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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Add a layer of intention and attention

Progress equals happiness. 

Even if you’re not certain where you want to go yet. Even if you don’t know what it will look like when you get there. 

At least you’re on the path. And that’s the most important thing. 

Because with any form of progress, be it dull or spectacular or somewhere in between, you automatically create earned feelings of joy and meaning and engagement and satisfaction. And those are the very forces that allow you to continue. 

The goal, then, is designing action rich environments for yourself where you can see the progress of your work. This helps reinforce your sense of momentum around the project at hand.

When I’m composing songs for a new studio album, for example, I’ll use the voice recorder app on my phone to monitor my progress. This allows me to document each step of the songwriting journey, from capturing source melodies to writing verse ideas to testing chorus options to tinkering with bridge variations to testing songs during live performances. 

That way, by the time the tune becomes a living, breathing product in the world, I can always look back to that original compilation of work files that led to its completion. Which, many months later, often sounds completely different from the final album version of the song. 

That’s progress. Which leads to happiness. 

Doesn’t cost me anything. Doesn’t add any time or labor to my process. 

It simply puts a layer of intention and attention on top of the work I’m already committed to doing. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
How are you creating a work environment that reinforces you sense of momentum?


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For the list called, "99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren't One," 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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Creating a wave of recovery to balance the scales

Anxiety is never a one size fits all experience. 

There are as many triggers, intensities, frequencies, responses, durations and forms of anxiety as there are people to experience them. 

And so, the question isn’t whether or not we become anxious. That bug bites each of us eventually. The question is how easily and quickly and effectively we calm down after becoming anxious. 

For example, I’ve had experiences where anxiety took me completely by surprise. Like that time in my early twenties when I didn’t know what the hell I was supposed to do with my life and anxiety completely knocked me on my ass and resulting in curling up into the fetal position and crying alone in the corner of my apartment until I fell asleep from exhaustion. 

Not a great weekend. 

On the other hand, I’ve also had experiences where I was acutely aware of the incoming tremors on my anxiety seismograph. Like that time in my mid thirties when I was at a meeting, noticed and named my feelings of claustrophobia, nausea and disconnection, calmly removed myself from the situation and took a long walk while breathing deeply and listening to my favorite album. 

And within the hour, I was back to normal. 

Take that, existential crisis that never happened. 

In fact, I was quite proud of myself for recognizing, responding and recovering in such a healthy and expedient way. Too bad it took me thirteen years to learn that lesson. 

As my guitar teacher once said, it doesn’t matter if we break a string, only how quickly we return to the music

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
What’s your method for creating a wave of recovery to balance the anxiety scales? 
LET ME SUGGEST THIS... 

For the list called, "99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren't One," 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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Every profound innovation is based on an inward journey

Reacher once observed that that anything can be reverse engineered:

If one human or group of humans put something together, then another human or group of humans can take it apart again. It’s a basic principle. All that’s required is empathy and thought and imagination. 

That’s why I keep an innovation journal. Been doing it for years. It’s an ongoing list of ideas for products, services, inventions, businesses, organizations and other media.

And the majority of the entries are the result of simple reverse engineering. Walking through the world, noticing problems, making assertions, thinking about how someone might build an organization to own that process, figuring out where the leverage is, deciding what the resources are and then imagining how that invention might ultimately help move the world forward. 

It’s not only fun, but it’s also a daily practice of empathy and compassion and imagination and curiosity. By assuming the role of an innovator, I’m forced to say yes to every shred of curiosity that I notice around me. I’m primed to disrupt my own point of view. I’m constantly searching out to find regularities and relationships in my environment. And I’m invited to presume that there might be something outside my own experience. 

In fact, I give away ten of those wacky ideas on my blog every week for people to steal. 

Want to execute a little reverse engineering of your own? Next time you come across a ridiculous new product that you can’t believe actually exists in the world, try this. Set aside your judgment for a moment and imagine yourself sitting in the original marketing meeting for the company that launched it. 

Who was there? What questions were asked? Who was trying not to get fired? And what was the critical moment that led to the company ultimately green lighting production? 

That’s reverse engineering. It’s like doing curls for your imagination. 

Remember, every profound innovation is based on an inward journey. Both inside your own head and inside the heads of others. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
What innovation might you be kicking yourself about in five years? 

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For the list called, "99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren't One," 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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

These pills protect me from all of my feelings

I once overheard a psychiatrist say that she refused to be a shrink from the wrist down. 

Meaning, when her patient came through the door, she wouldn’t just default to writing scripts and pushing pills. Medication management certainly helped, but it wasn’t only house on the block. 

The overall goal was to achieve true healing by treating the whole person. And that required much more than just the doctor’s pen. She had to engage her intellect and compassion and empathy and whatever other tools she had in her therapeutic arsenal. 

It’s an encouraging case study for the mental health profession, but also a useful mantra for any profession. Because each of us should aspire to enlarge our value beyond some arbitrary title on our business card. Each of us should aim to be a source of holistic improvement for our customers and coworkers. 

Otherwise we’re doing our talents a disservice. We’re narrowing our appeal and our ability to create value. 

In the wall of my studio, I have a diagram of a buffalo, parsing out every part of its anatomy with its commensurate value to the native people. Looking at it on a daily basis inspires me to fire on all cylinders, make use of everything I am, exploit each of my talents, keep all of my passions in play and use my gifts to make a difference in all parts of my life. 

In short, it reminds me not to work from the wrist down. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
How will you remind yourself to open up your potential to be pursued for a wide variety of client improvement?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS... 

For the list called, "99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren't One," 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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Spare people from your fundamentalism

Feel better knowing that you don’t have to save the world. 

That you don’t have to say something about everything. And that although you secretly hate people who don’t see what you want them to see, who don’t receive your gifts in the way that you want them to, the reality is, evangelism is not your occupation. 

You can't assume anybody wants what you have. You weren’t put on this earth to change and save and rescue and show the light to everyone you encounter. 

And I understand that every one of your life priorities are completely baffling to your family members, but you have no way of knowing what's inside of people. They’re fighting a battle that you’ll never understand. And to assume that you have the right to give them what you think is good for them, that’s the ultimate failure of compassion. 

Just let it go. Because fundamentalism operates this pure state of perfection that existed sometime in the past. It’s the thinking that, man, if this person could just get back there, everything would be fine for them. 

But it won’t. We need a story that includes the future. 

I’m reminded of perhaps the most celebrated poet of the last century. Szymborska famously wrote that even when we pronounce the word future, the first syllable already belongs to the past. 

It’s a powerful reminder to live with one foot in the future. To resign from your position as superhero of the universe, let people be in love with their own opinions and just get on with it already. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
Have you decided to spare people from your fundamentalism?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS... 
For the list called, "99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren't One," 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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, February 17, 2017

We express our hearts, and that’s enough for people

Music is not a competition. There’s no winning or losing. It’s much more significant than that. 

Wooten’s inspiring parable about finding your song inside states it perfectly. 

Musicians do not have to be believed in. We do not have to be trusted. Our music speaks for itself without the listener having to know anything about us. Music touches people’s emotions in a way that nothing else can. And when people find a musician they like, they will open up their hearts to whatever that musician has to say. Because it’s a language that everyone understands. 

These words give me peace. In a world where everything has been reduced to a competition, where the only thing that matters is who won, it’s profoundly comforting to know that there’s still one venue where we don’t have to obsess over being persuasive and credible and intelligent and authentic and consistent and understood and trustworthy and powerful. 

We just express what’s in our hearts, and that’s enough for people. 

I’ve played hundreds of concerts in my lifetime, and not once has an audience member approached me after the show with their arms crossed demanding to see my credentials. 

Because music doesn’t work that way. Nobody cares what school you attended or where you got your training or whom you apprenticed under or how many acronyms come after your last name. 

They just like your songs. Even if they can’t articulate why. 

Doesn’t matter. Music doesn’t require justification, explanation or categorization. It just mainlines joy right into your body. 

And you can’t resist. The gravitational pull cannot be countered. 

The challenge, then, is figuring out your version of this. Identifying a universal language that everyone understands, and then communicating in that language as often as you can. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
How are you touching people’s emotions in a way that nothing else can?  

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For the list called, "99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren't One," 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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Plant an expectation, reap a disappointment

When I was seventeen, I auditioned for the school talent show. 

It was a terrifying moment in my adolescence. After all, I had never played my original songs for anyone, much less the music teacher and a bunch of fellow students. Vulnerability was at an all time high, and confidence was at an all time low. 

The good news is, I didn’t die. The audition went fine. And the teacher even had a few positive words to say about my song. Rock and roll. 

But here’s what I didn’t see coming. The next four days were the longest of my life. I completely turned my guts inside out waiting to hear back if I got the part or not. I couldn’t sleep or eat or study or even have a normal conversation with my friends without obsessing over getting into that stupid talent show. 

Expectation lurked as this horrifying backdrop to even the happiest of moments of my days. 

Friday afternoon, though, there was a school wide announcement. The talent show cast list had been posted on the choir room door. 

My stomach dropped like I was falling two hundred feet. 

This is it.This is going to change everything. This is going to be shining moment

After the final bell rang, I speed walked down the hallway as fear soaked my back. When I arrived at the door, I pushed my way through the crowd and gazed at the list. 

But something was wrong. My name was mysteriously absent. 

Wait a minute. This must be some kind of mistake. Do you have any idea how much I obsessed over this audition? Do you know how much pain I endured for the last four days? Don’t you understand that this talent show was going to change everything for me? Where the fuck is my name? 

I was crushed. Tears started welling up in my eyes. My life was over. And I spent the rest of the weekend sitting alone in my room, cursing and comparing and chastising myself for not being good enough to make it. 

Of course, my life wasn’t really over. But try telling that to an earnest seventeen year old songwriter foolish enough to put his whole heart on show. Try explaining to a young heartbroken artist that when he plants expectation, he reaps disappointment. 

Maisel’s book on mindfulness meditation addresses this very issue. The psychologist writes: 

While it is wonderful and necessary to have goals, dreams, hopes and ambitions, it is a mental and emotional mistake to have expectations. Desire as much as you like. Plan as carefully as you like. Try as hard as you like. But expect nothing. It’s better to let go of the idea that we can control anything, because as soon as we let go of our desire to control, we become more honest and aware, and also more in control. And by not attaching to even reasonable expectations, we begin to force ourselves to live life in a more present way. But remember, by expecting nothing, you are not giving up. You are making a decision to focus on what needs to be done, rather than outcomes. 

That passage changed my life. For better and for always. I probably wasn’t ready to understand those ideas at age seventeen, but as an adult, it’s my watchword. 

I’ve given up the illusion that I can control anything. I’ve emptied myself of all expectation and gracefully surrendered to the facts of existence. And I’ve accepted that just because I spent all that time worrying about it, doesn’t mean I’ve earned anything. 

What a great release and relief. 

Next time you start planting expectations and reaping disappointments, for the sake of your mental health, the best thing you can do is assume you didn’t get the gig as soon as you walk out the door. 

Otherwise you’ll agonize over it, day after day, poised in a great ballet of anticipation, white knuckling something that’s completely out of our control. 

Let it go and get on with your life. 

If they want you, they’ll call you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
Are you overestimate how much better the results will make your life?

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For the list called, "99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren't One," 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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I know what I like, and I let myself have all of it

Improv comedy is about saying yes to others, but also saying yes to yourself. 

Owning your choices and following your feelings and engaging with whatever arouses you and not backing away in shame and guilt just because you let yourself love something. 

That’s what makes you a good scene partner with yourself, so to speak. Instead of denying, you respect and listen and notice and treat each of your own choices as if they were written in a script and were perfect. 

Instead of running portions of your identity underground, you allow the arousal of your full constellation of desires, doing what’s right for yourself based on our chosen integrity and values. 

I’m reminded of a song lyric that always gets stuck in my head. 

All love is saying yes to something. 

It applies to relationships, but it also applies to the challenging process of loving yourself. 

Because it’s about being fundamentally affirmative towards your own dreams. Getting on board at a moment’s notice. Refusing to meet your needs with a tilted head. And giving yourself permission to be all of your many selves. 

These are the characteristics of the most supportive internal environment possible. And whether you’re standing on stage at the improv theater, or just trying to make it through the day without beating the living shit out of yourself, they’re worth remembering. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
Do you know what you like and let yourself have all of it?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS... 

For the list called, "99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren't One," 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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!