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Friday, October 31, 2008

101 Things I Learned in October of 2008

What a month.

Today is Halloween, and I'm pooped.

Just finished a series of hospitality training programs in Dodge City, Kansas. I'm off to Portland now to see some old friends, so, for the first time in my life, I can LITERALLY say, "I'm gettin' the heck outta Dodge" and actually mean it!

Sweet.

Anyway, I'm taking today off. So, here's a spook-tacular list called 101 Things I Learned in October of 2008. Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

1. Abolish excuse barrages.
2. Abolish your intentionality.
3. About, not from.
4. Absorb musical dissonance.
5. Absorb the lessons.
6. Accept internal resistors.
7. Answers are overrated.
8. Answers WILL emerge.
9. Appreciation accelerates accomplishment.
10. Are you undercharging?
11. Trust accelerates growth.
12. Articulate what’s occurring.
13. Aspire to grow.
14. Aspire to serve.



15. Attract quality people.
16. Become incredibly selfish.
17. Become unconditionally constructive.
18. Boring organizations fizzle.
19. Heretics must believe.
20. Build enduring peace.
21. Cheer people on.
22. Jot down thought-starters.
23. Contradiction invites defensiveness.
24. Counteract the sabotage.
25. Crisis is creative.
26. Crisis refines us.
27. Curious is punished.
28. Curious people count.
29. Don’t lecture continuously.
30. Drop your cares.
31. Educate customers continuously.
32. Education never stops.
33. Elevate your genre.
34. Encourage truthful self-expression.
35. Endeavor to live.
36. Engage the visitor.
37. Enter the pain.
38. Escalate your giving.
39. Evaluate your sights.
40. Evolve AND develop.
41. Examine, without judgment.
42. Express inner music.
43. Faith is underrated.
44. Feedback is overrated.
45. Follow your fantasies.
46. Followers or employees?
47. Foster the good.
48. Eliminate the bad.
49. Great ideas spread.
50. Hate is death.
51. Forgiveness is life.
52. Have sound self-value.
53. Honest fosters courage.
54. Honesty is appealing.
55. Honesty promotes authenticity.
56. Hope reveals ideals.
57. Hope revitalizes visions.
58. Individualize you must.
59. Internet eliminates geography.
60. Is this solvable?
61. Judgments are blocks.
62. Learn self-centering skills.
63. Leave a trace.
64. Lessons, not mistakes.
65. Make a ruckus.
66. Make direct requests.
67. Make goals value-based.
68. Marketplaces reward innovation.
69. Motivate, connect, leverage.
70. Obey noble impulses.
71. Open readers’ eyes.
72. Pain obliterates aliveness.
73. Reactivity erases choice.
74. Reframe your resistance.
75. Hope renews dreams.
76. Regain lost ground.
77. Religion is overrated.
78. Repaint better angels.
79. Responsibility, not reactivity.
80. Revive precious memories.
81. Shake yourself awake.
82. Share your inklings.
83. Sharing IS giving.
84. Sharing is unifying.
85. Shift inner conversations.
86. Slow everything down.
87. Smash destructive idols.
88. Stop silently rehearsing.
89. Strengthen your foundation.
90. Stretch yourself further.
91. Tolerations consume energy.
92. Tribes, not factories.
93. Validate client concerns.
94. Waiting doesn’t pay
95. Who coaches you?
96. Honesty is attractive.
97. Winners have coaches.
98. Witness, not manipulator.
99. Writing changes everything.
100. Writing transforms pain.
101. Writing untangles threads.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What lessons did you learn in October?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of my Top 100 Self-Consultative Questions, send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

How to "freeze" your experiences

You can learn business lessons from yoga class.
You can glean relationship guidance from cartoons.
You can soak in self-improvement advice from nature.

Sound like a stretch?

You’re right. It is.

But that’s the cornerstone of creative thinking.

Turning your everyday routines into peak experiences.

This process involves three steps:

1. You freeze the experience, extracting its essence.
2. You reflect it back, applying it to your own life.
3. You identify the source, pinpointing its purpose.

Let’s look at each component in greater detail...

STEP 1: FREEZE THE EXPERIENCE
That means registering the moment. All this fodder, these experiences surrounding you that you perceive through your personal filter, you must be able to F-R-E-E-Z-E. That means you see something, take a Mental Polaroid of it and then clothespin it onto your psyche for further evaluation.



That means investigation. Slowly, as the experience freezes, you view it from all angles. You walk 360 degrees around it. With an Elliot Stabler-like thumb on your chin, you investigate it. Ask it questions. Poke it a little. Tease it apart and gently untangle its essence. Rip its clothes off, strip it of every outer layer until its naked truth plops down on that imaginary interrogation chair, staring at you.

That means grasping the essence in an instant. You boil your ideas down quickly. This immediate distilling process means getting a firm grasp on anything you pay attention to, right away. Being able to say, “Oh, so THAT’s what that was.”

During this step, you ask some basic questions:

o What fundamental principles might be at work here?
o Now, what is THAT communicating?
o So, what does that tell me?
o So, what idea(s) does this give me?
o What can I translate out of this?
o Does this represent some reality I can recognize?

REMEMBER: The more you notice about an experience; the more you can do with it.

STEP 2: REFLECT BACK
That means scanning. Finding interest in anything. Seeing yourself in anything. Studying ordinary things intently; then unfolding and revealing the things most people wouldn’t think to capture. Plugging whatever you perceive into the equations of your theory of the universe. Asking yourself how it relates to you, why it’s interesting and how it’s an example or symbol of something that’s important to you.

That means looking beyond what you see. Seeing something FIRST, then going beyond it by asking lots of questions. Not only figuring out what it has to do with you; but also discovering what other ideas are its long lost third cousins. Then having an idea reunion. This enables you to embrace the lesson(s) right away. Without waiting for someone to tell you. Without waiting for the inherent trueness to hit you a year later. Without having to look too deep or too long.

So, since you’ve already identified the fundamental principles at work within the experience, this next set of questions will help you apply those basic principles to your own reality:

o What does this have to do with my life?
o How can I use this to evolve and transform my life?
o How can I use what I’m experiencing right now to grow?
o How does this fit into my theory of the universe?
o How can I use this in my life?
o How might I adapt all or part of that process to what I do?
o How can I use this idea, principle or technique to achieve my goals or solve my problems?
o Is there a method of thinking or a metaphor implied that I could adapt to my own ideas, life or business?
o How can I use this situation as an opportunity to learn something about and change myself for the better?

REMEMBER: Identify concepts that allow you to “breed” other ideas from those concepts, also known as movement value. Expand, grow, cook, stretch and shift your experience, allowing it to spawn creative offspring.

STEP 3: IDENTIFY THE SOURCE
That means owning your experiences. OK. You’ve engaged in intelligent refelction upon this experience. You’ve participated in an ongoing dialogue with yourself. You’ve (hopefully) answered some of the questions, written about them, chronicling life, thus making the experience LESS fleeting. Great job. You slowly own what just happened to you.

That means allows anything or anyone to mentor you. In her inspiring book, The Mentor’s Spirit, Marsha Sinetar explains, “You’re a concept researcher, searching each current and particle of existence for truth.” This is the final step. This is what you’re doing right now.

So, since you’ve already frozen the experience and extracted the fundamentals; reflected back and applied it to your own life, the ending element is to uncover WHY this experience has transpired. As yourself these questions:

o What did God say to me through this message?
o What is the message that the universe is giving me?
o What is this a test of?
o Where can I use this?
o How can I allow this to mentor me?
o What action should I take as a result of this message?

REMEMBER: There are no little things. Everything matters and everybody is somebody’s somebody.

- - -

Every single day, your environment gives you small nudges.

And you have a choice to either to let them pass you by, or turn them into peak experiences.

Freeze the experience.
Reflect it back.
Identify the source.

Become an expert at learning from your experiences.

After all, opportunity never stops knocking – only YOU stop listening.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your secret to learning from your experiences?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Nobody talking about your business?

Bummer. Perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott's Brain today!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If you write it, they will come

My favorite Jack Johnson lyric is, “Love is the answer to most of the questions in my heart.”

I have a similar philosophy for business.

“Writing is the answer.”

Or, as Kevin Costner would say, “If you write it, they will come.”

After all, writing is the basis of all wealth.

And because I vehemently believe (and practice) this philosophy, my default answer for just about everything is “writing.”

“If writing isn’t the answer, you’re asking the wrong question,” I like to say.

A few examples:

1. “How can I get the media to come to ME for interviews and expert opinions?”

Writing is the answer.

HERE’S HOW: Blog every single day. Write meaty, list-based posts on your specific niche topic. Use pictures. Have fun. Share link love. Encourage comments and community. Customize your template. Discover your authentic writing voice through daily practice. Repeat for 6-12 months.

And the media will come.

2. “How can I meet the right person?”

Writing is the answer.

HERE’S HOW: Make a list of every person you’ve ever dated. Think back to what you liked (and didn’t like) about each one. Soon, you’ll notice trends. Then identify 5-7 bullet points for your IDEAL partner.

That way, you’ll know exactly what to look for when he or she crosses your path. And as you begin to focus your mind on specific type of person, you will start to attract that person.

And the right person will come.

3. “How can I come up with more creative ideas?”

Writing is the answer.

HERE’S HOW: First thing in the morning (even before checking email) open a blank document. Spew out every single thought and/or idea that’s running through your mind. DO NOT stop writing until you’ve filled up three pages.

This form of meditation will help you listen to yourself in a non-judgmental, safe setting. You will “get your creative shanks out,” which will allow the flow of your best, most creative thoughts.

And the ideas will come.

4. “How can I discover what my unique brand is?”

Writing is the answer.

HERE’S HOW: Grab some paper and answer the following questions:

o What are you recognized as being the best at? The first at?
o Finish this sentence: “I’m only person you’ll ever meet who ______.”
o If you didn’t have to work, what would you do all day?
o If you were the last person alive, what three things would you (still) do every day?
o If someone was going to pay you $5000 an hour, what are the questions they’d have to ask you to get their money’s worth?
o If you asked three of your closest friends to describe you in one word, what would they say?
o If you only had two hours a day to work, what would you do?

Once you get all the answers, your area of differentiation will reveal itself.

And your brand will come.

5. “How can I find time to write my book?

Writing is the answer.

HERE’S HOW: Challenge yourself to simply write for 15 minutes a day. Pick a variety of topics that are within your scope of expertise. Then, each day write “modules.” Not blog posts. Not articles. Modules. Uncategorized chunks of creative material.

After six months, go back to your body of work. (That’s a total of 1,800 minutes or 30 hours of solid writing!) Then, lay each of your module ideas out on the floor on individual note cards. Look for patterns. Organize them into 5-7 categories, or piles. Then, put them into a logical order.

And your book will come.

6. “How can I get more web traffic?”

Writing is the answer.

HERE’S HOW: Take all of your blog posts, ezines, articles and modules and upload them onto www.ezinearticles.com. Start your own profile as an Expert Author. Then, at the end of each article, include your bio and a special offer (a free ebook or 15 minute consultation, for example) in the resource box.

And your traffic will come.

7. “How can I increase my luck?”

Writing is the answer.

HERE’S HOW: Make a list of 101 Goals. Figure out exactly what you 1) Want to have, 2) Want to accomplish, and 3) Want to become. Out of that entire list, choose two major goals (one personal and one professional.)

Write those two goals down on sticky notes, whiteboards, index cards or any other form of visual reminder. Keep them in front of your face at all times. This will create a laser-like focus. Which will create a force of attraction.

And your luck will come.

8. “How can I get customers to call ME?”

Writing is the answer.

HERE’S HOW: Publish a regular ezine. Keep it short; keep it fun. Deliver unique value and don’t self-promote too much. Offer content-driven, practical expertise in the form of articles, lists and blog posts. Help your readers build their businesses and better their lives.

Then, as your subscription base (aka, your Permission Asset) grows, you will increase customer mindshare. This will shorten your sales cycle, lower customer acquisition costs and decrease your overall marketing expenses.

And the customers will come.

- - - -

As you can see, writing (truly) is the basis of all wealth.

THEREFORE: If you write it, they will come.

“They” meaning ideas.
“They” meaning the media.
“They” meaning web traffic.
“They” meaning opportunities.
“They” meaning new customers.
“They” meaning solutions to your problems.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What did YOU write today?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "9 Things Every Writer Needs to Do Every Day," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

No time to write?
Can't finish that book?
Dog ate your last article?

Come to the St. Louis Writing Marathon!

No excuses. Just writing. All day.

I promise it will be the best $20 you'll spend on your writing career all year.

Learn more at www.writingmarathon.com!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NametagTV: Memorable Presence

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9.

Watch the original video on NametagTV!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you creating a memorable presence in YOUR community?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "19 Ways to be the ONE Person Everybody Remembers at the Conference," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Satisfaction not enough?
Customers not telling their friends about you?
Want to learn how to deliver unforgettable service?

Buy Scott's new book and learn how to get your frontline IN line!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The 20 Commandments of Making a Name for Yourself

1. ABSORB thy lessons. Because we learn not from our experiences but from intelligent reflection upon those experiences. Start by making lists called, “101 Lessons I Learned from…”

2. ARTICULATE thy –est. Fastest. Slowest. Smartest. Dumbest. Tallest. Shortest. Ugliest. Cutest. Gayest. Straightest. Identify your superlative and broadcast it from the rooftops. People can’t help but be attracted to your –est.

3. ATTACK thy page. Stop procrastinating. Stop making excuses. Just write. Everyday. Sit down, open a vein and go. Keep the hand(s) moving. Make the page your bitch, but in a respectful and honorable way.

4. AVOID thy always. Figure out what everybody else is “always” doing. Figure out what everybody expects people like you to “always” do. Then do the opposite. Violate their expectations.

5. DRIVE thy business. Grow or die. Innovate or evaporate. Be distinct or become extinct. Remember what your #1 goal is. Remember what your #1 income generating activity is. Remember what your bread and butter is.

6. DROP thy drama. Save it for yo mama. Drama means emotion, and emotion means disturbance. Literally. And you don’t need to disturb; you need to deepen. Get over it. Let it go. Be objective for once.

7. ELIMINATE thy losers. Surround yourself with quality people that challenge and inspire you. Don’t waste your time with bloodsuckers that want nothing other than to sponge your brilliance. Charge them a premium for your brain or walk away.

8. EXPLORE thy depths. Meditate daily. Write daily. Penetrate your soul. Don’t just know yourself – know your Self. See how deep you can go.

9. GUARD thy time. Because if you don’t, other people will steal it from you. And it will be your fault. So, learn how to say no quickly. Hang out with people who are making money and NOT the people who want to learn how YOU make money.

10. HONOR thy practice. Because practice is religion. Practice is the secret. And practice proves that you’re actually DOING something, not just talking shit all the time.

11. HONOR thy tingles. They’re trying to tell you something. Hints. Clues. Omens. Signs. That’s what tingles are. When the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, be sure your awareness stands up as well. Erect your carriage and figure out what it is you’re supposed to be noticing.

12. KNOW thy dharma. Your purpose. You calling. The validation of your existence. The reason you’re alive. And make sure that every day, you do at least ONE THING that’s completely in line with that dharma.

13. LEAVE thy familiar. Comfort zones are overrated. You don’t learn a thing unless you’re uncomfortable. Throw yourself into the sea more often and eventually the waves will have less of an effect on you.

14. MAKE the leap. Stop making it a hobby. Stop doing it only on the weekends. Plunge into the terrifying depths and go full time. If you don’t want to make this a business, don’t bother.

15. NOTICE thy never. Figure out what everybody else is “never” doing. Figure out what everybody expects people like you to “never” do. Then do the opposite. Violate their expectations.

16. NURTURE thy nuts. If everyone says you’re nuts, you just might be onto something. And if you’re not a LITTLE nuts, you’re a putz.

17. REGISTER thy domain. Because he who owns the domain owns the idea. Because domains are currency and real estate. And if you don’t buy the domain, some snot-nosed, pot-smoking college punk WILL. And in three years, he’ll be on Oprah. And then you’ll REALLY be pissed.

18. REHEARSE the future. That way you’ll be ready for it. That way, when it happens, it will feel like you’ve done it a million times. That way, failure will become impossible.

19. REMEMBER thy breath. Breath is life. Breath is everything. And it’s especially important when emotions heighten, when discomfort increases or when the world tries to kick you in the balls. Remember: Fast heart means slow lungs.

20. SHARE thy truth. Not statistics. Not THEE answer. Your truth. Your philosophy. That which is unarguable and unshakable. That which has enabled you to be successful. What works for you that may or may not work for others.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What are your commandments?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "27 Ways to "OUT" the Competition," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, October 24, 2008

How to market your business using ZERO time and money

Two questions I get asked a lot:

1. How much MONEY do you spend on marketing?

Well, on one hand, you could say “zero,” if your customers are doing your marketing for you.

On the other hand, you could say “mucho dinero,” if everything you do is a form of marketing.

2. How much TIME do you spend on marketing each day?

Well, on one hand, you could say “zero,” if your customers are doing your marketing for you.

On the other hand, you could say “all of it,” if everything you do is a form of marketing.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How much money and time do you spend on marketing?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "11 Ways to Out-Market the Competition," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Nobody talking about your business?

Bummer. Perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott's Brain today!




Thursday, October 23, 2008

There's 500 people here - AND THEY'RE ALL WEARING NAMETAGS!

The other day I was in a room surrounded by 500 people, all wearing nametags.

This was both weird and awesome at the same time.

It was weird because I’m not used to OTHER people wearing nametags.

Almost like that scene in Being John Malkovitch when he goes inside his own head, only to be surrounded by dozens of his clones speaking the words, “MalkovitchMalkovitchMalkovitch!”

It was awesome because, for once, I was on the other side of the tag. For once I actually know everyone else's name. Hooray!

After my workshop was over, one of the women from the audience came up to chat.

“Must be weird seeing everyone ELSE wearing nametags, huh Scott?”

“Yeah, for real,” I said. “But it's sort of weird and cool at the same time.”

“So then, I gotta ask,” she said, “When everybody wears nametags, do you feel like you’re no longer unique?”

I thought about that for a sec.

“Actually, not at all. As you learned today, there’s nothing unique about wearing a nametag. That might be different, but it’s not unique. See, when I’m surrounded by 500 people wearing nametags, I’m unique because I’m the ONLY person in the room – not who’s WEARING a nametag – but who made a CAREER out of wearing a nametag.”

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you unique or just different?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "16 Questions to Uncover Your Natural-Born Expertise," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What do people get when they get you?

The old you?
The real you?
The new you?
The becoming you?

The you that nobody expected?
The you that nobody saw coming?

The you that they wanted you to be?
The you that they read about online?
The you that you were told you were?
The you that they were told you were?
The you that they hoped you would be?
The you that you used to be afraid to be?
The you that you think they wanted you to be?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What do people get when they get you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "25 Questions to Uncover Your BEST," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

What's YOUR approach?

Join The Nametag Forums! Share stories, best practices and connect with a like-minded community of business professionals who stick themselves out there!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Telling stories isn't enough

Yes, stories are powerful.
Yes, stories are what people remember most.
Yes, stories are better than statistics or quotes.
Yes, stories are what people connect with most.
Yes, stories are the best way to communicate a message.

But.

You can’t just tell the story. That’s not enough.

You’ve got to “stick the landing,” as Story Theater founder Doug Stevenson says.

So, when your story is over, don’t just move on to the next story.

First, figure four things:

1. Lessons. Sure, that was a great story and everything – but what did you learn?

People don’t care what you know; they only care what you’ve learned. Which makes sense since we learn not from experiences, but from intelligent reflection upon those experiences, as my mentor says.

So, think about one of your stories. Then ask yourself:

o How did this incident make you better or teach you resilience?
o What are 101 lessons I learned from ALL your experiences as a (x)?
o What wisdom have you gleaned from the hardships you’ve endured?
o What three practical lessons can you audience or readers learn from this story?

2. Universal Human Experience/Emotion. Sure, that was a great story and everything – but will people actually relate to it?

This could also be called the “Me Too” or “I Can Do It” factor. And it’s something that a LOT of speakers miss. For example, hearing some guy talk about his adventures climbing Mt. Everest on a steady diet of Snickers and snow isn’t exactly relatable to the common man.

And don’t give me that trite, motivational BS about how your audience members need to “Climb their own PERSONAL Mt. Everest.” Nice try, mountain boy.

So, think about one of your stories. Then ask yourself:

o What Universal Human Emotion happened to you during this experience?
o How does this story represent a common reality your audience can recognize?
o How does the audience identify with the dominant feelings and emotions you expressed?
o In what other areas of people’s lives can they apply the lessons of your experience?

3. Take Home Value. Sure, that was a great story and everything – but how, specifically, can people apply it to their lives?

This is the crucial moment where the speaker explicitly ASKS his audience, “What about you?” Other variations to this question include: “How are YOU going to…?” “What is YOUR organization going to do about…?” and “When was the last time YOU…?”

So, think about one of your stories. Then ask yourself:

o How can people profit from this experience?
o How does this story apply cross-industrially?
o In what kind of future situations could your audience these learnings?

4. Call to Action. Sure, that was a great story and everything – but what specific action do you want people to take, RIGHT NOW?

This is the crucial moment where the speaker explicitly CHALLENGES his audience, “Alright folks, here’s what I want you to do…?” Other variations to this question include: “I challenge each of you to…” “When you leave this room, I encourage you to…” and “When you get back to your office, I suggest that you…”

So, think about one of your stories. Then ask yourself:

o What tangible action do you want people to take, right now?
o What will response mechanism will be included in this speech?
o As a result of hearing this story, what do you want your audience members to DO, THINK or FEEL differently?

REMEMBER: You can’t just tell the story. That’s not enough.

So, next time you give a speech, be sure to include the Lesson(s), the Universal Human Emotion, the Take Home Value and the Call to Action. As a result, your audience members won’t even care if you climbed Mt. Everest or not.

Because they’ll be too busy listening.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What (else) are you doing besides telling stories?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "31 Questions to Turn Your Expertise into Money," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Nobody talking about your business?

Bummer. Perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott's Brain today!




Monday, October 20, 2008

Grow Bigger Ears: Heart Listening

As a writer, it’s almost impossible for me to read a book, have a conversation or experience ANYTHING without writing something down.

What can I say? A writer writes. Always.

Ironically, while the ability to capture and catalog ideas and experiences has become my greatest asset as a writer, it’s also become my greatest weakness as a listener.

Especially in conversation. For example, when someone makes a profound comment, asks a killer question or juxtaposes words in a beautifully unexpected way, I become SO excited, SO energized and SO intent on capturing and processing that little nugget of truth … that I sometimes stop listening.

This reaction causes two problems:

1. You miss out on whatever is said next. Like when you’re at the movies with one of those annoying people who keeps asking you questions like, “Who’s that guy?” and “Why did she sleep with her sister’s fiancĂ©?” and after explaining everything to them, you end up missing the next scene.

2. You neglect the opportunity to let the original idea TRULY resonate down to your core.

LESSON LEARNED: Listen with your heart, not your head.

See, everyone’s got their poison. Some vice or magnet that distracts their listening practice by internally competing for the attention of their ears.

For me, it’s my pen.

What about you?

What distracts you from (fully) giving yourself to the other person?

My friend and occasional therapist, Richard Avdoian, suggest the following:

“Allow things to profoundly penetrate you. Even if you don’t understand them right away. Be patient and mindful enough to let them enter through your head and slowly drift down to your heart.”

To gain a better understanding of Heart Listening, I’ve laid out four daily practices that you can start applying TODAY to grow bigger ears.

1. Let the pearl sink. When you’re given a piece of advice, or when someone utters an unexpected, profound gem, STOP. Pause for a moment to repeat the idea – out loud and/or in your head. Reflect on it. Freeze it in your mind. Register the moment. Take a Mental Polaroid of it and then clothespin it onto your psyche for further evaluation. Take a few breaths. Allow this new pearl to slowly sink from your head down to your heart.

LISTEN UP: Are you understanding things too quickly?

2. Capture and return. The challenge is to find a balance between capturing and listening. My suggestion is to “capture and return." When your conversation partner makes an important point, or if a profound thought suddenly enters into your brain, quickly jot down the premise of the idea and return to the discussion. NO PROCESSING. NO EXPANDING. Capture and return. Honor the conversation.

LISTEN UP: Do have enough self-control to press the hold button on your next amazing idea for the purpose of being an attentive listener?

3. Multiple readings. Reading is also a form of listening. And some books require a higher level of thinking, and therefore are worth reading a few times. My suggestion is to first read the book with no pen. No processing. No note taking. Gently allow the author’s words wash over you. Then, come back to the book a second time. This assures that the key ideas from the reading become part of your daily practices and, therefore, truly resonate down to your core.

LISTEN UP: Are you listening to what the page is telling you?

4. Stop taking so many pictures. During my annual trip to Sedona this summer, I forgot my camera. Amazingly, however, my trip wasn’t any less memorable without my camera. In fact, this year it was even MORE unforgettable than ever. Because instead of taking pictures of every gorgeous canyon I passed, I would simply stop for a moment, take a few deep breaths, and allow my surroundings to imprint themselves on my soul. THAT was the only exposure that mattered.

LISTEN UP: Are you creating REAL memories or just taking a bunch of pictures?

I encourage you to begin practicing each of these four examples of growing bigger ears. In so doing you will honor the speaker, stay focused on the present moment and reduce the likelihood of missing out on important ideas.

Ooh! That was a good line. Better write that one down...

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you listening with your head or your heart?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "27 Reasons People Aren't Listening to You," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How many unsolicited referrals did YOU get this week?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on enabling customers to buy!


Friday, October 17, 2008

But I’ve already seen that movie like, ten times!

Shawshank Redemption is one of the greatest movies ever.

That’s not an opinion, that’s a fact. It’s #72 on The American Film Institute’s list of Top 100 Movies of All Time.

SO THE QUESTION IS: What makes that movie so great?

Yes, the script is brilliant.
After all, it WAS based on a Stephen King short story.

Duh, the cinematography was unreal.
Of course - Sam Mendes directed it.

Sure, the acting is phenomenal.
Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. Can’t beat ‘em.

And of course, the story is incredible.
Remember at the end when the warden finds the tunnel behind the poster of Rita Hayworth and the rock hammer in Andy Dufregne’s bible? Classic!

But there’s another characteristic of that movie that makes it the best.

You can watch Shawshank a hundred times, and still take away something totally different EVERY time.

Ironically, people often complain:

But I’ve already read that book…
But I’ve already seen that movie…
But I’ve already heard that speaker before…

And there is SOME truth to that gripe. I can understand how people wouldn’t want to expose themselves to certain things multiple times; for fear that those things would become repetitive and predictable.

BUT THE REAL THE QUESTION IS: What if it’s not the movie – but rather, YOU – who changed?

Sure, every time you watch Shawshank, the move is going to be the same.

But YOU’RE not.

You can’t step into the same river twice.

AND HERE’S THE SCARY PART: Next time you’re considering NOT reading a book you’ve already read before; NOT watching a movie you’ve already seen before; or NOT listening to a speaker you’ve already heard before, ask yourself this question…

What if your customers said that about YOU?

Nah, we’ve already bought from Dave before. Let’s find a different salesperson this year.

Yikes.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Why are your customers coming BACK to you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "13 Reasons Your Competitors Are Getting More Attention than You," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Beware of being TOO

There’s good.
There’s great.
There’s awesome.

And then, occasionally, there’s someone who’s TOO.

TOO good.
TOO perfect.
TOO polished.
TOO rehearsed.
TOO calculated.
TOO impressive.
TOO good looking.
TOO knowledgeable.

And people start to wonder.

They also start to QUESTION.

“Is this guy for real?”
“How can I compare to that?”
“Who’s supposed to relate to this?”

If people are too busy questioning you, that means they’re (probably) not LISTENING to you.

It reminds me of the scene in She's Out of Control, (classic!) where Tony Danza's character realizes her daughter's boyfriend is TOO perfect.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Be careful. Perfection isn't approachable.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you TOO?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "19 Way to be the ONE Person Everybody Remembers at the Conference," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

What's YOUR approach?

Join The Nametag Forums! Share stories, best practices and connect with a like-minded community of business professionals who stick themselves out there!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Back to the Future Questions™

1.21 GIGAWATTS!

What movie comes to mind when you hear those words?

Back to the Future, of course. Greatest movie of all time.

AND HERE’S THE SECRET: You don’t need a Delorian to travel through time.

All you need is a question.


A well-timed question.
A well-crafted question.
A creativity-challenging, motivation-uncovering question.

I call these Back to the Future Questions™. They work for four reasons:

First, they ENABLE people to act as if the desired changed already occurred.

TRY THESE:
1. How would you BE if you were already living your dream?
2. How would the person you hope to become do what you’re about to do?
3. How would you BE if you were sure you were going to get what you wanted?
4. How would your voice sound if you knew for sure you were going to get exactly what you wanted?

Next, they HELP people imagine what they need to become in order for their goals to manifest.

TRY THESE:
1. What will this decision look like in 10 years?
2. For your life to be perfect, what would have to change?
3. What kind of person do you definitely NOT want to become?
4. Is this experience helping you become the best version of yourself?
5. If you pursued this dream, what would your life look like in 30 days?
6. What would REAL fulfillment look like in this area if you were truly living your life purpose?

Third, they EMPOWER people to speak from the future, then look back to identify the steps that led there.

TRY THESE:
1. How do you want the world to know you 3-5 years from now?
2. What three things can you do TODAY to increase your freedom tomorrow?
3. Look ahead six months: standing there, what decisions would you make today?
4. What three small acts you could take today to prepare for the life or work that you’d like?
5. What steps need to be taken to make you feel like you’ve achieved a Return on Investment from this new endeavor?
6. What has to happen in the next year for us to be able to look back and say, “That was best possible use of our efforts”?

Lastly, they INSPIRE people to paint a compelling, detailed picture of the desired future and make meaningful strides toward it.

TRY THESE:
1. What would your life look like right now if you were truly healthy?
2. If everyone did exactly what you said, what would the world look like?
3. What are the essential features of the world you want to live in so you can be your best?
4. When you imagine living the life you want, how do you see yourself starting your day?
5. What would REAL fulfillment look like in this area if you were truly living your life purpose?
6. What if, overnight, a miracle occurred, and you woke up tomorrow morning and the problem was solved – what would be the first thing you would notice?

I challenge you to go back to the future TODAY. Try a few of these questions, or create list of your own questions.

Enable, help, inspire and empower people – including yourself - to discover the Gigawatts of Truth that lay within.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you taking people back to the future?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "27 Reasons People Aren't Listening to You," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

* * * *

Planning your 2009 Conference? If you want The Nametag Guy, better hurry. Only 28 slots left.

Watch Scott in action here!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

NametagTV: Return Calls Faster

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9.

Watch the original video on NametagTV!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you returning calls faster than your competitors?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "38 Ways to Make Your Customers GASP," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Satisfaction not enough?
Customers not telling their friends about you?
Want to learn how to deliver unforgettable service?

Buy Scott's new book and learn how to get your frontline IN line!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Three Words of Advice: Ideas












(To read past posts in this series, check this out!)

Become idea prone.
By organizing your inner and outer landscapes.

Create idea-friendly time.
Where anything goes and nothing is judged.

Create self-evident ideas.
Because if they don’t “get it” right away, they never will

Express ideas visually.
It’s easier to infect others with your passion that way.

Hone multiple ideas.
Because there’s never ONE answer.

Ideas create money.
How many ideas did YOU come up with this week?

Just capture ideas.
Because if you don’t write it down, it never happened.

Make Idea Goals.
They’re just as important as your tangible goals.

Need crazy ideas.
To live, work and BE effectively and completely.

Present graspable ideas.
Because you’ve only got a few seconds.

Save bad ideas.
Because you never know when they’ll come in handy.

Sidestep idea grindhouses.
It’s not fair to your inner child.

Synthesize ideas constantly.
Because they’re all connected.

Transplant your ideas.
To multiple domains and dimensions.

Welcome wild ideas.
They’re healthy for the creative soul.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How many ideas did you have today?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Is your frontline IN line?

Tune in to The Frontline Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on delivering unforgettable service!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

10 Questions that Changed My Business Forever

There is nothing more powerful than a question.

A question can ENABLE learning.
A question can PREDICT the future.
A question can EXPLODE people’s brains.
A question can CRACK open a new world.
A question can ENLIST your creativity.
A question can SEND you off to the races.
A question can CUT deeply, yet playfully.
A question can VISUALIZE ideal conditions.
A question can EMPOWER others to turn inward.
A question can FORCE you to confront yourself.
A question can FUNCTION as that little nudge, push, tipping point or last straw you needed.

In my experience as a writer, speaker, coach and entrepreneur, the most important moments in my career have revolved around asking myself specific, profound questions.

Questions that shifted my paradigm.
Questions that changed my business model.
Questions that doubled and tripled my annual income.

Here are the Top Ten Questions That Changed My Business Forever:

1. What did you write today? Not just because I’m a writer, but also because writing is the basis of all wealth.

2. Is everything you know written down somewhere? My customized Content Management System was built on this question. Because if you don’t write it down, it never happened.

3. Is what you’re doing RIGHT NOW consistent with your #1 goal? This question kept me focused more than anything. I wrote it on a sticky note and kept it in a visible location on my desk. Made me a LOT of money.

4. Now that I have this, what else does this make possible? The ultimate leverage question. Helps you kill two stones with one bird in any situation.

5. If everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like? My mentor shared this question with me as a foundation for creating my own Personal Philosophy, my own Theory of the Universe. Kept me focused and congruent in all my endeavors.

6. What is your #1 income producing activity? It’s simple: once you figure out this answer to this question, you just go and DO that activity. All day. Everything else is a waste of time, money and energy.

7. What personal skills have I not tapped into yet to build my business and/or add value to my customers? Helps you add more value to yourself and others. Taps into that which is natural and beautiful and true and exploits it in the service of your purpose.

8. What’s next? Like a shark, if you don’t swim, you die. Gotta keep moving. Always thinking about what else is to come.

9. Am I making a living or growing my business? Provides a powerful understanding of your long-term goals. Focuses on equity and wealth, not income.

10. How can I change the rules so I can win at my own game? This is about becoming a category of one. Eliminating the competition by not having one. Blocking a punch by not being there.

REMEMBER: Because it’s not about the answer but what the answer POINTS to.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What questions changed your business forever?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "22 Questions to Sidestep Entrepreneurial Atrophy," send an email to me, and I'll send an email to me?

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

* * * *

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Why passion works

When passion is involved, the rules change.

The shy become outgoing.
The introverted become assertive.
The disconnected become engaged.

Customers. Prospects. Employees. Managers. Whoever.

SO, HERE’S THE SECRET: Whatever your goal is, find a way embed people’s passion into the pavement that leads the way.

Because if you do this, three things will happen:

1. People will arrive at their destination faster and better.
2. People will have more fun and take more ownership of their endeavors.
3. People will (actually) take CARE of the path that led them there because THEY designed it.

AND REMEMBER: If you don't know what your passion is, discovering your passion can become your passion until you find your passion.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you incorporating passion into everything you do?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "86 Passion-Finding Questions to Discover What You Love," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

New website go live this week?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Surround yourself with high quality people who inspire and challenge you

Your life is too short.
Your time is too valuable.
Your brain is too important.

You need to surround yourself with high quality people who inspire and challenge you.

Stop wasting your time with losers.

Don’t become twisted into their vortex of bloodsucking.

Love yourself enough to walk away from people who do nothing more than contaminate your soul with their negativity.

And if you're ever in doubt, just ask yourself:

o What am I gaining from this relationship?
o How is this person challenging me?
o Is this an opportunity or an opportunity to be used?

If this causes you to have fewer friends, so be it.

Better to have five REAL friends you can call at 2 AM when you’re freaking out about your life … than to have five hundred “friends” on Facebook who don’t even know you’re wife’s name because they’re too busy trying to win first place in some social networking pissing contest.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How much of your time is spent with people who inspire you?

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
For the list called, "18 Lessons from 18 People Smarter Than Me," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Nobody talking about your business?

Bummer. Perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Monday, October 06, 2008

Earning comes from learning

Show me a person who EARNS a lot, and I’ll show you a person who LEARNS a lot.

Period.

Earning comes from learning.

BUT, HERE’S THE CATCH: The word “learn” derives from the Old English term, leornian, which means, “to cultivate.”

So, there’s a certain dedication inherent in the learning process.

Learning isn’t just reading. Or listening. Or writing stuff down.

Learning is WORK. And it all starts with that moment … that epiphany … that exact point of reference in which you gain something new.

THEN … to truly and honestly embrace the essence of what’s happening inside, around and TO you.

THEN … to patiently allow those little nuggets of wisdom to profoundly penetrate you.

THEN … to think on those things through some combination of writing, discussing and meditation; or whatever process of reflection you choose to practice.

THEN … to slowly get outside of yourself and begin to notice the application of those nuggets in the lives of others.

And ultimately, this makes you bigger.

So. Want to earn more? Learn more.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How many books did you read last month?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "194 Books in Scott's Success Library."

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

No time to write?
Can't finish that book?
Dog ate your last article?

Come to the St. Louis Writing Marathon!

No excuses. Just writing. All day.

I promise it will be the best $20 you'll invest in yourself all year.

Learn more at www.writingmarathon.com!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Grow Bigger Ears: Keeping People on Point

“Yeah, but what does that have to do with MY problem?”
“That has NOTHING to do with our discussion!”
“Oh yeah, that’s a REAL big a help!”

Ever overheard one of those lines in a nearby person’s conversation?

Kinda makes you cringe.

THE PROBLEM IS: Those phrases are reactions, not responses.

They immediately slam the door on future communication between two people.

When someone offers limited, short, weak or odd comments in a conversation, your job as The Listener is remain objective, not judgmental.

Less confrontation, more discovery.
Less accusation, more exploration.
Less assuming, more asking.

Here’s a list of Phrases That Payses to put this principle into action:

1. Can you think of a related example?
2. I don’t see the relationship between...
3. Tell me what you mean by the word…?
4. Can you say how your comment is related to…?

REMEMBER: Listening is about keeping people on point.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your best Listening Line?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "17 Behaviors to Avoid for Effective Listening," send an email to me and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How many unsolicited referrals did YOU get this week?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on enabling customers to buy!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

There is no secret

There is no secret.
It’s about hard, smart and long work.

There is no secret.
It’s about discipline.

There is no secret.
It’s about getting up and going to work, every single day.

There is no secret.
It’s about focus.


There is no secret.
It’s about leverage.

There is no secret.
It’s about commitment.

There is no secret.
It’s about courage.

There is no secret.
It’s about the willingness to be a little crazy.

There is no secret.
It’s about consistency.

There is no secret.
It’s about dedication.

There is no secret.
It’s about contribution.

There is no secret.
It’s about validation.

There is no secret.
It’s about usefulness.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What's your non-secret?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called "65 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I First Started My Company," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Is your frontline IN line?

Tune in to The Frontline Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on delivering unforgettable service!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The joys of emailing

If you’ve attempted to contact someone and that person hasn’t gotten back to you yet, it means one of three things:

1. He never got your email.
2. He DID get your email, but has been too busy (or forgot) to reply to you.
3. He DID get your email, but chose NOT to reply to you because he doesn’t LIKE you.

So, here’s what I suggest:

1. Send a friendly follow up email saying, “Morning Tom! I hadn’t heard back from you in a few weeks, so I thought I’d follow up. As I explained in my first email on January 28th…”

2. If you STILL haven’t heard back, send a friendly follow up email/phone call saying, “Morning Tom! Looks like it’s been difficult for us to connect lately. Now, I don’t want to be an annoyance. Still, I DO want you to know that I’m nothing less than completely professional in my follow up. So, if you would kindly pick from one of the following options:

[ ] Yes! I would love to chat on the following date: ________

[ ] Right now I’m totally slammed, so I’ll get back to you when I can.

[ ] If I get one more email from you, I’m going to burn your office to the ground.

Thanks Tom. I’ll be standing by for your decision."

3. If, after both of these attempts, you STILL haven’t heard back, it’s highly probably that Tom doesn’t like you.

Don't take it personally, get over it and move on.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Whom are you annoying via email?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "12 Ways to Get Customers to Open Your Email FIRST," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

* * * *

Planning your 2009 Conference? If you want The Nametag Guy, better hurry. Only 29 slots left.

Watch Scott in action here!