Monthly Archives: October 2013

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 

Driving with Dad

This story contributed by Christian Jurinka


Do you remember when you were 8?

I remember simple things like kicking the ball with my Dad, or throwing the football. 

Just the other day, the magnitude of one of my experiences hit me – learning to DRIVE.  That’s right, when I was 8 Dad taught me how to drive.

The two-hour drive to my grandparents set the stage.

Leaving the neighborhood and city streets, my excitement built, as I knew that once we hit the highway, it would be my time to drive. READ MORE 

No Sense in Strong Without a . . .

by Greg Hague

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


Weak?  Play Strong.  Convincingly…

I was a poker veteran by now.

At 12 years old, I had already sat in on some of Chubby’s Friday night games.

Tonight, I would use a lesson Chubby taught me:

“In poker, and in life, when you are weak – play strong.

He explained,

“Life is like poker in so many ways.  Lenders make loans to those who they believe are not much in need.  People don’t ask you to lead unless they perceive you are a person of strength.  The world pities the weak, but follows the strong.”

So, back to the game.

I had a junk hand – weak.  But the pot was heavy.  Time to play strong.

“I’m all in,” I said, in my deepest, manlike tone.

I could feel my lip quiver a little.  A bit of sweat on my brow.

The men looked at each other, smiling.

“I’ll call you,” Chubby said.

My head snapped back in horror.  Chubby had tricked me!  I watched him scoop my allowance off the table with the rest of the pot!

I stormed out of the room.

Later, Chubby came into my room.

“I did exactly what you said – I played strong when I was weak and you cleaned me out!” I explained.

“No, Greg, I said, ‘when you’re weak, play strong CONVINCINGLY.’  No sense in strong without a straight face,” he laughed.

What did I learn that night?

The weaker you are the stronger you act. No sense in strong without a straight face.

Looking Forward to Lunch . . . Too Much?

by Greg Hague


Chubby used to say, “Greg, when short term pleasures become your focus, your true happiness might be in jeopardy.”

It happened to me.  Only once in my life – and long after Chubby had passed.

Ten years ago, I owned a successful real estate company.  It was lucrative.  I was respected in the community.  But . . .

I started looking forward to lunch . . . too much.

“No bueno,” as my son Corey would say.

The thrill was gone.  The challenges were few.  My spirit was getting “soft.”

No bueno indeed.  It was time for a change.  And change I did!

The lesson today?

Do you finish breakfast thinking of lunch?

Side Effects

by Greg Hague

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

side effects

Continued from yesterday’s story, The Cruelty in Passion:

“Greg,” Chubby said, “even with talent, hard work, passion, and some luck . . . you still might hate where you end up.”

“Why?” I asked with a puzzled look.

“You don’t see the side effects.” Chubby replied.  “It’s like eating fudge every day for a year. You know you’ll gain weight.  But you may not think about the other side effects, like the cost of buying bigger clothes, the heart attack risk, the tooth decay, and the strain on your knees.” 

Dad had a good point. Think in advance –

each plus and minus with all that I do.

Chubby continued,

“Greg, if your dream is to become a schoolteacher, that’s fine, but make sure you consider that you might not make big money doing it. 

Or, if your heart is set on becoming a commercial airline pilot, consider that it may not allow much time with your family.”

That last example really hit home. I absolutely loved to fly.  I was pretty darn good at it, and was fortunate enough to obtain my pilot’s license at 16. And, while a career in the air had seemed exciting and tempting to me, there were side effects I hadn’t considered that didn’t appeal.

The lesson I learned from Chubby that day?

Side effects . . . think pluses and minuses all the way through.


The Cruelty in Passion

by Greg Hague

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

shooting hoops

My hands were blistered and bleeding, my back screamed in pain. I was utterly exhausted, but it was OK . . . until Chubby dumped on my dream.

“But Dad,” I pleaded. “I can do it. I will make the team. I’ll shine on the court. No one will work harder than me.”

“Greg,” Chubby said. “I’ve watched you jump, dribble and shoot. Yes, you’re busting your butt. But you don’t have what it takes.

Face it now. Face it later. But face it, you will.”

I lied in bed crying that night. It was unfair. How did he know? I would prove Dad was wrong.

And I did. I made the high school basketball team.

But I hated that season. It was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life.

The coach never put me in a game we hadn’t already won, and then only right at the end. Every practice. Every game. I watched kids who worked less play better than me.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t dribble, move, or shoot like them. It was my first real dose of “hard work alone isn’t enough.”

I remember talking with Dad after the season. He explained,

“Greg, people often let passion lead to a life of frustration. It’s demoralizing to strive for what you can’t have. Smart people assess their abilities up front. They ‘go for it’ where the going looks good.”

With four boys, this is a hard story to write. As a Dad, I want to encourage my kids to “go for your dreams, whatever they are.”

In my heart I want to tell them that nothing is out of their reach. Unfortunately, that’s simply not true. It’s not real.

So what do I say?

Identify your talents – your greatest gifts; mentally, physically, artistically and emotionally. Then, “go for it there.” If you love basketball, strive to own the team if you can’t be a star on the court.


“Greg,” he said, “you can have natural talent, work extremely hard, possess intense passion, and even with a little bit of luck, it’s still not enough.  There is a secret ingredient that many overlook…”

Natural Talent + Hard Work + Intense Passion + Luck + ???

Tomorrow, the secret ingredient to finding life’s path.

Can you guess?

Secret ingredient