6 Ways to Transform Your Next Interview into a Marketing Presentation for Yourself – Without Coming Off Like Tony Robbins

When you walk in the door for your next interview, just remember:

You’re not there to answer their questions.

You’re there to articulate your fabulousness.

You’re there to tell people what they need to hear to fall in love with you.

You’re there to make it impossible for the interviewer to escape your awesomeness.

IN SHORT: You’re there to deliver a marketing presentation for yourself.

Not literally, of course. Breaking out the flip chart might be a little heavy handed. Not to mention, those smelly markers might get you accidentally buzzed.

Instead, here’s a collection of practices for becoming more presentable:

1. Don’t over prepare. Study the organization. Review your notes. Google your interviewer. Eat breakfast. Do breathing exercises. Maybe listen to The Rocky Soundtrack in the car. Other than that, you don’t want to prepare TOO much. As my public speaking mentor William Jenkins always reminds me, “Your life is your preparation.”

Remember: What’s past is prologue. Go give that interviewer everything you’ve got. Use all that you’ve experienced up until this point to blow the doors of this mother. They won’t help but be taken over by your performance. What’s your interview preparation process?

2. Flip the focus. Steve Hughes, owner of Hit Your Stride, is a Presentation Coach and keynote speaker. He suggests that although your interview is (technically) a marketing presentation for yourself, nobody cares about you. The secret is flipping the focus. “The more THEY talk, the more they’re going to like you,” Steve said.

“Just like a delivering a speech, make your audience (in this case, the interviewer and the company) the star of the interview. Turn it into a true dialogue, not a monologue. Nobody wants to hear you ramble on about yourself.” Ultimately, it’s about being future oriented.

Whether you’re giving a speech to a thousand people or being interviewed by the HR Director of a potential employer, remember this: Your past is what got you in the door – but THEIR future is what will keep you in the room. How can you flip the focus of this presentation?

3. Be funny early. Humor is the ONLY universal language. And people want to spend their workdays with people who make them smile. So, when you introduce it early in the interview, several advantages stack in your favor: You diffuse defensiveness, you relax the situation, you break down barriers, you soften the ground and you stimulate memory.

What’s more, funny means listening. Funny means approval. Funny means trust. Funny means attention. And funny means engagement. The secret is, everyone is funny. The challenge is tapping into your natural humor. In the book Throwing the Elephant: The Art of Managing Up, Stanley Bing suggests, “You don’t have to be particularly funny. The attempt to provide amusement is more important that the quality or validity of the amusement itself.”

Don’t make jokes – be funny. Huge difference. One is contrived; the other comes from your core. Pinpoint your natural funniness and share it early. How funny do people perceive you as being?

4. Don’t be shy about going on the offensive. My friend Shari Alexander is the owner of Presenting Matters and an Executive Speech Coach and Professional Communications Expert. She suggests you observe (not only) your own body language – but that of your interviewer too.

“Observe what sparks their posture. And don’t be afraid to say, ‘I noticed you reacted to my last statement by sitting back in your chair. Can you share what you’re thinking?’ This brings their truth to the surface AND pinpoints valuable insight about organization.”

For example, if your interviewer instantly crosses her arms at the mere mention of the word “Twitter,” that’s quite telling about her attitude towards social media. “If you don’t ask the follow-up questions after observing posture shifts,” Shari told me, “you won’t know the ugly truth until you’re already hired and in the middle of it.” Are you playing enough offense?

5. Be a mirror. In an interview with American Songwriter, Bruce Springsteen shared his theory on connecting with his fans, “The audience and the artist are valuable to one another as long as you can look out there and see yourself, and they look back and see themselves.”

Therefore: Your goal is to discover the CPI, or, Common Point of Interest between you and the interviewer. Within sixty seconds. After all, people like whom they ARE like. And conversation is about common ground.

In the same vain of getting your butt off the stage to stand on the same level as the audience, discovering the CPI immediately is secret to being a mirror during your interview. What questions will you ask to discover common ground?

6. Let your personal brand shine. “Interviewing is much deeper than showcasing a collection of skills or preparing great answers to questions you may never hear,” says my friend and career coach John Suarez of Referral Ready, LLC.

“It’s about celebrating your authentic self. The one that relates to the world on a human level AND professional level. The one that helped get you where you are now. The one that leaves a nonverbal impression no words can undo.”

Lesson learned: Don’t spend time all your preparing to be someone you’re not. Instead, dedicate yourself to becoming more of who you already are. How will you allow your distinct youness shine?

REMEMBER: It’s not a job interview – it’s a marketing presentation for yourself.

In summary, I’m reminded of one of George Carlin’s final interviews before passing away. He shared a fascinating insight about presentation and performance:

“Growing up in Harlem in the 1940’s, I attended Bishop Dubois Catholic School. And the best part about our academy was that the nuns never give out grades. Ever. And yet, Still, I managed to get all A’s. See, when I was the class clown in school, I got the only A’s that mattered: Their Attention, their Approval, their Admiration and their Applause.”

In short: Presenting matters.

After all, to present is to give a gift.

The gift of YOU.

How will your advance yourself?

For the list called, “45 Questions Every Unemployed Professional Should Ask,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Have You Executed These Ten Essentials of Entrepreneurial Excellence?

1. The road to prestige is paved with pandemonium. Not everyone survives success. Becoming too successful, too early and too quickly will harm your health because although money loves speed – velocity creates stress. And stress kills people.

At least that’s what I remember thinking to myself after my left lung collapsed and I spent a week in a hospital bed with a chest tube.

Your challenge is to pace yourself. To get rich slowly. To (not) get sucked into the addictive vortex of success and achievement. What new challenges will arise once you become successful?

2. The road to confidence is paved with congruency. Nobody is going to put their trust in someone whose onstage performance is dramatically different then their backstage reality.

If you want customers to become confident in the value you deliver, you’d better make sure you’re the same wherever you go, whomever you’re with. Or at least close. Do you believe you behave in a manner that is consistent with your self-concept?

3. The road to fame is paved with flexibility. “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” This scripture comes from James 4:13, although the first time I heard that passage was actually during yoga class. That’s when it occurred to me that the most profitable benefit of doing yoga is flexibility.

Not physical, but mental. It’s amazing how much more pliant your mind becomes after a few years of practice. So, even if you’re not a yogi, consider these flexibility questions:

a. Are you focused or inflexible?
b. Are you uncomfortable in situations that call for creativity, flexibility, adaptability or originality?
c. Do you have the capacity to respond flexibly to what the world hurls at you?
d. Are you flexible with people who have different struggles than your own?

Just imagine: If you can do a full back bend with your body, what type of stretches might you be able to do with your thinking? Your brand? Your business? Your life? Promise: Flexibility builds profitability. How elastic are you?

4. The road to success is paved with surrender. Surrendering to your customers. Surrendering to your constituency. Surrendering to your purpose. Surrendering to your personal economy. So many things to surrender to, so little room in your ego to do so.

That’s the hard part. Getting past your fear of sticking yourself out there and becoming vulnerable to the world. Two words of advice: Risk it. What three things do you need to let go of to ascend to the next level?

5. The road to creativity is paved with curiosity. The #1 secret to never running out of ideas – even in the midst of frittering time – is a tilted head. You heard me: A tilted head.

Like when a dog looks at you’re crazy.
Like when you stop in your tracks walking down the aisle of Wal-Mart and think, “What the…?”
Like when the entire boardroom looks up from their Blackberries and thinks, “Is this guy out of his bloody mind?”

A titled head. That’s the universal gesture of a creative moment. Your goal is to experience five of those moments each day. Minimum. What dangerous questions will you ask today?

6. The road to originality is paved with murder. I was recently eavesdropping on a conversation between two businesspeople (whatever, you do it too) and I heard a powerful statement that I immediately wrote down so I could later claim it as my own material: “Innovation occurs through death.”

Wow. Amen to that. Amen to dying! Amen to killing outdated thinking! Amen to murdering antiquated strategy! What do you need to kill today?

7. The road to serendipity is paved with strategy. It’s not an accident. It’s not fate. And it’s not luck. It’s positioning yourself in high visibility locations. It’s putting yourself in the way of success. It’s being ready to pitch on a moment’s notice. It’s being in the right place at the right time by being in a lot of places.

It’s being more intentional in every experience while maintaining an attitude of positive expectation. Remember those keys, and you’ll become the luckiest person you know. In what ways can you prepare for the serendipitous?

8. The road to dominance is paved with discomfort. To dominate is to grow, and growth is the byproduct of discomfort. Therefore: It’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Yet another powerful lesson from my yoga studio. Our instructors constantly remind us that it IS possible to simultaneously experience comfort and discomfort. Exertion and relaxation.

And when you learn to respond instead of react; to breathe into that which makes you uncomfortable – like touching your head to your locked knee, for example – you discover a pocket of stillness that supports your posture. And here’s the cool part: You eventually learn to apply that same principle off the mat.

You practice relaxing into your discomfort during your daily life. You practice responding instead of reacting to what the world hurls at you. That’s what paves the way to dominance. Are you at peace with discomfort?

9. The road to matchlessness is paved with relentlessness. Bound. Determined. Dogged. Dead set. Ferocious. Fierce. Inexorable. Ruthless. Unappeasable. Uncompromising. Unflinching. Unstoppable. Unyielding. Get the point? Pick an adjective and make the choice to go the distance.

And when you come out on the other side, caked in sweat and dirt and blood, you’ll be the last one standing. Game. Set. Match. Grab a Gatorade, take your silver cup and enjoy the applause. What are you the World Heavyweight Champion of?

10. The road to remarkability is paved with reinvention. Bob Dylan did it – from acoustic to electric. George Carlin did it – from AM to FM. Tom Hanks did it – from comedy to drama. And these guys were YOUNG when they reinvented, too. Young in age and young in career.

So, remember this: You don’t have to be huge to reinvent yourself, but you have to reinvent yourself to become huge. Make the decision to constantly reinvent your own better future. You know you’re getting bored with the current version of yourself anyway. When was the last time you reinvented yourself?

How will your advance yourself?

For the list called, “24 Ways to Out GROW Your Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

7 Ways to Revolutionize Your Own Life

1. Look first at what you’re not facing.. “When our lives are not working, there is always at least one thing we’re not facing,” wrote Gay Hendricks in Conscious Living, “and looking away from what you need to face burns more energy than actually facing it.”

Ultimately, evading responsibility means claiming victimhood. A healthier perspective is to step back from your current problem, turn toward what needs to be faced and ask:

• What have I done to cause this to happen?
• How have I arranged it so I’m having this experience?
• And what is it about me (or in me) that has invited or attracted this into my life?

Now, this process DOES require that you open up to genuine wonder with an attitude of curiosity, not conviction. But that’s exactly why it works: Because questions are medicine. And when you learn to stop being right and start being honest, your world changes forever.

Take responsibility for the pain you’ve created in yourself. Face it, befriend it, and then find out where you can learn from it. As my yoga teacher reminds us, “The only way out is through.” Are you willing to ride a wave of painful truth to reach a larger version of yourself?

2. Don’t consume all your energy trying to change the unchangeable. First, honestly assess what contains the capacity to be changed. Next, embrace those things as they are. Then, consciously choose to mount an influence campaign. Finally, be patient. Stick it out. Do the best you can.

And if nothing changes after a while, maybe you were wrong. Maybe it’s an unchangeable entity. And that’s OK. As long as you deliberately step away from your misguided efforts in the light of awareness, you’ll be fine. Remember: Any number multiplied by zero is still zero – no matter how big that number is. What are you wasting your time trying to change?

3. Screw the masses. Don’t allow the world to superimpose its prefabricated definition of who you should be. Life’s too short to live other people’s ideas about who you are. Instead, find yourself at the deepest possible level. Listen to the ground of being and decide in the solitude of your own consciousness who and what you already are.

Find the places you are operating from a limited view of yourself. If you truly want to liberate unsuspected energies, let your heart ask the questions and your life will provide the answers. You will show the world what you can be at your best. Are you opening yourself to discovering who you are?

4. Pinpoint (and eventually eliminate) the elements of your anti-risk repertoire. For example: Stop making a list of – and justifications FOR – all the reasons why you should avoid taking the plunge. Stop rationalizing your way out of risk. Stop talking yourself out of things that you know you need to do. And stop the mindless meandering to avoid risk. Learn to move forward despite shakiness. What limiting assumptions drive your behavior?

5. Be unwaveringly vigilant of the company you keep. Respectfully and resiliently silence the negative voices that attempt to infiltrate your positive reality. Don’t get sucked into the vortex of petty mindsets. Become a public spokesperson for your values by personally amputating anyone who doesn’t believe in or support you. Life’s also too short to hang around people who don’t challenge and inspire you. Are you still wasting time on relationships you’ve outgrown?

6. Create a mental picture of the life you want to live. Remind yourself of your awesomeness, return to your unique flavor and return to the roots of your being. . Soar past the ghost of who you were and give yourself permission to step into the future and become the best and highest version of yourself instead. Are you being held back the by the same thing that held you back last year?

7. Become a great chooser. Life presents us with the same choices, over and over again. And it will continue to do so until you make the right one. Just remember: Moments of choice reveal our personalities. “You are what you eat”? More like, “You are what you choose.” What would it look like to be “at full choice” in your life?

How promotable are you?

For the list called, “26 Ways to become the Most Approachable Employee at Your Organization,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Get Promoted Without Resorting to Screwing Your Boss in the Supply Closet

1. Learn how your work affects the bottom line. People want money, sex and happiness. Period. Take away all that Maslow’s Hierarchy crap, and that’s what you’re left with. Especially within an organization.

The first move in your mission for advancement is to calculate the value of your achievements. To compute the profitability of your productivity. This might require some research, an interview or two, or, God forbid, having lunch with someone from accounting.

The secret is to evaluate and present your activities as having increased company profits, saved considerable time or decreased company expenses. Whatever it takes to learn how to connect what you do to the wallet of the organization. Ultimately, this insight will help position you as a profit-minded employee. How are your achievements making or saving your company money?

2. Document your achievements. This it the next step now that you’ve connected your work to the company’s wallet. And the first secret is that it crystallizes your timeline of credibility. Second, it reinforces that you’re a results-producing employee.

Third, it’s a perfect self-selling/self-promoting tool when your boss requests evidence of promotability. And finally, documenting your achievements is a personal confidence booster and affirmative reinforcement of your victories. So, no matter how meaningless your accomplishments may seem, catalog them anyway. Be specific. And be sure to connect each achievement with the bottom line.

Also, I suggest keeping and displaying a total tally of the amount of money you’ve made/saved the company over time. Almost like a Jerry Lewis telethon counter, this Noticeable Number makes an impression of increase. After all, if you don’t write it down, it never happened. Remember: Showcase your value. Because being the best without anybody knowing about it is like winking in the dark. What did you achieve this week?

3. Develop promotable viewpoints. Here’s a snapshot of what they look like: Analytical, not pessimistic. Principled, not inflexible. Appraising, not self-critical. Awareness, not defensiveness. Bright, not flamboyant. Coaxed, not forced. Collaboration, not criticism. Dialogue, not debate. Compassion, not sentimentality. Constructive, not harsh. How promotable are YOUR viewpoints?

4. Have a direct, visible impact on others. Visible, visible, visible! And make sure everyone in the office knows it, too. Sign your work. Leave no doubt in people’s minds that while you weren’t responsible for another person’s transformation, you were a key catalyst IN that transformation. Coworkers will start to wonder how you might be able to inspire them too. What problem do you solve?

5. Be on the lookout for mentorship opportunities. If you work with someone who epitomizes the kind of person you’d like to become, don’t be afraid to reach out to her. Begin with an informal email. Express your appreciation and admiration for her success, but without gushing. Then, explain that you’re currently pursuing potential mentoring relationships, and would be delighted if she’d consider being that person.

If she says no, no worries. People are busy. If so, request an initial meeting. Offer to pop for lunch. And come prepared with your goals for advancement, a list of questions to ask, and a willingness to shut up and listen. After all, nobody is going to mentor you if you’re not mentorable. Who will be your Yoda?

6. Do the correct things in the success process. Ask fellow coworkers what led to their promotions. Take notes. Find out what they did right AND wrong. Also, identify what your company tends to notice in its star employees. Look back at the path that others have followed to victory.

See the sequence of moves – then find ways to adapt and repeat those same moves in your own work life. Then, communicate to your coworkers that you are fully committed. Visually, if possible. What emotions or states of being do you need to be able to access for long-term success?

7. Participate in ongoing self-evaluation. Consistently stand as an audience TO yourself. Give yourself permission to hold dangerous conversations WITH yourself. And ask other people to point out positive and negative behavioral patterns ABOUT yourself. Especially the ones you’re too close to see.

These are the types of practices that promotable people engage in. And I challenge you set up self-evaluation systems that will sustain you as you take the most direct route to realizing your vision. Have you spied on yourself lately?

REMEMBER: Getting promoted is the natural byproduct of dedicating yourself to becoming a more promotable person.

Execute these practices, and you’ll get promoted without resorting to screwing your boss in the supply closet.

How promotable are you?

For the list called, “26 Ways to become the Most Approachable Employee at Your Organization,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Get Promoted Faster than a Wharton Graduate Working at a Wichita Waffle House

1. Prepare yourself to be promotable. First, shift from an attitude of need to an attitude of want. It’s healthier, more attractive and good practice surrendering. Second, acknowledge your own value. If you don’t, nobody else will. Third, exercise a high degree of conscious control in creating the career you want.

Invite your goals into the bright light of awareness. And finally, believe you deserve and can handle abundant success as a byproduct of being promoted. Expectation truly determines outcome. What inner work can you undertake to make your promotion inevitable?

2. Be a person of victory, not a consummate winner. Victory means to conquer. Win means to fight. Which sounds better to you? Your mission is to develop an insatiable hunger for victory, as opposed to an over-competitive compulsion for winning. HUGE difference. And people can tell, too.

What’s more, no company is going to promote an employee who “does whatever it takes to win at all cost.” That sounds like a comment made by one of those 300-pound steroid juicers on ESPN’s “Behind the Syringe.” Are you trying to win or be victorious?

3. Be appropriately assertive. Not aggressive. Not pushy. Assertive, which comes from the Latin assertus, or, “to claim and maintain.” Ultimately, assertion is based on respect for yourself without justifying, claiming or withholding yourself. It’s about becoming a public spokesperson for your values. It’s about consciously choosing to mount an influence campaign.

And it’s about engaging your backbone to solidify your boundaries instead of lapsing into passivity. Remember: If you don’t make a name for yourself, someone will make one for you. How will others interpret your nonassertiveness?

4. Express a high degree of individuality, but without threatening others. Don’t be SO unique or SO off the wall that coworkers question your intentions. Or that they shrink in your presence. Honor and celebrate everyone’s gifts. And allow your uniqueness spark their own – giving them permission to live their authentic selves. When you walk into a room, how does it change?

5. Confront grand realities unflinchingly. Don’t consume all your energy trying to change the unchangeable. Position yourself as a leader by accepting company realities with the best attitude IN that company. Instead of nervously anticipating the next crisis, help people move forward despite shakiness.

And especially in a down economy, be bold in facing the inevitable. Outfit yourself in battle dress and plunge heart-first into your company’s challenges. People will notice. What attitudes will lead to success in your company?

6. Gain favorable visibility by taking calculated risks. The key word is “calculated,” meaning “rational, responsible and reflected.” Being perceived as a cowboy might not be in the best interest of your promotability. But as long as you’re willing to risk rejection, you’re in the position to be promoted. Or fired. Especially if you come to work wearing spurs. (No boots, just spurs.) Be careful. Will this risk put me in position for major breakthroughs and growth?

REMEMBER: Getting promoted is the natural byproduct of dedicating yourself to becoming a more promotable person.

Execute these practices, and you’ll get promoted faster than a Wharton graduate working at a Wichita Waffle House.

What do you think makes a person promotable?

For the list called, “45 Questions Every Unemployed Professional Needs to Ask,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here! >

14 Moves to Make YOUR Economy Rock, Even When THEE Economy Sucks

You have zero control over the economy.

But you DO have 100% control over YOUR economy.

REMEMBER: Just because THEE economy sucks, doesn’t mean YOUR economy can’t rock.

THE QUESTION IS: Which of the two will you invest your time in?

Consider these two facts:

1. The word “economy” derives from the Latin oeconomia, which means, “household management.”

2. The actual definition of the word “economy” is: “The disposition or regulation of the parts or functions of any organic whole; an organized system or method.”

IN SHORT: “Your economy” is how you manage yourself in relation to the world.

Today we’re going to explore a collection of practices to assure that your economy continues to thrive, even when the rest of the world takes a div…

1. Befriend the current. Find a way to position yourself with the economy instead of complaining about it. For example, think about how you can leverage your expertise as the answer to the world’s economic problems. Consider asking yourself (or your team) these questions:

*What ‘Crappy Economy Problem’ does my expertise solve?
*How does my product help people get a job or keep a job?
*In a down economy, what, specifically, is my company the answer to?

I was able to accomplish this when I started writing a regular column for The Ladders. I transitioned my material from “approachability” to “hireability.” Your mission to position yourself as the go-to guy for handling the troubled economic climate – all because you stayed genuinely committed to honoring reality. You surfed the current instead of paddling against it. What do you need to befriend?

2. Don’t feel the need to pretend to be busy. You’re not fooling anybody. Stop acting like you’re totally slammed with new business. Stop constructing a self-important façade of never-ending busyness. Now, that doesn’t mean reflexively announcing to everyone you meet that business sucks and that you’re spending most of your working hours sipping lattes at Starbucks updating your Facebook status.

Rather, learn to be selective about what you reveal to people. You don’t have to lie – you just have to be discerning. Meanwhile, leverage your downtime. Blog more. Volunteer more. Increase community visibility. Whatever it takes. What is your newfound downtime an opportunity for?

3. Surround yourself with people who challenge and inspire you. As long as you’re saddled with energy-draining people, you have a perfect excuse for not being as successful as you could be. Take a look at who’s siphoning the energy around you. Make the choice to personally amputate anyone who doesn’t believe in or support you. And keep in mind what Mr. Miyagi once said, “The best way to block a punch is to not be there.” Where do you need to NOT be?

4. Cancel your cable. Television is the devil. Period. It’s not relaxing – it’s assaulting. And your negative attitude about the crappy economy is only grower stronger with every wasteful minute you spend in front of idiot box. Think of it this way: How much money did you make last year by watching TV? Exactly. Zero. How much inspiration did you receive last year by watching TV? Exactly. Zero. And how much personal growth did you experience last year by watching TV? Exactly. Zero.

Do yourself a favor: Walk away from meaninglessness. Call your cable company right now and tell them to disconnect your signal. I actually canceled my cable about a month ago, and I’ve never felt more liberated. Plus I’m saving ninety bucks a month. That’s sushi money, honey. How much happier, healthier and more productive is your life because you watch television?

5. Create a force field of aliveness. Start by developing a totally honest relationship with yourself. Clear out the underbrush of your own mind and climb more readily into the reality that absolutely terrifies you. Namely, that the economy is in the worst state since the Great Depression.

Sure, that requires that you become more vulnerable. But it sure beats evading the truth. What’s more, that which is denied by the mind becomes trapped in the body. And the last thing you need in a down economy is another ulcer. Blech. How alive are you willing to be?

6. Direct and regulate your own becoming. Release your energies from the struggle against what you don’t want to be. As I read in The Act of Will, “The individual is not fixed and immutable but is in a continual state of becoming.” Allow yourself to fully and confidently face responsibility for your life.

And remember that the ONLY three things you have any control over are your attitudes, your responses and your choices. That’s YOUR economy. Have you precisely determined what you will be?

7. Music is the healing force. I saw that written on the marquee of Vintage Vinyl last month, and I couldn’t agree more. Spending money on music that moves your heart is never, ever a waste. Here’s the plan I live by:

*Go to one concert a month (Leonard Cohen next week!)
*Buy one new album a week (Monsters of Folk is a great pick)
*Sing for five minutes a day (My neighbors hate me)
*And make seasonal mixes or playlists of your favorite songs several times a year. (Mine depend on weather.)

Meanwhile, don’t punish yourself for spending that time or money. When it comes to music, it’s always worth it. If you want your economy to rock, start by rocking OUT. What’s the soundtrack of your life?

8. Double the dosage of inspiration. Refresh your spark. Fire inspiration into yourself. Read The War of Art. Watch Shawshank. Listen to The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale. Or dig up that old Tony Robbins DVD you haven’t watched in years. I guarantee you’ll learn something new this time. Not because the material changed – but because YOU changed. What inspires you?

9. Foster a pervasive tone of gratitude. Don’t make yourself an enemy of the universe. Don’t be a stranger or an intruder – become part of it. Here’s what I want you to do: Buy a new journal. Get a nice pen. Then, every morning, spend five minutes physically listing things you are grateful for. I’ve done this for years and I guarantee this ritual will put you in a great mood every morning. Not to mention, what you appreciate, appreciates. You can expect to attract more of whatever you write down into your life.

Sound cheesy? Well, you’re right – it is. But that doesn’t make it ineffective. Get over yourself. Cheesy works. Ramp up your thankfulness. Otherwise negativity will infiltrate and radiate into everything you do. And people will avoid you like a kindergartner with swine flu. What if you celebrated Thanksgiving everyday?

10. Stop investing energy in your fears and let them go. Just because everyone else is freaking out about the economy doesn’t mean you should too. So, free yourself from the overwhelming sweep of collective panic. Don’t let widespread negativity infiltrate your outlook. Negativity is a form of resistance, and it will creep into your attitude if you’re not careful.

Here’s an idea: Save the time and energy you would have spent worrying about things you cant control and reinvest it in making yourself stronger and smarter. Otherwise, by fixating on someone (or something) beyond your sphere of control, you lose unrecoverable time that could be devoted to becoming uniquely great.

But, if you remember the credo of Optimists International, you’ll be fine: “Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.” When was the last time the economy stayed up all night worrying about YOU?

11. Decide how you’re going to decide. Physically write out your core operating values. Then, create a governing document for daily decision-making. This exercise builds congruency in your behavior and assures stronger, more consistent and more aligned choices.

Who knows? This document might help you make a profound change in the way you approach everything. Or enable you to activate and utilize the best aspects of yourself, bringing your normal capacities to a higher level of effectiveness. It certainly did for me. Are you willing to reorient yourself in new directions?

12. Learn to disappear. Customize a personal system for getting away from everybody and everything – including yourself. Build structured AND spontaneous mini-vacations into every week. Examples: Turn your Crackberry off for two hours on a Tuesday afternoon. Drive across town to a Starbucks you’ve never been to before.

Or, take your lunch hour in a secluded corner of the company warehouse where nobody can bother you. Whatever approach you choose, learning to disappear is about creating an open space from which to create a new way of being. It’s a powerful practice that will change your life for the better, guaranteed.

All it requires is a splash of discipline and a dash of self-control. Remember: If you don’t establish healthy boundaries for yourself – other people will set them for you. And then they will violate them – and it will be YOUR fault. How do you refresh yourself?

13. Be body smart. The absolute stupidest move you could EVER make in a down economy is to lose sight of your health. Period. Physical, mental and spiritual. All three. Now, I’m not going to waste your time telling you how to do that. You know what you need to do be healthier – you just need to do it. If your health were perfect, how would it be different from your health today?

14. Keep pulling your triggers for joy. For me, that means three-hour sushi dinners with people I can act like a complete idiot in front of. Or going to concerts where I can sing as loud as I damn well please without having to worry about other people wondering whether or not I’m a mental patient.

Or watching movies like Superbad, Pineapple Express and Knocked Up, all of which make me laugh until my face hurts. These things are good for the soul. They aren’t luxuries – they’re necessities. How often are you pulling your triggers for joy?

FACE IT: It’s glaringly evident that the economy isn’t going to make a full recovery any time soon.

But YOUR economy, on the other hand, might.


I challenge you to dance in the rain of this economic storm.
I challenge you to wake up from your negative self-hypnosis.
I challenge you to stop trying to control things over which you have no control.
I challenge you to erase the lines on your preconditioned roadmap and make yourself available to new possibilities.

REMEMBER: Just because THEE economy sucks, doesn’t mean YOUR economy can’t rock.

How’s your economy?

For the list called, “7 Strategies to Get Potential Employers to Return Your Calls FIRST,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

12 Ways to Advance Yourself, Your Ideas and Your Career

We’re all trying to advance something.

Our self.
Our idea.
Our cause.
Our status.
Our career.
Our position.
Our initiative.

And it’s hard. Real progress is expensive and time intensive.

THE GOOD NEWS IS: Advancing whatever you’re trying to advance WILL become an inevitable consequence if you make yourself a more advanceable person.

Here’s a collection of twelve practices for doing so::

1. Be prepared to advance. That’s the decisive moment – when you choose to be successful. When you realize your capacity for action. And if you want to bring your plans and ambitions to fulfillment, you need to allow yourself to be carried forward. You need to make yourself available to surrounding forces. And you need to say YES to (most) opportunities.

Even if they sound crazy. Especially if they sound crazy. Then, deliberately generate movement. And then, maintain forward momentum. Will the constellation of your convictions shine bright enough to light the way?

2. Accelerate success – don’t create it. Here’s how. First, identify specific actions you want other people to take to help advance your idea. Write down the three questions you need to ask so others can help you can move forward. Secondly, act on your present environment. Constantly ask yourself the Ultimate Leverage Question:

“Now that I have this, what else does this make possible?”

Third, get ahead during the time that others waste. That’s what Henry Ford suggested to his employees nearly 100 years ago. Heeding his advice, I recently cancelled my cable. Cold turkey. No television reception at ALL. Think that’s helped accelerate my success? You bet. What could you do to increase your chances of advancing successfully?

3. Creativity is useless without innovation. Businesspeople frequently confuse these two words. BIG mistake. And here’s the distinction: The suffix “-ivity” suggests a state of mind, whereas the suffix “-tion” denotes consistent action. So, if you want to become more advanceable, you better have both.

I learned this in the fall of 2009, when I gave a workshop at my alma mater, Miami University. During Q&A, entrepreneurship professor Jay Kayne shared a powerful insight on this topic: “It’s impossible to advance your idea if you’re insufficiently committed TO the idea.” Is your commitment unquestionable?

4. Make an impression of increase. People need proof. And if you want your idea, cause, career or initiative to advance, you’ve got to punch them in the face with it. For example, do you remember watching those Jerry Lewis Telethons? According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the telethon has raised over $1.5 billion since it inception in 1966. In 2009’s program, they raised over $63 million.

What are they doing right? Many things. Namely, making an impression of increase by constantly displaying a donation counter. Most telethons, blood drives and other charity events do this. It’s a great motivator, it’s social proof, not to mention: Success breeds success. How will you alert YOUR audience of your continuous increase?

5. Create a reason for people to remember you. Here’s how. First, be a handyman. Look for something broken that you can fix. Figure out what your customers are SICK of doing – then position your expertise as the key to NEVER doing that again.

Second, be a window cleaner. Help people see clearer. Brainstorm what could you take the mystery out of that people are dying to know. He who clarifies for others, monetizes for himself. Remember: The possibility of being perceived as inconsequential is a powerful motivator. Are you important enough to be remembered?

6. Your personal brand is the price of admission. It’s no longer a novelty – it’s a necessity. And I’m not talking about all that superficial, low-level pseudo-advice about how to “dress for success.” That’s not branding – that’s wardrobe. Branding is identity. Branding is what you’re known for knowing. Branding is who you were when you were seven years old. Branding is the best, highest version of yourself – along with how other people experience themselves in relation TO that self.

THAT’S branding. And no marketing book in the world will tell you that. (Except Stick Yourself Out There, of course.) Either way: Be branded or be stranded. Period. Be brandable and become advanceable. Period. Can your brand afford to pay the price of admission?

7. Be your own devil’s advocate. CAUTION: This next practice requires some ego squashing. Are you up to the challenge? Cool. Try asking Devil’s Advocate questions like:

a. Who cares?
b. Why am I even needed?
c. What’s the one thing I’m totally overlooking?
d. What’s the stupidest thing I could possibly say or do?

This process will humble you. This process will educate you. And this process will equip you with the insight necessary to confidently respond to future challenges. Are you willing to become the rock in your own sandal?

8. Stick yourself out there. Whatever approach you choose to become more advanceable, remember: It doesn’t matter if you look stupid – it matters if it’s one more tool to get you closer to your dream. Don’t let your commitment to creativity outweigh your fear of looking like an idiot. I look like an idiot three times a day, minimum. And I advance the hell out of my ideas as a result. Are you willing to look bad on the road to immortality?

9. Loosen the grip of the past. If you’re depleting your energy by staying mad at the world for not giving you what you want, you won’t have any resources left to actually GET what you want. This kind of attitude will render you unadvanceable. Instead, try this: Fire inspiration into yourself.

Keep the flame of creativity ignited. Keep pulling your triggers for joy. And keep moving in a transformational trajectory. Soon, the past will be a thing of the past. Will you back away in bitterness and confusion or leap forward into mystery?

10. Become a student of error. Monitor the mistakes of others. Learn what not to DO – and what not to BECOME – as early as possible. This will save you considerable time, money, frustration and stomach pain. As I suggested in a blog post called, How to Profit from Listening to Idiots, ask yourself, “Is there anyone else in my life that I treat this way?” This question helps you morph morons into moneymaking mantras. Whose mistakes are you currently a student of?

11. Keep asking, “What’s next?” Most important time-management and productivity question of all time. Period. The cool part is, it’s not just a question – it’s an attitude. The best part is, when you adopt and practice it, advancing yourself and your ideas will become mathematical certainly.

But only if you urge yourself forward. Only if you make imperfect progress. And only if you figure out where to plant the seeds of aggressive upward movement. What one step could you take now to start moving forward to your ideal future?

12. Display your own creative originality. Otherwise you’ll become (yet another) interchangeable mediocrity, fading into the multitude of sameness. Don’t be a cover band. Don’t be a fifty-cent color copy of an existing idea. Be the origin, not the echo. And refuse to allow the innovation of others to intimidate and inhibit you.

Hang your balls out there, bring your authentic work close to the heart of the masses, and they will surely support the advancement thereof. Or they’ll call security. Do you have the courage to bet on your vision?

REMEMBER: People trust only movement.

Whatever your goals are, start executing these practices today.

You’ll become more advanceable than a last place NASCAR driver high on PCP.

How will your advance yourself?

For the list called, “24 Ways to Out GROW Your Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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