Win a Copy of The Nametag Guy’s New Book!

The purpose of this book is to sell you on my theory of the universe.

Which is:

The only thing in life you have control over is yourself.

And that you can’t make anything happen – but you can (greatly) increase the probability of that thing happening … by making yourself more “-able.”

(The title of the book is pronounced as “a bull,” just like the cute little cartoon.)

In short, this book will make you more:

Advanceable. Addictable. Bookable. Brandable. Breakable. Buyable. Buzzable. Callbackable. Checkbookable. Discoverable. Engageable. Googleable. Invokable. Meetable. Nameable. Needable. Non-nextable. Openable. Pursuable. Referable. Requestable. Retweetable. Revisitable. Sellable. Show-Up-Able. Sought-after-able. Spreadable. Successable. Superiorable. Trustable. Unbullshittable. Unequalable. Yessable.

HERE’S WHERE YOU COME IN: If you would like to win a free copy of this book, here’s your challenge…

1. Create your own “-able” word. What’s your theory of the universe? What’s your secret for increasing the probability of success? Name it with a word that ends in the suffix “-able.” Note: Please do not use any of the ones listed above, as they have already been written about, and can be found in the book.

2. Write a blog post explaining your “-able” word. In no more than one thousand words, explain what your word means – and why it can help others increase the probability of success.

3. Spread the word. On your blog post, include the link to -ABLE’s Amazon page, the link to Scott’s blog and an image of the book’s cover. Feel free to copy the image from Amazon.

4. Send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com. Introduce yourself, send me the link to your blog post and give me your address. I will send you a copy of the book!

Cool?

– – –

GUIDELINES:

*Submissions will be accepted until 11:59pm on September 15, 2010.
*As the editor, I reserve the right to modify or reject any content as I see fit.
*Only the first fifty people who submit will be considered for the promotion.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you -able?

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For the list called, “62 Pieces of Advice Busy Executives Need to Know, but Don’t Have Time to Learn on Their Own,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

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

10 Ways to be Wise Beyond Your Years

Years don’t make you wise.

Wisdom has nothing to do with how much time has past and everything to do with how much intelligent reflection you did during that time.

In the words of the wise philosopher, Indiana Jones, “It’s not the years – it’s the mileage.”

LESSON LEARNED: If you want to be wise beyond your years, you need a game plan.

Try this:1. Get direct experience any way you can. Wisdom comes from doing. Not from reading books. Or attending seminars. Or listening to audio programs in your car on the commute to work.

Those things might make you smart – but not wise.

You need to run the gauntlet of genuine experience. You need to make mistakes. To travel outside of your comfort zone. To get lost in foreign countries.

Maybe break a few hearts. And definitely have your own heart broken too. That’ll learn ya real good. Do you need to read more books about other people’s adventures – or go have an adventure yourself that’s worth sharing?

2. Speed up your unlearning curve. Learning is for monkeys and kindergartners. If you want to become wise beyond your years, try forgetting a few things for once.

Just beware: Unlearning is a painful process for most people.

Fist, because it requires mental flexibility in an age of terminal certainty. Secondly, because it threatens your ego’s power. Third, because cognitive dissonance is a brutal force. And finally, unlearning is painful because it activates the change process. And last time I checked, most people still hate change.

If you want to become wise beyond your years, consider unlearning the following things: Dangerous prejudices, outdated desires, false interpretations, inherited biases, outworn assumptions, previous definitions, useless fears and stale scripts.

Remember: Any idiot can be smart. It takes a real genius to unlearn. What mental constructs do you need to let go of?

3. Walk the wise – then record the footprints. Hanging out with a bunch of wise people won’t make you wise. Unlike poison ivy, wisdom isn’t something that just rubs off because of proximity.

The secret is to ask questions, listen closely to people’s answers, document your learnings and ultimately decide for yourself what you believe to be real and true.

Otherwise you’re just an advice leech. And the wisdom handed down to you will fall on deaf ears, shut eyes and a blocked heart. How many mentors do you have?

4. Take advantage of unlimited and instant access. Contrary to popular belief, the Internet does serve a purpose besides pornography and online gambling. I’m talking about the democratization of information.

The fact that you can find things out that there’s no possible way you could have known at your age is a beautiful thing. Imagine: Past generations actually had to wait around until they experienced things to learn them.

Ha! You can speed up your learning curve dramatically simply by becoming an avid researcher. And although nothing can replace direct, real experience, the web is a nice placeholder.

My only caveat is to triangulate your research. To validate every fact from three credible sources. This helps protect yourself from the worst part about the Internet: Everybody has a voice. And some of those voices smell like farts.

Be careful who you listen to. What have you researched this week?

5. Intentionally put yourself in situations that force you to grow up quickly. My cousin Justin interned as the village doctor in Honduras during his second year at medical school. My friend Rory spent four summers selling textbooks door to door.

My pal Anthony moved to Tokyo without knowing a single word of Japanese. My mate Joey took the hardest, lowest paying job at his father’s plumbing company.

And me? I moved across the country to Portland because I’d never been there, didn’t know anybody and didn’t have a job.

Notice the commonality? All of these situations were intentional, risk-laden, out of our comfort zones and chock-full of opportunities to depend on our own resources to survive.

Nothing will dispense wisdom quicker. How much longer can you realistically suffer from Peter Pan Syndrome?

6. Be the world’s expert on yourself. In The Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu wrote, “He who knows other is smart – but he who knows himself is wise.”

What about you? Which do you focus on? Memorizing the names of Brad and Angelina’s fourteen Cambodian children or knowing what makes your heart sing?

If you want to be remembered as being wise beyond your years, claim expertise on one domain: Yourself. Otherwise your vast knowledge of everybody else’s business is nothing but empty calories.

Like the song Wasting Time by Jack Johnson:

“Nobody knows anything about themselves because they’re all worried about everybody else.”

Don’t be that guy. No matter how tempting the gossip trap looks. Instead, focus on knowing yourself inside out. The people who matter will notice. Do you need a copy of US Weekly or a blank journal?

7. Use your past to see their present. A great mark of wisdom well internalized is the ability to see the old version of yourself in the people around you.

But not with a judgmental posture. Rather, with a calm and curious intrigue, reminding yourself of how far you’ve come.

For example, when I sit next to people on airplanes whose actions are hurried, violent, stressed, frustrated and oxygen-deficient, it always makes me smile. I think to myself, “Wow, that used to be me. But I’m so over that now.”

Again, this isn’t said with arrogance or smugness; rather, with celebration and recognition of wisdom you didn’t recognize until you encounter a person who practiced the opposite. What’s your past worth?

8. Start teaching earlier. Stop waiting for permission to be a teacher. You don’t need grey hair. You don’t need a degree. You don’t need a chalkboard. And you don’t need a tweed blazer with patches on the elbows.

A teacher is someone who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. A teacher is someone who has the willingness and ability to share what he’s learned from what he’s done.

What’s more, teaching is an attractive role. It means authority, it commands credibility and it indicates expertise. The challenge is finding your classroom.

Fortunately, the meaning of the word “classroom” word has evolved in the past few decades. Especially with the advent of numerous online portals, you now have thousands of potential classrooms at your fingertips, both online and offline.

For example, your classroom might be lunch with your friends. It might be the break room at work. Or it might be the dinner table with your children. Online, your classroom might be on your blog. It might be your Facebook page. Or it might be your monthly teleseminar or webinar series.

The bottom line is: There’s no better way to learn something than to teach it to someone else. Do that every day and your wisdom factor will skyrocket. What lesson plan are you preparing this week?

9. Learn to trust your voice. I recently did a five-hour video shoot with my client, The Australian Institute of Management. During our lunch break, my cameraman, Derrick, made an interesting comment:

“On-camera work is a completely different animal than public speaking. You have to be quick on your feet and good off the cuff. The problem is, most people don’t have the confidence that when they open their mouth, something good will come out.”

What about you? Do you trust your voice? If not, consider these suggestions for doing so.

First, write every day. Doesn’t have to be much. Fifteen minutes is enough. You’ll discover two things: Writing is the great clarifier; and writing it makes everything you do easier and better – including trusting your voice in person.

Second, practice. Debate yourself. Grill yourself. Challenge yourself. Anything to acclimate yourself to articulating your thoughts clearly and quickly.

Ultimately, trusting your voice takes time, patience and practice. And here’s the best part: One day, two years from now, in the middle of a conversation with your boss, you’ll pull a one-liner out of your ass that’s so incredibly lucid and insightful, he’ll wonder if you accidentally slept on a dictionary.

You’ll give new meaning to the term “wise ass.” Are you prepared to sign your name under your voice and let the whole world know how you feel?

10. Establish your learning plan. I can’t tell you how to do this. It all depends on how you think, how you learn, what you need learn and why you want to learn it.

Instead, here’s a snapshot of my own learning plan to inspire your to do the same.

Reading: Five books a week.
Journaling: Thirty minutes, three pages, first thing every morning.
Writing: Four to seven hours a day.
Mentors: Fifteen people I regular converse with in person or virtually.
Mastermind: Three that I meet with throughout the year.
Speaking: Ten hours of preparation for each presentation.
Education: Three to five seminars a year.
Miscellaneous: Daily observation, note taking, question asking and research.

Now, that’s not the whole enchilada, but you get the point. And while I don’t expect you to copy or even emulate my learning plan, I do challenge to think about – and physically write out – your own.

Commit to doing that, and your wisdom will make your years look like days. What did you learn yesterday?

ONE MORE THING: Growing up doesn’t mean growing old.

That’s the only caveat: To make sure that your pursuit of wisdom doesn’t eclipse your practice of childlikeness.

Because the last thing you want is to position yourself as the precocious young genius that doesn’t know how to have any fun. Be sure to keep your inner child in check. Otherwise all the wisdom in the world won’t do you much good. You’ll end up like one of those annoying, hyper-articulate child actors that people are tired of by the time they’re twelve. (I’m looking at you, Haley Joel Osment.)

REMEMBER: Being wise beyond your years isn’t about the years themselves; it’s about what happened during those years, and how you reflect upon that.

Indiana Jones would be proud.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you making people forget your age?

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For the list called, “65 Things I Wish Somebody 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, Entrepreneur, Mentor
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.

How to be More Prolific Than Van Gogh on Viagra

The word “prolific” comes from the Latin prolificus, which means, “to make offspring.”

Which, if you think about it, is exactly what you do all day:

Give birth to your creative brainchildren.

The cool part is, the more prolific you are:

The more profit you earn.
The more love you spread.
The more gravity you defy.
The more legacy you leave.
The more people you touch.
The more purpose you fulfill.
The more change you inspire.
The more wisdom you amass.
The more worlds you conquer.
The more fans you accumulate.
The more significance you realize.

What did you create today?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, writer or ad agency art director, here’s a list of how to be more prolific than you ever thought possible:1. Never be an aspiring anything. Aspiring is for amateurs. Make the decision to be “an.” There’s no someday I’ll. There’s no pre-heat. You either are or you aren’t.

Whatever you want to become, you can start being that thing (today!) by creating as much as you possibly can, as fast as you possibly can. Otherwise, if you put off being prolific until the right people stamp your creative passport, you’ll consign yourself to burning in the purgatory of wannabe.

Remember: Being prolific beings with the mindset that you already are what you want to become. Are you acting as if?

2. Metabolize your life. That’s the singular source for informing your art. As Anne Lamout, author of Bird By Bird once said, “Art is whatever remains after the fire.”

My question is: Does your life burn? If so, you’ll be more prolific than you ever imagined. As long as you focus on translating all that you experience into something more expressive.

After all, art is nothing but the residue of a life fully lived. Screw being a great artist – focus on being a great human first. Bring all of who you are to your creative work and trust that the art will come. How boring is your life?

3. Right isn’t as important as right direction. You don’t need to know where you’re going to be moving in the right direction. At least that’s what my fortune cookie told me yesterday.

Either way, when it comes to being prolific, what matters is that you simply get something down – every day. Maybe it sucks. Maybe it rocks. Maybe it’s just okay. Fine. Awesome. Perfect.

All you need to remember is: When you put pen to paper, you have the power. When you put finger to keyboard, brush to canvas, blade to clay or reed to mouth, you have the power. Just begin with what is – you can make something beautiful out of it later. Are you willing to plunge forward planless?

4. Extend literary latitude. I read five books a week. Some rock my face off; some make me want to blow my head off. Either way, I love them all, and I attend to them all with deep democracy.

That’s what prolific people practice: You don’t have to like something to learn from it; and you don’t have to get it to get something out of it. Sometimes bad work is exactly what you need to inspire good work.

Your mission is experience what you experience with a posture of openness and possibility. Because if you give yourself permission, you can become inspired by everything in sight. And that’s when you start to crank out volumes of work that matters. Are you a mental omnivore?

5. Be a brilliant fixer. Whenever I’m reading, I’m writing. In my experience, it’s just too hard to separate the two. For example, when I’m not underlining passages, jotting down transient ideas, documenting adjacent thoughts or questioning the author’s arguments – I’m fixing.

I can’t help it – that’s just what I do. It’s in my blood, and getting a transfusion would simply be too expensive.

The cool part is, many of my best ideas came from something as simple as changing or adding a single word to an existing sentence.

Examples: “A mind is a terrible thing to chase,” “A penny saved is an opportunity burned” and “All the world’s a page.” Your challenge is to incorporate some form fixing into your own creative process.

You’ll find that it’s fun, challenging, energizing and the raging river of raw material never stops flowing. How are you improving on everything that’s wrong with everything else on the shelves?

6. Be careful not to slide into complacency. Yes, remember your victory dance. Yes, take pride in your creative victories. But don’t over celebrate. Booking a weeklong trip to Vegas just because you finished your final draft three weeks before deadline as a bit excessive.

Never trust the prosperity that accompanies prolificacy. Instead, regularly reinstate your humility with the birth of every new brainchild.

As Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz reminds us, “Seek to renew yourself, even when you’re hitting homeruns.”

Remember: The arrogance of past victory is the aerosol of future failures. What are you sacrificing by watching your own touchdown dance on the jumbotron?

7. Get good at recognizing beginnings. The reason prolific professionals are masters at starting, progressing and executing their projects – is because they’ve perfected the art of seed spotting.

They estimate movement value early.
They see everything with the eyes of the future.
And they take action on those concepts without delay.

That’s the mark of prolificacy: Lots of irons in lots of fires. Working on multiple projects simultaneously. Doing so helps you create thought bridges, subconscious connections and unexpected integrations between (seemingly) unrelated ideas.

As a result, you will automatically notice natural relationships and structures in your work. What’s more, your creative efforts are more productively deployed when you start multiple projects simultaneously.

Yes, it requires considerable self-regulation to pursue multiple projects concurrently. But by shifting between ideas as circumstances dictate, you never get burned out and always execute without remorse. What did you start today?

8. Become a master of your disinclination. In the documentary I’m Your Man, songwriter and poetry legend Leonard Cohen reminds us, “You gotta go to work everyday, knowing that you’re not going to get it everyday.”

The secret is cultivating an acute sense of when disinclination is around the corner.

Personally, if I don’t get anything good after about an hour – I go back to bed. Sometimes for twenty minutes, sometimes for three hours. I’ve followed this rule for eight years and have never, ever failed to come back to the page refreshed and reenergized.

What’s more, I almost always go on to pound out something amazing. Lesson learned: Discover what frustrates your ambitions. Know when you’ve got it, known when you’ve lost it, know when there’s no way in hell you’re going to get it, and know when you’re going to have to take measures to get it back.

Hey, it happens. Resistance can be a feisty little bitch. Don’t be afraid to let her win every once in a while. Create around the constraint. It demonstrates humility for the process and motivates you to return with strength. What’s your policy for managing compositional paralysis?

9. Let less happen. Increasing your capacity to execute isn’t just about what you do – it’s also about what you avoid, what you stop doing and what you stop thinking.

For example, my friend Steve recently shared a staggering statistic with me: “On any given workday,” he said, “fifty to sixty percent of the tasks I do are meaningless.”

After I reconnected my jaw to my tear-soaked cheeks and unhooked my cold, dead hands from Steve’s unproductive throat, I began thinking about my own ratio. And it occurred to me that one of the reasons I’m so prolific is because ninety-eight percent of the work I do every day, matters.

No wonder I just finished my eleventh book at the age of thirty: Distractions are at an all-time low; execution is at an all time high. Better enjoy it now while it lasts.

Lesson learned: Excise every ounce of fat from your process. Discard the irrelevant. Then throw your shoulder into the work that matters. Be lean or be left behind. Is what you’re doing – right now – contributing to your body of work or your ulcer?

10. Keep the reservoir full. Whether you’re a painter, entrepreneur, wood carver or throbbing-member-trashy-novelist, prolificacy – that is, cranking out killer work consistently – is a function of volume.

As a writer, for example, I built my own content management system. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s certainly more sophisticated than a box of colored folders filled with ideas scribbled on cocktail napkins or random scraps of paper.

Currently clocking in at about 75,000 items, my creative inventory is meticulously organized by topic, date, use, audience, etc. And every single day, I add more water to the reservoir. Some days more than others.

But I do it every day, without fail. Which means my inventory is indepletable. And that’s the secret behind building your reservoir, regardless of the medium in which you work: It equips your daily practice with creative rations long before the artistic famine strikes.

And when I say famine, I’m referring common distractions such as: Resistance, boredom, disinclination, laziness or that annoying fluffball Westie from next door who does nothing but yap-yap-yap all day long. How much water did you add to your creative reservoir today?

11. Insulate yourself from interruptions. Tolerate nothing. Even if you have to put a sign on your door reading, “Quiet. The art is coming.” Whatever it takes. This is your creative time, and it deserves to be approached as sacrosanct.

Resist the temptation to be squeezed by your surroundings. Otherwise you become muddied by triviality, swept into the undertow of inconsequentiality. And that’s a surefire recipe for low productivity.

The hard part is stockpiling enough self-control to be able to look at your most seductive interruptions – square in the eye – and say, “Nice try. But I’ve got work to do. Peace out.”

Email is the worst. You have to close the window down or else you’ll never execute anything that matters. What interruptions are you afraid to ignore?

12. Never lose your ear for what’s happening around you. If being prolific has historically been hard for you, I’ve got some bad news: You problem isn’t writer’s block – it’s hearing damage.

That’s all creativity is, anyway: Active listening. And it’s easy to screw up. Like Voltaire said, “Never let temptation pass lightly by – it may never come again.”

Lesson learned: People who are prolific listen. And they do so with their ears, eyes, minds, hearts or whatever other body part is available.

Lose that skill and you forfeit the entire game. Keep it healthy and you’ll never stop creating. What did you hear today?

FINAL THOUGHT: Let’s turn to Cicero, philosopher and uber-prolific writer.

In his book, On the Good Life, he explained the following:

“Philosophers must not be judged by individual utterances they may choose to offer. They must be judged, instead, by all their different statements put together and by the degree of consistency and coherence with this whole body of doctrine displays.”

KEY WORD: Whole body.

Because you’re not just creating one piece.

Or one song.
Or one book.
Or one project.
Or one website.
Or one piece of art.

You’re contributing to an ongoing, smokin’ hot body of work.

Because that’s what prolifics do.

With or without Viagra.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How prolific are you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “13 Things Losers Do,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott’s comprehensive marketing guidebook on Amazon.com and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

How to be a Mental Omnivore

“He’ll eat almost anything, idea wise, or he’ll at least chew on it. What he swallows is another matter. That’s partly because the psychedelic springs from a common-sense filled, well-informed, experience-tempered and morally solid soul.”

That’s how Rolling Stone described Robert Downy Jr. in a recent article.

A “mental omnivore.”

Great phrase.

It means all devouring.
It means eating ideas indiscriminately.
It means taking in everything available.
It means approaching life experiences with deep democracy.

THAT’S THE SECRET: If you walk through life as a mentally omnivorous person, you will triple your interestingness, forever inspire your creativity and build a bottomless reservoir of diverse ideas to fuel your daily endeavors.

Dee-licious.

Here’s how to become one:1. Constantly cast about for content. During a recent webinar, one of my callers asked the one question that absolutely drives me crazy: “Scott, where do you get your ideas?”

Are you kidding me? Have you not walked down the street before? Ideas are more abundant than oxygen.

The problem is, most people don’t pay attention. They don’t listen with their hearts. They don’t see with their mouths. And they don’t hear with their fingers.

That’s what mental omnivores practice: Incurable curiosity. You don’t have writer’s block – you have hearing damage. Perk up, son. When was the last time you ran out of ideas?

2. Adopt a role of humble inquiry. As a mental omnivore, here’s your credo: Sapere aude. That’s the Latin phrase for “dare to know,” first used in Horace’s first book of Epistles.

According to The Latin Library, the phrase forms the moral to a story where a fool waits for the stream to stop before crossing it. “He who begins is half done,” Horace says.

This speaks to the value of human endeavor, which, if you’re a mental omnivore, is absolutely essential. You’ve got to get your ass out of the basement and into the world.

That’s how you acquire an experiential dimension: By falling awake, armed only with your pen, an open mind and a furrowed brow.

Lesson learned: Keep why alive. Insulated from inquiry means inundated with injury. Why do you need permission to ask why?

3. Never turn a deaf ear to nature. Marcus Aurelius once remarked, “Healthy eyes see whatever is visible.” To put that principle into practice, try this: Pursue the intuitive pull of the moment, follow the lead of the subject and penetrate the mosaic of every environment.

Plunge yourself insatiably into whatever stimuli surround you, giving your most careful attendance to the ordinary things that don’t matter to most people.

Try this, and it won’t be crowded at the viewing center. Which means the perceptual landscape will be yours – and yours alone – to navigate.

That’s the cool part about being a mental omnivore: You notice things nobody else seems to pick up on, thinking to yourself, “Am I the only person who sees this?” Odds are, yes. Well done.

Remember: He who watches for opportunity sees a show everywhere. What do you need to stop ignoring?

4. React to simple things differently. With a beagle-like tilted head, start asking why things are the way they are; why things do the things they do; and why people say the things they say. And if possible, ask more than once.

Here’s why: When you slow down to find out what’s behind the silence, you’ll be amazed how effortless it is to take your ideas into deeper structures.

And that’s when the real learning begins: When you perfect your ability to notice a simple fragment – but recognize the entire whole.

The tricky part is: You have to show up for all of it. Even the mundane. You have to occupy the beginner’s mind to turn the world into a wide-open field.

Otherwise you’ll take the gold for granted. Are you willing to see the poetry in the exceptionally ordinary?

5. Everything is fair game. Here’s the approach I take to creativity: I never met a piece of content I didn’t like. And the limitless sources of ideas are as richly dense as a Shanghai street party.

My suggestion is: To cement your insights and give cohesion to the chaos, fuse information from every source you can get. Embroider the accumulated threads of daily observation into a striking tapestry of innovative thinking.

With this kind of palette diversity, it becomes easier to discover new dimensions of awareness and locate more layers of insight. As long as you commit to being bolder in your experimentation.

Otherwise your ideas will be about as exciting as Creed’s Behind the Music. Are you actively approaching the world with posture of deep democracy?

6. Be meticulous in your attendance to language. The most fascinating book I read this year was The Notebooks of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

From cultural observations to personal stories to linear notes to transient thoughts, he documented everything. Everything. And through his constant observation and meticulous attendance to language, Fitzgerald became one of the classic mental omnivores of his generation.

Your mission is to emulate his process: Document stray phrases, cool words, unexpected juxtapositions, overheard-at-the-office-comments and other random dialogues.

Keep a record of your reactions to issues. Create a separate folder for each one. Update, revisit and revise them daily. Your creative reservoir is guaranteed never to run dry. When people speak, what do you hear?

7. Relentlessly seek out new innovations. Force yourself to look more broadly. Even if the innovative ideas come from industries and arenas outside of your normal scope. Especially if the innovative ideas come from industries and arenas outside of your normal scope.

That’s how you acquire intellectual versatility. That’s how you keep your mind at full stretch. By keeping your eyes fastened attentively and objectively upon all indications of innovation.

I’ve had career-changing epiphanies that spawned from unexpected, unrelated and unorthodox sources. How far down the rabbit hole are you willing to go?

AND NOW, FOR DESSERT: As we wrap up our discussion on being a mental omnivore, let’s turn to an excerpt from the 2009 commencement speech at Sonoma State University commencement, delivered by the always omnivorous, Henry Rollins:

“Your curiosity must never wane! Ever. You are, therefore you want to know, want to go, want to know more and want to go further. As college graduates, you know all too well how much there is to know and the incalculable amount of fascinating things there are to explore, from thought to geographic destination.

It is your curiosity that you must enhance, strengthen and value, more and more as the years go on and on. It is your curiosity that you must guard against exhaustion, apathy and that awful plague called middle age.

Yes, you are allowed occasional but brief vacations from your curiosity: Box sets of television shows and carbohydrate rich foods are permitted – but don’t make a career out of it.

It is your curiosity that you will pass on like a genetic trait to your children, infect all those around you like a virus and inspire the anger of those who have chosen to admit defeat.

Because one of the greatest and most powerful words in any language is: Why.

When you stop wanting to find out, you’re done. There are few things more unendurable than being forced to spend time with someone who is intellectually incurious.

This can never be you. Ask a question. Go forth. Arrive at the answer. Catch your breath. Ask Why. And then set off again. Never relent.”

LESSON LEARNED: Go eat something.

It doesn’t have to be good.
It doesn’t have to be good for you.
It doesn’t have to be your favorite item on the menu.

But eat it anyway.

Your colleagues will thank you.
Your customers will thank you.
Your brain will thank you.

Dee-licious.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you a mental omnivore?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “13 Things Losers Do,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

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Watch Scott Write — 7.12.10

This is the sixth video in a series of writing sessions (4-hour time lapse down to 6 minutes!) of my unparalleled content generation, content management and content deployment systems.

Episode 6 — 7.12.10

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

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

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How to Draw a Crowd Without Making a Scene

“They don’t care if you’re good – they care if people come.”

That’s how my friend Judson described the business of booking college comedy tours.

It’s not about aptitude – it’s about attendance.
It’s not about information – it’s about expectation.
It’s not about getting laughs – it’s about filling seats.
It’s not about the ability to perform – it’s about the capability to draw a crowd.

THE BEST PART IS: Every time Judson shows up, the crowd goes wild.

But only because he drew them there first.

Only then could he deliver the goods.

LESSON LEARNED: The crowd can’t go wild if they never make it through the gate.

What about you?

How well do you draw a crowd?
How do people feel when they get there?
After the show is over, how do they feel when they walk away?
And when people get home, how long does it take before they tell all their friends about you?

Whether you’re a performer, artist or entrepreneur…
Radio station, non-profit organization or political candidate…
Company leader, mailroom attendant or cube-dwelling Dilbertarian…

The ability to draw a crowd (in person, online, at work, out in the community) is an essential component to making a name for yourself.

THE COOL PART IS: You don’t have to be the center of attention.

What counts is if you’re a lever. A pivot. A fulcrum point for gathering and leveraging the masses to advance something that matters.

Today we’re going to learn how to draw a crowd without causing a scene.1. Amuse people or lose people. This is the reality of our culture. Whether you’re communicating your idea in person, on the phone, during a presentation or via webinar – you need to be more amusing. Period.

Interestingly, the word “amuse” dates back to 1480 French term amuser, which means, “to divert or cause to muse.” This means your job is twofold: First, to divert. People’s eyes, ears, attentions and minds. Second, to cause to muse. That way, people stop fixedly and begin to ponder. Are you entertaining as you inform?

2. Position your value counterintuitively. In the summer of 1992, the PGA Tour came to my hometown. While watching ESPN with my brother one night, we learned the tournament was being played at Bellerive Country Club – only one mile from our house.

But unlike all of our friends who tried to sneak onto the course to watch golf – then make fools of themselves on live television – we had much bigger plans. We decided to convert the empty field next to our house into a PGA parking lot. The only problem was, every other subdivision within three miles did the exact same thing.

Dang it. Just when you think you have an original idea.

Naturally, we didn’t park a single car on the first day. I know. It was devastating to our entrepreneurial egos. We had to go to therapy until college. Plus, it was August. In St. Louis. Blech.

But, on the second morning, our dad showed up on his way to work – with ten boxes of donuts – and a new parking sign that read, “Free Parking, $10 Donuts!”

We proceeded to make $368, which, when you’re a teenager, is like, a million dollars.

Lesson learned: If you want to draw a crowd, start by drawing interest. Catch people off guard. Be the point of dissonance that breaks their patterns, violates their expectations and hacks the rules. What could you do – in this moment – that would be the exact opposite of everyone else?

3. Consider the rhythm. Let’s say you’re doing a public event on a college campus. And most the students are commuters. Take note: Friday events are losers. Next, let’s say you want to create a memorable presence your next trade show. But it’s the morning after the open-bar karaoke party. Attendance will be low, non-existent or hung over.

The point is: You can’t draw a crowd without a general population to draw from. That’s why you have to be careful about the timing of your event. Make sure it jives with the rhythm of your audience’s immediate environment.

Book smart. Otherwise it’s just you and the crickets. And those chumps never applaud. Have you struck yourself out before coming up to bat?

4. Educate musically – don’t regurgitate noisily. Two homeless men stand on opposite street corners. One yells bible versions at the top of his lungs, informing passerbys that fiery damnation awaits them. The other plays a fifteen-minute drum solo on a kit made from empty paint buckets.

Which one would you give money to? Exactly. Because one made music – other made noise. The cool part is, when you make music, you get more than attention.

As George Carlin explained during his Inside the Actor’s Studio interview, “I received all A’s when I was in elementary school. I got their attention, their approval, their admiration, their approbation and their applause.” And he drew crowds for fifty years. Which one describes the message you deliver?

5. Attract interest immediately – then hold it step by step. Attention is only the beginning. The secret is maintaining it. According to The Psychology of Attention, “All points of attention have three components: Focus, margin and fringe.”

Your challenge is to appeal to each of those components. In my own presentations, I stay aware of this fact. For example: There’s the main audience, there’s the people walking by outside, there’s the camera crew, there’s the venue staff, there’s the people watching online, etc.

Each audience comprises a different element of the attention equation, and they all matter. Like the rock band that acknowledges the legions of drunken, muddy fans in the lawn seats. How do you hold attention – step by step – by appealing to everybody?

ONE FINAL NOTE: As I mentioned earlier, drawing a crowd is a relative experience.

Yes, it can build credibility.
Yes, it can validate your efforts.
Yes, it can demonstrate social proof.

But then again, drug-addicted hobos convinced they’re the second coming Jesus Christ draw a pretty good crowd too.

It’s all about being memorable for the right reasons.

Otherwise you become someone who (only) draws a crowd because people can’t believe what a train wreck and laughingstock she’s become.

ULTIMATELY: It’s not (just) about drawing a crowd.

It’s also about:

Why you want to draw it.
What you plan to do when it’s drawn.
How people feel when they’re part of it.
What emotions are triggered when they walk away from it.
And how quickly those people tell their friends about their experience with it.

Do that, and you won’t need to make a scene.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Will people come to see you?

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, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Commit with Both Feet

Although I started wearing a nametag in 2000, it wasn’t until 2005 that I officially got the nametag tattooed on my chest.

Interestingly, that was also the same year my company started making money.

Huh. Weird.

I guess that’s what happens when you commit with both feet:

The world doesn’t just pay attention – it pays dividends.

And not just financially. Additionally, when you commit with both feet:

You no longer stand immobile.
You unlock the doors of creativity.
You arrest the interest of the world.
You put the strength of heart behind you.

When you commit with both feet:

You stop accepting excuses that used to work.
You connect with others who are similarly committed.
You liberate yourself from the tyranny of rational hesitation.
You watch providence move to orchestrate the perfect conditions to achieve your goals.

NOTICE: I said, “commit.”

Not fiddle with.
Not dabble in.
Not hope for.

Commit.

As in, “Baby, I’m gonna get your name tattooed on my ass.”

Here’s how to do it:1. Being sure sure helps. In the bestselling book Eat, Pray, Love, author Elizabeth Gilbert writes, “Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face: You really need to be certain it’s what you want before you commit.”

But this isn’t about tattoos. Or having babies. If you’re about to commit with both feet, you better love the shoes you’re wearing. Because it’s a long, rocky journey with a lot of potholes and the occasional cowpie.

My suggestion is: Listen to your body. It will always speak to you – and it will never lie to you. As you ponder your decision to commit, forget about what you think. Your mind is a moron.

Instead, pay attention to how you feel, what you feel and where you feel. Otherwise you might end up listening to the wrong advice. Are you listening to biofeedback or ego feedback?

2. Choose your commitment device. If your commitment isn’t symbolized, memorialized and personified in a tangible way, you’re just winking in the dark. When you choose to make the leap, employ a commitment device that stays in front of your face. Daily.

This provides you with a self-accountable incentive to keep your covenant. Plus, it affords you the opportunity to share your commitment with the people around you.

Especially your boss, who’s been curiously wondering why, exactly, you have a severed goat’s head on a stick in your office. Whatever. The flies aren’t that bad anyway. Besides, clients love it. How will you communicate that you are fully committed?

3. Make turning back impossible. Everybody has their own version: The Moment of Truth. The Fateful Day. The Crossroads. The Pivotal Point. The Crucial Occurrence. The Hinge. The Irreversible Moment of Momentum. The Rubicon. The Zero Hour.

I call this “The Sticky Situation,” or the point of no turning back. And it’s essential to committing with both feet.

For me, it was getting the tattoo. What was yours?

And maybe you haven’t crossed that threshold yet. No problem. Instead, starting thinking about what it will look like (and feel like) when you make turning back impossible.

Yes, it’s a terrifying prospect. But your life will never be the same. Like Bill Cosby said, “Anyone can dabble, but once you’ve made that commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it, and it’s very hard for people to stop you.” 
Are you willing to passionately pursue the point of no return?

4. A unity of effort is required. The word commitment comes from the Latin committere, which means, “to unite, connect, combine and bring together.” This makes sense, considering that committing with both feet requires every available resource you’ve got.

Whether you’re starting a family, starting a blog or starting a business, there’s one thing you can count on:

It will take all of you.

And if you’re not passionately pursuing vision-consistent action, you’re likely to wind up as (yet another) decaying slab of road kill on the highway of life. Dee-licious.

Remember: Commitment without action is trash talk. Are you flapping your gums or shuffling your feet?

5. Have your armor ready. Whatever you commit to, there will always people waiting – excitedly – for you to fail. Why? Because they feel disenfranchised by your success. And they can’t stomach the fact that you actually committed with both feet.

That’s why, with every victory you achieve, they grow increasingly insecure about their own lack of growth. Next time one of these losers tries to dump his Haterade cooler over your head, remember what Epictetus wrote in The Art of Living:

“Be not diverted from your duty by any idle reflections the silly world may make upon you, for their censures are not in your power and should not be at all your concerns.”

Remember: Never apologize for being assertive about your commitment. How will you handle those who hate you?

6. Surround your dream with support structures. Success never comes unassisted. That’s why I have a team – not just one, but a team – of fifteen mentors. Each of them serves a unique purpose, and each of them I’m forever indebted to.

My suggestion is: If you plan commit with both feet – be it to relationship, a business or a major life decision – don’t even consider take another step until you have support flowing from many fountains.

From friends to family to faith to mastermind groups to online message boards where you can safely and anonymously tell complete strangers how you really feel, I guarantee you’ll need every tool in your arsenal.

Because when you think about quitting (which you probably will) and when you get knocked on your ass (which you definitely will), you will need shoulders to cry on.

The tricky part is, you never know how strong – or how weak – your support structure is until your world crumbles into a million bloody pieces. Don’t wait to find out. Who’s got your back?

IN THE END: The reason commitment is such a daunting leap is because there’s nothing more terrifying than getting exactly what you want.

Look:

I know you’re allergic to change.
I know you’re afraid of getting hurt.
I know you’re scared of new responsibility.
I know you’re fearful of foregoing your freedom.
I know you’re worried about losing your identity.
I know you’re still aching from being burned before.

But you know you’re tired of being one foot in.

It’s time to strap on your best stilettos and step out into the world.

The fruit will be worth it.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you ready to commit with both feet?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “62 Pieces of Advice Busy Executives Need to Know, but Don’t Have Time to Learn on Their Own,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

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

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