My good ole days haven’t happened yet.

good ole days

I hear a lot of people talking about what they used to do and referring to their past.  A lot.  It makes me wonder why people don’t focus or talk as much about the future as they do about the past.

I’m not saying to forget about how you got here and forgot all the great memories and milestones of your life. I’m simply saying there’s more ahead!   Lots more.  Your past, your experiences and your choices all brought you to where you are today.  But I hear a lot of people dwelling on the past.  Your “best days are ahead” if you choose to live and think that way.

I remember when I was in my early-mid 20’s (a few years back) and my buddies would talk a lot about the “glory days” of high school.  Why all the focus on the past?  Even today I hear old friends talk about “the good ole’ days” from 10 or 20 years ago.  Are the glory days in your past or in your future…….

Personally I aspire to live my life with an approach that my “best days” are ahead of me.  And from now on, I am re-affirming my commitment to myself to focus 99% of my mental energy on the present, not the past. I heard a Ted Talk a while back that resonated with me and the best line of the whole thing aside from the kickass message, was “Live with your future self in mind.”  Every decision you make, every time you find yourself at a crossroad, every approach and response to situations in life… live with your future self in mind.  Everything we do shapes our future.

Let’s learn from the past, appreciate that it got you to where you are today, and molded who you are today…but try to spend 100 percent (not 99) of our time talking about today and the future.

Our best day is today.  The only thing that could be better than today is tomorrow.  And that isn’t always guaranteed.

All of your thinking is a choice.  If you think your best days are ahead, you’re right.  If you think your best days are over, you’re right.
Your life is your own creation.  You are the director of how you choose to think.


Is this really what we’ve come to as a society? This is embarrassing.

What the hell is wrong with people?  I mean really.  We have kids (KIDS!) playing a game. And here we have adults threatening to kill referees?  I often tell people that there is very little in life you should be “embarrassed about”.  You hit a bad golf shot, who cares.  You called a girl the wrong name on the 2nd date, it happens.  Your potluck didn’t taste very good at the company party, such is life.  Then we look at these Kentucky folks, and it takes embarrassment to a whole new level.

I bet I’m killing you with anticipation and questions, so let’s get into it. Let’s give this story some context on just how bad it is and why I’m so outraged.
First, let’s recall a few other similar stories…

I’ll never forgive the city of Chicago for the deplorable and disgusting behavior towards Steve Bartman when he tried to catch a ball and the city blamed the Cubs’ loss on him.

How about the Boston fans that vilified Bill Buckner when he made an error?  That’s right, he made an error.  And many of the sick lunatics of the general public made it out to seem as if he had committed a felony.  Classy Boston fans at their finest!

But just when I thought that Boston and Chicago had topped the charts with ridiculously silly fans (not all, just those of you that participated in the madness) here comes the worst of them all.   Kentucky “fans”.  And I put it in quotes ‘cause these people need to get a grip. We have kids playing a game they love and these “fans” didn’t like the calls made by the refs.  So what do they do? Threaten to kill referees?  And ruin their businesses?  Seems normal.

Sick, sick, sick people.  Really.  Get a grip and grow up.

And what’s this all about?  It’s all about a frickin’ game.  A game.  Not life or death.  Not my friend with cancer.  Nobody committed a heinous crime against them.  We’re simply talking about a game!

I think if they find the people that are doing this, they should haul their parents into a court or jurisdiction of some sort, and tell them they did a really poor job raising their children…and make them promise to never have any more.  Because if my future children act like this, it will be the low point of my life and I will have failed.

Read on and try to internalize how crazy this is.  I mean this is really, really crazy that grown people act like this.  This 21st century mob mentality social media insanity is for lunatics and we need to realize this is not how we should conduct ourselves as human beings.  If we were animals, maybe.  And I mean maybe.

Let’s get a hold of ourselves people.  These are games played by kids.  Let’s lead by example for a better future, not be an embarrassment to the human race.


Hundreds of Kentucky fans’ threats against ref under investigation-

Interestingly, I also came across this article that made me think there is hope for humanity!!

Listening & Your Intention.

One of the most underrated skills in the world is listening.  Great listeners are hard to find.  Many people don’t listen at all, let alone a little.

I recently discovered one of the secrets to truly great listening.

I am lucky to be involved with a company that is doing extensive amounts of recruiting and hiring and coming across many exceptional people with great ideas.  One of those recruits recently posed a great question when talking about listening and it really resonated with me.  He asked about another person saying “Are they just listening to respond, or are they listening to understand?”


That’s some deep stuff.   “Are they just listening to respond, or are they listening to understand?”  And now that you have read that quote (twice), how many people come to mind (in both categories)?  There’s more in the “listening to respond” category for sure, right?  Most everyone you know?  It’s so tempting to listen to respond but it’s not really where the deep stuff lies.  The high order bit is to listen to understand.  It became very clear to me that it is so common to just be listening to respond.

To be fair, it’s quite hard to listen to understand every single time, but I challenge you to try it, and encourage others to do the same. When I heard this question that was posed, I wondered how many times I’ve failed to be a great listener myself. I’m a busy guy, it happens…but we’re all busy (blog on this coming). I actually took pause to think about it. It’s an ugly trait to be a listener who fails to understand ever. So don’t be one.

Listen to understand.

What a difference.  And what a tip.

Incorporate it into your arsenal today.  Will make you better for sure.


I’m working on getting people to make the switch

Attention all people in their 20s…no forget that…attention everyone.  I have some really great info you will like.  So let’s set it up.

As I started the year, I spent a lot of time thinking about my own standard of excellence.  And my man Nick Saban had described in an interview that he thought one of the distinguishing factors of Alabama’s consistency in football…..was the very HIGH STANDARD of excellence that they hold themselves to.  Really got me thinking.   I needed to raise mine.  In everything I do.  Think about it.  It becomes a total COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE to raise your own STANDARD of good (if you are willing to be patient as you work your ass off to get there).  It separates you from the competition if you are really looking to succeed in whatever floats your boat.  It creates a gap for you vs. others trying to do same.  It becomes a bigger marker you are chasing.  Having a HIGH HIGH standard of excellence creates separation.  This is THE GAP.  It’s especially important if you want to do big things.

Blend with that a new concept I have been thinking a lot about.    You don’t do big things by falling in love with the RESULT of what success will get you.  Yea we all like to watch the Kardashian’s and look at this bullshit on Instagram of flashy cars, big money, people acting and seeming like they have more than they do etc etc…….but that’s a false reality and that focus creates a distortion of what’s critical to get wherever you want to go.  You wanna be rich?  You want to shoot lower golf scores?  You want to be a great parent?  Maybe you want to build a big ass business?   The real way to achieve big things………fall in love with THE PROCESS to get there.   The long, arduous painful process.   The battle-scars, the messy truth, the hours on the putting green……..think about it.  If you fall in love with buying discount clothes on the way to your dream, if you fall in love with piling 4 people into a one person office on your way to doing big things…….then you are on to something.  Put the mile markers way out in the future.  And fall in love with what no one wants to focus on ……….the very difficult and long process to get there.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Now for the purposes of this week’s blog we are going to define “being successful” as doing something extraordinary that most don’t or can’t do.  Yes there are lots of ways to “succeed” but for this week we are talking about people with big dreams that are extraordinary……ok let’s carry on.

Most people quit on their way to their dreams.  And they quit because they don’t fall in love with how tough it is.  Hitting dreams and goals is tough.  You can have people fool you and tell you it’s not, but it is.  Most people aren’t willing to put in what it takes because they don’t tell themselves the truth about what it really is.   And they chase results.   Don’t chase the results.  Fall in love with the set backs.  Fall in love with all the crap you gotta do to “get there”.  Make it fun.  Cause there is no bigger differentiator I have ever heard of than a person that “likes some aggravation”.  Don’t fall in love with the riches you want 24 months from now cause I’ve never known anyone that got anything worthwhile in that short of a period of time.   It doesn’t happen that way.

It’s very clear that what you focus on is critical to your overall success.  The guy who is constantly frustrated with what it takes to “get there”, is never gonna “get there”.  The gal who focuses on all the things her friends have that she doesn’t, doesn’t get it.

Spend all your waking hours falling in love with the process of being successful, and you will have successfully made “the switch”.

Most “successful people” I know, loved the grind of getting there.   They were workers with a future goal in mind but “what they were gonna get” wasn’t what they were focused on.  They were focused on “what they needed to do to get there”.

In my experience, those that don’t hit their full potential, don’t want it to be what it is.  The fact is that “being successful” in an unusual way is really hard.  And you have to have patience and work really hard to get there.    Have patience for the results and go hard after what you want.  And love the journey.

Make the switch.  You’ll be glad you did


“How” and “Why” you can get out of the 80 and into the 20….4 secrets. 

There is a rule in life often talked about in business and sales…….you get 80 percent of your production from the top 20 percent of your peeps…….and that’s usually the case in a lot of organizations…..and then it just sort of gets left at that…… how and why can you get to be in the 20……and stay out of the other 80? Let’s discuss. 

Secret #1 of how to get to that 20. Love and enjoy getting treated like the 80 on the way to the 20…….confusing? Sort of, so let’s back up………most of us don’t just walk in and say “hey mother f****rs, I’m one of the 20”. You have to prove yourself and earn it on the way, and sometimes it takes a lot LONGER than we want. That’s how it goes. Embrace it. Love being underpaid and proving people wrong and all that goes with it.
You see, everyone in life is good with “Hey, if you pay me like a top guy, I’ll be a top guy”…….and it’s SO WHACKED OUT that people think this way. Our Chatter unscientific study tells us 91% of humans think this way. And it destroys them. It could destroy you, or your younger siblings……or your kids. The mentality you want are the people who respond with “I already work that hard.”  


I’m here to attempt to CHANGE THE STINKIN THINKIN OF THE WORLD………So say it with me……….”Pay me like shit and I’ll work like I make a million bucks”………say it again………and keep saying it……..cause not only will it help you but it’s going to be my future child from my future wife’s FIRST STRING OF WORDS THEY WILL SAY IN A SENTENCE. It’s all about work ethic. 
It’s kind of crazy that people are WAITING for someone to do something before THEY do anything. Does somebody give you a raise saying “We hope you’ll start to do a better job, here you go!” No! They say “Thanks for all you’ve DONE! Great job!” Case in point of what we say all the time here at Chatter…Waiting is NOT a good strategy. You have to make things happen.
So why are so many people missing this? Why are there 80 in the 80? Why can’t 80 become the MAJORITY of the productive workforce? I think it’s because their thinking is confused. And that’s secret #2 – confused thinking.
So are we just feeling like we’ve been wronged? Are we bitter? Or maybe…just maybe, we want to join the 20 but we aren’t inspired. Or don’t know we are missing out, because it’s WAY more rewarding to be in the 20 than the 80.
Well here is secret #3……if you aren’t making 20% more this year than you did last year and you aren’t told on a WEEKLY basis that you kick ass……….you are in the 80……….and you need to up your value. But don’t worry, there’s hope for you!! Are you ready to cast aside old ideas? And accept new ones?  
So, can you recognize all of the above, start to work harder, get in to work earlier, get more curious about everything, stay later, and maybe go in on Saturday to see what’s happening? Is it just that simple? No. What is simple…secret #4 on the way…what is simple is working the way you would if you got a $100,000 raise tomorrow. Yea, work like that. 
Not into all that? Then just be one of the 80…….and think through what could have been and sip that beer next Saturday at noon…and bitch about what you could be or would have been if someone had paid you more first……and then ask yourself if that’s how it works (it’s not)…..while the 20 are going next level and kicking your ass. 
Thanks to all of you that are waiting and bitching for inspiring me this week. I love you all.

4am is a good time to start. 

If you’ve read our stuff before, you’ve probably picked up on some common themes……. “work harder than the guy next to you”, “get at it when everyone else is sleeping” and “give what the greedy man won’t and you’ll get what the greedy man wants”. I think we’ve made it clear this is important. Very. 

And then here we go. Another illustration……the hits just keep on comin’ (makes us feel like we might be on to something here).


And I submit to the court – KOBE BRYANT……. who in the offseason goes to a scrimmage 7 hours early to practice…..that is correct…..not 20 minutes, not an hour…….7 hours!!……and works overnight essentially to make 800 shots (a goal he set for himself) and holding himself accountable to not giving up until it’s done. Not too shabby.


So this week we will keep it short. Below is the link to an article on Kobe and his unrelenting drive for success. I think it’s convenient for us to want to believe people like Kobe just had more talent. Read this and you’ll quickly figure out that probably wasn’t the case. He was willing to work harder than most. That’s why he is Kobe. 


I’m not a fan of Kobe, but after reading this, I’m definitely a fan of his work ethic.


Have a great and productive Super Bowl Sunday!

Leaders & PACE.

top leaders

More than anything else, great leaders bring high paced energy every day.   They set the tone.  They create the environment in which the entire team works.  You can feel the energy and the sense of urgency they create, and the really good ones combine this “energy” into the following………….

The pace that they speak.

The pace that they walk.

The pace that they lead and direct conversations.

The pace that they try to speed others up.

The pace that they move to and from meetings.

The pace that they move hard against mediocrity.

The pace that they get to the bottom of what is going on and don’t accept staying on the surface.


Cause a great leader in my view, more than anything else………sets the pace.  They are battery chargers.  They “bring it” and make those around them excited to push forward….every day.  Not some days.  Not when they feel like it.  Every single day……..and on weekends too. AND they surround themselves with people who want to move at that pace as well.  And then they make them better.  (Remember the “who you surround yourself with” blog?)

A great leader lives the saying “it’s better to be moving than stagnant”, and they are moving at a high pace and pushing others to do the same….and succeeding.

It’s not a “sometimes thing” to be a great leader.  It’s an ALL THE TIME THING.

Good leader, different story.  I’m talking GREAT LEADER.

P.S- The picture above is from a great article out of Harvard Business Review magazine, which really illustrates and supports the Chatter team’s view on the impact fast paced leaders have on a business. Check it out!


My man Nick Saban is at it again.


Just when I thought he had impressed me to the max and couldn’t do more…….he tells his Offensive Coordinator to take a hike 7 days before the biggest game of his team’s season.  Yep, Coach Saban made a stand.  No one really knows what went on behind the scenes but it was clearly ugly.  Not sure there has ever been a dismissal of a more important figure prior to a Championship game in the history of football ever.

Let’s be honest……how many of you would be willing to get rid of the most talented person on your staff/team/organization 7 days before the biggest test/presentation/game/exam of your year?  The answer is 0.  ZERO.  No one would.  That’s why it’s so great.

So it was sort of interesting when Coach Saban came on SportsCener/Game Day January 2 and told the nation it was a “mutual decision”.   Was he kidding us?   Anyone believe that?    No one at Chatter did.  Not even close.

Not very hard to deduce that Coach Saban was not happy with the lackluster performance of his offense in their 24-7 less than compelling victory over Washington…..and when he let that be known…….some stuff must have hit the fan hard.  Real hard.

It will be so interesting to see how they play tomorrow night.  National Championship game in prime time and the coach that has been coaching the offense all year won’t be there.  Can Coach Saban rally the troops and can the new back up guy step in and not miss a beat?  Will be fascinating to see.  It’s the ultimate in reality TV.

So what’s the lesson this week?  Well, we got a few………….

1.  Have the guts to do what’s hard.
2.  When you’ve won uber amounts of championships, people won’t question you.  Getting to that point is really hard.  Most aren’t there or ever will be.
3.  If Nick were a rookie coach, everyone in the world would be thinking this guy was nuts and this move could cost him his job.

Sometimes where you stand, depends on where you sit.  And Nick Saban sits very comfortably.

Roll Tide.


Fired up, ready to go.


Welcome to 2017 and we here at Chatter are excited.  Hope springs eternal and here today on January 2, 2017 we will head to the gym and get started on losing those lbs., eating right and staying focused on our new and renewed resolutions.

In 2017, I want to bolster the thought that we can all learn from anyone.  There are lessons everywhere.  Doesn’t matter who says it, it matters about the message.  So I present to you a 5 minute clip from our President Obama.  Now many of you will immediately get either a great or a nasty emotion when I mention the current President.  But move past that.  And look into the message.  The message is what is important…not your politics.

It’s really hard for me to watch this without being stirred with positive emotion.  Carry this message thru to your family, your team at work, your group of friends, your most precious relationships and so much more.  Your voice and your thoughts can make a difference every single day.  Believe it.

My resolution for the New Year is to remind myself every morning to “raise my standard of excellence” from the day before.  I got this from Nick Saban as he discussed why Alabama football is so successful.  In summary he said, we have an extremely high standard of excellence.  It really hit me hard when he said that.  Gotta raise the standard of what excellence is!  And then live into that.

And I think that’s what this lady is doing that is described in this clip in a very simple way.  Very simple.  Raising the standard of everyone in the room in a very positive way that makes a material difference.

In 2017, make a difference.  I GUARANTEE if you spend 5 minutes watching this clip, you will email me and thank me for sharing it.


Fortune Favors Bold.


Happy last day of the old (2016), and wishing everyone a terrific and awesome new (2017)! Here at Chatter we typically like to talk lessons, strange stories, heartfelt moments, and nonsense.  But this week is a little different as we touch on a few personal highlights to hopefully trigger your own list.

Next week we will get back to our normalcy but thank you for the opportunity to recap as best I can my personal 2016.  And maybe that helps you capture your own “big rocks” and focus on how your year went.

Thanks in advance and happy New Year to all……

As I sit here reflecting back on the year 2016, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude, wisdom, love, passion and perspective.  Everything worth achieving in life is on the other side of adversity. I once told that to someone and it’s really true.  I worked like all get out on my golf game………and to be able to qualify for some of the biggest golf events in my career.

I also started my own company and it’s a rewarding and difficult thing to do all in one.

Most importantly, I defied a lot of odds……46 years plus of bachelor-hood and in 2016 I proposed to someone who I never thought or knew actually existed. That’s right, yours truly is getting hitched in 55 days and counting! (Gotta get this locked in before she realizes what is happening.)

Enough of the lead in…here it is my friends…2016…..epic!!

Let’s talk recap here………….

2016 was a year of change and so many incredible accomplishments.  It just goes to show you never know what’s in store and your life could look very different one year from now than it does at any given moment. Mine sure does, and it couldn’t be better.

In early 2016 I decided to leave the company I had helped to grow and felt satisfied with…… to start my own company again. I took a little needed and welcomed time off but quickly got a renewed focus and started Hall Financial. Over the course of the year we grew to 25+ people and moved to new office space and the future is looking bright.  Super excited about our 2017 as we grow to 60 plus team members this year…….

I’m pleased to be able to say I traveled more than I have in a very long time both for golf and to escape the dreary Michigan winters. I traveled all summer to play tons of golf, qualified for the US Amateur Championship as well as the US Mid Am Championship then went on to win my club championship. It was a very cool year in golf. I’ve never been so focused, so centered and so free to completely infuse myself into one of my greatest passions in life. And I saw the fruits of my labor for sure, so worth it.   These created some of the best golf memories of my career……to date.  I was really fortunate.

I got to spend some much needed and enjoyed one on one time with both my Dad and brother at different times during the golf season and it made me appreciate those times and them that much more.   They both caddied and were great!!  We’re all healthy, happy and that’s what it’s all about.  Jason caddied for me at the US Mid Am and we had some much needed brother bonding time.  I really cherished those days.

Then the big one came—Andrea said “Yes” after I popped the big question on her birthday in August. We planned a destination wedding (of course) and just under 60 days from now I’ll have her fooled into spending the next 50+ years with me. This one came as a shock to most but I’m here to tell you when your standards are high and you wait and wait and wait… life might slap you in the face with more than you could have asked for! She isn’t just my fiancée though, she’s a career woman if I ever knew one. She has earned honors in her industry for Elite Women as well as Top 40 under 40, and also was named as the MVP of her company…… award for 2016 out of 2000 employees.  She’s on fire and I’m just trying to keep up.

Fun fact of this little blog rant………… both myself  & Andrea’s dads have the exact same birthday to the month, date and year – I mean exact! What are the odds? So naturally we celebrate all together every single year on July 8th. This year these two guys turned the big 70! They don’t act a day over 25 and we love it!  Actually they both think they are 18.  We have to slow these cowboys down.

To wrap up, I’d say this year goes down in history like none other. Embrace and welcome whatever life throws at you and work hard to make meaningful changes…that’s my advice to you as you approach 2017 and hopefully make it an even better, more memorable year than 2016 was.

The only question for me/us is can we make 2017 top 2016?  You better believe I’ve already got some things in mind so I suggest you start thinking the same way.

Fortune favors the bold.

Happy New Year!

D. Hall