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Monday, November 30, 2009

42 Additional Things You Should Never Apologize For (And Why)

Read Part 1 of this post here!

38. Never apologize for ordering dessert. Especially if the menu offers one of those chocolate volcano brownie thingies. (Insert Homer Simpson drooling sound.)

39. Never apologize for pulling your triggers for joy. Screw it. If it makes you happy, do it. Unless strangling people with Ethernet cables makes you happy.

40. Never apologize for reclaiming what is rightfully yours. There’s a difference between entitlement and basic human rights.

41. Never apologize for rooting for the Yankees. Even if they do buy their way to victory. They’re still the greatest sports franchise in the history of the world. Do the math and show some respect.

42. Never apologize for saying how you feel. That’s like saying sorry for being real.

43. Never apologize for saying no. Especially when you’re doing so to reinforce your boundaries and create a space for the right “yes” to come into your life.

44. Never apologize for self-promotion. It’s not shameless when all you’re doing is transferring your love. That’s what self-promotion truly is: Transference of emotion. Remember: If you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you. Just don’t be too shameless.

45. Never apologize for setting high standards and enforcing them. Ditch those frightened people who tell you to play smaller just to appease their insecurity. Try telling them to play bigger.

46. Never apologize for sharing your gifts and talents with the world. This is the purpose of your life and the validation of your existence. To take whatever unique gift you’ve been given and re-gift it to the world. Not doing so isn’t just selfish – it’s stupid.

47. Never apologize for speaking your mind. Honesty makes people uncomfortable. Good. Comfortable people rarely take action.

48. Never apologize for sticking to your values. Especially if you’re only doing so to avoid making someone else uncomfortable. Tough shit. If people can’t handle someone who stands up for what he believes, that’s their problem.

49. Never apologize for taking a break. Learning to press your Off Button is the single most important lesson you could ever learn.

50. Never apologize for telling an unpopular truth. Honest trumps comfort.

51. Never apologize for telling the truth. You’re doing people a favor. Especially yourself. Honesty is the single source of all the world’s stress.

52. Never apologize for things that make you laugh your ass off. Funny is funny. Don’t feel bad for laughing. Don’t look to see if the King laughed. Just let the humor wash over you. It’s healthy.

53. Never apologize for things you can’t change. Instead, figure out what you CAN change and get to work.

54. Never apologize for thinking something was possible. That’s what possiblitarians do. They walk around the problems mentally and prayerfully and see what they see. They face problems artfully and lovingly enough to convert them into something beautiful. They believe.

55. Never apologize for treating yourself to something special. I call it a “Victory Dance.” It’s about celebration. It’s about ritual. It’s about rewarding yourself.

56. Never apologize for voicing a reasonable complaint. When everyone assumes somebody is going to say something, nobody says anything. It’s called diffusion of involvement, and it’s the murderer of the collective voice of man. Don’t feel bad for complaining. As long as you suggest three actions for every one complaint, you’re all right in my book. Unless your complaint is about my book. In which case we might actually have a problem.

57. Never apologize for walking away from a relationship that was holding you back from being the best version of yourself. Even when delivering the death stroke causes your partner significant pain. Don’t say you’re sorry. You might feel terrible. You might feel like a horrible person. And you might feel more guilt than ever before in your life. But don’t say you’re sorry. Those words help nobody.

58. Never apologize for what needed to be done. You were kind, honest and true; and it was the right thing to do. Good for you.

59. Never apologize for what you don’t feel. That’s a betrayal of your truth. And saying sorry for doing so compounds your inauthenticity.

60. Never apologize for what you’re about to say. Immediate personal discounting denotes lack of confidence and reduces listenability.

61. Never apologize for what’s important to you. If you do, then it’s probably not that important to you.

62. Never apologize for who you really are. Brag about it. Shout it from the rooftops.

63. Never apologize for your art. That defeats the whole purpose of creating art.

64. Never apologize for your attempts at humor. Even if they’re totally lame.

65. Never apologize for your boundaries. They are limits that promote integrity. And if you don’t set them for yourself, others will set them for you.

66. Never apologize for your brand. Branding is the best, highest version of yourself – (plus) – the way people experience themselves in relation to you. Not everyone will like it. And if everybody does, you’re doing something wrong.

67. Never apologize for your displays of affection. My quota is to say, “I love you” to at least one person a day. What’s yours?

68. Never apologize for your enthusiasm. Next time someone tells you to “tone it down” a little, look her straight in the eye and say, “How about you tone it UP a little?”

69. Never apologize for your faith. You’re entitled to your own definition of God. Just promise not to beat people over the head with it.

70. Never apologize for your fundamental values. That’s who you are. At your core. Your personhood. Your foundation. That’d be like a cayenne paper saying sorry for being spicy. Not cool.

71. Never apologize for your happiness. Especially when people get on your case for being in such a good mood. Just smile and hope it rubs off.

72. Never apologize for your natural abilities. Instead, leverage that which comes easy to you in the service of others.

73. Never apologize for your obsessions. As long as your obsessions aren’t hurting others or the world – have at it, hauss.

74. Never apologize for your own sense of beauty. If it touches your heart, ignites your soul or moves your spirit, it’s beautiful. To you. Doesn’t matter if it’s a bald eagle, a song by The Smiths or puddle of mud outside of Bob Evan’s. Beauty is subjective and nobody has the right to take it away from you.

75. Never apologize for passionately going for what you want. Stop kidding yourself about the things that you “need.” It’s all about what you WANT. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting.

76. Never apologize for your pricing. You deserve to be compensated commensurate with your value. State your feel confidently and shut up. He who speaks next, loses.

77. Never apologize for your success. Instead, figure out the lessons attached to your victory path and share them with others.

78. Never apologize for your taste. Guilty pleasures, schmilty pleasures. If you love reading trashy romance novels that use words like “throbbing member” and have Fabio on the cover, go for it.

79. Never apologize for your value. You worked very hard to establish it and you’ll be damned if you’re going to back down now. Stand up, speak up and sell the hell out of it.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What do you refuse to apologize for?

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

If they can't come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

Buy Scott's new book and learn daily practices for becoming a more approachable manager!

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

37 Things You Should Never Apologize For (And Why)

1. Never apologize for acting on your instincts. Listening to your body – then taking action on what you hear – is the hallmark of heroic people.

2. Never apologize for all the tears you’ve cried. Crying cleanses the soul. Shoot for once a month. Even if it's just a brief mist at a tender moment in a sad movie.

3. Never apologize for anything in your portfolio. If you feel the need to do so, it probably doesn’t belong in your portfolio in the first place.

4. Never apologize for asking for what you need. The answer to every question you DON’T ask is always no.

5. Never apologize for asking questions. When you stop asking questions, you don’t just run out of answers – you run out of hope.

6. Never apologize for asserting yourself. The word “assert” comes from the Latin asserere, which means, “to claim, maintain or affirm.” And that’s exactly what you’re entitled to: Your opinion. Your belief. Your say. Let nobody take it away from you.

7. Never apologize for being a health nut. Next time someone says, “What are you, on a diet or something?” look them straight in the eye and say, “Yeah – you got a problem with that?” Then, when they back down, you go right back to eating your tofu.

8. Never apologize for being a newbie. Everyone great chess master was once a beginner.

9. Never apologize for being early for an appointment. In the history of Corporate America, no employee has ever been fired for consistently arriving ten minutes early to every meeting.

10. Never apologize for being funny. The world is too damn serious. We need you. Seriously.

11. Never apologize for being human. Once you do, you’re no longer human – you’re a cyborg.

12. Never apologize for being passionate. Unless you’re passionate about stabbing strangers with broken Coke bottles.

13. Never apologize for being smart. That’s the ONE thing the government, the media (and every other entity that’s trying to control you) is terrified of: Smart people who take action. Be one of those people.

14. Never apologize for being the age that you are. It’s just a number. “A chicken ain’t nothing but a bird,” as my Grandpa likes to say.

15. Never apologize for breaking a rule that isn’t really a rule. Be proud of yourself for being a rule breaker. Then go break another one.

16. Never apologize for calling bullshit on someone. Especially when nobody else is the room is going to do it and this person REALLY needs to be taken to task.

17. Never apologize for demanding respect. If you’ve demonstrated that you deserve respect by giving it to others first, you’re good to go.

18. Never apologize for disagreeing. Especially if you do so respectfully. On the other hand, if you’re disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing, or because of your pathological need to be right, that’s a different story.

19. Never apologize for expressing yourself. That’s all “leadership” is: The full, free expression of your truth. Don’t say you’re sorry for that.

20. Never apologize for falling in love. Your heart’s calling the shots.

21. Never apologize for falling OUT of love. Your heart’s still calling the shots – even when you throw up an air ball.

22. Never apologize for getting something off your chest. That which you suppress will find a home in your body. And then it will trash the place.

23. Never apologize for giving it your best shot. As my Grandpa also reminds me, “You do the best you can with as many as you can.”

24. Never apologize for growing up privileged. As long as you scrap the entitlement attitude, remain grateful for everything you’ve ever been given and respect the life situation of those who are less fortunate, it’s all good.

25. Never apologize for having an overabundance of love in your life. Instead, circulate what you’ve got. Pay it forward. Share it. People need it. Especially St. Louis Rams fans. God we suck.

26. Never apologize for lack of experience. Instead, share your Learning Plan; demonstrate your dedication to lifelong learning and practice becoming the world’s expert at learning from your experiences.

27. Never apologize for lack of information. Ignorance is acceptable. Staying ignorant, however, is stupid.

28. Never apologize for liking stupid movies. Movie snobs annoy me. Some of my favorite movies are among the most ridiculous films ever made. So I love Road House. Sue me.

29. Never apologize for living your truth. Few things in the world are more important.

30. Never apologize for looking out for yourself. Self-preservation is a primary driver of human behavior. It’s how we’re wired.

31. Never apologize for loving yourself. If you do, you probably don’t love yourself as much as you thought.

32. Never apologize for making a decision from the heart. Remember: It’s not thee truth – it’s YOUR truth.

33. Never apologize for needing alone time. Solitude is soil. Solitude is medicine. And if you don’t get your fix every day, your life will suffer.

34. Never apologize for needing to use the bathroom. Yesterday a girl in my yoga class walked out of the room and actually said to the teacher, “I have to pee, I’m SO sorry.” Unbelievable.

35. Never apologize for not being there when someone called. You have a life, too. People can’t expect you to wait eagerly by the phone all hours of the day.

36. Never apologize for not embracing someone else’s agenda. Especially if that agenda robs you of your true talent.

37. Never apologize for occasional absentmindedness. Everyone’s brain farts.

Next, read Part 2 of this series!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What do you refuse to apologize for?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "37 Personal Leadership Questions Guaranteed to Shake Your Soul," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

If they can't come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

Buy Scott's new book and learn daily practices for becoming a more approachable manager!

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What Every Leader Needs to Know about Making a Name for Herself

Pablo Neruda once said, “You are the result of yourself.”

When I first read that sentence, the architecture of my heart changed forever.

You are the result of yourself. Wow.

Since then, I’ve been thinking deeply about that very idea – and what it means to me.

As a writer.
As a leader.
As a human being.

Ultimately, I was so inspired by Neruda’s poem that I decided to write my own interpretation of that same philosophy:

1. You are the administrator of your own resurrection. While the rest of the world freezes in the face of an uncertain future, you will choose to ride this wave of ambiguity to a larger version of yourself. Even in spite of overwhelming odds against your advancement, you will show the world what you can be at your best. And you will be unwaveringly vigilant in proving to the world that you’re not going anyway. You are the result of yourself.

2. You are the aficionado of your own boundaries. After all, if you don’t set boundaries for yourself, other people will set them for you. And then they will violate them. And then they will email all their little friends and tell them to do the same. And it will be YOUR fault because you didn’t install limits to promote your integrity. You are the result of yourself.

3. You are the architect of your own future. As long as you believe you deserve and can handle abundant success. And as long as you consciously choose to have a love affair with the universe. You are the result of yourself.

4. You are the artisan of your own happiness. But not because you’re seeking happiness. Rather, that you’re seeking contribution, the residue of which is happiness. You are the result of yourself.

5. You are the perpetrator of your own uniqueness. For that reason, you won’t falter from a lack of identity. Instead, you’ll give your independent identity permission to emerge freely an unimpeded. You’ll set yourself on fire, and adorers will come in hordes to watch you burn. You are the result of yourself.

6. You are the author of your own career. Deciding what you want is the most important work you will ever do. The secret is to exercise a high degree of conscious control in creating the career you desire. Inviting your goals into the bright light of awareness and keeping all activities aligned with those goals. And remembering that everything you do is part of your career. You are the result of yourself.

7. You are the biographer of your own evolution. Instead of mindlessly meandering to avoid risk, mindfully become part of your own process of change. Yes, it’s a lot of work. But it’s always worth paying the price to be in charge of your own life. You are the result of yourself.

8. You are the bishop of your own heart. You grow in your ability to be in control OF yourself the minute you pinpoint the places where you’re operating from a limited view OF yourself – AND – the areas in which you’re not currently in love WITH yourself. You are the result of yourself.

9. You are the broadcaster of your own non-conformity. Make upsetting the status quo your favorite pastime. Ignore everybody. Employ only the approval of your heart. Fall in love with your own set of blueprints. Trust your inner truth. And ultimately rely on your own counsel. You’ll never make a false move. You are the result of yourself.

10. You are the chiseler of your own destiny. You can make yourself and your life what you want because the future is your property. So, create a mental picture of the life you want to live. Create a personal vision of greatness. You are the result of yourself.

11. You are the counselor of your own crisis. You got yourself into it, you’ll get yourself through it, and you’ll get yourself out of it. Here’s how: First, assume that everything and anything can be improved. Next, be willing to risk rejection. Be willing to trust the process of change. Then, authentically engage with whatever circumstances life presents. Be cautiously bold. Be active in preserving and healing the environment. And be not impatient with reasonable delays. You are the result of yourself.

12. You are the custodian of your own creativity. Dissolve your ego and let your soul step forward to take center stage. You are the result of yourself.

13. You are the dean of your own education. Which means you need to be open to discovering new dimensions of yourself. Remember: If it educates you, it’s worthwhile. You are the result of yourself.

14. You are the designer of your own experience. That is, how you respond TO those experiences. For example: Did you reflect on them? Did you write about them? Did you share them with people smarter than you? You are the result of yourself.

15. You are the editor of your own attitude. Because you know that every situation can be optimized, turned around or improved. You are the result of yourself.

16. You are the engineer of your own opportunity. Because you consciously accept that your life is richly blessed. You’re not the kind of person who allows the situation to be responsible for how you feel. Things don’t happen to you – you happen to things. You are the result of yourself.

17. You are the exorcist of your own suckiness. Make the conscious choice to live above the level of mediocrity. You are the result of yourself.

18. You are the governor of your own behavior. Refuse to react automatically and choose to respond consciously. Less blinking, more thinking. You are the result of yourself.

19. You are the merchant of your own values. It is YOU who decides the context in which you operate. It is YOU who maintains a governing philosophy for daily decision-making. You are the result of yourself.

20. You are the overlord of your own stillness. It all begins with the breath. Because if you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. And if nobody can steal your peace, nobody can stop you from winning. You are the result of yourself..

21. You are the pilot of your own productivity. To forever excel against all resistance, recognize that the world doesn’t want you to get anything done. Your mission is to fully become your own partner for productivity. To make sure everything you’re doing – at any moment during the day – is consistent with your #1 goal. You’ll be more productive than Santa’s Elves on Christmas Eve. You are the result of yourself.

22. You are the priest of your own priorities. Feed that hunger inside yourself. Focus on what fuels you and ignore what impoverishes you. Otherwise, you’ll render yourself into a state of complete ineffectiveness. You are the result of yourself.

23. You are the principal of your own perfectness. Perfection isn’t something you attain – it’s something you uncover. All you have to do is look with the eyes of your heart and scatter the clouds obscuring the light. You are the result of yourself.

24. You are the receptionist of your own purpose. And you need to forge the instrument necessary for the conquest of the world. You are the result of yourself.

25. You are the secretary of your own soul. Let go of your present way of life. Release your old world. Make way for the new. Step out of your familiar misery. Flee from the grave of yesterday and assemble a proud monument to tomorrow. Victory will become inevitable. You are the result of yourself.

26. You are the servant of your own stupidity. You’re only as strong as your last stupid mistake. Remember: It’s ok to be stupid as long as you don’t STAY stupid. You are the result of yourself.

27. You are the technician of your own journey. Call upon untested faculties that await your discovery. Then, cooperate with your dreams and your desire to grow. You are the result of yourself.

28. You are the validator of your own existence. So, consciously carry out the duties of your office and plunge into significance. Because the alternative – the hell of meaninglessness – isn’t a great option. You are the result of yourself.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What is the result of yourself?

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

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

5 Ways to Help Prospects Pursue You Like a Pomeranian in Heat

You can only darken people’s doorsteps so many times.

Eventually, the goal is to position yourself so THEY pursue YOU.

THEY meaning prospects ready to buy from you.
THEY meaning followers prepared to be inspired by you.
THEY meaning the media excited about interviewing you.
THEY meaning key players interesting in partnering with you.
THEY meaning customers stoked about doing business with you.

Because – as much as you’d like to – you can’t MAKE people pursue you.

You can, however, transform yourself into a more pursuable person.

Here’s a list of strategies for doing so: (Read part one of this series!)

1. Acknowledge your own value. If you don’t value you – they won’t value you. Period. The first sale is selling yourself to yourself. Fortunately, all it takes belief, discipline, commitment and confidence. People pursue people like that. What’s your system for strengthening your self-belief?

2. Aggressively invest in building remarkable moments. Ideally, moments that MOVE customers from “satisfied” to “loyal” to, eventually, “insistent.” The secret for doing so can be summarized in seven words: Create an opportunity for a service event. Whether it’s in-person, on the phone or online, the key word is “event.”

That’s what approachability is all about: An interaction that otherwise wouldn’t have existed … that’s memorable for the right reasons. The cool part is, the more of these remarkable events you create, the more pursued you become. It’s a simple probability equation.

And if you do it right, over time, other companies will want to steal your service philosophy. Because remarkability generates gasps. Gasps get repeated. And repeated gasps garner repeat business. What do you do SO well that people come back to see you do it again?

3. Be a better self-advertisement. The articulation of your fabulousness. The living brochure of your awesomeness. The walking translation of your value. THAT’S what advertising should be. Interestingly, the word “advertise” derives from the Latin advertere, which means, “to turn toward.” Interesting.

That means: No eye-gauging billboards. No tree-killing table tents. And no blood-boiling commercials. Just helping people to turn toward you. Arresting their attention, grabbing the world by the lapel and whispering aggressively into its ear, “Psst! Yeah, you. Check THIS out…”

Not in an interruptive way, of course. Just enough passion to be noticeable and listenable, but without being questionable and checkoffable. People pursue people like that. Are you a public pitchman for the product of YOU?

4. Pursuit is a function of growth. The more you grow, the bigger you become; and the bigger you become, the broader your pursuit range. So, by virtue of growth, you’re mathematically appealing to a more diverse population of prospects.

That in mind, here’s my personal philosophy on the subject: Refuse to let any day pass without personal growth. Doesn’t matter how infinitesimal it is – there’s no such thing as insignificant growth. And it’s not about competing with anyone.

It’s about evolving beyond the previous version of yourself into something more beautiful, more valuable and yes, more pursuable. How will you create the best possible circumstance in which your growth will be supported, enhanced and fulfilled?

5. Make follow-up easy. The word “pursue” comes from the Latin prosequi, which means, “to follow up.” VERY interesting. That’s why it’s crucial to remember that being pursued is useless if you’re not returning the favor. You need to get back with people quickly.

Because while the “Good, Fast and Cheap” mindset used to be enough, NOW you’re dealing with a customer expectation of “Perfect, Now and Free.” Are you returning calls faster than your competitors?

Remember: As much as you’d like to – you can’t MAKE people pursue you. You can, however, transform yourself into a more pursuable person.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

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For the list called, "12 Ways to Out Service the Competition," send an email to me, and you win 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!

Monday, November 23, 2009

6 Secrets of Highly Pursuable Professionals

Who’s in hot pursuit of you?

Professionally, that is. I don’t want this to turn into another episode of Cops.

Anyway, if the answer is, “Not enough people,” consider these six strategies for becoming a more pursuable professional:

1. Be beautiful to listen to. Consider the last five vendors you’ve hired. Or the last five colleagues you’ve partnered with. Hell, even consider the last five people you’ve dated. Question: How many of those individuals were a pain in the ass just to LISTEN to?

Every interaction you have with somebody either adds to or subtracts from the positive perception of your brand. What’s more, the pursuit of a potential person – business or personal – is either exacerbated or enhanced by the way you feel when interacting with that person.

Remember: When you’re music to people’s ears, you’re a magnet to people’s wallets. Would YOU be compelled to listen to you?

2. Learn from the daters. “Pursue” is a common term used in the dating world. So, I’ve collected a myriad of journal, blog and message board quotations from various single people. As you explore this list, consider the implications of each “non-pursuable” to your own business:

a. I didn’t pursue because I assumed he was out of my reach. Are you perceived as being out of your customer’s league?
b. I didn’t pursue because I assumed he didn’t like me. What false assumptions are your customers making about you?
c. I didn’t pursue because I didn’t feel confident enough to go after him. How are you increasing customer self-confidence?
d. I didn’t pursue because I was scared of the potential of failure. How could you remove the threat of rejection for your customers?
e. I didn’t pursue because I was resolute in the belief that I wasn’t better than anyone else. How might you increase your customer’s self-esteem?
f. I didn’t pursue because I saw him kissing some random girl in a bar. Are you overly engaged with your current customers to take on anybody new?
g. I didn’t pursue because I was worried he was going to tell his mom. Are your customers concerned about confidentiality?

Remember: Business and dating is EXACTLY the same thing. You still have customers. You still need to look attractive in their eyes. You still have to keep them satisfied and coming back for more. And still need to make yourself more pursuable to future prospects. Whom are YOU dating?

3. Become the physical embodiment of your expertise. It’s one thing to know something; it’s another thing to BE that something. And if you want to be pursued in greater numbers, your expertise must become crystallized through the sieve of experience – PLUS – intelligent reflection upon that experience.

That’s certainly the type of person I’d pursue. Someone who doesn’t know (x), but who IS (x). See the difference? Embodiment secures trust. Embodiment reinforces character. And embodiment promotes pursuit. Are you acquiring knowledge or do you possess REAL wisdom?

4. Figure out what’s missing for people. If you build it – and they DON’T come – it’s because they don’t want it. Or because they don’t know you built it. Or because you didn’t solve their problem. Or because you’re passionate yet irrelevant – cool but inconsequential.

Here’s the secret: People who get pursued are the ones who UNDO what the customer has done to himself. But they’re not jerks about it. They just strategically position themselves based around what they were designed to cure. And as a result, prospects are hot on their trails. What problem are you the answer to?

5. Learn from the lawyers. In the legal world, “pursuable” is also a term traditionally designated to cases and complaints that have a positive chance of succeeding. And the best lawyers are the ones who pinpoint pursuability immediately, so as not to waste anybody’s time.

Interestingly, when I researched the term “non-pursuable,” I found a collection of cases from a variety of industries. Each of them predicted non-pursuability in some fashion. So, as you read each of these, consider the applications to your own career:

a. The case was non-pursuable because they passed the statute of limitations. Has the clock run out on your brand’s market relevance?
b. The case was non-pursuable because the charge wasn’t significant enough. Do you matter?
c. The case was non-pursuable because they didn’t meet the case criteria. What is your credibility strengthening process?
d. The case was non-pursuable because the complainant didn’t provide further information. Are you leaving people hanging?
e. The case was non-pursuable because the proposal effort was unwarranted in light of the likelihood of rejection. Are you known for saying no reflexively?
a. The case was non-pursuable because the accused was incarcerated. Have you actually left the house today, or are you still in your jammies?
b. The case was non-pursuable because they were unable to contact the company. How many different ways can customers reach out to you?
c. The case was non-pursuable because insufficient evidence was collected. If you were charged with the crime of delivering value, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
d. The case was non-pursuable because they lacked substantiation. Are you proving value?
e. The case was non-pursuable because the assailant was never identified. Do you have a good working model of your brand identity?

Remember: Lawyers know what they’re doing. Most of the time. OK, some of the time. Alright, fine, lawyers are evil and they should burn in the fiery pits of hell for all of eternity. But the point is, they ask better questions than anyone. Listen to them. They’re the masters at determining pursuability. Have you had lunch with your attorney lately?

6. Let your customers help you sell them things. People train you how to treat them. Customers tell you how to sell them. All YOU have to do is listen. Now, I’m not talking about any of that manipulative NLP mirroring/matching/pacing crap. I’m talking about leveraging the natural rhythms of your customers.

Pinpointing their passions, preferences and personalities – then using those patterns to stop selling and start enabling to buy. Because all buyers know what they want. ALL of them. You just need to listen. After all, what YOU sell isn’t the same thing as what THEY buy. Know the difference. How are you giving customers permission to make your business better?

REMEMBER: As much as you’d like to – you can’t MAKE people pursue you. You can, however, transform yourself into a more pursuable person.

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

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

7 Ways to Revolutionize Your Own Life

1. Look first at what you’re not facing.. “When our lives are not working, there is always at least one thing we’re not facing,” wrote Gay Hendricks in Conscious Living, “and looking away from what you need to face burns more energy than actually facing it.”

Ultimately, evading responsibility means claiming victimhood. A healthier perspective is to step back from your current problem, turn toward what needs to be faced and ask:

• What have I done to cause this to happen?
• How have I arranged it so I’m having this experience?
• And what is it about me (or in me) that has invited or attracted this into my life?

Now, this process DOES require that you open up to genuine wonder with an attitude of curiosity, not conviction. But that’s exactly why it works: Because questions are medicine. And when you learn to stop being right and start being honest, your world changes forever.

Take responsibility for the pain you’ve created in yourself. Face it, befriend it, and then find out where you can learn from it. As my yoga teacher reminds us, “The only way out is through.” Are you willing to ride a wave of painful truth to reach a larger version of yourself?

2. Don’t consume all your energy trying to change the unchangeable. First, honestly assess what contains the capacity to be changed. Next, embrace those things as they are. Then, consciously choose to mount an influence campaign. Finally, be patient. Stick it out. Do the best you can.

And if nothing changes after a while, maybe you were wrong. Maybe it’s an unchangeable entity. And that’s OK. As long as you deliberately step away from your misguided efforts in the light of awareness, you’ll be fine. Remember: Any number multiplied by zero is still zero – no matter how big that number is. What are you wasting your time trying to change?

3. Screw the masses. Don’t allow the world to superimpose its prefabricated definition of who you should be. Life’s too short to live other people’s ideas about who you are. Instead, find yourself at the deepest possible level. Listen to the ground of being and decide in the solitude of your own consciousness who and what you already are.

Find the places you are operating from a limited view of yourself. If you truly want to liberate unsuspected energies, let your heart ask the questions and your life will provide the answers. You will show the world what you can be at your best. Are you opening yourself to discovering who you are?

4. Pinpoint (and eventually eliminate) the elements of your anti-risk repertoire. For example: Stop making a list of – and justifications FOR – all the reasons why you should avoid taking the plunge. Stop rationalizing your way out of risk. Stop talking yourself out of things that you know you need to do. And stop the mindless meandering to avoid risk. Learn to move forward despite shakiness. What limiting assumptions drive your behavior?

5. Be unwaveringly vigilant of the company you keep. Respectfully and resiliently silence the negative voices that attempt to infiltrate your positive reality. Don’t get sucked into the vortex of petty mindsets. Become a public spokesperson for your values by personally amputating anyone who doesn’t believe in or support you. Life’s also too short to hang around people who don’t challenge and inspire you. Are you still wasting time on relationships you’ve outgrown?

6. Create a mental picture of the life you want to live. Remind yourself of your awesomeness, return to your unique flavor and return to the roots of your being. . Soar past the ghost of who you were and give yourself permission to step into the future and become the best and highest version of yourself instead. Are you being held back the by the same thing that held you back last year?

7. Become a great chooser. Life presents us with the same choices, over and over again. And it will continue to do so until you make the right one. Just remember: Moments of choice reveal our personalities. “You are what you eat”? More like, “You are what you choose.” What would it look like to be “at full choice” in your life?

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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!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

8 Secrets to Carry Your Brand Further into the Marketplace

1. Attention without conversion is narcissism. Attention for the sake of attention feeds your ego. Attention for the sake of conversion – that is, building a following through your permission asset so your movement (not product) can make people’s lives better – feeds your wallet. The choice is yours.

Remember: It’s not about the number of eyeballs that see you – it’s how much clearer those eyeballs can see because OF you. How good are you at attracting, converting and multiplying attention?

2. Mattering is the best marketing. Mattering means people’s lives are significantly better because they know you. Mattering means the energy in the room rises to a more beautiful level when you walk in it. Mattering means what you do solves a pervasive, expensive and urgent problem for people.

And, mattering means complete strangers email you out of the blue – not to tell you how great you are – but to tell you how their world has improved because you’re a part of it. That’s what matters. And the best part is: People and companies who MATTER and don’t have to SPLATTER their advertisements all around town. Do you?

3. Platform is the great galvanizer. In the book-writing world, publishers don’t care about an author’s product – only his platform. His brand. His following. His fans. His marketing machine. His way of reaching the world. You could have the greatest manuscript in the history of modern literature, but without a platform, you may as well be winking in the dark.

So, even if you’re not a writer, think about the takeaways from that trend: How strong is YOUR platform? How many followers do YOU have? And how leveragable is YOUR brand? If you want to galvanize profitable opportunities for your career, platform is the answer. How strong is yours?

4. Positioning is the great budgeter. In the classic marketing book, Positioning, Al Reis reminds us, “Positioning isn’t what you do to the product – it’s what you do in the mind of the prospect.” The cool part is, positioning (when done right) saves you heaps of time, money and energy.

Advertising? Ha! A thing of the past. Direct mail? Pshht! What a waste. Positioning pre-empts all of that by creating a force of attraction as a function of value-forward deliverables that brings people to YOU. Remember: Every time somebody hears OF you is one less time you have to spend money making people hear FROM you. What are you known for knowing, and by whom?

5. Reputation is the great revenue creator. The word reputation comes from the Latin reputare, which means, “to repeatedly reflect upon.” Interesting. Makes you wonder how people feel when they repeatedly reflect upon YOU. This reminds me of the famous quotation by Bob Marley: “That’s the great thing about music – when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

What about you? What do customers feel when your brand hits them? It all depends on your reputation. And if you have one based on a foundation of uncracked character, it WILL become your #1 revenue creator. How much money is your reputation worth?

6. Serendipity is the best strategy. It’s not an accident. It’s not luck. It’s working your ass off. It’s putting yourself in the way of success. It’s making the world say yes to you by engaging your Yes Muscle and becoming a more yessable person. It’s increasing the probability of success by making yourself more successable. It’s creating an ongoing, market-wide hunger for you.

It’s victory through unwavering vigilance to your vision. It’s being at the right place at the right time by being in a lot of place. It’s learning to positively leverage everything that happens to you by killing two stones with one bird whenever possible. It’s finding out where the rock created the ripple – then going back and throwing more rocks.

It’s recognizing that opportunity is already knocking, all day, everyday, then making the choice to sprint down the stairs in your pajamas and answer the door every time. And it’s ensuring your luck by affirming to yourself every day that lucky things are already happening to you. Are you doing the correct things in the success process?

7. Service is the great differentiator. In a commoditized world of infinite choices where everyone makes quality products, service is all you have left. The question is: How are you BRANDING your service? My suggestion is to physically write out your Unique Service Philosophy. Your Approach to Business. Your Way of Treating Customers.

Then, post it on your website, print it on your literature and make every employee memorize it and live it. Now, if you’re having trouble getting this exercise started, try asking yourself this question:

“If everybody did exactly what I said, what would the world look like?”

That’s the crucial question for uncovering your Service Philosophy. And it’s the key to differentiating yourself among the eight million other people out there that do exactly what you do. Why do customers come back to YOU?

8. Soliciting without permission is trespassing. If business were a conversation, most people’s marketing would be the equivalent of punching customers in the face. Literally. That’s not just annoying, that’s violating. And I’m sure your customers would be happy to switch to a provider that treated them more respectfully.

Remember: Marketing without respectfulness is malpractice. Is your marketing is an interruptive, paper-wasting assault on your customers?

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

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

10 Ways to Create an Aura that Makes You More Desirable without Wearing Pheromone Cologne

1. Attitude is the best asset. Especially in a down economy. My challenge to you is to approach recessions as opportunities to renew resourcefulness. By blaming the economy you evade responsibility and continue to NOT taking action. Instead, believe that greatness is near.

Believe that behind every problem there’s a question trying to ask itself. And next time someone asks you, “Do these pants make my RUT look big?” just reply with, “No, but your attitude does.” How will you exponentially increase the net value of your attitudinal asset?

2. Awareness is the great advancer. Achieving mastery in ANYTHING begins with the prerequisite plunge into awareness. And I bet you’ve been there before, too. You know, it’s that crucial moment when you jolt awake out of your sleepwalking and exclaim, “Holy crap! I can’t believe I never thought of that until just now...”

That’s awareness. Business, personal, spiritual, whatever. And the cool part is, once you arrive at that space, the architecture of your spirit is never the same again. The bell of awareness has been rung, the waves have been sent, and the vibrations will echo in your heart forever.

Now, that doesn’t mean you won’t experience an occasional relapse. But complete regression back into your old, oblivious self is near impossible. Awareness simply advances you too far. As the old PSA’s from Saturday morning GI JOE cartoons used to remind me, “Now you know – and knowing is half the battle.” What’s hidden from you that, if you were able to see, would set you free?

3. Contribution is the great commission. Remember when you used to go camping as a kid? What was the first rule your counselors taught you? Leave the campsite better than the way you found it. That’s contribution. And the same rule applies when you’re all grows up and all grows up. Except this time, the campsite is the world. And what you leave behind depends on how you answer the following questions:

a. What were you designed to cure?
b. What are you the World Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of?
c. What would disappoint the world if people heard you had stopped doing it?

Anyone can contribute. Clarify yours – and then find a creative way to serve through it. What have you been commissioned to contribute?

4. Complying without questioning is self-mutilation. Indoctrination causes numbness. Don’t give mass consciousness permission to think for you. Evolve out of that. Engage a different part of yourself. Invite whatever forces you to grow, rise from the ashes and surrender to the next phase of your own evolution. You’re a bigger instrument now. Are you living other people’s ideas about who you are?

5. Detection of inertia determines emancipation. Newton’s First Law of Motion defines inertia as “preserving in its present state,” or “an object in motion stays in motion.” Your challenge is to figure out what areas of your life are suffering from inertia, and what you can do to alter their trajectory. In order to do so, you have to run an Inertia Index. Spend a few minutes entertaining the following questions:

d. Where do you need to plant the seeds of movement?
e. How could you start your workday practicing your job?
f. How will you quantify the milestones of your progress?
g. How can you keep your momentum going without burning out or getting bored?
h. If you were to begin fully living your life, what is the first change you would make?
i. What one step could you take now to start moving forward to your ideal future?
j. 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?

Remember: Riding a bike downhill doesn’t mean you have strong legs. The sooner you learn where you need to peddle, the sooner you’ll be free to get where you need to go. How will inertia emancipate you?

6. Deficiency of self-esteem underprices value. Here’s one of the most powerful self-esteem building exercises you will ever practice. Put on your best suit. Go into the bathroom. Then stare at yourself in the mirror and quote your fee, over and over again, without flinching, for twenty minutes.

First you’ll feel silly. Then dumb. Then curious. Then confidant. Then excited. And then, ready to go sell something. And from that moment on, whenever fee-quoting time comes, you won’t skip a beat. Because you’re practiced it a thousand times. How much money are you losing because you don’t love yourself enough?

7. Displacement is the best sobriety. If you’re currently intoxicated – not from a substance, but from a situation – get out of town immediately. Even if it’s as simple as driving twenty minutes into the next county. Leave now. Dislocation creates clarification. I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but it does. So go. Call the office and tell them you’re not coming in today. I’m giving you the day off. Where could you go that would sober you up?

8. Experience without reflection is emptiness. As my mentor taught me, “We learn not from our experiences, but from intelligent reflection upon those experiences.” So, don’t just reflect on the experience – write down your reflections. Because if you don’t write it down, it never happened. What’s more, if you don’t capture it, you can’t recreate it. And if you don’t know where the rock created the ripple, you won’t know where to throw future rocks. What did you write today?

9. Happiness is the best dividend. Happiness isn’t your goal. Contribution is. Validation is. The interesting part is, when you focus your energy on accomplishing those two things first, happiness becomes an inevitable consequence. Not intentional, but incidental. And it tastes that much sweeter as a result. What will make you happy that has nothing to do with ego or image or status?

10. Inexperience is the great limit-squasher. When you don’t know the rules, you won’t know when you’ve broken them. That’s when you end up soaring past everyone else. Because their creativity is confined by self-imposed limitations disguised as “rules.”

You, on the other hand, embraced your inexperience and took the plunge clear-eyed and confidently. And you learned that ignorance isn’t just bliss – it’s bank. If you dreamed in terms of your unrealized potential and not your limitations, how would that change the dream?

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

If they can't come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

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Monday, November 16, 2009

How to Get Promoted Without Resorting to Screwing Your Boss in the Supply Closet

1. Learn how your work affects the bottom line. People want money, sex and happiness. Period. Take away all that Maslow’s Hierarchy crap, and that’s what you’re left with. Especially within an organization.

The first move in your mission for advancement is to calculate the value of your achievements. To compute the profitability of your productivity. This might require some research, an interview or two, or, God forbid, having lunch with someone from accounting.

The secret is to evaluate and present your activities as having increased company profits, saved considerable time or decreased company expenses. Whatever it takes to learn how to connect what you do to the wallet of the organization. Ultimately, this insight will help position you as a profit-minded employee. How are your achievements making or saving your company money?

2. Document your achievements. This it the next step now that you’ve connected your work to the company’s wallet. And the first secret is that it crystallizes your timeline of credibility. Second, it reinforces that you’re a results-producing employee.

Third, it’s a perfect self-selling/self-promoting tool when your boss requests evidence of promotability. And finally, documenting your achievements is a personal confidence booster and affirmative reinforcement of your victories. So, no matter how meaningless your accomplishments may seem, catalog them anyway. Be specific. And be sure to connect each achievement with the bottom line.

Also, I suggest keeping and displaying a total tally of the amount of money you’ve made/saved the company over time. Almost like a Jerry Lewis telethon counter, this Noticeable Number makes an impression of increase. After all, if you don’t write it down, it never happened. Remember: Showcase your value. Because being the best without anybody knowing about it is like winking in the dark. What did you achieve this week?

3. Develop promotable viewpoints. Here’s a snapshot of what they look like: Analytical, not pessimistic. Principled, not inflexible. Appraising, not self-critical. Awareness, not defensiveness. Bright, not flamboyant. Coaxed, not forced. Collaboration, not criticism. Dialogue, not debate. Compassion, not sentimentality. Constructive, not harsh. How promotable are YOUR viewpoints?

4. Have a direct, visible impact on others. Visible, visible, visible! And make sure everyone in the office knows it, too. Sign your work. Leave no doubt in people’s minds that while you weren’t responsible for another person’s transformation, you were a key catalyst IN that transformation. Coworkers will start to wonder how you might be able to inspire them too. What problem do you solve?

5. Be on the lookout for mentorship opportunities. If you work with someone who epitomizes the kind of person you’d like to become, don’t be afraid to reach out to her. Begin with an informal email. Express your appreciation and admiration for her success, but without gushing. Then, explain that you’re currently pursuing potential mentoring relationships, and would be delighted if she’d consider being that person.

If she says no, no worries. People are busy. If so, request an initial meeting. Offer to pop for lunch. And come prepared with your goals for advancement, a list of questions to ask, and a willingness to shut up and listen. After all, nobody is going to mentor you if you’re not mentorable. Who will be your Yoda?

6. Do the correct things in the success process. Ask fellow coworkers what led to their promotions. Take notes. Find out what they did right AND wrong. Also, identify what your company tends to notice in its star employees. Look back at the path that others have followed to victory.

See the sequence of moves – then find ways to adapt and repeat those same moves in your own work life. Then, communicate to your coworkers that you are fully committed. Visually, if possible. What emotions or states of being do you need to be able to access for long-term success?

7. Participate in ongoing self-evaluation. Consistently stand as an audience TO yourself. Give yourself permission to hold dangerous conversations WITH yourself. And ask other people to point out positive and negative behavioral patterns ABOUT yourself. Especially the ones you’re too close to see.

These are the types of practices that promotable people engage in. And I challenge you set up self-evaluation systems that will sustain you as you take the most direct route to realizing your vision. Have you spied on yourself lately?

REMEMBER: Getting promoted is the natural byproduct of dedicating yourself to becoming a more promotable person.

Execute these practices, and you’ll get promoted without resorting to screwing your boss in the supply closet.

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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, November 13, 2009

How to Make Yourself More Indispensable Than a Pair of Nose Plugs in a Hooters Bathroom

1. Insecurity is the great inhibitor. Insecurities are growth opportunities. “I don’t care how self-aware you get – there’s always more to learn,” says my coach Dixie Gillaspie. Once you get out of your own way, what else will be possible?

2. Mediocrity is the great deception. I hate to admit it, but sometimes mediocrity rises to the top. You can suck and still be rehired. You can be average and still be bought. Not very often, but frequently enough to annoy the hell out of you. Especially when your competitors are the ones whose mediocrity is taking the lead.

Being mediocre IS deceptive in that it makes you contemplate whether or not to lower yourself to that level. My suggestion is: Don’t be seduced by the comfort of average. Be ridiculously patient. Because mediocrity, while it may rise to the top initially, will eventually crumble underneath the weight of your awesomeness. Are you willing to forego normalcy?

3. Passion is the best alarm clock. I start work early. Very early. Between four and five. Every day. And I do this for several reasons. First, because successful people get up early. Second, because my best writing time is when the rest of the world is cold, dark and quiet. Finally, I get up early because my undousable passion and inexhaustible love for life and every moment that I’m awake prevents me from wasting time sleeping.

Now, sure, I still have those lazy Sundays after adventurous weeks when I’m totally spent and need to sleep in. Who doesn’t? The point is: When your passion fuels you, your alarm clock becomes irrelevant. You’ll be up, ready to rock, ready to take on the world. Awake without assistance. Ignited without dependence. What time did you get up today?

4. Passion without purpose is pointless. Otherwise your passion becomes nothing but blazing fire that burns you and everyone you touch. And nobody has that much aloe. Here’s the reality: The word “passion” comes from the Latin passio, which means, “to suffer.”

The questions you have to ask yourself are, “What are you willing to suffer for?” and, more importantly, “What would cause you suffering if you did NOT do it?” The answers to those questions represent the intersection of passion and purpose. Is your passion pointless?

5. Patience is the best shortcut. As long as you keep affirming to yourself, “It’s only a matter of time.” Because it is. Even when the jerks seem to be getting ahead. The cream will rise. As I learned from the book of Galatians, “Let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we will reap a harvest if we faint not.” It’s only a matter of time. It’s only a matter of time. How patient are you willing to be?

6. Persistence is the great separator. The last two seconds of most yoga postures are where 80% of the students give up. (Myself included.) Students figure that half-assing the end of asana won’t hurt anyone. Which is true – it doesn’t. The difference is, the remaining 20% don’t just stay in the posture – they push even harder. Because they know that the only way out is through. And that’s what separates veterans from masters. Which one are you?

7. Purpose is the best bread. Bread as in “Daily bread.” Bread as in, “All I need.” Bread as in, “That which provides sustenance for the day to come.” THAT kind of bread. Regardless of your spiritual practice, here’s my guarantee: When you eat a nice, crispy piece of purpose every day – possibly with grape jelly – you always receive the nourishment you require.

The challenge is tracking your bread down. And in order to do so, here are my suggestions: Cooperate completely with the choir of your heart. Follow your own inner dictates. Accept your divine curriculum. Go the whole hog. And as you do, don’t back down from who you are. Be shamelessly enthusiastic about your calling. You’ll never go hungry again. What did your soul eat for breakfast today?

8. Significance is the best success. Sure, you’re making bank – but do you matter? If not, maybe it’s time to reorchestrate your priorities. Because when you get down to it, mattering is what really matters. That’s all what humans want: To feel needed. Important. Useful.

In fact, the word “matter” comes from the Latin material, which means, “substance from which something is made.” So, the question is: What kind of substance do YOU provide to the world? That’s your mission.

As Counting Crows lead singer (and my hero) Adam Duritz once told Rolling Stone, “Happiness would be nice. Sadness would suck. But insignificance is the worth thing of all.” Why do you matter?

9. Stress is the best educator. The secret is to change your relationship with your discomfort. Recognize it. Rename it. Love it. Then, partner with and learn from it. Don’t be so severe with yourself. Your constant state of contraction will only help the stress grow stronger.

As the Tao De Ching reminds us, “Any over determined action produces its exact opposite.” In short: What you resist persists; but what you accept lessens. So, instead of trying to eradicate your stress – attend TO your stress. Turn toward its bid. Consider it a gift. A mini-education. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn from it. And the tuition is free, too. If you asked the five people closest to you if you were stressed out, what would they say?

10. Stupidity is the best mentor. Most people maintain a narrow definition of the word “mentor.” It derives from the Latin mentos, or, “intent, purpose and spirit.” So, mentorship isn’t about an individual, per se. It’s about openness to evolving yourself. It’s about viewing every aspect of life as an education and purification opportunity.

The cool part is, anyone (or any THING) can be your mentor. Like stupidity, for example. That’s my favorite mentor. Probably because it tends to be around a lot. Which reminds me of what Homer Simpson once complained: “Why do the things that only happen to stupid people always happen to me?”

Well, the difference is that I don’t complain about the stupid things I do – I give thanks for them. I document them. I write out the lessons I learned from them. And then I share them with other people so we can evolve together through our mutual stupidity. That’s MY mentor. Are you willing to look like a complete idiot on the road to immortality?

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

Who's telling their friends about YOU?

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

6 Ways to be More Creative than Thomas Edison on Acid

1. Brainstorming is the great time-waster. You don’t need another meeting. You don’t need another conference call. And you don’t need to spend another afternoon talking the life out of your idea. You need to take massive action. Today.

Otherwise you’ll get hooked on the addictive power of brainstorming – when what you REALLY need is to smoke the sweet cheeba of execution. What consumes your time but isn’t making you any money?

2. Creativity the best therapy. Tell your shrink you won’t be coming in today. Next time you feel anxious, sick, frustrated (insert negative emotion here), don’t TAKE something, i.e., pills – go MAKE something. Anything. Doesn’t matter what. When you channel your energy into the creative process and enter into flow state, you’ll forget all about that pesky stomach cramp.

Try it. Every single day, spend at least fifteen minutes making something out of nothing. I absolutely guarantee you will feel better. And if you don’t, draw a picture of how stupid I am, then send it to me. What are you turning your problems into?

3. Creativity without innovation is useless. Sure, creativity is fun and cool and healthy for the soul, but there comes a point when you need to stop thinking and start executing. To make that crucial transition from brainstorming to brain monetizing.

Because there’s a HUGE distinction between creativity and innovation: One is a state of being – the other is a practice of doing. Both are essential, but neither can sustain you alone. Are you an “idea guy” or an “execution guy”?

4. Inspiration is the great illusion. If you sit around waiting for inspiration, the only thing that will ever come to you is lower back pain. That’s not the way creativity works. You can’t force inspiration.

You can only live your life in a conscious, creative and adventurous way – listen carefully to everything that happens to you through the filter of your Theory of the Universe – and then render what wants to be written in a disciplined, organized way.

You’ll soon discover that venturesomeness truly is the best idea-generator. And you’ll never have a creative block again. When was the last time you made the choice to be inspired?

5. Lack of discipline atrophies creativity. Inspiration is overrated. If you want to make Idea Lightning strike, you need to make yourself a more strikeable person. And the primary technique for doing so is to cultivate creative discipline. To make yourself sit down at the workbench at the same time, every day, ready to create.

As a writer, I call this being “due at the page.” That way, every morning at 5AM when I sit down to work, lightning strikes. Because everything yields to diligence. What awaits you in the refining fire of discipline?

6. Wisdom without distribution is wasteful. What you scatter is more important than what you gather. And hording wisdom without circulation is a dangerous act of selfishness. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to publish or share every single thought you’ve ever had.

But if you’re debating whether or not to tell the world, ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen if I distribute this idea?” Odds are, the answer won’t be as detrimental as you think. Are you being selfish with your wisdom?

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

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How to Get Promoted Faster than a Wharton Graduate Working at a Wichita Waffle House

1. Prepare yourself to be promotable. First, shift from an attitude of need to an attitude of want. It’s healthier, more attractive and good practice surrendering. Second, acknowledge your own value. If you don’t, nobody else will. Third, exercise a high degree of conscious control in creating the career you want.

Invite your goals into the bright light of awareness. And finally, believe you deserve and can handle abundant success as a byproduct of being promoted. Expectation truly determines outcome. What inner work can you undertake to make your promotion inevitable?

2. Be a person of victory, not a consummate winner. Victory means to conquer. Win means to fight. Which sounds better to you? Your mission is to develop an insatiable hunger for victory, as opposed to an over-competitive compulsion for winning. HUGE difference. And people can tell, too.

What’s more, no company is going to promote an employee who “does whatever it takes to win at all cost.” That sounds like a comment made by one of those 300-pound steroid juicers on ESPN’s “Behind the Syringe.” Are you trying to win or be victorious?

3. Be appropriately assertive. Not aggressive. Not pushy. Assertive, which comes from the Latin assertus, or, “to claim and maintain.” Ultimately, assertion is based on respect for yourself without justifying, claiming or withholding yourself. It’s about becoming a public spokesperson for your values. It’s about consciously choosing to mount an influence campaign.

And it’s about engaging your backbone to solidify your boundaries instead of lapsing into passivity. Remember: If you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you. How will others interpret your nonassertiveness?

4. Express a high degree of individuality, but without threatening others. Don’t be SO unique or SO off the wall that coworkers question your intentions. Or that they shrink in your presence. Honor and celebrate everyone’s gifts. And allow your uniqueness spark their own – giving them permission to live their authentic selves. When you walk into a room, how does it change?

5. Confront grand realities unflinchingly. Don’t consume all your energy trying to change the unchangeable. Position yourself as a leader by accepting company realities with the best attitude IN that company. Instead of nervously anticipating the next crisis, help people move forward despite shakiness.

And especially in a down economy, be bold in facing the inevitable. Outfit yourself in battle dress and plunge heart-first into your company’s challenges. People will notice. What attitudes will lead to success in your company?

6. Gain favorable visibility by taking calculated risks. The key word is “calculated,” meaning “rational, responsible and reflected.” Being perceived as a cowboy might not be in the best interest of your promotability. But as long as you’re willing to risk rejection, you’re in the position to be promoted. Or fired. Especially if you come to work wearing spurs. (No boots, just spurs.) Be careful. Will this risk put me in position for major breakthroughs and growth?

REMEMBER: Getting promoted is the natural byproduct of dedicating yourself to becoming a more promotable person.

Execute these practices, and you’ll get promoted faster than a Wharton graduate working at a Wichita Waffle House.

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

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

9 Ways to become a Company Your Competitors Want to Strangle with an Orange Extension Cord

1. Abundance of competition indicates unoriginality. If you’re truly unique, the only one who does what you do – the WAY that you do it – then no second-rate, chump-ass imitation should be able to hurt you. Screw the competition. Just because they’re there doesn’t mean you can’t beat them. What do you do that brings people back for more of YOU?

2. Ambition without focus is stalemate. If you’re constantly firing in all directions, you’re never going to hit anything squarely. It’s only when you hunker down into the leaves and concentrate 100% of your energies on one particular target that you become a bountiful hunter.

And not just in the wilderness, but in business too. I meet too many entrepreneurs who impatiently jump from idea to idea, project to project; never picking a lane, never make any progress. Because their ambition is spread too thin. What they don’t realize is that focus is the mobilizing force. What consumes your time but isn’t making you any money?

3. Complacency is the great growth-destroyer. “But I don’t have time to grow right now.” Every time I hear somebody say this, my heart breaks just a little more. I know the economy sucks. I know business is slow. I know times are tough. But there’s never an excuse for not growing. Every day you need to get stronger in SOME way. Size is irrelevant. I’d rather grow microscopically than not at all. Where do you need to get out of your own way?

4. Demonstration of competency proves inconsequential. When you eat out at a restaurant, you assume the chef is a good cook. Why? Because baseline ability is the price of admission. The ante. The buy-in. And this type of customer expectation pervades every industry.

Now, it didn’t used to. First, good was good enough. Then great was good enough. Now, great isn’t that great anymore. People demand WOW. Lesson learned: If you’re anything below a B+, you’re finished. What do you offer besides quality?

5. Diversity of offerings buoys recessions. During the economic collapse of 2008-2009, the smartest move I made as entrepreneur was to diversify my offerings. That way, when the proverbial shit hit the economic fan, my business was ready to absorb the blow. The secret is to out-grow, out-evolve and out-expand your competitors. Here’s a rapid-fire list for doing so:

(a) Clone yourself through teaching others. Self-duplication wins.

(b) Make sure everything you do leads to something else you do. Recognize the movement value of your ideas.

(c) Only work with clients that represent long-term potential. Think 14th sale. Cul-de-sac clients are dangerous.

(d) Identify the most important things for you to work on that will grow your business the fastest. Make a list of those things. Post the list in a visible location in your office. Then make sure anything you’re doing at any given time is congruent with that list.

Remember: Diversity isn’t just equity – it’s a life raft. What percentage of your revenues this year came from products and services you didn’t offer three years ago?

6. Fear of evolution typecasts brands. Evolve slowly and constantly. Evolve regularly and effortlessly. Sure, your genetic reflex to avoid change will try to kick in. But don’t let it. As Charles Darwin suggestion, “Take advantage of slight successive variations and advance by the shortest and slowest steps.”

Remember: Flux IS equilibrium. Occasional moments of stability are nice, but brands that keep moving keep winning. Go stretch yourself. Move mental furniture. Make growth and change a normal part of who you are. What decade is your brand still trapped in?

7. Gradual is the great moneymaker. What’s your hurry anyway? Try getting rich slow. There’s a secret most self-help books won’t tell you: Get rich slow. After all, things that grow fast are easily destroyed. Might as well take a foundational approach.

As my mentor William Jenkins once told me, “It takes longer to do things the right way. And people do them improperly to do them quickly. But what’s the benefit of building a house in six months (that should take a year) if you’re just going to tear it down anyway?” Remember: If you’re willing to practice prodigious patience, you’ll get yours. And it will be worth the wait. How patient are you willing to be?

8. Maintenance of momentum monetizes message. Just do something. Anything. Action stimulates forward momentum. Even when progress is minimal. Even when you have no idea what the hell you’re doing. Just keep moving. Think of entrepreneurship as crossing a minefield: The most dangerous choice is to just freeze. The safest thing you could do is keep moving. How are you keeping your momentum going?

9. Permission is the great delayer. The reason your dreams haven’t materialized is because you’re waiting for permission. From your friends. From your family. From your spouse. From the world. Here’s a hint: You don’t need it. Requirement of permission suffocates ambition. Just go.

Who cares if you’re not ready enough or smart enough? Who cares if you don’t have enough money, experience or credentials? Just go. You don’t need somebody twice your age who knows NOTHING about who you really are to validate your existence and stamp your creative passport. Give yourself permission to not need permission and get to work. Do you ask who’s going to LET you or who’s going to STOP you?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do your competitors hate you?

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

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Monday, November 09, 2009

What Everybody Ought to Know about Being an Approachable Employee

1. Behavior is the broadcaster of attitude. Don’t bother announcing to people what kind of attitude you strive to maintain. Anyone who’s even (somewhat) perceptive can already tell. And here’s why: Bodies override mouths, verbs outweigh nouns and actions embody mindsets.

Whatever you feel, people can spot. Whatever you harbor, people can smell. And whatever you deny, people can detect. They might not admit it, but deep down, they know something’s going on. Christ, even the DOG is onto you. So, you may as well tell the truth about how you feel. Is your behavior consistent with your stated values, even when no one is watching?

2. Humor is the height of communication. It’s also the only universal language and the great catchall of communication. For example: Funny means listening. Funny means approval. Funny means trust. Funny means attention. Funny means memorable. Funny means engaging. Funny means emotional. Funny means credible. Funny means learning. And funny means influential.

Nothing else in the world covers more ground than humor. And the good news is, everybody is funny. Everybody has endless humor in his life. And anyone can excavate the constant and inherent hilariousness of his daily experiences to improve his communication with others. You don’t need ventriloquize other people’s humor and pawn it off as your own original material.

Learn to leverage you brain’s creative process. Learn to observe ALL your experiences as being humorous. And learn to record them in an easily accessible, organized place. You’ll be the funniest person you know. How strong is your funny bone?

3. Imperfection is the insignia of inspiration. In a 2009 issue of Rolling Stone, Madonna shared the following insight:

“Justin Timberlake is really good-looking and laid back. He’s sort of a Cary Grant. I love him. I love working with him. But I don’t recognize myself IN him. But I can see myself in Lady Gaga. At her concert, she didn’t have a lot of money for her production, she had holes in her fishnets and there were mistakes everywhere. Kind of a mess. And it was nice to see that at a raw stage.”

Lesson learned: Followers and fans can’t see a reflection of themselves in monuments of flawlessness. Are you too perfect?

4. Inauthenticity is the forecaster of failure. Eventually, people are going to find out who you really are. It’s only a matter of time. And while certain people might be able to keep the show going longer than others, putting on an act IS exhausting. Just ask any professional comedian. Everyone (eventually) runs out of steam. And that’s when their truth is revealed.

The question is: How will the people you serve respond to it? And how wide will the gap be between your Truth and their memory? After all, it doesn’t matter what YOU think – it matters what THEY remember. All I’m saying is, it might be easier (and cheaper) to start walking your Truth TODAY. What’s the difference between your onstage performance and backstage reality?

5. Overseriousness is the fountainhead of mediocrity. The only thing worth being serious about is play. Now, understand that there are two components to this philosophy. First: Play as Attitude. This is about approaching everything you do in a playful way. Experiencing the world as a curious child would. Second: Play as Action.

As my mentor and occasional therapist, Richard Avdoian taught me, “Being playful isn’t the same thing as PLAYING.” One is a philosophy, the other is an event – and both are required. So, “playing” is something you do deliberately that has nothing to do with work whatsoever.

Think of it as a mini vacation. Going to a ballgame. Riding a Slip and Slide. Watching a mind-numbing action movie. Walking your ferret. Whatever. Anything that helps you escape from work. Remember: Be playful AND let yourself play. Is your life a playground or a corporate park?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How approachable are you?

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For the list called, "26 Rapid-Fire Strategies for becoming the Most Approachable Person in Your Organization," 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

If they can't come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

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