How to Matter

The human need to feel needed by (and valuable to) the world is about as deep as they come.

Here are some ideas to help you (and/or) your organization matter:

1. Make soaring unpreventable. The first time I heard Dave Matthews play the song he wrote for his wife called Loving Wings, I was brought to tears. The chorus goes: “I give to you my everything. You’ve given me these loving wings. And angels have all gathered round to hear me sing my love out loud.”

That’s your job: With your customers, your employees, your kids, your friends – to help them paint a picture of what they know they can achieve. In short: To give them wings. People don’t need Red Bull – they need you look them in the eye and say, “I believe in you.” How are you empowering people to become the person they were created to be?

2. Be fresh air. Unless you live in Tasmania (which, according to, has the cleanest measured air on Earth) most of the oxygen surrounding us is stale, recycled and tastes like the Sunday morning redeye from Vegas. So, just imagine how much of an impact you could have on the environment around you if your ideas, words and actions brought even the slightest amount of freshness.

Are you saying the same thing as everyone else? Hope not. Because freshness doesn’t just matter – it makes money. However, as you tip toe along the lunatic fringe, remember what Jim Flowers says, “Carefully and deliberately consider the raves, rants, fashion, science, and art of the avant garde. Explore the world of ‘too much.’ There is a very, very fine line between goofy and prophetic.” Are your ideas stale?

3. Bring solid value. Not just talk. Not just shtick. The word “matter” comes from the Latin materia, which means, “substance.” And you owe it to the world to let it ooze out of you. If you were charged with the crime of adding value, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

4. You must teach. Teachers are heroes. And anyone can be one. The two questions are: What is the teaching you are called to do? And what’s your teaching style? Couple of choices. Through your beliefs would be good. Through your words would be great. Through your actions would be awesome. But through your personal being – now that would be positively devastating.

Not to mention remarkable, since 90% of the world teaches through the first three approaches. My best suggestion for doing so is to write, memorialize, revisit and embody the living document known as your Personal Constitution. Email me if you want to learn more. How many new students have you enrolled this week?

5. Pry your life out of the jaws of average. There’s pervasive pressure to embrace mediocrity. For the love of God, don’t give in. Wage a war against boringness. Violently refuse to become a follower of the common ways of the mediocre masses. Instead, joyfully and loudly occupy the margins.

As Seth Godin explained in an interview with Selling Power, “Mediocrity is for losers. The big win is when you refuse to settle for average and you say I’m going to give up 90% of the opportunities.” Are you vanilla?

6. Be a person of consequence. This reminds me of a gorgeous song by Jose Gonzalez called Cycling Trivialities: “Don’t know which way to turn, every trifle becoming big concerns. All this time you were chasing dreams, without knowing what you wanted them to mean.”

Do you know someone like that? A person with no apparent goals or dreams? I bet you do. And I bet they don’t matter. Ouch. Your challenge is to continually ask yourself this question: Are the ideas, issues and problems I’m dedicating my time to trivialities or substantialities?

7. Be of duty and destiny. You’ve been given a divine assignment. A mandate. A job to do. And your mission is to find the small corner of the universe that is yours to transform – touch it – and then set it free. It’s like Paulo Coelho said in The Alchemist: “Follow your personal legend and the world will conspire to help you attain it.” People who do that matter. Why are you?

8. Be a relevant, noticeable shaper. I recently read a 2006 article from Business 2.0 Magazine called, “50 People That Matter Right Now.” What I find telling, however, isn’t the people on the list – but the people who wrote the list. In a sidebar, the editors reported the following:

“The names presented here weren’t selected on the basis of fame, net worth, or the accomplishments of yesteryear. Instead, our goal was to identify people whose ideas, products, and business insights are changing the world we live in today. Those who are reshaping our future by inventing important new technologies, exploiting emerging opportunities, or throwing their weight around in ways that are sure to make everyone else take notice. In assembling this list, we emphasized one key question: What have you done for us lately? We also considered its important corollary: What will you do for us tomorrow?”

What are you shaping?

9. Success isn’t the end. I learned this lesson from Um Hong-Gil. By the time he was forty, Um was the first South Korean to reach the summit of all fourteen eight thousand meter peaks in the world. In March of 2010, I had the honor of sharing the stage with Um during last week’s MDRT Conference in Seoul.

“Success isn’t the end,” he said in front of four thousand people. Wow. Coming from a guy who lost dozens of climbing colleagues – not to mention three frostbitten toes – that message certainly struck a nerve. It reminds of what Seth Godin (also) mentioned in the aforementioned interview:

“Life is like skiing: The goal is not to get to the bottom of the hill, the goal is to have a lot of great runs before sunset.” When it comes to success, are you a repeat offender?

REMEMBER: Nobody said mattering would be easy.

That’s probably why not everybody does it. Like Tom Hanks said in A League of Their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everybody would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.”

Do you matter?

For the list called, “For the list called, “7 Ways to Out Leverage 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
[email protected]

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

12 Ways to Lead a Potent, Productive and Profitable Thought Life

If you want the marketplace to recognize you as a Smokin’ Hot Piece of Brain Candy, “thinking” is not your main responsibility.

Thinking is merely the residue of leading a potent, productive and profitable thought life.

Want to learn how to have one of those?

I thought you might ask.

1. Take intellectual initiative. Most people’s thoughts are somebody else’s. Don’t let this happen to you. Mindless acceptance is the yellow brick road to the Wonderful Wizard of Chaos. Before taking action on your brainstuff, ask yourself three questions:

Is this thought really mine?
Am I living someone else’s mechanical thoughts?
Am I bound and limited by the thoughts others have formulated for me?

Remember: Your thoughts need to be yours. If you don’t take control of your cognitive faculties, someone will gladly do it for you. How diligently and proactively are you taking ownership of your thought life?

2. You get exactly what you’re willing to receive. Let’s take creative inspiration, for example. If you want to become a relentlessly open container in which the world can place its ideas, you’ve got to: (1) invoke the muse to come, (2) honor the muse when it arrives, and (3) thank the muse when it departs.

That way she will gladly return tomorrow. And who knows? Maybe she’ll stay longer next time. But only if you’re more receptive to her whispers. What is your ritual for summoning the higher creative forces?

3. Book blank time. In 2006, PBS ran a special called, Warren Buffett & Bill Gates Go Back to School. Recorded on college campuses nationwide, unedited in front of live audiences, Buffet and Gates simply sat on a stage and answered questions. That’s it. Coolest program ever.

One of the lessons I remember both billionaires sharing was their daily dedication to booking blank time. No meetings. No calls. No nothing. Just space to think. Every day. Based on their combined net worth, I’d say profitable would be an understatement. How much time each day do you sit uninterrupted and quiet with just your thoughts?

4. Be determined to spread the truth you discover. Doesn’t matter if it’s thee truth – just your truth. The point is: Thoughts are useless if kept captive inside your head. Learn to release them in – one pebble at a time – into the pond of life. The ripples will come back tenfold.

As long as you resist the Whoami Syndrome: Who am I to share this thought? Who am I to publish my opinion? Well, just ask Technorati: The web’s leading cataloguer and researcher of blogs. According to their annual report, there’s a new blog created every second. Every second. That’s 86,000 new blogs a day. What’s your excuse?

5. Conversations are laboratories. I have lunch with Smokin’ Hot Pieces of Brain Candy at least once a week. It’s like balm to my soul. Fuel for my brain. And here’s why: Talking makes you think. Thinking makes you write. Writing makes you create. Creating makes you ship. Shipping makes you money. Q.E.D.

If you’re looking for a creative boost to attract more ideas into that big juicy brain of yours, start using conversations as tools. Here are four lab rules to remember when cooking up something new in your conversational laboratory: (1) Increase your frequency, (2) Take more notes, (3) Ask better questions, and (4) Become a plucker of good ideas. Whom did you have lunch with this week?

6. Solvitas perambulatorum. This is the Latin term for solving problems in the process of physical exercise. It’s the perfect way to tranquilize the mind without using pills or powders. Here’s why: Exercise clears your mind, stabilizes your emotions and levels your perspective. It contributes to an increased production and release of endorphins. That results in a sense of euphoria that has been popularly labeled as the “runner’s high.”

What’s more, pumping rhythmically and repetitively also pumps the well of your creativity. That’s why walking, swimming, running and cycling work so well. Hell, I’ve written entire books in my head on eight-mile runs. Even Thomas Jefferson, who was known for taking two-hour walks every day, implemented this practice religiously:

“The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and a strong body makes a strong mind.” Do it daily. Do it rhythmically. Do it intentionally. Stretch your legs and you will stretch your brain. Did you work out today?

7. Think about your thoughts. All Smokin’ Hot Pieces of Brain Candy know how to spy on themselves. If you haven’t already implemented a system for doing so, consider asking yourself (or posting on sticky notes around your office) the following self-evaluation questions:

(1) Do these thoughts serve me or hurt me? (2) Will these thoughts bring me peace of mind? (3) Am I thinking a thought that will stress me out? (4) Do all the thoughts in my head get along with each other? That way you can keep a watchful eye on what you allow to enter into your headspace. Are you mindfully monitoring your thoughts or allowing them to dictate how you behave?

8. Transform your interior landscape. I will now summarize every self-help book ever written: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” That’s from The Bible. You may have heard of it. Now, I think it’s fair to say that the concept is common knowledge. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it common practice.

Your challenge is to customize a daily practice of saturating your mind with successful thoughts and keeping your internal conversations in alignment with success and fulfillment. What seem to be your most productive thought patterns?

9. Save the smarties for Jeopardy. No disrespect to Alex Trebeck, but the world has too many smart people and not enough intellectuals. You don’t need to accumulate facts – you need to explore ideas, extract universal truths from your experiences and apply them to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

My mentor, Bill Jenkins, is one of the great intellectuals I know. He explained the difference between the two as follows: “Smart people study content for the purposes of memorization. Intellectuals entertain ideas for the purpose of democratization.” True Smokin’ Hot Pieces of Brain Candy accomplish the latter. Are you an intellectual or just really smart?

10. Release your thoughts. Even if you never publish a single thought in your life, relocating them from your brain to the page is paramount to the potency of your thought life. First, writing is the great clarifier. You don’t know what you know until you physically write it out.

Secondly, writing is the great organizer. Until you see your words on a page, flipchart, dry erase board or sticky note, you will never realize the inherent geometry of your thoughts. The brain is a self-organizing system, and most of the logistical work has already been done. You just need to experience it visually.

Finally, writing down your thoughts makes them public in your mind. By virtue of relocation, your brain instantly relaxes because it doesn’t have to remember anything. Whew. What did you write today?

11. Stay incessantly commitment to observation. There never ceases to be an inexhaustible source of living water. All that’s requires is that you poke about the world, stay quietly fascinated and look with the right pair of eyes.

You also need to ask questions like: How do these ideas relate to my life? Is there a method of thinking or a metaphor implied that I could adapt to my own world? How does this fit into my theory of the universe?

Remember: Creativity is nothing but active listening. If you find yourself blocked, perhaps you should have your hearing checked. Are you a great noticer?

12. Never neglect your non-thought life. As profitable and beautiful and essential it is to be a thinker, don’t forget to balance your thoughts with non-thoughts. Incorporate regular time each to go perpendicular. Even if it’s just for five minutes. Play music. Meditate. Practice yoga. Work in the garden. Whatever.

Return to your sanctuary of non-thought to refresh, rejuvenate and air out your brain. You will return with strength. Remember: If there’s not enough whitespace around your grey matter, your head might explode. How much time do you spend each day doing the opposite of thinking?

REMEMBER: Thinking is not your main responsibility.

Leading a potent, productive and profitable thought life is.

I think.

How much of a thinker are you?

For the ebook called, “10 Ways to become a Smokin’ Hot Piece of Brandy Candy,” send an email to me, and you win the ebook for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
[email protected]

Who’s quoting YOU?

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

How to be a Human Being

Your humanity is not a liability.

Being a robot, however, might lose your company money.

Today we’re going to talk about being a human being.

Which, after extensive research, is something I’ve discovered can be surprisingly difficult for many people – myself included.

Einstein once said, “Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison of self-delusion by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Well, that sounds easy. Thanks a lot, Big Al.

Perhaps these suggestions will help:

1. Resist compartmentalizing people. Especially into convenient little personality boxes or oversimplified categories. Personality tests and “type” assessments frustrate me. Sure, it’s helpful in office situations and team projects. As long as you’re not reducing a human being named Randy to a label named ENFJ.

People want to be called by their name – not their score. People want to be treated as human beings – not statistics, not acronyms and not categories. Of course, this all depends on what you see when you see people. Do you see people as individuals to be cared for and enjoyed or objects to be manipulated and controlled?

2. Love your limits, liabilities, trespasses and shadows. Assess, take ownership of, and exert your vulnerabilities. You’ll find that endorsing your own weakness establishes your acceptance of the imperfect humanness of others. What’s more, when you let previously disregarded aspects of yourself come to the surface and acknowledge and embrace all aspects of who you are – people relax.

Plus, you give them permission to reciprocate. For example: I have no sense of direction, I used to litter constantly, I recently had six cavities filled, I’m useless when it comes to details, and I couldn’t change a tire if Al Qaeda was jamming an oozy against my temple. Just a few of my liabilities. How willing are you to share yours?

3. Crying demonstrates alignment. Bodies are barometers. And emotion is the final arbiter of truth. If tears are flowing, so is honesty. Lesson learned: Turning on the water works isn’t a crime. (Unless you’re trying to cry your way out of a speedy ticket, in which case, I hate you.)

Look, don’t hold the tears back. More importantly, never, EVER apologize for starting to cry. That’s what most people do instinctively: They say they’re sorry.

For what? Being honest? Being open? Being a human? Dude, it’s cool. Let it out, brother. All we’re going to do is respect you more. Unless you start dribbling snot on people. Then we have a sanitary problem. When was the last time you cried in the presence of other people?

4. Respond to the human need first. “Front desk – may I help you?” “Help! There’s an aggressive cobra in my bathtub!” “I’m sorry sir, but our hotel policy is not to negotiate with reptiles. Have a nice day.”

Ouch. Wrong need. Lesson learned: Before policies, before protocols, before anything, isolate the universal human need – in this case, death – and use that as your baseline point of response. Everything else can wait. Cobras are serious. Are you treating the problem or the person?

5. Understand, sympathize and empathize for the complexities of the human condition. Your humanity is marked (not) by your elevation above people, but your identification with them. Now, that doesn’t mean you pretend to be one of them. That actually works in reverse.

People can smell contrived connection like a wet dog. Instead, to express sympathy and empathy through the following formula: “Kathy, I have no idea what it takes to (x). What I DO know is how it feels to (y).” Are you trying to hard to relate to people?

6. If you see people bleeding, don’t pretend they aren’t really hurting. Like the homeless veteran with the cardboard sign: You don’t have to give him your life savings – but at least acknowledge the guy. I’m reminded of a 2005 article from Law Enforcement News called, “Approaching Invisible People.”

“You know who they are. They are the homeless wandering the alleyways mumbling. They are the preachers on the street corners declaring they are Jesus Christ. They are the ‘invisible’ people the public ignores, but as law enforcement officers you must see them. You are their guardians. You are their protectors. And being able to talk to the invisible man means being able to communicate with every man.”

Lesson learned: Practice a little namaste. The spirit in me honors the spirit in you. That doesn’t mean you have to save everybody. That doesn’t mean you have to bandage the blood of all who hurt. But don’t pretend they’re not there. They know you see them. And you know that they know you see them. How many people did you go out of your way to ignore last week?

7. Instead of answering questions, answer unspoken needs. My mentor was great at this. Whenever you’d ask a question, he’d start his response by saying, “Scott, I think what you’re really asking about is (x) – is that fair?” Naturally, he was spot-on every time.

Because he could listen to what I was trying to communicate – but was unable or afraid to articulate. That’s the unspoken need. And as you listen to the people who are important to you, I challenge you to keep your third ear open for the message communicated – not just the words spoken.

The cool part is: When you practice noticing what people are afraid of revealing, you’ll quickly learn what it is they long for. But only if you penetrate the mask, get beneath the surface of people’s lives and take a swim in their sea of unspoken emotional needs. How can you give people permission to share what they’re afraid of revealing?

8. See people beyond their emotional baggage and into their hearts. I once wrote a love song to a girl with whom I was incurably smitten that said, “I want to learn what your flaws are just so I can tell you that I love you anyway … I want to learn what all your little quirks are just so I can say I don’t care.”

Lesson learned: Love is a package deal. Everybody’s got baggage. The question is whether or not you’re human enough to let the people you love carry their bags onto your plane and fly with you anyway. Do you love people along with all the baggage they check?

In conclusion, we turn to Alan Weber, cofounding editor of FastCompany and author of Rules of Thumb:

“We’re drawn to people who know who they are, who are comfortable in their own skins. Their sense of themselves makes it easier for us to know and trust them. It cuts down on the wasted energy and head games that too often accompany people in power who are at war with themselves – and take it out on us.”

REMEMBER: Your humanity isn’t a liability.

Just for today, trying being a human being.

You might like it.

If not, I’m sure the robots would love to have you.

What makes you human?

For the list called, “For the list called, “37 Personal Leadership Questions Guaranteed to Shake Your Soul,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
[email protected]

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

9 Ways to Set Yourself on Fire without Becoming a Burn Victim

“Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.”

These famous words have been attributed to the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Richard Pryor and Canadian Hockey legend Reggie Leach.

Sadly, we may never know who deserves the original credit.

IN REALITY: It doesn’t matter who said it.

All that matters is that YOU do it.

Now, I’ve done some preliminary research. And as far as I can tell, very few (if any) resources have been published on the topic of “How to Set Yourself on Fire.”

With the exception of Richard Pryor’s Wikipedia page, which reports that on June 9th, 1980, during the making of the film Bustin’ Loose, Pryor set himself on fire by freebasing cocaine and covering his body in 151-proof rum in a narcotic-induced psychosis, resulting in third degree burns of over half his body requiring a six-week recovery at the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital.

I assume you’re not going to go that route.

So, whether you’re rehearsing for a presentation, preparing for a sales call, gearing up for a pitch meeting – or just getting dressed for work – consider these nine ways to set yourself on fire without becoming a burn victim.

1. Saturate your consciousness with victory. During my daily appointment with myself, I ritually revisit the following reminders: (1) Action-based victories from the previous day’s accomplishments. This helps build momentum and self-confidence. (2) Personal victories in the form of affirmations of my highest talents and skills.

This is the oxygen – the fuel – that my fire requires to grow stronger. By doing this every morning for the past eight years, I’ve found my inner kindling to be perfectly prepared for ignition. I wonder what your consciousness is saturated with. How much time – each day – do you spend selling yourself to yourself?

2. Get in the zone – YOUR zone. Before every sales call, Dwight Schrute has a ritual: He sits in his vintage Trans Am the parking lot of the company he’s about to sell to, then blasts “Kickstart My Heart” by Motley Crue as loud as possible. So, is it any surprise he consistently wins Dunder Mifflin Salesperson of the Year?

Of course not. Because Dwight knows how to get in the zone. His zone. He knows how to set himself on fire. Personally, before every speech, I listen to the Rocky IV soundtrack in the bathroom stall while doing breathing exercises, creative visualization and positive affirmations. Works every time. Unless somebody walk in on me. Then it’s just plain awkward.

The point is, you can create whatever type of pre-game ritual you want. Anything that enables you to ride the wave. How do you get into the zone?

3. Dump the damp wood. Ever tried to make a campfire the morning after a thunderstorm? Good luck. Soggy wood never burns. (Looks like cold breakfast again!) In the same respect, you can’t set yourself on fire if the people in your life are dampening your flame.

That’s why you’ve GOT to make conscious choices about the individuals you allow to participate in your life. Learn to ask yourself questions like: Does this person add wood to my internal fire or sprinkle water on it? Is this person helping me become the best version of myself? Which people in my life don’t respect my time? Is this person a chronic abuser of my time and attention? Does this person enrich my life in any way?

Sure, it hurts to personally amputate people who don’t believe or support you. But living a non-flammable life hurts even more. Lesson learned: encircle yourself with kindlers. Life is too short to hang with people who don’t set you on fire. What damp wood do you need to throw back into the forest?

4. Sweep your fire radar. Have you ever gone through a “non-flammable” period in your life? Where you felt stuck, uninspired and stalemated? I know I have. And I remember when I sought counsel from my friend Dixie Dynamite. (With a name like that, I figured she could help.) Predictably, her response gave me chills: “Scott, if your soul was truly ignited, you would have noticed the flame.”

Damn it. Guess my fire is out, I thought. Fortunately, Dixie gave me the antidote. “If your flame is out, think back to the last time it burned brightly. What was happening? Who was around? How did you feel?” This exercise raises your awareness and makes you more available to future flames. Try it. How sharp is your fire awareness?

5. Surpass your personal threshold level. In Sam Parker’s book, 212° The Extra Degree, he explains, “At 211°, water is hot. At 212°, water boils. And with boiling water, comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive. The one extra degree makes the difference.”

Maybe that’s all you need. Maybe the bridge between flammable and incombustible is shorter than you think. Either way: The rest of the world is doing everything they can to prevent you from reaching that tipping point because they’re scared shitless that your success will eclipse their averageness.

I guess it depends how much you’re willing to give up to get what you want. What’s the one extra degree that will propel you beyond your threshold level?

6. Practice impossible patience. According to UL 94 Flammability Testing, one of the primary ignition characteristics is “long-term exposure to elevated temperature.” That’s interesting. Maybe the fuel for your the fire isn’t oxygen – it’s patience.

Of course, there’s only one problem with that: You won’t find patience anywhere on the periodic table of elements – only within. The hard part is having faith that the heat provided by your eventual flame will outweigh the wait it took to ignite it. Are you letting the internal movement of patience flavor your fire?

7. Firefighters are busy people. These guys work 24-hour shifts. Naturally, on their days off, the only thing they want to do is sleep. Which isn’t a bad thing if you’re an actual firefighter. However, if, as a leader, you spend most of your days putting out other people’s fires, you won’t have any energy left to start a one of your own.

Yikes. Maybe it’s time to start asking yourself: Who creates fires you waste time putting out? Think of it as a process of elimination. That way, setting yourself on fire becomes a mathematical certainty. You become gloriously unimpeded. That is, once all the crap has been laid aside. What’s preventing you from becoming the best, highest version of yourself?

8. You will need an ignition source. “A heat supply having sufficient energy to initiate combustion of a material.” That’s the official definition of ignition source, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Fortunately, the supply is endless. As long as your receptors are tuned into the frequency of inspiration, you’ll never be short of an ignition source.

The tricky part is figuring out how to fire inspiration into yourself. For example, during a 1998 interview between George Carlin and Jon Stewart, Carlin explained, “I don’t use drugs anymore, but I always have a joint nearby.” Now, I’m suggesting you partake in anything illegal. Rather, I challenge you think about the components of your ideal creative environment where ignition is pervasive. What’s your system for initiating creative combustion?

9. Balance energy expenditure with energy renewal. As I learned from The Power of Full Engagement, “The richest, happiest and most productive lives are characterized by the ability to fully engage in the challenge at hand, but also to disengage periodically and seek renewal.”

Lesson learned: The more time you spend “doing,” the more time you need to invest “being.” Suggestion: Create a ratio that fits your lifestyle – and stick to it. Be vigilant about protecting your non-negotiables. Personally, I’ve found great success with Mini Vacations.

Here’s how they work: Each day, spend anywhere from fifteen minutes to two hours. Then, go perpendicular to the task at hand. Engage different parts of your mind, body and spirit. Whether you meditate, go for a walk, watch an episode of Southpark or go play the ukulele – you will renew and expand your energy reserves, guaranteed. When was the last time you took a vacation?

REMEMBER: Spontaneous combustion isn’t enough.

Learn to set yourself on fire.

And soon, people will come back just to watch you burn.

How flammable are you?

For the ebook called, “203 Things I’ve Learned about Writing, Marketing and Selling Books,” send an email to me, and you win the ebook for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
[email protected]

Who’s quoting YOU?

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

6 Ways to be More Referable than a Edward Scissorhands at Lawn & Garden Convention

This post is working in conjunction with Duct Tape Marketing’s annual Make a Referral Week!

1. Circumvent people’s suspicions. Recognize that you’re beginning with negative balance with most people. Sad but true. It’s just the posture of the masses. People have been sold, scammed and screwed; conned, played and hustled; manipulated, used and marketed to for too long and their TIRED of it.

Your mission is to exert comfortable confidence. To lower the threat level. To prove to people that they aren’t going to be the first person to trust you. Otherwise they’ll show up plagued by an underlying unease. And that’s a brick wall you don’t have the time, energy or equipment to climb. How will you disarm people’s immediate preoccupations before entering your orbit?

2. Resort (not) to artificiality. People who do this come off like terminal try-hards. And their gnawing sense of inferiority fills the room like a garlic fart. Not exactly the type of orbit admirers are drawn into.

The secret is making the conscious choice to reassemble your posture. To assume a different pose. And to stand up in front of the world and put yourself at risk. That’s what authenticity is all about: Flirting with the possibility of people not liking who you are, accepting the reality when they don’t.

As I learned from The Velveteen Rabbit, “Once you are real, you can’t be ugly – except to people who don’t understand.” How will you authentically extend yourself this week?

3. Be a source of infinite opportunity. “Become a platform.” Those three words alone were worth paying twenty bucks for Jeff Jarvis’s bestselling What Would Google Do? Here’s how it works: You give customers, users and fans the control to create and improve your online content. You aggregate information and services.

Then, you enable your admirers to build communities, networks – even products and businesses – of their own, under the umbrella of your platform. Think Twitter. Think Facebook. Think Linked In. All platforms. All raking it in. Lesson learned: When you make a platform, you make an indispensible contribution. What are YOU a platform for?

4. Jump at every chance to declare the unspoken truth. Follow the advice of Dilbert creator Scott Adams: “Be completely and radically honest where most people would say nothing.” Simple, yes. Easy, no. The secret is to plant the seeds of love where fear grows.

In my experience, here’s the best practice for doing so: Speak the unspeakables to compel people to think the unthinkables so they’re disturbed into doing the undoables. How are you branding your honesty?

5. Increase your agency. I love this concept. Just learned it myself a few weeks ago. Increase your agency. Now, it’s got nothing to do with the FBI or Leo Burnett. Agency is about the state of being necessary for exerting power. The cool part is, agency is relative. It all depends on where your power generator resides.

HOW to specifically increase your agency is up to you. The only advice I can offer to support your process is: Don’t make despair your default setting. It’s timelessly unattractive and will slowly nibble your power away like a school of baby piranhas. Where are you unintentionally giving your power away?

6. Be willing to be crucified. I think it’s fair to say that Jesus Christ had a knack for being “referable.” And, among his long list of approachable attributes, I think it’s also fair to say that his willingness to be crucified – literally – served his purpose well.

Now, the odds of you, as a Thought Leader, being nailed to an actual cross and left for dead are highly unlikely. (Then again, I don’t know you that well.) The point is: Crucifixion isn’t about wood and nails – it’s about criticism and persecution. It’s about passion, which comes from the Latin passio, which means, “to suffer.”

The two-fold question is: What do you do that you are willing to suffer for? And what do you do that – if you did NOT do it – would cause you suffering as a result? Find the answers to those questions and you’ll find admirers drawing into your orbit immediately. No messianic complex needed. Have you taken up your cross today?

How referable are you?

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
[email protected]

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Don’t Form a Partnership, Join a Team or Commence Collaboration Until You Read These Six Truths

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.”

Thoreau. Walden. 1854.

Does that statement still hold true today?

Absolutely. Especially for entrepreneurs and creative professionals.

MY THEORY: That’s the problem with collaboration. Or teams. Or partnerships. Or committees.

The more people you have, the longer it takes to move.

Not that you should be opposed to working with others.

Sometimes teams help.
Sometimes they hinder.

Sometimes two heads are better than one.
Sometimes two heads are deader than one.

Sometimes together everyone achieves more.
Sometimes together everyone annoys each other beyond belief and nothing gets executed.

LESSON LEARNED: Don’t allow your dreams to be realized at a significantly slower pace because you’re too busy looking over your shoulder.

That’s how once-great ideas fizzle.

All I can say is: Wait!

Before you form a partnership, join a team or commence collaboration, consider these six truths:

1. Conditioning murders efficiency. Since day one of preschool, we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that teamwork is the secret. That working together is the answer. As the motivational poster says “Together Everybody Achieves More.”

Not always. In truth, the efficacy of teams is largely a myth. But we’ve been romanced and seduced into believing that teams are so wonderful, when in fact their power works in reverse.

In the June 2009 issue of Inc., James Freedman said it best: “In many cases, individuals do much better on their own. Our bias toward groups is counterproductive.” Are you ready to wake up from the dangerous dreams you’ve been fed?

2. The best way to block a punch is to not be there. Inasmuch as teams, partnerships and collaborations net positive results, imagine the amount of baggage you wouldn’t have to deal with if you did it yourself:

No meetings. No arguing. No awkward silences. No power plays. No excuses. No asking permission. No begging for forgiveness. No memos. No putting out fires. No managing people. No task requests. No waiting for people. No socializing. No compromising. No office politics.

After deleting all of that noise, what are you left with? Work. That matters. That’s it. Think about it: If that were YOUR work environment, you’d be pretty productive too. Remember: Productivity isn’t about what you do – it’s about what you avoid. What punches would you be blocking by going it alone?

.3. Teams are overrated. In Richard Hackman’s book, Leading Teams, he explains that people tend to think that teams are the democratic and efficient way to get things done. “When you have a team, the possibility exists that it will generate magic, producing something extraordinary and a collective creation of previously unimagined quality or beauty,” he says.

“But don’t count on it. Teams underperform, despite all the extra resources they have. Problems with coordination and motivation typically chip away at the benefits of collaboration. And even when you have a strong and cohesive team, it’s often in competition with other teams, and that dynamic can also get in the way of real progress.”

Hackman helps us realize that with teams, you often have two strikes against you right from the start. And that sometimes, having a team is often worse than having no team at all. Is your romantic notion of the value of teams shooting you in the foot?

4. He travels fastest who travels alone. Kipling made that statement in 1888. Over a century later, it still holds true. Imagine:

When you work alone, you always reach a consensus.
When you work alone, you know when you’re not producing.
When you work alone, you take more personal responsibility.
When you work alone, you can’t sit idly by as you contribute nothing.
When you work alone, you spend time (actually) thinking and not listening to others’ irrelevant, inconsequential and counterproductive thoughts.

I wonder how much faster you would move if you moved alone. Who is holding you back from being best, highest version of yourself?

5. More people equal less progress. In a 2009 issue of Machine Design, editorialist Leland E. Teschler explained, “Development teams are often an obstacle to creativity rather than a vehicle for truly elegant solutions. Many team members work at cross-purposes. That’s why throwing more people at a project frequently slows it down rather than speeds its completion.”

I agree. Productivity, schmoductivity. As I learned in the hysterical book, I Hate People, even studies from a century ago prove that individual productivity declines as teams expand. It’s an inverse relationship, and it’s devastating to your performance. What is blocking your creativity?

6. Teams degrade decision quality. In his classic 1972 work, Victims of Groupthink, Yale psychology researcher Irving Janis wrote that groups often breed a false confidence that leads to unsound decisions none of the individuals in the group would have made on their own.

As I’ve experienced in my work as a one-man show: When you work alone, you’re forced to believe something because you truly believe – not because the group says it’s so.

When you work alone, you have no choice but to decide with conviction and confidence, as opposed to following the herd. How many poor decisions have you made because you delegated your confidence to the group?

REMEMBER: More often than not, teams, partnerships and collaborations are overrated.

If the man who works alone can start today – and if the world is accelerating faster than ever before in history – it seems to make more sense (and more CENTS) to go it alone.

Do you really need a team?

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

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
[email protected]

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11 Ways to Kick Your Own Ass without Ending Up at the Proctologist’s Office

People frequently ask me if I’m a motivational speaker.

My answer is, “Not really.”

HERE’S WHY: The only person that can motivate you is yourself.

Sure, outside influences are helpful.

They can educate you into awareness.
They can disturb you into discomfort.
They can inspire you into excitement.

But in the end, the onus is on you. Motivation lies within.

Buddha had it right: “Be a light unto yourself.”

The secret is learning how to kick your own ass. Today we’re going to talk about how:

1. No importance = No motivation. You will always make time for what’s important to you. Therefore: If you want to motivate yourself to do something, either: (1) make it important to you, or (2), connect it with something that’s already important to you. How are your priorities affecting your motivation?

2. Goals drive motivation. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. Wow. Sounds like a Yogi Berra quotation. Lesson learned: If you plan kick your own ass, have the foresight to print a roadmap on the bottom of your shoe.

Here’s how: Set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely, write them out. Carry them in your wallet. Look at them every day. Then make sure everything you’re doing throughout the day is aligned with them. Motivation will occur naturally.

By spending your time where it’s profitable and learning to say no to things (not) on the way to your dream, you will immediately put yourself at the center of action. And you will win. Are your goals in your wallet?

3. Expand self-efficacy. Speaking of goals. Famed psychologist Albert Bandura defines self-efficacy as a belief in our own ability to succeed, and our ability to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. According to his book Self-Efficacy:

“High levels of self-efficacy result in an ability to view difficult goals as a challenge, whereas people with low self-efficacy would likely view the same goals as being beyond their abilities, and might not even attempt to achieve them. ”

Lesson learned: Get in touch with your resistance. Know what stops, deflates and derails you. That way, your high resolve will never melt under the heat lamp of temptation. How efficacious are you?

4. Trying jumping first. Ever gone cliff diving? The same thing happens every time: You stand there, shaking in your Tevas, debating whether or not to take the plunge. Meanwhile, your friends cheer you on and/or call you a sissy. Eventually you can’t take it anymore. You realize you’re only delaying the inevitable.

So you jump. No thinking. No motivation needed. You just jump. And as your body cuts into the icy water, your body exhilarates with excitement. It’s the best rush you’ve had in years. So, what do you do? Quickly swim to shore, race back up the mountain and do it again.

The only difference is, NOW you’re motivated – because you’ve already jumped before. Lesson learned: The best motivation for doing something is having already done it once. What cliff do you need to dive off of?

5. Be not overwhelmed by circumstances. Be not imprisoned by the moment. Struggle not against the inevitable. As my friend Neen James says, “Assess whether whatever is happening is in your control or not. If it is, decide whether you want to change it. Then, if so, ponder if it would even be worthwhile to expend the energy doing so.”

By exercising this type of internal communication, you cease to be imprisoned by external conditions. How could you hold your own feet to the fire?

6. Self-motivation stems from self-knowledge. It all depends on the way you talk to yourself before taking action. For example, the silent dialogue I have with myself often includes questions like:

*Is this supporting my empire?
*Will this choice bring me closer to my highest vision for myself?
*Will this choice add to my life force or rob me of my energy?
*Will this action move me closer to honoring my values or further away?

Your mission is to take some time exploring your personal decision making process. Here’s a helpful guide for doing so. Are you the world’s expert on yourself?

7. Enlist active and ongoing encouragement from your environment. In my office, you can’t see the walls. They’re covered (ceiling to floor) with items of motivation: Letters from inspired readers. Testimonials from audience members. Hatemail from people with too much time on their hands. Newspaper clippings from articles I’ve written or been featured in. Pictures of people I love. Quotations from songs that shook my soul. A map of the country with a thumbtack on every city I’ve spoken in. (Just to name a few.)

This is how I motivate myself each day. Of course, I’m a visual learner. This might not work for you. Your mission is to create atmosphere conducive to motivation based on your preferences and style. How does your home turf subtlety kick you in the ass?

8. Trim the fat. It’s easy to motivate yourself when you’re not weighed down by heaps of unimportant, inconsequential debris. Your challenge is to become skilled at dropping the rocks that are slowing you down. Try asking questions like:

*Is what I’m doing right now consistent with my #1 goal?
*Who creates fires you waste time putting out?
*How much time and energy are you wasting on things over which you have absolutely ZERO control?
*What consumes my time but isn’t making any money?

Remember: Motivation means choosing. And choosing means letting other options go. Are you prepared to cut yourself lose from the past and swing into the present.

9. Accept that the planets will never be aligned. Don’t wait until everything’s perfect. Don’t wait until you know what you’re doing. Don’t wait until you’re experienced enough. Don’t wait for overwhelming evidence to trust yourself. Heighten your impatience.

Plunge into the vortex of action. And jump off the high board hoping there’s water below. Otherwise procrastination – the redneck second cousin of self-motivation – will rob you of the motivation you need to carry in the cavalry charge. How will you leverage impatience as fuel for your motivation?

10. Surround yourself with other ass kickers. Self-motivation is contagious. If you hang with people whose footprints are plastered on their own assess, you will have no choice but to become motivated yourself. Therefore: Associate with the generous, gravitate to the cheerful, listen to the inspiring and court the challenging.

Or, if you don’t have friends like that, you can always use dead Italian guys. Take Davinci. He once said, “Rouse yourself from sleep because lying down will not bring thee fame.” Post that quotation next to your alarm clock. Maybe that’ll get your lazy butt out of bed. Are you surrounded by masters of self-motivation?

11. Remember your victory dance. The satisfaction of a job well done isn’t enough. And goals are worthless unless you celebrate their accomplishment. For example, when I swim laps each week, my primary motivation for doing so is relaxing hot tub afterwards.

It’s the best. But I have to earn it. I convince myself that I don’t deserve to soak until I’ve swum up a storm. That’s my victory dance. It’s minor; but it’s motivating. Your challenge is to design customized victory dances that commemorate the fruits of your motivation.

That way you’ll have that celebratory carrot dangling the next time. And the next time. And the next time. You might even spend a few minutes engaged in creative visualization OF your victory dance directly before taking action. I’ve done this before every one of the 300+ speeches I’ve given, and found that it (1) helps set spirit in motion, and (2) equips me to be what the moment requires. What’s your victory dance?

REMEMBER: Motivation lies within.

Start kicking your own ass today.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to my van down by the river.

What’s your system for self-motivation?

For the list called, “For the list called, “37 Personal Leadership Questions Guaranteed to Shake Your Soul,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
[email protected]

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Watch Scott Write — 2.5.10

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 8 minutes!) of my unparalleled content generation, content management and content deployment systems.

Episode 4 — 2.4.10
Soundtrack — “Up There” by Charlie Hunter from Come in Red Dog, This is Tango Leader.

Watch other episodes on the playlist @!

What did you write today?

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
[email protected]

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9 Ways to Steal the Show without Stinking Up the Room

Contrary to the actions of Will Ferrell, you don’t need to strip down buck nekkid and run around the room like a drunken maniac to steal the show.

Although that technique does work pretty well.

True show-stealers are the ones whose energy, attitude, actions and words compose a vortex into which surrounding people can’t help but be sucked.

Whether you’re giving a speech, facilitating a brainstorming session, conducting a meeting or hosting a teleconference, here are nine ways to steal the show without stinking up the room:

1. Ask the question. The key question that governs my daily decision-making is: “What could I do – in this moment – that would be the exact opposite of everyone else?” This mindset is rooted in your willingness to (not) acquiesce to the status quo. Zigging where they zag. Being the opposite.

Throwing a wrench of uniqueness into the gear of normality. If you want a move that’s guaranteed to attract the attention of the people around you, this is it. What questions do you ask yourself before making decisions?

2. Be a disturbance. When asked about how he experienced Leonardo Davinci’s art, mentor and contemporary Sandro Botticelli explained, “My heart seems to stop beating for a moment – then starts beating stronger and fuller.”

If you want people to say that about you, here’s the secret: Enter with boldness. Grate people’s nerves. Make them squirm in their seats. Send them on mental journeys. In short: Evoke emotion – don’t create sensation. How do you disturb people?

3. Prepare less. As my mentor once told me, “Eventually you get to a point where you don’t need to stay up all night rehearsing. Your life is your preparation.” The secret is learning to tap your reservoir of insight at a moment’s notice. Of course, this isn’t easy.

Not only does it require a constant inflow of inspiration and ideas into your life, but also the confidence and vulnerability to trust your inner resources. To believe with all your heart that you can respond intelligently and immediately to whatever is said.

This takes practice and practice and practice. Just remember: If you focus on living a beautiful, admirable and character-rich life – that you’ve consistently reflected upon – you won’t to have to steal the show because it will already be in your possession. What’s your preparation process?

4. Emit quiet strength. A strong falcon hides its claws. True strength isn’t manifested through visible, overt features; rather, it rises to the surface without being ostentatious. As Lao Tzu explains in The Tao De Ching:

“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.”

Lesson learned: If you want to steal the show – be a sleeper. Be underestimated. How are you sneaking up on people?

5. Occasionally prove your ruthlessness. In Steve Pressfield’s The War of Art, he suggests the following:

“A professional doesn’t let his signature grandstand for him. His style serves the material. He does not impose it as a means to drawing attention to himself. This doesn’t mean that the professional doesn’t throw down a 360-tomahawk jab from time to time, just to let the boys know he’s still in business.”

Lesson learned: Have your death stroke ready to be delivered. Tap into the courage required by the moment with firm foundation and immediate intent. Are you prepared to be devastating?

6. Give yourself a preemptive internal standing ovation. Comedian and speaker Judson Liapply once told me, “You have to believe that you are the most important person talking in the room. That what you are saying is something that audience has to hear. Because if you don’t believe – neither will they.” Are you applauding internally before you take the stage?

7. Be a left fielder. When you make a comment or contribute an idea, begin your response with something seemingly unrelated and completely perpendicular to the topic at hand. Make people lean in and wonder, “Where the hell is he going with this?”

Then, at just the right moment, bring it back full circle. Drop a Michael Jordan style head fake. Sneak up on people with your unexpected response. This creates high impact and memorability through surprise. How often do you come out of left field?

8. Maintain a slightly skewed perspective on just about everything. A simple way to do so is to answer every question with, “Well, that depends on your definition of…” This type of thinking challenges people to reassess their baseline assumptions and return to the root of the word before assigning value to it.

It’s also a vocal hanger. A lean-in phrase. It leaves people on the edge of their seats, salivating for more, waiting to see what your definition of the word is. All you have to do is refuse to occupy the middle. How different of a dictionary are you using?

9. Command them eyeballs. Never underestimate the captivating power of props. Even if you’re not a visual person. This works. Try answering a question by excitedly taking something out of your wallet, bag, pocket or briefcase, and then showing it to your listener(s).

You’ll emit a sense of intrigue, mystique and delightful ambiguity. This is guaranteed to suck people into your vortex of fascination. Lean to be delightfully ambiguous. What do you do that makes people watch with breathless interest?

In conclusion, I’d like to share another passage from The Tao De Ching:

When you speak less, you say more.
When you don’t boast, you advance.
When you do less, you become more.
When you don’t make claims, you get credited.
When you show your strength, you appear weak.
When you argue the loudest, you appear the wrongest.
When you don’t display yourself, you become illuminated.
When you don’t define yourself, you become distinguished.
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: You can still steal the show without stinking up the room.

No matter what Will Ferrell says.

Are you a show-stealer?

For the list called, “27 Reasons People Aren’t Listening to You,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
[email protected]

Who’s telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on!

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6 Ways to Bow to the Door of Next

The most important word in your entrepreneurial vocabulary is “next.”

Next fortifies action.
Next symbolizes progress.

Next is the BFF of your business.

Next means complacency prevention.
Next means continuous improvement.

Next is the monetizer of momentum.

Next is the fervent architect of creative reinvention.
Next is the critical trigger of entrepreneurial advancement.

Next is the rocket fuel of your career.

Next derives from the German term, nahisto, which means, “Neighbor.”
Next derives from the Old English term, niehsta, which means “Nearest.”

Next is the playmate of your professional life.

THEREFORE: Don’t just use the word next – bow to the door of next.

Bow meaning honor.
Bow meaning respect.
Bow meaning recognize.

Knowing that without incremental progress, there is no incidental profit.

Today we’re going explore six ways to honor, cultivate and leverage next as an invaluable attitude of entrepreneurial excellence.

1. How do you talk to yourself when you fail? Imagine you just screwed up. Ate the big one. Totally bombed. Pulled a Homer. Instead of whining, “I suck!” start affirming, “Nextime…” First, this helps you let go of the past and focus on the future. You can’t debate what was.

Second, maintaining a nextime attitude forces you to begin thinking about what you’ll do differently. Sure beats becoming paralyzed by your own mistakes and a prisoner of yesterday’s errors.

Third, nextime is about (not) overreacting emotionally or being too hard on yourself. Rather, navigating the entrepreneurial waters calmly, objectively and unapologetically. Are you willing to increase your dosage of vitamin nextime?

2. What’s next? My readers and audience members frequently ask me, “Hey Scott, which of your books is your favorite?” And after eight years, the answer has always been the same: “My next one.” I challenge you to embrace that same attitude of “What’s next?” in your work.

First, on a micro level. That is, in terms of productivity. Ask yourself this question throughout the day to resurrect declining momentum. Secondly, on a macro level. That is, in terms of projectivity. Ask yourself this question throughout your creative process to ensure consistent execution. What is your legacy of taking action?

3. What will you do differently next time? Kaizen is the Japanese term for continuous improvement. That’s exactly what this question is all about: Honoring your current performance, yet challenging yourself to envision an enhanced future.

In my first five years as a professional speaker, I employed this philosophy as a post-speech ritual. Once my presentation was over, I’d take fifteen minutes to write a stream of consciousness list. Every thought, every feeling and every evaluation of my performance, I wrote down. What worked? What didn’t work? What killed? What bombed?

Then, when I was done, I’d make a note at the bottom of the document that read, “In my next speech, what I plan to do differently is ____________.” This simple ritual grew into a profitable practice for continuous improvement of my performance as a speaker. How could you apply the same reflection process to your job performance?

4. Now that I have this, what else does this make possible? If you want to kill two stones with one bird every time, all you have to do is consistently imagine what else can be made (or could come) from this. Therein lies the key to leverage: Looking at something you’ve created and then playing with its potential.

This process is called Movement Value. You identify concepts that allow you to “breed” other ideas from those concepts. You expand, grow, cook, stretch and shift your idea, allowing it to spawn creative offspring. You look for spin-offs and related ideas. You go forth and multiply. You also exercise enough restraint to recognize LACK of potential.

If an idea doesn’t have much (or any) movement value, you need to save it, file it and move onto something else. Is this idea a springboard or a straightjacket?

5. If everything you’ve done up until now is just the beginning, what’s next? Past is prologue. Past brought you here. Past made you who you are. When you start to align your thinking with this truth, a new world of possibilities opens up.

Your challenge is to extend gratitude for – and embrace the value of – everything you’ve already accomplished. At the same time, 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.” Will you view the past as a crutch or a fulcrum?

6. What are the three next steps you can take on your own? This is an expanded version of David Allen’s famous question from Getting Things Done, “What’s the next action?” The secret is twofold. First, by assigning a number to it (three), you set a quota of accomplishment.

This forces you to stretch your thinking. Secondly, by specifying the person taking action (you), progress becomes a brighter possibility because you take personal responsibility. Are you using specific, ownership-taking language?

REMEMBER: The answer to “When?” is “Next!”

It’s the most important word in your entrepreneurial vocabulary.

What is your legacy of taking action?

For the list called, “45 Recession-Friendly Strategies for Entreprenerial Evolution,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
[email protected]

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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