At the foot of the unblazed trail

Debono famously said that the measure of a great mind is its ability to generate alternatives. That’s the calling card of every great innovator, artist and thinker. When they see something they don’t like, they create a way around it. They invent their own options. And they believe, against all odds and all evidence, that there will be another path available. 

This capability exists at the intersection of stubbornness, vision and trust. Whenever I used to take multiple choice tests in school, I would always try to find a problem with a debatable solution. And I would write a fifth answer below the four given ones, explaining why there was another alternative the teacher hadn’t considered. 

Of course, teachers were less than amused with my antics. And I never ended up getting any those problems right. 

But what I did get was a lot of practice. I viewed those tests as blank canvases for honing my creative thinking skills and channeling my nonconformist energies. Twenty years later, I now get paid good money to generate alternatives on a daily basis. 

Proving, that there’s always another choice you could make besides the ones in front of you. There’s always the path that’s not been taken before. You just have to be creative enough to see it, trusting enough to take it, and stubborn enough never to look back. Even if you’re not sure of the outcome. 

The courage to imagine the otherwise is your greatest resource. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you remembering to generate the surplus energy to awaken alternative ways of thinking?

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* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. 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!

Functioning at a comfortable equilibrium

I once overheard a conversation between two women, one of whom said, it’s taken me a long time to start dreaming again. 

Simply devastating. 

Anytime I hear about a person whose dreams are blinked out of being, my eyes start welling up. It just breaks my heart. But it also wakes me up the realities of being a dreamer. Because if we truly want to follow our dreams, we have to reserve a portion of our stamina to recover rapidly from disappointment. We have to develop our ability to right our ship if it drifts off course. To stick the setback under the pillow, wake up the next morning and find the next opportunity. 

That’s how we function at a comfortable equilibrium. We never overreact to success or failure. We keep events in perspective, taking everything in stride, good and bad. We believe that we possess the power to decide how anything outside ourselves will affect us. And we attain an inner posture of detachment so we have a sense of self so complete that external influences have zero authority within our consciousness. 

I’m reminded of something my mentor once taught me, the first word after no is next

Whether it’s a no from a customer, a no to a new opportunity or a no from a new relationship, we nod our heads in radical acceptance and simply say, next. There will be more, there will be more. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What disappointments did you have to go through to get where you are today?

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For a copy of the list called, “154 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. Inventor. 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!

Start small and the path will illuminate itself

For the first few years of my yoga practice, there were certain postures I didn’t even attempt. They just seemed too advanced for a beginner like me. 

Until one day when my instructor said something I’ll never forget. 



We don’t always need to get better, just less threatened. 

A few minutes later, our class came to the dreaded camel pose. The back bending posture that opens the entire front side of the body. The mother of all yogic movements. But thanks to her insight, for the first time in my yoga life, instead of sitting out on my mat and watching the other students in admiration, I decided to give it a shot. Here we go. 

I inhaled, leaned back, and before I knew it, I had achieved the full expression of the posture. I couldn’t believe my own body. And the surprising part was, executing that pose wasn’t nearly as scary as I imagined. Not even close. In fact, by the time the posture was finished, I thought to myself, that was it? That’s what I was scared of for two years? 

Turns out, competence wasn’t the issue, confidence was. I allowed fear to have too loud of a voice. But the minute I actually paid attention to the man behind the curtain, everything changed. 

That’s the thing about fear. When the voice doesn’t scare us, when the reputation doesn’t intimidate us, and when the smoke doesn’t dissuade us, we become the great and powerful ones.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How will you recognize and remove the resistance that inhibits your process?

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For a copy of the list called, “9 Things Every Writer Needs to Do Every Day,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. 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!

Our sweetest dreams will not be stolen from us

The idealist in me believes that nobody should have their dreams deferred, but the realist in me remembers that eventually, everybody gets their dreams disrupted by the uncompromising forces of reality. 

The question, then, is how do you deal with a changing dream? What story do you tell yourself when you discover that you don’t want what you used to want? 

Hayes famously said that dreams don’t die, they’re just sewn into the fabric of our ambition as we weave greater ones. It’s a perfect reminder that we don’t control reality, but our perceptions and expectations and interpretations do influence it. 

And so, we dream, but we also allow ourselves the freedom to evaluate new opportunities as they present themselves. We dream, but we also remind ourselves to take into consideration our ever growing set of assets and values and desires. We dream, but we also give ourselves permission to course correct as the world changes and as we adapt and evolve. We dream, but we also face the fact that we might have to readjust our dream until it reflects something that satisfies us when we put our head on the pillow. 

No guilt. No regrets. No judgments. And no beating ourselves up for dreaming in a new direction. Doing so doesn’t make us disloyal to our desires, it makes us respectful of our humanity. Because as the dreamer changes, so changes the dream. 

What matters is that our dream functions more as compass pushing us forward, rather than an actual destination. That’s how we maximize the joy of the journey. That way, should we come to the end of our dream and discover that we have nothing to show for it, we realize what really matters. That we had it in the first place. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you forcing yourself to live out a dream even though you’re not the same person you were when you first had it?

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For a copy of the list called, “13 Service Phrases That Payses,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. 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!

Identify what’s already true for you

The great thing about opportunity
is, you don’t always have to invent it, you just have to recognize it while
it’s already there. 

The secret is asking yourself strategic questions. 

From my new software program Leverage Junkie, let’s explore a list of these questions, along with a mini case study for each
one. 

How can I feed those who are already paying attention so that they
will spread the word?
When I launched my independent music documentary,
I wasn’t starting from zero. My brand had already accumulated a substantial
following. And so, instead of wasting my marketing budget on useless
advertising and promotion, I leveraged my permission assets to spread the word.
Instead of shouting to strangers, I whispered to the people who already decided
to trust me.

How can I achieve my goals with the network I already
have?
When I moved to a new city, I physically made a list of every single
person I already knew that might have a professional interest in my goals, and
every single person who was already attracted to me and saw me as a resource.
Then I personally reached out to them and asked what they needed help with. Not
what they could do for me, but how I could create value for them.



How
could I creatively combine what I already have to make new things?
Anytime my
well of inspiration runs dry, instead of surfing the web, I open my folder of
notes from every book I’ve read in the past ten years, and reacquaint myself
with their wisdom. It’s like reconnecting with old friends. And it never fails
to spark a new idea for my next project. 



How could I sell where the
door is already open?
Instead of looking for new clients, I follow the path of permission. I greet the people who
invited me in once before and deliver a value forward campaign with exciting
new ways that I might be able to help them in the future. 

Remember, if you can’t create new
opportunity, identify and exploit what’s already around you. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What if who you already were was enough to get what you want?


LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “13 Service Phrases That Payses,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. 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 163 — Ben Folds Live with the Buffalo Harmonic

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 Ben Folds Live with the Buffalo Harmonic:

You were not the same after that. When I was twenty six, my left lung collapsed. I spent a week in the hospital with a tube in my chest, pickled out of my mind on pain medication, trying to breathe through a machine. It was the single most painful, disturbing and surreal experience of my life. Something very real inside of me shifted that day, and I haven’t been the same since. It’s like something froze there, and part of me will always be looking back on that moment. But in a good way. Sitting in that hospital bed for a week forced me to slow down my life, reconnect with my breath and develop a healthier relationship with my stress. Best thing that could have happened to me. And that’s the benefit of trauma, I suppose. When we’re exposed to a stressful event or situation, something exceptionally threatening or catastrophic or out of the ordinary, we can’t help but be altered. That moment becomes a long lived, deeply embedded memory that affects daily decision making in the future. Ben’s song is about a similar moment. It’s based on a true story of a person he knew who, under the influence of acid, climbed a tree at a party, stayed up in the tree overnight, and when he came down the next morning, was a born again Christian. And he was not the same after that. His inner geography had changed forever. The point is, we all have trauma. We all get stuck up in a tree eventually. But as painful as those moments are at the time, they are still what make our life a book of stories. And we ought to give thanks for them. What’s on your gratitude list?

Emphasize the social function. Ben is famous for crowd sing alongs. I’ve seen him in concert multiple times, and participating in a three part harmony with thousands of people is one of the most magical and electric things a human being can experience. This song in particular. Every time I hear it, I get chills and start crying. That’s how goddamn moving it is. Especially with the symphony orchestra. And the best part is, whenever he introduces it, Ben stands up from his piano and teaches the audience the root, major third and perfect fifth notes of the song. That way, everybody can sing the chorus together. That’s the way live performance should be. Not just one guy on stage, but everybody in the room coming together to embrace each other and share the joyful experience of music and singing and celebration. Ben’s albums certainly sell a lot copies, but his concerts are what connect the disconnected. They let people share moments with each other so they can experience things together. And they produce memorable, cocreative, breathing the same air experiences that fans cherish forever. That’s the challenge for any creator. Not just to sell the art, but to create something of social meaning above and beyond the art. Because live is how life happens. Why would anyone want to come see your art live?



My only vice is advice. Ben recently wrote an insightful letter to aspiring musical artists. The entire article is worth reading, but here are a few of my favorite themes and passages. First, on music. Folds wrote that while it’s important to be savvy about distribution and promotion, it won’t do you any good if you’re not making music first. Because if you’re not ready musically, the best opportunity in the world isn’t even an opportunity. Second, on identity. Ben said that it takes no effort to just be yourself, but the road to that place can be long and rough. So stick it out anyway. Because you may soon find you’ll be praised for being you. And third, on uniqueness. Ben also wrote that you can’t make people who won’t understand your music, understand your music. And so, don’t try to sway people’s musical taste, or alter your music to fit a theoretical audience. Just take the music you naturally make and finding it’s home. That why this man is a genius. His insight about music is equally as inspiring as the music itself. How does the way you use your intelligence come across to the people who work with you?

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What did you learn from this movie clip?

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* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. 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!

Injecting more control into your career

There’s a direct correlation between work commute and overall
happiness. It’s been proven in a number of studies, one of which showed that
each minute added to a commute affected people’s anxiety, happiness and general
wellbeing. 


Yikes. 

Turns out, commuters
are more likely to be anxious, dissatisfied and have a sense that their daily
activities lacked meaning than those who don’t have to travel to work. 

What’s
interesting is, commuting isn’t really the issue here. As my mentor used to
say, your problem is never your problem. Often time, it’s the thing behind the
thing that’s causing the pain. 

And so, these people’s experience of unhappiness
doesn’t stem from their commute, but from their lack of control. Squeezing into
a crowded train or sitting mindlessly in traffic or trudging frustratingly
through the snow, these experiences make people feel like they have
less control over their lives. As if their happiness was being held hostage by
the powers that be. 


Commuting, then, is merely one symptom of a larger
problem. They’ve
set themselves up in lives which seem to be largely out of their control. For example, let’s say an employee had a two minute commute
to the office. Sounds like a dream, right? Not so fast. Because once she
arrives at work, her job forces her into a situation where one person has the
power to make or break her life. Whether it’s her boss, her biggest client, her
desk mate or her direct report, she feels at the whim of one person tochoosehersuccess or failure in any endeavor. 

That’s not a commute problem, that’s a control problem. 

And so,
the goal isn’t to find an alternate route to work. The goal is to create a work
system thatputs you out
of the reach of the powers that choose or reject you. Which may take years to
achieve, but if you’re always on the lookout for ways to maximize the freedom
of your schedule and environment, and if you’re always finding new ways to own
your world, you’ll constantly boost your sense of control. And freedom won’t be
far behind. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How are you growing in your ability to be in control of yourself?

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For a copy of the list called, “20 Types of Value You Must Deliver,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. 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!

Sell the thinking behind the thing

I have a friend who runs a knitting shop. 

Brandi sells handcrafted scarfs, gloves, hats and other cozy fibrous accessories. What’s interesting is, that’s not the only way she creates value for her customers. In addition to selling her knitted wares, she also sells her knitting patterns



Here’s why. 



Brandi worked in a knitting shop for fourteen years. Growing up, she saw and touched and studied and sold everything a knitter could ever want. And so, because of her exposure to all that raw material, she accumulated massive intellectual capital, which she now translates into intellectual property, which can be implemented by others. Using knitwear design software, she built a series of blueprints to help customers take matters into their own hands, quite literally. 



It’s quite brilliant.



Brandi didn’t just sell the thing, she sold the thinking behind the thing. And often times, that’s the real value. Because our best customers don’t want to look like us, they want to see like us. Yes, they want to buy the art we make, but they also want to buy into the way we think. They want the pleasure of our intellectual company. 



Make your customers smarter. Don’t just teach them how to fish, invent a special lure for them to use. Any idiot can lead their customers down a path, but only smart entrepreneurs help their customers discover the path on their own. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How are you brining intellectual capital to the table?LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “12 Ways to Out Service Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. 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 sculpture is inside the stone

I heard a fascinating interview with a successful impressionist. She said that what she thought was wrong with her growing up, became the very thing that built her career. As a child, she admitted, she used to sit back and study people. For hours and hours. And now as a stage performer, she’s just being all the people she watched. 

Don’t you just love it when talent comes full circle like that? 

Yet another testament to the professional power of the childhood passion. Which isn’t to say everyone’s vocational calling will be as poetic as hers, but it’s certainly a useful starting point for creating your value inventory. That thing that you could would have done forever, that thing you had to force yourself not to do, that thing that people made fun of you for doing, that thing that got you sent to the principal’s office, that thing people said you were spending way too much time on, that thing that makes people watch with breathless interest, that thing that, once you started doing it, you don’t stop until somebody elbowed you in the ribs, it’s a massive clue. 

Not necessarily the activity itself, but the thinking that went into it, the way that it engaged your brain, the way that made you feel about yourself, there’s something there. Everything that is done early in life is functionally related to a life trajectory. And if you’re willing to go back in time and unpack the value behind it, you can use that thing to unlock your ability to contribute. 

Michelangelo was right. The sculpture is already inside the stone. Perhaps it’s time you started chipping away. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What work do you find absorbing, involving, enthralling?

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For a copy of the list called, “37 Things to Avoid Doing This Year,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. 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!

Capitalizing on emerging opportunities

Every time a new opportunity, project or partnership comes into my creative crosshairs, my initial feeling is gratitude. Because opportunity only finds a home in places where it’s appreciated. Where there’s a yessable heart and an abundance mentality. 

The next feeling is hope. Because whether or not the opportunity comes to fruition isn’t the point. The fact that it happened at all means that it’s possible. And that it will probably happen again. After all, people only give you opportunities when they feel connected to you, and there’s a whole lot of people out there. 

There’s also a feeling of pride. Because in a world where it’s so hard to believe somebody is actually asking you to be yourself, there’s nothing more satisfying than finally getting paid for something you’ve already been doing for free, and would happily continue do for free. 

The last and perhaps most important feeling around opportunity is detachment. Because although I have dreams and hopes and ambitions for the exciting opportunities that come my way, I don’t make the mental and emotional mistake of having expectations around them. 

Yes, I want to capitalize on emerging opportunities. Yes, I know that if I don’t act while a door is open, it might shut forever. But on the other hand, it’s not healthy to get attached to things over which I have no control. Standing poised in a great ballet of expectation is neither healthy nor profitable. 

And so, I like to think I’ve developed a healthy relationship with opportunity. I define it as anything that brings me a step closer to my genuine interest. I try to surround myself with more and more activity to inherently increase your opportunity stream. And I remember that with every opportunity, realized or not, I contribute to a fabric. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you in the right frame of mind to pursue opportunities as they arise?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of 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. Strategist. Inventor. 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!

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