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Thursday, February 26, 2015

We are defined by what we decline

We need to be in the right frame of mind to pursue opportunities as they arise, but we also need to maintain a healthy attitude when opportunities pass us by. We need to trust that we made the right decision to say no, otherwise we get trapped in the anxious and regretful loop of post choice pondering. 

Every year I’m presented with dozens of new creative opportunities, all of which could be exciting endeavors. But the reality is, I can only feasibly execute a handful of them. And so, I listen loudly for what wants to be written. I run each idea through my opportunity filter. I ask myself, what does the world most need from me right now? And I remind myself, the more I am me, the better work I do; but if I’m forced to work against my instinctive grain, the output will be shite. 

Then, once I finally decide on the right opportunity to pursue, I try not to let creator’s remorse get the best of me. I trust that the windows I missed were the ones that, if I went through them, I wouldn’t have liked whom I had to become to do so. 

A few years ago, I toyed with the idea of converting one of my books into an online course. The project would have been useful and interesting and, with any luck, profitable. The only problem was, creating it didn’t make my insides come alive. Teaching wasn’t attractive to me. I'm not a hand holder, but more of a mentor. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself that I was excited about the project, I couldn’t fake the passion. Because deep down, I knew that I wouldn’t be creating from whole cloth, I would be recycling myself. Getting in a time machine to reimagine, revise and relaunch something I’d already achieved. And that wasn’t worth it to me. 

So I passed. Reminding myself, that we are defined by what we decline.

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Are you making creative choices that are worthy of the person you are? 

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Build your own universe on your own terms

Some cartoonists become popular by having jokes and gags, but the truly legendary ones create a private language, a set of characters, a set of expectations, a new world and a developed universe. 

Because they understand that when you create a universe that people can become a part of, it’s a lot harder for fans to switch when their next project comes out. 

I remembering listening to a panel of comic book creators discuss the details of their creative processes. Many of them said they had experienced trauma in their youth, either from addicted or abandoning parents, or from the pain of social isolation. But the advice from one of the artists was, take that chaos and use it to create a world

That was his therapy. That was his armor. He didn’t just draw pictures, he created a pirate ship. He built for himself and his fans a powerful little fortress, and together, they started building things inside of it. On their own terms. And people who resonate with their message are raising their hands to be a part of the belief. Nobody can take that away from them. 

That’s the indie ethos more artists are starting to uphold. They aren’t mired in somebody else’s reality map. They aren’t putting all their creative eggs in society’s baskets. And they certainly don’t expect the world to come to them any more. They build their own universe on their own terms. They develop a sense of self so complete that external influences no longer have any authority within their consciousness. 

Making doodles for people is only the beginning. 

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What efficacious mindset will help you advance your ability to do what you love?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Moments of Conception 160 -- The Training Scene from Hurricane

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.


And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.


Today's clip comes from the training scene in Hurricane:

















Go where the door is already open. Focus is the ultimate power source. And it’s available to all of us, regardless of personality type, work environment or creative tenor. It’s simply a matter of plugging into the right outlet. Finding the channel that activates our internal generator. My wife, for example, has always been obsessed with nutrition, cooking, photography, sustainability and healthy living. And she longed for a way to turn all of those obsessions into something real in the world. But there were too many projects to choose from. And the pressure of having to decide which mole to whack made it hard to focus. So she created a clearinghouse. A destination where she could unite all of her interesting elements. A productive obsession that intermingled her interests and themes into a meaningful, cohesive whole. A project that not only made productive use of the currency she’d been building up all these years, and also brought joy and inspiration and value to other people’s lives. And all of the sudden, focus wasn’t an issue anymore. Because she went where the door was already open. Brittany knew that her obsessions were proof that she already knew how to focus. So she took the training she already had and applied it. That’s what’s possible when we choose an idea as large and as great as we are. Our sheer excitement at having discovered something worth doing makes the inability to focus vanish like a vapor trail. Are you running around the forest putting a few chops in each tree, or creating an big enough axe to demolish them all?

Run toward freedom. Every training montage follows the same formula. Intense physical regiments shown through a series of short cut sequences, a dramatic song playing the background, a build up where the potential sports hero confronts his failure to train adequately and an inspiring voice over monologue by the character or his mentor. Once a long stretch of time has elapsed in the course of just a few minutes, the hero is now prepared for his greatest battle yet. That’s a montage. And it’s guaranteed to be the most inspiring and memorable part of any film. In fact, I would pay real money to sit in a movie theater and watch three hours of just training montages. That’s how motivated I get. Scenes like these remind me that when I lose momentum, self propulsion is the only thing that will move me forward. Rubin, in this case, took control of his life. He made up his mind to turn his body into a weapon that would eventually set him free, or kill anyone who sought to keep him in prison. Each of us can make this same decision. To break free from whatever prison is holding us back. To finding new ways to own our own world. Altucher tackles this topic quite a bit. He defines it as the freedom to pursue what’s inside us, the freedom to explore the blessings that surround us, the freedom to break down the brainwashing that chains us, the freedom to help ourselves so that we can help others, and the freedom to live the life we choose to lead instead of having to live the life that has been chosen for us. Sign me up. Who is enslaving you that you can get away from?

Impose a discipline upon yourself. The first lesson I learned as a guitarist was, it’s better to play five minutes a day every day of the week, than to play five hours a day one day a week. Because mastery is about commitment and consistency. It’s the daily discipline of returning to the instrument. And what’s interesting is, within the framework of daily discipline, enthusiasm starts to grow on its own and builds on itself. When I wrote my first book in college, I started with fifteen minutes a day. Fifteen minutes. That’s nothing. That’s literally one thousandth of my entire day. And so, after a few weeks, those small victories began to bolster my confidence. So I tried stretching my capacity. Twenty minutes a day. Then thirty minutes a day. Then sixty minutes a day. And so on. Fifteen years later, I write for five hundred minutes a day. But only because I started small. Discipline, after all, is a gradual process. We can’t jump into the deep end on day one, nor should we. Besides, what’s the rush? Life is long. Become prolific is about compound interest, the capacity to generate more and more value over time through slow, unsexy, but consistent creative increments. Rubin may have been building his physical body, but we’re building our creative body, our body of work, based on a practice of patience, delayed gratification and continuity. Are you willing to make gradual progress with your discipline?

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What did you learn from this movie clip?

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For a copy of the list called, "62 Types of Questions and Why They Work," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Inventor. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Comparison clouds the clarity of our vision

I was reading a fantastic psychology book that addresses the dangers of excessive and unhealthy comparison. 

The authors explained that constantly looking over our shoulder at what others are doing takes our eyes off what’s ahead of us. By fixating on someone else, they said, we lose unrecoverable time that could be devoted to becoming uniquely great. 

Anytime I find myself stuck in this comparison trap, the mantra I try to remember is, when in doubt, create. After all, why burn precious creative calories protesting the injustice of somebody else’s success when I could be making more art? Why beat myself up over a colleague’s accomplishments that have little or nothing to do with what I’m uniquely suited for when I could be executing my next great idea? 

If it’s true that the more uncertain about who we are or what we have, the more automatic and persistent our comparisons become, then making more art is the only thing that’s going to make us feel better. When in doubt, create. Because impossible to feel sorry for yourself when you’re making something new. 

Don’t let comparison stop your positive forward trajectory. Comparison is a futile game with no winners. Try channeling the energy into a productive direction, and you’ll never be disappointed.

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How would your life be different if all the comparing was replaced with creating?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Standing at the foot of an unblazed trail

Each one of us has something called universe creating power. 

Zappos pioneered this concept several years ago. Their founder wrote in his book, when you envision, create and believe in your own universe, the universe will form around you. 

I’m reminded of my friend who works as a church planter. Paul boldly relocated his family from one hemisphere to another, only knowing two people in his new city, and began building his church from the ground up. But after a few short years, what started out as a dream flourished into a dynamic, growing faith community. His church now has multiple campuses across the city and makes a real difference in thousands of people’s lives across the world. That’s universe creating power. 

And what’s exciting is, your universe doesn’t have to be a billion apparel dollar company or a multi property church system. Size is irrelevant. The word universe simply means, to turn into one. Our challenge, then, is to ask universe building questions. 

When clients rent my brain to strategize about their businesses, the first question I require them to ask is always, if everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like? 

A question like this accomplishes several goals. It enables people to act as if the desired changed already occurred. It helps people imagine what they need to become in order for their goals to manifest. It empowers people to speak from the future, then look back to identify the steps that led there. And it inspires people to paint a compelling, detailed picture of the desired future and make meaningful strides toward it. 

If everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like?

That’s universe creating power. Ignite a great blaze in your soul, and the right people will come to warm their hands by your fire.

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 What questions do you need to ask to build your own universe on your own terms?

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For a copy of the list called, "101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Moments of Conception 159 -- The Poem Scene from Before Sunrise

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.


And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.


Today's clip comes from the poem scene in Before Sunrise:



Cross my palm with silver. Art and commerce have never been easy bedfellows. Most creatives would rather be heard than paid. But commerce is a fact of human existence. Without a value exchange, there’s no economy, and without an economy, society crumbles. And so, whether it’s a gift exchange, a bartering system, or a simple agreement between writer and reader, it all boils down to creating value. In this case, the poet assures the couple that if they like the poem and they feel it adds something to their life in any way, then they can pay whatever they feel like. Wow. That’s the most trusting, honest, fair and human approach to commerce that I’ve ever witnessed. If more artists and businesspeople adopted this approach, life would become a lot less stressful. And so, the beggar’s interaction paints a picture of what’s possible for the modern artist. He shows us that as long as we are willing to add our own unique value to society––often on a moment’s notice––we will get rewarded for it. We just have to be ready for the money that is waiting for us. Even if it’s only a few bucks in pocket change. Because no amount of income in insignificant. How much money will you be earning five years from now?


Throw your weight behind other kinds of possibilities There’s a direct correlation between identity and profitability. Everything new we become can lead to something new we can do. It’s simply a matter of leverage. Because when we expand our sense of who we are, we also expand the universe of decision makers who can engage our services. When we widen out the boundaries of our being, adding more ways in we can deliver our unique value to society, we widen the menu of yesses for prospects to peruse. And when we keep one eye cocked to the infinite commercial possibilities of our work, people will come out of the woodwork to lay down the track in front of our train. This very philosophy was the impetus for creating a discussion guide for my documentary. The intention was, I wanted the movie to be more than just a film, but also a platform for education and connection. And so, I offered resources to educators, learning institutions, companies, congregations and other organizations to help spread the messages of identity, belonging and creativity. Free of charge, of course, and with the confidence that new and exciting opportunities would open up as a result. Are you open to pursuing any financial avenues that are available to you?


You must be out of your damn mindset. Jesse says that if he could just accept the fact that his life was supposed to be difficult, that conflict and struggle were what’s to be expected, then he might not get so pissed off about it, and just be glad when something nice happens. Interesting theory. I actually read a book about this very concept many years after this movie came out. Gelb's research on the world’s greatest innovators showed that optimists expect success and consider happiness to be their normal state. That way, when something goes wrong, they view negative events as temporary glitches, as isolated incidents insulated from other aspects of their lives. It’s simply a matter of mindset. Assuming you just got lucky, versus believing that you create your own luck. Waiting for fortune’s loving countenance to look upon you, versus building systems designed to make it easier for luck to find me. I did an segment for 20/20 many years ago on the topic of luck, testifying that it was more than just chance. And the irony is, instead of filling out the online submission form to be a featured expert on the show, the producers actually found me because they googled around for articles on the topic of luck, and guess who had written the most on the topic? That’s not luck, that’s math. That’s not chance, that’s volume. After you earned luck for the first time, how did you go about getting it back?


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What did you learn from this movie clip?

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For a copy of the list called, "15 Ownership Phrases That Payses," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Inventor. Publisher. Songwriter. 
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.


Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!