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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NametagTV: The Scaling Fetish



Not everything was built to be bigger.

Some things are best left unscaled.

Otherwise you end up with a bloated, unapproachable brand that people ignore.

BUT THAT’S THE PROBLEM: Organizations are treating scaling like fetish.

Computer networks, I understand. You have to expand to cope with increased use.

But when it comes to the human side of business, when it comes to treating people like people, keeping things small is more profitable in the long wrong.

Today we’re going to explore a lit of things you can’t scale:
1. You can’t scale interaction. Engage with swift responsiveness, nonstop gratitude, unexpected honesty, exquisite playfulness and loving unfairness. Those aren’t just interactions – they’re social gifts. And they change the recipient. Are you in business to sell a product or to become known for a unique way of interacting with the world?

2. You can’t scale art. As soon as you bastardize something into a system, a process or a factory, it stops being art and starts becoming a commodity. Not everything can be comfortably quantified. And what can’t be measured, matters. Are you trying to compartmentalize something just to preserve your sense of control?

3. You can’t scale yourself. Why would want to? Small means nimble. Small means you can engage with customers directly and personally. Small means you can respond to changing needs immediately. And you can take risks without the pressure to remain tragically predictable. Are you aiming for bigness or greatness?

4. You can’t scale unity. Forcing employees from ten different countries to wake up in the middle of the night and attend a webinar just to meet budget is an insult. And it’s not the same, either. Outsourcing the human function fails. Do you need to conduct another sterile, boring and impersonal meeting with the people who matter most?

5. You can’t scale connection. If you want your interactions to reduce the distance between people, to enhance the personal bond you have with them, go analog. At least some of the time. Look people in the eye and talk to them with your mouth. Face to face is making a comeback. Will you hop on the bandwagon?

6. You can’t scale intimacy. Love is not something we do to each other love is what is present when there are not two. If you want touch everything around you, if you want secure a spot in people’s head, lead with your heart. Be touchy feely. It never goes out of style. What do you usually choose instead of love?

7. You can’t scale soul. Bringing intense humanity to the moment requires a deployment of naked personhood. It’s risky. It’s vulnerable. It’s scary. But that’s the only experience people will use to form an impression of you: How they feel about themselves when they’re around you. How much soul equity do you own?

8. You can’t scale contact. Sending mass emails makes people feel small, unseen and nonessential. Plus the obsession with open rates will drive you crazy. Instead of spamming the world, start a blog. Post daily as if you were having a conversation with to one person. The people who matter will find you. What did you write today?

9. You can’t scale charm. Magnetism pivots on the fulcrum point of better. It all depends on how you leave people: Alive? Believing? Breathless? Confident? Elevated? Faithful? Honored? Infected? Refreshed? Relieved? The choice is yours. When you walk out of a room, how does it change?

REMEMBER: If size mattered, the dinosaurs would still be around.

Scalability is highly overrated.

Stay small and win big.

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

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For a list called, "66 Questions to Prevent Your Time from Managing 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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Awesome St. Louis Couple Takes Relationship to Next Level By Relocating to New York City

St. Louis, Missouri (PRWEB) August 30, 2011 -- After a fateful meeting on Match.com one year ago, followed by a blissful year of dancing, singing and cooking, local lovers Brittany Barton and Scott Ginsberg have decided to their take talents to New York City to pursue their dreams.

“I am certain of two things,” said Barton, 26, “That our relationship is the foundation of our lives; and that New York is pretty much the most awesome city in the world and totally wants us to live there.”

Ginsberg, 31, was equally gushy. “I’m pumped, man. We’re committed, excited, a little scared, and ready to combine our lives and grow together. We believe the opportunities of living in The Big Apple could change us forever. And even if we don’t stay there permanently, even if we have to let the city crumble, we’re sticking together. The relationship is bigger than anything.”

As an urban planner, historic preservationist and sustainability geek, Barton is thrilled to surround herself by the gorgeous New York landscape. “I have a lust for rust,” she writes on her popular blog, Susty Life, “and after spending the last four years working in the non-profit and conservation field, it’s time to devote my efforts to my lifelong passion: Urban landscapes. What better place than New York City?”

Ginsberg, an author, speaker, publisher and nametag aficionado, also relishes the career opportunities this transition will provide. “If you’re an artist, New York is the place to be,” he writes on his award-winning website, HELLO, my name is Scott! “And since my enterprise is portable, I can’t wait to watch how the energy, buoyancy and constant stimulation of New York influences my writing and grows my business. Plus the pizza is really good.”

Scottany’s transition won’t be an easy one. The move will tax their patience, test their relationship and call upon their greatest resources to make it work. Between Scott renting his condo and Brittany getting a new job, much work has yet to be done.

But they are actively soliciting support, help and networking opportunities from their friends and families. Barton and Ginsberg are welcoming suggestions, recommendations and career opportunities from anyone with connections in the New York area. If you know of something or someone who can help with their journey, please contact Scottany immediately.

Start spreading the news.

Contact Information:
Scott Ginsberg
314/374-3397
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Brittany Barton
901/351/6110
brittanymbarton@gmail.com

###

Monday, August 29, 2011

How to Live Like a Rationalist, Part 2

Few ideas in history have been more widely repeated, debated and dissected than the following three words:

Cogito ergo sum.

This was the philosophy of Rene Descartes. I think therefore I am.

THE GOOD NEWS IS: I am not going to attempt to debate this philosophy.

Instead, I’ve adopted Rene Descartes’ formula and developed a few rationalist philosophies of my own: (read part one here!)
1. I teach therefore I sell. Teaching means introducing your customers to new things. Helping them feel more connected to the front edge of culture. Teaching means sending a continuous flow of education. Expanding the customer’s thinking, growing their knowledge base and stretching their brains.

Where’s your classroom?

Stop giving sales pitches and start delivering lesson plans. Treat customers as students who attend your class, not as people who pay your commission. How are you positioning yourself as a teacher?

2. I embody therefore I lead. There are four ways to influence people: Through what you think, what you say, what you do or who you are. If you truly want to lead, aim for the latter. Turn your life into a walking translation of the vision you hope to create, and people will follow.

Close the gap between your onstage performance and backstage reality, and people will follow. Make the message you preach the dominant reality of your life, and people will follow. What do people hear when they listen to your life speak?

3. I mirror therefore I elevate. Most of we do has no witness. And our lives go unnoticed if nobody takes the time to notice, reflect and affirm our truth. That’s why it’s so essential to be a mirror, to be a stand for people’s greatness.

When you give them a front row seat to their own brilliance, you give the priceless gift of visibility. You give them something they can’t see for themselves. And if you’re lucky, they change forever. That’s how you elevate someone. What’s your strategy for leaving people better?

4. I focus therefore I respect. Multitasking removes you to another place. It annihilates the present moment and it always disrespects somebody. Plus, it’s clinically been proven to lower productivity. The problem is, it’s become the new normal. We’ve plunged into an ecosystem of interruption, and there’s no turning back.

But here’s what you can do: Become a living statement of focus. Stop searching for something better to interact with. When you’re with people – really be with people. Give them all of you. Nothing could be more respectful. Who are you accidentally disrespecting with this action?

5. I publish therefore I resonate. In addition to being a writer, you’re also a publisher. Not because you work in a skyscraper. Not because you wear fancy suits. And not because you have big meetings with important people. You’re a publisher because you make things public.

And if you’re smart enough to build a platform rooted in respect, permission and value, you will never again have to worry about winking in the dark.

Your voice will always be heard. But only if you have the will to ship. Only if you make the commitment to pressing the publish button, every single day. How many bylines has your name accumulated?

6. I shove therefore I love. To shove is to applaud someone’s risk, elevate someone’s hope, disrupt someone’s inertia and provoke someone’s decision. To shove is to give someone a permission slip, kindle someone’s awesomeness and deliver someone’s encouragement. To shove is to help someone fall in love with himself, show someone what he can’t see for himself and believe in someone more than he believes in himself.

And to shove is to disturb someone into taking action on what matters, to adamantly refuse to let someone stay where he is and to call someone on the carpet when mediocrity descends.

In short: To shove people is to love people. You push them to be brave. Others did it for me. And I pay forward the favor all the time. I bet someone in your life could use a good shove. How many shove moments have you overlook?

7. I disrupt therefore I inspire. A great leader evokes emotion. She interrupts the quiet, unsettles the peace and upsets the mental landscape. A great leader makes a ruckus by asking disturbing questions instead of placating the masses by mindlessly accepting answers.

The hard part is, all of these things are unreasonable. But that’s the whole point. Nobody ever changed the world by keeping their head down. Success requires crazy. Heaps of it. Put your teaspoons away. If you really want to change the world – break out the shovels and start stockpiling insanity. When was the last time you went looking for trouble?

8. I contribute therefore I matter. Insignificance is a terrifying proposition because the human need to feel valuable to the world runs deeper than anything. Fortunately, you don’t have to do something gargantuan to matter.

Maybe your contribution is being a consistent source of possibility for your family. Maybe your contribution is being an anchor of hope for your employees. Maybe your contribution is being an unconditional servant of truth for your readers. Nothing against ending world hunger. But never overlook the value of mattering in your own backyard first. Whose world are you necessary to?

9. I burn therefore I beguile. Influence is easy to overcomplicate. Changing hearts and minds isn’t about power persuasion and body language manipulation. It’s simple: People need to see that you are possessed. They need to feel the flame every time they interact with you. And they need to walk away better, infected with something that wasn’t there before.

Instead of attending another seminar on the power of nonverbal behavior, take a page from Richard Pryor’s playbook: Set yourself on fire. People will come from miles just to watch you burn. Do you interact with flaming intensity?

REMEMBER: You don’t have to live in 17th Century France to be a philosopher.

Consider writing your own rationalist list.

Make Descartes proud.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you rational enough?

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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

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Young Artist's Guide to Playing for Keeps, Pt. 15

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:
1. Deliver the higher value. If your work puts names to things people already know in their hearts, you take them to a place they don’t want to leave. If your work traps a moment of life in its full beauty and shouts it from the rooftops, you enact a revival of spirit. And if your work gives people hope about what they can be, you force them to look at new horizons.

That’s art that matters. And if you can focus on making a real contribution and allowing your audience to decide how to repay you, it will be worth it in the end. On other hand, if your job sets a cap on how much you’re allowed to give, run. Because what you sell has to supplement the soul, not just hang on the wall. Does your work reach down inside and reward what it means to be human?

2. Honor the slog. Playing for keeps takes prodigious acts of courage. For example, sometimes it’s hard to get up and go face the world. But that’s a good thing. If it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth it. If it wasn’t hard, there would be nothing to push against. And if it wasn’t hard, there would be no way to stop the people who didn’t want it badly enough.

As Joseph Campbell writes in The Hero With a Thousand Faces, “Some of us have to go through dark and devious ways before we can find the river of peace or the highroad to the soul’s destination.”

The point is: The anxiety of being an artist doesn’t go away. It may vary, but it never fully vanishes. And if you want to make out alive, you have to learn to love that tension. Greet it with a welcoming heart, listen to what it has to say and exploit it in the service of something real and true. How will you keep desire burning?

3. Throw pottery, not punches. As we all learned from The Little Mermaid, the seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake. Next time you hear about another artist who’s more successful and more famous than you, try not to get too pissed off. As my grandfather reminds me, “The meanest feeling of which any human being is capable is feeling bad at another’s success.”

Instead of making justifications about why other people don’t deserve success as much as you, use their accomplishments as glowing sources of inspiration. Build off their energy. Convert it to fuel. After all, they must be doing something right. Turn toward their triumphs with a hospitable heart and distribute your motive force accordingly. What excuses do you make for other people’s accomplishments?

4. Fortune favors the bold, but it frequents the consistent. Considering how hard, how long and how smart you work – I imagine it feels like you should be more successful by now. But you’re not. And you keep wondering, “How much longer will I have to pay my dues?”

The answer is: Longer than you’d like. That’s the most frustrating reality of any artistic career path – it takes freaking forever. And sometimes you feel like you’re the only one who hears the music. But as Seth Godin once wrote, “Art takes a long time to pay for itself, so you better believe in what you do. Because it may take a long time before it catches on.”

That’s why consistency – that is, showing up, every single day, even if you’re not in the mood – is so essential to playing for keeps. The big question is: How long are you willing work your ass off before the right people notice?

5. Go out into the world in strategic fashion. During a recent radio interview, actor and comedian Jay Mohr said it best: “Every role I audition for I play completely. There can’t be room for potential. I swing for the museum every time.”

Notice he didn’t say “outfield,” “fence” or “upper deck.” Museum. That’s one hell of a strategy. That’s one hell of a positive attitude. Mohr proves that when you respect everything life has to offer, when you present yourself as though you were a gift, it’s hard for people to ignore you.

Even if you strike out and fall on your face, at least the crowd heard the wind cry like a bitch when you swung with all your might. When you take your art to market, what strategy is guiding you?

6. Push the boundaries of your medium. Derek Sivers changed the record industry forever by breaking rules and ignoring the voices of dissent. He writes in Anything You Want, “You can’t live on somebody else’s expectations. You don’t have to please anybody but your customers and yourself.”

That’s what playing for keeps means: Maintaining a healthy respect for your own visions and opinions. That way, when people try to bash your opinion out of you, you can stick your fingers in your ears.

Besides, you can’t argue with a ringing register. If the customers who like your work buy it, all the criticism in the world doesn't matter. If you were taken away would people find a replacement or howl in protest?

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.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Have you committed with both feet yet?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "52 Random Insights to Grow Your Business," 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, August 25, 2011

Whose Path Are You Holding a Torch To?

You can’t just sit in a corner and perfect yourself.

The only way you get better is by contributing to your fellow humans.

As author Ben Sweetland once remarked, “You cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening your own.”

THE QUESTION IS: Whose path are you holding a torch to?

Today we’re going to explore a collection of practices to help your flame grow brighter:
1. Witness people’s lives. Nobody wants to look back and feel that their life was just a series of small incidents. They need proof. They need your eyes. Because without witness, their lives go unnoticed, unaffirmed and misunderstood. Sounds existentially agonizing to me.

To be a better witness, start by being a better mirror. Affirm the value of people’s accomplishments by constantly asking them, “How did you do that?” This allows you to become a stand for people’s greatness. And it gives them a front row seat to their own brilliance. Plus you might learn something cool.

Personally, I like to use the platform of writing to do so. Whether it’s online via social media or in print in my columns, whenever I feature someone in my work, it’s a form of witnessing. And I always send them a copy when it’s published. How are you being sensitive to people’s visibility needs?

2. Indulge people’s humanity. In the seminal book, Story, Robert McKee makes a powerful point about our species:

“The majority of the world suffers short, painful existences, ridden with disease and hunger, terrorized by tyranny and lawless violence, without hope and that life will ever be any different for their children.”

I don’t share this passage be a downer. Rather, to suggest that what your customers need is reminder of how alive they truly are. Something that highlights their humanity.

Consider the billion-dollar fitness industry: People invest countless hours practicing yoga, lifting weights and taking Zumba. But they don’t enjoy doing it as much as they relish being done with it.

What they buy is the experience of walking out of that studio two hours later, feeling more alive. What do you sell?

3. Preserve people’s story. When my friend Stacey Wehe suffered major scarring on her voice box after oral surgery, she lost the ability to speak. After an unsuccessful string of doctors and speech therapists, there was no doubt: She needed an outlet to share her story.

She founded a storytelling non-profit called The St. Louis Ten. Over a year later, hundreds of people gather each month to share and listen to each other’s stories. I’ve only attended a few times, but the event is nothing short of amazing. (Watch my story here!)

Bottom line: Human beings are lonely and want to be listened to. Each soul is laden with its own story to tell. And anytime you can give voice to people’s experience, you add value to their lives – and to the world. Your mission is to build that platform, step back, watch people’s legacy shine. After all, how your story lives on is the truest form of life after death. What stage are you providing?

4. Petition people’s plunge. The greatest gift you can give someone is to throw them over the wall. To compel their commitment. To challenge them to push their chips to the middle of the table and play for keeps.

I remember the exact moment this happened to me: I was working full time as a furniture salesman, doing my writing and publishing on the side. After a nervous presentation at a Rotary Club, the president – a ninety year old retired surgeon – approached me with the following advice:

“Stop selling couches. You need to become a speaker.” That was a gift. That was a shove moment. And was an interaction that made my path brighter. I took his advice and never looked back. Who do you know that desperately needs to be disturbed into action?

5. Excavate people’s crazy. Everyone is a geek about something. But sometimes people need a little push, a little permission, to let the geek come out and play. Actor and comedian Patton Oswalt put it beautifully:

“To geek out is to spot something that makes an emotional, irrational connection to your soul. It’s the extraordinary piece of something just slightly different than what’s considered to be standard fare.”

What’s more, geeking out is an emotional and spiritual release. It’s when people become the best versions of themselves. And if you can respond to that experience with respect, affirmation and gratitude, not only will people love you for creating a chance to geek out – you may even learn something too. After all, approachability is not about being the life of the party; it’s about bringing other people to life at the party. How many passion finding questions are you asking people?

REMEMBER: You cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening your own.

Make that flame grow bright.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Whose path are you holding a torch to>

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "31 Questions to Turn Your Expertise into Money," 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, August 24, 2011

When Care Is Needed

Caring is not an emotion – it’s an intersection.

It’s the loving collision between your attention and someone else’s need.

HOWEVER: Caring can’t be bastardized into a technique.

The secret is to develop a keener eye for those moments in which care is needed.

Here’s how:
1. Look past when a bend is needed. Most policies are prepared excuses. And organizations use them to create insurance, stay in control, enable deniability, preserve the illusion of safety and cover their ass when things go wrong. So much for caring.

Instead of deleting all your policies, create a litmus test to gauge the value of your policies.

If the policy prevents you from wowing a customer, it shouldn’t exist. If the policy focuses on the person and not the behavior, it shouldn’t exist. And the policy protects the president’s ego at the cost of employee respect, it shouldn’t exist.

Every customer is an exception. Break rules, not hearts. Flexibility buys longevity. Are the policies you’re hiding behind offending and insulting customers?

2. Speak out when a voice is needed. Beth Brooke, Global Vice Chair of Ernst & Young once said, “Every one of us has a platform. It changes over time and looks different for every individual, but we all have one. Use it to make a difference.”

The advantage is: There has never been a better time in history to reach the world. But the question is: What is the world begging you to give voice to? To find an answer, get online. Take advantage of every listening post you can find.

After all, social media isn’t a sales tool – it’s a hearing aid. And it’s the single greatest way to pinpoint the issues your platform needs to give voice to.

Remember: When a voice is needed, closed lips are an obscenity. What did you publish this week?

3. Back off when a lesson is needed. Yes, it would be easier to tell your cousin that her boyfriend is a manipulative jerk. But sometimes the best way to care is to get the hell out of the way. Sometimes you have to give people enough space to learn things on their own. Otherwise the desire to fix blocks the ability to care. And it becomes very hard to breathe out the love people need.

Next time you feel your eye twitching, practice a little emotional restraint. Stop adding value. Suspend the need to dominate the conversation. And respect the other person’s speed of self-discovery. Eventually, she’ll come to her senses and break up with him. On Jerry Springer. What happened to the last person you tried to fix?

4. Jump in when a leader is needed. You can’t sit back and wait for people to build something that inspires you. Nor can you sit back and wait for people to rebuild something doesn’t inspire you. The only hope is to nominate yourself. To instigate the change that you believe in. And to make the choice not to do nothing anymore.

Otherwise it’s going to eat away at your heart to watch a leaderless world go by.

People are waiting for you to lead them. People are waiting for you to take them to the Promised Land. Stop waiting for a savior and sign up for the initiative path. Are you still hiding from the fear of leading?

5. Ante up when a commitment is needed. I’m hopeless when it comes to organization, details and planning. The stuff makes my blood freeze. But, if there’s someone I love who’s counting on my ability to manage a situation, I’ll be on top of it like a hungry bear on a slow running camper.

That’s the way I see it: You don’t have to be good at something to care about it. And, just because you failed to focus on it in the past doesn’t mean you’re incapable of excelling at it in the future. Turns out, life is more interested in your willingness to commit that your capacity to win.

That’s the thing about caring: It isn’t always about knowing how to do things. It’s about knowing why it’s important to do them, and then, allowing the how to find its way in through the side door. Who is waiting for you to commit?

6. Stay close when a heart is needed. I understand your hesitation. Opening up is terrifying. When you give someone your heart, there’s always the chance that they’ll give it back to you in pieces. That’s the brand of vulnerability you invite when you dare to care.

And I’ve been burned by it before. A couple of times. But life without risk, isn’t. You can’t outsmart getting hurt. And you can’t stay one step ahead of the pain forever. Eventually, you have to lean into it.

Come on. If there’s a person who needs you – and you believe that staying close is a chance worth taking – take it. Show them that they’re worth being strong for. People don’t forget. Who desperately needs access to your heart?

REMEMBER: Caring is the intersection between your attention and someone else’s need.

Keep your eyes open for opportunities to make that loving collision.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What's your care quotient?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "5 Creative Ways to Approach the Sale," 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!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

NametagTV: Poor Substitutes



When you substitute, you rob the customer.
When you substitute, you shoot yourself in the foot.
When you substitute, you demonstrate a lack of commitment.

Today we’re going to explore five substitutions that don’t work, along with what you can execute instead:
1. Copy is not a substitute for care. Just because your marketing department whipped up a clever statement about security and smeared it all over your collateral materials doesn’t mean customers feel seen, safe and heard. Caring is a way of thinking, a way of speaking and a way of being that reminds people that you bother to bother, every single day. Does the brainless disclaimer at the end of your emails make customers feel safe or executives feel protected?

2. Passion is not a substitute for reality. That’s great if you love your product more than life itself. But if you want to make money, there has to be an intersection between your obsession and the marketplace need. If you want to make history, you have to solve a problem that’s real, urgent, pervasive and expensive. Otherwise you’ll be passionately irrelevant. Are you making something useful or just making something?

3. Information is not a substitute for interaction. Access to knowledge is nice, but access to each other is necessary. That’s what customers crave, come back for and tell their friends about: How interacting with you makes them feel. This is the core value that your brand delivers. And if you’re not making a conscious effort to deliver meaningful interactions in addition to helpful information, customers will view you as a commodity. How do people experience themselves in relation to you?

4. Celebrity is not a substitute for credibility. Just because people recognize your name doesn’t mean they see any promise attached to it. And just because your hilarious video went viral doesn’t mean you’re going to get hired. Credibility comes from creating an unquestionable knowledge base. Credibility comes from establishing a zone of trust around you. And credibility comes from building a consistent timeline of execution. What is affecting your ability to be taken seriously?

5. Strategy is not a substitute for execution. Instead of holding a meeting before the meeting to prepare for the deployment of your plan so you can formulate a strategy to start the initial stages of brainstorming for your pre-launch initiative, just go. Just start something. Stop planning. Stop talking. Take some initiative and ship something that matters. Even if you’re not ready. Even if the final product isn’t perfect. Forget about “ready, aim, fire!” and consider, “try, listen, leverage!” What are you waiting for?

REMEMBER: Substitution is the shortcut that actually takes longer.

Don’t buy into the lie that you can cut corners to save a few bucks or a few minutes.

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

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "66 Questions to Prevent Your Time from Managing 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, August 22, 2011

The Art of Perspective, Part 2

Any time you attend a meeting, make a sales call, give a presentation, write a blog or interview with a prospective employer, you have a choice:

You can vomit information.
You can deliver insight.
You can ask questions.
You can create silence.

OR: If you want to be invited back, you can deliver perspective.

Something that disturbs.
Something that moves eyebrows.
Something that flips the mental switch.
Something that creates a smile in the mind.
Something that takes people’s hiding places away from them.

As a writer, speaker, consultant and mentor, perspective is my job. It’s what people pay me to deliver. And today I’d like to share another assortment of perspective (read part one here!) to help you, your brand and your organization become better.

CAUTION: Each of the items on this list is worthy of its own discussion. Next time you have a meeting, conference or company retreat, I encourage you to use them as conversation starters, icebreakers and thought experiments for your team:
1. The Beatles never had a fan page. Are you spending money trying to make people like you, or investing emotional labor trying to make the world better?

2. There are people who eat Hooters to go. Are you forgetting about your brand’s secondary value?

3. John Coltrane played the same songs in the second set, just to find something in the music he missed earlier. What experience do you offer?

4. The Grateful Dead still made records. Are you contributing to an ongoing body of work or just putting on shows?

5. Picasso’s family saved every scrap of paper on which he drew. Are you keeping your bad ideas for later?

6. Twitter has over one million apps, created by outside developers. Are you selling a product to people or creating a platform for them?

7. The world’s largest employer is Ebay. How is your company taking advantage of mobile workforces?

8. Amazon didn’t make money for seven years. Are you willing to hustle while you wait?

9. When Marvel created the KISS comic book series, Stan Lee required them to mix their own blood into the ink. How personal is your work?

10. Ben Franklin never obtained patents or copyrights because he felt indebted to the past. Are you paying homage to the voices that shaped you?

11. Rowing is the only sport that started out as a capital punishment. Will you slog through what matters to achieve immortality?

12. George Washington spent seven percent of his salary on booze. Are you allowing yourself to have at least one vice?

13. The Shawshank Redemption has been played on TNT an average of once every two months for the past fifteen years. Are you timeless?

14. Most collect calls are made on Father’s Day. Do you need a holiday to show someone you care?

REMEMBER: When you walk in with perspective, you walk out with heartshare.

People don’t need more information.

They need permission to see the world differently.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What perspective do you deliver?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "8 Ways to Move Quickly on New Opportunities," 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, August 19, 2011

What Brand of More Do You Deliver?

When it comes to design, less is more.
When it comes to marketing, less is more.
When it comes to guitar solos, less is more.

HOWEVER: There are certain things in life that people will always need more of.

What brand of “more” do you deliver?

Consider these ideas to get started:
1. Trust more than people think is wise. I trust people in advance. It’s a great time saver and, most of the time, works to the advantage of both parties. What’s more, telling someone, “I trust you,” is another way of saying, “I feel comfortable being myself around you.”

A message like that instantly lowers the threat level of the conversation and encourages reciprocation. And sure, it backfires sometimes. But I’d rather get burned on occasion then walk around with bars to my heart. What empties your trust bank?

2. Thank more than people think is normal. Gratitude is not an event. It’s not a chore. And it’s certainly not a corporate initiative. Gratitude is a fashion statement. And it looks good on every person during every season.

However, thankfulness is more than just writing notes – it’s a calendar of consistent action. It’s engaging with the world on a perpetual search for something to give thanks for. And it’s living every day of your life as a thank you in perpetuity to the forces that have shaped you. Where did you first learn gratitude?

3. Communicate more than people think is needed. No news is bad news. If you’re not prolific in your communication with the people who matter most, you run the risk of being destroyed by silence. After all, the opposite of honesty isn’t lying – it’s omitting. And when you leave people in the dark, they engage in worse case thinking.

The key is to create a ritual that keeps you prolific in your communication. A regular, repeatable act that layers meaning on top of a mundane activity. What if you posted sign-up sheets for private lunches your office doors?

4. Care more than people think is expected. Caring is not an emotion – it’s an intersection. It’s the loving collision between your attention and someone else’s need. And the best part is, no act of caring is too small. Like epoxy glue, even a small drop is sticky as hell.

But caring isn’t easy. And it’s not the same as being nice. Being nice is pouring someone a cup of tea. Caring is listening to that person’s story while the tea steeps. The point is, if you’re trying to outsource that function, if you’re trying to bastardize caring into a technique, people are going to notice. And they’re going to be pissed. Does your organization punish people for caring?

5. Believe more than people think is necessary. Listening is not enough. Taking an interest is not enough. People need to be believed in. That’s the nourishment they require. The cool part is, when you tell someone you expect great things, they tend to rise to the moment to prove you right. All because you infected them with a vision of what they could contribute.

At that point, all you have to do is sit back, tell them you’re proud and remind them that you knew they could – and would – do it. How will you help people taste the sweet liberation of what’s possible?

6. Give more than people think is fair. Not so you look good. Not so people feel indebted to you. And not so everyone can see what a generous person you are. Give because it’s right – not because it’s recognized and reciprocated.

Even if you’re strapped for cash or pressed for time. You can always give your art, aka, bringing your humanity to the moment in a way that leaves the recipient altered. That’s generosity at its best. Will your relationships suffer death by scorecard?

REMEMBER: Less is for amateurs.

Sometimes more is more.

Don’t just give people what they want – give them what they remember.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What brand of "more" do you deliver?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "8 Ways to Move Quickly on New Opportunities," 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, August 18, 2011

The Art of Perspective

Any time you attend a meeting, make a sales call, give a presentation, write a blog or interview with a prospective employer, you have a choice:

You can vomit information.
You can deliver insight.
You can ask questions.
You can create silence.

OR: If you want to be invited back, you can deliver perspective.

Something that disturbs.
Something that moves eyebrows.
Something that flips the mental switch.
Something that creates a smile in the mind.
Something that takes people’s hiding places away from them.

As a writer, speaker, consultant and mentor, perspective is my job. It’s what people pay me to deliver. And today I’d like to share an assortment of perspective to help you, your brand and your organization become better.

CAUTION: Each of the items on this list is worthy of its own discussion. Next time you have a meeting, conference or company retreat, I encourage you to use them as conversation starters, icebreakers and thought experiments for your team:
1. The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer. Are you smoking what you’re selling?

2. Charles Goodyear invented the rubber tire when he accidentally spilled a pot of boiling rubber in his kitchen. What are you turning your mistakes into?

3. The creator of the Nike Swoosh was paid thirty-five dollars for the design. Are you charging for time invested or value created?

4. Bill Gates started Microsoft in a recession. Are you waiting for perfect conditions to begin pursuing your dream?

5. When Scott Paper Company first manufactured toilet tissue; they didn’t put their name on the product because of embarrassment. How do you sign your work?

6. American Airlines once saved forty thousand dollars by eliminating one olive from each salad in first class. What could you delete that nobody would miss?

7. Jerusalem is the only destination people travel halfway around the world for, just to see something that isn’t even there. What is the mythology surrounding your product?

8. When Leo Tolstoy wrote War & Peace, he had thirteen kids. What distractions are you allowing to beat you?

9. Miles Davis never made any hit records. How are you selling the experience of seeing you in person?

10. Van Gough was so lonely that he had to use his mailman as a model. Who can you have lunch with this week?

11. The founder of Google turned down a job at the White House. What are you willing to give up in order to stay geeky?

12. Getting a job at an Apple Store is more selective than getting into Harvard. How badly do people want to work for you?

13. Half of Japan’s bestselling books are written via text message. Now that you have this technology, what else does this make possible?

14. The Amazon jungle has nine hundred species of wasps. Are you still assuming the world doesn’t have room for your uniqueness?

REMEMBER: When you walk in with perspective, you walk out with heartshare.

People don’t need more information.

They need permission to see the world differently.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What perspective do you deliver?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "8 Ways to Move Quickly on New Opportunities," 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, August 17, 2011

How to Live Like a Rationalist, Part 1

Few ideas in history have been more widely repeated, debated and dissected than the following three words:

Cogito ergo sum.

This was the philosophy of Rene Descartes. I think therefore I am.

THE GOOD NEWS IS: I am not going to attempt to debate this philosophy.

Instead, I’ve adopted Rene Descartes’ formula and developed a few rationalist philosophies of my own:

1. I write therefore I know. Until you write it out, you don’t know what you know. Until you write it out, you don’t know how you feel. And until you write it out, you don’t know what you believe.

That’s the true power of the pen: Clarification. The blank page is nothing but an electronic mirror. If you’re not standing naked before it on a regular basis, you’ll never know who you are. And if you’re still clutching onto the excuse that you’re not a writer, wake up and smell the ink. Writing is an extension of thinking. We’re all writers. Every last one of us. Some just have more practice than others. What did you write today?

2. I deliver therefore I earn. The person who hires you put their ass on the line. They don’t want to look stupid. They don’t want to lose their job. They just want you to come through.

Here’s how: First, establish expectational clarity. Leave no room for doubt what is going to happen. Second, build in multiple points of overdelivery. Blow people away with your consistency. And third, telegraph your reliability. In the moments when you do deliver, remind people that you did exactly as – or better than – promised. How do you ensure your capacity to deliver?

3. I polarize therefore I monetize. Anything worth doing is worth being attacked for. But if everybody loves your brand, you’re doing something wrong. If everybody loves your brand, you’re not risking enough. And if everybody loves your brand, you’re not doing the work that matters.

Volume trumps popularity. It doesn’t matter if everybody likes you – it matters if everybody remembers you. Try creating something worth being criticized. Grind the gears a little. Just make sure you’re not doing so solely for the sake of being criticized. Impure motive stains artistic dividends. Are your monkey wrenches well intentioned?

4. I reflect therefore I grow. Not everybody reflects. Some people don’t value reflection. Some prefer not to dwell on the past. And some people simply aren’t as introspective as others. What’s more, school never teaches us to reflect – only to solve the next problem, take the test, accept the grade and move on.

The problem with this is, without analyzing the past we can never design the way forward. And without an understanding who we’ve become, we’ll never learn who we need to be. Are you willing to introduce a ritual of reflection into your regular schedule?

5. I commit therefore I attract. Jumping is life’s most terrifying verb. Especially when you have no idea what the hell you’re doing. The advantage is, when you choose to play for keeps, you show to the world that your work is more than just an expensive hobby.

And for some strange cosmic reason, that world doesn’t just pay attention – it pays dividends. Sometimes in the form of money. Sometimes in the form of opportunity. But always in the currency of prosperity. But you have to jump. How much longer can you afford to be an amateur?

6. I thank therefore I am. Tax your heart as it will, life is still pretty damn impressive. And you survive because of the energy you devote to being grateful for it. That’s what my parents taught me: Thanking is not a chore. If you’re still breathing, you have no right to take a break from being grateful.

And why would you, anyway? You are never more alive than when you are thanking. To give thanks is to touch the center of joy. To give thanks is to make love to the present moment. And to give thanks is to revel in life as it is. As Jean Baptiste Massieu once said, “Gratitude is the memory of the heart.” Who have you thanked today?

7. I breathe therefore I overcome. When you spend a week in the hospital breathing through a chest tube, your relationship with your breath changes. You start to learn that every anxiety is another chance to inhale. And you start to learn that there are few things in life you can’t breathe your way through.

But it’s not about making the pain go away – it’s about changing your relationship to the experience of it. Because when you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. Fast heart, slow lungs. How do you activate the force of calm in a time of turmoil?

8. I laugh therefore I conquer. It’s impossible to be at the mercy of something you’re willing to laugh at. And it’s easy to get over things once you figure out what’s funny about them. Not that humor trivializes your tribulations. You can’t outsmart getting hurt.

But when you laugh your way through the struggle, every step is a spark that defies the darkness. That’s one of the coping skills they don’t teach in school. And it’s too bad, because humor is the great diffuser and the ultimate overcomer. What is your diversion from despair?

9. I persist therefore I prosper. I started my company the day I graduated college. A year later, I wanted to quit. I wanted to bag the biz and get a real job. I even toyed with the idea of applying to grad school. But I also reassured myself that even when a dusting of despair settled in, not every part of me wanted to give up.

So I persisted. And now I’m prospering. That’s how you sustain your gaze to the top of the hill: By not abandoning yourself during trying times. Besides, if wasn’t hard – it wouldn’t be worth it. Persistence is hope with legs. Are you all laced up?

REMEMBER: You don’t have to live in 17th Century France to be a philosopher.

Consider writing your own rationalist list.

Make Descartes proud.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you rational enough?

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

NametagTV: Stay Human



Being human is always good for business.

And if you want your brand to stay alive, you have to leave traces of your humanity in every possible touchpoint.

After all, people buy people. Not products. Not services. Not companies. People.

Today we’re going to explore a collection of ideas to help you, your brand and your organization stay human:
1. Friendly wins. When I started wearing a nametag everyday, I wasn’t trying to make money – I was trying to make a point: Friendly doesn’t cost anything. And yet, millions of people on a daily basis are working overtime to prove me wrong. They’re too focused on their own drama, their own company policies their own egos to see how easy it really is to be friendly.

The cool part is: You don’t need a nametag to be friendly.

Instead of waiting to warm up to people, skip the small talk and just jump right in. Instead of asking if there’s anything else you can do, ask if there’s anything else you can help them learn. And instead of asking for a referral, ask if everything was great. People will notice. How friendly are you perceived as?

2. Create random acts of humanity. People may love to buy, but they also ache to belong, crave to believe and long to hope. That’s what makes them human. That’s what gives them fullness of heart. Forget about customer service.

Service, schmervice – people want to be in love.

They want someone to touch them. Instead of trying to buy your way into their lives, instead of trying to hack your way into people’s hearts, give them a chance to buy into something that matters, and then share that with the people who matter. Because it’s not about the product – it’s about how people socialize around it. Are you selling a commodity or building a sharing device that allows people to connect with each other?

3. Create an emotional bonus. I once saw a sign outside of a flea market that read, “Business sucks, come in and deal!” That wasn’t just worth taking a picture of – it was worth telling my friends about. Not to mention, walking into the store and buying a few things.

And that’s the secret: Anytime your marketing creates a memorable, unexpected and jarring juxtaposition, you win.

I’m not talking about interrupting customers with ads so you can bother them into buy from you. Marketing is about designing your brand with a high degree of visual sophistication. It’s about making a first impression that creates a smile in the mind and demands further investigation. Are you providing the transaction of a service or the experience of an event?

4. Intelligently share your intangibles. Our economy rewards generosity. And if you’re willing to give yourself away, it’s unlikely you will go away. The secret is to find your daily gift to the world. Something simple and human. Something that fulfills your quota of usefulness. And something that builds up a huge surplus goodwill.

Take a blog, for example. That’s the ideal venue to deliver the intangible value of knowledge. To pollinate people with your ideas. Better yet, blogs that are written honestly have the power to give the gift of wakefulness. They create an act of inspiration in a moment of inertia. And if that’s not a gift, I don’t know what is. When was the last time somebody thanked you for your generosity?

5. Manage your story like an asset. Story isn’t just a skill; it’s a survival mechanism. Has been for thousands of years. And here’s why: Story makes it easier for people to believe. Story makes it easy for people to find and express meaning. And story makes the experience of being alive more enjoyable.

The trick is, you’re telling a story whether you want to or not. The question is: Is your story worth repeating? Is your story worth crossing the street for? Is your story connected to another story people already trust? And does your story give people hope about what they could be? I certainly hope so. Because if your story too small to repeat, it’s not worth telling. Who’s retelling your story to their friends?

6. Make a stronger last interaction. People don’t buy what you sell – they buy what you are. They buy the way they experience you. And they buy the way they experience themselves in relation to you. Everything else is merely an accessory to the sale.

If want to become known better to the people who matter most, start by becoming known for a unique way of interacting with the world. Like FedEx, who interacts with swift responsiveness. Like Southwest, who interacts with exquisite playfulness. Or like Zappos, who interacts with true care.

The point is, when you interact with people in a way that gives them the gift of social elevation, you get talked about. Are you a business people could fall in love with?

REMEMBER: Companies that lack humanity, leak profit.

Make a conscious effort to stay human.

Stick yourself out there today.

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

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "66 Questions to Prevent Your Time from Managing 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, August 15, 2011

The Art of Vomiting

This is how I start everyday of my life:

Wake up. Jump in the shower. Brush my teeth. Throw on my cozies. Fire up the laptop. Put in my headphones. Open a blank document. Vomit.

Yes, vomit.

For the next twenty minutes, I purge. Every thought, every impulse, every complaint and every frustration dancing through my mind, I puke onto the page.

And anything goes.

No stopping. No editing. No audience. No boundaries. And most importantly, no thinking. Just pure confrontation. Listening to myself and rendering what I hear.

Then, once I’ve emptied my heart onto three pages, I save the document, recite my invocation and go to work.

This is my ritual. It’s the first thing I do, every day of my life. And I never miss it.

THE COOL PART IS: Since I started my daily vomit eight years ago, life has never been the same.

Creativity comes easier. Stress dissipates faster. And clarity arrives quicker.

Sound worthwhile to you?

If so, consider these ideas for mastering the art of vomiting:
1. Give yourself permission. Boundaries are saviors. They reinforce our integrity, preserve our values and protect us from dangerous situations. But when it comes to creativity, every artist needs a space without circumference. A private container of safety where judgment can’t enter. And a structureless venue where ideas can run free without the scrutiny of readers, critics, editors – and, most of all, yourself.

That’s why vomiting is so essential to your creative practice: It’s the only place where you’re completely free. Nobody is going to see what you wrote anyway. You can be any version of yourself you want. That’s how vomiting works: It liberates you from the tendency to edit, which later pays off when it comes to the real work. And simply by risking honesty in private, it starts to become easier to live your truth in public.

But you have to give this time to yourself. You have to believe that you deserve this gift. Otherwise you’ll never steal the time to pull the trigger. Are you willing to get up twenty minutes earlier to create this space?

2. Patiently wait for the right water. When you draw a bath, it’s never hot right away. You have to let the cold water swirl into the drain for a few minutes first. Eventually, when hot stuff starts to pour out, you plug up the drain and ease yourself in. Until then, you have to release the water without committing to it. Otherwise you’ll fill up the tub with the wrong stuff.

Vomiting is exactly the same way. The point is to purge all the crap out of your system first thing in the morning: Yesterday’s fight with your mother. Last night’s bizarre dream. That annoying barking dog from next door. Just puke it all out onto the page. And keep doing that until the hot water shows up. Even if you feel like a negative, whineybag.

Because about maybe fifteen minutes later when the real meaning starts to manifest, you know it’s time to stop vomiting and start creating the real work. Without this necessary release, you’ll never dig deep enough beneath the surface of life’s bullshit to find the art that matters. Are you bathing in the wrong water?

3. Vomiting is the gateway to self. Writing isn’t just my occupation – it’s my religion. And here’s what I mean by that: The word “religion,” comes from the Latin religio, which means, “to link back.” The way I see it, your religion is the one thing in your life that every other thing in your life links back to.

For me, it’s writing. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t know what he thinks about something until he’s written about it. And that’s the next advantage of vomiting: Clarity. As Julia Cameron explains in The Artist’s Way, “Only through writing do you discover what you know. But writing also teaches you that you never write just what you know – you write what you learn as you’re writing."

Ideas come to you and trigger other ideas. Thoughts crystallize and connect with others, and the combination produces a compound: An insight. You catch up on yourself. You find out what you like and don’t like. And you examine and metabolize the different elements your experience. What will vomiting teach you about you?

4. Watch for the blood. During a recent mentoring session, my client shared his biggest writing struggle: Coming up with topics to blog about. This is extremely common. More than he realized. And I told him that if he wanted to find new material on a consistent basis, he should try vomiting.

That’s where a lot of my best ideas come from. I’ll be puking onto the page one morning and unintentionally write something that stops me in my tracks. Wow. I can’t believe I just wrote that. Do I really feel that way?

Nine times out of ten, yes. I really feel that way. And what I’ll do is open a new document, extract and export that one idea – save it – and then finish puking. It doesn’t happen every morning, but it certainly occurs enough for me to know how to leverage it.

And that’s your challenge: To create a process for extracting those little drops of blood. Because if it scares you, it’s honest – and if it’s honest, it’s worth sharing. Are you listening to the unintentional music in your life?

5. Create a daily ritual for emotional release. Feelings weigh a ton. And if you never let them out, they’re going to find a home in your body. I made that mistake years ago when I got so stressed I had to be hospitalized. Three times. In six months. Yikes.

Fortunately, I took up vomiting. It gave me the perfect outlet to vent, bitch, complain, freak out and express every ounce of negativity running through my veins. Which was a challenge, because I’m such a positive person. But it all goes back to permission. And amazingly, once I would finish my three pages, I physically felt better. I got all the negativity out of my system. And my stomach cramps settled, my mental pressure released and my overall posture relaxed.

No wonder I never miss a day: My health depends on it.

Look, I don’t know what battles you’re currently fighting. But I do know that life can knock you on your ass sometimes. Next time you find yourself curled up in a ball on the floor, scoot over to the toilet and let her rip. Your body will thank you. If you keep these feelings bottled up, where will it lead?

In conclusion, I’d like to share a list of my favorite synonyms for vomit:

Barf mulch. Blow doughnuts. Bow to the yuke of earl. Chunderchunk. Fertilize the sidewalk. Impromptu protein party. Retching liquid vowels. Spray chum. Whistling carrots.

God. I’m twelve years old.

REMEMBER: Vomiting is the gateway to value.

If you want creativity to come easier, stress to dissipate faster and clarity to arrive quicker, learn to let it out.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
When was the last time you vomited?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "15 Ways to Out Learn 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

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, August 12, 2011

7 Things You Don’t Need More Of

Enough is enough.

We don’t need more of most things.

IN FACT: More has the power to work against you.

And if you’re not careful, the results could be disastrous for you, your business, your people, your brand and your life.

For example:
1. The more you plan, the less you ship. People are obsessed with planning for three reasons: First, it preserves their sense of control. Second, it underwrites the illusion that they know what they’re doing. And third, it gives them a chance to make something perfect.

Here’s the reality: You’re rarely in control, you don’t need to know what you’re doing and finished is the new perfect. Planning is nothing but procrastination in disguise. A distraction in a miniskirt. Failure doesn’t come from poor planning – it comes from the timidity to proceed. What are you waiting for?

2. The more you script, the less you engage. I once had a client ask me if I would be giving my speech from a script or a teleprompter. I told her neither. She asked what I would be using instead, and I said my head. Apparently none of their speakers had ever done that before. But I insisted.

Three weeks later, I earned a standing ovation. Interesting. That’s the reality about human interaction: People engage when you communicate from a place of honesty, respect and in-the-moment awareness. When was the last time you went off script?

3. The more you bitch, the less you inspire. Complaining is not a leadership style. It’s the opposite of ownership and the enemy of execution. If you want to breathe life into people, you’ve got to infect them with something that matters.

For example, the vision of what they can contribute. For example, the mirror that reflects their brilliance right back to them. For example, the belief that they possess the resources to do something great. That’s inspiration. Sucking people into a vortex of negativity because you’re insecure about your own life situation isn’t. Do you complain about the wind, hope the wind will stop or adjust your sails?

4. The more you settle, the less you become. There are three kinds of people: Those who make you less than you are, those who keep you where you are and those who push you to what you might become. If your personal and professional lives are populated with anything but the later, you’re finished.

Settling is a silent epidemic. Surround yourself with people who challenge and inspire you, and delete the rest. You’ll have fewer friends, but they’ll be better ones. How many of your friends shouldn’t be your friends?

5. The more you fix, the less you help. Walt Whitman once said, “Not I, not anyone else, can travel that road for you. You must travel it for yourself.” Next time someone you love comes to you, remember: They don’t need advice. They don’t want suggestions. They don’t like answering questions. And they can’t stand when you try to solve their problems in two minutes or less.

Just give them a hug, say you love them and stop trying to explain the meaning of the universe. A little restraint goes a long way. Otherwise your desire to fix becomes a barrier to being helpful. Are you responding like a screwdriver or puppy dog?

6. The more you spam, the less you love. Flooding people’s lives with interruptions they didn’t ask for isn’t marketing – it’s insulting. Instead of bothering people into buying from you, learn lead with respect and ask for permission. You’ll earn the right to speak to people with a voice that’s anticipated, personal and relevant.

And the best part is, they’ll actually listen to you. But it all begins with your daily gift to the world, the accumulation of which builds a huge surplus goodwill. That’s not marketing – that’s love. How will you create a trail of breadcrumbs that leads people back to the paid work?

7. The more you wait, the less you matter. The only people who count are the ones who choose to. Mattering is the incidental consequence of the intentional commitment to fulfill your whole capacity for living. And it’s something that can start happening today.

All you need to do is decide. That you’re going to matter. That you’re going to make meaning. And that you’re going to take responsibility for doing something significant. Otherwise the curse of inconsequentiality will feel like an earthquake to the heart. Are you still waiting to matter?

REMEMBER: Enough is enough.

More isn’t always the answer.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are you still convinced you need more of?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "8 Ways to Move Quickly on New Opportunities," 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, August 11, 2011

A Young Artist's Guide to Playing For Keeps, Pt. 14

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:
1. Deliver the higher value. If your work puts names to things people already know in their hearts, you take them to a place they don’t want to leave. If your work traps a moment of life in its full beauty and shouts it from the rooftops, you enact a revival of spirit. And if your work gives people hope about what they can be, you force them to look at new horizons.

That’s art that matters. And if you can focus on making a real contribution and allowing your audience to decide how to repay you, it will be worth it in the end. On other hand, if your job sets a cap on how much you’re allowed to give, run. Because what you sell has to supplement the soul, not just hang on the wall. Does your work reach down inside and reward what it means to be human?

2. Honor the slog. Playing for keeps takes prodigious acts of courage. For example, sometimes it’s hard to get up and go face the world. But that’s a good thing. If it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth it. If it wasn’t hard, there would be nothing to push against. And if it wasn’t hard, there would be no way to stop the people who didn’t want it badly enough.

As Joseph Campbell writes in The Hero With a Thousand Faces:

“Some of us have to go through dark and devious ways before we can find the river of peace or the highroad to the soul’s destination.”

The point is: The anxiety of being an artist doesn’t go away. It may vary, but it never fully vanishes. And if you want to make out alive, you have to learn to love that tension. Greet it with a welcoming heart, listen to what it has to say and exploit it in the service of something real and true. How will you keep desire burning?

3. Throw pottery, not punches. As we all learned from The Little Mermaid, the seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake. Next time you hear about another artist who’s more successful and more famous than you, try not to get too pissed off.

As my grandfather reminds me:

“The meanest feeling of which any human being is capable is feeling bad at another’s success.”

Instead of making justifications about why other people don’t deserve success as much as you, use their accomplishments as glowing sources of inspiration. Build off their energy. Convert it to fuel. After all, they must be doing something right. Turn toward their triumphs with a hospitable heart and distribute your motive force accordingly. What excuses do you make for other people’s accomplishments?

4. Fortune favors the bold, but it frequents the consistent. Considering how hard, how long and how smart you work – I imagine it feels like you should be more successful by now. But you’re not. And you keep wondering, “How much longer will I have to pay my dues?”

Longer than you’d like. That’s the most frustrating reality of any artistic career path – it takes freaking forever. And sometimes you feel like you’re the only one who hears the music. But as my mentor once told me, “Art takes a long time to pay for itself, so you better believe in what you do. Because it may take a long time before it catches on.”

That’s why consistency – that is, showing up, every single day, even if you’re not in the mood – is so essential to playing for keeps. The big question is: How long are you willing work your ass off before the right people notice?

5. Go out into the world in strategic fashion. During a recent radio interview, actor and comedian Jay Mohr said it best: “Every role I audition for I play completely. There can’t be room for potential. I swing for the museum every time.”

Notice he didn’t say “outfield,” “fence” or “upper deck.” Museum. That’s one hell of a strategy. That’s one hell of a positive attitude. Mohr proves that when you respect everything life has to offer, when you present yourself as though you were a gift, it’s hard for people to ignore you.

Even if you strike out and fall on your face, at least the crowd heard the wind cry like a bitch when you swung with all your might. When you take your art to market, what strategy is guiding you?

6. Push the boundaries of your medium. Derek Sivers changed the record industry forever by breaking rules and ignoring the voices of dissent. As he wrote in Anything You Want, “You can’t live on somebody else’s expectations. You don’t have to please anybody but your customers and yourself.”

That’s what playing for keeps means: Maintaining a healthy respect for your own visions and opinions. That way, when people try to bash your opinion out of you, you can stick your fingers in your ears. Besides, you can’t argue with a ringing register. If the customers who like your work buy it, all the criticism in the world doesn't matter. If you were taken away would people find a replacement or howl in protest?

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.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Have you committed with both feet yet?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "52 Random Insights to Grow Your Business," 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, August 10, 2011

11 Radical Slogans That Will Change Your Business

You’ve probably never heard of Gershon Legman.

He was the cultural critic who claimed to be the inventor of the famous phrase, “Make love, not war,” at a lecture given at Ohio University in the early sixties.

And you’ve probably never heard of Penelope Rosemont, either.

She was the radical activist who popularized Gershon’s phrase. Two years after his lecture, she printed thousands of buttons at the Solidarity Bookshop in Chicago, Illinois, and then distributed them at the Mother's Day Peace March.

THE POINT IS: I’m insanely jealous.

I should have grown up in the sixties, not the eighties.

But since I didn’t have much choice in the matter, I’ve decided to reclaim my hippie roots and create a few radical slogans of my own. Straight from my monthly column at American Express Open Forum, here we go:
1. Break rules, not hearts. When you break a rule for somebody, you create an act of flexibility in a moment of need. You demonstrate that at your company, every customer is the exception. And you prove that you’re willing to lose something on the first interaction to guarantee a lifetime of loyalty.

That’s what happened to me at a recent hotel in New York. Although I botched my reservation online, they still found a room for me. Even though their policy indicates otherwise. When was the last time you went off script?

2. Conduct symphonies, not transactions. Once on a weekend vacation, we stumbled into a charming art gallery. My girlfriend ended up buying this fabulous beaded necklace at a great price. Later, while she was in the bathroom, the owner secretly asked me for her address so she could send Brittany a personalized, hand written thank you note.

So I gave it to her. And by the time we returned home, the card had already arrived. That’s not service – that’s music. That’s not a piece of jewelry – that’s a story worth repeating. Do your customers evangelize when you’re gone?

3. Deliver inspiration, not packages. During my cousin’s wedding ceremony, there was a traditional blessing over the wine. But he and his bride also performed a new ritual: Spilling a drop of wine. According to Collin, this act recognizes those couples that are not given equal rights. Couples who aren’t as fortunate as he and Robin.

As such, it wasn’t just a drop of wine – it was a drop of hope. And those of us lucky to witness that would never think about marital equality the same way again. That’s when it occurred to me: Sometimes you have to make a mess to make a statement. I wonder whom you might inspire by getting your hands dirty. What if you did that on camera?

4. Earn respect, not money. Last month I designed a Brandtag Identity Collage for my client, Closeouts With Class. When I asked their chairman to share his thoughts on respect, here’s what he said:

“Respect buys loyalty. It makes your employees stay, makes your customers buy, makes your suppliers sell and makes your competitors drool.”

Respect is your baseline. And if you treat it as your intentional commitment, the incidental result (money) will eventually come. Are you helping people feel more respected every time they deal with you?

5. Give gifts, not burdens. If it doesn’t change the recipient, it’s not a gift. If you oblige people to reciprocate, it’s not a gift. And if you make people work hard to get it, it’s not a gift. What you give has to alter people. It has to fill their heart, not clutter their desk. Otherwise all you’ve done is add to the slush pile.

Meanwhile, they end up with an office full of useless nouns. When it would have been smarter to give the gift of social elevation, perhaps by giving them a front row seat to their own brilliance. That’s what my friend Derek does. When any of his employees win – in any way – he goes out of his way to blog about it. What gift are you famous for giving?

6. Inject soul, not machinery. Customers need you to bring humanity to the moment. They need you show up, even when it’s hard. Sadly, this is where smart companies blow it: They try to meet budget by outsourcing the human function. Instead of talking to human operators, customers get robots.

Instead of interacting with desk agents, customers get kiosks. And instead of getting an actual email from real person, customers get autoresponders. Meanwhile, all their customers want is to be treated like people – by people. Where are you sacrificing experiences for expenses?

7. Keep commitments, not secrets. I give more than fifty presentations around the globe each year. And while I speak on a variety of topics to a wide range of industries, I never fail to spend the final few minutes of each talk on the topic commitment. Specifically, the use of a commitment device. That’s a term I coined for something visual, tangible and palpable that reminds people that you’re not going away.

Personally, I use a nametag. And not just the sticker – the tattoo of that sticker on my body. Can’t get more committed than that. I wonder what object you will employ to show people you’re not going away. After all: When you commit with both feet, people don’t just pay attention – they pay dividends. What single act have you done every day for the past ten years?

8. Leave artifacts, not brochures. An artifact is worth saving and sharing. It’s a unique way to extend the influence of your work. And it’s the souvenir you leave with people that has the potential to change and inspire them.

At my favorite coffee spot, The Mud House, the owner makes latte art. When your cup of java is prepared, Casey carefully crafts a portrait, landscape or flower into the foam of your drink. It’s a combination of foam, chocolate and cinnamon. And she even does custom orders, should there be a particular image you’d prefer.

That’s an artifact: Done by hand, done with love. And your challenge is to figure out how to stop wasting paper and start leaving something behind that matters. Does your fancy brochure actually influence customer decisions?

9. Send love letters, not pitches. Love isn’t a weakness – love is the bell that’s always ringing. The question is: Is your brand brave enough to hear it? Simplifilm certainly is. They’re a video production firm run by my friend Chris Johnson. When he finds a dream client, he doesn’t assault them with an endless stream of marketing materials and sales literature.

Instead, he sends them an email that reads: “We love you guys a ton. We wrote you a love letter. I know it’s tacky, but we can’t help ourselves. And although we have more than plenty of business, we want you. We believe what you do is vitally important.” Once a prospect reads the love letter, it’s pretty damn hard to resist.

The point is: Your brand is measured by how you love. Lead with your heart. Will you tell customers you love them before somebody else does?

10. Write books, not emails. Many of the people in my mentoring program are fellow writers. And the most common complaint is, “I don’t have enough time to finish my book.” Interestingly, those same people have no problem spending two hours a day clearing their inbox. They have no time sitting around waiting for something meaningless to react to.

If only they knew that emailing was nothing but a digital fidget. If only they knew that emailing, while a nice way to preserve the illusion of productivity, rarely changes the world. Are you artfully creating constant distraction to prevent yourself from executing?

11. Build bridges, not barriers. If it were just you, it would be hard to survive. If it were just you, there would be nobody to lean against. And if it were just you, there would be nobody to keep you on your toes. If you want to build a bridge to your competitors, treat them like partners.

Take a hint from Progressive Insurance. Almost twenty years ago, they became the first auto insurance company to provide its rates alongside the rates of other companies. That way, consumers could easily compare and decide – even if they didn’t use Progressive. And today, they still lead the industry. Because they’re willing to share in almost every direction. How could you convert your competitors into a power source?

REMEMBER: There’s nothing wrong with being radical.

All that means is that you’re true to your roots.

And maybe willing to make a few buttons.

ET ME ASK YA THIS…
What's your radical slogan?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "52 Random Insights to Grow Your Business," 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!