As of today Scott Ginsberg – this Friday’s Fearless Brand – has worn a nametag for 4,706 consecutive days. Yes, he wears a nametag every second of every day. There should be no question as to why he is known as The Nametag Guy. Very few people are comfortable wearing a nametag outside of an event and only one person is comfortable enough to wear one every day since the start of the century. Is that what makes Scott a fearless brand? Not at all.
You needn’t wear a nametag every day to be a fearless brand – but you do need the commitment which doing that represents.
Scott is not a fearless brand because of the nametag – he wears the nametag as the result of being a fearless brand. So, what qualifies him? It is rather simple actually. Scott possesses more self-awareness than most anyone I know. He has complete clarity about who he is – his brand. He knows his competencies and his passions. He knows his gifts, his drivers, his motivation and his satisfiers. Scott exemplifies conviction in the context of my Seven C’s of Branding. Conviction encompasses commitment, courage and confidence. Conviction is where your competencies, passions and relevance intersect. It is where you realize – and are able to deliver – maximum value. So, as Scott has heard thousands of times – What’s with the nametag?
On a dare – or a bet – Scott wore an event nametag over a weekend while at college. It didn’t take long for him to realize how much more often people would approach him. Wearing the nametag made him more approachable and made people more open and friendly. He decided to keep wearing the nametag. Fast forward to a bus ride in Portland. A passenger asked about the nametag and Scott very enthusiastically shared his story of openness, approachability and friendliness. They exchanged business cards but the man was not heard from again.
Then, months later, he was approached by an editor of the Portland newspaper about doing a feature on him and his nametag philosophy. The editor was the fiancée of the man on the bus. Her article was picked up by papers across the country. The story made television news programs. Scott ended up being interviewed on CNN. CBS, ABC and virtually every major network. Was it the nametag? No. It was the concept of meeting people, accomplishing goals, learning new things and having more fun simply by being more approachable.
Scott has built the whim of wearing a nametag one weekend into a highly successful business. He is known as one of the foremost experts on being approachable. He speaks internationally on that topic – and many more (he never gives the same talk twice). He is a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not world record holder. If you’re questioning his commitment or his claim to wear a nametag 24/7 you need to know this – his nametag is tattooed on his chest. True.
Scott is blessed with many talents. If I were forced to use a one word description for him it would be creative. He has written and published twenty-seven books. (All are available for free download via nametagscott.com). He was once asked “Scott, how can you write 6-10 hours a day?” His reply – “Simple, I’m a writer. It’s what I do.” In addition to being an author and a speaker he is a musician (both writing and performing music), has launched an online television network, was voted entrepreneur of the year in St. Louis in 2008 and as if that is not enough, he is a newlywed. His bride, Brittany, is herself a fearless brand and together they are amazing. Phew.
What can we all learn from Scott? Put yourself out there. Follow your passions and build on your competencies. Know yourself and believe in yourself. Be relevant. Importantly, be committed. Be a fearless brand – nametags are optional.