Tag Archives: life lesson

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. 

s7046470

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. 


The Power of Fear . . . Kill the Bear


by Greg Hague

“Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once.”

                                                                        -William Shakespeare from Julius Caesar

bear

Fear is imagination . . . it’s really not real.

In one of my favorite movies, The Edge, billionaire Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) and fashion photographer Bob Green (Alec Baldwin) endure a harrowing quest for survival in a brutally harsh, particularly treacherous area of Alaskan wilderness.

While staying at a remote backcountry lodge accessible only by seaplane, they decide to fly upriver in search of a photogenic Indian grizzly hunter. Suddenly, a flock of birds slams head-on into their single engine bush plane, blasting through the windshield, blinding the pilot, and clogging the prop with bird remains.

The badly damaged aircraft careens violently out of control. Shearing off a pontoon, and just missing a mountaintop peak, the doomed plane finally plunges violently into an isolated backwoods lake.

The force of the impact rips the wings off the fuselage. The fragmented hull quickly fills with icy cold water as it swirls into the depths. READ MORE 

Showing Up As They’re Growing Up



This story contributed by Melissa Ahearn


me and dad

When I was young, my dad worked at a downtown law firm.  They had every color pen and fun drinks in the fridge.  My dad even had his own office with pictures of my brother, my mom and me.

I remember thinking what a cool job he had!

Dressed in suit and tie, briefcase in hand, he would get in his Volvo with his coffee spilling everywhere and drive off – only after sending my brother and me off on the school bus, of course.  READ MORE 

Three Calls A Day was Chubby’s Way

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

bigstock-Vintage-Business-Man-Using-Ret-33303704

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 

Mario Andretti – Exclusive Interview Part 2



This story was contributed by racing legend, Mario Andretti.


Nazareth1955

No Plan B

Part 2 of a 2-part exclusive interview

Part 1 can be viewed here: http://savvydad.com/mario-andretti-exclusive-interview/

Immigration

Mario_Andretti_1969 2After the end of World War II, and living seven and a half years in a refugee camp in Lucca, Italy, the Andrettis were granted their long-awaited visas to enter the U.S.  Filled with hope and leaving all of their belongings behind, the family set sail for America aboard the Conte Biancamano.

On the morning of June 16, 1955, the Italian ocean liner slowly pulled into New York Harbor.

The family of five spoke not a word of English and

arrived with just $125 to their name.

They settled in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and lived with Mario’s uncle. READ MORE 

Mario Andretti – Exclusive Interview



This story was contributed by racing legend, Mario Andretti.


bio_01Nothing for Granted

Part 1 of a 2-part exclusive interview

He is considered by most to be the greatest race car driver of all time.  It’s no wonder.  Mario Andretti is one of only two drivers in history to win races in Formula One, NASCAR, Indycar, and the World Sportscar Championship.  He is the only driver to be dubbed United States Driver of the Year in three different decades. READ MORE 

Believing in Black Sheep



This story contributed by Bill Lavidge


Lavidge 1Nick Lavidge, Bob Lavidge, and Bill Lavidge at 2001 World Series

South Chicago. The Depression.

Raising children was tough. REALLY tough . . .

My grandfather was a good, yet demanding man. He expected my dad, Bob, and his older brother, Art, to excel in everything they did, especially academics.

Both sons rose to the challenge. After completing his undergraduate degree at DePauw University, Dad was accepted to Harvard Law and the University of Chicago’s MBA program. He chose the University of Chicago, which laid the foundation for founding one of the most respected marketing research companies in the nation.  In his spare time, he also taught marketing research at Northwestern University for nearly 30 years. READ MORE