When YOU walk into a room, how does it change?

TWO WORDS: Michael Scott.

If you watch The Office, you know what I mean.

Poor Michael. As the branch manager of Dunder Mifflin, every time he walks into the room, something bad happens.

People stare.
People stop talking.
People walk the other way.

Even in one particular episode, Stanley’s stress monitor started beeping faster and faster as Michael approached him.


What about you?

When you walk into a room, how does it change?

For the most part, this reaction isn’t under your direct control…

Whatever change occurs to the room is a tangible representation of how your character, actions, words, reputation and personality have both preceded and affected the people around you.

The following list explores several possibilities of how a room might change when you walk in the door. As you explore them, ask yourself which of them best applies to you, or which ones you’d LIKE to apply to you:

1. Does your entrance shift the dialogue UP? If so, that could mean a few things: (1) people love to greet you, (2) people were just talking about you – probably positively – and now they’ve escalated the conversation because they’re excited to involve you, or (3) people were just talking about a particular topic they would LOVE to get your thoughts or opinion on.

RESULT: Everyone is engaged, creating excitement in the air.

EXAMPLE: Hey Norm!

SOLUTION: Learn the strategies for building a following.

2. Does your entrance shift the dialogue DOWN? If so, that could mean a few things: (1) people were just talking about you – probably negatively – but now they’ve stopped the conversation for fear of getting busted, (2) people were just talking about a particular topic they either don’t want – or are afraid to ask – your opinion on.

RESULT: Everyone is walking on eggshells; creating anxiety in the air.

EXAMPLE: Every boss I’ve ever had.

SUGGESTION: Learn the strategies for creating a Question Friendly Environment.

3. Do people stare? If so, that could mean a few things: (1) something about your attractiveness – either physical or psychological – catches their eye, (2) something about your memorable presence and unique personal style immediately captivates their attention, (3) they were just talking about you – either positively or negatively – and now they can’t help but burn a hole in the back of your shirt.

RESULT: You become The Observed, not The Observer.

EXAMPLE: The Mystery Method.

SUGGESTION: Learn the strategies for becoming the bulls-eye, not the arrow.

4. Are people curious or wondering about you? In this case, they’re not really staring, yet they are noticing you. If so, that could mean a few things: (1) you look like an interesting person, maybe because you’re smiling, laughing, or just appear fascinating and intriguing; (2) you’re wearing something unexpected that breaks their normal pattern of observation.

RESULT: You increase the likelihood of an encounter.

EXAMPLE: John Moore of Brand Autopsy.

SUGGESTION: Learn how to become the most interesting person you know.

5. Do people start buzzing about you? In this instance, people have heard about you. They’ve seen your name before. They might even recognize your face from a website, publication or video interview. Either way, they are talking about you. Could be good or bad. So, just remember the words of Oscar Wilde: “The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about.”

RESULT: Word of Mouth has sparked.

EXAMPLE: David “Rise to the Top” Garland.

SUGGESTION: Learn the marketing strategies for moving people’s eyebrows.

6. Do people come up to you? Some people move shyly in your direction. Others smile and walk towards you. Sometimes a mob of raving fans will run full speed with open arms, hoping to be the first to hug you! Either way, you’re approachable. People flock to you. They want to sit in your radius.

RESULT: You’re the kind of person who always has one or two engaged people around you.

EXAMPLE: Lethia Owens.

SUGGESTION: Learn the strategies of Hangout Marketing.

7. Do they walk away from you? “Oh no, look who’s here. I better go into the other room…” “Gotta run. Don’t want to be seen by HER…” “Excuse me, but I just can’t stand that guy. I need to go outside for a few minutes…” Wow. Sounds like someone laid some poor quality track.

RESULT: People who DON’T know you begin to question your credibility and character as they observe other people’s reactions.

EXAMPLE: That pushy insurance salesman who cornered you at last month’s Chamber of Commerce networking events.

SUGGESTION: Learn the secrets for making communication a relaxing experience.

– – –

NOTE: These are only a sampling of examples of how a room might change when you walk in. The outcomes will be different for everybody.

The challenge (as a reminder) is that this moment has little to do with the room itself.

REMEMBER: Whatever change occurs to a room as you walk in is a tangible representation of how your character, actions, words, reputation and personality have both preceded and affected the people around you.

And if you’re not satisfied with the reactions you’ve been getting, don’t criticize the room.

Instead, look in the mirror.

When you walk into a room, how does it change?

For the list called, “19 Ways to be the One Person at Your Next Conference That Everybody Remembers,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!


Four Strategies to Elevate Your Visibility Inside (and Outside) of Your Company

Business sucks.
Layoffs are abounding.
Job stability is wavering.

Will you panic or prosper?

If you want to accomplish the latter, remember this three-word philosophy:

Anonymity is bankruptcy.

In this article, we’re going to explore four strategies for elevating your visibility inside (and outside) of your company.

FIRST: Elevating Internal Visibility
When executed consistently, these practices will capture the attention of your managers and superiors, thus contributing to a greater awareness of the asset value you bring to the company.

1. Exert your distinctiveness. As an employee, the net worth of your human capital is a function of your expertise. So, the three questions you need to ask yourself are:

*What are you known for knowing?
*Who is already attracted to you that sees you as a resource?
*What have you done, specifically – in the last 24 hours – to amplify that expertise within your company?

Once you’ve identified and valued your TRUE expertise and inventoried your negotiable personal assets, the next challenge is to assert that distinctiveness in every possible personal branding touchpoint: Questions you ask, answers you give, emails you write, meetings you attend and conversations you hold.

The cool part is, asserting your distinctiveness elevates your visibility.

Elevating your visibility attracts more responsibility.

More responsibly increases the net worth of your human capital.

And an increased net worth of human capital solidifies your job security.

REMEMBER: If your presence makes a difference; your absence will make a different. You WANT people to start asking where you are when you’re not around. You WANT to become so invaluable that you become noticeable in your absence. Employees like that rarely get laid off.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: What are you known for? What are you known AS? And what hard-to-copy capabilities do you possess that position you distinctively, effectively and continuously?

2. Volunteer to be a company blogger. Whether your company blogs internally for its employees and customers, or externally for the entire world to see, this is the perfect venue to share your expertise and elevate your visibility to a whole new level.

Follow these steps for blogging brilliance:

o First, read Robert Scoble’s Naked Conversations and Debbie Weil’s The Corporate Blogging Book. These two bestsellers will equip you with the knowledge you’ll need to champion your blogging idea.

o Next, find out who’s in charge of that function. Connect with them. Depending on the size of your company, blogging responsibility may lie in the hands of a team of writers, a few marketing people, or maybe just that 29-year-old wunderkind named Tyler who wears jeans and flip-flops everyday.

o Third, prepare a list of five ways to make the company blog more value-driven, more engaging and more viral. Then share that list with key players. You might even consider writing a few sample posts to demonstrate your expertise and writing style. Managers will notice. Managers will listen. Most importantly, people’s confidence in you will soar.

REMEMBER: Writing is the basis of all wealth. So, if your company isn’t currently blogging, you’re not just missing the boat – you’re missing the BANK. Come on. If my Pitt Bull, Paisley, can write her own blog, so can you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Tolstoy had thirteen kids when he wrote War & Peace – what’s YOUR excuse for not blogging yet? And, how much money is your company losing by not blogging?

SECOND: Elevating External Visibility
When executed consistently, these practices will attract the attention of both new and existing customers, giving you the edge you need to get noticed, get remembered and GET business.

1. Prepare to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is attractive. Vulnerability is approachable. Vulnerability is strength. Even President Obama – during his first MONTH in office – recently owned up to the media for his poor appointee choice.

“I’ve got to own up to my mistake,” Obama told NBC News. “I’m frustrated with myself, with our team. … I’m here on television saying I screwed up.”

Look, we’re all a bit nervous. And we’re all a bit vulnerable.

The danger is when we’re not willing to disclose that vulnerability by practicing radical honesty.

So, here are my two suggestions:

o Stop lying. Get out of the habit of mindlessly telling people, “Business is great!” No, it isn’t. Not unless you’re a foreclosure company. Stop putting on an act and start sharing your authentic experience. People will take notice of your candor.

o Own your slowness. Try saying this: “You know, business is actually pretty slow right now. But, I welcome that challenge. And the good news is, I’ve been putting in overtime on a few new business growth strategies. And I’m confident that, with a lot of hard work, they’re going to overcome this slump.” People will take notice of your balance between optimism and realism.

REMEMBER: When you maintain this attitude of approachability, people will respond to, and have more respect for you.

LET ME SUGGEST THIS: How are you branding your honesty? Are you willing to take the lead with your integrity and become someone others can be vulnerable in front of?

2. Leverage the current economic crisis as an outreach opportunity. The word “crisis” comes from the Latin krisis, which means “turning point.”

Huh. That’s interesting.

Maybe the challenge is to start saying yes to what IS.

Maybe you need to accept the reality of this crappy economy and start taking massive, immediate action to ease the posture of your customers.

Here are two suggestions for leveraging this crisis:

o Call everyone. Literally. Next week, take a FULL DAY to personally call every single one of your customers. See how they’re doing. See how they’re handling the tough economy. Reassure them that, notwithstanding layoffs and declining profits, the world is not going to implode. Then, find out what you can do to help them grow THEIR business. You’ll make their day.

o Write everyone. When the stock market started to (seriously) tank in late 2008, my financial planner sent me a personal letter explaining three things:

(1) A simple summary of current market conditions – written in a way that even a mathematical moron like myself could understand
(2) A reassurance that no matter what happened, she would handle my assets ethically, professionally and wisely; and finally
(3) A standing invitation for a personal meeting at her office to explain anything further.

How many people do you think I showed that letter to?

I wonder how many of your customers are showing YOUR letters to THEIR friends?

REMEMBER: In the midst of crisis, your coolness, honesty and accessibility CAN have the power to support and reassure your customers. But only if you leverage it properly.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: What will you use the current economic situation as a turning point for? How will leverage the slow times to kill two stones with one bird?

At this point, I challenge you to pick a few of the strategies from this list that work best for you. Customize your visibility plan according to your unique skills and passions. And keep in mind those three crucial words…

Anonymity is bankruptcy.

How are you elevating your visibility?

For the list called, “101 Ways to Create a Powerful Web Presence,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!


22 Ways to be a Great Date for Your Readers

The best piece of writing advice I ever got came from the late, great Kurt Vonnegut:

“If you want to be a great writer, be a great date for your reader.”

Of course!

After all, think about the characteristics of an ideal date: Fun. Fun-ny. Engaging. Emotional. Interesting. Stimulating. Memorable. And if possible, includes Skyline Chili.

These things HAVE to happen if you want to get the other person to like, know and trust you.

And these things HAVE to happen if, at the end of the date, you hope to get a positive response from the other person to your … ahem … Call To Action.

So, Casanova, here’s the question:

As a writer, how great of a date are you for YOUR readers?

Nobody calling you back? Not getting enough literary kisses? Here’s a list of twenty-two strategies and practices to create more engaging, more interesting and more stimulating writing.

1. Write like you talk. People will listen. So, make it sound natural. No need to give your thesaurus a workout just for the sake of sounding smart. If it’s not a word you use regularly, trash it. Have you read this piece aloud yet?

2. Don’t “try” to be funny. The moment you do, you aren’t. As it says in the Tao, “Any over determined action produces its exact opposite.” Also, don’t use “jokes” in your writing. It’s amateur and transparent. Instead, let your natural hilariousness shine.

For example, think about the things in your life that are inherently humorous. Then incorporate that into your writing. Simple as that. And remember: Just because you quote a bunch of funny people doesn’t make you funny. It makes you lazy. What aspect of your life makes you funny?

3. Nobody cares about you. They really don’t. Sorry. They don’t care about your amazing story how you overcame childhood adversity. They don’t care about your family or your kids or your dog or your trip to Belgium. People don’t care what you’ve done – they only care what you’ve learned; AND, the how the immediate, practical application of what you learned will help them make more money. Period. Is the purpose of this book to actually help the readers or to sell more books?

4. Use every emotion. Just like a good speech, every piece of writing should make people feel happy, sad, glad and mad. Run the gamut of emotions. Don’t be afraid to share funny stories that have poignant lessons. Or to write about serious topics in playful ways. Think of your writing as a seismograph. Be all across the board. It’s more engaging. How many different emotions are you evoking?

5. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Think back to the most boring, uninspiring, coma-inducing professor or teacher you ever had. Write a list of all reasons why. Then honestly ask yourself if your writing style reflects any of them: Is your voice monotone? Are you using enough line breaks? Are you making good use of italics, underlining, bold, all caps and other structural elements?

6. Architecture. Most writers don’t get it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a PhD. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Fortune 500 CEO. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time author. It doesn’t matter if you’re a computer geek blogging in your parents’ basement.

If the ARCHITECTURE of your writing sucks, your writing sucks.

By “architecture” I’m referring to the creative design and page presentation of a piece of writing. Here’s an easy way to find out. It’s called “The Squintmus Test.”

1. Grab any book, magazine article or blog post.
2. Stand back about five feet.
3. Squint your eyes to about 50% closed.
4. If the entire page blends together into one long, run-one sentence, that’s poor architecture.
5. Or, if certain phrases, sections and chunks stand out and break up the page into discernible chunks/modules, that’s quality architecture.

Notice anything about this blog post that makes it easy to read? Why aren’t you doing that on your blog?

7. Give yourself permission to escape structure. Poor architecture is usually a self-imposed limit set by the writer himself. Several factors cause this:

o He is afraid of breaking the rules.
o He approaches writing with a writer’s eye, not a designer’s eye.
o He writes how HE wants to write, not how READERS prefer to read.
o He thinks changing the structure of a sentence, a page; a paragraph (or even an entire book) is off-limits, improper or ineffective.
o He hasn’t been exposed to enough examples of effective architecture. He (or his editor) is former English Major Anal Tightwad who spent WAY too much time reading Elements of Style.

Just go read Gitomer and you’ll see what a I mean. How easy on the eyes is YOUR writing?

8. Trim the fat. Give people the guts. The meat. The content. The lists. The strategies. Remember: You are a filter. People are DYING for someone to cut all the crap out for them and just give them the good stuff. In the words of Elmore Leonard, “If you want to write a great book, just leave out the parts people skip.”

Example: I remember reading a 300-page treatise on creativity last year. The book was pretty solid, yet laborious. The funny thing was, when I reached the final section, the book concluded with a summary section called, “101 Practical Tips for Being More Creative.” It was the best part of the whole book. So, my thought was, “Why wouldn’t the author just make the whole book like that?” Are you trimming enough fat off your writing?

9. Talk to your readers. Literally. Act as if you were in their cubicle right next to them. Use parenthesis and italics to represent writer/reader dialogue. (Isn’t it fun when writers do stuff like that?)

Yes. The answer is yes.

And it’s not only fun, it’s engaging. And approachable. And cool. And rare. You don’t want to be boring, do you? Didn’t think so. How many readers are you losing because they don’t feel like you’re talking directly to them?

10. Read writers who write like they talk. Godin does. Klosterman does. Notice how they start and end sentences. Watch their line breaks. Observe their word selection. What did you read today?

11. Don’t be one-dimensional. Some people maintain such a limited worldview and openness for activities and experiences outside of their scope of interest that is mars their ability to relate to their readers in a healthy way. Bor-ring. Check out this fantastic list on how to become the most interesting person you know. How many readers is being boring costing you?

12. Be a story distiller. But, you can’t just tell the story. Because that’s not enough. So, when your story is over, don’t just move on to the next story. First, figure out the lesson(s), universal human experience/emotion, practical take home value and Call to Action. Read this helpful article on how to extract take-home value from your stories. How does this story help people make money?

13. Insert your passion into everything. Embed your passion into the page. You will engage, excite and inspire readers because that’s what passion DOES. Do your readers know what you’re passionate about? How does that passion make your message more digestible?

14. Take people back in time. In the movie Ratatouille, there’s a great scene where the snobby food critic skeptically takes a bite of Chef Remy’s special dish, expecting to be disgusted. To his surprise, when the food hits his lips, he instantly flashes back fifty years to his childhood as a French peasant. He pictures his mom, his home, his family and his humble beginnings.

When the flashback ends, a tear forms in his eye as he scarfs down the rest of dish with absolute delight.

Hmm. I wonder what types of emotions YOUR stories evoke? I wonder how effectively you take your readers somewhere else?

15. Draw dating parallels. Think back to the WORST date you ever went on. Then jot down all the reasons you never called that person back again. Then honestly ask yourself if your writing style reflects any of those reasons: Are you boring? Did you talk about yourself the whole time? Did you forget to ask questions? Did your stories have no point? Did you forget about the “Call the Action” when the date was over?

16. Dance with language. Give yourself permission to spice it up. Don’t worry, your English teacher will never find out. Here are a few structural elements that will help you do a little verbal jitterbugging:

o Intentionally spell words wrong to prove a point. Don’t be a know it all. Dare to be dumm.
o Write shorter sentences. They get read.
o Throw in the occasional foreign word. Approachability comes from the Latin apropiare which means, “to come nearer to.”
o Use multiple hyphens. This works well when you want to E-M-P-H-A-S-I-Z-E a word.
o Go Charlie Brown style. AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!
o Intentionally overuse periods. This. Slow. Readers. Down.
o Use CAPS LOCK for emphasis. Listening is also about what you DON’T say.
o Use single hyphens and extra vowels for authentic sounding dialogue. Mary, that steak was dee-licious!

17. Make fun of yourself. It makes your writing more approachable. Self-deprecating humor neutralizes conflict. It’s a key indicator of emotional intelligence. It defuses an otherwise tense or difficult situation. It combines modesty and likeability, while at the same time demonstrating that confidence and self-assurance.

What’s more, you avoid offending or alienating your readers. If you’re not currently incorporating self-deprecating humor in your writing, give a try. If you’re anything like me, there’s probably an endless river of material. Are you making fun of yourself enough?

18. Read Dave Barry. Nobody in the world is a better date for readers. And he won a Pulitzer. Hmm. Interesting. I wonder what more engaging writing could do for YOUR career?

19. Use questions strategically. Yes, asking questions is the perfect way to be a great date for your reader. But don’t ask TOO many questions. One of the hallmarks of amateur writing is the rapid-fire succession of a bunch vague, unchallenging, non-penetrating questions that do nothing but take up space because the writer couldn’t think of anything creative or original to say. Instead, consider the following architectural options of effective questioning:

o Quote/Question Compound. After making a powerful quotation or statement, come back with a penetrating question that hits your readers right between the eyes:

Oscar Wilde once said, “The only thing worse than being talking about is NOT being talked about.” Who’s talking about YOU?

o Paragraph Single Closer. Make your case for a few sentences and then stick the landing with a Composite Question:

Anonymity is bankruptcy. If you want to get noticed, get remembered and get business, you need to be That Guy. The Man. The Go-To Person. Not the expert but the PERCEIVED expert. What are you known for? What are you known for knowing? And by WHOM?

20. Brand your language. Here’s something your MBA course didn’t teach you. Here’s something you won’t read in most bestselling marketing books: The #1 most overlooked personal branding hotspot is your language.

Be sure your writing regularly includes Personal Sayings/Isms, Sign-Offs and Exit Lines, Signature Expressions/Phrases, Mantras and Calls to Action. For a handy, step-by-step guide on branding your language, check out this killer post, or for an entire website dedicated to branding your language, check this bad boy out. What words do you own in your readers’ minds?

21. Try out your truth. In my writing workshops and coaching programs, I define writing as “slicing open a vein and bleeding your truth all over the page.”

So, just like an engaging dinner date where two people honestly reveal their realities to each other, your challenge as a writer is to bring that reality to the page. Not “thee” truth – YOUR truth. Because that’s what people want. Not another quotation from Einstein or Rumi or Jack Welch. YOU. Are you quoting yourself enough?

22. Engage immediately. Die Hard, The Matrix & Terminator. What do all these movies have in common?

Answer: Awesome chase scenes.

In fact, that’s where the term “cut to the chase” comes from. See, viewers don’t care about character development and plot structure. They paid nine bucks to see Bruce Willis drive a stolen car off the interstate and into a helicopter, then miraculously survive with nothing but a few scratches and grease marks on his trademark white undershirt.

So, as a writer, the question you have to ask yourself is: “What’s the ‘chase scene’ in this piece of writing, and how can I get there as fast as possible?”

– – –

Well, I had a really great time tonight!

I hope we can do this again sometime.

Now, about that kiss…

Are you a great date for your reader?

For the list called, “26 Ways to Out BRAND Your Competition,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!


10 Ways to Leverage Your Most Overlooked Personal Branding Hotspot

Business cards. Collateral materials. Websites. Blogs. Brochures. Voicemails. Phone greetings. Email addresses. Email signatures. Job titles. Company names. Taglines. Slogans. Headshots.

Blah, blah, blah.

Any entrepreneur with a modest knowledge of marketing and branding uses all this stuff.

But here’s something your MBA class won’t teach you. Here’s something you won’t read in most bestselling marketing books:

The #1 most overlooked personal branding hotspot is YOUR LANGUAGE.

Language is EVERYTHING.

Language wins business. Language changes minds. Language attracts clients. Language makes money. Language communicates presence. Language reveals brilliance.

Most of all, language differentiates you.

Let’s begin with a quick Personal Language Assessment…1. What words govern your questions?
2. What are your favorite words to use?
3. What are your favorite questions to ask?
4. What words do you use that nobody else uses?
5. What words do NOT exist in your vocabulary?
6. What word(s) do you OWN in people’s minds?
7. What words, phrases and expressions are you known for?
8. Have you gone public with your thoughts, ideas, words and expertise?
9. What word do people have to google to make your website to come up first?
10. What’s the one word about which people will never think the same way after having met you?

Hooray! Now that you’ve gauged the equity of your words, here are eleven practices you can start TODAY to increase your Language Equity:

1. Write a LOT. (1) Writing is the basis of all wealth. (2) If you don’t write it down, it never happened. These two sentences changed my life, transformed business and earned me a LOT of money. That’s what branding your language ultimately comes back to: Writing. So, the best quickie-suggestion I can offer about writing (without soapboxing for ten pages) is that you learn to write Morning Pages. They will change your life. What did you write today?

2. Quote yourself often. Ben Franklin, Rumi and Lou Holtz have been quoted enough. It’s time for YOU to be the wise one. After all, if you don’t quote yourself, nobody else will. (And you can quote me on that!) Have some confidence in your cranium. People want to know what YOU think. I suggest publishing your own online quotation generator. As an example, check out my gorgeous new site, www.stuffscottsaid.com. Why in God’s name would you have a quote from Oprah on YOUR website?

3. Publish a LOT. The logical next step after writing a lot and quoting yourself often is publishing HEAPS of material that contain your branded language. Build your online platform using tools like blogs, videos, podcasts, articles, interviews, PDF’s, Ebooks, Twitter, Facebook, teleseminars and the like. In so doing, be sure to include regular examples of your unique branded language throughout. This will solidify your ownership of the material. Soon, people will be quoting YOU. How far do your thoughts travel?

4. Reiterate key words and phrases. In my work as a writer/speaker/coach and entrepreneur, I’m known for using expressions and themes like, “HELLO, my name is…” “Kill two stones with one bird,” to name a few. Your challenge is to identify YOUR key words and phrases.

Here’s what you do: (1) Search through your last fifty modules, articles or blog posts. (2) Identify ten recurring expressions that are unique to YOUR writing. (3) Write them on a sticky note. (4) Keep that note in front of your face daily as reminder to consistently use those key words and phrases throughout your work. Almost like a “call-back” joke in comedy. This builds predictability and consistency into your writing voice. What words and phrases are you known for?

5. Buy more domains. Once you start getting known for certain key words and phrases, I suggest registering related domains to protect the material. For example, I own www.2birds1stone.com. Now, I didn’t buy those domains with any goal in mind. BUT: He who owns the domain owns the idea. Have you registered the domain for every major idea you’ve ever had?

6. Create and share your Personal Philosophy. At the top of a piece of paper, write the following: “If everybody did EXACTLY what I said, what would the world look like?” Take some time to answer this question with 5-10 bullet points. Your answers will become the framework of your Personal Philosophy. Your way of treating people. Your manner of doing business. Your Theory of the Universe.

Eventually, once your philosophy is perfected, print it out on small laminated cards and give it to EVERYBODY. Also publish it online in an easily accessible location. People will talk. What philosophy are you known for?

7. Name it! In a 2007 interview, best-selling author Seth Godin described his writing style in this way: “That’s the secret of what I do: I notice things and give them names.” The good news is, you can do this pretty easily.

Here’s how: (1) Observe, watch, read, pluck and listen to your environment. Content is just BEGGING to be captured. Be sure to write everything down. (2) Create names, designations, acronyms and titles for the things you notice. They must be original, creative and consistent with the branding of your content and philosophies. (3) Brand those names as titles of your blog posts, article or modules, i.e., The Ultimate Dream Statement and The First Word Farce. What did you name this week?

8. Words you made up. When that red squiggly bar underlines one of your words that doesn’t jive with the spell checker, you have a choice. You can (1) correct it, (2) ignore it, or (3) add it to the dictionary. I suggest the latter. Especially when it’s a word you just made up. This might be one of the great pleasures of life.

For example, words like “revisitability,” “googleicious” and “Fanagement” are a few of the terms I’ve invented and added to my own dictionary. What about you? How many words have you made up?

9. Questions you ask. Consider listing your “Top Ten Questions of All Time.” Or maybe your “Three Ace-Up-My-Sleeve Killer Sales Questions.” Perhaps your “Top Twenty Questions to Ask New Customers.” Or your “Five Best Questions to Ask Strangers.” Also, be sure to have a Question Master List, including ALL your questions, organized by category. As of December 2008, my question list topped 5700. How many are in YOUR collection?

10. Things you always say. Now that you’re quoting yourself more often, here’s what I suggest. Keep a running list of ALL your best quotations, sayings, one-liners, words of wisdom and pieces of advice. Think of it as a forced savings account. (Be sure to google them first for accuracy.) Then, any time you say something brilliant – purposely or unexpectedly – add it to the list. Then share that list with your readers, clients, prospects, friends and fans. How do you build language equity?

REMEMBER: Language is everything.

It has the power to differentiate you among the gazillions of other people out there who claim to do the same thing that you do.

After all, if you don’t quote yourself, nobody else will.

And you can quote me on that!

How are you branding your own language?

For the list called, “26 Ways to Out BRAND Your Competition,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

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30 Ways to become the Most Interesting Person You Know

How much money is being boring costing you?

ANSWER: Too much.

Boring ideas lose.
Boring people fade.
Boring organizations fizzle.

LESSON LEARNED: There is inverse relationship between how successful you are and how boring you are.

Seth Godin talked about this at length in a recent podcast with Ductape John:

“If the marketplace isn’t talking about you, there’s a reason,” Seth says. “If people aren’t discussing your products, your services, your cause, your movement or your career, there’s a reason. The reason is that you’re boring.”

This reminds me of the movie American Beauty. Towards the end, Ricky (the outcast) finally shoots down Angela (the popular girl) by evoking her deepest fear: That she’s normal.

“You’re boring. And you’re totally ordinary. And you know it,” Ricky says.

Devastated, Angela storms out of the room.


What about you?

Are YOU normal? Do your customers perceive you as normal?

Hope not. Your business depends on it.

Today we’re going to explore a list of thirty ways to become the most interesting person you know. As someone who makes a living writing books about “not BEING normal,” (as well as being pretty abnormal himself!) each of these practices comes from my direct experience, observation, research and reflection.

1. Avoid the Always/Notice the Never. Find out what people who do what you do ALWAYS do, then do the opposite. Similarly, find out what people who do what you do NEVER do, then do the opposite. Here’s a helpful video module with an exercise you can implement to make this practice happen. What are you currently doing that’s unpredictable?

2. Make the mundane memorable. What do your voicemail, email signature, business card, website and blog have in common? ANSWER: They’re all boring. Keep in mind: Nobody notices normal. Nobody buys boring. And nobody pays for average. So, the secret is to create a seamless predictability among all marketing touchpoints. All of these are underused branding hotspots (and more!) require a unique touch. How many customers is being boring costing you?

3. Don’t be one-dimensional. I once had a boss whose sole interest, purpose and passion in life was sports. That’s it. The guy couldn’t carry conversation like a normal person unless the topic related to sports. Or, if the conversation was not about sports, he’d go out of his way to make sure it slowly became that way.

THEE most uninteresting, one-dimensional guy I ever worked with.

Now, I’m not against having a passion for sports. I love sports. (Go Cardinals!) What IS as a problem, however, is when you maintain such a limited worldview and openness for activities and experiences outside of your scope of interest, that is mars your ability to relate to others in a healthy way. Bor-ring. How many dimensions do YOU have?4. Learn the principles of amazing storytelling. Stories are powerful. Stories are better than statistics or quotes. Stories are what customers; readers and audiences remember and connect with most. Ultimately, stories are the best way to communicate a message. So, if you want to become a master storyteller, my suggestions are: (1) Listen to Garrison Kiellor, (2) Read Made to Stick and (3) Attend Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater program. How many people are repeating YOUR story?

5. Be a story distiller. BUT, you can’t just tell the story. Because that’s not enough. So, when your story is over, don’t just move on to the next story. First, figure out the lesson(s), universal human experience/emotion, practical take home value and Call to Action. Here’s a helpful article on how to extract take-home value. Why are you telling this story?

6. Be a Smokin’ Hot Piece of Brain Candy. One of Edward DeBono’s most underrated books is called How to Have a Beautiful Mind. In the opening he states: “As you get older, physical beauty tends to fade. But beauty of the mind is independent of age and can actually increase with wisdom and experience.”

In short: Be Brain Candy.

This idiom of psychological attractiveness means “someone with high mental appeal AND significant substance.” It’s more enduring, attractive, marketable, approachable, memorable and, of course, more INTERESTING. Check out my Top Twenty List of Smokin’ Hot Pieces of Brain Candy. Are you eye candy or brain candy?

7. Be childlike, but not childish. One person’s playful spirit brings out the same in another. So, by acting childlike, you subconsciously give other people PERMISSION to the same. It’s contagious. It’s approachable. It’s memorable. And everyone can relate to it. How are you giving people permission to be playful around you?

8. Be more challenging. Ask questions like: Is that always the case? So what? What stops you? What would happen if you didn’t? What’s your proof? Break people’s patterns. Make them stop, think and say, “Wow…” It works. How challenging are you?

9. Be radically honest. It’s unexpected and unforgettable. Read this life-changing book and, if you practice what Brad practices, I guarantee you’ll become twice as interesting of person by the time you’re done. How are you branding your honesty?

10. Become a Question Master. It’s not just about asking a bunch of questions; it’s about valuing a questioning attitude. So, every time you hear or read a question that makes you react in ANY way, write it down. Add it to your running list of questions. Categorize them. Sort them alphabetically to make it easier on your eyes. My list has 6000. How many questions do you have on your list?

11. Books. Speaking of books, I suggest you make a list called, “Top Ten Most Interesting Books I’ve Read.” Next to each one, write three attributes, actions or states of being that make those books so interesting. When you’re done, look for patterns. Extract the key ideas and then ask yourself how you can practice that in your own life. What did you read today?

12. Consciously choose how you experience the world. In his mind-blowing book, Playful Perception, Herbert Leff suggests, “Expand your repertoire of useful awareness plans and you will improve the flavor and value of your inner experiences. Increase the choice about the quality of your experience.” Check out this awesome list of 43 awareness plans to make your daily life more interesting. Are you making mindful choices for experiencing the world?

13. Create Points of Dissonance. Vagueness stimulates curiosity. And curiosity is a natural motivator of human engagement. So, there’s a certain dissonance when people observe an unexpected or unexplained behavior. Especially when it’s inconsistent with their environment. (Like seeing some guy wearing a nametag at the gym, for example.)

The challenge is to craft an idea, a message, or a look that when people are first exposed to it, they can’t help but respond with, “Huh?” or “Ok, so, I just HAVE to ask…” Those words are money in the bank. Remember: The most effective way to attract people’s attention is to B-R-E-A-K their patterns. Copyblogger has a killer post about being interesting as it relates to this topic. What patterns are YOU breaking?

14. Establish your voice. If you want make your thinking, writing and speaking more unique, relevant, persuasive, memorable, appealing and more creative, you need to pull material FROM, and cite examples USING multiple, eclectic and personal sources.

In the words of Kurt Vonnegut: “If you want to be a great writer, be a great date for your reader.” Here’s a meaty, practical guide on how to do this. WARNING: If you’re an Oprah fan, you may not want to read it. Is your writing innovative or imitative?

15. Expand your references. In the book Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins said, “Limited references create a limited life. If you want to expand your life, you must expand your references by pursuing ideas and experiences that wouldn’t be a part of your life if you didn’t consciously seek them out.”

Remember: The more interesting experiences you have, the more interesting people you meet, the more interesting things you see, watch, hear, read, taste, the more interesting places you go, the more interesting you will become. Everything is a plus. How have you stepped out of your comfort zone this week?

16. Explore the word “interesting.” It literally means: Engaging or exciting and holding the attention or curiosity. Arousing a feeling of interest. A state of curiosity or concern about or attention to something. Involvement with or participation in something. An excess or bonus beyond what is expected or due. Something, such as a quality, subject, or activity that evokes this mental state.

OK, so, now that you know that, go do that. Go BE that. On a scale from 1-10, how interesting would you say you are? How interesting would your top 20 customers say you are?

17. Extract the positive characteristics. Make a list called, “Top Ten Most Interesting People I Know.” Next to each one, write three attributes, actions or states of being that make those people so interesting. When you’re done, look for patterns. Extract the key ideas and then ask yourself how you can practice that in your own life. This exercise is how I began writing this very module on being interesting. It works and it’s fun. What would an interesting person do in this situation?

18. Extract the negative characteristics. Next, make a list called, “Top Ten Least Interesting People I Know.” Next to each one, write three attributes, actions or states of being that make those people so uninteresting. When you’re done, look for patterns. Extract the key ideas and then ask yourself how you can practice the opposite of in your own life. What would an uninteresting person do in this situation?

19. Fascinate yourself with the ordinary. “Evaluate critically every novelty you encounter,” Mihály Csíkszentmihályi wrote in his amazing book Creativity. “One of the surest ways to enrich life is to make experiences less fleeting.” If you do this, you WILL boost your creativity. You will flood your mind with new ideas. You will build a solid foundation of curiosity. And the combination of those three results will mold your melon into an attractive, valuable commodity that your clients will want to have access to.

Remember: Clients don’t want to hire consultants or marketers or coaches – they want to hire cool, smart people who happen to do those things. What ordinary stuff fascinates you?

20. Find interesting in almost anything. Similarly, Edward DeBono encourages people to embrace curiosity by constantly saying, “Now that’s interesting…”“Be able to find interest in almost anything,” DeBono says in the aforementioned How to Have a Beautiful Mind. “Be curious. Explore things. Bring up a discussion. Get people’s opinions, ideas and values. Explore, elaborate and make connections.” Are you practicing that enough?

21. Gain an eclectic education. In his book, The Invaluable Leader, my friend Dale Furtwengler suggests, “Gain an eclectic education. Expose your mind to things outside your normal areas of interest or discipline. The more quickly you can connect with your listeners, the more effectively you can communicate in their language, the more insights you can port from other disciplines, the more valuable you become.”

Your challenge is to infuse your writing, ideas and conversations with the cool, interesting things you’ve learned through your eclectic education. People will become interested. What weird books have you read recently?

22. Hang with interesting people. Listen. Watch. Soak it in. Ask yourself what it is about this person that makes them so interesting. Then DO that. Then BE that. How many of your friends are boring?

23. Have a killer vocabulary. That doesn’t mean use fancy words that showcase your brilliance. Just strong words. Powerful words. Well-timed words. Unexpected words. Perfect words. And of course, killer questions that nobody else is asking. Does your language challenge people?

24. How to Answer a Question. Answering questions creatively, counterintuitively an unexpectedly leads to a higher level of thinking. Which elevates the conversation to a new level. Which enables both parties to discover their individual truths. Which yields more compelling results than if you would have offered a simple yes or no.

This, of course, is very interesting. (You may enjoy this handy guide on how to answer questions in more interesting, cool ways, too.)

So, think about the last time someone answered a question in that way. Weren’t you instantly drawn into that person’s radius? Weren’t you curious and intrigued about what they were going to say next? How often people respond that way to YOUR answers?

25. Identify and amplify your Personal Philosophy. Simply ask yourself the following question, “If everybody did exactly what I said, what would the world look like?”

The answer(s) to this question will become a blueprint of your personal philosophy. Your unique, interesting approach to business, life and people. And if you were smart, you would print these bullet points on a Philosophy Card. Very interesting, indeed. Do you have a business card or a philosophy card?

26. Insert your passion into everything. Embed your passion into the pavement of your daily encounters. You will engage, excite and inspire people because that’s what passion DOES. Embed your passion into the pavement that leads the way.

For example, let’s say your passion is guitars. Cool. The next step is to begin inserting that passion into every possible Passion Point. Your metaphors. Your pictures. Your gifts to customers. Your ezines. Your tweets. Your office. Your voicemail. Check out my homeboy Mark Williams, The Rockin’ Realtor. Pretty interesting dude. What’s your passion? How many of your customers know what it is?

27. Keep an Interesting Log. Any time someone (yourself included) says, “Wow, that’s SO interesting…” make a note. Write down what was interesting about the topic, thing or idea at hand. Look for trends and patterns. Extract the key ideas and then apply them to your business and life. What three interesting things did you notice yesterday? How many of them did you write down?

28. Pioneer in obscure areas. Believe it or not, I’ve been internationally recognized as “The World’s Foremost Expert on Nametags.” Folks, that’s absolutely insane. I still can’t believe that’s what people call me. However, ever since The Washington Post gave me that title in 2003, it’s stuck. (No pun intended.) So I just went with it. And over time, it’s served me, my business and my wallet well. What specialized knowledge have you developed?

29. Predictable Unpredictability. In Edward DeBono’s book, I Am Right You Are Wrong, he answers the question about what makes something (or someone) interesting:

“There is always interest in a pattern-rich repertoire. If around any subject there is a rich networking of patterns, that subject becomes interesting.”

Your challenge is to build up a critical mass of interest by being what I call Predictably Unpredictable. You do this by positioning yourself in a way where people want to know what’s going to happen next, i.e., “I wonder what nametag related adventure he’s going to have today!” I call it The Caveman Principle™. How unpredictable are you?

30. Transform ideas into questions. I call this creative process “Catapulting.” It’s something I’ve been doing every single day for years. Here are two examples of how it works.

*If someone casually mentions, “I can’t believe I just stumbled upon this for the first time!” then you would write down on your question list, “What have you recently stumbled upon for the first time?”

*If you read the passage, “This behavior will make it hard for people to take you seriously,” you would jot down, “What is affecting your ability to be taken seriously?”

See how that works? Pretty cool. Pretty darn interesting, too. That’s how I’ve collected over 6000 questions. How are you turning ideas into questions and questions into catapults?

REMEMBER: Nobody notices normal. Nobody buys boring. And nobody pays for average.

On the other hand:

Those who are interesting get noticed.
Those who get noticed get remembered.
And those who get remembered GET business.

How successful you become is a function of how interesting you are.

How much money is being boring costing you?

For the list called, “11 Brand-Building Lessons Learned from Wearing a Nametag 24-7,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

43 Unusual, Unorthodox and Unexpected Ways to Skyrocket Your Creativity

I’ve read 200+ books on creativity, many of which are, ironically, not very creative.


Last week I finished an obscure, yet mind-blowing book called Playful Perception, by Herbert Leff.

I don’t even remember where I heard about it.

Either way, he suggests the following:

“Expand your repertoire of awareness. Increase the choice about the quality of your inner experience, and it will improve the flavor and value OF that experience.”


This book is TRULY unlike any other I’ve ever read. I’m not even sure Leff intended it to be a book about creativity, but I guess it’s all in the eye of the reader.

Most of the book takes you through these “Awareness Plans,” which the author defines as “procedures or mental recipes for perceiving and thinking about the world around us.”

He suggests, “Concentrate your energy on thinking up original ways of experiencing that would help you solve your chosen problem or move toward your goal.”

Very nice.

SO, HERE’S THE SECRET: When we make a conscious choice about which Awareness Plan to use, everything changes:

We get more ideas. Because our brains are in a more receptive posture.
We enjoy more of life. Because our bodies are in a more relaxed posture.
We notice more of our surroundings. Because our senses are in a more astute posture.

To help apply these practices of creativity to YOUR world, I’ve extracted each of the forty-three Awareness Plans from the book. I’ve also added some commentary based on the experiences I’ve had with each of these practices in my own life.

As you explore this list, pick a few practices that resonate most with your daily life. Write them down. Post them on sticky notes. And start changing YOUR perception and experience of your world today!

1. BACK off mentally and include your own reaction to the situation as part of your overall awareness. Because emotional reactivity blocks listening and understanding.

2. BE willing to make the unusual assumption that perfection is unfolding right before your eyes. Because when you expect nothing, failure is impossible.

3. BECOME more aware of how the environment can shape your behaviors and feelings. Because context is everything.

4. BECOME unabashedly enthusiastic about your ideas, whatever they are. Because enthusiasm literally means, “to be filled with God.”

5. BROADEN and sharpen your sensitivity to alternative types of aesthetic value. Because it’s healthy for the soul.

6. CONTEMPLATE special contributions each thing makes to life. Because there is nothing that doesn’t matter.

7. DEFINE conflicts in terms of underlying needs instead of incompatible solutions. Because there’s always more than one solution to your problem.

8. DELIBERATELY evaluate everything in a different way. Because judgment creates labeling and labeling prevents understanding.

9. DREAM up a variety of alternative interpretations for the events you notice. Because the more you know about something, the more you can do with that something.

10. ENVISION what’s going on inside each thing you notice. Because it trains you to begin with fascination, not frustration.

11. FIGURE out people’s probable relations with each other. Because that’s just fun.

12. FIGURE out what the things and places around you communicate. Because there always exists a chasm between what we say and what people hear.

13. FIND special or unique value in everything you notice. Because that’s what the Dali Lama would do.

14. GET inspired by everything you see in site. Because everything is your Muse, if you allow it to be.

15. IMAGINE improvements in problem spots around you. Because it trains your brain to become a problem-solving maestro.

16. LEARN improvements in already pleasant things around you. Because it stretches your mind to make something great into something awesome.

17. LOOK at the world through different value systems. Because that’s the definition of empathy.

18. LOOK for recurring cycles of activities or repetitive patterns in your surroundings. Because he who notices the most patterns, wins.

19. LOOK for subtle external cues about what people are really like. Because silences speak volumes.

20. MAKE each moment into an opportunity for enriching life in some way, for making it more lovable. Because opportunity doesn’t stop knocking; only you stop listening.

21. MAKE predictions about what is going to happen around you in the next few seconds or minutes. Because it gives your intuition a solid work out.

22. NOTICE things you normally wouldn’t. Because noticing is basic to all victory in creativity.

23. PICK some ordinary things or situation and brainstorm all the reasons you can of for its perfection. Because everything is already perfect – you just need to recognize it.

24. PRETEND you always have a camera. Because your perception of color, shadow and poignancy heightens.

25. PROVOKE yourself to closer observation and renewed interest in your surroundings. Because, as Einstein said, “A wise man is astonished by everything.”

26. REGARD every moment as a new positive opportunity to exercise your choice about how to experience life. Because no matter what you see on Jerry Springer, you always have a choice.

27. REGARD everything as a possible inspiration for a new work of art. Because inspiration is everywhere.

28. REGARD whatever you’re doing as a game. Because it adds a childlike sense of playfulness and adventure to whatever you’re engaged in.

29. REGARD whatever you’re doing, thinking or feeling as if it were your hobby and transfer and echo of those emotions to the task at hand. Because it infuses your actions with love and joy and passion.

30. RELAX and assume everything is perfect so you can feel some rightness and complete appropriateness in what you’re doing. Because there are no emergencies. Ever.

31. SEARCH for boring things and then look for something interesting about them. Because creativity is about making the mundane memorable; finding interest and being fascinated by the ordinary.

32. SEE everything around you as alive. Because that will change the way you approach everything.

33. SEE things as events and not objects frozen in a moment of time. Because that will educate you about the process nature of all things.

34. THINK about what you would most like to know about the people and things you encounter. Because that instills a sense of curiosity that people can’t help but be attracted to.

35. THINK of every moment as an opportunity for choosing ways to experience and act. Because, once again, you always have a choice.

36. THINK of everyone and everything as really loving you. Because you will begin to feel welcome everywhere you go.

37. THINK of something as the title of a book and imagine what the book might include. Because as an author, I can tell you from experience that this is REALLY fun.

38. THINK of things you can learn from every encounter, especially from unusual sources. Because you can be mentored by anyone and anything, if you chose.

39. THINK of yourself as living in a shared pool of thoughts rather than as “possessing” or originating ideas. Because that will absolutely transform every meeting you have for the rest of your life. (Share this one with every coworker you have!)

40. THINK up actions that would lead to improvements you imagine by working backwards from your ideal future. Because this will help imagine what you need to become in order for your goals to manifest.

41. TRY not to change the situation, but think of some new ways to experience it that would make a positive difference in how you feel. Because once you change your relationship to your emotions, they can no longer boss you around.

42. VIEW disagreements as if they were celebrations or parties of ideas. Because that will absolutely transform every discussion you have for the rest of your life. (Share this one with every supervisor or manager you have!)

43. VIEW everyday things as if they were art exhibits. Because that compels you to appreciate the aesthetic beauty of everything.

What’s your Awareness Plan?

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
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

9 Ways to Make People Feel Essential

Yes, making someone feel “important” and “valued” and “needed” is a HUGE part of being an approachable leader.

But that’s not enough.

If you truly want to win with people, you need to make them feel essential.

Here’s a list of nine practices for doing so:

1. Three simple words. “I appreciate you.” Not, “I appreciate that…” and not “I appreciate what you’ve…” No. “I appreciate YOU.” Small change, huge difference. My friend John Milton Fogg always closes his emails with this phrase and it makes me feel like a million bucks, every time. Who do you appreciate?

2. Four simple words. “I believe in you.” NOTE: This doesn’t work unless you look people straight in the eye. My friend Harlan Hodge, Chess & Character Coach, says this to his students all the time. And they LOVE him because he believes in them. Who do you believe in?

3. Take notes. Taking notes is proof. Taking notes keeps you mindful in the conversation. Taking notes honors someone’s thoughts. Taking notes is respectful. Taking notes increases someone’s self-esteem. Not to mention, if you don’t write it down, it never happened. Do you carry a notebook or jotter with you at all times?

4. Come back to notes. At a later date, refer back to the notes you took while listening to somebody. If possible, physically show that person the notes you took. Explain how you’ve applied their ideas since originally writing them down. How are you reinforcing the size of your ears?

4. Tell people to write things down. This practice takes note taking one step further. Next time someone says something powerful, instead of YOU jotting it down, tell HER to jot it down. It not only honors her thoughts; it gives her a chance to capture something valuable that she may not have recognized until you said something. How are you encouraging people’s inner poet?

5. Ask people to repeat things. Not because you didn’t understand their point; but because their insight was powerful. This demonstrates your desire for clarity. It also gives them a chance to rephrase, repeat or re-tweak their original idea, making it as strong as possible. How do you ask for clarification?

6. Cheer people on. The more cheerleaders people have, the easier it is for them to win. For example: Ever seen The Packers play a home game at Lambeau Field in December? Insane. Even if the opposing team wins, you KNOW their players were shakin’ in their Nikes the whole time. Are you that supportive of YOUR people?

7. Bring people joy. If you concentrate on doing this at least three times a day, your life won’t just BE swell; it will swell with happiness and purpose. And so will the lives of the people you touch. Try playing the “Let’s See How Many People I Can Make Smile Today” game. How many people did you look in the eye and say thank you to yesterday?

8. Acknowledge everybody. This one shouldn’t even be on my list. But, because not everybody practices this simple act of approachability, I’ve included it. So, slow down. Stay present. Hold your eye contact with everyone you encounter for one additional second. ONE second. That’s what Bill Clinton does. And see if you can acknowledge every single person you encounter for one day. It’s harder than you think. Then again, it all depends on what you see when you see people. How many coworkers did you go out of your way to avoid yesterday?

9. Remember people’s names. Here’s another one that shouldn’t (have) to be on this list, but alas. So, here’s the plan. First, stop telling yourself you suck at remembering names. Next, go buy Remember Every Name Every Time by Ben Levy. Next, start asking people to remind you when you forget their name, as opposed to insultingly saying, “Yeah, um, what your name again?”

Also, start silently quizzing yourself on people’s names as you walk into the room. And consider asking other people to help if you get stumped. Ultiamtely, if you actually commit yourself to doing a better job of remembering names, you will remember them. Come on. You know names hold the key. You know names are everything. Just do it. How many books have you read about remembering people’s names?


It’s a word that derives from the Latin essentia, which means, “essence.”


That’s what being an approachable leader is all about.

Honoring and loving and acknowledging the essence of another person.

How are you making people feel essential?

For the list called, “86 Passion-Finding Questions to Invite Someone to Talk about What They Love,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

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

Learn daily practices for becoming a more approachable manager!

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

Are you answering questions or questioning answers?

It’s not about the answer.

Answers are overrated.

Questions are more important than answers because of the PROCESS they initiate. For example:

1. It’s about POINTING to a variety of solutions. There’s usually more than one answer. And limiting yourself to a sole-solution is a dangerous barrier to creative thinking and effective problem solving. How many right answers are you willing to accept?

2. It’s about STIMULATING thinking. You can’t un-ring a bell, and you can’t step into the same river twice. Once a question has been asked, it’s out there. And it’s almost impossible NOT to start looking for an answer. How quickly are you getting the ball rolling?

3. It’s about FORWARDING the exploration and discovery process. Not destination; process. Journey. Path. After all, the word “question” is rooted with the word “quest.” So, one of the reasons you ask questions is to give people – yourself included – permission to commence searching. What’s preventing you from following your curiosity?

4. It’s about INSTILLING a foundation of wonderment. Even calling the process “questioning” seems too narrow. Wonderment is better. It’s more expansive, more attitude-based and deeply rooted in curiosity. Are you questioning or wondering?

5. It’s about CATAPULTING someone into new territory. Somewhere their mind has never ventured. Somewhere their curiosity has never visited. Somewhere their creativity has never attempted. It’s like running on the same path every day. You eventually build up enough endurance to extend the run by a few miles. This will result in the exposure to adventurous terrain you’ve never seen before … which is very healthy. Where will this question take you that you’ve never been before?

6. It’s about EVOKING deeper thought. For the person you ask the questions to AND for yourself. This process is similar to yoga. You ease deeper and deeper into the posture as you practice, each time creating new muscle memory in your body. Stretching. Growing. Expanding. How are you creating new (mental) muscle memory?

7. It’s about SLOWING someone down. Throwing a wrench into the gears of the conversation and making someone stop completely. And they pause for a moment; staring at you like you’re crazy, wondering where the hell that question just came from. But more importantly, they start thinking about where the hell that question just took them. How are you violating people’s expectations?

8. It’s about CUTTING through to the heart of the issue. Some questions hurt. They slice deep. And they might even cause people laugh in that sort of “collar-loosening-eye-shifting-AH-CRAP-you’re right” kind of way. Are you willing to cut gently?

REMEMBER: Answers are overrated. Questions are more important because of the PROCESS they initiate.

In the words of Dr. House: “When you run out of questions, you don’t just run out of answers, you run out of hope.”

Are you answering questions or questioning answers?

For the (entire) list called, “8 Ways to Out QUESTION Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Who’s telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

17 Ways to Out-Create Your Competition

1. Are you allowing yourself to create? It begins with permission. Returning to your childhood. As my friends Kim & Jason say, “Escape Adulthood!” Be a kid.

2. Are you creating from the soul or from what the marketplace wants? One of them makes you money; the other makes you happy. Take your pick. Don’t prostitute art.

3. Are you letting anybody murder your creative nature? Don’t. Tell those people to piss off. They’re clearly jealous, intimidated or insecure. Creativity is YOURS.

4. Are you letting your creativity shine? Why not? Creativity earns money.

5. Are you mining your creative territory? Why not? Creativity changes lives.

6. Have you exercised your creative spirit? Why not? Creativity wins customers.

7. Have you learned the skills that enable creativity? Not “inherent ability,” but skills. You CAN learn this stuff. Just read Mihaly and DeBono and Cameron. Everybody is creative.

8. Did you create any art today? It doesn’t have to be good, is just has to BE. Process, not product.

9. How are you expanding your creative consciousness? That means practicing it. That means reading books about it. Creativity requires practice.

10. How are you making an effort to have a beautiful mind? It lasts forever. No matter how handsome or pretty you are, nothing beats a nice, big, juicy, beautiful brain. Yep. Seek to become a Smokin’ Hot Piece of Brain Candy. Get smarter today.

11. How are you resisting or suppressing the creativity of others? How dare you. How DARE you.

12. How can you creatively combine what you already have to make new things? That’s all creativity really is. Listening, then combining.

13. How creative is the atmosphere you’re working in? If the answer is, “Not enough,” get a new job. It’s not worth it. Creativity isn’t optional.

14. How many books have you read on creativity? Really? That’s it? Read some more.

15. How many classes have you taken on creativity? None. I’m gonna bet none. Right? Stop watching TV.

16. What are the most creative things you’ve done? Make a list. Then repeat often.

17. What are you doing to set your creativity on FIRE right now? It doesn’t matter. As long as you take that fire and inflame the people you serve. Customers like fire.

How are you using your creativity to beat the competition?

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
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Can’t turn YOUR creativity into money?

Bummer. Perhaps my monthly coaching program would help.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!

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