Young High Achievers don’t need you to tell them how to do the job. They need something way more important. 


Here’s a story of a 46 year old man with experience and a 22 year old sharp as a tack young guy learning his way.  It’s a good one.  Well, you’ll be the judge but I think it’s pretty good.

My young friend here is a high achiever.  Yeah he shoots for the stars.  Graduated U of M, Ross Business School…. all A student…..tutors other kids…..your classic young bad ass……..etc. etc.  You get it.  He’s on his way to big things.

He is on the job hunt and he’s having his emotions tossed around with interviews, denials, and all the rest.  Now because I’m OLDER, and he’s YOUNGER, there was a certain piece of advice I gave him that he ended up needing.  And in the end it gave me a lesson as well.

It all began when he was upset over an email of denial he had received. He called me about it.   They didn’t want him at ABC Big Shot Firm in New York/Chicago wherever…………My immediate reaction: “I need you to go print that email right now.  And we need to frame it.”

My man replied, “Why?  What do you mean print it?  Are you nuts?”

He knows that I am, so what a dumb question………but I continued…”Dude, we are going to frame that thing for two reasons-
1) In 20 years we need to call that guy and tell him how much ass you are kicking
2) Tell me a bigger motivation you could wake up to if you are a real over-achiever”.

And the ONLY REASON I gave him that advice:  He is going to be great and I can see it much clearer today than he can.  I am so confident he is going to be great, I want him to put his “set backs” front and center. That got me thinking……why don’t we all get someone to watch out for us in this way?!

So many things that “get us down” or seem like steps backwards…..are really steps towards where we are going. We just need someone who is older and wiser to show us that.

Moral this week……….young over-achievers don’t need to know that much about how to do the job or how to think about the job.   They need way more INSPIRATION and BELIEF.
Think about that with the people you care about and believe in.  Inspiration and belief are way more important than any gift you can give someone else.

Have a great week!


Another reminder that all that is good in life happens right after you think you might shit your pants

Ahhhhh……being in the arena. Yes what a wonderful feeling to be “in the mix”……until you get there. And then the next thing you know it’s game 7 of the World Series and you feel like Anthony Rizzo in the video.

What’s very interesting to me is this thing we are taught/not taught about getting/being nervous and what it means. I plan to change that. My plan is to have a young boy or girl in 2017 or 2018 and teach them a lot of good things. At the very top of that list is that BEING NERVOUS IS AWESOME. FEELING SCARED IS GREAT. This whole notion about “controlling your emotions” and “having ice water in your veins” is complete garbage. The reality is this………we really don’t care that much about 95% of the stuff that goes on in our lives. We can take it or leave it. Steak or chicken? Burger or salad? Stay in or meet up with friends? Make plans for 3pm or 4pm? It all basically doesn’t matter.
But then we get to that awesome 5%. THIS REALLY MATTERS. That’s where the CHARGE IN LIFE comes from. 

So as you watch the video and realize that a BAD ASS MAJOR LEAGUER is nervous as all get out………..remind yourself that it’s perfectly normal and good when you get that feeling in your gut. Embrace it. And try to hold on to it as long as you can. 

Cause most of the other stuff doesn’t really matter.

“It’s only gonna get worse”……what a great response. This is so awesome.

Enjoy the video (you have to scroll down a bit to see it but it’s worth it… will love it). 


98 Percent of What I Care About Revolves Around 2 Words

Life is filled with lots of things that don’t matter. As I get older I find myself trying to steer away from those things more and more. I am going to do a scientific study that will probably determine that many humans do lots of things that don’t matter between ages 15 and 42………and when you hit the age of 43 you now have a clue as to what is important and you start to focus on those things almost exclusively……… I wasted a lot of time as a young guy……..

Ok, enough of that or I’ll just get pissed…….let’s talk about some things that DO MATTER……….cause in my 46 years of experience, there are two words that surround everything I care about (or at least 98 percent of it)……..HUNGER and LOVE……both words are impactful. Both are critical to happiness. Both have a lot to do with how people do things and live.  

And for the purpose of this week’s note from our great team here at Chatter………we are going to focus on HUNGER (we can save Love for another blog as I learn more about it).  

I think people that are hungry are more fulfilled. I think they get into trouble less. I think they have more purpose. I think hunger is the basis of all that is good around all that we do. People that lack hunger struggle to find purpose and fulfillment.

I think being hungry keeps you young. I think it’s the key to becoming great. I have my own definition of Hunger that I use when I talk to companies and young people. It might help you. It might not. What the hell, I’ll tell it to you anyway.


Helpful – the more you give the more you are going to get. Be helpful.

Unrelenting – stay after things even when they get hard. That’s where all the good stuff is.

Next to impossible – stay focused on those things because those are things you will remember you did.

Get to – You never “got to” in this life. You “get to”. Everything in your life you “get to” do.  

Energy – Be a battery charger for everyone you run into. The world is filled with battery drainers. Be a charger.

Ridiculous – Be totally ridiculous in your over the top pursuit of your goals. All the great ones are.

To accomplish things in life that are out of the norm defines extraordinary. Let’s teach young people the value of HUNGER and instill it in them as a great attribute. I’m not sure that there are many things in life that I have cared about or will ever care about that didn’t start with a hunger as the beginning of it and something that matters.  

Don’t fill your life with things that don’t matter. Relish and focus on your inner hunger and let it drive you.

Have a great week!


It’s really smart to TRAIN YOUR BRAIN


This summer I was very fortunate. I qualified for the two biggest national championships that an aspiring true amateur golfer can play in – the US Amateur and the US Mid-Amateur. A lot goes into hitting goals like that in life. 20 years of hard work, playing a game you love, seeking out advice from different pros, running into a guy named Jay Horton when I was a kid who helped me immensely, my parents having enough money to buy me clubs etc.

Part of success is fortune. Part is work. Part is dedication. And part is mindset. Actually, a whole hell of a lot of it is mindset. So let’s talk about that some, shall we?

As a competitive golfer and businessman, I’ve learned there are “right ways” to think and “wrong ways” to think. It is very helpful to your success to study these methods and apply them to your daily life. It takes a lot of discipline and review to change your thinking. THE most important skill any golfer can have is self-belief and a feeling that things are going to go really well in the future. I like to believe that it’s my destiny in life to have a lot of good fortune on my side. And thinking that way is a self-fulfilling prophecy that makes that a reality.  I really believe in that.
Here is something I read almost every evening that helps me with my golf. I also have one that applies to business also (future blog). Hope this sparks some thoughts and improves your performance in whatever it is that’s important to you!!!

Tomorrow is a great day to shoot in the 60s.

Tomorrow is a day to have fun.  A lot of fun.

Tomorrow is a day to have a great attitude.

Tomorrow is a day to remember my successes.

Tomorrow is a day to prepare to win the Senior British open in 2026.

Tomorrow is a day to prep for the next US Amateur you play in.

Tomorrow is day 1 of 73,000 days I have here, and that’s it…if I’m lucky.

TOMORROW will be a day that so many on this earth never get to do. I’m very fortunate.

One of the greatest lessons I learned as a kid was from a golf pro named Jay Horton.  I was a hot-headed, hot shot kid that would get very emotional and upset, and when I hit a bad shot there was hell to pay.  Jay used to tell me little things that would creep into my psyche and help me.  And one of the biggest things he’d tell me, helps me 30 years later still.  I used it this summer on my 34th hole of the US Amateur qualifier.  His voice was in my head.  And it helped me qualify many, many years after the lesson…………….He used to tell me that when I would hit what I perceived to be an easy shot into trouble, “That might be the only place you can make birdie from today on this hole…”. Wow, what a powerful lesson!  Maybe if I hit that shot to 6 feet I would have missed but because I hit it in the bunker maybe I’m going to make it?  Love it.  Apply this to your next set back.  MINDSET.  If something bad happens, is that potentially your path to something great?  Think about it.

Have a great Sunday…what a great day to have a great attitude!


I would rather play my first Ryder Cup without my dumb ass brother tweeting. 


Peter Willett is Danny Willett’s brother.  Danny Willett is playing in the Ryder Cup for Team Europe.  Peter Willett sent out the following tweet this past week about Americans:

“Team Europe needs to silence the pudgy, basement-dwelling, irritants, stuffed on cookie dough and pissy beer, pausing between mouthfuls of hotdog so they can scream ‘Baba booey’ until their jelly faces turn red.


They need to stun the angry, unwashed, Make America Great Again swarm, desperately gripping their concealed-carry compensators and belting out a mini-erection inducing ‘mashed potato’, hoping to impress their cousin.


They need to smash the obnoxious dads, with their shiny teeth, Lego man hair, medicated ex-wives, and resentful children. Squeezed into their cargo shorts and boating shoes, they’ll bellow ‘get in the hole’ while high-fiving all the other members of the Dentists’ Big Game Hunt Society.


Wow. Totally nuts right?  A little distracting for old Danny boy at the Ryder Cup?  You bet.


And how will this affect Danny?  We are going to find out aren’t we? But there’s no doubt it can’t be good.  Will this be good for him in the future?  Maybe there is a lesson for him somehow.  Will his future endorsements be affected?  Wow, lots of questions for the future here………


So what’s the lesson/takeaway for now?   Well, that one seems pretty obvious.  EVERY SINGLE THING that you and I and everyone we know does affects someone else.  Brothers, dads, sisters, uncles, friends, caddies, confidants, spouses, etc…so that’s the lesson…remember that one.  Everything you do (good and bad) affects someone else.  So make it good.   Because you can make others’ lives easier by doing GOOD THINGS that reflect well on them.  And then they’ll be proud to know you/be related to you/hug you/love you.


It boils down to something we’ve been told for years.  And it never gets old.  DO THE RIGHT THING.


In summary:


1.      Do the right thing.

2.      Be aware of the things you do and how they will reflect on those you know.

3.      If you have a crazy brother, don’t let him get a twitter account.


Happy Sunday!




A good list, my interpretation and keeping it simple


A really smart, intuitive team member at our office sent a list out to the rest of the team on what they consider to be the ingredients to a high achieving, successful person. I thought it was worth posting but also wanted to give you my own interpretation of it, as it can relate to any person, any team, and any situation.

Nowhere in here does it list “really good at doing what they are told” …….or “follows directions” as a contributor to success.  The reason I point that out is that to get ahead and create value for yourself (and in your life), you have to be a PROACTIVE ANIMAL and go after things.  You MAKE things happen. You don’t WAIT for things to happen. If something isn’t getting done at the office, just do it.  And own it.  Do you see your team isn’t reporting on something they should be? Bring it up! Think the team should change a process and do it a different way? Suggest and implement something better!   Take ownership and put yourself out there.


Now to the list………


Attributes of the super successful are as follows:

  • Wake up early
  • Works on their business constantly
  • Works 5 hours of your 48 weekend hours
  • Always positive & optimistic
  • Drowns out the noise, instead of engaging it
  • Make themselves the obvious choice
  • Great, supportive teammate
  • Maniacal about finding a better way for everything
  • Creates value in what they do every day, no matter what it is they’re doing


Simplistic.  And pretty easy to implement.

Happy Sunday!!





Friends helping Friends


I remember in college seeing a t-shirt that read “Friends don’t let friends beer goggle” and thinking that was pretty funny in reference to helping a friend out in a funny way.  Well this week I’m your friend.  And I may just help you.  And if I don’t help you directly, I’m going to help one of your friends that’s driving you crazy.  Wow, what a preview huh?

Through a very informal and randomly skewed measurement, approximately 21.3% of people suffer from the “bondage of self”.  Not only can you not stop thinking about yourself, you can’t stop talking about yourself.  Every story you hear is without hesitation jumped on with something about YOU that immediately comes to your mind……..A friend tells you about a low round they had, you had a low round recently too…….A good meal they had, you’re sure to tell them about your last great meal as well.  The words “I” or “me” immediately come to mind often!!  Well, I’m here to tell you it’s a disease.  And we need to stop it.  So here are your top 3 formulas for success:

1. Go one entire hour without talking about yourself.  It’s gonna be a bitch but if you can withstand the pain, think of how happy you are going to make those around you.

2. Ask someone else to talk about you.  You’ll feel so foolish you’ll completely understand what your friends are going through by listening to your nonstop insecure babble.

3. Ask a friend to spend a day with you and slap you in your face every time you talk about yourself.  Your face will hurt like hell at the end of the day but you’ll feel good that you invested in your future!!

Ok that’s it this week.  Sharp, cutting, to the point.  And filled with fun.

Oh yea, and I did this for you.  Not for ME!!




Sometimes we imagine that success is easier than it is because of appearance.  You see a good looking guy/gal on TV accepting the trophy at the end of an event and its like “Wow, I wish I could be like them.” But we don’t see all that goes on behind the scenes to get there – the 5am Sunday wake up, the skipped social events, the travel, the pain, the ice packs, the countless hours of worrying with no sleep….the list goes on.  All the stuff behind the hoisting of the trophy that isn’t as sexy as that moment in time where we see the hoisting.

But more than anything is the adversity you have to go thru to get there.  Every single person in the world that has had great success, has done so through massive adversity.  I mean massive.  More than what we can probably imagine.   If you’ve had successes you realize that they come soon after that “should I just quit” thought that crosses your mind the weeks or months prior to the success.  It’s a really interesting thing the way the desire to be done with it all can  come very close to the actual triumph itself.

So in that vein, this week’s lesson is the following:

The notion that you have more adversity than others is typically not true.   In fact you probably haven’t seen much adversity at all compared to people that don’t have all the advantages we do here in the United States as Americans.

This is why the thought that to “embrace the adversity and anticipate it” works so effectively.  The reality is that before you hit it, you probably cannot or have not become very successful.  It’s always on the other side of it, not this side.

For those of you that have actually kept your New Year’s resolutions, you know that as we get into September, there have been many highs and lows along the way…keeping and fulfilling goals is really tough to do.  And really easy to talk about.  You will continue to excel in what you do if you continue to focus on your attitude and effort on becoming better every day…..and know what’s coming.  Adversity.

Stay focused on your goals and know that EVERY SINGLE GREAT THING in the world comes on the other side of adversity.  Believe it.  And live it.

Happy Labor Day


Great people do exist for you to hire!!


Sometimes it seems there are no “great people” to hire anymore.  So many people “looking for a new opportunity” disguised as “can I fool you in the interview cause I really suck”.  Hard to sort thru it all and still keep your optimism level high in spite of all the noise.

Those of you that know me well know that I’m competitive, want to be the best, and am hyper focused on our work team not only meeting but exceeding expectations.  And you need GREAT people to do that.

I had a great meeting last week with a young lady that wants to potentially join us in the future to help us with a lot of “back room” stuff involved in working with big banks, warehouse lines, trading mortgages on the secondary market etc.

As I was talking to her about her experiences she said something to me so passionately and emphatically, it got me super pumped up…….I was asking about how things were going in her current business and how her team was doing…….as she told me about how they have grown double digit percentages quarter over quarter for the last 2 years, I complimented her on that achievement…… which she replied “well it’s ok for now but just realize that single digit quarterly growth is not ok with me or any part of my identity”……….

I mean that was pretty awesome.  Basically, if she isn’t kicking total ass, she thinks that sucks.  Thought it was a good story and a good mentality to have for all of us as we enter into a new work week.

Don’t settle.  A little better than what you did before isn’t good enough.  Go for the really good stuff and don’t compromise.


One of our most popular blogs of all time!


As a special “throwback blog”, we have brought back an oldie but one that garnered much fanfare…… man Dabo Sweeney and BYOG……Bring your own guts……enjoy the blog, and the video……with college football season only 48 days away………

I find myself attracted to figures in life that are inspirational.  Sometimes it’s funny or silly and sometimes it’s real.  But I keep going back to it because it speaks to me on volume 10 out of 10.

I guess the reason I have such little interest in politics is there is such a void of real inspiration.  It’s a lot of canned crap.  Rehearsed and re-rehearsed messages that are constructed to serve those that pay for them.  Pretty lame in the overall scheme of “what is great in life” or “stuff that gets you juiced”.  Important issues that get melted into “what serves who” the best at the time.  It’s really unfortunate.

So let’s turn to Dabo Sweeney, Head Coach at University of Clemson Football.  I’ve always found Dabo to be a bit “clownish” but the more I see from him the more I can sense he is growing and developing as a person.  He is genuine.  He is fun.  He is not polished.  He is authentic.  And I love it………  And when I watch sports coaches I often get “juiced up” or “inspired” because so much of what they do and say is filled with passion and spontaneous enthusiasm.

So let’s rewind to the post game IMMEDIATELY after Clemson beat Notre Dame 3 months ago and the reporters and fans rush the field and there is a sea of humanity and they stick the microphone in front of Dabo to get his immediate comments on a 2 point win at the buzzer………you talk about inspirational……..for those that heard this interview it never gets old…for those that haven’t……read on and then immediately check it out for yourself by clicking on the link at the end of the page. (It’s worth sitting through the ten second ad to watch!)

“I can give you uniforms, and meals, and we can give you scholarships, but I can’t give you guts……and tonight it was BYOG, Bring your own guts”

I can hardly watch it without either smiling, thinking about how those kids were inspired to do something special and/or laughing because it is just so genuine.  And I find myself walking around the house some days when I want to get pumped up and just yelling out randomly “BYOG Bring your own guts”….I really do.  At the top of my lungs.  YELLING IT……why?  Cause it’s fun.  And it does something to me that gets me into a state that is higher than before I said it.  I highly recommend it if you aren’t feeling your best.  Watch it, repeat it, and yell it.  And then tell me it doesn’t immediately lighten your spirits or inspire you.

I guess that’s why I always go sport over politics.  Even though it doesn’t feel right and a “game” is so inconsequential in comparison to world issues.  But sports keeps drawing me in.  Passion, enthusiasm, emotion, something real.

I wish Dabo or someone worth watching would become a politician.  Nothing would be better than him telling some talking heads to “BYOG”.  America would be talking about it and the platform for inspiration would be well served.

Are you “inspired” by any of the 15 or so politicians we have seen in this Presidential run?  Isn’t that one of the top things we are looking for?  It’s kind of sad we can’t find one.