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

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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.


Mother’s Day is Legit


In the Hall household growing up, May was a big month. My brother was born in May. Mother’s Day is in May. In fact, my momma’s-boy brother was born in 1974 on Mother’s Day!!  What a gift!!

One thing I learned more than anything from my mom………moms like cool things.  They like cool lingo.  They want to be a part of the action.  They don’t like being left out.  People used to ask my mom why she watched so much Sports Center and she would reply “with a house full of boys I don’t like being left out of the conversation.”  That pretty much sums up how cool my mom was in general.

Moms also like controversy.  Controversy can be fun.  I falsely accused my mom when I was 14 years old in a moment of weakness of “shrinking my laundry on purpose”.  Yea I actually said that to her.  She thought I was nuts for sure…and she also thought it was funny.  It made me feel better when I later apologized for “wrongly accusing her”.  She asked me if I knew I was nuts.  I didn’t realize it at 14.

Of all the holidays, Mother’s Day is the best and most important.   Moms matter. A lot. (Remember my blog about birthdays and how we should really be celebrating your mother instead of you?) They do stuff that really amazes me. I can make a list but I won’t.
Actually what the hell, I will.

1.  They tell you what you want to hear, at the exact moment you need to hear it.
2.  When you make big mistakes, they seem to understand the most that we are human.
3.  When good things happen they are by far the most proud.
4.  If things are really messed up and you need help, mom is always the go-to.
5.  If you feel like all is lost, mom will tell you that it’s not…..and somehow she knows the right answer.

My dad used to tell me “if you bring your mother a stick and tell her it’s a gift she will love it”. Mom’s love is probably as unconditional as it gets. She knows your flaws. She defends you to the end. She has your back unwaveringly.

So today is the day to call all moms in the world just to say “you are the bomb” (or whatever cool thing you want to say).

May is a month that moms should be celebrated.  My mom passed away 6 years and 5 days ago…In May.  May is always Mom’s month in my heart.

Hug all moms today.  It’s not the right thing to do, it’s the only thing to do.


P.S.  Last week’s blog about the NFL Draft was a big hit.  We got a lot of feedback and people were excited my mom would be so genius that she could see the Draft was impacting my future success.  Skipping school was well received by most of my readers, absent this one…… Dad’s response was particularly noteworthy……. “You should have been in school boy” was the email I got last Sunday morning.  Unreal.

Life Is Like The NFL Draft

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I love the NFL Draft.  When I was 10 years old, my mom called me in sick to school so I could watch the entire first day from 8am to 8pm.  It was great.  She scored real points with me for that!!  And every year after that, she would call me in, cause she knew I loved it.  Every minute of it.

So as I watched it last week, not much has changed.  I still love it for a lot of the same reasons, but maturity in business has me thinking about it a little differently.

The draft is an evaluation of talent that is no different than how I think about business.  Is this guy the obvious choice by what he has shown in the past?  Is he reliable?  Is he bound to get in trouble?  Is he a “character guy”?  Does he have a “high motor”?  I mean the draft is exactly like a company.  Trying to find the best talent and whatever we invest in them as a company needs to be worth our time.  Can’t miss on your top pick.  Gotta hire smart.

So that got me thinking……what if more people worked each day as if they were at the NFL Combine or playing for the whole world to see?   Cameras on you all the time.  Lots of focus on your every move.  Would you work a little different?  Maybe a little harder knowing tomorrow’s headline on BEPN…..kind of like ESPN but for Business Evaluation……..now that’s clever……ok, ok move on.

So how would people approach their day differently if they were a potential number 1 draft pick?  And is that totally crazy that I would approach my day tomorrow different than an aspiring 22 year old football player?  Are you not as important as them?  Of course you are…….so approach it that way.  It’s funny, in the draft everyone knows and embraces the fact that the world is watching…….and in the workplace so many pretend that no one is watching.  But they are!!  Or should be.

Approach your week this week like the first round possible pick.  And work your behind off this week like you are trying your damnedest to improve your draft status.

Don’t embrace what is “true”, embrace what is helpful.