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Sunday, February 07, 2016

Creating without the burden of evidence

The first thing I do every day of my life is a twenty minute journaling exercise. 

I vomit out every single thought and feeling and idea that’s running through my racing brain. Dreams, worries, fears, annoyances, ideas, people who annoyed me the day before, everything. I continue writing until I’ve filled up three pages. 


And then, about twenty minutes into the exercise, I take the most important step. I delete the document. It’s gone. Forever. Nobody will ever see that morning’s thoughts ever again. Including me. 


This is a terrifying proposition for most creative people. The prospect of throwing away your most vulnerable and honest thoughts and ideas, it just seems wasteful. So cruel. As if the act of creating wasn’t already hard enough. 


But in my experience, deleting my daily journal entries has been a valuable practice for several reasons. First, it allows me to write off the record. To create without the burden of evidence. This builds a liberating container of safety and privacy around my thoughts. 


Second, it allows me to practice trusting myself. To create without the fear of losing any of my ideas. This strengthens my muscle of trust and reminds me that the forest will always provide. 


Third, it allows to indulge in letting go. To create despite the ephemeral, impermanence of life. This teaches me not to cling too tightly to any one idea. 


I challenge you to try this exercise. See if you can spend twenty minutes creating something, only to destroy it the moment you’re done. 


It’s hard, but it’s also humbling and healthy.


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When was the last time you created without the burden of evidence?

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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 2016-2017.

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

Saturday, February 06, 2016

There can be little sympathy for our deserved misfortune

I recently read a story about a collegiate sprinter who made a crucial mistake during his race. While competing in the men’s steeplechase event, he raised his arm to celebrate his victory as he led the trailing runners towards the finish line. 

Unfortunately, his celebrations slowed him down enough for a competing runner to catch him and win the race. He lost by one tenth of a second. 

It’s a classic story of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. An ironic reminder that when we celebrate too soon, there can be little sympathy for our deserved misfortune. 

Goleman’s psychology research explains that this tendency to sabotage one’s own success is of the most paradoxical of human behaviors. He writes of the intricate gamesmanship that involves accepting blame or a loss in order to avoid the risk of a setback that seems even more threatening. 

That’s why people tend to use the plot of self defeat just at the moment when they have gained a triumph that. Because deep down, they believe they do not deserve it. The sabotage any improvements in order to preserve their defeat and their victim identity. 

The other reason, of course, is complacency. Shooting ourselves in the foot by declaring victory too early. Preemptively waving the mission accomplished banner before the war is over. 

Call it instant karma, call it creative resistance, call it the observer effect, but the underlying principle is still the same. 

Stay in the moment. Keep your head down until the race is over. The time to celebrate will come later. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How might you be sabotaging your own success?

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For a copy of the list called, "50 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask," 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 2016-2017.

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

Friday, February 05, 2016

Is anyone in my life that I treat this way?

Shakespeare famously said that one man’s tragedy is another man’s comedy. 

And yet, when sad things happen in the world, our response shouldn’t always be to laugh, but to internalize. To check ourselves. To get out of judgment mode and take this moment of introspection to create some positive movement in the development of our own character. 

One technique I find helpful is responding to external tragic moments with internal wonderment questions. When I see a person being victimized, I ask myself, wow, I wonder if there is anyone in my life that I treat this way? 

When I hear about the dissolving of a relationship, I think to myself, man, I wonder how I could to be a better friend to people I love? 

When I witness catastrophe and death and loss, I remind myself, yikes, how can I use this as a bell of awareness to bring me back to center and live every moment? 

When I notice a behavior that offends or bothers me, I say to myself, geez, how I can train myself to act differently than that in the future? 

And it’s nothing personal against comedy. I’m the first person in any situation to find the humor buried within. But once the laughter die downs, it’s important to also use misfortune as an invitation for personal growth. 

That way, one man’s tragedy is another man’s progress. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What questions do you ask yourself when the shit hits the fan?
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For a copy of the list called, "50 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask," 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 2016-2017.

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

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Inverting the credibility equation

Every business has a handful of dream clients. Ideal candidates they’d love to do work for. People they’d give their left arm to collaborate with. Sometimes sales departments will even write a persona or tape a hot list the wall or compile a vision board or even write a full blown strategy for ultimately securing their so called whales. 

But more often than not, most businesses just sit back with the fingers crossed and wait for the phone to ring. They don’t consider their own credibility as vendors. 

I once read a fascinating article in a business journal that interviewed local cutting edge advertising agencies and asked them to reveal which account they’d most love to land. Their answers ranged from a billion dollar corporate behemoths to charitable organizations to national sports teams. 

But what’s interesting is, none of the account managers addressed the crucial issue of their own brand. They waxed poetic about the benefits of working with their dream client and how valuable it would be to add them to their company’s roster, but none of them made a strong case for why their dream clients would feel it’s impressive to be partnering with them. 

It’s like the nerdy kid explaining to the beautiful cheerleader why taking her to prom would improve his reputation at school. 

When the reality is, the cheerleader can have any guy she wants. There has to be something in it for her. 

And so, in business, there’s nothing wrong with imagining your dream client. But a more valuable exercise would be figuring out what you have to become to invert the credibility equation. 

Positioning your brand in a way that companies are honored and excited to earn their way onto your list. 

Doing work that encourages clients to brag to their friends about working with you. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you target marketing or making the market target you?

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For a copy of the list called, "50 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask," 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 2016-2017.

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

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Creating conditions for your own sustainable happiness

When there’s something in your life that’s siphoning your vitality, making it hard to keep your fire burning, getting in the way of your efforts to live the best life you possibly can, that thing has to be exorcised. 

Plain and simple. Otherwise it will drag behind you like an anchor. And if you don’t leave now, you won’t leave with yourself. 

Over the years I’ve been in relationships, lived in cities, worked at companies, served on boards, belonged to communities and worked with clients that I knew I had to walk away from. They simply weren’t allowing me to be the best version of myself. 

And it was never an easy task. Feelings of sadness and failure and emptiness and guilt couldn’t help but flood my system. But the encouraging part was, no matter how sad it was say goodbye, I could always see life waiting for me on the other side. And I couldn’t wait to open the doors and step out into the daylight once again, reconnecting with the version of myself that had been obscured by the darkness. 

Thoreau famously said, I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor

In many cases, then, perhaps elevation is a process of elimination. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Who or what in your life is sprinkling water, not adding wood, to your internal fire?

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For a copy of the list called, "50 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask," 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 2016-2017.

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

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Inspiration is helpful, but it’s not a guarantee

The creative process is twenty percent magical, eighty percent mechanical. 

The necessary ingredients of progress are consistency and focus and commitment and grit. 

Inspiration is helpful, but it’s not a predictable construct. And that’s okay. Because once a creator starts humbling himself as blue collar, middle class, job holding, clock punching, hardhat wearing, factory working, manual laboring, elbow greasing, wage earning, bread winning, rank and file, mercenary for hire, inspiration is neither here nor there. 

Producing is just something they do. Every day. Those are jobs done by doers, not describers. 

Here’s another way to think about it. 

Have you ever heard about farmer’s block? Neither have they. Because if ranchers don’t tend to their crops and animals and land every day, there is no harvest. Period. They don’t have the luxury of even thinking about resistance to production. They just go to work. Every day. And they trust that the forest will provide. 

What’s more, they don’t have the arrogance to sit around complaining about the lack of rainwater with the neighbor farmers. That actually works in reverse. In fact, if you listen closely, there’s an inverse relationship between the number of words spoken about a project and time it takes to execute. 

People who shut up, ship.

I was listening to an interview with a legendary radio broadcaster, who ranted about writers that protesteth too much about their own work. His advice was simple. 

Stop advertising. Just do it and don’t tell the goddamn world about it.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What percentage of your time is talking versus tilling?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a copy of the list called, "50 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask," 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 2016-2017.

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

Monday, February 01, 2016

Nothing to stop this glorious parade

All open mic nights are the same. 

Show up early, put your name on the list, get a drink, pretend to care about other people’s art for two hours, get up on stage, fumble around with a crappy sound system for five minutes, do your allotted time for seven minutes, thank the audience for judging you, pray that people come up to you after the set say hello, get another drink, then beat yourself up until closing time about how nobody recognizes your artistic brilliance. 

It’s all permission and no control. It’s high labor intensity for low return on investment. I’m sorry, but there has to be a better way to share your art with the world. 

What if, instead of schlepping around from bar to bar every night, you hired yourself as the resident musician for your local public park? That’s what I did. I scoped out an area with a lot of foot traffic, and then just started showing up with my guitar, every weekend, playing and singing as loud as I possibly could, for two hours at a time. 

And audiences just started showing up. Real people who actually wanted to hear my music. And not only would they listen and sing and dance and give me money and take pictures and record videos and take my business card and email me the next day, but they would tell their friends. Which meant I had to come back every week. 

And so, I created an artist’s residency for myself. I officially incorporated my art into the community. I became a fixture. Not because I put my name on a list, but because I just showed up started singing. 

Rand’s famous question says it all:

Are you asking who’s going to let you, or who’s going to stop you? 

That’s the beauty of hiring yourself. The world is not going to tap you on the shoulder and say, thanks, but you’ve got to stop now. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you giving open mic nights the power to make or break your career?

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For a copy of the list called, "50 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask," 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 2016-2017.

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

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Earning your way into people’s memories

Busking is a profoundly honest, simple and vulnerable way of sharing art. 

Because all you can do is be good and rely on the goodwill of others. That’s the code. 

I’ve been performing music in public for several years now, and the best piece of advice I was given was to treat every patron as a ten second love affair. After all, it’s brief but beautiful moment you share together. A fleeting dance with the universe. Why not give that moment some weight. Why not smile and look them in the eye and nod with gratitude and sing your heart out and give them a little piece of your heart? 

It’s like a game. How much of myself can I pour into this interaction? 

In fact, it’s not only an effective strategy for busking, but also a brilliant strategy for business. Because the goal isn’t to make sales and wow customers and lead employees, the goal is to become known for a unique way of interacting with the world. That’s how we earn our way into people’s memories. 

I have a client in the healthcare industry whose executive vice president has weekly meetings called chatting over chocolate. Anyone in the company, regardless of experience or position, has the opportunity to reserve twenty minutes of his time to sit down in person and chat over chocolate. About anything. That’s his unique way of interacting the world. That’s how he pours himself into his interactions. 

All of the employees now have diabetes, but that’s neither here nor there. Besides, it’s healthcare company. They have insurance. Free syringes for everybody. 

The point is, you don’t have to perform music on the streets to implement the interpersonal value of busking. Dylan once sang, I will go to the ends of the earth for you to make you feel my love. I wonder what the world would look like if more businesses applied the same philosophy to their customer interactions. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How can you earn your way into people’s memories, in ten seconds or less?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a copy of the list called, "50 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask," 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 2016-2017.

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