The Five Dollar Desk

“Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution. A great strategy alone won’t win a game or a battle; the win comes from basic blocking and tackling.”   Naveen K. Jain My parents find it at a local yard sale. It is an old chester drawers.  The cost is five dollars. I am going to college and living at home with my parents in Birmingham, Alabama. The intention for the old cabinet is to create a study desk for me. A few modifications are needed, so … [Read more...]

Eggs

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”       Dr. Suess Most of us can recall the Dr. Seuss children’s classic, Green Eggs and Ham, which was published in 1960.  ‘Sam-I-Am’ is the name of the character who is trying to get the unnamed protagonist(whom I call the ‘Big Hat Guy’), to try green eggs and ham. The first half of the … [Read more...]

Routes

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away.”  Elvis Presley “The money is in the routes,” my wife Carol emphatically declares in a corporate training session for a new group of managers in our transportation company. This assertion is one that Carol and I have confidently repeated to our team members throughout our journey at Hackbarth Delivery Service. There is no sophistication in this simple six-word statement. Not much high-level thinking.  And yet, … [Read more...]

No Cost

‘I would have attained my college degree but I did not have the money because . . .’ ‘We had a chance to buy that stock before it doubled but . . .’ ‘I was going to be a . . . but then . . . happened and I . . .’  You have probably listened to the conversation of a family member or friend who looks back with some regret on how life has turned out. Bad breaks and disappointments are often part of the dialogue.  Perhaps, you have been the one sharing some of the personal outcomes of your … [Read more...]

It’s My Story and I’m Sticking to it

“Your story is the gold in your goldmine.” Rob Hackbarth “It’s my story and I’m sticking to it,” she says as I question her previous statement. The ‘she’ is my mom and the phrase is one she regularly uses.  Whenever her expression to me or one of my three sisters seems less than accurate, her defense is to magically summon this old saying.  It is convenient because no evidence of support is required. Mom often spins this pet phrase in a comical situation. Rather than defend the indefensible, … [Read more...]

Heat

“Spread love everywhere you go.”  Mother Teresa of Calcutta After dropping off some blueberries at our corporate office, I drive a few miles to McAllister’s Deli on Government Boulevard.  After ordering my food at the counter, I sit down at a small table and take out my iPhone to review emails and other messages. That’s when I notice that a dear friend, whose name I will reveal later, has called two days ago. I have been pretty busy for a few days, so it is now time to catch up on phone … [Read more...]

My Sayings

“The wisdom of the wise and the experience of the ages is preserved in perpetuity by a nation’s proverbs, fables, folk sayings and quotations.”  William Feather Are you familiar with these acronyms? F.A.I.L First Attempt In learning E.N.D. Effort Never Dies N.O.    Next Opportunity Do you have an acronym that best represents your philosophy in life? Did your grandmother pass on a saying that you frequently repeat? Is there something that you regularly say to others that reflects … [Read more...]

Surprise Success Secret

“Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.”  Michael Jordan We are idling past Boggy Point, the last public boat launch before Perdido Pass Bridge and entry to the Gulf of Mexico. Just a few minutes earlier, I had started the engines of Lil’ Luci, pulling out of my boat slip in Terry Cove for the beginning of our offshore fishing trip. It is a beautiful day in June and the seas are predicted to be pretty flat. The air is full of excitement! There are eight onboard for this trip. U.S. federal … [Read more...]

Vacation

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Winston Churchill For many of us, the month of May is a time of change or at least a time when we contemplate change in our lives.  We may start thinking about summer vacation. May is also the time for graduations.  I will be attending two different graduation ceremonies this month for grandchildren - one for high school and the other for grammar school.  While an obvious “break” may be on the minds of my grandchildren and their … [Read more...]

Defeat

“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”       Thomas Alva Edison There is no success without failure. Thomas Edison failed many times before he succeeded in his pursuit of inventing the light bulb. How many of us give up after one or two unsuccessful efforts at some task?  Who among us would even try three times? Failure is not permanent. Napoleon Hill, renowned author on the … [Read more...]