Watch Scott Write — 1.24.10

People often ask me about my writing process.

So, instead of trying to explain it, I thought I’d just show it.

This is the second in a series of writing sessions (4-hour time lapse down to 9 minutes!) of my unparalleled content generation, content management and content deployment systems.

Episode 2 — 1.18.10
Soundtrack — “Vampires” by Thievery Corporation from “Radio Retaliation.”

Watch other episodes on the playlist @ www.WatchScottWrite.com!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What did you write today?

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For the list called, “29 Pieces of Simple, Easy Advice That Will Change Your Business Forever,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

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

New website go live this week?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

How to Stand Out During a Job Interview

Watch the original interview on KSDK-5!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What makes you an approachable leader?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
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
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

7 (Not So) Harsh Realities of Entrepreneurship

1. Actions are antidotes. Mainly, to the fears you think are real. Which aren’t. Because they’re fears. And fears are only as real as your fear of them. Like the schoolyard bully whose sole source of power is your fear of him, most fears melt into a puddle of goo when you stand up to them.

That’s the action part. And it’s contrary to FDR’s philosophy that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. I disagree. I think the only thing we have to fear is the fear OF fear itself. Nothing a few courageous steps of action can’t fix. If this action drains your energy and ability to change, what would cause the opposite?

2. Bodies are barometers. They speak the language of Truth. They tell you what your mouth is afraid to say, what your ears don’t want to hear and what your brain is too chickenshit to admit. Your mission is to listen louder. Much louder. And to treat everything you hear as legitimate, quantitative data.

Look: This isn’t like flying coach when you stick your ear buds in and tune out the safety demonstration you’ve heard a thousand times. This is your health. And your business will thank you for prioritizing it over everything else. What is your body saying about your pace?

3. Boundaries are saviors. If you don’t set boundaries for yourself, other people will set them for you. And then they will violate them. And then they will tell all their little friends that it’s OK to violate them. All because you failed to set a precedent of value by putting a stake in the ground.

Your challenge: This week, don’t let yourself back down from another boundary defining moment. Give yourself permission to say no to the good so you can make space for the best. What would it cost you NOT to stick up for your boundaries here?

4. Brands are accelerators. On the customer side, they accelerate the decision making process and the sales cycle. On your side, they accelerate profitability and company growth. But here’s what’s scary: For too long, too many businesspeople have barely skated by with ZERO branding.

And while it may have worked for a few decades, eventually, brandless businesses become broke businesses. You can’t afford not to have one anymore. Be branded or be stranded. How much longer can you go without having an identity?

5. Clients are teachers. Let them participate in your brand. They will teach you how to sell to them. They will teach you how to serve them better. They will teach you what products to release next. They will teach you where to take your business. They will teach you what you’re doing wrong.

All you have to do – and this are the two steps most companies miss – is ask them, then listen. Loudly. What kind of feedback loops are you generating so your customers and employees can have a genuine conversation?

6. Interruptions are derailments. An article in The New York Times recently reported that the average employee is interrupted every eleven minutes. If you do the math, that’s forty-three interruptions over the course of an eight hour day.

Are. You. Kidding. Me.

No wonder productivity is in the toilet. Thank God I’m self-employed. What I’d be interested to know is how many of those interruptions were self-inflicted, and how many were legitimate time stoppers. Because you always have a choice. Remember: The best way to block a punch is to not be there. Is what you’re doing RIGHT NOW consistent with your #1 goal?

7. Maybes are lies. If you don’t say, “I will,” you won’t. If you don’t say, “I choose to,” you aren’t. That’s how powerful language is. My suggestion is to write the word “maybe” on a pad of sticky notes. Then draw a big fat “X” through each one. Then post them all around your office.

Soon enough, that word will be permanently deleted from your vocabulary. And that’s when your pattern of execution will begin to manifest. Your welcome. What are the components of your success vocabulary?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What (not so) harsh reality are you avoiding?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “99 Questions Every Entrepreneur 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
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

10 Simple Secrets Smart Entrepreneurs Know — And Broke Entrepreneurs Ignore

1. Put your money where your foot is. Mouths don’t do anything but eat and talk. And occasionally drool. Feet, on the other hand, are profit centers. No wonder so many successful entrepreneurs have corns and calluses: It’s all about mileage.

It’s all about asking the question, “What’s the next action?” Remember: Your feet are your balance sheet’s best friend. Better engage your pedometer. Profitability comes from steppability. What massive action did you take today?

2. Honesty shouldn’t HAVE to be a policy. If you have to remind your people to tell the truth, you need new people. On the other hand, if your leaders cleave to truth and practice radical, rigorous honesty, your people will follow suit.

Truthfulness speaks volumes, begets trustworthiness and accelerates followership. Policies are for amateurs. Have you introduced a steady stream of truth serum into your leadership diet?

3. A man is known by the company he keeps AWAY from. Show me who you refuse to hang with, and I’ll show you who you are. That’s perhaps more indicative of your character. On a deeper level, also think about the people you refuse to listen to. Same thing.

It’s all about whom you let participate in your life. Because it’s too damn short to surround yourself with people who don’t challenge and inspire you. How much time are you spending with people who haven’t learned how to value you yet?

4. If you can’t think of anything nice to say, you’re not very creative. Everybody hates somebody. Personally, I could name ten people – right now – that I would just LOVE to watch take a bath in hydrochloric acid. But as much as dislike them, I could still say something good about every one o them. It’s all about making the choice to attend differently to people.

You have to ask yourself questions like: How could this person positively affect me? What makes this person special? What is the hidden treasure inside this person that maybe others don’t see? What character qualities do I admire in this person? What potential, ability and wisdom do I see in this person? What has this person accomplished that needs to be celebrated? Remember: There’s always something nice to say. What do you see when you see people?

5. It is what it is. Wrong. It ISN’T what it is. “It” is what you’ve chosen it to be. “It” is what you’ve given yourself permission to accept. “It” is what you’ve allowed to exist into your life. “It” is what you’ve assumed you’re stuck with.

Screw “it.” I loathe the word “it.” The word “it” is a personal responsibility dodger. It you don’t like “it,” change “it.” Is it (really) what it is?

6. Shtick gets your foot in the door, but only substance keeps you in the room. Shtick is necessary, but it’s not enough to sustain you. Customers demand substance. Meat. Value. Sustainability. They want a sweet candy shell AND gooey, delicious Tootsie center.

Sadly, too many entrepreneurs are all shtick and no substance. Like Dum-Dum pops: All sugar, no payoff. The secret is being remarkable (and) relevant, worthwhile, marketable and brand-consistent. Otherwise the milk from your Purple Cow will taste sour. What substance will keep you in the room?

7. Only the WRONG survive. Be incorrect more. Encourage aggressive mistakes. Go screw something up – then go learn from it. After all: The wronger you are, the stronger you become. But only if your wrongness of action is punctuated with rightness of reflection.

Remember: Mistakes are springboards. Mistakes build instincts. Mistakes precede truth. Mistakes reframe creativity. Mistakes reveal individuality. What do you have to learn from this mistake to make it no longer a mistake?

8. Opposites attract, but that doesn’t mean they endure. Especially if there’s no commonality of constitution. No foundational harmony. No overlapping value systems. Because as much as we’d like to think life is like a Beatles song, love isn’t enough.

Love isn’t all you need. Not if you seek sustainability, that is. What are your 2010 relationship goals?

9. The best way to bring home the bacon is to raise your own pigs. That way, you’re the only shot caller. No permission. No committees. No compliance. No decision-making hierarchy. Just you. Wow. Can you imagine how much time, money, effort, energy and stress you could conserve by in-housing your next project?

Ask yourself: What if you bought your own equipment and made it yourself? What if you built everything proprietary and created your OWN studio? What if you never had to hire anyone ever again because you learned how to do it yourself? Just a thought.

After all: Having done it yourself makes you a more educated entrepreneur. Plus execution occurs faster. Maybe being a pig farmer isn’t as bad as it sounds. Maybe Thoreau was right when he said, “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” How much (more) money could you be earning working solo?

10. Your ship never comes in – only your dock gets bigger. Stop waiting for things to happen to you and start happening to things. Practice purposeful impatience and start taking action toward what you desire. Don’t wait for permission. Don’t wait for perfection. And certainly don’t wait until you know what the hell you’re doing.

Just go. It’s only a matter of time before the captain says, “Welcome aboard!” Of course, none of this happens without an eagerly desirous, raring-to-go, restless expectation and dislike of anything that causes delay. That’s the construct of an impatient person.

Remember: Triple your impatience = Triple your proactivity = Triple your profits. What one step could you take now to start moving forward to your ideal future?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What epiphany will you have this week?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “65 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me When I Started My Company,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to be a Harder Act to Follow than a Playboy Fashion Show at Folsom State Prison

PICTURE THIS: You just watched somebody give a speech.

Or present an idea. Or share a story. Or tell a joke. Or voice their opinion.

And it was so good, so interesting, so engaging and so entertaining, that your immediate response was to whisper to the guy sitting next to you, “Man, I’d hate to have to follow THAT…”

Have you ever wondered HOW people do that?
How they command the energy of the room with grace and gusto?

Me too. Today we’re going to talk about how to be a hard act to follow:

1. Be a consummate provocateur. Your job isn’t to educate or entertain people – it’s to disturb them. The word “emotion” derives from the Latin emotere, which means, “to disturb.” So, it’s not bad, it’s not good – it’s just a disturbance. A breaking of patterns. A shaking up of things. Making your words piercing and disquieting.

So much so that people squirm in their seats. Sure, it might be uncomfortable for a minute, but that’s part of the adventure. The reality is, some people NEED to have a little disturbance “breathed into them.” Focus on evoking emotion instead of creating sensation, and you will win. How provocative are your words?

2. Don’t “use humor” – just be funny. It’s not a tool or a thing or a trick or a technique or shtick. It’s a way and a style. You don’t use humor like you use hair gel. Humor is something you embody. You don’t “do” humor – you ARE humor.

That’s why people laugh. Your inherent funniness activates, animates and aggregates the humorous part of their being. And if you don’t think you’re funny, you’re wrong. Everybody is funny. Don’t fall victim to that trap of laziness. You don’t need ventriloquize other people’s humor and pawn it off as your own original material.

As I learned in the book Throwing the Elephant, “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.” Are you trying to use humor or allowing your natural funniness to shine?

3. Don’t let them catch you acting. Oscar-winning actor Michael Cane once said: “The art is hiding the art.” Therefore: It’s not about manipulating people. Or fooling them. Or hiding something. Or misrepresenting the facts. It’s about discovering your voice. Your thing. Your sound. Your domain. Your territory. Your signature style. Your unique delivery of creative material.

And if you want to be a hard act to follow, your goal is to speak in a manner that’s so natural, so conversational and so unique to you that people don’t even know you’re doing it. You might try a few of the exercises in this module called How to Brand Your Language. Remember: It’s method acting, and the character you’re playing is yourself. When will the Academy award your performance?

4. Don’t prove yourself; express yourself. Proving is striving for approval; expressing is allowing for refusal. Proving is proclaiming your superiority; expressing is embodying your fabulousness. Proving is demanding your rights; expressing is deploying your gifts.

Proving is talking smack; expressing is doing acts. Proving is playing to the crowd; expressing playing for the sake of playing. Ultimately, the big difference between the two is that proving is DOING and expressing is BEING. Period. Which one do you practice?

5. Give your audience something useful. Not recycled wisdom. Not a steady stream of self-glorifying garbage. And not a collection of quotations and words of wisdom from old dead white guys. Speak with MCI, or, Meaningful Concrete Immediacy. First, speak to self-interest. Ask yourself: Whom this audience needs to look good for? Ask yourself: What are these people’s success seeds? Ask yourself: What is the key to these people’s hearts?

Second, be concise. Get to the point quicker. Learn to speak in soundbites. Human attention span resets after six seconds. And finally, and be actionable. Show people HOW. Deliver ideas that can be put to use the minute you’re finished talking. Are you all keepers and no fluff?

6. Fire goes a long way. Most people spend all their time, money and effort memorizing the message when they should be mastering the medium. Look. I don’t care if you’re discussing colon hydrotherapy best practices. If you speak with enthusiasm, passion, articulation, wisdom – in other words, FIRE – and people will listen. Guaranteed.

They’ll be so engaged that they’ll forget they’re even listening to you. All because you gave your audience permission to be taken over by your performance. Remember: The medium IS the message. How well do you embody energetic availability?

7. Help people get lost. July 19, 2009. Phoenix. It was a keynote speech that changed my life. Scott Halford, author of Be a Shortcut, told an audience of 1,300 professional speakers, “I don’t use GPS because I can’t imagine living in a world where you can’t get lost.”

Lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to send people on mental journeys. Drop some fertilizer on the audience and let them challenge and inspire themselves. They’ll get lost in the best way possible. They’ll trudge down the trail for themselves. And when they come back, caked in sweat and dirt, they’ll be glad they don’t have to follow your act. Are you willing to rip up the map?

8. Hit the ground running. Whether you’re telling a story, giving a speech or conducting a meeting, be mindful of the VERY FIRST sentence out of your mouth.. Take George Carlin, for example. He became well known for delivering opening lines that received standing ovations. My personal favorite was, “I’d like to begin tonight by saying, ‘Screw Lance Armstrong!’ Aren’t you tired of being told who your heroes are?”

Lesson learned: Don’t waste people’s time. Leave out the parts people skip. Just go. Are your first words unexpected and interesting enough to make people look up from their Crackberries?

REMEMBER: It’s hard to be a hard act to follow.

I challenge you to plug yourself, your meetings, your stories, your pitches and your presentations into these eight equations.

In conclusion, I’m reminded of the wise words of the great philosopher, Mitch Hedberg, who once said, “I’m a hard act to follow because when I’m done, I take the microphone with me.”

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you unfollowable?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the ebook called, “234 Things I’ve Learned about Writing, Delivering and Marketing Speeches,” send an email to me, and you win the ebook for free!

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

Who’s quoting YOU?

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

www.stuffscottsaid.com.

3 Ways to become More Hireable

You can also watch the original version on KMOV’s website!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What makes you an approachable leader?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
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
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

5 Ways to Shake Hands with Yourself

Sometimes we forget who we are.

So much so, that we almost need to reintroduce ourselves to ourselves.

Here are five ways for doing so:

1. Develop an orientation toward self-confrontation. I never placed much value on self-confrontation until I started doing yoga. Talk about instant reeducation. I quickly discovered that when you’re faced squarely with your half naked body in a full-length mirror in the company of forty half-naked, sweaty strangers for ninety minutes straight, you have no choice but to confront your truth.

Literally. No metaphor needed. There’s no better way to remember who you are. Or how badly you need a shower. And, it’s amazing what you learn about yourself in this kind of arena. What’s more, once the bug of self-confrontation bites you, you begin to crave it in other areas of your life.

And that’s when the REAL learning begins. Because you notice patterns about yourself. Some disturbing, some refreshing. I hope you, too, will find a regular venue of honesty and reflection that suits your style. When was the last time you honestly confronted yourself?

2. Establish an expectation-free support structure. My friend Dixie once told me, “Who other people want you to be is the most destructive wrapping paper of all. In fact, it’s mummy wrap disguised as wrapping paper. And once we believe in THEIR version of ourselves, we’re merely ghosts of our real selves.”

The secret, Dixie says, is to surround yourself with people who celebrate whoever you are – right now. Perhaps it’s worth sitting down and mapping out the five people that are currently occupying most of your time. Then, honestly asking four questions:

*Am I being fair to myself by continuing this relationship?
*Does this person enrich my life in any way?
*Is this person helping me create a future that I’m going to feel obligated to be a part of?
*Is this an opportunity, or an opportunity to be used?”

That should help filter out the type of people whose expectations are causing you stomach cramps. Once they’re gone, you can fully and freely focus on investing your time and energy in expectation-free relationships.

Remember: Few things are more painful than putting yourself in situations where you regret allowing people to participate in your life. What would it cost you NOT to stand up for your boundaries here?

3. Customize a system for exposing your blind spots. The term “blind spot” isn’t just an idiom or catchy pop song lyric. It originates from the Greek word scotoma, or darkness. And, at the risk of getting WAY too anatomical, check this out. Optometric literature reports that your blind spot is the place in the visual field in which there are no cells to detect light on the optic disc. This is what prevents a certain part of the field of vision from being perceived.

Interesting. Sounds like your challenge is fourfold. First, accept the existence of your shadow. You have one, and you need to shake hands with it.

Second, surround yourself with people whose thinking is perpendicular to your own. By virtue of intellectual diversity, their provocations will sneak into the dark corners of your truth and expose your unperceivables.

Third, give these people permission to look out the rear window of your life and tell you whether or not that 18-wheeler is merging into your lane.

Finally, listen. Listen loudly. Take notes if you have to. Then, thank these people for exposing your blind spots and reminding you who you are. Not even the best Lasik surgery in the world can see that stuff. Remember: Sometimes we’re too close TO ourselves to see the truth ABOUT ourselves. How are you shedding light on YOUR blind spots?

4. Hit the page patiently. If you start (and KEEP) writing – for at least fifteen minutes, every single day – it’s amazing what shows up. Ideas you can’t believe you had. Thoughts you’re amazed came from your brain. Insights about yourself that knock your own socks off.

The tricky part is, you can’t force it. You have to patiently wait for insight to emerge. That’s why fifteen minutes is the absolute minimum. That’s (usually) how long it takes from the moment you turn on the faucet to the moment the water is warm enough to tolerate.

Almost like spending two hours at driving range, hitting shanks all morning, then suddenly crushing a frozen rope three hundred yards down the fairway right as that cute girl walks by. That’s the way creativity works: You have to clear away the crap before you bring forth the bounty. How much money is being impatient costing you?

5. Humor is the gateway to truth. In his 2010 postmortem autobiography, Last Words, George Carlin wrote, “No one is ever more herself than when she really laughs. When you make someone laugh, you’re guiding her whole being for the moment.”

If you want to remember who you are, never forget what makes you laugh. Ever. Even if you find humor in unexpected moments that most people would deem unfunny, inappropriate or perverse. Like that time I saw a three hundred pound woman at Kroger whose wheelchair was so heavily weighed down with groceries, she actually had to start putting food BACK on the shelf just to get the wheels turning again.

Whatever. That’s funny. I say: Laugh anyway. Laugh so hard you pee, cry and puke at the same time. Laugh so loud the people five rows behind you look over to see if your oxygen mask was accidentally filled with Nitrous.

Here’s the reality: Denying laughter is denying truth. Telling someone she can’t laugh is like tell someone she can’t be herself. And if there’s one thing you should never, ever have to apologize for, it’s that which makes you crack up. How many comedy albums do you own?

REMEMBER: We all need help remembering who we are.

I challenge you to shake hands with yourself this week.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you remind yourself who you are?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “23 Ways to Bring More of Yourself to Any Situation,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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