Tag Archives: Chubby Rules

Three Calls A Day was Chubby’s Way

Chubby (my dad) followed an ironclad “act of kindness” regimen every day, seven days a week.


He called three people for one reason – to ask how he could help.

Three calls a day.  No exceptions.  Even on holidays.

Dad was meticulous about keeping each conversation short (he told me he tried to limit calls to less than ten minutes) and linear (he said the calls should be focused on only one thing – how he could help them.).

After a brief hello and some small talk, Dad would ask if everything was going well – in business, family and health – and then ask, READ MORE 

The Two Sentence Rule

Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.

1960. Zipping along I-75. Just Chubby and me.

Chubby Rule The Two Sentence Rule

We had just left Cincinnati to vacation in Northern Michigan. Mom and Linda (my sister) trailed in the car behind.

Suddenly Chubby looked over and said, “Greg, let’s play the Two Sentence Game.”

The Two Sentence Game?” I replied. “What’s that?”

Dad explained,

“For the rest of the trip neither of us can say more than two sentences before allowing the other to speak.”

“What are we going to talk about?” I asked. READ MORE 

Feelin’ the Donut

Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.

“Why donuts?”

Feeling Good or Good Feeling Chubby Rule

“What do you mean, why donuts?”

“Why do you eat donuts?” Chubby asked.

“They taste good,” I replied.

 “But do donuts make you feel good?” he asked.

“While I’m eatin’ ‘em,” I said.

How about afterward?” Chubby inquired.

(He was gettin’ personal. I was 12 years old and weighed over 200 lbs.).

“Not really,” I admitted. “I feel stuffed and my face is all oily.” READ MORE 

The Worst $10 I Ever Spent

Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.

ten dollar bill in hand

“Dad,” I said. “Can I borrow $10? I need to print flyers for my new grass cutting business.”

What’s the plan?” Chubby asked.

“I’m going to drop them off around the neighborhood this Saturday.”

Do you think that’s smart?” Chubby asked.

“Absolutely!” I exclaimed.

Dad reached in his pocket, pulled out his silver money clip and slid out a ten. “You’ll pay it back a dollar a week,” he said.

“Perfect” I answered.

I handed out the flyers that Saturday, just like I said. And waited. And waited. A day. A week.

The phone was stone dead.

Chubby Rule


More advertising, perhaps?  I asked Dad for another ten bucks. I’d do it again.

NO.” Chubby said “no.” “But why?” I asked.

“Because, Greg, you should have asked how to spend the ten bucks.”

I had to admit Dad might have a point. My plan didn’t work. Maybe, I should have asked first.

“OK,” I said with a dose of humility (not my strong suit at that age). “Dad, what did I do wrong?”

Greg, you had a choice. You could have distributed flyers to lots of people once or fewer people lots. You were too anxious. You chose wrong.”

Chubby continued,

“Never forget the 6X6 Rule. It’s better to hit 1/6th the people six times than six times the people just one time.”

He explained, “Spread out your advertising dollars so you have enough to put the same message in front of the same people six consecutive times. People need to see a message over and over again – as many as six times – before they’re likely to respond.”

“But Dad,” I said. “That would take too long. I’d be handing out flyers for weeks. I want to make money now.”

Chubby smiled. I remember him looking over at the lonely, silent telephone. I understood.

The lesson I learned from Chubby that day?

The 6X6 Rule – It’s better to market to 1/6th the people six times than six times the people just once.

Swallow the Frog. Do it early.

Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.

swallow the frog

We all have frogs; difficult or unpleasant things we must do.

We tend to put them off. The problem? They rarely go away. In fact, they often grow into green monsters — harder to do, tougher to face.

Facing a frog today?
Take Chubby’s advice.

Swallow the frog. Do it early.

swallow the frog

“If you know you have to swallow a frog,
swallow it first thing in the morning.
If there are two frogs, swallow the big one first.”
—Mark Twain

*Chubby Rule courtesy of my good friend and savvy dad, Bruce.
**Photo of boy with frog in mouth courtesy of strangecosmos.com

Talk To Many. Speak To Few.

Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.

key to selling

Chubby knew life is about selling.

Your product. Your service. Your point of view. Yourself.
Winning an election. Building a business. Finding or keeping a job.
Convincing someone to go out on a date, or in the extreme, “I do.”

Chubby said over and over again, “Greg, the better you sell, the better you’ll do.”

Obviously, I had to ask, “Dad, how do you sell?”

“Why do you ask?” he replied.

“I want to be rich,” I said. “A nice car…big house. I want it all.” Chubby smiled.

“Well,” he answered, “The first step is ‘talking to many, but speaking to few.'”

Strange I thought, talking to many but speaking to few?
Sounded like eating a lot, but not gaining a pound. How is that done?

Chubby explained,

“Greg, others will tell you the key to sales is talking to more people…a numbers game. That’s only half true. The real key is speaking to whomever you talk.”

I was still in the dark. Speak to whomever I talk?
How do you talk to someone without speaking to them?

What Chubby said next turned on a life-changing light,

“Greg, you just turned 14 and you love to bike. What if you saw an ad for a new bicycle designed specifically and only for 14-year-old boys, just like you. The size, the color, the graphics; the company marketed the bike like it was made custom for you.  Would you want to look?”

“Absolutely,” I replied. “I’d want to go see it today.”

“You see,” Dad said. “That bike manufacturer was speaking to you.”

Chubby continued, “What’s fascinating is that this exact bike might also be marketed to 15-year-old girls after a quick change of color and graphics. Same bike. New color. Different market.

The key to selling a lot is to talk to many, one group at a time.”

I was starting to see what Dad meant. This would be great in expanding my neighborhood grass cutting business. Mrs. Bales loved her flowerbed. So when I talked with her about mowing her lawn, I’d speak to my care of her flowers. Mr. Mackay was always sweeping his walk and front porch. So when I talked with him about mowing his lawn, I’d speak to ensuring his walk and front porch were sparkling clean.

The lesson I learned from Chubby that day?

Sliver marketing.

Craft what you say to one like-minded group at a time.
That’s how you talk to many but speak to few.

key to selling

Knowing You’ll Die Brings You Alive

Life lessons from Chubby (my dad) and other smart folks I’ve met on the road.

As a kid, I was scared about death. At night before sleep, lying in bed, I’d wonder what it was like. Would it hurt? The concept of “gone.” It didn’t seem right.
knowing you will die


I was also obsessed with the question, “Would I come back?” If I did, how would I know it was me? I had to ask my dad, Chubby.

One night after dinner Dad was practicing on his new Wurlitzer organ. (Play by number. Do they still have that?) I snuggled up to his side.

“Dad,” I said. “I’m afraid to die.”

He stopped, took his hands off the keyboard, turned with a smile, looked me square in the eye, and replied,

“Greg, knowing you’ll die brings you alive.”

I didn’t get this… Chubby went on:

“You have a tough math test tomorrow, right?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Well,” Dad said. “If you could put that test off for a week, would you?”
“Sure,”I answered.
“How about a year?” he said.
“Fantastic.” I replied.
Chubby’s eye’s lit up! His hands flew in the air.
“That’s the point,” he said. “Without deadlines, people put off what they know they should do. Then they look back with regret on a life that was less than it could have been.”

I had never thought about that. Death as a motivator for life?

Dad continued, “Most people are so afraid of dying they won’t let themselves think about it, they won’t accept it.”

Chubby said, “It’s silly to ignore what you know to be true. People should think more often about how quickly life will pass. It should be their #1 daily motivator. It should create a LIVE BIG mindset.”

BIG. BIG. BIG. Dad kept stressing “BIG” as he threw his hands high in the air.

He continued, “Too many people look back and wish darn well they had gone for improbable goals, taken more risks, overcome fear and lived BIG every day.”

“Instead,” Dad explained, “They ignore the inevitable. They live each day like life never ends. Then they get old, look back, and ask, ‘Where did it go?’

I really got it then. I understood. Chubby wasn’t really talking about dying.

He wanted me to accept the reality of death as the motivation to not waste a minute, put aside fear, LIVE BIG every day and have a go-for-it life.

That was over 50 years ago. As I look back, do I have any regrets? You bet… The days I slept in.

knowing you will die