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+

World’s Best Father – Dave Engledow


by Greg Hague


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Today it is our honor to publish a Savvy Dad interview with “World’s Best Father,” Dave Engledow.

You probably already know him through many of the photos we have shared on the Savvy Dad Facebook page.  Dave’s wonderfully creative photography, depicting hilarious images of him and his daughter, Alice Bee, have gained widespread recognition.

 

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Dave was gracious enough to take the time to answer a few questions for Savvy Dad about being the “World’s Best Father,” and how his savvy parents helped guide him into becoming the truly awesome dad he is today.


SD:  What was the best life lesson you learned from your mom or dad?

WBF:  The life lesson I learned from Mom is to always be supportive, no matter what.  No matter what life choices I have made over the years, my mother has always supported me unconditionally and told me she was proud of me.  I hope to be able to do the same for Alice Bee as she grows up.

SD:  What was the most special memory you recall with your mom or dad?

WBF:  I think I get my sense of humor from my father.  I remember one Christmas there was a giant box under the tree.  Inside was another large, gift-wrapped box, and inside that was another, and so on. After opening and unwrapping at least 15 boxes, I found the gift that was the thing I most wanted for Christmas that year – a brand new Swiss Army knife.

SD:  What is the best advice you can pass on to other dads and dads-to-be out there?

WBF:  Make sure to spend time just observing the journey of your new child.  It’s easy to get caught up in trying to shape who and what they are to become (when in fact, I think we as parents have little to no control over that), so make sure to just sit back and quietly watch how they interact with the world.

 

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Biography:

Dave Engledow attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning a Bachelor of Journalism in Photojournalism under the mentorship of esteemed documentary photographer Dennis Darling.  Engledow currently lives with his wife, Jen, and his daughter, Alice Bee, in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

He spends his days working full-time as the Deputy Director for Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO.  His “World’s Best Father” photo series is an ongoing project consisting of over 125 images, all of which are shot on weekends and edited at night after Alice Bee has finally gone to sleep.

His book, “Confessions of the World’s Best Father,” will be released on May 6, and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and most other online book retailers:

http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Worlds-Best-Father-Engledow/dp/1592408893

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You can check out more of his great photos at his Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/EngledowArtPhotography


Writing Killer Emails Part 2


by Greg Hague


This is part two of a three part series.

Senior man working from home with laptop computer

Emails from you? I read every one.

I often learn more about people from emails than anything they do. Are they articulate? Can they spell? Do they proof or just type and shoot?  Emails are a resume, a window into who you are.

Want to write better emails? Here are a few tips that may help:

1.   First ask yourself, should I email or pick up the phone?

2.   Don’t waste the subject line. Say something intriguing.  Give me a reason to click.

3.   Start with your action item. What do you want me to do?

4.   Get to the point. You have only a few seconds to capture my attention.

5.   Use minimum words. Get rid of the oatmeal. What’s the point?

6.   Make sentences brief. Minimize conjunctives.

7.   Use short, well-spaced paragraphs, bullets & numbers. It’s easier to read.

8.   Compliment me. Say something nice. I eat it up.

9.   Add personality. Write like it’s you, not a drone.

10. Indicate when no reply is necessary. I love those words.

11. Limit emails to one subject. It’s better to send three with one point than one with three points.

12. Emails are no place for foul language, neither is life.

13. A “branded” signature makes a professional statement about you and your company.

14. Convert attachments to text when feasible. It’s easier to read on a smartphone.

15. Make certain that those you “bcc” know not to “reply all.”

16. Before you hit “send” take one last look.  There’s no pulling it back.

 

 


Savvy Says . . .

If you care about your image, use care in writing emails.

 


Coach Crosby


by Greg Hague


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Crosby and Brandon

Have you ever witnessed a full moon appear while the sun is still shining?  Or a rainbow emerge in the fury of a thunderstorm?

Sometimes things aren’t what we naturally expect. It’s true in science.

It’s also the case with fathers and sons.

Dads are supposed to mentor their sons. But when dads do it well, sons often become the guiding light for their dads.

That has certainly been the case with my boys. These days I learn as much from them as they do from me.  My friend, Brandon, is enjoying a similar experience.

Brandon Steiner is a brilliant, successful entrepreneur. His New York-based Steiner Sports is the largest sports memorabilia company in the world.

In a recent blog, Brandon shared some words of wisdom from his son, Crosby. I asked Brandon if I might share some of “Coach Crosby’s” insightful son-to-father wisdom with my Savvy Dad readers.

Enjoy . . .


High School

Pick where you go to college for the “wrong” reasons. Sports, weather, social scene, etc.  If those things are important to you now, they will still matter when you’re there.

Savor your fleeting moments. There are a lot of experiences you’ll have that you just won’t ever be able to recreate.

 

College

Freshman Year

Meeting people should be your number one priority.

Classes are easy…a lot easier than upper level classes. Set the bar high for your GPA.

Effectively manage your time. If you don’t go to class, your grade suffers. Period. But, just being in class doesn’t mean you’re going to learn (especially if you spend the entire time playing snake on your phone).

 

Sophomore Year

Write a resume: You might not think you have enough to put on there now, but you will. Use what you do have as a base to start with. Always ask someone to review it.

Recruiters have great memories: Go to career fairs, corporate events and presentations. They’ll be calling you when you do need an internship/job. Besides, you get free food.

Join a club. Become president of said club. Fill formerly empty resume.

 

Junior Year

The people you choose to spend the most time with will have the greatest effect on your happiness. Choose wisely, and don’t be afraid to re-evaluate who you’re hanging out with every so often

See the value in any experience: I passed up the chance to spend three months roaming around Europe so I could take an internship and add another line on my resume. I quickly learned the true value of those two options.

 

Senior Year

Enjoy yourself: Reap the rewards of your hard work by taking every opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family.

Go on a road trip: There is nothing more exciting than getting in a car and seeing the country.  Stop anywhere and everywhere you can south of the mason dixon line for BBQ and/or Chik-fil-A.

Savor your fleeting moments. There are a lot of experiences you’ll have that you just won’t ever be able to recreate. (Sound familiar?).

 

Now

Get a job: Take the process seriously, but don’t get caught up in what opportunities your friends are getting. Run your own race.

Seize the moment: I once got a call from a buddy during class. He said he had a ticket to the Michigan-OSU basketball game in Columbus. Tip-off was in six hours and we were 200 miles away…it was a great game.

 

Final Thought

At an event for students in my five-year program, I had a conversation with the program’s benefactor and namesake, an extremely successful real estate developer. As he discussed his houses in Vail, Florida and New York, I exclaimed how exciting that must be. I’ll never forget his reply:

“Yeah, having houses across the globe gives my wife something to do, but it’s all B.S. I couldn’t care less about them. The only thing that matters in life is relationships with friends and family. That’s it.”

Here is the link to Brandon’s Full Blog.


Writing Killer Emails


by Greg Hague


This is part one of a three part series.

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DELETION MACHINE

I often feel like a deletion machine. Bang, bang, bang . . . how fast can I dump all those unwanted emails?  Bet you do too.

But then you hesitate. An email subject line grabs your eye. You think, I don’t want to take the time to read this – but you do.

You don’t know the sender, but you’re compelled to open the darn thing anyway. The subject line is so intriguing, you have to take a quick peek.

Emails from people you know?  When I see a killer subject line from family or friends, I think, Wow, my son, wife or buddy really came up with a good one.

Pretty cool . . . always impressive.

What about when looking for a job?  Right now I am interviewing candidates to find a top-notch executive assistant. I won’t bother to meet with an applicant until I assess their communication skills through a few emails.

What do I look for first?

An engaging subject line.

 

THE KILLER SUBJECT LINE

There are two general subject line strategies depending upon the impression you want to make.

 

A “CUT TO THE CHASE” SUBJECT LINE . . . it’s the essence of your email.

* Use it to ask a key question.

* Use it to summarize what you want them to do.

* Use it to make a key point.

 

A “DON’T BE BORING” SUBJECT LINE . . . it appeals to an emotional trigger.

*  The fear-invoking line:

Don’t let your child be embarrassed on the first day of school.

*  The newspaper headline:

Savvy Dad discovers secret to eternal happiness.

*  The curiosity line:

How to identify when people lie.

*  The benefits line:

Earn $1000 a day while you travel and play.

*  The question line:

Do you know how to make people like you in 90 seconds or less?

 

The bottom line on the subject line?  It’s the gist of your email.

 


Savvy Says . . .

The subject line is your first impression – and you know what is said about first impressions.

 


3 Ways To Make People Like You


by Greg Hague


People are attracted to people who look like, act like, and have interests similar to theirs.

Want to hit it off instantly with the people you meet?

1. Reflect their look. 

2. Mirror their actions. 

3. Know their interests. 

 


 

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LOOK LIKE ‘EM

* Dress slightly upscale of those you’re likely to meet.

* Each day presume you’ll run into someone who can open a life-changing door. You might.

* Don’t be boring! I have a few handmade ties with tiny Swarovski crystals embedded in the material. They elicit compliments and help me stand out in a positive way.   

I know we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but we do.

 


 

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ACT LIKE ‘EM

* When you first meet people, adjust to their vibe.

* Be sensitive to their handshake and squeeze back with a similar grip.

* Be more animated with an enthusiastic person and tone it down with a somber type.

* Speak with a similar rhythm and speed.

 


 

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LEARN WHAT INTERESTS ‘EM

* Research people you’re going to meet. It’s easy with Google, Facebook and LinkedIn.

* When you are invited to small parties, call the host in advance for the scoop on the guests.

* Before attending large events ask for the seating chart. Identify the people you want to meet. Keep notes tucked away in your pocket for a quick glance before you wander over to their table.

 


Savvy Says . . .

“If you work at making friends you may never have to work again.”


 

A Tip to Establish Instant Rapport


by Greg Hague


A Tip to Establish Instant Rapport

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A world-class network of friends? To me, that’s job #1.

My friend Bruce says, “Deals don’t make you money, people do.”

How true. Whatever you want, someone else has.

These days the rage is about building a “list.” This often means accumulating a database of people through email campaigns.

My Choice?

I’d rather have 200 people who know me, care about me, and want to help me, than 200,000 who wish I’d quit clogging their email inbox.

But just getting out to meet people isn’t enough. It’s pointless to index people who aren’t interested in knowing you. With that in mind, here is a tip for hitting it off right off the bat:

Look like ‘em. Act like ‘em. Know what interests ‘em.

People are naturally attracted to those who look like them, act like them, and have similar interests.

I’m not suggesting that you change who you are. I am suggesting that you prepare in advance for the people you’ll meet. In the first 30 seconds, adjust to their body language and rhythm of speech.


Savvy Says . . .

“Deals don’t make you money – people do.”


 

*Next time I’ll be more specific with 9 PRACTICAL TIPS to hit it off right off the bat.

 

Are You Digging Your Well?


by Greg Hague

“Every night I go to sleep

And dream of a life I wish was mine.”

-from “My Dream” by Jenny Wagner

 bigstock-Centered-Water-Well-1929630 What is your dream? What do you aspire for day after day? The 100 foot yacht? A cheering crowd with you on the stage? A cafe au lait and warm croissants in a Paris patisserie? Here’s the thing . . .

Whatever you want, someone else has.

The exceptions are rare.   Aside from your health, your physical you, and certain God-given talents, the key to your dreams usually lies squarely in the hands of someone else. Sometimes, no matter who you know, you may not have the “chops” to have what you want. For example, you may not have the physical lung capacity to win Olympic gold. But, if you know the right people, you can carry the torch at the opening ceremony and sit in the front row. That ain’t half bad.

When I was in law school in Washington D.C., I wanted to make a few extra bucks. I answered a law student ad for a Securities & Exchange Commission job.  I was hired to review and assess SEC enforcement actions. Sounded pretty exciting, right? It was awful . . . the most boring, tedious work you can imagine. I was earning something like $5 an hour. I remember thinking I’d rather mow lawns . . . at least I’d be out in the sunshine.

During summers while in college, I had sold real estate for my dad’s firm. That’s a business where, if you know your stuff, you can make very big bucks. Because of my dad’s training and my hard work, I did.

That’s why this $5 an hour cubicle job was torture for me!

What did I do? The wife of the dean at my law school was the aunt of one of dad’s friends. I called Dad. Dad called his friend. The friend called his aunt. His aunt called an executive at the Taubman Company, a commercial land development firm in D.C. Within days I was a Taubman Company employee.

My job?  Meeting with farmers in Northern Virginia to negotiate options on land for future shopping centers. I was paid only if I put deals together, an all or nothing kind of thing. Because the right person opened the door I was given a chance to “show my stuff.” Because I knew real estate, I made big bucks for the firm – and for me.

I worked with Taubman until I graduated and moved back to Cincinnati. But it wouldn’t have happened if someone hadn’t opened the door. I was thirsty for a job and needed help. My dad was smart . . . He dug his son’s well before I was thirsty. My friend, Harvey Mackay, wrote a New York Times bestselling book entitled “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty” that says it all. It’s the definitive guide to how to nurture deep, meaningful, needle-moving relationships.

The book is a bible for how to cultivate connections today that will benefit you for the rest of your life.

In law school, I was lucky. Dad knew someone who thought highly enough of him to open a door for his son. It was a great lesson for me – the value of connections. You’ve heard the advice “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” That’s not 100% true . . .

It’s who you know AND what they think of you.

Harvey Mackay observes, “People don’t care how much you know about them once they know how much you care about them.Some people mistakenly believe that success comes from hard work and smart moves. This is not the whole story. You need a few breaks. Breaks come from open doors. And open doors come from people who care about you because you showed you care about them. 

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There are 7 Key Steps to Networking Gold.

Step One is completely unknown, like nothing you’ve heard.

Next time I’ll tell you this savvy first move.