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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Too unnerving for most people to dare

Effectiveness is relative. 

When you’re doing the right things, it doesn’t matter if you’re doing things right. Because when you create from a place of meaning, productivity follows. When you nail the what and the why behind the work, the how comes along for the ride. Effectiveness and productivity become incidental, not intentional. 


On the other hand, if you have an antagonistic relationship with your job, no system is going to save you. That’s like trying to multiply by zero. Because as we learned in math class, no matter how big the coefficient is, any number multiplied by zero is still zero. 


And so, before you crack another book on getting things done and taking action and finding focus and mastering time, go back and make a few decisions about what you constitute meaningful work. 


That’s the first step, and it’s not easy. Because it requires honesty and courage and responsibility. In fact, the mere issue of life’s meaning is too unnerving for most people to dare. They perceive it as arrogant, disobedient, esoteric and pretentious. As if some anti existentialist mob was going to show up at their door with pitchforks and shotguns. 


When the reality is, adopting meaning is the centerpiece of human life. It’s the primary obligation of our species. And once we wake up to then fact that meaning is made, not found, once we learn to approach everything we experience within that frame, concepts like effectiveness and productivity become irrelevant. 


They’re neither here nor there. 


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When was the last time you complained about time?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Create an originality filter

Linklater made a fascinating point in a recent interview about the way he chooses his film projects. Richard said that his filter was, if anyone can do it, he shouldn’t. That’s the true definition of originality. Not just doing what you’re good at, but doing what only you’re good at. Becoming so identified with your work that nobody could steal it, and if they did, people would know it. 

The challenge, then, is creating an originality filter of your own. A mantra or a question or a ritual superimposed over your creative process that paints you into an original corner. 

I’m friends with a commercial photographer whose visual style is unmatched. But what I found out was, whenever she takes photos of products, right before clicking the shutter, she recites her brand mantra. Three simple words that speak to who she is, what she does and why she does it. This assures that each new product added to her portfolio looks like the kind of thing she would do. This way, she tells me, the work remains consistent within her identity, yet remarkable within the world. 

That’s her originality filter. What’s yours? 

Tommaso’s legendary manifesto on the futurist art movement had his own version of this. 

Totally invalidate all kinds of imitation. Elevate all attempts at originality, however daring, however violent. Bear bravely and proudly the smear of madness with which they try to gag all innovators. And sweep the whole field of art clean of all themes and subjects that have been used in the past. 

Now that's original. 

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How do you speak to yourself about your artistic originality?


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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Walking in footsteps everywhere we go

When I set out to publish my first book, I was clueless. 

Didn’t know the first thing about formatting or editing or designing or printing, much less marketing and selling and making a living as a writer. 


But what I did know was that other people out there were successfully earning money from a passion similar to my own. Perfect. And so, after going to their websites and reading their books and even meeting a few of them in person, I thought to myself, wow, if they can do it, if this counts, than maybe my dream isn’t the insurmountable task I once thought it was. 


That was all the runway I needed to get started. I didn’t need every answer to my dream, just a moment that gave me a sense that it was possible to achieve. 


Most dreamers pass through this threshold. It’s a rite of passage. They read a book or watch a movie or have a conversation that becomes their door opening moment. Tom Robbins famously tells a story about attending a rock concert in the sixties. He claims the music touched him in a peculiar and powerful way, jimmying the lock on his language box and smashing the last of his literary inhibitions. And after the show, he detected an ease, a freedom of expression, a syntax simultaneously wild and precise, a rare blending of reckless abandon and tight control and thought to himself, yeah, this is it, this is how I want to sound


We all need that crystallization. That moment that makes space for our dream. Something that gives us a sense that it’s possible. Something that makes us think the world is an okay place and there is room for us in it. Some interaction that makes us feel, I believe this, I can do this, I think I’m willing to try this. 


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Is there anyone else who has the same excuse as you but is moving ahead successfully nonetheless?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Art is more of a gamble than a guarantee

Regardless of talent and hard work and passion and commitment, money and success and impact and adulation may or may not ever come your way. Those forces are simply not within a creator’s control. 

And so, you must learn to accept getting paid in the pride from having lived up to your expectations for yourself. You must accept with gratitude and celebration the psychological salary of honor and satisfaction and integrity. It’s not a currency you can pay the mortgage with, but it is a renewable form of meaning that can fuel you to keep production going. 

And who knows? Perhaps after a period of years, your work will finally be met with financial remuneration and public recognition. 

On the other hand, you could kill yourself and get nowhere. You could work for a decade still and never see a dime or get a standing ovation. 

The point is, there are no guarantees in art, except for the satisfaction you experience in the process of creating it. But if you don’t get to a point where that’s enough for you, you’ll be in for a world of pain and disappointment and disillusionment. 

So be selfish. Create for yourself. Because you can’t guarantee that anyone else will give a shit. 

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What are you losing by hanging your sense of success on paper, ink and dead presidents

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For a copy of the list called, "8 Ways to Out Give Your Competition," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Use the entirety of your inner life to serve your dreams

Jung was a proponent of taking the inner life seriously. 

He famously said that he always tried to make room for anything that wanted to come from within. In fact, that insight led him to rename and generalize what became known as the ego and the self, which became central to his theory of personality development. 

Similarly, our dreams require a uniting of our inner elements. Even the parts that scare us. Because if we are to make our dreams a reality, we have an obligation to use all the means at our disposal. To open the door to all of our feelings, moods, limitations, contradictions, pathologies, intuitions and fantasies. 

Historically, I’ve always had a highly active inner life. An imagination that charged and chumbled and churned. Even when I five years old, there seemed to be storm of thoughts forever blowing through my head. 

But thanks to the help of my teachers and parents and relatives and mentors, I began to learn how to channel those storms, converting rain into drinkable water, lightning into usable electricity, thunder into storable energy and wind into forward motion, so to speak. 

Thirty years later, the storm still rolls on, but now I have a high performance power plant inside of me that uses the entirety of my inner life to serve my dreams. 

I’m reminded of an interview I heard with a famous poker player, who explained that we all walk around with an incredible tool kit, building and building upon it, trusting that it will eventually be recognized and put to use. But the trick is, he said, instead of letting the tools rust, we keep employing them any way that we can until our dreams come true. 

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Are you making room for anything that wants to come through you?

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For a copy of the list called, "7 Ways to Out Experience the Competition," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Moments of Conception 174: The Voice Scene from In A World

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.


And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.


Today's clip comes from the voice scene in In A World:




Bring all of yourself to everything you do. All I ever wanted was to find my thing. My trademark. The one activity that would define my time on this earth. And so, I spent young adult life running scared through a maze of false starts, failed identity experiments and oddball pursuits, reaching for anything that would fit, turning what I found into what I wanted. Until I had an epiphany. It’s not about activity, it’s about identity. It’s not about hammering one nail all your life, it’s about hammering lots of nails, one way, all your life. So instead of trying set up something I was going to do, I started cultivating and fulfilling someone I already was. That became my thing. My purpose. My trademark. And making peace with that changed everything for me. My attitude, my posture, my relationship to the world, I felt whole and complete and together. More like a new man, and yet, more like myself than ever. If you’re on a similar journey, struggling to find your thing, here’s the surprise. You are the thing. You are exactly what you’ve been looking for. Meaning is made, not found. No need to reach for something that’s already inside yourself. It’s right there waiting for you. You just have to own it. What vital clues to your identity are you still missing?

You can go back to liking me now that I’m a failure again. Chris Rock famously said that some people have jobs, and some people have careers. And the people with careers need to learn to shut the hell up when they’re around people with jobs. Because they don’t want to hear your career bullshit. Your happiness makes them sad. Funny how ambition grosses people out. How success pisses people off. Because you assume everybody will be happy for you. But the reality is, a certain population of the world is just waiting around, excitedly, for you to fail. And until you do, they will always feel disenfranchised by your success. In fact, there’s a fascinating study from the Journal of Applied Psychology about the causes and consequences of ambition. According to the researchers, more ambitious people appeared to be happier, but their happiness came at the expense of social bonds. Ambition may drive people forward, but it also holds their relationships back. That’s the cost of success. Which doesn’t suggest we should lower our ambitions, but perhaps raise our empathy. Practice a little emotional intelligence in the presence of people who haven’t achieved our same level of success. We have to remind ourselves that we live in a world with other people, most of whom don’t love their jobs and don’t follow their passion and can’t afford to become who they really are. And every time we brag about our eight second commute or lack of coworkers or the fact that we don’t have to wear pants to work if we don’t want to do, makes us look like insensitive pricks. Does your success make you inconsiderate of other people’s life situation?

Learn how to compress yourself. The advantage of living in vibrant, bustling city is, you can instantly plug yourself into the creative undercurrent. Commune with the sensibility of culture that’s in the air. And it’s an endless supply that’s completely free of charge, and the only condition is, you have to pay it back with your originality. That’s the social contract. You’re obligated to contribute to the intellectual and artistic commons of the community as long as you’re there. Anything less is an act of ingratitude. But the good news is, your work doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be yours. Ownership is more important than quality. Quality is an objective measure. It’s a judgment of the matching of expectations with experience. Ownership, on the other hand, is completely subjective. It’s something nobody can take away or criticize. Because it belongs to you. This movie was an inspiration to me because of its originality. Lake Bell didn’t just star in a another movie, she created a unique vehicle for her writing, acting, producing and directing skills that put her full range of abilities on display. She compressed herself. She concentrated her portfolio of talents into a tight little package that demonstrated the full firepower of her creative arsenal. What talents do you have that few, if any, see?

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What did you learn from this movie clip?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dip your toes in committed waters

I have a chef friend who dreamed of starting her own restaurant, but couldn’t afford the overhead of doing so year around. 

And so, instead of going broke going the whole hog, she started small. First, she began selling her dishes at the local food events and farmers markets. Once she attracted enough attention, earned enough money and gained enough confidence, she opened up a seasonal pop up shop in a space normally occupied by an ice cream shop during warmer weather. 

Customers loved it. Momentum started building. The brand gained traction. But that’s when my friend decided to leave people wanting more. She closed the shop during the summer to retool the menu, then reopened the following year for season number two. And customers couldn’t wait to come back. 

The question, then, is what’s next for her? Will she stay open year round? Expand to multiple locations? Launch a line of retail products? Start a food truck? 

She doesn’t know. Because that’s not how experiments work. The point is, she didn’t want to risk breaking the bank and breaking her back going all the way right away, so she lowered the threat level and took a calculated risk. She dipped her toes in committed waters. She bravely exposed her dream to the harsh, raw light of the real world. Even if only for a few months out of the year. 

And now, whenever the time comes for her to up the ante on her commitment, she’ll be ready to pull the trigger. 

That’s the beauty of baby steps. They allow our more mature expressions to come into being. 


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What risky but reasonable action you could take to increase your level of commitment?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

There’s no such thing as creating too much

Patterson has three hundred million copies of his books in print worldwide. He’s the planet’s bestselling author since the turn of the century. Last year, one out of every twenty six books sold had his name on it. 

This man is my hero. 

James is all about volume. Multiple projects at once. Multiple titles every year. Multiple landscapes to harvest his brilliance. And despite what the critics say about his craft, despite jealous authors calling him a paint by number book factory, this writer is going to keep cranking out books until he croaks. 

Actually, I take that back. James will probably publish more titles post mortem than most authors do in the lifetimes. 

The point is, people’s opinions about our output shouldn’t concern us. Eventually, every creator has to reach a point where they no longer need other people to support the decisions they’ve made about their artistic reality. 

I learned this early on as a songwriter, considering my debut record was a double album. How’s that for being prolific? And yet, despite the cynical looks people gave me, despite people’s suspicions and judgments about some nineteen year old kid whose first album had twenty songs on it, I just kept creating. 

Call it audacious, call it presumptuous, call it grandiose, but that’s what who I am. Making things is my thing and there’s nothing anybody can do to stop me. 

Years later when I started writing books, a major publisher contacted me about working together. The only problem was, their author contract would have limited me to only releasing one book every two years. No thanks. I have too much to say. 

One of my songwriting heroes made a beautiful point about this very issue. Adams eloquently asked the interviewer, why are people curating other people? So many people are so lazy, timid and fearful of actually ensconcing themselves in their chosen craft, of making that simple decision to have faith in their ideas on what they were spiritually inclined to do what makes them happy. 

Amen. There’s no such thing as creating too much. 

If volume is vanity, than hand me a mirror and call me the evil queen. 

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What did you write today?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Scott Ginsberg, "The Nametag Guy," Keynote Speaker @ AgentCon15 w/Insurance Technologies Corporation

This is a clip from my keynote presentation at ITC's AgentCon15 in Dallas.

This particular module is about the value of invisible labor. 

Making sure your clients know how hard you're working for them.









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What's your invisible labor?


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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Let the past die and the future will take care of itself

Don’t spend a lot of time looking over your shoulder. 

As tempting as it is to gaze into the rear view mirror to check out the competition, recount your successes and failures, dwell in the paranoia of external pressures, prosecute yourself for crimes past and regret every decision you made just because it might not have been the best possible choice, just keep your head down, keep the story going, and keep your distance from what opposes or weakens your forward motion. 

Celebrate quickly and quietly, but then cut loose from the dead hand of the past and use all of your faculties to find that next, magnificent leap forward. 

And yes, progress may range from dull to spectacular, but you must accept both. Because even if you’re not moving forward by leaps and bounds, at least you’re not moving in reverse. Besides, successful people mark progress not by the distance covered, but by the marks and angles that are formed along the way. 

That’s the beauty of wrinkles and scars and facial lines and grey hairs. They’re the epidermal artifacts of progress. 

Obama famously said during the campaign for his second presidential term, every gray hair was worth it. Considering the work his team has done on health care, civil liberties, consumer protection, withdrawing foreign troops and stimulating the economy, I’d say he was right. Talk about a guy who doesn’t spend a lot of time looking over his shoulder. 

A modern reminder that you can’t let guilt haunt your decision making. Never feel guilty for wanting progress. 

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Are you looking at life through the rear view mirror?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May your delusions be benign and your compulsions useful

Just because a project doesn’t make money or make history or even make a splash, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worthwhile. 

I’ve worked on dozens of ventures over the years, some of which failed to get traction, some of which failed to even seen the light of day. Hell, I’ve written entire books that nobody even read. 

But those outcomes never mattered to me. Because if the experience of working on something was successful in giving me meaning and purpose and energy and optimism, there was no failure. That was enough for me. 

I’m not in the results business, I’m in the effort business. 
I’m not playing to win, I’m playing to keep the game going. 

Sound like delusion and rationalization and reconciliation and interpretation? 

That’s because it is. I see what I need to see. I modify my perceptions to fit whatever makes me happy. 

Adams said it best in his book about luck. Reality is overrated and impossible to understand with any degree of certainty, so you may as well pick the delusion that works. Because no matter what reality delivers in the future, your imagined version of the future has great usefulness today. 

Remember, we may not control reality, but our perceptions can certainly help influence it.

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Do you give yourself the freedom to imagine new and useful ways of looking at the world, even they’re distortions?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  
scott@hellomynameisscott.com
www.nametagscott.com


Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!