Moaning at the thought of the uphill climb ahead of you

Brands love beating their chests. 

Bragging about how their innovative products and services are filling people’s needs in a simple, useful way. 

Which is fine, except when there is a profound disconnect between what the brand is proud to ship and what the customer is prepared to buy. 

My first startup job was with an air passenger rights organization. We helped disrupted travelers get compensation from the airlines for delayed, canceled and overbooked flights. 

Great product. Our customers raved about us. But we still had a major category problem. 

Most travelers didn’t even know they had rights, much less what those rights where, much less how to file a claim with the airlines to compensated for a violation of those rights, much less that they should use our company over the competition. 

Our total viable market was a slice of a slice of a slice. 

If your organization is struggling to get traction, perhaps it’s time to go back to the drawing board and ask yourselves a few questions about your brand. 

First of all, do consumers even recognize that they have the problem you are trying to solve? 

And if they do, do customers understand why it’s important that you’re better than the competition? 

If they don’t, growing the brand is going to feel like pushing a van uphill with the breaks on while people throw rocks at the windshield. 

Schrager’s book on why most innovations fail observed it most eloquently:

Innovation is about designing customers, not just new products. Successful innovators don’t just ask customers to do something different, they ask them to become something different. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What brand of customer does your innovative brand help create?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


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Genuine outgrowths of a blossoming new self

The true addiction is not the substance, it’s the identity of the user. 

That’s what we crave. That’s what we wake up scrambling to get our fix of. The person that the drug turns us into. 

Workaholics, for example, are not only addicted to the adrenaline highs that come from the intensity of being busy, meeting deadlines and achieving results, but we’re also addicted to the persona of being a successful, hardworking professional who is getting shit done and changing the world. 

We believe, whether conscious or not, that our job is who we are, and that work justifies our existence. Without it, we would have no concrete signs of self definition. Take away our work and there is nothing left. 

That’s why, each morning at the crack of dawn we leap out of bed to rush back into the only thing that offers us security. 

Just kidding. Workaholics don’t sleep. 

Point being, any identity can become an addiction. And if we over identify with a single piece of it, we may lock ourselves into a certain smallness that’s not healthy or sustainable. 

Keen’s seminal book about authentic manhood says it perfectly: 

We are at a fork in the road that separates those who choose to remain unconscious of the sources of their identity, and those who choose to make the journey into lucid personhood. 

Personally, one of my first steps along this journey was accepting that I had a whole self that was larger than, and different from, my identity as a working professional. It only took a decade to realize. 

But it was actually quite liberating. By diversifying my personhood into new areas, my level of fulfillment dramatically amplified. And by not operating too completely from one identity piece, my level of anxiety significantly subsided. 

Ask yourself today which component of your identity you may be addicted to. 

Take your first step toward genuine outgrowths of a blossoming new self. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you falling into the trap of operating too completely from one identity piece?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs

Into the vacuum my genius pours

Koontz writes in his book about seizing the night that each of us carry within us a divine spark, and if we choose to recognize it, our lives will have dignity, meaning and hope. 

But what we must remember is, recognizing is only the first step. 

Because if it’s true that each of us has a place within where we are eternally whole, where there is a gift so valuable that it cannot possibly be reciprocated, then the bulk of the work will be bringing it forth more broadly into the world. 

One of my jobs years ago was working as a copywriter at an ad agency. The pay was great, but the work was garbage. Our ultra conservative clients and their super boring projects didn’t accommodate my gifts or allow me to exercise my power. 

Which was fine. It was just a job. Learned a lot, met some cool people, saved a bit of money and most importantly, leveraged that position to get hired at a startup. 

A startup was perfect for someone like me. Because the company had built a platform to expose people’s capabilities. From day one, it was easy to give my beating heart as a gift to all. It was encouraged to be alive in all my parts and powers. There wasn’t a single part of the buffalo that went unharvested. The full portfolio of my skills was used to create value for tons of different things. And that brought meet a profound sense of fulfillment. 

Into the vacuum my genius pours. 

That is how we can bring our gifts more broadly into the world. The work is mental, but also environmental. 

Not only do we recognize the parts of ourselves where our greatest potential lives, but we also seek out the environments that support the pursuit of their realization. 

We go looking for places that become platforms for generosity and expression. 

All the while, flipping the middle finger to the army of people who ignored our potential in days past. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Where might you find a home for all of your talents?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs

When we were young and the world was still in front of us

When we were young, we not only wanted everything, but we also assumed that it was ours. 

And we not only thought we deserved it, but we were foolish enough to think that it would last. 

God bless that sweet, guileless time of life. Before the world sunk its cruel jaws into us. Before daily existence carried us down the river of disappointment and shattered our dreams on the rocks of expectation. 

In those days, when we were deluded about our behavior and couldn’t see that it was childish, everything was puppy dogs and ice cream. Back then, our naivete was our loving companion. And we savored every mouthwatering bite. 

Until that fateful day when the crushing reality of the world begun to fully dawn our unripe consciousness. There was that one bold stroke that broke our innocent heart into pieces. 

Maybe it was after messy breakup. Or an unexpected corporate layoff. Or that jerkoff client who stiffed us for five grand and then mysteriously disappeared. Or maybe it was a national economic meltdown that destroyed any shred of trust we had in government. 

Everyone has their moment, and there’s no sense in fighting it. 

Hornsby sang it best:



You can lay your head back on the ground, let your hair fall all around, offer up your best defense, but this is the end of the innocence

And looking back, each of us probably remembers when that shift began. 

We started to learn that nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. We started to learn that constantly keeping count of what we felt we were entitled was is a waste of paper. We started to learn that allowing ourselves to be seduced by childish thoughts, just because they were more comforting, didn’t help us grow. We started to learn that it’s not about who fucked us over, who owes us for what, and how much we think we’ve earned the right to receive. 

Because it doesn’t matter how many people don’t love us.

It only matters how much we love ourselves, and how many people in our lives know that we love them. 

Everything else is just a garnish. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Are you sculpting a vision of what a mature human being is like?* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs

A solid anchor in a sea of strangeness

All of us will get shaken by repeated threats to our established way of doing things. 

And all of us will have to deal with changes that we don’t like. 

What sucks is, simplicity will be in short supply. No matter how hard we work to make quick order of a complicated world that is full of shades of grey, life will probably still feel unfair, stupid and confusing. For longer than we want it to. God damn it. 

Welshons writes about this experience in his book about the inevitability of unexpected, unwanted change. He says the reaction to anything in our universe that we don’t like, any resistance to change, so firmly entrenched in our minds, is what precisely what creates our grief. And we can either rail against that, or surrender to it. 

As a stubborn aquarius who thrives on structure and resists change, this journey of acceptance has been an interesting one. 

Who knew that acceptance over what you can’t control makes room for efficiency over what you can? Who knew that there is rarely some mystic rainbow that will wash away our woes? Who knew that every little act of surrender allows us to relax a little bit more? 

Not me. 

And yet, the practice of bringing acceptance into areas where it was painfully absent, often through daily mantras about trusting the process, life’s changes become substantially easier to navigate. Acceptance becomes the solid anchor in the sea of strangeness we call life. The existential plug that keeps our sanity from draining away. 

Emerson was right when he asked, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past? Why should we put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe? 

Exactly of demanding simplicity from everything, let us acknowledge that we are complex and contradictory beings. 

Instead of expecting the changes of life to escalate toward some ominous crescendo, let us accept all occurrences as though we ourselves have desired and asked for them. 



LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Can you resist the temptation to simplify your existential complexities?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs

A small jolt of another connection falling into place

We get what our heart calls for. 

When we set out into the world with a clean intention, staying in touch with what is of prime importance to us, without attaching ourselves to any definite outcome, it’s amazing what gets delivered to our doorstep.

Like we’re the magnets, and the iron filings that lie within our field are floating toward us. 

The problem is, these moments are so hard to notice. Because they’re so small. Hiding in plain sight. And without at least some measure of optimism, our vision remains limited. We will struggle to bring ourselves into full alignment with what we long for because we are not looking for it. 

Emerson famously wrote that nothing of great weight can afford a literal speech. The universe itself does not speak prose, but communicates to us by hints, omens, inference and dark resemblances in objects lying around us. And all things in the universe will arrange themselves to each person anew, according to our ruling love. 

No wonder they dubbed him a cosmic optimist. Even in the midst of the known darkness, he still chose to see gleams of hope. And he received what is heart called for. 

That’s what hopeful intention does. It increases our field of vision. It doesn’t guarantee results, it just gives us the eyes to see more them. 

This mindset will be a stretch for many people. Cynics especially. Good luck trying to jolly those killjoys out of their crappy attitude. 

But here’s the thing about hope is. There is no upside to not believing. Better to think the best of the world, to see everything as good until proven otherwise, then to decide that the universe is out to get us. 

Better to hope for the best and occasionally be disappointed, then to walk around with our guard up all day. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Who drains your energy and optimism?



* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs

Episode 204: Liposuction For A Cause || Carrie, Donna, Bruce

What if cars had lockboxes to store cell phones while driving?

What if we used dogs instead of towels after showering? 

What if religions subsidized hover boards for unpopular teenagers? 

What if we repurposed unsightly cellulite as soap for third world countries?

In this episode of Steal Scott’s Ideas, Carrie, Donna and Bruce gather in St. Louis for some execution in public.

**Sponsored by Bother Box



Execution Lesson 204: Bear witness to your invisible streams


Building momentum in the creative process is simple, but not easy.


Here’s the way you have to think about it. All momentum really needs to get started, is a moment.


Nothing complex and detailed. Just something that adds energy to the system. Now for most creators, that means sitting down and giving it their best shot, every day. Even if that session only lasts an hour. Even if that session only lasts twenty minutes.


The intoxication of flexing their intellectual muscles for that daily burst is a glorious feeling, and because of the potent halflife of creativity, that feeling will lasts until the next day when they sit down and get to do the work again.


And on that next day, they will have a little more momentum that before. Which will make them not want to break that chain.


That’s the simple part. Next, let’s talk about why this strategy is hard to execute.


First, because it requires deep intention. That requires making the daily negotiation of deciding how much meaning you need to make in order earn that feeling. It’s going to be different for every creator. Some use page quotas, some use time quotas, some use emotional quotas, and so on. Figure out what your critical number is ahead of time and stick to it no matter what. In my opinion, this is the hardest part of the process. It’s all mental.


Not to be overshadowed by the second hard part, which is the actual, physical labor of creating. It’s true, making our ideas real takes consistent and persistent application of energy toward those ideas. And if we can’t train ourselves to commit to trying, working hard, and giving it our all, then there is no hope for us.


The final hurdle that many creators struggle to overcome is the results piece. Because so much of the artistic battle is accepting the cold fact that we won’t know what the outcome will be, if any. We might spend the whole day creating shit work, or worse yet, staring at the screen creating no work.


Fortunately, there is a quiet glory of merely making things. And if we can learn to love that process despite the fruit it produces, then momentum will never elude us. If we can learn to bear witness to the invisible streams that move through us every day, and actually feel the things inside of is that needs to come out, then after a number of days, we will gain so much momentum that will become easy to succeed.


But it all begins with that moment. Something that adds energy to the system.

Get out of the fire first and try to understand it later

When we find ourselves in the middle of circumstances that we didn’t want, didn’t ask for, or didn’t expect, our natural response is to scramble for clarity. 

Especially when we have no context for these experiences that have left us so devastated. 

We try and put everything that’s happening into a tidy little box that helps us understand the world a little better. Hunting down the one big prize of clarity that will finally free us. 

Our only wish is that a simple, incontrovertible answer will magically appear and make us whole again. As if to tell ourselves:



No, no, this is going to be the big one. This next meeting, phone call, email this will connect all of the dots for me and everything will finally make sense. 

But what happens when that gift of clarity doesn’t arrive? What happens when our unanswered prayers prove that our understanding of the world is imperfect? 

Mostly frustration, anger and laughter at the absurdity of existence. 

Because the fact that we never get to understand everything, the fact that our search for clarity is never over, it just bothers the hell out of us. 

What the serious fuck everybody? Can’t the universe just go back to conducting itself in order to please, entertain and fulfill our individual needs? Good god. 

It reminds me of one of the pioneers of computer animated film. Pixar’s founder has a zenlike response to this experience of uncertainty:

There is no clean answer. It is true of most of the things in our lives. They’re all mixed together is inherently messy, confusing, and there aren’t clear boundaries. The desire for complete clarity actually leads one away from addressing the mess that’s in the middle. 

And so, instead of hoping for the certainty and clarity that is just not going to exist, let us be wiser to enter the confusion of the world with no hope of ever finding clarity. 

Let us stop demanding that the universe be clear in expressing its intentions. 

Let us not hold out waiting for the correct answer. 

And let us frame our frustration in a way that converts turbulence into creation. 

If anything, it’s a smarter way to invest our energy. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

If clarity is not available to you today, can you trust that it will come later, or possible not at all?* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs

Why isn’t the world ever unfair in my favor?

In a world where there is no cosmic court system, we can drive ourselves crazy over fair. 

Even if we go to great lengths to set the record straight and satisfy our sense of justice and seek out the soothing waves of vindication to wash over our weary hearts, there is no guarantee that the gavel will come down on our side. 

Kudos to the vigilantes who take a real stand for fairness and ensure that people never settle for anything other than what’s right. 

But let’s not shit ourselves here. Life isn’t a graphic novel. Ruining our day in a quixotic quest for fairness is an enjoyable illusion, but one that can ultimately leave us feeling unsatisfied, confused and incomplete. 

Dilbert said it best when he observed that fairness isn’t an objective feature of the universe, it’s just a concept that was invented so children and idiots can participate in arguments. 

The goal, then, is to stop endlessly cycling the argument about what is fair, and to crack on solving the problem of our real world realities. 

Getting laid off by a startup who needed to cut costs and run leaner for their next round of venture capital funding was certainly not fair. It made me feel abandoned, confused and pissed off. But it was not a personal affront to cosmic justice. It did not devastate me into the fetal position in the corner of the office. 

It’s business. It sucks. And it’s not the first or the last time it will happen to me. 

Meanwhile, many of my colleagues, for whom that company was their first job out of college, could not let go of fairness and unfairness. You should have seen some of the submitted questions to management during our all team meeting. Outrage would have been a compliment. 

Lesson learned, courage is the power to confront a world that is not always fair. 

More importantly, courage is the also the power to frame our emotions in a way that converts turbulence into creation. 


LET ME ASK YA THIS…

How might you channel your grandiosity into a positive outlet?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs

Finding a way to say that life has just begun

Emmon’s book about the chemistry of joy tells us that denial is the default
mechanism, the one that’s always available even when others fail. 
It’s like a
fog always waiting to descend whenever we feel the need to obscure the painful
reality before us. 

And yet, as much as denial can help us avoid discomfort,
let’s not be in denial about denial. It may feel comforting, but it’s not
evolutionarily advantageous. It may buy us some time, but it’s not a useful
survival mechanism. 

Despite our good intentions, no matter what the
circumstance is, denial is not going to come to our rescue. Not knowing isn’t
this magic amulet that is going to prevent an event from happening. 

It’s just a
way of participating in our own victimization. It’s laziness. It’s refusing to
enter into the darkness and do the grief work around that which we are losing. 

And so, perhaps it’s a good time to beat ourselves with the practicality stick.
To step back and do the math, so to speak, on the patterns and signs and events
the world has been offering to us. 

Honestly asking ourselves:

Does
it really
 look like there is any stopping this train? Are all
the arrows pointing to the same thing? And if so, what concrete things can we
do, right now, to keep moving the story forward? 

Obama once said that opposite
of denial is hope, and the antidote to it is action. 

That’s where we should
focus our energy. Instead of chopping off all our connections with reality, we
get to work manifesting our desires in all the ways available to us. 

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What horizon are you pretending not to see?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.  

scott@hellomynameisscott.com

www.nametagscott.com

It’s the world’s first, best and only product development and innovation gameshow!


Tune in and subscribe for a little execution in public.

Join our community of innovators, artists and entrepreneurs

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