Today’s Thought: Failure

Happy Sunday: I hope you enjoy reading another extraordinary post from our guest blogger, Danielle DeAngelis. Danielle is a team member at United Wholesale Mortgage and has been sharing her “complaint- free challenge” journey with us on Chatter in The Hall. She has some great words of encouragement about pushing past failure… keep reading!

Today’s Thought: Failure

Let’s talk about juggling. If you were interested in taking up juggling as a hobby and you bought yourself a starter kit, you might notice that the kit comes with juggling bean bags, not juggling balls, and there is a reason for this. The reason is, if you are going to take up juggling, you better prepare to drop the bags from time to time! No one takes up juggling and is automatically an expert at it. It takes practice, resilience, and the willingness to fail, and then try again. We have a bad tendency to quit things that we are not automatically good at. We take up exercise and quit shortly after. We take on a new daily ritual like yoga or meditation or packing a lunch, and we quickly give up. The problem is not failing, the problem is giving up. In fact, failure is our best teacher because it teaches us the ways that we could do better next time. But we can’t utilize this gift unless we try again¸ and continue to try and try and try until we are finally a natural at the thing we are trying to accomplish.

Likewise, you may feel like you are not good at this complaint-free thing. Maybe you haven’t made it a single day without complaining. Maybe you were like me and you forgot your bracelet when you left for work this morning. Maybe you are doing really well with not complaining, but when you get around a certain family member, friend or co-worker you just CAN’T resist, and you dive right into a complaining competition. Whatever way you might feel like you are “failing”, acknowledge it, learn from it, and then navigate a way to overcome it. Try again.

DHall Here: Danielle challenged her team to go 21 business days without complaining, which I think is awesome! After seeing some of the remarkable stuff she was sending out to her team, I knew I had to share with you!

Come back next week for another awesome post!

DHall

Control the Controllables

Today’s Thought: Control the Controllables

We’ve heard this before, and it sounds cliché, but it’s true. There are so many things that impact our lives every single day – the majority of which we have no control over. The only thing we can truly control is us. We can’t always control our circumstance, but we can control our attitude, our outlook, and our actions. There are going to be unpleasant things that happen to us. We’re going to get in a fight with our family or spouse, our kids are going to do something to drive us crazy. There are going to be bad drivers that piss us off. We are going to receive bad news. We are going to mess something up and feel bad about it. All these things are going to happen to us.

We are humans living with other humans. We are not perfect, and we are going to mess up, so why give power away to these things? Why give up our peace of mind for something we never had control over in the first place? We can’t give up our peace to these people and situations because they didn’t earn it. Our well-being and peace of mind belongs to us. Things are going
to happen around us that are going to give us an opportunity to be pissed and hurt. But they are also an opportunity for us to grow and overcome.

It’s okay to be upset when something happens, but then what? What are we going to do about it? Are we going to let it steal our joy for the whole day, or are we going to use it to propel us forward?

Today, I challenge you to control the controllables. Control your reaction, your attitude, your outlook, and your energy 😊

Dhall Here: Happy Sunday! I hope you enjoyed reading a phenomenal post from our guest blogger, Danielle DeAngelis. Danielle is a Team Member at United Wholesale Mortgage and will continue dropping gems on Chatter in The Hall for the next month! She challenged her team to go 21 business days without complaining…you know I love this. During the challenge, Danielle made sure she kept motivation high by sending her team snippets of inspiration and insights. After reading her entries, I knew I had to have her share with you. Stay tuned for more posts… it keeps getting better!

DHall

Progress Over Perfection

Hey Hey: Over the next month, Chatter in The Hall will be featuring a guest blogger.   Danielle DeAngelis, is a Team Lead at United Wholesale Mortgage and will be contributing to our movement.  I was fortunate to get to see some of the stuff she was sending to her team and it was fabulous. Danielle challenged her team to go 21 business days without complaining.   You know I love this.  Through this challenge she created some very insightful and meaningful realizations, and she’s sharing them with us!

Today’s Thought: Progress Over Perfection

I got in my car to leave work yesterday and immediately realized that I had forgot to send out my daily email! It was just one of those days where it completely slipped my mind. I immediately started panicking… and then I stopped. Yes, I felt bad about forgetting. But I made a plan in my head about how I was going to fix it (or let go of it) and then that was that. Once I had my plan, I didn’t need to stress any more. And just like that, the worry was gone.

Progress willalways outweigh perfection. So often we give up on something because we are not perfect at it, but that is CRAZY! I will never be a perfect leader, or wife, or mother, but that doesn’t mean I quit those things. It doesn’t even mean that I should quitstriving to be the best in those things. The goal is not perfection, the goal is always to be the best version of ourselves. And when we fall short of the best version of ourselves because we got caught up in the moment and found ourselves complaining, or showed up in a way we didn’t want to show up – we need to take note of what didn’t go well, make amends by either taking action or choosing to forgive and let go, and then we need to keep it moving and try our best on the very next opportunity we have.

And here is the good news guys, once we have made progress of any kind; it can never been undone. If you make a single conscious effort to stop yourself from complaining today, that single effort cannot be undone or erased. And if we focus on accumulating small victories like that, the goal you have (whatever it is) will be easier to accomplish.

Don’t give up on things that you aren’t perfect at. Progress and effort are a far better measure of success than perfection could ever be. And give yourself credit for the work you’ve already done, you own that, and it can never be taken away from you 😊

Do The Things You Sometimes Don’t Want To Do

One of the best people to ever come into my life was an Italian dude named Steve Piazza.  I have written about him before.  He passed away 1 year ago.  He did an immense amount to help me.

The short version is that he was a guy who asked me to do things I didn’t want to do.  But I somehow knew it was good for me.  So I did ’em.  And it worked.   And I enjoyed more success because of his suggestions than I really ever dreamed of and that was incredibly rewarding.   The greatest part of it all……..he violated these all the time……..but he told me he did and he wanted me to be better than he was.   That’s true leadership.

So why am I telling you this?

Well I just want you to consider that some of the things you get asked to do that don’t seem like that much fun might just be in your best interest.

– Arrive 5 minutes early to everything.   It shows you care.
– Print your calendar off the night before and study it.  Visualize how your next day will go. Costs you nothing to prepare.
– Take a few minutes after everything you do to make a plan for the next steps.  Don’t go from one thing to the next without THINKING.
– Ask a team member of yours for feedback.  Ask them their thoughts on your weaknesses so you can get better.  Ask people to be candid with you so you have a higher self awareness.
– Call and email your sphere of influence much more often than you do.  Building relationships is important.
– Make a calendar of every 10 minutes of your day and fill it in the night before to challenge what you currently think of “busy”.
– Track every 10 minutes of your day the next day to see just how busy you really are.
– Take the time to make sure people you know, know how much you love them.

None of this is glamorous. None of it.   But these are all things that will make you better in your career.

I’m so glad Piazza told me all this.   And to be honest I’m not exactly sure why I believed him.  But I did.  And that singular belief in what he told me to do may have altered my entire life.  That’s how powerful these decisions are.

Have a great morning.

DHall

Thanks For Responding So Quickly

Over my career I have gotten many texts and emails like this.

I got one the other day to a referral I got that I responded to in 1 minute, called 3 minutes later, and updated the referral source 12 minutes after that.  To me it’s just how I do things.  To most others it’s lightening speed and shows a great level of care and service.

I think there is a certain arrogance with people who respond slow in a service industry.   It’s not a game breaker but I don’t choose to do business with people who don’t prioritize good communication and sharing thoughts quickly like I do.   To me it’s like taking the back up instead of the starter.

Can someone be really good and respond slow?   I suppose.  But doesn’t everyone want to work with people who are quick to respond?  It shows a certain amount of energy, care, and prioritization of their business.

In my experience people who respond slower are typically disorganized, not prioritized properly in their day, and often times not as energetic.

Responding quickly costs you nothing and shows you care.   No reason not to really.   Unless being successful isn’t your priority.

Is this going to make or break you?  No but I would put it as 1 of those 15 little things that can make a difference.

DHall

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.

DHall

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………..in 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……..my 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.

D.Hall

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.

DHall

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.

D.Halll

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.

D.Hall