Tag Archives: mistake

The Worst Decision I Ever Made

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

Chubby was perturbed. Restless, cranky it seemed.

“Dad,” I said, “What’s wrong?”

I made a terrible decision, he said.

A sales agent named Joyce just left our firm. She took several agents with her, customers too. It’s going to cost me a lot.”

Chubby Rules Decision
I’m sorry,” I said. “Can I do anything?

Yes” Chubby responded. “Don’t make the same mistake.”

What mistake? I replied.

I didn’t.” Dad answered.

Didn’t what? I asked.

Greg,” Dad said. “I knew Joyce was a troublemaker. Late for sales meetings. Complained incessantly. Criticized the company. I should have fired her a long time ago.”

Why didn’t you?” I asked.

“I violated my own rule.” Chubby answered. “I didn’t decide.”

I could see that Dad was angrier with himself than with Joyce.

Years ago when I started the company,” Dad said.

I decided that the worst decisions I’d make would be not to decide. That’s what I did with Joyce. I kept putting it off, hoping she’d change but knowing she wouldn’t.

I’m sorry.” I said. And I was. I felt bad for Dad.

Chubby Rules DecisionGreg,” Chubby instructed, “With every decision, there are only four options:

  1. Decide “yes.”
  2. Decide “no.”
  3. Decide it’s best to delay.
  4. Don’t decide.

Don’t confuse #3 with #4. It’s a critical mistake. That’s what I did with Joyce.

I didn’t decide it was best to delay. I knew better. Every day she was hurting the firm. I put it off . . .  I pulled a #4 wimp-out. And that, Greg, was the worst decision of all.”

The lesson I learned from Chubby that day?

Don’t pull #4 wimp-outs. 
The worst decisions are those you don’t make.

Guns N’ Roses N’ Dad

“I mean we all need a second chance sometimes.”

—Joel Osteen

Story contributed by Andrew Loos.

Every kid should have the good fortune of throwing an awesome high school party his friends will talk about for years. In Kansas, where I grew up among a group of fervent teenage metalheads, it was a God-given right.

highschool years

Andrew and his dad Doug circa 1992

So naturally when Guns N’ Roses and Metallica announced they would be making a stop in my hometown on their world tour, I seized the opportunity to plan such a shindig before we all departed for the concert. Like so many tragically missed opportunities in our young lives, this concert-of-a-lifetime happened to be taking place on a school day. But we weren’t going to let that stop us.

Mom was out of town with my brother at tennis camp and Dad, out of town on business. In hindsight, it almost seemed too perfect. So at 9:30 a.m. that day, we gathered at my empty house to get the festivities started. READ MORE 

Bad Dads

“Presence is more than just being there.”

—Malcolm Forbes

Essay compliments of Savvy Dad friend David Hirsch.


At times we don’t know what to do. But that’s OK. Our kids know one thing for sure. We care. We’re there.

Bad dads

Sad young girl

Making mistakes, too. It’s just part of life. It works out just fine. Why? Our kids know. We care. We’re there.

Tough love? It’s hard for us, hard on our kids. But it works out. Why? Our kids know. We care. We’re there.

Often we wonder. Are we doing it right? It’s hard to gauge. Until we read something like this about bad dads.

The words of a girl whose dad walked away. He didn’t care. He wasn’t there. It’s by Guadalupe, an 8th grader in Chicago, Illinois.

The assignment? Write a short essay on “What My Dad Means To Me.” READ MORE 

Mistakes Define You

Brandon Steiner is one of my multi-millionaire, check bouncing good buddies. His New York-based, Steiner Sports is the largest distributor of specialty sports memorabilia in the world. Brandon works with the big time athletes.

You wouldn’t hesitate to accept a measly $1500 check from a big hitter like Brandon, would you? Me neither.   READ MORE