Watch Scott's TEDx talk!

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

Friday, December 28, 2007

154 (more) Pieces of Contrarian Wisdom

So, I'm on vacation for the next two weeks (my couch).

However, I wanted to keep last week's tradition alive since the feedback from the Ridiculously Long Lists was so positive! As such, I came up with five more lists. This should hold you over until I return on January 7th.

See ya in '08!

Oh, and don't forget to read all the lists from last week:
101 Lessons Learned from 2007
101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence
123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask
69 Mini Philosophies on Just about Everything
49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse

And now, for today's ridiculously long list:
154 (more) Pieces of Contrarian Wisdom

1. Inquisitive, not protective.
2. Insight, not expertise.
3. Insinuate, don’t impose.
4. Insistency, not loyalty.
5. Intentionality, not manipulation.
6. Interaction, not interruption.
7. Internist, not pharmacist.
8. Invest, don’t gamble.
9. Invest, don’t manage.
10. Investment, not profit.

11. Journey, not destination.

12. Know-when, not know-how.

13. Let, don’t make.
14. Leverage scarce attention.
15. Lift, don’t lean.
16. Light, not heat.
17. Limitations, not rejections.
18. Listen, don’t fix.
19. Listening, not research.
20. LIVE, don’t do.
21. Livelihood, not business.
22. Look, don’t stare.
23. Lunchroom, not boardroom.

24. Mastery, not adequacy.
25. Mold, don’t search.
26. Moles, not peacocks.
27. Movement, not maintenance.
28. Moves, not mouths.

29. Naturally, not normally.
30. Necessary, not possible.
31. Niches, not limits.
32. Not simplistic, simple.
33. Notice ancillary answers.

34. Observation, not judgment.
35. Observations, not accusations.
36. Observe, don’t react.
37. Offer, don’t pressure.
38. Options, not answers.
39. Origin, not echo.
40. Originality, not novelty.
41. Outcomes, not tasks.
42. Own, don’t buy.

43. Paragraphs, not chapters.
44. Partner, not persuader.
45. Partnership, not end-usership.
46. Path, not outcome.
47. People, not projects.
48. Personal, not private.
49. Perspective, not knowledge.
50. Persuasively, not abrasively.
51. Play, don’t practice.
52. Pluralistic, not binary.
53. Possibility, not actuality.
54. Practices, not formulas.
55. Present, don’t hurl.
56. Present, not future.
57. Preserve, don’t prevail.
58. Principle-driven, not money-driven.
59. Principles, not tactics.
60. Process, not product.
61. Productive, not active.
62. Professional, not technician.
63. Professionalism, not prostitution.
64. Progress, not perfection.
65. Promises, not predictions.
66. Proof, not adjectives.
67. Propose, don’t impose.
68. Propose, don’t pitch.
69. Pull, don’t push.
70. Purpose, not mission.
71. Purpose, not profit.
72. Pursuit, not attainment.

73. Questions, not answers.
74. Questions, not lectures.
75. Questions, not statements.
76. Questions, not suggestions.
77. Quick, don’t hurry.

78. Readers, not rules.
79. Reasonable, not rational.
80. Reasons, not revenues.
81. Receipt, not register.
82. Receiver, not broadcaster.
83. Reflect, don’t debate.
84. Reflection, not blame.
85. Remind, don’t persist.
86. Reputation, not advertising.
87. Reputation, not branding.
88. Reputation, not income.
89. Requests, not compliments.
90. RAH-SPECTED, not popular.
91. RAH-SPECTED, not popular.
92. Responsibilities, not rights.
93. Responsive, not reactive.
94. Responsiveness, not omnipresence.
95. Results, not deliverables.
96. Ruminate, don’t worry.

97. Sales, not transactions.
98. Search, don’t snoop.
99. Self-inventory, not narcissism.
100. Service, not servitude.
101. Signals, not noise.
102. Simple, not simplistic.
103. Skepticism, not cynicism.
104. Soar, don’t quack.
105. Solitary, not idle.
106. Solution, not pitch.
107. Specialist, not generalist.
108. Speculate, don’t fret.
109. Spicy, not icy.
110. Springboards, not straightjackets.
111. Strategy, not destiny.
112. Study, don’t read.
113. Suggest, don’t order.
114. Supportive, not punitive.
115. Supportive, not suppressive.
116. Synthesis, not analysis.

117. Tangibility, not magnitude.
118. Tempted, not thwarted.
119. Terrorism is chicken.
120. Thoughtful, not automatic.
121. To-ask, not to-do.
122. Toot, don’t blow.
123. Transactions, not traffic.
124. Trustworthiness, not technique.
125. Truth, not true.

126. Uncertainty, not change.
127. Understand, don’t “type.”
128. Understand, don’t respond.
129. Unfolding, not achieving.
130. Unify, don’t polarize.
131. Unique, not different.
132. Unity, not fragments.
133. Urgency, not panic.
134. Users, not partners.

135. Validation, not mission.
136. Value, not fees.
137. Value, not price.
138. Verbs, not nouns.

139. Wag, don’t bark.
140. Walk, don’t talk.
141. Warn, don’ t threaten.
142. Wealth, not stuff.
143. Web-presence, not web-site.
144. What, not why.
145. When, not whether.
146. Whole, not good.
147. Why, not who.
148. Will, not should.

149. Wisdom, not knowledge.
150. With, not against.
151. With, not at.
152. With, not for.
153. With, not over.
154. With, not to.

What are your best pieces of contrarian wisdom?

Post them here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Life Coaches? Bah.

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs.

Rent Scott's Brain today!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

95 Things I Learned from Seth Godin's "Meatball Sundae"

So, I'm on vacation for the next two weeks (my couch).

However, I wanted to keep last week's tradition alive since the feedback from the Ridiculously Long Lists was so positive! As such, I came up with five more lists. This should hold you over until I return on January 7th.

See ya in '08!

Oh, and don't forget to read all the lists from last week:
101 Lessons Learned from 2007
101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence
123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask
69 Mini Philosophies on Just about Everything
49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse

But now for today's list:
98 Things I Learned from Seth Godin's "Meatball Sundae"

Which, by the way, goes on sale TODAY. And if you don't buy it here, your 2008 might be DOOMED!

1. An inbound email is an opportunity.

2. Appeal to the reachable.

3. Are you telling people about me?

4. Assume that every chamber is loaded, that every interaction is an interaction with a critic.

5. Be customizable, upgradeable and discussable.

6. Be on the lookout for everyone.

7. Being well rounded is totally overrated. (Actually from The Dip.)

8. Blogs validate our three desires: to hear our own voices, to be heard by others and to hear what the crowd thinks.

9. Build a permission asset.

10. Build the foundation of your idea around your marketing.

11. Bundling isn’t necessary. It slows people down from finding specifically what they really need.

12. Businesses grow because customers tell other customers.

13. Capture the attention and commerce of the people who truly care.

14. Create a story that spreads from person to person, from blog to blog that moves through a community and leaves an impact as it goes.

15. Create art not to please a gallery, but to please yourself and to please the people who are attracted to your vision?

16. Customers are saying, “I’m not a hostage any longer.”

17. Customers are working overtime to ignore you.

18. Do you quit when it’s HARD or quit when it’s RIGHT.

19. Don’t find 100,000 people, find 10 people each of whom know 1000 people.

20. Don’t hype it up. Just appear.

21. Don’t send users away from your site, claim them as your own.

22. Embed the idea into the experience itself.

23. Embrace the chaos of your industry and figure out how to weave it into a long term asset for the future.

24. Enter the public square and enable conversations.

25. Every interaction with a customer is a make or break proposition. You don’t get a chance for a learning curve. You don’t have the opportunity for the user to overcome initial discomfort.

26. Everyone can be the best in the world at something, they just need to figure out what that is.

27. Everyone picks the best one when given a choice.

28. Find a market that hasn’t been found yet. Create something so remarkable that people in that market are compelled to find you. String together enough of those markets so you can string them together as a business.

29. Given the choice, people want the choice.

30. Going through all the trouble and time to get halfway there is a waste.

31. Humans hate to make commitments because commitment is risk and risk is frightening.

32. Ideas that spread through groups of people are far more powerful than ideas delivered at an individual.

33. If it doesn’t cost your life, it isn’t a quest. (Also from The Dip.)

34. If it doesn’t sound perfect after a sentence or two, it’s easy to glance down at the next ad.

35. If you can’t see a curve, how dare you go into that field.

36. In a free market, we reward the exceptional. (Also from The Dip.)

37. In a transparent world, people avoid the deceitful.

38. In a world of choice, compromised solutions rarely triumph.

39. In a world of choice, nobody picks something that is good enough.

40. In a world of networks, few pick the isolated.

41. Instead of how well you use a paintbrush, success in the world of art is how compelling your idea becomes.

42. Instead of racing around trying to find attention, stand around and allow attention to find you.

43. Instead, focus on creating an environment where other people could have a conversation, work hard to offer enough value that people will choose to have the conversation in your place – and make it from you from time to time.

44. Invest what it takes to be seen as the best in the market you choose to compete in.

45. It’s easier than ever to sell something.

46. It’s not us and them, it’s us and us.

47. Live a story that matches the story you want people to tell other people.

48. Make something worth talking about and make it easy to talk about.

49. Make sure the architecture of your idea is viral.

50. Make sure the FIRST group of people you share your idea with are open to big ideas and have big mouths.

51. Most people, most of the time, want to be like most people, most of the time.

52. Movements are at the heart of change and growth. A movement – an idea that spreads with passion through a community and leads to change – is far more powerful than any advertisement ever could be.

53. Movements come from out of nowhere, from small companies or impassioned individuals.

54. No dip = no scarcity = no value. (Yep, from The Dip.)

55. No dips = begging to be frustrating. (Yep, from The Dip.)

56. Nothing deserves to be viral, it becomes viral if the selfishly motivated consumer spreads the word, and if they’re not spreading the word, there’s something about the idea that makes them NOT CHOOSE to spread the idea.

57. People have control over the attention they give marketers.

58. People who are perceived as the best get rewards that DWARF the people who are third and fourth and fifth.

59. People who really care will find you.

60. Practice a calm and patient approach to permission marketing.

61. Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers. (Best line of The Dip.)

62. Quitting is winning.

63. Realize that you’re not in charge.

64. Satisfy people who can best leverage your ideas.

65. Selling is about a transference of emotion, not a transference of facts.

66. Settle only for mastery.

67. Some external force has to make you a safe choice, i.e., media, book.

68. Speaking fee range is based on what serves the needs to the person who made the decision.

69. Starbucks offers 19,000 different beverages.

70. Stuff that stands on its own tends to be more remarkable. They have to be, the creators figure, because without a helping hand from a wealthy partner, that’s all they’ve got. It’s their only chance.

71. That’s why being a doctor is worth something – because not everybody’s a doctor.

72. The average length of video is five minutes, but the average length of viewing time is ten seconds. Ten seconds is all you get to prove to the viewer that it’s worth it to invest another ten seconds, and if you get someone to stick with you until the end, you’ve hit a homerun.

73. The distance between the brain of the designer and the ear of the consumer is shorter than it ever was before.

74. The internet doesn’t forget.

75. The Internet has nothing to do with what the movement is; the Net merely makes it easier than every for a movement to take place.

76. The moment your message ceases to be anticipated, personal and relevant, you cease to exist in your customer’s world.

77. The question isn’t, “How do you get Dugg,” the question is, “How do you make stuff worth Digging?”

78. The Web is like Santa Claus, but without the gifts.

79. The world is competitive, and you can only pick one, so why not pick the best.

80. The world now acts smaller and works faster.

81. There isn’t a mass market anymore: you’ll do great if there’s a niche, if your customers have natural peers.

82. There must be something about it that makes the people eager to spread it.

83. There’s not a lot of reason to persist with something that isn’t engaging.

84. Things become viral because the AUDIENCE wants to be viral, not because of you.

85. Today’s spoiled customer is willing to pay almost anything for the exclusive, noteworthy and indulgent.

86. Track attention and monetize interaction.

87. Treat every interaction, service, product and side effect as some kind of media.

88. Trust comes from repeatedly delivering insight and truth.

89. We don’t need to look for things to use our spare time because we don’t have any.

90. We feel safe and secure and validated when we choose the popular records.

91. When you get to the end of the dip, compounding your activity works, but once you’ve earned the respect, keep getting better at the craft, but stop promoting yourself because it takes away from the story – get out of the way so the people who are in love with you can talk about you.

92. Who knew? The Web knew.

93. Within you world, whatever world that is, you can see who is winning.

94. You can buy tiny slices of attention for a fraction of what it cost a decade ago.

95. You can harness the power of thousands of people for very little money.

96. You don’t have the money to command people to listen to you.

97. You’re always on the record, everyone is a critic, and the Web remembers forever.

98. Your people want to be heard

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

111 Self-Assessment Questions to Make 2008 the Best Year Ever!

So, I'm on vacation for the next two weeks (my couch).

However, I wanted to keep last week's tradition alive since the feedback from the Ridiculously Long Lists was so positive! As such, I came up with five more lists. This should hold you over until I return on January 7th.

See ya in '08!

Oh, and don't forget to read all the lists from last week:
101 Lessons Learned from 2007
101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence
123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask
69 Mini Philosophies on Just about Everything
49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse

And now, for today's ridiculously long list:
111 Self-Assessment Questions to Make 2008 the Best Year Ever!

1. Are you growing in size or differentiation?

2. Are you still trying to get somewhere?

3. Did you work on your legacy today?

4. Do you give people a reason to help you in the future?

5. How are you closing the credibility gap?

6. How are you fighting your profession’s image?

7. How are you helping your customers build their business?

8. How are you turning your knowledge into money?

9. How can you arrange your day so you become unstoppable?

10. How do you avoid being perceived as one-dimensional?

11. How long does it take for your ideas to become tangible things?

12. How many different ways do you make money?

13. How many free samples of your work are out there?

14. How many people have you shared your goal with?

15. How might your biggest fan describe you?

16. How often does perfection keep you from starting?

17. How quickly do you take action on your new idea?

18. How transparent are your underlying motives when you’re selling?

19. How will you ensure your dominance?

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

21. If you only had two hours a day to work, what would you do?

22. If you were starting your career over again, in what area would you want more mentoring?

23. In what areas of your life are you most intuitive?

24. In what ways are you currently obsolete?

25. In what ways are you (not) currently obsolete?

26. In what ways will your job become bigger?

27. Is there an experiment you can perform?

28. Is this a good time for you to listen to me?

29. What “does it” for you?

30. What actions have I taken to live by my own lights?

31. What are the exceptions to the rules that helped you succeed?

32. What are the questions you (still) can’t believe your customers actually asked you?

33. What are the things you don’t like to admit about yourself?

34. What are the top three activities that fill your time to feel as though you’ve been productive?

35. What are you becoming?

36. What are you building?

37. What are you changing?

38. What are you doing to drive your competition crazy?

39. What are you due for?

40. What are you going to do differently next week?

41. What are you known as?

42. What are you known for?

43. What are you quietly starting?

44. What are you recognized as being the best at?

45. What are you recognized as being the first at?

46. What are you specializing in?

47. What are you the answer to?

48. What are your people NOT doing that you want them to be doing? Why not?

49. What beliefs are not serving your goals?

50. What brings you to life?

51. What companies make you starry-eyed?

52. What could you talk forever about?

53. What did you explore today?

54. What do you know that other people find valuable?

55. What do you know that people would pay money to learn?

56. What do you measure?

57. What do you think makes the difference between winners and losers? (If you want to know what I think - in ONE word - send an email to!)

58. What do you try without being forced?

59. What have you recently UN-learned?

60. What ideas are you in love with that might prevent you from seeing clearly?

61. What is causing the gap between what you’ve done and your goals?

62. What is one thing you’d like to do less of in your work situation?

63. What is the part of your job you wish you didn’t have to do?

64. What is your #1 income producing activity?

65. What kind of person do you definitely NOT want to become?

66. What no longer worries you?

67. What old values do you need to throw out to make room?

68. What person, alive or dead, would you like to have as your work partner?

69. What pieces of conventional wisdom do you think are wrong?

70. What possibilities do you see now that weren’t obvious before?

71. What precedent will you be setting?

72. What problem do you solve for your customer?

73. What problem is this solving?

74. What questions do you ask yourself every day?

75. What questions do you look forward to?

76. What symbol do you need to create now to remind yourself of the new image, values and style you are going to operate out of?

77. What takes too long?

78. What three things are your customers most defensive about?

79. What three things should you be delegating, but aren’t?

80. What three things would make it worse?

81. What undertows do the people in your industry often get caught in?

82. What was your first positive experience earning money?

83. What would you protest publicly?

84. What’s your biggest distraction?

85. When someone comes to your website, how do you want them to feel?

86. When someone comes to your website, what’s the ONE THING you want them to do?

87. When was the last time you brought new skills to your clients and prospects?

88. When was the last time you created new value?

89. When you walk into a room, how does it change?

90. Where is a breakthrough needed?

91. Which idea would your hero jump on?

92. Which people in your life don’t respect your time?

93. How do you make your customers smarter and healthier?

94. Who actively hampers your ability to advance?

95. Who are you being?

96. Who can hurt you the most?

97. Who creates fires you waste time putting out?

98. Who is the biggest naysayer and what can I learn from that point of view?

99. Who is threatened by your ideas?

100. Who values you and your knowledge?

101. Whom did you recruit lately?

102. Whose thinking inspires your own?

103. Why are your clients telling their friends about you?

104. Why do you admire the people you admire?

105. Why do you do what you do?

106. Why do you make mistakes?

107. Why do you think most people leave your field?

108. Why do you want to be so successful?

109. Who inspired the people who inspired you?

110. How do you order your chaos?

111. How do you maintain forward momentum?

What is your #1 goal for 2008?

Share it with us. Accountability works.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Life Coaches? Bah.

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs.

Rent Scott's Brain today!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

153 Super Smart Quotations That Made My Draw Drop

So, I'm on vacation for the next two weeks (my couch).

However, I wanted to keep last week's tradition alive since the feedback from the Ridiculously Long Lists was so positive! As such, I came up with five more lists. This should hold you over until I return on January 7th.

See ya in '08!

Oh, and don't forget to read all the lists from last week:
101 Lessons Learned from 2007
101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence
123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask
69 Mini Philosophies on Just about Everything
49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse

And now, for the Christmas Day version of my ridiculously long list:
153 Super Smart Quotations That Made My Draw Drop

1. The definition of flexibility is being constantly open to the fact that you might be on the wrong track. --Brian Tracy.

2. The more original your idea is; the less good advice people will be able to give you. --Hugh Mcleod.

3. People forget facts; but they remember themes. --Sam Ham.

4. Let us worship the spine and its tingle. --Chet Raymo.

5. The testing process usually happens when we least expect it, thereby catching you off guard and giving you no chance to display anything by your real personality. --Napoleon Hill.

6. Get busy living or get busy dying. --Andy Dufregne.

7. If you haven’t experienced it, it’s not true. --Kabir

8. Trying is just an easy way of not doing something. --Ken Blanchard.

9. You are the only person on earth who can use your ability. --M. Kathleen Casey.

10. He who has the biggest list, wins. ---Lisa Jiminez.

11. Stay in your lane. If you’re good enough, people will move to you. --Russel Simmons.

12. Don’t steamroll your way into a conversation before establishing any relational credibility. --Bill Hybels.

13. We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavoring to meet it halfway, we easily become indirect and apathetic. --Tchaikovsky.

14. It’s not (just) your list; it’s the relationship WITH your list. --Terry Dean.

15. Jump, then grow wings on the way down. --Jack Canfield.

16. One man’s over-eagerness can be another’s alienation. --Madelyn Burley-Allen

17. Art is learning how to be quiet. --James Hubbel.

18. You are constantly building your character out of the impressions you gather from your daily environment, therefore you can shape your character as you wish. --Mihaly Czsickzentmentaly

19. If you do anything regularly for a while, sooner or later the weirdoes will show up. --Jeff Buckley

20. When the president does it; that means it’s not illegal. --Richard Nixon, 1977

21. People don’t listen to what you say, they listen to what you do. --Crucial Conversations

22. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart. --Napoleon Hill.

23. It is what you ARE that makes the loudest statement. --Marsha Sinetar

24. There are certain movements when, whatever the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees. --Victor Hugo.

25. When you run out of questions, you don’t just run out of answers, you run out of hope. --House.

26. The deeper your belief, the deeper your pockets. --Gitomer.

27. People who lie, cheat and steal in relationships are communicating that they have such an inferior view of themselves that they are not worthy of another’s trust. --Chip Bell.

28. People tend to romanticize what they can’t quite remember. --Ira Flatlow.

29. Successful people know a universe of people they can ask for help. --Questions That Work.

30. Proper prospecting prevents poverty. --Gitomer.

31. Absorb knowledge from every possible source and opportunity. Power gravitates to the man who knows how and why. --Orsen Swett Marden

32. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. --Romans 12:2 (Come on, it's Christmas. Gotta quote the Bible.)

33. If people underestimate your ability, they will present you with an opportunity to deal with them when their guard is down because. Since they weren’t preparing a defense for the mental assault they were expecting from you, you will accomplish your objective before they realize what happened. --Glen Bland.

34. Many counselors bring success. --Proverbs 15:22

35. Sell something to one person who can make a decision for 500 people. Never sell to 500 people individually. --Bill Brooks.

36. Build something you have never built before. --Unknown

37. An idea is not any good unless it’s on the verge of being stupid. --David Mack.

38. The instant you stop trying to impose your agenda on others, you eliminate the fight for control. You sidestep irrelevant battles over whose view of the world is correct. --The Influencer

39. If a thought is not backed by emotions, zero action can be taken. --Lawton Howell

40. The less you know, the more likely you are to come up with an original idea. --Questions That Work

41. Make people want to stand in line and paying higher prices than they know they should. --Doug Hall.

42. People who need certainty are unlikely to make good entrepreneurs. --Peter Drucker.

43. If you can make it safe to learn, reduce tension and hostility, you may find that people’s natural curiosity will reappear. --Questions That Work

44. If they didn’t hire you, don’t solve their problem. --Gerald Weinberg.

45. Make sure they pay enough so they’ll do what you say. --Gerald Weinberg

46. Passion and stamina are twins. --Lawton Howell

47. Make personal growth a daily priority. --John Maxwell.

48. Participate as fully as possibly in the world around you. --Mihaly.

49. Be able to be alone. Lose not the advantage of solitude and the society of thyself. --Sir Thomas Browne

50. Consider data without prejudice. --Edison.

51. Your future is your property. --Dan Sullivan.

52. We shape our life by deciding to pay attention to it. It is the direction of our attention and its intensity that will determines what we accomplish and how well. --Mihaly.

53. Continued innovation is the best way to beat the competition. --Edison.

54. Take a break from your problem. Find a way to pull its tail and make it worse. --Michael Gelb.

55. If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. --Toni Morrison

56. Write the book you’d want to read. --Martha Stewart.

57. The real measure of success is the number of experiments that can be crowded into 24 hours. --Edison

58. To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. --e.e. cummings, 1955

59. The probability of someone watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action. --Mark Twain.

60. Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. --Judy Garland

61. We should learn to detect and watch the gleam of light which flashes across our own minds. --Emerson.

62. It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. --Herman Mehlville.

63. People are idiots. --Scott Adams.

64. No matter what happens, there is always someone who knew it would. --Mark Twain.

65. If you’re not booked, you’re not any good! --Larry Winget.

66. The unexpected jolts us out of our preconceived notions, our assumptions, our certainties, that is such a fertile source of innovation. --Drucker

67. He who wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. --Edmund Burke

68. Doing anything worthwhile takes forever. --Hugh

69. Diversity is the opposite of laziness. --Dan Kennedy

70. Don’t get stampeded by what people around you value. The task is to figure out what YOU value – and value highly enough to throw yourself into with unqualified passion. --David Maister

71. Unless a person knows how to give order to her thoughts, attention will be attracted to whatever is most problematic at the moment. --Mihaly.

72. To be overcome with the ultimate goal often interferes with performance. --Mihaly

73. Playfullness is the essential feature of productive thought. --Einstein.

74. Don't congratulate yourself for baseline integrity. --Chris Johnson.

75. When we complain, we often project onto others the dissatisfaction of how we’re dealing with our own lives. --P.M. Forni.

76. Don’t worry about what’s ahead. Just go as far as you can. From there you can see farther. --Edwin C. Bliss.

77. Books don’t sell books. People sell books. --Frank Gromling.

78. Your vision gains power when you go public with it. --Nido.

79. To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting. --e.e. cummings

80. Forge in the smithy of your soul. --Rollo May.

81. A true artist is someone who gives birth to a new reality. --Plato

82. Winners focus, losers spray. --Sydney Harris

83. If somebody in your industry is more successful than you, it’s because he works harder than you. --Hugh

84. The definition of being good is being able to make it look easy. --Hugh

85. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Thing are made slowly and in pain. --Hugh.

86. The longer it takes you to become successful, the harder it will be for somebody else to take it away from you. --Hugh.

87. You can’t be authentic when you’re trying to be authentic. --FastCompany, April 2007

88. The whole purpose of working is to support your ideal lifestyle. --Brian Tracy

89. If you’re waiting for the job, you’re dead. --Dustin Hoffman

90. The less you talk, the more you’re listened to. --Abigal van Buren.

91. Open-mindedness is the harvest of a quiet eye. --William Wodsworth

92. You get paid consistent with your ability to solve problems. --Ron Willingham

93. A brand doesn’t feel real when it overtly tries to make itself real. --FastCompany, April 2007

94. One of the surest ways to enrich life is to make experiences less fleeting. --Mihaly

95. A river reaches places its source never knows. --Oswald Chambers

96. Do something for somebody every day for which you do not get paid. --Albert Schweitzer.

97. Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it. --Rick Warren.

98. Kiosks don’t stare at you. --Steve Forbes

99. In art there are two types of people: revolutionaries and plagiarists. --Gauguin

100. No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking. --Voltaire

101. I want to be the poster boy for your nightmare. --Fred Smith

102. Don’t fall in love with your own excuses. --Brian Tracy

103. Court each other forever. --Zig Ziglar

104. You think I’m gonna stop doing something that works for me just because you don’t like it? --Ira Hayes

105. Kids will eat anything if there’s a smile behind it. --Superintendent of Missouri Schools

106. Spontaneity is the product of great preparation. -Doe Lang

107. It’s yours for the asking. -Earl Nightingale

108. If they can’t repeat it, they didn’t get it. --Sam Horn.

109. You can’t get rich unless you EN-rich. --Earl Nightingale.

110. A wise man does at once what a fool does at last. --Baltazar Gracian

111. It’s ok to be ignorant, but it’s not ok to STAY ignorant. --James Dale

112. It’s a beautiful life, just as advertised. --Edwin McCain.

113. If you want to learn what it takes, go back and see what it took. --Disney

114. It’s a new book if you’ve haven’t read it yet. –-Owner of a used bookstore in Sioux Falls

115. The hardest thing for you to do is take your thing and put it into another container and make it taste the same. –-HBO Special, Jerry Seinfeld

116. The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about. --Oscar Wilde

117. Everyone picks the best one when given a choice. --Seth Godin (For a list of 100 more Seth Godin keepers, email and I'll share his bald brilliance with you!)

118. It’s hard to build community around mediocre and mundane writing. --Guy Kawasaki

119. Music is my weapon. --Random t-shirt in a Beale Street Souvenir Store

120. Practice aggressive pondering. –-Andy Masters

121. If you have one Hungarian as a friend, you won’t have any enemies. –-A drag queen I met in Ft. Lauderdale.

122. If you can’t hide it, magnify it. --Giovanni

123. Real love stories never have endings. –-Random poster in a parade in Hermann, MO.

124. No great work of art is ever finished. --Michelangelo

125. You can’t please all the people all the time. Last night, all of those people were at my show. --Mitch Hedberg

126. Only in writing do you discover what you know. –-Julia Cameron

127. Writing teaches you that you never write just what you know. You write what you learn as you’re writing. --Julia

128. Ideas come to you and trigger other ideas. Thoughts crystallize and connect with others, and the combination produces a compound: an insight. –Julia

129. It’s not just a daydream if it becomes your whole life. –-Train

130. Don’t be a person of success, be a person of value. --Dali Lama.

131. Some of the worst things in my life never happened. --Mark Twain.

132. At the workingman’s house, hunger looks in, but dares not enter. --Franklin

133. When inspiration does not come to me, I go halfway to meet it. --Freud.

134. When you meet someone, you intuitively ask yourself three questions: "(1) Can I trust you?; (2) Do you care about me?; and (3) Will you do the right thing?". --Lou Holtz

135. If you are doing something you would do for nothing – then you are on your way to salvation. And if you could drop it in a minute and forget the outcome, you are even further along. And if while you are doing it you are transported into another existence, there is no need for you to worry about the future.” --George Sheehan

136. Christians already? It seems to me that it takes a lifetime of work. --Maya Angelou

137. Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you believe atrocities. --Random bumper sticker on a van in Queretero, Mexico.

138. Non-salespeople will sell if they think they’re doing something else. --Bill Guertin

139. You’re not out here to die for your country; you’re out to here to make your enemies die for their country. --Patton

140. Sweetness will get you more. --Random dude named I.C. I met on a plane.

141. Everything gets better for us when WE get better. --Larry Winget.

142. Love brings about passion and passion is always marketable. --Winget.

143. No balls, no babies. --Mark Cuban.

144. You only have to be right once. --Cuban.

145. Nobody values your time but YOU. --Brian Tracy.

146. “Once you have paid the price to establish yourself as an expert, a person of integrity who delivers high-quality results on time, you get to reap the benefits for the rest of your life. That’s called Creating Momentum.” --Canfield.

147. Dare the things that age will fear. --Apple campaign

148. The Latin root for the verb “to compete” is competere, which means, “to seek together.” So be nice. Stop making war on the competition and start making love to the customer. --Richard Connaroe

149. You’ve got to kiss a little ass to kick a lot of ass. --A janitor I met at BEA

150. Do what you do so well that people want to see you do it again – and when they do, they will go out and tell others. –-Disney

151. Big breaks come from small fractures. --John Kapelos

152. The acoustics of the world are too good, so that what you ARE speaks so loud that people can’t hear what you SAY you are. If you don’t like the way you’re perceived, change yourself. That’s how you change perception. –-Bruce Markus

153. Seeking leadership destroys the process. --Arthur Scharff.

What quotations make your jaw drop?

Share them here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Life Coaches? Bah.

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs.

Rent Scott's Brain today!

Monday, December 24, 2007

157 Pieces of Contrarian Wisdom

So, I'm on vacation for the next two weeks (my couch).

However, I wanted to keep last week's tradition alive since the feedback from the Ridiculously Long Lists was so positive! As such, I came up with five more lists. This should hold you over until I return on January 7th.

See ya in '08!

Oh, and don't forget to read all the lists from last week:
101 Lessons Learned from 2007
101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence
123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask
69 Mini Philosophies on Just about Everything
49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse

And now, for today's ridiculously long list:
157 Pieces of Contrarian Wisdom

1. About, not from.
2. Acknowledge, then verify.
3. Action, not intent.
4. Action, not position.
5. Advisor, not expert.
6. Advisor, not vendor.
7. Agreement, not acquiescence.
8. Align, don’t counter.
9. Alignment, not together.
10. And, not or.
11. Artistry, not mechanics.
12. Ask, don’t tell.
13. Aspirations, not symptoms.
14. Assuring, not reselling.
15. Attract, don’t demand.
16. Attract, don’t look.
17. Attractive, not pretty.
18. Authenticity, not charisma.
19. Autotelic, not exotelic.

20. Ball, not scoreboard.
21. Behaviors, not values.
22. Beliefs, not facts.
23. Best, don’t beat.
24. Best, not most.
25. Best, not quotas.
26. Better, not more.
27. Both/and, not either/or.
28. Boundaries, not defenses.
29. Boundaries, not walls.
30. Boutiques, not mega-marts.
31. Build, don’t borrow.
32. Bull’s-eye, not arrow.
33. Buoyancy, not rigidity.
34. Business, not hobby.

35. Cajole, don’t push.
36. Caliber, not volume.
37. Care, don’t sell.
38. Career, not job.
39. Cause, don’t get.
40. Change, don’t exchange.
41. Cherish, don’t squander.
42. Childlike, not childish.
43. Coach, don’t boss.
44. Commitment, not greed.
45. Communication, not information.
46. Complete, don’t close
47. Compliments, not flattery.
48. Confirmations, not expectations.
49. Construct, don’t conform.
50. Contribution, not competition.
51. Contributor, not interloper.
52. Conversation, not argument.
53. Conversation, not interrogation.
54. Conversation, not lecture.
55. Convinced, not conceited.
56. Cooperation, not compliance.
57. Cooperation, not confrontation.
58. Counterpart, not opponent.
59. Court, not bleachers.
60. Cradles, not cemeteries.
61. Critique, don’t criticize.
62. Cumulative, not situational.
63. Curiosity, not curriculum.
64. Curiosity, not judgment.
65. Curious, not “Gotcha!”
66. Customize, don’t homogenize.

67. Declarations, not wishes.
68. Definition, not solution.
69. Demonstrate, don’t assert.
70. Dependable, not disposable.
71. Descriptive, not prescriptive.
72. Deserve, don’t need.

73. Destination, not website.
74. Dialogue, not debate.
75. Dialogues, not interviews.
76. Differentiation, not volume.
77. Disagree, not disagreeable.
78. Discipline, not luck.
79. Discovery, not answers.
80. Discretion, not snobbery.
81. Distinction, not competence.
82. Do, don’t know.
83. Doer, not expert.
84. Does, not is.
85. Doing, not acquiring.
86. Don’t accuse, inform.
87. Don’t exist, live.
88. Don’t hear, listen.
89. Don’t hype. Appear.
90. Don’t inform, form.
91. Don’t jump, pause.
92. Don’t listen, understand.
93. Don’t look, observe.
94. Don’t memorize, prepare.
95. Don’t perform, satisfy.
96. Don’t read, observe.
97. Don’t sell, solve.
98. Don’t solve, dissolve.
99. Don’t talk, do.
100. Don’t think, react.
101. Don’t think, reflect.
102. Don’t touch, feel.
103. Don’t write, transmit.
104. Duration, not intensity.

105. Earn, don’t ask.
106. Editability, not accountability.
107. Effectiveness, not utility.
108. Ego, not egotistical.
109. Elasticity, not tolerance.
110. Empathy, not apathy.
111. Emulate, don’t imitate. (For another ridiculously long list of people I like to emulate, email and I'll share it with ya!)
112. Encounter, not confrontation.
113. Enjoy, don’t compare.
114. Excellence, not success.
115. Excited, not nervous.
116. Exciting, not acceptable.
117. Exciting, not tolerable.
118. Expand, don’t recoil.
119. Experience, not intelligence.
120. Experience, not performance.
121. Explore, don’t repress.
122. Exploring, not exploiting.
123. Express, don’t impress.
124. Expressions, not monotones.

125. Faith, not religion.
126. Fans, not customers.
127. Finest, not first.
128. Fingers, not brain.
129. Focus, don’t spray.
130. Focus, not goals.
131. Focused, not inflexible.
132. Focused, not stiff.
133. Forgiveness, not condemnation.
134. Fruits, not chances.

135. Gifts, not wounds.
136. Goals, not controls.
137. Goals, not quotas. (i.e., END ZEBRA LIFE!)
138. Guide, don’t whip.
139. Guides, not breaks.

140. Harmonizing, not manipulating.
141. Harmony, not balance.
142. Have, don’t manage.
143. Healing, not curing.
144. Heart, not head.
145. Help, don’t hinder.
146. Help, don’t intrude.
147. Horizon, not point.
148. Hypothesize, don’t analyze.

149. Ideas, not facts.
150. Illuminate, don’t hallucinate.
151. Imagination, not millions.
152. Immersion, not submersion.
153. Improv, not perfection.
154. Influence, not affluence.
155. Information-gathering, not fact-finding.
156. Inklings, not bolts.
157. Innocence, not ignorance.

What are your best pieces of contrarian wisdom?

Post them here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Life Coaches? Bah.

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs.

Rent Scott's Brain today!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

HELLO, my name is Blog Voted as a "Top 100 Business Blog!"

In late 2007, The Business Ideas and Opportunities Blog published a list of the Top 100 Business Blogs on the Web.

The list was formulated in order of the blogs' Technorati (T) and Alexa rankings (A).

As you can see, HELLO, my name is Blog! made #39 on the list!

Woo hoo!

Thanks to all the readers for your support, comments and feedback!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you a friend of The Nametag Network?

Read more blogs!
Rent Scott's Brain!
Download articles and ebooks!
Watch training videos on NametagTV!

Make a name for yourself here...

Friday, December 21, 2007

49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse

Since this is my final workweek of 2007, I'm going to post a ridiculously long list ... every day. Be sure to check back all week!

And, don't forget to read the other ridiculously long lists in the series:
101 Lessons Learned from 2007
101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence
123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask
69 Mini Philosophies on Just about Everything

But for now:
49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse

(NOTE: today's ridiculously long list goes out to Terry Rayburn, who recently asked me, "How do you get so many good ideas?!" Well, here ya go T!)

1. Affirm to yourself every morning: “I am a creative powerhouse.” “I am constantly attracting creative ideas.” “I am an artist.” “My brain is beautiful.”

2. Appeal to the senses. Work in the grocery store. Create art in jazz clubs. Write at airports. This stuff works.

3. Ask yourself the same question over and over until you’ve come up with over 100 answers.

4. Become a Wordsmith.

5. Do Morning Pages. (Personally, this is my absolute #1 technique for becoming a creative powerhouse. At least TRY it.)

6. Every 50 minutes, take a brain break.

7. Every time you observe something, ask yourself, “How does this fit in to my theory of the universe?” (Thank you, Linus Pauling!)

8. Fatigue your mind. Detach from your current project and go do something completely different. Ideas will come because, often times, when you care the least, you do the best. Intentionality blocks creativity.

9. Get feedback. It’s awfully hard to be creative alone.

10. Go for four-hour drives down highway 70 in the December fog while listening to Iron & Wine and eating Tabasco Slim Jims. (Hey, that’s how I came up with this VERY list last night!)

11. Go to NY, PDX and San Fran. Walk the streets. List, list-EN, watch, take notes.

12. Google EVERYTHING.

13. Hang out at Borders.

14. Hang out with people who think differently than you.

15. Hang out with people who work in TOTALLY different fields than you.

16. Just listen. Anyone who says, “I never have any good ideas,” or “I have writer’s block” or “There’s nothing good out there,” … IS A TERRIBLE LISTENER. To themselves. To the world. To others. I mean, seriously, you’ve got to be nuts to NOT have ideas. They’re everywhere! Waiting for you to pluck them.

17. Let your audience members, fans and readers help you. Leave comments and questions open. They’re smarter than you think and they see things you never could because you’re on the inside.

18. Listen to really cool, weird, eclectic, unique and creative music. Good suggestions include Morphine, Radiohead, Tool, Chris Whitley, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Thievery Corporation and, of course, Mr. Tom Waits.

19. Maintain portable creative environments in your car, house and at work.

20. Make lists for EVERYTHING. Longer is better.

21. Make sure everything you know is written down somewhere. Because if you don’t write it down … IT NEVER HAPPENED. (Ever.)

22. Pick up one of David Mack’s comic books or graphic novels. Absolutely the most creative guy I’ve ever met. (I totally sat next to him on a plane! Eep!)

23. Play an instrument. If you don’t know how, take lessons. Or just fake it. Or do what my friend Robert does and make your own instruments. (P.S. If you’re the kind of person who says stuff like, “Yeah, but I’ve never been a musical or creative person…” then you really, really need to read the rest of this list!)

24. Practice aggressive pondering.

25. Read books about thinking. I suggest How to Have a Beautiful Mind and Thinking for a Living.

26. Read Copyblogger.

27. Read Don The Idea Guy’s ebook.

28. Read every book ever written by DeBono and Mihaly.

29. Read Hugh’s ebook.

30. Read Seth’s blog.

31. Run, walk, bike, swim, hike or any other form of consistent, rhythmic exercise for at least 30 minutes, every single day. But it has to be 30. The endorphins don’t kick in until about 20. (Oh, and don’t forget to bring paper. Unless you’re in the pool. In that case, bring a portable, waterproof dry erase board. And sure, the other swimmers might think you’re crazy. But it could be worse: you could have a damn nametag tattooed on your chest!)

32. Set idea quotients. Preferably 50’s and 100’s. Quantity leads to quality.

33. Soften your eyes.

34. Stop hanging out with people who don’t know how to value your thinking yet. They are actively hampering your ability to be creative.

35. Teach daily. (Yourself AND others.)

36. Think on paper. Draw pictures of your ideas and problems. Even if you (think you) suck.

37. THREE WORDS: colored index cards.

38. U NEED 2 READ EVERY DAY. And not the paper. Not magazines. Not crap. I’m talking about books. (If you’d like a list of 194 of my favorite books, send an email to and I’ll be happy to share.)

39. Use un-lined paper. Lines are for math people.

40. Watch kids. Hang out at the Children’s Section at Borders. (Just not too long. Stalker.)

41. Watch The Simpsons.

42. Watch uber creative people do their thing. It’s neat.

43. Watch, study and discuss movies by super-creative, cool, unique and slightly weird directors and writers like Tarentino, Mel Brooks, The Cohen Brothers and Wes Anderson.

44. Work on the floor.

45. Work on the wall.

46. Work on the ceiling. (I hear it worked pretty well for Michelangelo.)

47. Write out an incomplete sentence that begets creative completion, i.e., “If clients aren't actively telling their friends about you...” Then Google that sentence. Then make a list of 100 ways to finish it. Then post it on your blog. Then get your readers to finish it too. (This is my favorite creative exercise.)

48. Write with pretty colors. I like lavender.

49. Write. Every-single-day. Period.

What are your three best ways for becoming an Idea Powerhouse?

Post your lists here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Need a professional listener?

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who (actually) listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs.

Rent Scott's Brain today!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

69 Mini Philosophies on Just about Everything

Since this is my final workweek of 2007, I'm going to post a ridiculously long list ... every day. Be sure to check back all week!

And, don't forget to read the other ridiculously long lists in the series:
101 Lessons Learned from 2007
101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence
123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask

But for now:
69 Mini Philosophies on Just about Everything

1. Survival, then bounty.
2. Customers, then problems.
3. Breathe, then respond.
4. Generate, then organize.
5. Intentions, then goals.
6. Meet, then move.
7. Pace, then lead.
8. Practice, then preach.
9. Renovate, then innovate.
10. Sell, then make.
11. Survival, then bounty.
12. Whether, then how.

13. Open, but particular.
14. Trust, but verify.
15. Welcoming, but choosey.
16. Informally, but clearly.
17. Challenging, but achievable.

18. Analysis AND synthesis.
19. Observe AND describe.
20. Smart AND alert.
21. Duplicate AND multiply.
22. Force AND momentum.
23. Glory AND gory.
24. Invent AND reinvent.
25. Participate AND reciprocate.
26. Read AND reference.
27. What AND why.
28. Within AND without.

29. Artistry over mechanics.
30. Form over function.
31. Character over credentials.
32. Totality over singularity.

33. Assert without rejecting.
34. Cancel without consequences.
35. Give without credit.
36. Inquire without supposing.
37. Listen without distractions.
38. Listen without prejudging.
39. Protect without imprisoning.
40. Self-assertion without guilt.
41. Travel without plans.

42. Respectful, yet firm.

43. Access isn’t presence.
44. Activity isn’t results.
45. Aloneness isn’t loneliness.
46. Autonomy isn’t solitude.
47. Biography isn’t destiny.
48. Codependence isn’t intimacy.
49. Difficult isn’t impossible.
50. Education isn’t knowing.
51. Evidence isn’t proof.
52. Faith isn’t fact.
53. Humility isn’t weakness.
54. Information isn’t communication.
55. Information isn’t wisdom.
56. Listening isn’t corresponding.
57. Motion isn’t progress.
58. Obvious isn’t easy.
59. Quitting isn’t failing.
60. Reading isn’t believing.
61. Respect isn’t weakness.
62. Satisfaction isn’t retention.
63. School isn’t education.

64. Diagnose before prescribing.
65. Huh? before Aha!
66. Humanity before statistics.
67. Percolation before fruition.
68. Planks before specks.
69. Value before price.

What are five of your best mini-philosophies?

Post your lists here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Orthopraxy, not orthodoxy.

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs.

Rent Scott's Brain today!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask

Since this is my final workweek of 2007, I'm going to post a ridiculously long list ... every day. Be sure to check back all week!

And, don't forget to read the other ridiculously long lists in the series:
101 Lessons Learned from 2007
101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence

But for now:
123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask

1. Are other people telling their friends about you?

2. Are other people repeating your “story”?

3. Are people talking about you?

4. Are the very first words out of your mouth consistent with your brand?

5. Are you broadcasting your brand to the right audience?

6. Are you building things worth noticing right into your product or service?

7. Are you concerned with traffic or transactions?

8. Are you everywhere?

9. Are you giving away enough stuff for free?

10. Are you listening to the word of mouth about you?

11. Are you pushing or pulling your customers?

12. Are you specializing enough?

13. Are you starting positive epidemics?

14. Are you still ripping off that lame-ass “Got milk?” campaign?

15. Are you thinking about your non-customers?

16. Are your products positioned, or do they just have clever slogans?

17. Can your target market afford you?

18. Do people know what you do?

19. Do people know what you’re DOING?

20. Do people know what you’ve DONE?

21. Do you find unusual places to show off?

22. Do you have customers or fans?

23. Do you have them at hello?

24. Do you know which of your marketing efforts have been effective in the past?

25. Do you provide a value message to your customers every week?

26. Do you really think anybody is talking about your yellow page ads?

27. Do your beautiful, award-winning marketing materials actually influence customer decisions?

28. Does a lower fee make you more affordable, or less attractive?

29. Does your website offer proof or just list a bunch of adjectives?

30. Has anybody ever done this before?

31. Have people heard about you?

32. How are you allowing customers to participate in your brand?

33. How are you building a following? (If you're not presently doing this, send an email to and I'd be happy to show you how!)

34. How are you building a permission asset?

35. How are you enabling your customers to do your marketing for you?

36. How are you getting permission from people to market to them?

37. How are you making it easy for customers to tell their friends about you?

38. How are you marketing yourself daily?

39. How are you staying in front of your fans?

40. How can you be visible to the highest number of people?

41. How can you become the best marketer in the world?

42. How can you keep marketing, even when you tell customers no?

43. How can you make yourself more marketable in the next year?

44. How could you encourage strangers to break the silence and talk to you?

45. How do you measure your permission asset?

46. How good are you at attracting attention?

47. How many different ways are you interacting with your market?

48. How many different ways can you leverage this?

49. How many different ways did you leverage your media appearance?

50. How many people anticipate your marketing?

51. How many people do you think really read your press release?

52. How much money do you spend on marketing?

53. How much time do you spend on marketing each day?

54. How often are customers retelling your company’s story?

55. If you have to jump through hoops to defeat someone's efforts to avoid your advertising, is the result going to be worthwhile?

56. If you have to trick people into looking at your advertising, is the result going to be worthwhile?

57. If you showed your idea to a teenager, what would she think?

58. If you showed your website to a five year old, what would he think?

59. If you stopped advertising, would anybody even notice?

60. If you were your customer, what would you LOVE to have from you next?

61. Is anybody else doing this now?

62. Is your idea simple enough that a five year old could understand it?

63. Is your idea so good that other people are copying it?

64. Is your idea so good that SNL would parody it?

65. Is your idea so remarkable that people make fun of it?

66. Is your marketing interrupting or interacting?

67. Is your marketing making music or noise?

68. Are you creating a website or a destination?

69. Are you sharing link love FIRST?

70. Can your business afford not to have a website?

71. Did you buy the domain first?

72. Did you get their email address?

73. Did you register all of the misspellings and accidental permutations of your URL?

74. Do you have a web-SITE or a web-PRESENCE?

75. Do you really care if your non-customers don’t like your website?

76. Does your website honestly reflect your business personality?

77. Does your Website leave a perception of value or vanity in the mind of a visitor"?

78. Does your website scream, “Look at me!” or “Here’s what you were looking for”?

79. How are you getting customers to come back to your website just to see what you’ve been up to?

80. How are you participating in your online image?

81. How are you taking advantage of the infinite shelf space of the Web?

82. How powerful is your online platform?

83. Is content king on your website?

84. Is your website an experience?

85. Is your website something you can proudly reference?

86. What are the Potential Silent Dialogues when people first come to your website?

87. What makes your website a destination?

88. When someone comes to your website, how do you want them to feel?

89. When someone comes to your website, what’s the ONE THING you want them to do?

90. When was the last time you added new content to your website?

91. When was the last time you bought something from spam email?

92. When was the last time you checked your website stats?

93. When was the last time you Googled a word or idea?

94. When was the last time you Googled somebody?

95. When was the last time you invited your audience to participate at your website?

96. Where are most of your hits coming from?

97. Who’s blogging about you?

98. Why aren’t you blogging yet?

99. Why wouldn't anyone spend more than 60 seconds at your website?

100. Why would someone come to (and stay at) your website for more than 60 seconds?

101. Why would someone give you her email address (and therefore, permission) to market to her regularly?

102. Why would someone return to your website consistently?

103. Why would someone tell her friends about my website consistently?

104. Why would you put links on YOUR website that send customers to someone ELSE’S website?

105. What are three reasons ANYBODY would want to go to your website?

106. What are you doing to stimulate, harness and increase word of mouth?

107. What are you giving away for free?

108. What could you do to strengthen the relationships with your biggest fans?

109. What have you recently learned about marketing trends?

110. What is it about your idea that makes people eager to spread it?

111. What is your total marketing capacity?

112. What part of your marketing makes people stop and ask, “Huh?”

113. What type of marketing will you use?

114. What would the twenty-second word of mouth 'sound byte' be if your customer were to tell a friend about you?

115. What’s the most important word in marketing?

116. When was the last time a complete stranger come up to and said, “OK, so, I just HAVE to ask…”?

117. When was the last time you actually bought something from a telemarketer?

118. When was the last time you invited your audience to participate in your brand?

119. When was the last time you picked up Yellow Pages to find a product or service?

120. When was the last time you updated your brand identity?

121. When was the last time you were THRILLED to get junk mail?

122. Why are you marketing?

123. Why are you (still) wasting money on advertising?

What three questions MUST every marketer ask?

Post your lists here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Practices, THEN principles.

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs.

Rent Scott's Brain today!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

101 Lessons Learned in 2007

Don't forget to read the other ridiculously long lists in this series:
101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence
123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask

And now, for today's ridiculously long list:
101 Lessons Learned in 2007

1. Art doesn’t come from you. It comes through you.

2. ASK YOURSELF: Are customers asking for products and services you DON’T have? What does that tell you? And what are you doing about that?

3. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF: If you stopped advertising, would anybody even notice?

4. Be quick, but don’t hurry.

5. Cause people to learn it on their own.

6. Cherish your alone time.

7. Clone yourself through teaching others.

8. Compete only with yourself.

9. If you don’t set clear boundaries for yourself, people will set them for you. And then they will violate them. And, most likely, it will be YOUR fault.

10. Create consistent opportunities to demonstrate emotional reliability.

11. Create your own market.

12. Create your own personal security system.

13. Develop an unusual desire to excel.

14. Don’t create a piece of art. Contribute to an ongoing body of work.

15. Don’t “target market.” Reverse it. Concentrate on making yourself into a giant bull’s-eye. If you want to learn how use Reverse Target Marketing, send an email to and I'll tell ya!

16. Don’t set goals that are TOO ridiculous. You may end up adopting an unrealistic standard of evaluation for yourself.

17. Develop a relationship with your own mind.

18. Distrusting change = distrusting the universe.

19. Don’t be an expert; be a trusted advisor.

20. Don’t be satisfied with your first ideas.

21. Don’t count on your customers to connect the dots.

22. Don’t dilute your integrity with thoughtless commitments.

23. Don’t give away the (informational) farm. Offer exclusive content.

24. Dreams make decisions easy.

25. Every single day, your environment gives you small nudges.

26. Everything communicates something.

27. Everything you do should lead to something else you do.

28. Evidence of low trust is everywhere.

29. Figure out where others failed.

30. Get old; don’t think old.

31. The best salespeople don’t sell; they solve and help.

32. The best way to break the rules is to (not) know they ever existed.

33. Get over yourself.

34. Global is the new local.

35. He who talks next, loses. State your fee confidently and shut up.

36. Help people get beyond their misconceptions.

37. Help people see the beauty in things that are not pretty.

38. I’d rather say no than do a poor job.

39. If customers like you, they’ll find a way to buy from you. If customers don’t like you, they’ll find a way NOT to buy from you too.

40. If the first lie requires a second lie, don’t do it.

41. If they’re laughing, they’re listening.

42. Improvisation takes years of practice.

43. It’s OK (not) to shoot all your bullets.

44. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

45. Keep your material fresh.

46. Know what you DON’T know.

47. Learn to thrive in many environments.

48. Look for every possibly opportunity to reduce uncertainty.

49. Love the work more than what it produces.

50. Make it easy for customers to complain.

51. Make the choice to make choices.

52. Mission is higher purpose; vision is long-term aspiration.

53. Most people do not know what you do.

54. Most people do not know who you are.

55. Never let anyone make you second-guess yourself.

56. Nobody can stop you from learning.

57. Nobody can take away what you’ve become.

58. Not risking is the ultimate risk.

59. People don’t care what you sell, the only care what you can change.

60. People respond to simple.

61. People take their cues from you.

62. People want the HOW.

63. Perpetually hunt for insight.

64. Prove to people that you’re not going away.

65. Put yourself into situations where you have neither mastery nor control.

66. Questions are investments in human capital.

67. Questions are the basis of all cooperation.

68. Questions are the basis of all creativity.

69. Recognize threats to your ownership.

70. Refuse to check your personality at the door.

71. Refuse to define yourself by others’ assessments.

72. Register every possible permutation of your website URL.

73. Rehearse the future.

74. Risk today’s time for tomorrow’s benefit.

75. See things incorrectly.

76. Shtick gets you in the door, but only substance keeps you in the room.

77. Small business isn’t a category; it’s a lifestyle.

78. Speak up at the slightest sense of discomfort.

79. Stay over yourself. (See #33 for how to do this.)

80. Stop cursing the darkness. Strike a damn match and make something happen.

81. Stories aren’t just remembered; they’re retold.

82. Study people’s minds.

83. Take a laugh break.

84. The best way to drive your competition crazy is to just be really, really successful.

85. The farther your ideas go, the more your business will grow.

86. The listener controls.

87. The more you notice, the more you can do.

88. The only thing worse than somebody stealing your idea is NOBODY wanting to steal you idea.

89. The theater of the mind is sometimes better.

90. The two ways to become more successful: become BETTER at doing what you do; and/or start doing MORE of what you do.

91. Transparency quickly strips people of their defenses.

92. Walk more than you talk.

93. We live in an “It’s Not My Fault Culture.” So, stop evading responsibility. You always have a choice.

94. When? Now! Who? You!

95. Writing is subconscious absorption.

96. You grow bigger ears by biting your tongue.

97. You will never have all the facts.

98. You won’t know when your client has stopped trusting you.

99. Your greatness will (eventually) shine.

100. Your mind works for you.

101. Your primary task is to diffuse defensiveness.

What were your Top Ten Lessons Learned from 2007?

Post your list here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Life Coaches? Bah.

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs.

Rent Scott's Brain today!

Monday, December 17, 2007

101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence

Since this is my final workweek of 2007, I'm going to post a ridiculously long list ... every day. Be sure to check back all week!

And, don't forget to read the other ridiculously long lists in the series:
101 Lessons Learned from 2007
101 Questions Every Marketer Must

But for now:
101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence

1. Blog every single day.

2. Comment on other people’s blogs, especially when they link to your blog.

3. Post at least three videos on YouTube. Make them fun, cool, and most importantly – let the videos show you doing what you do. No more than three minutes each.

4. Post pictures on Flickr of you being yourself, working with clients, doing things you love, and most importantly – doing what you do.

5. Publish at least one article a month on public databases like They get AWESOME Google rankings for ya.

6. Write and give away at least one free ebook a year.

7. Any time someone asks to reprint one of your articles, SAY YES!

8. Any time someone wants to interview you for her podcast, blog or newsletter, SAY YES!

9. Post your tour, schedule or travel calendar on your website.

10. Blog every single day.

11. Make use of social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn. Just try not to get addicted. Accept friend requests from everyone.

12. Create a lens on Squidoo.

13. Publish a regular ezine. Share 1/2 of the main article in the body of your email letter and then publish the rest of it online to drive traffic.

14. Google your name, company name and tagline every week. It’s a great motivator to boost your web presence, especially if the only thing that comes up is your high school golf team score.

15. Publish your profile on ZoomInfo.

16. Post pictures of your customers using your products. Great testimonial.

17. Post videos of your customers using and talking about your products. Even better testimonial.

18. Don’t have (just) a website. Have several. Create an interconnected network of various sites that all point to your MAIN site. Think octopus, not earthworm. And think destination, not website.

19. Get yourself on Wikipedia. (This is REALLY hard to do, but it’s a great goal to shoot for.)

20. Blog every single day.

21. If you’re an author, make ebook versions of your books available for download. I say give ‘em away for free.

22. Include a Media Room on your website. This builds your credibility and expertise. Which will attract other media outlets to seek you out. Which will lead to more interviews. Which will lead to more hits on Google whenever someone types in your name or your area of expertise.

23. Interview other people and post the transcripts or audio files online. They’ll take ownership of the piece and tell everyone they know to come to your site.

24. Start an online TV network.

25. Just be remarkable.

26. Give more speeches. Even if they’re free. See, what happens is, the organization you speak for will include your name and bio on their website. They’ll also post the conference agenda as a PDF online, which will come up as a hit on Google when people type in your name or area of expertise. Sweet.

27. Figure out what everyone else in your industry is doing and then do the opposite.

28. Post lots of lists.

29. Blog every single day.

30. Post your PowerPoint slides on Slide Share or your blog. (NOTE: don’t do this if your slides SUCK. And most people’s slides suck.)

31. Capture emails and build your list. Create a permission asset. Emails are GOLD.

32. Register misspellings, permutations and variations of your main URL and redirect them to your homepage.

33. I don’t know much about Search Engine Optimization, Google Ad words and Pay-Per-Click, but I hear that stuff works pretty well. Something to think about.

34. Got a book? Cool. Get it on Google Book Search.

35. Speaking of Google, get lots of Google alerts on your name, company name, product name, etc. This will help you stay current with what’s being said about you on the Web. (And if nobody is talking about you on the web, you’re in trouble.)

36. Review books on

37. Do surveys on your website and publish the results.

38. Do audio podcasts.

39. Do video podcasts.

40. Then post them on your blog.

41. (And of course, blog every single day.)

42. Google the names of the leaders in your industry. Evaluate their search results. Check out their web presence and see what they’re doing right. Then copy them.

43. If possible, get on CNN. That really helped me.

44. Join organizations, non-profits and trade associations. Get listed on their directories. Also, consider taking a leadership position or becoming a board member. They might even give you your own page on the organization’s website! (NOTE: don’t sign up just to get listed. Sign up to learn, grow, give back and make friends. Let web presence be incidental, not a intentional.)

45. FACE IT: you’re not giving away enough free stuff. Give more. The more you give away for free, the wealthier you will be. More on that theory here.

46. Share link love FIRST. People will be happy to reciprocate.

47. Send blog posts to people who would appreciate them. BUT, don’t ask them to blog about you. Just deliver value. Reach out to someone new. I did this once and the guy ended up blogging about me, which led to about 1 million hits in five days.

48. Learn about Digg and get dug. Unbelievably powerful.

49. Every time you meet someone who says, “Yeah, I’ve heard of you!” or “Oh, I’ve been to your site before,” write it down. Keep a Word of Mouth Journal. Notice patterns and soon you will hit a critical mass.

50. Dude: just be everywhere!

51. Leverage your expertise in every possible way.

52. Tell your story and make sure other people are telling it too.

53. Don’t cheap out on your website. It’s worth it.

54. Every time someone comes to your website, make sure they know THE ONE THING YOU WANT THEM TO DO, right away.

55. Blog every single day.

56. Blog every single day.

57. Blog every single day.

58. Blog every single day.

59. Blog every single day.

60. Blog every single day.

61. Blog every single day.

62. Blog every single day.

63. Blog every single day.

64. Blog every single day.

65. Blog every single day.

66. Blog every single day.

67. Blog every single day.

68. Blog every single day.

69. Blog every single day.

70. Blog every single day.

71. Blog every single day.

72. Blog every single day.

73. Blog every single day. (Any questions on this one?)

74. Install Google Analytics. Figure out where people are coming from.

75. Post in forums. Write intelligent, value-added responses. And have a cool signature.

76. Blog every single day.

77. Personally, I think press releases are WORTHLESS. However, many people have had great success with PR Web and other press release websites. Something to thing about.

78. Have some kind of lead-capturing device.

79. Submit your RSS feeds to Feed Burner.

80. Buy lots of domains and redirect them to your main site until you find another use for them.

81. Connect with other like-minded professionals who are ALSO creating a web presence. Have virtual lunches, regular email conversations and listserve discussions to brainstorm ideas and keep each other accountable.

82. SIX WORDS: Send This Site to a Friend!

83. Google the phrase “creating a web presence.” Read up.

84. Email and ask me what the biggest marketing mistake made by entrepreneurs is. I’m happy to share it with you.

85. Figure out your Noticeable Number. Quantify the most remarkable aspect about your business and put a counter on your page that encourages word of mouth and revisitability. (Think McDonalds’ Billion Hamburger Counter).

86. Everything you write (articles, blog posts, press releases) MUST have a response mechanism built into it. Your writing becomes persuasive and effective the moment it compels the reader act upon (not think about) something. Here’s a mini-list of different types of response mechanisms to try:

o Go to this website, login if you’re a first time user…
o Email me with your three biggest questions about…
o Call me for your free consultation on…
o Send me a copy of your…
o Post your best story about…
o Link to this post on your blog, along with your list of…
o Leave a comment with your three best techniques for…
o I challenge you to try this for a week. Email me after you’ve…
o Try this on your blog and then send me the link…
o For a free downloadable ebook on this topic, go to…
o To receive my weekly ezine for tips on…
o Send an email with the words “I need sales!” in the subject line…
o If you’d like to know the rest of the formula, fax your letterhead to…

87. As you can see, I’m big on writing. And not just because I AM a writer. Mainly because writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. Writing is the basis of all wealth. (GOT THAT?)

88. Speaking of writing: blog every single day.

89. And use Technorati to promote your blog.

90. Also, think about getting Meebo Messenger. Coolest thing on the Internet.

91. Contribute to entries on Wikipedia.

92. Start your own group on Facebook.

93. Use lots of colorful, singing, dancing pop ups on your website. (No, wait, sorry. Wrong list.)

94. Read Seth Godin’s blog. Do what he says.

95. Read Top Peters’ blog. Do what he says.

96. Read Bob Baker’s blog. Do what he says.

97. Evaluate your website’s hit and unique user ratio. Set a goal to double it within 12 months.

98. Evaluate your present newsletter, RSS feed or other type of subscriber number. Set a goal to double it within 12 months.

99. Just google “Gitomer.” Now THAT’S a web presence!

100. Read the book Naked Conversations. Totally awesome.

101. Read the book The Cluetrain Manifesto. Absolutely the best book ever written about the Internet.

How's your web presence?

Right here, right now, post your list: Top 10 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence. We'd love to see it!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Consultants, schmonsultants.

No systems. No formulas. Just someone who listens, asks KILLER questions and facilitates creative breakthroughs.

Rent Scott's Brain today!