Rolling the boulder up the hill

Gilmore famously said that golf requires goofy pants and a fat ass. 

But the reality is, golf simply requires a ton of practice. Daily devotion to doing the work. That’s the only real way to achieve any kind of permanent success with your swing. 

Without that level of repetition, you’ll never commit that skill to muscle memory. You’ll perpetually hit shanks at the driving range. You’ll become so frustrated that you’ll quit playing the game before you even get chance to hit the lynx and shoot par. And you’ll inevitably wind up in the clubhouse, drinking a craft beer, watching the pros crush it on television, wondering why you’re not as good. 

It’s like rolling a boulder up a hill. If you stop pushing too early, it’s just going to roll back to the bottom. And by the time you get there, there’s no way you’re going to feel like schlepping that boulder all the way back up. So you just give up. 

Interestingly, the creative process works in the same way. If you don’t spend enough time practicing your craft, you’ll never dig deep enough below the surface to unlock your finest expressions. You’ll just assume that the output you came up with in your meager burst of creating was the best that you could do. And you’ll judge yourself as a mediocre artist. 

When the reality is, had you just stuck with it for another twenty or sixty or ninety minutes, you might have actually uncovered something special. Had you kept pushing the rock up the hill, kept hitting buckets of balls until the driving range turned off the lights, you might have actually found a swing that was worth playing with. 

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Are you quitting because it’s hard, or because it’s right?

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Inventor. Singer. 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 201: The Planning Scene from Ocean’s Eleven

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 planning scene in Ocean’s Eleven:






Give yourself an executional runway.
One of my favorite mantras is, ideas are free, only
execution is priceless. It’s an inspiring concept. The fact that we don’t need
an idea, but an I did, is desperately
needed in our procrastinatory society. The challenge of execution, though, is
that it feels overwhelming. Because we still have stars in our eyes. We’re
still operating in blue sky mode. Making the transition from impulse to
initiative, however, requires us to engage our left brains. We have to send our
inner artist out for coffee and enlist his scientist buddy to get down to brass
tacks. In this space, it’s useful to give ourselves a executional runway. A defined area to prepare for takeoff. When I
first concepted the idea for my online
video
training
portal, I built an
episode template. A production workflow diagram into which I could plug each
piece of content. That way, every time I went into the studio to tape a new
episode, I could just show up and say the words. I could just do my work.
Without that runway, I would have locked myself into a sequence of last minute
decision making processes that were exhaustive and stressful and wasted
valuable energy that should have been dedicating to the primary action. That’s
the secret to execution. The economy of effort. Building a template inventory
for every action so your brain is free to direct its creative energies
exclusively into making each piece of work as great as possible.


Plan your escape.The best part of every heist film isn’t the final crime scene, but the
planning of how to commit it. There’s just something about a bunch of crooks
sitting around a smoky table filled with scale models and architectural
schematics, hashing out technical specs, visualizing every mundane detail of
the robbery, and of course, fantasizing about how to spend their cut once the
job is finished. In this scene, the camera will pan around the table while
every crew member speaks to his role, pausing at the one character who doesn’t
understand his role and will likely compromise the entire operation.
Interestingly enough, this tradition of the planning scene in heist films was
actually invented by a famous criminal namedBaron Lamm. An immigrant discharged from the military for
cheating at cards, he made a living in early twentieth century robbing banks.
Once he was finally apprehended, he was sent to a state prison where he had
time to reflect and adopt what he knew of military tactics and organization to
the business of armed robbery. The result became know as the Baron Lamm
Technique. It’s simple. Scout the location, draw floor plans, locate the
guards, decode the safe, establish the schedule, calculate the hard out exit
time, station the getaway vehicle and map the escape route. Sound familiar?
Remind you of every heist film every made? You’re right. Lamm’s life sentence
was spent teaching every famous criminal in the country how to master the steps
of technique.What kind of
plan do you need to create?


I never had a plan, but I always had a process.I’m not a planner. Not by default, and not by design.
I believe planning has its merits, but in my experience, if I carefully architect
exactly what I’m doing, I can only be as good as that. It’s a classic case of premature cognitive commitment. This is
a term social psychologists use for people become emotionally or intellectually
bound to a course of action. It’s the mindlessness that results after a single
exposure. And so, anytime we assign labels to our ideas too early, it’s a
prejudgment of that idea’s quality and value. If want our creativity to expand
into unexpected territory, we have to keep the process objective for as long as
possible. My favorite basketball player once said, if he didn’t know where he was going, nobody could stop him. That’s good
advice for artists.
Because
so many of us spend half our time planning for things we could create if we
didn’t spend half our time planning. In fact, we’re not planning at all, we’re
hiding. Planning is procrastination in disguise. And so, we don’t need a plan,
we need a process. Big difference. A plan is trapped in the what, but a process
is anchored in the how. A plan focused on specialized knowledge, but a process
on a personalized personalized posture. Which
one do you use?

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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 2016-2017.

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

The creative responsibility of splattering blood onto the page

There’s always that moment as an artist when you’re wondering if there’s anyone who knows what it’s like to be you. If you’re the only one who feels this way. 

Because the assumption is, people won’t love you if they know this is inside of you. Whatever this is. And so, you keep it locked up. You back away from the creative responsibility of splattering blood onto the page. 

Years ago an editor friend of mine challenged me to write more confessionally and less didactically. To reveal more of my imperfections and vulnerabilities and failures. And the filter he encouraged me to use was to ask one simple question during my creative process. 


What do I risk in presenting this material? 

This question painted me into a bloody corner. It forced me to bear bravely and proudly the smear of madness, as my favorite manifesto states. It taught me that if there wasn’t a strong enough answer, the work wasn’t done yet. 

And the more I asked it, the more I realized that a truly loyal audience would be interested in my most unreasonable notions. They want nothing more that for me to give them exclusive access to the voice in my head. 

In a world where originality is the only currently, you may as well bear it. Crack yourself open and pour yourself out. Expose your nakedness and watch others rush to meet it. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Which misfortune in your life is waiting to enrich your art?

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For a copy of the list called, “46 Marketing Mistakes Your Company Is Probably Making,” 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. Filmmaker. Inventor. Singer. 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!

The peace of a life wholly surrendered

When I’m paying attention to things that are completely out of my control, participating in the nonstop tornado of nonsense, poised in a great ballet of expectation, agonizing over the trivia of the world, anxiety is never far behind. 

And the irony is, I think it’s power, but it’s actually killing me. 

However, the moment I remember that life is always giving me a chance not to give a shit, daring me to let go of its precious inconsequentialities, yet another tightly wrapped coil of stress lets go. My blood pressure and heart rate lower just a little more. And life seems to weigh a lot less. 

Because there’s a part of me that’s finally resting. Nothing to fear, nothing to lose, nothing to hide, nothing to prove, as the mantra goes. 

I recently read an article about the ten most stressed out cities in the country. Turns out, the place I call home was ranked number one. Which is interesting, considering living in this city has resulted in the lowest stress level of my adult life. Perhaps attitude trumps geography. Perhaps the landscape of the mind is more powerful than the undertow of the masses. 

Elsa knew what she was talking about. Let it go. I don’t care what they’re going to say. Let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What treacherous cycle do you need to free yourself from?

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For a copy of the list called, “46 Marketing Mistakes Your Company Is Probably Making,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Inventor. Singer. 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 sign that you’re still alive

Toffler
famously wrote that change is the process by which the future invades our
lives. That change is an elemental force with accelerative thrust that has
personal and psychological consequences. 

One of which is the sense of loss.
Even death. That’s what makes change so scary. It requires a certain amount of
mourning and surrendering control and letting go of a portion of your identity. 

After all, who are you without your precious habits? 

But when the future
invades your life, you can no longer grasp at what worked in the past. You only
betray yourself when you deny the change that terrifies you. 

Personally, I’ve
never been particularly skilled at change. I prefer routine and ritual and
consistency and wearing a uniform to work and eating the same thing for
breakfast every day of my life. 

And yet, with those constants, I’m learning to allow
myself the freedom to change as I discover new and better approaches. To keep
my life in permanent beta. To acknowledge that I have bugs that that there’s
always new development to do on myself. And to remember that change only feels
hard because we’ve been practicing something else our whole lives. 

By trusting
this process, by welcoming the change, I can use it instead of just reacting to
it. I can proactively create habits that support the change I’m trying to make.
It’s actually quite liberating, now that I think about it. 

Mezrich was right
when he said that change is always something to celebrate, it’s a sign that
you’re still alive. 

Certainly beats the alternative. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you looking backwards to preserve the past, or looking forward to create the future?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Inventor. Songwriter. World Record Holder.

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!

Habits are more important than incidents

Our personhood is carved by the flow of our habits. 

Identity comes from consistency, not rare moments of greatness. 

And so, if we are to engrave them so deeply that they become natural and instinctual, we have to make space to integrate them into our lives. I’m reminded of a useful mantra my yoga instructor recites at the end of each class:

Give your body time to memorize the new habits you started, she says. 

Luxuriate for few minutes. Soak it all in. That way, next time you come in to practice, muscle memory will engage, and you’ll perform the postures with less conscious awareness. That’s how habit grows. It needs space. 

Brook’s treatise on the road to character takes it on step further. His research on the moral ecology and internal cohesion of history’s great achievers suggest making the beginning of a new habit a major event in your life. Launching yourself with as strong and decided an initiative as possible. 

And so, whatever new habit you intend to start, make it momentous. Do something tangible and memorable and public. Throw a party or write a press release or email twenty friends or buy a leather journal or take a picture of yourself naked to remember what you looked like that day you started this journey. 

By raising the level of significance attached to the habit, you guard yourself against anything that might weaken it in the future. 

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How will you preserve yourself from the temptation of the idle world?

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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!

Free yourself from other people’s opinions

There are certain people you have to drag into understanding of what you’re
trying to do. Perpetual doubters who demand answers and evidence and details
before even considering cosigning your dream. 

When you encounter them, run. As
fast as you can. Battling a tide of nonbelievers is an exhausting, discouraging
and wasteful use of your time. It doesn’t matter how closely your image of
reality intersects with theirs. You’re not obliged to meet their expectations. 

Years
ago I launched an unconventional strategic planning framework for the consulting arm of my business. I
was beyond thrilled about the project, until I made the mistake of sharing my
strategy with the wrong colleague at a mastermind meeting. 

Big mistake. He said
it would never sell. That clients wouldn’t get it. And that I should stop
wasting my time launching an unmarketable product. 

I was crushed. Infuriated.
Completely deflated. Momentum instantly stopped. His cynicism, aggressiveness
and overall rejection of my idea convinced me the world would hate it even
more. And it nearly scared me into hiding. 

But after the meeting, another
colleague pulled me aside and reminded me of something. 

That guy’s an asshole.
Don’t listen to him. Your new project is amazing. Go finish it. 

That
conversation saved me. It saved the project. And fast forward a few years
later, that strategic planning framework is now my second biggest income
stream.

Lesson learned, once you reach the point when you no longer need other
people to support the decisions you’ve made about your own reality, you’re
free. Free to believe, free to create, and free to follow your dreams. 

Feedback
is overrated. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Do you have the courage to follow your inner guide, even if you look like an idiot and risk alienating those who didn’t understand?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For a copy of the list called, “46 Marketing Mistakes Your Company Is Probably Making,” 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!

Think of your work as a franchise

I have no desire to sell my company. I’m not in the business of managing employees. There’s nothing about scaling that sounds even remotely attractive to me. And I have no exit strategy in mind. 

Small is an acceptable destination. 

In fact, it’s not just acceptable, it’s manageable, flexible, approachable and most importantly, profitable. However, I’ll never forget the words of my mentor, who once advised me to think of my brand as a franchise. A property that lends itself to other mediums. He explained that doing so would enable me to broaden my appeal, open my work to new markets, straddle multiple universes and lend myself to future business opportunities. 

It’s simply a matter of positioning. Framing my talents in a way that makes it easy for the marketplace to fill in the blanks. That way, I’m the one being targeted. 

Here’s an example. I’ve been a singer, songwriter and performer for more than fifteen years. But only recently have I become proactive about alerting the world that I’m a musician for hire. And so, my website is more than a collection of pictures and videos and albums, it’s also a diverse menu of professional service offerings including musical collaborations, media licensing, song coaching, writing workshops and more. 

My work is a franchise. And I want to position myself in a way that covers people who don’t know that they’re clients yet. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What will you to do to give yourself more tickets in the raffle?

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For a copy of the list called, “46 Marketing Mistakes Your Company Is Probably Making,” 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!

Nobody wants to be friends with a taker

We should all be grateful anytime someone gives us a safe place to spew some of our emotional bile. When the dam of what we need to say builds up behind us, having a friend generous and patient enough to help us unleash the river is a cleansing, cathartic experience. 

Of course, the heart has limits. There’s only so much burden we can spread around. And if we spew too much and too often, our relationships become based on the model that we’re the victim and other people are the soothers. 

And that’s simply exhausting. Nobody wants to be friends with a taker. Nobody wants to spend time with a person who makes people feel tired just looking at them. 

As my favorite pastor writes, between two people is a generative space, which means whatever you put into it multiplies exponentially. And so, when you bring something negative into the space, it can affect you both. 

The challenge, then, is to hone our sense of when we’re starting to drain the other person. To pay attention to their body language and vocal tone and engagement level and, in certain cases, snoring cycles. 

It doesn’t require superpowers, just basic human empathy. The emotional intelligence to recognize that we’re not the only ones with readily present needs. Not that we should keep score on our relationships, both people should at least have the change to get up to bat. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Whom are you unconsciously wearing out?

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For a copy of the list called, “46 Marketing Mistakes Your Company Is Probably Making,” 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!

Endless forward motion without much visible result

I attended college about six hours from my hometown. To me, four hundred miles was far away enough to feel like I was an independent adult, but close enough where I could still come home for free food and laundry on a long weekend. 

Something I noticed, though, when driving between home and college, was the landscape. Or lack thereof. Because when you’re driving six hours across prairie states, it seems like a bit of infinite regression. Endless forward motion without much visible result. 

Little did I know at the time, that’s exactly what starting a business feels like. You’re doing the work and putting in the hours and trying to move the story forward each day. You’re wearing the sales and marketing and operations and customer service hats equally. And you’re chipping away at those first one hundred units to prove your salt to the marketplace. 

Meanwhile, you’re wondering when the hell you’re going to start seeing some real progress. Because currently, all you can see is that goddamn golden ribbon of road in front of you. Beyond that is nothing but full darkness. 

Unfortunately, there is no practical solution to this problem. You can only drive so many miles per hour before you start endangering the passengers and attracting the attention of the highway patrol. 

But that’s the nature of entrepreneurship. It’s one long exercise in patience, delayed gratification and most of all, trust. Trusting that the horizon will shift upwards. Trusting that you won’t fall asleep behind the wheel. And trusting that you won’t run out of gas in the middle of the night and veer off into a ditch full of deer carcasses and beer cans. 

The point is, just because the landscape never changes, doesn’t mean you’re not making progress. Learn to accept and even embrace the dull, unspectacular slog that is running a business. You’ll arrive at your destination eventually. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How are you handling the frustration of endless forward motion without much visible result
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…For a copy of the list called, “46 Marketing Mistakes Your Company Is Probably Making,” 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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