A big fish in a small pond has no place to swim

I heard an interview with a successful comedian whose advice to young performers
was, hit the ceiling where you are. Don’t become a local hero. Once you get
hot, leave. Otherwise you’ll grow in complacency instead of growing in
competency. 

I spent the first ten years of my career working in a medium sized
city. Which was perfect for that stage of my career, but eventually, I had reached
a point of diminishing returns. I had become a big fish in a small pond, and I was
quickly running out of places to swim. 

Meaning, if I didn’t take a risk and abandon
the market that I was in love with, I might never have had the opportunity to
stretch and grow and evolve into the next version of myself. I would have
remained important only within my limited circle of influence. 

And looking back,
relocating was the best decision I could have made. Moving to a bigger pond
challenged me to develop new skills, allowed me to expand my sense of aesthetic
possibility, forced me to raise my creative game and helped me develop a case
of the humbles. And now I’m one hell of a good swimmer. 

Proving, that every
fish has a choice. They can look backwards and preserve the past, or look
forward and create the future. Townes said it best, there’s no prettier sight than looking back at a town you left behind. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Would you rather be the smartest person at the community college or the dumbest person at the ivy league?



LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” 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

“Scott Ginsberg’s employee training on approachability was the absolute perfect fit, and completely exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine. The feedback we received from our team was that this was hands down the best training they have ever been to. Scott found out what was important to us and gave us several options for training solutions. I would highly recommend him for a variety of industries, and I would happily work with him again!”  –Anne Conway, PHR | Corporate Director of Training and Development, | Lodging Hospitality Management

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

Steal Scott’s Ideas, Issue 009: Rando Love, Moodseat & Chicken Boots

Ideas are free, execution is priceless.

That’s been my mantra since day one of starting my business.

It’s also the title of a book I wrote a few years back. You can download it for free here.

But here’s the problem. I’m an idea junkie. Everything I look at in the world breaks down into a collection of ideas. I have about fifty new ones every day, and sadly, I can only execute so many of them. Even if I had all the resources and all the time in the world, I still wouldn’t be able to keep up with the whirlwind of insanity that gusts through my brain.

And that’s where you come in.

I believe ideas were never meant to stay that way. And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be publishing a sample of them on a weekly basis, in the hopes that they inspire you to (a) execute them, (b) improve them, or (c) invent something completely different.

Remember, once an idea springs into existence, it cannot be unthought.

Even if that idea is ridiculous.

Enjoy! 

Steal Scott’s Ideas, Issue 009

01. MoodseatApproachability through transparency.

An office chair that uses your body heat and energies to create a small light of various colors, alerting coworkers of your current dominant emotion.Approachability through transparency.



02. Congrats I’m Sorry. Special treats for speechless moments.

A gift basket service that sends things to people going through painful breakups, even though you don’t know what to say to make them feel better. 



03. Rando Love. Kindness without strings.

A series of anonymous business cards that pay strangers compliments without the awkwardness or expectation of reciprocity. 



04. Straight Thru. Miss a meal, make a difference.

A company fundraising program where employees keep track of all the days they work through lunch each quarter, then the employer matches that number of meals donated to a food shelter. 



05. Yo Yo Yogi. The mat isn’t the territory.

A service where yoga students text anonymous messages about their class experience and aggregate the comments onto a lobby screen for people to read.

06. Secure Base. Help me help you help me.

A private text messaging service that sends a bat signal to a small group of trusted confidants, alerting them of your need for someone to talk to in a time of distress.

07. Tix Tix Tix. The encore never ends.

A framing service that takes all of your concert ticket stubs and converts them into conversation art pieces for decorating your home or office.

08. Unionyze. The means of production.

An association that helps underserved industries, jobs and verticals set up employee unions legally and effectively.

09. Problemo. The mother of invention.

A website where people list their legitimate problems and watch responses and updates from design firms and innovation companies that create products for them.

10. Chicken Boots. A line of narrow, knee high shoes for women with skinny bird legs. Fashion for females who flock together.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How will you turn these ideas into I-dids?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For the list called, “49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse,” 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!

Trying to make an omelet without breaking any eggs

A colleague of mine loves to ask the following strategic question at the start of every year. 


How could I spend no money this year? 

It’s a fascinating small business strategy, as it forces the owner to cut, cut, cut, cut down to the bone, removing everything extraneous from the enterprise, running as lean of an operation as they possibly can. 

I envy people who think this way. Frugality is not a quality I possess. In fact, I waste hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year on unnecessary bonehead expenses that easily could have been avoided. 

And I’m all for investing sweat equity, too. Hiring yourself is the most underrated strategy for improving efficiency while still keeping costs down. 

But in the history of modern business, no enterprise has ever experienced explosive growth because the owner saved more money than his competitors. That’s like trying to make an omelet without breaking any eggs. You can’t save your way to success. 

It’s one thing to run lean when you’re still in startup mode, but after a certain point, you have to invest in yourself. You have to spend a thousand to make a million, as my mentor once said. Because if you don’t invest in your business, how can you expect anybody else to? 

It’s all part of maturing as an entrepreneur. You have to open your wallet first. It’s risky and it’s scary. And while betting on yourself may not be a guaranteed win, but at least it’s an asset you understand. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Why are you afraid to spend money on your own business?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” 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

“Scott Ginsberg’s employee training on approachability was the absolute perfect fit, and completely exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine. The feedback we received from our team was that this was hands down the best training they have ever been to. Scott found out what was important to us and gave us several options for training solutions. I would highly recommend him for a variety of industries, and I would happily work with him again!”  –Anne Conway, PHR | Corporate Director of Training and Development, | Lodging Hospitality Management

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

Listening with your feet

Success never comes unassisted. 



We’re never unpartnered, no matter how fiercely independent we might feel. There are always invisible hands that have our back. 



And so, when somebody gives you advice or insight or encouragement, they don’t want you to take notes, they want you to take action. They want you to go out in the world and make a difference. In return, all they ask is that you come back to scene of the crime to close the loop. To let them know they played a part in your success. That’s payment enough. 



Whenever a friend or a colleague or mentor does something that inspires my creativity, I go out of my way to show that person that their words had weight. That I wouldn’t be where I am without their help. 



And so, I write them public love letters on my blog or send brownies to their office or publish stories about them in my books. I say to them, I made this because of you. Thanks. 



Whatever it takes for that person to have a tangible representation of their contribution to my life. That’s my primary mechanism for expressing gratitude. It’s a physical form of giving attribution, a creative tool for keeping the gift in motion and a respectful way of listening with my feet.  



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

When somebody does something that moves your intellectual life forward, how do you thank them?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” 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

“Scott Ginsberg’s employee training on approachability was the absolute perfect fit, and completely exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine. The feedback we received from our team was that this was hands down the best training they have ever been to. Scott found out what was important to us and gave us several options for training solutions. I would highly recommend him for a variety of industries, and I would happily work with him again!”  –Anne Conway, PHR | Corporate Director of Training and Development, | Lodging Hospitality Management

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

We interrupt your regularly scheduled horse manure

Mediocrity rises to the top. 



It’s not just rewarded, it’s demanded. And every time I encounter another example of it, I feel like putting my fist through the wall. 



Because I think to myself, wow, I’m working way too hard. I’ve had integrity every day of my life and it hasn’t made me a dime. What gives? 



Like when yet another businesses treats content as the filler material that transmits the true currency of the trade, which is advertising. It’s embarrassing. It makes me ashamed of my species. As if our society had a zero tolerance policy for earnestness. 



But instead of getting resentful, I get responsible. And here’s the conversation I have with myself. 



You know what? Good. Let them suck. I’ll be over here doing my art. 



When I was in high school, my literature teacher taught me to recite a powerful scripture anytime mediocrity was hot on my trail. 



“Let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we will reap a harvest if we faint not.”



That verse carried me through a lot of anger. It reminded me that it’s only a matter of time. It’s only a matter of time. 



And so, next time you encounter a organization or an artist or an entrepreneur using their brand as a substrate for bullshit, keep your head down, keep moving the story forward, and keep away from the fumes of mediocrity that seek to oppose and weaken your forward motion. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How patient are you willing to be?



LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” 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

“Scott Ginsberg’s employee training on approachability was the absolute perfect fit, and completely exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine. The feedback we received from our team was that this was hands down the best training they have ever been to. Scott found out what was important to us and gave us several options for training solutions. I would highly recommend him for a variety of industries, and I would happily work with him again!”  –Anne Conway, PHR | Corporate Director of Training and Development, | Lodging Hospitality Management

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

The lever I could lean on to liberate myself

I was emailing a friend of mine recently, and his inbox sent me a fascinating autoresponder. 

As many of you may know, it said, I have thirty thousand unread messages attached to this account. But in a move to get better organized and rid myself of unwanted spam, I am starting over with a new email address. Please resend accordingly. Freeeeeedom! 

I could almost feel the liberation oozing through the screen. Good for him for setting that boundary. His willingness to zero out his board is inspiring. I can only imagine how cleansing and relieving that must have felt. 

It’s a gutsy move. Most of us couldn’t bring ourselves to delete thirty thousand unread emails. It’s too big a blow to the ego. We’re too attached to feeling needed and wanted by all those people. 

However, on the other side of that surrender is growth. Because anytime we burn something down and salt the earth with it, it’s an act of profound trust. We’re testing how much faith we have in ourselves to build again. 

I’m reminded of a passage from one of my favorite mystery novels. Reacher says however urgent a thing is, there comes a point where there are no more places to go. The urgency burns out, and you sit there like you’ve got all the time in the world, while the world rages on around you. 

Remember, your awareness of and honesty with yourself is the key to your liberation. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

If you were in charge and had total freedom on how to handle things, what would you do and how would you do it?LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” 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

“Scott Ginsberg’s employee training on approachability was the absolute perfect fit, and completely exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine. The feedback we received from our team was that this was hands down the best training they have ever been to. Scott found out what was important to us and gave us several options for training solutions. I would highly recommend him for a variety of industries, and I would happily work with him again!”  –Anne Conway, PHR | Corporate Director of Training and Development, | Lodging Hospitality Management

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

Then and now, we’re here to wow

I have a friend who runs a relocation company. 

Mergenthaler
specializes in commercial moving, from local to national to international. Of
course, there are seven thousand other moving companies in the country.
Relocation is a twelve billion dollar industry. And so, the question is, why do
customers choose them over the competitors? 

Listen to this. Every time a team
of movers shows up at the business they’re scheduled to relocate, the moment
they knock on the door or walk in the room or approach the reception desk, the
team leader literally holds out a card that says, we’re here to wow. Like a private investigator from a film noir who
shows up on a rainy night to let the damsel in distress know that everything is
going to be okay. 

Mergenthaler doesn’t just promote wow, they personify it.
Visibly, tangibly and memorably. Their mission instantly becomes more than a
statement. And their level of service always follows suit. 

It’s a perfect
example of psychological priming. How expectation determines outcome. How we can set our customers up for
an optimal experience by planting a seed of wow in their mind at the onset of
the service process. By flashing that card at ground zero of the interaction,
the movers create a moment. And because it’s unexpected, funny, friendly and
colorful, it creates a layer of confirmation bias that influences customers to
have a relocation experience that confirms their positive preconceptions. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What makes your mission more than a statement?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “71 Things Customers Don’t Want to Hear You Say,” 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

“Scott Ginsberg’s employee training on approachability was the absolute perfect fit, and completely exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine. The feedback we received from our team was that this was hands down the best training they have ever been to. Scott found out what was important to us and gave us several options for training solutions. I would highly recommend him for a variety of industries, and I would happily work with him again!”  –Anne Conway, PHR | Corporate Director of Training and Development, | Lodging Hospitality Management

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

Dare to lose control and let the joy carry you

Reacher once said that life was built out of freak chances, however much people would like to pretend otherwise. And so, we shouldn’t waste our time fantasizing how things might have been different, burning our energy away with useless speculation. 



It’s a helpful mantra for dealing with the unsettling uncertainties of life. Specifically, when it comes to our work. Because we can pore over the metrics on sales and readers and views and shares and comments, killing ourselves trying to recreate lightning in a bottle, but the reality is, moments of creative brilliance are mostly luck. They’re a byproduct of beautiful timing. We just like to look for meaning where there is none, because we’re too afraid to accept randomness. 



When I first started my business, I used to keep detailed records of monthly web traffic, number of daily users, statistics about which articles performed the best, even a detailed ledger on positive word of mouth about my brand. And although it made me feel professional and organized and popular, it didn’t ultimately make a difference in my enterprise. I was just soothing myself. Inventing superfluous metrics just to gain a sense of control. 



Eventually, though, I began to release my grip of control on my life and just let the joy carry me. Instead of speculating about the past, I created for the future. Instead of being the voice that condemned the darkness, I became that light that illuminated it. And slowly, life started to become more relaxing, more productive, more meaningful and more profitable. 



Remember, once you recognize control for the illusion it is, there’s nothing to fear, nothing to prove, nothing to hide and nothing to lose. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you trying to control life or allowing it to flow abundantly through you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “71 Things Customers Don’t Want to Hear You Say,” 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

“Scott Ginsberg’s employee training on approachability was the absolute perfect fit, and completely exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine. The feedback we received from our team was that this was hands down the best training they have ever been to. Scott found out what was important to us and gave us several options for training solutions. I would highly recommend him for a variety of industries, and I would happily work with him again!”  –Anne Conway, PHR | Corporate Director of Training and Development, | Lodging Hospitality Management

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

Never underestimate the power of entertainment value

People are tired, busy, hungry and horny. They know everything, they need nothing, and they’re not changing their mind about anything. They’re going do what they’re going to do, and there’s not much we can do about it. 

And so, before we even attempt to educate, inspire, persuade, influence, motivate and fix people, job number one is to entertain them. To distract them. To hold their attention pleasantly. To make them laugh and smile and relax. To satisfy their deep, human longing to disconnect from reality. To hack their happiness chemicals until those neurotransmitters get them high as a kite. 

Once we do that, once we get past that engagement hurdle, anything is possible. Because entertainment is the stairway that takes people down to more interesting places. It’s what primes the brain to receive new information. It’s how people’s neural networks get preheated without people knowing. 

Years ago my mentor was conducting a sales seminar. I stood in the back to watch him perform and, more importantly, watch the audience react. About halfway through the presentation, I discovered that man next to me had driven several hours to attend the seminar. When I asked him why he traveled so far, he said something I’ll never forget. 

His information is great, but I’m just here for the entertainment value. 

Maximus was right when he asked the coliseum audience his famous question. 

Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here? 

The answer is yes. It’s human nature. Put on a show. Help people relax. And then you can sneak in the side door and finish the job. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Who’s driving three hours just to watch you perform?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “16 Questions to Uncover Your Natural Born Expertise,” 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

“Scott Ginsberg’s employee training on approachability was the absolute perfect fit, and completely exceeded everyone’s expectations, including mine. The feedback we received from our team was that this was hands down the best training they have ever been to. Scott found out what was important to us and gave us several options for training solutions. I would highly recommend him for a variety of industries, and I would happily work with him again!”  –Anne Conway, PHR | Corporate Director of Training and Development, | Lodging Hospitality Management

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

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