6 Ways to be More Creative than Thomas Edison on Acid

1. Brainstorming is the great time-waster. You don’t need another meeting. You don’t need another conference call. And you don’t need to spend another afternoon talking the life out of your idea. You need to take massive action. Today.

Otherwise you’ll get hooked on the addictive power of brainstorming – when what you REALLY need is to smoke the sweet cheeba of execution. What consumes your time but isn’t making you any money?

2. Creativity the best therapy. Tell your shrink you won’t be coming in today. Next time you feel anxious, sick, frustrated (insert negative emotion here), don’t TAKE something, i.e., pills – go MAKE something. Anything. Doesn’t matter what. When you channel your energy into the creative process and enter into flow state, you’ll forget all about that pesky stomach cramp.

Try it. Every single day, spend at least fifteen minutes making something out of nothing. I absolutely guarantee you will feel better. And if you don’t, draw a picture of how stupid I am, then send it to me. What are you turning your problems into?

3. Creativity without innovation is useless. Sure, creativity is fun and cool and healthy for the soul, but there comes a point when you need to stop thinking and start executing. To make that crucial transition from brainstorming to brain monetizing.

Because there’s a HUGE distinction between creativity and innovation: One is a state of being – the other is a practice of doing. Both are essential, but neither can sustain you alone. Are you an “idea guy” or an “execution guy”?

4. Inspiration is the great illusion. If you sit around waiting for inspiration, the only thing that will ever come to you is lower back pain. That’s not the way creativity works. You can’t force inspiration.

You can only live your life in a conscious, creative and adventurous way – listen carefully to everything that happens to you through the filter of your Theory of the Universe – and then render what wants to be written in a disciplined, organized way.

You’ll soon discover that venturesomeness truly is the best idea-generator. And you’ll never have a creative block again. When was the last time you made the choice to be inspired?

5. Lack of discipline atrophies creativity. Inspiration is overrated. If you want to make Idea Lightning strike, you need to make yourself a more strikeable person. And the primary technique for doing so is to cultivate creative discipline. To make yourself sit down at the workbench at the same time, every day, ready to create.

As a writer, I call this being “due at the page.” That way, every morning at 5AM when I sit down to work, lightning strikes. Because everything yields to diligence. What awaits you in the refining fire of discipline?

6. Wisdom without distribution is wasteful. What you scatter is more important than what you gather. And hording wisdom without circulation is a dangerous act of selfishness. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to publish or share every single thought you’ve ever had.

But if you’re debating whether or not to tell the world, ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen if I distribute this idea?” Odds are, the answer won’t be as detrimental as you think. Are you being selfish with your wisdom?

What are you listening to?

For the list called, “9 Things Every Writer Needs to Do Every Day,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

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How to Get Promoted Faster than a Wharton Graduate Working at a Wichita Waffle House

1. Prepare yourself to be promotable. First, shift from an attitude of need to an attitude of want. It’s healthier, more attractive and good practice surrendering. Second, acknowledge your own value. If you don’t, nobody else will. Third, exercise a high degree of conscious control in creating the career you want.

Invite your goals into the bright light of awareness. And finally, believe you deserve and can handle abundant success as a byproduct of being promoted. Expectation truly determines outcome. What inner work can you undertake to make your promotion inevitable?

2. Be a person of victory, not a consummate winner. Victory means to conquer. Win means to fight. Which sounds better to you? Your mission is to develop an insatiable hunger for victory, as opposed to an over-competitive compulsion for winning. HUGE difference. And people can tell, too.

What’s more, no company is going to promote an employee who “does whatever it takes to win at all cost.” That sounds like a comment made by one of those 300-pound steroid juicers on ESPN’s “Behind the Syringe.” Are you trying to win or be victorious?

3. Be appropriately assertive. Not aggressive. Not pushy. Assertive, which comes from the Latin assertus, or, “to claim and maintain.” Ultimately, assertion is based on respect for yourself without justifying, claiming or withholding yourself. It’s about becoming a public spokesperson for your values. It’s about consciously choosing to mount an influence campaign.

And it’s about engaging your backbone to solidify your boundaries instead of lapsing into passivity. Remember: If you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you. How will others interpret your nonassertiveness?

4. Express a high degree of individuality, but without threatening others. Don’t be SO unique or SO off the wall that coworkers question your intentions. Or that they shrink in your presence. Honor and celebrate everyone’s gifts. And allow your uniqueness spark their own – giving them permission to live their authentic selves. When you walk into a room, how does it change?

5. Confront grand realities unflinchingly. Don’t consume all your energy trying to change the unchangeable. Position yourself as a leader by accepting company realities with the best attitude IN that company. Instead of nervously anticipating the next crisis, help people move forward despite shakiness.

And especially in a down economy, be bold in facing the inevitable. Outfit yourself in battle dress and plunge heart-first into your company’s challenges. People will notice. What attitudes will lead to success in your company?

6. Gain favorable visibility by taking calculated risks. The key word is “calculated,” meaning “rational, responsible and reflected.” Being perceived as a cowboy might not be in the best interest of your promotability. But as long as you’re willing to risk rejection, you’re in the position to be promoted. Or fired. Especially if you come to work wearing spurs. (No boots, just spurs.) Be careful. Will this risk put me in position for major breakthroughs and growth?

REMEMBER: Getting promoted is the natural byproduct of dedicating yourself to becoming a more promotable person.

Execute these practices, and you’ll get promoted faster than a Wharton graduate working at a Wichita Waffle House.

What do you think makes a person promotable?

For the list called, “45 Questions Every Unemployed Professional Needs to Ask,” send an email to me, and you win 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 become a Company Your Competitors Want to Strangle with an Orange Extension Cord

1. Abundance of competition indicates unoriginality. If you’re truly unique, the only one who does what you do – the WAY that you do it – then no second-rate, chump-ass imitation should be able to hurt you. Screw the competition. Just because they’re there doesn’t mean you can’t beat them. What do you do that brings people back for more of YOU?

2. Ambition without focus is stalemate. If you’re constantly firing in all directions, you’re never going to hit anything squarely. It’s only when you hunker down into the leaves and concentrate 100% of your energies on one particular target that you become a bountiful hunter.

And not just in the wilderness, but in business too. I meet too many entrepreneurs who impatiently jump from idea to idea, project to project; never picking a lane, never make any progress. Because their ambition is spread too thin. What they don’t realize is that focus is the mobilizing force. What consumes your time but isn’t making you any money?

3. Complacency is the great growth-destroyer. “But I don’t have time to grow right now.” Every time I hear somebody say this, my heart breaks just a little more. I know the economy sucks. I know business is slow. I know times are tough. But there’s never an excuse for not growing. Every day you need to get stronger in SOME way. Size is irrelevant. I’d rather grow microscopically than not at all. Where do you need to get out of your own way?

4. Demonstration of competency proves inconsequential. When you eat out at a restaurant, you assume the chef is a good cook. Why? Because baseline ability is the price of admission. The ante. The buy-in. And this type of customer expectation pervades every industry.

Now, it didn’t used to. First, good was good enough. Then great was good enough. Now, great isn’t that great anymore. People demand WOW. Lesson learned: If you’re anything below a B+, you’re finished. What do you offer besides quality?

5. Diversity of offerings buoys recessions. During the economic collapse of 2008-2009, the smartest move I made as entrepreneur was to diversify my offerings. That way, when the proverbial shit hit the economic fan, my business was ready to absorb the blow. The secret is to out-grow, out-evolve and out-expand your competitors. Here’s a rapid-fire list for doing so:

(a) Clone yourself through teaching others. Self-duplication wins.

(b) Make sure everything you do leads to something else you do. Recognize the movement value of your ideas.

(c) Only work with clients that represent long-term potential. Think 14th sale. Cul-de-sac clients are dangerous.

(d) Identify the most important things for you to work on that will grow your business the fastest. Make a list of those things. Post the list in a visible location in your office. Then make sure anything you’re doing at any given time is congruent with that list.

Remember: Diversity isn’t just equity – it’s a life raft. What percentage of your revenues this year came from products and services you didn’t offer three years ago?

6. Fear of evolution typecasts brands. Evolve slowly and constantly. Evolve regularly and effortlessly. Sure, your genetic reflex to avoid change will try to kick in. But don’t let it. As Charles Darwin suggestion, “Take advantage of slight successive variations and advance by the shortest and slowest steps.”

Remember: Flux IS equilibrium. Occasional moments of stability are nice, but brands that keep moving keep winning. Go stretch yourself. Move mental furniture. Make growth and change a normal part of who you are. What decade is your brand still trapped in?

7. Gradual is the great moneymaker. What’s your hurry anyway? Try getting rich slow. There’s a secret most self-help books won’t tell you: Get rich slow. After all, things that grow fast are easily destroyed. Might as well take a foundational approach.

As my mentor William Jenkins once told me, “It takes longer to do things the right way. And people do them improperly to do them quickly. But what’s the benefit of building a house in six months (that should take a year) if you’re just going to tear it down anyway?” Remember: If you’re willing to practice prodigious patience, you’ll get yours. And it will be worth the wait. How patient are you willing to be?

8. Maintenance of momentum monetizes message. Just do something. Anything. Action stimulates forward momentum. Even when progress is minimal. Even when you have no idea what the hell you’re doing. Just keep moving. Think of entrepreneurship as crossing a minefield: The most dangerous choice is to just freeze. The safest thing you could do is keep moving. How are you keeping your momentum going?

9. Permission is the great delayer. The reason your dreams haven’t materialized is because you’re waiting for permission. From your friends. From your family. From your spouse. From the world. Here’s a hint: You don’t need it. Requirement of permission suffocates ambition. Just go.

Who cares if you’re not ready enough or smart enough? Who cares if you don’t have enough money, experience or credentials? Just go. You don’t need somebody twice your age who knows NOTHING about who you really are to validate your existence and stamp your creative passport. Give yourself permission to not need permission and get to work. Do you ask who’s going to LET you or who’s going to STOP you?

Do your competitors hate you?

For the list called, “24 Ways to Out Grow the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win 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!


What Everybody Ought to Know about Being an Approachable Employee

1. Behavior is the broadcaster of attitude. Don’t bother announcing to people what kind of attitude you strive to maintain. Anyone who’s even (somewhat) perceptive can already tell. And here’s why: Bodies override mouths, verbs outweigh nouns and actions embody mindsets.

Whatever you feel, people can spot. Whatever you harbor, people can smell. And whatever you deny, people can detect. They might not admit it, but deep down, they know something’s going on. Christ, even the DOG is onto you. So, you may as well tell the truth about how you feel. Is your behavior consistent with your stated values, even when no one is watching?

2. Humor is the height of communication. It’s also the only universal language and the great catchall of communication. For example: Funny means listening. Funny means approval. Funny means trust. Funny means attention. Funny means memorable. Funny means engaging. Funny means emotional. Funny means credible. Funny means learning. And funny means influential.

Nothing else in the world covers more ground than humor. And the good news is, everybody is funny. Everybody has endless humor in his life. And anyone can excavate the constant and inherent hilariousness of his daily experiences to improve his communication with others. You don’t need ventriloquize other people’s humor and pawn it off as your own original material.

Learn to leverage you brain’s creative process. Learn to observe ALL your experiences as being humorous. And learn to record them in an easily accessible, organized place. You’ll be the funniest person you know. How strong is your funny bone?

3. Imperfection is the insignia of inspiration. In a 2009 issue of Rolling Stone, Madonna shared the following insight:

“Justin Timberlake is really good-looking and laid back. He’s sort of a Cary Grant. I love him. I love working with him. But I don’t recognize myself IN him. But I can see myself in Lady Gaga. At her concert, she didn’t have a lot of money for her production, she had holes in her fishnets and there were mistakes everywhere. Kind of a mess. And it was nice to see that at a raw stage.”

Lesson learned: Followers and fans can’t see a reflection of themselves in monuments of flawlessness. Are you too perfect?

4. Inauthenticity is the forecaster of failure. Eventually, people are going to find out who you really are. It’s only a matter of time. And while certain people might be able to keep the show going longer than others, putting on an act IS exhausting. Just ask any professional comedian. Everyone (eventually) runs out of steam. And that’s when their truth is revealed.

The question is: How will the people you serve respond to it? And how wide will the gap be between your Truth and their memory? After all, it doesn’t matter what YOU think – it matters what THEY remember. All I’m saying is, it might be easier (and cheaper) to start walking your Truth TODAY. What’s the difference between your onstage performance and backstage reality?

5. Overseriousness is the fountainhead of mediocrity. The only thing worth being serious about is play. Now, understand that there are two components to this philosophy. First: Play as Attitude. This is about approaching everything you do in a playful way. Experiencing the world as a curious child would. Second: Play as Action.

As my mentor and occasional therapist, Richard Avdoian taught me, “Being playful isn’t the same thing as PLAYING.” One is a philosophy, the other is an event – and both are required. So, “playing” is something you do deliberately that has nothing to do with work whatsoever.

Think of it as a mini vacation. Going to a ballgame. Riding a Slip and Slide. Watching a mind-numbing action movie. Walking your ferret. Whatever. Anything that helps you escape from work. Remember: Be playful AND let yourself play. Is your life a playground or a corporate park?

How approachable are you?

For the list called, “26 Rapid-Fire Strategies for becoming the Most Approachable Person in Your Organization,” 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?

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

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

5 Fundamentals to Building a Business You Can be Proud of

1. Hissing is the echo of awesomeness. Accept the fact that approximately ten percent of the people you encounter in life will not like you. Get over it. Screw the ten and stick with the ninety. Pick a side, put a stake in the ground and polarize people purposely.

And remember that if everyone loves you, you’re doing something wrong. Besides, you’re nobody until somebody hates you. At least that’s what my parole officer tells me. How much hatemail have you received this week?

2. Inertia is the slaughterhouse of success. Jon Kabat-Zin’s book Wherever You Go, There You Are, explains this beautifully:

“If you can make some time early in the day for BEING, with no agenda, it can change the quality in the rest of your day. By affirming first what is primary in your own being, you get a mindful jump on the whole day and wind up more capable of sensing, appreciating and responding to the bloom of each moment.”

Beware of inertia. How can you arrange your day so you become unstoppable?

3. Inexperience is the machete of fear. Why are children more creative than adults? Because their sense of curiosity and innocence hasn’t (yet) been suffocated by wet blanket of adulthood. Lesson learned: Innocence and ignorance overcome fear and lead to curiosity, creativity and knowledge. Your challenge is to temporary suspend your adult habit of self-criticism and do it anyway.

The first step is to write the following five words on a sticky note: “Yeah, but I can’t just…” Remember: As Jeff Bridges said in the movie Tron, “You keep doing what it looks like you’re supposed to be doing – not matter how crazy it sounds.” Are you willing to look stupid on the road to immortality?

4. Mistake is the mentor of man. First of all, they’re not mistakes – they’re lessons. Catalysts. So, practice attending to your errors with a mindset of personal growth, life-long learning and never-ending improvement. By approaching failure with this attitude, disappointment will slowly dissipate.

Secondly, listen to the way you speak to yourself when you make mistakes. Instead of berating yourself, try asking questions like: Is this a new mistake or repeat mistake? Why did the universe want me to make this mistake? How many different ways can I embrace, incorporate and ingeniously leverage this mistake in my life? And what would I have to learn about this mistake to make it no longer a mistake?

Remember: Failure IS an option – not learning from that failure isn’t. How are you exponentially growing from your screw-ups?

5. Suffering is the sandpaper of life. “If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?” I get that question a lot – especially during media interviews and after speeches. And my answer is always the same: Nothing. I would do everything exactly the same way.

Here’s why: I am eternally and unregretfully grateful for everything that’s ever happened to me – good AND bad. Especially the bad. After all: From great suffering comes from great awakening. And the person I’ve become is the summation of all that stuff. It made me who I am. And I love who I am.

Think about it: Consider the three most powerful lessons you’ve ever learned in your life. EVER. Odds are, at least two of the three stemmed from some form of pain, didn’t they? And that’s a beautiful thing. That’s how we learn and grow. So, your mission is to put all the bad stuff to good use. To use suffering – even if it’s minor – as sandpaper. To smooth out the edges of your life like a pinewood derby car, cruising to the finish. What made you into you?

Are you building a business you can be proud of?

For the list called, “40 Questions Every Unemployed Professional Needs to Ask,” send an email to me, and you win 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!

Do You Make These 16 Mistakes of Utterly Uncoachable People?

When you’re not coachable, you’re not able to see yourself fully and objectively.

When you’re not able to see yourself fully and objectively, you’re not able to maximize learning.

When you’re not able to maximize learning, you’re not able to grow.

When you’re not able to grow, you’re not able to win.

LESSON LEARNED: Those who are coachable are profitable.

Now, instead of coaching you on how to become more coachable (I’m sure Google could do that for you) let’s approach this issue counterintuitively.

I’ve compiled a list of mistakes made by utterly uncoachable people. Special thanks to a few of my favorite coach-ey friends Dixie Gillaspie and Angela Leib for their brainstorms…

You Might be an Utterly Uncoachable Person If…

1. You allow emotional reactivity to block helpful feedback from entering your world.

2. You endlessly assert your ego by telling the coach he was wrong.

3. You begin every sentence with, “Yeah but…”

4. You complain that the coach is unfairly singling you out.

5. You constantly challenge the credibility of the coach.

6. You refuse to be open your behavior to review.

7. You aren’t receptive to feedback.

8. You don’t follow up after you’ve been given help.

9. You evade responsibility that change starts with you.

10. You limit yourself to only one outcome for every situation.

11. You listen thoroughly to people’s advice, and then go back to what you were going to do in the first place.

12. You object to feedback and shut down your coach via emotional reactivity.

13. You request advice for the sole purpose of NOT following it.

14. You rattle off a list of successful people that never needed coaches.

15. You refuse to follow the coach’s advice out of spite, even if the path leads to success.

16. You refuse to learn things about yourself that you’ve never seen before.

Make sure you’ve avoiding these mistakes at all cost, and you’ll have a tremendous head start on boosting your coachability.

In summary, let’s turn to a 2009 post from Seth Godin, who had this to say on being coachable:

“In fluid marketing and organization environments, where the world changes rapidly, coachability is a key factor in evolving and succeeding. Not because all advice is good advice. In fact, most advice is lousy advice. No, the reason coachability is so crucial is that without it, you don’t have the emotional maturity to consider whether the advice is good or not. You reject the process out of hand, and end up stuck.”

REMEMBER: Becoming coachable leads to becoming profitable.

What do YOu think makes an uncoachable person?

For the list called, “7 Ways to Radically Raise Receptivity of Those You Serve,” send an email to me, and you win 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!

Don’t Start a Business Until You Read These Nine Facts

1. Abandonment is the backbone of entrepreneurship. By definition, an entrepreneur is someone who undertakes and manages risk. Someone vulnerable. Someone courageous enough to stick herself out there.

And so, what she abandons are outmoded traditions. Popular delusions. Stale thinking. What she abandons is any shell that would otherwise choke the budding dream inside of her. Are YOU willing to plunge forward planless into the vortex of action?

2. Dissatisfaction is the ember of initiative. Only pissed off people change the world. Not because they’re negative – but because they notice a blazing fire deep in the recesses of their hearts that will not extinguish until SOMETHING changes. And that doesn’t mean they exhaust their entire energy supply sitting at home yelling at the television. Just because you’re pissed off doesn’t mean you’re productive.

But, take George Carlin – now THERE’S a guy who was pissed off. The difference is, Carlin’s dissatisfaction with the world was the motivation he needed to write twenty pages a day for fifty years. Most people don’t know that about Carlin – he was a creative machine.

That’s how he ended upon The Tonight Show over a hundred and thirty times. That’s how he released twenty-three comedy albums, three best-selling books and fourteen HBO specials. Because he was pissed off. That was the ember of his initiative. And it changed our world forever. What injustice did you set out to fight when you first started your business

3. Execution is the architect of eminence. You know my mantra: “Ideas are free – only execution is priceless.” Consider these suggestions for doing so:

Think on paper immediately. Be impatient. Hack the rules. Don’t be stopped by not knowing how. And, fail like you mean it. Remember: Execution is eloquence. And there are two kinds of people in the world: Those who use their mouths and those who use their feet. Are you a talker or a doer?

4. Imitation is the vestibule of failure. There are no cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The same goes for business: The more imitatable you are, the less valuable you are. That’s why imitators never make history – only originators do.

Your challenge is to honestly ask yourself if the personal brand you’re building is (truly) an amplification of your uniqueness … or just an echo of somebody else’s marketing. If you don’t display your own creative originality, your brand will become (yet another) interchangeable mediocrity, fading into the multitude of sameness. A needle in a stack of needles. Are you The Echo or The Origin?

5. Impatience is the greenlight of greatness. Just go. Enough limitation-driven self-talk. Enough lame excuses for why you’re not ready. When it comes to entrepreneurship, I’ve got news for you: You’re never ready. And you never will be. So, learn to relax into that realization first.

Next, give yourself permission to plunge into the abyss of ambiguity. Then, during freefall, trust that you contain a multitude of inner resources that will richly support you. What level of greatness are you unable to reach because you’re too patient?

6. Later is the whopper of procrastination. Later never comes. Ever. Your ego just convinces you that it does. That way you don’t have to take any personal responsibility, nor feel guilty for procrastinating.

My suggestion is simple: Write the word “later” on a sticky note. Then draw a big X through it. Look at it every day. That should help eliminate that word from your vocabulary. How much money is procrastination costing you?

7. Maybe is the discharge of amateurism. Maybe I’ll do this. Maybe I’ll say this. Maybe I’ll write this. Maybe I’ll become this. Bullshit. Maybes are lies. If you keep saying “maybe,” then you “may be” a putz. Come on. It’s time to go pro. To go full time. To go all out.

Try this: Make a list of ten actions you can take THIS WEEK toward your ideal future. Next, email that list to three people you trust who will keep you accountable. Tell them to call you on Sunday night. Then, if you haven’t achieved at least five items on your list, agree that you’ll buy each of them lunch. “Maybe” that will make a difference ☺. What are you insufficiently committed to?

8. Duality is the heartbeat of mastery. In Bikram Yoga, students experience the simultaneous practice of complete relaxation and absolute exertion. It sounds counterintuitive, but you CAN execute both at the same time. As long as you know how to listen to your body.

For example, standing bow posture practices an intense stretch of both arms in opposite directions. But it also requires that you relax into your low back while doing so. That’s duality. Without it, the posture is wrong. And the cool part is: Your business (and your life) manifests this same practice of duality in a number of ways.

Another example: Entrepreneurship requires bottomless amounts of patience: With yourself, with others, with your idea and with the world. The patience to take the longcut and work your face off. At the same time, entrepreneurship also requires massive levels of impatience: Restless expectation. Not accepting delay or opposition. Raring to go. A constant desire for change and excitement. The impatience to “just go,” even when you have no idea what the hell you’re doing.

Ultimately, your challenge is to pinpoint, honor and leverage whatever duality exists in your universe. Like your own personal yin-yang. And to simultaneously attend to the opposite parts of the larger whole, knowing that both are required to achieve mastery. What dualities do you need to honor in your life and business?

9. Revenue is the aftershock of usefulness. If you want to make money, make something that people need. If you want to make money, make something that replaces something. If you want to make money, make something that doesn’t require explaining. If you want to make money, make something that helps people say goodbye to something they hate.

If you want to make money, make something that makes people stop, sit up, notice, and yell into the kitchen, “Hey honey, look at this!” If you want to make money, make something that solves people’s expensive, urgent, pervasive and relevant problems. If you want to make money, make something that saves people time and frustration. If you want to make money, make something that is appealing to more than just yourself and your two roommates.

If you want to make money, make something worth making a series of YouTube videos about that people will (actually) watch instead of rolling their eyes and deleting from their inbox when their mom sends it to them. If you want to make money, make something that people never realized they wanted – but after trying it – can’t possibly imagine surviving without. How useful are you?

What will it take to get your business off the ground?

For the list called, “12 Ways to Out Service the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win 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!


Does Your Brand Pass The Ginsberg Test?

1. What are you doing to become even more visible?

Anonymity is the adversary of success.

I wear a nametag 24-7. In fact, today is my 9-year anniversary. I literally have zero anonymity whatsoever. (Except on Halloween, when I change my nametag as part of my costume.) Other than that, anyone who sees me at any given moment can say to herself, “Well, I guess his name is Scott…”

Now, I’m not suggesting you do the same. In fact, I strongly suggest you DO NOT wear a nametag 24-7. What I AM suggesting is that you consider the adverse relationship between anonymity and profitability. And maybe a good start would be to throw away your marketing plan and begin writing a visibility plan. Because it’s NOT who you know. It’s NOT who knows you. It’s whose life is significantly because they know you.

2. How can you turn your unique personality into a marketing weapon?

Branding is the inevitability of identity.

It’s got nothing to do with marketing and everything to do with the natural extension of your core selfhood. The best, highest version of yourself – paired with the way other people experience themselves in relation TO you.

That’s branding. And it was born about five thousand years before those sleazy advertising jerks starting brainwashing you. Read The Gita and The Tao De Ching. If that’s not branding I don’t know what is.

3. Is your business a friend of simplicity?

Eloquence is the byproduct of simple.

Complexity generates contemplation, and contemplation kills sales. On the other hand, simplicity induces relaxation, and relaxed customers buy. It’s your choice. Sure, it takes more time, energy and courage to create and deliver something simple.

But isn’t it all worth it when your idea is SO simple that a kindergartner runs home from school to tell their parents about it? Stop creating riddles that take too long for impatient customers to solve.

4. Are you drowning in a sea of sameness?

Failure is the destiny of boring.

Nobody buys boring. Not any more. There are too many choices and too little time. So, there’s a direction correlation between how successful you are and how boring you are. Your challenge is to become the most interesting person you know. Which isn’t just some vague platitude – you can literally increase your level of interestingness.

Try this: Amuse people or lose people. Choreograph attention. Build curiosity and expectation into everything you do. Position yourself so, moment-to-moment; people want to see what happens next. And finally, be abnormal, yet relevant to humanity. Remember: If you want to maximize noticeability and spreadability, you need to create a widening circle of interest around it.

5. Are you talking your ideas into the ground when you should be building your ideas into the sky?

Hype is the camouflage of quality.

I used to work in the promotions department for a radio station in St. Louis. And I’ll never forget what my boss told me on the first day of work. “When we record a spot for a new movie release, here’s the rule: The more promotional stuff the production company sends us, the crappier the movie probably is.”

He was right. Box office bombs like K-PAX, Corky Romano and Freddy Got Fingered sent our station truckloads of key chains, t-shirts, posters and other worththless hype. They were compensation for quality. On the other hand, cinematic classics like Memento, Donnie Darko and The Royal Tannenbaums didn’t send a thing. Not even a press release. The quality of those movies spoke for itself.

6. What is your plan for reaching the world with your unique message?

Platform is the artifact of attraction.

While a resume is what you’ve already accomplished, a platform is what you’re currently accomplishing. Think that makes it more relevant than some piece of paper? You bet. Interestingly, the geological definition of the term platform is: “The ancient, stable, interior layer of a continental craton composed of igneous or metamorphic rocks.”

OK. Let’s unpack that scientific idea as it pertains to your Thought Leadership world:

(1) Ancient, meaning long-term viability, of your expertise, that is.

(2) Stable, meaning a solid foundation of value, which refers to your body of work.

(3) Interior, meaning deriving from your core, aka, speaking your truth in whatever you publish.

(4) Layers, meaning multiple levels of content, which denotes intellectual diversity and depth.

(5) Igneous, meaning produced under conditions involving intense heat, i.e., your unique philosophy is fueled by passion and fire.

(6) Metamorphic, meaning specific shape or form to your thoughts, which means you’ve taken a side, picked a lane and put a stake in the ground.

That’s a platform. And without it, the media won’t seek you out. Without a platform, Google won’t develop a crush on you. Without a platform, unsolicited referrals won’t make their way to you. Without a platform, your expertise won’t be validated. Without a platform, your credibility won’t be authenticated. And without a platform, your following won’t grow exponentially. Start building today.

7. Are you a fad or a movement?

Sticky is the start of spreadable.

But that doesn’t mean it’s enough. Sticky doesn’t mean viable and shtick doesn’t mean substance. Sticky literally means “adhesive,” whereas spreadable means, “to stretch out and send in various directions.” Your mission is to prove to people that you’re worth hanging in there for. That their long-term investment in you will pay dividends eventually.

As George Carlin reminded us, “You want people to know the accumulated record, not just a spotty shot.” Otherwise you’ll be dismissed as inherently remarkable, yet ultimately inconsequential.

Does your brand pass The Ginsberg Test?

For the list called, “11 Ways to Out Market the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

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