New! Scott Ginsberg – Ideas are FREE…Execution is Priceless!

by Dean Jackson

Q Hello everybody, it’s Dean Jackson. Welcome to the Marketing live podcast. We truly are live today. We’ve got my good friend Scott Ginsberg with us and you may remember Scott’s been a guest, this is your third time now Scott on Marketing Monday?

A I tell you man your audience is going to be sick of me by today.

Q They know all about you. They’ve seen everything. Now you may remember that Scott is the guy who has become I’m going to say world famous for wearing a name tag 24/7 and we first talked to Scott when he wrote his, was it your first book about wearing your name tag all the time?

A Man it seems so long ago but yes 2001 is when I started writing it when I was in college and [‘Hello, My Name is Scott’] *0.00.54 that’s what started it all.

Q So what day are we up to now Scott, how many days in a row have you been wearing your name tag?

A I don’t even know. I’m going to have to look at my website. That’s why I have that counter there because I can’t remember. Apparently 3,774 days so that’s past a decade onto the year 11.

Q Right on and in case you lose your name tag you’ve got it tattooed right on your chest there so you’re never without it?

A That’s the permanent one, that’s why I’m all about commitment. Commitment is not something I do, it’s who I am.

Q Perfect. So Scott’s got a brand new book out right now called ‘Ideas Are Free, Execution is Priceless’. Scott I am very impressed with your book, I love it. I’ve always loved your stuff but this one I think you’ve hit a new level here with this book.

A I think essentially this book is me just getting pissed off at people not taking action on what is important to them and I just channelled that, not negative energy but just channelled that energy into the book and I think it came out great. I’m thrilled with it. I couldn’t be happier.

Q The great thing about the book is that it’s written into daily, you know one page a day for an entire year, it’s a calendar dated so you can take one little piece, one little nugget every single day and I think what I did is I’ve gone through it and read all of it and now I’m still going back and reading the daily ones too because they’re just such great things. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about the idea behind the book is because I know you’re saying it’s not about productivity? I know what you mean because it’s deeper than that but I’d love to hear your take on it.

A I grew up reading devotionals and I’ve always liked that concept because it’s one page a day and a devotion is a commitment, it’s something you do for a small amount of time each day over a period over a year because you want to get better at something and execution is not a skill, it’s not something you just read a 200 page book on an airplane trip from Phoenix New York and then bam you’ve got it, it doesn’t work that way. Execution is a lifestyle. It’s a philosophy. It’s an attitude. It’s a mindset. And so I wanted to do the devotional but no one’s ever done a business devotional so I wanted to be the first person to do it and it’s not exactly that, I call it a non friction business devotional.

Q A non friction, I love that.

A Yeah because it goes down easy because it’s one page a day, you read it in the bathroom, you read it on the way to work or whatever.

Q Or put it on your desk or wherever.

A I write books for me. I wanted to read this book. I wanted the devotional so people love the format, they’ve responded really well and most likely the next four or five books will also be devotional with exactly the same, so it’s all in the package because I want people, if they want to get better, if they want to improve their business or whatever they want to get better at devoting themselves is going to do it.

Q And what a great way, I don’t know how you wrote the book, did you write it one a day or did you write it all in?

A I write modules and those are uncategorised chunks of creative material so I had, I don’t know, a couple of hundred modules all around the execution topic and I just pulled out the small chunks within the modules that were half a page essentially and just distilled them down. They’re in alphabetically order so the book is not set up like well it’s spring time so we’re going to talk about *, none of that crap. It’s alphabetical so there’s no organisation, there’s no structure whatsoever. The whole point is for like the book to meet you where you are.

Q And each day is an individual clock, and that’s the thing, some meditation to think on for that day right, you’re not building.

A Right. On Monday June 10th or something you can read an article about on how feedback is overrated and just be careful what you listen to because that can block you from executing. And then the next day it could be on a complete other end of the spectrum and it could be more philosophical about don’t worry about being ready, you don’t need to be ready, you need to know why you’re doing to do it. So it challenges people not to get stuck on just one topic and it hits the whole well rounded idea of execution from every angle and by doing it in that non organised way I think it sort of gets people’s different brain circuits working and gets them thinking and making their own connections. I mean as of now it’s only March but people that have emailed me have said it’s been terrific.

Q It really is. I mean it really is terrific. Now you are a guy who knows a lot about execution. This is your twelfth book now in less than ten years so you’re on a pretty prolific pace there and in addition to that you write your blog every day at hello my name is blog, is that the main blog?

A That’s the one.

Q You already write all the segments at

A Yeah and so all the different areas of my business, my occupation as a writer because it occupies most of my time so writing is a baseline which I spend most of my time on, four to seven hours a day and then from there writing will become a video or a blog post or a book or a speech or a coaching program or whatever I do so I find that by focusing on the writing part it will disseminate wherever it needs to go.

Q Well I remember you know one of my favourite sayings that you have is that writing is the basis of all wealth and I don’t remember what book that you said that in or whether you said that on your blog but I really find that to be absolutely true and I think that when real estate agents here that they may think but I don’t write for a living, I’m not a writer and I think that what you’re really saying is that there’s a deeper meaning to writing than just writing a book.

A Yeah writing is about taking what’s in your head and putting it in front of people’s faces so it helps them including their own face. You don’t have to be an author. You don’t have to be a blogger. Writing is an extension of thinking so it’s about organising your thoughts, clarifying what’s important to you, getting an idea, whether it’s just a brainstorming for yourself or you’re writing something for a customer or for your home buyer who’s terrified and making a list of fifty questions they’re probably asking but afraid to ask, that’s writing and those are the kind of things that add so much value to your life, to the other people’s lives and the world that it comes back to you, it reciprocates in the form of wealth, whatever *

Q And you see the thing that really jumps out at me when you say, you just kind of go so lightening quick and say you know it’s writing down the fifty questions that first time home buyers should know, like you automatically think like you can put yourself in that position of being a real estate agent and think well what do I know and what can I get out on paper. Another thing that you have said, I love a lot of the quotes that you have put, but the question that you ask is is everything I know written down somewhere.

A It’s almost impossible if you really think about it but I ask myself that question every day and everything I know is written down somewhere. If that sounds ridiculous it is but so am I. the thing is I write everything down that I know and if I don’t, if I think of something I’ll know if I’ve written it down or not because writing it sort of etches it into your consciousness. So if I have a thought and it’s not written I’ll go write it down. If I have a thought and I don’t know if it’s written I’ll go look and I’ll find it and it is so I have access to everything too and I think, George [name]* said was the secret of his success is not just that he wrote twenty pages a day, that he could find anything immediately and I can do the same. So every challenge that a realtor faces is okay so a. how do I get to my thoughts down on paper organised and by paper I probably would mean digital just because it’s easier and not only how do I get it on paper then number two, how do I access it and how do I go back to the stuff I said and then number three, what do I do with it, who do I share it with. So every time I write something I always ask who needs to read this and then I send it to them.

Q If you think about all the occasions that a real estate agent could write down stuff especially thinking about everything they know, like if they just experienced something in a negotiation or a multiple offer situation and they write down everything that they remember and learn and got the distinction from that then any time that situation comes up again they’ve already got that. Writing something down is really the big leverage. It’s almost like a lever to leverage.

A It is, it is a lever and you can use it in the sales process. I’ll give you an example. So any time a company is going to hire me to give a presentation or do a consulting gig or whatever they hire me for, you have a conference call kind of like you and I are having the difference is on the conference call I’ll be taking notes and I will write every single thing that they say down, not summarised, not what I hear you saying is, literally word for word and then what I do at the end of the call they’ll go okay Scott well we’re really excited, we hope that we can work together, we have a couple of other speakers to choose from so we’ll get back to you in a couple of days and I’m like cool, thank you. Now before I go I just want to let you guys know I’ve been taking notes the whole time and I want to make sure everyone’s on the same page and I don’t want anyone to have to remember anything so in five minutes from right now you’re going to get an email from me, I’m just going to have a summary that’s going to have my exact notes non edited, exactly what I just said to you and I was sort of doing this years ago and clients loved it because a. it’s respectful, b. it reflects their reality, c. they have a revelation because they look at their own work and think wow I’m pretty smart and then ultimately it’s a perfect reinforcement, that’s the last benefit, because they can go back five months later so I’ve gotten business just from doing that and that’s writing and it’s just listening so any realtor can do the same and I think it will work for them.

Q One of the things that we encourage people to do is when they go to meet with a couple about selling their house or they go to meet with some new buyers to take notes, listen to what they say and then send in a letter form here’s what I heard you say so it lets them know that they understand that you understand what they’re doing.

A That’s the biggest complaint from customers about sales people, I read the report from the Supply Chain Management Association. Every year they do a report about customer complaints and the biggest one is that sales people don’t listen so what better way to position yourself as the right person to sell your home with as oh yeah, he was the one that actually listened and not just listened but showed that he listened by emailing me the notes, I love that guy man, there’s a million of these people, why don’t we take him because he uses his ears for us.

Q It’s interesting that it demonstrates that you’re paying attention to the details when nobody is really expecting you to pay attention to them so if you’re paying attention to the details when they’re not expecting it it must be a good indication that when it really matters that you’re really going to pay attention.

A Good point.

Q Interesting. I’m going to share with you some of my favourites from the book here and I want to talk a little bit about them because some of these are, I think they’re good to talk about because you and I maybe have different office environments, different than realtors have but one of my favourites is actually on March 3rd, convert your work space into a progress rich environment. So this one is very short, can I just read it so they can know what we’re talking about?

A Go for it.

Q So it’s emotionally invigorating to surround yourself with evidence of your achievements. What’s more keeping past progress in front of your nose stimulates focus even if it’s incremental. I learnt from making ideas happen as a human being you are motivated by progress. When you see concrete evidence of progress you’re more inclined to take further action. Surround yourself with it, celebrate it. Come to my office some time, I’ll show you how it’s done son.

A I wrote that one for my brother because that’s one of our inside jokes. I realise now there’s a typo. I don’t have an office. I have a work space. I shouldn’t have wrote that. I don’t believe in offices. My work space fuels my creativity and it’s set up to sort of be in touch with my obsessive compulsive, control freak tendencies and not everyone’s office will be like that but I think the secret is how do we set it up where we can remind ourselves of our victories because there’s those days when you don’t want to go in or you’re tired, you’re like oh god I suck or the market sucks and it’s like what are you going to do to remind yourself that the work you do matters and that you’re helping people and that you’ve done awesome before and you’re going to repeat those victories again. I mean this is the kind of stuff you’ve got to do especially if you work by yourself which a lot of realtors do is you’ve got to have that progress environment set up for you.

Q So tell me about your work space and then I’ll describe mine because I’ve never been to yours.

A Well I work in my living room. I have a lot of stuff on the wall. I work on the floor quite a bit, kind of got my laptop here on a desk in the corner. A lot of window space, lot of natural light. I don’t have lights in my office except for like one light because there’s usually sunlight. I’m a big fan of creating a portable environment for work so my office is everywhere. My office is me as Van Gogh once said and therefore if I’m taking a train or if I’m in a hotel room I can work anywhere. I think all of us need to know how to do that especially in this increasingly mobile workforce. We have sort of our baseline creative space where we’re going to get stuff done free of distractions and then we need to know how to thrive in a lot of different environments and have the tools to do so available on demand.

Q What kind of tools do you have use most often? I know I have seen a lot of the index cards and post it notes and things that you lay out.

A Yeah big fan of those, I have a little notepad that I carry with me and I’m still kind of analogue in that way. I-phones are great. I don’t use any apps on the I-phone. I think apps are like, the whole point of apps is to make you less bored and I’m not bored so I don’t really use apps. I keep little notepads kind of with me wherever I go. I’ve got my Mac Book Pro that I love but I’m not big on tools and special software and all that kind of fancy stuff. I mean I’m a writer. I need paper, that’s about it so I don’t have anything fancy but I know what I need.

Q And you’ve got the ability to concentrate in whatever space you’re in, you’ve got that too.

A Well that comes from yoga because one of the things you learn in yoga is how to stay focused and how to keep your breath consistent even when you’re tired or there’s a car alarm or the guy next to you is just sweating disgusting all over your mat. You learn how to sort of be a force of calm at a time of turmoil and I think that relates to the business world too. If you can get work done at an airport hell you can get work done anywhere.

Q You know what’s amazing is that so much of really being able to write and I use write again in that broader term of documenting stuff, getting stuff out, essentially that is being able to just get yourself to sit down and still yourself to focus on that one thing. Have you heard me talk about my acronym for golf?

A No, what is it?

Q Okay here it is. When I started thinking about this because so much of being able to concentrate on something is I started thinking why is it so effortless for me to go play golf because you know I can put it in my calendar, I can know what’s going to happen, I block it off, it’s four and a half hours from door to door and I get there at the right time, nothing gets in the way of it. And I started thinking well what if I could make playing golf, what if I could make getting things done or being productive the same sort of a situation, what are the elements of it that are common. So I started thinking about it and I made up this acronym for golf and g stands for a goal and the goal means I know what I’m going to do and I heard one time that goal comes from something to do with decision and decision is that you’ve cut off all other options. When I’m going to play golf that rules out that I can’t at the same time go to the movies or I can’t go bowling or I can’t do something else, I’ve chosen that that’s what I’m going to do and that I know that I’m committed to that as an activity. So when you’re going to spend some time in your work environment knowing what is that you’re going to work on, having that goal is one of the first prerequisites for it. Then o stands for an optimal environment and the golf course is an optimal environment for playing golf because it’s set up specifically for the task. It’s got eighteen holes, you start on number one, you go right through and you go to number two and then you go to number three and off you go and you’re in an environment that’s completely supportive to that, they’ve even got people who ride around on carts to bring out food and beverages to you, all of the needs that you have to keep yourself focused on golf for four and a half hours is right there for you. So how can you translate that into your work space, how can you create an optimal environment for what it is that you’re going to do? Then l is for limited distractions. When you’re on the golf course there’s not much there to distract you, everything is designed to keep you focused on the task and then f is a fixed timeframe, you know that golf is going to take four hours to play and so you take that same kind of application into the work blocks that you have set up. If I put now a block where I’m going to focus on something I know because I’ve been practicing this now for years that I know that I can focus for that four hour block on that one thing that I want to get done. And I was interested to hear you do something similar because you said you write about four to seven hours a day.

A Yeah I have a combination of regiment and then also keep it open to whatever happens so I can just kind of play it by ear. You can over regiment but then again you can not regiment at all and be all over the place. So doing both has served me well. In terms of prioritising it’s pretty easy. I just ask myself questions so for example is what you’re doing right now consistent with your number one goal, if it’s not don’t do it. Is what you’re doing right now leading to making money, if it’s not don’t do it. So questions like this keep me focused. Another good one to ask is and this is more of a filter I think for weeding out distractions or people trying to violate your boundaries and take advantage of you, I ask the big question which is is this an opportunity or an opportunity to be used.

Q I like that. That sounds like a distinction come to by wisdom. That seems like that experience led to that.

A Not so much by wisdom but my screwing up and by being a lunch whore for too many years; I posted this the other day, I wrote a module called how to keep backbone engaged and it’s about creating a filter for your life, it’s about establishing healthy boundaries and it’s about maintaining the integrity so it’s about before blood suckers try to siphon your genius without paying any money and before you know it you’ve given yourself away and I’ve been there before and that’s one of those moments where you’re too approachable and you’ve got to draw the line or else people will draw it for you and then they’ll violate it and tell their little friends it’s okay to do the same.

Q And then you’ve established that as the pattern too and you start to believe it right? That’s kind of interesting thing because so many times people can, real estate agents can run into that same thing too, it’s very easy for people to take advantage of them too. Here’s another one of my favourites from July 18th, make a public and purposeful choice to play big.

A You’ve got to do it man. You’ve got to show the world that you’re serious about commitment. Commitment I mentioned this earlier with the tattoo, commitment is who I am and I think there’s this cool thing that happens when you commit and when you give it with both feet and when you communicate to the world that you’re fully committed, not only do they pay attention, they start to pay dividends and that’s kind of a cool thing because I didn’t make any money for a good two and a half years when I started my business but then I sort of went full time, I was sort of playing for keeps and I committed with both feet and started making money, I started making a difference and I started making history and it’s a beautiful thing that we all have to get to that point where it’s like okay well what’s going to push me over the edge. I mean you can’t slide down the mountain on your butt, you’ve got to jump and you’ve got to hope that you’ll learn how to swim before the water fills your lungs.

Q The good news is that when you do something big like make a commitment to wearing your name tag 24/7 you know what you’ve got going for you now is there’s nobody in the world that can catch you now. You’re already 3700 days ahead of anybody that starts next.

A And more importantly I mean the fact that I wear a name tag every day no one’s going to beat that most likely. In addition to being ahead by 3700 days I’m also ahead by twelve books and an entire enterprise that no one else has ever done or will ever do and that to me is the real differentiator and that’s why people pay me money. I don’t wear a name tag every day. I made a career out of wearing a name tag every day.

Q Exactly. What’s one of your favourites? What one do you think is one of the most important ones in the book?

A It’s so hard to pick because there’s like 366 of them and they all rock. I’m going to go with the last one so if you have your book there at December 31st. Every time I write a book there’s always one part of the book that it’s like I just do it for me. There’s like one line in the book that I just love and I don’t care if anyone likes it but I love it and the last chapter, December 31st it says your ship never comes in, only your dock gets bigger and it’s about permission, it’s about not waiting until you’re ready, it’s about just go, don’t wait for permission, don’t wait for perfection, just do it, just go. You’ll screw up and you’ll doubt yourself and it will be painful and it will be the best thing ever and that’s what people need to do, that’s the jump that are afraid to take, that’s the execution part, like people talk about ready, aim, fire or ready, fire, aim or ready aim, ready aim, ready aim or ready ready ready or aim aim aim, I say instead of ready, aim, fire like get rid of all three of those words, how about try, listen, leverage. Instead of ready, aim, fire how about try, listen, leverage because a. you’re never ready so don’t wait for that one, aim, I don’t know, aim is kind of overrated, I’d rather just kind of put it out there and let the customers aim for me and then as opposed to a fire, fire is kind of a dangerous word I replace it so try, listen, leverage. Try, you just try stuff, just give it a shot, just see what happens, run experiments. My whole life is an experiment. And the listen that’s the big one, you try stuff and then you listen, what works, what sucks, what do people love, what do people latch onto and then leverage so now that you have done it and now that you’ve listened to what works how do I leverage it, how do I say okay you know that stuff I was doing last week man that really killed, let’s leverage that, let’s do more of that because the stuff I did this week really sucked.

Q These are great words, stop waiting for things to happen to you, start happening to things.

A It’s totally cheesy and I love writing cheesy stuff because cheesy makes funny.

Q But it’s brilliant.

A There’s a great song by Mark Cohen called Life on this Train and he says life is curious to see what you will do. It’s like are you sitting around waiting to see what is going to happen or is life curious waiting for you and I love that Mark Cohen song, I listen to it all the time. It kind of pumps me up. That’s what execution is, it’s like I’m going to make stuff happen, I’m going to do this. The door has to be opened from the inside otherwise we’re screwed.

Q I love on the back cover, you don’t need an idea, you need an I did.

A Originally I had a different line on the back of the book. I was coming home from yoga and I get ideas in yoga all the time and I’m in my car and I’m like wait a minute, idea, I did, oh that should be the line on the back of the book so I switched it and that’s like one of my favourite lines in the book, it’s like ideas, a lot of people have ideas, I have I did and I did’s make me money.

Q That’s perfect.

A If I may say so that’s really damn good. I hate to say it though because that’s an idea.

Q There we go. I’m going to recommend that everybody gets your book ‘Ideas Are Free, Execution is Priceless: 366 Actionable Ideas, Challenging Insights and Disturbing Questions to help you take action on what matters’. I am a big fan. I love this. I’ve been reading it all the way through and I’ll continue to read it day by day. I think everybody who’s listening would really benefit from reading this book. It’s frictionless, there’s no friction in reading it.

A That’s correct, no friction.

Q Available everywhere books are sold is that where we?

A Yeah just go on Amazon.

Q Go to and I’ll put a link right up to it from Marketing Monday here so people can get right to it and I’m going to recommend that people check out your blog too, you write really great stuff at and even, all kinds of great videos. I’m going to encourage people to use you as a model here even for, you know imagine if you could apply yourself to getting your ideas about everything you know about helping people buy homes in your town or sell homes and use that same kind of a model, get all of those ideas out there on your blog and on video. You’ve got to be a packager of all of your thoughts.

A That’s right.

Q Fantastic Scott. Thank you so much for joining us again. When’s the next book?

A Already done.

Q Already done? You see there we go.

A I don’t when it’s going to come out, probably the Fall but it’s done. I’ve got some other projects I’ve got to wrap up before I start down the, the book production process but it’s done, I can’t wait. It’s quite a bit different from execution but it’s going to rock man. I can’t wait.

Q Perfect. And then I’ve got an idea for your next book after that.

A Okay.

Q Scott thank you so much for being with us and I will talk to everybody on our next Marketing Monday.


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ginette bouffard March 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I like the interview with Scott thank you very much

Brian A July 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Dean, Thank you so much for all of the work you do with helping the rest of us find the success we are looking for. Both YOU and JOE are AMAZING marketers and AWESOME teachers!

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