When you don’t know where your bread is buttered

You don’t have to manage your time if you master your priorities. 

That’s a powerful mantra for taking action and getting things done. 

But it assumes a high level of certainty. My question is, what if you don’t know who you are yet? What if you’re still in the early stages of an uncertain endeavor? What if you’re so crazy busy and overwhelmed that you barely have time to eat lunch, much less develop a mechanism to sort out and prioritize your diverse demands? 

That’s the missing piece of the popular time management canon. It’s hard to prioritize when you don’t know where your bread is buttered yet. That would be like trying to make a budget when you’re broke. There are too many unknowns. And that paralyzes you into inaction. 

One tribe of people who deal with this daily are young entrepreneurs. Young meaning experience, not age. Because when launching a new enterprise from the ground up, every task and project and activity is yet another public bet with their imagination. 

It’s like winking in the dark. Shouting into the ether. Whipping frisbees out the window. Throwing spaghetti against the brick wall. Dropping rose petals down the canyon and waiting for the echo. Tossing coins in the wishing well and hoping bills float to the surface. 

Insert whatever melodramatic metaphor for ambiguity and fortuity suits you best. 

The point is, when you’re new to the game, you’re just guessing. You have zero sense of proportion. You don’t know which rules to break, which corners to cut, which avenues to pursue and which lanes to avoid. 

So you try everything. Because the notion of prioritizing feels like an unattainable luxury item. Hell, it took me several years to figure out exactly where my bread was buttered. And if I could go back and do it over again, I would have tried to identify that recipe earlier. 

Because once you master your priorities, managing your time is irrelevant. You become constitutionally undistractable. 

Instead of ignoring interruptions, you stop hearing them. And instead of warding off unproductive thoughts, you stop having them. 

Bread and butter never tasted so good. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

If you could only work two hours a week, what which activities would you prioritize?

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!


Fondling notes and coins

On any given day of busking, I earn between five and thirty dollars in
tips. 



Which isn’t a ton of money, but that’s not the point. Because the
significance of that currency far exceeds its monetary value. 



In fact, a friend
of mine once asked me if I did anything special with that money at the end of
each performance. 



Absolutely. It’s one of my favorite rituals. I roll
that money up into a tight little wad and stuff in my back left pocket,
opposite my wallet. That way, whenever I’m not busking, I can still feel
that roll of money as a totem of several key principles. 



First, the marketplace
rewards honest labor. Make no mistake, busking is hard work. Both physically
and emotionally. Singing and playing original music, in public, as loud as you
can, for two hours straight, for complete strangers, requires courage and
stamina and skill. And so, every time a patron smiles and drops a dollar into
the my case, I know that I’ve truly earned that money. 



The second reason I keep
the roll in my pocket is to remind myself that no amount of money is
insignificant. A dollar is a dollar. And even if I only earn a few bucks each
time I perform, those bills accumulate quickly. Compound interest is a
beautiful thing. 



Third, the roll of money locks me into a prosperity and
abundance mentality. Remembering that wealth is flowing into my life from all
directions. And believing that my work is a welcome presence that creates value
in the world. 



Finally, keeping that wad of ones in my back pocket makes it easy
for me to leave tips for other buskers. Those kindred spirits of the streets.
Those fellow artists foolish enough to put their whole heart on show. By
tipping them, it keeps the gift in motion and keeps money in circulation.
Trusting that once my roll is depleted, I can simply grab my guitar and go earn
some more. 



This reminds me of an intriguing study conducted
by a marketing professor who found that handling a wad of cash may actually be
as good at killing pain than ibuprofen or aspirin. Researchers revealed that
those who counted money before taking part in an experiment where they were
subjected to low levels of pain, felt less discomfort than those who did not. 



Fondling notes and coins, they discovered, helped ward off pain by boosting
feelings of worth and sufficiency. After all, humans start experiencing events
with money starting when they’re three years old. And so, each person builds up
these associations over time into a very thick construct that can be elicited
simply through touch. 



Holding the money, then, illuminates the neuronal pathway
and ultimately reduces pain. The significance of the currency far exceeds its
monetary value. 



The lesson, then, isn’t to become a street performer. Or to
start carrying around a wad of cash everywhere you go. 



Rather, to create a
totem for yourself. A positivity device. Something personal and tangible that
helps you point to a larger picture of meaning. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

What’s your version of fondling note and coins?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!


Here I am, largely unmolested by obligations

Laziness isn’t real. 



It’s just a word for making myself feel guilty about self care. A way to feel superior to the aspects of myself that I judge, reinforcing my high standards and notions of supremacy. 



And so, when I throw my morning plans out the window in favor of more sleep, when I ditch my ambitious social agenda in favor of much needed solitude, when I meet half of my writing quota in favor of finishing a book I can’t put down, when I clock out of work early in favor of cooking a romantic dinner for my beloved, and when I take a snow day because the powder on the big hill is just too good to pass up…



I try not to lambaste myself over what I should or shouldn’t be doing. 



I trust the choice to relax, believing that this is exactly what my body and mind and spirit need, right now. 



Since when did that become an indulgence? Since when did we become slackers simply because we know what we like and let ourselves have all of it? 



Kreider’s piece on the laziness trap points out that most people are addicted to busyness because they dream what they might have to face in its absence. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work. 



And so, overcoming laziness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness. Obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day. 



But what if this wasn’t laziness? What if loving yourself wasn’t an indulgence? And what if this moment wasn’t a symptom of depression or lethargic avoidance or a declining career trajectory or a lack of motivation and ambition, but simply the holy practice being kind to ourselves in small, concrete ways? 



Enough. We must stop making ourselves guilty about self care. Compassion can no longer be viewed as not trying hard enough. 



Next time you’re tempted to take out the whip and say no to yourself, replace that language with a kinder response. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Are you looking for a reason to continue working even though your immediate needs have been satisfied?

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!


Tell me more about the supposing committee

Wherever we land in life, we’re greeted with a list of rules. 



A social template for what success should look like. A mainstream system we’re expected to inherit. 



And the myth is, if we tick these boxes, we will get ahead and be happy. And, because we’re new and naïve and ambitious and filled to the brim with all that hungry youth juice, we think to ourselves, well, I guess this is what I’m supposed to want, so here we go. 



But then, a few months or a few years later, it suddenly dawns on us:



Shit. These things aren’t bringing me joy the way that I thought they were supposed to. What’s wrong with me? 



Nothing. There’s nothing wrong with us. We’re simply experiencing the agony of rejecting the socially favored narrative at the moment. The fear of being the nail that sticks out and is hammered down. 



When the reality is, just because society demands that we should have an appetite for something, doesn’t mean we should make a bee line to the buffet. 



Hell, people have been telling me for the past fifteen years what I’m supposed to be doing with my business. And all I can think to myself is:



Tell me more about the supposing committee. What are you, my brand manager? 



Lefsetz was right when he said that if you’re not creating your own rules, you’re not a star, you’re just a figment in someone else’s constellation whose light can be dimmed. 



And so, our goal as realized and authentic individuals is find ways to be whole on our own terms. To talk out loud about the rules we create live by. Even if it means facing the tilted heads and shifty eyes of mainstream society. 



Mihaly’s research on the evolving self found that people who lead a satisfying life, people whom we would call happy, are generally individuals who have lived their lives according to rules they themselves created. And that the realization that many of our actions are not of our choosing is the first step toward the development of a more authentic, more genuinely individual agenda. 



Next time somebody tells you what you’re supposed to want, literally ask them to tell you more about the supposing committee. It’s empowering as hell. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Are you blindly following a system of rules that puts you at odds with 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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Bitter thoughts are like scars on your forehead

Cynicism is wildly seductive. 



It’s an easy way to think about the world, a humorous way to perform for an audience, an inexpensive way to interact to coworkers, a strategic way to boost website traffic, a protective measure against disappointment, a free pass from taking responsibility and a simple way to disengage from the intensity of what you’re really feeling. 



What’s not to like? 



Of course, everyone knows that cynicism is the lazy way to respond to life. It’s a copout. It’s a refusal to do the work. 



The problem is, there’s zero shortage of jet fuel for the engines of modern cynicism. Take one look around, and you’ll see bitter thoughts like scars on our foreheads. 



And I’m certainly not exception to its gravitational pull. 



Everyday, I encounter somebody who, in my mind, desperately needs some upside down ankle shaking. But I have to remind myself that I have no way of knowing what’s inside of people. They’re fighting a battle I know nothing about. And it doesn’t serve me to see people behaving in a way that I don’t approve of and instantly assume that they’re nothing. 



Everyday, I’m confronted with another new episode of violence or hatred or fear that highlights lowest forms human behavior. But I have to remind myself that there isn’t more carnage, just more coverage. And that it doesn’t serve me to believe we live in a barbaric slaughterhouse once known as humanity. 



These are the hopeful words I whisper to myself. They may sound naïve and soft, but it’s what helps me see the horizon of a better day. 



As the song lyric goes, keep a jealous eye over yourself, and believe the bright lights as they begin to swell. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Are you responding with wonder, or reacting with bitterness? 

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 unquantifiable component of human value

Body image therapists often encourage their patients to avoid stepping on the scale. 

Not out of denial or fear or compulsion, but because psychologists know something most people don’t. 

Weighing yourself will never make you feel better about your body. Ever. 

That’s the problem with a scale. It’s like boarding a sinking ship. It’s not a metric for a person’s value and beauty. It’s just a number on a screen. 

Of course, the scale is not the real issue here. Because it’s not about weight, it’s about worthiness. 

Remember, the whole world is based on making you feel bad about yourself, so it can sell you what will make you feel good about yourself. Our culture has conditioned itself to only value the calculable. 

If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense. 

That which can be measured is accepted, while that which evades measuring instructions is at best ignored, at worst denied. 

Is it a surprise that the body scale business is a ten million dollar a year industry? 

The point is, not every human activity can be comfortably quantified. Each of us has gifts that can’t be measured or properly acknowledged. And so, instead of seeking validation and approval though insignificant metrics like some mercurial number on a screen, seek internal, subjective measures about your worthiness. 

Tune into how you’re really feeling about yourself. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

When was the last time stepping on the scale made you feel better about your body? 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!


Everyone wears the ribbon

The rule of the mob is, when one dissenter does or says something cruel and offensive and politically polarizing, everyone else has to piggyback and act righteous and get offended too. 



Because instinctively, they know that if they don’t, they’ll be judged along with the offender. 



Silence is acceptance. When the mob lights the torches and raises the pitchforks to lynch the original dissenter who drew first blood, they will also turn their head to the one person who didn’t act offended and declare: 



Hey, get that guy too! Excommunicate him from the tribe! Send him into the wilderness to die! 

Seinfeld did a brilliant episode about this very phenomenon over twenty years ago. Kramer takes part in an aids charity walk, but refuses to wear the ribbon on his shirt. He even claims that the volunteers who pass out the ribbons are bullying people into wearing them. To which the people reply:



But everyone wears the ribbon. You must wear the ribbon. Aren’t you against aids? Who do you think you are? 

Once the race gets underway, several walkers confront him about his dissension. The chorus begins to grow. Kramer states he doesn’t want to wear the ribbon since he lives in a free country and he can do whatever he wants. Then the mob beats him into a bloody pulp. 

It’s funny because it’s true. Now more than ever. In a digital world where people have made it their full time jobs to pat themselves on the back for being offended and congratulate each other on how upset they are, dissenters must take caution. 

Because free speech is slowly becoming a quaint relic of the past. 

Soon, your only option will be to acquiesce to the mob’s demands or be the bad guy. 

Everyone wears the ribbon. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Have you considered the cost of speaking your mind?

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!


Standing on the intimate continuum of hope and hopelessness

When the guitarist from my favorite band decided to part ways with the group after twenty years, he published a letter of gratitude to his fans around the world. Walla eloquently stated: 



I plan to continue making music, producing records and erring on the side of benevolence and beauty whenever possible. Darkness may find me, but I shall never choose it. 

Chris’s words sent a shiver down my spine. Not only because I was sad to see him go, but because he reminded me that each of us stands on the intimate continuum of hope and hopelessness. And when our lower selves start whipping us away into the windy darkness, we must fight back. 

Otherwise, if we allow ourselves to go down that hole, we just know the mental neighborhood we’ll end up in will be horrible. One where we become the worst, most apathetic and cynical versions of ourselves. 

The solution is to do a little reframing work up front. To stand in witness to ourselves and nip the darkness in the bud. 

To do so, we have to become scientists of our own experience. To take out the clipboard and comment to ourselves, ah, interesting, the human appears to be bitter and hopeless towards his work today. Noted

That’s enough preliminary dissociation to stay grounded, stop being so precious about our feelings, take the piss out of our egos and steer clear of that bad neighborhood. 

It’s a simple but effective exercise in entering the witness consciousness. 

Sound dopey? It certainly is. 

But most people would take dopey over depressed any day of the week. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

What do you say to yourself to keep the darkness at bay?

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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