Somebody’s always watching

Somebody’s always watching.

A friend.
A stranger.
A customer.
A random dude who plays softball with your customer.

Somebody’s always watching.

He’s waiting for you to wow him.
He’s watching to see if you’ll screw up.
He’s hoping your actions will match your words.
He’s anticipating your next move.

Somebody’s always watching.

So you better be consistent.
You better be ready in and out of season.
And you better not think it won’t happen to you.

Because somebody’s always watching.

Ever catch someone (or get caught by someone) with a hand in the cookie jar?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

Are you That Guy?

Find out in Scott’s latest book at!

The Attitude of Approachability

Last week I finished reading What To Say When You Talk To Yourself.

Fantastic book. I can’t believe I didn’t read it five years ago. And it got me thinking…

…that a nametag would be utterly useless without a great attitude to go with it.

And since I always seem to get questions about attitude, I wanted to share a collection of positive, attitude building affirmations to help you self-talk your way to increased approachability.

(If you feel dumb reading these to yourself every day, don’t worry. I’ve been doing it for years and sometimes I still feel dumb! But it works.)

• I am an approachable professional. I can both approach – and be approached by – important people.

• I choose to maintain an approachable attitude. I believe that every encounter is one in which I can learn, help others and expand my references, networks and experiences.

• I feel relaxed. When I engage with customers, coworkers and friends, they are put at ease and feel comfortable when working with me.

• I am confident. When I walk into a room, my smile, body language and appearance project happiness, enthusiasm and joy. I’m sure that wherever I go, I will meet new, cool people; I will learn new, cool stuff; and others will be glad they encountered me.

• I am a great conversationalist. I ask intriguing, creative, thought provoking questions that give people permission to open up. I am skilled at started, sustaining, transitioning and exiting conversations with individuals and groups.

• I am an even greater listener. I listen twice as much as I talk and make myself personally and physically available to others. I’m curious, not judgmental; and people known they can come to me with their ideas, problems, or anything else.

• I choose to be easily accessible. People can get a hold of me without frustration.

• I am attractive. Customers and coworkers are magnetized to me because of my superior attitude, ability to make them smile and willingness to assure that they feel comfortable.

• Shyness is not a problem for me. No matter what my friends, parents, teachers or the media say, I can easily and comfortably engage with others over the phone, via email or in person without apprehension.

• I have learned to recognize that fear is outweighed by benefit. Although stepping out of my comfort zone might be tough at first, it’s always worth it in the end. And even if I look like an idiot; I know that it’s no big deal, and that I’m better because of it.

• I win small victories first. In order to develop greater communication confidence, I achieve success in smaller situations first. Then, when I’m faced with something bigger and harder, it is this confidence I draw upon to face these new challenges with enthusiasm and readiness.

I challenge you to read these to yourself every morning for a month. Just try it. See what happens. Email me when you’re done to let me know how your attitude has changed.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

Are you That Guy?

Find out in Scott’s latest book at!

It’s not about the nametag

On January 14th, 2005, my friend Andy was drunk.

Not wasted. Not tipsy. And not belligerent, but drunk enough that he did not care if his words hurt my feelings.

“Scott, face it,” he started, “The whole nametag thing is cool. Nobody can deny that. But come on. You already wrote a book about it. So what next? Nothing! It’s like, you have nowhere to go.”

Interesting. I listened on.

“I am not trying to rain on your parade,” he slurred, “but the thing is: there is really nothing unique about wearing a nametag. Anybody could have done that. And there is nothing unique about your book. Anybody could have written that.”

Wow. For being drunk at 4:00 AM during the final hours of a bachelor party, Andy sure gave me something to think about!

In fact, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I stayed up all night replaying our conversation in my head. Did not get a wink of sleep. And those five words kept chiming like church bells:

Anybody could have done that.
Anybody could have done that.
Anybody could have done that.

I never told anyone about that conversation.

Maybe because I did not know the answer.
Maybe because I was ashamed.
Maybe because I was afraid.

Either way, it did not resurface until about a year later.

I had just returned to St. Louis after a giving a speech at WOMMA in Orlando. My Dad and I sat down to dinner. We were talking about the growth of my business, writing books, giving speeches and the like.

And in this almost eerie, yet proud tone that only a father could project, he said, “Scott,” with a nod and a smile, “It’s not about the nametag.”


“It’s not about the nametag…” he laughed.

“…because anybody could have done that.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, you’ve been at this thing going on six years now. Think about everything that happened: the books, the speeches, the interviews and the change you’ve brought about to yours and other people’s lives; everything that’s evolved since the day you first stuck that nametag on your shirt. Pretty remarkable, doncha think!?”

“Yeah, I…I guess it is,” I nodded.

“You see, the fact that you wear a nametag is not what’s brilliant. The brilliant thing is what you’ve done with it.”

And at that exact moment, I knew Andy was both right AND wrong.

Why he was right: sure, maybe my original idea was not unique. Anybody could have slapped on a nametag every day. Hell, they did that in Seinfeld.

But what WAS unique was what that idea had turned into.

Why he was wrong: Andy said that after my first book, I had nowhere to go.

This could not have been farther than the truth. In fact, it was the opposite: I had everywhere to go! And I still do! And I can’t wait to get there!

Folks, the lesson is simple:

It’s not your idea; but what your idea BECOMES that matters.

(Well, that, AND, “always ignore the drunken ramblings of your friends at 4 AM.”)

What was the best idea you had in the past year? What did it become?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

Are you That Guy?

Find out in Scott’s latest book at!

How to become the Luckiest Person You Know

Milton Berle said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

Horatio Alger said, “Luck happens to those who greatly increase the chances of its occurrence.”

This brings up an important question: Does opportunity only knock once?

I used to think so. Because that’s what I’d always been told. By the media, by my friends, by my teachers, by everyone.

You only get one shot.
You’ll never get a second chance.
Opportunity only knocks once.

Then, after college, I started to get lucky. Like, all the time. Lucky with people. Lucky with business. Lucky with life.

My new neighbor became my best friend.
I landed huge interviews on CNN and NBC.
I encountered complete strangers who changed my life.
I experienced moments of online serendipity that drove millions of people to my website.

Amazing stuff just started happening to me. And I thought, Man, I’m really lucking out!

Then I read somewhere that L.U.C.K was an acronym for “Laboring Under Correct Knowledge.”

And I realized something: it’s not that opportunity only knocks once. It knocks all the time. Probably every day. The problem is: people don’t listen. Sure, they might hear it, but they don’t take action.

Maybe because they’re too busy.
Maybe because they think it’s a fluke.
Maybe because they think they’re not lucky.
Maybe because they don’t think it’ll be worth answering.

In other words, pessimism.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t hope for opportunity – I expect it. Every day. Not because I deserve it, but because I’ve learned how to magnetize and leverage it. In fact, I’d say that I’m the luckiest person I know. And I think I can help you be the same:

6 Steps To Becoming The Luckiest Person You Know

1. Affirm. Every morning, affirm to yourself that great things are going to happen to you today. That you’re going to experience incredible personal and professional opportunities. That you will be a magnet for cool stuff and people.

2. Beware. Always be on the lookout for potential opportunities. Keep your eyes and ears open. Think into the future and ask, “What could this lead to?”

3. Celebrate. Whenever one of those “lucky” incidents happens, give thanks. Be excited that you proved yourself right. And say to yourself, I knew this was going to happen!

4. Documentation. Write them down. Keep track of your moments in an Opportunity Journal. You might try doing this with a partner with whom you can share your mutual opportunities.

5. Evaluate. Look for trends. Figure out what you did right. Figure out what correct knowledge you were laboring under.

6. Frequency. If opportunity already knocked once, invite it back. I’m sure it would love to stop by again.

John Maxwell was right: “Opportunity always takes NOW for an answer.”

Who’s the luckiest person you know?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

Are you That Guy?
Find out in Scott’s latest book at

The Approachability of Web 2.0

It’s true: blogs, instant messaging, wikis, widgets, podcasts and the like are all contributing to a higher level of approachability on the internet.

This article from Brand Republic says, “It’s better to let users talk about you in a branded environment: A brand can gain so much in terms of the credibility it will receive by being approachable and having a human face rather than just communicating one way.”

<-----Look here. This is a Meebo Widget. It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen on the Internet.

Here’s how it works: click on the above image (or here) and you’ll be transfered to my website’s Contact page. This widget enables you to simply type a private message in the box below, and if I’m online, I will chat right back!


Here’s a toast to you, Web 2.0! (Holds up a glass of Crystal Light)

What’s your favorite part of Web 2.0?

Get a Meebo Widget today. Start interacting with your customers. Let me know what happens.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

Are you That Guy?
Find out in Scott’s latest book at

The World is a Mirror, Part 8


A long time ago I saw a bumper sticker that read “HAPPINESS IS SKIING.”

I liked it. I liked how specific it was. And later that day it dawned on me: happiness can be whatever you want it to be. And, nobody can take that away from you – that’s what’s so great about it.

So, at the risk of addressing a vague and difficult topic usually handled by people like The Dali Lama, here goes…

For me, Happiness is Nametags. Has been for a long time. And while I’m not trying to boil down my happiness to only one source, nametags are definitely a biggie.

Like the smile from a bored, tired cashier’s face who says, “Hey Scott!”

Like the childlike curiosity which engages complete strangers to interrupt their patterns, break the silence and ask me a question.

Like the relief I sense when someone who otherwise would’ve forgotten my name still said hello.

Like the jokes I’ve heard 10,000 times that make me, the joker, and the other people on the airplane grin, i.e., “Scott, do you have a memory problem?”

I could go on.

The point is: it’s been 2,119 days. Not a single one has gone by during which I wasn’t happy, at least for a little while. And sure, I’ve received a heck of a lot of criticism – even hate mail! – for wearing a nametag 24-7. People accuse me of being weird or crazy. That I just want attention. That I’m just trying to stand out and be different.

Whatever. Let the haters say what they want. My nametag isn’t for me; it’s for other people. To make them friendlier. To make them happier. I’ve merely become happier in the process because the world is a mirror.

WHAT REALLY MATTERS: I’ve discovered something that makes me happy. And nobody can take that away from me.

Because for me, Happiness is Nametags. They make me happy because they make other people happy. (With the exception of those brave, anonymous juveniles who send me hate mail.)

So I guess that’s the key:

1. Figure out how you would complete to following sentence: “To me, happiness is ______________.”
2. Make sure the answer doesn’t hurt anybody, including yourself.
3. Guard it with your life.
4. Commence happiness.

What is happiness to you?

Ask at least 5 people you work with the same question.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

Are you That Guy?
Find out in Scott’s latest book at

HELLO, my name is Podcast, Episode 11: Marketing Monger

My friend Eric Mattson, aka The Marketing Monger, is doing something very cool.

He’s smack-dab in the middle of conducting 1,000 podcasted interviews of marketers, innovators, entrepreneurs and other interesting people. I had the pleasure of helping out with his latest. Check it out:

HELLO, my name is Podcast, Episode 11: Marketing Monger

What the heck is a monger?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

Are you That Guy?
Find out in Scott’s latest book at

Ask, “Why me?”

Any time you are selected, promoted, congratulated, make a sale, secure an interview, get published or accomplish anything, you need to ask “Why Me?”

Don’t be shy. Most people are glad to tell you why they picked you. But you need to be proactive.

Especially when it comes to:

  • Bosses
  • Coworkers
  • Audience members
  • Readers
  • Strangers
  • Media
  • Customers
  • Prospects

    “Why me?” is NOT an easy question to ask; especially when you’ve just been promoted, for example. I suggest you pre-empt your inquiry with explanations like:

  • By the way, I’m just curious…
  • You know, I want to continue this success in the future, so would you be willing to tell me…
  • Oh, and whenever I work with someone new, it’s my policy to ask…

    You need to know the answer to this question.

    Not because you’re an ego maniac.
    Not because you’re looking for strokes.
    And not because you want to boost your self-esteem.

    You need to know because what people remember about you is who you are.

    You need to know because the reasons people selected you are things you need to duplicate in the future.

    My suggestion is to keep a “Why Me Journal.” This will help you discover commonalities among your accomplishments and provide a window for who you are and how you’re effectively making a name for yourself.

    What’s your usual answer to the question, “Why me?”

    Try keeping that journal for a month. See what happens.

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

    Are you That Guy?
    Find out in Scott’s latest book at

  • Small Victories First

    (This post was inspired by parts 1 & 2 of recent audience FAQ’s )

    Small victories build momentum.
    Small victories validate self-assurance.
    Small victories pave the way for later success.
    Small victories enable you to take bolder action.
    Small victories stretch your boundaries one mile at a time.

    This goes for everything: dating, sports, conversation, business, shyness, speaking in public and the like. You must win small victories first. For example:

    • If you’re terrified of public speaking, try giving a toast at the family dinner table.

    • If you’re afraid of approaching strangers, go to the mall and strike up conversations with people who won’t reject you: clerks, salespeople and cashiers.

    • If you’re reluctant to make sales calls, ring a few companies and ask several product-related questions to warm yourself up.

    • If you’re fearful of writing and publishing articles, start a blog and post short entries to test the waters and get feedback from readers.

    • If you’re scared of approaching a cute girl in a bar, try chatting with the cute bartender first.

    • If you’re nervous about giving a speech in front of 300 people, go to a club and sing karaoke in front of 50 people.

    Ultimately, we’re talking about confidence: in yourself, in your abilities, in your business, in your ideas and in your beliefs. And no matter what level you’re at right now, it is through small victories that your confidence experiences a boost. In the words of Anais Nin, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

    But let’s go back to the origin of confidence: self-limiting beliefs. I’m often asked by my audience members, “Approachability? But what if I’m shy? What if I’m introverted?”

    Good questions. In fact, since I’ve been asked those questions so many times lately, I’ve been brushing up on my shyness research. And without getting too scientific or psychological, here’s what I learned:

    • Shy people are confined to the reality of the past instead of the potential of the future (Goodbye to Shy, 143).
    • Shy people don’t think others are worth talking to anyway (Don’t Be Shy, 31).
    • Shy people believe it’s their “fate,” and were born to be ignored (Help for Shy People, 98).
    • Shy people have one thing in common: they’ve all been told they were shy by other people (Help for Shy People, 20).

    But this isn’t about shy people – this is about ALL people. These facts represent the true nature of confidence as a function of self-limiting beliefs. It reminds me of great quotation by my favorite author, Anonymous, “If you put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.”

    Because you are what you believe.

    First example: if you believe your past victories were just flukes; that you simply “lucked out,” you’re creating a dangerous pattern which focuses on the losses rather than the gains. As a result, this pattern will produce a negative attitude, thereby disabling self-confidence in future situations.

    VICTORY LAP #1: focus on past successes instead of failures. Figure out what you did right, believe that it will happen again, and then repeat those positive actions.

    Second example: if you believe you were born or raised a certain way, or that some ridiculous 70 question test which indicated your personality type pigeonholed you into becoming who you are, remember: people change. Every day. You don’t have to be your past.

    VICTORY LAP #2: make a list of five characteristics you possessed growing up. Read the list aloud, and if you don’t like it, rip it up. Hell, burn it if you can! (Unless you’re in the airport.)

    Final example: if you believe you are who you are because that’s what people always told you, remember these two quotations: “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent,” (Eleanor Roosevelt), and “It ain’t what they call you; it’s what you answer to,” (W.C. Fields).

    VICTORY LAP #3: think about the way people have always described you. Consider how those words have shaped your confidence.

    Now that you have a better understanding of how your beliefs affect self-confidence (or lack thereof), use these five steps as a guide for your next small victory:

    1. Recognize. No matter how small, take the time to say to yourself, “That was a victory! I just won. I overcame something that was previously difficult. Awesome.”

    2. Rejoice. Find a way to celebrate. Get a little bell for your desk. (I ring my bell every time I book a speech or sell a book.) Jump up and down. Say a prayer. Give thanks. Give a high-five to someone in your office.

    3. Record. Keep a Victory Log. Write down the time, date, type of victory, what self-limiting belief(s) you overcame to achieve it and WHY you overcame it.

    4. Review. At the end of each week, go back through your journal and take note of your victories. Give thanks for all of them.

    5. Replicate. Think about the week ahead: how will you expand those victories into larger successes?

    I think the famous poet Bryant McGill said it best, “Minor successes, when added together, can become the sum of change.”

    That’s the key to self-confidence: small victories first.

    What’s your most recent small victory?

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

    Are you That Guy?
    Find out in Scott’s latest book at

    The Nametag Guy is the 181st “Really Awesome-est” Person on the Internet!

    It’s true! This certificate even says so.

    Are you really awesome? If so, you can prove it to the world (and the web) by registering your site at

    Finally, proof that I am really awesome. Best five bucks I ever spent.

    Are you really awesome?
    Give me the three most really awesome websites you’v ever been to.

    * * * *
    Scott Ginsberg
    Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

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