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

(Read the first post in this series here!)

Being an entrepreneur can be a LONELY profession.

Especially if you work out of your home.

After all…

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

And sometimes, it just sucks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ONE LAST POINT: be grateful.

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

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

How do you convince yourself that you actually have a real job?

Share your best ideas here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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What are you doing TODAY to increase your freedom TOMORROW?

Let’s talk about freedom.

BUSINESS freedom.

That’s what entrepreneurs want more of, right?


JUST REMEMBER: business freedom is something that needs to be EARNED.

Here’s a list of eight ways to do it:

Freedom comes from FOCUS.
If you’ve carved out a niche, a narrow slice of the market, you will earn the freedom to charge a premium and be selective about your client base.

THE KEY TO FOCUS: become THEE, not A.

Freedom comes from WRITING.
The best way to learn something is to write it. So, if you’re constantly writing down your ideas and thoughts, you will earn the freedom to speak both extemporaneously AND intelligently about them.

THE KEY TO WRITING: writing is the basis of all wealth.

Freedom comes from READING.
How many books did you read last year? If you’re constantly exposing yourself to great books, you will earn the freedom to carry on an engaging conversation with almost anyone.

THE KEY TO READING: learn how to read a book.

Freedom comes from REPUTATION.
Your reputation sells you when you’re not around. By carefully creating, improving and reinforcing it, you will earn the freedom to work less.


Freedom comes from EXPERTISE.
What do you know more about than anyone else in the world? When you can answer this question, you will earn the freedom to work alongside ZERO competition.

THE KEY TO EXPERTISE: become a thought leader.

Freedom comes from POSITIONING.
When you position yourself in a unique way, you will earn the freedom to (not) have to sell so much; and instead, get business to come to YOU. You will shorten your average sales cycle and customers will self-qualify.


Freedom comes from SELF-EVALUATION.
When you know exactly who you are and what your uniqueness is, you will earn the freedom to insist upon being yourself.

THE KEY TO SELF-EVALUATION: your philosophies and policies.

Freedom comes from HARD WORK.
Paying your dues means working hard, smart and long. For a while. And eventually, you will earn the freedom to (not) have to work so hard, or at all.

THE KEY TO HARD WORK: um, hard work.

What are you doing TODAY to increase your freedom TOMORROW?

Share your best technique here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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Even when you say no, you’re still marketing

PICTURE THIS: you get an email out the blue from a prospect.

But not just ANY prospect … the perfect customer.

Exactly the type of client you want to work with.

The good news is; they want to hire you!
The bad news is; you’re booked solid.

Looks like you’re going to have to turn down their business.

What do you do?

Well, first of all, saying no isn’t really BAD news. After all, it means…

You’re in demand.
You’re staying busy.
You’re attracting the right type of clients.

That’s a great place for any company to be!

BUT HERE’S THE CHALLENGE: how do you say no to new business … while STILL marketing?

Take a lesson from Progressive Insurance.

In 1994, Progressive became the first auto insurance company to provide its rates alongside the rates of other companies.

That way, consumers could easily compare and decide … even if they didn’t use Progressive!

I remember when their commercials first came out. EVERYBODY was talking about them.

“So, Progressive will give you the insurance rates of their competitors? That’s so cool!”

Cool, indeed.

Not what you’d expect from an insurance company, right?

Exactly. Which is precisely why that sentence became their widely recognized tagline.

Also, I snooped around online and found this great excerpt from their annual report:

“Fast. Fair. Better. That’s what you can expect from Progressive. Everything we do recognizes the needs of busy consumers who are cost-conscious, increasingly savvy about insurance and ready for easy, new ways to quote, buy and manage their policies, including claims service that respects their time and reduces the trauma and inconvenience of loss.”


Progressive LOVES and RESPECTS their customers SO MUCH, they’ll do whatever it takes to make them happy.

Even if it means forfeiting new business!

See, Progressive found a way to say no to its potential customers … while STILL maintaining (and reinforcing) brand integrity.

That’s the way the game of marketing should be played.

So, if you find yourself in a situation where you just HAVE to turn new business away, remember this:

Don’t just say no and then hang up!

“Well, we’re sorry sir. Can’t help ya out today. But, we wish you good luck fishing that dead raccoon out of your chimney. Bye!”

If you were that customer, how would YOU feel?

INSTEAD, TRY THIS: create a policy, procedure or protocol for saying no. Have options or a decision tree on-hand. Find a way to STILL serve the customer, even if he’s not your customer. Position yourself as a resource, and they’ll come back next time!

THEN, TRY THIS: consider your network of colleagues to whom you’d gladly refer client overflow. Whoever you think would be a good fit, send them a heads-up email or phone call first. Then offer their name to your prospect. Finally, follow up about a week later to see if it worked out. It’s good karma.

ULTIMATELY, REMEMBER THIS: when you forfeit new business to vouch for a colleague’s credibility, your credibility will increase as well. Clients will respect your discretion, honesty and generosity. And those characteristics will stay in their mind for the next time they (or someone else) needs you.

Because, as I learned from Seth Godin, even when you say no, you’re still marketing.

Do you build marketing in your no’s?

Share an example of how saying NO at one point … enabled a customer say YES at a future point.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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You’re a creative professional.

That means you make a living off of your ideas.

SO, HERE’S THE BIG QUESTION: how do you deal with people stealing your material?

Tough issue. Has been for a long time.

Plagiarism comes from the Latin plagiare, meaning, “to kidnap.”

It’s defined as “the practice of claiming, or implying, original authorship or incorporating material from someone else’s written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one’s own without adequate acknowledgment.” (From Wikipedia.)

Because idea piracy is such a big issue, here’s a list of seven potential solutions to deal with it:

1. Take legal action. This is an expensive, frustrating and timely pursuit. However, it could pay off in a BIG way if you win. Not to mention, become a deterrent for future offenders. HINT: ask more experienced creative professionals (or lawyers) if you have a case first.

2. Catch it early. You can’t control your online image. You can only monitor and participate IN it. That’s where Google Alerts come in handy. And if you’re tracking the right search terms, you’ll be the first to know when someone is stealing your material. Do you know every time someone is talking about you?

3. Kill ‘em with friendliness. Sometimes “stealing” and “using” isn’t the same thing. Still, it’s your job to find out. For example, last year my Google Alerts informed me that someone WAS using one of my taglines. So, I found they guy’s email, dropped him a line and cordially asked him to stop using my registered trademark. He was totally respectful and apologetic. He had no idea! So, if this happens to you, be friendly first. No need to get nasty or defensive.

4. Karma. Be honest with yourself: have YOU ever stolen someone else’s material? Just something to think about.

5. Protect thy content. On your blog or website, include a piracy notice or reprint policy. Tell visitors they are welcome to use your material if they:

a. Email you to ask for permission
b. Give you full credit with your specified BIO
c. Send you a copy or a link for the inclusion

Most people will respect this, especially if you drop Creative Commons on them.

REMEMBER: people respond to policies.

6. Validate. OK, let’s say someone DOES steal your material. Ask yourself three questions:

a. Will this person’s dishonesty, unoriginality and lack of creativity cause their execution of the idea to fizzle anyway?
b.Is this SUCH a minor incident that I shouldn’t even bother worrying about?
c. Is there really anything I can even do about it?

REMEMBER: Lincoln said, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” Eventually, most thieves get caught.

7. Let it go. The nature of the Internet makes it VERY easy for people to steal material. The question is: how concerned are you?

Creativity Guru Lee Silber says, “Very few people have the intent, ability, follow-through or malice to steal your ideas. Don’t let this fear hold you back. Do what you can to protect yourself and your ideas, and then go out and spread the word.”

So, this isn’t about naivety, this is about reality. Is it really worth losing z’s about? And is it a problem or a predicament?

Those seven approaches notwithstanding, here’s my answer to the idea-stealing issue

The best way to block a punch … no be there.

Those were the words of Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid II.

IN OTHER WORDS: if you don’t want people stealing your material and using your ideas, make them unstealable.

Create and position your material in a manner that is SO unique to you, your brand and your voice … that nobody COULD steal it.

And if they did, people would know it.

That’s what I would do.

Ultimately, whichever approach you choose, just know this: idea piracy DOES happen.

Your challenge as a creative professional is to create a plan that effectively and efficiently deals with it when it does.

And, if you’re one of those unfortunate artists who DOES get her ideas kidnapped, remember this old scripture: (I learned this from my high school English teacher)

“And let us not be wearing in well doing: for in due season we shall reap a harvest if we faint not.”

Because at the end of the creative day…

People who steal ideas are cowards.
People who steal ideas are unoriginal.
People who steal ideas are uncreative.
People who steal ideas are going to get caught.
People who steal ideas are not going to sustain themselves.

So, don’t let it get you down. Piracy is flattery.

After all, if your idea was so good that somebody wanted to steal it, maybe that should tell you something 😉

How do you prevent and/or deal with idea pirates?

Share your best piracy story here, along with how you handled it.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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Are you building a following?

Cult leaders.
Presidential candidates.
American Idol contestants.

What do all these people have in common?

They’re all building a following.

HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: so can you!

That’s the beauty (and ironically, sometimes the horror) of the Web: anyone with an idea can share it with the world and build a following around it. And they can do so quickly, powerfully and through a variety of media.

Unfortunately, the idea of “building a following” may sound too grandiose, too celebrity-ish and too impossible to the average businessperson.

“Who am I to build a following?” you think.
Wrong question.

Instead, ask yourself, “Am I being selfish with my knowledge?”

See, the dictionary defines a following as, “A group of people who admire or support somebody or something over a period of time.”

OK. Couple of key points in that definition:

FIRST: “A group of people.”
That doesn’t mean millions, thousands, or even hundreds. Don’t be intimidated by a false necessity to accumulate hordes of followers.

SECOND: “…admire or support…”
That doesn’t mean people are bowing down to you. Building a following isn’t about ego; it’s about shared values and mutual goals.

THIRD: “…somebody or something…”
That doesn’t mean it’s all about one person. It’s about an idea, a value, a movement, a cause and a vision.

FOURTH: “…over a period of time.”
That doesn’t mean you’re a fad, a trend, a hot topic or the new flavor of the month. You build a following one person at a time.

Actually, wait. That last point was wrong.

I shouldn’t have said, “one person at a time.”

I should have said, “one FAN at a time.”

Because that’s what building a following is about: loyalty.

Not just to you, but to the bigger idea.

So, if you want to get started (or continue) building a following, remember three key ideas:

1.Writing is the Basis of All Wealth
You can’t build a following around an idea if you haven’t first expanded, explored and clarified it on paper. Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, penning your thoughts is the single greatest starting point for building a following.

ASK YOURSELF THIS: If everybody did exactly what I said, what would the world look like?

This question will help you build a template for your philosophy.

AND REMEMBER THIS: Guy Kawasaki, an author/entrepreneur with an incredible following said, “It’s impossible to build community around mediocre writing.”

The more you write, the quicker you uncover your unique VOICE.

2. Fanagement
You can’t build a following without fans. The challenge, then, is creating, maintaining and staying in front of them. Here a few suggestions:

*Ask for their email. The crux of permission marketing is to get your fans to opt-in. Be sure you’re regularly asking new people in person AND online. Now, while giving someone your email address is technically “free,” there’s still the concern of getting spammed. So, be certain people understand your intentions at the onset. Respect always wins.

*Consistently deliver a value message. Whether it’s through an ezine, podcast or blog, you MUST deliver value. Remind your fans WHY they follow you. Also, ask for their input, ideas, feedback and comments. REMEMBER: the more involved they are, the more ownership they take. The more ownership they take, the more people they tell. And the more people they tell, the bigger your following grows.

*Gratitude. Because a following is nothing with out followers, make sure you regularly remind them how much you value their loyalty.

3. Be Approachable
Lastly, members (and potential members) of your following MUST have access to you and your ideas. In order to project approachability, remember these ABC’s:

*Access. Make yourself accessible through several media, i.e., email, phone and instant messenger. See, each of your fans maintains a different communication style. So it’s valuable to offer them several contact options. REMEMBER: If someone can’t come up to you, how will they ever get behind you?

*Boundaries. On the flip side, set realistic expectations and personal policies for the accessibility of your time and information. Every “yes” to one thing is a “no” to another.

*Content. Since you’re writing regularly now (right?) you need to make your content accessible for reading, downloading and sharing. This is ESSENTIAL for building a following. Post your ideas on a blog, website, even on public article databases. (NOTE: if you’re concerned about piracy, relax. Just be sure to write in a voice that is SO unique to you, that you become SO identified with; that someone wouldn’t dare steal it. And if he did, people would know it.)

THE BOTTOM LINE: building a following is not an easy task.

It doesn’t happen overnight.
It doesn’t happen without work.
It doesn’t happen without consistency.


If you regularly deliver value through writing…
If you create a fanagement system for your followers…
If you maintain approachability within your own boundaries…

Then you WILL create a group of people who admire or support you and your ideas.

Even if you’re not a cult leader.

Are you building a following?

Share your best Fanagement Techniques here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you a friend of The Nametag Network?

Read more blogs!
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Make a name for yourself here…

Be (somewhat) predictable, part 2

I got an eye-opening instant message yesterday:

“Hey Scott … after I watched your segment on 20/20 last night, I went online to check out your website. I didn’t know what your URL was, so I just guessed it and typed in Sure enough, I was right! Way to make it easy!”

The funny thing is, my total on-air time was only 2:43.

And I didn’t even mentioned my website.

Which means one of two things:

1. Either that guy was a really good guesser,
2. Or my brand was just THAT predictable.

My vote goes for #2.

So. What about you?

o If you had a three-minute conversation about your business, would the other person be able to guess your company’s URL in one try?

o If you delivered a three-minute speech about your business, would the audience members be able to guess your company’s URL in one try?

o If you did a three-minute interview about your business, would the viewers be able to guess your company’s URL in one try?

I hope so.

Because people are impatient.

According to Wikipedia, the human attention span is about 15 seconds.

According to the Washington Post, the amount of delay time web users are willing to tolerate is 8 seconds.

So, they need to get it in one try.

LESSON LEARNED: be (somewhat) predictable.

Here’s another example.

Last year I was giving a speech to a group of salespeople. When it was over, the emcee returned to the stage. When the applause died down, he said this:

“By the way, if anyone would like to learn more about Scott’s books and training programs, you can just go to his website. In fact, I’ll give you guys ONE guess what his website address is…”

In laughing unison, 300 people yelled out, “Hello-my-name-is-Scott-dot-com!”


LESSON LEARNED: Make it really, really easy. And obvious. And simple.

Be (somewhat) predictable.

(Read part 1 of this post here.)

Are you (somewhat) predictable?

List three behaviors your clients could probably predict about you here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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Right here, right now, for FREE, no strings.

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Small Ideas = Big Business, Part 3

(To read part 1 of this series, click here!)
(To read part 2 of this series, click here!)

Soda Jerk
Virginia. 1880’s. The characters were: 1) A mischievous young employee at the neighborhood soda fountain, 2) The local doctor who owned the soda fountain, and 3) His beautiful young daughter who drove that boy crazy.

Seeing little future in the lives of the two lovebirds, Doc fired the boy.

Heartbroken, he moved to Texas. But he took with him a unique skill of discovering new fountain drinks by mixing shots of several existing flavors. One afternoon, he found one he liked. Actually, it was one that EVERYONE liked. Including a famous beverage chemist who just so happened to sit down at his counter that very day.

For lack of a better name, patrons dubbed his drink “Dr. Pepper,” teasing the young fountaineer about his long distance girlfriend and her overbearing father.

I’m sure he was laughing too. All the way to the bank!

1. There’s no better creative inspiration than a broken heart.
2. You never know who’s sitting at your counter.
3. Whatever people make fun of you for, find out how to use that to make money.

A Lot Riding on You
Charlie was a curious and inventive 21 year old. Early in his career, he received a government grant to make rubber mailbags. But he found little success. The material melted in hot temperatures.

He worked long and hard to make ends meet. He was imprisoned for non-payment of debts. People called him a crazy man. Living in squalor, Charlie barely could afford to feed his family. Unhappy with their living conditions, his wife finally forbade him from any further experimentation.

Like a typical man, Charlie didn’t listen to her. And on a February morning in 1839 when his wife had gone to the market, he began kneading a batch of rubber over the kitchen stove. Upon her unexpected return, he hastily heaved the batch into the hot stove.

A few moments later he retrieved the charred rubber from the burning pot.

And the rest was history.

It felt like leather. It looked black like sulphur. And it appeared to have the strength to withstand cold and hot temperatures.

On that day, the rubber tire was born. And for Charlie and his family, you could say it was definitely a “good year.”

1. Listen to everybody or listen to nobody.
2. Haste doesn’t always create waste.
3. If everybody says you’re out of your mind, you just might be onto something.

Creativity is cool, huh?

Post your own “Creativity Trio” here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

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Small Ideas = Big Business, Part 2

(To read part 1 of this series, click here!)

In 1882, John Patterson’s retail store was losing money. Unfortunately he couldn’t handle all the transactions himself. There was no way to stop money from leaking. He was headed for bankruptcy.

Then he heard about a strange device being used in Dayton Ohio. It actually enforced the correct recording of daily sales! After incorporating one of these crude machines into his order process, his store began to show a profit. Patterson then wondered, “If this machine is good for a little store in Ohio, wouldn’t it be equally good for stores everywhere?”

Damn right it would. Ever heard of the “cash register” before?

1. Ask yourself, “What if everybody had my product?”
2. You can’t control every part of your business
3. Ohio is the birthplace of, like, everything.

Nice Mustache
Gail was 54 years old when he received his patent for condensed milk. However, the way he came to invent the product was more out of frustration than creativity.

In 1851 he was heading back home from a trip to London. Several of the train’s compartments stored cows in the back to provide fresh milk for the many infants on board. However, the rough terrain made many cows sick. The result: they gave no milk.

Naturally, the babies on board started crying. A lot. Borden because so upset that he walked straight up to the captain and declared, “I promise you this. Someday I will develop a milk that can be carried anywhere in the world!”

Over 150 years later, Borden’s produces billions of food packages a year to over 200 countries worldwide.

1. Pissed off people are good at changing things.
2. Ask what other medium your product could be delivered in.
3. Cows are people too.

Creativity is cool, huh?

Post your own “Creativity Trio” here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

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Sticky Note Your Way to Success, Part 2

This is a continuation of last week’s popular post, Sticky Note Your Way to Success, Part 1.

To quickly summarize, the following motivational, thought provoking questions are to be written with a big fat Sharpie on a sticky note and posted in your office, car or bathroom.

WARNING: this exercise may lead to incredible success.

5. What did you write today? Every time a new friend or client comes to my office, this is the first thing they usually notice. You can’t miss it. I wrote it at the top of my dry erase board last year when I began writing my latest book, Make a Name for Yourself. And since then, it’s worked brilliantly. I have no choice but to stare at it all day! As a result; I haven’t missed a day of writing in a long time.

I suggest this question to everyone. NOTE: you might be saying to yourself, “But Scott, I’m not a writer!” My response to that is, “Everyone is a writer.” Just because you don’t write books or publish a column doesn’t mean you’re not a writer. There’s blogging, publishing newsletters and writing emails. All writing. All valuable. All done daily. Remember, writing is the basis of all wealth.

6. Is everything you know written down somewhere? That which goes unrecorded goes unmemorable. You must write everything down. Everything! Goals, thoughts, lessons learned and especially ideas. For example, how many times have you exclaimed, “Damn! I wish I’d thought of that!” Well, I have some bad news for you: you probably DID think of that. You just didn’t write it down. And that’s why someone else is making money off that idea, not you. Write everything down.

7. On a scale from 1-10, how did I do in my (x) today? Since the day I graduated from college, I’ve been practicing something called “Daily Appointments with Myself.” This 30-60 minute period of morning reflection and relaxation is THE most important part of every day. It resets my attitude, clears my head and prepares me for challenges and opportunities ahead.

One of the key components to this daily appointment is my Success Checklist. I suggest you make one for yourself. Simply write out this question for every major area of your life, both personal and professional. Relationships. Goals. Career. Faith. Health. Whatever you want. But here’s the secret: give yourself an honest assessment of how well you think you did in each area for the day before. Use these numbers to keep record of your improvements over time.

8. What HVA’s did I practice today? That stands for “Highly Valuable Activity.” Your goal is to accomplish three per day. Now, what you consider to be a HVA is up to you. Examples might include meeting with a prospect, writing an article, going to the gym, reading a new book or attending an association meeting. After a while, those numbers start to add up. 3 per day. That’s 21 per week. 84 per month. 1,018 per year. Wow! With that many Highly Valuable Activities, you’ll be certain to achieve your #1 goal for 2007!

9. What’s next? Back in the day when I used to sell furniture, my boss would post little sticky notes all around the store asking this two word question. According to Pam, it kept her employees on task. Especially when business was slow. “What’s next?” reminded us that there was always something to do: sweep, rearrange couches, follow up on special orders or study the new product catalogues. What’s more, this question works for small things and big things alike. Asking, “What’s next?” on a big-picture scale is a valuable brainstorming acitivty to evaluate the growth of your business.

How do you self-motivate?

Post your 3 best sticky-note success statements here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

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Sticky Note Your Way to Success, Part 1

There’s no such thing as a motivational speaker.

Not even Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Norman Vincent Peale or Napoleon Hill were motivational speakers.

Sure, those were five highly motivated dudes. And sure, those guys definitely spoke about the topic of motivation.

BUT REMEMBER THIS: the only person in the world who can motivate you is YOU.

As an author, speaker an entrepreneur myself, I’ve become skilled at self-motivation.

See, I work alone. No boss. No coworkers. No clock-in box.

Just me.

And in my experience, self-motivation works best under three conditions:

1. When it’s visual
2. When it’s daily
3. When it punches you in the face

I’ve found self-questioning to be an extremely effective technique. First of all, it makes you think critically and creatively. Secondly, it keeps you personally accountable. Lastly, questioning is THE most valuable tool in your communication arsenal to gain knowledge and clarity.

NOTE: before I share my list of questions, I need you to stop reading this blog for a minute.

Would you do something for me? Please go grab a stack of sticky notes and a thick marker. When you read through the list, write each question on a sticky note and post it on your desk, computer, phone or bulletin board. This is key. It’s the best way to make these questions work to your advantage. You need to be able to see these self-motivators all day.

OK. Go get your supplies…NOW! (Don’t worry; I’ll wait. It’s not like I’m gonna go anywhere. Besides, I don’t even have a boss, remember?)

Cool. Welcome back! Let’s get crankin’ with those questions:

1. Is what I’m doing today going to bring this customer back tomorrow? There’s no business like repeat business. And even when you say no, you’re still marketing. So be sure your words and actions are unforgettable. In the process, you will turn your customers into “fans.” Cultivate and cherish these people who loyally love your stuff. Enable them to tell everyone about you, and they WILL come back tomorrow.

2. If everyone did exactly what I said, what would their world look like? This is my all-time favorite. Especially for managers and leaders, this question helps you clarify your philosophy, mission and orders. The key is, once you figure out the answer to this question, then ask yourself the following: “Is what I’m doing or saying giving my people the tools they need to build that world?”

3. Is what I’m doing right now leading to a sale? Poor time management and lack of focus are dangerous adversaries to all business people. Asking yourself this question keeps the idea of sales at the top of your mind. I first posted this sticky note on my laptop about three years ago. Sales have doubled every year since.

4. Is what I’m doing right now consistent with my #1 goal? This question forces you think critically about your primary objective. Sadly, to few businesspeople actually know what theirs is! In fact, I bet if you asked ten random people what their #1 goal for 2007 was, only about half of them would have a definitive answer for you. So, what’s yours? Doubling annual revenue? Achieving membership into the 100% club? Securing five new accounts a week? Whatever your #1 goal is; use this sticky note as an accountability measure. If the answer is yes, keep doing what you’re doing. If the answer is no, stop playing online poker and do something productive.

(5 more questions coming next week…)

How do you self-motivate?

Post your 3 best sticky-note success statements here!

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Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

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