Watch Scott's TEDx talk!

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

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Our energy creates energy in those around us

Nothing is so contagious as energy. 

Each of us can start a mini epidemic everywhere we go. It all depends on what kind of vibes we choose to bring to the world. 

The reason most people seem friendlier to me all the time is because they actually are. For the past twenty years, my playful and relaxed attitude, accentuated and personified through my nametag, rubs off on people. It fills their heads with positive, creative thoughts, which lifts their energy and mood, and they associate those good feelings with me. 

And since they have a simple, visual cue like a nametag on which to hang that memory, it really sticks. Then reactivates in each interaction. 

Compare that to my life prior to wearing the nametag. In college, my personality tended towards less sociable and more pensive, and people naturally responded to that version of me with less approachability. Again, my energy rubbed off on them too, just in a different way. 

Which was the whole reason for wearing a nametag in the first place. I was lonely, and needed to take responsibility for the energy I was bringing to the world. 

In short: Wearing a nametag everyday did not cause me and others to perceive reality differently, it actually caused it to be different. That is how human interaction works. Our energy creates energy in those around us, regardless of what kind of energy that is. 

We can literally influence the user experience that steers our reality, as long as we have an awareness of our own energy system. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What’s your nametag? 

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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.


Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


\

Monday, December 30, 2019

Turning our insight into a new habit

All insight is already growing inside of us. 

It is simply waiting for someone else to give it clarification and validation and permission; and waiting for us to convert it into motivational energy. 

But when we have these experiences that so beautifully disrupt our habitual thought patterns, how we actually process those insights is what separates the saints from the aints. 

Have you ever met the person who returned from a weekend meditation retreat and spent the next eight months obnoxiously droning on and on about their newfound enlightenment? 

It was unbearable and made you want to slap them in the face with a forty pound salmon, no doubt. Because they seemed to have confused repeatedly talking about issues with progress and change. 

Indeed, there is none so pious as the new convert. 

But within that criticism is a potential cure. The key word being convert, as in, convert our wisdom into being better and useful. That’s the prime spiritual directive for each of us. Instead of immediately running preaching and baptizing and making disciples of all nations, we turn our insight into a new habit. 

Which, ironically, is a habit in itself. 

But then again, once you see everything as a bunch of habits, life becomes a lot simpler. 

Personally, when a new insight comes crashing into my consciousness, there is a specific process that works for my personality and learning style. 

Capture, meaning, writing it down. 
Concentrate, meaning, give it a think. 
Comprehend, meaning, understand how it applies to my unique experience. 
Categorize, meaning, classify the context of it. 
Comment, meaning, react to how it makes me feel. 
Compose, meaning, create art inspired by it. 
Converse, meaning, talk about it with others. 
Collect, meaning, add new facets and angles and refractions over time. 
Custom, meaning, embody and thread the insight through my bodily actions in the world. 

This encoding process, which can take anywhere from days to weeks to years, integrates and synthesizes the insight into my body, mind and spirit, embracing it into the fabric of our being. Like an enzyme. 

And in time, what was started as an insight organically transforms into an inclination. 

If it sounds like a lot of work, you’re right. But again, the habit of creating new habits is a habit itself. And both are worthwhile investments. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you keeping a watchful eye on your own inward impressions?

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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.


Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


\

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The suffocating yet familiar flesh of our existential ghost

Have you ever had one of those sweaty, scary, claustrophobic moments when you stared into the void and become paralyzed by the view? 

Has the world just pulled the rug out from under you, shattered your sense of reality and informed you that life was actually much more complex, mysterious, larger and beyond your understanding than you thought? 

Congratulations. You have experienced what psychologists and philosophers call an existential emergency. 

And the silver lining is, it is completely normal and nonfatal. 

Now, you may be tempted to escape. Thinking to yourself, wow, get me the hell out of this moment, anything to avoid feeling the way this feels right now. 

You also may be tempted to berate. Thinking to yourself, crap, everyone was right about my myriad faults and failures, and my delusions are not working anymore. 

You might even be tempted to globalize. Thinking to yourself, shit, this is all a catastrophe and it’s bringing me one step closer to dying broke and alone. 

These responses are also normal. 

However, so as not to send ourselves into free fall, it is critical that we have an existential emergency plan ready to go. 

Maisel outlines in his book about human helping that each of us must learn to deal with existential danger in a different way. We must enter into a different relationship with meaning so that fewer of these emergencies occur. Otherwise we will become physically debilitated by a flood of worries about our struggles. 

For me, a useful tool for gaining perspective and snapping me out of my fragile spiral is by asking some grounding questions. 

Are these really tragically insurmountable hurdles, or just routine troubles of life? 

Are we legitimately having a biological even panic attack, or simply a normal expression of a human emotion? 

Are we truly in need of professional medical attention, or is this yet another passing moment of clarity about my everyday problems and challenges? 

This form of inquiry is about investigating or awakening to our experience in this moment, exactly as it is and not how we would prefer it to be. 

It proves that a little education may show us there is no need to panic after all. 

Have you lost the ability to tolerate ordinary misery? Have you become incapable of navigating the normal downs of life? 

Perhaps you need an existential emergency plan.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How will you enter into a different relationship to making meaning? 

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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.


Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


\

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Forgetting that shiny things require dirty work

When we are young, the problem is not only that we want everything, but that we assume it’s ours. For the asking, for the taking, and yes, for free. 

This attitude locks us into the cycle of hurt. Our expectation leads to controlling behavior, which causes disappointment, which builds resentment, which restarts the process all over again. 

And it persists until we are sharply awakened to a simple but scary fact:

The world does not owe us anything. 

It’s actually the other way around. We are the ones with the obligation. The onus is on us. Not to sit back and write gratitude lists until we are green in the face and world is sufficiently tricked into giving us what we deserve, but to live a useful life that earns the right to receive gratitude from others. 

My friend works as the head of talent at a burgeoning startup, and he has an interesting theory around this trend. His company receives critical reviews from former team members, as any public facing organization does. And naturally, he does everything he can to understand that person’s side of the story and look for ways to improve the workplace as a result. 

Each complaint is a gift, right? 

But each complaint is also a mirror, he laughs. My friend told me that because the majority of his workforce is people in their early twenties, many of whom have friends working for glamorous tech unicorns that offer extravagant employee benefits like free catered lunch, onsite acupuncture and health care plans that cover gender reassignment surgery, of course they leave critical reviews. 

The vortex of comparison is too strong. Their expectations are too high. They want everything, and because their friends already have it, they assume it’s theirs too. 

No wonder they get so pissed when it doesn’t happen. 

The shoe of entitlement drops hard, don’t it? 

Remember, shiny things require dirty work. 

We don't gain anything by thinking we should have everything for nothing

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you living a useful life that earns the right to receive gratitude from others?

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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.


Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


\

Friday, December 27, 2019

The obstacle in the path toward truth

It’s not hard to be right. 

All we have to do is never ever back down, even when we are in the wrong, cling to our vain hopes in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence, and then, when anyone even remotely challenges our position, double down and scare them away with our declarative verve. 

Checkmate. 

The problem with this approach is, you might be right, but then you will be right and alone. Which is even worse than being wrong. 

Spezzano writes in his book about heartbreak that being right is an attempt to prevent pain, but it somehow always leads us right back into it. Being right is an attempt to prove dark beliefs about ourselves or the world. 

And so, this performance of parading our own brilliance, reminding everyone that disaster is coming and we, the chosen ones, are always and only right, it is fear taking shape as certainty. 

But life has a funny way of proving us wrong, does it not? 

Over and over again. Think about it. How many of your beliefs have you outgrown? How many times did you place your faith in an idea that failed you? As my comedian friend reminds me, nobody knows anything, we’re all just guessing.

Turns out, real strength comes from being able to be wrong. Because being wrong is the opportunity give up control. Being wrong is the chance to surrender to the rebuilding of our own understanding. Being is the golden moment to actually pause and connect and go deep and actually learn something about ourselves and others. 

It’s like the old saying in the business world:

The sale begins when the customer says no. 

Now, this makes us deeply vulnerable. Because once we admit to being wrong about one thing, the possibility is open that we might be wrong about everything. 

Perfect. That sounds far more interesting and meaningful and life giving than knowing everything. 

And now for a closing benediction about certainty. 

May we lessen our stake in being correct. 

May we place our desire for truth over our need to be right. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What are you still trying to be right about?

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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.


Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


\

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The liberty to chase our ideas wherever they might lead

Arendt, one of the most original and fruitful minds of the twentieth century, thought of essays as trials or experiments in the activity of thinking. 

She believed that the practice of turning briefly to a consideration of thought, the activity of thinking, would be of unquestioned relevance to our own future. 

Interestingly enough, the word essay literally translates to means, an attempt. It’s an experiment. The seeking of experience for its own sake. Something we simply try. 

And so, this concept of the essay extends beyond the medium of writing. 

In film, an essay is less about plot and more about the evolution of a theme or idea. 

In photography, an essay could be a series of photographs with accompanying text meant to address a certain issue.

In music, an essay would rely on the form and content of the sounds to guide the listener’s ear. 

Even in the business world, an essay might be a short experiment or test in which we take risks to serve the customer better. 

As long as it’s an attempt, it’s an essay. 

Whether we are artists in a studio, entrepreneurs in a coworking space or employees in a department, it is the consideration of thought, the activity of intentioned thinking, that is most useful to our growth. 

Fulfilling our role requirements might be urgent, but initiating and executing original work is important. 

May we have the liberty to chase our ideas wherever they might lead, and may we achieve the autonomy to enable extreme innovation where it is least expected. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you have an automatic process for testing and evolving a new idea?

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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.


Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


\

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Little things become as big as we magnify them

Carlin once said that he didn’t have pet peeves, he had major psychotic fucking hatreds. 

Who among us cannot relate to that? 

Everyone has two or three gnawing little things that can bother us beyond all proportion. Things that make our patience wear thinner than a pole dancer’s thong. 

And it’s okay. These infuriating moments are part of the package of being human. In fact, it’s actually quite cathartic to sit in a circle of friends and take turns sharing our respective meltdown experiences. We realize that we are not alone in our frustration. 

It reminds me of a passage from a confronting but inspiring book about addiction recovery. 

Little things become as big as we magnify them. They become dragons that devour us and chase us from place to place. We them attack us as enemies. But they are manifestations of us. When it bothers us, it is just us bothering ourselves. 

The ironic thing is, this realization is, itself, annoying. But that’s the whole point. It reminds us that when our perceptions are so irritated by what we immediately encounter, we never wait around long enough to discover anything. 

And so, part of our growth is the daily practice of ignoring small annoyances. The ability to take a spot inventory of the things that are bothering us. 

Because if we can remember that every irritating fault in another person probably has a long history behind it, and if we can communicate to each other from a place of love and not irritation, then we will develop enough compassion to not kill each other. 

May we be smarter about what is bothering us. With patience, we will transcend all the annoying things life is known for. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Is it really people who bother me, or the judgment you make about them that does?

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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.


Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


\

Monday, December 23, 2019

Suspecting my best days are behind me

There is no proudest moment. There is no biggest disappointment. 

When we start grabbing onto something that happened, and then comparing everything else we do to that, we’re in trouble. 

Because it becomes another thing to cling to. We grip onto the past too tightly, tumbling down the egocentric trap of comparison, dwelling on the story of days past, freezing ourselves in the way we used to be. 

Meanwhile, our greatest potential withers like a pumpkin in the sun. 

What we need is to balance between present enoughness and future possibility. 

On one hand, we accept that we have already done enough in this world to be okay with who we are. Even if we were run over by a stampede of rabid mules tomorrow, we could die today without our music still in us, feeling deeply fulfilled about the story of our life. 

On the other hand, we also assume that our best work is yet to come. That we clearly have much left to contribute to this world. And that the longer we are around, the stronger we will become, and the greater impact we will have.

Sartre once wrote that every life that is cut off, even the life of so young a man, is at one and the same time a phonograph record that is broken and complete. 

Let each of us strike that balance. 

To trust that sufficient for the day are its own triumphs, and if we are blessed with the gift of tomorrow, may we give way to a new and improved self. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What if the soul that you are has come to tackle tremendous growth?

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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.


Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


\

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Allow me to impress you further. Stand back.

For those of us who are not used to getting praise, our immediate response to being seen is:

Wait a minute, what’s your angle? What’s in this for you? 

We are untrusting and terrified to receive people’s love. Because history has proven time and time again that an insignia of misery that has been stamped upon our life, and some fucking jack in the box is right around the corner, so we better try protect ourselves against feeling bad by not feeling too good. 

On the other hand, for those of us who have been told since conception that we are perfect, beautiful, clever snowflakes who could do no wrong, we get stuck in discouragement and pity when we don’t get the praise we feel we deserve. 

Excuse me, but you don’t appear to be noticing and admiring my specialness. Allow me to impress you further. Stand back. 

Somewhere in the middle of these two extremes is a healthy relationship with praise. 

We appreciate it, but we do not obsessively pursue it like a heat seeking missile. 

We accept it, but we are not dependent on it for our happiness. 

We feel flattered, but we no longer rely on the false support of worldly approval to get us through the day. 

We allow it to motivate us, but we know our value doesn’t rise and fall in lockstep with it. 

In the end, our evolving relationship with praise is merely the artifact of a larger goal, which is creating a sense of truth that is self generated. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

When did you grow beyond your need for kudos? 

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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.


Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


\

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Sometimes the world isn't even thinking about you

It’s easy to get discouraged when we’re getting rejection after rejection after rejection. 

In fact, many of us are prone to interpreting those rejections as negative judgments about our character, abilities and value. Falling down the rabbit hole of useless rumination. Gathering evidence of our own inadequacy and spiraling into another paralyzing state of shame and depression. 

This is a perfect example of the ego taking us hostage. Stealing our peace like a thief in the night. 

Because what our selfish minds forget is, everything is not always about us. Most people are thinking about their own lives, not ours. 

Do some basic math. There are eight billion other humans inhabiting this decaying rock, and each one of them are mysterious and complicated creatures who think it’s all about them too. 

And so, just imagine how many different reasons there could be for why people say no to us, all of which are beyond our control. 

Budgets, timing, changing priorities, company restructuring, personal bias, culture mismatch, computer error, economic conditions, poor taste, bad days, or my personal favorite, because the hiring manager had no real intention of bringing someone on in the first place, but still needed to prove to the board that the company was actively looking. 

Gilbert framed it most exquisitely in her bestselling book about big magic:

Rejection letters can’t scare me off. There are people who haven’t even been born yet who are going to reject me someday, that’s how long I plan to stick around. 

Proving, that the most powerful source of resilience is the combination of having compassion for ourselves, while obsessing less over ourselves. 

In our loves, in our lives, in our labors and in our longings, sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

Are you allowing your discouragement to globalize? 

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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.


Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


\

Friday, December 20, 2019

Riding a bicycle downhill, thinking your legs are strong

Organic growth is a blessing and a curse. 

On one hand, customers know and like and trust your brand, sales are coming in, and there is no need burn all your cash on marketing activities. Sing praise to the gods of commerce. 

But nothing grows forever. Except maybe ears and noses. 

Facial cartilage notwithstanding, gravity always triumphs. It’s undefeated. Everything plateaus eventually. 

And therein lies the curse of organic growth. 

Doing great work and then sitting back with your fingers crossed and waiting for the phone to ring is not a smart or sustainable business strategy. 

What got you here will not get you there. 

Eventually, you have to make the transition from an emergent strategy to a deliberate one. Otherwise you will continue to be, as my mentor used to say, riding a bicycle downhill and thinking your legs are strong. 

Now, does that mean every successful brand needs to be boosted by a powerful marketing machine working every conceivable angle? 

Not necessarily. The great music critic reminds us that the spoils go to the innovator if he is willing to double down and never rest on his laurels. 

If your brand has been blessed with the gift of organic growth, make sure you don’t become entombed in the complacency that will eventually spell its decline. 

If your road is beginning to level out, it’s time start pedaling. 

Make that, start peddling

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What sign is your business pretending not to see? 

* * * *

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

It's the world's first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!

Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.


Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs


\