Everything I Need to Know About Business I Learned From My Nametag

So there I was – sitting in the audience of an on-campus seminar. Surrounding me sat hundreds of fellow students; each of us wearing one of those little, handwritten, adhesive nametags. When the event was over, we all filed toward the exit. I approached the door and noticed a small trashcan filled to the brim with ripped up, used nametags.

And that gave me an idea. A crazy idea. Maybe I should keep my nametag on all night!

I wondered what would happen if I “threw myself out there.” And I wondered how that would affect my approachability.

Sure enough, I walked out of that seminar with “Scott” stuck on my chest. About 10 minutes later I met up with a friend of mine at a local ice cream shop. And that’s when it all started. That’s when the silence was broken.

People began to say hello. Random students walked up to me and started conversations. Even complete strangers yelled “Hey Scott!” from across the room! I noticed an astonishing increase in both my own and other people’s willingness to communicate – all because of a nametag!

Later that night I returned home. I looked in the mirror at that little red and white nametag. And then, I made the most important decision of my entire life:

I vow to wear this nametag all day, every day – for the rest of my life.

That fateful day was November 2nd, 2000. And since then, my entire life has changed. On January 1st, 2003, my first book entitled HELLO, my name is Scott: Wearing Nametags for a Friendlier Society, was released. At the same time, my company, Front Porch Productions was created.

But with every passing day of wearing a nametag – I was forced to look deeper. I knew there was something bigger at work. And now after three years of business and five years of wearing a nametag all day, every day – it’s time to go from experimental to experiential. The following are seven valuable business lessons I learned from wearing a nametag.

Repetition

Like a large percentage of the world, I didn’t learn much in college. Or maybe I just don’t remember much from college. Either way, I did take away a few key concepts from my marketing studies. The main one was called “The Three R’s of Marketing,” which are:

1) Repetition

2) Repetition

3) Repetition

I know it sounds incredibly obvious. But with every single day that I wore that little nametag, people were more and more likely to think “He’s still wearing that nametag!” “Hey look, there’s Scott again…” “Why in the hell does that guy always wear a nametag?”

It was catching on. People not only noticed me, but they remembered me. And now they were starting to tell other people too.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What new action could you repeat on a daily basis?

Combine Vocation with Values

I often remind people that what I do as a person and businessperson is not about nametags. The nametag is merely a symbol that represents several core values I hold close to my heart. The truth is; my nametag and my values are one in the same. You see, my nametag represents friendliness, approachability, fun, creativity, uniqueness and casualness. And I, as a person, believe in friendliness, approachability, fun, creativity, uniqueness and casualness.

This reminds me of my friend Ed. He’s a financial planner, and a damn good one at that. But the reason he’s so successful is because his values (planning ahead, setting goals, organization) are manifested through his job. And I think the greatest businesspeople in the world are those who do just that: combine vocation with values.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Which values are manifested through your work?

You Can’t Make Everybody Happy

You’d be amazed how much hate mail I’ve received over the years. (Yeah, I know – hate mail addressed to a guy trying to make the world friendlier? Go figure.) But I actually value it tremendously. After all, as customer service experts say, “A complaint is a blessing!” First of all, it’s hilarious. And as you read in the last section, I’m a fun guy. Secondly, there were a few emails that gave me a much needed kick in the butt, making me aware of certain inconsistencies I didn’t see.

Lastly, as much as I don’t want to admit it, not everybody agrees with me on this whole nametag thing. And hey, that’s cool. I’ve come to terms with it over the past 1,635 days. But I’ve still stood my ground, even in the face of embarrassment, staring, humiliation or physically harm (yes, I’ve been beat up for wearing a nametag.) Why? Because I believe in what I do and it makes a difference in others’ lives. Ultimately, it makes me realize that Peter Montoya, author of The Brand Called You, was right when he said, “If everyone agrees with you, you’re doing something wrong.”

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What values or practices do you apply that receive criticism from others?

It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You

Let’s face it: if you wear a nametag all day, every day, wherever you go – you will stand out. And people will notice. I figured that out in the first few months. But I had no idea it would evolve into a writing, speaking and publishing business until after the first two years. And that’s when my accumulated visibility started working to my advantage.

Because once the company was up and running in 2003, it wasn’t just that people noticed me – people knew me. Whether it was someone in my community, a fellow member of an association or even a random stranger, it appeared that a lot of people knew I was the guy with the nametag. They knew I wanted to make the world friendlier. And now, they knew I had a book. It was all coming full circle! So, it’s like my friend Jeffery Gitomer says, “It’s not who you know – it’s who knows you.” Amen to that, brother!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

In your industry, community or company – do a lot of people know you?

Angels Unaware

I’ve always held the belief that everyone can teach you something. That everyone has a story to tell. And that everyone can affect you in some way. So, by far the greatest advantage to wearing a nametag all the time was the opportunity to meet new people. People I wouldn’t have met otherwise. People that, often times, became friends of mine! It almost became addicting!

But one evening while riding the bus home from work, I met an angel. I met one of the most important persons in my entire business life. It was just…some guy. A regular dude who was sitting right next to me. We got to talking and eventually exchanged business cards after our brief conversation. He wished me luck on my upcoming book, and I wished him a Happy Holiday Season.

I had no idea his girlfriend was the editor of a local newspaper.

A week later she called to set up an interview, the result of which was a 4 page article that came out two days prior to the release of my first book!

Once that article came out, media outlets from around the globe called for interviews! I spent the next 6 months on a whirlwind media blitz, sharing my ideas – and my business – with the world! That 6 month period eventually led to the forming of my company, which is now in its third year.

And all because I said hello to a stranger. An angel of whom I was unaware. (See Hebrews 13:2.)

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

Have you ever met one person who created the “tipping point” for your business?

Word Ownership

When I think of self-help, I think of Dr. Phil. When I think of customer service, I think of Nordstrom. When I think of marketing, I think of Seth Godin. And when I think of The Yellow Pages, I think of my brother, Steve.

Why?

It’s because each of those people are individuals who, in mind, have the most expertise about, and most association with that particular word. That’s called Top of Mind Awareness – or as I like to call it, Word Ownership.

With me, the word is obvious: nametag. If you Google the word “nametag,” I’m the first page that shows up. If you hear someone say the word “nametag,” you think of me. And after knowing me, reading my work or hearing me speak, you will never think about the word “nametag” the same way again. That’s Word Ownership. Sure, it’s not a word used as often as marketing or customer service, but it’s mine. I own it.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What word do you own?

Be Remarkable

Now, as I have progressed as a businessperson, Seth Godin (ibid) has become one of my favorite authors. His most famous book, Purple Cow, changed the face of marketing as we know it. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s the concept: in order to differentiate yourself in business, you must be remarkable. Remarkable is something worth making a remark about. And if you or your company can achieve remarkable status, people will do your marketing for you.

It’s so simple, it’s ridiculous.

And as it turned out, wearing a nametag, all day, every day for five years, was in fact, remarkable. But not according to me. It was according to CNN, USA Today, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, Paul Harvey, Headline News and The CBS Early show. Those were just a few of the international media outlets that did stories on it!

Now, I didn’t include that list to brag. I included that list because honestly, I have no idea how in the hell it happened. I spent a long time shaking my head, thinking to myself, I can’t believe it. But in the end, serendipity, luck and acts of God notwithstanding, maybe it happened simply because my idea was remarkable.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…

What facet of you or your business is remarkable?

The crazy thing is; all I did was put on a silly little nametag. And here I am; author, speaker, publisher and small business owner. Now, trust me, I ask myself that same question almost every day: How in the hell did all of this happen?

Maybe it was an accident.
Maybe it was smart marketing.
Maybe it was luck.

Or maybe it was the right idea, for the right person, at the right time, in the right place.

You can pick whichever answer makes the most sense to you. But I hope these business lessons I’ve learned from wearing a nametag will help you make your mark and do something unforgettable!

Thrive Your Logistic Business Remarkably With IT Solutions

If you are running a logistic services providing company or working in some big logistic company then you cannot deny with the fact that IT solutions has changed this business domain dramatically over few years. Newbie business organizations can take benefit from innovative web technologies to flourish their businesses. Technically, IT solutions increase the flexibility of operations and make them scalable for customers as well as service providers. In this way, you may try to understand the process of availing logistics software solutions for your business. If you are trying to figure out the way of adding such solutions in your business organization then you can read below given tips.

Find a Web Consultant

In this process of digitalization of your logistic business, you need to approach an experienced web consultant for creating a unique model of IT solutions for your business organization. Usually, business organizations prefer to approach coding agencies instead of interacting with a web consultant, which is a wrong process. Your logistic management system will not be just an interactive website. Technically, a logistics IT solutions comes in existence after addition of multiple tech modules like offline applications, online application, security applications, and notification system. Therefore, your web developer will not be able to create a drawing of your logistic management application.

Create Domain-Centric Website

In this process, you should request your web consultant to add domain-oriented website for your business organization. With the help of your business, you can easily communicate with your potential customers. It will be an interesting way to add IT in your business organization. You should ask your coder to connect your website with your intranet operation management application. This threading will help you and your customers to find the location of a shipment just by using the tracking number of shipment. Apart from this, the intranet application should have all features to simplify the tracking process of your shipments.

Introduce Your IT Platform

After adding the IT applications in your logistics business organization, you can arrange a workshop for your staff members to understand the functioning of your intranet and internet applications. The workshop is a necessity for your business organization because your staff should be familiar with the entire operation process. In this workshop, you can involve your web consultant. Your consultant will give a simple and lucid presentation of your applications. Such presentation will help your staff members to learn and use your IT applications.

It will be a profitable addition in your business organization. Your company will emerge as the customer-driven and technologically sound organization of your business domain. Therefore, you should not take this addition lightly. Your customers will be able to track their shipments by using your tracking system enabled website. Apart from this, your staff will also not have to maintain long journals to maintain the records of shipments. In short, it will eventually improvise your business operations and bring your business on to a higher level. So, you should move on to talk with your web consultant for availing Logistics IT Solutions for your business organization.

Five Business Reputation Management Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

Can inattention to Reputation Management hurt your business? Trust me when I say that negative remarks found by people doing a Google search of you or your business is no laughing matter. Not having the answers to this crucial issue years ago literally put me out of business in 2009. With that as background, what I have learned over the last six years has been incredibly valuable. Here are five key mistakes for you to avoid.

1. Not Being Aware of the Gravity of the Problem – Ignoring the fact that seemingly innocuous negative remarks on your SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page’s) will have enormous negative impact, is not an option. A single nasty remark on a company’s First Page can and will cost you in terms of customers, reduced revenues, a maligned reputation, and even the loss of your business.

2. Not Inspecting SERP’s on a Regular Basis – If you are not continually vigilant, damaging statements will slide up your SERP’s to the all-important First Page. The longer they are there, the more they will gain rank, Google relevance, and authority. Inspect constantly.

3. Not Acting Quickly Enough – Defamatory remarks are like cancer – the sooner you take steps to correct the problem, the more quickly a professional RM firm can annihilate the problem. Allowing the negatives to fester unabated can make the process more prolonged and expensive.

Unfortunately, people Googling your name will predictably gravitate toward negative remarks – exactly what you don’t want. It is always wise to deal with negative comments appearing anywhere in your first ten SERP’s, immediately and decisively.

4. Trying to Handle Reputation Management Issues “In-House” – Businesses too often think that their Webmaster or IT department is capable of a genuine Reputation Management solution. I can assure you – they are not. A business can lose valuable time and suffer incalculable damages if unqualified personnel are trusted with this complex issue. A company will be much better served hiring a trusted firm who is experienced specifically in Reputation Management solutions.

5. “Reactive” Reputation Management – Most people wait until they are diagnosed with cancer before getting serious about living a healthy lifestyle. Cancer prevention and healthy living should be a proactive concern long before one receives bad news.

Likewise, Reputation Management should be aggressively activated long before potentially nasty remarks ‘infest’ your first page. A healthy first page is one filled with Google-strong, high-authority, positive sites, pages, and links that are well-ensconced, difficult to dislodge, and in place well BEFORE a problem ever exists. Your first SERP is much less likely to be invaded by a sniper’s remarks if it is proactively fortified beforehand.

Be seriously mindful about your Reputation Management. Do not be cavalier or inattentive regarding the content of your Search Engine Results Pages. Take heed of these five important points, and your odds for success will be greatly improved.