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Friday, July 29, 2011

Adventures in Nametagging: Makeup, Baristas and Geography

“Acts of friendliness in moments of anonymity.”

That’s why I wear a nametag:

To invite people to join me, to remind the world that face to face is making a comeback and to create spontaneous moments of authentic human interaction infused with a spirit of humor, playfulness and connection.

And if a picture is worth a thousand words, a nametag is worth a thousand stories.

Here are my most recent adventures:
*DAY 3,878: Today I had to buy powder for a video shoot. Not having a lot of experience purchasing makeup, I sought out a woman’s opinion. “Which of these shades should I go with - sand or cream?” I asked the lady next to me. She took a hard glance and said, “Well Scott, you’re pretty white. I’d say cream."

*DAY 3,879: Today the barista asked me for the name on my coffee order. Usually I don’t answer. I just wait until they look up from the computer and notice my nametag. Sometimes they feel embarrassed. Sometimes they just say thanks. Either way, I just wish baristas would pay more attention to their customers.

*DAY 3,880: Today I was reading a book outside of a coffee shop. A woman asked me if I was the guy who wore a nametag everyday. I said yes. She told me she followed me on Twitter, and we ended up having a delightful conversation. Diane had just relocated with her boyfriend from Seattle to St. Louis. When I asked why, she said, “Love trumps geography.”

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What was your best nametag related adventure?

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

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Six Ways to Prove What Matters

I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri.

Affectionately known as, “The Show Me State.”

According to the state government homepage, the most widely known legend attributes the phrase to Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who served in the United States House of Representatives from 1897 to 1903.

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have to show me.”

THAT’S THE REALITY: Even if you’re not from Missouri, you still need to show people the proof.

Customers, employees, bosses, fans, competitors – and of course, yourself.

Today we’re going to explore six ways to prove what matters:
1. Criticism is proof of visibility. I won’t pretend that negative feedback doesn’t hurt. It does. Every time. I’m not impervious to those feelings. When I get a message from a reader who thinks I’m spitting hot garbage, I take it personally. After all, I’m a person. And the persons who take things personally are the persons who make things better.

Besides, if people aren’t reacting, you’re doing something wrong. May as well be winking in the dark. Personally, I’d rather be shot to the ground that not remarkable enough to be a target. Sure beats being ignored. When was the last time someone said you were out of your mind?

2. Doubt is proof of legitimacy. Feeling like a fraud is a right of passage. It helps you get over yourself, helps you to stay over yourself and installs the proper humility required to win. Instead of trying to eradicate feelings of inadequacy, lean into the doubt.

Override the disbelief by telling your face that you’re enough. You’ll discover that what you say to yourself when you have doubts about yourself determines how, when and if you make a name for yourself. Feeling like a fraud? Fantastic. That means you’re doing something right. That means you’re stretching. When was the last time you questioned your own abilities?

3. Fear is proof of mattering. In The Courage To Write, Ralph Keyes says, “If you're not scared, you’re not writing.” That’s the cool part about fear: When you find the places that scare you, you find the work that needs to be done. In that respect, fear isn’t a crisis – it’s a compass. And if you have enough faith, you can use fear as a guide to where your heart belongs.

It all hinges on your willingness to change your relationship to fear. To start greeting, bowing, hugging, investing and leveraging it – rather that hiding from it. Are you brave enough to go after what you want?

4. Resistance is proof of rightness. If the work is too easy, it might be the wrong work. As Steven Pressfield writes in Do The Work, “The more important an action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance will feel toward pursuing it.”

The good new is, when you’re willing to endure the period of difficulty that wipes out most of the competition, you don’t just come out first – you come out focused. Because you picked the right work. Or maybe the right work picked you. Either way. Are you willing to bleed for it?

5. Promiscuity is proof of life. If you die a virgin, you did something wrong. And I’m not talking about sex. A virgin is simply someone who’s untapped, uninitiated, uninformed and underexposed. That’s no way to live. As Henry Rollins wrote in A Mad Dash:

“I want to make life run for its life. I want to be a pain in life’s ass. I want life to celebrate the day I die. I want life to finally get a breather once I’m dead.”

That’s the advantage of promiscuity: Your experiences turn into leveragable assets. Will you end the innocence to begin the opportunity?

6. Struggle is proof of life. A life of ups and ups is boring, uneducational and uninspiring. Besides, if nothing bad ever happens, you’ll never know what good feels like. If nothing bad ever happens, you’ll never learn how to cope. And if nothing bad ever happens, you’ll never strengthen the muscle of resilience.

Maybe it’s time to paint yourself into a painful corner. To practice a little voluntary suffering. To put yourself in a position where you have no choice but to struggle. Are you still trying to outsmart getting hurt?

REMEMBER: If you want people to believe, you have to show them.

Practice proving what matters.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do you show people?

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For the list called, "123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

9 Business Trends That Aren't Going Away

Last time I was in Florida, I passed a woman on the beach wearing a shirt that read:

“Pregnant is the new skinny.”

I was beside myself. Not just because of the shirt itself, but because of the overall ridiculousness of the fashion industry.

HERE’S THE REALITY: Fashion isn’t about your appearance – it’s about your approach to life.

Straight from my monthly column at American Express Open Forum, today we’re going to explore a collection of trends that aren’t going away:
1. Inspire is the new motivate. You can’t motivate anybody to do anything. All you can do is inspire them to motivate themselves. Find out what fuels people – then fill the tank.

Like the Saturday Night Live character, Matt Foley. He convinced us that a boisterous man in a plaid blazer, hopped up on twelve cups of coffee – who lived in a van down by the river – could motivate another human being. Yeah no. Who are you inviting to do something great?

2. Join is the new buy. Este Lauder once said, “Women don't buy brands, they join them.” When I first heard that quotation, my inner geography changed forever. And I eventually came to a conclusion that has yet to be disputed: Good brands are bought, great brands are joined.

Otherwise, people are just giving you money. And I don't know about you, but I'm not interested in making money – I want to make history. If you want your brand to last, it has to connect on visceral level, engage on a human level and unite with it on a personal level. How joinable are you?

3. Judgment is the new access. When information is infinite, people don’t need information, they need people who can explain the information they’ve already found.

The point is: Curators aren’t just for museums. In an increasingly commoditized marketplace, service is the key differentiator. And if you can make your customers smarter by explaining the world to them, you win. Can you interpret and translate better than anyone?

4. Love is the new black. As long as you’re unfair about it. As long as you find the people who don’t deserve and offer to them freely and fully when they least expect it. Like the Sofitel. When I arrived last month at their New York property, their system showed no record of my reservation.

A bit annoyed, I ended up staying across the street at a competing hotel. No problem. But when I got my credit card statement, Sofitel still billed me. Later, after speaking with his reservations manager, he decided to refund the charge immediately. The Sofitel earned a fan for life from a guest who never even stayed there. They rewarded my mistake. Are you loving people don’t deserve it?

5. Naked is the new uniform. Wearing a nametag twenty-four seven is a risk. But it’s also good practice. Practice being vulnerable, that is. And as I continue to reflect on the past ten years of adhesive adventures, I’m slowly starting to realize the connection between vulnerability, approachability and profitability.

But when you open yourself to the world, the world will opens its wallet to you. But only if you’re willing to strip away the superficialities and occupy your vulnerability. Are you willing to lay it bare?

6. Offline is the new online. Although Watson the computer not only won Jeopardy – but, was the first to buzz in on twenty-five out of thirty answers – he did manage to answer one question wrong: The question about art.

Lesson learned: Having access to two hundred million pages of content still doesn’t mean you know how to feel. The heartbeat of the human experience is a function of emotion – not information.

Face to face is making a comeback. And we can’t solely filter our lives through pixels. Not if we want those lives to matter. Are you talking to people with your mouth or your thumbs?

7. Playful is the new professional. Retaining childlikeness makes you more approachable, more relaxing to be around and more relatable to all ages. That's what my nametag does: It makes this moment, right now, a more humane, pleasant passing of time.

From my handwritten nametag to my trademark philosophy card to my daily fill in the blank exercise, my goal is create simultaneous engagement and entertainment, both online and off.

What does your brand do for people? And do those people care enough about your brand to take a moment, take a picture and make a memory? I hope so. Because you have to let people into the moment.

Induce participation. And intuitively respond to the human thirst for connection. People won't just buy you -- they'll join you. Forever. Are you providing an opportunity for people to participate in a way that speaks to their individual needs?

8. Transience is the new permanence. The Internet is forever. Every tiny moment now lasts forever. Better be careful what you publish. Dishonesty has a limited shelf life. According to a recent study from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, eighty percent of divorce lawyers have reported a spike in the number of cases that use social media for evidence of cheating.

Still, this problem isn’t the computer – the problem is the character of the person using it. People don’t get divorced because of Facebook – they get divorced because dishonesty is written all over their face. Employees don’t get fired for blogging – they get fired for being stupid.

Organizational leaders don’t go to jail because some intern squealed – they go to jail because they’re morally bankrupt cracker-honkeys.

If you choose to live a dishonest life offline – there’s going to be a huge echo online. And your digital footprint will slip on the technological banana peel and destroy the things that matter most in your life. Do you want to become known for what you’re about to do?

9. Waiting is the new working. I love waiting in lines. I’ve accepted the reality that: Life is the line. There's nowhere to get to. There's no future. All you have is right now. And I don't know about you, but if I’m waiting, I’m writing. Even if only for twenty seconds at a time.

You’d be amazed how easily a year of lines turns into a box of books. Instead of looking at your watch, huffing and puffing and trying to enlist the other people in line to join your pity party, make love to the present moment. Then take notes. Because if you don’t write it down, it never happened.

If you build portable creative environments for yourself; you can leverage every micromoment that presents itself. And I guarantee you’ll triple your output. Are trying to find time, make time or steal time?

REMEMBER: The trends that have nothing to do with clothes are the ones that matter most.

Keep these new fashions in the front of your mind.

Stick yourself out there today.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What trends do you think aren't going away?

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For a list called, "18 Lessons from 18 People Smarter Than Me," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

“I usually refuse to pay for mentoring. But after Scott’s first brain rental session, the fact that I had paid something to be working with him left my mind – as far as I was concerned, the value of that (and subsequent) exchange of wisdom and knowledge, far outweighed any payment."

--Gilly Johnson The Australian Mentoring Center

Rent Scott's Brain today!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NametagTV: Sales Love Letters



Companies that inject soul, win.
Companies who are touchy feely, win.
Companies willing to brand their humanity, win.

That’s not customer service – that’s a love letter.

But, contrary to popular conditioning:

Love is not a weakness.
Love is not a combination lock.
Love is not an instrument of control.

No.

Love is the bell that’s always ringing.

THE QUESTION IS: Is your brand brave enough to hear it?

Here’s how to turn your interactions into love letters:
1. Make loving you easy. In the opening scene of the award-winning film, The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg’s girlfriend complains, “Dating you is like dating a Stairmaster!”

Ever encountered a business like that? Sure you have. And odds are, you probably never went back. That’s where companies blow it: They overlook the importance of making their brand a welcome oasis. A place of refuge, a place of belonging and a place of connection.

My yoga studio, on the other hand, breathes out the love people need. It’s a place where every student feels welcomed, affirmed and encouraged from the moment they strut in to the moment they stumble out.

The best part is, by the end of class, you’ve completely forgotten about the fact that you just sweat off seven pounded of water weight doing the hardest possible physical exertion known to man. And you feel like you could take on the world. That’s hard not to love. Are you?

2. Choose heart over handbook. Love cannot be done from a script. If it were, it wouldn’t be love – it would be calculus. Instead of being a passionless rule follower, give yourself permission to make every connection more human. Give your people permission to be more promiscuous with their love.

If that means going off script and improvising to meet customers where they are, do it. If that means breaking a small rule to give the gift of deepened connection, do it. And if that means rewarding (not just forgiving, but rewarding) a customer for making a mistake, do it.

Because once you’ve accumulated all of those moments of humanity, you’ve built an asset that nobody can take away. And it’s worth much more than some sterile handbook employees never look at again after their third week on the job. Customers are desperate to be touched. Give them what they want. Are your love letters coated in ink or blood?

3. Learn to be indiscriminate. Love is like creativity: The more you use it, the more you have. The hard part is finding the customers who don’t deserve it and offering it to them freely and fully when they least expect it. That’s love worth crossing the street for: When you welcome people into your home, even though you wish they stayed at theirs.

Try writing a few of these questions on sticky notes and posting them around your office or by your phone:

*What would love do in this situation?
*What do you are you choosing instead of love?
*How can you help yourself choose love instead?
*How many acts of love have you performed today?
*How will you use this as another opportunity to be more loving?

Over time, these questions will seep into your subconscious and infiltrate your work on a daily basis. People will notice. Are willing to be unfair with your heart?

4. Don’t give – pour. Love is any interaction that reduces the distance, enhances the bond between people and gives the precious gift of a strengthened connection. And most of the time, it sneaks in the side door when you’re busy doing something good.

Here’s what I do: Any time you encounter someone in a bad mood, just assume they feel unloved. Don’t take over. Don’t try to fix or solve. And don’t try to dilute the distaste. Just pour in more love. Just dance in the moment and respond to the other person’s immediate experience.

Be brave enough to say nothing when speaking would be faster, and be bold enough to apologize when pride would easier. Because there’s always something left to love. You’ll secure a spot in people’s hearts forever. Are you trying to fix the carburetor when you should be watering the flower?

5. Show up for people. Open your store ten minutes early. Keep your doors unlocked ten minutes late. Answer the phones after normal business hours. Talk to customers while you’re still setting up the booth. Field a few questions on your lunch break. Leave comments on customer’s digital platforms. Come in for an hour on Sunday. Follow up six months later just to see how everything is going.

These are the love letters smart companies send. And that’s your challenge: Not just to show up, but to show up when you’re tired and scared. To show up when you’re not asked, not ready and not prepared. To show up when you’re not expected, not being paid and not in the mood. And to show up when it’s not your place, not your job and not your responsibility.

Truth is, love is the natural impulse of the heart. And it would be a shame to suppress it just to comply with some outdated, pointless rule that strokes the ego of a soulless executive in windowless boardroom. Show up for your customers. When is it hardest for you to show up?

REMEMBER: Your brand is measured by how you love.

Lead with your heart.

Tell your customers you love them before somebody else does.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you making sales calls or writing love letters?

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For a list called, "27 Reasons People Aren't Listening to You," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

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


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

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

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Nametag Manifesto -- Chapter 16: The End of Entitlement

[ View the infographic! ]

"Everyone should wear nametags, all the time, everywhere, forever.”

That’s my thesis, philosophy, dangerous idea and theory of the universe.

My name is Scott, and I’ve been wearing a nametag for past four thousand days.

And after traveling to hundreds of cities, a dozen countries, four continents, meeting tens of thousands of people, constant experimentation and observation, building a enterprise and writing a dozen books in the process, I believe, with all my heart, that the societal implications of wearing nametags could change everything.

This is my manifesto: 

16. The End of Entitlement
If everybody wears nametags, deeper humility results.

Instead of arrogantly assuming everybody already knows us – or that we’re too important, too busy and too entitled to be approachable – nametags ground us.

Now, they level the playing field so nobody is too good to reveal themselves.

Nametags engender a greater sense of social warmth, as opposed to separating people by whether or not their job function or role requires them to publicly identify themselves.

If everybody wears nametags, no more us versus them, no more power struggles and no more unfairness.

# # #

You can read The Nametag Manifesto, in full, for free, right now, here. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What's your manifesto?

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

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

My job is to help companies make their mission more than a statement, using limited edition social artifacts.

Want to download your free workbook for The Brandtag Strategic Planning Crusade?

Meet Scott's client from Nestle Purina at www.brandtag.org!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Nametag Manifesto -- Chapter 15: The End of Hierarchy

[ View the infographic! ]

"Everyone should wear nametags, all the time, everywhere, forever.”

That’s my thesis, philosophy, dangerous idea and theory of the universe.

My name is Scott, and I’ve been wearing a nametag for past four thousand days.

And after traveling to hundreds of cities, a dozen countries, four continents, meeting tens of thousands of people, constant experimentation and observation, building a enterprise and writing a dozen books in the process, I believe, with all my heart, that the societal implications of wearing nametags could change everything.

This is my manifesto: 

15. The End of Hierarchy
If everybody wears nametags, greater equality ensues.

When only employees wore nametags, we treated them in a patronizing way. We viewed them as servants to do our beer battered bidding, not as fellow human beings stumbling through this world trying to figure out who the hell they are.

But now we’re all on equal footing. Everybody is tagged. And nobody can act condescending to each other because we’re all the same. There are no more feelings of you serving me, I’m the customer you’re the employee – we’re just here, together, as two human beings.

Nobody is indebted to each other. We communicate citizen-to-citizen, peer-to-peer – as opposed to expert to follower or ruler to servant. Communication is horizontal, not vertical, and thus, more reciprocal. It’s not about access to information, but access to each other.

If everybody wears nametags, no more inequality, no more bureaucratic layers and no more patronizing.

# # #

You can read The Nametag Manifesto, in full, for free, right now, here. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What's your manifesto?

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

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

My job is to help companies make their mission more than a statement, using limited edition social artifacts.

Want to download your free workbook for The Brandtag Strategic Planning Crusade?

Meet Scott's client from Nestle Purina at www.brandtag.org!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Adventures in Nametagging: Tables, Terminals and Hatemail

“Acts of friendliness in moments of anonymity.”

That’s why I wear a nametag:

To invite people to join me, to remind the world that face to face is making a comeback and to create spontaneous moments of authentic human interaction infused with a spirit of humor, playfulness and connection.

And if a picture is worth a thousand words, a nametag is worth a thousand stories.

Here are my most recent adventures:
*DAY 3,875: Today I went out to dinner with a few friends. I showed up late, as usual. The hostess spotted me and said, “Scott, your friends are in the back corner. They told me to look for the nametag. Enjoy!” This is by far one of the best parts about wearing a nametag: I’m so easy to spot.

*DAY 3,876: Today I took the shuttle from the terminal to the parking garage. It was packed. When the last passenger boarded, he noticed the last empty seat next to me and asked, “Scott, do you mind if I sit next to you?” The entire bus erupted in laughter. He sat down and said, “What? Scott’s the only guy on the bus I know.”

*DAY 3,877: Today I received one of the best pieces of hate mail of all time. A man named Pedar wrote, “Scott, I just finished watching a bunch of your videos. I hate the fact that you inspire me.”

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What was your best nametag related adventure?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "35 Things You Simply Can't Do," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, July 22, 2011

12 Idealistic Predictions for The Future

I’m no futurist.

But some trends are too pervasive to be denied.

THE COOL PART IS: You don’t have to kill yourself doing more – you just have to challenge yourself to do different.

Consider these twelve trends, and how your organization might adapt to them:
1. Beta is the new post. You’re never ready. Aiming is overrated. And fire burns people. Instead of “ready, aim, fire,” try this formula: Try, listen, leverage. Now that you have this, what else does this make possible?

2. Contact is the new content. We don’t need more access to information – we need more access to each other. Holster your thumbs and open your mouth. Are you bragging about the content you have or the contact you enable?

3. Class is the new quality. Competitors – when treated like partners – can become your power source. Be willing to share in almost every direction. Even with the people who hate you. How many referrals did you give this week?

4. Crazy is the new sane. Insanity is the lifeblood of innovation. What’s more, crazy invites momentum, which produces velocity. And money is in love with speed. Are you nurturing the nuts?

5. Curation is the new creation. You don’t always have to provide the good stuff – sometimes all you have to do is signal people where to find it. If you can’t produce, what if you just pointed?

6. Feeling is the new function. The only thing people can form a judgment about is how interacting with you makes them feel. Create an emotional vibration and win. Are you delivering a palpable presence of something real and true?

7. Execution is the new innovation. Woody Allen was wrong. There’s more to life than just showing up – it’s also about following through. Have you developed a relentless bias toward taking action?

8. Gratitude is the new glamour. Thankfulness looks good on every person during every season. As long as you don’t bastardize it into a technique, the fashion police will tip their hats. How do you thank the people who matter most?

9. Great is the new good. Competence is assumed, enthusiasm is expected and passion is the price of admission. People expect to be blown away. Stop proving them wrong. Is excellence your difference or your default?

10. Heartshare is the new marketshare. Percentages are for math teachers. The level of emotional responsiveness your brand commands is what matters. Are you selling to people who want what you sell or believe what you believe?

11. Honesty is the new marketing. The truth is a powerful word of mouth motivator. As long as it’s not a policy. Because if you have to tell your people to tell the truth, you need new people. How many lies did you tell last month?

12. Imperfect is the new beautiful. Don’t be the one who never shows any real ugliness. Boldly flaunt your imperfection. Show them the snag in your rug. What would happen if you were known as the biggest imperfectionist in your company?

REMEMBER: It’s not about doing more – it’s about doing different.

Explore the possibility of living differently in some way.

Otherwise you might get left behind.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are your predictions for the future?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "11 Ways to Out Google Your Competitors," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

“I usually refuse to pay for mentoring. But after Scott’s first brain rental session, the fact that I had paid something to be working with him left my mind – as far as I was concerned, the value of that (and subsequent) exchange of wisdom and knowledge, far outweighed any payment."

--Gilly Johnson The Australian Mentoring Center

Rent Scott's Brain today!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Love People Until They Ask You Why

Love people until they ask you why.

Don’t let them fade away quietly.
Don’t let them walk away silently.
Be promiscuous with your heart.
And do so without expecting payment.

Love people until they ask you why.

Don’t wait for them to earn it.
Don’t wait for them to ask for it.
Be indiscriminate with your spirit.
And do so without demanding reciprocation.

Love people until they ask you why.

Don’t obsess over fairness.
Don’t complain about the score.
Be in the race to run, not to win.
And do so without appraising value.

Love people until they ask you why.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are you choosing instead of love?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "14 Things You Don't Have to Do Anymore," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

“I usually refuse to pay for mentoring. But after Scott’s first brain rental session, the fact that I had paid something to be working with him left my mind – as far as I was concerned, the value of that (and subsequent) exchange of wisdom and knowledge, far outweighed any payment."

--Gilly Johnson The Australian Mentoring Center

Rent Scott's Brain today!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Six Prices You Shouldn’t Have to Pay

Everything costs something.

Not always in the form of money, though.

Currency has many faces.

AND THE REALITY IS: If you’re not careful, you may end up paying a higher price than you need to.

Today we’re going to explore six prices you shouldn't have to pay:
1. Resentment is the price you pay for having no boundaries. I write books and give presentations about approachabilty. And on a weekly basis, somebody almost always asks me, “Can you be too approachable?”

Yes, yes and yes. I know this because I used to lack boundaries. And I learned that if you don’t set healthy boundaries for yourself, other people will set them for you. And then they will violate them. And then they will tell all their little friends to do the same. All because you never set the precedent.

Your job is to figure out where you draw the line. How approachable you’re willing to be. Otherwise you’ll end up obligating yourself to death. Why are you still having coffee with people you don’t even like?

2. Anxiety is the price you pay for having no gratitude. No, you can’t outsmart getting hurt. And no, you can’t scrub your life free of stress. But the more you give thanks for something, the less power it has over you.

That was the best thing my therapist taught me: When you notice anxiety in your life, greet it with a welcoming heart. Put your arm around it. Ask it questions. Find out what lesson it’s come to teach you. And then be grateful for the opportunity to learn.

When I changed my relationship to anxiety in this way, everything changed. Everything. Do you walk a perpetual posture of thankfulness?

3. Panic is the price you pay for having no relevance. I recently received a ridiculous email from my professional association. The incoming president reached out to a group of younger members, asking if we would be willing to participate in a panel to help older members stay relevant to younger generations.

Excuse me, but that’s absurd. First of all, the only people who matter are the ones who choose to. Secondly, relevance is not a synonym for knowing a lot about social media. It’s a function of simplicity, beauty and humanity.

Third, stop trying to relate to people. When you manufacture commonality, you end up insulting people’s intelligence. If you want younger generations to take you seriously, you don’t need hair dye, you don’t need Botox and you don’t need a new wardrobe.

What you need is a mental makeover. Because the problem isn’t old age – it’s old thinking. How will you keep from fading away?

4. Regret is the price you pay for having no balls. I used to take the bus to work. Every morning, I would sit next to Kat, a funky yet fashionable hairdresser. One day, she asked me if I would be willing to be her hair model at an upcoming show.

“Your style is exactly what we need to round out our spring lineup. What do you say?”

I totally chickened out. And to this day, I still regret saying no. Because that would have been some fantastic experience. Fortunately, I’ve since learned how to say yes to life. I’ve learned how to instantly evaluate the perceived level of risk in those micromoments. And that sensibility has enabled me to make bolder choices in the larger moments that matter. What risks do you regret not taking?

5. Insomnia is the price you pay for having no trust. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s annual report, it takes the average person about fifteen minutes to fall asleep once they’re in bed.

To me, this is amazing. When my head hits the pillow, I’m out like a dead rock. Partly because I have excellent sleep hygiene, but also because I know how to trust. Both the tangible and intangible forces of my life.

If you find yourself tossing, turning and glancing nervously at the advancing clock each night, you don’t need a sleeping pill – you need to let go. That’s the challenge with trust: It’s the highest form of surrender. And it’s such a terrifying preposition because human beings an inherent need to preserve their sense of control.

But if you’re willing to trust, you’ll be amazed how quickly your eyes start to close. Do you believe in the dividends of your own emotional labor?

6. Advertising is the price you pay for having no friends. Marketing is like sex – if you have to pay for it, you’re doing something wrong. Smart companies spend money earlier in the process.

Smart companies build things worth noticing right into the product ahead of time. Take design, for example. It’s not an extra, it’s not an also and it’s not an accident – it’s everything. As Tom Peters once wrote:

“The dumbest mistake is viewing design as something you do at the end of the process to tidy up the mess, as opposed to understanding it’s a day one issue and part of everything.”

Choose to champion the beautiful. Think about products you’ve bought, cherished and shared the most. How many of them had brilliant design? And how many of your own products have the same?

Use that as a benchmark for your own remarkability, and your design will be the best advertisement of all. How much energy are you investing in being a beautiful organism?”

REMEMBER: Currency has many faces.

Make sure you’re not paying the wrong price.

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Are You Dispensing Answers or Offering Responses?

Not everyone is looking for an answer.

When people turn to you, sometimes all they want is a response.

Here’s the difference:




When you give answers, you fix.
When you give answers, you offer advice.
When you give answers, you try to be right.
When you give answers, you add unnecessary value.
When you give answers, you dominate the discussion.
When you give answers, you impose your own direction.
When you give answers, you rob people of the learning experience.

You speak from a place of information.

But.
When you offer responses, you dance in the moment.
When you offer responses, you acknowledge their truth.
When you offer responses, you leave people feeling heard.
When you offer responses, you practice emotional restraint.
When you offer responses, you let people learn things on their own.
When you offer responses, you reflect people’s immediate experience.
When you offer responses, you get out of the way and give people space to process.

You speak from a place of affirmation.

Decide which one you’re going to give people.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you dispensing answers or offering responses?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

“I usually refuse to pay for mentoring. But after Scott’s first brain rental session, the fact that I had paid something to be working with him left my mind – as far as I was concerned, the value of that (and subsequent) exchange of wisdom and knowledge, far outweighed any payment."

--Gilly Johnson The Australian Mentoring Center

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Monday, July 18, 2011

A Young Artist's Guide to Playing For Keeps, Pt. 12

You’ve chosen an uncertain path.
You’ve adopted an inconvenient lifestyle.
You’ve embarked upon an unconventional journey.
You’ve felt the voice inside you growing more urgent.
You’ve committed yourself enough so you can’t turn back.


IN SHORT: You’ve decided to play for keeps.

This is the critical crossroads – the emotional turning point – in the life of every young artist.

I’ve been there myself, and here’s a list of suggestions to help you along the way:
(Read part one here, part two here, part three here, part four here, part five here, part six here, part seven, part eight, part nine, part ten and part eleven.

1. Artists are gift givers. Everyday I write what I write without knowing if someone is going to pay for it. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. But while money is nice, part of being an artist is accepting payment in the form of how your art changes people.

That’s what gifts do. And as I learned from Linchpin, if your art is a gift so valuable that nobody could adequately repay you, people will be eager to pay for the privilege of being in the room with you.

That’s the bet a creator makes, says Seth Godin. That when you give away something for free, it will be discovered, attract attention, spread and then lead to some portion of the masses actually buying something. But it has to start with the gift. With the intention of deploying your work because it makes you happy. Are you making art to make money or make meaning?

2. Editing is for amateurs. Joyce Carol Oates once wrote that editing a book was like having multiple abortions. Jack Kerouac once wrote that editing was a betrayal of your own thoughts. And Henry Miller once wrote that editing leads to overcooked language.

All three are accurate. Editing is the enemy of expression. It forecloses on your creativity’s full expression. And it leaves your artistic spirit timid and impotent.

Don’t save your opinion for later. Risk at every moment all that you have. And make no restrictions on your testimony. You know the voice you most want to be quiet? Give it a megaphone. Because while sabotage is a safe place to be, the only art that matters is the work coated in blood that reflects people’s realities right back to them.

Make your art raw, bloody and honest. Keep it in the cross-hairs of your heart. Otherwise the red pen will own you. Where are you afraid to express yourself?

3. Maintain artistic perspective. A few sobering thoughts about three famous artists. First, Leo Tolstoy. He had thirteen kids when he wrote War & Peace. What’s your excuse for not creating? Second, Bill Gates. He started Microsoft in a recession. Are you still waiting for the economy to get better? Third, Rodney Dangerfield. He was an aluminum siding installer. What do you need to quit so you can focus on your art?

History is ripe with stories just like these. And if you want to keep things in perspective – especially during the low times – it’s helpful to remind yourself that you’re not alone. That you’re not the only one who’s terrified. And that you’re not the only artist who feels like your entire goddamn career is a hopeless journey.

Use the past to keep the future alive. Do you really thing you’re the first person who thought about quitting?

4. Find your artifact. Records aren’t dead. People don’t want the song, they want a magical way to remember the music that they can own and treasure forever. That’s why digital will always fall just short of art’s full potential. People love stuff. Stuff that changes and inspires them. Stuff they can show to their friends that inspires and changes them too.

The challenge is creating a unique way to extend the influence of your art with an artifact. As a consultant and facilitator, I create identity collages for my clients. These handmade woodcarvings, or brandtags, memorialize the company’s mission into a limited edition art piece. When hung, it becomes an engaging, conversation starting social object that makes people think, blink and share with each other. What souvenir are you providing for the viewers of your art?

5. Always keep kindling handy. Art is more than just what you do – this stuff has to be your life. If you don’t think what you’re creating is the greatest thing that ever was, you’re finished. If you don’t think your art matters in a massive way, you’re finished. And if you don’t think your work is going to change the world forever, you’re finished.

The key is to find private strategies to keep up your original enthusiasm. Two questions I’ve found helpful to ask are, “What injustice did you set out to fight when you first started?” and “What was the impulse that initially got you excited you about what you do?”

Those aren’t questions – those are time machines. And they work. If you want to stay up, stay true and stay fueled, you have to constantly rekindle that original fire. Otherwise your passion will degenerate into a line item. How do you replenish your energy reserve?

6. Paint with the brush of persistence. I didn’t invent the nametag. But I certainly took it farther than anyone expected it could go. And now that word is mine. I own it. Forever. And the people who meet me will never think about it the same way again.

That’s an example of what steady work can finally produce. And the cool part is, you don’t have to be the best – you just have to refuse to go away. The problem is, the odds are stacked against you. Because of our instant gratification culture, we’re impatient. And because of our abundance of choices, we’re quick to quit and pursue something better.

But at the heart of all creative badassery is stick-to-itiveness. If you can get good at not going away, the weak will weed themselves out. And only you and your art will remain. Are you quitting because it’s hard or because it’s right?

REMEMBER: When you’re ready to play for keeps, your work will never be the same.

Make the decision today.

Show the world that your art isn’t just another expensive hobby.

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Have you committed with both feet yet?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Nametag Manifesto -- Chapter 17: The End of Insecurity

[ View the infographic! ]

"Everyone should wear nametags, all the time, everywhere, forever.”

That’s my thesis, philosophy, dangerous idea and theory of the universe.

My name is Scott, and I’ve been wearing a nametag for past four thousand days.

And after traveling to hundreds of cities, a dozen countries, four continents, meeting tens of thousands of people, constant experimentation and observation, building a enterprise and writing a dozen books in the process, I believe, with all my heart, that the societal implications of wearing nametags could change everything.

This is my manifesto: 

17. The End of Insecurity
If everybody wears nametags, worldwide confidence increases.

We’re all valuable enough to have a name, have an identity and have a voice. And we don’t feel silly, because everyone else wears a nametag too.

Instead of being left out of the club, now we all feel like we matter. There is an overall increase in self-esteem and self-worth.

Ultimately, the more we practice being okay with ourselves, feeling at home in our own skin – and the more we have an audience to watch us – the more we know and like who we are. Life without witness, isn’t.

If everybody wears nametags, no more insignificance, no more complexes about mattering and no more embarrassment.

# # #

You can read The Nametag Manifesto, in full, for free, right now, here. 

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What's your manifesto?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

My job is to help companies make their mission more than a statement, using limited edition social artifacts.

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Meet Scott's client from Nestle Purina at www.brandtag.org!