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On The Air: Life Lessons From Chubby

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If you’ve been reading my articles over the years, you know my dad (Chubby) was a huge influence on my life. 

Most every Saturday morning he took me to breakfast at Perkins Pancake House in Cincinnati, sharing his life wisdom while I inhaled pancakes.

I’ve received 1000s of emails over the past 13 years with kind comments about my articles (thank you), especially what I affectionately call Chubby Rules. 

Chubby Rules are my “blueprints for living,” the street smarts (as opposed to educational smarts) I learned from Chubby (and others) over the years. 

Well, I have a BIG announcement. I’ve been asked to host a weekly talk show on a top Phoenix station. They want me to talk about street smarts, the difference between being educated and being smart, the kind of wisdom I learned from Chubby and a lot of smart people across the country.

The show will start this fall. The fun part is I’m going to ask you, my readers, to become part of the show, sharing the street smarts you learned from parents, mentors, and from falling on your face, getting up, and jumping back in the game.

In memory of Chubby, today I am sharing 14 one sentence, easy to remember Chubby Rules that enabled me to make better decisions and fewer mistakes over the years, and know what to do when others seem perplexed.

Don’t take them lightly because they are “one sentence” lessons. The fact that they’re short makes them memorable, and can make them a “mental trigger,” making you to think of the rule when an appropriate situation arises.

I hope they are as helpful to you as they have been to me.

  • What we lack in smarts we make up for in effort, because for every goal or problem there is likely a path to success, and the only question is whether we’ll devote the effort to get there.  

  • Advocate what you believe over what makes you immediately popular, because while politicians take polls, leaders make polls.

  • Free is not better if better is not better, so buy balanced value over lowest price.

  • Brief and brilliant beats big and bloated, so say it succinctly and shut up.

  • Learn something about everything and everything about something, because while it’s important to be a conversationalist, it’s essential to be an expert.

  • When you look forward to lunch, you need a new job, so when you’re continually bored, go find a next chapter. 

  • The only real risk is you won’t get it all done before you are so take intelligent risks and don’t get stressed because when you’re no longer around, your failures are usually forgotten while your successes are likely to be remembered. 

  • Deals don’t make you money, people do, so work to build relationships and don’t burn bridges.  

  • Know when time is on your side and when it’s not, because your odds of success vary by the passage of each minute. 

  • Never make a call, go to a meeting, or even have lunch with someone, without knowing what you want to accomplish and how you’ll get it done. 

  • Rush with good news before it turns bad; and drag your feet with bad news trying to make it turn good. 

  • A problem is a set of facts compounded by emotion; so extract the emotion, lay out the facts, make a decision, and act; knowing that a decision now is better than a decision later, even if that decision is to delay the decision.   

  • When the call didn’t come I knew it was you, so don’t be habitually late because when people stop depending on you, your odds of success plummet.  

  • Home is the place to spend time between the events that define your life, so get off the couch, stop being a spectator, and play the game of life.

Thank you for being a part of my life all these years of writing articles. I’ll be thrilled for you to participate in my upcoming talk show this fall. 

Until then remember: You win some, you lose some; what matters are the relationships you establish along the way. I value our relationship every week. 

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward  
– Soren Kierkegaard

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