Make This A Part Of Your Talent Evaluation If You Want To Make Your Company Better

There are two types of people that work at companies…DRIVERS and REPORTERS.

Drivers are really badass. They are the movers and shakers of every company. They push themselves and others to be on their A-game all of the time. They hit and create deadlines and goals without being asked. They’re always consistent and have total focus on the job. Their intensity level is high, and they are rarely out or sick. They want to see things moving forward. It’s important to them. Drivers will be your greatest asset to a company. They rock.

Reporters aren’t nearly as cool. They don’t bring much to the table. They sit around talking about everyone else. They point the finger and comment on others. They like to gossip. Reporters typically aren’t “doers”, they are “observers” of the doers. Reporters tend to take smoke breaks and bitch about things. They are more interested in who’s going to the bar with who then they are in pushing initiatives forward. Some of my buddies growing up are reporters. I like socializing with them, but I try not to hire them. I will admit sometimes I interview a reporter, and they wear an awesome disguise as a doer. I’m not that into reporters as it relates to people that can’t move the needle.

A quick thought this Sunday morning.

Make it a great one. Go find some Drivers.



It’s June 30, 2019 Which Means We Are Exactly Half Way Thru The year

It’s a significant check-in point as we are 50% of the way thru the only 2019 we are ever gonna get.

How are you doing on those New Year’s resolutions? How are your work and personal goals going?

It’s easy to get off track…and it’s also easy to get back on track. If you want to.

My deepest thought about goals are…if it’s important to you, you will do it.  If it’s not, you don’t. It’s really that simple. And you may want to re-evaluate all of your goals with that in mind. Sometimes it’s not as confusing as we think. It’s more simple. “I don’t really care that much about that, which is why I’m not achieving what I set out to do”. Could be work goals, could be a personal weight goal, could be something with your fitness…is it important to you? That’s the key.

And as we get to know ourselves better, we find out what matters to us and what doesn’t. And the beauty of life is everyone is different.

So I will share my personal overriding thoughts with you, that I plan to share with my child that is coming into this world around December 1, 2019…Live your life with purpose and focus on achieving things. Stay out of the drama and the “suck of nonsense” that the world can offer up so easily and readily. That’s important to me. NO DRAMA. NO GOSSIP.  NO “did you hear what Bobby told Suzy last night”…and that will be important to Baby Hall. Because I believe with everything that I know that a life of purpose with a focus on goals and achieving things, is a great way to live.

Have a great 2nd half to your year!!



The Iceberg Illusion

Happy Sunday: Here is a great post from our internal guest blogger, Shannon! Shannon is one of our Marketing Specialist at Hall Financial.

Success is something that people seem to just assume happens overnight.

It obviously does not, but that is what we tend to share. We appear as though we have only ever been successful, or we only see people as successful because that is what they are choosing to portray to us. Social media, conversations, resumes. You only highlight the best of the best. You don’t see the rest, what’s underneath.

I personally like to think of success like an iceberg. You see the surface, the success. What is hidden beneath the water is so much more though. What is hidden is what matters! What is hidden is what makes success. What it stands on. What it took to get there.

Beneath the surface of success lies the hard work, determination, failure (most likely multiple), discipline, struggles, exhaustion, doubts, risks. The list is truly endless. There is so much that others don’t see, and so much that we discredit.

I implore you to start to envision success as an iceberg. It will not only give you a greater appreciation for others, but for yourself. Remember what it took to get you to your goals and embrace it. Celebrate it. Each no is closer to a yes. Each failure is closer to success.


DHall Here: I hope you enjoyed the read! Have a great Sunday!


Superbowl Sunday, High Achievers, Commercials, and Silence

This week’s edition of what goes thru my head is a bit fragmented……..but that’s ok……cause even fragments if communicated correctly can be helpful and entertaining.

So it’s Super Bowl Sunday…………Pats vs. Rams……….I have no dog in this fight but of course I’ll watch and enjoy……… silence……..yes silence……..and it’s so great.  For the last 11 years I’ve watched the Super Bowl on my own……….I enjoy the game and love to see the new commercials.  I never understood why some dope at a party thought I would rather hear his opinion on most anything rather than listening to the commentators during the game and for sure hearing the commercials.    It’s always been odd to me that others don’t feel that way.

One very interesting thing I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older that people do is Monday is now a day you can come in late “cause it was Super Bowl Sunday”.   Wait?  What?  Is this a thing now?    There was a game on, it was a Sunday, so I got blitzed and I can’t get to work on time.    This is actually a bit of a good thing.  It gives employers an opportunity to delineate between high and low achievers.   I don’t know too many high achievers that think Monday morning is sort of optional after the game………but whoa doggy those low achievers………they are gonna be all over that.   Leaders and business owners………keep an eye on this Monday morning as it may help you to figure out who’s who in your zoo.

So on to the game………..Tom Brady is a Michigan dude……and so am I……….so I’m probably rooting a bit for the old man.   41 years old and playing in the Super Bowl as the QB?   Sort of insane and a story that will certainly get much attention and deservedly so.    That’s quite an accomplishment.   9 Super Bowl’s this guy has been to?     Tom Brady is still playing in Super Bowls in his 40s because of his obsession and strong control over his daily habits, strict eating and workout regimen and just flat out discipline. Talk about a high achiever. Tom Brady doesn’t get blitzed on the weekend, he doesn’t take a day off from working on his craft, he certainly doesn’t throw in the towel after playing in 8 Super Bowls.  He works his ass off to make it to the next one.  That’s really an incredible accomplishment.

Don’t think Tom would be showing up late on Monday morning if he were at a Super Bowl party Sunday night.

On to the commercials…… favorite part………..a 30 second ad costs 5 million bucks.  Talk about “hey marketing we better get this right”……..what a stage to be able to tell more people than you ever could about your product and what it stands for.    Sometimes the ads make no sense.   Oftentimes they tell a story.   And much like this blog……..they can be fragmented but if communicated well can be entertaining.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday.


What Are You Most Thankful For? I Asked Myself This The Other Night.

Wow.   So many choices.  Very tough.

Then I started thinking……….people who think A LOT about what they are thankful for………..are smart people.  Very smart.

So I made my choice……..but I’ll leave you in a bit of suspense as you think of yours.    Not who you think you SHOULD say!  No.   Who are YOU at your core, when no one is around and looking, MOST thankful for.

And I’ll tell you the way I came up with my choices………..It’s an UNWAVERING SUPPORT that makes me feel a way that is different than others make me feel.    A support so unique that it’s refreshing and liberating all in one.   And when I compare most people in my life to my top 5, it’s easy to see the difference in the support.

So there are like 4 people tied for number 5.  They didn’t make the top 4 so they don’t get a mention, but I appreciate them.

Number 4 is Stephen Luigi Piazza who we lost much too soon.    His support of me created a confidence inside that I can’t ever thank him enough for.  His genius was trusting people and pushing them to become great by letting them know he truly believed in what they could accomplish.    Luigi was a true genius with the most unique leadership style I ever encountered.

Tied for 2 and 3 are my Mom and Dad.    I know it’s cliché to say “mom and dad” but they were super supportive of everything I ever wanted to do.  Everything.  With no exceptions.  Heck they basically let me run the house starting when I was 9.  I made the rules, my dad put me in charge of a bunch of stuff, and I was very outspoken about how things should be done.   No surprise there.   They had tremendous confidence in my ability to make decisions.  I was the only one of my friends in high school with no curfew.  I know my dad’s thought process was “if I trust him with these types of decisions, he will do the right thing”.  And he was right.

Then I started thinking that if you give people unwavering support, that might be the best thing you can give someone.   Is it that simple?  It just might be.

And then I started thinking about how I should cut people out of my day to day that are not on the “unwavering support” program.  I mean why am I even talking to these people.  In a lot of ways they take the “sharpness” off the edge that makes you great.   Think about that analogy for a while.    Who is dulling your sharpness?   Ok, let’s move on………….

Then I started thinking of how thankful I am for my wife.  Without a doubt she is numero uno.   And not just because Andrea is an A+ in every way.   It’s an unwavering support that makes me feel a way that is different than I have before.    Andrea has a way of trusting and believing in what her and I are doing, that makes me feel a certain power of togetherness.  It’s like a magical gift.   Never really seen it before.

That’s it.   Something to make you think on a day to be thankful.

Give people unwavering support.  And Happy Thanksgiving.


Your inner fire.

This week in my office I saw people working and ramping up their inner fire.   It was beautiful to see.  It’s a key question I bring up now in interviews.   I want to know about inner fire.  I don’t care that much about experience or tenure.  I care about what is inside of people and if they are closer to a 1 or a 7 (more on that later).

Why do I bring up the concept of inner fire?   Because I believe nothing great can be achieved in sports or in business if you aren’t working with a HIGH INNER FIRE on a daily basis.

The reason SO MANY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE SO AVERAGE……….isn’t for the reasons you think.  It’s because they can’t light that inner fire every single day.   Most people will do it 3 days a week.   Some can only do 2.   Some don’t do any.   And a very rare few do 4.

But almost NO ONE does 7.  That’s why they’re unique.   Unicorns of sort.    People who figure out how to LIGHT THEIR INNER FIRE (operate with passion) 7 days a week………….are CEO’s, Major League Baseball Players, PGA Tour Players, COO’s, etc etc.

In fact, society tells us to NOT light that inner fire 7 days a week.   You’re not “supposed to” be working all the time.   You “need downtime to recharge”.  Almost every successful person I have ever known (and most likely my definition of “successful” is different than yours) had a lit up fire 7 days a week.    Hard to get to “epic” status at anything if you aren’t lit up 7 days a week.   Cause others are.  And life is a competition.

My one question is this: Why do we not question the basketball player going hard 7 days a week, staying up until 10pm shooting free throws and bicycling 5 miles to practice everyday but we tell the guy who stays in the office until 9 and is back in at 5 that he needs to have a more balanced life and there’s more to life than “work”? Who are we to douse that inner fire?

You don’t even have to work 14 hour days 7 days a week, you just have to be fired up when you do. A person who is LIT UP and works only 9 hours a day is more valuable than someone who just passes through a 12 hour work day with no fire or energy.

Think about that as you go into your week this week.  Are you looking to “light it up”?   Are you going to impact everyone around you with your inner fire?    You don’t have to be loud or a big mouth to do it.  People will feel it.

Is your drive in to work on Monday morning spent “getting fired up” for your day?   Or are you just passing time and distracting yourself until you arrive?

Your inner fire does 2 things.  It helps you, and it helps everyone around you.

It takes effort and focus to light it.  You gotta make a decision that it’s important to you and your mission.


One of the best things I’ve read in a long time.

The day to day influx of information can be very overwhelming.  So much to read up on, so much news, so much industry info, so much, so much.   It’s like the wave and incoming information doesn’t stop.  Your brain eventually goes into auto-pilot and you’re just working to get through it all.

So it’s pretty infrequent that you read a line in someone’s article that stops you in your tracks and makes you think.   And then makes you repeat it out loud.   And then it comes up in conversation for 2 weeks straight.

That’s impact.

And here is the line I read………………The right thing to do is usually very inconvenient.

Man is that true.  If you think about stopping someone in the middle of what they are doing wrong and saying “hey what are you doing?” That’s pretty inconvenient but it’s always the right thing to do.

Other good examples off the top of my head….

  1. Going to the hospital to visit someone: Not typically near you.   Not a pleasant situation.   You can find all kinds of reasons not to if you try hard enough.
  2. Telling the boss that someone isn’t doing what they are supposed to do: It’s easier to continue on with your own business, but you are instead doing what’s in the best interest of the team/company.
  3. Spending time preparing a healthy meal to stick to your health & fitness goals: Sure, always easier to stop quick and pick up some garbage.  Fast food, etc.  I don’t need to explain this one.
  4. Working out after a long work day vs. going to the bar then crashing when you get home: Long term goals and investing in how you’ll feel tomorrow written all over this one.
  5. Pulling someone aside to coach them up not knowing how they’re going to react to it: You have a million things on your to-do list and you’re in meetings all day, easier to skip this conversation, but the impact you’re going to have on that person and the investment you’re making is far reaching. You can always get caught up on your email and to-do list later.

All of these scenarios have one thing in common: they’re all very, very inconvenient…yet undoubtedly the right thing to do.

In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot about something that is the right thing to do that isn’t inconvenient.   I am over 2 weeks in and I’ve got nothing so far.

So email me if you come up with something.    And even if you do come up with one, I think it’s still a good lesson.   And one that we don’t teach enough to kids.

The convenient thing is often not the right thing.  Do what’s inconvenient.   Much more rewarding.

Happy Sunday.


My good friend left us last week

Death is very difficult.  It’s final.  It hurts.

Stephen Luigi Piazza meant more to me than I can express in a blog or probably ten years’ worth of conversation.  He and I were thick as thieves for years.  Where he went, I went.  Where I went, he went.  When I had troubles, he was there.  When he was in trouble, I was there.  We spent midnights at the office together brainstorming.  We met at 5am.  He was a mentor, a friend, a partner.  We were a team.

He’s gone now.

When you have a partner who invests time in you, mentors you, and believes in you, it changes you in a way that’s hard to put into words—I’ll try.

Luigi was awesome in a thousand ways.   It’s no surprise to see how many of his awesome qualities have been documented this week on social media.    He was a special person.   He and I were as close as 2 people can get in business.

I could easily rattle off 50 Luigi stories or lessons that he taught me, but here are just a few that really stand out.

  1. He cared deeply about the people who looked up to him and worked for him.  More than anyone I ever met.  He went to bat for his people and he saw them as possibilities for the future and believed in every single one of them.  Sometimes it was crazy to me but it was impactful how insane he was about his peeps.
  2. He never “managed up”.   Ever.   He hated authority and at times was as crazy obstinate as I have ever seen.   He would have rather kicked the CEO’s ass than kiss it.   Every day and all day and twice on Sunday.   In fact, he loved telling authority to go get f’d.  The CEO was always his favorite target to rile up with his insubordination.  It was totally inspiring.
  3. Luigi liked to spend money he didn’t have.  “Punch the Budget” was always his favorite phrase to let me know he was on a mission.    Whether or not it was in the “budget” was of no concern.  In fact, he enjoyed spending money even more if it was not in the budget or in the bank account!  Keeping in line with number 2 above, Luigi also took pleasure in letting the top brass know he “broke the budget”, and he often sent me to be the messenger of the ugly details.  I sometimes wondered if he was on a suicide mission, but it taught me SO MUCH about how to advocate for something and how to defend what some viewed as indefensible.

In short………he did the opposite of most of what I’ve seen people do in my career.  To steal a line from Frank Sinatra, Luigi did it His Way.  He bucked conventional wisdom and he swam against the stream.    He lead those AROUND him and never managed UP.  In fact, he hated authority and never saw people “above him” as important.  Wow did that impact me.   He loved people who wanted to become great or showed any sign of being good.   His favorite thing to tell me was “DH, I like you cause you like to go………..most people are 1 for the money, 2 for the show, 3 to get ready, 3 to get ready, 3 to get ready………… go DH……..i like guys that go”.

He was a true overachiever.  I used to tease him that “no one does more with less”…………and it was all because of his belief system.   His mind made him unique and irreplaceable.   And he was an inspiration.  Because he was the biggest overachiever I ever met in my life.   He came from nothing.  He had no advantages. He didn’t have rich connected parents or access to mentors like he eventually became to so many.  His success and achievement in life was all him.  It was because of his belief systems, his grit, his determination, his passion, his love of life, I could go on and on.     He was pure and simple determination.   I thought I was determined and he was 1000 times what I was.

But none of that is why I loved him.  Those are the reasons I respected him.

I loved him because I couldn’t help it.  I COULD NOT HELP BUT TO LOVE HIM.    Would be impossible not to love someone who poured so much of their life into you the way he did into me.   He saw something in me that made him want to push me and help me and mentor me.   I’m incredibly grateful that someone like this was introduced into my life and took such an interest in my own personal development

He also got me “unfired” 3 separate times.  That’s true.   I remember so clearly brainstorming with Luigi how to unwind the jam my brashness and bravado had landed me in with “upper management”.  Although he did his best not to let on, deep down, I knew Luigi loved it.  He loved when I went over the top and threw my finger in the air.  I was following his lead.  The teacher had found his student.

And then there was the very best thing Luigi ever did for me………..when he called me into his office as a hot shot 29 year old.  I was the biggest producer at the company but I was still finding my way.   I was also full of bravado and brash talk…………… and secretly…….I was full of insecurity.   He told me “if there is ever a conflict in this office about a deal that 2 separate people talk to the same client………you ALWAYS give it away DH”…………….I was very perplexed and aggravated by that…………”Why the hell would I do that?  I’m the top producer”…………..and as only Luigi could do very calmly and looking me dead in the eye he said “cause you’re the f-ing best.   And that’s what people that are the best do”…………and that was it.  And I followed the order.   And he helped this hard-headed big ego crazy man understand what was important.   Other people.

Luigi changed me and my life for the better.  He was a true servant leader.  He poured so much of his life into others.

And I know without a shadow of a doubt…………..he’s in heaven today spending money he isn’t authorized to spend.    It made him so happy.

Love you Luig.    I’ll never forget the lessons.


Some lady is screaming at her husband and I’m feeling pretty grateful after 1 great year of marriage

This weekend marks a year of me being married.   Really and truly never thought I would type the words “me” and “married” in the same sentence.   Just never really made sense to me.   Then things changed and man do I have it good.  I mean really good.   Sort of crazy, actually.  I’m not sure that “jackpot” is strong enough to describe my current status.

Ok, let’s quickly switch gears.

I was at the airport recently and observed this lady screaming at the top of her lungs at her husband.   I am talking full meltdown here and with a crowd.   This was a “I gotta stop and watch this train wreck” kind of situation and I’m the guy who thinks that people who slow down on the freeway to see what happened have nothing better to do with their lives.  I never slow down.   Ever.   But I couldn’t help myself here.   This was a true “til death do us part” deal breaker yelling scene.

Now at this point some of my key instincts kicked in.  How do I help her?  How do I help him?   Do I somehow make a joke about “cultivating a great relationship”………….nah probably a bad idea at this point.  Even I know that.

All I could imagine is how brutal this must be.   Don’t think you can get to an episode like this and have it be a one-off.   Can you?   I don’t think so.   I also started thinking about how much alcohol or foreign substances need to be consumed in this household to keep things from rambling out of control.   Yea, alcohol is definitely a logical explanation.

I believe in the human race and mankind…..but it goes down fractionally every time I see episodes like these……….it’s really sort of crazy.   Only second to people whose cars are a complete mess—hard for me to imagine.

So, what’s the moral of all this mess?   I need to get my wife a nice gift.   She needs to know that I really respect her and appreciate the fact that she loves me in an A+ over the top way.   Makes me feel very good.

Basically, I need her to know that I realize I hit the jackpot.

Thanks airport lady.


My 3 latest epiphanies that will ease your mind and make your life better and less stressful.

As we meander our way through life, we have many thoughts that consume us. Some that worry us. Some we stress over. Some are accurate. MANY are inaccurate……….so how do we stop caring about these things that trouble us?

Most of the these thoughts that involve the BIG 3 (see below) are INACCURATE. The less you think about them, the better off, more at ease, and more stress free you will be.

AWARENESS of these 3 as they cross your mind are important.

  1. Your employer doesn’t care about you that much. Doesn’t mean it’s not a good place to work………just don’t get too wound up in what they think. One of the reasons I feel I have had some success in leading people is that I actually do care about them. I never realized this in my 20’s and 30’s but as I get older and get to know other owners………they don’t really care about their employees that much which is why working for them sucks. 90% of employers are filling a spot. You are in that spot……….unless you are REALLY VALUABLE or you work for the very rare employer who REALLY VALUES people. 3 days after you leave, no one will talk about you. So either find a 1 out of 10 or don’t worry that much if they don’t seem to be in love with you. It doesn’t matter to them. Hard truth: you don’t matter to them.
  2. Most of the drama that surrounds your life by your family and friends has nothing to do with anything that can help you and they are basically filling time for themselves and including you in it. In other words…….most people have very little to do so they kill time by creating a dramatic game in their life to interest them. You are a pawn in it. Get out!! Stop getting involved with drama and wasting your time. Focus on productive issues that make you better. Stop being a sucker.
  3. People you run into who annoy you that you will never see again are not worth getting annoyed over. Most service people suck—valet, servers, cashiers. You can’t blame them; they encounter some angry people throughout the day and most feel like their bosses don’t care about them much. They’re in a position where they’re replaceable. The problem is we have to deal with them. Try to change the narrative if you can. Spend time appreciating their service and if they’re doing something wrong, give them feedback. Be the customer who thanks them for their service.

If you don’t understand this blog, you probably are a working stiff, with a lot of drama in your life, and you put up with a lot of shitty service!!

Happy Sunday.