Acting like zombies to each other

In certain parts of the world, eye contact is considered offensive. 

It’s sign of aggression. Sometimes it’s bordering on sinful. And unfortunately, it makes you feel like you don’t exist other than being an object to avoid. 

But that’s the beauty of wearing a nametag everyday. It’s just friendly enough, just honest enough and just quirky enough, to wipe out some of the fear. 

I’ve traveled all over the world, and people never fail to break the silence and say hello to me. They don’t even realize they’re defying protocol. They just see a friendly opening and they take it. And I always say hello back. Fifteen years, and I still haven’t grown tired of these moments. 

In fact, these interactions give me a spike of joy every time they happen. They force people, myself included, to look up, take a breath and direct our attention back out toward the world. Sure beats people acting like zombies to each other while their full attentions are focused far away.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How do you give people permission to engage with you?

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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!

Aim some creative at understanding yourself

The seven most important words any
creative person can say to himself. 



Oh
my god, you can do that?
 



Consider the amount of permission and inspiration
and liberation built into that moment. Once a person asks themselves that
question, there’s no stopping them. They’re off to the creative races. And what’s
exciting about these seven words is, they’re not just for beginners. At every
stage of a career, these unlocking moments are available to us. It’s simply a
matter of exposure. 



I’ll never forget a lunch meeting I had with a magician
friend of mine. He showed me this web
application
that helps disorganized, scatterbrained freelancers handle
the business side of their art. It looked like a virtual office manager for professional
artists, keeping records and organizing contracts and tracking receivables.
Todd said it helped keep him sane so he could stay focused on his magic act. 



And
here’s the punchline. When I asked how he found this program, he just smiled
and put his hand on my shoulder. 



I built this myself. Just for me. I
concepted it, designed it, hired a guy to develop it, and now I sell it to other
entertainers just like me. It’s an entirely new arm of my business. 



Now that’s
what you call a magic trick. 



In that moment, all I could think to myself were
those seven words. 



Oh my god, you can do
that?
 



Yes you can. You can create art that helps you create more art. You
can treat yourself as a client. You can use your creative powers to perfect the
very process by which your enterprise exists. 

One year later, I invented asoftware suiteof my own.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What thing could you build to solve your own problem?

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For a copy of the list called, “33 Ways to Approach Unhappy Customers,” 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 danger of misguided persistence

Covey once said that if the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step you take just gets you to the wrong place faster. No matter how intensely and intelligently you scale those rungs. 

I remember interviewing for gig as a curriculum developer at tech startup. I could have sworn I was perfect for the project, but then the hiring manager said something I’ll never forget. 

Your skills and personality and background and commitment are impressive. But unfortunately, you’re just not talented in a way that’s necessary to fit into our machine. Sorry


Damn it. I really wanted that gig, too. But I understood where she was coming from. Hiring me would have been like leaning the ladder against the wrong wall. 

And so, therein lies the danger of misguided persistence. No matter how much we believe in our own abilities, and no matter how impressive those abilities are, sometimes, it’s simply a matter of fit. 

Here’s another way to look at it. Remember when you studied the multiplication tables in third grade? The first rule you learned was, any number multiplied by zero is still zero. No matter how big that number is. 

Before walking into your next interview, take a moment to make sure you’re not multiplying by zero. Otherwise it’s just a waste of everybody’s time.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you trying to win an unwinnable battle?

 LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “31 Questions to Test Your Listening Skills,” 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!

That’s how value is created

Aristotle was the first philosopher to observe that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. Little did he know, his philosophy would have broad implications in systems theory, science, art and even career management. 

Physicists call this theory emergence, whereby things come alive when their elements are integrated into one another. 

Human beings are the perfect example. Our talents in isolation don’t necessarily have much value. Only through the creative combination of those assets do we locate our competitive edge. 

Adams famously explained that he succeeded as a cartoonist with negligible art talent, some basic writing skills, an ordinary sense of humor and a bit of experience in the business world. Dilbert, he says, was a combination of all four of his skills. The world had plenty of better artists, smarter writers, funnier humorists and more experienced business people. But the rare part was that each of those modest skills is collected in one person. 

That’s how his value was created. Through the power of emergence. When the animated whole became greater than the sum of its parts. 

And so, if your natural gifts are not all that extraordinary, that’s okay. You can still use them to maximum effectiveness to achieve your dreams. It’s simply a matter of developing the faculty for parlaying your modest collection of gifts into opportunities. 

Venn diagrams are helpful in developing this faculty. Drawing them helps you view the relationships and overlaps and combinations and cross pollinations. In fact, next time you’re on a job interview or a sales call or a business meeting, draw one. Right there on the other person’s notebook. It’s interesting, engaging, memorable, and helps your value come alive right before their very eyes.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What value does the sum of all your parts create?

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. 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 polishing cloth atop a foundation of value

Most people got the memo about the profitability of remarkability. Create something work talking about. Got it. 

But here’s the catch. Uniqueness is an important starting point, but it can’t be the only point. It has to be the polishing cloth atop a foundation of value. Style supported by substance. Shtick sustained by significance. Otherwise it’s just a patchwork of weirdness. 

I learned this the hard way. When I first started giving speeches and conducting corporate training programs, I received an audience evaluation I’ll never forget. The comment on the feedback form put it perfectly. 


Great nametag shtick, but is there anything behind it? 

Ouch. I remember my stomach dropping the moment I saw those words on the page. Fortunately, that comment hurt my feelings just enough to light a fire under my ass and send me to work developing substance, not just delivering shtick. And now, more than a decade later, not a person in this world can look at my enterprise and make that same comment. I made certain of that. 

Proving, that baseline remarkability isn’t enough. Style might get your foot in the door, but only substance will keep you in the room.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you remarkable but inconsequential?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “153 Quotations to Inspire Your Success,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. 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!

Driving a car without greasing the wheels

Branding is a shortcut. 

It’s what helps your business execute smarter, helps your prospects buy faster, and helps your clients return sooner. When you know who you are, everything is easier. 

That’s the single best defense for investing significant time and money and energy into building your brand. Because once you do, branding becomes the great catchall. The stone that kills all the organizational birds. The lead domino that helps knock down all the others. The central lever that galvanizes the whole machine. 

Without it, everything takes longer.

I have colleagues who are very good at what they do. Their calendars are full, their clients are happy and their bank accounts are healthy. The only problem is, their work has no brand. No hook. No expectation. No intangible asset. No collection of perceptions. No story waiting to be told. 

Which doesn’t make their companies any less successful, it’s just that everything’s a schlep. Everything’s an uphill psychological battle, both for the company and the client. Because there’s no shortcut. There’s no brand. 

It’d be like trying to drive a car without greasing the wheels. The vehicle might drive, but without lubrication, there’s a lot of grinding and jamming and stressing and clanking under the hood. 

That’s what branding is. It’s lubrication. It’s what makes doing business a much smoother ride.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

When was the last time you updated your brand identity? LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “33 Ways to Approach Unhappy Customers,” 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!

Never rob yourself of the opportunity to hit your low

I once spent a summer trying to work for somebody else. It was a fascinating experience in identity, communication and career management. 

And what’s interesting is, the very first job interview I went on, they offered me the position on the spot. For a lot of money. To do work that would have been stimulating and challenging and enlightening.

But I decided to turn the offer down. Partly because I was suspicious of succeeding too quickly, partly because the firm didn’t seem like a good fit for my personality, and partly because I didn’t want to jump at the first opportunity that came my way. 

Little did I know, I would spend the next four months apply for more than twelve hundred jobs. Twelve hundred jobs. I went on dozens of interviews and turned in homework assignments and made presentations to hiring managers and attended networking events and even met with a few recruiters. 

And the experience was transformative. I learned more about myself and the world and how business works and what companies are looking for than I ever could have imagined. More importantly, I hit some serious emotional and psychological lows, and that pain positively motivated me to reinvent my brand, recommit to my business, produce heaps of new art and make a tectonic shift in my professional trajectory. 

But had I accepted that first job offer, none of that would have happened. Had I jumped at the first opportunity that showed even a modicum of interest in my talent, I never would have grown for the better. 

Lesson learned, never rob yourself of the opportunity to hit your low. Raise your hand for pain. Put yourself through the wringer. You’ll come out the other side stronger, more textured and better equipped to handle what comes next. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What are you getting out of your suffering?

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. 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 182: The Dreamers Scene in Waking Life

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.

Based on my books in The Prolific 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 dreamers scene from Waking Life:



We are the
stuff dreams are made of.
Dreaming isn’t a learned skill, it’s the natural state of
the human brain. In fact, at the heart of what
it means to be a person is the act of dreaming. Exploring the frontiers of
possibility and coming alive through the pursuit of our ideas, that’s what
separates us from the animal kingdom. We are the portals through which dreams
are had, followed and realized. The problem, as the narrator says, is that dreaming
isn’t dead, it’s simply been forgotten. Removed from our language. Sentenced to
obscurity. And so, the educational need isn’t schooling, it’s shedding. The
work isn’t teaching people how to dream, but teaching people how to unlock the
portals through which dreams can enter. Rumi made this point a few thousand
years ago. He said ourtask is not to seek love, but to find all the barriers within
ourselves that we have built against it. Dreaming works in a same way. Because
we all know how to do it. It’s an intuitive process. It’s like oxygen for our
species. It’s just that we’ve accumulated so many cultural defenses and
invisible scripts and bullshit excuses around our dreams, that they never get a
fighting chance to float to the surface. If we could simply convince ourselves
that we are the stuff dreams are made of, that our dreams are waiting for us to
come true, those dreams would almost effortlessly come to pass. Otherwise we’ll continue to block our dreams with the excuse that we can’t afford to
accomplish them.Are you putting
a bullet in your dream before telling yourself that you’re worthy of having it?



The ride does not require a destination, only
occupants
.
Linklater never fails to rev up my creative engine. Every time I watch one of
his movies, I’m always inspired to go make art of my own. Because in his films,
he makes the mundane magical. He turns natural human conversation into a work
of art itself. He messes with structure and reminds us that everything doesn’t
always have to be a thing. Almost as if to say, hey, when you watch my movies,
not much happens except for life itself, and you need to be okay with that.
That’s courage. Just like the character in the film says, there’s no story, it’s just people. Gestures. Moments.
Bits of rapture. Fleeting emotions. In short, the greatest stories ever told.
Rollins actually made this point hisnew book, saying that he loves art that doesn’t immediately
win him over. How certain pieces end up becoming some of his favorites because
he has to put more of himself into the interaction to get something out of it.
I feel the same way about this movie. Despite its lack of narrative, it grows
more absorbing with every scene.Waking
Life
is not trying too hard to be your friend. It’s not striving for your
approval. It has little interest in what your opinion is of it. It’s just doing
its thing, existing in the world, regardless of your criticism. Reviewers may
have called that an insensitivity to the audience, but I call it a reminder
that artists can do whatever the hell they want, and nobody can stop them.Are you creating art that makes your
audience have to evolve somehow?



Go all in on
your dreams.
When I graduated college, moved across the country and
started my own business, my parents gave me the greatest gift of all.They never tried to stop me.All they
could do was trust that they did their job.That they did everything in their power to ensure that I was well
equipped to live my dream.And that two decades of parental labor laid
the proper foundation for whatever dream possessed me. It worked.Thanks to their support, meaning, their
radical acceptance, reckless generosity and relentless participation, I have
been able to live out my dreams almost perfectly. That’s good parenting. The
point is,if you want to reduce the distance between your dream and its reality,
you have to surround your dream with support structures. Otherwise the
mechanism by which you realize your dreams will never get up to operating
temperature. But don’t let genetics be a limiting factor. Anybody can be your
mentor. It doesn’t have to be a sanctioned relationship. It doesn’t even have
to be a living person.Mentors are simply
people who take a real interest in your aspirations and encourage your goals
and dreams.Engage heart and imagination actively in whoever instructs, inspires and
supports your dream. The only catch is, once it comes true, you’re obligated to
live your life as a thank you in perpetuity to the
voices that shaped you.Who are the essential supporting characters of the world you want to live
in so you can realize your dreams?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What did you learn from this movie clip?

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For a copy of the list called, “11 Ways to Out-Market the Competition,” 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!

Great gulps of silence

Healthy boundaries define who we are, free us to be who we are and help people take us more seriously. That’s why we should never feel guilty about setting and reinforcing them. 

Quite the opposite, in fact. We should rejoice that there is something in this world that we will not bargain with. It’s a victory of the self. Anytime we are able to hold a courageous conversation with another person to reinforce our boundaries, we should feel proud. 

The hard part, of course, is taking effective action to establish them. Because in that moment when we set a limit to reinforce our integrity, there’s always a risk. That our boundaries will be seen as challenges to be defeated. That our boundaries will be seen as selfish and arrogant and proud. And that our boundaries will alienate somebody we care about and cause them to lose interest in the relationship. 

I have a colleague who used to get into the habit of inviting strangers to our monthly lunches unannounced. Which wasn’t a problem initially. I enjoyed meeting new people. But when our friendly lunch dates started morphing into free coaching sessions with uncommitted novices that I would never hear from again, that wasn’t okay with me. 

People pay me for that service

And so, I explained to my colleague that when he did that, it made me feel used and manipulated and violated. Which was a difficult thing for me to express. I was scared my friend might respond negatively. However, he completely understood, apologized for his behavior, and then we hugged and said I love you and everything was fine. 

Lesson learned, don’t let the minutes of your life be vacuumed by the needs of others.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What would it cost you not to stand up for your boundaries here?


LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “123 Questions Every Marketer Must Ask,” 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!

Pay people to care for you

I think of myself as a deeply caring and thoughtful and passionate person.

But I also know that I can’t care about everything. My heart has limits. That’s the way the economy of effort works. It runs on the fuel of selective indifference. Efficiency is about being discerning enough not to dwell on meaningless matters, conserving your best energies for your creative efforts and outsourcing all the heavy lifting third parties. 

I remember the first time my mentor challenged me to calculate my hourly rate. That exercise transformed my perception of work forever. Because once I knew how much money one hour of my time was worth, I started becoming a lot more protective of my time, my talent and my heart. Once I realize that for everything I hated, there was someone out there who loved to do it, I started paying people to care for me. And the psychology liberation I felt was sublime. 

Now, I can care with my whole heart. Now, I can extricate myself from chickenshit tasks and direct my creative energies exclusively into the highest value activities. 

Keep in mind, however, delegation isn’t a panacea. Sometimes deletion is a better choice. Sometime the best way to outsource something is to eliminate the need for it in the first place. 

If you can’t delegate, obviate. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you courageous enough not to care?LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “10 Ways to Help Your Customers Know You,” 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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