29 Ways to Build a Reputation as an Askable Person

“Nobody ever comes up to me…”

“Nobody ever asks me any questions…”

“What’s WRONG with these people…?

POSSIBLE ANSWER: Nothing.

Maybe it’s YOU.

Maybe the reason nobody ever asks you any questions is because you’re NOT perceived as an Askable Person.

Whoa. There’s a counterintuitive thought. Being Askable. Huh.

SO, HERE’S THE SECRET: Forget about “getting” people to ask questions.

Instead, identify and embody the attributes of Askable People, and the rest will fall into place.

Whether you’re a manager, executive, teacher, counselor, parent – or hold any other type of leadership position (ahem, that’s ALL of us) – your approachability is a function of your ASK-ability.

Today we’re going to explore a list of 29 Ways to Build a Reputation as an Askable Person:

1. Acceptance. Recognize that someone has an opinion, even though it may not be your own. You don’t have to agree. You don’t have to disagree. Just honor it. Honor = Respect = Trust = Willingness to Ask More Questions.

Otherwise you’ll start to resemble Dilbert’s Pointed Haired Boss, whose management mantra is, “I’m not going to comment – I’ll just look at you until you agree with me.” What is your ego having a hard time accepting?

2. Acknowledge the discomfort. That’s where the difficulty comes from. That’s why people are hesitant to approach you: The topic makes them feel uncomfortable. You need to saddle up on that white elephant and move on. Remember: No Conflict = No Avoidance. What immediate preoccupation do you need to disarm?

3. Assuming blocks openness. She’s too young to talk about this … He’s too old to address this issue … They’re not ready to deal with this yet … Really? According to whom? Your ego? Your insecurity? Google?

Look. Stop justifying. That attitude will seep into your words and actions and, as a result, people won’t want to approach you with their questions. What lies are your assumptions guarding?

4. Be wrong more. Frequent wrongness demonstrates vulnerability, honesty and humanity. That’s the kind person you want to ask questions to because, similar to yourself, he doesn’t have all the answers. When was the last time you said, “I don’t know”?

5. Beware of Emotional Reactivity. The word “emotion” comes from the Latin emotere, which means “disturbance.” Which actually makes sense. See, emotional reactivity is contagious, undermines trust, blocks understanding, creates defensiveness and prevents questions from being asked. Yikes.

Here’s the secret: Next time you get a question that might normally drive you crazy, pause. Take a deep breath before responding. (In through your nose for five seconds – pause – out through your nose for five seconds.) This lowers your heart rate, oxygenates your blood and prevents the activation of the flight/fight response. Otherwise, your reflexive interruptions will fuel the emotional fire. Works in yoga, works in business. How’s your breathing?

6. Body cancels mouth. People don’t just learn from what you say, but how you BEHAVE and react to situations. That’s why it’s easier to tell the truth. Because your body might rat you out. What do people hear when they listen to what you do?

7. Create a Question Friendly Environment (QFE.) A safe space. A non-threatening atmosphere where people (1) feel comfortable, and (2) feel like they have permission to ask anything that’s on their minds. I don’t have the space to write more than that, so here’s a more detailed examination on creating a question friendly environment. How do you define the atmosphere needed to ask an answer people questions successfully?

8. Dig deeper. If you can tell that someone HAS a question, but isn’t asking, trying asking yourself: What is behind their reluctance?

Maybe they don’t want to look stupid.
Maybe they think it’s the wrong time to ask.
Maybe they think the answer will be threatening.
Maybe they think their questions aren’t good questions.
Maybe they fear making a big mess and getting in trouble.
Maybe they were ridiculed when they questioned in the past.
Maybe they haven’t discovered a safe place to be vulnerable.
Maybe they don’t want to hold up the discussion/meeting/class.
Maybe they don’t want to appear in need of help or risk ridicule and rejection.

The list goes on and on. Make one for your own leadership situation. I triple dog dare you. Why might your people NOT ask questions?

9. Do your research. Being informed gives you confidence and, therefore, lowers your level of discomfort in an interaction. And, because emotions are contagious, this lowers the other person’s level of discomfort as well.

My suggestion: Make a list called, “101 Questions My (x) Will Probably Ask Me.” (The “x” in that equation stands for your peeps, i.e., students, employees, children.) How much time do you spend preparing to listen?

10. Don’t act embarrassed. If someone asks you a question about a potentially uncomfortable topic (sex usually does the trick) don’t try to diffuse the discomfort by making a joke out of it. That tactic only works in reverse and makes the conversation more uncomfortable.

Instead, work on your poker face. Honor their question despite the fact that you might be giggle like a little schoolgirl on the inside. This form of openness will show the Asker that it’s both acceptable and comfortable to discuss such issues. Does your immature reaction to a word like “penis” prevent people from EVER asking you another question again?

11. Don’t ask, “Why do you want to know?” First of all, never begin a question with the word why. It immediately puts people on the defensive and forces them to justify their question.

Secondly, the motivation behind the question isn’t as important as your willingness to open a dialogue about the question. Third, if you’re respectful, accepting and understanding, don’t worry. The “why” be revealed to you at the right time. What words govern your questions?

12. Don’t be too busy to explain. This communicates two messages to the other person: (1) My time is more valuable than yours, and (2) Your question is not important.

Suggestion: Stop whatever you’re doing and give yourself fully to the other person. Or, if they catch you off guard, book “blank time” in your schedule. How many important conversations does your busyness prevent from ever occurring?

13. Don’t dodge difficult issues. Similar to your ability to handle good news/bad news and positive/negative feedback, also practice handling easy/difficult issues. Both are equally important and require your attention.

Even if you don’t have an answer, by responding with early intervention, you solve small problems before they snowball into big problems. This also proves to the other person that every difficult situation is NOT a crisis.What questions are your people afraid to ask you?

14. Don’t laugh. In almost every episode of The Office, Michael Scott will respond to crazy questions by laughing hysterically or degrading The Asker. This instantly shuts down the communication channel and destroys the desire for future encounters. Plus it makes you want to reach through the television and strangle him.

Similar to “embarrassing” questions, also learn to hold your poker face when you’re asked a question that’s completely illogical. Treat all questions with deep democracy. And don’t laugh at irrational inquiries. Even when you’re convinced the person should be locked up in a mattress-lined cell. Why are you laughing?

15. Don’t pretend you don’t know. First of all, people can tell. You’re not that good of a liar. Secondly, skirting the issue only makes people more reluctant to ask questions in the future.

Thirdly, bad advice and/or failure to communicate leads to uninformed choices, which leads to more work for you down the line. Try saying, “I don’t know, but I can find out…” or “Let’s go google that together.” Are willing to expose your ignorance?

16. Don’t just start answering non-stop. That’s a reaction, or a reflex. You need to respond, which is a choice. Make sure you’re only talking about 30% of the time. Seek to monopolize the listening.

Here’s a good test: If the other person finishes their meal before you, you weren’t listening enough. Or they eat too fast. Are you answering or vomiting?

17. Four words: “I told you so.” This sentence – or any permutation thereof – discontinues communication and makes people start wondering why they even bothered to ask you. Look. People don’t need to be reminded how badly they screwed up.

They need to be reassured that you’re going to (1) love them when they DO screw up, (2) help them prevent the same mistake from being made again, and (3) partner with them to brainstorm lessons learned from those mistakes. Are you giving people permission to fail?

18. Give Askable Reminders. Make it a point to tell people (employees, customer, kids, whomever) that you’re available if they have any questions or problems – no matter how tough they may be.

It’s unwise to assume people feel comfortable seeking you out on the difficult issues. Good verbiage: “What questions do you have?” versus “Do you have any questions.” How are you reinforcing your askablity?

19. Give yourself permission to feel uncomfortable. So, it’s a touchy subject – fine. Deal with it. You never learn when you’re comfortable anyway.

My suggestion: Channel that discomfort into your breathing or your enthusiasm for the person who asked the question. Don’t try to conceal it, or it will find a home somewhere in your body. Are you willing to stick yourself out there?

20. Go deeper anyway. Be willing to keep talking until they’re satisfied with your answer. Let what you say have an impact on them. Patiently let the pearl sink. Allow your words to profoundly penetrate them. This practice respects their speed of discovery and encourages them to come back to you with question in the future.

On the other hand, if you explain something too quickly – via your head, not your heart – the other person’s level of understanding will resemble the digestive ability of Cookie Monster: All chewing, no swallowing. (Ever notice how he never actually eats any of those cookies? Weird.) How are you speaking to people where they are?

21. Lay a foundation of affirmation. If you want people to come to you and come BACK to you with their questions, respect and trust MUST come first. Here’s why. Acknowledgement is a universal human need. So, listening is initially about affirmation. Making people feel (not just) valued, validated and important; but ESSENTIAL.

Suggestion: Always prime your responses with, “Great question!” or “Wow, that’s a very intelligent question.” Make the question-asker feel smart for asking, no matter what the question. How early are you complimenting people?

22. Lectures lose people. When someone asks you a question, remember these tenets: No advice. No fixing. No platitudes. No “shoulds.” Just cut to the chase. Just give people the meat. Speak to self-interest with meaningful concrete immediacy. Otherwise you’ll make the person instantly regret approaching you with a question and therefore less likely to do re-approach the future.

Here’s the secret: Back and forth. Like a ping-pong match. An answer here, an answer there. Share values without preaching. Establish gentle flow. Remember: If they don’t come to you, they will seek answers elsewhere. Possibly from total idiots, or, worse yet, The Internet. Oh boy. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

23. Practice receiving good AND bad news equally. Otherwise you will scare people. And they’ll assume the only time they can ever approach you is when their ideas are positive.

As such, your unapproachable appearance will stop question asking in its tracks. Are you willing to suspend your judgment and evaluation of what people tell you until you’ve taken adequate time to process their information?

24. Respect confidentiality. Let them know the question is between the two of you. Or, if anonymity is optional, allow people to write their questions on index cards and turn them in. This enables shy people to honesty speak up because their name isn’t on the line. Do people trust you NOT to be a blabbermouth?

25. Seek extreme clarity. Ask people to clarify their question EVEN when you think you understand. Then, wait until you fully understand the question fully before you answer. Don’t view other people’s speech as a tedious interruption of your ideas.

Remember: You rarely hear people complain, “Damn it! I wish you wouldn’t have been so clear in your answer!” How is what you (think) you know thwarting what you need to hear?

26. Turn the table. Consider how YOU would feel asking such question. Or, think about how you DID feel when you asked that same question. Go back in time. Awareness of your own attitudes, values and tendencies is necessary before you can effectively communicate with others. How can your past make you more Askable?

27. Unconditional positive regard. If you log on to the very cool parenting website, www.advocatesforyouth.com, you’ll find a helpful piece on being an Askable Parent. It suggests following:

“Don’t withdraw love or support if what is asked is inappropriate or disappointing.”

Now, even if you’re not a parent, the lesson is still applicable: Love people anyway. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid people who don’t ALLOW questions. (Thanks to Carl Rogers for this one!) What types of questions piss you off?

28. Validate their feelings. Never say, “You don’t really feel that way.” Everyone is entitled to whatever feelings arise. You need to honor whatever surfaces. It’s like in A League of Their Own when manager Tom Hanks yells, “Are you crying? There’s no crying! There’s no crying in baseball!”

Wrong response. Tell people they perfectly deserve to feel the way they do. This is another way to lay a foundation of affirmation. What feelings are you not allowing people to have?

29. Welcome criticism and praise equally. Learn to respond to positive AND negative questions in a supportive, helpful and non-emotionally reactive way. Otherwise people either (1) only ask easy, positive questions, or (2) not ask any questions at all. How open are you to questions that reveal your screw-ups?

REMEMBER: The reason people aren’t coming up to ask you questions (might) have nothing to do with them.

It might have more to do with your Askability. Or lack thereof.

Forget about “getting” people to ask questions. Instead, I challenge you to identify and embody the attributes of Askable People, and let the rest follow suit.

Any questions on that?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you an Askable Person?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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

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12 Ways to Jumpstart Your Creative Metabolism

1. Bathtubbing. That means writing and writing and writing until you get something good. Letting the shanks, the crap, the not-so-good material come out first and swirl into the drain. This allows you to release it without committing to keeping it.

Eventually, once you’ve found your rhythm – the groove and the tempo of your creative nature – and once you stop pumping out cold water and start releasing the hottest, best stuff you got – THEN you jam that rubber plug into the drain and bathe in its beauty. (Here’s a great journaling exercise to make this happen.)

The challenge is, you’ve GOT to be in it for the long haul. Because the longer you write, the more likely you are to discover things that weren’t available to you at the onset. Like waiting for the water to turn hot. You’ve got to stand there, naked by shower, holding your hand under the spigot every few minutes, just to see if it’s turned yet. Are you constantly moving until meaning and truth manifest?

2. Be innocent and ignorant. Curiosity, innocence and youth = creativity. So, even if you’re not that sweet little untainted whippersnapper anymore, your goal is to temporary suspend your adult habit of self-criticism.

To silence that goddamn crotchety grownup inside of your head and let your inner child – so beautiful, honest and pure – broadcast his creative spirit and come out to play. Are you growing UP or growing OLD?

3. Creativity is about being uncomfortable. Develop your a tolerance for ambiguity. Fear only the KNOWN. Comfort zones are overrated, anyway. Take fanatical risks. Let’s get glorious! Explore the magnificent foreign terrain of your mind.

And, be comfortable NOT knowing what something is at the beginning, trusting that you’ll figure it out when you get there. Have unshakable faith in those unplaceable thoughts that catch your inner attention. Sure, some ideas may come without any visible anchors, but they DO have a destination. How are you practicing intentional discomfort?

4. Glug, glug, glug. Take a swig and drink in the world. Swish it around for a while like a dental patient and spit it back into the steel basin that is your canvas. What are you drinking in?

5. Observe inner patterns. Never ignore the persistent imagery that touches your soul. It’s a clue. It’s what you should be writing about. So, honor that which constantly invades the landscapes of your dreams, follow it down the rabbit hole and see where it leads. Are your dreams trying to tell you something?

6. Paint, schmaint. Your medium is YOU. The human soul. Not paint. Not clay. Not the written word. YOU. Your life. Your truth. You are the stuff art is made of. What medium are you creating with?

7. Oontz … oontz … oontz. Let the rhythm grab hold of your heart. Boogie all across the page. It’ not a canvas or a page – it’s a dance floor. And the music never stops. Only YOU choose to change the volume. How often are you dancing?

8. Pitch black. You create in the dark, not knowing what else is in the room. But then, when you least expect it, the light suddenly flickers on. And all around you – on the walls, floors and ceilings – you see an illumination of beautiful truth.

BUT, only if you trust your pen, passion, abilities and the inherent geometrical organization of your ideas. Only if you’re willing to (eventually) uncover the intrinsic poetry in your thoughts. Are you willing to create blindly?

9. Refuse to discard hunches. Cherish that moment when your eyes squint, your brow furrows and your head tilts to the side like a curious dog … because you’re noticing something. You’re SEEING something. Something good. Always trust that peripheral perception. (Learn my creative capturing process called “Freezing.”)

Be awake to (and respect the integrity OF) the words that seize you and refuse to let you go until you’ve given them careful consideration. And remember to say the most important three words of creative discovery: “Now THAT’S interesting…” What irregularities are you finding to be interesting?

10. Render everything you observe in some way. “Render” comes from the French word, rendre, which means, “To give back, present, yield.” So, you see something. It collides with your brain. Merges with your heart. Co-mingles with your creative soul.

Then, it bounces off of you, returning to the world though the new guise of your own personal filter of truth and passion. Through YOUR eyes. How are you rendering everything you observe?

11. Start anywhere, then go back and let it lead you somewhere. That means transforming vague, non-directed and unharnessed ideas into expanded chunks of creative perfection. That means taking something that (initially) makes no sense, then returning to legitimize it.

Think of it this way: You let the hose run for a while, allowing whatever type of water that wants to come out … to come out. Then, you go back later and jam your thumb into the spout. This narrows, focusing and lasers your idea, casting it into a healthier, more coherent structure. Are you reworking generality into genius?

12. Writing = Wring It. Literally. Another anagram. And what a great word, too. Wring. That means you write and write and write until there’s nothing left to write, at least, for the moment.

You take an idea and squeeze out its essence. Twist out the juice. Gripping so forcefully that the veins in your forearm pop out, mangling your material until SOME meaning comes. Ah, yes, art: The Glorious Squeegee. What did you juice today?

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How are you jumpstarting your creative metabolism?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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Bummer. Perhaps my monthly coaching program would help.

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NametagTV: Building Permission Assets

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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How to Make Your Phone Calls SO Engaging that Customers Never Want to Hang Up

“I feel like we could talk forever!”
“Wow, has it been a whole hour already?”
“This has been the most enjoyable phone call of my week!”

How many of your customers are saying that about YOU?

Answer: Not enough.

Take your pick:

Chatting with a hot prospect…
Following up with a new client…
Interviewing with a potential employer…
Interviewing with a member of the media…
Hosting a teleseminar for your membership…
Participating on a conference call with your superiors…

Whomever you define as your “customer,” the challenge in approaching people over the phone is to make your phone conversations MORE.

More engaging. More listenable. More interesting. More fun. More relaxing. More unforgettable.

REMEMBER: Because they can’t see you, (unless you’re Skyping), they need to FEEL you.

After all, the only judgment people can make – the only impression their unconscious mind can form – is a function of how interacting with you made them FEEL.

Here are three practices to make your phone calls SO engaging that customers never want to hang up.

1. Poll your past. Think back to the five most engaging phone calls you had this month. The ones where you felt like you could talk forever and never wanted to hang up. The ones where you sprung out of your chair and started pacing around the room.

What made those calls so interesting and listenable? Was it the passion? The energy? The topics discussed? The attitude you had before picking up the phone?

Now think back to the five most BORING phone calls you had this month. The ones where you caught yourself bobble heading and/or drooling. The ones where you tuned out the speaker and started playing solitaire.

What made those calls so boring and unlistenable? Was it the irrelevance? The lack of energy? The topics discussed? The fact that your boss was about as exciting as a WNBA pre-season game?

THEN, TRY THIS: Make a list of the attributes of those five engaging/boring calls. Look for commonalities and patterns. Then, step back ask yourself how well you embody/avoid those same attributes in your daily telepresence.

If the answer is “Not enough,” here’s what you do. Extract a few reminders from that list, i.e., “Get out your chair!” “SMILE” or “Talk about your passion!” Then, write them on sticky notices and post the reminders next to your phone.

This measure of accountability will punch youself in the face and immediately double the engagement and listenability of your phone calls. What structure could you put in place to remind yourself to do this consistently?

2. Writing metabolizes ideas. You know my mantra: “Writing is the basis of all wealth.” Now, one of the cool attributes of this philosophy is that writing makes everything you do easier, which, in turn, makes everything you do BETTER. Speaking. Thinking. Selling. Marketing. Talking. Everything.

Think about it. Imagine you have a phone interview with The Wall Street Journal THIS afternoon. At the reporter’s request, let’s say you’re going to share your expertise about how entrepreneurs can recession-proof their business. Cool!

TRY THIS: Spend an hour the morning of the interview journaling; brainstorming or free writing as many ideas as you possibly can on this topic. Forget about grammar, punctuation, spelling or sentence structure. Just think. Just write. Just puke onto the page whatever comes to mind. Let what wants to be written be written.

This process accomplishes four things:

FIRST: It clears away the crap. Gets the mental shanks out, if you will. This frees up a space where your best insights can comfortably arise.

SECOND: It brings clarity to your ideas. After all, you don’t know how you truly feel about anything until you’ve written about it.

THIRD: It normalizes, naturalizes and internalizes your material. See, any time you write something; it becomes etched upon your consciousness. “It goes into to The Matrix,” as the late George Carlin used to say – who, by the way, wrote twenty pages of new material EVERY DAY. Think it’s a coincidence he won dozens of Emmys, Grammies and The Mark Twain Award? Nope.

FOURTH: It builds your confidence. Writing isn’t exactly rehearsal, but it IS a form of preparation. And although most of the benefits will be subconscious, come interview time, the reporter on the other end of the phone will think, Wow! This girl really knows her stuff!

REMEMBER: The art is hiding the art. And writing makes everything you do easier and better. Especially making phone calls. Find a way to merge your writing practice with your telepresence. What did you write today?

3. Meaningful concrete immediacy. Those three words changed my life. (Read them again, please.) Timely. Relevant. Practical. The “How.” Stuff people can use TODAY. All keepers, no fluff. That’s what your clients want. That’s what the media wants. That’s what your audiences want. When they’re listening to your words, they need to be thinking to themselves, “I believe it, I can do it and I’d like to try it.”

TRY THIS: Grab a few more sticky notes. Post any of the following Phrases That Payses on your computer, bulletin board or, if you’re ambitious, directly on your phone.

o “How can my customers apply this TODAY?”
o “Does this leave an impression of value or vanity in people’s minds?”
o “I tell you that because I’m curious how YOU…”
o “This is important for you because…”
o “The secret is…”
o “Here’s the best part…”
o “Yes, and here’s why…”
o “Here’s the good news…”
o “The question you’ve got to ask is…”
o “The three questions you need to ask yourself are…”

REMEMBER: Give people the meat. Tell them how. Make your information applicable and actionable. What can people do TODAY?

More engaging. More listenable. More interesting. More fun. More relaxing. More unforgettable.

That’s what will happen to your telepresence if you execute these three practices.

Your customers – whether they’re clients, superiors, audience members or the media – will never want to hang up.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How engaging is your telepresence?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “27 Ways to OUT 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
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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The Nametag Guy LIVE: On Sticking Yourself Out There

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your nametag?

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

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Read This Post and I Guarantee You’ll Be Motivated to Take Some Kind of Action

1. Be not alarmed when you discover that nobody cares about you.
You simply aren’t #1 on their lists.
Are you speaking to people with meaningful concrete immediacy?

2. Be not anxious in proving your value too early.
You will not be listened to.
What is preventing people from taking you seriously?

3. Be not avoidant of personal growth experiences.
You need to make everyone – and everything – your mentor.
How did you add value to yourself yesterday?

4. Be not cajoled into conformity.
You need to deprogram your mind.
Are you prepared to swallow the Redpill, uproot self-destructive notions and weigh the truth?

5. Be not conditioned to respond predictably.
You need to eliminate old answers and rewrite your scripts.
What narrow definitions do you need to escape?

6. Be not conformed to some external template.
You must jettison accepted limits, leave familiar territory and override your defaults.
When was the last time you recast outworn assumptions?

7. Be not silenced by those who demand that you set aside your playfulness.
You need to practice being childlike (not childish.)
Have you read this book yet?

8. Be not dependent on advice from people who only got lucky once.
You need to hang with smarter people.
How many of your friends regularly inspire and challenging you?

9. Be not embarrassed about what you do well.
You need to make a name for yourself or else someone will make one for you.
Are you bragging enough?

10. Be not google-eyed by people who artificially inflate their value.
You know you can smell their bullshite.
Is the message preached by this person the dominant reality of her life?

11. Be not handcuffed to a job that makes you wonder, “What the hell am I DOING here?” all day.
You need to remove what robs you and embrace what excites you.
Have you fulfilled your quota of usefulness today?

12. Be not hindered by that which makes you crap your pants.
You have no business in your comfort zone.
When was the last time you did something that literally terrified you?

13. Be not limited by the rules of a game you don’t even need to play.
You should just go do your own thing.
What would happen if you changed the rules, or, better yet, changed the game?

14. Be not obliged to sacrifice the truth just so you look good.
You can’t be dishonest any longer.
How much money is untruthfulness costing you?

15. Be not obsessed with trying to impress yourself all the time.
You’re never going to make that stoplight.
Why are you rushing?

16. Be not obtrusive upon someone else’s dream.
You have no right.
How does it feel when people tell YOU that you can’t do it?

17. Be not preoccupied with pouring every moment of your being into other people’s lackluster expectations.
You will eventually experience a crisis of the soul.
Whose approval is suppressing your success?

18. Be not ordinary in a world where nobody notices normal.
You will never, ever get noticed.
How much money is being boring costing you?

19. Be not relegated to the realm of mediocrity.
You have more worlds to conquer.
What movement are you starting?

20. Be not scared of being booed.
You’re nobody until somebody hates you.
Are you willing to risk being unpopular?

21. Be not seduced into situations that do not welcome the soul.
You’ve got better things to do.
How many of your friends are losers?

22. Be not self-congratulatory for maintaining baseline integrity.
You aren’t remarkable.
When was the last time standing up for your values actually made you lose friends or money?

23. Be not sourced from anything other than passion and love.
You need more than just adrenaline and Red Bull to sustain yourself.
When was the last time you meditated?

24. Be not submissive to other people’s rigidity.
You will not comply.
Whom do you need to (finally) stand up to because you just can’t take it any more?

25. Be not sucked into the vortex of obsolescence.
You will not succeed by winking in the dark.
Why aren’t you blogging yet?

26. Be not swept into the undertow of self-indulgent workaholism.
You don’t impress anybody.
Why are you checking email at the dinner table when you should be listening to your kids?

27. Be not threatened by the success of others.
You should be inspired and excited.
Who makes you want to work harder?

28. Be not unclear of the work you’ve clearly been put on this Earth to do.
You were given a Divine Assignment, and have no right to dedicate your life to anything else.
How will you validate your existence today?

29. Be not worried with impressing people you don’t even like.
You have better things to do.
When will the moment occur when you realize you no longer needed to justify your value?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Well? Are you motivated yet?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
If not, for the list called, “153 Quotations to Inspire Your Success,” 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
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

13 Daily Disciplines to Transform Write into Wealth

1. Be silently attentive. You need to be the kindergartner during story time that doesn’t fidget, play or pick his nose. You need to be the well-behaved dog with a tilted head, a wagging tail and a look of OH BOY! OH BOY!” awaiting the next command from his owner.

When you create, you sit there with your hands folded in your lap, waiting for instruction and inspiration. Every single day. A quiet, alert witness, attending to the stream of creative thought that floods your veins. Are you growing creative ears?

2. Chase. Pursue words and ideas that haunt you and that you don’t understand. Amplify your deepest curiosities. Then, when you FINALLY catch up with them, you will “get” what they’re supposed to mean. But only if you keep running. What ideas are you chasing?

3. Chronological Creativity. Once you pluck the idea, you plant it like a seed. Then, by filing it away into your brain and (hopefully) on paper, it’s available for harvesting when the time is right.

Then, you come back to it periodically, adding a word or two, subtracting a phrase or three, here and there. Spicing it up. Giving it some sunlight. Watering it with the creative nutrients it needs to eventually blossom. Commencing artistic photosynthesis. Are you a creative farmer?

4. Concentrate white capturing. After observation, you follow the same process with capturing. You write ONE thing. Some line. Or sentence. Or phrase. Or truth. And then you just STARE. Until you see something. Until some image, some related idea comes forth.

Like one of those Magic Eye posters that starts out looking like a bunch of triangles, but eventually looks like a schooner. Are you willing to stare into a vortex of nothingness for fifteen minutes until a speck of creative gold dust finally surfaces?

5. Creativity is cooking. Simmering. Mixing. You mold knead, rework and edit, walking away periodically to your ideas simmer. And each time you do so, you return with a fresh perspective. You also notice that your ideas have expanded. Like a pizza crust in which the yeast has risen, your thoughts have organically grown independently of you.

So, now it’s time to come back and attend to them. Remember: Writing is a coalescence of related fragments. Concocting a potion. Crafting a mosaic of words, phrases and sentences. What are you cooking up?

6. Emotional Transference. You’re writing, and before you know it, as one emotion comes out, ALL your emotions come out. Related or not. Anger hitches a ride with jealousy. Sadness mooches on the coattails of fear. Annoyance hangs on to the bumper of apathy. One bleeds into another.

And I say: The more the better. Just let ‘em out or else they’ll find a home somewhere in your body. Ouch. What unexpected emotion does your writing release?

7. Enter the flow and disappear. You’re so deep, so engrossed, that you lose track of time. You forget things, like lunch. Or that you had a meeting with your friend Karen. Or that you spilled your mug of chamomile tea all over your leg like three hours ago. Or that you have a sprained ankle. (Which ankle was it again?)

It’s just like when you’ve been jamming along to a Black Keys song for sixteen minutes and eventually look down at your strings only to realize they’re caked with blood. As Marvin Bell says, “You’re in flow when you don’t know you’re in pain.” So, enhance the trance. The goal is to forget yourself, yet be aware OF yourself. Psychologically stopping the movement of time. When was the last time you got lost?

8. Just react. Follow your curiosity. Scratch what itches. Respond to your passion by writing in the direction of what shakes you. Allow your essence to lead you and then render the contours of your inner landscape. What are you reacting to?

9. Make multiple impressions. Start by capturing. Get your initial impression of an idea down on paper. Even if it sucks, even if it doesn’t make sense, even if there are holes in its logic. Then, come back to it later and see how it’s different. It might be the idea that’s different; it might be YOU that’s different; it might be the world that’s different.

Either way, when you make your second and third and fourth impressions, the idea grows. It gets richer and more legitimate. But only if you’re patient. How often are you returning TO and enhancing the complexity OF your ideas?

10. Open a vein. Sit down at the page, grab a razor, and cut that beeyoch open. Then, let it bleed onto the page until there is nothing left. Empty yourself of yourself. Let go of your writing. Let it unfold. Release the music that is within you. Crack your inner world open and closely monitor that which oozes out.

Do so until every thought, every emotion and every idea has been liberated. Until you’re woozy and tired. Until you’re anemic and diabetic. Make your readers suspect that Dracula stopped by your office to chomp a hunk out of your neck. That’s how much blood we’re talking about. Do you write with your pen dipped in your own blood?

11. Stillness works. When you hold yourself in a state of alertness, the world quiets down. Your breathing stabilizes. You blood pressure decreases. Then, within that calmness, beauty and truth begin to appear. And eventually, you don’t just start to HEAR things; you start to FEEL things.

These valuable nudges from your unconscious that tug at your coat tails. Pssst! Over here! They say. And as you turn your head, you being to channel that overflowing energy into the rivulets that feed into your personal creative ocean. In breath: Experiences. Out breath: Art. How’s YOUR breathing?

12. Unconscious integration. Defined by yours truly as, “When the natural geometry of your writing self-organizes and distributes without cognitive effort.” You let your mind unconsciously churn away. Laying out all these scraps, these ideas and these modules, as pieces to a jigsaw puzzle, but NOT knowing what the final picture looks like on the front of the box.

Eventually, if your mind has been properly trained and you TRUST it, every once in a while, something will click. Some amazing idea will just spring into your mind. It will only seem to be instantaneous, when in reality it’s taken days, weeks, months, maybe even YEARS of unconscious integration to come together. What puzzle are you not aware you’re putting together?

13. Write THROUGH things. Just like in yoga when you breathe THROUGH a difficult posture, in life you WRITE through a difficult situation. You catalyze your discontent. You slug it out.

You “get behind the mule in the morning and plow,” as Tom Waits sings on his killer record, Mule Variations. You trudge through even your darkest days using your pen as your pickaxe, knowing that eventually, you’ll come out on the other side. Big time. Andy Dufresne style. What gifts and hidden assets lie hidden in your seeming impediments?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How are you transforming write into wealth?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “26 Ways to Out BRAND 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
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Nobody seeing YOUR name anywhere?

Bummer. Perhaps my monthly coaching program would help.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!


6 Strategies for Leveraging Approachability into Job Security

Today we’re going to continue exploring practices to help you become known as the most approachable person in your organization. (If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series, you can do so here.)

Whether you’re an office professional, middle manager, C-level executive or part of the overnight cleaning crew, executing these strategies will accomplish three goals:

(1) Boost the net worth of your human capital, (2) Attract MORE attention, MORE people and MORE opportunities into your world, and (3) Reduce the possibility that your company will kick your butt to the curb in this crappy economy.

1. Boost your communication self-awareness. Sure, YOU think you’re approachable. And maybe you are. But it doesn’t matter what you think. It matters what other people remember. It matters what other people feel. And it matters what other people tell their friends, blog and tweet about. So, view performance feedback as a learning opportunity to find out where you suck.

Otherwise you’ll be the last one to find out how you’re doing. Otherwise you’ll end up like Michael Scott on The Office, a branch manager who is completely unaware of how moronic he really is.

Like the time he hosted a dinner party for his employees and referred to the wine as having “An oaky afterbirth.” Good lord. No self-awareness whatsoever. Are you approachable, but not perceived as being approachable? Are you approachable, but not remembered as being approachable? And when you meet people, is your first thought about what they think of you or how you can make them more comfortable?

2. Choose to attend differently to people. Not “type.” Not “deal with.” Not “tolerate.” Not “manipulate.” Attend. This word comes from the French atendre, which means, “to direct one’s mind or energies.” Wow. Sounds so much friendlier. More approachable. More relaxing. Less judgmental and suspicious, too.

TRY THIS: Dance in the moment. Ask yourself how you could attend differently to this person. Stop putting people in predictable little boxes with handy little labels that read, “introvert” or “right brained” or “potential serial killer.”

Get to know people for who they really are; not what others have haphazardly labeled them as. You never know. They might turn out to be pretty cool after all. Serial killers have feelings too, you know. Does this represent a temporary state of mind or a permanent state of being? What character qualities do I admire in them? And what is the hidden treasure inside this person that maybe others don’t see?

3. Learn to be open to people you don’t approve of. I’m not accusing you of being a finger-wagging monument of judgment. Still, each of us needs to confront our prejudices and honestly ask, “What type of people am I offended by?” Remember: The awareness of your intolerance is the first step to overcoming it.

My challenge to you is to learn how to play two games: (1) “Let’s See How Many People I Can Talk To Today That I Don’t Approve Of,” and (2) “How Much Would I Have To Learn About These People To Reverse My Disapproval Of Them?” Sure, it sounds kind of silly. But that’s the point.

This reminds me of Herbert Leff’s book, Playful Perception; where he suggests you regard whatever you’re doing as a game. It adds a childlike sense of playfulness and adventure to whatever you’re engaged in. What invisible walls have you built? What is preventing you from, or making it hard for you to be open TO this person? What values do you hold that could influence your response to this person?

4. Expand your openness to learning from others. Here’s a cool little routine I’ve been practicing for many years. Not only does it demonstrate openness to learning form others; it also makes people feel essential. Not just important and valued – essential.

After a lunch conversation, engaging phone call or even a round of golf with a customer, employee, whatever, send that person an email with the subject line, “11 Things I Learned from You Today.” Recap some of the best “keepers” from your conversation.

It shows you listened, it shows you care and it shows you’re approachable enough to learn from anybody, anytime, anywhere. How vulnerable are YOU willing to be? How, specifically, do show others that they’ve been listened to? And what would happen to your storehouse of wisdom if you allowed everyone you came in contact with to mentor you?

5. Allow people to experience that they can change your mind. Defensiveness is defined as “the attempt to prevent new ideas from entering into your world.” This, of course, is dangerous, as you aren’t as smart as you think you is.

My suggestion is to (yikes!) practice a little vulnerability. Use Phrases That Payses like, “I can’t believe that never occurred to me,” “Actually, I take back what I said,” and “You know, after thinking about it, you’ve convinced me to change my position on that issue!”

REMEMBER: Resist putting yourself into a position where you think you know all the answers. You need to release your current knowledge to take in new information.

The cool part is, when people see that they can change your mind, they’ll become more likely to listen to you and, as a result, more open to changing THEIR minds. How certain are you? Which of your ideas are guarded by arrogance? And how would you treat people if you weren’t working so hard to prove them wrong?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you become the most approachable employee in your organization?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “26 Rapid-Fire Strategies for Turning Approachability into PROFIT-ability,” 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
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on making a name for yourself!

www.stuffscottsaid.com.


5 Building Blocks of Blogging Brilliance

How many blog posts did you write last month?

Answer: Not enough.

Blogging (might) be, like, the greatest thing to happen to the Internet since … the Internet.

I’ve been posting since 2003, and as a writer, speaker, coach and entrepreneur, here’s what I’ve discovered:

Blogging is the single most effective marketing tool for eradicating anonymity.

Let’s explore five secrets to make sure YOUR blog starts bringing in BIG bucks.

1. Themes work. Let’s begin with some thematic elements of your blog. Because the key is to make sure all of your posts fall under the umbrella of your theme. So, before you even begin posting, ask yourself the following question:

If everybody who read my blog did exactly what I said, what would the world look like?

This might be the most important question you could ask because the answers build a foundation – a school of thought or a philosophy – to which all of your future blog posts will adhere.

SUGGESTION: On your blog design template, include a section where your readers can learn about your personal philosophy. This will assure that each person who comes to your blog will know exactly what it – and YOU – are all about, as soon as they arrive. What’s your philosophy?

2. Consistency wins. Consistency is integrity. Consistency reinforces reliability. Consistency earns trust. And consistency is the hallmark of successful branding.

So, don’t start a blog just for the sake of starting a blog, or because your friends are doing it, or because you feel it it’s the right thing to do. You actually need to COMMIT and stay with it.

SECRET: If you’re going to blog, blog every day.

After all, it IS a marketing tool. And marketing is an activity you need to do every day. Think of it this way: You wouldn’t run one newspaper ad on a random Tuesday and never advertise again. You’d do it consistently because marketing is about repeat impressions. How often are you posting on YOUR blog?

3. Content is everything. Content is king. Content validates credibility. Content delivers value. Content drives action. Content pulls instead of pushes. Content leads to WEALTH.

Got the point?

BIG HINT: Don’t just post links, pictures, stories or talk about what you ate for breakfast this morning. I’m talking about valuable, juicy, helpful, solid CONTENT.

Oh, and here’s the best part – if your content is GOOD, it starts to replace things. Content replaces selling. Content replaces agents. Content replaces pitching. Content replaces advertising. Content replaces cold calling. How hot is YOUR body of work?

4. Hone your voice. The best blogs on the web are the ones that talk directly to the reader. So, keep it personal. Ask questions. Write conversationally. And don’t be afraid to modify your writing style to a more informal nature.

SECRET: If you write like you talk, people will listen.

Remember, the whole point of publishing a blog is to create community. To create fans. And if you want to do that effectively, you must do so on a one-on-one basis. How conversational and comfortable is the voice of YOUR blog?

5. Self-Promote Strategically. Sure, it’s YOUR blog. It’s YOUR content and YOUR philosophy. But don’t lose sight of what your blog is for. It’s about value. It’s about community. And it’s about sharing – FIRST.

Now, of course, you should self-promote. But for now, I want you to ask yourself the following question:

Does your blog give the impression of VALUE or VANITY in the eyes of your reader?

Hopefully the latter! Value, value and value! That’s the one word too many bloggers overlook.

REMEMBER: Blogging is the single most effective marketing tool for eradicating anonymity.

Follow these basic building blocks, you’ll turn your blog into a BANK.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How many blog posts did you write last week?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “72 Ways to Take Your Blog from Anonymous to Award-Winning,” 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
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who’s quoting YOU?

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

www.stuffscottsaid.com.


The Nametag Guy LIVE: On Execution

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you an “idea person” or an “execution person”?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “24 Ways to Out GROW 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
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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