Boldness is a superpower. Bold individuals tend to seize life in remarkable and almost unbelievable ways. They succeed in business, in their careers, in love and they have a great time doing it. A bold person will walk up to a supermodel and ask them to dance, stand in front of an audience and tell jokes. Bold people start companies, they run for president. What surprises most people is that boldness can be taught.
Fred Joyal started as an extremely shy person. Too timid even to make a phone call and he transformed himself into someone who has done stand-up and improv comedy, spoken to audiences of 5,0000 people or more, met dozens of celebrities, and, just by being bold, he found love, joy, passion, and success.
He can teach you how in his new book, Superbold. The book gives you a systematic step-by-step approach that could take you to a surprising level of boldness in as little as 90 days. It’s all possible and it’s possible faster than you think.
Hey Listeners, my name is Drew Appelbaum and I’m excited to be here today with Fred Joyal, author of Superbold: From Under-Confident to Charismatic in 90 Days. Fred, thank you for joining, welcome to The Author Hour Podcast.
Fred Joyal: Thank you very much. I’m really excited to get the book out and to talk about it to people.
Drew Appelbaum: Well, we’re going to dig into the book today for sure, but why don’t you kick us off by giving us a brief rundown of your professional background?
Fred Joyal: I started in the advertising business many years ago as a copywriter and then eventually started a business called 1-800-Dentists, which is a referral service for dentists and it’s still operating. I sold it about five years ago but ran it for about 30 years and it became a significant business. I tallied it up and figured out, we generated over a billion dollars of revenue under my leadership.
That’s part of my background but really, I became a writer. I started to write books. I wrote the advertising for the business for many years— a lot of the commercials. I acted in the commercials and wrote two marketing books for the dental industry but then, this has been nagging at me— this book. The concept for this book and all the material in this book and the systems that are developed in exercises in this book emerged from years and years of working in the business world and working in life, living an interesting and adventurous life with lots of twists and turns in it.
Drew Appelbaum: Why was now the time to share these stories? Was it just simply as you mentioned, you’ve heard enough and you want to spread the word? Or was there any other inspiration out there, was there an “aha moment”?
Fred Joyal: I had been working on this material for a while and I had done a couple of lectures with some of the concepts. Actually, it germinated with a group of high school students. A good friend of mine does this summer session with a five-day session with high school students, teaching them all sorts of life skills.
I went in and did a lecture on cultivating the superpower of boldness. And they were so responsive to it that I ended up promising them, I would have the book out in the next year. Of course, the next year is 2020 as it happens. I had a little more time to work on it and so that was really the propellant that got me going and said, “All right, I’ve got to get this book in people’s hands.” Because they were just so excited about the content and the systems that I put out there that I said, “I really got to make this available.”
Drew Appelbaum: When you decided, yes, you’re going to write the book, you’re going to sit down, put pen to paper, a lot of authors will have the idea of the book in their head but during the writing process, you’ll either pivot or you’ll come to some major breakthroughs in learnings on the subject. Do you have any of these pivots or breakthroughs or learnings during your writing journey?
Fred Joyal: I’m pretty good having gotten two books done, and [having] done a tremendous amount of advertising, writing. I’m good at the structure of books and creating those concepts, phrases, and things that really communicate to people. I knew what I wanted in the book. I knew that I wanted to lay out this systematic approach and I knew I had to create the exercises. Of course, I did eventually bring in an editor and she just did this phenomenal job of just tightening everything up and eliminating some of the repetitiveness. I just kept reading it and going, “Yes, that’s great, that’s better, that’s better.”
It’s always great to have somebody else [with a] different set of eyes on it but I really knew where I was going. I mean, I had really built up— it really was too long. I had just way more content than I needed. I whittled it down as much as I could and then she came in and just made it really flow and really concise. So, it was more of a steady process rather than hitting a wall and going, “What am I doing here?”
I really knew what I wanted to get across and it helps to lecture about the content first because you see what resonates and you’re developing those sentences, thoughts, concepts, and key phrases that trigger people’s reactions. That was a lot of the foundation for it was getting to really speak it before I wrote it.
Boldness Is A Process
Drew Appelbaum: Now, in your mind, when you started the book and you gave lectures around it, who were you writing this book for? Who is the reader you had in mind who should pick this book up?
Fred Joyal: A remarkably broad audience. It certainly skews a little bit younger, in terms of people who are trying to learn how to master their life. It’s really for anyone who has hesitated, feels under-confident in certain situations, misses out on opportunities because they lack the confidence— not all the time but when it matters most, when it’s something critical, something important for them— and they’ve missed out in life.
That’s a lot of people and it’s a lot of people at every age. Certainly, people in high school, in college as they graduate [and] they begin and work in their careers. But then also starting businesses, looking for relationships long-term relationships in their lives. Beginning the second chapter of their life or the second phase of their life when they’re enjoying their midlife crisis, let’s say.
It’s anybody who is at a point in their life where they go, “I need to be bolder. I want to be able to act confidently in any situation. I don’t want to miss opportunities, I don’t want to hesitate, I want to know how to do this.” And because they’ve seen people who act boldly, they go, “Why are they doing that? How are they doing it? Why are they not nervous or embarrassed or hesitant or fearful of rejection or something, why are they like that?”
Because that’s what sparked it for me. I would seek people like that and say, “How do they behave like this?” Because I don’t behave like this. I grew up incredibly shy and under-confident and I just had to work at it and work at it and miss opportunities over and over again, ’till I was so angry, I figured out ways to fix it.
It’s really for anybody who is in that situation personally in their life, who want to chase their dreams, you know? People give up on their dreams not because it’s too difficult, it’s because they missed opportunities and they couldn’t figure out how to summon that confidence, that boldness, that fearlessness, to really chase their dreams.
Drew Appelbaum: Let’s just set the foundation here. I mean, the book is called Superbold and you talked in the book about how boldness is a superpower. Just again, set the foundation for what does boldness mean? What does superbold mean?
Fred Joyal: Boldness is not holding yourself back, not being the one to stop yourself. What happens is most of us stop ourselves. We can come up with the worst-case scenario for doing anything that feels risky or daring or out of our comfort zone. That’s our guiding principle, the worst-case scenario. Whereas a bold person doesn’t have that.
They just act. They boldly go where other people wouldn’t, they chase their dreams and they have much more fulfilling lives because of it. So, this begins a process in your life of saying, I want to be bolder. I want to be bold in situations that matter and I want to be able to summon it. Because a lot of times, people have had these moments in their life where they did step up, they asked that woman to dance or they asked for a promotion or something.
They did one thing and their life changed. It was a pivotal moment in their life. Then they said, “I don’t know why I did that, I don’t know how I did that. How can I do that consistently?” What I’ve developed is a way to build this boldness muscle in you so that you can call on it whenever you want, wherever you want, no matter how far out of your comfort zone you think that is.
That’s what super boldness is. When you’re super bold, you can walk up to anybody, meet anybody, you’ll try anything, you’re not impaired by rejection or embarrassment or any of those things that stop most people. You’re not running the wrong program in your head that’s telling you to stop, that’s telling you what could go wrong. You’re just going, “I’m going to figure out how. I’m going to walk right into this situation.”
I always tell people that dying of embarrassment is not a medical diagnosis. It’s actually a choice to feel embarrassed. You don’t have to feel embarrassed in any situation. You do feel it because you’ve programmed yourself into believing that you should be embarrassed but you don’t have to. In the same situation, you could go, “Well, that’s kind of funny. It entertained everybody else.” Or “I’m a flawed typical human being,” and laugh it off.
Becoming super bold is [that] you’ve expanded your comfort zone further and further and further out so that when you’re chasing your dreams, you’re looking at the most fulfilling life that you could possibly have. You could get there, you take action, you don’t hesitate.
Long answer but I’m very passionate about it because I see the difference it makes in people’s lives.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, is there a difference between being bold and confident?
Fred Joyal: Yes, there’s a very specific difference. Somebody who is confident feels a certain way. Somebody who is bold acts. Boldness is confidence in action, okay? They don’t just feel confident. They do things, they take risks, they take chances. They put themselves out there and make things happen and when that happens, they’ve moved into boldness. You seek people like that and actually when you become that comfortable being bold, people will start to perceive you as charismatic.
That’s the final step I want people to see— that’s why the subtitle is about going from underconfident to charismatic. Because charismatic is just how other people perceive you and they say, “Wow, this person is just really boldly pursuing their dreams in a way that everyone feels engaged in it.”
This isn’t about taking advantage of people, abusing situations, and manipulating people, or anything like that. That’s not what I’m training people to do. I want them to impact other people and feel the power of that, the satisfaction of that. I want them to be bold enough to make a difference in the world. Because that’s what we need, that’s who makes a difference in the world, are bold people and we need a heck of a lot more of those.
Drew Appelbaum: Now, are there actual cons to boldness or by being super bold? Because it sounds like it’s a very win/win.
Fred Joyal: I have not experienced any. In terms of– let’s say, base jumping or something like that– in terms of physical things, there’s certain amounts of risk in being bold, but socially, there really isn’t. Because a bold person also knows how to apologize. Boldness lets you be comfortable saying, “I’m sorry, I was wrong. I overstepped here. I hope you can forgive me. My intentions were good but I’m very sorry if that upset you or offended you.”
Apologizing actually takes a little courage. You’re admitting you’re wrong and bold people are very comfortable admitting they’re wrong. They know they’re bumbling upwards. They’re using failure as a stairway rather than a barrier. So, unless you’re actually jumping off a cliff and hoping your parachute opens, the rest of boldness and being super bold is all upside.
Drew Appelbaum: You actually spoke about it a little earlier, I want to bring it back up. You said that there was a time when you weren’t as bold as you are now and you sort of taught yourself to become bolder, but along the way, you missed out on certain things. Can you talk a little bit more about what you were like then, how you are now, and just how you got here?
Fred Joyal: I was incredibly shy growing up. I couldn’t ask a girl to the dance, I couldn’t call them on the phone, I couldn’t ask for a promotion in a job. I did all of these things in a very hesitant manner, I would see bold people acting and go, “Why are they like this?” My first college roommate was like this. He was just incredibly bold and I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from in him, and I envied it but I couldn’t emulate it. But gradually I learned and I watched.
I said, “Okay, so he is not dealing with rejection like a normal person,” whereas I actually had an opportunity at this business I was working at in a machine shop. I was just working, I was just doing it to make some cash. I was between colleges and the owner saw some potential in me so he said, “Come on in, I want you to start calling potential clients here. Here is a desk, here’s a phone, call them and see if you can get somebody on the phone that wants to talk about our product.”
I couldn’t dial the phone. Not once. So, back to the machine shop floor with me. It was things like that, and I missed a couple of really— what I thought were really good— potential relationships because I wouldn’t speak up. I was too hesitant, and I couldn’t even read the situation because I was so under-confident. But gradually I had these moments of boldness and they worked for me and I just started pushing myself.
I found ways to train myself. Studying improv comedy was one of [the ways] that taught me to just relax, to find a way to relax, and use my energy to act in a confident and in a bold way. And what happens— and it happened to me as it will happen to anyone— is when you shift to this you actually, from a biochemical standpoint, create neural pathways. We had these neural pathways that are hesitant and underconfident neural pathways in our brain that say, “danger-danger-danger” about everything.
When you start to reinforce positive action with bold action, the brain says, “Oh, there’s nothing to fear here. This is not danger.” Because the problem with being a human being is we chemically process danger, whether it’s physical actual danger, or social danger, completely the same way. We squirt the same chemicals into our body. We sweat, we get nervous, our blood pressure goes up, our tongue gets tied, our memory gets worst, our cognitive skills are impaired. All of this happens, we stop breathing even. All of these because this is what the body knows how to do when it’s in danger.
Basically, it is hiding and saying, “Don’t let the saber-tooth tiger notice me and eat me” but it’s useless in the real world, in social situations, in situations where you’re out there trying to improve your life, trying to meet people, trying to make a difference, trying to have an impact, trying to take risks.
P.R.I.D.E: Preparation, Relaxing, Insight, Everyday
Drew Appelbaum: Now, you talk about the P.R.I.D.E method in the book, which is a series of steps you can execute to act boldly. Do you mind giving us some overview of what the pride method is and is this something you actually created yourself?
Fred Joyal: Yes, I was trying to find a way to figure out what the steps were to act boldly in any situation, what worked for me, and how did I start to make it consistent. I broke it down into these steps and it turns out to be these five steps— that the acronym is P.R.I.D.E. And the first step is preparation. Many times we go into social situations totally unprepared. We don’t prepare what we’re going to say, we don’t prepare how we’re going to behave.
That’s key to defeating your under-confidence, to prepare yourself, prepare the words that you’re going to say. If you are going to meet with somebody, what are you going to say? If you are going to meet somebody in a Starbucks line who is right in front of you, prepare what you’re going to say ahead of time. Don’t just go, “Geez, I hope I think of something.”
And then the second step, the R, is relaxing. What a lot of people don’t know is it’s very easy to relax yourself if you focus on it. There’s two or three key steps that I talk about in the book. Some of them involve basic breathing techniques, some of them are shifting your physiology, shifting your body and you are able to relax yourself. A lot of people say, “You need to just relax.” It’s like, “Okay, how would I do that?” I’ll tell you how because you can.
And then I in P.R.I.D.E, the third step, is insight. You need to have insights about your bold action, the thing that you feel is risky. And the biggest insight that people can come away with is, 99% of the time nothing bad will happen. It’s all in your head and many, many times you will succeed and achieve much more than you thought you could. You’ll get beyond, way beyond where you thought and if you didn’t, you learn something. You absorb something as information to get better and improve your confidence.
The D in PRIDE, the fourth step, is dosage; controlling the dosage of the experience. A lot of people go, “I need to be bold or I need to be more confident” so they thrust themselves into situations that are way beyond what their nervous system is geared to handle. You want to build up your strength and tolerance. If you’re trying to lift weights, you wouldn’t try to lift 500, bench press 500 pounds right out of the gate because it would just fall on your neck and kill you.
Just like that, you’re going to control the dosage of the experience to build your boldness muscle and the exercises in the book are designed to do that, to build your boldness muscle step by step by step.
The E stands for everyday action. The key to achieving almost anything is to work at it every day to do something. Because it does something very powerful to your brain when you work on something on a daily basis, even if it is for five minutes or two minutes.
Because the brain goes, “Oh this is what we do, this is who we are” rather than being a weekend warrior or a dabbler. We are somebody who does this and so when you work on your boldness every day, it naturally improves and the brain says, “This is who we are.”
The PRIDE method then is taking into the five levels of exercises in the book and you work your way up using these five steps until they become almost automatic for you when you’re in a situation.
But you may encounter situations like, “Oh wow, I am feeling pretty anxious about this. I need to get ready for this. I am going to ask for a raise” and so, how do I prepare? How do I relax? What’s the insight I want to have here? What’s the dosage? How do I prepare every day for this experience, for this situation where I go in there? I may spend two, three weeks making sure that my boss knows everything that I’m doing that impacts the business. Or I may be working every day on that speech that I want to say that presents to my boss why she should give me a raise.
The book is about taking action too. Just like boldness is confidence and action, the book is taking action. It is not something you read, it’s something you’re going to do to change your life.
Drew Appelbaum: I do want to mention that in the book, you do have journal sections where you ask readers to take notes and ask themselves questions, and even in the back of the book, you have a lot of examples of potential answers for people who are digging deep but just can’t think of anything. I know you have a company website as well, can you talk about what resources are available on the website?
Fred Joyal: Yeah, so the website is my name, fredjoyal.com. And because a lot of people are going to read it on a digital format— on Kindle or some format like that, or they’re going to listen to the audiobook— and they’re not going to have the physical material, I’ve made it so that they can go to my website and download a PDF of all the exercises and a PDF of the journal layout. I highly recommend, almost insist, that people get a physical journal to work with the book.
Because there are things that they are going to do all the way through that I ask them, like list the ten people you would really like to meet that you could possibly meet, and also list the ten people you’d like to meet— it’s way out there. I am not necessarily going to be able to meet the Queen of England or the Pope or Richard Branson or somebody like that but I want that list too. I want them to think about it’s this not impossible, it is just further out there.
I want them to start thinking about what’s possible, really put it in their journal, and also analyze some of the moments where they were bold in their life, some of the moments that they really felt terrible, they really embarrassed themselves— what I call cringe-worthy moments. Just write them down and then figure out how serious they really were. I want them, every time they do an exercise, to write down what happened.
Did it work? Did you achieve something or did you embarrass yourself or it felt like you embarrassed yourself? Or you could have done it differently? Write all of that down and there is something very powerful about writing not just keyboards. I have actually done some great research on showing that when you write on a keyboard, you can actually write faster and get more information down but when you write it with your hand, you retain it three times more, which is kind of fascinating.
You know, we’re human beings. We have all of these quirks, right? But when you keep the journal you will be able to see your progress and it’s also part of everyday action. It is like, I get this journal and I didn’t do my boldness exercise today. I’d better do it. Maybe I just got to go down to a local 7/11 and introduce myself to somebody while I’m in line or something like that because I got to get my exercise in for the day.
That journal is there to keep them in action and then also to reflect on. A year from now, you know I am saying, in 90 days you can become super bold. If you work diligently every day at these exercises you will transform yourself. But you can go whatever speed you want and get to whatever level you want of boldness. That is really up to you, how fast that happens is up to you but it could certainly be done in 90 days.
You will astound yourself at how fast you could do it but you want this journal to look back and go and really laugh and go, “I remember when it was I couldn’t make eye contact and now, it’s like every conversation I have, I just make eye contact with everybody.”
Drew Appelbaum: Well, Fred, we just touched on the surface of the book here but I want to say that just writing this book, just helping folks outlive a bolder and more fulfilling life is no small feat, so congratulations on having your book published.
Fred Joyal: Thank you so much. I mean, I feel great about it and I’m eager to get it out there and actually to do workshops on it and stuff like that so that people can really accelerate the experience and infuse this ability into their life.
Drew Appelbaum: This has been a pleasure, and I’m excited for people to check out the book. Everyone, the book is called, Superbold, and you can find it on Amazon. Fred, besides checking out the book and your website, is there anywhere else where people can connect with you?
Fred Joyal: There are going to be workshops that I do all around the country that will be all-day workshops on developing your super boldness, and it is an accelerated program, so check that out on the website as well. You can also link up on the website with me and have a 30-minute conversation where maybe I can help you, or maybe I can point you in the right direction. And there’s individual coaching I could do for you or just get you into a workshop when I know I’m going to be in your area, that’s available on the website too.
You can actually book a time to chat with me and tell me where boldness has been hanging you up or tell me what’s great. Eventually, I am going to have an Instagram page and a Facebook page. I want people to do exercises and post them and say, “I did this and I can’t believe it,” you know? “I smiled at five people today and every one of them smiled back and they’re all complete strangers” or something like that.
“I smiled at five people today and nobody smiled back, and I don’t care,” you know? “I smiled at the sixth person just like the last five.” I want people to give me that kind of video feedback as well about their experience doing the exercises and building their boldness. It is going to be a boldness community, you know? I want to make the world a bolder place because that’s how we’re going to make a difference in the world and have more satisfying, more fulfilling lives.
Drew Appelbaum: Well, Fred, thank you so much for giving us some of your time today. I just want to say best of luck with your new book.
Fred Joyal: Thank you so much, it’s been a pleasure.