settlement involves disappointment. You must be willing to accept disappointment . . . to walk away with less than you think you deserve.

Today’s Takeaway:

Settlement isn’t fairness, it’s a dose of disappointment and good common sense.


 

You Can’t Beat Fear Pretending It’s Not There


by Greg Hague


Fearful boy hiding under the bedYou refused to attack. It was fear, the dream killer; it held you back.

Calls you failed to make. Opportunities you didn’t take. Times you should have raised your hand. People you were afraid to walk up and meet.

What is fear?

Let’s dissect this ugly ole’ thing. You can’t conquer what you don’t understand.

Fear is mental theater with you on the stage.

It’s visualization – a fast moving, flash-forward sequence that unfolds in your head.

You’re the star…the central character in a play with an unfortunate end.

It’s self-imposed failure; an imagined travesty deep in your mind.

How do you beat fear?

Do what actors do:

First – Don’t try to pretend fear isn’t there. It is.

Second – Realize most fears are “no downside” fears. Embarrassment. Rejection. Disappointment. Hurt feelings. You have nothing to lose but a mental bruise. The real harm comes from not taking the risk.

Third – Learn, practice, drill, rehearse. Nothing subdues fear more than being prepared.

Finally…visualize, visualize, visualize.

Imagine a perfect performance. You make the sale, wow the audience, ace the test or win the race. Picture yourself emerging to the applause of a roaring crowd.

The Takeaway?

The goal isn’t to ignore fear, it’s to excel in the face of fear.

Over-prepare. Take control of your mind. Visualize perfection time and again. See yourself a star, a winner, a success at the end.

And remember…the real downside is letting fear keep you from taking the risk. That’s what you’ll look back and regret.


 

Get Smart in 6 Minutes a Week


by Greg Hague


Congratulation 6

Guess what? I discovered how to get smart in 6 minutes a week!

Back in 2010 when I got the top score on the bar exam, I had only 4 ½ months to learn what most people beat their brains out studying for 3-4 years.

I had to cram a ton of complex legal stuff into my time-worn head fast… and make it stick.

By necessity, I developed a study technique that helped me learn twice as much in half the time. I sure wish I’d had it back when I was in school!

It consists of four new ways to learn faster and remember better, so I called it L4X. I know it works because when I used it with my law students they voted me Professor of the Year.

Wouldn’t you think everyone would want to know how learn easier and faster?

So I asked a New York editor if he thought it would make a good book.

He said, “Absolutely!”

But, he also said that no publisher would be interested unless it was at least 160 pages.

I told him I could explain it in 10.  He reiterated that major publishers wanted at least 160 pages in a book. He suggested I “fill it out.”

150 pages of fluff. Seriously? That got me thinking.

Most books are structured around great ideas like L4X. Those ideas can often be explained in minutes. The rest is filler and fluff… to make it an “official” book.

Seems silly to me. I’d rather have brief and brilliant than big and bloated.

That was the inspiration behind a new project… RapidFire Books.

Most people have unread books sitting around. They want to learn. The problem is time.

So I came up with a solution…

Put the best ideas from The New York Times top books in 6 minutes of audio each week.

It’s still in beta, but so far everyone loves it.

Give it a try. Here’s the link:

www.rapidfirebooks.com.


How Did You Know?


by Greg Hague


bigstock-Blank-Sign-Woman-Excited-8868079

How did you know?

In 1959, my friend, Harvey Mackay, purchased a struggling envelope firm in Minneapolis. Today it is one of the largest in the world, with 500+ employees selling over 25 million envelopes a day.

How did he do it?  Four simple words:

How did you know?

Let me explain.

After he purchased the business, Harvey made a list of 66 things to know about each customer…  their customer profile.

It worked so well he started using it to learn about everyone he met… and then he began using it to learn about the people he was likely to meet.

Harvey now calls it his Mackay 66. I call it:  How did you know?”

The point is to get people to say, ”How did you know?”

It’s smart business and life advice, too.

Whether you are in school or working a job or building a business you better know this… you cannot succeed alone.

Whatever you want, someone else has.

You need a network of people who like you, trust you and want to help you. People like ME!

Show me you care. Get me to say, ”How did you know?”

Go online. Check out my sons… and Tanner and Chubby, my dogs. Learn about my beautiful wife, my hobbies, the organizations I support, the books I read, the music I like and the blogs I write.

Then, the next time we chat, shock me with something you know about me. Get me to ask,

“How did you know?”

I’ll be impressed. And, I’ll want to get to know you.

The takeaway? Before you…

* Meet with a friend.

* Interview for a job.

* Go to a meeting.

* Attend a social event.

Be prepared to make someone ask, “How did you know?”

Four simple words. Four nuggets of gold.