The problem with mastery is, there’s no room left for mystery

There’s more to life than being the best in the world. 

Our culture officially has a mastery fetish. We’re become completely addicted to the pursuit of greatness and creative genius and becoming world class at anything in six months and reaching the upper echelons of power in all that we do. 

Which does wonders for the ego and looks attractive on a resume, but the only problem with mastery is, there’s no room left for mystery. Or humility. Or curiosity. 

Because you have it all figured out. You’ve put in you precious ten thousand hours. You’ve mastered this thing. 

I’m reminded of the apocryphal story of the patent office commissioner. At the turn of the twentieth century, he famously observed that everything that could be invented, had already been invented. 

That’s where mastery gets you. Unable to disrupt your own point of view. Trapped in your own way of thinking. And only accepting the answers you anticipate. It sounds dreadfully boring and short lived. 

The point is, there’s more to life than being the best in the world. What ever happened to searching? What ever happened to not knowing? What ever happened to playing to keep the game going, not just playing because you wanted to win? 

Those things sound far more interesting and challenging and satisfying than simply ascending to the top of the mountain, grabbing the first place trophy and moving onto the next dick measuring contest. 

Mastery is overrated. Shoot for mystery instead. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Are you treating life as a problem to solve or a mystery to be lived?


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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Nowhere to be and all the time in the world to get there

When an person is highly adept at prioritizing and focusing and setting boundaries and compressing time and insulating against distractions and doing only the work matters, they can become incredibly prolific. 

But they also can become a victim of their own efficiency. Because if they clear their desk too quickly, they become underwhelmed and restless. If they create an overabundance of time and energy and inventory, there won’t be any urgency left to galvanize action. 

It’s like the farmer with a surplus of crops. Despite his strict planting allotments and continued retirement of certain farmland from cultivation, at the end of the season, he’s still stuck with three hundred bushels of wheat, and not a buyer in sight. 

Not good for business. 

I once found myself underwhelmed in this very way. After busting my butt and finally wrapping production on my second documentary, the fumes of meaninglessness started to trickle in. 

Because I had nothing left to do. It’s like I have nowhere to be and all the time in the world to get there. 

And so, in the absence of having another exciting project to bite into, my usual feelings of wholeness, usefulness and commitment were replaced by emptiness, apathy and boredom. 

That’s what it feels like to become a victim of your own efficiency. And what’s especially dangerous about this state of mind is, when left with so many kilowatts of energy to redirect, you can start sending your energy off in harmful directions. Addictive directions. 

Pollack was accurate when he observed, painting is no problem, the problem is what to do when you’re not painting. 

And so, next time you find yourself underwhelmed, always look for healthy, creative and connected ways to relieve the anxiety of inactivity. 

Because into every void rushes something. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

How do you handle large energy needing to be expended? 
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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Create abundance where there appears to be scarcity

Anger is based
on the false belief that things are finite. 

That the more other people have of
something, whether it’s inspiration or money or attention or success or
adulation, the less there is available for us. 

But that’s just the grip of
competition and scarcity squeezing our hearts. It’s like the newly rescued dog
who thinks he’s competing with other pets in the house at mealtime. And so,
every morning, he inhales his food without even chewing, but then pukes it up
five minutes later. 

Meanwhile, underneath the kitchen sink is a forty pound bag
of grain free kibble packed full of protein and omega fatty acids that supports
the dog’s skin and coat health. 

He just doesn’t realize it. Because he’s too
locked into survival mode. 

That’s how humans behave when it comes to
competition. We’re so deeply lulled into the mindless trance, that we don’t
realize that the pie is massive. We don’t realize that there are more slices
than we could possibly imagine. 

And we don’t realize that because other people have these things that we want is the very
proof that prosperity is available. 

In fact, every time comparison tries to
cloud the clarity of my vision, I always recite the following mantra to myself. 

The fact that it happened at all means that it’s possible. 

That’s what helps me
remain a stranger to the economics of scarcity. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

What will you say to yourself to create abundance where there appears to be none?

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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


I’ve had integrity every day of my life, and it hasn’t made me a dime

Integrity
is overrated. 



None of us can fully live according to all of our beliefs, every
moment of every day. 



Human beings are fundamentally flawed and inconsistent. 



And so, berating ourselves for lesser behaviors like judging and obsessing and
quitting and settling isn’t helpful. Nor is hating ourselves for being caught
in an identity that’s less than who we are. 



Just because we spend an afternoon
applying for low paying, mediocre jobs that won’t light our soul on fire,
doesn’t mean we’ve suddenly compromised our standards and violated our morals. 



And just because we spend a year of our lives temporarily buying into somebody
else’s system of rules and rewards, doesn’t mean we’re treasonous, sell out
hacks. 



It’s not a crime to have a crack in the foundation. There is no
integrity police standing outside our door, battering ram in hand. 



The goal is
to simply accept ourselves. To catch the goodness in ourselves. And to attempt
to feel alive in all of our contradictions, without trying to put everything in
a tidy little compartment. 



It’s actually quite liberating, letting go of the
specter of integrity. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

What’s your favorite way to beat yourself up?
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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Decide which of the mainstream hoops aren’t worth jumping through

The advantage of hiring yourself is, you learn very quickly which corners are worth cutting. 

You see how much of the work is actually necessary, versus how much the work is just the traditional way of doing things. 

When I produced my first documentary, I felt completely overwhelmed by tasks like holding screenings and securing distribution and submitting my movie to film festivals. 

But then I spoke with a colleague of mine who worked for a major production house. And his words of advice were unforgettable. He said:



You paid for this movie with your own money, which not only means you can do anything you want, but also means you can not do anything you want. 

That insight was the permission slip I needed. It pushed me to decide which of the mainstream hoops weren’t worth jumping through, and forge ahead without stopping. 

Once the movie came out, I wasted exactly zero time and energy on promotional activities that weren’t aligned with my vision. And that made me feel proud. 

Interestingly enough, when the time came to produce my second film a year later, I was able to execute that project in less time, using less money, and the quality was even better that the first. 

Lesson learned, the only rules worth knowing are the ones you invent yourself.



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

How do you discover which corners are worth cutting?
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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


The intersection of wow and how

There’s nothing more underrated than overwhelming people. 



If you have the ability to compete on the rare combination of volume and velocity, it can be brilliant strategy for making a name for yourself. 



Because nobody sees it coming. It’s a pattern violation. And the only human response is awe. The eleventh emotion. Which, as we showed in my concert documentary, exists at the intersection of wow and how. 



Wow, meaning you’re in the presence of something sizable, powerful and prestigious, and the sense of vastness overwhelms you. 



How, meaning you can’t possibly comprehend the mechanics behind that thing, and the desire to accommodate that experience into your worldview takes you over. 



Wow and how. That’s awe. 



Rodriguez once said that filmmakers are so scrutinized on their second movies that they freak out and fumble. 



And so, he knew people would be watching for that sophomore slump, instead of making one film and putting all the eggs in one basket, he simply confused the marketplace by putting out four films quickly. 



That way, nobody would be able to figure out which was the second, third, fourth or fifth. 



And it worked. Robert became a player in the industry in record time. All because he used volume and velocity to overwhelm people. He created awe. Wow plus how. 



And so, if you want to get to the next level quickly, figure out what asset you have more of than anyone else in the world, and let her rip. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

What’s your strategy for overwhelming people?

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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


A safe place where ideas can rest until their time has come

Everything I know is written down somewhere. Everything. 

This rule is central to my creative process, because I know that if I don’t write down my thoughts, they will distract me. 

It’s how the circus inside my head works. Without some kind of structured offloading process, my racing brain can’t quiet itself. 

And so, the standing goal is to provide my thoughts with a some kind of external parking spot. A safe place where they can rest until their time has come. 

This level of clarity allows me to keep the stream of ideas and visions flowing. 

Evernote built a billion dollar software business out of this very rule. It’s the most successful note taking app in the world. In fact, their founder famously said that the hundred year vision for his company was to become people’s second brain. 

That’s one hell of a mission statement. 

Of course, it’s not the only approach available. There are many tools for organizing thoughts as there are people to think them. 

It doesn’t matter what you use, only that you use it. 

The point is to make mental room. To unburden yourself. To allow the grey matter to do its job better by filtering out the white noise. 

That’s what most people don’t realize about creative thinking. It’s all about the economy of effort. Conserving energy for what matters most. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Is everything you know written down somewhere? 
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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


The central lever that galvanizes the whole machine

Commitment is the most underrated execution strategy on the planet. 

All of that corporate bullshit about managing expectations and setting priorities and taking action and getting the job done and delivering results and making the final leap to achieve your goals, none of that applies to the people who truly commit. 

They operate on a different plane. They live in a world where they can’t avoid doing the work because they’re not distracting themselves with anything else but the work. 

Everything else is white noise. 

And so, if you want to simplify your execution process, treat commitment as your catchall. The one time decision that makes a thousand future decisions so you don’t exhaust yourself. The central lever that galvanizes the whole machine. The crucial stone that kills all of the birds. The lead domino that knocks down all the others. The single activity that can be trusted to take care of everything else. 

It’s more liberating than you can possibly imagine. 

But that’s how commitment works. It makes your furnace burn strongly before you begin. Whether it’s yoga or writing or meditation or researching or cooking breakfast for your wife before work, it’s not a question of mood, willingness, timing, energy or environment. 

Commitment trumps all of that. It’s the device that locks you into a behavior that you might otherwise dodge. The daily practice that forces you seek what is fresh and spontaneous and interesting in the same place you looked for it yesterday. 

I’ve written thirty five in books fifteen years. Not because I’m amazingly productive, but because I’m absurdly committed. 

There’s a difference. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

How are you laying a foundation that builds commitment?

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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Obscurity is underrated

Lefsetz reminds us that the modern career trajectory is inverted:

Once upon a time, artists would labor in obscurity, gain traction slowly, and with a lot of work and a little bit of luck, maybe their work would be universally applauded. But now it’s the reverse. People who barely have their shit together emerge with tons of publicity, the media proclaims their greatness, the public says they’re undeserving of the attention, and after checking out their work, they’re ignored. 

That’s the problem with success that comes too quickly and too unexpectedly. People forego the chance to practice and experiment and hone their style and skill. They bypass the necessary spiritual work to uncover their authentic voice. 

And ultimately, they’re unable to sustain themselves beyond their initial effort. 

Rodriquez, perhaps the most successful independent filmmaker of his generation, famously said he was grateful to have made his first, second and third movies in complete obscurity. Doing so allowed him to make mistakes quietly, experiment freely and hone his talent in every department. 

He invented his own film school, he claims, where he was the only student and where the experiences, mistakes, problems and solutions were his teachers. And so, even if the movies were bad, nobody would ever see them anyway, and he would still be able to make his money back. 

The lesson is, obscurity is underrated. If we have any intention of sustaining long term success, we have to be willing to take the longcut. To sweat in the darkness before crying in the spotlight. To put in constant work at the alter of improvement, valuing grit over glamour, patience over speed. 

It’s the gradual ascent. Hustling while you wait. Playing the long arc game. Mastering the art of not going away. Practicing your way out of obscurity. 

It’s not a popular path. Especially if you buy into the instant gratification culture where everybody wants to be a rock star, but nobody wants to learn the chords. 

But if you’re willing to trust the process and give the law a chance to work, it’s worth it. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

How patient are you willing to be?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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Struggling to pull the trigger on your dream

Nike’s slogan
was first coined in the late eighties at an advertising agency meeting. 



Over
the next ten years, that historic campaign allowed the shoe company to increase
sales from eight hundred million to nine billion. 



Not bad for an empty, three
word sentence. 



But of course, the joke’s on us. Because while the company was
printing money urging its customers to just
do it
, our global conception of motivation was completely destroyed. 



Suddenly, everyone was living inside of a shoe commercial. A fantasy world
where the only motivation people needed was to hear those three magic words,
and they’d be off to the races. 



But that’s not how human behavior operates.
Telling somebody to just do it is like telling a manic depressive to just snap
out of it. 



I’d wager twelve thousand dollars that, in the history of humankind,
nobody has ever heard those three words, paused in contemplative rapture, stood
up from their chair with fire in their eyes and gone on to change their life. 



It just doesn’t work. 



Think back to
an instance when you struggled to pulled the trigger on a new project, habit,
behavior or dream that was important to you. For whatever reason, you just
couldn’t seem to execute your goal. 



My question is, if some hero attempted to
bestow his motivational tough love upon you by making the proclamation, just do it, would you have done it? 



Of
course not. Because if just do it was
all it was going to take, then you would have just done it by now. 



And so, if
we have any intention of inspiring people to motivate themselves, we might
consider using language that’s helpful to their journey and empathetic to their
struggle. 



Not a marketing slogan decided by seven middle aged white men sitting
around a board room. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

What type of language motivates you to take action?

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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


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