As many radars as there are planes to blip on them

Every artist is afraid of dropping off the radar. Because that means they no longer exist. Their work is forgotten. Vanished into obscurity. Consigned to howling vacuum of anonymity. Cycled out of public consciousness. Commissioned to the howling vacuum of anonymity. 



Lefsetz’s essay on current the music business put it perfectly:



Stardom is about continuity. Audiences are impressed when you make it, and continue to make it. But momentary blips are not stars, they’re comets. And if you don’t last, especially in today’s overloaded and evanescent world, you’re irrelevant. 



That’s why there’s a whole world out there where people fight to be relevant everyday. Because everybody wants to do something important. To create work that matters. To avoid becoming paralyzed by the threat of insignificance. 



That’s the heaviest human burden. Having nothing to carry. 



I have a client who admits that he refuses to perform less than fifty times a year. He claims that if he doesn’t keep doing what he does at the frequency that he does it, someday, he may not get to do it anymore. 



It’s understandable fear. In fact, when channeled properly, that mindset can help an artist stay hungry and continue growing and keep the brand alive. 



But consider this. Thanks to the fragmentation of popular culture, people’s interests have splintered across millions of different niches and markets and micro communities and user bases and customer pools. 



Meaning, maybe you do drop off the radar. But there are a lot of different radars now. Unlike the world of air traffic controllers, where there’s one master screen to monitor every passenger jet on a transoceanic flight, now, there are as many radars as there are planes to blip on them. It’s simply a matter of flight path. 



And so, just because you drop off the radar doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not successful. Or not happy. It just means you’re flying somewhere else right now.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you still circling in a holding pattern until the radar’s all seeing eye finds you?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For 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

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!

Doubting spirit, questioning mind

Every society has a collection of ideas that are not allowed to be questioned or criticized. 

The people heretical enough to raise doubt and deviate in their perception of reality are often discouraged, ridiculed, ostracized, imprisoned, tortured, and sometimes even killed. It’s the oldest form of social control. 

And it comes from the top down. Because those with a vested interest in the status quo, namely, governments and religions and businesses and institutions, find it devastating to be questioned. They are predicated on people marching in lockstep with the culture. 

Keep the spirits happy, keep the tribe’s nest warm, show allegiance to the chief and keep the tribe safe. 

Asimov, the prolific novelist, skeptic and biochemist, once wrote an essay on the power and importance of the heretic. He said he hoped orthodoxies never remain unchallenged, as they could become arthritic and senile, whereas the most absurd challenge may help to stir the blood and tone the muscles of an accepted body of knowledge. 

Doubting spirit, questioning mind. Never being afraid of holding an opinion that’s at odds with what is generally accepted. That’s the only way we create real change. 

I have an artist friend who draws cartoons about rules that don’t exist. Jason believes they’re cultural constructs that are stressing people out, sapping their energy and ensuring a boring life. And once we give ourselves permission to stop living by them, we can today to turn our lives into the adventurous story we deserve. 

Remember, all unhappiness grows from that which goes unquestioned. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you memorizing how other people answer questions or asking them yourself?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For 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

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 roller coast that never stops and the track keeps changing

Academic journals, financial publications and business magazines love to remind us how many small businesses fail within their first five years. Or even their first year. 

And they chalk it up to the usual entrepreneurial suspects, including insufficient capital, poor location, high overhead, tough competition, low sales, inventory mismanagement, bad accounting, operational mediocrity and dysfunctional management. 

All of which are probably true. But the media misses the big picture. The human picture. The fact that most small businesses fail because the owners come to the conclusion that it’s just not worth the effort relative to the return they are receiving. 

That’s what kills the company. Exhaustion. Diminishing returns. The devastating highs and lows. And working yourself to the point of burnout and exhaustion. 

Just ask anyone who’s tried running a business for a few years. Most will tell you that it’s like a roller coaster that never stops, except the track changes every six months, and you’re the only one riding it. 

Look, we all know starting and running and maintaining a small business is hard. But let’s not over intellectualize the owner experience, externalizing failure to tidy list of corporate buzzwords we were taught in business school. 

Odds are, if the company died, it’s because the entrepreneur was out of life.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you ready to endure the failure that growth requires?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For 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

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!

Waiting for the major leagues to stamp your creative passport

Satchel had a blazing fastball, but was also a hell of an entrepreneur. 

He pitched professionally for the first ten years of his career, until he became entangled in a salary dispute with the negro league. And that ultimately resulted in him being banned for breaking his contract and jumping teams. 

However, during that winter season, an independent promoter approached the great pitcher to headline a new all star team. The deal was, the team would play a series of exhibition games, touring around the country on off days, filling up small town stadiums, wowing fans, having a blast, even making a nice chunk of money. 

Paige simply had to be willing to hire himself. To initiate. To build his own platform and attract his own audience. And in so doing, prove to the world that he didn’t need the major leagues to tell him what he was worth. 

It was barnstorming at its finest. People willing to operate outside the framework of an established league. And of course, modern athletic clubs don’t do it as much as they used to. But for the athletes of the mind and heart, for the entrepreneurs and artists and freelancers, there has never been a better time in history to barnstorm. 

The technology is there. The platforms are there. The audience is there. They just need somebody bold enough to opt out of the mainstream and hire themselves. 

And so, instead of buying tickets for the starving artist lottery, just go out there and create a market for what you love. Learn which of the mainstream hoops aren’t worth jumping through. 

And instead of sitting back and waiting for the major league to stamp your creative passport and tell us your art is okay, forge ahead without stopping.  

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you still imprisoned by the tyranny of being picked?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For 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

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!

I’m the fastest when I’m the one who gets to say go

Every lap swimmer seeks his own lane. 

It’s pure bliss. You can stop and start whenever you want. You can do any stroke you choose. You don’t have to swim in counterclockwise circles to accommodate multiple swimmers. You don’t have to worry about some jackoff triathlete hero trying to pass you on the left. And you don’t have to focus on maintaining your orientation within the allotted area. 

Brian’s famous painting puts it perfectly. 


I’m the fastest when I’m the one who gets to say go. 

Unfortunately, the swimming pool is rarely empty. Despite my revulsion against anything that endangers my own path to independence, the moment another swimmer plops down beside me and requests to share the lane, I must oblige. Because it’s their pool too. 

And so, I’m learning to make room in my life for the other swimmers. Even when their flipper accidentally clips me on the shoulder as they swim past. I just let it go and keep moving forward. No harm, no foul. Everyone’s just trying to do their laps. We’re all in this together. 

That’s what respect is all about. Saying yes to people’s basic humanity. Even when we’d prefer to swim alone. 

We are, after all, a social species with an innate desire to communicate with each other. We weren’t built to be singular units. And even if we could swim alone all the time, we wouldn’t want to. 

That’s what I try to remember every time I put my goggles on. Instead of selfishly trying to make myself completely free from the risk of other people, I should welcome the opportunity to share the lane. It just feels better. More human. Less lonely. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Do you prize the privilege of being alone as well as the pleasure of being connected?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For 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

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!

Thrown into a tension which necessitates some kind of action

When practicing yoga, where the eyes go, the body follows. 

It’s the strangest thing. Simply by lowering your gaze from the wall to the floor, you automatically advance the posture. Because your eyes have just signaled to your brain that everything is okay, and now it’s time to bend down. 

And so, you do. No matter how temping it is keep your gaze still. Where the eyes go, the body follows. 

In the creative world, however, the process works differently. You’re told that where the mind goes, the body follows. That you can manifest and believe and focus and visualize your way into progress. But the reality is, thinking about something doesn’t make it exist, only purposeful action does. 

And so, if you’re struggling to get your business off the ground or launch a new service or start a new creative project, forget about your eyes. Lead with your body. Throw yourself into a tension which necessitates some kind of action. Paint yourself into a corner that you have to execute your way out of. 

I witnessed this phenomenon firsthand when I began performing music in public. Busking under a tunnel forced me to sing and move and strum and perform in ways that were profoundly more physical than playing guitar quietly in my bedroom. 

But after a few months, my entire approach to performing music and connecting with audiences transformed. All because I led with my body. We even made a concert documentary about it. 

The point is, life rewards execution, not ideation. Go ahead and lead with your eyes in yoga class. But once you get off the mat, let your body call the shots. Because it’s one of the few things in this world that will never lie to you. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How could you throw yourself into tension?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For 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

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!

I’m proud to say, this is my limit

I recently heard an interview with a successful psychotherapist, who was asked if handling the emotional demands of her patients ever got exhausting. And without missing a beat, she replied, it’s not exhausting when you have proper boundaries. 

What a brilliant insight. Not just for mental health professionals, but for anyone who wants to take control of their life.

I struggled with setting boundaries for many years. Until I finally realized, wait a sec, if the level of help somebody is asking me to offer isn’t proportionate with the type of relationship I have with them, it’s okay to say no. What liberating realization. 

And so, I now have an arsenal of tools to set boundaries in almost every situation:

Not responding to every magnet for my attention. Setting time limits on certain activities. Opting out of receiving irrelevant information. Booking blank time on my calendar each week. Protecting my thinking from unhelpful feedback by not giving everybody a backstage pass to my dream. Leaving the room for ten minutes and having a honesty pow wow before making a major decision. Rejecting attractive opportunities that are wrong for me. Putting my phone on airplane mode, even when I’m not on an airplane. Establishing daily non negotiables and sticking to them. Subverting obligations I find silly and boring. Engaging my backbone to be a public spokesperson for my values. Telling people that what they’re doing is not okay with me. Honoring my constitution instead of placating people’s insecurities. Making it abundantly clear to the marketplace what my business is the antithesis of. 

In short, teaching people how to treat me. Letting the world know that my heart has limits. And doing so without guilt, shame or regret. 

Boundaries are saviors. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Who in your life is asking you to create a future that you’re going to feel obligated to be a part of?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For 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

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!

We can’t learn anything if we’re in the judgment business

Life is an ongoing process of deepening our empathy. Understanding how others feel based on how they see the world. Being aware of what simply is, without the need to label it, and remembering that the soul cannot bring forth aliveness in an environment of judgment. 

It’s a neverending compassion meditation. A challenge to the parts of ourselves that judge. And it’s hard. Because our default is myopia. We can’t imagine others could feel any differently than us. We would prefer that they come to the same conclusions we did. We have already made up our minds about what we think other people need. And we believe others are wrong when their behavior does not support our identity or fit our paradigm of how to live. 

Which is too bad. Because we can’t learn anything if we’re in the judgment business. We’re too busy breathing our own exhaust. 

The secret is learning to step back from our judgments. Stopping ourselves mid sentence and thinking, wait, who am I to make a moral judgment about this person? In fact, here’s my favorite empathy deepening question of all time. 


How is it possible that this person could think or behave in this way, and under what circumstances would it make perfect sense to do so? 

That’s when the real learning begins. The moment we tear ourselves away from the safe harbor of our own limited worldview and charge headlong into someone else’s experience. Even if that brings the disconcerting experience of having to reevaluate our own notions. 

The point is, what is judged cannot be joined, and what cannot be joined cannot be understood. If you want to connect deeply with the people around you, learn to challenge the parts of yourself that judge. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How are you using compassion to soften and enrich the ground of everyday encounters?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For 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

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!

Not all who wander are lost

I’m not a planner by nature. 

I’m just wandering through life, looking for the next open door. 

But don’t let the free spirit fool you. My approach to work less spontaneous and more intentional than it sounds. There is a structure and an awareness and a discipline. There is initiation and momentum and follow through. Not all who wander are lost. 

At the beginning of each year, I’m always ambitious to carve out new creative outlets for my work. Chomping at the bit to pursue multiple landscapes to harvest my genius and express my aesthetic sensibility and let my artistic energies expand. 

But in those first few weeks or even months, I never quite know what form the work will take. Maybe a book. Maybe a curriculum. Maybe a musical album. Maybe a movie. Maybe a new project I’ve never even tried before. All I can do I listen for wants to be written. All I can do is pay attention to the clues life leaves behind, making note of the major inflection points along my journey, and figure out what I’m supposed to make next. 

There’s no strategic planning retreat. There’s no target market needs analysis. It just happens organically. The work finds its own shape. Often times before I even have a name for it. But once the decision is made, once I find that open door and realize, ah ha, so that’s what wants to be built here, I jump in full force. I make the critical shift from an emergent strategy to a deliberate one, creating structures and plans and rituals and goals and tasks and organizing principles and other left brain machinations to help buttress this new project to completion. 

And at that point, I’m not wandering anymore.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How does your relationship to planning affect your work style?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…

For 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

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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