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Monday, January 23, 2017

When contemplation becomes a form of escapism

The life of the mind appears to be dazzling and voluptuous operation. 

Drifting of to exile inside yourself, becoming a castaway on a desert island of your dreams, being a prisoner in the fortress of your art, these things sound absolutely idyllic. 

Especially to the kind of person who feels most at home inside his own head. 

But the challenge with introspection is, if we spend too much time living the life of the mind, sitting in a corner perfecting ourselves, then contemplation becomes a form of escapism. 

We’re not making the world a better place, we’re just reflecting all day. Flighting from the world into a antisocial rabbit hole of false bliss. 

That’s what turns me off about most meditation retreats. The last thing I need to do is travel two hundred miles upstate to sit in a quiet room for ten hours a day and empty my mind. That sounds punishing. 

I’ve meditated for thousands of hours in the past fifteen years, and don’t regret a single minute. But at this point in my life, more stillness isn’t going to be my agent of transformation.

Moving is. Working is. Being useful to the world is. Connecting with the earth is. Getting the hell out of my own head and engaging with nature is. 

Maybe that’s what people who live the life of the mind need. A reverse meditation center. A place where you can’t help but get out of your own head. 

An experience where you’re abruptly escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
Is drifting off to exile inside yourself reaching a point of diminishing returns? 

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!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I wonder what else might be bothering me?

If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that my problem is rarely my problem. 

It’s always a symptom, not a source. What matters more is the thing behind the thing. 

And so, when a substantial challenge surfaces, before I pull out the whip to start chastising myself, first I challenge myself to think about what else might be bothering me. Because there’s always something. 

I struggled with stomach problems for years. Symptoms included bloating, burning and chronic abdominal pain, to name a few. Of course, the story I was making up was that diet was the problem. 

And so, I immediately vowed to swear off carbs and soda and spicy foods and dairy and meat. Which helped me feel a little better, and even lose a few founds, but ultimately, my gastrointestinal issues persisted. For years. My doctors and therapists and mentors were baffled. 

Until one day, I had an epiphany. 

Wait a minute, I’m not lactose intolerant, I’m just a workaholic who’s trapped in a toxic codependent relationship with a manipulator. I wonder if that has something to do with the fact that I haven’t had a solid bowel movement in three years. 

Who knew? Not surprisingly, my problem was not my problem. It was the thing behind the thing. And the moment I confronted and took extreme ownership of that deeper issue, my stomach issues magically melted away. 

Like the very nacho cheese that I mistaken thought I was allergic to. God I love cheese. 

The point is, it’s scary to face what else might be bothering us. But unless we dig beneath the surface of our problems and find the root cause, we may never heal fully. 

Whatever symptoms you have, grant yourself the grace and space to feel them, but also give yourself the curiosity and wonderment to sneak behind the curtain and confront the source. 

Whyte said it best in his amazing book about corporate poetry:

It is not the thing you fear that you must deal with, it is the mother of the thing you fear. At three in the morning, when we are alone, our defenses are down and we cannot sleep, the huge green hand rises from below and drags us into something hitherto ignored, deeper and more urgent.

Remember, don’t assume there isn’t a vein of pain until you’ve rooted around a little bit. After all, your problem is not your problem. 

Uncover that which is outside of your immediate awareness and set yourself free. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
Have you challenged yourself to think about what else might be bothering you?

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, January 21, 2017

You have the emotional range of a teaspoon

Seinfeld was recently asked how his comedy act has become more personal over the years. 

He said that as a father, nobody in his family could hurt his feelings anymore, because he didn’t have feelings anymore. They were too much of a problem to have, so he just got rid of them. 

What a fascinating way to lead life. No feelings, only cream and sugar. 

Hugely practical. Wildly efficient. And even though it smacks of narcissistic, cynical and sociopathic tendencies, I can still find value in the comedian’s perspective. 

Especially in those moments when I start getting down and being hopeless and feeling sorry for myself and allowing a single drop of meaningless to poison my whole day. Eventually, I look in the mirror and think:

Okay, are you done beating yourself up? Have you had quite enough yet? Or do you need to sit here and continue feeling disgusted with yourself for another hour or two? 

Because hating yourself doesn’t make you interesting. There’s no studio audience. And there’s no shiny prize for the winner of the suffering contest.

The bottom line is, your precious feelings have done their job, but they’ve reached a point of diminishing return. And there’s a beautiful and abundant world waiting for you to return to it. 

So get back to work. Even if you think you’re incapable. Stop measuring mood and start making meaning. Because it’s physically impossible to feel sorry for yourself when you’re creating something new. 

Feelings, schmeelings. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
What conversation do you have with yourself to help snap out 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!

Friday, January 20, 2017

A failure of communication, a failure of compassion

I was eavesdropping on two college girls sharing stories about their respective love lives, when one of them made a comment that caught my ear. She said:

I didn’t know I was on a date until I came home from one. 

Apparently this happens all the time. The guy fails to declare his intentions, and so the girl assumes they’re just hanging out. As friends. With no benefits. 

Until it’s midnight on a weekend and they’re sitting at a small table in a dark bar drinking wine and playing footsie under the table. At which point the girl realizes, wait a minute. 

This feels an awful lot like a date to me. 

Of course it does. Because it is. There was just a failure of communication. 

More importantly, there was a failure of compassion. And this is the piece most people miss. Because whether we’re dating or being interviewed or making a sales pitch or conducting our annual performance review, we should never assume that other person is having the same experience we’re having. 

That’s the best explanation for any human behavior that we don’t understand. 

It’s not our fault, it’s just their experience. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean we’re off the hook. If we want to build real intimacy with each other, there’s still an interpersonal responsibility to dig deeper. One question that repeat to ourselves in these situations is:

How is it possible that this person could think or behave in this way, and under what circumstances would it make perfect sense to do so? 

It’s a useful thought experiment that helps us meet people’s lives with empathy and compassion. 

Even if we’re not on a date. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
How do you help yourself understand other people’s experience? 

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!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Solid faith in your own capabilities

Feedback is source dependent. 

As encouraging as it is to hear your spouse or your friends or your parents or your colleagues sing your praises from the rooftops, deep down, you can’t help but remember that they have a significant vested interest in your success. 

Their impression of your talents isn’t exactly an unbiased opinion. 

And so, their feedback, no matter how complimentary it may be, rolls off you like water off a duck’s back. It blends into the background. Becomes the new normal. Simply part of your brain’s landscape. 

On the other hand, if a person who isn’t obligated to love you begins verbalizing your strengths and expertise right back to your face, that’s a different story. 

Because their feedback is complete and impartial. It comes from a source that has no personal stake or involvement in your success. Meaning, the results reported are a direct reflection of your actions and behaviors. 

And the beauty is, that kind of feedback can change everything. 

I remember periods of my life when I was feeling somewhat incapacitated to erect the pillars of my daily life. Hanging on by the slimmest threads of reality, starting to think I didn't understand the world or myself anymore. 

And during those times, it was imperative to see signs that the universe was on my side. I would have three or four meaningful conversations with unbiased people who have given me solid faith in my own capabilities. Their healing words paved me like an avalanche of light.

It felt like I’ve been given a new way of momentum. Real breathing room for the first time in a long time. 

That’s what’s possible when we believe the truth about ourselves, no matter how beautiful it is. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
Whom might you ask for feedback that will give you real ground to stand on? 
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!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

It’s easier to take an old brand to a new market than to create a new brand

Making a name for yourself is only the beginning. 

The real challenge is maintaining a name for yourself. Keeping the story alive and relevant. Because after a certain number of years, every brand starts to slide down the path of terminal decline. 

And unless you learn to create value in diverse offerings to as wide an array of clients as possible, you might fall off the radar completely. 

The good news is, it’s easier to take an old brand to a new market than to create a new brand all together. It’s simply a matter of reframing. 

If you’ve been in business for ten or fifteen or twenty years, and you’re starting to feel gravity plucking at you like a small, insistent hand, here’s my suggestion. And this based on my current battle with brand irrelevancy. 

Instead of going back to the drawing board, take an honest inventory of the equity you already have. Start building subtly on what already exists and what you’ve already accomplished. 

And then, see if you can find one. Just one. One new client from one new market segment that you never thought to work with before. 

Pursue it. Dive in. Learn fast. Tweak your language. And then repeat. 

Because where there’s one, there’s a ton. 

That’s how to maintain a name for yourself. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
What new market are you going to take your brand to?

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!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Let the client lay track down in front of your train

The goal is to be the bullseye, not the arrow. 

To let the market target us

And yet, we limit ourselves with too narrow of a role repertoire. Instead of enlarging ourselves to source of holistic improvement, we perceive ourselves in terms of a single function. 

Instead of showing the world that we are capable of acting in new ways, we remain beholden to one method of delivering value. 

And instead of being pursued for a wide variety of client improvements, we limit our pool of new opportunities by arbitrarily creating too fine a filter.

I recently met up for coffee with a colleague of mine who works in the tech startup space. She wanted to chat about collaborating on a new project. And so, I prepared for our meeting by creating a think map of questions and ideas and strategies, equipping myself to wow her within minutes of sitting down. 

But then I remembered, oh right, not every company needs a creative visionary. Maybe she has something else in mind. And so, instead of whipping out my notebook and swooping in to tell her about all the amazing things I could do for her company, I sat back and listened. 

And within minutes, it was abundantly clear that what she wanted to buy had nothing to do with what I wanted to sell. 

But based on the company’s challenges and my capabilities, it was actually perfect fit. The project sounded challenging and interesting and rewarding. It simply required me to be open to a wider role repertoire. To let the market target me, not the other way around. 

Next time you sit down to brainstorm with a client, resist the urge to project your autobiography and superimpose your own skills upon them. 

Let them tell you what they need. Let them tell you who they think you are. 

And if it fits, just say yes. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
Are you letting client lay track down in front of your train? 
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, January 16, 2017

Make their knees wobble with excitement

The best piece of business advice I ever got was:

Don’t just put yourself in the customer’s future, make the customer miss you in their past. 

Be so inspiring and create so much value and deliver such a compelling case for your work that the person sitting across the table from you literally regrets not meeting you sooner in their life. As if slam their fist on table in anger and say, where the hell were you six months ago? 

That’s power. Because there’s real energy in that moment. And when channeled strategically, it can be used to your advantage. 

I recently had a meeting with a prospective client who’d been trying to hire me for years, but for whatever reason, our timing simply never worked out.

But what I realized was, that was actually a good thing. Because the emotional buildup compounded her desire. It tapped into the potent buying mechanisms of guilt and regret and loss aversion and fear of missing out. Which made her miss me in her past. 

Think of it like a sexy advertisement for a designer perfume. 

When this scent touches your skin, it will cast a spell on everyone around you. The audacious top notes of pink pepper and red fruits, and the base notes of patchouli and amber will make women’s knees wobble with excitement and feel guilty for not meeting you sooner. 

Sound ridiculous? It most certainly is. 

But remember, perfume is a multibillion dollar industry. 

They must be doing something right. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS... 
What do you have to do to make your clients miss you in their past?

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!