It’s a tough way to live, but a damn good way not to die

I admire people who dish out tough love like candy. 

They possess the generosity and courage and audacity and perspective to give others straightforward feedback, tell the ugly truth and help them identify their own missteps. It’s a lost art. Only a small percentage of the population can do it well. 

But in that moment, when a person tells you exactly what the odds against you are, and perhaps how to even them out, as painful and dispiriting as it might feel at the time, it’s still a gift. 

I once read a brilliant book that listed all the reasons a writer’s next work of art might never be published. The author was the founding editor of a renowned literary publisher who spent several decades reading lousy submissions, and so, his bottom line advice for artists was realistic, memorable and instructive. One of the insights that struck a chord with me was:


Avoid the sloppy mistakes that make rejecting you easy. 

Otherwise, explained the author, in the eyes of potential readers or customers or buyers or audiences, you don’t appear to be serious. You’re not doing the necessary work. You’re not separate from those who take shortcuts. 

That scared me. It still scares me. Because as an imperfectionist who insists on executing at warp speed, I have a tendency to become a victim of my own velocity. I commit sloppy mistakes that make rejecting me easy. 

Thank god for those dispensers of tough love. Without them, we might never realize the naiveté and narrowness of our own thinking. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Which figure in your life helps you identify your own missteps?

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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!

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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 2016-2017.

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

Greatness by choice, gravity by chance

Becker’s book on the birth and death of meaning claims that very few of us ever find our authentic talent. Usually it is found for us, he writes, as we stumble into a way of life that society rewards us for, entering into an existing hero system in which we find the expression of our unique gifts. 

But not everybody labors vain. Not everybody becomes dissatisfied with the exact use that the world makes of their ambitions. Because certain people recognize that most talent has more than one way of displaying itself. 

I’m reminded of the best concert film I ever saw. Mayer featured three separate live performances. The first was a solo acoustic set, the second was a stripped down blues trio, and the final show was his full touring band, stacked with a horn section, background singers and dueling lead guitars. 

John explained the purpose of the film was to show his fans three incarnations of his talent. Introspective acoustic artist, rocking power trio guitarist and hit producing singer songwriter. 

And yet, it’s all the same person. It’s a showcase of the musician’s diverse and multi directional activities. Most importantly, it’s intentional. John takes responsibility for his talent, instead of waiting for society to reward him for it. He manifests his desires in all the ways available to him, and as a result, blows fans away, earns raves reviews, sells millions of copies and even wins a grammy for the title track of the film. 

As the song goes, gravity is working against me, gravity wants to bring me down, so just keep me where the light is, keep me where the light is. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How will you extend your talent horizon up to the highest level?

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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 2016-2017.

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

Moments of Conception 198: The Quitting Scene from Jerry Maguire

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 quitting scene in Jerry Maguire:






I can’t dance to your fidgety tune. Saying goodbye to people is hard. Not having anybody to say
goodbye to is harder. But having people to say goodbye to, and none of them
caring that you’re leaving, that’s the hardest. Because human beings need to believe
that they belong. That their contribution matters. That their voice is heard and that they would be missed when they’re
gone. I once worked for a company who, initially, was nothing but completely
supportive and encouraging and appreciative of my value. They made me part of
the team. They made my thinking a key part of their organizational process. And
I felt validated and believed in on a level that I’d never felt before. But
after about a year, the veil slowly lifted. I started to see the relationship
for what it really was. And I realized that the company didn’t need me, they
just need someone. They weren’t looking for a creative visionary, they just
needed another warm body to fill their hole of mediocrity. And so, despite my
efforts to create what I thought belonged there, despite my earnest attempts to
infect the team with some much needed enthusiasm, I finally understood that I
was working in the wrong environment. I didn’t belong there. I never did. I
just made the mistake of turning what I found into what I want. And the saddest
part is, when I announced to the team that I was moving on to other
opportunities, nobody cared. Nobody came running up to me with tears in their
eyes. Nobody even said goodbye or wished me good luck. I just walked out the
door in silence, feeling betrayed, sad and invisible. A sobering reminder of
just how cold the world can be sometimes.
When was the last time you felt like an outsider?



Fleas swatted
off the carcass of an immense beast.
Jerry’s state of advancing melancholy
is sad, but seeing him slowly come unhinged as the other agents try not to
watch him leaving, that’s simply devastating. It’s a human train wreck. Another cruel hoax dangled before the hungry hearts of
the naïve. And
yet, staring into the eyes of that goldfish, he finds power. Jerry promises
that this moment will be the ground floor of something real and fun and
inspiring and true in this godforsaken business, and they will do it together.
Then he asks the legendary question,who’s
coming with me?
Initially, he’s met with crickets. Nothing but the dull
buzz of phones and copy machines. In fact, there’s a powerful passage in the
originalscriptthat says, after a beat of silence,
the noise then returns to its normal
commercial roar as a couple of fleas have been swatted off the carcass of an
immense beast. Wow. You can’t invent that kind of cruelty. In fact, awkward
office moments just like this probably happen around the world every day.
Employees make their exits, only to discover that their coworkers aren’t genuinely
interested in their future plans, they’re just being polite. Coworkers make
nice, but secretly hate each other. It breaks my heart. Because I really do
believe there are organizations out there that serve as oases in the desert of
corporate mediocrity. It’s just a matter of finding them. Or them finding you. Where is the place that, when you walk through
the door, your soul just opens up?



A little belief goes a long way. Jerry’s mission
statement is the reason he got fired. Dorothy, on the other hand, locked in to
his philosophy. Earlier in the movie, she tells him that optimism like that is
a revolutionary act. That we should embrace what it is still virginal about our
enthusiasm and force open the tightly clenched fist of commerce to give a
little back for the greater good. That’s why she raises her hand and follows
him into the entrepreneurial sunset. Because his art helped her find something
worth believing in. That’s fundamental existential need art can satisfy for
people. The craving for a horizon to chase. The ability have something to get
out of bed and point to. It’s the perfect illustration of how we all need that first person to take us seriously. We all need
that number one fan, that person who has our back no matter what, and when
there’s no one beside us when our soul embarks, they will follow us into the
dark. To quote the greatest lovesongof all time. But what I love most is the last scene
of the movie. Jerry not onlyhasa
number one fan, but hebecomesa
number one fan for someone else. He pays the love forward. And a result, his
client secures an eleven million dollar deal to finish out his professional
career. Proving, that the chain of support flows both ways. And a little belief
can go a long way. Who was the first
person to believe in you?

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 2016-2017.

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

A moment to step on the goddamn gas

When things are going well, you run the danger of assuming your success is inevitable. 

As if all the momentum you’ve generated was going to make you invincible. 

But you soon realize, just because you’re riding a bicycle downhill doesn’t mean your legs are strong. You still have to pedal. You always have to pedal. 

Roethlisberger was the legendary first round draft pick and rookie of the year who became the youngest quarterback to lead a team to the championship. Interestingly, only a few months after wining the big game, he suffered a major motorcycle accident and sustained serious physical injuries. 

Why? Because he wasn’t wearing a helmet. The guy thought he was invincible. So much for pedaling. 

And it’s sad, but we hear stories like that everybody. In sports and business and politics and everywhere else. People they take their success for granted. They operate out of a entitlement mindset. And before they know it, they’re laying in a pool of blood with a broken jaw, chipped teeth and a nine inch laceration to the back of the head. 

Which isn’t to neglect the necessary celebration and appreciation of our achievements. I keep a victory log every day of my life. But I don’t get attached to those successes. I just mark them down, get back to work and keep moving the story forward. I start pedaling again.

Because you never know when the incline is going to shift.  

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you becoming a victim of your own success?

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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 2016-2017.

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

When you start to feel bad about yourself, find the lie

Years ago, my mentor recounted
a story about one of his former employees that always stuck with me. 

During the
exit interview, his direct report was outraged at her termination,
explaining that she had put in ten years of experience with the organization,
and had earned the right to stay on the team. 

But he explained to her that she
didn’t have ten years of experience, she had one year of experience, ten times. 

Ouch. Imagine if your decade’s worth
of effort was dismissed and invalidated like that. How would you feel? 

And even
though I knew it was just another dopey management trope, still, that moment
scared me. It gave birth to a voice inside my head that began to whisper, don’t be redundant. And as I grew as an
artist, that voice only grew louder. The fear thickened. I became overly
cautious about repeating and plagiarizing and cannibalizing and competing with
myself. To the point that I began to hinder my own expression. 

Until recently,
when a friend of mine asked a question that interrupted my pattern. 

How
do you treat your work when you believe you’re going to be redundant? 

The
answers were right there in front of me. Unkind, untrusting and unexpressive.
Yikes. 

But that’s when I started to realize, in art, redundancy is a physical
impossibility. You can’t make the same thing twice. Because each time you sit
down to create, you’re not the same person you were the last time you sat down. 

And so, the fear of being redundant and derivative and unoriginal is completely
unfounded. 

As my songwriting hero once said:

After a certain age, you stop caring what
people’s opinions about your output are. There’s no such thing as releasing too
much material. You don’t get those breaths back. Why are people curating other
people? 

It’s a deeply liberating place to be. Creating art without the fear of
being redundant. Trusting that the process can’t help but be original. And
owning the result as something nobody can take away from you. 

Proving, that
when you start to feel bad about yourself, find the lie. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How do you treat your work when you believe you’re going to be redundant?

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 2016-2017.

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

Loving yourself is not an indulgence

One of our chief goals in life is to make ourselves proud. To experience the satisfaction of having lived up to our expectations for ourselves. 

And so, any time we write or compose or code or perform a piece of work that we’re legitimately proud of, it’s important to take a moment, look at the art and say, wow, now that’s really good, nice job

To forget all about our cultural conditioning that says modesty is a virtue and being pleased with ourselves is somehow a sin, and stand in recognition of our accomplishment and think, nailed it. 

This brand of acknowledgement is a simple, free and easy way to be more kind to ourselves. It’s also what keeps the creative channel open. What we appreciate, appreciates. 

The professional golfer comes to mind. When they want to express the profound satisfaction derived from knocking a tiny ball from one place to another, they do a fist pump. It’s the universal celebratory gesture to denote enthusiasm and exuberance for a job well done. 

Tiger did it best when he won his fourth green jacket. 

And so, we artists learn from the athlete. We pump our fists, in whatever way we choose, without fear of immodesty or persecution or harassment, without worrying about receiving penalty strokes from excessive celebration. 

Because the reality is, there’s no governing body or rules official or ethics committee who’s going to scold us for loving ourselves. Life is art. We can do whatever we want. And that includes acknowledging moments when we make ourselves proud. 

At the expense of not appearing humble, turn off your modesty filters, surrender your false humility and give yourself a good fist pump.

That’s how’sdone, son.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How are you practicing being kind to yourself in small, concrete ways?

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 2016-2017.

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

It’s hard to find meaning on an island

When waves of loneliness and isolation come crashing in, I immediately recognize them for what they are, but I don’t dwell on them. 

Because I know that sitting around like an inert zombie waiting for time to pass only compounds the pain. It only causes me to behave in ways that push away the very people who might alleviate my loneliness. It only leads to the atrophy of social skill sets like empathy, listening and connecting. 

And so, instead of getting stuck in a poisonous loop of rumination, I shed my cloak of invisibility, reenergize my experience of meaning and start reducing my unhappiness. I send text messages and write emails and make phone calls phone and schedule virtual lunches with people I do know, and I make efforts to forge new social connections with people I don’t know. And within minutes, those empty feelings of loneliness start to fade. 

When you take action of any kind, it always makes you feel better about yourself and your prospects. Pursuing what you believe in always creates the experience of meaning, regardless of the outcome. 

The secret is not telegraphing neediness. Otherwise relationships become based on the model that we’re the victim and other people are the soothers. I learned this from a fascinating interview with a clinical psychologist. He suggests that anytime a lonely person attends an event, they should have an additional agenda. A larger goal besides feeling less isolated. They should seek out to give rather than get, so they can focus on the task at hand, which will in turn make them feel less insecure and vulnerable. 

With such a strategy, the person won’t come across as someone who is lonely, rather, as someone who is passionate. And curious. And generous. 

The point is, complaining about something doesn’t make it go away, purposeful action does. And since meaning comes from feeling connected to others, and believing that others feel connected to you, perhaps it’s time to get off the island. Start devoting real effort toward that life goal, and it will provides you with a significant, renewable source of meaning. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What’s your strategy for managing life’s inevitable waves of loneliness and isolation?

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 2016-2017.

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

Knock where the door is already open

I recently launched a software application that helps people identify what’s already true for them, and then leverage that asset to increase the rate of return on their investment. 

Here’s one of my favorite questions from the list. 

What are you already doing that could be making money? 

It’s a brilliant time saver, income generator and value creator. Because it challenges people to conduct an ongoing analysis of their current talent portfolio, as opposed to killing themselves trying to master something new. 

That’s a much smarter and easier way to make more money. To start where you are. To knock where the door is already open. To take the training you already have and use it to create value in the world. 

I started writing and performing music when I was twelve years, but it wasn’t until my thirties that I finally gave myself permission to treat music as a significant income generating activity. All because I asked one question. 

What are you already doing that could be making money? 

As a result, I launched a dedicated website to give fans access to my full catalog of music. And as a musician for hire, I now play concerts and sell records and conduct workshops and offer a full line of musical services that make money, make meaning and make a difference. 

If you’re trying to figure out how to diversify your business, start by identifying what’s already true for you. 

Believe that who you already are is enough to get started, trust that you contain multitudes and start converting your assets into something real in the world. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What three compliments do people make about my way of thinking that, to me, is just an effortless extension of my inherent expertise?

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 2016-2017.

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

Everything that’s wrong about you is everything that’s right about you

Contrary to what’s portrayed in the movies, three’s rarely one defining moment of conception that changes everything. Life is rarely that simple or that cinematic. 

Instead, we usually experience a series of events and epiphanies and inspirations and omens that, when later examined as an entire family of moments, points to a larger journey with a trajectory and a purpose. 

The hard part is, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to believe that the whole of your experience is conspiring to lead you in the right direction. You have to know that each one of those moments is a bead, and there is a strain that connects them all. 

Accidental preparation, as my mentor once called it. The fertile soil where instinct and intuition flourish. The experience of invest thousands of hours and gallons of sweat doing something small, that later proves to be the training ground for something big. 

My cousin has struggled with a significant learning disability for as long as I can remember. As a child, he struggled in his head, in his heart, in his classes and with his tutors. Even as an adult, he reads between a sixth and ninth grade level, with a language processing speed in the bottom fourteen percent of the population. 3

And yet, he earned a doctorate in molecular virology and microbiology, conducted groundbreaking research for three years at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and now advocates for students and adults with learning disabilities. 

Did he have any idea that all those sleepiness nights as a child would be the beads on the strain of his life? Not in a million years. But with the help of a supportive family, he didn’t dismiss his native background, and he believed that everything that was wrong about him was everything that was right about him. 

And that laid the foundation for the inspiring journey that is his life. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How could you let go of everything you’ve tried and built and accomplished so far, except for the person you’ve become, and use that as the raw material for whatever comes next?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

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 2016-2017.

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

See the possibility space expand

Handy famously wrote that the sin of modern life was reducing things to their component parts. Life is a mixture, he says. Work doesn’t neatly fit into five days of eight hours. Money comes from many quarters in many different ways. And no one person or organization has to own you if you create collection of different work units that has a theme to it. It accumulates by choice, not by chance. 

This approach to life goes by many monikers. We’re called crofters and freelancers and scanners and polymaths and triple threats and multi hyphenates and portfolio workers, to name a few. 

But the reality is, the label we give ourselves doesn’t matter. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We reject the notion of a single, permanent role, and instead using our varied skills and interests and achievements to create a diversified, integrated, interdisciplinary existence that makes a living, makes meaning and make a difference. 

We construct a multiplicity of creative identities based on a unique mixture of activities we love, the combination of which leads to our deepest satisfaction. And we’re not defensive or apologetic or guilty about it. 

Instead of shutting off meaningful parts of our personality that aren’t related to work, measuring only a fraction of our whole person, we find a home for all of our talents. We allow ourselves to move forward on as many fronts as we can. We achieve distinction in more than one genre. We work in a place where the law doesn’t interfere, where we can stretch out and be ourselves. 

And that gives us freedom. Because we’re not supposed to be one thing in life. Instead of focusing by doing one thing, we focus by being one thing. We’re not hammering one nail all our lives, we’re hammering lots of nails, one way, all our lives. We are both/and kind of people. We are high achievers and wide achievers. We have depth and breadth. We achieve mastery not because we are the best at what we do, but because we are the most of who we are. 

And so, next time somebody asks the dreaded question, so what do you do, hoping to quickly and neatly compartmentalize you into their nice little box, simply say, I do lots of things. 

Fuck declaring a major. Choosing is losing. Do everything. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How are you allowing yourself to see the possibility space expand?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

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 2016-2017.

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

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