Watch Scott's TEDx talk!

A brand, a business and a career. From a nametag.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Daily appointments with yourself

There are 55 strategies in my new book. Right now you are about to read what I believe is the best one. My fave. Numero uno.


It’s called a Daily Appointment with Yourself.

I’ve been practicing this technique every single day for five years, and I submit to you that it’s the most valuable habit I’ve ever developed.


It all started in Portland. I moved there after college because 1) I didn’t know anybody, 2) I didn’t have a job and 3) I’d never been there before.

All good reasons to go, right?

Anyway, I got a job slingin’ couches at a discount furniture store (more on how much I hated this job later). Now, because it was retail, I knew the days would be long, stressful and trying on my patience. So I decided to start “prepping” myself mentally.

Across the street from my apartment on NW Irving was a place called Coffee Time. Every morning at about 7 AM, I grabbed a cup, found a comfortable chair and got myself situated. Then, for the next hour, I did a combination of the following things:

• Journaling my thoughts
• Reading positive, inspirational books
• Reviewing my goals and personal mission statement
• Meditating through breathing exercises
• Praying on the day, my concerns, etc.
• Emptying my mind of all things negative
• Practicing positive self-talk to develop a great attitude (ahem, chapter two)

By the time I finished my appointment, I felt revitalized, energetic, positive, enthusiastic, happy and ready to take on the day. I was mentally prepared to handle anything the world threw at me because.

That appointment laid the foundation.

I became addicted. I never missed a day. Even on the weekends. And no matter how busy, tired or stressed I was; there was nothing more critical to achieving daily success than my Daily Appointment. As a result, I developed an amazing attitude that began to attract success, happiness and yes, even money, into my life.

Then one day I overslept.

I think it was a Tuesday. I was running late and didn’t have time for my Daily Appointment.

So I skipped it.

BIG mistake.

I missed my bus, forgot to bring my iPod for the commute and ended up rushing to work about 20 minutes late.

I had a terrible day. First one in months. Everything went wrong. I screwed up orders. I snapped at customers. I was annoyed, upset, tired, frustrated and therefore, didn’t sell many couches.

Nine hours later I returned home from a day that felt like it would never end. And as I lay on my bed, I knew exactly where I went wrong.

Since then, I’ve only missed about a dozen daily appointments in five years.

That’s how powerful this habit is. It’s amazing. And I promise, if you start practicing it every single day:

o You will become less stressed
o You will have fewer bad days
o You will develop a more positive & attractive attitude

So, now that you’ve got that extra hour (providing you read the last chapter) here are a few guidelines for setting up your own Daily Appointment. Feel free to modify them to best fit your needs:

1. Solitude. No conversations. No distractions. You need alone time. If you choose to make your appointment at home, tell everyone else in the house that you’re not to be bothered. Treat it like a real appointment with someone very important. Turn off that damn cell phone.

2. Atmosphere. Music helps drown out the outside world and enables you to focus on clearing your mind. I suggest calm, soothing sounds. Headphones work best to really pump the tunes into your mind and help you focus.

3. Supplies. Depending on your routine, you’ll need journals, goal sheets, personal mission statements, positive reading material, headphones, pens, coffee and anything else you need to make this appointment the most comfortable.

4. Time. Before work. Before breakfast. Before working out. Before anything. Trust me, the earlier the better. You need to set the stage for your entire day.

5. Duration. There is no time requirement, although you can’t have much of a Daily Appointment in less than 15 minutes. In fact, a 1999 issue of Transactional Analysis Journal revealed that successful people spend at least 15 minutes every day thinking about how they can improve their lives. And if you think you don’t have that much time in a day, you’re wrong. You don’t have the time NOT to do this. Trust me, it’s worth every second.

6. Components. Although this part is really up to you, some key components include: reading something positive (that means NO newspapers), journaling your thoughts, reviewing goals (HUGE!), doing breathing exercises, practicing daily affirmations and of course, giving thanks. Other activities include praying, meditating, visualizing the success of your day, logging your dreams, etc. Feel free to personalize this appointment according to your needs.

Try it for a month. You WILL notice immediate changes.

Because there’s no appointment more important than the one you have with yourself.

Every day.

(To hear an awesome podcast with Jim Canterucci about this very topic, click here!)

What's your favorite daily ritual?

Share how that ritual has changed your daily life here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

How to become the greatest receptionist in the world

Seth had a fantastic post about becoming a great receptionist.

He offered several great tips, which got me thinking: how else could you become the greatest receptionist ever?

Well, let's brainstorm!

I'm working on a pair of mini-books for the fall. One of them is called The Approachable Front Line.

I'm working on a chapter called "How to become the Greatest Receptionist in the World."

..with YOUR help!

Here's a list of 12 ideas I've gathered so far.

CHALLENGE: submit your own suggestions at the end of this post and I will gladly give you credit my the upcoming book...

How to become the Greatest Receptionist in the World

1. Get descriptions of the people coming in for appointments. When you recognize them you can say, “Welcome in Mr. Jackson! Have a seat and Steve will be with you shortly.”

2. Get business cards, nametags and nameplates with cool job titles. For example: “First Impressions Director,” “Chief Hello Distributor” or “Greatest Receptionist Ever.”

3. Brainstorm a list of the most common candies, snacks and goodies that every receptionist in the world uses. (You know, the ones that every customer expects.) Then, go out and buy really delicious, unexpected candy that nobody else offers.

4. Have a “Trivia of the Day” for each guest. Challenge them to solve the answer by the time they go in for their appointment.

5. When a guest checks in, offer him a sticker while he waits. Not only will this be fun, it will spark conversations between other guests! Offer a choice of custom stickers like, “Next Victim,” “I’m here for the free food” and “I came to meet Mark.”

6. Instead of falling victim to the First Word Farce, (asking for name, information, number, etc.,) create an unexpected, unique greeting. Try something like, “Welcome to the best __________ in the world!” CHALLENGE: brainstorm twenty-five different greetings and using a new one every day for a month! Let the customers vote on which one they like best!

7. Four words: warm chocolate chip cookies.

8. Make your reception desk into a DJ booth. Ask guests what their favorite song is. Set up a pager system. When someone’s song comes up, say, “And this next tune is dedicate to our newest guest, Mr. Hansen! Here’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by Journey…” (You laugh, but Shoe Carnival actually does stuff like this. It’s great.)

9. Do what Australian Dentist Paddi Lund did: chain saw your reception desk in half and serve tea to your clients in bone china cups.

10. Bring your dog.

11. Bring an assortment of treats and bones for other people’s dogs.

12. Nametags for everybody!

What are your ideas for becoming the Greatest Receptionist in the World?

Share them here! I'll happily give you credit in my upcoming book!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Conversations are laboratories

Talking makes you think.
Thinking makes you create.
Creating makes you write stuff down.
And writing stuff down makes you money.

For that reason, conversations are laboratories.

All types of conversations, too.

With friends.
With yourself.
With mentors.
With strangers.
With employees.

And if you’re looking for a creative boost to attract more ideas into that big juicy brain of yours, start using conversations as tools.

Here are Five Lab Rules to remember when cooking up something new in your conversational laboratory:

1. Increase your frequency. Are you having weekly lunches, coffees and brainstorming meetings with colleagues? If not, start increasing your frequency. Double it. Triple it! And don’t think of it as “networking” or “eating,” think of it as taking a trip to the creative laboratory. NOTE: choose wisely. Be sure to select cool, creative, open-minded, positive people.

2. Take more notes. That which goes unrecorded goes unmemorable. Writing is the basis of all wealth. And if you don’t write it down, it never happened. So, don’t be shy! When you’re talking to a friend who says something inspiring, catchy or brilliant, get it down. Simply say, “Hey, that was great! Could you repeat what you just said? I want to write that down…” (Be sure to give them credit too. For example, today's blog post was inspired by my new homeboy, John "Duct Tape Marketing" Jantsch.)

3. Ask better questions. More questions. Trickier questions. Stupid questions. Obvious questions. Repetitive questions. FACT: whether it’s with yourself or with someone else, questioning is absolute essential to uncovering new ideas.

4. Become a plucker. The word “pluck” means “to take something away swiftly, often by means of skill or strength.” That’s exactly what you need to do. To slow down, listen carefully and pluck out those little ideas, one-liners, phrases and light bulbs that go off during your conversation. Become a constant scanner of your environment. Then write them down and expand on them.

5. Affirm to attract. More ideas into your head, that is. See, creativity isn’t solely a function of luck or inspiration. It’s about prepping yourself mentally to attract and accept what’s available from the universe.

TRY THIS: before your next conversation, affirm to yourself, “During lunch today, I believe we’re going to make breakthroughs! New ideas will be pouring into our heads!”

ALSO TRY THIS: after your next conversation, give thanks. Gratitude shows the universe that you appreciate the gifts it has given to you. Which makes it want to give you more.

With these Five Lab Rules of Creative Laboratories, you’ll be sure to maximize the output of your next conversation.

And remember:

Talking makes you think.
Thinking makes you create.
Creating makes you write stuff down.
And writing stuff down makes you money.

Conversations are laboratories.

What are your Lab Rules for Creativity?

Share them here! After all, blogging IS conversation...

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

NametagTV: How to Make a Name for Yourself as an Artist

How do YOU make a name for yourself as an artist?

Share your top three ways it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Be (somewhat) predictable

Brands are expectations.

Which means it’s your job to prove customers right.

To confirm their suspicions about the value you deliver and the value(s) you stand for.

It ALSO means you need to be (somewhat) predicable:

1. In person.
2. Via email.
3. On the phone.
4. Throughout your marketing efforts.

Be somewhat predictable.

Disney calls this “staying in character.” (After all, their employees ARE called “cast members!”)

AND HERE’S THE THING: you’re not that different than, say, Snow White.

OK, maybe you wear a little less makeup. But the distinction is, instead of playing the role of Snow White, you’re playing the role of YOU.

SO, THE CHALLENGE IS: how do you become (somewhat) predictable?

Here’s a list of three ways to maintain brand consistency:

1. RECORD Brand Moments. Keep a log of your branding “moments of truth.”

For example, write down any time a customer says, “I figured you would do that!” or “It doesn’t surprise me to see your company…” or “That’s exactly what I expected your website to say!” After all, what people remember about you is what you are.

2. REMIND Brand Moments:

In your office, post a bunch of sticky notes that read, “Is what I’m doing RIGHT NOW consistent with my brand?” This will keep you accountable. And if you’re ever not sure if the answer is yes, well, consider that a hint.

3. REINFORCE Brand Moments:

Any time you do or say something consistent with your brand’s values, tell people. For example, if you email a prospect and say, “Well, my consulting fees are available on my website,” don’t forget to punctuate that sentence with, “…because that’s the way I do business,” or “…because that’s what clients have come to expect of me.” They’ll appreciate your integrity. And people respond to policies.

ONE FINAL NOTE: don’t seek to achieve 100% predictability. There’s nothing wrong with throwing a few curve balls here and there. Not to mention, to the most effective way to capture someone's attention is to B-R-E-A-K their patterns.


Consistency is CRUCIAL to successful branding. Because consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness.


Consistency leads to familiarity.
Familiarity leads to predictability.
And predictability leads to trust.

And TRUST is foundation of all business.

Especially when it really IS a small world after all!

Are you (somewhat) predictable?

List three behaviors your clients could probably predict about you here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why you need a cool company name

The cashier swiped my credit card.

She looked closely at the name.

HELLO, my name is Scott…?” she said, “What is that?”

“Oh, that’s the name of my company,” I smiled.

“Really? So what do you do?”

“I wear a nametag all the time.”

She furrowed her brow and tilted her head.

“Are you serious?” she chuckled.

“Yep! And I write books, speeches and training materials on approachability.”

“Ohhhhh,” she nodded. “I get it - that is so cool!”

She handed the card back to me. I thanked Susie for her help and headed out to my car.

And by the time I got back to the office, the lesson was obvious: cool names work!

Not cute. Cool.

Smart. Fun. Eye catching. EAR catching.

HERE’S WHY: In a world of infinite choice, it’s impossible for customers to keep all those company names straight.

That’s why you need to try extra hard.

Because acronyms suck.
Because nobody notices normal.
Because the world is crying for uniqueness.

SO, HERE’S YOUR CHALLENGE: when naming your company, make it cool.

And make it unconfusable.

Because creativity is magnetic.
Because monograms are NOT brands.
Because generic names generate generic business.

And what you’ll discover (especially in conversations) is that cool company names tend to follow a three-step pattern of dialogue:

FIRST, someone says, “Huh?”

But wait, this is good! Because of your cool company name:

1. You’ve surprised them.
2. You’ve broken their patterns.
3. You’ve attracted their attention.

And the best way to capture someone’s attention is to B-R-E-A-K their patterns.

What’s more, you’ve created a hint of anxiety in the air. And this is the best time to give someone new ideas.

SECOND, you articulate your company’s value.

Your USP. Your value statement. Your positioning statement.

Make sure it’s clear, concise and emotional. No more than ten words. Leave no doubt in the other person’s mind what you do and how your company delivers value.

Consider the formula described in John Jansch’s Duct Tape Marketing:

Action Verb (what you actually do)
Noun (target market you do it for)
Benefit (the result of what you do)

For example, “I teach nurse practitioners how to provide more empathetic patient care.”

JUST REMEMBER: Surprise attracts attention, but only interest keeps attention.

THIRDLY, you await the “Aha!”

At this point in your conversation, you’ve already attracted someone’s attention. You’ve already delivered your value statement.

Now comes the best part.

You’ve heard of the “Aha moment,” right?

Well, the challenge is framing your conversation in a way that supports it.

See, the only reason the “Aha!” is effective is because you FIRST got the person to say, “Huh?”

That’s the magic of these three steps, when used properly. Huh?, then value, then Aha!

THE BEST PART: when you sandwich these two emotions (Huh? And Aha!) around your value statement, three things happen to your conversation partner:

1. You become awfully hard for her to resist.
2. You become awfully hard for her to forget.
3. You becomes awfully hard for her (not) to tell other people about.

AND LET’S FACE IT: the only time companies are successful is when people are actively and positively talking about them.


If you break patterns, you get noticed.
If you get noticed, you get remembered.
If you get remembered, you get business.

Do yourself a favor. Get a cool company name.

What's the coolest company name you've ever seen?

Share how you reacted when you first saw it.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Orthopraxy, not orthodoxy

A few months ago, author, pastor (and my homeboy) Jim Henderson educated me on the difference between orthoDOXY and orthoPRAXY:

The word orthodoxy comes from the Greek ortho ('correct') and doxa ('thought').

The correct thoughts.

The word orthopraxy comes from the Greek ortho ('correct') and proxis ('action').

The correct actions.

Traditionally, these two words are used in a religious context.

Of course, that’s not what I’m talking about.

This is about business. About relationships. About life.

SO HERE’S THE QUESTION: What’s better: having the correct thoughts, or the correct actions?

It seems to me that theory, information, thoughts, ideas, blah blah blah, are all vital things; but without action, they don’t amount to much.


People don't give you credit for what they HEAR you SAY consistently.

People only give you credit for what they SEE you DO consistently.

Because action is eloquence, as Shakespeare said.
Because actions speak louder than birds, as Ali G said.

Now. This doesn’t mean orthopraxy is “better” than orthodoxy.

It’s just quicker.

And more authentic.
And more believable.
And more persuasive.
And more approachable.

Ultimately, orthopraxy means instead of practicing what you preach, you’re preaching what you practice.

In the words of the aforementioned Jim Henderson's new book:

“Action changes everything … so, major in practices and minor in principles.

Practices are attitudes that translate directly into actions. In fact, they often start in the opposite direction.

We start practicing the practice even before we understand or perhaps believe it, which often leads to surprising changes in us (and our relationships with people) we normally wouldn’t known how to relate to.”

LESSONS LEARNED: action isn't only eloquence; action is character.

DO something first, THEN tell people about.
DO something first, THEN tell people what you learned.
DO something first, THEN encourage people to do the same.

Do as I DO, not as I SAY.

Orthopraxy, not orthodoxy.

Thanks Jim!

Are you thought-oriented or action-oriented?

Tell us how you use action (not words) to persuade.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The best way to eliminate the competition is to not have any

Are you worried about The Competition?

That someone else is going to come along and steal away all your business?

GOOD NEWS! competition doesn’t have to exist.

Not if you don’t want it to.

See, if your brand is uniquely positioned in a way that’s un-comparable, un-duplicatable and un-like anything else in the market - you won’t have any competition!

EXAMPLE: let’s say you’re a marketing consultant. But you’re the ONLY marketing consultant who works solely with paint shops.

You’re thee, consultant for paint shops, not merely “a” consultant in general.


Now, if a paint shop was hoping to hire an outside advisor like yourself, here’s what would happen:

1. The two owners of the paint shop would hop onto Google.

2. They’d find your website and think, “OK, these guys look great. But before we hire them, shouldn’t we at least check out a few of the other paint shop marketing consultants?”

3. But after a few minutes they’d realize, “Huh. Well, it looks like there ARE no other paint shop consultants. Guess we better hire these guys!”


Bye-bye competition, hello new customers!

So, if you want to eliminate the competition, remember these three keys:

1. Be “thee,” not “a.” Pick a lane. Go where others aren’t. Narrow the focus of your expertise and you will broaden your appeal.

2. Be the only one. That’s the true definition of unique – the only one. You need to be able to finish the following sentence, “We’re the only company who…” or “Our website is the only one that…”

3. Be bold. Eliminating the competition isn’t for the timid. You MUST stick yourself out there if you want to get them to come to you. Don’t just be memorable; be unforgettable! Because if you get noticed, you get remembered. And if you get remembered, you get business.

Ultimately, if you practice those three keys here’s what will happen:

When your customer is seeking to hire someone like yourself, you won’t “be at the top of their list.”

Better yet, you’ll be so unique, so narrowly focused, so valuable and SO original, that your customer won’t even have a list!

Just a big fat sticky note that says, “Get these guy!”

How do you eliminate your competition?

Share your secret here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Never underestimate the power of working your ass off

I believe the following sentence is a myth:

“Work smart, not hard.”

No, no, no, no.

Here’s the deal:

There’s no secret.
There’s no formula.
There’s no quick answer.
There’s no get rich in 90 days.
There’s no six-step process.
There's no seven-step system.
There’s no single way to do it.

It’s not about luck.
It’s not about serendipity.
It’s not (only) about whom you know and who knows you.
It’s not about how good or fast or smart or cool or funny you are.

The ONLY attribute that is 100% guaranteed to make you successful in any endeavor is HARD WORK.

Hard work.
Hard work.
Hard work.

(Did I say hard work?)

THE CHALLENGE IS: a lot of people don’t want to hear those two words.

For example.

Other night I was giving a talk to a publishers assocation about developing web presence.

At the beginning of our workshop, I told the group that my website gets 35,000 hits a day.

They gasped.

Then, for the next hour, at least seven people kept asking the same question: “Yeah, but how do you get all these people to come to your site?!”

Like there’s a definitive answer to that question.

Unfortunately, considering our A.D.D, quick fix, microwavable, hyper speed, downloadable culture, most businesspeople want that kind of success immediately.

Like the beloved Veruca Salt who sang, “I want the world! I want the whole wide world. I want it, I want it, I want it NOW!”

But it doesn’t work that way.

And that’s why I finally (at the end of the speech) answered the burning question by saying, “OK, do you REALLY wanna know how I get so much organic traffic to my website?”

“Yes!” they audience demanded.

“Because I work my ass off.”

The room fell silent.

Like I’d revealed some sort of magic secret to success.

And that was the end of my speech.

SO, HERE’S YOUR WAKE UP CALL: after thousands of years of existence, the only secret of success that has, and never will change, is HARD WORK.

If you interviewed one hundred super successful people, I bet 99 of them would attribute their success to hard work.

Because all things being equal: hard work is always the best answer.

Now, does that mean you shouldn’t work smart?

Of course not! Working smart is also essential.

But not on its own.

You need to work smart. AND long. AND hard.

For a while.

And eventually when you’ve paid your dues and you’re raking it in and you’re starting to get kind of tired, THEN you can work less hard.

Me? I'm not there yet. Not by a long shot.

So I guess for now, it’s all about hard work.

Never underestimate the power of working your ass off.

Is "working smart, not hard" a myth?

Post your argument here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Adventures in Nametagging: South Florida Style

Just finished my four-day stint here in South Flor-ee-da.

(Oh, and if you didn't get a chance to watch my interview from WINK News, check this out!)

Anyway, before heading to the airport, I decided to take a walk on the beach.

It was sunny. It was warm. It was breezy. It was perfect.

A few people mulled about, although it was still pretty early.

At around 7:30 I saw a man approaching me from the opposite direction.

He was one of those old guys donning a speedo, hat, sunglasses and a ridiculous tan.

Not to mention, a smile you could see from space.

He passed and greeted me with a hearty, "Good morning Scott!"

"Morning!" I cheered back.

As he walked passed me, I overheard him greeting a few other beach walkers the same way.

And then something occured to me.

That guy must be, like, REALLY, really happy.

I don't really have a point to this story.

I just thought it was cool.

Where would you want to retire?

Describe your "Perfect Retired Day" here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Watch The Nametag Guy on WINK News!

Some of the best and the brightest in Collier County's tourism and hospitality industry were saluted Wednesday at the Paradise Coast Star Awards luncheon program at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort.

The event also celebrated National Tourism Week and called attention to more than 30,000 people working in support of Collier County's $1.1 billion tourism industry.

I gave a talk about approachability AND presented the first ever "Approachability Award." The candidate was selected as someone who epitomized "sticking yourself out there" and "getting them to come to you."

See pictures from the event!

Read the text article from WINK News!

Watch my interview with Judd Cribbs!

Who would you nominate for the approachability award?

Tell us why here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How I Made an Entire Career out of Wearing a Nametag ... (Part 2)

If you're just tuning in, be sure to read part 1 of this post before continuing.


How to Make an Entire Career Out of Wearing a Nametag, Part 2

NETWORKING. Except don’t call it networking. You’re making friends. With everyone! Work hard at it, but work even harder at keeping it alive. Every time you travel, ask yourself, “Who else lives in this city I can hook up with?” And don’t forget to network online, aka, INTERNETworking. And remember: there’s a time and place for networking. ANY time and ANY place. Because you never know! “Fear not to entertain strangers for by so doing some many have entertained angels unaware.”

OPPORTUNITY. It doesn’t knock once – it knocks all day. You need to open your mind and body to hearing those knocks and answering the door. Maintain a positive, expectation-based attitude every single day and more great opportunities are going to be attracted into your life. It ain’t about luck. There is no luck. There is no Secret. There is only The Law of Attraction, aka, working your ass off and focusing and being disciplined. That’s how you create opportunities. Also, giving away free stuff helps too. The more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be. Write that one down.

PRODUCT. It’s you. They’re buying you. Because people buy people first. Because people are loyal to people, not companies. But you’re not a commodity. You’re a resource. An expert. The Go-To Guy. The Man. If you want to be a great salesman, follow these steps: sell yourself on yourself, sell yourself to your customer, sell your product to your customer by delivering value BEFORE price, then maintain approachability with that customer FOREVER. That’s it.

QUIET TIME. Do it every day with running, walking, swimming, mediating or praying. This quiet time enable you to stay in tune with the world and listen to what it’s trying to tell you. Take regular vows of silence to let your thoughts steal the show. Shut up more often.

READING. Read every book ever written on the topics that you also write about. Read every book written about your industry. Read at least two books every week. Keep your books religiously as precious gifts. NEVER loan them out to anybody, even family members. Every time you read, take notes and underline and highlight, then transfer those ideas onto your computer. Save them in a folder and refer to them regularly. Don’t even think about reading the newspaper. It’s all crap.

SEEK. Get help, especially from mentors. And get more than one mentor. Get ten mentors. Update them on your progress and make them proud. Find mentors who not only coach you on success, but who have actually HAD success too. Be careful about people approaching YOU to be your mentor. Sometimes they want to sell you stuff. You shouldn’t have to pay mentors. Find the ones who will do it for free and it will probably be more effective. Always buy their lunch.

TRUST. Your gut, that is. Because if everyone says you’re nuts, you just might be onto something. Don’t give in when the Sell Out Alarm goes off in the back of your mind. Trust that what you’re doing is right. Also trust your friends and colleagues to tell you when you’ve screwed up. Hesitate to trust publicists, the media, people who PROMISE who they’re going call you back and people who PROMISE they don’t want anything from you.

UNITY. Of all the areas of your brand, that is. Be sure that every touch point is seamless and consistent. Be unconfusable. Be the same no matter what. Be congruent on and off stage, in and out of paper, on and offline. Don’t be “a good guy deep down,” be “a good guy up front AND deep down.” Because people don’t give you credit for what they HEAR you SAY consistently, people only give you credit for what they SEE you DO consistently. Preach what you practice, not the other way around.

VICTORIES. Keep a log of all victories, even if they’re small. Achieve victories daily to build your confidence and hone in your skills. Give thanks for all victories and expect more of them to come regularly. Make a list of 101 goals. Be obsessive about your goals. Carry a copy of your goals with you at all times. Look at them daily and every time you accomplish one, cross it off and say, “YES! I DID IT!!!” (Unless you’re at the airport) Actually, I take that back. Screw TSA. Go ahead and yell at the airport.

WRITE. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Make sure everything you know is written down somewhere. Ask yourself, “What did you write today?” Be sure to write every single day for two hours. But don’t think of your writing as books, chapters, speeches, articles, etc., think of them as MODULES. If you want to become a better writer, just start writing. Stop planning. Just write. Who cares if it sucks? Just write. And don’t wait for inspiration. Combine inspiration with discipline. And remember: if you don’t write it down, it never happened. Also remember to write conversationally. And don’t forget to be a great date for your reader. And don’t forget to study other great writers. Ooh! And be mindful of the ARCHITECTURE of your writing, both online and in print. Keep it short. Write like you talk and people will listen. Be funny often. Journal everything. And do lots of thinking. After all, writing is merely an extension of thinking. So become a better thinker. And write down EVERYTHING. Every idea, every quote, every book, every word, everything! Write, write and write! Did I said write?

XPECT. That great things are going to happen. That great people are going to come into your life. That business opportunities will present themselves when you’re ready. That you will make lots of money. That you will give the greatest speech of your life every time. That you will write from your heart. That you will be amazing. That you will mess up a lot and learn from that. That you need to work hard, long AND smart. That people are going to screw you over. That many of your “friends” are going to stop being your friends when you become successful, which probably means those “friends” weren’t really your friends anyway.

YOUTH. It’s not the years; it’s the mileage. Don’t be ashamed that you’re still in your 20’s. It’s not a challenge; it’s an advantage. Use your youth, energy and enthusiasm to blow everyone away. Contribute your fresh, new, cool, fun, creative and unique perspective to those old dudes who have been thinking the same way about business for 50 years. And even though all you have are your experiences and what you’ve learned from them, age ain’t nuthin’ but a number. And a chicken ain't nuthin' but a bird. You don’t need a fancy degree or acronym after your name. Results are the only proof that matter. Blow people away with your creativity, knowledge, ideas, enthusiasm, listening skills, observations and writing abilities, and people will forget all about the fact that you were born in 1980.

ZEAL. Just a fancy word for enthusiasm. Energy. Fun. Craziness. Smiling. Laughing. Passion. Love. Ethos. All of these emotions need to be wrapped up in every website, every speech, every book, every article, every business card, every business encounter and every interview and phone call. Zeal is attractive. They will hire you and appreciate you. Because zeal is cool. Stick yourself out there and you will get them to come to you.


OK, that's it!

That's how I made an entire career out of wearing a nametag.

I hope it answers your question :)

What's your best career leveraging tip?

Share it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Keep it Alive, Part 4

(Read part one, part deux and part tres of this series here!)

Consider these three facts:

1. People buy people first.
2. People like (and want) to do business with their friends.
3. People aren’t loyal to companies, they’re loyal to people.

So … doesn’t it just make sense to, like, make friends with everybody?

I dunno. Maybe it’s just me.

That’s why I don’t believe in networking.

Networking, schmetworking.

The last time that word carried any meaning was in 1997.

The world is tired of it. It’s overused, cliché and slightly annoying. Not to mention it often conjures up negative images like:

1. Dealing the deck of business cards to everyone in sight
2. One-sided conversations based on how others can help you.
3. Superficial conversations with little or no value offered to the other person.

Stop networking and start making friends.

Everywhere you go, with everyone you meet. For no reason other than to make friends.

Zero motive conversations.

Then work your butt off to keep those relationships alive!

That’s it.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

How I Made an Entire Career out of Wearing a Nametag

I’ve made an entire career out of wearing a nametag.

(Yeah I know. Sometimes I still don’t believe it myself!)

Still, many of my readers and audience members continue to ask the obvious question: “How?”

I wish I had a short answer for them. I really do.

But alas, it’s not that simple. Heck, it's been 2,385 days.

So, bear with me here as I take you through my (absurdly) long answer. I'll do part 1 today and part 2 tomorrow.

How to Make an Entire Career Out of Wearing a Nametag, Part 1

ATTITUDE. Stay positive. Stay friendly. Stay fun. Especially because 10% of the people you meet will think you’re out of your damn mind. And remember: it’s not about the nametag; it’s the person wearing it, and the attitude OF that person. Turn hate mail into great mail. If at first your idea does not sound absurd, there is no hope for it. If everybody loves your brand, you’re doing something wrong.

BOLDNESS. Stick yourself out there: physically, emotionally and psychologically. Be willing to be humiliated, embarrassed and stared at. And keep in mind: the more often you throw yourself into the sea, the less likely the waves are to bother you. Grow thicker skin. Find out where you suck, but don’t let someone who has no right to criticize you to upset you for more than five minutes. And if you turn off someone who’s not in your target market, who cares. Can’t please everybody.

CREATIVITY. Study it. Practice it. Enhance it. Hang with other creative people, business or otherwise. Practice regular moments of solvitas perambulatorum. Never think “outside of the box,” because “outside of the box” is a very “inside the box” saying. There is no box. Interestingly, the word “creativity” literally means, “to make something out of nothing.”

DISCIPLINE. Always carry extra nametags, prewritten and blank, with you at all times. Wear one nametag on every layer. (See above picture) Even at weddings, funerals, strip clubs (cringe) and while playing pickup basketball. Write for two hours every single day. Work hard. Work long. Work smart. Read everything. Rehearse all night so it looks like you didn’t rehearse all night. Practice discipline in ONE area of your life and let it transfer over to other areas.

EARS. Listen closely to the world. It will give you countless ideas, tips, lessons learned and inspirational moments/people. Write everything down when you hear it. Grow bigger ears daily. Read books about listening. Take furious notes. Shut up when people are talking. Listen to lots of music every single day from various genres. Pump beautiful music through your veins for at least two hours every single day. Don’t you dare watch or listen to local news. Listen to every audio tape known to man. Best when done before you go to bed.

FUN. The day my job stops being fun is the day it stops. Period.

GO. To every networking event, conference, seminar, book signing, self-development seminar, association meeting and cocktail hour. Don’t throw your business cards to everybody, but make yourself known. BE THAT GUY, aka, be known FOR something and be known AS something. Come early; stay late. Find the people who clearly don’t know anybody, walk up and say, “Hi, I don’t know anybody here!” Get your ass out of the house every single day for at least one meal, coffee or event. Remember: small business isn’t a category; it’s a lifestyle.

HANG. Out with other super successful businesspeople, that is. Success leaves clues. Ask lots of questions, find out what they did right AND wrong and emulate the good stuff. Glean whenever, wherever and from whomever, notwithstanding age, level of experience or personality type. Look for people who are 30 years ahead of you and decide if that’s where you want to be in 30 years. Also, DON’T hang out with the following types of people: bloodsuckers, piggybackers, negatives, complainers, time abusers, drug abusers, emotional vampires, people who aren’t doing jack with their lives, people who don’t listen and talk WAY too much, people who are just trying to use your time, money, resources and brain power.

IDENTITY. Figure out who you are, both personally and professionally, how you roll, what you’ll stand for, what you won’t stand for you and what your personal philosophies and policies are. And remember: your identity is your most valuable possession. Read every book ever written on branding. Ask yourself lots of questions over and over. Make a Personal Mission Statement and read it to yourself every single morning. Know your values and beliefs. Make a Philosophy Card and pass it out to everyone you meet. Be the world’s expert on yourself. And never surround yourself with anyone who makes you second-guess yourself. Validate your existence, do something cool and be yourself – every single day.

JOKES. Especially about yourself. Self-deprecating humor disarms people, beats them to the punch and lays a foundation of approachability. Only take a few key things seriously. Never stop laughing. Find something funny every day.

Say one thing. One word. One idea. Don’t make people have to remember more than that. That’s how stuff spreads. When people come to your website, make sure they know THE ONE THING you want them to do. Make your book, your idea and your business about one thing. One word. Make sure people can go onto Google and type in ONE WORD and get your website as the first five hits.

LOVE. Poured out into every blog post, speech, chapter, article, video, client meeting, conversation and webpage. Authenticity. Consistency. Commitment. All tied together with love. Love what you do, what you don’t do, what you write, what you sell, whom you sell it to and why you sell it. If you love the product and yourself first and then transfer that love to someone else, they will buy.

MAKE THE MUNDANE MEMORABLE. Phone greetings, introductions, business cards, company names, website domains, email signatures, email “from” lines, personal greetings and blog posts. Do that, and people will not only remember it, they’ll spread the word, in addition to coming back themselves.

(Still with me? Cool. Part 2 coming up tomorrow...)

What's your best career leveraging tip?

Share it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Welcome to The Nametag Network!

HELLO, my name is Scott!
Scott’s Official Homepage. Find out where Scott will be appearing next and learn about speaking programs.

HELLO, my name is NametagTV!
Scott’s online video training, e-learning and podcast site. Stick yourself out there! (Coming February 2008!)

HELLO, my name is Scott’s Brain!
Scott’s Official Consulting Page.
Rent his brain today!

HELLO, my name is MySpace!
Scott’s “Adventures in Nametagging” Blog. See what REALLY happens when someone wears a nametag 24-7.

HELLO, my name is Squidoo!
Scott’s Lens. Sort of a greatest hits of his best articles, podcasts, philosophies and videos.

HELLO, my name is Flickr!
Scott’s Images. See pictures of what happens when you wear a nametag 24-7.

HELLO, my name is YouTube!
Scott’s Videos. Watch videos of Scott’s speeches, adventures and travels.

HELLO, my name is Facebook!
Share pictures, post messages and read Scott’s QREATIVITY blog!

* * * *

For instant access to 700+ pages of articles, ebooks and ezines, login to The Nametag Network here!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Meet Scott Ginsberg!

AUTHOR. Scott is the author of thirty books on approachability, marketing, branding, leadership, creativity and business strategy. Download all of them right now, for free here.

SPEAKER. Scott travels around the world to deliver presentations, breakout sessions, keynote speeches and seminars to tens of thousands of people each year. Companies and organizations worldwide have been successfully implementing his programs on approachability since 2003.

DIVERSE CLIENTELE. Since 2003, Scott has worked with large companies like STAPLES, VERIZON Wireless, Boeing, Prudential Financial, UniGroup, Coldwell Banker, Gundaker Realty, Leo Burnett, Manpower and Hyatt Regency. He's and also worked with organizations like United States Jaycees, International Association of Workforce Professionals, International Cemetary & Funeral Association, American Society of Association Executives, Meeting Professionals International, National Association of Personnel Services, School Nutrition Association, Word of Mouth Marketing Association and The YMCA of America.

THE NAMETAG GUY. Scott is the only person in the world who wears a nametag 24-7 to make people friendlier. (In case you’re wondering, he has a nametag tattooed on his chest for certain occasions.) While transforming his simple idea into a business, his adventures have earned him recognition as “The World’s Foremost Expert on Nametags” and secured a spot in Ripley’s Believe it Or Not!

COLUMNIST. Scott is a regular contributor to a variety of publications. His conversational, content-rich articles have appeared in hundreds of online and offline publications worldwide. Also, his work has been reprinted in dozens of textbooks and resource guides.

MEDIA EXPERT. Dubbed as "The Authority on Approachability," Scott is regularly interviewed by various online, print, radio and TV media for his unique expertise. He has been featured in hundreds of outlets such as 20/20, CNN, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, The Associated Press, FastCompany, The Washington Post, Paul Harvey, The CBS Early Show and Headline News. He even wrote “The Quiz” on approachability for COSMO!

NAMETAG NETWORK. Scott’s award winning, content-rich websites get as many as 35,000 hits a day from readers and audience members around the world. His ubiquitous web presence and powerful platform set the standard for entrepreneurs and marketers in his field, and have earned him an surprising amount of credibility seeing that he’s just some guy who wears a nametag every day.

BLOGGER. In 2007, Alexa and Technorati voted HELLO, my name is Blog! as a Top 100 Business Blog on the Web. Every day, Scott's posts are shared and linked around the web, drawing millions of readers worldwide since 2003.

COACH. Scott's business coaching program is called Rent Scott's Brain. Part coach, part consultant, part idea midwife, Scott facilitates creative breakthroughs with writers, entrepreneurs and other creative professionals who want to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business.

When he's not traveling around the world speaking to companies, associations and organizations, Scott lives in Brooklyn where he attempts to talk to strangers.

* * * *

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Read more blogs!
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Download articles and ebooks!
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Make a name for yourself here...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Imagination, not milions

So, you want to build a brand, huh?

Well, you’re in luck!

Because there’s good news, and REALLY good news...

THE GOOD NEWS: it doesn’t take much money.

Don’t be fooled by headlines like, “Coca-Cola spends 10 million dollars on new 30 second spot!” or “Nike takes out front page ad for $20,000!”

You’re an entrepreneur. That stuff doesn’t apply to you. (Actually, even if you're NOT an entrepreneur, that stuff doesn't apply to you.)

Because, in the words of best-selling author Harry Beckwith, “Branding doesn’t take millions, it takes IMAGINATION.”

THE REALLY GOOD NEWS: you can get started building your brand TODAY!

Even if you’re new to the industry.
Even if you just started your company.
Even if you don’t know much about marketing.
Even if you don’t want to spend a dime on advertising, direct mail or any of that other paper-wasting, money-draining junk.

There’s ONE question I want you to consider:

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

My mentor, William Jenkins first taught me this question a few years ago. He told me to ask it to myself on a regular basis.

Because it clarifies your values.
Because it helps you articulate your personal and professional philosophies.
And because it builds a framework around which you can keep your actions accountable.

HERE’S THE CHALLENGE: sit down with your team (or, if you work alone, your dog) and come up with 5-7 bullet point answers to that question.

“If everybody did EXACTLY what you said, what would the world look like?”

Once you’re comfortable with the answers, you now have a brand foundation!

Write it down, post it all around the office, even consider creating a little philosophy card and handing it out to customers as a reminder of your philosophy.

People love these cards.

Because people love to learn YOUR UNIQUE WAY of doing business and delivering value.

And most importantly, people respond to policies.

See, once you’ve figured out your philosophy, all you have to do NOW…


In your email, on the phone, in person, everywhere! Branding is about a seamless consistency via all touchpoints.

AND HERE’S THE BEST PART: once you get your philosophy, the rest is simple.

Just make sure that every time you work with a customer, you’re consistently providing him with the tools he needs to build that world.

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

THAT is the question of the day. And it doesn’t take money; it takes imagination!

SO REMEMBER: even though a brand doesn’t millions to create, that doesn’t mean that it can’t create millions.

How have you used YOUR imagination to build a brand?

Share your top three branding tips here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Shtick is for suckers

I loathe the word “shtick.”

For that reason, I did some research to figure out what the word really means. And I discovered two facts:

1. The word shtick is defined as “A characteristic attribute, talent, gimmick or trait that is helpful in securing recognition or attention.”

2. The word shtick is derived from the Yiddish term shtik, which means “piece or routine.”

Your “thing.” Your “hook.”

Your shtick.

Now, does that mean shtick is bad?

Not necessarily.

See, it’s not that shtick is bad. It's just…

Shtick isn’t enough.
Shtick needs substance.
Shtick doesn’t sustain you.
Shtick only sells temporarily.

Sure, shtick is catchy and cool and clever and fun and different.

But in business, that will only carry you so far.

Sure, shtick might get you in the door.

But in marketing, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll stay in the room.

Only VALUE and SUBSTANCE can do that.

Take it from a guy who made a career out of wearing a nametag 24-7 for the past 2,380 days.

Sure, the nametag is shtick-Y, but only substance has made my career and my brand and my idea stick-Y.

Sort of like comparing Dum-Dum Pops and Tootsie Pops.

Both are delicious.
Both are popular.

But only one has SUBSTANCE. (Ahem, Mr. Tootsie.)

Which isn’t to say that Dum-Dums are bad. People love Dum-Dums!

But in business, you CAN’T just be all sugar.

Customers want value.
Customers want substance.
Customers want to take a few licks and then discover your Tootsie center.

Because shtick isn’t enough.

When you hear the word shtick, what comes to mind?

What's your shtick, and more importantly, what's your SUBSTANCE?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Grow Bigger Ears: Don't (Over) Actively Listen

In the 2003 film The Life of David Gale, there’s a great scene where Kevin Spacey and Laura Linney are debating Capital Punishment:

LL: “And almost-martyrs don't count.”

KS: “Got it.”

LL: “So, keep it rational.”

KS: “Mm-hmm…”

LL: “And stop that!”

KS: “What?”

LL: “Active listening. I hate active listeners. I feel like they're too busy pretending to listen to actually hear what I'm saying.”

KS: “I can listen AND actively listen at the same time.”


OK. What about you?

Ever had a conversation with someone who was (over) actively listening to you?

In other words, even though the person WAS doing all the right things…

Like smiling.
Like nodding.
Like taking notes.
Like leaning forward.
Like saying, “Uh huh…”
Like agreeing, “Yeah…!”
Like asking clarifying questions.
Like offering validation phrases.
Like restating what you just said.
Like displaying mirroring or reflection statements.

…that person still drove you crazy!

LISTEN UP: there are three dangers that result from (over) actively listening:

1. Annoyance. If you nod TOO much, smile TOO much and agree TOO much, your customer is going not going to like you … TOO much! Use active listening techniques moderately. Don’t overdo it. Especially in highly emotional situations. Remember: just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

2. Authenticity. Avoid focusing ALL your attention on “coming off as a good listener.” Just relax. The moment you TRY to be authentic is the moment you STOP being authentic. Listening is about focusing on the OTHER person’s words, and not about focusing on YOUR own abilities to do so.

3. Negligence. Think about this: If YOU were talking to your boss and he spent the whole conversation taking notes, how would you feel? Probably like he spent too much time writing and not enough time listening. LESSON LEARNED: beware of allowing your ears to get in the way of hearing the message.

So, that’s the challenge: how do you maintain balance between active listening and (over) active listening?

THE SHORT ANSWER: moderation.

THE LONG ANSWER: grow bigger ears WITHOUT allowing them to stand in the way of what you really need to hear.

Have you ever encountered an (over) active listener?

Tell us what they could have done better here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Hear The Nametag Guy on Duct Tape Marketing!

My new hommie, John Jantsch, is a veteran marketing coach, award winning blogger and the author of Duct Tape Marketing.

His Duct Tape Marketing Blog was chosen as a Forbes favorite for small business and marketing and is a Harvard Business School featured marketing site. His blog was also chosen as "Best Small Business Marketing Blog" in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

(Gosh. Get some credentials, would ya?)

Just kidding John!

Anyway, we had a chance to catch up on the phone for his regular podcast.

Our discussion covered branding, marketing, and of course, tattoos.

Listen here!

What's your #1 small biz branding secret?

Share it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Listen to Scott's podcast interview with Jim Canterucci!


I just finished recording a four-part podcast about personal brilliance with my buckeye bud Jim Canterucci.

The first episode, "Up Close and Practical, Part 1" is available here!

Over the next month, Jim will be releasing all four episodes. Each podcast addresses a specific attribute of personal brilliance. Here's a schedule/outline of what we're going to cover:

Episode 1: Awareness - May 6
*How a simple idea can become a business.
*Scott’s three components of success and how it relates to relationships
*How to be the world’s expert on yourself and your goals.
*How the “daily appointment with myself” makes an impact
*Consciousness of environment – How to break the silence pattern of those we meet.
*The tip for living in our fast-paced A.D.D society
*Visual habits and how they relate to solving the problem at hand
*What’s in your wallet? Not what you think.
*How to reach a deeper level of connection.
*What is the Law of Approachability?
*CPI – Common Points of Interest explained

Episode 2: Curiosity - May 13
*Scott’s foundational "What If?"
*The three types of questioning patterns that lead to innovation.
*The 20-minute rule of creativity.
*The best question to break a pattern and understand the framework of the scenario.
*How to maintain congruency between your philosophies and your actions.
*How to break the small talk barrier – 3 important questions.
*How “writing it down” solidifies your learning.

Episode 3: Focus - May 20
*What filtering means to focus.
*Why a board of directors is important for everyone.
*Some keys to thinking like a CEO.
*Perspective – become the ‘go to’ person.
*Focus and branding.
*How focus can identify the gap that is open for innovation.
*Scott’s favorite branding resource.
*How to break through in a crowded marketplace.
*Being ‘that guy’ as an approach. What it means to be the go to person. Two important questions.
*Do you own a word?
*How to get them to come to you.
*How to create and use a visualization wall.

Episode 4: Initiative - May 28
*How one blog post led to 33 new clients and over $100k in revenue.
*The paradox of inspiration.
*“Plucking” to create value.
*The story of Weston – an action hero.

What makes someone brilliant?

Share your characteristics here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott's new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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