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

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The last exhalation of the night still lay upon the land

Breath is the simplest vehicle of transcendence. 

It literally ends the trance, as the word indicates, because conscious breathing stops our racing mind and alerts our body to the fact that we want to be calmer. 

Especially when we practice inhaling and exhaling through our nose. This process elongates and slows down our respiration. It helps us take fuller, deeper breaths that oxygenate our lungs to their full capacity. 

Years ago, during an especially stressful period in my career, chest pains started to become a regular occurrence. To the point of a few emergency room visits, just to be safe. 

And although doctors never found anything remarkable, thankfully, there was one occasion that stood out in mind. While hooked up to the ekg machine, doctors said they wanted to detect and record my heart’s electrical activity. Just to make sure the chest pains were nothing series. 

But it was a busy night and they said it would take about an hour. And so, with nothing to do but sit on the hospital bed and wait, I took the opportunity to practice an impromptu nasal breathing meditation. Just to help pass the time. 

About twenty minutes into it, a nurse swooshed open the curtain and came running up to my bed

NURSE: Are you feeling okay sir? 

SCOTT: Yeah, why? 

NURSE: Your respiration is at four. 

SCOTT: Is that good? 

NURSE: Well, most patients who come into the emergency room clock in at about twenty. 

SCOTT: I'm just doing a breathing meditation. 

NURSE: Then what are you doing here? 

SCOTT: Good question. 

She discharged me ten minutes later. 

Lesson learned, whatever threat you seek to transcend, try to find a way to breathe through it. 

Use your breath as the magnificent instrument of circulation that it truly is.


LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What is your best tool for ending the trance? 

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

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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Never assume people know how they are imposing on you

Boundaries are, at their very core, an elevated expression of love. 

To self and other. When we express obedience to our letter of inner law, putting every choice its proper place in the economy of our version of a fulfilling life, then we are living from heart center. 

But when we don’t set boundaries, we are only enabling people. Ourselves included. 

We are stepping away from our highest good and granting others permission to do the same. 

A colleague of mind from the startup world reports to a workaholic manager. Her boss notoriously piles on too many tasks during the day and has unreasonable expectations for evening and weekend message responsiveness. 

Sound claustrophobic and stressful? 

At the beginning of her career, she says, it most definitely was. But when asked how she learned to set firm boundaries, my friend offered a helpful insight. 

Never assume people know how they are imposing on you. 

Especially if you work directly for the company founder. That person is likely to be deeply passionate about the organization. And their tunnel vision will make it hard for them to make the empathetic leap. Their brains will not compute. 

Wait a minute, why isn’t every single employee as devoted as me? 

And so, how narrow or how wide we draw our circle of commitment all depends on our disposition, on our definition of a fulfilling life. 

For some of us, if it makes zero sense for us to meet people’s otherwise unjustified expectations, then we mark our territory and hold that line. 

For others, people whose boundaries are perhaps more porous, we draw a line in the sand, but when given the appropriate reason, cross it. 

Both forms of boundaries are elevated expressions of love.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do you respond when somebody steps across the boundaries of appropriate demand?

* * * *

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!

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Friday, December 13, 2019

May they come riding upon the scorching earth

Entrepreneurs, those of us who undertake the risky pursuit of opportunity beyond our controlled resources, exist on something known as the experimentation execution continuum. 

We achieve our success by seamlessly moving from one project to another, creating of a unique portfolio of trials, errors, iterations and successes, ideally with little or no loss of enthusiasm along the way. 

This continuum can be profoundly scary and lonely and disorienting. It can drain your soul, not to mention your entire life savings. Make no mistake, entrepreneurship not for the faint of heart, the barren of spirit or the shallow of mind. 

The good news is, there is a valuable weapon acquired along this rocky path. One that we can use in every area of life, forever, until we die. 

The capacity for faithful instigation. The ability to take action without conventional luxuries like certainty, clarity, control and closure. 

Ah, the four horsemen of the entrepreneurial apocalypse. 

May they come riding on the scorching earth with cloven heels and shaggy coats. 

However, those of us risk misfits, those of us opportunity junkies, we move forward anyway. We trust that when we wade into this project with little or no support, we will not drown. We trust that in this unfolding creative process, all moments are valuable. We trust that our destination maybe unknown until we finally find ourselves there. 

Certainty, clarity, control and closure? These are the folly of fools. Not knowing is the form of torture humans have no choice but to become comfortable with. Maybe even learn to love. 

And so, if you have been receiving the warning flares of instinctual ripples of dreaded uncertainty, take a breath and tell yourself that you’re okay. Because while it that energy may be unsettling, it’s still energy. Which means it can be channeled. May you reach into the darkness, uncertain of what will be received, and cast your faith forward as light on your path. Whitley said it best in his most hopeful song. There’s a dirt floor underneath here, to receive us when changes fail, may this shovel loosen your troubles, let them fall away. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How strong is your capacity for faithful instigation?

* * * *

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!

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Take the chance to dance with the universe

Eskelinen is an artist who builds kinetic and mechanical sculptures. 

He describes his work as experimental, wooden, moving, contemporary art. 

One of his most notable pieces is a wonderfully complicated hugging machine. It literally squeezes you right back when it is embraced. Simply stand on a platform, grasp the handles, and lean into the hug. The mechanism causes a pair of wooden articulated arms to return the favor. 

And the best part is, this hugging machine manually powered. You can hug it for as long as you have the energy. 

Of course, this machine may not instantly boost oxytocin levels and heal your feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger like a human hug will. But this sculpture is still a physical manifestation of the beautiful unity of nature. 

It reminds us that when we embrace change, it embraces us back. That the world supports us when we learn to allow it. Change may come to us swiftly and without mercy, pulling the rug out from under us on a moment’s notice. And maintaining our center in that ocean of chaos can feel like an impossible task. 

But when we surrender to change, when we lovingly lean in to it, and when we are amenable to the galvanic response of giving and receiving, we feel richly supported by resources, internal, external and cosmic. 

Trusting that whatever silly song of transition our life is singing, we can take the chance to dance with the universe. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you believe that the world’s trustworthy and everlasting arms are supporting you?
* * * *

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!

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The path you were always intended to walk

Campbell claimed the hero is simply the one who comes to know. The individual who undergoes a series of transfigurations, through which the only mystery he seeks to understand is himself. 

To gain a store of proper perspective, however, we must first gain a sense of personal trajectory. We must treat our life like the journey it is. Taking a little dramatic license, owning our role as the hero of our own story and understanding events in the context of our overall narrative. 

Otherwise we will always feel stuck in the muck and mire of daily life. 

It reminds me of an inspiring question a potential employer asked me during a job interview. 

How will the skills you are building here contribute to your story as an individual? 

It was a framing tool that this particular organization used to give employees with clarity around progression in the broader context of their individual careers. A narrative device that helped team members view their journey of personal evolution from a higher vantage point. 

I didn’t get the job, sad to say, but I never forgot that question. 

How will the skills you are building here contribute to your story as an individual? 

If you are feeling paralyzed by the seeming need to choose among many paths, take a moment to step back for a moment. 

Consider each of your potential choices against the broader canvas of life. 

And lean towards the one which places you on a path you were always intended to walk.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What is the scariest thing you could do that would be worth the journey?

* * * *
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!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Give me everything but all the time in the world

We assume that having more time will set our creativity free. 

That once we are gifted with an infinite clock, then we will finally be able to tackle the project we have been putting off for so long. 

But what if our need for more time was just another convenient excuse we used to take ourselves off the hook from executing? 

Look around, nobody has enough time to do anything. 

It’s the collective complaint of our generation. 

And yet, that doesn’t stop people. Every beautiful thing that has ever been created in this world has been made by somebody who didn’t have time. 

Hell, if time were the only barrier to getting things done, then every painting on our wall, every book on our shelf and every program on our phone would not exist. 

Parkinson discovered this law in the fifties, teaching governments and organizations that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Which means, the worst thing we could ever have is all the time in the world. 

What we actually need is less time. A constraint to set us free. 

Rodriguez was known in the indie film world as a rebel without a crew. The musician and filmmaker wrote in his book:

Low budget projects put a wall in front of you that only creativity can allow you to figure out how to get around it. The fewer resources you have, the more you are forced to be creative. 

Dozens of award winning, million dollar movies later, his theory holds true.

If you struggle moving from idea to execution, start by getting out of the victim position in regards to time. Give yourself an impossibly short deadline instead. 

Force your brain to invent new and interesting ways to focus your attention and create something pure without overthinking it. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How could you constrain your timetable to make your dream more achievable? 

* * * *
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!

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Monday, December 09, 2019

Losing our ability to see our life as part of a story

How can we create abundance where there appears to be scarcity? 

By telling ourselves a story. By believing that story. And by rearranging the arc of that story so we are nearly always safely on the best possible side. 

Here are a few from my greatest hits catalogue. 

Temporal abundance is the story that we are the source of time, that we can make as much of it as we want to, and that we have exactly the right amount of time to enjoy everything we want to do. 

Creative abundance is the story that we are plugged in to an imaginative energy that is present in all things, that every season in our lives contains generative potential, and that whatever we entrust into it will multiply exponentially. 

Monetary abundance is the story that we are the arbiter of our own prosperity, that nobody is standing in the way of our ability to create value, and that money is flowing into our lives from all directions. 

Talent abundance is the story that we have sufficient resources to achieve our hopes and dreams, that they are readily available to us, and that they will equip us to live the life we want to live. 

Social abundance is the story that we belong everywhere, that our relationships are the chief transforming aspects of our lives, and that we are richly supported by a diverse community of beautiful people who want nothing more than to be there for us in our time of need. 

When we tell ourselves these kinds of stories, over and over again, we will leave insufficiency behind and move toward a world of prosperity. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you choosing to become the source of abundance, or waiting for the events of life to inspire you to find it?

* * * *
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!

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Sunday, December 08, 2019

We built everything we have by betting on ourselves

The time to bet more heavily on ourselves is when we have the benefit of house money. 

When we are in the black and feeling good and can afford more risk. This is precisely the time to try new things and maybe even fail in good cause. We are in position of strength, and we have to take advantage of it while we can. 

Thaler conducted the pioneering study on gambling with house money back in the early nineties. He asked participants to consider the following scenario. 

You walk into a casino. While passing the slot machines, you put a quarter in. Surprisingly, you win one hundred dollars. And so, now what? Will your gambling behavior for the rest of the evening be altered? Might you make a few more serious wagers from your wallet while taking a swim at the pool? 

Of course it will. The unexpected hundred dollars alters your behavior. It changes the way you frame options you face in the world. 

When my startup fired twenty percent of its staff several years ago, everyone was shitting themselves with fear. And rightfully so. Layoffs are scary and confusing and startling. You barely have enough time to even register what happened before you’re gone in the blink of an eye. 

But luckily, we found a way to frame the experience in an optimistic light. Since we still had eight weeks left on our payroll, but very few tasks and no obligation to keep our regular office hours, we essentially earned two months of paid vacation. We were playing with house money. 

By doing this basic math, it showed us that there was really no need to panic. And that drastically decreased the pressure we put on ourselves during our job transitions. 

Where might you be playing with house money? What fortuitous situation might you be in where you can afford to bet more heavily on yourself? 

Remember, all forms of gambling are based on the absolute certainty that, ultimately, the gambler will lose more, over time, than they win. 

But when it’s not your money, it’s a whole lot more fun to play.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Is now the time to double down on yourself? 

* * * *
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!

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Saturday, December 07, 2019

The uncomfortable but necessary rupture and rapture

How do people transform even the smallest events or situations into breakthroughs in thinking and action? 

By doing everything and nothing at the same time. 

In the spirit of doing everything, we engineer a continuous flow of breakthroughs by allowing for the creation of a portfolio of experiments. We just keep trying stuff. Every damn day. Exponentially increasing our activity level, trusting that discovery will be the consequence of our earnest interest. 

Simon once commented on his songwriting process that there is always new musical ground to be discovered right there on the same keys he has been playing forever. Every artist can consistently find new ways to express themselves on their instrument. 

That’s doing everything. It’s a function of focus and discipline. 

But doing nothing also works as a method for finding new breakthroughs repeatedly. 

Time consuming tinkering and developing ideas glacially allows for breakthroughs we wouldn’t reach otherwise. 

Gillette writes in his wise and wisecracking memoir that the big secret of magic is simply misplaced priorities. Magicians are willing to work harder to achieve something stupid than people can imagine. He will practice things for years that most people wouldn’t consider investing an hour in. 

That’s doing nothing. It’s a function of patience and trust. 

If you want to make a place in your future for breakthroughs and epiphanies to exist, then consider doing either everything and or nothing. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

How will you enable the uncomfortable but necessary rupture and rapture of discovery?

* * * *
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!

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Friday, December 06, 2019

You saw not the darkness and heard not the storm

Racehorses wear blinders. 

Their trainers believe these small squares of firm leather and plastic attached to the bridle on the horse’s head channel their vision. Blinders cut down the scope of their sight, they say, keeping horses focused on what is in front of them. 

That way, they’re not distracted or spooked by the crowds, bushes, poles, competing horses or jockeys around them. 

Eyes on the prize, my little pony. 

The debatable issue, however, is whether or not it’s possible to become focused to a fault. Because extremes in almost anything accomplish nothing. 

And so, as a thought experiment, consider a flip side to the focus equation. 

Have you ever been so focused on the goal that you missed new information? Have you ever been so focused on perfecting the task at hand that you failed to pay attention to the changing world around you? Have you ever been so focused on your destination that you didn’t take the time to reward yourself for what you achieved along the journey? 

In each of these cases, focus reaches a point of diminishing returns. And because we are not racehorses, because we are merely frail flesh machines, it may be unsafe to intentionally limit the vastness of our vision. 

With blinders, we see not the darkness and hear not the storm. 

The final thing is, focus also depends on how it’s defined. My understanding of the word comes from a place of identity, not activity. For me, focus was not about hammering one nail all my life, but hammering lots of nails, one way, all my life. It was not about following my passion, but letting my passion follow me. 

Because that race requires no finish line, only those who love to run. 

Ultimately, blinders might be your answer. Relentless, focused effort to the exclusion of everything else could be exactly what you need to win. 

Then again, nuzzling in succulent swathes of summer grazing pasture sounds like a win too.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What do you have to give up to focus on what will set you apart?

* * * *
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!

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Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Spiraling sluggishly in the swampy depths of deception

Woody wrote in one of his recent movies that he didn’t know who he loathed more, those who use simple tricks to prey on the gullible, or the gullible, who are so stupid that they deserve what they get. 

As someone who’s always been a bit too trusting of others, this insight resonates deeply with me. 

Because on one hand, deception is part and parcel of being human. People deceive each other all of the time. Present company included. Deception may not be the most moral horizon to march towards, but it is still a highly useful tactic for accomplishing a goal. 

Duly noted. 

However, what happens we are on the receiving end of it? What happens when, somehow, all of the warnings in the world don’t quite convince us? And we end up buying into some unsafe story, only to find ourselves spiraling sluggishly in the swampy depths of deception? 

Years ago, twenty minutes before a job interview for a position that seemed quite exciting and lucrative, a friend of mine sent me a link the company’s profile on a career search engine. To my surprise, it had over a hundred reviews from former employees whose work experience was overwhelmingly negative. 

The one headline that caught my attention was:

Turn back now while you still can

That immediately activated the clangor of my internal warning bells. 

This is not a good sign. You would be foolish to block your eyes to this deception. 

Further research proved me right. This was not the place for me. It would have been a poor career move. 

Next time you hear a faint warning within, take action on your intuitive leads. But also allow your hunches and instincts to catapult you to move closer to fact. 

Verify your intuition with data. Stop wondering what you think and start asking what you know. Before deception sinks its claws into your flesh. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you picking the wrong people to trust?

* * * *
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


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Monday, December 02, 2019

Once you understand the power of your burden

Seinfeld, the zen master of comedy, once made the observation that our blessing in life is when we find the torture we are comfortable with. 

In a world where everyone is doing everything they can to avoid painful feelings, this is a refreshing insight. Because it’s impossible to anticipate or avoid pain. 

Everything sucks, some of the time. And most things are hard whether or not we want them to be. 

And so, instead of trying to head fake all of that unpleasantness, we simply surrender to it. Seeking the perfect amount of suffering in our work. Accepting torture as the price of admission and the cost of doing business in this world. Trusting that it will become choice that we get used to making. And knowing it’s ultimately healthy and allows us to come out stronger the other side. 

Master that, and we have mastered life. 

But we don’t cling to it, either. We never treat our torture as a merit badge that earns us the right to be a smug wanker now that we have made it. 

Because if we engage in this public game of competitive suffering, trying to prove to people how purified we have become, then we have learned nothing. 

Remember, the point is to become comfortable with our torture, not complacent about it. 

As another comedian once wrote, it’s all suffering, but we survive by knowing how to spread it out. 

Before you blot out the torture right before your eyes, understand the power of your burden. Take responsibility for it. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What if your blessings and curses often come in the same package?

* * * *
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!

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