Don’t leave it in the green room

WARNING: Over rehearsing may cause you to leave some of your best stuff in the green room.

Sure, you can rehearse a little bit.

So you prepare. Go over stuff. Try a few things out. Practice here and there.

But you never over rehearse.

Save THAT steam for the stage.

Reserve your best juices, your strongest emotions and your most gorgeous extemporizations for the main event. The real deal. The big game. The showdown.

Otherwise, your brilliance will bellow in vain, quietly smacking against a brick wall with nobody to appreciate its splendor but you, the housekeeping lady and (possibly) the guy in the next room over desperately trying to get some sleep. (And even he isn’t really listening to you.)

No, you’d better call it a night. Reserve your truest ruminations for their ideal venue.

Don’t waste them on green room, or in some cases, the Holiday Inn.

Because once they come pouring out of your heart and through your lips, they may never resurface again.

And that’s just not fair to your Muse.

She’s worked too hard.

Where are you accidentally wasting your best stuff?

For the list called, “234 Things I’ve Learned about Writing, Delivering and Marketing Speeches,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Adventures in Nametagging: Sandusky Style

Just finished a workshop in Sandusky with my YMCA friends in the Great Lakes Region!

We had a blast, learned a lot, and enjoyed an unexpected amount of “poop in the pool” jokes.

We also stayed at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky. It’s pretty much the coolest place I’ve ever stayed at. Sadly, I was unable to use any of their indoor waterpark facilities. Dang it.

The good news is, I did eat a delicious sprinkle-topped, chocolate covered rice crispy treat on a stick. So chronic.

Anyway, on a more serious note, I was driving from Sandusky back to Toledo when I heard a FANTASTIC song called “I Love Everyone” by an artist I’d never heard of before, Phil Roy.

As a lifelong music fanatic and songwriter myself, I can honestly say that the chorus of this song contains one of the greatest lyrics my ears have ever tasted:

“Today I’m gonna go face the world and just love everybody.”

F***ing awesome.

And it sounds like a good idea, too.

What’s your favorite song lyric?

For the list called, “72 Superb Songs on the Soundtrack of Scott’s Life,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

If they can’t come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

Buy Scott’s new book and learn daily practices for becoming a more approachable manager!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

22 Questions to Sidestep Entrepreneurial Atrophy

As an entrepreneur, my decision making-process is usually based on self-questioning.

So, anytime I take on a new project, trudge forward with a risky endeavor or discover a new way to diversify my company, I start grilling myself.

What can I say? I’m obsessed with questions. (As if you didn’t already know that.)

I collect them.
I write about them.
I have a huge crush on them!

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY: I leverage them to grow my business.

Today we’re going to explore a list called 22 Questions to Sidestep Entrepreneurial Atrophy. They’re divided into four main categories:

1. Financial
2. Growth
3. Asset
4. Competition

Let’s get started…

1. How can I turn this into an income stream? Always think leverage. Always find a way to kill two stones with one bird. Find a way to make money everywhere. Just be sure you’re asking, “HOW,” and not “CAN I?” One is a possibility question; the other is a yes or no question.

2. Why am I NOT charging for this? Probably because you had to give it away for free in the beginning to build momentum, credibility and word of mouth. Which is perfectly acceptable. The challenge is making the transition, most of which derives from your sense of self-worth. You gotta believe in your product!

3. Should I be charging for this? Yes, if it has value, if you’re really good at it and if there’s a market for it.

4. How much could I be charging for this? Dude, I don’t know. Depends on what you’re worth per hour. Depends on how much work your new endeavor requires. Depends on how valuable your new “thing” is. Depends what the market will bear.

1. What personal skills have I not tapped into yet to build my business? Run an honest evaluation of what you bring to the table. Discover untapped assets and find a way to exploit them to grow your business.

2. What personal skills have I not tapped into yet to add value to my customers? Exact same process as question #1, except this time you’re exploiting them in the service of your customers.

3. What products and services are my clients asking for that I don’t currently provide? Notice the patterns. Keep a running list. Spot the trends in customer’s comments and figure out what that means for you.

4. Now that I have this, what else does this make possible? The ultimate leverage question. Future focused. Exciting. Also a possibility-question that doubles or triples the value of an asset when you think about its future value.

5. Are you cloning yourself through teaching others? Sheep? Bah! Clone yourself.

6. How can I give people a portable, junior, take-home, or alternate version of me? Can’t afford the speaking fee? Don’t want to PAY the speaking fee? Don’t have enough people to warrant an “audience” for a speech? No problem. Give clients different ways to “get” you. Different mediums. Different prices. Different YESES.

1. What’s next? Most important question of all time. Keeps you moving. Sidesteps entrepreneurial atrophy. Future focused, growth-minded

2. What’s my sequel? You don’t want to be a one-hit wonder. You’re contributing to a life-long body of work. A library. A chronicle. Think Willie Nelson, not Don McLean.

3. What business COULD I be in? The logical next step. The obvious fit.

4. When was the last time you created new value? Hopefully, recently! Or are you just doing the same old stuff you did one year ago?

5. When was the last time you reinvented yourself? Every few years, at least. A good parallel is to look at the music industry. Explore the timeline of a musician who’s been around a LONG time and experienced multiple reinventions, still rocking all the while, i.e., Tom Waits or Van Morrison.

6. At what point are you making a living vs. building your business? This is when money takes a back seat to equity. When gross take a back seat to growth.

1. Will it make your company more competitive? If not, then what’s the point of taking this endeavor on?

2. What would most scare or piss off the competition? The answer to that question is what you should do. Something to make the competition think, “Damn, that IS pretty cool. I wish we’d thought of that first!”

3. If I do this, will I become the best? If not, bag it. Average is for losers. Especially in an age when the first hit on Google becomes the immediate front runner; it’s just not worth doing anything unless you’re going to become the best at it.

4. How can I change the rules so I can win at my own game? The best way to eliminate the competition is to NOT have any. To become the ONLY. That Guy. The sole source.

5. Where are the uncontested waters, and how can I swim there? Similarly, that means going where nobody else has the guts to go. That means becoming a category of one.

6. Is anybody else doing this now? If not, stuff it. If so, ask yourself if you can do it better and cooler. If you can’t, stuff it. If so, let’s go!

– – –

REMEMBER: Successful entrepreneurs are like sharks – if they don’t keep swimming, they die.

How are you sidestepping entrepreneurial atrophy?

For the list called, “194 Books in Scott’s Success Library,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

New website go live this week?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Join Scott tonight for a teleseminar on building Online Video Platforms!

Tonight I’ll be hosting a teleseminar on SpeakerNet News. Here’s what it’s all about…

How to Build Your OWN Online Video Platform.

YouTube is for losers! Video isn’t the future — it’s the PRESENT!

Unfortunately, because video is so ubiquitous and easy to do, the bar has been raised. And the concept of ‘some guy in a room holding a camera,’ isn’t going to cut it anymore. You need to build your OWN video platform!

Entrepreneurs MUST know how to leverage video to their advantage, not only to promote your business online, but for downloadable and hard-copy products.

In this program, you will learn how to:

* Leverage cultural trends, barriers and phenomena that stand in your way of boosting your fan base through online video

* Get started without knowing what the hell you’re doing

* Master the timeline of video first impressions so your viewers don’t tune you out

* Find resources available to make the video learning curve non-existent

* Use a multitude of channels to promote your online videos

* Create online learning communities, message boards and other fan-building resources

* Use the most important question in entrepreneurship for your video platform

To register, click here.

See ya tonight!

How are you leveraging video for your business?

For a copy of my list called, “33 Things I’ve Learned about Creating Your Own Online Video Platform”, send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Who’s telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

The Caveman Principle™

Imagine you’re a prehistoric hunter.

Your mate is fast asleep in the cave.

The sun is coming up.

It’s time to kill breakfast!

Out in the prairie, you wait. Silent. Motionless. Anticipating even the slightest movement.

Because you’ve learned (in your experience as a prehistoric hunter) … ANYTHING that moves is a threat to your survival.

It could be a lion.
It could be a woolly mammoth.
It could be another hunter trying to steal your catch, or worse yet, clobber you.

Either way, your Caveman Brain is conditioned in the following way:

Movement? —> Change! —> Threat! —> Respond!

No movement? —> No change. —> No threat 🙂 —> No response.

So, unchanging backgrounds get filtered out by your brain.
Because familiar structures lead to mental laziness.
Which means there’s no need to pay attention.

I call this The Caveman Principle.

And although it originated a few million years ago, it’s VERY interesting to note how this prehistoric survival trait manifests in our daily businesses activities.

Especially when you realize that The Caveman Principle can actually make you more money.

Mmm … good … Ug like money!

This brings to mind something I read in the (fantastic) book Mindfulness, by Dr. Ellen Langer:

“A familiar structure or rhythm helps lead to mental laziness, acting as a signal that there is no need to pay attention.”

GREAT EXAMPLE: Ever Watch The Simpsons?

Not only is The Simpsons the basis for my entire personality.
Not only is The Simpsons greatest show in the history of television.
Not only is The Simpsons longest running sitcom in the history of television.

The Simpsons also happens to be the best example of The Caveman Principle in action.

Think about it…

During the opening credits to every episode of show, something always changes.

(Actually, THREE things always change, every time.)

Can you name them all?

Well, if you’re like me and you live your daily life is based on episodes of The Simpsons, this should be an easy question.


1. Bart’s detention chalkboard.
2. The Simpson Family Couch.
3. Lisa’s saxophone solo.

So, why is that important to your business?

WELL, THINK ABOUT THIS: With the exception of The Simpsons, when was the last time YOU actually tuned in to watch the opening credits of your favorite show?

Never! You just hit the fast forward button on your Tivo remote, zipped through the opening montage, skipped the subsequent commercials and started the show at seven minutes past the hour.

See, the reason you never watch the opening credits of your favorite show is because they’re always the same.

No movement? —> No change. —> No threat 🙂 —> No response.

Completely predictable. Ug was right.

But that’s the genius of The Simpsons. By changing three distinct elements to their opening credit montage, they FORCE millions of people to tune in – and never miss –the very beginning of the every episode.

Movement? —> Change! —> Threat! —> Respond!

Predictably unpredictable.

And I’m sure their advertisers just loooooooove that!

NOTE: I’ll be discussing The Caveman Principle in detail as it pertains to online video platforms tomorrow night during my teleseminar for Speaker Net News.

Mmm! Ug like teleseminar!

How are you keeping your viewers’ attention?

For the list called, “7 Questions to Assure People Don’t Tune Out Your Marketing,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

New website go live this week?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Get the hell out of the house!

You’re an artist.
You work at home.
You’re self-employed.
You have no coworkers.
You attend very few meetings.
You wear your pajamas all day.
Your studio is your spare bedroom.
Your work includes LOTS of solitude.
You have clients, but you mainly interact with them via email or phone.

Well then. A job description like THAT can only mean one thing:

You need to get the HELL out of the house!

See, as a creative professional, getting out of the house and into the world is crucial component to supporting, enriching, inspiring and informing your art. Here’s why:

o You get ideas. From your observations, scannings and experiences. Then they get digested by your creative filter and get excreted onto your canvases. Raw material for your art is literally infinite … as long as you’re willing to step out the front door.

o You share ideas. To test them out. To solicit feedback. You let the world be your editor, adding to or subtracting from your ideas to make them better.

o You round out ideas. The people you interact with and the experiences you have add new dimensions to existing thoughts. After all, art never finishes! And, as your references grow richer and deeper, so does your art.

o You change your scenery. This alters your patterns and routines. And regular “breaking of set” enables you to notice anomalies, experience changes and discern intricacies in the world, all of which fuel your art. And, if DON’T do this, sitting in your living room all day gets real old real soon. All work and no play makes Jackie a dull boy … All work and no play makes Jackie a dull boy … All work and no play makes…

o You become more relatable. Nobody can relate to art created in a vacuum. Especially in terms of research, since Google and YouTube can only teach you so much. See, there must be a spirit of humanness and ordinariness in your art; created by an artist who, himself, is human and ordinary because spends time with OTHER ordinary humans in ordinary places doing ordinary things. Without getting out of the house, you’re just making shit up.

So. Still wanna to sit at your desk in your pajamas all day?

Didn’t think so.

In that case, here’s a sampling of Displacement Environments to test out:

WHERE PEOPLE INTERACT: Yoga classes. Coffee shops. Malls. Churches. Temples. Intramural sports. Public beaches. Dog parks. Crowded cities. Or, a really terrible (yet fascinating) day job, waiting tables, selling furniture or parking cars.

WHERE NATURE FLOURISHES: Botanical Gardens. Zoos. Mountains. Local Farmer’s Markets. Creeks. Lakesides. Or, desolate spaces of solitude in the heart of nature’s beauty.

WHERE ART OOZES: Galleries. Flea markets. The Santa Monica Promenade. Theater districts. Schools (especially elementary). Music stores. Or, studios and workspaces of fellow artists, solo practitioners and Spare Room Tycoons.

The choices are infinite!

No matter where you live and work, Displacement Environments are ALWAYS at your disposal.

So, as you test them out, remember these simple rules:

1. Make sure there are living things around. People. Animals. Plants. Anything. They provide the energy, the light and the life force that fuel your creativity. They also tend to be more interesting than, say, buildings.

2. Go there regularly. Not every day. And not according to an overly regimented schedule. Just commit to returning to a certain places consistently, and a variety of places occasionally. Over time, you’ll make friends, become a regular, notice patterns and start to accumulate a rich mosaic of experiences and references.

3. Immerse yourself. And when you’re there, really BE there. Watching. Listening. Scanning. Observing. Allow the world to enter into your consciousness through your unique filter. After all, the goal IS to support, inform, inspire and enrich your creative practice!

So, whether you’re a writer, painter, consultant – or ANY type of Creative Professional, just remember these seven words:

Get. The. Hell. Out. Of. The. House!

Because REAL art can’t be created in a vacuum.

What informs your art?

For the list called, “10 Best Books on Creativity You’ve Never Heard Of,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Still eating Top Ramen three meals a day?

Bummer. Perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!

When does commitment become a detriment?

People are often stunned when I tell them I’ve actually forgotten to put on a nametag before.

“No way! You!” they gasp.

“Well, yeah. I’m human,” I explain.

But it happens. Every once in a while I’ll walk out my front door, or get into the car or be halfway to Starbucks when I look down at my shirt and say, “Ah crap, I forgot my nametag.”

Of course, keep in mind I always store ten spare pre-written nametags in my wallet just in case.

So it’s not like it’s an unsolvable problem.

But, sure. I forget to put on a nametag sometimes. Big deal.

Now, on a larger scale, people are ALSO surprised when I give them my answer to the question, “Scott, have you ever thought about QUITTING the whole nametag thing?’

Because obviously, they assume my answer is an immediate, “No!”

When in fact, it’s just the opposite.

I’ve absolutely thought about retiring the tag!

And you know what?

I don’t mind admitting that to you. I’m not ashamed that I’ve doubted my own commitment.

Because I think there comes a point at which commitment can actually become a detriment.

AFTER ALL: What good is being committed if your commitment…

Becomes a threat to your health?
Causes you to lose sight of your family?
Harms the world or the people around you?

Or, more dangerously: What good is being committed if your commitment causes you to dishonor your Truth?

See, commitment can be seductive.

Because sometimes, the deeper you commit to something, the more likely you are to become SO wrapped up and so obsessed with idea of BEING (and APPEARING) committed … that your desire actually becomes bigger than that which you are committed to.

And that’s when you lose sight of what’s truly important.

Even Mahatma Gandhi (of all people!) questioned his own commitment. Even HE occasionally had a change of heart.

In one particular instance during a protest against the British in 1930, Gandhi suddenly decided to forfeit his public demonstration. And this was several days into it!

So, when confronted by his lieutenants for an explanation, Gandhi said:

“Only God knows Absolute Truth; I just know relative truth. And my understanding of truth changes from day to day, so, I’m sorry, but I need to stop this particular protest. My commitment must be to Truth, not to consistency.”

What about you?

Have you ever made a decision – just to appear consistent – while dishonoring your truth?

NOTE: This isn’t a case against commitment. Or consistency.

I still believe that commitment is the secret of success.
I still believe that consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness.

However, after 2,835 days, my experience leads me to believe there DOES come a point of diminishing returns.

So, here’s my advice:

1. Don’t allow psychological and social pressure to prevent you from making mistakes.

2. Don’t ignore that still, small voice in your intuitive heart.

3. Constantly remind people of your commitment … BUT … let go of the need to do so for sole the purpose of strengthening your own position.

Look, when you notice a cognitive dissonance in your life, accept it – don’t fight it.

Embrace your imperfect humanness!

You WILL have doubts.
You WILL have misgivings.
You WILL do things that are inconsistent with what you THOUGHT you believed.

BUT REMEMBER: Do not dishonor your Truth for the fear of appearing inconsistent.

Which reminds me, I TOTALLY forgot to put on a nametag this morning.

So if you’ll excuse me, I need to go grab my Sharpie.

When was the last time you questioned your own commitment?

For the list called, “26 Ways to Practice Being Yourself,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

What’s YOUR approach?

Join The Nametag Forums! Share stories, best practices and connect with a like-minded community of business professionals who stick themselves out there!

Grow Creative Ears, Part 2

In the first post of this series, we explored a list of things, forces, people and situations to “actively listen to” so you could grow your creative practice.

Next, let’s work counter-intuitively. Here’s a list of six things (NOT) to listen to for maximizing creative output:

1. Don’t listen to that evil little devil of procrastination.
Because resistance hath slain an endless list of would-be artists.
And in the words of Edison, “I start where other men leave off.”

SO, THINK: Are you creating what wants to be created?

2. Don’t listen to inspiration ONLY.
Because it often comes unannounced.
And in the words of Tchaikovsky, “A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavoring to meet it halfway, we easily become indirect and apathetic.”

SO, THINK: Are you inspired or disciplined?

3. Don’t listen to your conditioned mind.
Because it’s just telling your ego the story it wants to hear.
And in the words of Eckhart Tolle, “Don’t ask your mind permission to enjoy what you do.”

SO, THINK: Are you letting your unconscious mind get in the way?

4. Don’t listen to people who tell you to stop singing so loud.
Because their imagination can’t encompass what it is that you want to do.
And in the words of Neitzche, “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who couldn’t hear the music.”

SO, THINK: Whom are you allowing to murder your creative nature?

5. Don’t listen to what everyone else is doing.
Because it’s more fun to ask how YOU can do it, instead of asking how it’s BEEN done.
And in the words of Napoleon Hill, “Listen to the music that stirs in your heart.”

SO, THINK: How often does perfection keep you from starting?

6. Don’t listen to self-appointed criticizers.
Because there’s not a single museum in the word displaying a statue of a critic.
And in the words of James Hubbel, “Art is learning how to be quiet.”

SO, THINK: How can you “fight back with your art” instead of getting defensive?

What do you (not) listen to?

For the list called, “101 People (not) to Listen to,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Still haven’t finished that book you started in 1997?

Bummer. Perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!

So, is this all you do?

When you’re passionately telling people about your art, certain individuals will attempt to steal the wind from your creative sails.

They will ask you questions like:

“So, is art ALL you do?”
“What’s your real job?”
“And art pays the bills?”
“What’s your other job?”
“And you make a living doing that?”

I know, I know. It’s frustrating, rude and assumptive AND blindly follows the starving artist script.

But don’t get upset.

REMEMBER: When people ask questions like that, it’s often a projection of their artistic frustration and insecurity.

See, when they see or hear about your art, their defense mechanism silently screams, “But I couldn’t make it an artist, so why should YOU?”

They see something in you they either WISH they had, or DID have at one point, but lost.

So, don’t take it personally.

It’s got nothing to do with you.

You just keep doing your art.
You just keep sharing you art.

And let those chumps get real jobs.

Is this all you do?

For the list called, “101 People (not) to Listen to,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Three Words of Advice: Avoid

(To read past posts in this series, check this out!)


Avoid agenda pushers.
Because they don’t listen very well.

Avoid comparison shoppers.
Because they’re probably buying on price, not value.

Avoid eye rollers.
Because that’s when people stop listening to you.

Avoid fitting in.
Because you will get noticed, get remembered and get business.

Avoid hideous headlines.
Because it’s not good for your brain (or your heart).

Avoid lumping indiscriminately.
Because it’s dangerous to compartmentalize every person you meet.

Avoid mass anythings.
Because ctucan TOTALLY tell.

Avoid mental censoring.
Because you’re burying some good stuff.

Avoid outdated frameworks.
Because they stop you from thinking.

Avoid self-satisfied contentment.
Because you’ve never arrived and there ain’t no finish line.

Avoid stale eyes.
Because they miss all of the nuances, anomalies and patterns that lead to breakthroughs.

Avoid stock phrases.
Because customers can TOTALLY tell.

Avoid telegraphing interest.
Because it projects a needy, seeking attitude.

What do you always avoid?

For the list called, “37 Things (not) to Do This Year,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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