Scott Ginberg’s Digital Devotional Series, Book 7: Stick-to-itiveness

Easy buttons are lies.

It might take guts to stick yourself out there.

But it takes gusto to
keep yourself out there.

Fortunately, stick-to-itiveness can be learned.

Aka, “Stick to it.”

Aka, “Stick with it.”

Aka, “Stick in there.”

The secret is, commitment changes everything.

Whether you’re starting a new relationship, moving to a new
city, going full time with your business or devoting your life to a charitable
cause, it’s amazing how many positive results occur when you cross that

But commitment is not a light switch. It’s not something you
turn on when the room goes dark. Commitment is a daily demonstration. Commitment
is a constitutional core value. Commitment is a posture that makes you more

Please welcome to the family:


How Commitment Changes Everything

If you don’t have a Kindle, here’s a downloadable version for free.

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Writing, Publishing, Performing, Consulting

The Art of Unfairness

It’s hard to love people who betray you.
It’s hard to love people who disrespect you.
It’s hard to love people who appear perfect.
It’s hard to love people who try your patience.
It’s hard to love people who tear at your hearts.

That’s not fair.

It’s hard to love people who cause you suffering.
It’s hard to love people who never say thank you.
It’s hard to love people who openly criticize you.
It’s hard to love people who repel you emotionally.

That’s not fair.

It’s hard to love people who treat you with contempt.
It’s hard to love people who don’t know how to receive.
It’s hard to love people who always take and never give.
It’s hard to love people who live in a state of ugliness.

That’s not fair.

BUT THAT’S THE THING: Love isn’t supposed to be fair.

If it was, it wouldn’t be love – it would be strategy.

Silly rabbit. Fairness is for kids.

THE WAY LOVE WORKS IS: It finds the people who don’t deserve it – then offers itself to them freely and fully when they least expect it.

If you want to master the art of unfairness, consider these practices:1. Don’t give – pour. Love is a respiratory requirement. And when you breathe out the love people need, they gasp with joy. Next time you see an opportunity to keep quiet, tell the truth. Especially when there’s no reason to be honest. Lavish and heap and overwhelm people with it. How strong is your honesty asset?

2. Don’t imply – express. Love is the great eraser. And it reminds you that every minor incident is not a supertragedy. Next time someone reflexively apologizes to you for a minor inconvenience, immediately respond by saying, “I forgive you.” What types of people are you afraid to give the benefit of the doubt?

3. Don’t fight – bow. Love is the best comeback. The more successful you become, the more torpedoes will be shot at you. And that’s not fair either. Next time someone rips your art to shreds, say this: “I respect your opinion of my work.” Are you willing to idle your motor even when you feel like grinding your gears?

3. Don’t thank – gush. Love is a brand that is built by hand. Next time you’re debating how to show people how essential they are, write a love letter in the form of something else. Give it away freely and without expectation. And the more handmade, the better. What unsolicited token of love could you give today?

4. Don’t hoard – spray. Love doesn’t discriminate. It should be shared with the people who cannot love you back. No matter how unfair that is. Next time you encounter a tormentor; love them with a constant heart. Even you know for sure that they’re wrong. Are you willing to fall in love with things most people are turned off by?

5. Don’t extract – overflow. Bring forth your heart in every action. Instead of trying to dilute the distaste, just pour in more love. Next time you start a new relationship or partnership with someone, say this: “I want to learn all your little quirks, just so I can say I love you anyway.” Are you demanding that the people who love you change their essential nature so you feel more comfortable?

6. Don’t contract – affirm. When you do what you love, the hatred will follow. That’s not fair either. Next time someone lashes out at you because they know they’re not doing what they love, say this: “I’m so glad you shared that with me. Feedback like yours inspires the hell out of me.” How are you laying a foundation of affirmation with people who are hard to thank?

7. Don’t shine – reflect. If you want people to fall in love with you, help them fall in love with themselves first. Next time you want someone to adore their own reflection, give them a front row seat to their own brilliance. Do you love yourself enough to get out of the way so other people can articulate their fabulousness?

8. Don’t withhold – express. The best way to change the world is to love it first. Next time you want to transform the spirit of people you’re with, love them until they ask you why. Be indiscriminate and promiscuous. Break yourself open and pour yourself out. Are you willing to love something to death to bring it to life?

9. Don’t whine – expand. You can’t keep your door locked. Love means caring when it’s inconvenient. No matter how unfair it feels. Next time you encounter someone most people view as a nuisance, love at a time when opening seems impossible. Are you willing to accept that you don’t need anyone to love you back?

10. Don’t evade – mend. There’s nothing that won’t reveal itself if you love it enough. Next time you get a chance to answer the call to love, stop long enough for your heart to open. And believe that there’s nothing love can’t heal. Have you committed to accepting love from everyone and everything?

11. Don’t suppress – broadcast. What we love shapes us. And your life is measured by how you love. Next time you leave the house, love like it’s a rare jewel that costs everything, but give it away freely like it’s nothing. Are you famous for the people who love you and the way that you love them?

12. Don’t isolate – breathe. Love means showing up when you’re scared. And then leaving room for the other person to decide. That’s not fair. Next time you find yourself on a bended knee, look love in the eye, succumb to its softness and take joy in the moment. Are you caught up in your relationship or just dwelling in your love?

13. Don’t conceal – expose. Love changes the architecture of the heart. And it’s a response to your greatest values found in another person. Next time someone calls you crazy for wearing your heart on your sleeve, say this: “I can’t help it – love does this to me.” Will your love help you discover yourself in others?

14. Don’t require – offer. Love meets a closed heart with kindness. That’s definitely not fair. Next time your ego attempts to turn love into a scorecard, try this: Focus on being a more loving person without worrying about what you’re getting in return. Are you afraid to extend your heart to people who disagree with you?

REMEMBER: If you only love people when it’s fair, you haven’t learned anything.

Maybe it’s time to stop being so darn fair with your heart.

How unfair are you willing to be?

For the list called, “38 Ways to Make Customers Gasp,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Squash Complacency

Relationships work when you work at them.

With your clients, partners and employees.
With your friends, family and significant others.

THAT’S THE SECRET: You can’t get lazy with the people who matter most.

Otherwise your relationships grow stale.

Here’s a collection of ideas to help you squash complacency:1. Never get lazy with your audience. Complacency is the merit badge you get for winning a marathon in your comfort zone. About ten years ago, U2 learned this lesson the hard way. Their album, Pop, sold fewer copies than any other record in their catalogue. As a result, the group made a public declaration:

“Our band is reapplying for the job of the best band in the world.”

But this wasn’t bravado or a publicity stunt – it was pure conviction. They sincerely wanted to squash the complacency they’d built around themselves.

So they worked their tails off. And a year later, their tenth record, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, sold over thirty five million copies and won seven Grammies. All because they rooted out any sense of entitlement and got back to work.

Of course, those guys can afford the setback – you can’t. Your challenge is to take action quicker then they did. After all, by the time you realize you’re trapped in the grasp of complacency – it’s already too late. You’re simply too close to yourself. Are you standing on whale fishing for minnows?

2. Stay hungry. The word complacent derives from the Latin complacentia, which means, “satisfied.” Which means the opposite of complacency isn’t happiness – it’s hunger. That is, being proactive in the way you honor, recognize and thank the people whose relationships are essential to your existence. If you want to create an emotional connection that deepens over time, consider these ideas:

First, treat gratitude as ongoing process. A calendar of consistent thankful action. Not just a trying chore or an isolated event. Second, give meaningful rewards that recognize outstanding contributions to your organization. Make gratitude palpable and recurrent by giving gifts people remember and keep forever.

Third, give compliments that matter. Show people that they’re not just important, but essential. After all, people love to hear how great they are, but they long to hear how great you’ve become because of who they are.

Remember: Success never comes unassisted. Live your life as a thank you in perpetuity to the people who matter most, and they’ll always remain by your side. Are you trying to satisfy today’s hunger with yesterday’s meal?

3. Constantly reeducate your market. Good brands evolve, upgrade and mature – but great brands actively share the highlights of that process with their customers. Otherwise people will have a limited understanding of the value you deliver. And it will become increasingly hard for them to be your advocates. Your challenge is to remind people of three things.

First, what you do: That is, your current positioning to the marketplace. Second, what you’re doing: That is, your current projects and clients in the marketplace. Third, what you’ve done: That is, your past work and successes thereof. This spectrum eliminates the question of, “Should we hire these guys?” and focuses on the solution, “How should we use these guys?” And that’s a position of diversity and resourcefulness that makes you more buyable and more revisitable.

Remember: Just because someone did business with you five years ago doesn’t mean they know who, what, where and why you are today. How many different ways can people say yes to you?

4. Deeper mindfulness plus deliberate effort. In any relationship, there’s a natural complacency that people gravitate toward. After a certain period of time, you just get comfortable with your rhythms. You let yourself go. And you figure it’s just easier to order pizza and watch a movie instead of taking the time to cook dinner and have a real conversation about something that matters.

The problem is, each of those micro moments of complacency add up. And before you know it, your relationship has degraded into a predictable, undersexed stalemate that fails to give itself the attention and care it so desperately needs.

I understand the chase can’t last forever. But that doesn’t give you permission to undercut each others’ relational ambition. The good new is, you can still be a force in people’s lives without forcing yourself in people’s lives. As my parents like to remind me,

“The secret to a long, healthy marriage is to never get lazy with each other.”

Try this: Next time you say to yourself, “I don’t want to bother her with this minor issue,” share it anyway. It’s an Share for no reason other than to remind people that they’re worth sharing to. Be being radically honest when most people would say nothing, you create an act of caring in a moment of inconvenience. Do you bother to bother?

5. Use every available tool to nurture your relationships. The advantage of technology is that it provides you with multiple points of contact. It allows you to meet people where they are and tune into their preferred frequency, instead of forcing them to conform to your communication style.

For example: Some people prefer phone calls, some prefer email. Some prefer face-to-face meetings; some prefer text and instant messaging. And some people prefer Facebook, while others prefer Twitter.

Fine. Whatever it takes. Use everything. You’re in a position where you can respond to the idiosyncratic needs of each person efficiently and expeditiously. My suggestion is twofold:

First, keep tabs on which medium people prefer. That way you can always reach them the way they want to be reached. Second, let people know ho you preferred to be reached. That way you remain accessible without violating your own boundaries.

Ultimately, and as long as you stay organized, stay updated and stay connected, you’ll be able to nurture your relationships through a variety of tools. And the risk of complacency will drop dramatically. What systems can you put in place to make sure everyone feels heard?

REMEMBER: Every relationship has a contract.

Whether it’s online or offline, personal or professional, engaged to marry or hired to help, relationships work when you work at them.

Don’t get lazy with each other.

We’re all we’ve got.

How will you squash complacency?

For the list called, “38 Ways to Make Customers Gasp,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Turn Your Brand into a Badge

After wearing a nametag twenty-four seven for a decade, my badge became a brand.


The only problem is, you don’t wear a nametag. And you don’t have ten years.

Fortunately, if your story can play an enduring role in people’s lives, it’s no longer a brand – it’s a badge.

And if you want the people who matter most to wear it proud, wear it loud and wear it forever, consider these suggestions:1. Let people into the moment. Advertising is the tax you pay for being average. The only unit of marketing that matters is human engagement. Ever. Everything else is bothering people into buying you by killing trees. And engagement isn’t just a transaction, either – it’s an ongoing process.

Consider these key elements:

First, open a direct channel to your customers. That gives them an opportunity to engage. How many different ways can people contact you?

Second, build a platform for their voices to be heard. That taps into their creative flair. How are you making it easy for people to express themselves?

Third, leave your door unlocked in perpetuity. That gives people permission to reengage over and over again. What’s your policy for treating repeat business?

The point is, engaging in an ongoing daily conversation isn’t just an opportunity – it’s a responsibility. And if your brand doesn’t induce participation, your bank account will endure devaluation. How do you invite people to participate in your brand?

2. Fulfill the need of materialization. Human beings possess an inherent desire to materialize their love and admiration for people and things that are essential to their lives. That’s why they get tattoos of their spouse’s names, stand in line to get celebrity autographs, frame pictures of their pets and embed badges of their favorite companies on their website.

This proves one thing: Joinability is a function of ownability. Which brings up a key question: How can your brand create tangible, ownable assets that you people will regularly and enthusiastically show to their friends?

For example, Maker’s Mark distributes Ambassador Cards to their most dedicated patrons. Nike stores laminate digital headshots and print them on lanyard badges. And both of these engagement tools work because they don’t interrupt and disturb customers; rather, they weave their brand communication into people’s existing social fabric.

Remember: You can’t ignore something if you feel like you’re a part of the action. Make people virtual participants in the scene and your film will rock. Are you helping people with what they’re already doing or artificially squeezing yourself into their already overcrowded lives?

3. Design is your friend. Instead of spewing endless commodities that get trashed after one functional use, joinable brands turn their engagement tools into cool, keepable design items. They create marketing that people seek out and are thankful for.

Take my client, Dennis. He works for the Division of Waste Management in Hamilton, Ontario. And as a way to educate, engage and entertain the residents, his team put together a pocket-sized book of cartoons on recycling and composting. It’s lovable, it’s helpful and it’s a value-driven promotional tool to build awareness around his organization’s brand. Not to mention, the book makes waste management cool.

All because Dennis knew: Design isn’t just about aesthetics – it’s about utility. And customers always engage when you give them something useful. On the other hand, the moment you stop adding value to people’s lives is the moment your brand starts losing momentum.

Look: People don’t need another free pen. They need something beautiful they can play with, show off to their friends and keep in the office for the next five years. How quickly is your marketing stored in people’s circular file cabinets?

4. Build emotional resonance. We all build brands for the same reason: To close the gap between how the world is, and how we wish it was. The trick is, it’s not enough to contend for people’s attention – you also have to compete for their emotions. And if you fail to dig deep down into the human psyche to retrieve them, your brand will be ignored.

Take a tip from Tom Himp, founder of Naked Communications. In his book, Next, he revealed the commonalities of the world’s most successful marketing movements. Here’s my personal favorite:

“Pull the heartstrings of the lowest common emotional denominator. Speak to something innate in people and broaden their awareness of a situation they assumed they were immune from.”

I immediately think of Al Gore. After losing the presidential election, he traveled the world for three years showing people that climate change was real and relevant. Not only did he win a Nobel Prize, but his presentation also launched a global movement that combined charity, multimedia and advocacy via his online social community.

All because the emotional resonance of his brand reverberated through people’s hearts. How would your brand change if you stopped making commercials and started fighting a crusade?

REMEMBER: Your story needs to play a long-term role in people’s lives.

That means people need to wear it proudly.
That means people need to brag about it loudly.

Because when they do, it’s no longer a brand – it’s a badge.

What is your branding becoming?

For the list called, “14 Things You Don’t Have to Do Anymore,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Throw Your Heart Over the Fence

Commitment changes everything.

Whether you’re starting a new relationship, moving to a new city, going full time with your business or devoting your life to a charitable cause, it’s amazing how many positive results occur when you cross that threshold.

THE PROBLEM IS: Commitment is not a light switch.

It’s not something you turn on when the room goes dark.

Commitment is a daily demonstration.
Commitment is a constitutional core value.
Commitment is a posture that makes you more approachable.

Norman Vincent Peale once suggested that when you throw your heart over the fence, the rest would follow.

But he never told you how. That’s my job:1. Build commitment into your personal constitution. When you bring commitment to the forefront of your value system, throwing your heart over the fence becomes easier and easier.

My suggestion is to write a personal constitution. If you’ve never done that before, here’s an overview of this crucial life document:

Your constitution is the composition and condition of your character. It’s the established arrangement of your non-negotiables and the description of your decision-making mechanisms. It’s the collection of personal characteristics comprising your foundation. And it’s the system of fundamental values governing your behavior.

The best part is: It’s a living document. It’s amenable. And as you grow and develop personally and professionally, various elements of your constitution reserve the right to modify.

For now, your challenge is threefold: Find a place in this document for commitment, read it to yourself every morning, and share it with at least one person every day. This fixes commitment into your unconscious and makes a public declaration of your intentions. Then, when the time comes to throw your heart over the fence, you’ll have the foundation to execute. Will you name commitment as one of your core values?

2. Make the decision not to walk away. My friend Vinny has been married for over thirty years. When I asked him what the secret was, the simplicity of his answer surprised me:

“If there were problems, we dealt with it. If there were tough times, we dealt with it. But we never walked away.”

That’s the beauty of throwing your heart over the fence: Once you’re emotionally committed to a course of action, you’ll always find a way to resolve whatever practical difficulties arise.

Not because they’re easy. Not because there’s a formula. And not because you’re a genius. But because you won’t allow yourself to take no for an answer. You’ve committed, and that’s what committed people do: They deal with it. They never walk away. Even when it hurts. Even when challenges stare them down like a gunfighter.

The question is whether you’re willing to create unacceptable consequences of failing. Whether you’re willing to paint yourself into an accountable corner. And whether you’re willing to commit to not walking away. Because if you’re not, you might end up quitting when it’s hard, not when it’s right. What would your daily life feel like if you made turning back impossible?

3. Activate gravitational order. In Ed Sylvia’s metaphysical masterpiece, Proving God, he writes that motion organizes and creates order. And through motion, all things tend to their equilibrium and find their place in the universe, thus conspiring towards some unifying geometrical situation.

That’s the next secret to throwing your heart over the fence: Don’t be stopped by not knowing how. How is overrated. How is a dream destroyer. And how is the excuse you use to talk yourself out of committing with both feet.

Instead, give uncertainty a hug. Trust the process. And believe that throwing your heart over the fence doesn’t require an intimate knowledge of how the fence was built. All that matters is motion. All that matters is initiative. Even if you’re clueless, terrified and broke – it’s amazing what happens when you just start moving. The universe applauds your faith and bravery and, as Paulo Coelho says, conspires to help you follow your dream.

Look: You don’t need to take the tour and stall for another month. Stop dragging your feet. Just get a guess pass and get into the pool. And let the world say yes to you. Remember: You don’t have to get good to get going; but you do need to get going to get good. When was the last time you did something for the first time?

4. Beware of excessive restraint. Commitment changes everything. I believe this down to my bones. At the same time, there’s a paradox you’d be silly to ignore: The deeper you commit to something, the more likely you are to become so wrapped up with that something, that your desire becomes bigger than what you’re committed to.

And that’s when people start to get hurt. That’s when commitment becomes a detriment.

Take it from someone who’s been guilty of commitment to the point of detriment: Overcommitting can be dangerous. Consider these cautions:

*Don’t disrespect others because you’re too fixated on getting your own way.
*Don’t allow healthy boundary management to morph into self-righteous entitlement.
*Don’t blindly follow outdated plans that have no relationship with reality just to avoid looking inconsistent with your commitment.

Stick to your guns, but don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Stand your ground, but don’t step on people’s toes. And if you realize that you threw your heart over the wrong fence, that’s cool too.

Own it, clean up the blood and go find another fence. Are you a victim of your own conviction?

5. Boundaries are the bodyguards of commitment. I create and publish a staggering volume of material each year. And my readers, audience members and clients assume that I’m incredibly disciplined. Which I am. But the bigger picture is:

I’m not just disciplined – I’m obsessively committed to what’s really important.

I’ve developed massive intolerance for the inconsequential. And my focus filter doesn’t allow bullshit to enter without a few alarms going off. Here’s one of the questions I ask myself every day: Is this an opportunity, or an opportunity to be used?

That’s the ultimate commitment question. You might want to write it on a sticky note and keep it above your desk. Because if you don’t set healthy boundaries for yourself, people will set them for you. And then they will violate them. And out of guilt, you will overcommit to them and undercommit to yourself.

This is not fair to your dream. You need to learn how to say no. You need to practice putting a stake in the ground. And you need to be unwaveringly vigilant about the company you keep.

After all: It’s impossible to throw your heart over the fence if your feet are firmly planted in the ground of other people’s obligations. What people in your life don’t respect your commitments?

REMEMBER: The fence is there for a reason.

It’s there to test your commitment.
It’s there to show you how badly you want something.
It’s there to help you push off and move toward your dream.

Throw your heart over it.

Because even if you rip your shirt, scratch your chest and bruise your ass on the way down, commitment is the reservoir of momentum that will move you forward.

How committed are you?

For the list called, “14 Things You Don’t Have to Do Anymore,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011-2012!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

If You Still Can’t Discipline Yourself After Reading This Article, I Swear to God I’m Going to Scream

Life is not a Nike commercial.

Being told to “just do it” is not enough.

If it was, you would have “just done it” by now.

BURN THIS INTO YOUR MIND: Self-discipline requires hard and consistent mental, physical and emotional labor.

It is not the path of convenience.
It is not a glamorous way of living and working.
It is not something most people are going notice about you.


As I learned from self-discipline strategist Rory Vaden, “Those who learn to deal with discipline gently and persistently (eventually) flip a switch that they can never turn off.”

And that’s when discipline turns into freedom.

Let’s explore a list of strategies to help you sink into self-discipline:1. Commitment is the offspring of values. If you can’t discipline yourself to do something every day, there’s only one explanation: It’s simply not that important to you.

People always make time – not find time, but make time – for what matters to them. That’s how commitment works: It deletes distraction. It makes you wake up early. It turns habits into non-negotiables. When you’re committed, you drop everything and get to work. Every day.

The hard part is telling the truth about your current level of commitment. And if you’re having trouble with that, here’s an exercise you might try: Write down a list of the five things you’re most committed to. Then open your calendar. See if your life agrees.

If you’re not happy with the result, either find something else that is important to you and commit to that, or take the current thing that isn’t important to you and reframe it as – or reconnect it with – something else that is. How will you use commitment to open the door to discipline?

2. Bait multiple hooks. If you inherited five million dollars tomorrow, would you invest all of it in one stock? Of course not. You’d diversify it across several accounts. That way your portfolio would have a stronger foundation, making it less vulnerable to external conditions.

This same principle applies to creative professionals who have trouble disciplining themselves. Personally, I’m always working on about fifty things at once. Because in my experience, attacking multiple projects simultaneously has several advantages.

First, it prevents burnout. That’s what happens when your creative efforts are more diversely deployed: You don’t give yourself the chance to get sick of something and abandon it.

Second, by varying your creative endeavors, you establish thought bridges, subconscious connections and unexpected integrations between seemingly unrelated ideas. And as a result, you start to notice natural relationships and structures in your work you never would have seen by working on a single project.

Ultimately, this approach relaxes the process and helps contribute to greater consistency in your body of work. Are you willing to allocate your creativity attention to multiple endeavors?

3. Build a portable creative environment. A real artist can be creative any time, any place, with any tools. That’s the mark of a master: She shapes her immediate surroundings to feel in harmony with the small slice of the universe in which she finds herself.

As I learned in Beyond Boredom and Anxiety, “Whether the conditions in which they find themselves are luxurious or miserable, geniuses manage to give their surroundings a personal pattern that echoes the rhythm of their thoughts and habits of action. Within this environment of their own making, they can forget the rest of the world and concentrate on pursuing the muse.”

What are your portable creative environments? What enables you to enter into the creative flow at the drop of a hat? Have these on standby at all times. You’ll discover that by keeping alternative workspaces ready to go with transportable lightning rods tailor made to your tendencies, you’ll feel more in control of your surroundings.

That way, when inspiration comes unannounced, you’ll be ready to pounce. Can you do what you do anywhere?

4. Discipline derives from the wellspring of why. Willpower is overrated. If you want execute what matters most – every single day – you need to tap the reservoir of whypower.

Here’s the reason: When you actively cultivate the purpose driven nature of your work, discipline becomes a non-thought. What was once a desire becomes a habit. And what was once a habit becomes a non-negotiable. A positive addiction. Just something you do.

That’s why I’m able to write for seven hours a day, every day: Because I keep a list of one hundred reasons why I do what I do, in my wallet, and I read it to myself every morning. That’s your challenge: To become a walking translation of stunning clarity of purpose. To pinpoint the deepest motivations behind what you’re trying to discipline yourself to do. Find that, and you’ll have no problem slogging it out every day.

Remember: Daily bread without daily meaning tastes like daily crap. How are you fueling your discipline with a firm why?

5. Cultivate a more acute sense of resistance. Part of self-discipline is learning how to override yourself. That means becoming a master of your disinclination. That means discovering what frustrates your ambitions. And that means not allowing yourself the indulgence of saying you’re too busy.

Here’s the reality: The problem isn’t decreasing productivity – it’s diluted priorities. And you will lose the discipline game if you fall victim to what’s latest and loudest.

My suggestion: Extinguish whatever distractions seduce you. Drown out the world’s chatter and find the energy that urges you forward. And for the love of David Allen, stop performing minor tasks that engulf you in pointless, trivial action.

Instead, create around the constraint. Take the energy you’ve been burning on creative avoidance and redirect it to help you execute what matters. What’s your system for stamping out redundancy?

LOOK: It’s not my job to convince you to be more disciplined.

It’s hard work that nobody undertakes but you.
It’s unspectacular work that nobody notices but you.
It’s inconvenient work that nobody appreciates but you.

But discipline does mean freedom.

Freedom to be, freedom to do and freedom to have – pretty much anything.

I think it’s worth it.

How discipline are you prepared to be?

For the list called, “49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

How to Stay Rare

Rarity is inherent.

The problem is, there’s such pervasive pressure to remain average, that most people lose touch with what makes them exceptional.

HERE’S THE SECRET: It’s not about seeking rarity – it’s about squashing the barriers against finding it.

Here’s a list of suggestions to help you, your brand and your organization stay rare:1. Do it all with daring originality. Rare isn’t the absence of fear; rare is the absence of hesitation to move into that fear. That’s what I’ve learned as a writer: When you’re up against the fear, that’s exactly the time to move into it. Because that’s where genius lives.

For that reason, I constantly ask myself the following question as I’m working: “What do I risk in presenting this material?” If the answer is, “Not much,” I don’t write it. But if the answer is, “I might piss of somebody powerful,” then I absolutely write it.

That’s how I keep my material honest, personal and relatable. And in your own career, you might consider creating a policy, filter or standard operating procedure for attending to your fear.

Perhaps a ritual that greets fear with a welcoming heart, but also leverages it into something beautiful? Without such a practice, your creative flame gets smothered under the ashes of average.

In short: Resist the undertow of normal, pursue a perilous and uncertain course and welcome the difficulties that will propel you beyond ordinary. Even if they scare you. What type of marvelous intelligence is at work in your fear?

2. Clock out later than anybody. Everyone has a chunk of the great mystery in them. But unless they’re willing to put in a little overtime, they may never get the chance to share it with others.

I’m reminded of a classic episode of the Simpsons where Homer attends his twenty-year high school reunion. Not surprisingly, he wins the award for the graduate who gained the most weight.

“How’d you do it?” the principal asks as he presents the trophy. To which Homer replies, “By discovering a meal between breakfast and brunch.”

I know that’s a ridiculous premise – but that’s what rare people do: They break free from the jail of circumstance. They work their tails off to discover that extra meal. Then, from that place of abundance and enoughness, they’re able to give full scope to their colorful imagination. And maybe gain fifty pounds.

Plus, they know it’s not about finding time, it’s not even about making time – it’s about stealing time. Shoplifting whatever you can from the crowded day to focus on whatever makes your heart sing. Even if you only dedicate fifteen minutes a day. That’s still ninety extra hours a year.

Remember: What’s rare is the way you invest your life. What new meal will you discover?

3. Be somewhat predictable. Rarity means everything you do reminds people that they have not wasted the attention they’ve given you. The trick is: Humans are inclined to ignore the commonplace and remain alert to the unexpected. It’s the anthropological mechanism of self-preservation that’s safeguarded our species for millions of years.

This attribute can work to a rare person’s advantage insofar as attention in concerned: You stand out – you get noticed. Perfect. But when the unexpected is taken to the extreme, rare can turn into scare. “You can’t be offbeat in all ways, because then we won’t understand you and we’ll reject you,” writes author Seth Godin.

The secret, he says, is to make sure that some of the elements you present are perfectly aligned with what people are used to. Otherwise you’ll be perceived as a threat. Your challenge is to decide how much predictability you’re going to bring to the marketplace – and then remain consistent with its delivery.

Never forget: Brands are expectations. What has the public grown to expect from you?

4. Choose not to follow the appointed path. I’ve been taking the road less traveled pretty much my whole life. As such, anyone I meet who does the same is rare in my book.

Here’s why: Taking the road less traveled is simultaneously invigorating and intimidating. On one hand, you’re thrilled by the prospect of adventure. On the other, the uncertainty is so overwhelming that you crap your undies.

That’s the special brand of fear comes with the territory of rare. And your challenge is to accept that the voices in your head aren’t going to go away. In fact, they’re probably going to multiply.

But don’t worry – this is a good thing. Fear is the precursor of rare. And the louder those voices scream, the surer you can be that you’re following your heart. If you want rarity take root with extraordinary force, never forget: Anything of any value in life begins with the leap.

So take it. And remain radiant amidst the filth of the world. Are you standing on the foundation of your rarity, or sacrificing your life being everybody else’s dream machine?

5. Work without a net. In my favorite book about creativity, Ignore Everybody, Hugh McLeod advises, “The sovereignty you have over your work will inspire far more people than the actual content ever will.”

That’s the mark of a rare person: Someone who’s free enough to make the music she wants to hear – not the music the market wants to buy. The trick is determining the unique balance. After all, you still need to pay the mortgage.

But at the same time, you also need to define your own private creative domain. That’s what songwriter – and my hero – Chris Whitley accomplished during his career. He was a musician whose life at every level gave evidence of undisputed singularity. And according to his obituary in Acoustic Guitar:

“Chris was rare because he walked away from riches and avoided the carefully crafted record company image to maintain the integrity of his music. That allowed him to remain fearless when it came to following his musical instinct and it’s reflected in over a dozen elegantly forceful studio albums.”

The questions you might ask are: What are you willing to walk away from to stay rare? What are you willing to say no to for the sake of your own autonomy? And what covenant do you have to make with yourself to preserve your freedom? Answer those, and your life will become a living testament to what’s possible when you give yourself permission.

Remember: There are no cover bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Are you the maestro of your own melody or the echo of someone else’s song?

6. Choose your commitment device. My generation is frequently typecast as being commitment-averse. The consensus is that we’re impatient, have a mediocre work ethic, don’t offer loyalty easily and are quick to quit and pursue something better.

Is that description accurate? I don’t know and I don’t care. What matters is that my commitment is unquestionable and that everyone who knows me, knows it.

That’s rare no matter what generation you come from. After all, the baseline posture of most people is not to believe you. We live in a low-trust culture and the world demands proof of your commitment. Without it, you will never be taken seriously – no matter how rare you are.

Ultimately, what you’re committed to matters less than how you wear that commitment. That’s the real rarity. And that’s exactly why I got the tattoo of the nametag on my chest. Sure, it was painful. But while the needle hurt my chest for an hour, not being taken seriously would hurt my business for a lifetime.

I wonder which commitment device you will choose. Or which one will choose you. How will you communicate to the people who matter most that you’re fully committed?

LOOK: You can’t block who you are.

And even if you could, apologizing for the best within you is the highest form of moral treason.

Stop stripping away your rarity.

Put an end to all this self-editing. All these unconscious acts of omission.

Otherwise you’ll wear yourself out trying to be something you’re not.

Instead, access your most elegant instrument. Figure out what you’re good at and do only that. And always retain burning contempt for imitation and mediocrity. Humanity will be better for your life.

You already carry something with you that’s just yours.

It’s your unique vision of the world. Your special blend of magic.

Fail to bring that with you, and risk becoming yesterday’s news.

But lay it naked for the world to see, and an unending rainfall of rarity will surround you.

How will you stay rare?

For the list called, “19 Telltale Signs of the Perfect Job,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

The Spartan Guide to Becoming Your Own Personal Cheerleader

Everyone needs a good cheerleader.

The more cheerleaders you have on your side, the easier it is to win.

Unfortunately, support isn’t always readily available.

Especially if you’re on your own.

THE GOOD NEWS IS: Everybody has the capacity for self-motivation.

The challenge is finding the perfect cheer.

Kind of like the Spartans from Saturday Night Live. Their mission in each episode was to inspire and motivate their team to victory with the ideal combination of words, kicks and spirit.

Does that describe the way you cheer for yourself?

If not, let’s explore a list of daily practices to help you become your own personal cheerleader:1. Stop justifying other people’s success. The first scripture I ever memorized comes from Galatians: “Let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we will reap a great harvest if we faint not.”

It’s been enormously helpful over the years. Especially in my low moments when jealously makes me want to murder anyone who’s more successful than me.

Yeah, but he comes from money.
Yeah, but he doesn’t have a wife and kids.
Yeah, but he started when he was really young.

Yeah, but nothing.

Enough excuses and justifications about why other people don’t deserve success as much as you. Instead of getting pissed off that you’re not as successful as they are, use their accomplishments as a glowing source of inspiration. Build off their energy. Use it as fuel.

After all, they must be doing something right. Try turning toward their triumphs with a hospitable heart and distribute your motive force accordingly. What excuses do you make for other people’s accomplishments?

2. Obstacles are aphrodisiacs. A good cheerleader still cheers, even when the team is down by forty in the four quarter. Not just because she’s sleeping with the quarterback, but also because she understands the difference between losing and getting beat.

It’s simply a matter of mindset. And the same rule applies to self-motivation: You can’t abandon yourself during trying times. Gradually release yourself from the grip of self-torture by protecting your self-talk script.

Try this: Instead of berating yourself with, “I suck!” try bolstering yourself with, “Next time!” It’s not just optimistic; but it redirects the energy of your loss into more yessable territory.

And while it’s a challenging shift in meta-cognition, when you recognize how much damage this kind of language does to your spirit, you’ll never tell yourself you suck again. How do you talk to yourself when you fail?

3. Override the disbelief. Feeling like a fraud is, in many ways, a right of passage. It comes with the entrepreneurial territory. Thankfully, it’s an effective form of self-pressure to help you get over – and stay over – yourself.

But while the occasional undercurrent of doubt is healthy, too much of it will chew your guts and cause you unnecessary emotional suffering. The secret is to lay down a subtle bass line of self-belief. To remind yourself that you are enough, you have enough and you do enough. Otherwise your delusions of inadequacy will knock the cheer right out of you.

Personally, I use affirmations. Everyday. Don’t roll your eyes. Just because they’re cheesy doesn’t mean they’re ineffective. What you say to yourself when you have doubts about yourself determines how, when and if you make a name for yourself.

Remember: Self-belief doesn’t guarantee success – but lack of self-believe does guarantee failure. What would look like for you to believe in yourself down to your toes?

4. Stay alert to your good. Jack Kerouac famously suggested, You’re a genius all the time. Not an easy thing to admit about yourself. And while I don’t want you to become a self-important egomaniac – if you don’t convince yourself of the brilliance that is you, nobody else will.

If you don’t toot your own horn – nobody else will. And if you don’t accept the genius of your own work, nobody else will.

Cast from your soul any belief that you’re not enough. Never give up on yourself. And keep victory in front of your eyes daily. For every moment of brave action, salute yourself. For every incident of risk taking, honor yourself.

This will set ablaze your timid heart and remind you that you’re not a presumed part of the wallpaper. You’re not yesterday’s vegetables. You can turn a seed into a forest. You are music waiting to be heard by the world. What do you say to yourself in moments of honest leadership reflection?

5. Burn the beauty of your beginnings into your memory. Never let go of the original idea that made you successful. Especially in those moments when fear lies an inch beneath the surface, coming at you with everything it’s got – you’ve got to keep that part of yourself alive. Otherwise the gnawing fear of failure will disturb your sense of stability like an early morning fire alarm.

Try this: Constantly replay mental reruns of past victories. Revisit key moments when the best, highest version of yourself burned like a gas lamp. Ask yourself, “When did I feel most accomplished this year?”

Doing so will be akin to watching your own highlight reel. And it’s the idea reminder of your own ability to be great.

Remember: Everything is fuel. Examine the fruit of your own life, find a safe place in your mind and belt out that cheer like it’s the homecoming parade. What qualities do you have that accounted for your greatest victories in life so far?

6. Dig down through the many levels of why. Know how is educational – but feeling why is inspirational. If you want to create a go-to space for self-motivation, you’ve got to deepen your sense of why.

Knowing why elevates the spirit. Knowing why offers a path of healing. Knowing why permits you to insert your passion everywhere. Knowing why helps you lean into joy. Knowing why reminds you what your currency is. And knowing why creates suitable sphere for action.

My question is: When was the last time you made a list of a hundred reasons why you do what you do? Odds are, never. Because most people don’t do stuff like this. Fortunately, you’re not most people. And that’s exactly why you should try it. My guess is that your experience with this exercise will be nothing short of astonishing.

Personally, I did it last month. And my cheerleading ability has never been stronger. That’s the best part about knowing why: It takes you to a place where truth and beauty wait for you. When was the last time you were fuzzy about your why?

7. Succeed in spite of yourself. Every game you play is you versus you. And the surest way to head down the path of self-destructiveness is to hang onto your neuroses like a holiday card. As legendary director James Cameron once said, “Don’t put limitations on yourself – other people will do that for you.”

He’s right: Why constrict your usefulness? Why reject yourself? Instead, silence the old tape of can’t. Correct the distortions that stand in your way of victory. And keep a watchful eye on your self-sabotaging tendencies. After all, those are just your ego’s way of trying to control (not) getting something.

Take success, for example. Can you imagine anything more terrifying than getting exactly what you want?

No way. Think about it. If you achieve success:

You might lose it, you might realize it’s not enough, you might discover it’s not actually what you (thought) you wanted, you might not be able to handle all the changes success brings into your life, and you might not live up to the expectations and reputation attached to your success.

Blech. That’s usually when your ego chimes in with, “Oh well – maybe it’s safer to just want things. Maybe by expecting to fail and then not succeeding, I won’t miss my emotional goal of failure.”

That’s the key: A good cheerleader doesn’t just push you beat your opponent – she also prevents you from beating yourself. Who are you (really) up against?

REMEMBER: Being your own personal cheerleader isn’t just about self-motivation.

It’s about experiencing yourself better, believing in yourself further and loving yourself deeper.

And the best part is, you don’t even have to sleep with the quarterback.

Whom are you rooting for?

For the list called, “8 Ways to Out Give Your Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Five Ways to be a Force of Calm in a Time of Turmoil

Intensity is highly overrated.

In times of crisis, people turn to people who are calm.

Not emotionless.
Not uncommunicative.
Not borderline comatose.


Calm is what builds trust, mitigates stress, remedies confusion and inspires followership.

THE ONLY PROBLEM IS: You can’t really calm people down.

All you can do is turn yourself into a force of calm, in the hopes that you’ll infect people with the energy they need to do the same.

Here’s how:1. Oxygenate the conversation. People who incorporate deep, slow breathing into their daily actions never fail to become the calming force. Doing so is like taking your foot off the gas and engaging the conversational brakes.

According to a recent report from the National Institute of Mental Health, your breathing rhythm is a method to train the body’s reaction to stressful situations and dampen the production of harmful stress hormones.

Next time one of your coworkers starts freaking out, try this: Instead of telling them to take a deep breath – which runs the risk of sounding like their third grade teacher – try engaging your own lungs first. You’ll find that actions of calm will inspire people to relax, whereas instructions for calm sill incite people to react.

Linda, my massage therapist, is a master of this. Whenever I come in for an appointment, she treats our sessions as meditations. She doesn’t say a word – she just rubs and breathes. And after a few minutes, I am reduced to jelly.

Lesson learned: When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace; but when you inspire others to own their breath, nobody will want you to leave the room. Fast heart, slow lungs works every time. How’s your breathing?

2. Make communication a relaxing experience. During a recent outpatient procedure, my podiatrist administered three shots of local anesthetic to my foot. Ouch. But as much as it hurt, I’ll never forget hearing the following words:

“It’s over Scott. I’m not going to hurt you anymore.”

Definitely one of the great calming remarks I’ve ever heard. That’s what I love about Dr. Kauffman: He’s a light and comfort to everyone he encounters. Nothing could be more relaxing.

On the other hand, some medical professionals mere presence stresses patients out. Yikes. And if you want to avoid this label, the key is to ask yourself two key questions:

*When you walk into a room, how does it change?
*When you walk out of a room, how does it change?

If you’re not satisfied with the reactions you’ve been getting, don’t criticize the room. Instead, look in the mirror. Because whatever change occurs to a room as you enter and exist in is a tangible representation of how your character, actions, words, reputation and personality have both preceded and affected the people around you. What affect does your presence you have on the completion of the room?

3. When people panic, give them instructions. Consider the recent emergency with Qantas Flight 32. According to the Associated Press article, a jet engine as big as a bus had disintegrated, blasting shrapnel holes in the super jumbo’s wing. The odds of that many failures occurring simultaneously were one and a hundred million.

But veteran pilot Richard de Crespigny handled the chaos exquisitely. I even listened to the announcement recorded on a passenger’s cell phone several times, and The Captain was perfectly collected. Here’s the transcript:

“We have a technical issue with our engine. We have dealt with this situation. The aircraft is secure. And we’re going to have to hold for a little while as we lighten our load and perform a number of checklists. Thanks for your patience and we promise to keep you posted.”

Thanks to his calming force, the aircraft averted what could have been a catastrophe. And whether you’re flying a plane, leading a team, consoling a teammate or delivering a presentation to a frightened audience, the lesson is the same:

People want to know what action you’re going to take to fix their problem.

This preserves their sense of control and realigns the balance of power. Explain every step of the process. Even the things that could possibly go wrong. Timeliness reduces anxiety. Will your calm influence infect the people around you?

4. Refuse to take ownership of their emotions. Let’s say you work with someone who creates more drama than a high school prom. Perfect. Next time they start freaking out, don’t waste your breath telling them to calm down. This does nothing but compound their frustration.

Your job is to become a body of water. Instead of steeling yourself – still yourself. Keep your vocal pitch and volume low. Limit your physical movements. And avoid anything that might fuel already escalating emotions.

This practice, while it takes significant self-control, will invite people to see the reflection of their own reactivity and enable the release of negative energy. And hopefully, as their emotional engine runs out of steam, your stillness will serve as a subtle bell of awareness to bring people back to center.

Either that or they’ll club you over the head with a stapler.

Remember: You can’t put people at ease if you’re not at easy with yourself. Is your silence a positive motivator?

5. Calm comes from experience. Getting audited sucks. Happened to me earlier this year. And because it was my company’s first run with the Internal Revenue Service, my initial reaction was anything but calm.

Fortunately, I had two mentors in my corner to keep me relaxed. First, my accountant: Lisa. Her exact words were, “This is the best thing the IRS could ever ask you to do.” Thank God. Her silver-lining philosophy lowered my heartbeat immediately.

Second, my father: Mark. His exact words were, “It’s no big deal. We get audited all the time.” Whew. As a fellow entrepreneur, his nonchalant reassurance lowered my blood pressure immediately.

If you want to do the same to the people who matter most, use whatever relevant experience you have. Don’t over-identify. Don’t bring it back to you. And don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Just make sure people undergoing times of turmoil can turn to you – someone who’s been there before – and think to themselves, “I am not alone.”

Remember: There’s nothing more calming than communicating your mutual humanity. Are you positioned as someone who remains unreasonably peaceful in times of chaos?

REMEMBER: People who exhibit calm temperament in a troubled world are always in high demand.

They get seen, get hired and get promoted.
They get noticed, get remembered and get business.
They make the cut, make the day and make the room better.

And the best part is: You don’t even have to do anything – you simply have to be.

Be a paragon of stillness.
Be balm to a troubled world.
Be the calming force in times of turmoil.

People will turn to you.

Why are you rushing?

For the list called, “27 Affirmations to Prepare Yourself to Listen,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Jump, or, How to Stop Dragging Your Feet and Dive into What Matters

Twenty years ago, my dad jumped.

He broke ties with his corporate owners and went out on his own.

And for the first year, he was working from home, struggling to build inventory and scrambling to find customers. Not exactly our family’s finest hour.

But, he still cites that move as his best decision ever. And two decades later, his company still remains the best in the business.

Now, of all the memories related to that transition, here’s the one forever etched upon my heart:

I was twelve years old, and my dad brought me to work to see his new warehouse. It was the single biggest thing I’d ever seen. Something like three hundred thousand square feet.

But the building was empty. The place was a ghost town. And there was no merchandise.

Except for one palette.

One lonesome skid of inventory in the entire warehouse, shrink-wrapped to perfection –with a big white sign on it that read, “Sold.”

Try to picture yourself standing it that warehouse.If that’s not risk, I don’t know what is.
If that’s not faith, I don’t know what is.

AND THAT’S THE POINT: When you jump, when you stop dragging your feet and dive into what matters, you have to trust yourself, your resources, your abilities, the process, the people – along with the universe that contains them all.

Otherwise you’ll find a millions reasons not to take action. You rationalize your way out of risk. Like the people who make lists of all the reasons to avoid committing with both feet.

Sure. That’s the perfect way to procrastinate my way to mediocrity. Well done.

On the other hand, you could jump. You could start taking massive, relevant action – today – to minimize or eliminate barriers to your boldness.

Here’s a collection ideas to help you stop dragging your feet and dive into what matters:

1. Accept that you’ll never be ready. Admit it: The reason you’re still dragging your feet is because you’ve still convinced that having a plan is necessary.

It’s not. Failure isn’t the product of poor planning – it’s the product of timidity to proceed. You can’t allow yourself to be stopped by not knowing how.

Try this: Lower the threat level of your jump by pulling a partial. Ask yourself: What is an easy, inconsequential version of this scary action I could take right now?

Challenge yourself to execute three of those a day. Repeat that enough, and you’ll either get the whole thing done incrementally, or sustain enough small victories to pull the trigger when the time is right. Not perfect, but right.

Look: I know you’re scared. I also know that constant, determined action cures fear, builds confidence, develops courage, generates inspiration and vaporizes stress. What other risky (but reasonabl) jumps can you make today to move forward?

2. Deliberately alter your course. Nashville rocks. Literally. Affectionately known as “The Music City,” it’s packed with millions of passionate songwriters who, at one point, stopped dragging their feet and jumped.

My favorite part of the town is the energy. It’s as electric as the guitars. And I’ll never forget my first trip there. My client took me out on the town after my workshop.

When we walked into one of the hundred honky-tonk bars on the strip. And I noticed a bumper sticker on the bathroom stall that read: “Screw it. I’m moving to Nashville!”

There’s no better way to personify the risk of jumping than those six words. Because if you put yourself in the shoes (er, boots) of somebody who once said that to himself, you understand what this is all about:

Accumulating enough frustration, passion and fire that you simply can’t take it anymore. That moment when you notice a deficit in yourself because every waking minute of your life is an insult to the gifts you’ve been granted.

That’s when you jump. Even if you’ve screwed up everything so far. You jump anyway. And if you haven’t reached that point yet, don’t worry: You will. You’ll know what to do when you get there. It might not be moving to Nashville, but it will involve altering your course. Will you allow today’s possibilities to be shaded the failures of yesterday?

3. The world is your mentor. There’s a phenomenally simple book by Mike Hernacki called, The Ultimate Secret to Getting Absolutely Everything You Want. It can be summarized in one sentence: You have to be willing to do whatever it takes.

Whatever. It. Takes.

The challenge, it will be different for everybody, depending on what you’re diving into. My suggestion: Find twenty people who have jumped off the same cliff you have. Email them. Briefly introduce yourself. Tell them you’re a fan of their work. Tell them you’ve decided to jump. And tell them you’re willing to do whatever it takes to become the walking execution of your vision.

Then, ask them if they’d be willing to offer themselves – in any capacity – as a resource for your success. Not everyone will respond. But the ones who do – the ones who see something in you that someone once saw in them – will be happy to oblige. How many mentors do you have?

4. Grow a thicker skin towards the naysayers. Believe it not, not everybody wants you to become successful. In fact, much of the world will do everything they can to prevent you from diving into what matters.

Maybe because they’re jealous. Maybe because they’re scared they’ll lose you. Or maybe because they know your success will expose their averageness. Either way, you have to accept this reality. You have to be okay with the fact that not everyone you encounter wants you to jump.

But, your ability to withstand criticism without crumbling is a leading determinant of your success. And at the same time, don’t ignore the naysayers. It depends on the source, the validity of the comment and the context in which the criticism was offered.

My motto is: Criticism keeps you in check when it’s right, and keeps you in chuckles when it’s ridiculous. And as you prepare to jump, just remember: You’re nobody until somebody hates you. Besides, if everybody loves what you’re doing, you’re probably doing something wrong. Is your skin as thick as a reptile or as thin rice paper?

5. You’re never unpartnered. Although not everybody wants you to succeed, success never comes unassisted. That’s the cool thing about commitment: Once you stop dragging your feet and dive into what matters, the world begins to yes to you.

That’s what happens when you put yourself in the way of success and advance in the direction of your dreams: Eventually they will have no choice but to come true. Providence will move to orchestrate the ideal conditions for you to win.

As Paula Coelho wrote in The Alchemist, “If you follow your dream – your personal legend – all the world will conspire to help you.” When this happens, it’s almost spooky.

In fact, I remember spotting this trend when I first jumped. Help came out of nowhere. Opportunities presented themselves to me. And I was smart enough to leverage every opening the universe gave me.

But the door must be opened from the inside.

And you have to be fueled from the heart – not for the wallet. Otherwise your misguided intention will fill the room like a garlic fart. Ultimately, if you want the world to say yes to you, you’ve got to sing the song that is natural for you to sing, in the way that is natural for you to sing it, and it in front of the audience that needs to hear it the most. Are you paying homage to the voices that shaped you?

6. Conserve your oxygen. Don’t waste your breath on useless chatter. Next time you find yourself surrounded by people consumed with small thoughts, walk away. Set that boundary. Otherwise their mental shallowness will infiltrate your world.

My suggestion is to work exclusively in environments that allow you to escape the crutch of small-mindedness and think more importantly.

That means hanging with people who ask big, dangerous questions that catapult your thinking. That means talking about big, relevant issues that challenge your thinking. That means learning about big, new concepts that stretch your imagination.

The hard part is keeping yourself accountable. Try this: Be unwaveringly vigilant about the company you keep by asking the question, “Does this person add gasoline to or sprinkle water on my internal fire?”

Also, be persistently discerning about the media your consume and the ideas you focus on by asking, “Will I definitely use this information for something immediate and important?” In the end, life’s too short for television. Life’s too short to surround yourself with people who don’t challenge and inspire you. And life it’s too short not to do something that matters, as Hugh McLeod says. What do you need to delete from your life?

7. Do this and nothing else. Enough dabbling. Either go full time or go home. Go pro or go away. Be dedicated or be eliminated. That’s what it takes to win. You have to throw yourself wholeheartedly into the game.

Sadly, the number one reason people can’t dive into what matters is because they insist on keeping one leg firmly planted in what doesn’t matter. Bad move.

I’ve made it myself. When I first started my publishing company, I had a full-time job selling furniture. Writing books and giving speeches was just something I did at nights and on the weekends.

But after a year, I scaled back to part time. And I started parking cars a few shifts a week to make ends meet. Which worked for about a year. But the problem was, sometimes I’d work eighteen hours a day. And while my business slowly grew, so did my ulcer.

It was simply too much. And that’s when I finally jumped. That’s when I said, “Alright. This is it. I’m going to do this, and nothing else. Let’s go.” And I never looked back.

That’s the cool part about focus: It’s the first step toward freedom. It’s the fuel that drives the engine of wow. And it’s the solitary suggestor of success. It’s time to take your index finger, cover up the tip of the hose, and shoot out a frozen rope of concentrated effort.

Otherwise you’ll never shed your amateur status. How much time are you spending on things that diffuse your focus and hamper your goals?

Okay. Enough dabbling. Amateur hour is over.

It’s time to jump.
It’s time to put an end to half-measure living.
It’s time to stop dragging your feet and dive into what maters.

I know you’re terrified.

But sliding down the side of the mountain on your ass isn’t going to bring you closer to your dream.

If you’re going to jump – jump with all of your might.

Because there’s no going back to the top of the cliff.

Are you prepared to turn your desire into your obsession?

For the list called, “65 Things I Wish Somebody Would Have Told Me When I Started My Company,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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

Never the same speech twice.

Now booking for 2011!

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

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