Plunge ahead and let your primal enthusiasm lead the way

Emerson once said that nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. 



Which is true, but the tricky question is, what happens when that type of energy isn’t welcome by the people around you? What happens when you show up on the first day with wide eyes and bright smiles and a big plate of homemade cookies, and your efforts are met with shrugs? 



That’s the unspoken challenge of enthusiasm. Depending on the venue, it can be one of those strengths for which there is little use. An ability that doesn’t get much play. And for the earnest individual attempting to flex that muscle, it can be demoralizing as hell.



Beck’s pioneering book on facilitating the transformation of corporate cultures reminds us that making changes in living systems is a dangerous business. Especially if you begin making change without recognizing the existence of a system. And so, lacking a supportive culture, new ideas can barely germinate, much less bloom. Even when it does, the new awakenings are often characterized by confusion, false starts, long learning curves and awkward assimilation. 

This is a mistake I’ve made a number of times in my career. I’ve shown up on day one, plunging ahead and letting my passion lead the way, but my seeds of enthusiasm fell on thin, cynical or hostile soil. 

All because I didn’t recognize the native architecture of the landscape. 

Lesson learned, if you want to find a niche where you can live your positive traits to their fullest, start by identifying the existing system. 

Understand the arrangement of circumstances that makes things happen in a certain way, and then get to work trying to change them.

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

How will you make sure your talents are welcomed by the people around 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 2017-2018.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of 


The Nametag Guy in action here!


Compassionate social support enables us to evolve gracefully

The most important relationships in our lives are with the people who afford us a chance to express our deepest selves. 



People who celebrate the fullness of who we are and what path we’re on. People who forgive us for no longer being what we started out wanting to be. People who commend us for outgrowing our origins and changing direction proudly. People who don’t remind us how we are no longer what we were. 



And people who have no memory of us when we were any better than we are now. 



That’s a true friend. Somebody whose compassionate support enables us to evolve gracefully. 



That’s why the social pruning process is critical. Life’s too short to spend with people who act in any other way. Especially when you get older and work demands more and time shrinks. 



Stanford psychologists have researched this very process, calling it socioemotional selectivity theory



Essentially, as people age, she says, they prune their social circles to those who provide the greatest social and emotional reward, and their less meaningful relationships are discarded in favor of a select group. 



It’s biological. Being with people we like and feel comfortable around and who support our authentic selves produces oxytocin, which quiets the fear and emotion center of the brain. Not to mention, they help reduce heart rate and blood pressure. 



On the other hand, wasting time with lukewarm people whose lives we feel obligated to be a part of because of guilt or sympathy or codependency, isn’t helping anybody. And using the latest technology to create the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship, or the illusion of friendship without the demands of intimacy, is just plain sad. 



I’m reminded of an unfortunate friend fail from several years ago. We had a great connection and enjoyed the same books and spent some good times together, but ultimately, he was more interested in getting his emotional needs met at little expense to himself, but at a significant cost to me. 



Going out to lunch once a month wasn’t so much a hangout as much as it was a safe place for him to spew his bile. I could never get a word in. 



And so, we broke up. The texting and phone calls and emails just stopped. It was disappointing as hell. Because initially, I was thrilled to have met this person. But the social and emotional reward simply wasn’t reciprocal. 



Lesson learned, don’t become mediocre friends with too many of the wrong people. 



Better to have four shiny quarters than a hundred faded pennies.



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Are the majority of your friendships wit people who afford you a chance to express your deepest selves?

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!


Making assumptions about what’s inside someone

People don’t change, their hearts just open more. 



And although each person has their own speed limit, in the end, it’s only a matter of time before the empathy train catches up with them. 



Once I turned thirty, I started to find myself more able to appreciate the people and experiences and situations that were part of my life history. 



Especially the ones that caused me pain and suffering. 



Because I finally had the emotional toolkit to understand my own memories through the point of view of others. I recognized that, at the time, everybody was fighting their own battle that I knew nothing about. 



And so, for the bully who harassed me and the girlfriend who cheated on me and the friend who abandoned me, odds are, that person was acting out of their own state of fear and worry and hurt. It had nothing to do with me. 

Forgive them, lord, for they know not what they do. 

Literally, that’s what happens when people feel their survival is threatened. They hurt others. But they don’t think when they do it, they just lash out. They know not what they do. 

It’s interesting, we spend much of our time making assumptions about what’s inside someone, but we have exactly zero way of knowing what their experience is. All the more reason to meet our bad memories with mercy. 

Seligman’s positive psychology research actually found that this process, rewriting history through forgiveness, can loosen the power of the negative events to embitter us and can transform bad memories into good ones. 

It’s simply a matter of framing. 

And so, if you still haven’t forgiven somebody who slighted you twenty years ago, you’re the loser. Because that person is renting free space in your head. And you’re still clinging onto blame to make sense of the story of your life. 

Remember, the first beneficiary of opening your heart is yourself. It’s vulnerable, but it’s also valuable. 

Forgiveness is setting the prisoner free, and then finding out that you were the one who was locked up.

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

How has your heart opened in the past year?
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!


Enjoy it for what it is, but don’t trust it

Whenever I’m standing on the precipice of a new and
exciting opportunity, merely imagining possibilities is itself a source of joy
for me. 

Daydreaming and thinking about the future is a pleasurable experience. 

Because I understand that it’s just a thought experiment. There’s no
expectation or attachment or entitlement to these daydreams. There’s no chicken
counting, banner waving or getting my hopes up. 

As a friend mine loves to say,
enjoy it for what it is, but don’t trust it. 

Anything more is a recipe for
bitterness, disappointment and resentment. 

And so, next time you’re in the
running for a new job or a new lover or new transition in life, allow yourself
to begin dreaming of this new world. Give that gift to yourself. Relish it. 

But
be prepared to let it go at any moment. Don’t overestimate the likelihood that
the fantasy will actually occur. And don’t become unrealistically optimistic
about your future. 

Because no matter how good it feels to frolic in the best of
all imaginary tomorrows, that doesn’t change the simple fact of reality. 

Whatever it is that you think you want, it won’t make you whole, it won’t set
you free and it won’t bring you happiness. 

Only you can do that for yourself.
Right now. In this moment. By weakening your ties to external paths, cutting
the intermediaries and unearthing the wellspring of joy that flows within. 

Like
anything worthwhile in life, it’s an inside job. The onus is on you. 

And if
you’re too busy chasing your elusive notion of what happiness and wholeness and
freedom means, you’ll overlook the authentic bliss you create for yourself in
the process.



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

What will make you happy that has nothing to do with ego or image or status?

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 thought that’s reasonable versus a thought that serves you

When you’re a headstrong, idiosyncratic, antiauthoritarian artist type, somebody who solely chooses to do things as an expression of their identity, there’s always that gnawing restlessness in the back of your mind.



These are the questions that arise. 



Are you hiding behind your rebel flag? Is your attitude just a smokescreen for the fear that you can’t handle whatever real life may bring you? And what if not caring and rejecting the game and going your own way is really just code for settling and taking the easy way out? 



These are all reasonable questions. Even the most idealistic of minds recognizes the need to appraise personal choices through the filter of honesty, reality and practicality. 



The challenge is whether all of this appraising is really necessary. Because there’s a difference between a thought that’s reasonable, and a thought that serves you. There’s a difference between keeping yourself in check, and deflecting yourself from pursuing your most important intentions. 



Actually, if you’re legitimately concerned that you’ve been cheating yourself out of meaningful life experiences by refusing to play by other people’s rules, float a trial balloon. 



Practice with low threat opportunities. Run an identity experiment for a short period of time. 



Who knows? You might have multiple panic attacks and instantly reaffirm your stance on individualism, or you might love it and discover you’ve been missing out on a feeling that could become your best companion. 



But at least you’ll know. At least you’ll live with the knowledge that you tried. 



Unlike those afraid to courageously step across the borders of their identity and into the unknown. 



Remember, reality is always kinder than the story we tell ourselves about it.

And there’s only one way to find out. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Are you rebelling because you want to, or because you’re hiding behind it? 
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!


Making people feel stupid for being human

Online reviews of hotels, restaurants and professional service firms are an invaluable resource for insight into the human condition. 



In fact, if you search strategically, you can unearth some interesting interactional patterns, both from positive and negative experiences. 



One of the keyword phrases that brought up thousands of entries was:



Made me feel stupid for. 



This particular query was sparked by a friend of mine who recently fumed about the horrible bedside manner of her new dentist. And so, curious if her experience pointed to a more general principle, I did a little research. 



Within five minutes, I discovered that customers complain about this sort of thing all the time. In every industry, too. Everyone from doctors to accountants to valet parkers to receptionists are making customers feel stupid for any number of things. 



For asking, for trying, for showing up, for not thinking, for wanting something, for being new, for getting upset, for not knowing, for not understanding, for making a suggestion, even for simply bringing something to the employee’s attention. 



In short, these businesses are making customers feel stupid for being human. 



And it breaks my heart. Because it represents a critical gap in emotional intelligence. An absence of forgiveness and acceptance and understanding and, god forbid, compassion. 



Of course, the blame doesn’t solely rest on the employees. When the condescending receptionist snubs the uninformed new patient, and that individual goes online and leaves a one star review about how the staff made her feel stupid during her first visit, I blame the leaders. 



Because they’re the ones who hired and trained the snubber. It’s like going to a dog park and getting angry at the pit bull for biting your dachshund. 



It’s not his fault. There no bad dogs, only bad owners. 



The point is, the modern workforce has a substantial empathy gap. 



It starts at the top, and leaders aren’t willing to bring compassion and forgiveness and acceptance to the forefront, more bad reviews can be expected in perpetuity. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

What do your employees see when they see 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!


Reality confronts man with a great many musts

Every enterprise has its own form of currency. 



Key performance indicators. Metrics of success. 



For example, number of clicks, page views, conversion rates, industry awards, channel specific traffic, bounce rate, lead to close ratio, cost per lead, projected return on investment, cost of customer acquisition, customer retention rate, size of gross margin, cash on hand, repeat or renewal business, burn rate, income to expenses ratio, user engagement and number of employees who aren’t actively seeking out employment at strip clubs. 



But lest we forget, reality confronts man with a great many musts. There’s no metrics police that’s going to lock us up if we don’t keep tab on every single unit of measurement in our business. 



It’s all social pressure. Status anxiety. The rabbit hole of comparison we tumble down because we’re obsessing over how our numbers match up against the competition. 



Ellis, the founding father of rational emotive behavior therapy, would call this musterbation



He coined the term in the fifties, defining it as the rigid, irrational and unreasonable demands and expectations people make on ourselves. Ellis used the principle to help patients understand that when they tell themselves that something is necessary, that’s the very thing that makes them feel miserable. 



The great many musts with which society confronts. Especially in the world of business. 



But therein lies the rub:



Metrics can be gamed. Impact can’t. 



And so, the goal is to base our version success on the latter. The difference we make, not the digits we accumulate. 



Because nobody can take that form of currency away from us. It’s the love we can never lose. 



Years ago, my company mailing list officially reached pathetic status. Subscribers were hemorrhaging on a weekly basis, open rates were a fraction of the industry average and the number of personal replies and comments that I received could be counted on one hand. 



Ninety bucks a month, well spent. 



The question is, does that metric make my business is failure? Depends on who you ask. According to marketing experts and internet trolls, yes. My business is a failure.



You simply must build your list, darling. Anybody who’s anybody has fifty thousand subscribers. 



Without it, your brand doesn’t exist. 



However, according to my wife, no. My business is a success. Because as the sole bread winner of the household, the work I was doing supported our family, for an entire year, and we lived, happily, in the most expensive city in the country. 


That’s the only metric that matters.



LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

What metrics do you need to put into place to find the love you can never lose?

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 mountain versus the nugget

There’s a fine line between contentment and complacency. 

Both states of mind are rooted is satisfaction and enoughness and feeling pleased with our efforts and achievements. 

But from an etymological standpoint, the word complacent differs from the word content insofar as its lack of awareness of some potential danger or defect.

Eyes Full of Dreamswas a mixed media project, including a musical album, concert documentary and full color art book. Its execution required a significant investment of money, time, talent and energy. 

And in the eleventh hour, I wasn’t sure if it would actually ship on time, if at all. But now that we’ve finally closed the loop, and now that the project actually lives in the real world and people can watch the film and listen to the record and hold the book in their hands, I’m content. 

Because we did it. The final product is something worth pointing to. And the pride and delight of having created, followed and achieved that dream makes all the failures and rejections and delays and derailments and anxiety attacks along the way seem worthwhile. 

But within that contentment, I also recognize that this feeling of satisfaction has a limited shelf life. That the high will eventually dissolve. And if I try ride that feeling for the rest of my career, spending my whole life struggling to project or promote this single idea, that’s complacency. 

Aristotle coined the often quoted proverb, one swallow does not a summer make. 

Meaning, we should never assume that something is true just because we have seen one piece of evidence for it. And so it goes with the creative process. Just because we shipped one great piece of work, doesn’t mean we can sit back and coast for the rest of the year. 

Consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness. 

Carlin actually had his own mantra for this very issue. He used to say:

Keep kicking them in the nuts, keep putting things on the shelf. 

That’s how he protected his work from the fatal slide into complacency. By calling on himself a little more each time he launched something new. George allowed himself to soak up that euphoric sense of contentment upon meeting his artistic goal, but he also honored that dangling sword of obligation, challenging him to keep moving the story forward. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

Do you have an entire mountain of creative gold that you continually mine, or are you still searching for that one nugget and trying to live on it for fifty years? 

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!


Suddenly solved by a surge of understanding

Mitchell’s translation of the ancient texts have guided my personal development for many years. 

Taoist principles of balance and perspective and surrender and generosity of spirit have transformed the way I understand the world, interact with other people, and most importantly, speak to myself when I’m going through a difficult time. 

One lesson in particular revolves around connection, compassion and inclusion.

People are what they are, he writes, and they’ll do what they do, without or without our laws. And so, our job is to meet their minds with understanding. Not to help or fix or change or rehabilitate them when we believe they’re wrong, but to think:



Okay then, this is all the depth that’s required in your world right now. I understand that the illusion you’re holding onto is precious for you, and if you want to keep it, then that’s what I want to. Why would I want to take your world from you, even if I could? 

It’s the biggest interpersonal crime that human beings commit. They intentionally take the emotional wind out of other people’s sails. They assert their need to be right or superior or funny or the center of attention, and that robs another person of their joy in the moment. 

It’s literally deflating. You start sharing a story or telling a joke or expressing an opinion, and the moment somebody jumps in with their chalkboard to heroically explain just how incompetent you are, all of the energy in the room vaporizes. 

Your posture crumbles. A surge of sudden disinterest washes over your body. And you feel ten inches small. Because they dismissed and belittled your joy. They deflated your confidence. They took the wind out of your sails. 

When they just as easily could have sat back, kept their mouth shut and just let you be in love with your own opinions. 

It’s the opposite of compassion. And it creates resentment, frustration and distance between people. 

Taoism was onto something. The mystics believed that there was room in us for everyone. 

And that so many of our problems could be solved by a simple and sudden surge of understanding. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

How often do you try to steal people’s world from them?


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!


Unveil the illusions that masquerade as reality

The problem with playing the comparison game is, most people are liars. 



They extrapolate. They make themselves and their businesses and their successes seem bigger than they really are. 



And so, their version of happiness is purely speculation. We don’t know the whole story. 



Poe famously said people should believe half of what they see and none of what we hear. 



But then again, he may never have said that at all. Franklin has also been attached to that quotation, ironically enough. 

Yet another reminder, nobody knows anything. We’re all just guessing. 

Consider the following phrase. 



Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. 

It’s the standard safety warning that’s required to be engraved on all passenger side mirrors of cars, according to federal motor vehicle safety standards. 

Not only to protect drivers and keep car companies from from getting sued, but also to remind people that their eyes betray them. That the vast majority of reality remains hidden from their view. And that if a person is suffering, it’s because they are mistaken about the true nature of things. 

Like my coach friend loves to say:

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

Uncover the unreasonable expectation. Identify the beliefs that are hiding reality from your eyes. And start redrawing the map of your reality. 

Next time you start imprisoning yourself through comparison, attempting to determine your value based on how you stack up against others, remember two things. 

First, most people lie. 

Second, you don’t need to join another organization just so strangers can bullshit you about how well they’re doing. 

Just play your own game. And not only will you win every time, but you’ll enjoy playing a whole lot more. 

Rand was right when she said that the man who waits for reality to write the truth inside his soul waits in vain. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS… 

What perceptions do you have about other people’s apparent success that continually cause your stress level to increase?

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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