9 Words to Eliminate from your Entrepreneurial Vocabulary

1. Answers. Overrated. Questions are all that matter. Here’s why: Questions advance sales. Questions change relationships. Questions contain energy. What’s more, questions are bridges, catapults and fuel. They create buy-in, earn respect, invite dialogue and transform organizations. When was the last time your precious answers did all that for you??

2. Balance. It’s for ballerinas. Besides, you can be off balance and still be on purpose. That’s called alignment, and it beats balance any day. Your challenge is to figure out what your life looks like when the integrity of its foundation is in tact. Are you on a path that aligns your actions to your values?

3. Dabbling. Go all out or go home. Be dedicated or be eliminated. Throw yourself wholeheartedly into the game. That’s what it takes to win. And if you don’t want to make this a business, don’t bother. Are you willing to go pro?

4. Formulas. They’re non-updatable, unshakable and inelastic. They’re inflexible, choreographed, canned, insincere, inauthentic and preplanned. They’re often resisted, debated and creates defensiveness. And their rigid, rote learning limits people’s possibilities and stifles their creativity.

Practices, on the other hand, work. They come in the form of simple, doable and human actions. They insinuate instead of impose. They’re adaptable and apply to various situations and people in their own unique way. They’re also easily digested, self-evident, non-threatening and encourage people’s creativity. Which of the two are YOU using?

5. How. How is dangerous. How is a dream destroyer. How is the difference between an Idea Guy and an Execution Guy. And the problem is, too many people are at war with HOW when they should be in love with WHY.

Look: You don’t have to know what you’re doing. You don’t have to know where you’re going. You don’t have to know how you’re going to get there. You just need to move – and you need to know WHY you’re moving. Because if you focus on the WHAT, the HOW will eventually appear. Are you stopped by not knowing how?

6. Knowledge. Anybody can bring it to the table. The real question is: Have you taken action upon your knowledge? That’s the difference between knowing and doing. That’s the difference between information and insight. Experience. Application. Execution. Actionability. Do you just offer expertise and information, or can you deliver REAL insight?

7. Resume. A thing of the past. If you want to persuade potential employers, prospects and customers to hire you, remember this: Your resume is most effective when someone OTHER than you writes it.

So, your resume is your Google ranking. Your comments section on your blog. The testimonial page on your website. Your resume is what people are saying about and after your name. Don’t you think that if someone wants to hire you, she’s going to validate your credibility from multiple sources?

8. Satisfaction. Proves nothing. Even “loyalty” isn’t all that powerful anymore. What you need is customer insistence. Absolutely gotta-have-it factor. Absolute gotta-work-with-this-guy factor. You need people slam their fist down on the boardroom table and say, “We need to hire THIS guy!” Are your customers satisfied, loyal or insistent?

9. You. I don’t know if you got the memo, but YOU are overrated. It’s nothing personal. I’m sure you’re a very smart, cool person. But nobody cares about you. They care about them. They care about money, sex and happiness. And the minute you start to embrace that reality, the minute your world will change forever. It’s amazing how far a little humility will go. Have you gotten over yourself yet?

How much money are you losing by having a weak entrepreneurial vocabulary?

For the list called, “99 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

19 Do’s and Don’ts of Award Winning Entrepreneurship

DON’T allow people to make you feel bad for being awesome.
DO personally amputate anyone who doesn’t believe in or support you.
And surround yourself with people who love and inspire you.
Who could you call at 2 AM?

DON’T be so interested in creating a work of art.
DO be interesting in becoming a work of art yourself.
And just know that it’s never truly finished.
What did you create today?

DON’T be selfish with your knowledge.
DO share your expertise generously so people recognize it, become addicted to it and eventually depend on you for it.
And the world will open up to you.
What did you teach today?

DON’T be the most unique.
DO work the hardest at your uniqueness, know it well, amplify it, commit to it and stay consistent with it.
And the market will reward your handsomely.
What value are you prepared to deliver to others so that they will voluntarily give you their money?

DON’T feel the need to justify yourself to, waste your time on, or become upset if, you piss off people who don’t know how to value you yet.
DO the thing that makes people watch you with breathless interest.
And that select pool of individuals will be all the support you need.
To whom are you a rockstar?

DON’T feel the need to tell people everything you know to convince them.
DO regularly put yourself in front of economic buyers so when they DO feel the need, you’re the trusted advisor they think of first.
And that will be all the marketing you’ll ever need to do.
Do you have marketshare or mindshare?

DON’T just sit in bed mulling over things.
DO get up and go think on paper.
And your ideas will be executed significantly sooner.
How much money have you lost because you didn’t feel like writing your ideas down?

DON’T live your life in boxes.
DO realize you don’t need anybody’s box.
And you will be set free.
Do you pick the box that says, “Other”?

DON’T get fancy and try to appeal to everyone.
DO be courageous enough to go with something simple and focused.
And your message will have the best chance of getting through and sticking TO people.
Does your marketing pass the 5th Grader Test?

DON’T spend any extra time trying to impress yourself.
DO make a conscious effort to inspire and wow the masses.
And incidentally, you WILL be impressed.
Whom have you made gasp this week?

DON’T obsess over the need for approval from anyone other than yourself.
DO learn to affirm yourself by applauding internally.
And you’ll get standing ovations every time.
Are you your own #1 fan?

DON’T recreate what’s always been recreated.
DO produce something people have a yearning for.
And you will capture the world’s imagination.
Do you bring a new lens or just regurgitate recycled wisdom?

DON’T apologize for the one thing you are that consistently wows people.
DO give your audience permission to be taken over by your performance.
And they will stand in line and pay higher prices than they know they should.
How often do people see you, being you, in your element, doing what you do?

DON’T compete.
DO create.
And you’ll redirect your energy into something you can win at, every time.
What did you create today?

DON’T spend most of your time planning.
DO spend most of your time building.
And action will become the engine that drives your credibility.
Do you really need to attend another mastermind meeting?

DON’T be stopped by not knowing how.
DO flirt with impatience, ambiguity, irrationality and insanity.
And you’ll discover that logic is overrated.
How much money are you losing by waiting until you know what you’re doing?

DON’T become so absorbed in the limitations of your condition that you don’t explore the creative possibilities of the situation.
DO move in the direction that helps you build your usefulness.
And in so doing, you will be performing an act of worship.
Why were you designed to cure?

DON’T fill up your time with mindless efforts to prove yourself.
DO fill up your time with mindful efforts to improve yourself.
And every day, part of you will get stronger; and part of your life will get better.
How did you add value to yourself today?

DON’T be limited by the thoughts others have tried to set in motion for you.
DO ignore the would-be deflectors of your one true dream.
And plunge forward into the vortex of swift, focused action.
Whose life are you living, really?

What are your entrepreneurial do’s a don’ts?

For the list called, “65 Things I Wish Someone 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, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

6 Little Known Ways to Elevate Your Entrepreneurial Edge

1. Decide how impatient you can afford to be. Being impatient might be the smartest decision your company could ever make. My first suggestion is to write the following two words on a sticky note: Just Go. That’s it. Just go.

Be willing to look bad on the road to immortality. Plunge forward plan-less. And stop allowing the need for perfection to preventing you from doing, being and having what you want. Take action on your new idea swiftly. Find out what ONE step you could take NOW to start moving forward to your ideal future. How much money is being (too) patient costing you?

2. Document as you develop. Writing makes everything you do easier and better. Not to mention, if you don’t write it down, it never happened. Whether it’s an idea, a process or a mind map for your next project, keeping records of your creative initiatives always serves you well.

First, it enables you to repeat your process. Secondly, it helps you improve your process. And lastly, it assists you in teaching your process, either to coworkers or customers. What did you write today?

3. Decide what it will take to become a proven entity. That might mean a stronger web presence. That might mean a more robust networking plan. That might mean securing a spot as a regular contributor to an online publication read by your perfect clients.

That might mean getting up an hour earlier every morning to write, accumulate enough content to blog five times a week and slowly expand your thought leadership platform. Just remember: Your strategy for sticking yourself out there needs to be as remarkable as WHAT you’re sticking out there. To whom do you need to become a proven entity to?

4. Help customers visualize the end result. The benefit of the benefit of the benefit. Not a rental car – getting the hell out of the airport. Not a Happy Meal – shutting the damn kids up. Not a deep tissue massage – an escape from your stressful world.

The secret behind this principle is to visually represent this end result to the customer. Take Pizza Hut, for example. Do you think their website is just a bunch of pictures of pies? No way. You see images of families at home, sitting around the dinner table, laughing, sharing and relaxing. The pizza is just a prop. What are you the answer to?

5. Make sure you don’t lose your entrepreneurial edge. Return to your roots. Uncover your beginnings. Ask yourself these questions:

*Why did you get into business in the first place?
*What would you do if you were starting your business all over again right now?
*What injustice did you set out to fight when you first started your business?

If you can’t answer those questions, either execute a plan for recovering your edge or be smart and quit. How much of your entrepreneurial edge have you lost since you started?

6. Offer less. Choice saturation paralyzes people into inaction. Even the simple act of choosing caused mental fatigue. What’s more, the longer customers they take, the less they buy.

Thus: Complexity generates contemplation, and contemplation kills sales. Because a confused mind never buys. What if you gave people ZERO choice to eliminate customer frustration remove the threat of rejection?

How are you elevating your entrepreneurial edge?

For the list called, “65 Things I Wish Someone 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, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Are You Using the Most Dangerous Word in Marketing?

In marketing, there’s ONE WORD that solidifies your failure:


Here’s why:

People say “Next…!” when they cease to see value.

People say “Next…!” when they’ve become hurried, harried or had enough of you.

People say “Next…!” when they’re faced with too many choices and not enough time.

People say “Next…!” when they’ve become tired OF or bored WITH their current option.

Customers. Prospects. Prospective employers. Readers. Followers. Audience members.

Whomever you’re trying to reach with your message. If they either say or think, “Next…!”, here’s the problem…

…That means you’re instantly forgettable.
…That means you’re not inherently competitive.
…That means you haven’t delivered enough value.
…That means you haven’t conveyed enough uniqueness.
…That means you didn’t achieve the Gotta-Have-It Factor.
…That means you’ve created ZERO interest through a Point of Dissonance.
…That means you’re boring, normal, average, or some combination of the three.
…That means the snapshot of your idea hasn’t lodged and exploded in people’s minds.
…That means you didn’t evoke people to slam their fist down on the boardroom table and say, “We need to hire THIS guy!”


SO, HERE’S YOUR CHALLENGE: Practice making yourself, your ideas and your business “unnextable.”

Here’s a list of nine ways to do so:

1. Amuse me or lose me. Diana Krall once recorded a classic jazz tune called, Peel Me a Grape. Here’s how the chorus goes: “Don’t try to fool me, bejewel me. Polar bear rug me, don’t bug me. New Thunderbird me, you heard me. Either amuse me or lose me. I’m getting hungry, peel me a grape.”

Here’s the reality: Attention spans are declining. Technology is accelerating. Choices are infinite. And customers are deciding how much attention they want to give to you. So, if you’re not at least a LITTLE amusing, you’re toast. How amusing are YOU?

2. Anchor your expertise in that which is timeless. You’ll stick around longer. You’ll be hired quicker. And you’ll be relevant forever. Otherwise, your expertise will melt away into the multitude. Just another Marketing One Hit Wonder. What do you know that people will always need to learn more about and get better at?

3. Begin with value. Because if you deliver enough value, you will attract enough attention. If you attract enough attention, you will win enough trust. And if you win enough trust, you will earn enough money. What’s your baseline value?

4. If you give something away, put a price tag on it anyway. This sets a precedent of value. This assures that people recognize the incredible deal you’re giving them. And this prevents other people from violating your boundaries and saying:

“Well, my friend Ted told me you coached him for nothing. I want the same deal.” Remember: You are what you charge. And when people don’t pay you, people don’t hear you. What are you charging?

5. Make yourself necessary to the world. Establish a position where people wouldn’t DARE proceed with (x) until they spoke with you FIRST. A position where organizations wouldn’t explore the topic of (y) until they got your opinion on it FIRST.

And, a position where the media wouldn’t do a story on (z) until they sought out your expertise FIRST. Be necessary. Be impossible to live without. Be impossible to do business without. Are you establishing marketshare or MIND-share?

6. Nothing deserves to be worked on harder than your message. As such, remember to dance across these fine lines: Catchy, but not corny. Clear, yet curious. Cool, but not contrived. Emotional, yet engaging. Informative, yet incomplete.

Also: Philosophical, yet pragmatic. Playful, yet professional. Quirky, but not questionable. Simple, yet profound. Relevant, yet unexpected. Smart, but not clever. Unusual, yet unarguable. How hard are you working on your message?

7. Pick out industries that don’t have celebrities – then become the first one. You will rise to the top quicker. You will stand out easier. And you will be perceived as the expert sooner. Big ponds are overrated. To whom are you a rockstar?

8. Stop brainstorming and start brain MONETIZING. We have enough Idea Guys. What we really need are more Execution Guys. Action guys. GTD Guys. That’s what companies are paying money for: People who DO stuff. Are you a talker or a doer?

9. Your expertise needs to be plugged into strategy needs. My friend, David Newman, used to call his company “Unconsulting.” Which is a cool name, if you ask me. Unfortunately, he realized that companies didn’t have “unconsulting” problems.

So, he changed it to “Do It! Marketing,” because companies DID have marketing execution problems. Do you think he started booking more business as a result? You bet! And all he did was plug his expertise into a different need. How bookable are YOU?

REMEMBER: The more “unnextable” you are, the more successful you will become.

Don’t give people a reason to skip you.

How are you preventing your customers from saying, “Next!”

For the list called, “26 Ways to Out-Brand Your Competition,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

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

Who’s telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

9 Voicemail Messages that Get Called Back EVERY Time

You can’t make people return your calls.

All you can do is increase the probability that your phone will ring by becoming more “call-back-able.”

So, whether you’re leaving voicemails with customers, coworkers, prospects, potential dates, employees, superiors, suppliers, students, volunteers – even complete strangers – the same principles and practices still apply.

Here’s a list of nine ways to become more call-back-able:

1. Start with yourself. Think back to the last time you returned from vacation. Ten voicemails were waiting for you. QUESTION: Whom did you call back first? What made you want to – or not want to – call that person back? And which of the ten voicemails did you delete within two seconds of hearing the message?

This baseline exercise is the perfect way to enter into the caller mindset. Plus it helps you pinpoint voicemail behaviors that turn even YOU off. What voicemails do it for you?

2. Punch people in the face with your purpose. I can’t begin to count the number of voicemails I receive every week from complete strangers who leave nothing but their name and number. Tragically, that’s their entire message.

Naturally, I delete their voicemails immediately. For one simple reason: No call to action = No call back. Period. And frankly, I feel kind of bad doing so. And I’m sure I’ve missed out on connecting with some great people. But I’m a busy guy. And if first-time callers aren’t respectful and intelligent enough to state their purpose within five seconds of leaving a message, they haven’t earned the right to be called back.

The secret for YOUR voicemails is to have a purpose (not an agenda, but a purpose) … and to punch people in the face with that purpose gently and immediately. Otherwise people are going to think, “Next…!” Are you demonstrating a valid reason for your persistence?

3. Pamper their ego. It’s not enough to make people feel “valued” and “special” and “important.” Go one step further. Make them feel essential. As if you couldn’t live or make a move without them. Try Phrases That Payses like:

o “I need your opinion on this idea…”
o “You’re the first person I had to tell this story to…”
o “I quoted you on my blog today and got lots of comments!”
o “Dude, I’ve got a story that ONLY you would appreciate…”
o “I just gave you a referral – call me back and I’ll fill you in.”
o “Your ears must be ringing – I was talking about you yesterday!”
o “I’ve been thinking a lot about out conversation from last week, and I wrote out a list of five ways to make your problem go away. Gimme a holler when you can, or email me at…”

Your phone WILL ring. How are you making people feel essential?

4. Appeal to their inherent helpful nature. “I need your help.” Those four words are a simple, yet powerful motivator of human engagement and motivation. I use them every day right before I’m about to make ANY request, i.e., returning a shirt to Nordstrom, getting my iPhone fixed or calling tech support.

In my experience, you’re almost ALWAYS guaranteed better service if you frame your request in this way. In addition to appealing to a human being’s helpful side, these four words also work because they’re: (1) positive, (2) honor the person you’ve reached out to, and (3) demonstrate your humility and vulnerability.

Kind of hard to reject someone like that! Besides, what’s the other person gonna say? “You need MY help? Sorry pal. Ask someone who gives a crap!” Unless you live in Philly, doubtful. So, I’m challenging you to use this phrase on the phone as often as possible. It works. Whom are you asking for help?

5. Help people maintain a sense of control. In the psychology manual, The Handbook of Competence and Motivation, the authors’ research proved on several occasions that human beings operate out of a model to feel autonomous and in control of their environment and actions.

Thus: The feeling of being in control is a basic human need. It’s right up there with “Feeling Accepted,” “Feeling Secure” and “Watching American Idol.” So, your challenge is to leave a voicemail message that speaks to that need. For example, you could offer a few choices of good times to call you back. Or give additional options for contacting you besides the phone, i.e., fax, email or text.

Another approach is to say, ”I need your approval on something…” or “I’ve got an awesome idea, and I wanted to get your permission before I made my move.” This not only makes them feel in control, but also makes them feel essential. How can you appeal to this person’s need to feel in control of her own life?

6. Deliver (and dangle) value. Write a list of fifty practical strategies your customer can use TODAY to grow his business. Next, every time you call, leave two of those strategies as your voicemail message. Then, here’s the best part: You tell the customer to call you back if she wants the third one.

Not only will she call you back, she’ll play your message over the PA system for everyone in her office. Because you didn’t leave a voicemail – you delivered a twenty-second mini teleseminar. Wow.

CAUTION: Make sure that the strategies on your list have nothing to do with you, your product or your company. You can’t just write, “#27: Hire me!” or “#41: Buy fifteen of my copiers!” as items on your list, smart guy. Does your message leave the impression of value or vanity in the mind of the customer?

7. Mix the medium. Not everyone prefers communicating over the phone. Especially people born after 1978. And since that Gen X/Y/Millennial population is slowly starting to saturate the workforce (and take over the world, I might add) it’s essential to be cognizant of the varying communication preferences of your customers.

So, at the end of your voicemail, remind people that they can always reach you by email for a quicker response. This approach increases your accessibility and appeals to a wider audience – even older generations.

What’s more, emailing is a low-pressure, non-threatening medium of communication that gives people more time to carefully craft their words. Try this approach and you’ll be amazed how many people will email back instead of calling back. How reachable are you?

8. Three words: “You were right.” Of course, don’t actually tell people WHAT they were right about. Just tell them they were right, and when they call you back, you’ll explain why. This works because:

o “You were right” enters you into someone else’s reality. Which demonstrates empathy. Which shows you’ve listened.
o “You were right” increases someone’s pride. Which speaks to their self-esteem. Which makes them more confident about themselves.
o “You were right” shows an open mindedness to different opinions. Which sets a precedent for a non-judgmental atmosphere. Which lowers emotional reactivity. Which allows you to discover solutions together.
o “You were right” acknowledges someone’s unique point of view. Which makes them feel valued. “You were right” builds common ground on. a point of mutual agreement. Which reduces emotional distance and increases trust.

How could anyone resist? Who doesn’t love being right? And who wouldn’t want to learn about a recent situation in which they were right? Nobody. How are you making people feel right?

9. Ask Google. While writing this article, I spent a few minutes googling phrases like, “I didn’t call her back because…” and “I refuse to return his call because…” VERY powerful exercise.

Now, most of the comments came from blogs and message boards. And from the looks of it; people were venting, complaining or expressing anger about their friends, coworkers, vendors and the like – along with WHY they chose not to return those peoples’ calls.

So, for our last example, let me share a selection of statements from that list. And I’m challenging you to match these dialogues with the eleven attributes of being “call-back-able” you’ve already learned so far:

“I didn’t return the call because…”

“…All the negative things I’ve read about their company.”
“…He is obviously quite busy with work.”
“…He only wants to cause drama between us.”
“…He stood us up last time we worked together.”
“…He’ll be too “good” on the phone, and in his manipulative way, I’ll slip.”
“…He was known to be a incorrigible gambler.”
“…I can do it by myself.”
“…I can’t say her name out loud without laughing.”
“…I didn’t know him and he didn’t specify what he wanted.”
“…I didn’t want anything else to do with him at that point.”
“…I knew that I wouldn’t be able to have an intelligent conversation with her.”
“…I obviously no longer needed his services.”
“…If he really liked me, then he would have called sooner.”
“…It seemed like he had nothing to say other than fishing for info.”
“…Our initial connection was lost because a first impression only lasts so long.”
“…She never says who she is.”
“…She probably won’t answer anyway.”
“…She was so hateful and acted like it was my fault.”

And of course, my all-time favorite:

“I didn’t return the call because…”

“…That bitch is totally wack and completely insane, like an H-Bomb detonated inside her brain.”

– – –

OK! Think you’re ready for your phone to start ringing off the hook?

Not so fast, Alexander Graham Bell.

While you DO need to appeal to self-interest and people’s need to feel in control…

While you DO need to state your purpose, pamper their ego and make people feel essential…

And while you DO need to deliver value, mix the medium and speak with meaningful concrete immediacy…

There’s still one FINAL secret to leaving voicemails that get called back EVERY time.

And you’re probably not going to like it.

Because it’s not a technique, a strategy or a unique sales approach.

It’s something you DO and something you ARE long before you even pick up the phone.

I’m talking about reputation, positioning and branding.
I’m talking about credibility, consistency and commitment.

IN SHORT: Character.

Character trumps technique.
Character is the great catchall.
Character is what makes people want call you back.

Because when you have that, when you ARE that, and when the person listening to your voicemail message KNOWS that, you instantly become more call-back-able.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some voicemails to leave.

How will you increase the probability of getting called back?

For the list called, “12 Ways to Get Customers to Open Your Email First,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!

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

How many unsolicited referrals did YOU get this week?

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