The Cost of Encouragement

In baseball, just over a hundred players hit a homerun on their first at bat.

sense. That’s a lot of pressure without a lot of experience.

Most players are lucky enough to eek
out single, barely get on first, maybe steal a base or two; then, with smart
running, a solid lineup and little luck – score – then hustle back to the
dugout in the hopes of having another at bat later in the game.

Artists and
entrepreneurs work the same. We publish our first book, put on our first show,
launch our first website, and we don’t expect fireworks. We’re just grateful
for the chance to play. And we’re hopeful that we might score enough to get into
the game and prove to the world (and to ourselves) that we’re capable.

That way, we
can start building a history that keeps our average up.

Still, every
once in a while, a player comes along that doesn’t just knock one out of the
park – he knocks the cover off the ball.

Like Robert
Redford in The Natural, he takes a swing and takes the world by

And we’re
never the same again.

When this
happens, when we’re privileged enough to witness somebody’s homerun, it’s our
responsibility to show them the replay. It’s our responsibility to grab them by
the lapel and reveal what they can’t see for themselves. And it’s our responsibility to tell them what they’ve done,
why it matters, and why they need to keep swinging, every day, forever, until
it’s all over.

We need to
be a stand for these people’s greatness.

Because without
that brand of encouragement (which costs nothing, by the way) some people may never realize how bloody brilliant they
really are.

Going. Going. Gone.


What have you declined this week?


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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

My job is to help companies make their mission more than a statement, using limited edition social artifacts.

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Are You Diversifying Your Creative Approach?

Creativity isn’t hard.

It’s simply a matter
finding the best path for us.

We can ingest substances that lower our inhibitions, enhance
our creative flair and broaden our minds.

We can surround ourselves with creative, why-not-people
whose artistic energies echo into our world.

We can expose ourselves to inspiring materials that disturb
us to the point that we have no choice but to start creating something of our

We can displace ourselves physically to break traditional
patterns and heighten our awareness to our surroundings.

We can build a stimulating environment that activates, taps
into and heightens our sensory experience.

We can inhale everything we encounter as mental omnivores, building
a bottomless reservoir of diverse ideas to fuel our artistic endeavors.

We can practice the art of solitude, isolating ourselves
from the distractions of the world to better hear the voice of our hearts.

We can play the numbers, commit to laying a certain amount
of creative track each day and build value through volume.

The point is, every path works. But the most successful artists,
innovators and entrepreneurs are the ones who diversify their creative
approaches, the ones who work from a combination of as many paths as possible.


Which creative paths will you choose?


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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

How boring is your company’s online training?

dozens of free video learning modules on sales, frontline service,
entrepreneurship and marketing, spend a few minutes or a few hours
growing your brain and growing your wallet.

Tune in to!

Why Do I Resent Your Success?

Every time I read an article about
someone in my field doing something amazing, my heart always ends up in
conflict with itself.

The fundamentally affirmative part of
me encourages people’s success to inspire my own productivity:

Good for you. Right on, man. I am
genuinely delighted for your success, thrilled by your accomplishments and
fueled by your energy. In fact, I’m going to use your life as a glowing source
of inspiration for my own. Because if you can do it, I can do it too. This is
awesome. Where’s my notebook?

Meanwhile, the resentful part of me
downgrades people’s accomplishments to justify their level of success:

You son of a bitch. You’re not as
talented as I am. You don’t work as hard as I do. You haven’t been around as
long as I have. You don’t deserve it as much as I do. You can’t do it as well
as I can. You don’t even want it as badly as I do. What about me? When is it
going to be my time? This is bullshit. Where’s my gun?”

Ah, the joys of being human.


How do you respond to other people’s success?


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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

My job is to help companies make their mission more than a statement, using limited edition social artifacts.

Want to download your free workbook for The Brandtag Strategic Planning Crusade?

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The Cost of Following Your Dreams

The hard part about hiring yourself is, every paycheck is

Some are big, some are small, and in lean times, some are
not existent.

But we asked for this. It’s all part of the job description.
The minute we go out on our own, we forego financial stability. We trade in consistent
and predictable compensation for the freedom to follow our dreams without
looking over our shoulder.

And in return, we have to get good at coping with and thriving
in that environment.

First, by strategically building a support system of
colleagues who know what it’s like to not know where the money is coming from. These
people are especially helpful when you’re trying to change the world and pay
the mortgage at the same time. Eek.

Second, by constantly sweeping our radars for passive income
and savings opportunities. These diversification options are abundant and
practical, and with a little research, can be the difference between a real
career and an expensive hobby. Phew.

Third, by carefully monitoring and documenting our spending
habits. These rituals keep make us as moneysmart as possible, reminding us that
we all have to wear the accountant hat, no matter how creative we are. Dang it.

Fourth, by honestly appraising our professional history.
This reflection fuels our instinct for the future and enables us to make
smarter, faster and better decisions, and not make the same mistakes twice. Thank god.

Personally, this is my least favorite part of the job.

I’m not a manager. I’m not a businessperson. I’m an artist. I just want to make

But I’m also a realist. And I know that if I want to
underwrite my addictions and support my lifestyle, I don’t have much of a


What is the cost of following your dreams?


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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

Scott has written and published over 1,000,000 words.

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What Happens Without Accountability

The hard part about working alone is the lack of

With the exception of our clients, there’s nobody to say
when we’re toast. Nobody to hold our feet to the fire. Nobody to care if we
don’t execute. Nobody to yell if we stroll in to work at eleven. 

Nobody to bust our
chops when sales decline. Nobody to give feedback on a poor performance. Nobody
to offer encouragement in a time of struggle.

Nobody. It’s just us.

This causes two problems. First, there’s the issue of
productivity. With nobody but us to answer to, it’s easy to get distracted, hard
to stay motivated, easier to procrastinate and tempting to rationalize our way
out of feeling guilty for poor work ethic.

But the deeper problem, the one we hate to confront, is that
working without accountability makes us feel like welack direction and purpose. Ittrains us to selfishlydo
whatever is most convenient to get what we want, without taking others into
consideration, without keeping our eye on the bigger picture.

Fortunately for us freelancers,
there’s no shortage of coworking spaces, peer networks, trade associations,
artist collectives, mastermind groups and online programs to mitigate
accountability issues.

Still, it’s hard.

Sometimes hiring yourself can
feel like winking in the dark.

And with nobody to hold our
feet to the fire, it’s not always easy to get warm.


What’s your biggest accountability struggle?


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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

What happens when you wear a nametag all day, every day, for 4000+ days?

Strangers make fun of you, mostly.

Check out Scott’s comic strip, Adventures in Nametagging!

Welcome to Entrepreneurial Purgatory

Tom Petty said that waiting is the hardest part.

That everyday, we see one more card, take it on faith and
take it to the heart. And even though it doesn’t feel like heaven right now, we
can’t let it get to us, and we can’t let it kill us.

Good point.

But what happens when waiting feels like the only part? What
happens when every day fells like another goddamn sentence in entrepreneurial

Because when you hire yourself, you spend a lot of time

Sometimes for the mechanical

Waiting for the phone to ring. Waiting for the client to decide.
Waiting for the check to arrive. Waiting for the board to vote. Waiting for the
proposal to be accepted. Waiting for the go ahead email. Waiting for the
paperwork to go through. Waiting for the invoice to clear. Waiting for the beta
launch. Waiting for the site to go live. Waiting for the results to come in.

And sometimes we wait for the intangible things:

Waiting for the smell of blood. Waiting for the perfect
moment. Waiting for the ideal client. Waiting for the stars to align. Waiting
for the lightning to strike. Waiting for the little breaks to finally accumulate.
Waiting for the free work to finally pay off. Waiting for the next big idea. Waiting
for the incubation of the current idea. Waiting for the economy to bounce back. Waiting
for the revolution to begin. Waiting for the movement to catch on.

This has been my life for a decade.

And every day, when the waves of anxiety come flooding in, when
I’m five seconds away from ripping my hair out in a fit of freelance rage, I remind
myself that waiting isn’t just part of the job – waiting is the job.

So I hustle while I wait.

I practice fertile idleness and juggle multiple threads of
work simultaneously, always up to something, always diversifying my interests,
always making myself useful. And I never feel fractured, that I’m spreading
myself too thin. I even manage the process with a simple snapshot of every
project, every pursuit, every endeavor and every idea I’m working on at any
given moment. That way, it’s all under the same umbrella.

Now, no one thing can knock me off course. It’s a diverse
portfolio of productivity. And by spinning a lot of plates, I don’t sit there
every morning and wonder if the deal is closed. I just live my life.

And when it happens, it happens 


What are you waiting for?


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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

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“After investing in your mentoring program, I’ve become centered on
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The Worship of Incompleteness

Turn on the television for five minutes, and you’ll observe the barrage of
celebrity divorces, canceled programming, corporate failures, broken systems, massive
layoffs, abandoned projects, public resignations and product recalls.


Because our society worships

First, because we’re not finishers. That’s too much pressure. We’d rather
have ideas than actually execute them. We’d rather talk a big game than
actually play one. Otherwise we might actually have to take personal
responsibility for our work.

Second, because we’re terrified of our
potential. That’s too much power. We’d
rather fail because it’s familiar. We’d rather dream from a distance because
it’s safer. Otherwise we might actually get what we want.

Third, because we’re allergic to
commitment. That’s too much work. We’d
rather kneel at the altar of choice than actually make a decision. We’d rather
stay as loyal as our options. Otherwise we might actually have to stick with

Fourth, because we’re delighted by the
misfortune of others. That’s too much
We’d rather watch you go down in flames than light a match of our own.
We’d rather distract ourselves with your misery than confront our reality.
Otherwise we might actually have to change.

Fifth, because we’re seeking permission
to quit. That’s too much proof. We’d
rather use your failures as water for our fire, not wood. We’d rather use your
story as a reason to stop, not a spur to begin. Otherwise we might actually have
to persist. 

Sixth, because we’re scared of being evaluated.
That’s too much judgment. We’d rather
keep things in beta form, always ready to be fixed. We’d rather not submit our
work to the world. Otherwise we open ourselves to the risk of being rejected. 

Seventh, because we’re anxious about inaction. That’s too much stillness. We’d rather delay the loss that comes with completion than confront the prospect of starting something new. Otherwise we might take a whiff of meaninglessness in the space between. 

Eighth, because we’re manic about standby. That’s too much waiting. We’d rather keep working on a project than hand it in. We’d rather stay busy than sit in limbo, waiting for the dice to roll. Otherwise we might find that the marketplace doesn’t care.


The exciting part is, in a society that worships
incompleteness, the people who do commit, the people who do carry their work to
execution, are the ones that inspire us forever.

To be one of those people, all we have to do is finish.

Not perfect, just finish.


What do you badly need to make complete?


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Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

Yes, I do more than just wear a nametag all day.

My enterprise is actually quite robust. I add value to my clients in several cool ways.

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GenJuice Interviews Scott Ginsberg on Succeeding as a Young Professional

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor

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How to be Taken Seriously by People Half Your Age

Everyone is old to someone.

Whether you’re fresh out of college, well into your career, a veteran office worker, a recently retired professional, or a grizzled old fart, there will always be people younger than you.

And if you want them to take you seriously, I have three words for you:

Just For Men.

Only kidding. Hair dye isn’t going to help you.

If you really want to be taken seriously by people half your age, you have to make a conscious decision to do so. Since I’ve already written on how to be taken seriously by people twice your age, here’s a list of ideas to help you on you way, Grandma: 1. If you’re not current – you’re not credible. The word “credibility” comes from the Latin creditum, which means, “Something loaned or entrusted to another.” Interesting. Credibility is on loan. Which means your credibility might take years to assemble, but only seconds to annihilate.

My suggestion is to stop reminiscing about how things used to be and start reveling in how things currently are. That’s the easiest way to invite someone to tune you out: By talking about the old days. Even if the old days were five years ago. Move on. Talk about the new days. What irrelevancies do you need to discard?

2. Learn the new tricks that matter. Fine. You’re an old dog. Big deal. The marketplace doesn’t care. If there’s a new trick that matters to your people, you still have to learn it.

For example, if you’re struggling with technology they’re familiar with, learn it. Take a class if you have to. Otherwise you’ll lose them. If you’re not up with current cultural trends, research it. Spend an hour on Wikipedia each week if you have to. Otherwise you’ll lose them.

Remember: The reason people aren’t taking you seriously has nothing to do with old age and everything to do with old thinking. Are the cobwebs in your brain marring your credibility?

3. Young people always rebel when they feel fundamentally disrespected. As such, avoid telling them you know what’s best for them. Avoid imposing your own direction on their lives. Avoid traveling roads for people they know they need to travel themselves.

And at all cost, avoid the phrase, “I told you so.”

All that does is cause people feel small and think, “I resent you so.” Instead, let people come to their own conclusions, make their own decisions and make their own mistakes.

Yes, it requires great emotional restraint. And yes, it requires significant self-control. But without such respectful delegation, you fractionize their experiences and rob them of valuable learning opportunities. Good luck being taken seriously after that.

Look: You can’t convince people to change – you can only give them more information. And sometimes the best way to help is to get the hell out of the way. What happened to the last person you tried to fix?

4. Don’t just get over yourself – stay over yourself. Not everyone who gets over himself remains in that position. Educate yourself in the language of humility. Learn to win less. Publicly share your mistakes. And be smart enough to be dumb.

Otherwise you kill your credibility with terminal certainty.

Also, consider getting down off your pedestal by offering it to others. Here’s how: When you share a success story, use someone younger as an example. When share tell a mistake moment, use yourself as an example. People of all generations will appreciate your honesty and be more willing to listen to you. Are you poking fun in the mirror?

5. Tune into their frequency. I once asked my fourteen-year-old cousin to email me the name of a particular video game he mentioned. His response: “Email? That takes forever!” I couldn’t believe my ears.

But it was a helpful lesson, because the bottom line was: People under eighteen don’t email. Ever. They communicate via text, instant message or social media. As such, before sending your next message, consider how people prefer to hear. Respond to the idiosyncratic needs of each person.

Otherwise, if you force everyone to conform to the your communication style, you run the risk of losing people who matter most.

Remember: And any number multiplied by zero is still zero. It’s not that they don’t like you – it’s that you’re not speaking on their frequency. Are you trying to reach people with outdated technology?

6. Magnifying the unhideable. There’s no need to dye the gray out of your hair. Instead, convert pigeonholes into goldmines. Consider the five most pervasive stereotypes young people have about your generation.

Next, ask yourself, “What do I bring that’s contrary to those judgments?” Then, use that unique value to disarm the immediate preoccupation in people’s mind. Let them know that despite your age – you’re different. Not that you’re in denial, but that you’re the exception to certain rules.

Ultimately, by putting your age on the table, you express honesty, humility and a healthy sense of humor. And those three attributes transcend age barriers every time. How could you express yourself instead of trying to prove yourself?

7. Enough trying to relate to people. You can’t manufacture commonality. And nothing annoys young people more than someone who pretends to be just like them. That’s the mistake older generations make:

They either go overboard trying to relate to young people and end up insulting their intelligence; or they ignore and disqualify anything that they don’t understand and alienate those people further.

Bad move. False relatability is the ultimate eye-roller. Just because you get a tattoo on your arm or mention Facebook doesn’t mean young people are going to take you seriously. Stop trying so hard.

What’s more, Millennials might actually take you seriously if you stopped calling them Millennials. All people, regardless of age, want to be called by their name – not their birthday. Do you see people as labels to be related to or individuals to be cared for and enjoyed?

REMEMBER: If you want younger generations to take you seriously, you don’t need hair dye, you don’t need Botox and you don’t need a new wardrobe.

What you need is a mental makeover.

Because the problem isn’t old age – it’s old thinking.

How many opportunities did you lose because people didn’t take you seriously?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mentor

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6 Ways to be a Better Boss to Yourself

According to recent news release from United States Bureau of Labor, twenty-five percent of all American workers are self-employed.

That means one out of every four of us is our own boss, right?


Everybody is their own boss.

Even if you’re not self-employed.
Even if you’re not employed at all.

You’re still the boss.

Interestingly, the term “boss” comes from the Dutch baas, which means, “overseer.”

Isn’t that what you do everyday?

You oversee your decisions, your career and your self-talk.
You keep yourself going even when you don’t feel like pressing on.
You provide momentum, arouse perseverance and inspire stick-to-itiveness.

But, being your own boss isn’t just about productivity.

It’s about freedom.
It’s about ongoing self-care.
It’s about setting boundaries.
It’s about making smart decisions.
It’s about treating yourself as you wish to be treated.

THE PROBLEM IS: Most of us are sucky bosses.In a recent blog post, Seth Godin riffed on an idea that inspired me to rethink my own self-bossing practices:

“If you had a manager that talked to you the way you talked to you, you’d quit. If you had a boss that wasted as much as your time as you do, they’d fire her. And if an organization developed its employees as poorly as you are developing yourself, it would soon go under.”

If that describes you, consider the following strategies for becoming a better boss to yourself:

1. Declare a moratorium on the unimportant. Have you ever worked for a boss who, on a daily basis, invaded your workspace unannounced and talked your ear off for three hours about absolute meaninglessness – when you could have been executing something that mattered – then later yelled at you for not being productive?

The amount of time wasted on such stupidity could fill the Superdome.

Your challenge, as the boss of yourself, is to assure that interruption doesn’t dominate you. If what you’re doing – right now – isn’t consistent with your number one goal, politely walk away. If what you’re doing – right now – doesn’t matter, peace out.

Next time you look up and realize that you’ve been purposely distracting yourself for the past twelve minutes, pause for a moment, then gently return to the work that counts. What’s your philosophy on personal productivity?

2. Stop saying it’s not about you. Doing so invalidates yourself. Besides, part of being a better boss to yourself is being more selfish with yourself. For example: Are you whining about the failing economy – or focusing on your economy?

Hopefully the latter, because your economy is how you manage yourself in relation to the world. In fact, the definition of economy is, “The disposition or regulation of the parts and functions of any organic whole.”

Maybe it’s time to start asking yourself a few boundary questions:

*Is this an opportunity, or an opportunity to be used?
*Who in my life is chronic abuser of my time and attention?
*Am I being asked to create a future that I’m going to feel obligated to be a part of?

Remember: It can’t be about you all time – but it can’t be about you none of the time either. Are you ready to hold a courageous conversation to reinforce your boundaries?

3. A diploma isn’t the end of education. A good boss wouldn’t let you get away with that kind of thinking. Instead, she’d challenge you create a learning plan. To expand your expertise. To form opinions on relevant issues. And to build a school of thought around your unique philosophy.

Besides: When you stop learning – you stop earning. You stop living. And you stop growing. Not exactly the best employee, huh? Consider asking yourself: What’s your personal development gameplan? What’s your method to sustain lifelong education? And what’s your system for retaining relevance in the eyes of the people who matter most?

These are the questions that will help you create an environment where learning is stressed and build a space where you can assimilate, internalize, master and move on. What are the obstacles you create that hinder a full engagement with your learning?

4. Detect the collective conditioning inside yourself. Ten years ago, I told my parents that I wanted to wear a nametag. Everyday. For the rest of my life. Sure enough, they responded with a four-letter word. But it wasn’t the one I expected. Instead of saying, “What?” “Crap!” or “Putz,” they just smiled and replied, “Cool.”

And I never looked back.

I wonder what would happen if more people had bosses like that. I wonder how much positive change could be created in the world if people practiced healthier self-talk. Especially when it came to the issue of risk.

Because in my experience, if you don’t honor yourself for the bravery of taking risks, the paralyzing self-consciousness negates your developmental progress. And your annual performance review will be a joke. Except you won’t be laughing. Because you’ll be both the boss and the employee.

Remember: The biggest risk is the one you don’t give yourself permission to take. Think about the last time you said, “Screw it – I’m doing it anyway,” how did you feel afterward?

5. Raise hell against redundancy. Recently, my friend Amy told me she’d rewritten her fifty-five page book proposal two-dozen times. Two. Dozen. Times. That’s over than thirteen hundred pages. Of just the proposal – not the actual book.

Seriously? War & Peace wasn’t even that long. And the sad part is: She wasn’t even done yet. “I’m still ironing out the wrinkles,” she said.

Tragic. With the time Amy invested in that project, she could have written and shipped six real books. If only she’d known that finished is the new perfect. If only she’d known that planning is the gateway drug to procrastination.

You think her crime of redundancy would survive in a traditional boss situation? Hell no. Somebody would either get fired or quit.

Lesson learned: Next time you find yourself stuck on the treadmill of the inconsequential, consider the possibility that what’s consuming your time (a) makes no sense, (b) doesn’t need to be done by anyone, and (c) isn’t making you any money. How many built-in redundancies could you eliminate?

6. Maintain your motivational equilibrium. As the boss of you, self-motivation is the lifeblood of your success. Without it, getting out of bed will become a chore rather than a celebration.

The tricky part is: Nobody’s ass is harder to kick than your own. Anyone who’s ever gone out on their own or worked from home can attest to that. Fortunately, everybody has the capacity for self-motivation.

The challenge is twofold: First, remembering that energy follows priority. Because if you’re not doing it, it’s not important to you. Period. But if you know what matters, you’ll be able to motivate yourself anytime, anywhere.

Second, becoming a master of your own disinclination. Allowing discipline to trump desire. And learning to love what’s good for you and your career. What would it take for you to wake up excited tomorrow?

REMEMBER: Being your own boss demands unremitting effort.

And with increasing levels of self-employment, newfound entrepreneurship, mobile offices and global telecommuting, self-care has never been more essential.

But it’s part of your job.
It’s part of everybody’s job.
Even if you don’t have a job.

You are overseer.

Treat yourself as you wish to be treated.

Do you need to fire yourself?

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

Never the same speech twice.

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