Hire Scott For Your Next Event

Since 2003, Scott has given 600+ presentations to over a quarter of a million people around the world – from corporations to associations to universities to non-profits.

THE BEST PART: Scott never gives the same speech twice!

While each program is always about making a name for yourself – Scott customizes all of his talks for each individual audience. Through a detailed pre-program interview, Scott matches your organization’s values, challenges and needs with his philosophy and practices.

The James Brown Guide to Injecting Soul into Work

When I was in college, my roommate and I started a band.

Our first gig was at the campus record store. Seven people showed up, our guitars were out of tune, and I’m pretty sure there was something green my teeth.

We didn’t even meet any girls after the show.

What a waste.

But the one thing I’ll never forget was what my roommate whispered to me between songs:

“Dude, you’re singing with too much soul. Take it easy.”

We never played out in public again.

And from that day forth, I vowed to never “take it easy.”

Because there’s no such thing as singing with too much soul.

Here’s how to inject more of it into your work:1. Clarify your definition. I’m not the authority on soul – that would be James Brown. But I do think it’s important that each of us consider what it means to inject it into our work.

Here’s my philosophy, as a writer, performer, artist and entrepreneur: To inject soul is to own your gift. To inject soul is to deploy intense humanity. To inject soul is to exhibit naked personhood. To inject soul is to stay in touch with your own story. To inject soul is to enable a near life experience. To inject soul is to widen the boundaries of your being. To inject soul is to create moments of perfect symmetry. And to inject soul is to show people what’s under your fingernails.

What’s your definition?

Because no matter how you define it, when you inject soul, you are impossible not to watch. When you inject soul, you become a voice worth listening to. When you inject soul, you make people who aren’t your customers, wish they were. And when you inject soul, you earn a permanent spot in people’s heart. Might be worth defining for yourself. What do you bring to your work that nobody else in your industry can touch?

2. Scare the hell out of yourself. Soul stockpiles when you embrace anarchy and break the barrier that shields you from naked experience. Nothing dangerous, obviously. I’d hate for you to scare yourself to the point that you wind up in the hospital. Or violate your values. Or contaminate your personal constitution.

But fear is the final compass for finding what matters. And you’ve got to give that fear a clear voice. Otherwise you’ll never execute anything worth talking about.

My suggestion: Only pursue ideas whose risk level is through the roof. Create a personal filter that gauges the level of danger in whatever you undertake. Otherwise your audience will yawn.

For example, as I writer, I’m constantly asking, “What do I risk in publishing this material?” That’s how I keep my writing bloody, relatable and remarkable. That’s how I dance on the edge of chaos on a daily basis. And that’s how I stay focused on the work that matters most.

Remember: Ideas become interesting the moment they start to scare you. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not there yet. What soul will your fear help you deliver?

3. Care about people’s experience when they’re around you. Being approachable isn’t just about how people experience you – it’s how they experience themselves in relation to you. That’s the next way to inject soul: Give people something they didn’t know they wanted. By taking them places they didn’t expect to go, you send them on mental journeys from which they never fully return.

In the immortal words of comedian George Carlin, “Even if they didn’t want go to there in the first place, once they arrive, they’ll be glad you took them there.”

That’s the secret nobody bothers to tell you: You’re not in business to provide a service – you’re in business to center on, and become known for – a unique way of interacting with the world. Maybe it’s the fastest. Maybe it’s the friendliest. Maybe it’s the funniest.

Doesn’t matter. As long as you repeatedly articulate your est, injecting soul will be a natural byproduct.

Remember: Every organization interacts with people – but not all of them brand it as their inherent, unique superiority. How could you speak to your market in a way they’re never been spoken to before?

4. Expect less from technology and more from each other. You can’t filter your entire life through pixels – not if you want that life to matter. That’s why approachability is not going away. In fact, it’s becoming more essential by the day.

If you want to inject soul, you have to make things unexpectedly personal. Instead of outsourcing the human function, practice interactional casualness. Compress your personality into micro moments of individual expression.

But not as calculated actions – as loving impulses. Otherwise you come across as cold and alienating. And your flat and inexpressive language will go unnoticed.

Believe me: Investing time and money to inject soul is always worthwhile. I challenge you to expose the place where you really live, fearlessly open the closed room and bring all of yourself to everything you do.

It might be inconvenient – but it’s never impossible. And people always notice. Where are you sacrificing experiences for expenses?

5. Pass the torch. Part of making a name for yourself is helping others make a name for themselves along the way. After all: People shouldn’t have to wait for permission to express themselves. Their unique light should shine bright and consistently.

Otherwise, crushed under the weight of can’t, they wind up delivering emotionless, forgettable non-service.

That’s the next secret to injecting soul: Petitioning the people around you to do the same. Helping them light their own fire. And giving people permission to express their personal brand unabashedly. Not only does this color their daily experience, it also reinforces their freedom and invites them to demonstrate their creativity.

Remember: Like a pocket full of fireworks waiting for a match, the people you work with would give anything for the opportunity to show you how much soul they really have. Be an enabler of that. Help people believe in their own possibility a little more. They’ll work their hearts out for you. Do you love yourself enough to get the hell out of the way so people can articulate their fabulousness?

6. Build virtuosic moments. Kid Rock has sold twenty three million records. This is not an accident. In the revealing book Music, he shared his philosophy of life and business:

“If it looks good, you’ll see it. If it sounds good, you’ll hear it. If it’s marketed right, you’ll buy it. But if it’s real, you’ll feel it.”

That’s what happens when you inject soul: People feel it. Down to their bones. And if you want to compete in today’s marketplace, that’s the price of admission.

Long gone are the days of interrupting people until they die or hire you. Long gone are the days of tricking people into buying something.

Now, you’re no longer just competing for people’s attention – you’re competing for their emotions. And unless you’re willing to loosen the tightness of your heart, you’ll never cut through the clutter.

Benefits, schmenefits. Your soul is what people buy. How are you leading with that in the sales process?

REMEMBER: Soul informs brand, and brand informs your bank account.

Inject it into everything.

James Brown would be proud.

Are you known for your sale or your soul?

For the list called, “10 Unmistakable Motivators of Human Engagement,” 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]

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Elevate Your Employability, Part 1

Approachability is about increasing the probability.

Of getting noticed.
Of getting remembered.
Of getting what matters most.

And for millions of people right now, that means getting and keeping a job.

According to this month’s report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment has reached a staggering level of nine and half percent.


Fortunately, there is way to increase the probability of employment.

No, I’m not talking about bringing a handgun to your interview.

That doesn’t work. Just ask my ex-girlfriend.

The real secret is to make yourself more employable.My name is Scott, and I’ve never had a real job.

I started my company the day I graduated college and never looked back.

But I have dedicated every waking hour of the past decade to experimenting, experiencing and educating on approachability.

And if you do it right, approachability converts into employability.

Tired of watching Law & Order reruns all day? Here’s a collection of employability skills to help you increase the probability of getting – and keeping – a job:

1. Character trumps beauty. Remember the prettiest girl in school? She received constant praise from everybody, had the world handed to her on a silver platter and rarely had to work that hard to win.

But by the time she hit thirty – and the beauty started to fade – she regretted never making any effort to be special. Woops.

That’s the difference between eye candy and brain candy: One is physical attractiveness with little or no substance; the other is psychological attractiveness with high mental appeal. And unless you’re applying for a position at Hooters, focusing on the content of your character – not the level of your beauty – is what will get you hired.

And don’t get me wrong: It’s not that you shouldn’t be mindful of personal presentation. But you don’t have to be good looking to be attractive. Are you catching people’s eyes with beauty or capturing people’s hearts with brilliance?

2. Flexibility trumps strength. Being flexible isn’t about touching your toes – it’s about responding to life – and doing so with an attitude of openness, creativity and self-belief. Here’s how to demonstrate your professional plasticity:

First, actively seek out ways to be stretched. Be emotionally flexible – that is, maintain a wide spectrum of emotions rather than responding rigidly and defensively.

Second, adopt a predisposition to compromise. Be mentally flexible – that is, entertain multiple viewpoints and values and beliefs that are different than your own.

Finally, be what the moment requires. Be contextually flexible – that is, sustain your strength amidst the rapidly changing nature of the economic environment.

Remember: Nobody cares how much weight you can lift – they care how much you change can adapt. Does the muscle of your life have a broad range of motion?

3. Heartset trumps mindset. The problem with attitude is that it can be faked. Read enough affirmations and you can convince anyone that you have the mindset of a winner. Heartset, on the other hand, cannot. And because this is a term I’ve coined, let me break it down for you:

Heartset is the emotional repertoire that enables your spirit to persist. It’s the durability to slog through what matters and the inner infrastructure that keeps you plugging away.

Heartset is also the emotional contract you make with yourself. It’s the identity and predisposition that determines how you interpret situations and respond to life. You can’t fake that. And only when make the conscious decision to adopt a winning heartset will people start to notice.

Remember: Anybody can be successful for a short period of time before the rest of the world finds out about you. But if you’re counting on faking it until you make it, you may never make it. How do you bring your humanity to the moment?

4. Truth trumps academics. The reason I’m so widely read as an author is not because I have an unparalleled command of the English language – it’s because I write in blood. That’s what my readers have come to expect: More honesty per square inch than anyone out there.

Sure, it’s not exactly academic, but at least I won’t bullshit you. How are you branding your honesty?

Maybe it’s by being microscopically truthful in those little moments where lying would probably be easier and quicker. Maybe it’s by encouraging the truthful self-expression of everyone around you. Or maybe it’s running the risk of appearing inconsistent for the sake of preserving the truth.

Either way, remember this: Honesty is attractive because it is rare. And unexpected. And underrated. Be known for it. Would you rather be remembered as the employee who thought he knew everything or the employee who always told the truth?

5. Execution trumps creativity. People know me as the guy who wears a nametag every day. But that’s not my real claim to fame. What matters is that I leveraged the simple idea of wearing a nametag everyday into a successful enterprise. That’s execution. That’s taking action on what matters most.

Your challenge is to position yourself as someone who does the same. Straight out of my latest book, Ideas Are Free, Execution Is Priceless, here’s a rapid-fire list of my best practices for doing so:

First: Be strategically impatient – stop waiting for permission to start.

Second: Build executional capacity into your idea from the onset – calculate the cost of inaction to motivate you.

Third: Develop massive intolerance for the inconsequential – make a list of twenty things that consume your time but don’t move you forward, then stop doing those things.

Fourth: Hustle while you wait – give away your talent to the market until they’re ready to pay for it.

Fifth: Ignore feedback from people who don’t matter – decide whose advice you have outgrown.

Lastly: Finished is the new perfect – when you get to eighty percent done, ship. Become a master of execution and you’ll never be fired.

Remember: You don’t need an idea – you need an, “I did.” Can you turn a seed into a forest without any rain?

REMEMBER: You can’t make anybody hire you.

What you can do is increase the probability of getting a job by making yourself more employable.

And you won’t even need a handgun.

How employable are you?

For the list called, “205 States of Being That Matter Most,” 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]

Never the same speech twice.
Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Are You Forgetting About This Underrated Marketing Strategy?

My business card is a nametag.

But it doesn’t say Scott – it says Scott’s Friend.

I do this for three few reasons.

To assure people that face-to-face is coming back. And, that regardless of age, technology or personality, nothing will ever beat human contact.

To remind people that you can’t filter every experience of your life through pixels. Not if you want that life to matter.

To show people that it’s still cool to meet people the old fashion way. By touching their skin, looking them straight in the eyes and taking to them with your mouth.

IN SHORT: To market my humanity.

That’s the most underrated marketing strategy in the world: Being a person.

Here’s how you can do the same:1. Exponentially increase your activity level. Did you know it’s easier to just say hi to everybody? That’s why my personal mantra is, “Consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness.”

Think about it: How many people did you go out of your way to avoid last week? Better yet: How many people went out of their way to avoid you last week?

I think that’s the highlight of wearing a nametag all the time: It generates spontaneous moments of authentic human interaction, infused with a sprit of humor, playfulness and connection.

This happened on a recent trip to Atlanta. My flight attendant noticed my nametag and made a classic comment: “I wish all my passengers wore nametags – that way I wouldn’t have to say sir!”

It made my day. And imagine it certainly brightened hers. Do that five times a day for a decade, and you can’t help but market your humanity. But only if you’re consistent. Otherwise you’re just winking in the dark. How many of those moments did you have last week?

2. Generosity always gets people’s attention. People judge you based on two criteria: How they experience you, and how they experience themselves in relation to you. Everything else is an afterthought.

The question is: How do you want to leave people? In love with you, or in love with themselves because of you?

Ideally, the latter. Because being approachable isn’t just about being the life of the party – it’s about bringing other people to life at the party. It’s not about constantly putting on a show – it’s about giving other people a front row seat to their own brilliance.

That’s how you interact with people in a way that they will not forget: By making the feel essential. That’s how you give people the social gift of elevation: By enabling them to walk away from an interaction psychologically higher than before. And if you do it right – and if there’s nothing hollow behind it – people will leave elevated. When you out of a room, how does it change?

5. Decide where you draw the line. Humanity notwithstanding, it is possible to be too approachable. And the last thing you want to do is violate somebody’s personal boundaries. That’s a mistake too many organizations make: Not everyone who walks in the door wants an unforgettable experience. From customers to guests to employees to volunteers, sometimes you just have to back off.

For example:

When I work with retailers, I remind them that sometimes you have to stop helping people shop. When I work with airline companies, I remind them that sometimes passengers just want you to drop off a bottle of water and leave them the hell alone. And when I work with call centers, I remind them that you don’t have to use the customer’s name seventeen times a minute just to assure them that you’re listening.

Instead, try asking people how much interaction they prefer. Ask questions like, “How often would you like me to communicate with you?” and “What method of communication do you prefer most?” Otherwise, overpersonalization becomes an invasion of privacy. And by giving people too much attention, they feel smothered and intruded upon. Where are you overcommunicating?

4. Leave a tender moment alone. I once had the chance to meet one of my heroes. After his speech, I made my way to the front of the meet and greet line. We shook hands, and he asked me if I wanted to get a picture.

But for the first time in a long time, instead of fumbling over my smart phone to take a picture I could later use to prove to all my friends that we’d actually met, I told Mark that I’d rather just remember the moment instead.

So I did. And so did he. And incidentally, I never forgot that moment.

That’s what happens when you capture life with the camera of the heart. And if you want to do the same, here’s my suggestion: When you encounter the people who matter most, allow those interactions to profoundly penetrate you. Breathe in their humanity. And let the pearl sink.

Otherwise your life experience becomes nothing but an overcrowded external hard drive. What is your addiction to documentation preventing you from fully experiencing?

5. It’s never too late for the truth. Honesty is scary. Not just for you, but for the people around you. Think about it: Any time you honestly, sincerely and candidly share your opinion about something that matters to you, there’s always that one insecure, cynical twit who just has to remark, “Why don’t you tell me how you really feel?”

That’s what I never understood about the corporate world: They treat honesty like it’s some sort of organizational initiative.

Excuse me, but that’s freaking ludicrous.

First of all, if you have to tell people you are – you probably aren’t. Second, honesty shouldn’t have to be a policy. If you have to tell your people to tell the truth, you need new people. Third, if your company wants to earn a reputation of truthfulness, make honesty a constitutional ingredient – not a corporate initiative.

That’s what marketing your humanity is all about: Honoring the truth, honoring your truth and honoring other people’s truth. So what if it scares people? Tell them how you really feel. It might change everything.

Remember: You don’t need a three hundred page manual to tell you how to behave. Do you respect people enough to tell them the truth?

6. Excavate the universal human experience. What you do isn’t what you really do. There’s always something bigger. There’s always something that matters more. When I speak to recruiters and staffing professionals, I remind them that their job isn’t to manage people – it’s to enable the explosion of human potential.

Or, when I work with nurses and healthcare professionals, I teach them that their job is to give oxygen to people’s souls by allowing the dignity of self-definition. When I train company leaders, I show them that their job is to connect the duty of today with the dream of tomorrow. And when I work with relocation specialists and moving companies, I remind them that their job isn’t to move boxes – it’s to unpack the contents of the human heart.

See the difference? Your challenge is to do the same for your own work. To master the deeper humanity within your work, then embed it into your job function on a daily basis. When you go to work, what are you really doing all day, really?

REMEMBER: True power comes from personhood.

If you want to engage the people who matter most, bring all of yourself to everything you do.

Your humanity will become your company’s greatest competitive advantage.

For the list called, “20 Ways to Overcommunicate Anything,” 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
[email protected]

Too many ideas?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com.

Watch video lessons on executing what matters.

5 Ways to Weather Ridicule

Oscar Wilde was right.

Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities.

It comes with the territory of sticking yourself out there.

THE SECRET IS: How do you weather that ridicule before it knocks the life out of you?

Try these ideas:1. Take a bite out of reality. Choosing not to believe in the devil won’t protect you from him. Take it from a guy who’s been mocked pretty much every day of his life for the past decade: Ridicule is rite of passage. It comes with the territory of being successful. And it should be attended to with love, gratitude and respect. Here’s how:

First, consider it an honor to be criticized.
Second, you’re nobody until somebody hates you.
Third, anything worth doing is worth being attacked for.
Fourth, if your dream isn’t being attacked, it isn’t big enough.
Fifth, if everybody loves your work, you’re doing something wrong.
Sixth, if nobody hates your work, you’re not being honest enough.

Once you wrap your head around those realities – and once you make peace with the war against your success – it’s amazing how free you become.

Remember: The more successful you become, the more torpedoes will be shot at you. But being attacked is a sign that you are important enough to be a target. Will you accept the bullets as the price of winning?

2. Seek acceptance, not approval. It doesn’t matter if people like your work. What matters is if they label it as being real. The rest is just gravity. My suggestion: Screw meeting worldly approval. Stop acquiescing to the status quo. Creating a career of approval creates a diminished existence, which creates work destined for mediocrity and doomed to disappoint.

And you know the people I’m talking about: They just sort of stare at you with these judging eyes and crossed arms, as if to say, “What are you going to do about the fact that I don’t like it?”

Answer: Nothing. You’re going to get on with your life and get back to your work. Because life’s too short to let your art live in a desk drawer, too valuable to have lunch with idiots who downsize your dreams, and too precocious surround yourself with people who aren’t open to your energy.

Keep your distance from those who would dampen your ardor, and keep away from those who would discard the highest vision of yourself. Whose voice are you done listening to?

3. Brace yourself for the waves of antagonism. When people meet me and discover I’ve written a dozen books, their gut reaction is to say, “Yeah, but what are you, like, thirty? What did you write twelve books about? How much could you have possibly learned in your meager existence on this planet?”

And even if they don’t say that – I know it’s what they’re thinking. And over time, my response has evolved from, “Wait, why aren’t you more impressed with me?” to:

“You know, there is nothing I could say that would make me good enough in your eyes. So I don’t need to defend my books, and I don’t need to defend my brain. If you don’t want them, don’t buy them.”

And although I rarely take the time or energy to go through that whole thing, sometimes it’s necessary. Sometimes you just have to stare people straight in the eye and say, “Guess what? I don’t have to react to you.” It all depends how much self-control you’re willing to exert.

It’s like staring at plate of cookies after you’ve given up sugar and realizing that they no longer have power over you. Goddamn it’s liberating. Who was the last person you gave your power away to?

4. Consider the source. Let’s be clear: Feedback, at the right time, from the right people – in the right amount – is priceless. That’s the best way to grow, get better and learn who the heck you are.

But if you’re constantly getting rottisserized by people who don’t matter, it’s time to move on. As Walt Whitman wrote in Leaves of Grass, “Dismiss what insults your own soul and your very flesh shall be a great poem.”

When people dismiss your art as craft, hobby and decoration, learn to tell people you respect their opinion of your work – and then get on with your life. Otherwise the nonstop barrage of unhelpful feedback will slaughter your finest artistic impulses.

Remember: People who attack your work are terrified of attending to their own misery. Never let anybody keep you small, scared and dreamless. Will you risk rejection by exploring new artistic worlds or court acceptance by following already explored paths?

5. People will try to push boulders into your path. In nature, those who leave their flock and go their own way get eaten. In the art world, it’s not much different: People are usually unkind to the new. As I read in Art & Fear, “Historically, the world has always offered more support to work it already understands.”

No wonder originality is such a pain in the ass.

But, that doesn’t mean quit. That means instead of waiting for the rest of the world to tell you your work is okay, tap into your sense of interior stability. Instead, follow the path of your heart. Curb your dependency on externals for equilibrium and draw strength from places you love.

Forget about what people will think of you once they see your work. Better to risk executing what matters than to be a victim of resistance. Whose opinion are you willing to ignore?

REMEMBER: Weathering ridicule comes with the territory of sticking yourself out there.

But as much as it stings, think of it this way: Being ridiculed means being noticed.

That’s the other thing Oscar Wilde was right about.

The only thing worse than being talked about – is not being talked about.

Who hates you?

For the list called, “153 Quotations to Inspire Your Success,” 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]

Never the same speech twice.
Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

7 Ways to Humanize the Workplace

Being human is good for business.


I have no data to measure this.
I have no research to prove this.
I have no statistics to support this.

Nobody does.

Humanizing the workplace is not a process that can be comfortable quantified.

And because of that, most organizations overlook it.

THE GOOD NEWS IS: You don’t need to look very far to find evidence of the profitability of approachability.

THE BAD NEWS IS: There may not be enough evidence to convict you.

Today we’re going to explore a list of ideas for making your organization more human, more approachable and more engaged:1. Learn to be an imperfectionist. Mistakes are a chance to make the company smarter. And if you’re not making them regularly, you’re not risking enough. As I learned in The Magic in Your Mind:

“When imperfectness enters a man’s soul, he is able to show that he does not live alone in the world, but with millions of others, in whose hearts exists the same animating spirit.”

You simply have to be willing to say: “This is me. This is all of me. There is no more. There is no less. Can you accept that?” And if people can’t, get new people. Don’t be the company who never shows any real ugliness.

Instead, boldly flaunt your imperfection. Endorse your own weakness. Not only does make you more human, more relatable and more approachable – it also establishes your acceptance of the imperfect humanness of others. Sounds like a nice place to work to me. Do you trust that your people want the real you?

2. Honor people’s capacity to express. Too many companies work overtime to eliminate employee initiative. And as a protective measure, they ask their people to edit themselves. Probably because they’re terrified of allowing employees to inject their personality into the workplace and, god forbid, be free.

The problem with this command and control approach is that it leads to impersonal, emotionless non-service where employees are objectified and quickly discarded. And nothing could be less approachable.

If you want to humanize the workplace, believe in people enough to let them find their way. Don’t make them feel guilty for their talents. Don’t block the spontaneity that colors their world. Instead of assigning instructions for performing every task, let them breathe. Stop hovering.

Instead, encourage people to suggest improved ways of doing things. That’s how you treat people like people – not like tools to transmit your directions.

Remember: People engage when they have permission to create – not just instructions to comply. How are you letting people live their truth?

3. Empathy is valuable, exertion is priceless. When people come into your office and bleed all over you, the default response is to fire up the empathy engine. Which is smart. Acknowledging people’s feelings, honoring their situation and affirming the courage it takes to share is an approachable, respectful response. And you absolutely want to show people that you care enough to be hurt when they’re upset.

But you also need to care enough to be responsive when they’re in need. Standing knee deep in the gushing rapids of the human condition only matters if you help people get to shore.

My suggestion: Stop empathetically listening to people’s concerns and start immediately acting on them. Remember: Not everyone needs a sound listener – they need a swift exerter. How are you promoting a humanely considerate environment?

4. Be friends, not just amicable strangers. Friendships at work are determined by their utility. We are friends primarily because we are useful to each other. It’s a convenience of mutual accommodation.

Unfortunately, these relationships are merely transactional. And if you want to take intimacy to a higher level, try this: Instead of sitting back and making commentary, try participating in people’s lives. Stamp out anonymity. You don’t need to wear a nametag twenty-four hours a day – but you do need to know that a person’s name is the primary installment of self-disclosure.

Face it: There’s a certain level of intimacy you’ll never achieve if you keep calling people, “buddy” or “big guy.”

My question is: How many people did you go out of your way to ignore yesterday? How many people went out of their way to ignore you yesterday?

Two many. Stop focusing on transactions and start investing in real relationships. Do you like people for who they are or what they give?

5. Be a stand for other people’s greatness. If you want your people to fall in love with you, help them fall in love with themselves first. That’s what being approachable is all about: Not being the life of the party – bringing other people to life at the party. And not solely focusing on who you know – but bragging about whose life is better because they know you.

The secret is to give people a front row seat to their own brilliance. Which is easy to do, considering most people don’t realize how brilliant they are. They’re simply too close to themselves to see it.

Here’s what I do: Be people’s permission slip to be smart. Puncture their delusions of inadequacy. Show them their words have weight by emailing them with notes you took during your last conversation. It’s reflective, respectful, revelatory and reinforcing.

Plus it’s fun. And it proves that recognition isn’t just an interactional gift – it’s an emotional release. If you’re so smart, how come you don’t make other people feel smart?

6. Bear the burden of the human need to belong. That’s what I never understood about immigration law: No human being should ever be illegal. Ever. Last time I checked, we’re all humans – which means we all belong here. Period.

If you want to bolster a sense of belonging, here’ a few ideas:

Invite people before they have to ask. Listen to and actually incorporate people’s ideas. Give people the freedom to do what they believe is right. Prove to people their daily effort isn’t another silent symphony. Reflect people’s thoughts back to them in a way that they feel understood, but not mindlessly repeated. And look people in the eye and, with a fundamentally affirmative attitude, tell them how great their ideas are – no matter how big or small.

Remember: Belonging is the price of admission to people’s hearts. It’s the very oxygen they breathe. And if you don’t make a conscious effort to reinforce it in your organization, people’s loyalty will vanish like a fart in a fan factory. How are you oxygenating the workplace?

7. Root out any sense of entitlement. Here’s where big organizations screw up: They build impenetrable walls to separate the leaders from the people who matter most. And because they’re caught up in rigid identifications at the expense of their humanity, employees rarely work their butts off – much less their hearts out.

Take Zappos, for example. When you take the company tour at their Las Vegas campus, you’ll notice a lack off offices. According to my twenty second conversation with president Tony Tshei:

“We don’t have an open door policy – we have a no door policy.”

Doesn’t get more human than that. And if you want to jolt people awake, try putting hierarchy to sleep. Instead of hologramming your humanity behind the mask of a title, put your person before your position. Values before vocation. Realness before role.

That’s how smart, approachable leaders relax into humility: By releasing their posture of pretense and by staying brave enough to tell people they don’t know everything. How will you keep humility in tact?

REMEMBER: Love is not a combination lock.

If you want to humanize the workplace, you don’t need a formula.

You need to capture heartshare.
You need to treat people like people.
You need to make them feel essential.

That’s how approachability converts into profitability.

If your company were charged with the crime of being human, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

For the list called, “10 Unmistakable Motivators of Human Engagement,” 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]

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!



This blog is where you belong if:

You want to matter.
You want to stay rare.
You want to inject soul.
You want to delete average.

You want to play for keeps.
You want to reach the world.
You want to capture heartshare.

You want to give yourself away.
You want to focus your face off.
You want to treat people like people.
You want to humanize the workplace.
You want to reach and engage the people who matter most.
You want to be taken seriously by the people who matter most.

You want to stamp out anonymity.
You want to slay your inner editor.
You want to give your river a voice.
You want to take the road less traveled.
You want to command attention everywhere.
You want to help people fall in love with themselves.

You want to advocate against normality.
You want to wage a war against the status quo.
You want to live the legacy that’s in your heart.
You want to overcome your addiction to permission.
You want to express yourself diversely and relentlessly.

You want to elevate your hireability, employability, listenability, trustability, findability, buyability and yessability.

If those things are not important to you, that’s totally cool.

No hard feelings.

JUST KNOW: That’s who I am, and that’s what I write about.

Hope you choose to stick around.

Because I’d love to become part of your life in some way.

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

A Young Artist’s Guide to Playing for Keeps, Pt. 6

You’ve chosen an uncertain path.
You’ve adopted an inconvenient lifestyle.
You’ve embarked upon an unconventional journey.
You’ve felt the voice inside you growing more urgent.
You’ve committed yourself enough so you can’t turn back.

IN SHORT: You’ve decided to play for keeps.

This is the critical crossroads – the emotional turning point – in the life of every young artist.

I’ve been there myself, and here’s a list of suggestions to help you along the way:(Read part one here, part two here, part three here, part four here and part five here.

Here we go:

1. Act decisively on your creative talents. If you’re not doing the work for yourself, get out now. Courting approval puts a dangerous amount of power in the hands of the audience. And exposing your work too soon and to the wrong eyes will hurt its chances of growing into what it needs to be. Plus, it sets you up for debilitating disappointment.

Look: Art isn’t a game of kickball. You don’t have to wait to get picked to play. Pick yourself. Stop waiting for a publisher. Stop letting the market call the tune. Stop standing by for rejection. Stop insisting that someone who doesn’t matter validate your work. And stop wondering what people will think of you once they see your work.

If the world’s not ready for your feelings, tough shit.

Stay governed by the law of your own being instead of waiting for the masses to tell you your work is okay. Just do it yourself. The fruits of your bravery will not go unnoticed. Are you pushing rocks up hills or rolling snowballs down hills?

2. Continuity builds credibility. Anyone can publish something good. But only a real artist can do it every day. That’s what separates people who make money from people who make history: They’re not writing a book – they’re contributing to an ongoing body of work. They’re not painting a picture – they’re aggregating a lifelong portfolio. And they’re not cutting a record – they’re leaving behind an artistic legacy that, when people write the history books, it will be impossible to leave out.

The hard part is slogging through what matters. Going to work everyday, knowing that you might not get it every day.

I like the way creative writing professor Junot Diaz puts it: “In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.”

Remember: Don’t give up the moment before the miracle shows up. Consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness. What’s your daily gift to the world?

3. Market your motivations. In a recent blog post, Seth Godin wrote, “Art is what we call the thing an artist does. It’s not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human. Art is not in the eye of the beholder – it’s in the soul of the artist.”

Your customers – that is, your viewers, readers, patrons, fans and listeners – are buying more than just your product. They’re also buying your philosophy, your process; along with the meaning people create for themselves in response to your story. It all depends on what statement about humanity your work makes. Are you an icon people can bow down to, or an idea people can latch onto?

4. Make your life larger than your art. Art is subordinate to life – not the other way around. If you have no interests outside of your work, the world will yawn when they see it. My suggestion: Get the hell out of the studio. It’s essential for supporting, enriching, inspiring and informing your work.

What’s more, physical displacement alters your routines and patterns, stimulates creativity and feeds your social spirit – even if it’s just for five minutes.

Without making this conscious effort, however, you won’t be ale to bring anything to the table besides shoptalk. And nothing annoys people more than a one-dimensional artist who maintains such a limited worldview and openness for activities and experiences outside of their scope of interest, that it mars their credibility. Do you invest as much time in your life as in your art?

5. Allow everything you encounter to shape you. As an artist, I have a profound hunger for meaning. I’ve developed an acute sensitivity to my immediate environment. And I prepare myself not to walk away empty handed, wherever I go. What can I say? It’s in the job description. And I think anyone who pursues an artistic endeavor needs to do the same.

Otherwise their creative bank account overdrafts.

I’m reminded of the recent remake of Sherlock Holmes. In the opening scene of the movie, Robert Downey, Jr. grabs the arm of attacker, stopping the invisible dagger millimeters before slicing Watson’s jugular.

“How did you see that?” Watson gasps.

“Because I was looking for it,” Holmes replies.

What are you looking for? What are you listening to? After all, that which goes unsought goes undetected. The cool part is: When you approach life in this way – as a sponge, as a mental omnivore – your experience become living laboratory that never goes obsolete. And if you’re smart enough to vibrate with that bliss, the world will refuse to pass you by. What shapes you?

6. Be a total control freak. In the book Catching the Big Fish, David Lynch explains that it’s a joke to think that a movie is going to mean anything if somebody else fiddles with it. “The filmmaker should decide on every single element. Otherwise it won’t hold together. Even if the film sucks, at least you made it suck on your own.”

That’s the challenge every artist faces: Securing sovereignty over your work. Attaining the freedom to create what you want to create.

And what’s sad is that too many of us surrender this sovereignty. We’re afraid to let our voice ring out. So we allow people to edit us. And then we wonder why we’re grossly disappointed with the final product.

“If you do what you believe in and have a failure, that’s one thing. You can still live with yourself,” Lynch said. “But if you don’t have the final cut – and then the movie fails – it’s like dying twice. And it’s very, very painful.”

Listen to the man: Don’t give away your power supply. Have obsessive faith in yourself. Control everything. Because when you believe in yourself this much, you begin to calculate the odds differently. And that’s how you execute the work that matters. Whom are you allowing to edit your work?

REMEMBER: When you’re ready to play for keeps, your work will never be the same.

Make the decision today.

Show the world that your art isn’t just another expensive hobby.

Have you committed with both feet yet?

For the list called, “14 Things You Don’t Have to Do Anymore,” 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]

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Are You Asking These Seven Leverage Questions?

You don’t need an idea – you need an I did.

That’s how you close the execution gap. That’s how you covert thoughts into things. And that’s how you covert experiences into moneymaking wisdom.

As such, leverage must become an essential component to your entrepreneurship lexicon. The word means, “To increase the rate of return from an investment.”

But leverage isn’t a word. Or a strategy. Or something you do to make money.

Leverage is a lifestyle. A way of thinking. An approach to doing business. Take it from a guy with no background, no job experience and no credentials – who turned a simple idea like wearing a nametag everyday into a successful enterprise. Twelve books later, if that’s not leverage, I don’t know what is.

Today we’re going to explore a series of leverage questions to help you kill two stones with one bird.1. 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 an 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?

2. 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?

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?

3. 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 productivity. Ask yourself this question throughout your creative process to ensure consistent execution. What is your legacy of taking action?

4. What’s next? Does this new thing allow you to command higher fees than before? Does this new thing allow you to learn new skills? Does this thing enable you to leverage more than in the past? Does this new thing expose you an important future opportunity? Does this new thing increase (not just sustain) an existing relationship?

Does this new thing lead to future work with the same organization? Does this new thing lead you into a new industry? Does this new thing represent an organization you would hate to lose? Does this new thing represent long-term business potential? Does this serve as a reference or exemplar for other clients? What’s your system for predicting potential?

5. How can I make this idea last forever? Anchor your expertise in that which is timeless. Democratize and genericize your thoughts so they outlast you. Always be on the lookout for ways to increase the shelf life of your material. Ask questions like:

*Is this a fad, a trend or an evergreen?
*In five years, will this idea still be irrelevant?
*What is a bigger, more stable theory of the universe that I can attach this idea to?

Remember: If you’re not current, you’re not credible. Remember to run your expertise through the wringer of when. Stabilize your content. Are you timeless?

6. How does this fit into your theory of the universe? Your expertise is a filter. And the challenge is to bring ideas from one field of knowledge into another field of knowledge. You have to observe your encounters objectively by asking, “What’s the key idea here, regardless of the context?”

Other variations of this question are: “What does this have to do with me?” “How does this have to do with my expertise?” “How is this a symbol or example of my expertise?” “How could I use this as an example in my work?” Make connections between seemingly unconnected things. What’s your philosophy of the world?

7. What else can be made from this? The key to leverage is to look at something you’ve created and then play with its potential. It’s called “Movement Value.” For example, if you’ve been posting on your blog every day for a year, could you combine those writings into a book?

Or, if you have a stack of pictures sent in from various customers over the years, what if you created a “Meet Our Clients” slide show and posted it online? Accumulation is equity. How much do you have?

REMEMBER: Ideas are free; execution is priceless.

If you want to make a name for yourself – and make a bank account for yourself – ask yourself these leverage questions to kill two stones with one bird.

What are you leveraging?

For the list called, “7 Ways to Out Experience the Competition,” 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]

Too many ideas?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com.

Watch video lessons on executing what matters.

How to Give Yourself Away

When I started wearing a nametag everyday, I wasn’t doing it to get attention.

I was doing it to give myself away.

Of course, I didn’t realize that until eleven years into it.

But now, as I look back on the journey, it occurs to me how powerful this idea is.

When you give yourself away, you make people glow.
When you give yourself away, you become a voice worth listening to.
When you give yourself away, you widen the boundaries of your being.


Giving yourself away isn’t what you think.

It’s not about whoring yourself out and violating your own boundaries.
It’s not about becoming a one-woman welcome mat for everyone you meet.
It’s not about creating a sense of indebtedness and social pressure to reciprocate.

Giving yourself away is about bringing your humanity to the moment.

Whether you’re a leader, entrepreneur, service provider or professional parent, here’s a collection of ideas on how to make it work in your world:1. Check your motivation. Some people wear their heart on their sleeve – I wear my humanity on my chest. That’s the other reality about the nametag: I’m not doing it to make money – I’m doing it to make a point. In retrospect, had I been monetarily focused from the get go, I think the intention would have stained the mission, and the idea never would have lasted.

That’s the keeper: If the only reason you give yourself away is to send a signal to the world that you did it, it’s probably not worth doing. If the only reason you give yourself away is to trick people into congratulating you on your selflessness, it’s probably not worth doing. And if the only reason you give yourself away is because you know it looks good on your resume, it’s probably not worth doing.

These types of motivations smack of self-righteousness and spoil the spirit of the process. My suggestion: Take the time to accurately define why you want to give yourself away. Do it for the right reasons. Otherwise your recipients are likely to return to sender. What motivation drives the desire to give yourself away?

2. The heart has its own measuring scale. If the audio track of your attitude is that you’re nothing but a big bucket of suck, you will stall, choke it all back, and contribute nothing. But, if you truly believe – at a cellular level – that you’re throbbing with treasure, what you give away will matter.

Try this: Instead of enrolling yourself in stagnation, instead of dwindling indecisively for an eternity, just try saying, “Here.” Try sharing what you love. You’ll find that the reservoir of giving comes from the heart – not the wallet. And the best part is: It never runs dry.

As Lewis Hyde wrote in The Gift, “Your gift is not fully yours until it is given away.”

Remember: It’s impossible to give yourself away if you don’t believe that you are a gift to be given. Remove the bars to your heart. And deliver the package of you to the world. What are the mental obstacles to believing that giving yourself away is valuable to people?

3. Step back from center stage. Approachability isn’t about being the life of the party – it’s about bringing other people to life at the party. It’s not about getting people to fall in love with you – it’s about helping them fall in love with themselves. And it’s not about who you know – it’s about whose life is better because they know you.

That’s the attitude that enables you to give yourself away. And if you want to multiply that mindset into the world, here’s my suggestion: Stop being a conversational narcissist. At your next meeting, practice a little restraint. Accept that your hand doesn’t have to shoot up every time.

Instead, staple your tongue to the roof of your mouth and let other people shine. Try this: Keep your eyes out for people who haven’t contributed in a while. Then, when the time feels right, say: “Hey Tony? Didn’t you say you had a great method for handling that problem?”

Remember: Not answering doesn’t make you less smart – it makes you more generous Who was the last person you turned into a Christmas tree?

4. You can’t choreograph giving. Giving yourself away isn’t a corporate initiative – it’s a constitutional ingredient. It’s something you do daily because you’ve made the decision that giving is important to you.

For example, in Judaism, tzedakah is the commandment to give. But it’s not something you practice because you’re asked. Or because you feel guilty. Or because it dissolves your earthly sins by the time you meet your maker.

It’s less of a thing you do and more of a thing you are.

That’s the secret: Being less intentional about the process. Because the people who truly embody tzedakah are the ones who give themselves away through loving impulses – not calculated actions. This assures that giving yourself away is the incidental consequence of an intentional commitment, and not something you do just because you have an audience.

Remember: The best way to give yourself away is to give up your addiction to controlling the giving process. What is your daily gift to the world?

REMEMBER: Giving yourself away may arouse suspicion.

People will think you’re crazy. Or too generous. Or too naïve.

But you can’t silence your own voice for fear of being misunderstood.

Emerson once said, “The only gift is a portion of thyself.”

Maybe it’s about time you delivered it.

Is your dream protected?

For a list called, “153 Quotations to Inspire Your Success,” 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]

“I usually refuse to pay for mentoring. But after Scott’s first brain rental session, the fact that I had paid something to be working with him left my mind – as far as I was concerned, the value of that (and subsequent) exchange of wisdom and knowledge, far outweighed any payment.”

–Gilly Johnson The Australian Mentoring Center

Rent Scott’s Brain today!

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