If You Still Can’t Discipline Yourself After Reading This Article, I Swear to God I’m Going to Scream

Life is not a Nike commercial.

Being told to “just do it” is not enough.

If it was, you would have “just done it” by now.

BURN THIS INTO YOUR MIND: Self-discipline requires hard and consistent mental, physical and emotional labor.

It is not the path of convenience.
It is not a glamorous way of living and working.
It is not something most people are going notice about you.

But.

As I learned from self-discipline strategist Rory Vaden, “Those who learn to deal with discipline gently and persistently (eventually) flip a switch that they can never turn off.”

And that’s when discipline turns into freedom.

Let’s explore a list of strategies to help you sink into self-discipline:1. Commitment is the offspring of values. If you can’t discipline yourself to do something every day, there’s only one explanation: It’s simply not that important to you.

People always make time – not find time, but make time – for what matters to them. That’s how commitment works: It deletes distraction. It makes you wake up early. It turns habits into non-negotiables. When you’re committed, you drop everything and get to work. Every day.

The hard part is telling the truth about your current level of commitment. And if you’re having trouble with that, here’s an exercise you might try: Write down a list of the five things you’re most committed to. Then open your calendar. See if your life agrees.

If you’re not happy with the result, either find something else that is important to you and commit to that, or take the current thing that isn’t important to you and reframe it as – or reconnect it with – something else that is. How will you use commitment to open the door to discipline?

2. Bait multiple hooks. If you inherited five million dollars tomorrow, would you invest all of it in one stock? Of course not. You’d diversify it across several accounts. That way your portfolio would have a stronger foundation, making it less vulnerable to external conditions.

This same principle applies to creative professionals who have trouble disciplining themselves. Personally, I’m always working on about fifty things at once. Because in my experience, attacking multiple projects simultaneously has several advantages.

First, it prevents burnout. That’s what happens when your creative efforts are more diversely deployed: You don’t give yourself the chance to get sick of something and abandon it.

Second, by varying your creative endeavors, you establish thought bridges, subconscious connections and unexpected integrations between seemingly unrelated ideas. And as a result, you start to notice natural relationships and structures in your work you never would have seen by working on a single project.

Ultimately, this approach relaxes the process and helps contribute to greater consistency in your body of work. Are you willing to allocate your creativity attention to multiple endeavors?

3. Build a portable creative environment. A real artist can be creative any time, any place, with any tools. That’s the mark of a master: She shapes her immediate surroundings to feel in harmony with the small slice of the universe in which she finds herself.

As I learned in Beyond Boredom and Anxiety, “Whether the conditions in which they find themselves are luxurious or miserable, geniuses manage to give their surroundings a personal pattern that echoes the rhythm of their thoughts and habits of action. Within this environment of their own making, they can forget the rest of the world and concentrate on pursuing the muse.”

What are your portable creative environments? What enables you to enter into the creative flow at the drop of a hat? Have these on standby at all times. You’ll discover that by keeping alternative workspaces ready to go with transportable lightning rods tailor made to your tendencies, you’ll feel more in control of your surroundings.

That way, when inspiration comes unannounced, you’ll be ready to pounce. Can you do what you do anywhere?

4. Discipline derives from the wellspring of why. Willpower is overrated. If you want execute what matters most – every single day – you need to tap the reservoir of whypower.

Here’s the reason: When you actively cultivate the purpose driven nature of your work, discipline becomes a non-thought. What was once a desire becomes a habit. And what was once a habit becomes a non-negotiable. A positive addiction. Just something you do.

That’s why I’m able to write for seven hours a day, every day: Because I keep a list of one hundred reasons why I do what I do, in my wallet, and I read it to myself every morning. That’s your challenge: To become a walking translation of stunning clarity of purpose. To pinpoint the deepest motivations behind what you’re trying to discipline yourself to do. Find that, and you’ll have no problem slogging it out every day.

Remember: Daily bread without daily meaning tastes like daily crap. How are you fueling your discipline with a firm why?

5. Cultivate a more acute sense of resistance. Part of self-discipline is learning how to override yourself. That means becoming a master of your disinclination. That means discovering what frustrates your ambitions. And that means not allowing yourself the indulgence of saying you’re too busy.

Here’s the reality: The problem isn’t decreasing productivity – it’s diluted priorities. And you will lose the discipline game if you fall victim to what’s latest and loudest.

My suggestion: Extinguish whatever distractions seduce you. Drown out the world’s chatter and find the energy that urges you forward. And for the love of David Allen, stop performing minor tasks that engulf you in pointless, trivial action.

Instead, create around the constraint. Take the energy you’ve been burning on creative avoidance and redirect it to help you execute what matters. What’s your system for stamping out redundancy?

LOOK: It’s not my job to convince you to be more disciplined.

It’s hard work that nobody undertakes but you.
It’s unspectacular work that nobody notices but you.
It’s inconvenient work that nobody appreciates but you.

But discipline does mean freedom.

Freedom to be, freedom to do and freedom to have – pretty much anything.

I think it’s worth it.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How discipline are you prepared to be?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Stay Rare

Rarity is inherent.

The problem is, there’s such pervasive pressure to remain average, that most people lose touch with what makes them exceptional.

HERE’S THE SECRET: It’s not about seeking rarity – it’s about squashing the barriers against finding it.

Here’s a list of suggestions to help you, your brand and your organization stay rare:1. Do it all with daring originality. Rare isn’t the absence of fear; rare is the absence of hesitation to move into that fear. That’s what I’ve learned as a writer: When you’re up against the fear, that’s exactly the time to move into it. Because that’s where genius lives.

For that reason, I constantly ask myself the following question as I’m working: “What do I risk in presenting this material?” If the answer is, “Not much,” I don’t write it. But if the answer is, “I might piss of somebody powerful,” then I absolutely write it.

That’s how I keep my material honest, personal and relatable. And in your own career, you might consider creating a policy, filter or standard operating procedure for attending to your fear.

Perhaps a ritual that greets fear with a welcoming heart, but also leverages it into something beautiful? Without such a practice, your creative flame gets smothered under the ashes of average.

In short: Resist the undertow of normal, pursue a perilous and uncertain course and welcome the difficulties that will propel you beyond ordinary. Even if they scare you. What type of marvelous intelligence is at work in your fear?

2. Clock out later than anybody. Everyone has a chunk of the great mystery in them. But unless they’re willing to put in a little overtime, they may never get the chance to share it with others.

I’m reminded of a classic episode of the Simpsons where Homer attends his twenty-year high school reunion. Not surprisingly, he wins the award for the graduate who gained the most weight.

“How’d you do it?” the principal asks as he presents the trophy. To which Homer replies, “By discovering a meal between breakfast and brunch.”

I know that’s a ridiculous premise – but that’s what rare people do: They break free from the jail of circumstance. They work their tails off to discover that extra meal. Then, from that place of abundance and enoughness, they’re able to give full scope to their colorful imagination. And maybe gain fifty pounds.

Plus, they know it’s not about finding time, it’s not even about making time – it’s about stealing time. Shoplifting whatever you can from the crowded day to focus on whatever makes your heart sing. Even if you only dedicate fifteen minutes a day. That’s still ninety extra hours a year.

Remember: What’s rare is the way you invest your life. What new meal will you discover?

3. Be somewhat predictable. Rarity means everything you do reminds people that they have not wasted the attention they’ve given you. The trick is: Humans are inclined to ignore the commonplace and remain alert to the unexpected. It’s the anthropological mechanism of self-preservation that’s safeguarded our species for millions of years.

This attribute can work to a rare person’s advantage insofar as attention in concerned: You stand out – you get noticed. Perfect. But when the unexpected is taken to the extreme, rare can turn into scare. “You can’t be offbeat in all ways, because then we won’t understand you and we’ll reject you,” writes author Seth Godin.

The secret, he says, is to make sure that some of the elements you present are perfectly aligned with what people are used to. Otherwise you’ll be perceived as a threat. Your challenge is to decide how much predictability you’re going to bring to the marketplace – and then remain consistent with its delivery.

Never forget: Brands are expectations. What has the public grown to expect from you?

4. Choose not to follow the appointed path. I’ve been taking the road less traveled pretty much my whole life. As such, anyone I meet who does the same is rare in my book.

Here’s why: Taking the road less traveled is simultaneously invigorating and intimidating. On one hand, you’re thrilled by the prospect of adventure. On the other, the uncertainty is so overwhelming that you crap your undies.

That’s the special brand of fear comes with the territory of rare. And your challenge is to accept that the voices in your head aren’t going to go away. In fact, they’re probably going to multiply.

But don’t worry – this is a good thing. Fear is the precursor of rare. And the louder those voices scream, the surer you can be that you’re following your heart. If you want rarity take root with extraordinary force, never forget: Anything of any value in life begins with the leap.

So take it. And remain radiant amidst the filth of the world. Are you standing on the foundation of your rarity, or sacrificing your life being everybody else’s dream machine?

5. Work without a net. In my favorite book about creativity, Ignore Everybody, Hugh McLeod advises, “The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will.”

That’s the mark of a rare person: Someone who’s free enough to make the music she wants to hear – not the music the market wants to buy. The trick is determining the unique balance. After all, you still need to pay the mortgage.

But at the same time, you also need to define your own private creative domain. That’s what songwriter – and my hero – Chris Whitley accomplished during his career. He was a musician whose life at every level gave evidence of undisputed singularity. And according to his obituary in Acoustic Guitar:

“Chris was rare because he walked away from riches and avoided the carefully crafted record company image to maintain the integrity of his music. That allowed him to remain fearless when it came to following his musical instinct and it’s reflected in over a dozen elegantly forceful studio albums.”

The questions you might ask are: What are you willing to walk away from to stay rare? What are you willing to say no to for the sake of your own autonomy? And what covenant do you have to make with yourself to preserve your freedom? Answer those, and your life will become a living testament to what’s possible when you give yourself permission.

Remember: There are no cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Are you the maestro of your own melody or the echo of someone else’s song?

6. Choose your commitment device. My generation is frequently typecast as being commitment-averse. The consensus is that we’re impatient, have a mediocre work ethic, don’t offer loyalty easily and are quick to quit and pursue something better.

Is that description accurate? I don’t know and I don’t care. What matters is that my commitment is unquestionable and that everyone who knows me, knows it.

That’s rare no matter what generation you come from. After all, the baseline posture of most people is not to believe you. We live in a low-trust culture and the world demands proof of your commitment. Without it, you will never be taken seriously – no matter how rare you are.

Ultimately, what you’re committed to matters less than how you wear that commitment. That’s the real rarity. And that’s exactly why I got the tattoo of the nametag on my chest. Sure, it was painful. But while the needle hurt my chest for an hour, not being taken seriously would hurt my business for a lifetime.

I wonder which commitment device you will choose. Or which one will choose you. How will you communicate to the people who matter most that you’re fully committed?

LOOK: You can’t block who you are.

And even if you could, apologizing for the best within you is the highest form of moral treason.

Stop stripping away your rarity.

Put an end to all this self-editing. All these unconscious acts of omission.

Otherwise you’ll wear yourself out trying to be something you’re not.

Instead, access your most elegant instrument. Figure out what you’re good at and do only that. And always retain burning contempt for imitation and mediocrity. Humanity will be better for your life.

You already carry something with you that’s just yours.

It’s your unique vision of the world. Your special blend of magic.

Fail to bring that with you, and risk becoming yesterday’s news.

But lay it naked for the world to see, and an unending rainfall of rarity will surround you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you stay rare?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “19 Telltale Signs of the Perfect Job,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Jump, or, How to Stop Dragging Your Feet and Dive into What Matters

Twenty years ago, my dad jumped.

He broke ties with his corporate owners and went out on his own.

And for the first year, he was working from home, struggling to build inventory and scrambling to find customers. Not exactly our family’s finest hour.

But, he still cites that move as his best decision ever. And two decades later, his company still remains the best in the business.

Now, of all the memories related to that transition, here’s the one forever etched upon my heart:

I was twelve years old, and my dad brought me to work to see his new warehouse. It was the single biggest thing I’d ever seen. Something like three hundred thousand square feet.

But the building was empty. The place was a ghost town. And there was no merchandise.

Except for one palette.

One lonesome skid of inventory in the entire warehouse, shrink-wrapped to perfection –with a big white sign on it that read, “Sold.”

Try to picture yourself standing it that warehouse.If that’s not risk, I don’t know what is.
If that’s not faith, I don’t know what is.

AND THAT’S THE POINT: When you jump, when you stop dragging your feet and dive into what matters, you have to trust yourself, your resources, your abilities, the process, the people – along with the universe that contains them all.

Otherwise you’ll find a millions reasons not to take action. You rationalize your way out of risk. Like the people who make lists of all the reasons to avoid committing with both feet.

Sure. That’s the perfect way to procrastinate my way to mediocrity. Well done.

On the other hand, you could jump. You could start taking massive, relevant action – today – to minimize or eliminate barriers to your boldness.

Here’s a collection ideas to help you stop dragging your feet and dive into what matters:

1. Accept that you’ll never be ready. Admit it: The reason you’re still dragging your feet is because you’ve still convinced that having a plan is necessary.

It’s not. Failure isn’t the product of poor planning – it’s the product of timidity to proceed. You can’t allow yourself to be stopped by not knowing how.

Try this: Lower the threat level of your jump by pulling a partial. Ask yourself: What is an easy, inconsequential version of this scary action I could take right now?

Challenge yourself to execute three of those a day. Repeat that enough, and you’ll either get the whole thing done incrementally, or sustain enough small victories to pull the trigger when the time is right. Not perfect, but right.

Look: I know you’re scared. I also know that constant, determined action cures fear, builds confidence, develops courage, generates inspiration and vaporizes stress. What other risky (but reasonabl) jumps can you make today to move forward?

2. Deliberately alter your course. Nashville rocks. Literally. Affectionately known as “The Music City,” it’s packed with millions of passionate songwriters who, at one point, stopped dragging their feet and jumped.

My favorite part of the town is the energy. It’s as electric as the guitars. And I’ll never forget my first trip there. My client took me out on the town after my workshop.

When we walked into one of the hundred honky-tonk bars on the strip. And I noticed a bumper sticker on the bathroom stall that read: “Screw it. I’m moving to Nashville!”

There’s no better way to personify the risk of jumping than those six words. Because if you put yourself in the shoes (er, boots) of somebody who once said that to himself, you understand what this is all about:

Accumulating enough frustration, passion and fire that you simply can’t take it anymore. That moment when you notice a deficit in yourself because every waking minute of your life is an insult to the gifts you’ve been granted.

That’s when you jump. Even if you’ve screwed up everything so far. You jump anyway. And if you haven’t reached that point yet, don’t worry: You will. You’ll know what to do when you get there. It might not be moving to Nashville, but it will involve altering your course. Will you allow today’s possibilities to be shaded the failures of yesterday?

3. The world is your mentor. There’s a phenomenally simple book by Mike Hernacki called, The Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything You Want. It can be summarized in one sentence: You have to be willing to do whatever it takes.

Whatever. It. Takes.

The challenge, it will be different for everybody, depending on what you’re diving into. My suggestion: Find twenty people who have jumped off the same cliff you have. Email them. Briefly introduce yourself. Tell them you’re a fan of their work. Tell them you’ve decided to jump. And tell them you’re willing to do whatever it takes to become the walking execution of your vision.

Then, ask them if they’d be willing to offer themselves – in any capacity – as a resource for your success. Not everyone will respond. But the ones who do – the ones who see something in you that someone once saw in them – will be happy to oblige. How many mentors do you have?

4. Grow a thicker skin towards the naysayers. Believe it not, not everybody wants you to become successful. In fact, much of the world will do everything they can to prevent you from diving into what matters.

Maybe because they’re jealous. Maybe because they’re scared they’ll lose you. Or maybe because they know your success will expose their averageness. Either way, you have to accept this reality. You have to be okay with the fact that not everyone you encounter wants you to jump.

But, your ability to withstand criticism without crumbling is a leading determinant of your success. And at the same time, don’t ignore the naysayers. It depends on the source, the validity of the comment and the context in which the criticism was offered.

My motto is: Criticism keeps you in check when it’s right, and keeps you in chuckles when it’s ridiculous. And as you prepare to jump, just remember: You’re nobody until somebody hates you. Besides, if everybody loves what you’re doing, you’re probably doing something wrong. Is your skin as thick as a reptile or as thin rice paper?

5. You’re never unpartnered. Although not everybody wants you to succeed, success never comes unassisted. That’s the cool thing about commitment: Once you stop dragging your feet and dive into what matters, the world begins to yes to you.

That’s what happens when you put yourself in the way of success and advance in the direction of your dreams: Eventually they will have no choice but to come true. Providence will move to orchestrate the ideal conditions for you to win.

As Paula Coelho wrote in The Alchemist, “If you follow your dream – your personal legend – all the world will conspire to help you.” When this happens, it’s almost spooky.

In fact, I remember spotting this trend when I first jumped. Help came out of nowhere. Opportunities presented themselves to me. And I was smart enough to leverage every opening the universe gave me.

But the door must be opened from the inside.

And you have to be fueled from the heart – not for the wallet. Otherwise your misguided intention will fill the room like a garlic fart. Ultimately, if you want the world to say yes to you, you’ve got to sing the song that is natural for you to sing, in the way that is natural for you to sing it, and it in front of the audience that needs to hear it the most. Are you paying homage to the voices that shaped you?

6. Conserve your oxygen. Don’t waste your breath on useless chatter. Next time you find yourself surrounded by people consumed with small thoughts, walk away. Set that boundary. Otherwise their mental shallowness will infiltrate your world.

My suggestion is to work exclusively in environments that allow you to escape the crutch of small-mindedness and think more importantly.

That means hanging with people who ask big, dangerous questions that catapult your thinking. That means talking about big, relevant issues that challenge your thinking. That means learning about big, new concepts that stretch your imagination.

The hard part is keeping yourself accountable. Try this: Be unwaveringly vigilant about the company you keep by asking the question, “Does this person add gasoline to or sprinkle water on my internal fire?”

Also, be persistently discerning about the media your consume and the ideas you focus on by asking, “Will I definitely use this information for something immediate and important?” In the end, life’s too short for television. Life’s too short to surround yourself with people who don’t challenge and inspire you. And life it’s too short not to do something that matters, as Hugh McLeod says. What do you need to delete from your life?

7. Do this and nothing else. Enough dabbling. Either go full time or go home. Go pro or go away. Be dedicated or be eliminated. That’s what it takes to win. You have to throw yourself wholeheartedly into the game.

Sadly, the number one reason people can’t dive into what matters is because they insist on keeping one leg firmly planted in what doesn’t matter. Bad move.

I’ve made it myself. When I first started my publishing company, I had a full-time job selling furniture. Writing books and giving speeches was just something I did at nights and on the weekends.

But after a year, I scaled back to part time. And I started parking cars a few shifts a week to make ends meet. Which worked for about a year. But the problem was, sometimes I’d work eighteen hours a day. And while my business slowly grew, so did my ulcer.

It was simply too much. And that’s when I finally jumped. That’s when I said, “Alright. This is it. I’m going to do this, and nothing else. Let’s go.” And I never looked back.

That’s the cool part about focus: It’s the first step toward freedom. It’s the fuel that drives the engine of wow. And it’s the solitary suggestor of success. It’s time to take your index finger, cover up the tip of the hose, and shoot out a frozen rope of concentrated effort.

Otherwise you’ll never shed your amateur status. How much time are you spending on things that diffuse your focus and hamper your goals?

Okay. Enough dabbling. Amateur hour is over.

It’s time to jump.
It’s time to put an end to half-measure living.
It’s time to stop dragging your feet and dive into what maters.

I know you’re terrified.

But sliding down the side of the mountain on your ass isn’t going to bring you closer to your dream.

If you’re going to jump – jump with all of your might.

Because there’s no going back to the top of the cliff.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you prepared to turn your desire into your obsession?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “65 Things I Wish Somebody Would Have Told Me When I Started My Company,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

What Every Young Leader Should Know about Showing the World They’re Serious

If you’re under the age of thirty-five, the default posture of the world is not to believe you.

I know. Total bummer.

But it’s not your fault – it’s just human nature. Age equals credibility. And there’s no way to speed it up.

Actually, I take that back. My friend Tom Reilly once suggested: “If you want people to take you seriously, either go grey or vacate.”

Not a bad idea. Certainly worked for Taylor Hicks.

But outside of follicular augmentation, the smartest move for a young leader is to position her attitudes, behaviors and language in a consistent manner that shows the world she’s serious. That shows the world she’s not messing around.

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, entry-level employee, college intern or new kid on the block, consider these suggestions:1. Beware of the copycats. Commitment is an easily confusable entity. And if you don’t learn to discern the difference between commitment and its cheap imitations, everything you do will be like winking in the dark. Honestly ask yourself these questions:

Are you truly committed – or just curious?
Are you truly committed – or just involved?
Are you truly committed – or just concerned?
Are you truly committed – or just interested?
Are you truly committed – or just legally obligated?
Are you truly committed – or just not unhappy enough to change?
Are you truly committed – or just biding your time until something better comes along?

Approach these questions as a personal audit. Use them as an accountability tool to sustain your level commitment. And if you think it sounds like a lot of work, you’re wrong.

It’s not a lot of work – it’s a ton of work. But that’s the whole point: The reason commitment costs so much is because it pays so well. Are you willing to make the investment?

2. Choose ubiquitous over anonymous. If attention is currency, anonymity is bankruptcy. Which brings us to the central question: Are you everywhere? If so, the world already knows you’re serious.

If not, here’s my suggestion: Approach everything you do as a form of marketing. In 2001, a survey conducted by The Washington Post that indicated the following:

“Self-employed businesspeople spend an average of forty-three minutes a day marketing themselves.”

If you do the math, that’s eight percent of your entire day. Which leads to my next question: What the hell are people doing for the other four hundred and thirty minutes?

Answer: The wrong things.

Here’s the reality: Marketing is everything and everything is marketing. The challenge to twofold. First, to change your definition of marketing to “transferring emotion.” That’s it.

And second, to find a way to (respectfully) transform everything you do into some form of marketing. Emails. Phone calls. Meetings. Blog posts. Everything.

Remember: People who only do marketing “here and there,” will only get new business here and there. How many minutes did you spend on marketing yesterday?

3. Ship only great work out the door. Piano man Ben Folds reminds us in the song One Down, “People tell me to just make up junk and turn it in. But I was never okay with turning in a bunch of crap. And I don’t like wasting time on music that won’t make me proud.”

Sadly, many of my colleagues fall victim to that trap. They publish average books with average content. They give unremarkable speeches with unremarkable slides. They write boring blog posts using boring examples.

And it’s not like they’re going broke – they’re just not going for broke. That’s the next way to show the world you’re serious: By refusing to execute mediocrity. Because without making this baseline decision, without setting this standard of excellence, you leave yourself vulnerable to attack. And the sexiness of average will seduce you like six-foot blonde in a black dress.

Remember: Being amazing isn’t enough. The other half of the equation is the willingness to wage a war against mediocrity. Burn the beige. Vaporize the vanilla. Banish the bland. Nuke the normal. Murder the average. Are you giving the future something to rah-spect?

4. Consistency is the ultimate commitment device. Every time I find a blog that hasn’t posted since the Clinton Administration, a small part of me dies inside. Seriously: If you’re not going to stay up with it, don’t bother. Something isn’t always better than nothing.

If you want people to take you seriously, remember my personal mantra: “Consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness.” Whether you’re publishing online content, leading a Wednesday night bible study, interning at your dream job or trying to be a better parent, consistency is not an accident.

It’s a sequence of intentionally consistent, similar actions. It’s a timeline of credibility. Personally, I wear a nametag everyday. Plus I got one tattooed on my chest. Plus I post a “number of consecutive days” counter on my website. Those are my commitment devices. What are yours?

Because if you want to win, you can’t just commit – you have to communicate to the people who matter most that you’re fully committed. Remember: Commitment without evidence is pantomime. How will you reinforce your positive pattern of execution?

5. Consider what affects your ability to be taken seriously. In Napoleon Hill’s classic work, The Laws of Success, he writes that the world will forgive you if you make mistakes – but it will never forgive you if you make no decisions. That’s the secret: To achieve definiteness of decision.

Interestingly, the word “decision” comes from the Latin decisio, or “agreement.” Which means it’s a function of values. Which means you gave it serious thought. And which means it’s a part your core.

The challenge (according to many of my clients) is actually pulling the trigger. Overcoming the paralyzing uncertainty of taking that crucial first step. And that’s why I suggest the following: Violently refuse to get snared into an endless tangle of anxiety, regret and second-guessing.

You can’t go through life regretting every decision you make just because it might not have been the best possible one. It’ll eat you up inside like a tapeworm.

Shakespeare was right: Delays have dangerous ends. Ginsberg was right too: Reluctance to make a decision is a form of resistance.

And the bottom line is: People won’t take you seriously if they’re too busy questioning your decision-making ability. It’s time to put a stake in the ground. What are you unconsciously doing that’s marring your credibility?

6. Real commitment is unthwartable by circumstance. As a musician, I learned a long time ago that it doesn’t matter if you break a string – it matters how quickly you return to the music.

This same principle of stick-to-itiveness applies to the song of life. If you want to show people you’re serious, try not walking away from the eyes of the world when they roll at you. Instead of acquiescing to your circumstances, yield to your core. Use your values as navigators.

When things go wrong, when people lash out at you, or when you screw the pooch in public, ask yourself, “If I were me, what would I do in this situation?” Doing so will initiate an instant calming sequence that draws people to you.

After all, in times of crisis, people turn to people who are calm. Calm is what builds trust, mitigates stress, remedies confusion and inspires followership. And it’s the perfect way to show the world you’re serious.

As long as you remember: There’s a direct correlation between the ability to make a name for yourself and the willingness to make an idiot of yourself. Are you impervious to embarrassment?

In conclusion, we remember to the immortal words of Bill Cosby:

“Anyone can dabble, but once you’ve made that commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it, and it’s very hard for people to stop you.”

JUST REMEMBER: Commitment isn’t just an obligation – it’s a demonstration.

It’s a constant exertion of your values.
It’s a consistent extension of your truth.
It’s a consummate expression of your core.

That’s how you show the world you’re serious.

And the best part is: When you do, your commitment doesn’t just become noticeable – it becomes billable.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you prepared to turn your desire into your obsession?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “65 Things I Wish Somebody Would Have Told Me When I Started My Company,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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