SUPERBOLD with Fred Joyal

Fred Joyal was founder of of 1-800-DENTIST, which for over 30 years has generated over a billion dollars in revenue. No he’s a keynote speaker, coach and author of the book Superbold: From Under Confident To Charismatic In 90 days. This amazing show uncovers:

  • What boldness really is?
  • The PRIDE method, so you can unlock boldness.
  • What “Dosage” is and what happens if we have too much or not enough.
  • Why having an “Every Day Action” can transform your life.

Transcript: Thanks to Jermaine Pinto at JRP Transcribing for being our Partner. Contact Jermaine via LinkedIn or via his site JRP Transcribing Services.

The Leadership Hacker News

Steve Rush: We’re going to explore names, names matter. My name is Steve. Everybody introduced themselves with this one special gift that we were given from the moment of our birth. Yet, how often do we get people’s names wrong? And how often do we give ourselves the permission to say, oh, I’m terrible with names, but I’m great with faces. A somewhat convenient excuse, maybe. We live and work in a really multicultural society. Our names come from all over the world and not necessarily from the location you are in, they sound different, they have different spellings, they may be shortened names that are nicknames almost in replace of their real names but come in many different ways.

Some of my kids in fact have even changed their names. Well, metaphorically changed names growing up because they thought they weren’t comfortable with this particular label, but soon changed it back. Whichever way we think about our names, it’s our identity. You must know how it feels when somebody gets your name wrong and that’s because getting someone’s name right really matters. It may take a bit of extra effort. You may have to ask them to spell it. However, often minimal effort as a leader can really engage people when they know, you know them, and this demonstrates you’re willing to take an interest in them and from wherever their name derives their culture too. So, is this such a big effort? Let’s have a look. The acknowledgement, firstly, that the name is tricky for you is okay. Let people know that if they have got a tricky name. That demonstrates you care enough; recognize you may need to take time to practice somebody’s name.

And as much as that sounds crazy, it will make a huge impact to the relationship. Ask the person for clarification if you are unsure. I’ve made loads of mistakes on this podcast initially, when I’ve had guests come on the show and made an assumption on how their name was spelled. Only to have to re-edit episodes to get their name right. And by practicing and persevering until you do get it right, you create a bond between the individual and you, when we address your colleagues by name, especially in team settings and meetings, it helps collaboration, and that behavior will help create effective teamwork. Saying people’s names is a strong signal that you see them, you value them and that you want their input. So, make this an everyday practice, greet people by their names, look in their eyes as you do so, and introduce colleagues to each other by their names and let’s get it right.

So, the next time, you’re not sure on how to say somebody’s name. Just politely ask. I’m not sure how to say your name, please can you help me pronounce it or just be brave and go for it and ask them, did I get that right? You’ll soon find out. And most importantly, demonstrate once more that you value them. That’s been The Leadership Hacker News. Let’s go ahead and dive into the show. 

Start of Podcast

Steve Rush: Fred Joyal is a special guest on today’s show. He was the co-founder of Futuredontics, the parent company of 1-800-DENTIST, which for over 30 years has generated over a billion dollars in revenue. He’s just written a fantastic book called, Superbold: From Under Confident To Charismatic In 90 days. And it’s an Amazon and Wall Street Journal bestseller. He’s also been a TV and commercial actor as well as a standup comedian, and now sharing his learning through coaching, speaking and other business consultancy. Fred, welcome to our show.

Fred Joyal: Steve, excited to be here.

Steve Rush: So, I’ve just finished reading Superbold, and I can tell our listeners without hesitation. It is an amazing read. And personally, for a middle-aged guy falling into habits, I still found myself thinking, wow, that’s me. So, we’re going to get into some of that a little bit later, but before we do, it’ll be really great for you just to share some of that very varied and wide experiences that you’ve picked up along the way.

Fred Joyal: Yes, I’m happy to do that. I started many years ago as a junior copywriter as an ad agency, and that was the first job I really liked. Like, it was the first groove I really found. I was wandering and trying all sorts of things. I was fairly directionless, and then when I hit the advertising world, I thought, oh, I could actually do this for a lifetime, you know, for a career. And it led me to starting my own business, which was 1-800-DENTIST, which is a referral service for dentist, where we run advertising, run a call center to attract the calls and then disseminate those calls out to dentists. And I did that for about 30 years. I owned the business and sold it about five years ago. And it was much more successful than we imagined.

But tons of twists and turns, you know, you run a business for 30 years, you know, through recessions and internet booms and busts and all of that. And plenty of good and bad things happen along the way. And that’s actually what I coach businesses on now is, how to hit different potholes than I hit or not hit them at the same speed that I hit them so that they can accelerate their success. 

Steve Rush: Right. 

Fred Joyal: And then of course, got to the point where, you know, Superbold became an emerging theme that I really wanted to get out.

Steve Rush: So, when you hear the word Superbold, you call it Superbold because you actually have come to the conclusion. I think, as I have having read the book that it is a superpower, right?

Fred Joyal: Absolutely, yes. I mean, if I had to give my child one thing, it would be the confidence and understanding that confidence is the foundation. Boldness is taking that confidence and going into action and learning what happens when you’re bold that bold people have always understood whether they learned it as children or they never unlearned it. But they learn all of these things that all of the great stuff in life really occurs when you’re bold. 

Steve Rush: Right. 

Fred Joyal: And that’s how you can have the most impact on the world.

Steve Rush: And you cite in your book, actually, a bunch of successful business leaders and entrepreneurs just share some of those that you share in the book. And actually, we probably all noticed that there is boldness that comes with that. 

Fred Joyal: Yeah, certainly you know, somebody like, Sir Richard Branson is constantly making bold moves. He’ll jumps from industry to industry which is a fairly reckless thing to do for most people. But he had learned that if you approach it in a certain way and you protect your downside risk, amazing things can happen. And you can take that brand from a record business to a telephone business, to a soda business, to an airline, to outer space. And now a cruise line and hotel line, all of these things, he has 400 brands under the Virgin emblem, as far as I know. Somebody like Tony Hsieh who started Zappos and he didn’t start it. He actually came into Zappos as the CEO and had made millions very young. He and his brother had made a very successful exit early on that gave him tens of millions of dollars. By the time he was done, he had poured every bit of it into Zappos. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: And Zappos reached a billion dollars of revenue in 10 years. So, he generated a hundred million dollars of growth a year by just saying, I could go into the shoe business by approaching it in a completely different way and pushed all his chips in the middle of the table when he had complete financial security, but he went to the next level. 

Steve Rush: And people like Elon Musk at the moment, who’s continually reinventing himself, just bought Twitter. And everybody’s asking the question now, what does this guy want with Twitter?

Fred Joyal: Yeah, and he’s not going to tell us right away. 

Steve Rush: Exactly. 

Fred Joyal: But it fits into his grand scheme or it’s just something he said, this has to be done differently. Just like, he looks at transportation as being needing to be disrupted and satellites and outer space. And, you know, like why would you launch a rocket and throw away the booster? You know, he looks at things like that. You know, why would you build a car and not use the battery as the chassis for an electric car, those kinds of things, and why not dig tunnels under cities? Why not create that technology? 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: What Twitter’s got to do with that? Who knows? 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: But he guesses right quite often. 

Steve Rush: He does, yeah. And to your experience, when you think of entrepreneurs and businesspeople, can you actually be successful and Uber successful without being bold?

Fred Joyal: I don’t think so. Because you need to go into action without certainty. 

Steve Rush: Right. 

Fred Joyal: And actually say, whatever happens, I’m going to learn from it. I’m going to absorb that knowledge and make whatever changes or go in 180-degree, different direction. Because the marketplace has told me something about, that what it wants, and it wasn’t what I thought I wanted. 

Steve Rush: Hmm. 

Fred Joyal: But they gave me a big clue and now I can go in that direction. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: You know, he started, even when, you know, Elon Musk started you know, the Tesla, it was a little Lotus with an electric engine, and it was a sports car. It really, only was fast. It wasn’t comfortable. It wasn’t useful as a car. It was a toy. 

Steve Rush: Mm. 

Fred Joyal: But then he said, okay, what people really need is a multi-passenger vehicle. And he actually created a seven-passenger vehicle. And the reason a lot of people don’t realize that the original Tesla sedan was seven passengers, because he’s got five kids.

Steve Rush: [Laugh] practical as well.

Fred Joyal: Yes. Little things like give feedback takes boldness, except feedback takes boldness, meeting people. The cornerstone of anybody’s success is their ability to meet whomever they want. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Steve Rush: Whenever they want and create a real connection with those people, not network, but actually connect. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: With people. And that takes stepping up and it takes developing those skills. Boldness allows you to develop these skills. You can read about them all day, if you’re not bold enough to put them into action, you’ll never develop the skill. If you want to learn to be a great public speaker, there’s a hundred books on it. You could read them all. You’ll still be a terrible public speaker.

Steve Rush: Yes, right. Very true.

Fred Joyal: But get on stage and suck [laugh] and watch the video of it and you’ll get better. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: And every time you get on stage, you’ll get better.

Steve Rush: So, in its rawest sense, how would you describe boldness?

Fred Joyal: It is chasing your dreams, however, going after an opportunity, a moment, whether it’s fun, whether it’s meeting somebody, whether it’s taking a chance on a business, it’s putting your idea out there, putting yourself out there, bringing your full self to the world, whether it’s in a personal situation or business situation, personal situation could be say, I really want to meet that attractive young man or woman across the room at this party. Or it could be, I need to raise 10 million from my business and I have to pitch it so that they believe that I will execute it. And you know, if you know investors, they bet on the person, there’s millions of ideas out there. They call it, we bet on the jockey, not the horse. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: Is what they say.

Steve Rush: I’ve heard that before, yeah.

Fred Joyal: Yeah, and so you’ve got to, it takes boldness to say, I can make this happen. I will do whatever it takes to make this happen and project that. You can’t succeed without it. And it is, just allowing your full self to blossom. You don’t become somebody else. I’m not somebody else than who I was as a young man, very shy. I am the full me. I can bring the full me in every situation. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: And that’s impactful.

Steve Rush: What’s the reason that some people often get boldness confused with either arrogance or confidence in your experience?

Fred Joyal: Because they confuse a narcissist with somebody, bold. A narcissist is actually extremely, under confident, extremely insecure. Whatever you think of former President Trump, he had an incredibly thin skin. Every little slight offended him. And that’s very typical of that type of personality. That’s not bold. True boldness has an element of humility in it because you know that there’s so much more that you can become rather than pretending that you are enough or more than enough, or amazing or great. It’s, you’re moving through the world saying, I can be better. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: Because that’s what true boldness teaches you is. Wow. Just like what you’re saying with my book is, you consider yourself probably a fairly bold person. But as you read the book, you say, wow, that’s like five areas I could be bolder.

Steve Rush: Definitely, yeah.

Fred Joyal: As you mature in life, you become more humble because you appreciate how much more there is to know. But to me, boldness is, you want to have as much of a positive impact on the world. Because that’s mature fulfillment. It’s not about taking advantage of people or conning people. Because that’s what a confidence man does is con people. He convinces them to trust him, and that takes a certain amount of boldness, but you’ve feeding the dark side.

Steve Rush: It’s almost misguided boldness, isn’t it? 

Fred Joyal: Yeah. 

Steve Rush: Yeah, and the irony behind Superbold as well, Fred is, that you learned the techniques that you scribe in the book, but not in 90 days, but in 30 years, right. So, you were a really shy individual, struggled with boldness. How did that transformation come about?

Fred Joyal: You know, I get to really examine it as I was writing the book and I realized that it was just a tremendous amount of frustration that actually I was angry at myself at times because I said, wow, you actually have missed a great opportunity. Whether it was meeting a terrific woman or speaking up in a certain situation or missing out on you know, a great adventure or just a very powerful moment or very important moment, like giving a eulogy for a friend and you know, so many people do this. They say, oh, I’m not good at public speaking. I hate to be in front of people. It’s like, really? Your best friend just passed away and you’re not going to get up and say something. You’re never going to get another chance, that window’s going to close. And that’s analogous to a lot of things in life. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: These windows of opportunity shut, whether it’s that person across the room that you want to meet and you say, oh look, nobody’s talking to Jeff Bezos right now. I can go over and talk to him, and it takes you 10 minutes to get up the nerve. Meanwhile, somebody has walked up and talked to him and now you can’t interrupt, or you have to interrupt, which is going to be even hard. I’ll take you 10 minutes more to get up the nerve to do that.

Steve Rush: You describe a bunch of situations in the book actually, where you’ve shared situations where you’d missed out or you thought you could do things. And it was only after the event that, that kind of boldness aha moment presented itself for you.

Fred Joyal: And I saw bold people and I would say, why are they like this? Why are they not processing rejection the way I do? Why does it bounce off them? They just go in fairly uncertain about the outcome, but they don’t care because they know they’re going to discover something. And once you start doing it, once you start behaving boldly, you say, oh yeah, this thing was totally unexpected, but this thing’s great that happened. I was hoping to do this, but I was open to anything and then something completely different happened that was better. I love to emphasize this, especially early on because a lot of people don’t realize this, and bold people know this. It’s almost as fulfilling to try and fail as it is to try and succeed. Almost. It’s very similar. What hurts? Is not trying, that’s painful. That nausea at you for years, if not forever

Steve Rush: Moments lost almost isn’t it, you know?

Fred Joyal: Yeah, but if you tried, you go a lot easier on yourself. Look, I walked over, and I talked to that woman, and she told me she was married, and I turned around and I said, well, that’s lovely to hear, nice to meet you and walked away. Instead of saying, geez, I really should have met her because she’s the girl of my dream. Now what bold people also find out is, they’re wrong about those things. They know is like, I could stand here and fantasize that person is my soulmate, a bold person walks up and realizes, wow, there’s very little to connect with this person, but they’re not as concerned about the outcome. So, they don’t project the giant fantasy on top of it. 

Steve Rush: Yeah, now all the way through this spine of Superbold, you’ve created this methodology called pride, which is really an acronym of a couple of activities that really help people along the journey. I’d love for us to dive into that because it was when you were describing the pride method, particularly a couple of things that will come out as we kick it through. That’s definitely when I had my aha moment and I’ll share with you and our listeners kind of some of those experiences too. So how did the pride method come about for you?

Fred Joyal: You know, when I first started teaching boldness, I said, I have to break this down into how I did it and how you could apply it. What would you summon to develop this boldness muscle and have the tools in any situation to know how to react? And pride means something. That word is very special because I tell people it’s not being modest. It’s about living a life that you’re proud of. Why wouldn’t you want at the end of your life, be proud of that life you lived. And that means you left it all on the mat. You took every opportunity. You took every chance. You didn’t stack up the regrets. And so, let’s break down the acronym. The P is preparation. R is relaxing. I is insight. D is dosage and E is everyday action. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: Let’s start with preparation.

Steve Rush: Good place to start.

Fred Joyal: What a lot of people don’t realize is that we prepare for all sorts of things like driver’s test or the bar exam or whatever it is, getting a fishing license even. But we think we don’t need to prepare for social interactions and that sort of very specific behavior. They say, I don’t know what I would say to somebody, it’s like, that’s because you haven’t thought about what you would say. 

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Fred Joyal: Break it down to something simple. I want to meet somebody. I’m going to talk to a stranger. By the way, this is what I recommend to everybody is, talk to a stranger every day.

Steve Rush: And I do that now. 

Fred Joyal: Yeah. 

Steve Rush: That’s one of the keys learns for me is, I don’t even know how this happened, right. Because I would’ve said quite bold. I can walk through my village and my town head down, right. Quite comfortable in my own skin, but actually just smiling and saying hi, makes such a difference.

Fred Joyal: Yeah, and why not uplift somebody else with expecting nothing in return. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: And so, people say, they put all this pressure on themselves. Oh, I want to meet this person. So, but I can’t think of anything interesting or clever or funny to say. It’s like, wow. How about being nice? [Laugh]. How about just introduce yourself, take the pressure off yourself because if you come up and you’re that clever, now you’ve set the bar high. They have to come back and be clever or just admire you. Is that what you needed? Did you need to be admired or did you just want to meet them? And when you prepare yourself to connect with somebody, it’s simple, a compliment, ask a question, just say your name and say, hi, I’m Steve. I’d really like to meet you. That’s you know, that’s such an interesting pair of glasses you got on. I would love to know where you got them.

Steve Rush: Hmm. Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: That’s all you have to do. And you prepare yourself to do that. Now, you move on through life and say, okay, I’m going to look for a promotion. I need to prepare how I’m going to have that interaction with my boss. I’m going to rehearse that. I’m going to know what I want to say. I’m going to prepare my speech to go raise money from these investors. You’re not going to walk in there and say, oh, I know my business really well. I have watched so many entrepreneurs, grossly unprepared to walk into investor meetings. And they think because they know their business so well, they can talk about it really well. Instead of preparing a methodical laying out of their business. Their biggest problem is, they know too much about their business. 

Steve Rush: Hmm. 

Fred Joyal: You say, what does it do? And tell me what it does. I actually just did this weekend. I said, tell me what your business does in one sentence, this woman talked for five minutes. 

Steve Rush: [Laugh]. 

Fred Joyal: I went like, that was a long sentence. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: And I’m not sure what you do, because you gave me so much detail that I missed the bullet. 

Steve Rush: That’s right. 

Fred Joyal: And, so, preparation is critical in any sort of interaction. And, once you get good at it, here’s really important fact. Preparation is the foundation for spontaneity. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: You can be spontaneous if you’ve got the backup. If you know what you could say, I’ve walked up to plenty of people knowing I’m just going to say hi, I’m Fred, nice to meet you. And in the moment, I noticed they have amazing eyes or something like that, or an interesting piece of jewelry or they’re reading an interesting book, whatever it is. And now I can talk about that. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: But I got my backup and it’s the same thing on stage, you know?

Steve Rush: So, relaxation and insight are they correlated?

Fred Joyal: Yes, because the part of relaxing is understanding that you can control your state. And a lot of people don’t realize that you can control it just by breathing. Now I go into detail in how you do this. But if you check your physiology, because we tense up in certain situations. And if you just relax your body, before I walk on stage, I just shake off any excess tension in my body. And I take three deep breaths. Breathing will relax you. And there’s more techniques that I talk about, but you can relax yourself, but it doesn’t happen when somebody says, why don’t you just relax? That just makes you more nervous. 

Steve Rush: It does. 

Fred Joyal: Because it’s like, oh I didn’t realize I looked nervous. That makes me more nervous. But once you relax yourself, it reverses the process and you say, oh, I can control my state. And you know, as a public speaker, you turn that into energy. You’re not like so relaxed that you’re like a sloth. You are just, you’ve taken all that anxiety and turned it into energy. So now you’re bringing your full self to the stage. So that’s the key is, is learning the simple ways that you can relax yourself. And some of the ways you relax yourself are the insights. Bold people have key insights. The number one thing is, people are not thinking about you anywhere near as much as you think they are. 

Steve Rush: [Laugh] yeah.

Fred Joyal: Who are they thinking about? 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: Themselves, right. They’ll think about you for about four seconds before they rotate back to themselves. But we think twenty years later, they’re still thinking about that embarrassing moment that we had with them. And if you get to talk to them about it, they say, I have no recollection of that. And you go, no, really, I was so humiliating for me. And I was like, it’s been nagging at me for decades. And you say, why would you do that? And so, this is what bold people do is, they have a tiny, tiny group of people whose opinions really matter to them and everybody else’s, they don’t, they say other people’s opinions of me are none of my business. And they act that way. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: It’s very powerful.

Steve Rush: It is, isn’t it? Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: Yeah.

Steve Rush: Now your next one, I’ve got to tell you, was probably more aha moments thinking about dosage and how I behaved and how I continued to behave than any of the other things in the book, because this is where you either overplay for something or underplay it and just don’t get it right. Tell us about what dosage means for you and how we could use it? 

Fred Joyal: It means controlling the intensity of the experience as you build your boldness muscle. And it’s the same principle as exercising. If you were trying to get in shape, you wouldn’t start by trying to bench press three hundred pounds. Because the bar’s going to fall on you. And basically, decapitate you, you would start with lighter weights. This is how you build your boldness muscle is, you do simple things that build that strength to interact with people. Start by smiling at people, talk to a stranger every day, one or two sentences. What people do is, they overload themselves. They say, you know, I got to stop being shy. I’m going to go to a party and meet people and I’m going to meet five people and they don’t meet one person because they’ve made it too challenging for themselves. Say, I’m going to go to this party and I’m going to say hi to three people.

I’m going to introduce myself to one person. You control that dosage so that you don’t retreat back into your shell. And what happens is, you gradually expand your comfort zone wider and wider and wider. And you look back at yourself and if you do it the way I lay out in the book, you look back at yourself three months ago and you say, wow, that was really challenging. Now, it’s nothing. Anybody in the coffee line, I’ll walk right up and talk to them, and I’ll think of something to say. And before I know it, we’re engaged in the conversation. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Steve Rush: And you’ll say that was impossible for me. And you know why? Because you built up gradually, people do these things, they put themselves in situations where it’s so intense. There’s so much at risk that when it fails, they’re tormented by it. Instead of, you know, if you want to meet your soulmate, start meeting everybody so that when you actually meet your soulmate, you can talk like a normal person and have a normal interaction, not overload the whole conversation. And you also learned that maybe who your soulmate might actually be or not be, don’t not be prepared by leaping into a situation that’s way more than you can handle. If you going to do public speaking, don’t start with an audience of four hundred people. You’re going to crumble. You’re going to be tongue tied. You’re going to sweat bullets. And you’ll barely get through your presentation.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Fred Joyal: Start with five.

Steve Rush: And when I reflect back on the things that I’ve done really well, it’s probably because I got my dosage right. Where I’ve got it really wrong is because I’ve usually got way too much going on and I’ve been overconfident because I think that’s the right thing. Or I’ve been over bullish trying to make a sale. And that’s definitely been a bit of a moment for me. My mom and dad would’ve probably told me as I was growing up, don’t run before you can walk, which used to frustrate the hell out of me because I wanted to run. 

Fred Joyal: Yes. 

Steve Rush: But if somebody described it as just get the dosage, right. You know, lift the right amount of weights before you do your three hundred pound bench press as an example, you can start to think that actually we all have to find the right level of dosage. Otherwise, you will never be confident enough or feel confident enough to be more bold. 

Fred Joyal: And it’s a very personal thing. You have to decide what dosage is right for you. Everybody’s developing their confidence and boldness from a different starting point. So don’t compare yourself to somebody else and say, well, this person, they just walk through the party, and they meet everybody they want to, I want to be that. So, I’m going to start doing that. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: You are where you are and you’re going to work your way up from there. You’ll can get as far as you want to go, but it’s a steady, upward climb. It is not serious of quantum leaps.

Steve Rush: Indeed. It is. Yeah. So, when I look back on my career, I think I’ve actually forgotten to be bold. I’ve got up the habit of being bold and what you’ve allowed me to rethink and reframe is your Ian pride, which is everyday actions. Recreating those simple habits to become more bold. Tell us a little bit about what that means?

Fred Joyal: Yeah, and this is really a life skill is to know that if you want to accomplish something, if you want to achieve something, whether it’s personal growth or building a business or writing a novel or whatever, or learning an instrument, work at it every day. Even if it’s for five minutes. I learned this from someone who was talking about how they wrote a book and they said, I had a requirement that I was going to write one sentence of that book every day, no matter what. And they said, you know, what happened is, sometimes I’d write a sentence and I’d let myself off the hook because I was tired or whatever, but I always wrote a sentence and then sometimes I’d write a paragraph. Sometimes I write a page or two pages. I’d hit a sweet spot in a way I’d go.

But the fact that, they got to it every day tells your brain, this is who I am. And if you don’t, if you do it on the weekends or you do it, when you feel like it, you’re a dabbler and your brain say, oh, we’re a dildock, we’re a dabbler. This isn’t important to us. And I ask people to say, well, I write when I really get in the head space, really feel like it. I said, wow, do you only exercise when you feel like it? Because that would only be like twice a year for me. 

Steve Rush: Exactly right, and me.

 Fred Joyal: [laugh], you know? And so, and the other thing about setting a goal to do it every day is you don’t have to decide to do it or not. It’s like brushing your teeth. You’re going to do it. It’s just when, and you’ll get to that point where you say, oh my gosh, it’s like seven o’clock at night. I haven’t talked to a stranger. I’m going to go to the grocery store.

Steve Rush: [Laugh] Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: You know, I’m going to talk to somebody in the produce department just because it’s like, I can’t go to bed without doing that. Two things happen. The first thing is the brain said, we are a person who meets people comfortably. We know how to behave boldly. The other thing that happens is, just like controlling the dosage. It aggregates. Everything that you work at every day, no matter how little, aggregates. You want to learn a language, learn three words a day. At the end of the year, you know, a thousand words, that’s fifteen words, in any language, you can have a conversation with anybody.

Steve Rush: Yeah. It’s powerful stuff, isn’t it?

Fred Joyal: So, it aggregates, it builds gradually and your dreams decay. Not because they’re so hard, it’s because you don’t get to them. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: You think you will get to them. I can get to that next year. And you and I have both lived long enough to know how fast the decade goes by at this point.

Steve Rush: Totally.

Fred Joyal: Yeah, and that’s a harsh, harsh lesson

Steve Rush: Indeed. So, we are going to give our listeners an opportunity to find out how they can get hold of some tools that you got on your website that will help people with some of these activities. But before we do that, we are going to just flip the lens a little bit. This is where we hack into your leadership brain. And I’m super looking forward to this because you have such an enormous back catalog of experiences to draw from Fred. But we’re going to ask you to dive into your top three leadership hacks, there your top three tips, tools or ideas, what would they be?

Fred Joyal: My favorite one that I tell everybody. And it’s because I have to tell myself every day too, is, one word, start, just start something. It’s amazing how the hardest thing for human beings to do is to start and then you get through it. Whether it’s working out, I’ve begun more workouts by saying, look, I’m just going to do some pushups. Because I don’t have any time and I don’t feel like it, but I just drop the floor and I do them. What happens next? I do some sit ups and then before you know it, I’m saying, I might as well go for a run or a bike ride, but I started. But what we do is, we do everything but start and we’ll burn two hours sometimes. I was reading that the who wrote the Alchemist, I’m forgetting, Coelho is his last name.

I’m forgetting his first name. But he was saying, I do everything possible in the house before I start writing [laugh] he said, I will clean everything. I’ll sharpen pencils. I’ll walk the dog; I’ll take two showers. He said, it’s like, finally, I’ll sit down, and I’ll start. We all do it. We torment ourselves. So that thing, if you just start to say, I’m just going to start right now, sit down, do it. And all of a sudden, where you go, whatever it is. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: The other big hack for me is, to celebrate failure as a step up to say, it’s a two-stage process. You can feel terrible about it for ten minutes, twenty minutes, thirty minutes, whatever it takes. And then now you’re going to say, okay, what’s in this for me? How do I mine this for information? You allow yourself the emotional reaction, but you don’t stay attached to it for the rest of the month of the year or forever. You say, all right, there it is. I had the emotional outburst for what happened. What’s in this for me? There’s a term in Aikido where it’s called embrace the hit as a gift. And the more I’ve done that in life, the more I’ve said, wow, this is terrible. What’s in it for me? And then it turns into something really interesting, and I’ve lost a million dollars on stuff. It was expensive tuition, but I learned from it, and I turned it into a multiple of learning from that. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: So that’s very powerful. And then the other hack is to get really good at asking for help, try to figure out who can help you. It keeps you from being a micromanager or a soloist because collaboration is amazingly powerful. I am a much better speaker because I get feedback all the time on it. I have a personal coach that talks to me every week and it’s painful sometimes because he ends every session with an action plan. Like, what are you going to do? Like, I’m doing a Superbold workshop. And I’ve been wanting to do it since I put the book out. And so, he finally said to me, so what’s the boldest thing you could be doing, which of course is a very painful challenge. He knows exactly how to come at me. And I said, well, that would be the workshop. He said, okay, how long would it take you to put a workshop together? I said, yeah, probably about 90 days. He said, all right. So, what’s the date? Okay, June 24th, June 25th. He said, all right, put it on the calendar. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: That’s what I’m doing. I’m aiming for that date. I have to make it happen. Because I booked the rooms. This is another hack. Let the door lock behind you. Don’t give yourself a way out. So, you have to figure out what to do. 

Steve Rush: Yeah, love that.

Fred Joyal: They call it, you know, burning the boats in the Harbor or whatever. But it’s like, if you say, well, if this doesn’t work out, I can always just do this. The entrepreneurs, I know that succeeded. They get in so deep. They couldn’t get out. Tony Hsieh was in so deep with his money. He had to make Zappos work. 

Steve Rush: Very true. 

Fred Joyal: I get in so deep with 800 Dentists, I had to make it work. I owed my family money. I owed $200,000 in media that I had to figure out how to pay. You know, I had a personal guarantee on the rent. It was like, I had three doors locked behind me. 

Steve Rush: Mm. 

Fred Joyal: My partner and I had to figure it out.

Steve Rush: Focuses the attention. Doesn’t it. That’s for sure. 

Fred Joyal: Yeah. 

Steve Rush: So next part of the show, we call it Hack to Attack. So, this is typically where something in your life or work has not worked out at all well, maybe even screwed up and been catastrophic, but as a result of it, that experience is now serving you really well in your life or work. What would be your Hack to Attack?

Fred Joyal: A lot of people fall for this, and I certainly have, which is the whole sunk cost thing. Where you say, I’ve got so much into this. I have to keep putting money into it. Instead of cutting it losses, saying, look, take the pain now, because it’s just going to get bigger. And you know, sometimes it’s about money, sometimes you’ve put so much money into something. You’ve bought this piece of technology and you’re trying to make it work. And it’s the wrong technology, [laugh] it doesn’t fit or it’s too old or you know, whatever, and you just have to sell it or park it and get the right technology or it’s the right person versus the wrong person. Everybody I know in business fires, that person that they know they need to get rid of months after they know they need to get rid of them.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Fred Joyal: You got to sunk cost in that person. You say, I spent so much time and money training them. I think I can make them better, you can’t.

Steve Rush: [Laugh] That’s very true. 

Fred Joyal: Abandon the sunk costs. So that’s, been, you know, just applying that to money and things that I’ve put time and money into and people.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Fred Joyal: It’s benefited me so much now because, I got so many scars from it.

Steve Rush: Yeah, the last thing I want to explore with you is, you are now twenty-one years old, your toe to toe with Fred and you get a chance to give him some words of wisdom. What would it be?

Fred Joyal: Nothing bad happens unless you decide to label it that way. 

Steve Rush: Nice. 

Fred Joyal: And all these things you’re afraid of are things you really want to do, so do them. 

Steve Rush: Yeah. 

Fred Joyal: Be willing to be afraid and do them and use the fear as a directional signal for yourself.

Steve Rush: And of course, fear is one of the very reasons why we avoid boldness in the first place.

Fred Joyal: Yeah.

Steve Rush: Yeah.

Fred Joyal: Because we are incredibly good at calculating the worst-case scenario in our heads and the voice in our head loves to come up with all of these things, but really terrible at calculating the odds of it actually happening.

Steve Rush: Yeah, very true.

Fred Joyal: You know, smiling at 10 people a day, somebody’s not going to smile back, but a really shy person said, nobody’s going to smile back, but until you do it and you realize nine out of ten people smile back. The tenth person, who knows why. It could be the worst day of their life; they could have bad teeth. When you learn not to take it on, that’s a really powerful thing. I’d say that to Fred too. You don’t have to take any of this stuff on. Just keep moving. We’re all flawed human beings working our way through life. Billionaires and homeless people. We’re all in a struggle. Nobody is perfect. And trying to be perfect before you leave the house is a failed strategy.

Steve Rush: So, in terms of dosage, I would love to have more of a dose of Fred, but we’re coming to the top of the show. What I would love to do though, Fred is to let our listeners know how they can get hold of some of the tools you talked about. Maybe get a copy of Superbold and learn a little bit more about the work that you do beyond what we’ve talked about today?

Fred Joyal: Yeah, easiest place is to go to You can download the first chapter of the book there. You can buy the book on Amazon, it’s in hard cover and Kindle and audible, and it’s me reading it. And if you do the digital version of it, you can go to and download the exercises because there’s a whole bunch of exercises. You’re going to want a physical copy of them. So, there’s a PDF of them in the website. You can also see a couple of boldness lectures that I’ve done there. And if you’re in LA or if you’re willing to fly in. The first workshop is going to be June 24th and 25th in Santa Monica. And then I’ll going to be doing them around the country and who knows? I might have to go to London, you know, I’ll, do it. 

Steve Rush: Yeah, exactly right. So, Fred, I just wanted to say thanks ever so much. I knew the first time I met you, that there was a reason I’ve met you. Having now read your book and you’ve been on the show. You have definitely shone a light on the lack of boldness I didn’t even know I had and helped me reinforce some great behavior. So, I just want to say personally, thank you, but also thank you for being part of our community on The Leadership Hacker Podcast.

Fred Joyal: Thank you. It’s been a real pleasure. I hope everyone benefits.


Steve Rush: I want to sign off by saying thank you to you for joining us on the show too. We recognize without you, there is no show. So please continue to share, subscribe, and like, and continue to get in touch with us with the great new stories that we share every week. And so that we can continue to bring you great stories. Please make sure you give us a five-star review where you can and share this podcast with your friends, your teams, and communities. You want to find us on social media. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter @leadershiphacker, Leadership Hacker on YouTube and on Instagram, the_leadership_hacker and if that wasn’t enough, you can also find us on our website Tune into next episode to find out what great hacks and stories are coming your way. That’s me signing off, I’m Steve Rush, and I’ve been your Leadership Hacker.

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