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A Year of Inspiration:
Our HM-isms

By Briana Waris

At Hughes Marino we are constantly making efforts to reinforce our rich company history and culture. We do this by intentionally putting our Core Values in action, (like always doing the right thing, delivering excellence in everything we do and enjoying the journey). The shared experiences, challenges and opportunities we encounter along the way turn into fun stories, animated phrases and valuable lessons learned, adding new layers and deeper meaning within our tight-knit culture.

If you hang around our offices long enough, you’re bound to hear some of these phrases (which we affectionately call “HM-isms!”) repeated in meetings, on phone calls and quoted in our game rooms!

In an attempt to bring everyone along on a common journey of growth and learning, we share these stories with our constantly growing team so that we never forget where we’ve come from and what we’re all about.

As of today, we currently have 38 HM-isms, but that stat is always increasing! We wanted to share a few of them in hopes they resonate with you and your team, too!



Hughes Marino San  Diego width=This adventurous word is often used by Howard Schultz, former executive chairman of Starbucks, a business idol of Hughes Marino’s Chairman & CEO, Jason Hughes. Before his success with Starbucks, Howard owned a small Seattle coffee shop where he signed off the company’s first memo to his team of two employees with “Onward,” a phrase that he felt embodied their ambition for the future. Since our team shares this same passion to revolutionize our own industry, “Onward” has blossomed into an HM-ism that we love to end emails and meetings with, as a positive way to look toward the future with passion and teamwork, and enjoy the journey together while doing so!

“Success is Not an Entitlement. You Have to Earn it Each and Every Day.”

This quote from Howard Schultz has been embraced as an unofficial mantra for our team. Happily adopted by Jason, who repeats it at the end of every one of our team meetings, this defining statement motivates us all to continue to strive for excellence, earn it every day, and never take our success for granted.


Originally introduced to the team by Shane Poppen, one of our brokers who was a standout college basketball player, “Boosh” has become the ultimate victory phrase we love to say when celebrating a win within the team. We like to think of it as the equivalent to the “swoosh” sound of a three-pointer scored in the final minutes of an NBA playoff game. Plus, it’s pretty fun to say…so we hope it catches on with you, too! We even have a t-shirt with this phrase in our extensive collection of Hughes Marino gear!

“Why Is This Happening for Me?”

Hughes Marino San  Diego width=

This is one of our favorite questions team coach Mike Robbins has challenged us with. Instead of despairing over why something bad is happening to you, the better question to ask yourself is “Why is this happening for me?”

By seeing challenges as opportunities for growth and a positive outcome, we understand how they will help us grow and trust that the bright side will eventually be revealed. Framing questions in the right light is a positive habit we can all practice more often!

“Coil the Hose”

Don’t ruin the satisfaction of working in the yard only to leave the hose uncoiled in the driveway and back over it with your car! Make the effort to do everything right the first time and save yourself a hassle down the road. We love this phrase because it is the perfect analogy for any project: finish your work and don’t forget the details!

“Champions of the Underdog”

Who doesn’t love rooting for the underdog? We’re not shy to admit it: Hughes Marino is proud to be the company that’s changing the commercial real estate industry that has traditionally worked in favor of landlords. We are committed to serving only tenants, who are the lifeblood of the industry and who truly are the underdogs when negotiating with huge corporate landlords. No matter the size of the client, we fiercely advocate for all tenants, and consider it our mission to protect them.

“Leaves in the Pool”
Hughes Marino San  Diego width=We all have days when things don’t feel like they are going our way. Don’t get bummed out when you see leaves floating in your swimming pool. Instead, be grateful for your good fortune and appreciate how lucky you are to have a swimming pool in the first place. This is a favorite analogy at Hughes Marino, because it really puts things into perspective! Whenever you are having one of those days when things seem to not be going as planned, just remember it’s leaves in the pool!

“We each have a different role, but we all have the same job—to help the team win.”

We love this because it’s a mantra that can apply to any team, and any company! This is another inspiring quote (and concept) introduced to us by Mike Robbins during an anniversary celebration. It reinforces the fact that while individuals have specific roles within a company, everyone can (and should!) work together to achieve the same ultimate goal: to help the team win!

Federer it!

Jason and Shay Hughes read an article in the Wall Street Journal by Jason Gay entitled “We Need to Relax Like Roger Federer,” which has elevated the way we enjoy the journey (our Core Value #3) outside of work. The article examined the correlation between tennis champion Roger Federer’s continued amazing success and extensive rest, both physically and mentally. This also can be said about workplace success, as ample time off for teammates helps them to rest and recharge. It’s a great reminder for any business to give their valued team time to “Federer it” to help boost company morale!

Will this make our team proud?

Hughes Marino San  Diego width=This is a simple but tremendously powerful question every business leader can ask when making decisions that affect their team. In 2017, members of the Hughes Marino leadership team had the opportunity to meet Howard Schultz at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room in Seattle, WA. During their meeting, Howard described how he and his partners made every decision about the company through the lens of “Will this make our team proud?” This really resonated with Jason and Shay, as they already had this mindset, but hearing it so clearly articulated by Howard reinforced their idea of how to make every decision for the good of our team. We ensure that with every decision we make, we make each other proud!

Everything matters. Literally every thing.

Success never comes easy, and it all starts with the details. Our team loves this quote by Howard Schultz, as it highlights the importance that every single thing matters, no matter how big or how small! Our Core Value #2 is to deliver excellence in everything we do, and our keen attention to detail is one of many aspects that sets us apart in our industry. There are countless attributes that make up the greatness of a team and they literally all matter!

Running to the Car

Leading author and business coach Joe Calloway spoke at a Hughes Marino retreat and shared the story of Les Schwab, a tire company whose staff would literally run up to customers’ cars as they pulled into the parking lot. This signature act always caught people off guard, and elevated the level of dedicated service they provided to their customers. We go out of our way to find new ways to “run to the car” for anyone we meet.

Be impeccable with your word.

This HM-ism was introduced to us by our broker John Jarvis, who encourages and challenges us to always “say what you mean and mean what you say.” We practice being impeccable with our words by setting twelve personal “HM Mini Goals” at the beginning of each year. Some goals are ambitious, and some are more attainable. They range from working out three days a week, paying it forward to a random stranger or even performing live stand-up comedy. By being impeccable with our word, we build lasting relationships based on trust (our Core Value #5), which is an essential aspect in business and in life.

“My pleasure!”

Hughes Marino San  Diego width=Jason and Shay came across an article about the use of “my pleasure” by the team members at Ritz Carlton. This inspired Jason and Shay to adopt this subtle but powerful phrase with our own team. We use this response on a daily basis to show our absolute appreciation and willingness to help others. It leaves a lasting, positive impact on everyone we say this to, as it truly is our pleasure to serve, whether it’s our teammates, our clients or the communities we live in.

We hope you enjoyed and were inspired by 14 of our cherished HM-isms. We will be sure to share more of these with you soon!

To download all 14 of our HMism cards for your own team, click here!

Briana Iverson is marketing director at Hughes Marino, a global corporate real estate advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants and buyers. Contact Briana at 1-844-662-6635 or briana@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

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