Are You Asking These Seven Leverage Questions?

You don’t need an idea – you need an I did.

That’s how you close the execution gap. That’s how you covert thoughts into things. And that’s how you covert experiences into moneymaking wisdom.

As such, leverage must become an essential component to your entrepreneurship lexicon. The word means, “To increase the rate of return from an investment.”

But leverage isn’t a word. Or a strategy. Or something you do to make money.

Leverage is a lifestyle. A way of thinking. An approach to doing business. Take it from a guy with no background, no job experience and no credentials – who turned a simple idea like wearing a nametag everyday into a successful enterprise. Twelve books later, if that’s not leverage, I don’t know what is.

Today we’re going to explore a series of leverage questions to help you kill two stones with one bird.1. If everything you’ve done up until now is just the beginning, what’s next? Past is prologue. Past brought you here. Past made you who you are. When you start to align your thinking with this truth, a new world of possibilities opens up. Your challenge is to extend gratitude for – and embrace the value of – everything you’ve already accomplished.

At the same time, don’t overvalue prior successes. Arrogance of the past will come back to bite you in the ass. As John Mayer explained during an interview with Esquire, “To evolve, you have to dismantle. And that means accepting the idea that nothing you created in the past matters anymore other than it brought you here. You pick up your new marching orders and get to work.” Will you view the past as a crutch or a fulcrum?

2. What will you do differently next time? Kaizen is the Japanese term for continuous improvement. That’s exactly what this question is all about: Honoring your current performance, yet challenging yourself to envision an enhanced future.

In my first five years as a professional speaker, I employed this philosophy as a post-speech ritual. Once my presentation was over, I’d take fifteen minutes to write a stream of consciousness list. Every thought, every feeling and every evaluation of my performance, I wrote down.

What worked? What didn’t work? What killed? What bombed?

This simple ritual grew into a profitable practice for continuous improvement of my performance as a speaker. How could you apply the same reflection process to your job performance?

3. What’s next? My readers and audience members frequently ask me, “Hey Scott, which of your books is your favorite?” And after eight years, the answer has always been the same: “My next one.” I challenge you to embrace that same attitude of “What’s next?” in your work.

First, on a micro level. That is, in terms of productivity. Ask yourself this question throughout the day to resurrect declining momentum. Secondly, on a macro level. That is, in terms of productivity. Ask yourself this question throughout your creative process to ensure consistent execution. What is your legacy of taking action?

4. What’s next? Does this new thing allow you to command higher fees than before? Does this new thing allow you to learn new skills? Does this thing enable you to leverage more than in the past? Does this new thing expose you an important future opportunity? Does this new thing increase (not just sustain) an existing relationship?

Does this new thing lead to future work with the same organization? Does this new thing lead you into a new industry? Does this new thing represent an organization you would hate to lose? Does this new thing represent long-term business potential? Does this serve as a reference or exemplar for other clients? What’s your system for predicting potential?

5. How can I make this idea last forever? Anchor your expertise in that which is timeless. Democratize and genericize your thoughts so they outlast you. Always be on the lookout for ways to increase the shelf life of your material. Ask questions like:

*Is this a fad, a trend or an evergreen?
*In five years, will this idea still be irrelevant?
*What is a bigger, more stable theory of the universe that I can attach this idea to?

Remember: If you’re not current, you’re not credible. Remember to run your expertise through the wringer of when. Stabilize your content. Are you timeless?

6. How does this fit into your theory of the universe? Your expertise is a filter. And the challenge is to bring ideas from one field of knowledge into another field of knowledge. You have to observe your encounters objectively by asking, “What’s the key idea here, regardless of the context?”

Other variations of this question are: “What does this have to do with me?” “How does this have to do with my expertise?” “How is this a symbol or example of my expertise?” “How could I use this as an example in my work?” Make connections between seemingly unconnected things. What’s your philosophy of the world?

7. What else can be made from this? The key to leverage is to look at something you’ve created and then play with its potential. It’s called “Movement Value.” For example, if you’ve been posting on your blog every day for a year, could you combine those writings into a book?

Or, if you have a stack of pictures sent in from various customers over the years, what if you created a “Meet Our Clients” slide show and posted it online? Accumulation is equity. How much do you have?

REMEMBER: Ideas are free; execution is priceless.

If you want to make a name for yourself – and make a bank account for yourself – ask yourself these leverage questions to kill two stones with one bird.

What are you leveraging?

For the list called, “7 Ways to Out Experience the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

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How to Kill Two Stones with One Bird, Part 2

I don’t believe in luck.

Even when I did the piece for 20/20, I explained my philosophy on the subject:

1. Luck is about being in the right place at the right time – so, therefore, be in a LOT of places.

2. L.U.C.K is an acronym for “Working Your Ass Off”

3. Luck is about leverage.

Today, I’d like to talk about #3.

As you’ve read before, I’m a big believer in killing two stones with one bird.

And in my experience, the ULTIMATE “Leverage Question” goes a little like this:

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

Let’s explore a few examples:

Now that you have A NEW WEBSITE, what else does this make possible?

o How about a valid reason to follow up with all of your prospects?
o Or a new place to send people who want to find out more about you?
o Maybe a new pool of customers you otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach?

Now that you have THIS NEW BOOK, what else does this make possible?

o Perhaps an “entrée” into a particular niche?
o Maybe an increase in your fee?
o Or an amendment to your bio that includes the title, “Author”?

Now that you have 500 BLOG POSTS, what else does this make possible?

o How about compiling them into an ebook?
o Or maybe even a REAL book?
o Perhaps a “Top 10 Posts of All Time”?

Now that you’re WORKING WITH AN INDUSTRY LEADER, what else does this make possible?

o Maybe credibility to work with its competitors?
o Or clout to work with anyone in the same industry?
o How about using their testimonial to beef up your credentials?

Now that you were FEATURED ON THE NEWS, what else does this make possible?

o One of those “AS SEEN ON” stickers for your front door?
o Perhaps an “in” with similar stations?
o Maybe a reason to send an email every single person you know?

Now that you WON THAT FANCY AWARD, what else does this make possible?

o Charging a premium?
o How about a plaque for the lobby?
o Maybe a reason to be more selective with your customers?

Now that you have (x), what else does this make possible?

For a list called “61 Leverage Questions to Kill Two Stones with One Bird,” send an email to and I’ll hook you up!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Come to the St. Louis Business Expo!

See Scott LIVE and a get a free copy of his new book with admission! See ya next Tuesday…

How to Kill Two Stones with One Bird, Part 1

THE essential word in entrepreneurship is leverage.

It means, “To increase the rate of return from an investment.”

And it’s not just something you do.

Leveraging is an attitude.

A lifestyle. A pattern of thinking. An approach to business.

Always thinking about what’s next.
Always creating with the end in mind.
Always transforming your thoughts to things.

AFTER ALL: Ideas are free. But execution is priceless.

That’s what makes entrepreneurs successful — they learn how to transform even the smallest events, situations, experiences or ideas into breakthroughs.

IN SHORT: They always kill two stones with one bird.

That’s right. You read it correctly. Two stones, one bird.

So, today will be the first in a series of posts about leveraging. I’ll do my best to write a new one (roughly) once a week.

NOTE: For future reference, you can keep up with this post series at

– – –

Now, in my experience, I’ve found leveraging to be a function of QREATIVITY; that is, asking yourself constant, creative questions.

So, here’s your list of Leverage Questions for today:

1. Where can you create the most leverage? This basic question lays a foundation of expansion and growth that will help you kill two stones with one bird with every idea, situation or experience.

Again, the word leverage means, “To increase the rate of return on an investment.” So, whether it’s an investment of time, energy, capital or attention, there’s always SOME way you can leverage it.

REMEMBER: Ideas mean NOTHING without leverage.

2. Are you recognizing when life is giving you a gift? Part of being the luckiest person you know realizing that you’ve been lucky. Paying attention. Plucking from the world around you. Noticing when opportunities are presenting themselves and immediately responding to them.

So, from ideas to people to situations, never forget to give thanks for all these great gifts life gives you! That way, life gives you more of them! See, the universe is participative. That which you appreciate appreciates.

REMEMBER: Success doesn’t come unpartnered. Recognize that you’re not alone and show appreciation for the gifts you’ve been given.

3. Are you saving your bad ideas for later? Bad doesn’t mean always “terrible.” It COULD simply mean “bad timing.”

Keep your unused ideas around, just in case. Revisit them regularly. You never know, something that sucked five years ago might be GOLD today!

REMEMBER: Even bad ideas have their place.

4. Did you buy the domain first? The word domain comes from the Latin dominium, which means “property.”

LESSON LEARNED: The minute you get a great idea, register the website.

Even if you’re totally broke.
Even if you’re not sure if your idea will work.
Even if you’re years away from the final product.

Buy the domain.

Websites are the new real estate.

REMEMBER: He who owns the domain owns the idea.

5. Did you google it first? Before you get too carried away with your new idea, you should probably google it first. Just to make sure someone else hasn’t already thought of it. Cheapest and most effective market research in the world!

REMEMBER: If it doesn’t exist on Google, it’s yours for the taking.

6. How can you do the work once and benefit many times? This is the key to duplication, multiplication and ultimately, replacing yourself.

You need to build a foundation.

Now, maybe that means writing. Or setting up systems. Or making a business process self-sufficient. Whatever you do, constantly ask yourself, “How can I do the work once and benefit many times?”

REMEMBER: Take yourself out of the equation.

7. How can you make this into your own? Because there’s nothing new under the sun, the key differentiator is process.

Delivery. Voice. Medium, not message.

That’s why you need to “notice things and give them names,” as Seth Godin explains.

Observe, watch, read, pluck and listen to your environment. Content is just BEGGING to be captured! You need to create names, designations and titles for the things you notice. They must be original, creative and consistent with the branding of your content and philosophies.

REMEMBER: Don’t copy, don’t imitate – put your own spin on it.

Read part two of this series!

What’s your best Leverage Question?

Share it here!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

…tomorrow goes ON AIR!

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