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.



What are you reinforcing?


One of the simple lessons I learned in Psychology 101 is that emotion reinforces memory.  It makes a lot of sense, right?  The more emotion you surround your experiences with, the more it reinforces them.  We all have micro-traumas that we deal with and how we deal with them is important… determines our outlook, how we will handle things in the future and how our children and their children will approach them.  Every morning we wake up, in some respects we “press the play button” and the things you do on auto-pilot are determined to a large extent as to how you CHOOSE to react to individual situations as we described above.

Did you react to your last bad golf shot or your poor review with the boss like you just went thru an audit with the IRS?  Or did you smile afterward and think either “I’m gonna get the best review of all time next time we meet” or “I’ll knock it in from there”?  Makes a big difference overall.

Of all the things you will go thru today, some will be pleasing, some will not.  Life doesn’t go the way we want it to.  There are a lot of curve balls that will come your way today.  It’s a lock.   How will you handle them?  It completely determines your future self.

Here are the top 3 questions I like to ask people that ask us for some help…….these are good ones you may want to use or ask yourself:

1.        Do you spend more of your day fist pumping or throwing clubs?  It’s a metaphor for celebration over gloom. How do you handle a letdown, a game played less than par, or a disappointing dinner with your friend? Your perception and how you choose to think about these situations is entirely in your control and will make a difference in how you feel the rest of the day, week, etc. and also how you feel about the game/person moving forward.

2.       Are you spending a lot of your time in life suffocating with perfection and comparison like so many others?  Its human nature to compare yourself, your situation and your life to others as you make observations. We can break the cycle but it’s gonna take some work. You aren’t Joe and Joe isn’t you. Stop the comparison and judgment and live your life (and make it the best you can).  Great lives are lived by CREATING who you are.  All of your decisions cause a CREATION of you.

3.       Do you appreciate how good you are or are you constantly critical of yourself?  You can choose to spend a lot of time thinking how good you are, or you can let everyone know how miserable you are.  Those are the 2 extremes you get to choose from.  Is your default mechanism “I’m ok at these things that aren’t that important, but I’m not very good at these and it’s just killing me?”……..or is it “Man I’m good at a lot of things and I have a couple things to work on but I’m on it!”  Most people’s default mechanism is to dwell on all the things they can’t do.

People will end up veering away from you the longer you’re “Mr. Doom and Gloom” who constantly finds things to complain about. An old quote I’ve used that really resonated with people is “Are you a battery charger or a battery drainer?”

A great way to go thru the day is to spend a lot of time in thought about “Wow, that felt great when I had that good meeting with Bob this morning.  I felt like I really explained myself well and he got the point.”  That’s healthy.  That’s not arrogance.  That’s how we are supposed to talk to ourselves. Arrogance is what happens when mediocrity recognizes success.

Get emotional about the GOOD things that happen to you and the things you’re good at!  Let the things go that aren’t that great, and teach it to your kids.  Every time you overreact…… something bad…….you are just making it 10 times worse.  Is the IRS really auditing your every move?  I don’t think so.  Reaction causes reinforcement.

A poor shot isn’t a poor shot to ruin your day, but a shot that has happened to provide you with feedback.  And that feedback can help you get better.

Your brain is recording what you are doing.  Make your own “play” button what you want it to be.


You’re totally into yourself, you say ridiculous things that make you look foolish, and you might be funny as hell


This week is a bit of a rant.  Three of my latest observations include things you don’t want to do and areas in your mind you don’t want to live.  These may seem harsh but they do exist in the physical world and if you have experienced them, you feel the same way I do….and we need to tell these people to stop.   If you don’t recognize these immediately by thinking “Oh yeah, Bob does that all the time” then you either 1.  Have a very low level of awareness….or 2.  You maybe do it yourself because how else could you be unaware of it (and why is no one telling you?).

I’m confident you’ll think of at least one person as you read my three observations below. 2 and 3 are tough to call people out on and 1 is just flat out funny as hell.  Here we go……

1.      You have trouble coping.  As children we learn “coping mechanisms” when we don’t get what we want.  Oh you wanted to stay up late?  No dice….you cry…….you learn….you slow down on that behavior in the future……for most…….some have no coping mechanisms.  Now typically I don’t advocate hanging with people with “negative traits”……but watching your buddies that have no coping mechanisms when things go wrong on the golf course, in the restaurant, when someone takes their parking spot……well that’s just flat out really frickin funny.

2.      You project all of your issues on to everyone else.  I call it the “spit your crap on me” syndrome.  Your marriage sucks so that means my marriage will suck.  You have trouble under pressure so that means no one can come through under pressure.  All of your focus is on how old you are and all the things you can’t accomplish because you aren’t 21 years old anymore. So now you are gonna tell me all the things I can’t do.  Give it up people.  You are ruining any hope or optimism that those around you have.  In fact I have a hint for you here.  Go opposite.  Encourage everyone.  Stop telling everyone that because you don’t know how to have a relationship that that means that all relationships are like yours.  They aren’t.  You just aren’t very good at it and you want everyone else to not be good at it too. Or you think its impossible and hopeless for all because of your situation.  Please stop.

3.     Bondage of self.  You know these people that constantly “bring it back to themselves” like a boomerang. It’s totally impossible for them to have a conversation with you without constantly using the words “I” or “me”. ”Hey Bob, I had a real good lunch at Long Lake and Woodward the other day with Tommy talking about his back issues…”  Interrupting Bondage Bob doesn’t let you finish your sentence and replies “I (fill in the blank about something he did at Long Lake and Woodward)” that has nothing to do with what I’m talking about…”Yea I was at Long Lake and Woodward last week for a meeting”……why do I care that you were at Long Lake and Woodward and it’s so nonsensical?………..or even better………they talk constantly about themselves and NEVER take an interest in you.  I kind of like these people in a weird way…… because I don’t have to ask them any questions……they are gonna tell me all about themselves……but after about 11 minutes this gets very old and I find myself on the other side of the fairway talking with my caddie rather than spending a lot of time with Bob.

Key takeaway this week……..I can deal with you acting like a complete fool….just stop telling me about yourself constantly, and all the things I can’t do because you didn’t.

Happy Sunday!!



Father’s Day, Nostalgia, and US Open Sunday 


What a day today is going to be.  First, Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there.  My Dad doesn’t get anything cause when you have sons like Jason and I, every day is pretty much Father’s Day.  I actually told my dad 26 years ago that I SHOULD BE GETTING THE FATHER’S DAY GIFTS FROM HIM for making his job so EASY.  He is still cracking up about that one.    Have a fun day today Dad.

Ok on to this week’s message…….a little all over the place but there has been a lot going on.  Top 4 things I’ve observed the last couple weeks and things I’m looking forward to:

1.  Tonight’s Game 7 between Golden State and Cleveland.  Could go down as a historic game in NBA history.  Wouldn’t it be fun for Steph Curry to have a 3 point shot with 1 second to go, down by 2 points?  I’m rooting for a great game.

2.   Muhammad Ali is gone but never forgotten.  What a life.  This guy stood up for what he thought was right and a charisma and energy that was historic.  A lot of people say “there will never be another like Ali”……and while I like to pay homage as much as the next guy………there probably will be……..but he was unique…..I love a guy that in the same sentence says “I’m pretty and I’m a bad man”.  Loved this guy.

3.   Gordie Howe passed away.  One of the top 2 hockey players of all time and one of the favorites of the city of Detroit.  What a legend.

4.   Today is the final round of the US Open… exciting.  Fox’s coverage is so brutal I will probably have the sound down, but man it would be cool to see Dustin, Sergio and a no name come to the last hole all tied up.  What a blast that would be to watch.

So what’s this week’s takeaway?  Things that are UNUSUAL are the things that we love the most in life.    These are the things that get us “jazzed up”.  Trying to be like everyone else and “fitting in” sucks.  Let’s stop teaching people to fit in.

Muhammad Ali didn’t fit in.  Gordie Howe didn’t fit in.  Steph Curry doesn’t fit in.  The winner of the US Open won’t fit in.  All with superior work ethic and a dedication to something that is HIGHLY UNUSUAL.

To be unusual (in a good way) requires an unusual devotion and talent.  To be exceptional and noteworthy requires a work ethic that no one else you know has.   You too can be the exception to all sameness if you are willing to give what few others are willing to give.  Not for everyone but belief in self is the biggest part of accomplishing big things.

You want to be like everyone else?  Or do you want to be different?

My dad taught me that.  I guess he did give me the gift.

Happy Father’s Day.


Evesdropping On A Little Cafeteria Conversation


“Have a good weekend?”

“I did absolutely nothing.”

“Now that’s a damn good weekend right there.”

This is a joke right?  Nope, these are real conversations.  I didn’t make this up just so I had something to blog about this week………I actually heard it at the table 2 over from me and there goes my curious mind again………what?  Yep.

And this is another installment of “why the world is a very dangerous place without great leadership” and why “if you are a great leader you are going to be in great shape ‘cause people need you”.

I am worried about my loved ones and people I care about being around this type of conversation.  It can pollute your mind at a very young age.  Luckily if you get old like me, you know better.  And therein lies the lesson…..

If you are below the age of 30 or you know people below the age of 30 please push yourself and them to live by these 3 golden rules:

  1. Every single day of your life including Sunday should involve you doing at least 3 productive things. Make sure of it.
  1. Only surround yourself with people that are more productive than you because it will LIFT your own game.
  1. Do not under any circumstances CONFORM to anything that feels like “average” or “normal”. You are way better off being an outrageous outcast than someone that “fits in”.  “Fitting in” sucks.

Short and sweet.  Happy Sunday.

And make today PRODUCTIVE.



There is only one thing to do between 8pm and 830pm

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I got some advice a long time ago, and it might be some of the best I have ever gotten.  It has served me well for a long time. There are certain times in the day to do certain things.
You learn this over time.  Brush your teeth 3 times a day.  Eat lunch at noon.  Go to the gym at 630am etc. etc.  These are some of the basics.

Here are THE 2 BIGGIES……..advanced lessons on timing that I have learned over the years………These unique mindsets (when taken to a new level) will serve you very well…… is confidence and one is paranoia.

​1.  Spend your time between 6am and 630am thinking about all the things you need to do to get better… have the whole day to get them done.  “Freaking yourself out” in the morning is one of the most impactful things you can do.  You give yourself a chance to do something about it.  You need to write it down daily in your PARANOIA JOURNAL.

​ 2. ​ Spend 8pm to 830pm only think of how kick ass you are.  For the most part the day is done, you are tired physically and mentally.  And there isn’t a lot you can do about any problems you might be experiencing.  So spend your time in positive thoughts about you and all the goodness you bring to the world.  You are a force for good and you have probably done way more good than you give yourself credit for.    You need to write it down daily in your CONFIDENCE JOURNAL.

Two Journals.  One person.  Lots of great results.  All from thinking about things at the RIGHT TIME!!!

Don’t believe what is true, believe what is helpful.


Happy Memorial Day


Short and sweet this week from the Offices at Chatter. Today is all about celebrating our servicemen and women. Truly amazing the sacrifices they make for the rest of us.

Make sure today isn’t just about bar-b-q’s and being away from the boss. Make today about all that we have because of the bravery of other fellow Americans. It’s incredible really when you think about it.

Happy Holiday and thanks so much to our brave Americans we get to celebrate today.


New Information Creates New Perspectives


Life is filled with curve balls. Things we don’t expect. Just when you think you have seen it all, life somehow manages to surprise you.

I have been fortunate to know many people and learn from many circumstances. One lesson that always stuck with me was “you have no idea what other people are going through, so assume they are going through a hard time”. It is a core philosophy that keeps you humble. And keeps you grateful.

And sometimes it’s very easy to forget.

I recently came to learn that a guy I have always thought was “odd” actually had some extremely tough circumstances growing up. I had never known this. I have known this guy for 9 years and while we have never been close, he always struck me as someone that wasn’t great to the people who knew him and was tough to get to know. For sure I had made a judgment about him from afar and had my inner voice telling me negative things.

And then I got some new news. And all of my previous perceptions suddenly vanished.

Turns out his Dad abused him when he was kid and his relationship with his father was horrendous. That was like a wow moment. All this time I’ve been thinking the guy is a little off and then I find this out. Sort of answers a lot of the things I may have been curious about over the years. In fact it sort of answers EVERY SINGLE one of them.

That really hit me. Cause my relationship with my Dad couldn’t be better. I mean it’s the best. He’s a supporter, a cheerleader, a confidant, he makes fun of me, he loves me like crazy and he is my greatest fan. And I couldn’t have gotten luckier. And I probably take it for granted sometimes because I’m human.

So this week’s lesson is simple. Look around and see what things in your life are “easy” and “not complicated”. And then pick up the damn phone right now and call the people that shape and influence those great relationships and tell them they kick ass. Those people are rare in our lives and need to be celebrated on a daily basis. Also, don’t be so quick to judge others, because the truth is you don’t know what they could be going through. Perspective.

I’m calling my Dad now.


Starting Your Own Business is Fun

hall finanical

And it’s also hard.  But it being hard is why it’s so fun.  The fun and satisfaction of doing something on your own outweighs the stress.  We highly recommend it if you have been considering it…..makes life much more fulfilling.  It’s such a sweet feeling it’s hard for us to put it into words.  It’s more of a feeling that gets you pumped up when it’s 420am and you wake up accidentally and want to start working.  Hard to put into words.  But I’ll try.

Having recently opened my own business, I have come up with some observations (some helpful and some nonsense of course) on what happens and how people behave when you open your doors.

Top observations since opening a new business—

1.  Everyone congratulates you.  Don’t congratulate us for investing a lot of our money into something.  That part is easy.  Congratulate us when we start to have some success and we create a ton of jobs across the country.

2.  Most people don’t really want to work.  You get a lot of calls from people that “want to get on board”.  That’s code for “Do you have something easy for me to do to make a lot of money?”  Gotta sort thru a lot of BS people.

3.  People want you to do well and will help.  I am very lucky to have many friends referring business and offering help at no charge (many thanks here!).  It’s hard to do without help.

4.  You gotta have a “go to” person that supports your mission.  Multiple people in this is EXTREMELY helpful.  Unwavering support with no judgement.  Fortunately I do.

5.  You learn a lot about people when they work at a startup.  Startups are super hard.  Everyone has to do much more than they thought they would need to.  It’s inspiring when people step up.  You learn what people are made of.

I have talked to my team a lot about our 20 year anniversary in 2036.  I will be 65 and will be the perfect time for me to start to slow down a touch….you don’t really believe that, do you?  Shit, I can’t slow down.

I think painting a vision of the future is important when you’re building a business.  The future is hard for many to imagine when you are working in temporary space.  I take pictures every day because I want to always remember where we started.

So the lesson in all of this………whatever you are doing today “on your way” to something bigger…….enjoy it.  The struggle.  The difficulty.  The doubt.  The lessons.  The “I’m so far away from where I want to be” feeling.  Why?  Cause it’s so, so sweet when you hit your big, big, big, big “Let’s have 1,000 team members” goal.  So sweet.

Too sweet for words.


P.S.  Attached is an article Crain’s ran on us recently.  I am very proud of the team we have today and am humbled to have people that believe in my vision and the future of what we can accomplish.  Thanks to all that have been very supportive of our team already.