How to be a Shoulder Angel


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In order to be UNFORGETTABLE, you must have your own philosophy. A lens. A paradigm. A system. A unique method or expertise unlike anyone else in your industry.

I call this a “School of Thought, ” and it all started when my best friend, mentor and former 10th grade English teacher, William Jenkins, once asked me an extremely powerful question:

If everybody did exactly what you said, what would the world look like?

When you find the answer to that question, you've got your philosophy. When you find your philosophy, you've got your uniqueness. And when you find your uniqueness, you become That Guy.

The best part about a School of Thought is: you already have one.

Most people have certain philosophies and theories about business, but few people write them down. So take some time one Saturday or Sunday, go to the park (or the supermarket!) and organize your thoughts. Think of yourself as a famous philosopher who is writing his or her manifesto about business.

Now, you don’t actually have to write the whole thing out, but list several key areas of your business along with which rules, theories or philosophies you adhere to in order to become successful, unique and valuable. You never know, you may already be the next great business thinker! And you’ll also be surprised at how easy it is to organize your ideas once you do so visually.

I started this process after the first two years of my business. I developed something called “The Approachability Philosophy, ” which helps my clients understand exactly how I work, and how approachability works as well. To see a fully color visual map of this philosophy and to watch a video its origin, go to THE BEST PART: ultimately, having your own School of Thought helps you become a shoulder angel. You remember those little buggers from the cartoons, right? They’d always appear out of a poof of smoke whenever a character was faced with a difficult decision. The devil and the angel would sit atop the cartoon’s shoulder and try to persuade that individual to follow certain advice.

OK. That’s you. The angel. (Not the devil!) And when you have a School of Thought, when you are That Guy, you become the voice of reason, the voice of expertise, speaking into the ears of your customers.

After all, you know more about something, or are better at something that anyone else in the world! And when people have a problem, they need to automatically think of you, That Guy, whose School of Thought will help them solve their problem.

© 2006 All Rights Reserved.

Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, “The World's Foremost Expert on Nametags" and the author of HELLO my name is Scott and The Power of Approachability. He helps people MAXIMIZE their personal and professional approachability - one conversation at a time. To book Scott for your next association meeting, conference or corporate event, contact Front Porch Productions at 314/878-5419 or


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