Watch Scott's TEDx talk!

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

The Nametag Manifesto

Why everybody should wear nametags.

Steal Scott's Books!

Download every book Scott has ever written for free.

Rent Scott's Brain!

Mentoring isn't a relationship, it's an inheritance.

Brandtag Strategic Planning Crusades!

Make your mission more than a statement.

Interview Scott for Your Publication

Featured on every news network in the country.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Does your marketing move people’s eyebrows?

On May 14th, 1998, Seinfeld went off the air.

I remember exactly where I was when it happened – over at my friend Drew’s house, glued to the screen, near teary-eyed when the final credits started rolling.

It was a sad day in TV history. In my opinion, all flags should have flown at half-mast that week.

But Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer didn’t mind. Because Seinfeld wasn’t going ANYWHERE. Shortly thereafter, the show was sold into syndication for $225 million dollars.

Then, in 1999, Seinfeld received a 6.5 Neilson rating, which was unheard of for a syndicated show. Interestingly, during the 2006-07 syndication season, it had increased to a 7.9. And amazingly, according to an August 2008 Neilson Report, the syndication of Seinfeld in STILL in the top ten today.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

So, this “show about nothing” is the consummate example of staying power, a term used in the comedy realm for material that endures over time without a significant decline in humor.

In the world of marketing, however, it’s a little different...

The effectiveness of a message isn’t necessarily dependent on its longevity, but rather its ability to evoke emotion in the moment.

This is called Stopping Power.

Without it, your message will be ignored, overlooked and unnoticed.

Because nobody notices normal. Not any more. It’s too cluttered, too crowded and too loud.

AND, HERE’S THE BIGGER CHALLENGE: You won’t know whether or not your message has stopping power until your customers start reacting to it.

When people are first exposed to your marketing, listen and watch closely. Be on the lookout for the following five involuntary indicators of interest, intrigue and curiosity:

1. Engagement of the customer’s EAR. This occurs when you…

Make your message musical, rhythmic, catchy, cool and informative.
Make your message simple, relevant, remarkable and smart.

NOTICE: Did their head to tilt to the side curiously and intriguingly?

2. Engagement of the customer’s EYE. This occurs if you can be…

Emotional, yet engaging.
Simple, yet profound.
Catchy, but not corny.

NOTICE: Did their eyebrows shift? Did their glance widen?

3. Engagement of the customer’s MOUTH. This occurs if you…

Use strong, unexpected and uncommon phrases.
Use oddly or ironically juxtaposing words.

NOTICE: Did they audibly gasp? Did their jaw drop? Did they smile?

4. Engagement of the customer’s BRAIN. This occurs when you…

Make your message easily digestible, repeatable and defendable.
Make your message philosophical, yet pragmatic.
Make ‘em think – but not too much.

NOTICE: Did they nod in agreement? Did they shake their head and chuckle in playful disbelief?

5. Engagement of the customer’s FIST. This occurs when you…

Have an unarguable message.
Have a worldview connection point.

NOTICE: Did they say, “Well, I’m sold,” “I HAVE to have one of those,” or “Dude, we gotta get this guy”?

REMEMBER: The effectiveness of a message isn’t necessarily dependent on its longevity, but rather its ability to evoke emotion in the moment.

I challenge you to reevaluate your marketing based on its Stopping Power. Find out how (or IF!) your message stacks up with these five involuntary indicators of interest.

It’s gold Jerry, GOLD!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Does your marketing move people’s eyebrows?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "74 Qualifying Questions to Test the Net Worth of Your Company Tagline," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who's telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why ideas are overrated

Do we really need more idea people?

I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE idea people. Especially this guy.

Also, ideas are the most important thing in the word.
Also, ideas are your number-one source of income.

But ideas are FREE, and only execution is priceless.

And execution is extremely rare.

So, maybe we don’t need more “idea people.”

Maybe we need more execution people.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you an Idea Guy or an Execution Guy?

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

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Can't execute YOUR ideas?

Bummer. Perhaps my monthly coaching program would help.

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Monday, December 29, 2008

Attributes of Approachable Leaders, Pt. 2













Past Posts
ATTRIBUTE #1: Have conversations that change people.

Today's Post
ATTRIBUTE #2: Meet people wherever they are.

No judgments. No evaluations. No appraisals. No worries. That’s the way I feel when I hang out with my friend Dr. Tom Lipsitz. As a veteran psychiatrist, he’s seen just about everything. There’s no problem you can bring to him that he hasn’t been exposed to before. Now, that doesn’t mean he has the answers to everything. But it DOES man that he (1) listens attentively, (2) meets you wherever you are. Whew.

Here are three ways you can start LIVING this attribute today:

1. One word: “Wow.” It’s neutral, empathetic, non-judgmental and emotionally non-reactive. It buys you time, helps maintain composure and creates space in the conversation.

2. Articulate what’s occurring. Verbalize your observations. Dance in the moment. Respond to someone’s immediate experience.

3. Create a comfortable climate. Honor people’s feelings. Acknowledge rising thoughts. This creates a safe container in which the other person can share.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you meeting people where they are??

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "13 Roles of the Listener," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

All Posts In This Series
ATTRIBUTE #1: Have conversations that change people.
ATTRIBUTE #2: Meet people where they are.
ATTRIBUTE #3: Vortex people in.
ATTRIBUTE #4: Share the spotlight.
ATTRIBUTE #5: Respond to what IS.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about sticking yourself out there.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Who will meet your next customer before you do?

Probably someone who works HARDER than you.
Which means they practice more than you. How many hours did you practice last week?
Which means they prepare longer than you. What’s your preparation process?
Which means they improve quicker than you. Will you let this day pass without personal growth?

Probably someone who works SMARTER than you.
Which means they don’t hang out with losers. Who are you having lunch with?
Which means they leverage online attraction tools like blogs. What did you write today?
Which means they only spend their time engaging in activities that are consistent with their #1 goal. What are you doing that consumes your time but makes NO money?

Probably someone who works LONGER than you.
Which means they get up earlier. What time did you wake up today?
Which means they stay up later. Last night, were you watching Law & Order or adding value to yourself?
Which means they put in their hours at the workbench. Have you paid your dues yet?

Harder. Smarter. Longer.

You need to do them all.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Who will meet your next customer before you do?

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

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
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!

Monday, December 22, 2008

13 Lessons My Customers Taught Me This Year

When I conduct workshops or training sessions, I like to finish up with a little exercise called “Postcard Commitment.” Here’s how it works:

1. First, blank postcards are passed out to all attendees. They are instructed to self-address them.

2. Then, they are given five minutes to write on the back ONE THING they learned during the program … that they are committed to practicing in the next six months.

3. Next, the music starts. There is no talking. There is no sharing. It’s a private exercise. People are free to write as much or as little as they want.

4. When five minutes is up, the music stops. Then, attendees are required to turn in their postcards in the back of the room when the program is complete.

5. Finally, I take the postcards back to my office when I get home. I throw them in a box. Six to twelve months later, I pull the box out, stick a stamp on each postcard and mail it back to the attendee. Ultimately, the purpose of the exercise is to provide a check-up on how everyone’s practice is coming along.

It’s a pretty cool activity, even though I can’t exactly take credit for coming up with it. (I totally stole this little exercise from my friends @ Brains on Fire.)

Anyway, what’s REALLY cool is when I actually get to READ the postcards.

This happened last week...

I sat down with a nice cup of Tazo and began sticking stamps on about 600 postcards. (Thank GOD they were self-adhesive.) And during the process, I couldn’t help but notice some pretty powerful stuff written by my workshop attendees. In fact, some of the people’s thoughts were SO good; I simply HAD to make a list of the ones that caught my attention.

I know. Scott made another list. Shocking.

BUT HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED: People didn’t just regurgitate a bunch of one-liners I told them to write down. They actually took the ideas and practices I shared and tailor-made them to their own situations. Cool.

So, I’d like to share thirteen of these reflections with you. What I’ve done is extracted key one-liners from standout postcards, then expanded on each idea myself. Now, I DID promise my participants that I would keep their personal information anonymous. So, before we begin, I’d like to offer a special thanks TO, and give credit FOR, all the individuals whose words inspired me.

NOTE: If you say to yourself as you read this list, “Yeah, but I know that already,” I challenge you to ask yourself if you’re LIVING that already.

13 Lessons My Customers Taught ME This Year

1. Become someone people can’t resist. Because you’re THAT interesting. Because you’re THAT good of a listener. Because you’re THAT creative. Because you’re THAT passionate. Because you’re THAT relaxed and calm and cool. Who wants to sit in your radius?

2. Believe that you are welcome everywhere. This is the kind of attitude people need to SEE on your face as you enter a room. As if to project, “I am excited to be here … I am going to meet cool people today … I am welcome wherever I go.” It’s about maintaining the belief that people will like you for the YOU that you are. And if they don’t, screw ‘em. Don’t take it personally. There’s no accounting for good taste. Where are you gently inviting yourself?

3. Consistency brings people back. It builds trust through emotional reliability. It builds predictability, which is safe and attractive and inviting. Consistency also reinforces character, a quality that is sorely absent from WAY too many people’s daily practices. Are you the same person online and offline?

4. Don’t change yourself to make other people comfortable. Sure, you adapt to the situation to honor the needs and traditions of others. BUT, you remain true to yourself. Remember: Just because someone’s sense of self is threatened by your personhood doesn’t mean you need to change EVERYTHING to make them happy. Whom are you changing for?

5. Don’t just BE passionate; STAY passionate. That’s the hard part – keeping it up. And you have to regularly monitor yourself – spy on yourself even – to assure the fire doesn’t go out. Ask questions like, “Am I being passionate enough in this moment?” “Whose passion could I invest in today?” and “How could I re-ignite my passion today?” That should help you infuse passion everywhere. How are you rekindling your inner fire?

6. Listen more, react less. The biggest barrier to listening is emotional reactivity. Interestingly, the word “emotion” comes from the Latin emotere, which means, “To disturb.” Which TOTALLY makes sense. After all: Emotions disturb your mind, your stillness and your awareness; emotions disturb the conversation, the listening process and the energy field between two people. Just chill. What is preventing you from listening deeply to this person?

7. Listen to who you are before responding. An audience member of mine suggested this during a recent workshop. Blew the entire group away. What a concept! Can you imagine how honest, how authentic and how approachable people would be if they remembered to do this in their conversations? Man. Listen to who you are before responding. It bears repeating. Are you listening to yourself first?

8. Love people who aren’t like you. Jesus comes to mind immediately. He regularly sought out, listened to and hung with “undesirable” individuals like tax collectors and prostitutes. He didn’t care. They were just people to him. And everybody was shocked. Like this was some terrible act. Ha! What do you see when you see people?

9. Normal is unnoticeable. So is boring. So is average. You need to take stock of your current daily practices – in sales, service, leadership, marketing, whatever – and ask yourself how many things you’re doing that everyone else is ALSO doing. Hopefully, this number won’t be very high. If it is, you’ve got work to do. How are you breaking people’s patterns?

10. Passion diffuses defensiveness. Probably because passion is so deep and so true, that when it surfaces, there’s just too much beauty to be resisted. I don’t care WHO you are, I don’t care WHAT sets you on fire – when passion is involved, the rules change. How are you infusing your passion into everything you do?

11. Smiles initiate conversation. Even been stared at by a stranger? It can be awkward, but only if you make it so. As someone who gets stared at a lot, I’ve discovered that the simplest solution to this potentially uncomfortable situation is to: (1) Look the person directly the eye, (2) Smile, (3) Wave (if they’re at the right distance) and (4) Wait.

In most cases, the person will either smile back or start a conversation with you. And if they don’t, no sweat. Go back to what you were doing. They might even approach you later. Either way, you’ll feel great because you practiced friendliness. How do you transform awkwardness into approachability?

12. Start collecting questions. Really? You don’t keep a running list of your favorite questions? Oh man. You’re missing out. Totally cool exercise. Great for ANY profession. I suggest using Microsoft Word. Be sure to categorize the questions by topic. My approach is to include a three-letter description of the category before each question, i.e., “MKT How many people are part of your permission asset?” This enables alphabetical sorting (Tools → Sort → Paragraph), which enables quick access and efficient organization. How many questions are in your collection? (Mine has 6200!)

13. Teach only after you’ve listened completely. It’s respectful. It’s approachable. It assures you have all the information you need. It also increases the likelihood that someone else will listen to you. Because you did it first. When was the last time you listened – all the way through – to an idea that made you uncomfortable?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What lessons did your customers teach your this year?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "71 Things Customers Don't Want to Hear You Say," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Are you following up with value or vomit?

Blaaaargh.

That’s the sound of most salespeople’s follow-up practices.

No originality + No engagement + No valid reason for following up = No sale.

Let’s look at five unremarkable follow up approaches (vomit), and replace them with five unforgettable approaches (value):

VOMIT: “Have you gotten a chance to look over my proposal?”
VALUE: “I just found a fascinating article about your #1 competitor…”

LET ME ASK YA: Do you have Google Alerts on your customers’ competitors? Do you use Google Alerts?

VOMIT: “Did you have any questions about…?”
VALUE: “Here are the answers to the top ten questions my customers usually ask me…”

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Do you have a PDF of the most frequently asked questions by your customers, along your answers to them? Is it posted on your website? Do you even have a website?

VOMIT: “Did you want to go ahead and move forward on this project?”
VALUE: “I just wrote a blog post using your company as an example!”

LET ME ASK YA THIS: How many days did you blog last week? Do you even have a blog?

VOMIT: “Have you and your wife come to a decision yet?”
VALUE: “I’m going to be giving a free investment seminar this Wednesday at the local Chamber of Commerce – would you and your wife like to attend as my guests?”

LET ME ASK YA THIS: When was the last time you gave a public presentation? How many customers and prospects did you invite to watch you?

VOMIT: “Just wanted to check up and see how everything was going…”
VALUE: “I just finished my latest book called ‘101 Money Mistakes Made by Smart Businesspeople.’ Would you like an autographed copy?”

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Is everything you know written down somewhere? What did you write today?

VOMIT: “Have there been any changes in your company’s IT system in the last six months?
VALUE: “I just finished recording a two-minute video about the biggest technology mistakes made by smart companies. Check it out!”

LET ME ASK YA THIS: How are you incorporating video into your sales process? How many value-driven, fun, cool videos do you have posted online?

Value or Vomit.

The choice is yours.

NOTE: Blaaaargh is my new favorite word, thanks to my world-class designer, The Jackie.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do your follow up approaches scream Blaaaargh* or Brilliant?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "134 Questions Ever Salesperson Should Ask," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Sick of selling?
Tired of cold calling?
Bored with traditional prospecting approaches?


Buy Scott's new book and learn how to sell enable people to buy!

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

Thursday, December 18, 2008

8 Ways to Making Communication a Relaxing Experience

My friend Andrew is pretty chill.
Whenever we hang out, our time together is relaxing.
Which (also) makes our time together enjoyable and productive.
You know, like you want to skip your next appointment and just keep talking all morning.

My friend Sandi is quite scatterbrained.
Whenever we hang out, our time together is fairly tense.
Which (also) makes our time together frustrating and inefficient.
You know, like you want to hurry up and finish the conversation so you can go in the bathroom and do a few deep breathing exercises.

Two different people. Two different communication experiences.

Which one are YOU?
Which one do you WANT to be?
Which one do your customers PERCEIVE you to be?

Hopefully, you’re more like Andrew.

AND HERE'S WHY: When you relax, you win. When you relax, others win. Period.

The challenge is figuring out how to do so through your own personal style. Today we’re going to explore eight practices that will put you – and, therefore, others – at ease. Also, along with each example, I’ve included a few “Sticky Note Suggestions.” You might consider posting these mantras and questions in visible locations as reminders to make communication a relaxing experience. Onward!

1. Start with yourself. Relaxation is contagious. The best way to put others at ease is to be at ease yourself. So, practice relaxing more. Especially outside of the interpersonal context. My first suggestion is to incorporate a daily routine of mind/body/spirit practice. Yoga, meditation, deep breathing, guided imagery, journaling or self-hypnosis, whatever works for you. This will lay a general foundation of calmness that will carry over to ALL your daily activities. And people will notice the difference.

Secondly, prepare yourself to listen. Before going on a sales call, giving a presentation, making phone calls, attending networking events, running staff meetings or any other form of person-to-person contact, first take some time for yourself. Consult your materials. Recite positive affirmations. Anything that lays a foundation of confidence and preparation.

STICKY NOTE REMINDER: Try questions like, “Are you relaxed?” “Did you meditate today?” and “Remember: YOU come first” to keep you focused on the most important person in the world.

2. Find excuses to smile. Smiles are among the easiest, quickest and most effective behaviors for putting someone at ease. A great suggestion is to smile for TEN SECONDS every time you walk into a room. Also, try playing the “Let’s See What I Can Find in This Room to Make Me Smile” game. Look around. See if you can spot some kids. That usually works. Or someone with a wacky haircut. Also effective. Whatever gets those pearly whites to show.

STICKY NOTE REMINDER: Post a favorite movie line, picture or quotation that’s guaranteed to make you smile when you look at it. Anything from Spaceballs works.

3. Monopolize the listening. Next time you meet someone at a networking event, see how long you can go without talking. Or interrupting. Or inserting your clever little jokes or witty comments. Strive to listen twice as much as you talk. Ask a few thought provoking questions, then sit back and let your ears grow. Participate, but don’t dominate. Dance in the moment and facilitate the exploration of the other person’s experience.

STICKY NOTE SUGGESTION: Try posting, “L-I-S-T-E-N = S-I-L-E-N-T,” “Two Ears, One Mouth,” or “Ask, don’t tell” around your office. Bet your boss would love that.

4. Remember to … pause. Pausing creates space, space enables clarity, and clarity eases the mind. Examples: Remember to pause before you give an answer, after you ask a question, when someone else is on a roll or after powerful insights. Then, allow people’s words and ideas to profoundly penetrate you, as well as allowing YOUR words to profoundly penetrate others.

STICKY NOTE REMINDER: Draw the “pause” symbol from your remote control and stick it on the edge of your computer screen.

5. Remember to breathe. Speaking of pausing. When you consciously take deep, slow breaths, your heart rate and blood pressure lower. Fresh oxygen, fresh life, flows through your body. Ahhh…! And what’s amazing is how often we forget to breathe. Especially when we’re communicating with someone. We get so involved, so excited, so engaged, that we lose site of the most important thing in the world.

Breath is life. This is something you learn when you wake up at 7 AM on a Saturday morning because your lung collapsed and now you have to spend the next week of your life sitting in a bed at Missouri Baptist Hospital whacked out on morphine with a tube in your chest. Hypothetically :)

STICKY NOTE REMINDER: Post the question “How’s your breathing?” on your phone.

6. Love the silence. Something that ISN’T relaxing is when people keep talking, just for the sake of talking. They break the silence, just to fill the space. They ask more and more questions, but only because nobody’s spoken for a few minutes. Be careful of this trap, as it is easy to fall into. Learn to accept silence as a normal, beautiful and essential part of your conversations.

And remember: Just because someone isn’t speaking doesn’t mean they’re not thinking. Embrace the silence. Sometimes it’s better than talking. In the words of bluegrass beauty Allison Krauss, “You say it best when you say nothing at all.”

STICKY NOTE REMINDER: Write the words, “Silence is beautiful” or “Love the silence” and post it in your office.

7. Minimize emotional reactivity. The word “emotion” comes from the Latin emotere, which means, “To disturb.” Yep. This TOTALLY makes sense. Emotional Reactivity is contagious, which increases conversational tension. Emotional Reactivity creates defensiveness, which decreases the likelihood of someone opening up further. So, if you’re freaking out about something, odds are the other person isn’t very relaxed.

STICKY NOTE SUGGESTION: Post reminders like, “Pause, don’t jump,” “Curious, not judgmental,” and “Respond, don’t react” to keep yourself chillin’.

8. Humor relaxes people. So, just be funny! Early and often. Humor lubricates your message and allows people to digest (and remember) it easily. Now, that doesn’t mean, “make jokes.” That doesn’t mean turn your sales call into a standup routine. And that doesn’t mean bounce around the room like Ace Ventura. That means allow your natural humor to shine. And if you’re saying to yourself, “Yeah, but I’m just not funny…” False. You’re hilarious. Everyone is. You just haven’t pinpointed your Humor Sources yet.

So, think about the ten sources of constant humor in your life. Kids? Pets? Ex-Husbands? Write them down. Under each category, brainstorm three short stories that personify that humor. Keep the list handy. Rehearse if you have to. Then, refer to it often. You’ll be good to go.

STICKY NOTE REMINDER: Ask yourself, “Are they laughing?”

OK, let’s recap. If you want to make communication a relaxing experience, remember these eight practices: Start with yourself. Find excuses to smile. Monopolize the listening. Remember to pause. Remember to breathe. Love the silence. Minimize emotional reactivity. And be funny.

Relaxing = Enjoyable and productive.
Tense = Frustrating and efficient.

The choice is yours!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How are you making communication a relaxing experience?

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

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
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!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What do people think when they see your name?

PICTURE THIS: Somebody stumbles across your blog. Or reads a column you wrote. Or hears about you on Twitter. Maybe they flip past an article that cites you as an expert, or perhaps they attend an event and notice you’re the speaker.

BIG QUESTION: What do people think when they see your name?

Several responses are possible. Some are positive; some are negative.

But ALL are indicative of how well you stick yourself out there. And all are opportunities to evaluate and enhance your brand position.

Today we’re going to explore seven (potential) silent dialogues of someone who sees your name. As you read these examples, I want you to ask yourself: (1) how YOU would feel if you were the person who said this, (2) which phrases you would LIKE people to say about you, and (3) which phrases people are LIKELY to say about you:

1. “Who the heck is THIS guy?” Not good. This means you haven’t established a value position in people’s minds. You’re (clearly) not known FOR something, AS someone, or TO somebody. But, the good news is, you can use this negative perception as your Positioning Alarm Clock. Your Branding Bell of Awareness. If nobody knows you, the only direction you can go is up!

BE INSPIRED: In the classic marketing book, Positioning, Al Reis said, “Positioning isn’t what you do to the product, it’s what you do in the mind of the prospect.”

BE CURIOUS: What are you doing in the minds of YOUR prospects?

2. “Oh, great, THIS lady again…” If your competitor says this, Hooray! After all, your goal is to drive your competition CRAZY by out-positioning, out-attracting and out-writing them, every time. They saw YOUR name, not the other way around. Ha! Suck-errrr.

On the other hand, if a customer or prospect says, “Oh, great, THIS lady again…” be concerned. It might mean your presence, content or brand is annoying or stale. For example, think about the last time YOU said, “Oh, great, THIS lady again…” You probably rolled your eyes, shook your head or grunted under your breath, didn’t you? I wonder if people are thinking that when they see YOUR name.

BE INSPIRED: Upgrade, update and upscale your brand on a regular basis.

BE CURIOUS: When was the last time you did an honest self-appraisal or internal audit of your identity?

3. “Yeah, I hear he’s kind of a jerk…” Oh boy. Somebody’s been talking trash behind your back. And if it’s online, DOUBLE Oh Boy. Remember, the Internet is forever. So, if this is what people say when they see your name, start asking yourself: (1) who said it, (2) what you did – or what they interpreted you as doing – that caused them to say it, (3) how often they’ve said it about you, (4) if other people are saying it too, (5) what you can do to prevent it from being said in the future, and/or, (6) how many people you’re cool with saying that you’re a jerk.

BE INSPIRED: In the best-selling book, The No Asshole Rule, Bob Button says, “If people stop having fun when you walk in the room, you might be a full-blown, certified asshole.”

BE CURIOUS: Ever done a Google search on “Your Name” + “Asshole”?

4. “Man, I see this guy’s name everywhere I look!” Excellent. This represents acceleration in your brand awareness and positioning power. It also suggests consistency. That’s HUGE. Marketing is about repeated impressions. So, now that you’ve reached this point, the next steps are to (1) keep being everywhere, (2) make sure that when you ARE everywhere, people’s perception of your position is supported by positive comments, i.e., “This guy’s name is everywhere … and he always brings cool ideas that help me grow my business!”

BE INSPIRED: Positioning also suggested to marketers, “Cut through the traffic jam in the prospect’s mental highway.”

BE CURIOUS: How visible are you in YOUR customer’s rear view mirror?

5. “Damn it – this guy again! He’s always where I want to be!” When you say your prayers before going to bed each night, ask God to make sure every single one of your competitors utters this phrase when they see your name. Nothing better personifies perfect positioning than when the other people who do what you do, hate you for doing what you do. Jealoussssss? Damn right. Because you beat them to the punch.

BE INSPIRED: Tonight, before hitting the sack, kneel next to your bed and recite the following blessing: “Lord, I pray that my prospects are intrigued BY me, that my customers are in love WITH me, and that my competitors have a dart board in their office with a picture OF me. Amen.”

BE CURIOUS: Do the right people hate you?

6. “How does she manage to get her name everywhere?” Congratulations! This is EXACTLY the type of remark you want people to make when they see your name. This comment is rooted in curiosity and WOW. It means people notice you, people remember you, and people are inspired by your ability to consistently stick yourself out there. The only caution I’d offer in this situation is to beware of complacency. If people are amazed at your ability to keep your name in front of them, the first order of business isn’t to pat yourself on the back; it’s to sit down and ask yourself what actions enabled that success to happen.

BE INSPIRED: Success means being smart enough to reflect upon WHY you were successful in the first place.

BE CURIOUS: Where did the rock create the ripple? How could you throw more rocks?

7. “I love this guy!” Fantastic. You’ve transitioned from brand awareness to brand loyalty. Maybe even brand insistence. The key is, you’ve continued to deliver solid, predictable value. You’ve turned strangers into friends, friends into fans, and fans into word of mouth. You’ve achieved enough mindshare that people love and trust you. Ultimately, hearing people say, “I love this guy!” when they see your name can only mean one thing: You’ve created enough “good” in the marketplace to position yourself as That Guy so people come to YOU. Bravo.

BE INSPIRED: Anonymity is your greatest barrier to business success.

BE CURIOUS: What are you the answer to? What do you teach people the secret to?

REMEMBER: People’s instant reaction when they see your name is THEE report card on how well you’ve positioned your unique value, both in the market AND in people’s minds.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What do people think when they see YOUR name?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "6 Ways to Out POSITION Your Competitors," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Nobody seeing YOUR name anywhere?

Bummer. Perhaps my monthly coaching program can help.

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just GO.

How much time do you spend getting ready to get ready?

ANSWER: Too much.

Just GO.

Just start. Just buy it. Just register the website. Just start writing. Just start blogging. Just start Tweeting. Just write your idea down.

Just GO.

Just dive in. Just do something. Just eat it. Just make some art. Just make a move. Just say hi. Just start asking people. Just start the story. Just begin the book. Just buy the sonovabitch.

Just GO.

Those are two of the best words of advice I’ve ever been given. As a writer, as an entrepreneur and as a human. Just go.

What about you? What excuses are preventing you from getting started?

Here are five examples for putting this philosophy into practice...

1. Don’t be stopped by not knowing how. HOW is overrated. HOW is for MBA’s. HOW is a dream destroyer. For now, focus all your energy and attention on the WHAT. The HOW will eventually show up. WHAT dictates HOW. WHAT is all you need for now. Are you willing to plunge forward planless?

2. Launch and learn. This is the new model. Especially online. No longer is it, “Create, Edit, Launch,” but rather, “Create, Launch, Edit.” Ready, fire and aim. That's exactly what I did (and continue to do) with NametagTV. What factors are holding you back from going live TODAY?

3. Document as you develop. Learn while you DO. Make records of lessons. Ask yourself questions like: What did I (just) learn from this experience? What happened to me during this experience? What fundamental principles might be at work here? Learn to objectively step out of what you’re doing and look at yourself and the situation from a different plane of consciousness. Make it a self-feeding, self-repeating cycle. How many instruction manuals have YOU written?

4. Start small grow slow. That means patience. That means working hard, long and smart. That means not making any money for a while. That means divorcing your ego and NOT hosting some huge launch party. That means being a secret for a while, then showing up on people’s radars and then becoming an overnight success five years later. How patient are you willing to be?

5. Write a Puke List. The moment you get a new idea, the first thing you need to do is regurgitate every single thought in your head ABOUT that idea onto sheet of paper. No stopping. No evaluating. No appraising. No judging. Just write. List until you’ve got nothing left to list. Empty your mind. Puking leads to clarifying, clarifying leads to understanding, understanding leads to wisdom, and wisdom leads to WALLET. Your wallet, that is. A big ol’ fat one. What did you write today?

REMEMBER: Just go.

Post those two words on a sticky note right now.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What do you have to do to make soaring unpreventable?

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


* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about sticking yourself out there.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Reflections on Last Week’s Writing Marathon

Fourteen people.
Eight hours.
One room.
Zero talking.

God, it was beautiful.

I’d never participated in a Writing Marathon before.

But ever since I read about the idea in Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, I knew I just HAD to do it.

See, I’m a writer. That’s my occupation. That’s what I do.

Now, sure, I’m a speaker and a coach and an entrepreneur, too. But all of those things come from writing. Writing is the baseline. Writing creates everything.

So, as a professional, that’s what I spend most of my time doing: Writing.

Four to seven hours. Every single day.

That being said, hosting the Writing Marathon was only partly for me. Mainly, I set it up for my colleagues. Friends of mine who NEEDED to write, but couldn’t seem to find the time. Friends of mine who HAD stuff to write about, but couldn’t seem to discipline themselves to just sit down and DO it.

I figured if we all had ONE day – no distractions, no excuses – to just sit in a room and write, our shared energy and passion would fuel the creative fire.

Well, it did...

Last Friday’s Writing Marathon was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever witnessed. And so, I wanted to share a few reflections from the event for those of you who: (1) weren’t able to attend, (2) would like to come to the next one, or (3) would like to set up your own Writing Marathon.

1. Everyone honored each other’s writing practice. Nobody talked. Nobody answered cell phones. Nobody’s music was too loud. Everybody respected each other’s space. Everybody honored each other’s energy, passion and creativity. And the best part was, everyone did their thing in their own way. Some people wrote by hand. Some people pounded away on their laptops. Some people took their shoes off and scattered hundreds of colored note cards across the floor. (That would be me.)

2. Everyone got stuff done. During my (brief) opening announcements, I reminded the group that it wasn’t a Networking Marathon or an Email Checking Marathon or a Brainstorming Marathon. It was a Writing Marathon. And judging by the physical output I saw around each person’s workspace, productivity was rockin! Even my friend Cheri, who enjoys writing about as much as she enjoys colonoscopies, cranked out twenty pages of her new book.

3. Everyone was in a good mood. Imagine surrounding yourself by a dozen or so creative, fun, cool, professional, smart people for eight hours. Can you imagine the energy in a room like that? Totally cool. Meanwhile, it was Friday. It was the middle of December. And the lobby of the Clayton Center smelled like fresh Subway bread. Ahhhh.

4. Everyone was uncomfortable. For me, it was just another day at the office. For everyone else, it may as well have been a day at the DENTIST. And I didn’t realize this until my friend Jeremy pointed it out. “Scott, most people here DON’T like writing.” Wow. He was right. For most attendees, this environment – eight hours in silent lockdown with nothing but their thoughts and their laptops – was extremely uncomfortable. Which is a good thing. Creativity flourishes in your zone of discomfort.

5. Everyone gained insight into the science of creativity. As a lifelong student of the creative process, I’ve learned that inspiration is overrated. I’ve learned that, no matter how “creative” you feel at the moment, you’ve still got to sit down at the page and lay some track. It’s called The Paradox of Inspiration. So, it was cool to see fourteen people – whether or not they realized it – experience this creative paradigm first hand.

6. Everyone took care of their brains. Every 90 minutes, I invited a bell to sound. This gently informed people that it might be a good time to take a break to refresh their creativity. So, most people did. And just about everybody displaced themselves for lunch. This is very important for long stretches of creative work.

All in all, the Writing Marathon was a great success.

I’m happy people had fun.
I’m happy people got stuff done.
I’m happy people actually showed up.
I’m happy people respected each other’s practices.

Can’t wait to host another one. Probably April. Keep your eyes open.

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
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who's telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Attributes of Approachable Leaders, Part 1













You don’t need a nametag to be approachable.

The real reason people are attracted TO, inspired BY, and want to align WITH you, is because of something bigger. Something better. Something deeper.

The heart BEHIND the nametag.

That’s being an Approachable Leader. Now, although leadership isn’t my area of expertise; what I’ve discovered from working with leaders (and being a leader myself) is the following philosophy:

“If they can’t come UP to you, they’ll never get BEHIND you.”

In this post series, we’re going to be exploring attributes that enable people to come to YOU.

ATTRIBUTE #1: Have conversations that change people.

Dixie Gallaspie, owner of Pure Synchrony, is a coaching/consulting colleague of mine that I refuse to have lunch with unless I bring my notebook. She’s just THAT thought provoking. And, every time we get together, her questions, feedback, comments and ideas always create movement in my mind. Sweet.

Here are three ways you can start LIVING this attribute today:

1. Ask one killer question. Identify ONE powerful, penetrating question that nobody else asks but you. Then ask it to everyone you meet. My personal favorite is, "If everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like?"

2. Offer intentional contraries. When someone poses an idea, reverse it and throw it back at them, just to see their response. For example, “Well, Steve, also ask yourself, ‘What do you want your life NOT to look like?’”

3. Keep a record. Any time one of your employees, members (or someone in your circle of influence) tells you that your recent conversation with them was life changing, make a note. Keep each of these incidents in a journal. Extract the specific reasons WHY each conversation created movement in that person’s mind. Find out where the rock created the ripple, and then go throw some more rocks.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are people changed after having a conversation with you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "17 Ways to become a Thought Leader," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

All Posts In This Series
ATTRIBUTE #1: Have conversations that change people.
ATTRIBUTE #2: Meet people where they are.
ATTRIBUTE #3: Vortex people in.
ATTRIBUTE #4: Share the spotlight.
ATTRIBUTE #5: Respond to what IS.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about sticking yourself out there.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

15 Things You’re Not Doing Enough Of

1. Are you charging enough for your ideas? Enough that people will perceive substantial value. Enough that people will be tempted. Enough that people will listen. Enough that people will actually do what you say. Enough that you don’t have to work as much as you used to. Enough that you set a precedent of professionalism, value and awesomeness.

REMEMBER: Experts charge more. Command a premium.

2. Are you confident enough to be humble? That means admitting your ignorance. That means not always having the right answers. That means playing the “Let’s See How Long I Can Go Before I Tell Anyone What I Do” game. That means letting go of the need to self-promote at every opportunity, knowing that your brilliance and authenticity and value will naturally shine through everything you do, say and ARE.

REMEMBER: Practice positive ignorance. Be a sleeper.

3. Are you exposed to enough good ideas? Here’s an easy way to tell: If you never have writer’s block, never have thinker’s block, never run out of stuff to talk about and never fail to have ideas to brainstorm about, then you’re good to go. If that’s not the case, no worries. Here’s what you do: (1) read one book on creativity every week, (2) think of the top ten most creative people you know and throw a party for them, (3) learn to write morning pages, and (4) come to my writing marathon on Friday.

REMEMBER: Inspiration is overrated. MAKE ideas come to you every day.

4.Are you gaining confidence early enough? The sooner you diffuse defensiveness, the sooner you make people feel comfortable. The sooner you make people feel comfortable, the sooner you give people permission. The sooner you give people permission, the sooner they trust you. And the sooner they trust you, the higher their confidence IN you will soar.

REMEMBER: Overcome initial discomfort. People at ease buy easily.

5. Are you gambling on yourself enough? You have to trust your inner resources. You have to believe that when you stick yourself out there, a net will eventually appear. And if it doesn’t, you have to believe that when you DO fall on your ass, you’ll be able to dust yourself off proudly and expeditiously, transforming your mistakes into lessons and lessons into wealth.

REMEMBER: Gambling on yourself has pretty good odds when you work your ass off.

6. Are you journaling enough? Writing is the basis of all wealth; and if you don’t write it down, it never happened. So, here are my suggestions: Morning Pages, WOM Log, Gratitude Journal, Highly Valuable Activity Record, Victory Log, Mistake List, Learning Log, Boundary Book, Dream Diary, Luck Log.

REMEMBER: Writing is power. Writing is medicine. Writing is money.

7. Are you laughing at yourself loud and often enough? Take your health seriously. Take your work seriously. Take your passion and purpose seriously. Take your relationships seriously. But don’t take yourself seriously. You’re really not that big of a deal. Instead, learn to poke fun at yourself. It disarms people. It grounds you. It keeps you human and relevant and relatable.

REMEMBER: Humorless people suck.

8. Are you saying “no” enough? Every time you say no to something that’s wrong for you; you make room FOR and give yourself permission TO say yes to something that’s right for you. On the other hand, if you don’t set boundaries for yourself, people will set them for you. And then they will violate them. And it will be your fault.

REMEMBER: Boundaries are saviors. No’s lead to yeses.

9. Are you saying “yes” enough? Hey, you never know. Everybody is somebody’s somebody. Everything matters. Every word is a seed the scatters. Every choice matters. Every tide turns. Everyone has influence. Everyone teaches you. Everything is related. Everything is significant.

REMEMBER: The answer is yes. The answer is yes.

10. Are you serving enough? In the movie Glengary/Glenross, Alec Baldwin’s character coined the term ABC: Always Be Closing. It became the classic sales mantra for generations to come. And I find this interesting, because you rarely hear about the mantra, “ABS: Always Be Serving.” See, when you serve first, you don’t have to close. Try teaching THAT to your sales force.

REMEMBER: Aspire to serve. Brand your service. Commence joyful serving.

11. Are you specializing enough? If you were scheduled to receive a double lung transplant, would you want a doctor who happened to do a little thoracic surgery on the weekends; or the best lung surgeon in the country? Likewise, your customers want specialization. You need to be known FOR some-thing, AS some-one and TO some-group. Pick a lane. Specialize or die.

REMEMBER: When you specialize, you monetize.

12. Are you spending enough time learning to listen to your own voice? That means practicing every day. That means becoming fluent in the language of your gut. That means meditating and doing yoga and breathing exercises. That means journaling your thoughts. That means doing whatever you have to do to turn up the volume on that inner whisper where Truth resides.

REMEMBER: Reestablish inner calmness. Just breathe. Then listen.

13. Are you stretching enough? No. You’re not. You’re not making yourself uncomfortable enough. You’re not sticking yourself out there. You’re not willing to make an idiot of yourself. You’re not willing to practice for 10,000 hours. You’re not willing to pay the price and suffer The Dip and work your ass off. You’re not willing to put in the hours when nobody is noticing so you can eventually become the best five years down the road.

REMEMBER: Stretching never stops. Comfort zones are overrated.

14. Is your platform strong enough? That means lots of subscribers. That means blogging every single day. That means sending out a newsletter or ezine at least twice a month. That means (physically) being in front of key players on a regular basis. That means being interviewed IN, and as an expert BY the media on a regular basis.

REMEMBER: Get their email. Build a following. Cultivate your fans.

15. Is your purpose clear and specific enough? The best advice I ever got in my life was from a random 83 year-old man I met in the summer of 2003 in downtown Philadelphia. He told me, “Validate your existence on a daily basis.” Holy. Crap. Did you get that? “Validate your existence on a daily basis.” That’s purpose.

REMEMBER: Assemble your purpose. Make it your map. Then go.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you doing enough?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "13 Ways to Out DEVELOP the Competition," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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

Come to the St. Louis Writing Marathon this Friday!

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, December 09, 2008

NametagTV: Octopus, not Earthworm

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9!

Watch the original video on NametagTV!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you being pushy or persistent?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence," 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, December 08, 2008

8 Things That Are Overrated

1. Answers are overrated. Questions are better. Questions are smarter. Questions create more movement in your brain. The problem with answers is that once you (think) you’ve found one, you immediately stop questioning. And once you’ve stopped questioning, you’ve stopped learning. Are you more concerned with answers or questions?

2. Comfort zones are overrated. You have ZERO business in your comfort zone. How dare you! How DARE you. If you want to learn, grow, expand and evolve, you need to stick yourself out there. Out yourself in positions and situations that make you sweat, shake and scared. Every day. How did you scare yourself yesterday?

3. Feedback is overrated. Especially when it comes from losers. Trash the evaluations. Learn to trust your inner judge. Decide for yourself how well you did and let rest go. All it will do is bring you down, annoy you and depress you. Whose words are you allowing to make you second-guess yourself?

4. Inspiration is overrated. If you only create when you’re inspired, your body of work will NOT be smokin’ hot. Inspiration comes unannounced. You need to make ideas come to you, whether you’re in the mood or not. You need to get into a daily routine that enlists your Muse and invites creativity no matte what. How are you supplementing inspiration with perspiration?

5. Paraphrasing is overrated. Instead of all those tried, obvious and insincere active listening techniques that do nothing besides make people THINK you’re a good listener, try actually repeating the exact words they said. It’s respectful and smart. Are you really listening or just trying to look like a good listener?

6. Plans are overrated. Just go. Don’t be stopped by not knowing how. You’ll figure out the How later. For now, just get started. Just go. More Planning = Less Executing. Stop talking your ideas into the ground and go do something. What paralyzes your ability to execute?

7. Talent is overrated. It only gets you about 1/16 of the way there. The rest is supplemental. The rest is hard work. Talent isn’t worth JACK unless it’s supported by commitment, creativity and consistency; discipline, determination and desire. What do you have going for you besides your innate skills?

8. Well-roundedness is overrated. Find a niche and OWN it. Pick a lane. The narrower the better. Find the ONE thing you do better than anyone in the world, then just do that all the time. Either (1) Ignore or (2) Get someone else to do everything else. What consumes your time but doesn’t make you ANY money?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What do you think is overrated?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "31 Uncommon Practices that Lead to Wealth and Wisdom," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about sticking yourself out there.

Book The Nametag Guy here!

Friday, December 05, 2008

The ongoing battle between “different” and "unique”

I no longer have patience for people who use these two words interchangeably.

Different is NOT the same thing as unique.

I've researched, surveyed my audience members, written extensively and thought long and hard about it.

And here's what I've come up with:

DIFFERENT comes from the Latin differe, which means, “to stand out.”
UNIQUE comes from the Latin, unicus, which means, “the only one.”

DIFFERENT stands out among people.
UNIQUE draws in from people.

DIFFERENT can be positively or negatively connotative.
UNIQUE is always positively connotative.

DIFFERENT is memorable.
UNIQUE is unforgettable.

DIFFERENT contains superficial value.
UNIQUE contains profound value.

DIFFERENT is something you choose to DO deliberately.
UNIQUE is something you simply ARE intrinsically.

DIFFERENT is Other-oriented and comparison based, i.e., “different FROM” someone or something else.
UNIQUE is You-oriented and non-comparison based, i.e., “HE is unique” or “They are unique.”

DIFFERENT is explicit, short-lived and attention seeking.
UNIQUE is implicit, enduring and attention attracting.

DIFFERENT uses “props” and tangible things to put yourself on display.
UNIQUE uses your personal truth illuminates you from within.

Ahhhh. That feels better.

REMEMBER: Don't run out and try to do something "different."

Stay put, find out what already makes you unique, and just BE that.

People will notice.

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

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "46 Marketing Mistakes Your Company Is (Probably) Making," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who's telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Idea not that good? Write it down ANYWAY.

PICTURE THIS: You’re on a road trip. It’s been several hours now. Almost there. Just a few more miles to go.

And that’s when it hits you. A killer idea. The thought of the day. Gold Jerry Gold!

OK, as soon as I get to my hotel, I’ll grab some stationary and get the idea down on paper, you think.

Twenty minutes later, you check in. You walk into the room. You throw down your bags, plop onto the bed and grab the notepad next to the phone...

OK, what was that idea I had in the car … um … let’s see … something about, um…?

Crap.

It’s gone. You can’t remember. You sit there for ten minutes, scouring your brain for the idea from earlier, but to no avail.

Ah screw it, you finally say. If I couldn’t even remember when I got home, it couldn’t have been that good of an idea.

STOP.

That, right there, is the fatal flaw of creativity.
That, right there, is where most people go wrong...

HERE’S THE REALITY: If you make an appraisal of your idea before it’s even written down, you’re assuming and operating on the assumption that “how good or bad an idea is” (especially in the early stages of that idea’s development) actually matters.

It doesn’t.

Good or bad means NOTHING.

Assigning value to your ideas before they’ve been brainstormed, explored and expanded is a creative block.

This causes you to fall victim to premature cognitive commitment, which prevents your idea from blossoming into its truest and strongest potential.

The idea isn’t “good.”
The idea isn’t “bad.”

The idea simply IS. That’s it. No adjectives allowed. So, stop judging. Stop evaluating. Stop appraising.

Write everything down, as soon as it enters into your brain. Don’t worry how amazing, how ridiculous or how insane the idea sounds, just get it down.

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

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How many of your ideas have you talked yourself out of?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "10 Best Books on Creativity You've Never Heard Of," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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

Come to the St. Louis Writing Marathon next Friday!

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!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Who wants to sit in your radius?

As a professional speaker, I love watching other speakers do their thing.

Especially the really, really good ones.

EXAMPLE: A few months ago I delivered the keynote address at a recruiting conference. After four standing ovations and three encores (I kid, I kid) I had some time to kill before my flight back to St. Louis. Now, this doesn’t happen to me that often, so I was pretty stoked. I ended up attending a breakout session hosted by my friend Jeff.

Why?

Well, Jeff IS one of the really, really good ones. So, I went to his session not because I wanted to learn or to take notes or get my next million-dollar idea. But rather because Jeff – this cool, successful, wealthy, happy, balanced, healthy, vastly experienced, brilliant man – is someone you just want to be in the radius of. (Can you tell I have a bit of a man-crush on him?)

Certain people, special people, don’t really have to say or do that much....

They just have to BE. And with that simple state of being, that existence, they influence you. They change you. They inspire you and teach you.

What about you? Who wants to sit in YOUR radius?

Here’s a list of 23 practices, behaviors and actions you can start implementing TODAY to increase the number of people who want to sit in your radius.

While you’re reading this list, I’d also like you to be thinking about (1) whose radius YOU want to sit in, (2) why you want to sit there, and (3) how you can emulate those traits in your own daily life.

1. Affirm people earlier. Lay a foundation of affirmation. In conversations. In sales calls. In meetings. In relationships. Ensure that people feel important, valued and validated. How are you laying a foundation of affirmation?

2. Allow people’s feelings Never under any circumstances say, “You don’t really feel that way.” People are entitled to feel however they want. You job is to dance in the moment. To respond to their present experience. When was the last time someone cried in front of you?

3. Awaken people’s curiosity. You do this by being curious yourself. By asking killer questions. By finding absolutely everything absurdly interesting. And when you’re passionate about questioning and discovering and exploring, it’s contagious. How many times a day do you say, “Huh … Now THAT’s interesting…”?

4. Bring people joy. If you concentrate on doing this at least three times a day, your life won’t just BE swell; it will swell with happiness and purpose. And so will the lives of the people you touch. Try playing the “Let’s See How Many People I Can Make Smile Today” game. How many people did you look in the eye and say thank you to yesterday?

5. Capture people’s imagination. Don’t give advice; tell stories. Don’t puke your boring company history; travel back in time with customers. Don’t give lectures; paint pictures. Einstein was right: Imagination is more important than knowledge. Are you boring people? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

6. Change people’s metaphors. When you change their metaphors, you change their language. When you change their language, you change their thinking. When you change their thinking, you rock their world. Whose thinking are you reframing?

7. Cheer people on. The more cheerleaders people have, the easier it is for them to win. For example: Ever seen The Packers play a home game at Lambeau Field in December? Insane. Even if the opposing team wins, you KNOW their players were scared shitless the whole time. Are you that supportive of YOUR people?

8. Exhaust people’s limits. Try pushing them a little harder. And a little harder. And a little harder. Don’t kill ‘em, but challenge people to create new edges for themselves. As my yoga instructor says, “Stretch their bodies and minds and souls to a point where they’re not in pain; but where pain is definitely possible.” Whom are YOU stretching?

9. Get people involved. Which is pretty easy to do, once you know what they’re passionate about. All you have to do is embed their passion into the pavement that leads the way. Then they’ll arrive quicker, healthier, happier and with more ownership because THEY created the path. Whose passion are you excavating?

10. Give people permission. To share. To open up. To be themselves. To ask questions. To fail. To be wrong. To be ignorant (not stupid, but ignorant.) To make mistakes. To kick ass. To succeed. To win. What are you giving people permission to do?

11. Hear people out. Another fun one is the “Let’s See How Long I Can Go Without Speaking” game. It’s fun, challenging, healthy and usually results in the other person making creative breakthroughs. How quickly do you interrupt people?

12. Ignore people’s titles. President? CFO? Receptionist? Janitor? Who the hell cares. The only label people should ever be called by is their name. Because they’re a human being. That’s it. Titles alienate people. Titles are overrated. Next time someone asks you something like, “So then, are you a Buddhist?” reply with, “Nope, I’m a human!” What unnecessary title is preventing people from getting to know the REAL you?

13. Keep people moving. No movement, no money. No movement, no progress. Period. You’ve got to get crackin.’ Even if it’s not much. Infinitesimal as the movement may seem, something is better than nothing. Saddle up, partner! What happened the last you’re your team stopped moving?

14. Lead people’s thinking. Be the spark; then shut up and get out of the way. Ask a few key questions; then trust people to tap their inner resources. More than likely, they’ll drum up their own solutions that are more accurate, more richly supported, more precise and more THEIRS than whatever you could have come up with. Are you an idea midwife?

15. Make people better. No, wait. I’m wrong. What I meant to say was, “The only person you can make better is yourself.” However, in so doing, perhaps your growth and increasing awesomeness will inspire others. Perhaps your minor improvements will remind them that they can do the same. Whose personal development are you inspiring?

16. Number people’s feelings. Ask them, “On a scale from 1-10, how would you rate your (X).” Sure, it sounds a bit clinical. But it’s the best way to gauge their status, get a clear reading, then figure out where to go from there. How are you objectifying people intangibles?

17. Release people’s genius. Constantly create situations that make it easy for proplr to shine. Steer the conversation into the direction of their passion and expertise, step back and watch them glow. Like playing a game of Cranium. You just smile and clap and ask them to do it again. Hooray! Bravo! Encore! Uno Mas! Are you enabling people to do what they do best?

18. Remember people’s answers. Paraphrasing is overrated. Telling people, “So, what I’m hearing you say is…” has a tendency to sound a bit contrived, almost as if you were trying REALLY hard to look like a good listener. Which, of course, means you weren’t actually listening.

SUGGESTION: Next time you’re listening to a customer or employee or family member, trying repeating their EXACT words back to them. Take notes too. I promise you: This practice will show prove that you were truly listening. How are demonstrating the size of your ears?

19. Study people’s minds. Their thought patterns. Their questions. Their reasonings. Their rationalizations. Their brain workings. Ask yourself: “I wonder what caused him to do that?” and “Hmm … what pattern of thinking is she operating from?” This will help you understand them better AND motivate your own melon. Whose brain are you dissecting?

20. Tell people why. Never assume anyone knows your reasoning for doing anything. So, don’t DEFEND yourself; explain yourself. Make your motivations and intentions crystal clear. When you tell people why, they’re more likely to (1) believe you, (2) understand you, and (3) respond TO you. Are you constantly making people aware of your Why?

21. Train people’s eyes. Ever tried to show someone how to stare at a Magic Eye poster? You probably said something like, “Just relax your eyes, soften your gaze and don’t look at anything particular.” The same process goes for life. When you’re with someone, explain your thinking process out loud as you observe. Let them hear how you process your visuals. Explain your inner monologue. Let them hear how you ask yourself questions. Whose eyes are YOU training?

22. Understand people better. It starts with maintaining an attitude of curiosity. That means exploration, not accusation; fascination, not frustration. Becoming insanely interested in why people do and say what they do and say. Then, it continues with patient listening. That means questioning. That means pausing. That means listening (and hearing) people’s language patterns and conversational tendencies. Finally, it means clarifying. Asking people if what you’ve interpreted is what they meant to communicate. Why are you listening?

23. Unlock people’s brilliance. First, you’ve got to trust that people inherently possess brilliance, buried deep beneath the surface. Second, you’ve got to be willing to divorce your ego, ask more questions, grow bigger ears and shut up quicker. Third, you’ve got to let THEM figure it out – that is, let THEM say it, know it, do it, BE it – by their own merit.

Finally, you’ve got to constantly reinforce people’s brilliance by reminding them what a Smokin’ Hot Piece of Brain Candy they really are. These four keys, when practiced regularly, will unlock the door to people’s brilliance. How can you make this person look and feel smarter?

REMEMBER: You can choose to influence people through (1) what you believe, (2) what you say, (3) what you do, or, best of all, (4) who you are.

The choice is yours.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Who wants to sit in your radius?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "14 Strategies to become the BEST Listener You Know," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
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!



Tuesday, December 02, 2008

You can’t spell “ATTRACTION” without the word...

Anagrams are cool.

For example:

Eleven plus two = Twelve plus one. Same letters.
A decimal point = I'm a dot in place. Same letters.
Morrison = Mr. Mojo Risin. Same letters.
George Bush = He bugs Gore. Same letters.

Now, beyond clever wordplay, anagrams also suggest something deeper.

THINK ABOUT IT: If the switching the letters of one word creates a NEW word that eerily connects to the original word … that has to mean something.

This scientific property of creativity is called “unconscious integration,” and it proves that there is more inherent geometry in our language and ideas than we realize. So, next time you’re doing a word exploration to gain an understanding of an abstract concept, I add anagramming to your Wordsmithing process. Here’s a powerful experiment you can conduct...

1. Go to www.wordsmith.org and click on the anagram creator.

2. Type in your favorite word, the subject of your new book or an idea your company is playing with.

3. When the list compiles, extract the words that catch your eye. Start a blank document and make your OWN list.

4. Finally, let your creativity run wild with associations, connections and integrations that challenge your current thoughts. This test never fails to reveal new, unexpected sides to a concept you once thought was so simple.

For example:

You can’t spell “leadership” without “healer.” Cool.
You can’t spell “networking” without “known.” Whoa.
You can’t spell “marketing” without “nag.” Interesting.

I recently ran this experiment with the word attraction. Here’s what I came up with:

1. You can’t spell A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N without the word … Action.

TRANSLATION: That means more doing and less talking. How many times did you blog last week?

2. You can’t spell A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N without … Actor.

TRANSLATION: You’re method acting and the character is YOU. What do people get when they get you?

3. You can’t spell A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N without … Attic.

TRANSLATION: Clear the cobwebs off your old marketing. Stop wasting your money on phone book ads. Nobody even uses those stupid things anymore. How often are you reinventing yourself?

4. You can’t spell A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N without … Cantor.

TRANSLATION: Stop yelling and interrupting. Start SINGING gorgeously like a cantor at Yom Kippour services. (Not literally, of course. But you get the point) People might listen. Is your marketing making music or noise?

5. You can’t spell A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N without … Car.

TRANSLATION: Successful businesspeople don’t advertise their businesses on the windows of their cars. How are you marring your own credibility?

6. You can’t spell A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N without … Icon.

TRANSLATION: Your logo needs to symbolize something bigger than you. Something powerful and emotional that connects to people’s worldview. Do you REALLY think naming your company after your own initials is remarkable?

7. You can’t spell A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N without … Orca.

TRANSLATION: Be a whale in your industry. Be the man. That Guy. The Go To Gal. The person everybody who does what you do, knows. Are you The Observer or The Observed?

8. You can’t spell A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N without … Ricotta.

TRANSLATION: Cheesy doesn’t always mean ineffective. Are you willing to embrace hokeyness?

9. You can’t spell A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N without … Tacit.

TRANSLATION: You shouldn’t have to explain it. People should “get” it right away, or at least within ten seconds. Anything after that and you’ve lost ‘em. How quickly can you explain what you do?

9. You can’t spell A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N without … Tonic.

TRANSLATION: Be the pill. End people’s pain. They will flock to you. What are you the answer to?

10. You can’t spell A-T-T-R-A-C-T-I-O-N without … Traction.

TRANSLATION: Shtick might get you in the room; but only SUBSTANCE will keep you at the party. Are you a Dum-Dum or a Tootsie?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What word spells "attraction" for you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "7 Ways to Out Attract Your Competition," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Win A $500 referral gift for all 2009 bookings! Email Scott for details.

Or, watch The Nametag Guy in action here!