Layer meaning on top of the mundane

I despise meetings, but I love writing. 

And so, when I’m stuck sitting around a table for two hours, I always take copious notes of all the insights people don’t realize they have. Because writing is my currency. That’s a layer of meaning. 

Something else I dread is lifting weights. On the other hand, I love listening to interesting conversations. And so, when I’m trapped in a hotel fitness center at midnight, I always listen to podcasts to inspire my thinking and ignite my creativity. That way, my body isn’t the only system getting a workout. 

That’s a layer of meaning. The secret is, long before I sit down at that dreaded meeting or walk into that dumpy fitness center, I’ve already made the decision to convert it into meaningful experience. Because I consulted my meaning making mission. I literally pulled out a living document that mapped out the larger repertoire of activities that were guaranteed to provide me with the experience of meaning. 

And so, this existential day planner, this micro blue print for meaning, inoculated me against the mundane. What’s more, after I complete the experience, I write it down in my victory log, which is an ongoing and cumulative record of the meaningful activities I managed to accomplish each day. And it reminds me to that we can contrive a sense of freedom out of any set of circumstances. 

The point is, meaning is made, not found. We do what we have to do to make things okay for ourselves. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you reconciling mundane tasks with meaning capital?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “157 Pieces of Contrarian Wisdom,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Keep your circle small

I’ve always been a fiercely independent person. 

I love connecting and conversing and communing and cocreating with people. I cherish the centers of belonging in my life. But from an organizationally sanctioned standpoint, I’m just not a joiner. Niches and scenes and cliques and teams and tribes and unions and circles and industries and clubs and associations, these groups just aren’t appealing to me. 

I prefer to answer to myself. My niche is me. I am my own genre. And it only took me thirty years to learn that about myself. 

Interestingly, my comedy hero famously felt the same way. Carlin was a man of independent functioning. An individualist who bucked the system. He once said to avoid teams at all cost. To keep your circle small. To never join a group that has a name. Even if you must join, don’t participate. It will be your death. And if they tell you that you’re not a team player, congratulate them on being observant. 

He may have been trying to make us laugh, but he was also trying to make us think. Because the reality is, some of us are just wired that way. Joining doesn’t make our spirit come alive. There’s no need for us to gather under the same roof with people. We keep our assemblies dinner party sized. 

Which doesn’t mean we’re apathetic or antisocial, it simply means we don’t have high affiliation needs. Our fire is fueled elsewhere. Our loyalty is to our own work and our own network of loved ones and respected others. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you a joiner?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “22 Unexpected Ways to Help People,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Colonize every crack in the sidewalk

Doctorow once made a brilliant parallel between dandelion reproduction and art. 

He said that almost every seed a dandelion tosses into the wind is going to die without taking root, but that’s not what matters to the dandelion. They don’t care that every seed survives, they care that every opportunity to take root is exploited. A successful dandelion is one that colonizes every crack in the sidewalk, not one that successfully plants all its seeds. 

It’s the perfect metaphor for the creative process. Because in the age of unlimited digital shelf space and zero marginal cost copying, the winds of the internet can toss the creator’s work, i.e., seeds, to every corner of the globe, seeking out every fertile home that they may have. 

And so, the dandelion is a reminder that our job as makers isn’t to follow all of our seeds to make sure they get steered in the right direction. The goal is volume. Ubiquity. Consistency. Indiscriminately firing ideas off into the sky at the slightest breeze, even if know that most of them will likely fall on hard, unyielding pavement. 

The challenge, then, is how do we increase the probability that our seeds will get hospitable reception when they touch down? 

First, we broaden our definition of what opportunity means, viewing it as anything that brings us a step closer to our genuine interest. Next, we widen our vision of where opportunity lurks, keeping our ears to the ground for the unexpected, thus making it easier for luck to find us. Then, we protect our pursuit of opportunity, combating the forces that oppose or weaken our forward motion. And finally, we deepen our trust that if we keep our stream of seeds flowing, eventually, one of those thousand little cracks in the sidewalk will house the opportunity for our next great creative adventure. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you making sure that every opportunity to take root is exploited?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

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

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

Moments of Conception 156 — The Menu Scene from Chef

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the menu scene from Chef:

What can we learn?

Stick around, outlive the critics. Casper struggles with the classic artist’s dilemma: Cook for the customers or cook for the critics? On one hand, there’s something powerful about creating things worth being criticized. Because most art is ignored. And if you’re making people react, you’re making a difference. On the other hand, there’s something wildly satisfying about creating art for yourself. Because we can’t guarantee that anyone else will give a shit. And it’s nothing personal, it’s just that most people are too busy, too inundated with information and too focused on their own work to even notice. I’m reminded of an interview with another famous director, whose third film was considered to be a box office flop. When asked what went wrong, he said the movie didn’t do well because it wasn’t a wish fulfillment idea. It didn’t represent the audience’s dream. And I thought to myself, okay, but what about the director’s dream? What about fulfilling the wishes of the creator? That seems more important. I understand everybody wants to see a little bit of themselves on stage, but making art isn’t about everyone else relating to it, it’s about me relating to it. Creating is about acquiescing to the ambitions of the world, it’s about sharing a vision of life and the nature of the people who inhabit my world. Are you willing to please yourself and let others follow?

Have faith in yourself to make it all back. What I love most about this movie is its origin story. Favreau wrote the script after directing several big budget films, wanting to create a small scale, independent movie about cooking. And so, he willingly stepped down from the billion dollar world of superhero films, returned to his indie roots, and made the movie he wanted to see in the world. That takes guts. Favreau burned everything down and salted the earth, just to see if he could do it again. He threw himself curveball, just to test how much faith he had in his own work. Perhaps that’s the real art. The willingness to start from scratch, let go of everything you’ve tried and built and accomplished, except for the person you’ve become, and reinvest that into something brand new. Favreau talks about this publicly, too. In a recent interview, he revealed own his moment of conception, how the script for this movie just hit him, and he wrote all day every day until it all came out. Just like he did twenty years ago with his first movie. The point is, inspiration comes unannounced. If you’re lucky enough to be inspired to do something, you have to follow that vibe and see where it takes you before it’s too late. What’s your framework for converting inspiration into something real in the world?

If they love you, they’ll buy everything you have. Chefs have a lot in common with writers because they get on thematic kicks. They investigate the fabric of myths in their lives, following conceptual pathways for as long as they bear fruit. And they cook and cook and cook until the vein is out. But once they reach the point of diminishing returns, they pivot. They update the menu, allowing each theme to show them the way down the road to the next one, trusting that new meaning will arise in unexpected places, and trusting that their audience will follow them as they blaze this new trail. Carlin epitomized this phenomenon. In the early seventies, he completed reinvented himself, both through his personal appearance, and also through his style of radical social commentary. He began tackling issues about drugs, birth control, dirty language and other dangerous topics, earning him equal amounts of controversy and fame. But he knew exactly what he was doing. In a fascinating retrospective about his comedy career, George said that although his audience didn’t always want go to those thematic places initially, once they arrived, not only did they laugh when they got there, but they were glad he took them there. Proving, that if the audience truly loves you, they’ll follow you down whatever path you take. What would make you an outstanding leader a year from now?


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What did you learn from this movie clip?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “22 Unexpected Ways to Help People,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


The power source to pursue your dream

Every entrepreneur is pining for startup capital. 

That very crucial, very early investment, meant to support the business until it can generate cash of its own. In fact, the highly publicized successes of the venture capital world in the seventies and eighties, most notably with tech companies like Apple, ultimately birthed an entire industry of venture capital investment firms and related products and services. 

However, there’s another entrepreneurial asset that should never be overlooked as a viable resource for growing a new business. That’s the value of emotional capital

When I first started my publishing company right out of college, I reluctantly moved back in with my parents. Part of me felt ashamed and weak for doing so. Like I was still this little boy who hadn’t grown up yet. But the other part of me felt grateful and fortunate to even have the opportunity to do so. Like I’d be given this immense power source with which I could pursue my dream. 

And so, I spent the next two years, eight months and twenty nine days living with my parents, running my new business out of their basement. And as I reflect back on that time period, I realize what a gift that experience was. Because moving back in with my parents gave me something more valuable than money, they gave me ability to be brave. The emotional capital I needed to dream big, take risks, bet on myself, fail quietly, learn quickly and grow exponentially. 

And that way, once the time came for the fluttering bird to be pushed out of the nest, I was ready to soar. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What capital is your business most thankful for?


LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of 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. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

What business could I be in?

Einstein once said that whomever can no longer wonder and marvel is as good as dead. 

It’s a bit dramatic, but it’s still a powerful insight for anyone working in the modern economy. Because while it’s important to know what business you’re in, it’s also important to envision what business you could be in. To keep yourself amenable to new, interesting and different opportunities that you might not have even considered when you started. 

I have a colleague who started her career as an event planner and filmmaker, but recently stumbled into the tech startup space. Within a two year period, her product went from a back of the napkin idea to a fully functioning app with a legitimate user base. And she’s not even a techie. She claims she didn’t know a damn thing about what she was in for. But she couldn’t be happier. 

Meanwhile, business owners and artists and creators around the world are missing this boat. Instead of entertaining diverse work options, they’re seduced into insulating themselves from unknown parts of the market. Instead embracing vulnerability, they’re making themselves as small a target as possible so the world won’t shoot them down. 

And the irony is, the only thing they’re protecting themselves from is getting more business. 

Look, we rarely get what we signed up for. As entrepreneurs, we tend to come for one thing and end up walking away with another. But sometimes the best road is the one we don’t see signs for. Sometimes we stumble into the truth when we’re not looking. 

And if we’re smart, open and lucky, we let it change us forever. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Who do you have to become in order to contribute differently to your business so that it generates more income?



LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of 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. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!

The Nametag Guy Live @ Sycamore High School: On Leverage

Last year I delivered a keynote presentation to 350 seniors at Sycamore High in Cincinnati, OH.

This particular clip tells the story about leveraging big moments.

Enjoy!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How do you leverage big moments?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “46 Types of Marketing,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Moments of Conception 155: The Pudding Scene from Punch Drunk Love

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the pudding scene from Punch Drunk Love:

What can we learn?



Most people don’t look. Barry has finally duped the system. The frequent flyer
mile promotion seems too good to be
true, but it’s not. The exploitation of the fine print sounds like an insane
premise, but it’s not. The company simply made a labeling error. They didn’t
realize the monetary value of the prize was worth significantly than the
pudding itself. And so, he took advantage of the loophole. He jumped on the
idea before anybody else had a chance, and it changed his life forever. Barry
may have serious anger and anxiety issues, but he’s also one hell of an
opportunist. I’m reminded of an interview with a veteran actress, who told the
story of how she got her start. Back in the early eighties, she joined the
local theater company as an entry level player. But since that position didn’t
afford her a lot stage time, she was forced to get creative. So she started
researching the theater bylaws. And she discovered a loophole. Turns out, any player in that particular company,
rookie or veteran alike, could perform for free on any night that didn’t have a
regular show. Wednesday, as it turns out, was that night. And since nobody else
was claiming that spot, she took it. Within a week, she had put together an
act. Within a few months, there was a line around the block. And within a few
years, she became a fixture in the community. The rest of her career flowed
from there. Yet another reminder, most people don’t look. Most people don’t read
the fine print. What is the opportunity that’s going to pass you by if you don’t act on it?



The greatest force in the universe. This movie is based on a true story of a civil
engineer who took advantage of a promotion to earn over a million frequent
flier miles. And what’s really amazing is, fifteen years later, the guy is
still taking advantage this promotion. Phillips has been flying free with his
family and friends to more than twenty countries and loving every minute of it.
And, he’s racking up new points five times faster than he’s spending them,
earning him lifetime status on the airline. That’s a lesson about the power of
compound interest. Building the capacity to generate more and more value over time through
consistent increments. Which is something mathematicians and engineers and
accountants think about constantly, but we right brained, artsy fartsy folks
rarely ever consider. And so, it’s worth asking ourselves. What could be the
central lever that galvanizes the whole machine? What could be the crucial
stone that kills all of the birds? What could be the single activity that can
be trusted to take care of everything else? That’s called a catchall. My
musician friend, who plays in several bands, teaches guitar lessons,
licenses his music, sells his own records, makes music videos and writes
articles for industry publications, challenges himself to compose one new
piece, every day. That’s his catchall. After ten years in the business, he
knows the accumulation of that work generates the compound interest to support
his career. What systems might you create
to do the heavy lifting for you?



Meaning
is made, not found. 
Barry is a
lonely, frustrated, angry man. He doesn’t like himself. He cries a lot for no
reason. And he doesn’t have anybody he can talk to about these things. But then
something snaps. Barry accepts that he has to make work for himself, work that
nobody asked him to make. First, he turns his brain over to this magnificent
obsession around the pudding promotion, which allows him to channel his
thinking in new ways. Then he pursues an exciting new romance with a beautiful
woman, which gives him relief from the emotional isolation he has endured. And both
of these new endeavors become far more interesting and galvanizing than sitting
in a warehouse trying to market themed toilet plungers. It’s the ultimate
existential victory. Proving, that when we make the crucial shift from seeking
meaning to making it, life is a lot less lonely. That when we really bite into
a mental task, we not only generate an internal demand for ourselves, but our
chewing drowns out the external chatter. Because meaning is made, not found. Are you spending time in the brain as if the
brain were a destination, or using your brain in the service of the work you
intend to accomplish?


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What did you learn from this movie clip?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “22 Unexpected Ways to Help People,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

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

Now booking for 2015-2016.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


Sign up for daily updates
Connect

Subscribe

Daily updates straight to your inbox.

Copyright ©2020 HELLO, my name is Blog!