Quotes are Powerfully Influential

"Your words have power. Speak words that are kind, loving, positive, uplifting, encouraging, and life-giving."  Anonymous  After a speaking presentation I delivered at the Midtown Optimist Club in Mobile, Alabama, I received the following email from one of the club members: Rob, I would like to share a few quotes from my personal collection.   I have been collecting quotes from colleagues, mentors and business partners for over 30 years.  The first is one from my father, Wendell L. … [Read more...]

What to do When Bad Things Happen

“Those who overcome great challenges will be changed, and often in unexpected ways. For our struggles enter our lives as unwelcome guests, but they bring valuable gifts. And once the pain subsides, the gifts remain. These gifts are life’s true treasures, bought at a great price, but cannot be acquired in any other way.”   Steve Goodier Below is an excerpt from the fourth chapter of  The BET, which will be published in September 2019. “Have you wondered if positive people ever have negative … [Read more...]

Sometimes You Have to Say No

“Just saying yes because you can’t bear the short-term pain of saying no is not going to help you do the work.”Seth Godin “Rob, could you help me?”  The person asking that question is a friend. Like many of us, my inclination is to always help friends and family. It is what I want to do. Helping another brings a level of internal satisfaction like nothing else. And, I like what my friend is doing.  I am motivated to say yes. But my answer is “No."  In the last 10-plus years, this answer is … [Read more...]

Caught in the Act

“We can be incredibly disconnected in this day and age with computers and cell phones.”  Marcia Gay Harden, actress “What are you doing, Panpaw?” she asks with an obvious tone and look that reveals her complete disapproval. My granddaughter Caroline catches me looking at my Smartphone in the middle of our conversation. Family and friends are gathered in the salon of The Great Gab-Sea, now parked at the Pirates Cove dock. Earlier we had traveled from our home slip in Terry Cove past beautiful … [Read more...]


“I write in a journal daily. This extraordinary ritual has revolutionized my mindset, transformed my heart set, and generally influenced my life exponentially.”  Robin S. Sharma, J.D. In a previous newsletter, I wrote about the importance of keystone habits to a successful life. According to Benjamin Hardy, author of Willpower Doesn’t Work, the best keystone habit is journaling. As someone who journals, I can personally confirm how it has made a huge difference in my life. Hardy identifies … [Read more...]

Powerful Practice

The most powerful success principle of the 21stCentury is available to you right now – you can start using it today.  I was reminded of this powerful practice during a recent weekend when our oldest granddaughter, Gabrielle, brought four of her friends to stay with us during their visit to Mobile. I love to interact with young people. And, the experience is a bonus if one of the guests happens to be a grandchild. One morning, while eating breakfast, I asked if any of them were involved in … [Read more...]

Pontoon Trip

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom . . .” Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Pulling away from the Caribe fuel dock, I safely idle our pontoon boat into the channel where other boats are moving in both directions near Perdido Pass, the scenic passageway entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. On the other side of the canal is popular Robinson Island, where a number of families have already gathered in small boats. After a few minutes in the idle only zone, and just past the signs … [Read more...]


“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”  Helen Keller River, our Australian Labradoodle and a real member of the Hackbarth family, is traveling with us on a road trip to Jackson, Mississippi. Less than four hours from Mobile, the Capital of Mississippi is home to one of the terminal branches of Hackbarth Delivery Service (HDS). My wife Carol and I have planned this journey to personally say goodbye to Robert Moody, who has been with our company for over … [Read more...]

Please Forgive Me

“It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”   Saint Francis of Assisi The first weekend in October is two weeks away. In 14 days from now, my life is going to dramatically change. I will never be the same. The year is 1976. My fiancé and future wife, Carol and I will be attending a marriage preparation program called Engaged Encounter (EE). Father Gallagher, the priest we have asked to witness our vows, has requested that we attend this marriage preparation. I do not want to go, but Father … [Read more...]

Knock Your Socks Off

“The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity, and accountability.”   Simon Mainwaring, (social media consultant) My wife Carol and I started Hackbarth Delivery Service (HDS) with a complete dedication to exceptional service. The strategy was successful. Many years later, our company branded that original concept and named it Knock Your Socks Off service. Today, the huge customer response to this brand has verified the value. Branding is an important business … [Read more...]