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.

The greatest 4 gifts you can give people you lead and people you love

Leadership is something that comes in all forms.  I’ve seen good, I’ve seen bad, I’ve seen indifferent.   There is nothing more important to an organization or to a young person’s career than great leadership.   Some of the best I’ve been able to work with did phenomenal things to help me get better.   Often it came with a little push, a lot of love, and at times a great sit down talk to get through to my hard head.

I think there are 4 essential things a great leader needs to do and I think if you want to be a good leader you can learn how to do these.

  • Love your people.   We all have a choice every day to find something right or wrong with the people we lead and love.  Choosing to figure out what you love about them, will help you make them better as you can start from a firm base and get on same page with their strengths.
  •  Believe in what your people can do.  Did you know a lot of people in our world have NEVER had anyone tell them they believe in them?  It’s crazy but it’s true.  One of my business mentor’s Steve Piazza was the absolute best at believing in the people on his team when I worked with him.   He believed in PEOPLE.   Didn’t matter really who you were, if you were on his team, he thought you could be great.   It’s a skill to think this way,  and believe me developing this skill is critical to becoming a great leader.
  • Inspire a love of learning.  If you can teach people to love learning, you will go far.   There is nothing more powerful than helping someone expand their mind.  I think I read somewhere that “knowledge is power”.   Inspire people to love to learn.
  • Challenge your peeps to grow themselves every day.   Most people need a push to get “out of the box” or “out of their comfort zone”.  Have the awareness to recognize other’s tendencies and help them see things they can’t see for themselves.   I think that truly caring about people involves pushing them to new heights.

If you follow these 4 steps you will not only be known as a great leader but you will also see your team succeed and achieve new heights.   Knowing you have a hand in that success is one of the best feelings, nurture it.


BYOG, Yoga, Alcohol, Tactics, Thanksgiving, you instead of I, and 9 months of marital bliss


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!  What a great day to reflect and give thanks for all we have and to be alive!!  This year’s annual Thanksgiving Day blog will be shorter on fluff and longer on real TACTICS!!  Wow, what a preview.

Will the Lions win?  Will the Cowboys lose?  How many times will they show me Jerry Jones in his private suite?   Will you eat too much?

Ok, enough fluff.

This year I decided we need to get down to business.  I have 5 SURE FIRE tactics for you to improve your days, life, productivity, outlook, and perspective.  Get your calendar ready cause here we go.

  1.  Copy and paste BYOG link (my man Dabo Swinney below) to the 1st of every month in your calendar for all of 2018 to watch.  It will get you pumped up, make you laugh, and give you a bolt of energy.  It’s like a 5-hour energy shot that doesn’t slowly kill you from the garbage they put into energy drinks.   And it lasts much longer than 5 hours.
  2. Make it a point to drink less.  Most of us drink way too much.  My simple tactic is to cut and paste this into your calendar RIGHT NOW for Sundays at 7pm: “Look at calendar for the week and cancel a night of meeting people for drinks and replace it with yoga”.   You’ll thank me later.  It’s better for you and most of us don’t invest in ourselves enough.  Every hour at yoga is an investment in yourself. Don’t want to do yoga? Meditate.
  3. Cut and paste this into your calendar for every Wednesday morning at 730am: “Send 1 email or text to someone I care about in this world and tell them why.” That WHY is very important.
  4. Cut and paste this into your calendar for every Friday at 8am: “Start every sentence for the next hour with ‘you’ instead of ‘I’.”   So many people start every interaction with I, I, I, I.    It gets really old for the listener. Start focusing on the other person involved in the conversation.
  5. Invest in the people you love.   After 9 months of marriage, I’m loving this married life.   My wife is awesome and I’m really lucky.  I know I’m the “newlywed guy”………but there is nothing that says you can’t recalibrate your relationships by putting something in your calendar 2 times a week to “feed the meter” or “water what I love”. In my experience the more you feed or invest in the things that are important to you, the better they get.   And there’s no shame in reminding yourself to be creative weekly in your calendar.   I personally have absolutely no choice as The Guinness Book of World Records is coming to see me soon for “all time marrying up”.   I gotta mind my business big time cause I’m terribly overmatched.

That’s all. Five very easy things to do and incorporate into your routine to be more productive and happier tomorrow than you were yesterday.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Reason 154 to choose where you work based on THE LEADERSHIP, not the money


This past week in the news Capital One put out a press release, announcing they are shutting down the mortgage division of their company because “it’s too competitive”.  That’s literally what the leadership said.  It’s too competitive.  Wowza.

So I took a step back and sort of thought about that.  I can’t imagine telling my team that I just decided we’re done ’cause it’s “too tough”.

There’s a lot of risk when starting any company or a new division to a company. There are a lot of challenges involved, responsibilities to people, their families and the team in general.  For me, it was a lifelong goal to have my own business and focus more on the client experience and deliver on a promise of something better than all the “me too” mortgage nonsense going on in the world.  It was so glaringly obvious that the consumer needed a company that was focused on them. So that conversation turned into a dozen people……. and a year later we started to pick up some steam. We’re still growing at Hall Financial and that’s a big endeavor each and every day.  As we continued to grow our business we have had to make choices.  One of our early big decisions was do we stay small or do we expand?

We expanded.

It might be my name on the front door, but it’s far from just me making the decisions.  In fact it’s a highly collaborative effort amongst the team.

I like to build consensus and make decisions as a team.

Back to Capital One………1100 people lost their jobs. That’s a big deal.  And the leaders told the world it’s because they thought it was too hard.  You would think they might say something like, “It makes more sense for the company as a whole if we focus on our previous endeavors and will be relocating these employees to the credit card division because we value them.”  But they didn’t.  In fact it wasn’t even close to that.  Sort of a head scratcher.

I think leadership has a lot to do with a willingness to do what’s tough when things get tough.  And more importantly…….. keeping a keen focus on developing people to see them hit their “ceiling”.  So they can develop into their “best self”.  I’m pretty sure that’s not how Capital One thinks about the world.

Man, the credit card business must be a lot easier than I thought.

I am asking former Capital One employees to reach out to me.  I want to hear more about this story.  And if you also have an “unusual ambition and hunger to succeed” (our saying at Hall Financial) then we want to hire you so you can join us in our mission to become really great.  Even if it is hard.

So which type of leader are you?  Or do you want to work for?

Have a great Sunday.


The 3 stages of adulthood you need to get thru to know you are ok.

Last week I turned 47 (seems unreal with my boyish good looks), and it’s a great time for self-reflection. For one, it’s impossible that I’m closer to 60 than I am to 35. Just crazy. But I sort of love it. Cause the goal of life should be to enjoy, grow old, compete, have fun, love as hard as you can love, and contribute to society. Not necessarily in that order. 

So you start to think back about things………and I remember as a kid hearing an “old man” (at the time, my age now) tell me that the sure sign of maturity was when you’d “choose Napa over Vegas” as a vacation. Bingo!! Stage 1 of adulthood…….there it is. Passed that one at age 37. 

It’s been a while.

Then in recent years, I started thinking a lot about my own mortality. Deeply. And sort of somberly. But a lot of good came from it. Cause I realized that attacking life with boundless enthusiasm was my gift and most folks either don’t know how or don’t want to. And it’s a differentiator. BINGO!! Stage 2 of adulthood: use your gifts. They are yours and being you is the most important thing you can be once you realize who you are and who you want to be.

Lastly, stage 3 has been something I’ve been considering for quite a while: social media. What does it mean and why does it exist and why do we read it and who really cares? BINGO………Stage 3 hit me as I was cooking dinner with my wife—my life is good. When you realize no one else’s life is better than yours, no matter how hard people try to portray theirs as better, you’ve grown up. 

It’s important to remember that everyone needs to make these “discoveries” on their own. No one can be told “this is how it goes so just believe me”. It seems we all need to go thru our own struggles to “figure it out” on our own.

So in conclusion……………..

3 stages of adulthood:

  1. Napa is better than Vegas
  2. Be you
  3. Social media is a mirage of nonsense, and most people’s lives aren’t as glamourous as they make it out to be. They are “marketing” their lives to you. You’re good. 

Have a great week!!


Cleaning Laundry.

Have you ever really listened to this song? We all know the lyrics, we all sing along. But have you paid attention to what it’s about? 

This week I turned one year closer to the big 5-0 but I can honestly say I don’t feel old. I don’t even feel close to it. I feel young, like I’m always in my best years and I can attribute a lot of that to the people I surround myself with: wife, friends, family, coworkers. I make a conscious effort of not wasting my time with people who bring me down because anybody who knows me knows I’ve got big dreams. I don’t settle. It’s the one thing I’m very clear about educating my team on: be a goal digger. Be a battery charger. Surround yourself with the right people.

Ok, so maybe that’s three things. 

To me, this song is all about surrounding yourself with the right people. There will always be that one person who craves drama and gossip and who will try to bring you down to make themselves feel good, to make themselves look better. Don’t get sucked in. Don’t contribute to the gossip. Don’t go smelling other people’s laundry. Just make sure to keep your own clean.  The only one you should be competing with is who you were yesterday. 

This week, make a conscious effort to clean your laundry. Surround yourself with those who will support you, push you to chase your goals, pump you up, and leave your dirty laundry alone. 

After all, success doesn’t come from poor attitudes. It comes from a positive mindset. 



Some people flock towards it and some avoid it all costs. I personally have seen many people ruin their relationships, careers, friendships, and more by the lure of drama. I choose to move AWAY from drama. I like reality and normalcy cause I know it gives me my best chance for peak performance.

As I grow older and wiser I realize some truisms of this short tenure we have here called life. Getting to bed at 9pm makes a ton of sense. Getting up early and getting your body warmed up makes a ton of sense. Spreading goodness to everyone you can makes a ton of sense. Encouraging others to be their best makes a ton of sense. Realizing you will make mistakes and trying to learn from them makes a ton of sense.

Then there are things that don’t make sense: drinking yourself silly, taking drugs, talking shit about other people, being in the wrong place by choice at 1 in the morning, fighting, being in the middle of a dispute where you have nothing to gain by winning.

I think people who move towards drama are generally bored with their own personal existence and they need a “new game” in their life to play. Staying out of drama takes focus and work.

Avoiding drama takes will power. 

Building your future is tough and takes a full, concentrated effort. I can’t think of many things more rewarding than being the one to build that foundation, the one holding that responsibility.

And as I told my team at Hall Financial earlier this week, I can’t think of many things more rewarding than being on the front of this story we are building. It’s really fun and really rewarding. It gets me pumped to go to bed by 9pm, wake up early, and encourage others to invest in their own futures.

Choose to build yourself and your future. 

Don’t choose drama. Drama sucks.


Unfiltered LIVE look at the inside of Hall Financial

We’ve made some major strides at Hall Financial this summer and we’ve come a long way in just over a year.   We promoted six new team members just a week ago and I am excited to watch them succeed, watch them push their teams, and watch Hall Financial grow.   So last week I decided to give the new leaders some nuggets.

This is how I choose to lead my company and I like to think it’s how we become great.   And I wanted to give you the same advice for your own success.

  1.  Start working as if you are acting into your future self.  Does a bad ass big time sales leader have habits like you do today?  Probably not.  But you can start to live into what you think that looks like.   Get in at 720am to get ready?   Not staying out late so you are fresh for your opportunity tomorrow?    Dress more professional?   All contributors.  Be your future self every day.
  2. Create a unique team schedule, enforce the hell out of it, and sell your sales leader on why you should get it.   And get your team to come up with it collaboratively WITH YOU.  8am to 4pm daily and out at 3pm Friday as long as we have 10 for the week?  Love it.    Go 1030am to 8pm mon-thurs. and 9-2 Friday’s?    Take Monday’s off and work Tuesday to Saturday?  Love it. But don’t do it half ass.   OWN IT AND EXECUTE ON IT.  If you can make your people successful AND get them some free time, you are living into “great leader” status.
  3.  Remember sometimes what you got you here won’t get you there.  CEO’s are much more disciplined and organized and thoughtful than they were when they were working their way up.  At some point in your career you “flip a switch” and take yourself to levels you weren’t sure you can get to.   Shed old bad habits and replace them with strong ones.
  4. Visualize what your day looks like the night before for 5 minutes with your eyes closed.  This will create a peace and a vision for you to go big time the next day.  Visualizing my day for 5 minutes is hard and I try to do it every night.   The first time you do it you will open your eyes and realize it was only 2 minutes.  That’s when I learned to think deeper.
  5. Invest in yourself.   My dad taught me as a kid that some things I was going to do would have immediate gratification while others would not.   A lot of people can’t get passed that they worked hard for a few months without the reward they thought they deserved.   That’s NOT how great people think.  Great people chase a passion and a vision and have a faith that it will work out great.  It’s called positive thinking.   It’s powerful.
  6. View each other more as allies than enemies.  There is a natural inclination to want to be the best team.  And that’s good.  But don’t let it blind you from doing the easy stuff.  See another team doing something smart, copy it!!!  We don’t have to reinvent the wheel and in my experience, most smart people copy and execute VERY WELL.   Share ideas.  Try to help the other team leaders.   And then try to beat their brains in fair and square after you gave of yourself and gave away all your trade secrets.

And I’m going to tell you one more thing I told my team: print these, keep them, carry them with you every day and live into them.


Is your personal agenda more important than the team?

Colin Kaepernick.  What else do I need to say? Well this, apparently, and it’s going to be short and sweet like Colin’s career.

I am growing tired and perplexed by why people are confused about why no team wants him.

Has nothing to do with his politics.  Has nothing to do with his views.  Has nothing to do with black and white.

Has 100,000 percent everything to do with this:  You can’t be the leader of the team/company/business and put your own personal agenda ahead of winning.  You can’t.  It’s the number 1 rule of anything if you want to be successful.

And he broke it.

And he’s done.

It doesn’t matter how talented you are. It doesn’t matter the hours you put in. You play as a team, on and off the field.

So the lesson for all of us.  Put yourself ahead of the team.  And you lose.  And you should.


Monday July 3rd: A work day amidst the holiday weekend.

What percentage of future millionaires and high achievers do you think took Monday, July 3rd off?  Well, in my advanced calculations, mostly based on experience, thought, talking to other people, and a scientific formula I can’t reveal…less than 5%.  Which means 95% of all future millionaires in 2036 who are in their 20s or early 30s today were working Monday.  They weren’t at the zoo or the beach getting wasted (and wasting their time), they were hustling!

Why is that?  There are a few reasons I can think of…

1.    All opportunists look for times to work when others aren’t, in order to “get ahead”. They’re focused on the bigger picture and don’t let a weekday that falls before a holiday to fog that vision.
2.    Monday, July 3rd was sort of an optional holiday.  Most self-made millionaires (opposite of Daddy’s money millionaires) don’t take holidays off, much less optional holidays.
3.    The desire to achieve is higher than their desire to be on the lake.  That’s why they are millionaires.  It’s not an accident.  It’s full of purpose.

Now, does this blog mean “don’t take time off” or “don’t have fun”?  Of course not.  Do I also take into account that a lot of people don’t care about being a millionaire.  Absolutely.  Most don’t want to.

But if you do, and if you aspire for that, think about this blog and internalize it on the next Monday sort of holiday.  And decide if you’d rather see your friends at the bar or at the bank.