6 Ways to Transform Your Next Interview into a Marketing Presentation for Yourself – Without Coming Off Like Tony Robbins

When you walk in the door for your next interview, just remember:

You’re not there to answer their questions.

You’re there to articulate your fabulousness.

You’re there to tell people what they need to hear to fall in love with you.

You’re there to make it impossible for the interviewer to escape your awesomeness.

IN SHORT: You’re there to deliver a marketing presentation for yourself.

Not literally, of course. Breaking out the flip chart might be a little heavy handed. Not to mention, those smelly markers might get you accidentally buzzed.

Instead, here’s a collection of practices for becoming more presentable:

1. Don’t over prepare. Study the organization. Review your notes. Google your interviewer. Eat breakfast. Do breathing exercises. Maybe listen to The Rocky Soundtrack in the car. Other than that, you don’t want to prepare TOO much. As my public speaking mentor William Jenkins always reminds me, “Your life is your preparation.”

Remember: What’s past is prologue. Go give that interviewer everything you’ve got. Use all that you’ve experienced up until this point to blow the doors of this mother. They won’t help but be taken over by your performance. What’s your interview preparation process?

2. Flip the focus. Steve Hughes, owner of Hit Your Stride, is a Presentation Coach and keynote speaker. He suggests that although your interview is (technically) a marketing presentation for yourself, nobody cares about you. The secret is flipping the focus. “The more THEY talk, the more they’re going to like you,” Steve said.

“Just like a delivering a speech, make your audience (in this case, the interviewer and the company) the star of the interview. Turn it into a true dialogue, not a monologue. Nobody wants to hear you ramble on about yourself.” Ultimately, it’s about being future oriented.

Whether you’re giving a speech to a thousand people or being interviewed by the HR Director of a potential employer, remember this: Your past is what got you in the door – but THEIR future is what will keep you in the room. How can you flip the focus of this presentation?

3. Be funny early. Humor is the ONLY universal language. And people want to spend their workdays with people who make them smile. So, when you introduce it early in the interview, several advantages stack in your favor: You diffuse defensiveness, you relax the situation, you break down barriers, you soften the ground and you stimulate memory.

What’s more, funny means listening. Funny means approval. Funny means trust. Funny means attention. And funny means engagement. The secret is, everyone is funny. The challenge is tapping into your natural humor. In the book Throwing the Elephant: The Art of Managing Up, Stanley Bing suggests, “You don’t have to be particularly funny. The attempt to provide amusement is more important that the quality or validity of the amusement itself.”

Don’t make jokes – be funny. Huge difference. One is contrived; the other comes from your core. Pinpoint your natural funniness and share it early. How funny do people perceive you as being?

4. Don’t be shy about going on the offensive. My friend Shari Alexander is the owner of Presenting Matters and an Executive Speech Coach and Professional Communications Expert. She suggests you observe (not only) your own body language – but that of your interviewer too.

“Observe what sparks their posture. And don’t be afraid to say, ‘I noticed you reacted to my last statement by sitting back in your chair. Can you share what you’re thinking?’ This brings their truth to the surface AND pinpoints valuable insight about organization.”

For example, if your interviewer instantly crosses her arms at the mere mention of the word “Twitter,” that’s quite telling about her attitude towards social media. “If you don’t ask the follow-up questions after observing posture shifts,” Shari told me, “you won’t know the ugly truth until you’re already hired and in the middle of it.” Are you playing enough offense?

5. Be a mirror. In an interview with American Songwriter, Bruce Springsteen shared his theory on connecting with his fans, “The audience and the artist are valuable to one another as long as you can look out there and see yourself, and they look back and see themselves.”

Therefore: Your goal is to discover the CPI, or, Common Point of Interest between you and the interviewer. Within sixty seconds. After all, people like whom they ARE like. And conversation is about common ground.

In the same vain of getting your butt off the stage to stand on the same level as the audience, discovering the CPI immediately is secret to being a mirror during your interview. What questions will you ask to discover common ground?

6. Let your personal brand shine. “Interviewing is much deeper than showcasing a collection of skills or preparing great answers to questions you may never hear,” says my friend and career coach John Suarez of Referral Ready, LLC.

“It’s about celebrating your authentic self. The one that relates to the world on a human level AND professional level. The one that helped get you where you are now. The one that leaves a nonverbal impression no words can undo.”

Lesson learned: Don’t spend time all your preparing to be someone you’re not. Instead, dedicate yourself to becoming more of who you already are. How will you allow your distinct youness shine?

REMEMBER: It’s not a job interview – it’s a marketing presentation for yourself.

In summary, I’m reminded of one of George Carlin’s final interviews before passing away. He shared a fascinating insight about presentation and performance:

“Growing up in Harlem in the 1940’s, I attended Bishop Dubois Catholic School. And the best part about our academy was that the nuns never give out grades. Ever. And yet, Still, I managed to get all A’s. See, when I was the class clown in school, I got the only A’s that mattered: Their Attention, their Approval, their Admiration and their Applause.”

In short: Presenting matters.

After all, to present is to give a gift.

The gift of YOU.

How will your advance yourself?

For the list called, “45 Questions Every Unemployed Professional Should 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!

12 Ways to Manufacture Your Own BIG Breaks as an Artist, Entrepreneur or Creative Professional – Even in a Recession

“I’m just waiting for my big break!”

Really? Well, I hope you’ve got a good book to read. Because with a passive attitude like that, you’ll be waiting a looooooooooooong time.

HERE’S THE REALITY: You can’t sit around waiting for your big break.

You’ve got to learn how to manufacture your own big breaks by making yourself more “breakable.”

Here’s how:

1. Define the word. The word break seems (almost) too simple to look up in the dictionary. Which is exactly why I looked it up. And I discovered a few fascinating insights about a word that we use every day. For example, the term “break” derives from the Old English brecan, which means, “to disclose.”

Interesting. Guess you can’t manufacture your own big break if you’re not sticking yourself out there. Secondly, the word break contains over one hundred definitions in the dictionary. I’ve pulled a selection of these to get your brain boiling, along with questions to challenge your thinking:

• To interrupt the regularity. Which of other people’s patterns are you willing to break to be noticed?
• To divide into smaller units or components. How many small breaks are you willing to manufacture so your big break becomes an inescapable likelihood?
• To run or dash toward something. Are you willing and able to move quickly on new opportunities before they pass you by and break someone else?
• To begin uttering a series of sounds. Do you have five difference versions and lengths of your pitch down pat, ready to go at a moment’s notice?
• To change abruptly into something else. What type of person will you need to become to handle the big break once you get it?
• To be admitted into. What price are you willing to pay to be granted admission into your chosen field?

Remember: Five letters notwithstanding, “break” is a BIG word. Learn it. Know it. Live it. What does “break” mean to you?

2. Accept that there ARE no big breaks. Only a progression of small breaks that nobody sees or cares about, the sum of which eventually carries enough weight to be noticed. A big break is nothing but a small break amplified by the right timing.

And that’s hard part: That nobody sees the 90%. The grunt work. The late nights. The extra hours. They only see that crucial 10%. The performance. The final piece. The end product. Which means that your 10% better be damn good, or else that 90% is going to feel like a big waste of time. Are you willing to manufacture a series of small breaks first?

3. Suck it up. In a an article with Wrestling Digest, WWE star Jeff Hardy’s best strategy for becoming more breakable was simple and powerful, “Just take the spectacular bump.” Now, keep in mind that Hardy was specifically referring to getting thrown out of the wrestling ring by his opponent and crashing down on a table in the audience. I’m not suggesting you do that. (Although, that WOULD be kind of cool…)

Rather, I urge you to embrace the metaphorical angle to Hardy’s comment: Take the spectacular bumps. Of rejection. Of failure. Of setbacks. It’s all part of the deal. If your perception of (and response to) failure were changed, what would you attempt to achieve?

4. Prepare to leverage. In January of 2003, CNN Headline News interviewed me about my first book, HELLO, my name is Scott. Unfortunately, I screwed up BIG time: I didn’t have an agenda for the segment. I never strategized how to convert the subsequent web traffic. And I didn’t consider requesting a clip of the interview for my blog.

As a result, that media spot was highly underleveraged. In fact, it pains me to even think about how many opportunities I missed because of that mistake. So, my best advice for you is to have your finger on the leverage button at all times. Because it’s not how big the interview was – it’s how far you can stretch it now. Now that you have this, what else does this make possible?

5. Expertise isn’t enough. In an article on www.ehow.com called, “How to Break into the Video Game Industry,” I learned a valuable lesson about networking as it relates to becoming more breakable.

“Any time you’re speaking with a video game professional, your passion for the industry can be your greatest asset your biggest downfall,” explained the editor.

“So, work hard to disprove that your interests start and stop with video games. Emphasizing your love of games, but also your ability to be social and personable, will help you stand out from the pool of candidates.”

“Remember: Not every person who works for a video game company is a die-hard gamer. Be sensitive to that, and try not to freak anyone out with your vast knowledge of Final Fantasy lore, or Dungeons and Dragons trivia.”

Therefore: Even if you’re not a programmer, this is a helpful reminder to combine industry expertise with interpersonal skills. That way you have more to offer than just your brain. What else do you bring to the table besides skill?

6. Work at adjacent positions. Maybe you can’t secure the lead role. Or the opening act. Or top billing. That’s OK. Don’t allow short-term hardship to deflate you. Instead, see if you can secure a part-time spot, entry-level position or internship for a related capacity. Assistant, security guard, customer service, mail room, all of these are acceptable starting points.

The point is, if you’re only going to work part time, you may as well do so where you can be seen. Kind of hard to get your big break as a comedian working at Starbucks. For example, Nike employees, often get their big break at the retail level before ascending into the corporate sphere. And screenwriters often get their big break working as production assistants. Where could you put in your time?

7. Remember that you’re on display. Everything matters, everybody’s watching and everything’s a performance. And you never know who’s in your audience. So you better be good and you better be ready. That’s it. What do people think when they hear your uniqueness speak?

8. Longevity causes breaking. In a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone, John Mayer explained his philosophy about big breaks. Specifically, the (crucial) first three projects of any artist. “With your first album, you get their attention. With your second album, you earn your stripes. And with your third album, you blow them away.” What’s your “first three” game plan?

9. Find the catapults. Success leaves clues – all you have to do is listen. My suggestion is to ask your mentors, colleagues and other experienced professionals in your industry how their got their big break. Take notes. Look for patterns. Watch for lessons learned and mistakes made.

Caution: Just be sure to inquire with an attitude of curiosity and admiration, not a “can-you-give-me-the-name-of-that-producer-you-worked-with-in-2002-so-I-can-drop-your-name-and-get-my-big-break-too?” attitude. Bad manners. Bad karma. What existing path of success can you follow?

10. Go small first, but shine big when you’re there. If you follow the career trajectories of successful musicians, actors and other creative professionals, you’ll notice a pattern. Many of them took on smaller roles/gigs/markets in the beginning, just for the chance to shine.

And more often than not, if they excelled in their minimal role – and if their performance was so memorable and powerfully THEM – they ended up stealing the show. As a result, new opportunities came their way. So, don’t overlook the opportunity to serve as the opener for a larger act, volunteer contributor or pro-bono worker.

Playing a minor part alongside an already established professional or attaching your name to the periphery of a project is a powerful tool for boosting credibility. In short: Say yes more. Grab the opportunity and do the job impeccably. In what small role could you shine big?

11. Keep a watchful eye on industry information. What do successful people (who do what you want to be doing) read? Listen to? Subscribe to? First, find out by listening, asking or, if need be, sneaking into people’s dressing rooms, stealing their IPods and burning all of their podcasts onto your laptop.

Then, as you accumulate these resources, build in dedicated time each week to study and expand industry knowledge. It’s a perfect broad-based introduction to your chosen field and helpful fodder for showcasing industry expertise during conversations with key people. What’s your learning plan?

12. Never forget where you came from. Especially when you finally DO get your big break. Here’s why: Gratitude is the great gravitator. When you give thanks to the people and organizations responsible for assisting in your big breaks, they’re more likely to support your future efforts. Whom have you thanked TODAY for helping you get where you are?

REMEMBER: You can’t just wait around for your big break.

You’ve got to become breakable by helping success seek YOU out.

It’s about creating a pervasive atmosphere of opportunity so the big fish can jump right into your hands.

Execute these strategies and you’ll start manufacturing your own big breaks TODAY.

Are you breakable?

For the list called, “6 Ways to Out POSITION 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

Nobody seeing YOUR name anywhere?

Bummer. Perhaps my monthly coaching program would help.

Rent Scott’s Brain today!

4 Ways to Help People Love Themselves More When They’re With You

The best way to get people to fall love with you is to help them fall in love with themselves first.

After all, it’s not about being the life of the party – it’s about bringing other people TO life AT the party.

Here are four ways to do so:

1. Be aware of the weight you have on people. A common mistake made by unapproachable leaders is forgetting to regularly share what they’re thinking and feeling. This confusion over where the leader stands causes stress in their followers. After all, when people never know what’s on your mind, it drives them crazy.

And ultimately, the weight you have on them will become so heavy that your unpredictability will create apprehension in their process of approaching you.


What’s more, let’s talk about the peril of passion. Sure, passion is beautiful because it’s enthusiastic and contagious. But be careful. Part of being an approachable leader is cultivating an awareness of how your energy affects others. Take a campfire, for example. Yes, it provides warmth. Yes, it provides inspiration. Yes, it provides heat to cook your s’mores.

But it can also burn you (and others) pretty good. Does your intensity wear others out?

2. Don’t overwhelm people with your knowledge. In Rules of Thumb, Alan Webber identifies two types of leaders: The ones who compliment other people they work with for their ideas, and the one who use their incredible brainpower to point out the flaws in others’ thinking and shoot down their ideas.

Hopefully, you’re the former. Because the secret is to share your knowledge without showcasing it. To present your ideas without hurling them. As Bob Lefton says in Leadership Through People Skills, “Resist the urge to unload advice on people who haven’t asked for it and aren’t ready to listen to it.”

If you have a lot of ideas to convey, chunk them down into small clusters. By spacing ideas effectively, they’re easier to digest. Otherwise people feel intimidated by a barrage of knowledge, which reduces receptivity. How does the way you use your intelligence come across to the people who work with you?

3. Don’t ignore signs of discomfort in others. That means refraining from telling a lot of insignificant, endless stories that have zero relevance to anyone. This is not only uncomfortable, but also annoying. And it leaves a perception of vanity – not value – in the minds of others.

And yet, tons of people practice this without invitation and it drives others up the wall. So consumed with telling their story, they pay little or no attention to people’s irritation, impatience or disgust. Scott Adams said it best in Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook, “Be obliged to stop rambling if your listener shows signs of starvation, coma or rigor mortis.”

Otherwise, people will experience you as being too selfish to acknowledge anyone else’s right to talk. And the problem with his communication pattern is that it (1) Leaves people wondering why they bothered to listen in the first place, and (2) Lowers the likelihood that they’ll come up TO, feel relaxed AROUND, open up WITH, comfortable walk away FROM and confidently return TO you.

The secret is becoming more mindful of declining receptivity in the people around you. In addition to uncomfortable scanning their watch to see how much longer they have to listen to you, remember to watch for these warning signs: Flat assertions. Impatience. Silence. Nervousness. Superficial questioning. Unquestioning agreement. Each of these are grounded in discomfort and declining receptivity. How listenable are you perceived as being?

4. Identify and disarm silent dialogues. Assumptions. Annoyances. Preoccupations. Concerns. Questions. This is just a sampling of the communication barriers floating around in people’s heads. See, the big question people are asking themselves (as they experience you) is, “Is this person the same on the inside, as he seems on the outside?”

For your sake, I hope the answer is yes. And here’s why. In Parker Palmer’s fantastic book, A Hidden Wholeness, he addresses this perception gap:

“When the answer to that question is yes, we relax. We believe that we are in the presence of integrity and feel secure enough to invest ourselves in the relationship. When the answer to that question is no, we go on high alert. Not knowing who or what are dealing with and feeling unsafe, we hunker down into a psychological foxhole and withhold the investment of our energy, commitment and gifts.”

Wow. What existing defensiveness do you need to diffuse?

REMEMBER: We always fall in love with those who help us fall in love with ourselves.

How are you make this person light up like a Christmas tree?

For the list called, “7 Ways to Radically Raise Receptivity of Those You Serve,” 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!

How to Make Your Firm’s Services More Requested than Freebird at Florida State Frat Party


There’s always ONE guy in the audience who HAS to yell it.

Every time. Every concert. No matter where you go.

Ah, Freebird. Without a doubt, the most requested song in music history.

Interestingly, in 2005, WSJ ran an article that (finally) revealed the origin of this phenomenon:

“Freebird is hardly obscure – it’s a radio staple consistently voted one of rock’s greatest songs. One version of the tune – and an important piece of the explanation – anchors Skynyrd’s 1976 live album One More From the Road. On the record, singer Ronnie Van Zant, who was killed along with two other band mates in a 1977 plane crash, asks the crowd, ‘What song is it you want to hear?’ That unleashes a deafening call for Freebird, and Skynyrd obliges with a fourteen-minute rendition.”

SO HERE’S THE BIG QUESTION: How often are YOU requested? In the great concert of business, how often are customers holding up their Zippos and yelling out for YOU?

ANSWER: Not enough.

Today we’re going examine a collection of practices – each with its own “reqeustion” – on becoming a more requestable entity.

1. A forced brand is a forgotten brand. Requestability begins with branding. And by branding I don’t mean pumping some twenty-five cent shtick out of think air after three hours of brainstorming with your two teenage daughters.

Rather, truly taking the time to organically pinpoint (a) what you are, (b) how you roll and (c) what the purposeful identification of your unique value is. Then and ONLY then, your mission is to emblazon that brand on the minds of the customer. That’s what really matters: Not marketshare, but mindshare. Because customers can’t request what they don’t remember.

REQUESTION: When was the last time you updated your brand identity?

2. Be someone who offers a dependable perspective. Predictability is the great persuader. It’s also the true trust agent. And trust is the sole source of your level of influence. To enhance the predictability of your perspective, here is an exercise you might try. It revolves around the most important question I ask my clients (and myself):

If everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like?

I challenge you to ask, contemplate, clarify, write out and eventually print out your answers to this question. Look at them every day. Consider them as a framework. A governing document for daily decision-making. I guarantee your perspective will become more dependable.

REQUESTION: If everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like?

3. Everything you do should lead to something else you do. Cross-promotion is a surefire practice for becoming more requestable, as long is you do it right. Here’s how.

a. Be subtle. Be cool and be casual. And when you promote one of your other services, share as if you were just telling a story. The best marketers are the ones customers don’t realize are marketing.

b. Be specific. Requestability is a function of credibility, which is a function of specificity. When you cross-promote other products you offer, cite their full titles and descriptions. Whet the appetite of hungry customers.

c. Be significant. When you mention other work that you’ve done, remember the two magic words: For instance. “I work with a variety of non-profits on strategic planning. For instance, last week I hosted a two-day with the American Casket Association. I knocked ‘em dead!

Be very careful with cross-promotion. Too much of it turns customers off quickly. It’s only effective insofar as you don’t morph every conversation into a sneaky little sales presentation.

REQUESTION: What else does this person need to know about you?

4. Play to the heart, not the mind. Don’t make people think – make them FEEL. People don’t want to think – it too much work. People are tired of thinking. They think all day. Instead, position your value in a way that elicits emotion. Disturb customers into action.

Remember: Emotion is the final arbiter of the effectiveness of your message. Learn to make people feel, and the requests will come pouring in.

REQUESTION: What part of the customer’s body are you playing to?

5. Discount yourself as a threat. In the book How to Hide a Dagger Behind a Smile, author Kaihan Krippendor suggested, “Because someone seems non-threatening, others offer no resistance.” Your goal is to lower threat level by demonstrating a timeline of credibility. Here are a few ways to do so:

a. Media Room: Dedicate an entire page to chronicling every interaction you’ve had with the media – in print, online and on air. Include links to articles, videos or blog posts quoting and featuring you. (Good example aqui.)

b. Client List: Dedicate another page to listing past clients you’ve worked with over the years. Go back as far as you can. Demonstrate longevity and diversity of reach with cross-industrial references.

c. Testimonial Collection: Video is ideal. If not, written references are the next best. Just make sure to choose testimonials featuring clients who are a good advertisement for your business. And if possible, select testimonials that share common customer preoccupations – then how you overcame those concerns. For example, “When I first met Scott, I wasn’t sure if some thirty year-old writer could actually help a corporate executive like me make a name for himself. I was dead wrong. Scott’s ability to ask the right questions changed my life because…”

REQUESTION: How are you reducing the threat level from red to green?

6. Find out what’s missing for people. Help customers articulate what’s mysteriously absent from their strategy. For instance, when I work with coaching and consulting clients, I almost always suggest that they draw out their current issue. On paper, on a flip chart, on the dry erase, whatever.

And clients are constantly amazed what they learn when they capture their thoughts visually. Ultimately: Thinking on paper produces clarity. The cool part is, the power of comparative analysis overrides (most of) the lies people telling themselves.

REQUESTION: How are you helping people define the white space around their ideas?

7. Project peaceful confidence. Would you request someone who ceaselessly asked for a request every time you crossed paths? Of course not. Customers rarely request people whose stench of neediness requires nose plugs. As I learned from the great Lao-Tzu:

“When you show your strength, you appear weak. When you conceal your power, the more effectively it can be used. When you make your advantage less obvious, the more effective you power becomes.”

Remember: The truest part of you doesn’t need to speak. Customers will hear it either way, and if the music speaks to them, they will request more of it.

REQUESTION: What drenches you in confidence?

8. Maintain prime presence. Finally, requestability is a function of visibility. Which becomes especially challenging when EVERYONE is vying for the same spot on your customer’s set list. The secret is twofold. First, visibility is the price of admission. The ante. The baseline.

And it’s only the first step to achieving prime presence. Second, it’s how you show up. It’s not just that you’re visible, but how you customers experience you – PLUS how they experience themselves in relation to you – when you DO show up. In short: Bring unique value or consider yourself winking in the dark. Remember: Anonymity is bankruptcy.

REQUESTION: Do you have a marketing plan or a visibility plan?

REMEMBER: In the great concert of business, your mission is rock with value SO hard that customers start yelling out requests for YOU.

Consider these requestions. Execute these practices. And your firm’s services will become more requestable.


Who’s requesting you?

For the list called, “6 Ways to Out Position 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!


Have You Executed These Ten Essentials of Entrepreneurial Excellence?

1. The road to prestige is paved with pandemonium. Not everyone survives success. Becoming too successful, too early and too quickly will harm your health because although money loves speed – velocity creates stress. And stress kills people.

At least that’s what I remember thinking to myself after my left lung collapsed and I spent a week in a hospital bed with a chest tube.

Your challenge is to pace yourself. To get rich slowly. To (not) get sucked into the addictive vortex of success and achievement. What new challenges will arise once you become successful?

2. The road to confidence is paved with congruency. Nobody is going to put their trust in someone whose onstage performance is dramatically different then their backstage reality.

If you want customers to become confident in the value you deliver, you’d better make sure you’re the same wherever you go, whomever you’re with. Or at least close. Do you believe you behave in a manner that is consistent with your self-concept?

3. The road to fame is paved with flexibility. “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” This scripture comes from James 4:13, although the first time I heard that passage was actually during yoga class. That’s when it occurred to me that the most profitable benefit of doing yoga is flexibility.

Not physical, but mental. It’s amazing how much more pliant your mind becomes after a few years of practice. So, even if you’re not a yogi, consider these flexibility questions:

a. Are you focused or inflexible?
b. Are you uncomfortable in situations that call for creativity, flexibility, adaptability or originality?
c. Do you have the capacity to respond flexibly to what the world hurls at you?
d. Are you flexible with people who have different struggles than your own?

Just imagine: If you can do a full back bend with your body, what type of stretches might you be able to do with your thinking? Your brand? Your business? Your life? Promise: Flexibility builds profitability. How elastic are you?

4. The road to success is paved with surrender. Surrendering to your customers. Surrendering to your constituency. Surrendering to your purpose. Surrendering to your personal economy. So many things to surrender to, so little room in your ego to do so.

That’s the hard part. Getting past your fear of sticking yourself out there and becoming vulnerable to the world. Two words of advice: Risk it. What three things do you need to let go of to ascend to the next level?

5. The road to creativity is paved with curiosity. The #1 secret to never running out of ideas – even in the midst of frittering time – is a tilted head. You heard me: A tilted head.

Like when a dog looks at you’re crazy.
Like when you stop in your tracks walking down the aisle of Wal-Mart and think, “What the…?”
Like when the entire boardroom looks up from their Blackberries and thinks, “Is this guy out of his bloody mind?”

A titled head. That’s the universal gesture of a creative moment. Your goal is to experience five of those moments each day. Minimum. What dangerous questions will you ask today?

6. The road to originality is paved with murder. I was recently eavesdropping on a conversation between two businesspeople (whatever, you do it too) and I heard a powerful statement that I immediately wrote down so I could later claim it as my own material: “Innovation occurs through death.”

Wow. Amen to that. Amen to dying! Amen to killing outdated thinking! Amen to murdering antiquated strategy! What do you need to kill today?

7. The road to serendipity is paved with strategy. It’s not an accident. It’s not fate. And it’s not luck. It’s positioning yourself in high visibility locations. It’s putting yourself in the way of success. It’s being ready to pitch on a moment’s notice. It’s being in the right place at the right time by being in a lot of places.

It’s being more intentional in every experience while maintaining an attitude of positive expectation. Remember those keys, and you’ll become the luckiest person you know. In what ways can you prepare for the serendipitous?

8. The road to dominance is paved with discomfort. To dominate is to grow, and growth is the byproduct of discomfort. Therefore: It’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Yet another powerful lesson from my yoga studio. Our instructors constantly remind us that it IS possible to simultaneously experience comfort and discomfort. Exertion and relaxation.

And when you learn to respond instead of react; to breathe into that which makes you uncomfortable – like touching your head to your locked knee, for example – you discover a pocket of stillness that supports your posture. And here’s the cool part: You eventually learn to apply that same principle off the mat.

You practice relaxing into your discomfort during your daily life. You practice responding instead of reacting to what the world hurls at you. That’s what paves the way to dominance. Are you at peace with discomfort?

9. The road to matchlessness is paved with relentlessness. Bound. Determined. Dogged. Dead set. Ferocious. Fierce. Inexorable. Ruthless. Unappeasable. Uncompromising. Unflinching. Unstoppable. Unyielding. Get the point? Pick an adjective and make the choice to go the distance.

And when you come out on the other side, caked in sweat and dirt and blood, you’ll be the last one standing. Game. Set. Match. Grab a Gatorade, take your silver cup and enjoy the applause. What are you the World Heavyweight Champion of?

10. The road to remarkability is paved with reinvention. Bob Dylan did it – from acoustic to electric. George Carlin did it – from AM to FM. Tom Hanks did it – from comedy to drama. And these guys were YOUNG when they reinvented, too. Young in age and young in career.

So, remember this: You don’t have to be huge to reinvent yourself, but you have to reinvent yourself to become huge. Make the decision to constantly reinvent your own better future. You know you’re getting bored with the current version of yourself anyway. When was the last time you reinvented yourself?

How will your advance yourself?

For the list called, “24 Ways to Out GROW Your Competition,” 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!

6 Ways to Honor Your Truth without Hating Yourself

You can’t make a name FOR yourself unless you honor the truth OF yourself.

As I learned in the book, Honoring the Self:

“The refusal to see what you see (and know what you know) is a betrayal of your integrity AND a commitment of treason to your own judgment.”

What about you? How do you practice honoring your self, your truth?

Let explore of a list of ways to do so:

1. Be genuinely committed to honoring reality. That’s the first step. The willingness to get honest with yourself about yourself. Which is not an easy thing to do if you’ve been saluting your illusions for so long that you actually believe in them. What reality are you feeding on?

2. Feel the existence of that which you have been evading. Ever seen those bumper stickers that read, “Go see a play”? I wish there was one that read, “Go feel something.” We need it. We think too damn much. And as a society, I think we’d learn a lot more about ourselves if felt a little bit more.

Might be a refreshing break to use our bodies more and our brains less. All we have to do is stop bullshitting ourselves and turn inward. It’s simple, but not easy. Remember: There is no thinking clearly if there is no feeling deeply. Are you spending enough time learning to listen to your own voice?

3. Relax into the feeling. My yoga instructor reminds us of this practice during every class. “Even if the feeling is fear, discomfort or dizziness, by relaxing into it – as opposed to resisting it – you partner with your emotions. Counterintuitive, yes. Effective, heck yes.

I started adopting this practice into my life several years ago. And what I learned was, by relaxing into (and partnering with) your feelings, you strip them of their ability to take you over. Ultimately, that gives you power to honestly explore the way you feel – then decide how to proceed from there. Are you constructively using this feeling or being used BY this feeling?

4. Allow yourself to experience what you feel. Even if you’re not a fan of the feelings you’re feeling, feel them anyway. And be available to any spontaneous emotions that begin to arise. Remember: Your body will never lie to you. It’s just trying to get your attention.

Kind of like the mechanic’s credo: “Your car is always speaking to you – but you have to listen.” Did you just get away with not having to face something again?

5. Don’t pretend to feel something. That’s a betrayal of your truth. And you compound the inauthenticity by apologizing for NOT feeling something. I know it’s tempting. I know it hurts. And sure, you probably feel like a jerk because you think you should be more upset than you really are.

But you’re not. Not feeling something doesn’t make you an jerk – it just makes you human. Weird, huh? You’re a good person because you feel miserable. What are you trading your authenticity for?

6. Don’t refuse to pause on this knowledge. This is a reality-evading strategy that will result in the slow accumulation of pockets of discomfort. That’s what happens when you don’t honor your first waking thoughts – they find a home in your body. And that’s when you find a home in the hospital.

Fortunately, writing Morning Pages is one of the all-time great therapeutic practices for pausing on your knowledge. Few strategies for listening to yourself are this effective. Morning Pages give you permission to pause, puke and poke around.

They help you shine the searchlight of consciousness inward toward your own being, as Julia Cameron suggests in The Artist’s Way. Best of all, they help catch up on yourself, pinpoint precisely what you are feeling and allow you to take accurate stock of your life. Start this practice tomorrow. What inner signals are you disrespecting?

REMEMBER: Nothing stings the heart more than looking back and realizing you were false to yourself.

All you can hope for is to embrace the whole, even if you wrestle with the parts.

To have faith that whatever you’re currently going through is exactly what you’re supposed to be – and NEED to be – going through.

And if you’re courageous enough to appreciate the rightness of every experience, you will never fail to honor your truth.

In summary, let’s remember what Ayn Rand suggested in The Fountainhead:

“It is precisely the self that cannot and must not be sacrificed. It is the unsacrificed self that we must respect in man above all.”

Find out what’s truest to yourself.

Stick with it, and stick TO it.

Are you courageous enough to extend honor TO yourself so you can make a name FOR yourself?

For the list called, “13 Sweeping Generalizations, Gross Assumptions and Ridiculous Oversimplifications about Life and Work,” 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 telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

10 Ways to Avoid Being Labeled a Bullshit Artist

In the past few months, I’ve heard numerous people use the term “Bullshit Artist” in reference to certain individuals.

And my personal policy is, whenever I hear a new word or phrase more than three times in three months, I research it.

So, according to Dictionary.com, UrbanDictionary.com and MyDictionary.com – and some helpful tweeters who shared their insights (thanks!) – the most prevalent definitions of a Bullshit Artist are:

• “A person expert at deception, and hype.”
• “A person with a talent for convincing lies.”
• “A person who habitually exaggerates, flatters, or talks nonsense.”
• “A person who lies/boasts incessantly, usually to comedic effect, intentional or accidental.”
• “A person who specializes in a field of feeding its surrounding persons with uselessness.”
• “A true master of verbal façade who gets off on selling worthless information as if it was fact.”

Now, obviously, I know YOU’RE not one of them.

But I’m sure you know somebody who is. And because it doesn’t matter what YOU think – only what YOUR CUSTOMERS remember – let’s explore a collection of practices that will help you avoid being labeled as a Bullshit Artist:

1. Punch people in the face with your credibility. Everyone has an unequaled background – but not everyone knows how to position it strategically. Your mission is to articulate your expertise as early and explicitly as possible. Customers rarely proceed without proof.

Whether you use testimonials, logos of big clients you’ve worked with, awards you’ve won or pictures of you doing what you do. Leave no question of eligibility. Also, be sure to follow up your initial punch with a timeline of credibility. Show people you’re not going away. Longevity isn’t a color in a Bullshit Artist’s palette. How are you closing the credibility gap?

2. Lower the volume. As Denzel Washington once said, “The loudest one in the room is usually the weakest one in the room.” And as the late Dave Matthews Band saxophone player Leroi Moore once said, “You can make a song sound smaller by trying to make it big.”

So, just relax. No need for aggressive self-assertion. The strong falcon hides its claws. Let go of the need to prove your superiority. If you rock, they’ll feel the music. Even if you don’t turn it up to eleven. What volume is your life at?

3. Talk with your pads. This was the motto of my high school football team. “You guys are bigger than trash talk,” Coach Parks would say. “Don’t stoop down to their level. And if you hear a player on the other team running his mouth at you, don’t say a word. When YOU need to let out your emotions and prove your worth, you talk with your pads.”

So we did. We talked with our pads. And that’s exactly why were we undefeated.

Lesson learned: When all you do is talk (without supportive action and ability) it’s extremely hard for people to hear you over the sound of your own inflated ego. On the other hand, talking with your pads is a LOT louder. Because it’s jolting. Because it’s honest. Because it’s self-evident. Remember: When you talk with your pads, people perk up and listen. What are you talking with?

4. Avoid unspecified attribution. Studies show. Research proves. Scientists say. Psychologists report. Experts believe. They say. There’s an old story that says. I’ve heard. Most people agree. It is said that. Critics say. Statistics show. Somebody once said. The reviews say.

No. No, no, no. None of that is good enough. In a conversation, speech, blog post, or opening statement to a jury, unspecified attribution doesn’t cut it. You need to PROVE your point. With facts. Sources. Numbers. Dates. And not statistics – because those are fabricated pieces of bullshit that people manipulate to make their case look better.

Remember: Specificity = Credibility. Ambiguity is the enemy. If you can’t back it up, pack it up. Are you speaking with meaningful concrete immediacy?

5. Pull back the veneer. Ever met someone that is an expert at LOOKING like she’s successful, but not actually successful? I know a few people like this. And I’m not suggesting that the “act as if” philosophy is wrong. Rather, I echo David Newman’s thought: “It’s OK to fake till you make it – as long as you eventually get around to actually making it.”

Therefore: Release your artificiality, reach back to pure self and rejoin the truth. Your truth. How do people experience you?

6. Recognize the distinctions. Bullshit Artists walk a fine line. Your mission is to detect the difference. Here’s a list of examples:

a. In-demand doesn’t mean highly paid – popularity doesn’t necessarily indication profitability.
b. Passionate doesn’t mean productive – some fires just burn with no purpose.
c. Cool doesn’t mean useful – baseline remarkability isn’t enough.
d. Desirable doesn’t mean satisfying – sustainability is the secret.
e. Activity doesn’t mean accomplishment – there’s a difference between motion and progress.
f. Attention doesn’t mean conversion – web hits are an acronym for “How Idiots Track Sales.”
g. Creativity doesn’t mean innovation – one is a state of being, the other is a practice of action.
h. Dazzling doesn’t mean sustainable – shtick must be supported by substance.
i. Knowledge doesn’t mean wisdom – information is worthless until applied and LIVED.
j. Experience doesn’t mean expertise – only reflection upon that experience does.

To avoid being labeled as a Bullshit Artist, beware of the fine line. What distinctions are you making in your business?

7. You’re more influential when you ask questions. Next time you attend a department or team meeting, notice two kinds of attendees: Those who quip and those who question.

Which of the two are most likely to be labeled as a Bullshit Artist? Veil your light until the proper moment, drop your bomb, then sit back and watch people’s brains explode. What questions are you known for asking?

8. Ditch the jargon. Articulate strategy and ideas in plain language. The less jargon you use, the more engaging you become. In the writing world, shorter sentences get read. In the speaking world, shorter sentences get HEARD. So, think like a writer. Watch those long and cumbersome sentences. Don’t construct your ideas in a way that overburdens people’s brains.

For example, some leaders spew one idea after another. Meanwhile, listeners are still stuck on the FIRST one, trying to figure out what heck you meant. Be careful. Non-brilliance might be forgivable, but time wasting isn’t. Keep your message lean, low-carb and plucked of nonessential words. How meaty are your messages?

9. If you have to tell people you AREN’T, you probably are. Beware of unnecessary declarations of authenticity, honesty and sincerity. Think about it. Wouldn’t YOU raise an eyebrow to someone who kept uttering phrases like: To be perfectly honest with you … I’ll level with you here … Honestly… The truth is … I’m not gonna bullshit you here…

How would that make you feel? Maybe a little suspicious of his credibility? Maybe a little curious why he keep reminding you how honest he is? Watch your language. Having a “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” attitude isn’t fooling anybody. Are poor word choices forfeiting your sales?

10. When you find yourself in the company of deceptive hearts, leave. Be careful whom you roll with. It’s possible to be labeled a Bullshit Artist solely based on proximity. So, if you suddenly feel the need to plug your nose or roll your pant legs up, get out. Fast.

Surround yourself with doers – not talkers – and they will both validate your credibility AND inspire you to continue executing. Are you being fair to yourself, your reputation and your business by continuing to be friends with this person?

REMEMBER: Bullshit Artists only need to be impeached once.

Don’t become one of those people.

In conclusion, let’s remember the words of Maya Angelou, who reminds us:

“When people show you who you are – believe them.”

Do people believe you?

For the list called, “26 Ways to OUT Brand 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 telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

11 Ways to Earn More Repeat Business than a 24-Hour Tattoo Parlor on a Texas Military Base

In the beginning, there was a question:

“What do you do that brings people back for more of YOU?”

Dixie, my great friend, personal coach and consummate butt-kicker, recently asked me that question.

And after thinking about the philosophy surrounding it, here’s what I’ve come up with:

The best way to earn repeat business is to make yourself, your brand and your value more revisitable.

So, whether you’re an entrepreneur, CEO, service provider or small business owner, consider these practices for bringing people back for more of YOU:

1. Accommodate unusual requests. And before you do so, try saying this: “Let me make an exception for you.” You won’t just make people feel special – you’ll make them feel essential. Practice this, and people will come back for more of you. What are you doing to earn and ensure your status of trusted advisor in the mind of the customer?

2. Advance in earnestness. Vigor. Passion. Resoluteness. It’s hard to resist people like that. They simply provide too much warmth. As Richard Pryor once suggested, “Learn how to set yourself on fire.” Because when you do that (without freebasing cocaine, that is) people will come back just to watch you burn. Practice this, and people will come back for more of you. Are you currently operating out of your passion?

3. Be a disturbance. Comfortable customers rarely take action. Your mission is to use your questions, statements, ideas and thoughts to disturb the hell out of them. Not in a dangerous, violating or illegal way, of course. But to make them SO uncomfortable, so squiggly in their seats, that they have no choice but to say, “Screw it – let’s go.”

Sure, it’s crushing to their ego, but it’s crucial to their practice. They’ll thank you in the end. Practice this, and people will come back for more of you. What action-inducing emotions will you bring to the surface?

4. Be fabulously versatile. Consider this question: What skills are you not currently leveraging to add value to your customers? My suggestion is to run an internal inventory. To uncover the diamonds that your customers have yet to see shine. And to go out of your way to tell your customers about the new ways you can help them.

Versatility is the driving force of evolution. And those who evolve are revisited. Practice this, and people will come back for more of you. Will this risk put you (and your customers) in a position for major breakthroughs and growth?

5. Be plastered with perseverance. Repeat business doesn’t just automatically come to you. You need to make up your mind that you’re going to go the distance. My suggestion is simple: Wake up one hour earlier. That’s it. ONE hour. Single greatest piece of advice I ever got. You’ll be amazed at:

(a) how much you get done
(b) how much momentum that one hour activates for the rest of the day, and
(c) how much more revisitable you become.

Think about it: People can’t exactly “come back for more of you” when you’re in bed. Well, unless we’re talking about prostitutes. Which we’re not. Remember: Determination naturally builds momentum. Making a name for yourself is the inevitability of diligence. Practice this, and people will come back for more of you. What time did you wake up today?

6. Choose harmony over rightness. Stop being right. Customers rarely revisit businesspeople whose pathological hunger for rightness overshadows the achievement of interpersonal harmony. In short: Stop letting your ego vote. Trying listening with the ear of your heart instead. Practice this, and people will come back for more of you. Are you known as “someone who really LISTENS” or “The guy who never shuts up”?

7. Declare war on destructive habits. First, name one bad habit you’ve broken in your lifetime. How did you do it? List out the steps you took. Next, identify ONE destructive habit you’re currently addicted to that’s threatening your revisitability.

Finally, redouble your commitment to daily self-cultivation. See if you can’t make that habit old news. Remember: If your habits are destroying you, they’re probably destroying your relationships too. Even if you’re too close to yourself to realize it. Practice this, and people will come back for more of you. What habits of yours offend customers?

8. Don’t overvalue prior successes. Arrogance of the past will come back to bite you in the ass. As John Mayer explained during a 2009 interview with Esquire, “To evolve, you have to dismantle. And that means accepting the idea that nothing you created in the past matters anymore other than it brought you here. You pick up your new marching orders and get to work.”

Remember this, and you won’t accidentally give customers a reason to switch. Remember this, and you won’t let arrogance and complacency sabotage your revisitability. Practice this, and people will come back for more of you. If everything you’ve done up until now is just the beginning, what’s next?

9. Honor shifting cultural trends. Here’s what your clients used to want: “Good fast and cheap.” Here’s what your clients currently want: “Perfect now and free.” These are the three insatiable consumer demands, according to bestselling author Robert Rodin.

Now, obviously, I doubt you’re going to reformulate your entire business model to accommodate that trend. But repeat business is a function of client awareness. Perhaps it’s time to honestly assess what each of the three words (perfect, now and free) looks like for your customers. Practice this, and people will come back for more of you. What have you recently learned about marketing trends?

10. Live above the level of mediocrity. First, it begins with self-confidence. You have to believe that deep down you are able to give something extraordinary. Next, it continues with the identification of the status quo. Figuring out what other companies – who do what you do – always (or never) do.

Then, it’s about doing the opposite. Which doesn’t necessarily mean doing something remarkable; but rather, stopping something normal. It’s that easy. Remember: If nobody buys average, that means nobody re-buys average. Practice this, and people will come back for more of you. What are you doing consistently that average people aren’t?

11. Teach people how to trust you. I’ve been using the same web design company for seven years. They rock. And the biggest reason I keep coming back for more is because they taught me how to trust them. They proved themselves (over time) to be the kind of company I could give an idea to, let them run with it, then meet them on the finish line two weeks later – and be blown away.

All because they know my style, they know my brand and they know what their capabilities are to stay in alignment with those parameters. So, insanely curious about the process behind this, I had lunch with Wendy Gauntt from CIO Services and asked her how she teaches customers to trust her:

“Somebody never just ‘calls’ you,” she said. “That’s why we ask two simple questions at the onset: (1) What do you want to achieve? and (2) Why now? Then, during the project, we’re always steering to get back to that main goal.” Practice this, and people will come back for more of you. How are you teaching customers to trust you?

REMEMBER: To earn repeat business, make yourself, your brand and your value more revisitable.

What do you do that brings people back for more of YOU?

For the list called, “6 Ways to Out POSITION 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

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