The Crumbling Wall of How

I’m rarely stopped by not knowing how.

Instead, I’m sparked by knowing why, stirred by
knowing what and sustained by knowing who. And more often than not, those
forces are potent enough to overwhelm the void of how and carry my ideas to
execution.

But I’m not immune to the occasional surge of permission.
Especially when I’m working on a new project that, deep down, I’m afraid to
tackle because I know that I know nothing. Whether it’s turning a script into a
film, turning story into a comic or turning a manifesto into an epic novel,
lately I’ve had to remind myself that ideas become interesting the moment they
start to scare us.

Fear isn’t meant to be ignored – it’s meant to be
invested.

That’s usually when I log on to Fiverr, Elance and
Kickstarter. A few minutes on those sites and I’m not just inspired, I’m in
motion. Ready to work, ready to risk, regardless of a high tide in my ocean of
ignorance.

Because thanks to the web, the wall of how is crumbling. Not
knowing has no bearing on whether or not our dreams become realities. With
creative delegation, intelligent outsourcing – and a whole lot of ego
surrendering – we can leverage our limitations instead of avoiding them.

The only thing we need to know how to do is find people who
can help us become what we need to be, then sit back and watch the magic
happen.

It’s almost
weird.

When we
let go of trying to do everything, it feels like we can do anything.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What would you do if you didn’t need to know how?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

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* * * *

Scott Ginsberg


That Guy with the Nametag


Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting


scott@hellomynameisscott.com



Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2012-2013.

Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

The Opposite of Honesty

The opposite of honesty isn’t lying.

It’s omitting.

Instead of saying how we really feel, we say nothing. Instead
of telling the truth, we tell ourselves to keep quiet. And the result is very
dangerous form of dishonesty.

For most of my life, I was an omitter: Happy to share my
feelings when asked, but hesitant to volunteer my feelings the rest of the
time.

I had girlfriends who never knew how unfulfilled I was until
the relationship was over. I had roommates who never knew how miserable I was
until I transferred. I had parents who didn’t know how lonely I was until
they read my status updates. I had professors who never knew how lost I was
until I failed the final. I had neighbors who never knew how unhappy I was
until I moved away. I had friends who never knew how scared I was until I had
anxiety attacks. I had coworkers who never knew how frustrated I was until I
got fired. I had mentors who never knew how angry I was until they saw my art.
I had colleagues who never knew how burnt out I was until they read my blog. I
had family members who never knew how stressed out I was until I ended up in the hospital.

That’s what happens when we omit: The people closest to us
feel forever in the dark. They fail to understand our full experience and simply
assume that everything is fine.

When in reality, our heart is ready to explode.

But a few years ago, enough was enough. I was tired of being an
omitter. I was tired of people being surprised every time I told them what was
going on in my life.

So I started being prolific in my communication. I practiced
telling everybody everything, all the time, everywhere. I even started writing
letters to my girlfriend and parents every Sunday. Just to tell them was going
on at that moment in my life, good and bad and in between.

And these days, I feel a lot more honest.

Not because I’m telling the truth, but because I’m simply
telling.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What are your omitting?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

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* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

HELLO, my name is Host!

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The Wow Gap

Wow is the distance between expectation and experience.

And the bigger we make that gap, the
bigger impact we have.

In the service world, when our interactions are over the top
for no good reason, when we deliver so much wow that clients have no choice but
to tell their friends, people love us forever. Even if it’s as simple as
sending a text message to someone who took the time to reach out, our immediate
response can overwhelm someone to the point of shock.

I recently commissioned an illustrator named Jose to do a
series of nametag cartoons for me. Considering I was only paying him five bucks apiece,
I didn’t expect much. History taught me that we get what we pay for.

Except for when we don’t.

The work Jose delivered was so unbelievable, so unexpected –
and so criminally inexpensive when you consider the gap between experience and
expectation – I not only showed his work to everyone I know, not only hired him
for a series of future projects, but I also sent him a substantial gratuity
check.

Wow.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you growing the gap between expectation and experience?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

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* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Yes, I do more than just wear a nametag all day.

My enterprise is actually quite robust. I add value to my clients in several cool ways.

Explore the myriad ways you, your people and your organization can leverage my talents.

The Excess of Expectation

Success doesn’t just breed success – it breeds expectation.

“I’ve seen your trick,
what’s next?”

That’s what our audiences demand. That’s what keeps them coming back for more.

Which, from the standpoint of productivity, is great. People’s
craving for novelty is a helpful probe to keep us relevant and keep us on top
of our creative game. It reminds us that we should always throw a few new songs into the set in between the classics.

On the other hand, there’s downside to success. One we can’t
afford to ignore.

With an excess of
expectation, the increased pressure to deliver can destroy us.

Take professional athletes. These guys, supposed role
models, willingly juice up when their professional association’s drug policy
specifically prohibits the use of anabolic steroids. As a result, their
reputations are ruined, their credibility is destroyed and their records are redacted
or stricken with an asterisk. Strike three.

But we have to look at it from their perspective. These guys
are legends. Celebrities. Cultural icons that we’ve given all the adulation,
adoration, attention and applause they can handle. They don’t cheat because they’re horrible people – they
cheat because they’re successful people. And when you’re successful, when you
have a huge audience who willingly spends their hard earned money to watch you
perform, they own you.

And with that relationship comes an expectation.

The fans didn’t put the needle in the player’s arms.

They just made it a
lot harder to say no.

Whether we’re ballplayers, entrepreneurs or artists, expectation
is a balancing act. On one hand, we don’t want to become a victim of our own
success. On the other, we don’t want to stop taking the creative
risks that made us successful in the first place.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What have you declined this week?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For the list called, “21 Things I Learned While Spying on Myself,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg


That Guy with the Nametag


Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting


scott@hellomynameisscott.com



Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2012-2013.

Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Coin a New Word, Create a New World

I come from a long line of merchandisers.

Every generation of my family, going back to The Great Depression,
was in the business of promoting and selling their wares. Shoes, hard lines,
cookware, apparel, gifts, closeouts, discount goods, problem inventories, they’ve
peddled it all.

So when I started own company ten years ago, I followed suit.
The only difference was, my product was intangible. As a writer, publisher,
performer and consultant, instead of selling shoes, I sold ideas. I carried my
truth to market, every day. And that meant I had an obligation to ask one
question, over and over:

“What’s that called?”

And any time I witness something, I
name it. I give it a phrase, a brand, a title, a label, a handle, a designation,
a moniker or a signature.

For example, I wear a nametag twenty-four seven. And people are instantly
friendlier. What’s that called? Approachability.
Done.

I do this for a few reasons. Partly
because it’s in my blood. When you come from a family of merchandisers, that’s
what you do. You name things. Also, I want to do justice to the things I
notice. When I see something that’s a beautiful reminder of what could be, I
want to make it easy to share with people.

But the big reason I name things is, when you name it, you create
the category. When you create the category, you set the standard. When you set
the standard, you own the mindshare. When you own the mindshare, you become the
superior voice. And when you become the superior voice, anyone who follows will
be compared to you.

Coin a new word, create a new world.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What word do you own?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

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

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Yes, I do more than just wear a nametag all day.

My enterprise is actually quite robust. I add value to my clients in several cool ways.

Explore the myriad ways you, your people and your organization can leverage my talents.

The Nametag Guy Live: Does Your Business Card Matter?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What are you the answer to?

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* * * *

Scott Ginsberg


That Guy with the Nametag


Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting


scott@hellomynameisscott.com



Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2012-2013.

Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Why Art Shouldn’t Speak For Itself

I’ve always been told that art should speak for itself.

That our job is to do the work, the
work’s job is to speak for the work, and any attempt to make grand claims about
what the work is, what it’s supposed to do or what people should think about
it, is bad form.

                                                           

And yet, every time I go to an art
museum, watch a documentary or see an interview with one of my heroes, all I
want is for the artist to speak. To me, artist statements are more interesting
than the art itself. That’s what inspires me. That’s what gives me permission
to try something new.

Yes, I pay attention to the work, but I
what I obsess over is the thinking behind the work. As the consumer,I
want the back story. I want a detailed description of the landscape that
sustained the artist when her spirit was tired and sagging. I want to know who
the artist had to become in order to finish it.

What’s interesting is, now that most
artists are operating on some permutation of free, res ipsa loquitur might not cut it anymore. If we just sit back and
let the work speak for itself, where’s the value to the fans? As Seth says,
when the cost of delivering the thing itself is so cheap, there isn’t a
bright line between exposing the work and delivering the work.

That’s why Kevin Smith has spent tens of thousands of hours
in the past twenty years – on stage, on camera, on air and on ink – answering
questions, telling stories and sharing secrets behind his work. He’s not trying
to perfect the audience experience; he’s trying to extend it. It’s the second
bite of the apple. And his fans couldn’t get that if he simply let the work
speak for itself.

Today’s audience no longer buys what we sell, they buy the story we tell. They buy the humble
beginnings that first ignited the work, the process we endured to create the
work and the resistance we overcame to sign, seal and ship the work.

Just because the work is done, doesn’t mean our mouths
should close.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What have you declined this week?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For the list called, “21 Things I Learned While Spying on Myself,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Do you need an expert who tells you what to do, or a mentor who lets you tell yourself what to do?

“After investing in your mentoring program, I’ve become centered on
who I am and what I have to offer. Now, I am attracting clients I want
to work with. Life is great and I just wanted to thank you from the
bottom of my heart.” —-Melanie Jatsek, Diet Busters

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Is Your Brand Done By Hand?

Every one of my nametags is handwritten.

People assume they’re printed because they all look the same, but I assure them that I personally write every single one. And not
just because I’m an anal retentive obsessive compulsive control freak. There is
a method behind the madness.

My brand is done by hand.

By writing the nametags myself, I inject soul into my
conversations. I give my values a heartbeat. I bring my humanity to the moment.
I exude interactional casualness wherever I go. And I make my exchanges with
people unexpectedly personal and memorable.

Because I care about people’s experience when they’re around
me.

Had I chose to print the nametags en masse, to outsource the
human function and automate my authenticity, the brand wouldn’t be honest.

Of course, I’m just one guy. The debate I’ve been having
with my clients is, what happens when your brand becomes so big that you’re no
longer able to do it by hand?

Just ask Disney. Their artists built the most magical brand
in the history of entertainment, by hand. Just ask Taylor. Their luthiers built
the most innovative brand in the history of acoustic guitars, by hand. Just ask
Etsy. Their users built the most vibrant independent online marketplace, by
hand.

Looks like the size of the brand doesn’t affect the use of
the hand.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How is your brand done?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For the list called, “27 Ways to Out the Competitors,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg


That Guy with the Nametag


Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting


scott@hellomynameisscott.com



Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2012-2013.

Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

The Freedom Advantage

When we work for someone else, the question that rules our world is:

“Who’s going to let me?”

When we work for ourselves, the question that rules our
world is:

“Who’s going to stop me?”

That’s the draw. That’s the biggest advantage to self-employment. That’s why forty-one million people in this country work for
themselves.

It’s not a financial thing — it’s a freedom thing.

Freedom in a physical sense, meaning we can do whatever we
want, wherever we want, with whomever we want, whenever we want, for as long as
we want.

Freedom in a mental sense, meaning we can empty our mind of
all the pointless,

bureaucratic noise that blocks our ability to thrive and
execute what matters.

Freedom in a creative sense, meaning we can give ourselves
permission to test out all those crazy, stupid, irrational ideas without
somebody jailing our spirit.

Freedom in a vocational sense, meaning we can focus our
efforts on doing the few things that we do better than anyone and outsource or
eliminate the rest.

Freedom in a spiritual sense, meaning we can align our
actions with our higher purpose and do great work that validates our existence
on a daily basis.

And make no mistake: When we go out on our own and take the
road less traveled, it’s no walk in the park. None of us can escape the inevitable self-motivation,
self-doubt and self-isolation that comes with the territory of hiring yourself.

But to have the freedom to stop wondering “Who’s going
to stop me?” and start asking, “Who’s going to let me?” is well worth
the cost.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What have you declined this week?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For the list called, “21 Things I Learned While Spying on Myself,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

What happens when you wear a nametag all day, every day, for 4000+ days?

Strangers make fun of you, mostly.

Check out Scott’s comic strip, Adventures in Nametagging!

The Love Conundrum

We can love what we do, but we can’t fall in love with what we do.

That type of attachment will be the end
of us.

Nothing against love, but when we’re
smitten by our own enterprise, hopelessly enchanted by our own work, the
blinders of the heart obstruct the vision of the brand.

And like Narcissus, infatuated with our
own reflection, we can’t see what’s obvious, practical and profitable.

Sometimes we fall in love with our own technology. And we never question our own
assumptions about redundancy. Take Kodak. They filed for bankruptcy because they
failed to innovate and adapt to the digital world.

Sometimes we e fall in love with our own inventory. And it’s hard to imagine why the rest of the
world doesn’t feel the same way. Take BlackBerry. Their sales plummeted
last year because they never realized the mobile world had already passed them
by.

Sometimes we fall in in love with our own press. And we spend all our time soaking in the accolades
instead of trying to get better. Take Toyota. Their quality slipped
because they obsessed over company legend instead of customer legroom.

Sometimes we fall in love with our own ideas. And we get so close to them that we overestimate
their potential. Take John Carter. Pixar lost two hundred million dollars
because this boring, bloated, poorly marketed epic couldn’t recoup their
massive budget.

Sometimes we fall in love with our own perspective. And terminal certainty blocks our acceptance
of better ideas. Like Lehman Brothers. They filed the largest bankruptcy in the
nation’s history and started a global financial crisis because they were too
big to fail.

And yet, I still believe that business without love, isn’t.

But I also believe that emotion distorts evaluation. And if
we want our brand to stick around, we owe it to our customers, our employees
and ourselves to love what we do, but not fall in love with what we do.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What are you falling in love with?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For the list called, “11 Things to Stop Wasting Your Time On” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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