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!

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