“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……..so 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……..an 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


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!
This holiday edition of Chatter is short and sweet.

Great conversation with my Pops last week discussing a variety of nonsensical issues.  Somehow it led to what I’ll call my Christmas gift to all of you. My very wise father and I arrived at an important life conclusion and I want to share it.

So here it is…

The best way to achieve “true happiness” (very elusive for most) is to focus your time on setting up all of the people that you love to succeed. And then you really enjoy it when they do and you celebrate it with them. 

Think about how grateful you are and how much you “give” to those who give a lot to you.

You want to improve your mood and your relationships with others? Well I just gave you the Holy Grail.

Happy Holidays!


The big gap between what people are really worth and what they believe they are worth

Ah, perception of ourselves….what a very tough thing to get a grip on.  Many overvalue (most do in fact), some undervalue.  How do I get a good gauge of my worth in the workplace?  Or within the team I’m on?  Interesting questions for sure.
It’s so situational isn’t it?  The kid that doesn’t think he is very good but is ultra-talented vs. the cocky salesman who w-2’d 41k the last 3 years.  Neither is desirable but certainly the latter needs a reality check.

Now here at Chatter we are BIG ADVOCATES of THINKING BIG.  For sure it’s the only way to go.  You gotta think anyway right?  Might as well be big.

But let’s not mistake that for having no clue, no self-awareness and walking around life in a fog.  We have all seen so many people in our day that think they are worth “x”, and move themselves right out of a great situation.  Not smart. All the names come to mind as I type this of the guys that were moving along nicely, only to have some not well-intentioned person get into their ear.  Not good.

So what exactly happens when people overvalue themselves?  What are the pitfalls?  Well, they end up trying to get so much more for themselves than they deserve and sometimes end up in a situation where they are worse off. They gain a sense of such false entitlement and really lack self-awareness.

Here are my observations of the top 5 reasons people feel they are worth way more than they really are:

1.          They have absolutely no awareness of what’s really happening in the world and where they fit in.  Knowing your worth and what you’re best and not so great at are so important.  Only way to fix this is to ask your friends, boss and mentors to be brutally honest with you.  It can really help.
2.          Their parents gave them a very false sense of who they were and probably should never have procreated.   Again, let’s refer to mentors jumping in and saving the day.  The parents didn’t need a license (you should have to have one to have kids……future blog for sure).  Can’t totally rely on them.
3.          Their first job (first jobs are key!!) was such a horrendous environment with such bad people they were actually made to believe they were good. (Future blog on this very subject is upcoming)
4.          They have become so good at bullshitting thru their entire life, they just can’t stop.  And then the bullshit they tell everyone else, carries over to their own internal thoughts.  Now they bullshit themselves nonstop.  Now the “it’s not me, it’s everyone else” syndrome starts to kick in.  Not good.  Really not good.
5.          Their friends never told them the truth and they hung out with all the wrong people (future blog on STRONG PEER GROUP essential to success upcoming) so they never surrounded themselves with people who would make them better and challenge them.

As you can see there isn’t a lot of good in any of it.  So what’s this week’s lesson?  Pull someone aside you care about in the world that you can see is “underachieving vs. their potential”, and ask them some tough questions.  And try to get them to think. Challenge them, make them more aware and push them to realize who they are today vs. who they could be with a shift in focus.  Make people be honest with themselves.
The Chatter stats say you will only be able to create change to 1 in 7 that you talk to……so my advice……talk to 7 so you can change 1 future.


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…..you will love it).