How You Do EVERYTHING You Do Creates A Brand…..

Did you know that you have a brand in the world and at your work?   Yep.    There is a consensus as to how people think about you.  Do you know what it is?

Every single thing you do………how you show up to work, how you respond to email, if you’re timely on communication, if you’re organized, if you’re a team player, if you say things you’re gonna do but don’t do them………..they all contribute to your brand.

One thing I have always tried to do is do the easy things well to enhance my brand.

Return calls quick.
Be all over my email and text.
Show up to meetings on time.
Dress nice.

These all cost zero.    They are all just choices if you want to have a great brand.

I have worked at a number of other big companies and the influence the leaders had on me is long lasting.    One of the companies I’m an investor in has a motto that “we work 25/8”.     When they interview key hires they tell them that.   They lay the ground work that if you aren’t all over your business all the time…….you ain’t gonna make it there.   Why do I tell you guys this?    Everything is a choice.   I see people reply to emails from noon the day before the next morning……….it’s almost as if they are waving their arms around in the air and saying “look at me, I didn’t look at the email on my phone, it’s in my pocket for 18 hours”.  No bueno.

Similarly, I get to talk to a lot of clients about their experiences………one of the first things they almost ALWAYS say to me is “so and so called me or emailed me back right away all the time, it was great”…………….or…………”so and so didn’t really get back to me that quick, was sort of annoying”.

You picking up what I’m laying down?   Being great involves a lot of things.   Checking your communication helps you become great.

Now a lot of people will give you some really solid BS………..”I don’t let email control my life”………..I’ve heard it 500 times from 500 different people……..and I understand that just being on email all the time isn’t what business is about………..but wow what a great advancement for groups to communicate things without having to all get together all the time.   And not only that……..but being current shows you care.     For me personally, when I send something out today, I like to finish it or make big progress the SAME DAY.  Why?  Cause I have so much I have to balance.  Somebody who responds tomorrow most likely just gets deleted cause we have already decided.

Now some other people will say “I just get too many emails to stay current”……….to me that’s code for I don’t know how to manage my day and grow to the next level.   There are MILLIONS of people who get more emails than me or you and they do great with it cause they have set aside time and taught themselves how.

I am a big believer in trying to be great at everything that is important.   And if you want to tell me that being great on email and being organized and current isn’t important………..that’s just not how top companies think about the world from a leadership level……now they let the people that aren’t important get away with more of that………but not at the top as leaders.   And doesn’t everyone want to do everything aspiring to be at the top?

Just a little Sunday thought to help you grow another inch and get better.

Take your craft seriously.  Your craft is service.  In any area.


3 more tips that are binge worthy after binge eating for 3 days.

Happy Holidays to all and hopefully everyone had a wonderful long weekend.  Two years ago, and then again last year, I shared some tips on how to make yourself more productive after a multi-day eating binge!!   This year we’ve come up with 3 new ones.  They are fresh.  Get em while they’re hot!!  And act on them.   Maybe today!!

1. Cliché as it sounds, hit the gym. Don’t wait until the new year. Get back in your routine today or it will be that much harder come 2018. Haven’t been working out? Start today. There’s no rule saying you have to start your 2018 goals in 2018; start them now. Takes at least two weeks to make a change into a habitual routine. Why not get ahead?

2. Find people who share your same 2018 goals, reconnect with them and hold each other accountable. Stronger together.

3. Go through all your toiletries and lotions and hair products and bag up everything you won’t use or haven’t used and take it to the local shelter. People less fortunate need it.

Have a great Tuesday and here’s to a great 2018!


PS as an update for 3 apps to download to help with productivity:

1. Waze—we don’t talk about traffic and you shouldn’t either.

2. Weather bug—don’t let the weather rain on your parade.

3. Voice recorder—best way to send yourself a note, record it.

Habits, old adages, inspiration and modeling

Wanted to share a message with everyone that I sent to my team last Saturday.  We are now 60 strong at Hall Financial and you can never give enough examples of hard work and the importance of knowing there are no shortcuts.

Have a great week……….

Happy Saturday morning and welcome to the next opportunity you have to be great.   That would be TODAY.   Yea, we all woke up today and some people are going to do something with today and some are not.  My first advice would be to “be a somebody” today.

I was extremely fortunate to grow up with 2 hard working parents as models for me to watch.  I learned good habits at a young age cause my parents both put a strong value on working hard and giving a lot of effort.  As I have gotten older I realize that everyone doesn’t have this advantage.  If you have this, be grateful……..if you don’t, get a mentor asap that you can watch and observe so those work habits/ethics can become a part of who you are.  If you don’t know how to do that, email me and I will be that for you or I will find you one.

My Dad was the first person in his family to ever go to college.  His dad (my grandfather) was illiterate.  Couldn’t read or write and was dirt poor.   Had no money and no advantages in life   I always was aware that if my dad could go to college (and medical school) coming from absolutely nothing with a dad that wasn’t able to read or write…….then a son of a Doctor better have his shit together……and I took that challenge on very seriously.   It always bothered me when rich kids thought they were rich cause their parents were rich.   I didn’t want to be like that.

So why am I telling you all this?   Because there is NO SUBSTITUTE in life for hard work.   Putting the time into your goals and dreams is the only way to get there.   A lot of people think they can get to where they want to go with a scam or a scheme or that because they are smarter they can cut corners.  It does not work like that.  Believe me, if it were available I would have done it.  Hard work is tough and the only way to talk yourself into becoming anything, is when you realize “the pain of ultimately not hitting your potential in life, is way worse than the pain of working hard”.   Once you realize how true that is, you have a real and true shot to “hit your potential” and live out what your dreams look like.

So here is today’s lesson.

Habits…… either have them or you don’t…….good news is that I’m here and I can help you if you need it.

Old adages……..hard work is the only way to get to anything great.  It’s true so accept it.

Inspiration………my Dad really inspired me and I fed off of that.  Find your inspiration daily and don’t let go of it.

Modeling…… parents showed me the way.  If you don’t have anyone to show you the way, see me and I can help you with this.

Have a great Saturday.  Make it count.  And remember that “your ceiling of your potential” is probably higher than you even know.  So push yourself in an extreme way so you can discover it.


Mother’s Day is Legit Legit.

Moms Are Superheroes.

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.



[Originally posted on May 9, 2016]

And I submit to you on this Sunday………some perspective

This blog is short and sweet.  Cause the content of the video is so powerful.

I’ve been noticing lately how everyone seems to consider their own individual circumstances “so tough”.  The most curious quote I hear now is “I got a lot going on”, as if to imply that ALL THE THINGS these specific people have to deal with in their lives are unimaginable in degree of difficulty.  It’s a mechanism for them to cope with the fact they have trouble managing their own personal lives.   I actually have shifted my attitude about all of this from angry to amused.  I mean, do you really think you have so very much going on than anyone else?  And do you really think this is what Fortune 500 CEO’s tell their Board of Directors when things get rough at home, they have children, or if they purchase a new home?   I don’t think so.

Anyway, back to the story.  This is for all my peeps with the “worst of circumstances” (yes this is sarcasm)…I submit to you, PERSPECTIVE!

Basically the end of the interview goes a little like this…”If I could grant you one wish, would you want to have arms?”

The response given by this kid tells you everything about who he has become in a very short amount of time on this earth. It will blow your mind. And give you some good Sunday morning perspective.

Watched it 5 times and can’t make it through without crying yet.

Let’s all get a grip.


My good ole days haven’t happened yet.

good ole days

I hear a lot of people talking about what they used to do and referring to their past.  A lot.  It makes me wonder why people don’t focus or talk as much about the future as they do about the past.

I’m not saying to forget about how you got here and forgot all the great memories and milestones of your life. I’m simply saying there’s more ahead!   Lots more.  Your past, your experiences and your choices all brought you to where you are today.  But I hear a lot of people dwelling on the past.  Your “best days are ahead” if you choose to live and think that way.

I remember when I was in my early-mid 20’s (a few years back) and my buddies would talk a lot about the “glory days” of high school.  Why all the focus on the past?  Even today I hear old friends talk about “the good ole’ days” from 10 or 20 years ago.  Are the glory days in your past or in your future…….

Personally I aspire to live my life with an approach that my “best days” are ahead of me.  And from now on, I am re-affirming my commitment to myself to focus 99% of my mental energy on the present, not the past. I heard a Ted Talk a while back that resonated with me and the best line of the whole thing aside from the kickass message, was “Live with your future self in mind.”  Every decision you make, every time you find yourself at a crossroad, every approach and response to situations in life… live with your future self in mind.  Everything we do shapes our future.

Let’s learn from the past, appreciate that it got you to where you are today, and molded who you are today…but try to spend 100 percent (not 99) of our time talking about today and the future.

Our best day is today.  The only thing that could be better than today is tomorrow.  And that isn’t always guaranteed.

All of your thinking is a choice.  If you think your best days are ahead, you’re right.  If you think your best days are over, you’re right.
Your life is your own creation.  You are the director of how you choose to think.


“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…… 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!


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!