It’s like being back in college again

Thanks to Ye Olde Google Alerts, I stumbled across an article written by Matt Sussman discussing tomorrow’s NCAA showdown between Oregon and Miami of Ohio (my alma matter).

I wont quote the whole article, but I about laughed myself out of my desk chair when I read this section:

For a school stowed away in Southeast Ohio’s armpit, Miami sure has a lot of famous graduates: Woody Hayes, Weeb Eubank, Paul Brown, Ara Parseghian, Ben Roethlisberger, Ron Harper and Charlie Liebrandt

Not listed, but should be, is author Scott Ginsberg, known as “The Nametag Guy.” He claims to have worn a nametag 24/7 for the last six years. (Most. Awkward. Sex. Ever.) He claims that the nametag not only gives him a profound level of approachability and confidence, but it keeps the evil pirate ghosts from invading his mantra and selling his soul for rum. Ginsberg is clearly a glaring omission on the list of notable MU alum. If only there were some way I could add his name to that Wikipedia list.


But it gets better…

Read the comments on the article and hear a few of my old college friends chime in, a classic bit of hatemail, AND, my comment back to the guy who sent hatemail.

Special thanks to Suss for the link love.


Who’s the most famous person from your college?

Tell us all about ’em!

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

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Small Ideas = Big Business, Part 4

Read part 1 here!
Read part 2 here!
Read part 3 here!

Frank Mars was a candy salesman. But he needed something new. Something nobody had ever tasted before.

At the time (1923), the chocolate malted milk was the most popular drink in the nation. So he wondered, “Why not put that flavor into a candy bar?”

Then he did something no other candy maker ever attempted: he ran consumer taste tests. “In order to be a national success, it would have to suit public taste everywhere,” claimed Mars.

And it did! After all, who doesn’t love a delicious, creamy Milky Way?

1. Test the market first.
2. Capitalize on popular trends.
3. Everything tastes better as a candy bar.

They Don’t Need to Try Harder
Most 22 year olds don’t revolutionize the automobile industry. But Walter Jacobs had other plans. Pondering the effectiveness of renting horses and buggies, he then thought, “Hmm. If people rented horses, why wouldn’t they rent cars, too?”

At the time he worked as an auto salesman. Eventually he raised enough capital to quit his job, buy 12 used Model T’s and begin renting the cars. After 8 months, he had 20. A few years later his fleet was up to 565 and annual revenues exceeded $1,000,000.

Not bad for a kid in the 1920’s!

Jacobs’ thriving rental business attracted the interest of Chicago Yellow Cab owner John Hertz. He eventually bought the young man’s business and created what is now the #1 rental car company in the world.

1. Find a verb that sells, then change the noun.
2. When you’re successful, they come to you.
3. Never buy the rental car insurance. It’s a total scam.

Creativity is cool, huh?

Post your own “Creativity Trio” here!

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

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BEHOLD! The Almighty Philosophy Card

People want to do business with (and be around) other people who have their own philosophy.

Their own unique approach.
To business. To life.

A way to treat customers.
Online and off.

How they roll.
Alone and in front of others.

Your own philosophy = approachable.

For the past seven years, I’ve been perfecting mine.

If this is your first time here, it goes a little something like this:

HELLO, my name is Philosophy
1. People buy people first.
2. Friendly always wins.
3. Make the mundane memorable.
4. Unique, not different.
5. Interaction, not interruption.
6. Be That Guy,
7. Fans, not customers.
8. Don’t sell, enable people to buy.
9. Consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness.
10. If you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you.

So, since having your own philosophy is such a great example of approachability, I’ve been challenging my readers and audience members to take it one step further by creating their own “Philosophy Card.” (Pictured above is the Philosophy Card sent in by my new friend Mike Morroco from Bella Railings.)

Ready to create yours?

Here’s what it (could) look like:

*Business card size
*Thick, glossy
*Double sided, one side containing your branding, the other containing your philosophy

Here’s what you (might) do with it:

*Give it to everybody
*Use IN ADDITION to your business card
*Leave it behind as a handout

All you have to do is ask yourself one question: “If everybody did exactly what I said, what would the world look like?”

Your answers = your philosophy.

It’s gold Jerry, GOLD!

I submit to you that my Philosophy Card is the single greatest marketing/networking/branding tool I own.

And I know it will work for you too.

What’s your philosophy?

I dare you. I double dare you. No, wait. I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU to create your own Philosophy Card and mail it to my address:

HELLO, my name is Scott!
7563 Oxford Drive #2 South
St. Louis, MO 63105

I’ll post it on a future blog entry for all the world to see!

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

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9 ways to journal for joy (and money!)

“Writing is the basis of all wealth.”

Those words were first taught to me by my friend/mentor, Jeffrey Gitomer.

And while you can take that statement into many directions, today our focus will be on journaling.

Journaling is your friend.
Journaling is your resource.
Journaling is your ticket to success.

According to a 2007 report from QuintCareers, journaling possesses near-unlimited power. It can lead to:

o Increased awareness, sharper focus, creative problem-solving, broader perspective, active thinking, brainstorming, deeper levels of analysis, stronger sense of self, generation of new ideas, clearing of the mind…

o Enhanced self-confidence, development of action plans, clarity of thought, greater honesty, self-paced learning, self-expression, integration of ideas, and perspectives, unknown needs/wants…

o Release of fears/tensions, awakening of inner-self, self-growth, improved communications skills and better physical and mental health.

Still think journaling is hokey?

Still think only writers and teenage girls do it?

Wrong. Even Dr. Robert Collins, Psychologist at the Free Thought Association, agrees. “People who journal have fewer physiological illnesses. Recording their experiences causes the patient to become exposed to what’s going on and to examine it in a more rational way at a time when the hot thoughts are not overwhelming.”


But it’s not just about illness. It’s about wellness, too.

Journaling has the potential to impact many areas of your personal and professional life. The following list offers nine types of journals you can use to write your way to success.

1. Morning Writings. As soon as you wake up, dump out everything you possibly can possibly for three pages. Clear you mind. Liberate yourself from those (mostly negative) thoughts. Once you’ve cleared your mind of all the crap, let the floodgates open and make way for the good stuff. (I just started doing this every morning, thanks to Julia Cameron.)

2. WOM Journal. Every time you or your company has a Word of Mouth Moment – either in person or online – document it. Look for trends among your actions that caused those moments. Repeat often for best results. (Thank you, Andy Sernovitz.)

3. Thanks Log. Every morning write a list (even if it’s just a few items) of things you’re thankful for. You will smile. You will feel great. You will set the stage for your positive attitude. What’s more, by giving thanks for the great stuff that happens to you, you immediately begin to attract more of that same stuff. Because The Law of Attraction works. Period.

4. HVA Journal. That stands for “Highly Valuable Activities.” This might be one of the best journals you’ll ever keep. What you declare as a HVA is up to you. It could be reading for an hour, working out, going to church, making 20 calls, whatever.

If you practice three HVA’s per day, that’s about 1100 per year. How can you NOT be successful? (Thanks, Marc LeBlanc)

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

You MUST write them down. From something as small as saying no to taking on a new project, to winning a charity 5K; write your victories down. Because when keep track, you keep succeeding.

6. Learning Log. That which goes unrecorded goes unmemorable. So, since you’re always learning new stuff every day, I suggest you keep a Learn Journal. You don’t have to fill it out every day. But refer to it a few times a week to document all the cool stuff you learned: lessons, ideas, mistakes made, numbers, answers, epiphanies, books and the like. Anything you didn’t know before. Write it down. After a month you’ll be amazed how much you’ve learned.

7. NO Journal. For many people, saying no is difficult. From small items like whether or not to meet someone for dinner; to big issues like whether or not to make a golf trip to Florida; more no’s can’t hurt.

Every few days, think back to all the instances in which you said no. Then jot them down. Trust me, it feels great. Liberating. Like you’re in control. Like you call the shots. (NOTE: don’t try to be funny by saying no to keeping a No Journal. That doesn’t count. Nice try, though.)

8. Dream Log. Dreams are powerful windows into the subconscious mind. If you choose to explore the meanings behind them, keeping a Dream Log is essential.

According to the book The Einstein Factor, the three keys to dream logging are: (1) Place the dream log and pen next to your bed before you go to sleep, (2) Start writing the moment you wake up, and (3) Evaluate it regularly.

And if you are afraid to keep a dream log for fear of what you might discover about yourself, then that’s exactly what you need to do it.

9. Luck Journal. Luck isn’t a function of chance, coincidence, serendipity, fate, destiny or divine intervention. It’s science. And it works. You can actually become the luckiest person you know. All it takes is three steps:

First, affirmation. Every morning spend at least 15 minutes preparing yourself mentally for the day. Try saying to yourself, “Today, great things are going to happen to me. I’m going to meet cool, new interesting people. I’m going to have fun and have awesome experiences that will enrich my life.”

Second, documentation. Every time something “lucky” happens to you, write it down in your Luck Journal.

Finally, evaluation. Go back and look for patterns. Figure out what rock caused which ripple. Repeat daily and you will no doubt see an increase in your luck. And if you don’t believe me, ask anyone who considers himself to be “lucky.” You can bet he’s been doing stuff like this for years.

What journals do you keep?

Tell us about them here!

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

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Keep It Alive, Part 2

(Read part one of this series here!)

Sometimes all you need is one good hour.

To get to know someone.
To catch up with someone.
To stay in touch with someone.

A month ago, I got a surprising email from a woman named Lena West.

Lena lives in New York, which explains why I was so surprised.

See, she invited me to have lunch with her.

A VIRTUAL lunch.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Well, I buy you lunch from your favorite delivery place. Then we eat while chatting on the phone for an hour.”
Hmm. Cool idea.

So, last week we did it.

And our Virtual Lunch rocked.

Lena and I had an enlightening, energizing conversation for over an hour! We talked about websites we loved, books we read, places we traveled, you name it. Other than the obvious physical limitations, it was really no different than having lunch in person.

You gotta try it. For three reasons:

1. Eliminate Geographic Barriers. Every industry is a global industry. But that shouldn’t create a barrier between you and your colleagues, clients, prospects and friends. Just because someone lives across the country from you doesn’t mean you can’t spend an hour with her. Pick a time that works for both people. You were going to eat lunch anyway. May as well spice it up!

2. Cost Effectiveness. Because phone minutes are so cheap these days, you can have a worthwhile conversation with someone you rarely see in person for only a few bucks. Especially if you Skype, Virtual Lunches make the most of your networking time. Plus you don’t have to dress up.

3. Mutual Surfing. Pick a few websites and blogs to explore during your Virtual Lunch. Show each other cool stuff you’ve been surfing. Also, while you’re talking on the phone, you might get an idea for another person, idea, book, website, etc., to visit that you otherwise couldn’t view in person. It’s fun to surf together!


Although I’d never been exposed to a Virtual Lunch before, I’m sure plenty of businesspeople around the world are already doing stuff like this.

If you’ve never given it a chance, I highly recommend it. Virtual Lunches are cost effective, fun and engaging tools to Keep It Alive.

(For Lena’s complete explanation of a Virtual Lunch, read this!)

Ever had a Virtual Lunch?

Post your expereince (or best Keep it Alive tip) right here!

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

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The problem of unspecified attribution

Studies show. Research proves. Scientists say. Psychologists report. Experts believe. THEY say. There’s an old story that says. I’ve heard from a lot of people say. Most people agree. It is said that. Critics say. Statistics show. Somebody once said. The reviews say.


No, no, no!

None of that is good enough.

Not in a conversation.
Not in a speech.
Not in an article.
Not in a blog post.
Not in a sales presentation.
Not in an opening statement to a jury.

Unspecified attribution doesn’t cut it.

You need to PROVE your point. With facts. Sources. Numbers. Dates.

Specificity leads to credibility which leads to approachability.

If you can’t back it up, throw it out.

What example of unspecified attribution drives you the craziest?

Post all rants here.

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

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If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t

The other day I (thought) I was having an epiphany:

“If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

BRILLIANT! I was all excited to write about it, blog it, and eventually take credit for that statement as my own original thought.


The Google informs me that Margaret Thatcher first uttered that quotation like, 50 years ago.

Damn it.

MINI-LESSON LEARNED: Every time you think you’ve said something witty, brilliant and original, google it first. Odds are, someone’s already said it before you.

Anyway, notwithstanding my apparent unoriginality, I still wanted to expound on Large Marge’s profound statement.

If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.

It’s about humility.
It’s about confidence.
It’s about actions, not words.
It’s about showing, not telling.

First example. is a project to collect observations from the people on the front lines in the restaurant business. In a recent blog post, one contributor from Colorado shared the following story:

A couple came into our restaurant last night. It was standing room only and an hour waitlist. They heard that and informed the hostess that waiting for a table wasn’t going to work for them because they were “V.I.P’s” I’m sorry, but if you have to tell someone you are a VIP, you probably aren’t.

Thanks, Chef.

Interestingly, this statement can also work when reversed:

“If you have to tell people you AREN’T, you are.”

Second example.

I once had a stalker. Every day for about two months he would leave creepy messages on my voicemail beginning with, “Look Scott, I’m not a stalker or anything, but…”


Seriously. If you have to tell someone you’re NOT a stalker; you’re a stalker!

So, here’s the deal:

If you are, people will know.

And if they don’t know yet, they WILL.

Either from their own experience or from someone (they trust) telling them.

No need to shove it down their throats.

“A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”

(Whoever said that ☺ )

Why do you think people tell other people that they are?

What could people say (do) instead?

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

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A sneak peak at The Nametag Guy’s 4th book


Two words of advice

Two words ain’t much. But sometimes it’s just what you need to hear:

1. Next Time. When you (or someone else) messes up, don’t dwell on the mistake for more than a few minutes. Sure, it’s easy to exclaim, “You putz! What the hell were you thinking?” But a better approach would be to say, “Next time, don’t talk on your cell phone while driving.” “Next time” is solution oriented. Patient. Less angry. Less reactive. And most importantly, positive.

2. Until now. In the book University of Success, Og Mandino suggests using these two words to thwart self-limiting beliefs. Instead of thinking, “I suck at public speaking!” or “I’m a terrible writer,” say to yourself, “Until now, I’ve had limited success with public speaking,” or, “Until now, my writing has been sub-par.” The key is to add a resolution phrase afterward. For example, “Until now, my writing has been sub-par. But I’m confident that practicing every day will improve my skills.” Start thinking in the right direction. Forget about how bad you used to be. Imagine how great you’re going to become.

3. What’s next? The first boss I had out of college was the owner of a discount furniture store. She’d write, “What’s next?” on note cards all around the store. See, at Pam’s store, there was always something to do. Always something to improve. Yes sir, no employee would ever go bored while SHE was around! And it worked, too. “What’s next?” kept us on task. Always thinking about the future. The next sale. The next customer. What’s next for you?

4. Not yet. These two words are the perfect substitute for the word NO. Less of a rejection. Less negative. And perfect to use in response to someone who doubts your efforts. What’s more, “Not yet” implies improvement. For example, let’s say you tell a friend you plan to write a book. She says, “Really! Cool. But do you actually know anything about writing books?” And then with a big smile on your face, you reply, “Not yet.” Your friend smiles back. Because she just KNOWS that book will get done.

What are your best two words of advice?

Post ’em here!

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

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From greet to great

The first words out of your mouth frame the entire customer experience.

Consider these two facts:

1. According to The Wall Street Journal from February 17th, 2006, you have less than five seconds to make a first impression.

2. According to a 2007 report on, your greeting influences the customer’s perception more than any other act of engagement.

That’s how powerful your first words are.

With that in mind, let’s explore three ways to master the welcome so you can go from GREET to GREAT.

Phone Greetings
Aaron Jaslow, editor of the networking/marketing publication RainToday, shares a great example. “A family friend once founded a company called Quack Quack Productions. Needless to say, he picked up the phone every day and said, ‘Quack, Quack!’ I would have paid money to work there and answer the phones like that.”

Is your phone greeting that good?

So unique that complete strangers would call just to hear it?

So unique that people would want to work there just to use it?

GO FROM GREET TO GREAT: be unique and unforgettable in less than eight words.

Voicemail Greetings
So you miss a few calls. Big deal. You can still leverage your voicemail as an effective branding and service tool.

My friend Kenny Golde, filmmaker and owner of Fire Breathing Dragon, Inc., ends his voicemail greeting with, “And don’t forget to tell me your favorite movie!”

Callers love it. What’s more, they engage. Clients and prospects alike will go on for minutes. They share movie-related stories, favorites and preferences on a daily basis. What a great technique to get to know your callers!

Is your voicemail that good?

So good that your callers don’t want to hang up?

So good that it helps you learn customer preferences?

FROM GREET TO GREAT: rerecord your voicemail with a question.

Front Door Greetings
In the retail world, greetings are GOLD. As a former furniture salesman, I can attest to that!

Here’s an exercise: think about your store. Make a list called “Top Ten Most Common Greetings Customers Expect to Hear.”

Then make sure NOBODY uses any of them.

FACT: the most effective way to capture customers’ attention is to break their patterns.

The store at which I sold furniture was nuts. City Liquidators had three floors of couches, coffee and craziness. So, I would approach customers as they walked in the door and say, “Welcome to the circus!”

And they loved it.

Is your greeting unexpected?

So unexpected that customers stop in their tracks?

So unexpected that customers are instantly made comfortable?

FROM GREET TO GREAT: when you break a pattern, you make a sale.

Are you a Master of the Welcome?

Post your best greeting here!

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

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