Does Your Company Pass The Testicle Test?

“Wow, that takes balls.”

That’s what people tell you.

When you do something crazy.
When you go full time as an artist.
When you take the entrepreneurial plunge.

That it requires balls.

Cujones. Courage. Moxie. The willingness to step up and stick yourself out there.

I agree. I think it absolutely takes balls to change the world.


Having balls (alone) isn’t enough.

As Lawrence Fishburne said in Boyz in the Hood, “Any fool can make a baby – but only a real man can be a father.”

TRUTH IS: Making a name for yourself begins with risk; but the only way to make it last is to blend it with regularity.

Here’s a list of ten strategies to help you hang in there, or, as I like to call it, pass The Testicle Test:

1. Focus is the mobilizing force. In The Tao of Abundance, Laurence G. Boldt reminds us that by learning to do one thing with total focus; you bring a clarity and simplicity to the whole of your life.

The question is: Will you stay focused in the face of incessant distractions trying to pull you away from your dream, or will the beckoning, elusive “door to more” seduce you into walking through?

Don’t let things derail you. Be very careful what you begin. Otherwise, spending your energies on the wrong causes will be the end of you. All that risk will lead to zero rewards, or worse yet, an abundance of rewards that don’t matter. How much money are you losing (not) focusing on your priorities?

2. Call upon untested faculties that await your discovery. Sustainability is a function of adaptability. That is, deploying your gifts in new ways to add new value. A helpful audit is to ask yourself the following questions once a quarter:

*Which of your skills do you rarely get the opportunity to use at work?
*What personal skills have you not tapped into yet to build your business?
*What personal skills have you not tapped into yet to add value to your customers?

Eventually, your arsenal of sustainability tools (backbone) will support your attitude of courageous action (balls). How many new skills have you recently become known for?

3. Mere movement is meaningless. Especially if you’re mistaking movement for progress. On the other hand, if you’re making real advancement – even if you’re moving at a glacial pace – eventually the world is going to notice.

As long as you don’t regret what you have set in motion. Instead, develop faith in the decisions you made. And know every step you take (as long as it’s a smart step) makes the probability of success higher. What are you moving toward?

4. Take personal and proactive responsibility for your own evolution. The first step is learning to recognize and refuse the old image of yourself. That way you’ll know what (not) to regress back into.

Next, be surgical in your improvement. Keep rotation constant. And be willing to trust the process of change. Otherwise, like the phone book, you’ll move closer to extinction with every passing day.

Third, don’t preserve yesterday. Reflect upon it, yes – dwell upon it, no. Learn from it, yes – be shackled by it, no. Remember: No adapt, no advance. You must be a willing participant in that process. What change are you afraid to invite?

5. Deliberately slow down. Success turns into failure when it comes too fast, too early or too abundantly. I experienced this about ten years ago. My career blasted off before I had the chance to get my oxygen mask on. Not surprisingly, my left lung eventually collapsed. Then I really needed oxygen.

That became the lesson about proceeding before you’re ready: Impatience pays off, but only when it’s balanced with intermission. I discovered that all the balls in the world are irrelevant when you’ve got a tube in your chest. Learn to honor what stops you. And if nothing stops you, stop yourself. Are you an expert at pressing the off button?

6. Recognize failure as part of the plan. Otherwise your remarkable inability to learn from past errors will be the seed of your demise. Instead, build the stamina to recover rapidly from disappointment.

Because the question isn’t, “Do you have balls?” but rather, “When the world kicks you in the crotch, how quickly do you get up?” It all depends on your adaptive capacity. Remember: The falling is inevitable – the harm is optional. What gifts have your failures given you?

7. Trust accelerates trajectory. Risk requires trust, and trust requires evidence. That’s the hard part. So, it becomes a process of uncertainty reduction through repeated action. The more venues in which you reveal yourself, the more trust you garner for yourself.

Your mission is to match each moment of risk taking (having balls) with three moments of backbone engaging (sustaining stamina). How did you increase your self-trust this week?

8. Sustaining is a function of restraining. My clients frequently tell me that the discipline that I administer is astounding. To work. To life. To everything. And I’m always grateful for that compliment because most people don’t notice it. They assume boldness solidifies success on its own.

This, of course, is a lie.

Discipline is the hallmark of greatness. The foundation of all creativity. The four-letter word that guarantees success. And it’s the differentiator that will set you apart from all other creative professionals. You just need to ask yourself what you’re willing to give up to get what you want.

Remember: Risky becomes stupid the moment it touches inconsistency. Do it everyday or don’t do it all. What waits you in the refining fire of discipline?

9. Poke savagely away. Genius is a great spark, but rededication is the firewood that keeps that fire blazing. Think Mozart or Beethoven were happy with being one-hit-wonders?

No way. They were hundred-hit-heroes. All because they risked initially, but (also) refused to discontinue the passionate pursuit of their craft indefinitely.

You owe your success to a pattern. Step back from the canvas, step back within yourself and steer clear of complacency. Otherwise you’re just another Right Said Fred: To sexy for your shirt, so sexy it hurts. How many hours did you practice yesterday?

10. Be always planting seeds for the future. Small deposits. Every day. With intensity of desire and consistency determination. And, if you don’t have any options – create some. Map it out. Plan your learning trajectory.

I do this every few years with my own business. I’ll map out where I’ve come, where I am, and where I’d like to be. Then I’ll brainstorm a list of seeds that need to be planted to make my envisioned future a tangible reality. What’s growing in your garden of success?

REMEMBER: Action without consistency always falls short of mastery.

Next time someone remarks to you, “Wow, that takes balls,” silently remind yourself of the following truth:

Yes, it takes balls to stick yourself out there – but it takes backbone to KEEP yourself out there.

Does your company pass The Testicle Test?

For the ebook called, “15 Ways to Out LEARN Your Competitors,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott’s comprehensive marketing guidebook on and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

How to be Risky as Hell without being Reckless as Hell’s Angels

Being an entrepreneur is risky.

That’s actually the definition of the word: “One who undertakes risks.”

The challenge is negotiating the fine line between riskiness and recklessness.

If you don’t, you may end up going bankrupt.

Today we’re going to explore the distinction between these two ends of the entrepreneurial spectrum:

RISKY is sticking yourself out there.
RECKLESS is leaving yourself out there.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Are you balancing vulnerability with healthy boundaries?

RISKY is embracing uncertainty.
RECKLESS is rejecting ambiguity.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Are you comfortable with not knowing?

RISKY increases the probability of temporary hurt.
RECKLESS guarantees the promise of permanent injury.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Are you willing to sit out one game to avoid sitting out the entire season?

RISKY indicates accountability for actions.
RECKLESS suggests irresponsibility in thinking.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: What are you hesitant to own?

RISKY is growing increasingly mindful of how your pebbles ripple.
RECKLESS is remaining utterly unconcerned about the consequences of action.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Are you an island?

RISKY is treading on thin ice, trotting atop uncertain ground and gracefully balancing out on a limb.
RECKLESS is jumping on cracked ice, dancing atop broken ground and scarcely hanging by a thread.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: What are you afraid to consider as a sign?

RISKY is succeeding from venturesomeness.
RECKLESS is stumbling from carelessness.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Who can help you so you don’t make (too many) wrong moves?

RISKY is marked by heartstrong action.
RECKLESS is stained by headstrong action.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Are you thinking with the right organ?

RISKY is for bad asses.
RECKLESS is for broke asses.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Which ass are you?

RISKY is enterprising.
RECKLESS is compromising.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: Are you making money, but making your family crazy?

RISKY is on a trajectory for prosperity.
RECKLESS is on collision course with bankruptcy.

LET ME ASK YA THIS: What consumes your time that isn’t making you any money?

Ultimately, taking risks comes with the entrepreneurial territory.

And sure, sometimes you have to go off the high board even if you’re not sure if there’s any water below.

So if you do, just make sure there’s a phone nearby.

Because while drawing a little blood is risky, filling the entire pool with it is reckless.

Are you risky as hell, or reckless as Hell’s Angels?

For the ebook called, “45 Recession-Friendly Strategies for Entrepreneurial Evolution,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott’s comprehensive marketing guidebook on and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

Are You Profitably Patient or Destructively Passive?

There’s nothing more threatening to the competition than someone who isn’t going anywhere.

It’s like Indiana Jones said in The Last Crusade: “I’m like a bad penny – I always turn up.”

The tricky part is negotiating the fine line between patience and passivity.

Here’s how:

1. Practice natural selection. My friend Josh is a professional poker player. He practices dangerous patience in a brilliant way:

“Once I buy into an online tournament, I wait twenty minutes before playing a single hand. Not to study the current players, but to let the weak weed themselves out. Otherwise I might get sucked into their undertow of careless amateurism and make a costly mistake.”

In business and in life, the same goes for you: The longer you wait, the higher the quality of the remaining players. Darwin was right. How much self-control are you willing to practice?

2. People who tell you to “work smart, not hard,” are lazy. Working hard (or smart, for that matter) isn’t enough. You have to work hard, work smart and work long. That’s the trifecta of success nobody wants to face because it involves more sweat and less sleep. Most people want the proven formula of how to “do more in less time with less stress and zero money.”

Sorry, Captain Shortcut. Doesn’t work that way. Life is marathon – not a sprint. Sure, you might see some success in the first few laps. But if you’re solely functioning on a steady diet of “work smart, not hard,” eventually you’re going to get creamed.

You have to pay your dues and take your lumps like everyone else. Otherwise your weak foundation will not sustain you. What fairy tails have you been poisoned by?

3. Remember the Galatians. “Let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we will reap a great harvest if we faint not.” My mentor first shared this scripture with me when I was a sixteen, and it’s guided my patience ever since. The painful part, of course, is having faith.

Especially in the beginning when you’ve got zero proof that this principle actually works. When everybody you know is becoming more successful than you, faster than you. And you’re sitting there, KNOWING you work just as hard – if not harder – and deserve the same success.

All I can say is: Hang in there. The playing field levels out eventually. And as you watch the truth of this statement play out, you’ll achieve the small victories necessary to fuel your patience. And when that time comes, you’ll accelerate into pole position while all of the hacks, one-hit-wonders and bullshit artists fall to the wayside. Will you faint not?

4. Patience isn’t idleness. Every time I submit a manuscript to my editor, I expect (not) to see that book for about a month. My ritual is to spend those next four weeks organizing the architecture of my next book while I’m waiting. And since I write for four to seven hours a day, every day, I’m usually about five books ahead of my publishing schedule.

Your challenge is to get into the habit of asking yourself, “What essential tasks can I accomplish while I’m waiting?” And I don’t mean checking your Crackberry six times while waiting in line at the post office. Rather, calculating a rough estimate of how long you need to wait. Weeks? Months? Years?

Then, leveraging that time to take massive, productive and immediate action. This enables you to be patient in one arena while simultaneously impatient in another. That’s called killing two stones with one bird. How patient can you afford to be?

5. Patience is wisdom. By waiting, you let other people screw up first. That way you learn from their failures, which helps prevent making the same mistakes in your own life. I learned this from my older brother when I was growing up. When we were in high school, he’d sneak out of the basement window, stay out past curfew, even throw parties when my parents were out of town.

Sometimes he got away with it; sometimes he got grounded for two weeks. Either way, I made mental notes of his victories and failures to strategically prepare my future adolescent delinquencies. How could you learn what (not) to do by silently watching others pay tuition?

6. Keep moving until the right action arises. Otherwise perfectionism will insist you wait for something that never comes. The secret is striking a balance between dangerous patience and profitable impatience. For example, my morning ritual as a writer is to spend twenty minutes dumping, puking and emptying my mind on paper before I do anything else. No deleting, no editing and no thinking.

Most of what I write is complete and utter garbage with occasional spacklings of nonsensical drivel. The cool part is, once I’ve cleared away the crap, my best, highest, bloodiest and most creative ideas come to the surface. It just takes a while. Kind of like drawing a bath: The faucet defaults to cold for a few minutes before the hot water comes out. Patient, yet impatient.

Your challenge (especially if you’re not a writer) is to figure out where your bathtub is. Where can you keep moving (while overlooking quality) until the right action arises?

7. The strong wait. Self-control. Self-discipline. That’s what it takes to be dangerously patient. And every time the clock seems to be moving in reverse, keep saying to yourself, “The longer it takes, the stronger I’m gonna be when I get there.” Besides, you might not even be ready to handle success yet. Like when my first book came out in 2002 and was featured on CNN and USA Today, yet I had no idea how to leverage that coverage.

Or in 2006 when I was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and became so stressed out that my left lung collapsed. Lessons learned, but what a waste. It’s like my mentor reminds me, “The greatest relationship tragedy is finding the person you want to marry before you’re ready.” What about you? Are you willing to forego short-term gratification for long-term fulfillment?

8. Be in it for the long haul. One of the professional mantras I live by is, “It’s only a matter of time.” Here’s why this will work for you: Based on how smart/hard/long you work, based on your personal constitution, and based on the secret weapon of your attitude, you’ll soon become confident that certain payoffs; victories and accomplishments will inevitably come to pass.

It’s statistical probability, and it’s only a matter of time. This mindset is a result of two things: Self-believe and stick-to-it-ive-ness. Because you’re not going anywhere. And every day, you’re only going to get stronger and better. Is that the way you talk to yourself?

OK. Before I finish, one caveat:

Don’t be patient for the wrong reasons.

Although patience can be extremely profitable, four caveats exist.

1. Be careful not to wait so long that it becomes too late to take action. Patience isn’t a virtue if it’s really procrastination in disguise.

2. Beware of investing valuable time waiting for something that’s never going to get better. Any number multiplied by zero is still zero.

3. Don’t expend all your energy patiently getting better at something that isn’t useful. Like getting a tutor so you can earn a degree in philosophy.

4. If being patient IS the smart choice for you, do plan to go the whole hog. Going through all the trouble (and time) to get halfway there is a waste.

REMEMBER: It’s a dangerous proposition for your competition to realize that you aren’t going anywhere.

Yes, taking a long time to do something is often necessary, but rarely admirable.

But as Einstein once said, “I’m not smarter than anybody else – I just stick with it longer.”

Are you dangerously patient or destructively passive?

For the ebook 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!

6 Reasons to Add a Little Crazy to Your Entrepreneurial Arsenal

1. Crazy is a compliment. If everybody says you’re nuts, you just might be onto something. Therefore: The only valid response to someone who uses that word to describe you is, “Thanks!”

As Marcus Aurelius wrote in Meditations, “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

Your mission is to (not only) be nuts, but to BE PROUD of being nuts. No entrepreneur ever looked back on her career and thought, “You know, looking back, I should have been more sane.” How do you respond when people tell you that you’re out of your mind?

2. There’s always somebody crazier. In 2005 I was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Ripley’s Believe Or Not because I made a career out of wearing a nametag 24-7. Now, as crazy as that sounds, my accomplishments are (bordering on) normal when compared to some of the other inductees.

For example, Leo Kongee. He’s known as “The Human Pin Cushion,” as his claim to fame is hammering nails into his face. And you think I’m crazy for wearing a nametag everyday?

Lesson learned: You’re not the only crazy one. As Jimmy Buffet sang in Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, “If we weren’t all crazy, we would go insane.” Are you?

3. Practice being (positively) crazy. In Tim Burton’s 2010 remake of Alice in Wonderland, there’s a common theme of craziness throughout the film. Distraught about her impending battle against the dangerous Jabberwocky, Alice says, “There is no use trying; one can’t believe impossible things.”

The White Queen responds with, “I dare say you haven’t had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Lesson learned: Practice doesn’t make perfect – it makes profit. If you want to turn crazy into money, you’ve got to do a little every day. I’d suggest doing so in the morning to stretch your brain and activate your attitude. How many crazy ideas did you have before breakfast today?

4. Love the haters. Nietzsche once remarked, “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who couldn’t hear the music.” Next time people give you flack for being crazy, dust ‘em off. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

Especially if they’re the type of people whose imagination can’t encompass what it is that you want to do. Instead, be grateful for their challenge to your commitment to craziness. How will you use the haters to fuel your fire of insanity?

5. Craziness keeps you sane. Sounds counterintuitive, I know. But it’s true. It’s like that U2 song, “I Might Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy tonight.” Ever feel that way? Like you just need to think or say or do something crazy before your head explodes? Good. Next time that happens, go with it. The secret is to compose a craziness practice that you can default to when you need your fix. Whatever active, creative outlet scratches your itch.

For example, when I’m in a crazy mood, I go to a concert or sing karaoke. Two perfect venues where it’s completely acceptable (and strenuously encouraged) to be as crazy as possible. Works every time. Except when security escorts me out. Lesson learned: Never underestimate the power of (occasional) manifestations of reckless insanity. Have you taken your dose of Vitamin-C today?

6. Be (positively) crazy. “He’s crazy in the best way possible.” That’s how the UFC 107 announcer introduced fighter B.J. Penn on December 12, 2009. I remember watching the fight in Vegas – it was astounding. Penn defeated Sanchez in round five to retain the UFC Lightweight Championship.

More importantly, this victory became one of only two fights in UFC’s sixteen-year history to end in the fifth round. Why? I’d say it was largely due to the fighter’s (positive) craziness. That’s the secret. And there IS a fine line I would be remiss if I didn’t define.

Therefore: Being crazy – notwithstanding the benefits I’ve outlined today – won’t be profitable if you’re not doing it for the right reasons. Don’t be crazy just for the sake of being crazy. It won’t sustain you, it won’t nourish you, and it won’t make you money. In fact, it might even get you hurt. What’s your motivation for being crazy?

To conclude our discussion on crazy, let’s turn to Gnarls Barkley.

You may be familiar with their 2006 hit single from the album St. Elsewhere called “Crazy.”

I love this song.
I’ve heard it on the radio hundreds of times.
I even saw Gnarls Barkley play this very song live in concert.

But it wasn’t until I carefully read the lyrics that I discovered just how poignant this song really is.

Think of it as a reminder of the profitability of (healthy) craziness:

– – –

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place.
Even your emotions had an echo
In so much space

And when you’re out there, without care,
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough, I just knew too much

Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?

And I hope that you are having the time of your life
But think twice, that’s my only advice

Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are, Hahaha bless your soul – you really think you’re in control?

Well, I think you’re crazy.
I think you’re crazy.
I think you’re crazy.
Just like me

My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb.
And all I remember is thinking: I want to be like them.
Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it looked like fun.
And it’s no coincidence I’ve come
And I can die when I’m done

Maybe I’m crazy.
Maybe you’re crazy.
Maybe we’re crazy.

REMEMBER: If you’re not at least (a little) nuts, you’re a putz.

How are you profiting from insanity?

For the ebook called, “24 Ways to Out GROW Your Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the ebook for free!

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

The world’s FIRST two-in-one, flip-flop book!

Buy Scott’s comprehensive marketing guidebook on and learn how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

A List of Things Will Not Bring You Closer to Your Dreams

1. Accepting. Don’t accept anyone else’s version of the truth. Don’t accept payment in politeness. Don’t accept the verdict that you’re not enough. Don’t accept that everyone you encounter has your best interests at heart. Don’t accept that life is out to get you. What have you mindlessly accepted?

2. Allowing. Don’t allow others’ neuroses to color your perceptions. Don’t allow the genius to be drummed out of you. Don’t allow the innovation of others to intimidate and inhibit you. Don’t allow the situation to be responsible for how you feel. Don’t allow the world to superimpose its prefabricated definition of who you should be. Don’t allow yourself to exist in an inhibited condition. Are you making unprofitable allowances?

3. Expecting. Don’t expect success to come for three years. Don’t expect people to hand you a corn beef sandwich, wash your socks and unzip your fly for you. Don’t expect the universe to cut you any slack. Don’t expect the resistance to take it easy on you. Don’t expect discipline to be something you have rather than something you continually pursue. What are your catastrophic expectations?

4. Letting. Don’t let the pursuit for perfection stop you from trying. Don’t let things derail you. Don’t let anything pull you toward littleness. Don’t let your agenda collapse too easily. Don’t let your desires stay sobbing, awaiting your hand to take action upon them. Don’t let your mind sink into a state of passivity. Don’t let yourself become entangled in other people’s wars. Don’t let yourself choose what feels wrong just because you want clarity now. What will you gain from letting this happen?

5. Listening. Don’t listen to people who think they know what you need. Don’t listen to people whose imagination can’t encompass what it is that you’re trying to do. Don’t listen to people who put a damper on your natural versatility. Don’t listen to people who haven’t been right about shit in years. Don’t listen to people who criticize you no matter what you do. Don’t listen to people who seek to silence your conscience. Don’t listen to people what have a deluded view of their competence. How well do you minimize chaos by listening inwardly?

6. Talking. Don’t talk about what you plan to do when conditions are perfect. Don’t talk about what you hope to do when the planets are aligned. Don’t talk about what you’d love to do if you had the time. Don’t talk about how you’re going to finish your book as soon as things slow down at work. Don’t talk about how much you have changed and how great it will be if they take you back. Don’t talk about how the credit card company screwed you and their fault you’re in debt up to your ears. Don’t talk about how your life is one goddamn catastrophe after another. Don’t talk about how you’re going to update your website as soon as you get a free night. Are you giving people lip service or foot service?

7. Waiting. Don’t wait for permission. Don’t wait for instructions. Don’t wait for overwhelming evidence before you trust yourself. Don’t wait to be rewarded to do what you love. Don’t wait until you’re old enough. Don’t wait until you’re experienced enough. Don’t wait until you know what you’re doing. Don’t wait until you’re given the go ahead by people you don’t even like. Don’t wait until you’ve satisfied people’s lackluster expectations. What is waiting getting in the way of?

8. Wasting. Don’t waste energy protesting. Don’t waste power trying to impress someone you don’t even like. Don’t waste time on relationships you’ve outgrown. Don’t waste your brilliant mental effort on negativity. Don’t waste money on marketing materials that don’t influence customer decisions anyway. Don’t waste valuable hours of your day doing things that don’t make you any money and aren’t consistent with your #1 goal. How inefficient have you become?

9. Whining. Don’t whine about the cosmic injustice of the world. Don’t whine about how there are only so many hours in the day and that’s why you haven’t gotten around to making any art lately. Don’t whine about it’s not fair because you work just as hard as they do and you don’t have it. Don’t whine about how if you didn’t have three kids and a job that you hated, you could finally finish your book. Do you whine about the wind, hope the wind will stop or adjust your sails?

10. Wishing. Don’t wish for fewer problems. Don’t wish for more time. Don’t wish for easier tasks. Don’t wish for someone to come back into your life who doesn’t love and honor you. Don’t wish for a perfect life free of pain and heartache. Don’t wish that what’s currently driving your heart batshit never would have happened. Don’t wish that when you wake up tomorrow morning, everything will turn out perfect, shiny and new. Ten years from now, what will you wish you had spent more time doing today?

What is bringing you closer to your dreams?

For the list called, “8 Ways to Out GIVE 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, Entrepreneur, Mentor

Who’s quoting YOU?

Check out Scott’s Online Quotation Database for a bite-sized education on branding success!

How to Have a Crazy Idea That Changes the World

“If everybody says you’re nuts – you just might be onto something.”

That mantra guides my daily life.

Which makes sense, considering I made an entire career out of wearing a nametag everyday.

I know. Just another crazy idea, right?

Damn right. That’s the whole point. That crazy people who have crazy ideas make crazy change in a crazy world.

What about you? How many crazy ideas did you ignore yesterday?

ANSWER: Too many.

Today we’re going to talk about how to have a crazy idea that changes the world:

1. Give yourself permission to be crazy. To have a crazy idea, you must become physically, mentally and spiritually crazy yourself. Nothing illegal. Nothing dangerous. Just the willingness to stick yourself out there, make yourself uncomfortable and violate the status quo aggressively and creatively – all the while, being made fun of by most of the world.

That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Naturally, this is the biggest barrier for most people. Mostly because it involves massive uncertainty. Venturing down a less-defined path. And accepting the reality that along the journey, people are going to look at you like you’ve got green antennas growing out of your skull. Are you ok with that? Remember: Crazy ideas rarely come from sane people. Is your straightjacket securely fastened?

2. Be less intentional. Most of the crazy ideas that changed the world started out as mistakes, accidents, coincidences, serendipity, jokes or experiments. For that reason, my first suggestion is simple: Don’t try so hard. As the Tao De Ching reminds us, “Any over-determined action produces its exact opposite.”

Learn to relax your ears, soften your gaze and poke about the world in a playful, relaxed and curious way. By virtue of your receptive, open and flexible posture, you’ll be able to snag crazy ideas as they cross your path. Otherwise, your overly goal-oriented attitude will scare them into hiding.

It’s like Thoreau said: “Happiness is like a butterfly – the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” Will you apply that same principle to your creative search?

3. Think less. Audience members and readers alike often ask me, “What were you thinking when you decided to wear a nametag every day for the rest of your life?” Well, that’s just the thing – I wasn’t thinking. I was feeling. I was listening. I was trusting. I was testing. I was risking. I was reacting. But I definitely wasn’t thinking.

And, interestingly enough, that crazy idea turned out to be the single most important decision of my life. As David Mack, writer, illustrator and creator of Daredevil, once told me on an airplane to Cincinnati, “An idea is not any good unless it’s on the verge of being stupid.”

Lesson learned: Think less. Instead, focus on noticing the things that resonate with your soul. Those are the crazy ideas waiting to stand naked in front of the world. Are you a slave to the wrong body part?

4. Become a student of crazy. First, read these books: Ideas That Became Big Business, Inventors At Work, Accidents May Happen and Selling The Scream.

Next, visit my friend Andy Sernovitz’s blog, Damn I Wish I Thought of That! He’ll keep you up to speed on unusually useful ideas for smart marketers. Finally, think of five people you know who had a crazy idea, saw it through, and used it to change the world. Buy them lunch. Probe their brains. And keep your eyes open for the commonalities in their thinking.

These resources combined will increase the probability of replicating the same attributes with your own idea. Are you willing to dedicate yourself to studying the anatomy of crazy?

5. Opportunity never stops knocking. Instead, you stop answering the door. Anyone who says there’s a shortage of great ideas is either stupid or deaf. It’s simple: All you have to do is listen. As Frank Warren said during a PostSecret event in St. Louis, “Great ideas are waiting for that one inspired person to take hold of them.”

Your challenge, whenever you come across these ideas, is to ask yourself, “Did this idea select me?” If so, great. If not, keep listening. There will be more. Are you letting your closed ears commit idea homicide?

6. Absurdities become antidotes. Every day when I slap a new nametag on my shirt, I remind myself of what Einstein once said: “If at first your idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it.” Interestingly, Einstein’s greatest scientific discovery sparked from a mental picture he had when he was sixteen years old.

One day, while taking a walk, Albert envisioned himself riding atop of beam of light into outer space, traveling at 299,792,458 meters per second. That ridiculous image helped him better understand accelerated motion. Which helped him create the Theory of Relativity. Which changed the world of science forever. Which earned him the Noble Prize. Which secured his spot in history as the greatest genius of all time.

Why? Because of a totally ridiculous, totally humorous image. In the book How to Think Like Einstein, author Scott Thorpe explains how this principle of melon motivating works:

“Brains have a mechanism that is the mental equivalent of an immune system – it rejects ideas that are foreign to it. But humor suppresses your mental immune system. So, if you treat a new idea humorously, you will be able to explore it more thoroughly because you want immediately reject it. And your mind will be free to make other absurd connections with the seed idea, generating more concepts for solutions.”

Revolutionary ideas come from ridiculous questions. What are you converting your absurdities into?

7. Play the numbers. The best way to have a great idea is to have lots of ideas. The second best way to have a great idea is to have lots of bad ideas. And the third best way to have a great idea is to hang around people who practice the first two.

Do that, and by sheer probability, your crazy idea that (could) change the world will naturally come along. It’s an eventually of probability by transforming yourself into a human lightning rod of creativity. The question is whether or not you will: (a) take notice of the strike, and (b) take massive action when the smoke clears.

Most people fail at both. How will you increase the probability of creative inspiration AND execution?

8. Keep a Crazy Log. Every time you have a crazy idea, write it down in a journal. And as you do, remember to treat each idea with deep democracy. Release the habitual need to appraise or assign value to everything that comes out of your brain. That’s not your decision.

Instead, think of yourself as a journalist. Stay objective. For now, just take the ideas down. Order and evaluation comes later. I promise that over time, you’ll begin to see patterns amidst the craziness. This makes it easier to discern keepers from rubbish when the time comes to stop creating and start judging. Is everything you know written down somewhere?

9. Don’t keep secrets. The aforementioned Frank Warren also mentioned during his talk, “First you keep secrets – then secrets keep you.” I agree. More specifically, secrets keep you FROM: (a) sharing your idea WITH the world, (b) executing your idea IN the world, and (3) leveraging your idea to create change AROUND the world.

Don’t be shy. Don’t bottle up your crazy ideas inside your body. Put your name on it and shout it from the rooftops. You never know who might be listening. Otherwise, you’re only as sick as your secrets. Is your silence halting the momentum of your crazy idea?

10. But you didn’t. If your crazy idea is really that good, odds are, you won’t be the first person who’s ever thought of it before. So, I beg you: Don’t let that discourage you from seeing it to fruition. Most ideas have already been thought of before.

The difference maker is: With enormous amounts of discipline, patience, stick-to-it-ive-ness – and the courage to hang your balls out there – you could be the first person in history to (actually) execute that crazy, world-changing idea. And then, ten years later, when bitter, jealous onlookers start whining, “I could have thought of that!” your only response will be, “Yeah, but you didn’t.”

As Nietzsche once remarked, “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who couldn’t hear the music.” Are you an idea person or an execution person?

11. Crazy ideas require crazy faith. Consider one final quotation from Post Secret’s Frank Warren: “Trust your crazy idea – it might be your destiny.” That’s where faith comes in. That’s when crunch time ensues. When it’s 3 AM and the rest of the world is cold and tired and quiet; and there’s nobody around but you and your crazy idea.

Will you choose to believe? Will you continue plugging away? And will you willingly dissolve your sanity and be considered crazy too? Or, will you cave into an uncourageous corner like another one of the millions of would-be world-changers whose crazy ideas never saw the light of day? If you picked the former, you’re on the right track.

It’s like Einstein once said, “I’m not smarter than anybody else – I just stick with it longer.” How will you strengthen your self-belief to support your crazy idea?

REMEMBER: If it’s not crazy, it’s not going to change the world.

There has never been a better time in the history of the world to have (and execute) your crazy idea.

Strap on your straightjacket. Stand up proud and firm. And declare to the world that you (and your crazy idea) are ready to change it.

What’s your crazy idea?

For the ebook called, “101 Lessons Learned from Wearing a Nametag 24-7,” 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!

The Profitability of Insanity

“Of course you’re crazy – that’s why we hired you!”

When the president of a multimillion-dollar staffing company made that exact remark to me five minutes before I walked on stage to conduct a three-hour workshop with two hundred of her salespeople, I almost tripped and fell over the podium.

Finally, I thought.

My insanity was affirmed.
My craziness was commended.

Take that, every teacher who gave me failing grades on standardized tests because my responses were “not in the answer key.”

Ah, craziness. The most underrated weapon in your professional arsenal.

Sadly, the world is lightning-quick to confuse crazy with dangerous. Or stupid. Or unprofitable. Or mentally unstable. Almost like a reverse halo effect. As if being called crazy was a dangerous thing.

Which, in many cases, it can be. And I say that with the utmost respect and consideration for those who have suffered, are suffering or know someone suffering from mental illness.

Today, however, we’re talking about positive craziness.

For example, read the following list. Each person on it has two commonalities. See if you can figure them out:

Aurelius. Bezos. Buddha. Buffet. Carlin. Christ. Churchill. Clinton. Confucius. Darwin. Drucker. Dylan. Edison. Einstein. Franklin. Gandhi. Gates. Gorbachev. Hemingway. Jefferson. Jobs. Krishna. Kroc. Lennon. Lincoln. Mandela. Marx. Mozart. Newton. Obama. Orwell. Presley. Shakespeare. Teresa. Tolkien. Tolstoy. Trump. Tutu. Voltaire. Wilde. Winfrey. Woods. Yeltsin. Zuckerberg.

Did you spot the two commonalities?

ONE: They were all featured on Biography’s list of 100 People Who Changed the World.

Would you disagree?

Me neither.

TWO: They were all – at some point in their lives – considered to be “crazy.”

Would you disagree?

Me neither.

LESSON LEARNED: Success requires crazy.

Heaps of it.

Put your teaspoons away. If you really want to change the world – break out the shovels and start stockpiling your (positive) craziness.

Here are six reasons why:

Crazy means singular. Nobody notices normal, nobody buys boring and nobody pays for average. You know this. And being a needle in a stack of needles is an extremely costly position. The good news is, being crazy sets you apart. Being crazy puts an end to all those broke-ass, running-in-place, winking-in-the-dark days of entrepreneurial anonymity. Are you The Only?

Crazy means impatient. Nike was wrong. Technically, “Just do it” could mean, “just sit on your butt.” Because technically, you’d still be doing something: Sitting there. Yikes. Impatience, on the other hand, has a better slogan: Just go. That means (actual) movement toward your goal. Impatience isn’t just a virtue – it’s a victory. How much money are you losing by being too patient?

Crazy means risk taking. Sticking yourself out there. Pitching a tent in the campground of discomfort and devastating the landscape to the point of unrecognizability. Next time someone condescends you by saying, “This is crazy!” you respond with, “Yes! And that’s exactly why we should do it.” Is the strategy for sticking yourself out there equally as crazy as the subject itself?

Crazy means unexpected. If people think you’re crazy, they immediately discount you as a threat. Which means they let their guard down. Which means you have an opening. Lesson learned: The strongest player is the one nobody sees coming. As Donald Trump wrote in Trump 101, “It will always be to your advantage to be underestimated.” How do you sneak up on people?

Crazy means moving with great speed. Crazy invites momentum, and money has a crush on velocity. Think about it: Were any of the people on the aforementioned Biography 100 the type to live life in slow motion? No way. They moved, they made imperfect progress, and they left a muddy trail of urgency and desire. What gear is your craziness shifting your business into?

Crazy means nonconforming. That means nobody can predict you. Which means nobody can stop you. Which means you win. This, of course, is a choice. Pick one: Change the rules so you can win at your own game, become the exception to every rule in the game, or change the game entirely so there are no rules. How will you upset the status quo?

I’m sorry: Did I miss the part about crazy being bad?

LESSON LEARNED: Crazy is the new sane. Be out of your mind or be into the red.

How are you profiting from insanity?

For the ebook called, “13 Sweeping Generalizations, Gross Assumptions & Ridiculous Oversimplifications about Life & Work,” send an email to me, and you win the ebook 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!

How to Matter

The human need to feel needed by (and valuable to) the world is about as deep as they come.

Here are some ideas to help you (and/or) your organization matter:

1. Make soaring unpreventable. The first time I heard Dave Matthews play the song he wrote for his wife called Loving Wings, I was brought to tears. The chorus goes: “I give to you my everything. You’ve given me these loving wings. And angels have all gathered round to hear me sing my love out loud.”

That’s your job: With your customers, your employees, your kids, your friends – to help them paint a picture of what they know they can achieve. In short: To give them wings. People don’t need Red Bull – they need you look them in the eye and say, “I believe in you.” How are you empowering people to become the person they were created to be?

2. Be fresh air. Unless you live in Tasmania (which, according to, has the cleanest measured air on Earth) most of the oxygen surrounding us is stale, recycled and tastes like the Sunday morning redeye from Vegas. So, just imagine how much of an impact you could have on the environment around you if your ideas, words and actions brought even the slightest amount of freshness.

Are you saying the same thing as everyone else? Hope not. Because freshness doesn’t just matter – it makes money. However, as you tip toe along the lunatic fringe, remember what Jim Flowers says, “Carefully and deliberately consider the raves, rants, fashion, science, and art of the avant garde. Explore the world of ‘too much.’ There is a very, very fine line between goofy and prophetic.” Are your ideas stale?

3. Bring solid value. Not just talk. Not just shtick. The word “matter” comes from the Latin materia, which means, “substance.” And you owe it to the world to let it ooze out of you. If you were charged with the crime of adding value, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

4. You must teach. Teachers are heroes. And anyone can be one. The two questions are: What is the teaching you are called to do? And what’s your teaching style? Couple of choices. Through your beliefs would be good. Through your words would be great. Through your actions would be awesome. But through your personal being – now that would be positively devastating.

Not to mention remarkable, since 90% of the world teaches through the first three approaches. My best suggestion for doing so is to write, memorialize, revisit and embody the living document known as your Personal Constitution. Email me if you want to learn more. How many new students have you enrolled this week?

5. Pry your life out of the jaws of average. There’s pervasive pressure to embrace mediocrity. For the love of God, don’t give in. Wage a war against boringness. Violently refuse to become a follower of the common ways of the mediocre masses. Instead, joyfully and loudly occupy the margins.

As Seth Godin explained in an interview with Selling Power, “Mediocrity is for losers. The big win is when you refuse to settle for average and you say I’m going to give up 90% of the opportunities.” Are you vanilla?

6. Be a person of consequence. This reminds me of a gorgeous song by Jose Gonzalez called Cycling Trivialities: “Don’t know which way to turn, every trifle becoming big concerns. All this time you were chasing dreams, without knowing what you wanted them to mean.”

Do you know someone like that? A person with no apparent goals or dreams? I bet you do. And I bet they don’t matter. Ouch. Your challenge is to continually ask yourself this question: Are the ideas, issues and problems I’m dedicating my time to trivialities or substantialities?

7. Be of duty and destiny. You’ve been given a divine assignment. A mandate. A job to do. And your mission is to find the small corner of the universe that is yours to transform – touch it – and then set it free. It’s like Paulo Coelho said in The Alchemist: “Follow your personal legend and the world will conspire to help you attain it.” People who do that matter. Why are you?

8. Be a relevant, noticeable shaper. I recently read a 2006 article from Business 2.0 Magazine called, “50 People That Matter Right Now.” What I find telling, however, isn’t the people on the list – but the people who wrote the list. In a sidebar, the editors reported the following:

“The names presented here weren’t selected on the basis of fame, net worth, or the accomplishments of yesteryear. Instead, our goal was to identify people whose ideas, products, and business insights are changing the world we live in today. Those who are reshaping our future by inventing important new technologies, exploiting emerging opportunities, or throwing their weight around in ways that are sure to make everyone else take notice. In assembling this list, we emphasized one key question: What have you done for us lately? We also considered its important corollary: What will you do for us tomorrow?”

What are you shaping?

9. Success isn’t the end. I learned this lesson from Um Hong-Gil. By the time he was forty, Um was the first South Korean to reach the summit of all fourteen eight thousand meter peaks in the world. In March of 2010, I had the honor of sharing the stage with Um during last week’s MDRT Conference in Seoul.

“Success isn’t the end,” he said in front of four thousand people. Wow. Coming from a guy who lost dozens of climbing colleagues – not to mention three frostbitten toes – that message certainly struck a nerve. It reminds of what Seth Godin (also) mentioned in the aforementioned interview:

“Life is like skiing: The goal is not to get to the bottom of the hill, the goal is to have a lot of great runs before sunset.” When it comes to success, are you a repeat offender?

REMEMBER: Nobody said mattering would be easy.

That’s probably why not everybody does it. Like Tom Hanks said in A League of Their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everybody would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.”

Do you matter?

For the list called, “For the list called, “7 Ways to Out Leverage Your Competition,” 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!

How to be a Human Being

Your humanity is not a liability.

Being a robot, however, might lose your company money.

Today we’re going to talk about being a human being.

Which, after extensive research, is something I’ve discovered can be surprisingly difficult for many people – myself included.

Einstein once said, “Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison of self-delusion by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Well, that sounds easy. Thanks a lot, Big Al.

Perhaps these suggestions will help:

1. Resist compartmentalizing people. Especially into convenient little personality boxes or oversimplified categories. Personality tests and “type” assessments frustrate me. Sure, it’s helpful in office situations and team projects. As long as you’re not reducing a human being named Randy to a label named ENFJ.

People want to be called by their name – not their score. People want to be treated as human beings – not statistics, not acronyms and not categories. Of course, this all depends on what you see when you see people. Do you see people as individuals to be cared for and enjoyed or objects to be manipulated and controlled?

2. Love your limits, liabilities, trespasses and shadows. Assess, take ownership of, and exert your vulnerabilities. You’ll find that endorsing your own weakness establishes your acceptance of the imperfect humanness of others. What’s more, when you let previously disregarded aspects of yourself come to the surface and acknowledge and embrace all aspects of who you are – people relax.

Plus, you give them permission to reciprocate. For example: I have no sense of direction, I used to litter constantly, I recently had six cavities filled, I’m useless when it comes to details, and I couldn’t change a tire if Al Qaeda was jamming an oozy against my temple. Just a few of my liabilities. How willing are you to share yours?

3. Crying demonstrates alignment. Bodies are barometers. And emotion is the final arbiter of truth. If tears are flowing, so is honesty. Lesson learned: Turning on the water works isn’t a crime. (Unless you’re trying to cry your way out of a speedy ticket, in which case, I hate you.)

Look, don’t hold the tears back. More importantly, never, EVER apologize for starting to cry. That’s what most people do instinctively: They say they’re sorry.

For what? Being honest? Being open? Being a human? Dude, it’s cool. Let it out, brother. All we’re going to do is respect you more. Unless you start dribbling snot on people. Then we have a sanitary problem. When was the last time you cried in the presence of other people?

4. Respond to the human need first. “Front desk – may I help you?” “Help! There’s an aggressive cobra in my bathtub!” “I’m sorry sir, but our hotel policy is not to negotiate with reptiles. Have a nice day.”

Ouch. Wrong need. Lesson learned: Before policies, before protocols, before anything, isolate the universal human need – in this case, death – and use that as your baseline point of response. Everything else can wait. Cobras are serious. Are you treating the problem or the person?

5. Understand, sympathize and empathize for the complexities of the human condition. Your humanity is marked (not) by your elevation above people, but your identification with them. Now, that doesn’t mean you pretend to be one of them. That actually works in reverse.

People can smell contrived connection like a wet dog. Instead, to express sympathy and empathy through the following formula: “Kathy, I have no idea what it takes to (x). What I DO know is how it feels to (y).” Are you trying to hard to relate to people?

6. If you see people bleeding, don’t pretend they aren’t really hurting. Like the homeless veteran with the cardboard sign: You don’t have to give him your life savings – but at least acknowledge the guy. I’m reminded of a 2005 article from Law Enforcement News called, “Approaching Invisible People.”

“You know who they are. They are the homeless wandering the alleyways mumbling. They are the preachers on the street corners declaring they are Jesus Christ. They are the ‘invisible’ people the public ignores, but as law enforcement officers you must see them. You are their guardians. You are their protectors. And being able to talk to the invisible man means being able to communicate with every man.”

Lesson learned: Practice a little namaste. The spirit in me honors the spirit in you. That doesn’t mean you have to save everybody. That doesn’t mean you have to bandage the blood of all who hurt. But don’t pretend they’re not there. They know you see them. And you know that they know you see them. How many people did you go out of your way to ignore last week?

7. Instead of answering questions, answer unspoken needs. My mentor was great at this. Whenever you’d ask a question, he’d start his response by saying, “Scott, I think what you’re really asking about is (x) – is that fair?” Naturally, he was spot-on every time.

Because he could listen to what I was trying to communicate – but was unable or afraid to articulate. That’s the unspoken need. And as you listen to the people who are important to you, I challenge you to keep your third ear open for the message communicated – not just the words spoken.

The cool part is: When you practice noticing what people are afraid of revealing, you’ll quickly learn what it is they long for. But only if you penetrate the mask, get beneath the surface of people’s lives and take a swim in their sea of unspoken emotional needs. How can you give people permission to share what they’re afraid of revealing?

8. See people beyond their emotional baggage and into their hearts. I once wrote a love song to a girl with whom I was incurably smitten that said, “I want to learn what your flaws are just so I can tell you that I love you anyway … I want to learn what all your little quirks are just so I can say I don’t care.”

Lesson learned: Love is a package deal. Everybody’s got baggage. The question is whether or not you’re human enough to let the people you love carry their bags onto your plane and fly with you anyway. Do you love people along with all the baggage they check?

In conclusion, we turn to Alan Weber, cofounding editor of FastCompany and author of Rules of Thumb:

“We’re drawn to people who know who they are, who are comfortable in their own skins. Their sense of themselves makes it easier for us to know and trust them. It cuts down on the wasted energy and head games that too often accompany people in power who are at war with themselves – and take it out on us.”

REMEMBER: Your humanity isn’t a liability.

Just for today, trying being a human being.

You might like it.

If not, I’m sure the robots would love to have you.

What makes you human?

For the list called, “For the list called, “37 Personal Leadership Questions Guaranteed to Shake Your Soul,” 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!

11 Ways to Kick Your Own Ass without Ending Up at the Proctologist’s Office

People frequently ask me if I’m a motivational speaker.

My answer is, “Not really.”

HERE’S WHY: The only person that can motivate you is yourself.

Sure, outside influences are helpful.

They can educate you into awareness.
They can disturb you into discomfort.
They can inspire you into excitement.

But in the end, the onus is on you. Motivation lies within.

Buddha had it right: “Be a light unto yourself.”

The secret is learning how to kick your own ass. Today we’re going to talk about how:

1. No importance = No motivation. You will always make time for what’s important to you. Therefore: If you want to motivate yourself to do something, either: (1) make it important to you, or (2), connect it with something that’s already important to you. How are your priorities affecting your motivation?

2. Goals drive motivation. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. Wow. Sounds like a Yogi Berra quotation. Lesson learned: If you plan kick your own ass, have the foresight to print a roadmap on the bottom of your shoe.

Here’s how: Set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely, write them out. Carry them in your wallet. Look at them every day. Then make sure everything you’re doing throughout the day is aligned with them. Motivation will occur naturally.

By spending your time where it’s profitable and learning to say no to things (not) on the way to your dream, you will immediately put yourself at the center of action. And you will win. Are your goals in your wallet?

3. Expand self-efficacy. Speaking of goals. Famed psychologist Albert Bandura defines self-efficacy as a belief in our own ability to succeed, and our ability to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. According to his book Self-Efficacy:

“High levels of self-efficacy result in an ability to view difficult goals as a challenge, whereas people with low self-efficacy would likely view the same goals as being beyond their abilities, and might not even attempt to achieve them. ”

Lesson learned: Get in touch with your resistance. Know what stops, deflates and derails you. That way, your high resolve will never melt under the heat lamp of temptation. How efficacious are you?

4. Trying jumping first. Ever gone cliff diving? The same thing happens every time: You stand there, shaking in your Tevas, debating whether or not to take the plunge. Meanwhile, your friends cheer you on and/or call you a sissy. Eventually you can’t take it anymore. You realize you’re only delaying the inevitable.

So you jump. No thinking. No motivation needed. You just jump. And as your body cuts into the icy water, your body exhilarates with excitement. It’s the best rush you’ve had in years. So, what do you do? Quickly swim to shore, race back up the mountain and do it again.

The only difference is, NOW you’re motivated – because you’ve already jumped before. Lesson learned: The best motivation for doing something is having already done it once. What cliff do you need to dive off of?

5. Be not overwhelmed by circumstances. Be not imprisoned by the moment. Struggle not against the inevitable. As my friend Neen James says, “Assess whether whatever is happening is in your control or not. If it is, decide whether you want to change it. Then, if so, ponder if it would even be worthwhile to expend the energy doing so.”

By exercising this type of internal communication, you cease to be imprisoned by external conditions. How could you hold your own feet to the fire?

6. Self-motivation stems from self-knowledge. It all depends on the way you talk to yourself before taking action. For example, the silent dialogue I have with myself often includes questions like:

*Is this supporting my empire?
*Will this choice bring me closer to my highest vision for myself?
*Will this choice add to my life force or rob me of my energy?
*Will this action move me closer to honoring my values or further away?

Your mission is to take some time exploring your personal decision making process. Here’s a helpful guide for doing so. Are you the world’s expert on yourself?

7. Enlist active and ongoing encouragement from your environment. In my office, you can’t see the walls. They’re covered (ceiling to floor) with items of motivation: Letters from inspired readers. Testimonials from audience members. Hatemail from people with too much time on their hands. Newspaper clippings from articles I’ve written or been featured in. Pictures of people I love. Quotations from songs that shook my soul. A map of the country with a thumbtack on every city I’ve spoken in. (Just to name a few.)

This is how I motivate myself each day. Of course, I’m a visual learner. This might not work for you. Your mission is to create atmosphere conducive to motivation based on your preferences and style. How does your home turf subtlety kick you in the ass?

8. Trim the fat. It’s easy to motivate yourself when you’re not weighed down by heaps of unimportant, inconsequential debris. Your challenge is to become skilled at dropping the rocks that are slowing you down. Try asking questions like:

*Is what I’m doing right now consistent with my #1 goal?
*Who creates fires you waste time putting out?
*How much time and energy are you wasting on things over which you have absolutely ZERO control?
*What consumes my time but isn’t making any money?

Remember: Motivation means choosing. And choosing means letting other options go. Are you prepared to cut yourself lose from the past and swing into the present.

9. Accept that the planets will never be aligned. Don’t wait until everything’s perfect. Don’t wait until you know what you’re doing. Don’t wait until you’re experienced enough. Don’t wait for overwhelming evidence to trust yourself. Heighten your impatience.

Plunge into the vortex of action. And jump off the high board hoping there’s water below. Otherwise procrastination – the redneck second cousin of self-motivation – will rob you of the motivation you need to carry in the cavalry charge. How will you leverage impatience as fuel for your motivation?

10. Surround yourself with other ass kickers. Self-motivation is contagious. If you hang with people whose footprints are plastered on their own assess, you will have no choice but to become motivated yourself. Therefore: Associate with the generous, gravitate to the cheerful, listen to the inspiring and court the challenging.

Or, if you don’t have friends like that, you can always use dead Italian guys. Take Davinci. He once said, “Rouse yourself from sleep because lying down will not bring thee fame.” Post that quotation next to your alarm clock. Maybe that’ll get your lazy butt out of bed. Are you surrounded by masters of self-motivation?

11. Remember your victory dance. The satisfaction of a job well done isn’t enough. And goals are worthless unless you celebrate their accomplishment. For example, when I swim laps each week, my primary motivation for doing so is relaxing hot tub afterwards.

It’s the best. But I have to earn it. I convince myself that I don’t deserve to soak until I’ve swum up a storm. That’s my victory dance. It’s minor; but it’s motivating. Your challenge is to design customized victory dances that commemorate the fruits of your motivation.

That way you’ll have that celebratory carrot dangling the next time. And the next time. And the next time. You might even spend a few minutes engaged in creative visualization OF your victory dance directly before taking action. I’ve done this before every one of the 300+ speeches I’ve given, and found that it (1) helps set spirit in motion, and (2) equips me to be what the moment requires. What’s your victory dance?

REMEMBER: Motivation lies within.

Start kicking your own ass today.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to my van down by the river.

What’s your system for self-motivation?

For the list called, “For the list called, “37 Personal Leadership Questions Guaranteed to Shake Your Soul,” 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!

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