8 reasons to hang out with other creative folks

1. Other creative people keep you accountable.

2. Other creative people have contagious energy.

3. Other creative people will let you bounce ideas off of them.

4. Other creative people are (probably) the closest things you’ll ever have to coworkers.

5. Other creative people are the only ones who (really) understand what you’re going through.

6. Other creative people think in unique ways; and by learning how they think, your thinking changes to.

7. Other creative people are safe havens for sharing ideas that most people would think are completely crazy.

8. Other creative people’s work will inspire your own, even if (especially if) they work with a different medium.

(The list goes on and on!)

Also, a great resource for Creative Professionals is My Creative Biz.

Kirsten Carey has lots SOLID tools and ideas to help you make a living off your ideas.

Create away!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Why do you hang out with other creative folks?

LET ME SUGGEST…
Post your thoughts here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag


Are you a friend of The Nametag Network?

Read more blogs!
Rent Scott’s Brain!
Download articles and ebooks!
Watch training videos on NametagTV!

Make a name for yourself here…


How to convince yourself that you actually hav a real job, pt. 2

(Read the first post in this series here!)

Being an entrepreneur can be a LONELY profession.

Especially if you work out of your home.

After all…

You have no office.
You have no coworkers.
You have no sense of community.

And sometimes, it just sucks!

SO, THAT’S THE CHALLENGE: learning how to protect yourself against potential solitude.

Here’s a collection of tips to help convince yourself that you actually have a real job:

1. Meetings. Set regular lunches, coffees and meetings throughout the week. You don’t have to have one every day – a few per week should keep you sane. Meet with colleagues who work in similar or complimentary industries. Share your troubles, brainstorm ideas and exchange goals.

2. Hangouts. Find out if there’s a local bar, club or coffee shop where people who do what you do hang out. Visit often. Get to know some of the regulars. If you want, you can even start a hangout of your own! Check online or in local papers to see what’s out there.

3. Join Up! Become a member of the local chapter of your professional association. Attend meetings regularly. Consider taking a leadership position. Pick the brains of the veterans and welcome in the newbies.

4. Virtual Lunches. Have regular virtual lunches with out of town colleagues. Agree upon a convenient time to eat and chat over the phone together. This technique is especially helpful if you travel or have a national or international network.

5. Social Networking. Seek out other online options: user groups, message boards, teleconferences, blogs, social networking sites and other community building tools. REMEMBER: whatever you’re into, at least 1000 other people on the Internet will be into it too!

6. Mastermind Group. Gather 3-5 people who work in the same industry as you. Meet every month. Set goals, keep each other accountable, share failures and successes, and of course, celebrate!

ONE LAST POINT: be grateful.

DIY is a lonely road. Be sure you’re constantly thanking people for their time. Show them you appreciate the relationship and will do what you can to keep it alive.

Ultimately, you’ll be able to generate a sense of camaraderie that is ABSOLUTELY necessary to your survival as an entrepreneur.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you convince yourself that you actually have a real job?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your best ideas here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag


Are you a friend of The Nametag Network?

Read more blogs!
Rent Scott’s Brain!
Download articles and ebooks!
Watch training videos on NametagTV!

Make a name for yourself here…


Practice intentional discomfort

When you make yourself uncomfortable, you grow the most.

As a person.
As a professional.

When you make yourself uncomfortable, you learn the most.

About others.
About yourself.
About the world.

When you make yourself uncomfortable, you expand the most.

Because you meet new people.
Because you experience new things.

SO, THE BIG QUESTION IS: Are you practicing intentional discomfort every single day?

Me? I’m kind of a discomfort junkie.

See, I wear a nametag every day. Wherever I go.

(Been doing it non-stop for seven years now.)

And I’ve probably learned the most, grown the most and experienced the most simply by sticking myself out there.

Of course, you don’t need a nametag. Approachability comes in many forms.

So, if you’re a regular attendee to association meetings, networking events, company celebrations – even church or temple – here’s a list of eight ways to step out of your comfort zone:
1. Be someone’s first friend. If you notice a new member, congregant, student or employee, be the first to approach him. Satisfy his basic psychological need of acceptance by simply saying hello.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do you remember your first friend?

2. Be a greeter. Even if you’re not on the welcome committee, first impressions team or hospitality squad, be a greeter anyway. And don’t just greet people within twenty feet of the door and within twenty minutes of the start of the meeting. REMEMBER: consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness. Everyone is a greeter.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
When was the last time you were greeted by a non-greeter?
3. Third party intros. When you meet someone new, introduce them to someone else you know. Make sure to use a “Connector Line” to spark interest and keep the conversation alive: “Hey Mike, have you met Randy yet? He was just telling me about the Stones concert from this weekend!”

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you including new people into your conversations?

4. Park in the back; sit in the front. Literally and metaphorically. Make small sacrifices so The New Guy, first timers and solo rollers so they can enter your meeting or organization with ease and comfort.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you willing to make yourself uncomfortable so a new person isn’t?
5. Embrace the outsiders. Keep your eyes open for people who aren’t being included. Watch for the individuals who seem lost, have wandering eyes, sit alone or “pretend” to be busy with something. You never know, they could be pretty cool! Take the first step to get to know them.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do you remember when you were an outsider and someone embraced you?

6. Sit with the wrong company. Next time you attend a meeting or networking event, don’t sit with five people you know and work with every day. Find a table with a few open seats and a bunch of strangers … and have a seat! Avoid the temptation to stay within your group.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How can you expand your network by sitting with everyone you know?

7. Stay late. Next time your meeting, workday or event concludes, stick around. Look for new people. Ask them, “So, what’d you think of our little group?” “Did you have fun?” or “How was your first day?” Make yourself physically available (openness of personal space) and personally available (openness of mind and heart).

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
If you had lots of questions on your first day, wouldn’t YOU appreciate it if someone stayed late to answer them?

8. Extend the event. If there’s a particular person you connected with, offer to keep the event alive. Invite her to join the after-party, or make yourself available for a personal “debriefing.” NOTE: this isn’t something you should to do all the time. Respect yours and other people’s time. However, if it’s appropriate, setting aside a chunk of time to answer questions, offer insider information or address concerns will be HUGELY appreciated.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Don’t YOU like being invited to the afterparty?

NOTE: there IS a flip-side to all of these examples: be mindful of yours and other people’s boundaries. Nobody should fully give his entire self or time to every person he meets. Practice discretion, not snobbery. And remember, a “yes” to something or someone is always a “no” to another.

Still, stepping out of your comfort zone (cliche as it may sound) is a valuable activity.

And it’s not just “something you do.”

It’s a way of life.
It’s a way of business.
It’s a way of thinking.

Most importantly, it’s a way of learning.

Practice intentional discomfort today.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How did you step out of your comfort zone today?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your best comfort zone learning experience here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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7 ways to become a Virtual Extrovert

Anonymity is the greatest barrier to business success.

Especially online.

Because if you don’t exist on the Internet, you don’t exist.

HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: even the painfully shy, even the most introverted souls, can still become Virtual Extroverts.

A Virtual Expert voices her opinion … online.
A Virtual Expert takes the first step … online.
A Virtual Expert sticks herself out there … online.

Here’s a list of 7 ways to do so:

1. Post pictures. On a photo-sharing website like Flickr. On your blog posts. On your website. Just make sure customers can see you doing what you do..

2. Email the author. If you read an article that touches, educates or connects with your philosophy, respond! Scroll down to the bio box at the end of the piece – it usually lists an email for the author. Send a note with your comments. (If you’ve never done this before, here ya go: scott@hellomynameisscott.com)

3. Blog comments. When you read a great blog post, always leave comments. Even if it’s as simple as, “Great post! Thanks!” Doing so not only sticks yourself out there, but also enables other readers to see who you are and link back to your website.

4. Connect with like-minded colleagues. Do some Googling. Find other people who do what you do. Check out associations, user groups and other online communities. Introduce yourself with the intention of connecting, not selling. Be proactive in developing mutually valuable relationships.

5. Publish! Don’t be selfish with your knowledge. At least once a month, publish an ezine. At least once every few weeks, publish an article. And at least one a week, publish a blog. Be the fhe first one to step out there and share your thoughts. Over time as content accumulates, they WILL come to you.

6. Join up! Part of extroversion is going where people are. Especially your target customers. Consider brainstorming a list called “10 Online Hotspots for My Industry.” From MySpace to LinkdIn to Facebook, create strong presence in a variety of online communities.

7. Message Boards. Another great resource for knowledge sharing, building community and making friends. Don’t be afraid to post questions and ask for help. Most message board types are willing to help AND respond quickly.

With these seven tips, you can be sure to boost your online approachability and become a virtual extrovert!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you sticking yourself out there … online?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Think about your 3 best ideas for becoming a Virtual Extrovert – share them here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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OK, OK … I’m finally on Facebook

I don’t know why I put it off so long.

Facebook rocks!

(Actually, I think I like it better than my MySpace page.)

*Please feel free to poke me here.
*I’ve started (yet another) blog on Facebook called QREATIVITY. I’ll be posting a thought provoking question every day.
*OOH! And I started a Facebook Group called Make a Name for Yourself. If you make a living producing, writing, speaking, designing, drawing, consulting, training, teaching, entertaining, playing music … or any other creative endeavor, you need to hang with us!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How are you using Facebook for business purposes?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your best ideas here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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Be somebody’s first friend

On May 7th, 2003, I received an email that changed my life.

“Scotty, I love the nametag idea! I actually wear a nametag all the time too – it’s part of my sales training outfit. Anyway, I hear you want to become a speaker. Give me a call. I think I can help. Sincerely, Jeffrey Gitomer.”

Of course, I had no idea who Jeffrey Gitomer was.

So I checked out his website.

At which point I learned he was a:

1. Bestselling author.
2. World-renowned speaker.
3. Super successful sales trainer.

And two words ran through my mind:

#1: Wow!

#2: Why?

Here was this big shot author/speaker. Why would he be emailing ME?

AND, why would he be offering to help?

So I called his cell phone.

“Hey Jeffrey! This is Scott Ginsberg, The Nametag Guy.”

And the next five words out of his mouth were:

“WAY TO FREAKING GO KID!”

(Actually, those weren’t his exact words, but if you’ve ever read his books before, you can imagine what they were…)

Anyway, Gitomer started telling me all about National Speakers Association.

“You’ve gotta join! You’ll fit right in! In fact, I’ll introduce you to some of my friends, get you hooked up and hang with you at the upcoming conference.”

And that’s exactly what he did. Everything he said he would.

Of course, that was only the beginning. Over the years he would come to become a great friend, colleague, even one of my mentors! (Ahem, see the pic above where I’m BEATING him in Pacman. Thank you very much.)

Not to mention I would become highly involved in National Speakers Association as a board member myself.

All because Jeffrey decided to stick himself out there.

One simple act of approachability that changed a prospective member’s life:

Be somebody’s first friend.

As a member of any association, this is your duty. You owe it to yourself, to the organization and to the prospective members to be somebody’s first friend.

For three reasons:

1. Comfort. New members don’t know anybody. They’re pensive and curious. You need to observe and act upon that in order to lay a foundation of comfort. This frames the guest’s experience as welcoming and approachable. And people never forget that.

2. The Halo Effect. Once someone sees that YOU are friendly and welcoming, they’ll associate that same attribute to the association as a whole. You don’t need to be a leader to be a leader.

3. Reciprocation. Think back to the last time someone was your first friend. How did it make you feel? Do you still keep in touch with that person? If so, great! If not, this is your chance! Take an active role. Being someone’s first friend is the perfect way to pay it forward.

Ultimately, this act of approachability is about first impressions. That of you AND your association.

And you don’t have to extend this invitation to every prospective member that walks in the door; nor should you feel obligated to mentor anybody either.

It could be as simple as saying hello or buying someone coffee. Hopefully, though, it will always be about developing a lifelong relationships with new colleagues.

Either way, you’ve got to stick yourself out there.

As Mother Theresa once said, “People won’t remember what you did, they won’t remember what you said, but they’ll never forget the way you made them feel.”

Go be somebody’s first friend.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
In your professional association, who was your first friend?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your story here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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What’s your currency?

Not the yen.
Not the dollar.
Not the deutschemark.

Today we’re talking about the metaphorical form of currency.

Consider two facts:

1. Currency is the transmitting of something, especially money from person to person.
2. Currency is just another word for “return.”

THEREFORE: You need to know ahead of time, prior to engaging in any new project, marketing effort or activity, “What’s my currency?”

In other words, “Why the heck am I doing this?”

Because if you don’t…

You won’t know when you’ve succeeded.
You won’t know what to keep, stop or start in the future.
You won’t know the lowest common denominator of your actions.

SO, ASK YOURSELF: “What would have to happen to make me feel like I’ve achieved a Return on Investment from this new endeavor?”

Take online social networking, for example.

Too many companies and businesspeople hesitate to get involved with this trend because they think it’s a fad. That it will just fade away like mini-discs, pogs and Ricky Martin.

BIG mistake.

Online social networking ain’t goin’ nowhere! It’s the future of the Internet, the future of the world!

And the reasons (excuses) people give for not getting involved in social networking are:

1. They don’t have the time.
2. They don’t see the payoff, aka, currency.

Well, remember this:

You WILL have the time…

…when-you-first-understand-your-currency!!

For online social networking, potential currency could be:

o Expanding your network
o Driving traffic
o Filtering in new leads
o Developing, storing content
o Branding and marketing
o Making money
o Projecting transparency
o Building community

Here’s an example.

I never thought blogging was worth it. For about a year, I didn’t see any return, any “currency” from my daily posting.

Then, on August 31st, 2005, I wrote a post that would lead to over $100,000 of new business.

If that happened to you, would YOU make time to blog every morning?

You bet.

So whether it’s online social networking, initiating a new marketing plan, attending a conference or deciding to publish a book, understand this:

It might take six to twelve months before you actually see your currency come to fruition. Heck, that’s the “I” in Return on Investment!

So, be honest with yourself and your business. Find out if you’re willing to pay the price.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your currency?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your best currency success story here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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Why are you being so nice to me?

PICTURE THIS: You meet someone at a networking event. He’s friendly, approachable, asks great questions; even introduces you to a few his colleagues.

After the event you exchange business cards.

A few days later he follows up with a quick email, thanking you for coming. He also offers an open-ended invitation to a future lunch to brainstorm and get to know each other better.

Wow!

Still, in the back of your mind, you can’t help but wonder, “Why is he being so nice to me?”

Does he have ulterior motives?
Does he want to sell me something?
Does he think I’m going to become his best friend?

Oris he just nice to everyone?

All of these are possibilities. And it’s human nature to be suspicious of people’s motives. Especially when it appears someone has no apparent reason to be so “nice” to you.

PERFECT EXAMPLE: ever since my 20/20 piece, I’ve been getting SWAMPED with phone calls and emails.

Most are from people who are just nice.

Many are from people who are nice AND want to connect.

However, some are from people are very nice … who want me to become part of their downline. Or read their business proposal. Or buy their products and services.

Yeah.

So, based on my experience of wearing a nametag 24-7 for the past 2,430 days, I believe there are three levels of niceness:

1. ULTERIOR MOTIVES: they seek sales, referrals, joining their organization, becoming a part of their MLM company.

2, ANCILLARY MOTIVES: they seek to develop and maintain mutually valuable relationships. “Who knows?” they think, “Maybe somewhere down the line we’ll be able to help each other!”

3. ZERO MOTIVES: they seek to be nice for the sake of being nice. No scorekeeping. No objective. Just being nice.

The challenge is, the word “nice” is a toughie. And there’s a paradox of meaning when you research the word’s origin.

By definition, the word nice means, “Pleasing and agreeable in nature,” “Having a pleasant or attractive appearance,” “Exhibiting courtesy and politeness,” and “Of good character and reputation; respectable.”

Conversely, the Latin derivative for nice is nescius, or “ignorant.”

Interesting.

No wonder “nice” is so misunderstood!

Still, when it comes to approachability, it’s important to see the value in all three types of conversation levels. None are better than the other; they just serve different purposes.

So, next time someone’s “nice” actions appear suspicious; and you ask yourself, “Why are they being so nice to me?” remember these three variations of niceness before you write someone off.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Why are some people so nice?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your best “Why are you being so nice to me?” story here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

add to del.icio.us * digg it! * email this post

9 Ways to Create Strategic Serendipity

It’s not luck.
It’s not chance.
It’s not accidental.

It’s not even serendipity. (Not completely, that is.)

“Strategic” Serendipity means attending an event, conference or other networking-rich venue with an attitude of expectation.

That something great is going to happen.

That opportunity is going fall right into your lap.

That you’re going to meet that one person who changes everything.

Here are 8 keys to practicing Strategic Serendipity:

1. Detach from outcomes. Sure, you have goals. Maybe to sell. Maybe to get in front of the right buyers. However, also try to focus less on the outcome and more on the big picture. Free yourself from agendas. Develop a no-entitlement attitude. And focus on having fun, delivering value and creating a memorable (er, unforgettable) presence.

2. Prepare yourself mentally. Before walking in the front door, spend 15 minutes affirming to yourself, “Today is going to be a great day! I’m going to meet cool people and give them value. Opportunities are going to come my way. I will attract success.”

3. Come prepared. Have every marketing material, business card and any other part of your networking arsenal easily accessible. Wear army pants and bring a backpack if you have to! Expectation attracts; but only if it’s supported with action.

4. Grow bigger ears. Listen to what the world is trying to tell you. Be on the lookout for people, situations and locations that seem to be begging you to approach them. Especially the unusual, unexpected ones.

For example, I once walked by massage booth at conference. The massage therapist saw my nametag and said, “Scott, would you like a massage?” I thought about it for a moment, said yes, sat down and enjoyed my massage. A few minutes later when I rose out of my chair, the woman who was next to me in line turned out to be a reporter for a major newspaper. We struck up a conversation that ended in a 30-minute interview and a 2-page article!

LESSON LEARNED: say yes more.

5. Evaluate your surroundings. If you’re attending an event, conference or trade show, be prudent about geography. Ask yourself the following questions:

a. Where will I be the most visible?
b. What landmark are people constantly walking by?
c. Where are people most likely to engage with me?
d. Who can I meet that is likely to tell his friends about me?
e. Who else is this room could be that ONE guy that changes everything?

6. Stick yourself out there. Don’t plan so darn much. Just show up and be prepared to let new people and situations unfold by themselves. Put out your raft and ride the current. It will take you where you’re supposed to go.

7. Extend every encounter. When talking with someone new, ask if they’d like to continue the conversation over lunch or coffee. Keep the interaction alive. The longer you spend with someone, the more likely you are to discover how you can help each other. Also, find out if there are other events, happy hour or post-conference parties you could attend together.

8. Make your memory happy. After you meet someone, WRITE DOWN (either on their business card or elsewhere) the following things:

a. What she looked like
b. What you talked about
c. A few bits of personal info you can bring up next time you talk
d. How you can help each other
e. What your CPI (Common Point of Interest) is

9. Follow up. Use the information gathered from the previous example in your second approach. Prove your listening skills. Then, deliver something valuable like a link, recommendation or article.

HERE’S THE CHALLENGE: with Strategic Serendipity, you won’t always know when it worked.

Defining the ROI of something like this is tough.

But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

JUST KNOW THIS: when you develop an attitude of expectation, prepare yourself mentally AND physically, and when you stick yourself out there, they WILL come to you.

“They,” meaning people.
“They,” meaning opportunities.
“They,” meaning new business.

Because it’s not chance. It’s not luck. And it’s not accidental.

It’s Strategic Serendipity.

And it works.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you create serendipity?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your best story here (and lessons learned) here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott’s new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Keep it Alive, Part 4

(Read part one, part deux and part tres of this series here!)

Consider these three facts:

1. People buy people first.
2. People like (and want) to do business with their friends.
3. People aren’t loyal to companies, they’re loyal to people.

So … doesn’t it just make sense to, like, make friends with everybody?

I dunno. Maybe it’s just me.

That’s why I don’t believe in networking.

Networking, schmetworking.

The last time that word carried any meaning was in 1997.

The world is tired of it. It’s overused, cliché and slightly annoying. Not to mention it often conjures up negative images like:

1. Dealing the deck of business cards to everyone in sight
2. One-sided conversations based on how others can help you.
3. Superficial conversations with little or no value offered to the other person.

Stop networking and start making friends.

Everywhere you go, with everyone you meet. For no reason other than to make friends.

Zero motive conversations.

Then work your butt off to keep those relationships alive!

That’s it.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Download Scott’s new book!
Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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