Are You Dispensing Answers or Offering Responses?

Not everyone is looking for an answer.

When people turn to you, sometimes all they want is a response.

Here’s the difference:

When you give answers, you fix.
When you give answers, you offer advice.
When you give answers, you try to be right.
When you give answers, you add unnecessary value.
When you give answers, you dominate the discussion.
When you give answers, you impose your own direction.
When you give answers, you rob people of the learning experience.

You speak from a place of information.

But.When you offer responses, you dance in the moment.
When you offer responses, you acknowledge their truth.
When you offer responses, you leave people feeling heard.
When you offer responses, you practice emotional restraint.
When you offer responses, you let people learn things on their own.
When you offer responses, you reflect people’s immediate experience.
When you offer responses, you get out of the way and give people space to process.

You speak from a place of affirmation.

Decide which one you’re going to give people.

Are you dispensing answers or offering responses?

For a list called, “13 Roles of The Listener,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

“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!

A Young Artist’s Guide to Playing For Keeps, Pt. 12

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, part five here, part six here, part seven, part eight, part nine, part ten and part eleven.

1. Artists are gift givers. Everyday I write what I write without knowing if someone is going to pay for it. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. But while money is nice, part of being an artist is accepting payment in the form of how your art changes people.

That’s what gifts do. And as I learned from Linchpin, if your art is a gift so valuable that nobody could adequately repay you, people will be eager to pay for the privilege of being in the room with you.

That’s the bet a creator makes, says Seth Godin. That when you give away something for free, it will be discovered, attract attention, spread and then lead to some portion of the masses actually buying something. But it has to start with the gift. With the intention of deploying your work because it makes you happy. Are you making art to make money or make meaning?

2. Editing is for amateurs. Joyce Carol Oates once wrote that editing a book was like having multiple abortions. Jack Kerouac once wrote that editing was a betrayal of your own thoughts. And Henry Miller once wrote that editing leads to overcooked language.

All three are accurate. Editing is the enemy of expression. It forecloses on your creativity’s full expression. And it leaves your artistic spirit timid and impotent.

Don’t save your opinion for later. Risk at every moment all that you have. And make no restrictions on your testimony. You know the voice you most want to be quiet? Give it a megaphone. Because while sabotage is a safe place to be, the only art that matters is the work coated in blood that reflects people’s realities right back to them.

Make your art raw, bloody and honest. Keep it in the cross-hairs of your heart. Otherwise the red pen will own you. Where are you afraid to express yourself?

3. Maintain artistic perspective. A few sobering thoughts about three famous artists. First, Leo Tolstoy. He had thirteen kids when he wrote War & Peace. What’s your excuse for not creating? Second, Bill Gates. He started Microsoft in a recession. Are you still waiting for the economy to get better? Third, Rodney Dangerfield. He was an aluminum siding installer. What do you need to quit so you can focus on your art?

History is ripe with stories just like these. And if you want to keep things in perspective – especially during the low times – it’s helpful to remind yourself that you’re not alone. That you’re not the only one who’s terrified. And that you’re not the only artist who feels like your entire goddamn career is a hopeless journey.

Use the past to keep the future alive. Do you really thing you’re the first person who thought about quitting?

4. Find your artifact. Records aren’t dead. People don’t want the song, they want a magical way to remember the music that they can own and treasure forever. That’s why digital will always fall just short of art’s full potential. People love stuff. Stuff that changes and inspires them. Stuff they can show to their friends that inspires and changes them too.

The challenge is creating a unique way to extend the influence of your art with an artifact. As a consultant and facilitator, I create identity collages for my clients. These handmade woodcarvings, or brandtags, memorialize the company’s mission into a limited edition art piece. When hung, it becomes an engaging, conversation starting social object that makes people think, blink and share with each other. What souvenir are you providing for the viewers of your art?

5. Always keep kindling handy. Art is more than just what you do – this stuff has to be your life. If you don’t think what you’re creating is the greatest thing that ever was, you’re finished. If you don’t think your art matters in a massive way, you’re finished. And if you don’t think your work is going to change the world forever, you’re finished.

The key is to find private strategies to keep up your original enthusiasm. Two questions I’ve found helpful to ask are, “What injustice did you set out to fight when you first started?” and “What was the impulse that initially got you excited you about what you do?”

Those aren’t questions – those are time machines. And they work. If you want to stay up, stay true and stay fueled, you have to constantly rekindle that original fire. Otherwise your passion will degenerate into a line item. How do you replenish your energy reserve?

6. Paint with the brush of persistence. I didn’t invent the nametag. But I certainly took it farther than anyone expected it could go. And now that word is mine. I own it. Forever. And the people who meet me will never think about it the same way again.

That’s an example of what steady work can finally produce. And the cool part is, you don’t have to be the best – you just have to refuse to go away. The problem is, the odds are stacked against you. Because of our instant gratification culture, we’re impatient. And because of our abundance of choices, we’re quick to quit and pursue something better.

But at the heart of all creative badassery is stick-to-itiveness. If you can get good at not going away, the weak will weed themselves out. And only you and your art will remain. Are you quitting because it’s hard or because it’s right?

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, “52 Random Insights to Grow Your Business,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

The Nametag Manifesto — Chapter 17: The End of Insecurity

[ View the infographic! ]

“Everyone should wear nametags, all the time, everywhere, forever.”

That’s my thesis, philosophy, dangerous idea and theory of the universe.

My name is Scott, and I’ve been wearing a nametag for past four thousand days.

after traveling to hundreds of cities, a dozen countries, four
continents, meeting tens of thousands of people, constant
experimentation and observation, building a enterprise and writing a
dozen books in the process, I believe, with all my heart, that the
societal implications of wearing nametags could change everything.

This is my manifesto: 

17. The End of Insecurity

If everybody wears
nametags, worldwide confidence increases.

We’re all valuable enough to have a name, have an identity
and have a voice. And we don’t feel silly, because everyone else wears a
nametag too.

Instead of being left out of the club, now we all feel like we
matter. There is an overall increase in self-esteem and self-worth.

Ultimately, the more we practice being okay with ourselves,
feeling at home in our own skin – and the more we have an audience to watch us
– the more we know and like who we are. Life without witness, isn’t.

If everybody wears
nametags, no more insignificance, no more complexes about mattering and no more

# # #

You can read The Nametag Manifesto, in full, for free, right now, here. 

What’s your manifesto?

For the list called, “7 Ways to Out Leverage Your Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

My job is to help companies make their mission more than a statement, using limited edition social artifacts.

Want to download your free workbook for The Brandtag Strategic Planning Crusade?

Meet Scott’s client from Nestle Purina at!

16 Keys to Keeping Your Horse in Front of the Cart

When you put the cart before the horse, it’s impossible to make progress.

People make this mistake.
Brands make this mistake
Companies make this mistake.
Governments make this mistake.

THE PROBLEM IS: They haven’t mastered the art of before.

Today we’re going to explore a collection of examples to make sure your horse stays in front:1. Ache comes before achievement. Anxiety is a right of passage. It’s a sign that you’re on the right path. And it’s a healthy form of discomfort that disturbs you into executing what matters. What are you converting your anxiety into?

2. Commitment comes before compulsion. Motivation is born out of commitment. It doesn’t happen to you – it happens because of you. Only then will you take action on what truly matters. How will your commitment fuel you?

3. Constitution comes before connection. Love is a song that reminds people of what they most value. And if they can’t hear it while talking to you, you’re finished. Do you have a written list of your personal non-negotiables?

4. Contribution comes before contentment. Happiness isn’t intentional – it’s incidental. It’s what happens when you’re mattering. It’s the byproduct of fulfilling your whole capacity for living. What wake are you leaving behind?

5. Conversation comes before conversion. Evangelism is a contact sport. No contact, no impact. Whomever you’re trying to share your gospel with, recruit or enlist in your dream, talk to them with your mouth first. Are you trying to force-feed truth?

6. Definition comes before domination. You can’t own the space until you know who you are, what you do, how you do it, why you do it – and – how people’s lives are better because of it. Are you committed to your personal reflection needs?

7. Disruption comes before distinction. It all starts with an intentionally unreasonable statement. Like Bill Gates deciding to start Microsoft in a recession. And we all know how that story played out. How are you refining your disruptive sensibility?

8. Initiative comes before innovation. You can’t do something that changes everything if you’re still waiting for a map. Stop waiting to be picked. Just go. Once you kick your addiction to permission, what will that make possible?

9. Intention comes before influence. When I started wearing a nametag, I wasn’t trying to make money – I was trying to make friends. And I ended up making history. All because the intention was pure. Why do you do what you do?

10. Invocation comes before inspiration. If you don’t honor, respect and invite that which is truly at work – namely, not you – you’ll never have any ideas that matter. How are you ritualizing your creative practice?

11. Patience comes before profit. When the fruit of your sustained artistic effort tastes like feet, you start to wonder if all the effort is worthwhile. And it is. In ten years. How long are you willing to do the work before the right people notice?

12. Permission comes before promotion. Instead of yelling at people, earn the right to whisper to them. Then you’ll be speaking to them with a voice that’s anticipated, personal and relevant. Who is waiting for you to market to them?

13. Picking comes before plucking. I never went to the career fair. I just hired myself and got to work. This approach was less stressful and more profitable than waiting to be plucked from obscurity. Are you still operating out of a lotto mentality?

14. Playful comes before practical. Tickle the eye. Wink at the heart. And create a smile in the mind. That way, people exist in a state where they are willing to receive your message. Are you asking the viewer to take part in the communication of the idea?

15. Practice comes before principle. People aren’t listening to your mouth talk, they’re listening to your life speak. And if there’s too big a gap between your onstage performance and backstage reality, they’ll walk. Are you smoking what you’re selling?

16. Surrender comes before spontaneity. You have to trust yourself, trust the process, trust the world and trust the people who populate it. Otherwise you’ll never be vulnerable enough to welcome the beauty of impulse. What do you need to let go of?

REMEMBER: The horse loves being in front.

Let him lead. Master the art of before.

Otherwise you’ll never make any progress.

Have you mastered the art of before?

For a list called, “18 Lessons from 18 People Smarter Than Me,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

“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!

What It Feels Like to Create Art That Matters

Anytime you dare to descend down the unknown path, certain elements will always be at work.

Let’s say you decide to try your hand at a new medium of artistic expression.

Here’s what happens:

First, resistance settles in. You procrastinate. You put the work off. You find other things to do. Jesus, anything but initial execution, you think. Because you just know the first few dozen attempts are going to be crap anyway.

But you snap out of it. You stop watching television, light a fire under your ass and make a conscious decision: I’m going to suck it up and sit down and try.

So you do. And even though the canvas terrifies you, it feels right. It feels true.

Then you put pen to paper. You put blood to canvas. And although you have no idea where you’re going, what you’re doing or how the work is going to show up, you follow what comes out of you anyway. Because practice is the only way to get better.

Then it just becomes matter of trust: Trusting the process. Trusting your abilities. Trusting your heart. Trusting your instincts. Trusting your resources. And of course, trusting the medium.

This level of trust creates a safe and honest space to explore. Not to rehearse – to explore: Failures, mistakes, biffs and all.

So you do.

And just like drawing a bath, it takes time to hit the hot water. So you keep at it, establishing gentle flow, letting whatever pours out of you to take shape as it sees fit. After all, creativity is nothing but active listening. You don’t decide what to create – you listen for what wants to be created.

But that’s when you start to surprise yourself. It’s like, out of nowhere, with one stroke of the pen, you look down and think, “Whoa. This actually pretty good.”

You enjoy a celebratory pretzel. Nothing like a good victory dance to recharge your artistic spirit.

Okay. Enough salt. Back to work.

This time something feels different. This time, you return with newfound strength, fueled by the fruits of your creative progress. And this inspires you to do more, to do better.

So you do.

The progress continues.
The momentum accumulates.
The canvas starts to stare back at you.

And that’s when you realize that it’s not actually canvas at all – it’s a mirror.

No wonder creating art is so scary: It’s nothing but a stark reflection of your truth.

Whatever you put down is who you are. Gulp.

But after a while, the confrontation isn’t so bad. You start to like what you see more and more with each stroke. And you say to yourself, “Seriously man, this thing is really starting to look good.”

So the cycle repeats itself. You get pumped and create more. You just let it flow. It builds and builds and builds. And even though you’re scared, even though you’re confused, you find a place to put the fear and use it as fuel.

That’s when you start thinking about the future.
That’s when you start believing in your creative vision.
That’s when you start imagining how good your work is going to become.

And at that point, it’s kind of hard to stop yourself.

Will you create art that matters?

For the list called, “72 Superb Songs Under Scott’s Fingernails,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Are You Overlooking These Fifteen Success Essentials?

It only takes one missing ingredient to ruin the whole batch.

This goes for cookies, pancakes or any other baked goods you might enjoy.

But what about life? What about work? What about love?

These things have ingredients too.

But sometimes we forget to include certain essentials. For example:1. Art without risk, isn’t. Safe work is rarely celebrated. Let go of the fear that your work is too revealing of your inner world. Be bloody or be broke. What system can you put in place to remove the restriction of your creative expression?

2. Courage without fear, isn’t. Self-doubt is highly underrated. Let go of need to hide the fact that you’re completely terrified and have no idea what you’re doing. Be scared or be screwed. When was the last time you doubted yourself?

3. Creativity without community, isn’t. It’s hard to be creative alone. Let go of the myth that self-expression is a solo act. Be surrounded by creative people or be suffocated by creative drought. Are you still trying to play basketball without a backboard?

4. Friendship without forgiveness, isn’t. Love wasn’t designed to be fair. Let go of the insistence on treating people equally. Be unfair or be unpaired. Whom do you need to give a lifetime pass to?

5. Happiness without circulation, isn’t. Some things shouldn’t be kept to yourself. Let go of the misconception that you need to keep your joy bottled up. Be public about what you love or be pitied. When something amazing happens to you, how many people do you tell?

6. Humor without humanity, isn’t. If people are laughing, people are listening. Let go of the lie that you have to make jokes to be funny. Be yourself or be faced with crickets. Are you artificially injecting laughs or speaking the universal language of human absurdity?

7. Life without witness, isn’t. Everyone needs a good mirror. Let go of the belief that you don’t need an audience to thrive. Be visible or be winking in the dark. Who bears witness to your story?

8. Love without ache, isn’t. If everything’s perfect, somebody isn’t being honesty. Let go of the fairytale that relationships should never have problems. Be struggling or be single. When was the last time your lover annoyed the hell out of you?

9. Marketing without permission, isn’t. Interaction trumps interruption. Let go of the illusion that you can bother people into buying from you. Be respectful or be ignored. Do you feel entitled to yell at people, or have you earned the right to whisper to them?

10. Opportunity without leverage isn’t. There’s always time to kill two stones with one bird. Let go of the lie that luck is real. Be listening for the knock or be left behind. Now that you have this, what else does this make possible?

11. Revolution without ridicule, isn’t. Brace yourself for the waves of antagonism. Let go of the assumption that everybody has to love you. Be a little hated or be a lot forgotten. Will you accept the bullets as the price of winning?

12. Selling without solving, isn’t. When you’re the answer, you can name your price. Let go of the fantasy that your customers are stupid. Be the answer or be the adversary. What pervasive, expensive, relevant and urgent problem do you solve?

13. Service without soul, isn’t. True power comes from personhood. Let go of the desire to outsource the human function. Be a real person or be picked last. How does your brand bring its humanity to the moment?

14. Success without significance, isn’t. Contribution trumps currency. Let go of the dogma that making money is what matters most. Be contributing or be consigned to oblivion. Are you making sales, making a point, making a mark, making a difference or making history?

15. Work without play, isn’t. It’s nothing but drudgery. Let go of the delusion that there’s a separation between professionalism and playfulness. Be a kid or be kicked to the curb. Are your growing younger?

REMEMBER: When you skip key ingredients, something is going to taste off.

In work, in life and in love, make sure you’re not overlooking what matters most.

What are you overlooking?

For a list called, “11 Ways to Out Google Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

“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!

Adventures in Nametagging: Psychics, Sushi & Prescription Drugs

“Acts of friendliness in moments of anonymity.”

That’s why I wear a nametag:

To invite people to join me, to remind the world that face to face is making a comeback and to create spontaneous moments of authentic human interaction infused with a spirit of humor, playfulness and connection.

And if a picture is worth a thousand words, a nametag is worth a thousand stories.

Here are my most recent adventures:*DAY 3,872: Today a man sitting next to me at the airport used my name. I asked him if he was psychic. He said no. I wonder if he knows that I know he knows?

*DAY 3,873: Today I met my friends for sushi. They invited a girl named Sonal, whom I’d never met. When we shook hands she thanked me for wearing a nametag and said, “That’s so non-threatening.” Never thought of it that way, but I supposed it is one less name to remember.

*DAY 3,874: Today I went to Walgreens to refill my prescription. While waiting in line, I heard a voice yelling, “Scott!” repeatedly. I looked up, expecting to see a friend of mine. Instead, I saw a man with Tourette Syndrome. We made eye contact. He continued to saying my name. What a strange disorder.

What was your best nametag related adventure?

For the list called, “35 Things You Simply Can’t Do,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

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

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

11 Words That Don’t Matter Anymore

There is a language crisis going on.

Buzzwords are so abundant in our professional vocabularies, I’m pretty sure they’re getting their own channel on Oprah Network.

HERE’S THE REALITY: Language that limits, loses.

Today we’re going to explore a collection of dangerous words, their real definitions and a few suggestions for what you can focus on instead: 1. Advertising is just a word for people who don’t have enough friends. Instead of interrupting customers with annoying, treekilling drivel that’s going to be ignored and forgotten, create an act. A moment that deepens the emotional connection over time. Otherwise prospects will take their attention elsewhere. Do your interactions matter?

2. Aspiring is just a word for people who don’t want to commit with both feet. Instead of shirking the responsibility to go full time and go pro, stop waiting to be who you are. Life doesn’t have a preheat setting – you’re either on you’re off. Otherwise you’ll never become what you need to become. Are you still amateur?

3. Compliance is just a word for people who want you to edit yourself. Instead of putting a ban on individual expression, give people permission to let their personal brand shine. Petition them to inject personality everywhere. Otherwise employees will take their loyalties elsewhere. Who are you trying to make just like you?

4. Fearless is just a word for people who are afraid to be human. Instead of ignoring reality and pretending like nothing scares you, accept fear as a regular part of the life experience. Instead of fighting with it – bow to it. Otherwise you’ll never reach your full potential. Are you ignoring your fears or investing them?

5. Feedback is just a word for people who don’t trust their voice. Instead of subjecting yourself to unsolicited discouragement from people who don’t matter, stick your fingers in your ears. Ignore everybody. Otherwise one piece of information will fill your entire identity screen. How will you stay on the path of your own heart?

6. Hopefully is just a word for people who lack faith. Instead of using negative, acquiescent language that cripples your ability to win, speak in a way that leaves people no option but to believe you. Otherwise the things you hope for will never turn into the things you actually experience. Are you wishing your life away?

7. Impossible is just a word for people who choose not to believe. Instead of assuming that every obstacle is insurmountable, dive deep into the reservoir of human potential. Trust your abilities. Otherwise you’ll never tap into the resources available. Are you willing to greet the resistance with a welcoming heart?

8. Interesting is just a word for people who are afraid to say how they really feel. Instead of being so damn diplomatic, give the truth a shot. Be completely honest where most people would say nothing. Otherwise the world will start to expect sugarcoating with every message you deliver. How are you branding your honesty?

9. Professional is just a word for people who seek sanitize the soul out of business. Instead of delivering emotionless, forgettable non-service, bring your humanity to the moment. Put heart first. Otherwise customers will take their business elsewhere. When does the feeling formality keep you from communicating freely?

10. Recession is just a word for people who sleep too much. Instead of crossing your fingers and praying that the winds of opportunity will fill your sails, get up one hour earlier and take daily massive action toward what you want. Otherwise your dreams will stay dreams forever. What consumes your time but isn’t making you any money?

11. Ready is just a word for people who are afraid to jump. Instead of waiting for the perfect moment when your strategic plan is in total alignment with your personal vision statement, just go. Take the plunge. Otherwise you’ll trap yourself on the treadmill of preparation forever. What is waiting getting in the way of?

REMEMBER: When you limit your language, you limit your life.

Don’t get sucked into the buzzword vortex.

What word are you tired of?

For a list called, “10 Ways to Make the Mundane Memorable,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

“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!

How to Throw Yourself Under the Bus

Failure doesn’t come from poor planning.

It comes from the timidity to proceed.

THAT’S MY THEORY: If commitment isn’t the answer, rephrase the question.

The problem is, commitment is hard. Maybe the hardest.

What you need is a way to commit that makes it very hard to turn back.

IN SHORT: You have to throw yourself under the bus.

But this isn’t about self-sabotage. This isn’t about self-mutilation. And this isn’t about doing something stupid, reckless and expensive.

This is about courageously confronting your own dream.

Even if it makes your stomach flip.

Whether you’re starting a business, starting a family, running and organization or running a triathlon, here’s how to throw yourself under the bus:1. Never break faith. If you’re ready to go all in, go full time and throw yourself under the bus, the first step is to believe you’re worthy of your own dream. To believe that a benign power is supporting you at all time.

This has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with your personal faith. In yourself, in your dream and in your ability to do something that matters. Because unless you begin by answering your call to adventure, you’ll never build the momentum needed to carry your dream forward.

Personally, I restock my reservoir of faith every morning. During my daily appointment with myself, I make a mental list of everything I have faith in. Everything. And a tremor of bliss never fails to take me over. Invest in yourself. Create a daily ritual to remind yourself that you believe in yourself. Will you go on your soul’s quest, or will you pursue the life that only gives you security?

2. Cut off all escape routes. Ancient warriors used to burn their boats before storming the beach. That way, when they looked back to see the flames, victory was their only option. That’s commitment.

If you want to practice the same in your own battles, you have to put yourself in a position where there’s no turning back. You have to execute quick enough so there’s no time to second-guess yourself. Otherwise procrastination and self-doubt will get the best of you.

For example, when I got a nametag tattooed on my chest, my whole world shifted. New opportunities started coming my way out of nowhere. That’s the best part: Once you throw yourself under the bus, doors that were never there open. The world doesn’t just pay attention – it pays dividends.

Don’t commit to thinking about committing. Take the plunge and get into it up to your eyeballs. What action could you take to paint yourself into a committed corner?

3. Stick your fingers in your ears. It takes a prodigious act of courage to make something the burning point of your life. The hard part is discerning which voices to listen to along the way.

My friend Mark once told me that you can’t benchmark normal in the past. Couldn’t agree more: History yields to instinct. And that’s something each of us has to remember: If you don’t maintain a healthy respect for your own opinions, you’re finished.

What’s more, it’s not enough to trust your instinct – you have to defend it, too. Otherwise you end up pursuing something that someone else convinced you that you should want. If you’re going to be besieged by a relentless voice, it may as well be your own.

May as well let your public actions speak your personal legend. Sure beats letting people bash your opinions out of you. Who have you elected not to listen to anymore?

4. Burn your return policy. Yes, it takes lot of guts to really say yes all the way. And yes, life often asks more of you than you’re willing to give. But maintaining anything less than total commitment is a recipe for disaster. And if you think it about, throwing yourself under the bus is actually more efficient, too.

Consider the alternatives: You could rationalize your way out of risk. That’s too much work. You could waste energy trying to find reasons not to take action. What a nightmare. Or you could procrastinate your way to mediocrity. That just plain sucks.

May as well purposely and publicly choose to play big. May as well show the world that your work isn’t just another expensive hobby. Because if your emotional commitment has the depth of a thimble, you’ll never get around to mattering. Are you letting yourself stay where you are?

REMEMBER: Not deciding is a decision, and it’s a terrible one.

Don’t act like you’re not tired of being one foot in.

Put the strength of heart behind you.

Throw yourself under the bus.

Why haven’t you committed yet?

For a list called, “12 Ways to Keep Your Relationships Alive,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

“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!

The Art of Mattering

Mattering is a choice.

The choice to be consequential.
The choice to fulfill your whole capacity for living.
The choice to take responsibility for feeling insignificant.

At work, in life and in love.

Consider making these choices to assure your work matters:1. Art that mirrors, matters. People need to see their own truth staring back at them. That’s why artists are artists: They have an unmatched sensitivity to the human experience. How does your work reflect people’s reality back to them?

2. Work that dares, matters. Safe is a very dangerous place to be. If you’re not risking failure, risking your face and risking you future, you’ll never get anywhere. When was the last time you did something for the first time?

3. Innovation that simplifies, matters. If your idea doesn’t solve a real problem for the world, you’re just doing something cool. Never underestimate the marketability of practicality. Does usefulness has a palpable presence in your work?

4. Leadership that infects, matters. Infection has nothing to do with being sick. It’s about transferring emotion, putting something into people and influencing them through your state of being. What are you breathing into people?

5. Love that sends, matters. When you love someone, you should want to parade them around the room. Their existence should be a reflection of your own. And when you gush about them, you should glow like a gas lamp. Who sends you?

6. Technology that humanizes, matters. If you create a collaborative experience, you win. If you create acts of individuality in moments of conformity, you win. And if you encourage regular expressions of digital personality, you win. Are you a robot?

7. Interaction that elevates, matters. The point is to leave people better. To help them walk away from an encounter with a more colorful vision of what they can contribute to mankind. How do people experience themselves in relation to you?

8. Experience that educates, matters. We learn not from our experiences, but from intelligent reflection upon them. It all depends if you’re willing to listen for lesson, then document and share it. What did you write today?

9. Design that points, matters. Information expects a passive recipient, but design demands an active participant. Pierce people’s consciousness, create a smile in the mind and put your audience to work. Do you make people blink and think?

10. Attention that accumulates, matters. If people complain that you’re only doing something for attention, good. Attention is a scarce resource. It’s an endangered species. That’s why anonymity is bankruptcy. How are you turning your attention into permission?

11. Content that confronts, matters. Writing is a contact sport. You have to reach through the page, grab your readers by the lapel and whisper sweet nothings into their hearts. Are you a great date for your reader?

REMEMBER: Mattering is a choice.

And if you commit to it, people will thank you for making that choice.

What’s your mattering strategy?

For the list called, “50 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, Publisher, Artist, Mentor

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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