Episode #2 ~ Networking RX Podcast with Frank Agin

Frank Agin  00:00

Welcome to networking RX, a podcast devoted to helping business professionals like you enhance your networking skills in order to become more proficient giving and receiving quality business referrals and improving the overall quality of your life and the lives of those around you. The networking RX Podcast is a production of am spirit business connections, an organization whose mission is to empower business success through networking. Welcome to the networking RX podcast I’m your host Frank Agin and founder and president of am spirit business connections. Today I have a another great guest on we’ll go into that in here in a second but as our ongoing subscribers know often on this podcast, I will be sharing ideas insights best practices for being that great person that professional relationships and allowing you to excel with respect to building your business network. Occasionally, however, I will be interviewing subject matter experts, authors, speakers, thought leaders and social scientists. And these people share their knowledge to help us build relationships which are really important. Today’s guest is kind of a trifecta. I’ve got a speaker, I’ve got an author. And I have a Why don’t we call you a recovering introvert but an introvert and Fred Joyal is he is an author, a speaker, and entrepreneur. But he took himself from being painfully shy when he was younger, to be able to speak comfortably in front of audiences of 5000 plus. Fred, welcome to the program. 

Fred Joyal  01:37

Great to be here Frank. I hope to really add some value to your listeners. 

Frank Agin  01:42

While I’m sure I’m sure you will, you know, one of the terms that we were throwing around, you threw around in the beginning is, you know, this notion of being a bold introvert and I think most people are comfortable with, not comfortable, they understand introvert/extrovert. Many of us are somewhere on a spectrum in there, I guess. Share your journey, you know, of kind of how you broke out of this. And we’re not you know, how you how you came to this bold introvert. And I think there’s, I think there’s a lot of learning here for us.

Fred Joyal  02:16

Yeah, it’s so I was painfully shy growing up, I couldn’t ask a girl on a date. I couldn’t make a phone call. I actually had a job where I was working, you know, I bumped around and did a bunch of dumb jobs. And when I finished college, I was aimless, and I was working in this machine shop on the shop floor. And the owner said, you got a lot of promise. He says I’m going to I’m going to give you an opportunity come into the office, he shows gives me a desk, gives me a phone, gives me a list of all these businesses. He said start calling these guys and see if they want to do business if they need anything from us. I couldn’t dial a phone. I couldn’t make a single phone call cold call, back to the machine shop. Right. Then eventually I started working in the advertising business. And I And along the way I kept meeting bold people and I’ll go like, why the heck are they this way? Are they born this way? You know, they were the extroverts that but they were also just bold, it was just extroverts. They were taking risks, they weren’t they they weren’t bothered by rejection. They seized opportunities, they didn’t hesitate. I was the captain of hesitation. And I was learning that hesitation is the opportunity killer. And I was stacking up the regrets. And it just upset me, made me angry. You know, I missed a couple of big things. You know, relationship, things work things, and I went, I gotta fix this. And so I just pushed myself into my discomfort zone, and to realize that I could transform myself to becoming bolder, and bolder and bolder. And that all the great stuff happened outside my comfort zone. But every bold move I made paid off and nothing went bad like I thought it was going to because you know when you’re shy, you’re great at coming up with how bad it’s gonna go. Right? You’re just not really good at what the odds are that actually happening whereas bold people don’t even bother calculated they just go and they deal with whatever happens.

Frank Agin  04:24

So are you still are you still you still consider yourself an introvert?

Fred Joyal  04:30

I you know, I really am because I have to summon it. You know, so I’m not the life of the party sort of guy. I don’t even want to be that guy. But I want to go into a room. I want to meet four or five people and really connect with them. Go deep with them. That’s what matters to me. Now another person may go, no, I want to know everybody by the time I leave the room. I want them to all know who I am. That’s great. You know if you’re a real estate broker or something like that, you want to connect with as many people as possible, I’m much more interested in who that person is, what matters to them, you know, what are their dreams? How are they getting there, and maybe how I can help. Or maybe there’s a story I have, maybe there’s a mistake I made, they don’t have to make. So that’s what matters to me. But I have a systematic way that I use myself that I teach in my book, to summon my boldness whenever I want. And it’s really important because what happens is, in life, there are moments where there’s a window of opportunity that if you don’t sieze it, it’s gone. It disappears. And, and it could be as something as simple as asking for a promotion, and then somebody else bolder in the business goes into the boss and makes a heck of a pitch for themselves. And they get the job you wanted, or a raise or being bold enough to leave the company and go interview somewhere else. All of those things, and hey, I’ll take it all the way to something very personal. So many people are afraid to speak in front of people, that they won’t eulogize their best friend, or a parent who’ve passed away. They go, I’m not comfortable speaking in front of people, and it’s like, I tell them, well, it’s like, you only get one chance to do this. It’s not a performance, right? It doesn’t matter. If you cry, or you get tongue tied or anything, you’ll there won’t be a dry eye in the house, if you cry, that’s not going to be a problem. But what’s going to be a problem is if you don’t say anything, and you have that regret you carry around the rest of your life that I should have told everybody how important my mom was to me in my life. And when people do it, I see it, I see the impact it has on everyone. So why wouldn’t you want to have that sharing? With all of those people who in that in that room are grieving that loss? why don’t why wouldn’t you want to give them something that they can all connect to? Because that’s really what you and I are talking about is what? How would you refine and expand your ability to genuinely connect with as many people as possible?

Frank Agin  07:20

No, I think that’s a that’s a great answer. It’s a fair answer. In all honesty, I’m an introvert. You know, you know, as you’re talking, it’s kind of describing me because I will myself to do these things. I will, you know, Friday night, I want to go home, I want to sit and watch TV with my dog and my wife. Right? That’s it. I don’t need to go to a party. I don’t need to have lots of people around. When I go to the movies, that kind of plot and scheme. When Are there going to be the least amount of people there? Because I don’t need that interaction. And  I think a lot of people look at me, well, you’re Mr. Network, you know, everybody I do. I just don’t want to know everybody all at once. Right?

Fred Joyal  08:00

I think one at a time work. Right? 

Frank Agin  08:03

Yeah, right. Go ahead. 

Fred Joyal  08:05

But that, you know, that’s another thing. I talk about this in my book, which is how do you how can you connect what is a way that you connect with somebody and make them feel like the most important person in the room? The most interesting person in the room? And it’s, it’s a really simple step by step process. But nobody teaches you that in high school or in college, or your parents don’t know or whatever. But it’s, it’s really simple. Learn their name. Look at them, look at only them never look away. Ask them questions that tell them tell you about them. Not yes or no questions. Ask them. Like, you know, where have you been interesting lately? Oh, you know, I just came back from Rome. Really tell me more about that. Because the other thing people do is somebody will say, I just get back from Rome. And they’ll go, I was in Rome. I saw the Rolling Stones there. And you know, and went backstage and met Mick and Keith and everything. Now where does that person get? They get nothing, right? Because you top them. They go like I just had espresso and gelato and went to places like the Colosseum, you know. So be interested, genuinely interested in the, the simplest way to do it is to ask probing questions, and then say, tell me more, and never look away. And I’ve seen people, the people who do this, they may never say anything about themselves and people will go around the room and they’ll say, did you meet Fred? He’s like, super interesting. And I’m thinking I haven’t told him anything about me. Right? I’ve just talked to them about them. And that you know, it’s the old aphorism, if you if you want to be interesting, be interested, but it’s a life skill. And then and then the other thing is also, ended it well. Don’t don’t let the conversation fizzle and trail off. Just if you sense that’s going on, ask another question. And then finally say, remember their name, again. And if you forget their name, just ask and say, look, this is how you do it. You say, you’re so damn interesting. I forgot your name, right? I’m busy thinking about all this stuff. You’re telling me this, but remind me your name. And then you go, Frank, it was so great to meet you. There’s other people that want to meet in the room. But you know, I loved hearing your story about Rome. And I’m gonna go to that restaurant when I when I get there next time. And then you leave. So you don’t break content, you don’t do a walk away kind of thing halfway through the good the exit, right? You say your exit line, and then you exit. And they feel connected with and it’s amazingly powerful. I’ve watched people do it, I talked about it in my book, I watched Bill Clinton do it. When he was first campaigning, I watched him do it with 200 people in a row one at a time. Everyone felt connected to that guy. I think that’s why he won the presidency had that ability to make people feel that way. But it’s, it’s, it’s incredibly effective in creating a network of people who feel good about you, and they feel they feel good about themselves after they’re done talking to you. And that’s kind of the point too, is like why not make them feel good about themselves. Don’t top your their vacation with your vacation, or their career with your career or your job or your income or whatever. You know, I made a million and a half last year, Oh, great. I made I made 150. So, you know, don’t play that game. Just be impressed with them, make them feel good about themselves. It’s a gift you give yourself in the end because they appreciate meeting you. And they remember you.

Frank Agin  11:58

You know, you had said something early on. You know that you go to an event you’d like to talk to four people, four or five people and other people want to meet everyone. It reminds me of a quote from a coach out there. That was she’s an author, Coach speaker, Berta Medina, and she says, You know, when I go to a networking event with 100 people, or I go to a networking event with five people, I bring five business cards. When I go to a networking event with 100 people, I bring five business cards. And that’s, and that’s her whole shtick, too, and she’s very gregarious, but I think she’s an introvert as well, that we talk about going to the movies alone, you know, is that you limit yourself and I think so often people look at that big networking event, as the big networking event, I think what you’ve done, correct me if I’m wrong, is you look at it as there’s a lot of people around, but I’m just talking to one person.

Fred Joyal  12:50

Yeah. And if you, whatever the size of the network of your event is, it’s only one evening or one afternoon or one luncheon, right? If you meet one really interesting person, and really connect with them, that’s the home run to me. You know, it’s like summer camp, if you make one good friend at summer camp, summer camp is really good, you know, and that it’s so I’m not worried about it. And you also when you aim that way you go, like I can meet a couple of people, or I can even walk into a conversation of two or three people and just listen in and go, You know what, this is great. But I’m not dialed into these guys. And you just you can just move on you, you can you can ask a couple of interesting questions. Don’t jump in with your comments, jump in with your questions. Because that that’s really that’s how you hook in to a small group of people. And you can just say, this looks like a really interesting conversation. But if it’s a private one, I don’t want to intrude. But I’d love to join you guys, if you don’t mind. And they’ll tell you the truth. And they’ll go, you know what we’re, you know, we’re sharing some sort of insider stock trading right now, and we can let you in was like, Okay, fine. You know, maybe we’ll talk later. And you you and also don’t take it personally, right? They told you why they didn’t want you in the conversation. It’s not because you’re funny looking. It’s because they’re having a private conversation. And this is the other key. This is what bold people don’t do. They don’t take on. They don’t fantasize about other people’s judgments and take them on. They understand that everybody’s in their own headspace. And the number of people whose opinions really matter to them is really small. They never say to themselves, Oh, people are gonna laugh at me because people is a category of too big an audience and with zero opinion that they care about because it’s like, do they really know me? Why would I worry about their opinion of me. So it’s a very powerful insight I talk about a lot of that stuff in my book, to the the insights, you need to be comfortable being bold, because you know, you’re you have all these barrier beliefs that are stopping you that are not accurate, right. And they’re just holding you there preventing you from chasing your dreams, having a fulfilling life, meeting great people and having a real connection with them.

Frank Agin  15:27

One of the things we didn’t touch on what’s the name of your book,

Fred Joyal  15:31

oh, the name of the book is Super Bold, from under confident that the subhead is from under confident to charismatic in 90 days. And the book has exercises in it that take you from the simplest level, nonverbal actually, all the way up to some really crazy stuff, just gradually building, expanding your comfort zone and building your boldness muscle, because it really is just like that you literally create new neural pathways that make your default mode to be just to act with confidence and act with boldness. And confidence is just how you feel about yourself. Boldness is taking action, Super Bold, is you can summon this when it matters most. When this like, oh my gosh, there’s there’s Tom Hanks, or Justin Bieber, or whatever I want to meet them. And you are bold enough to walk up to them and relaxed enough to not freak out and be just a drooling fan or something like that and be a normal human being. And I have met amazing people, billionaires, famous actors, serious athletes, and because I’ve learned to relax and come from a place where this is this is the mantra of a bowl person. And the Super Bold mantra is I belong everywhere. When you can tell yourself that you can walk up to anybody and have a normal conversation. And that’s what they appreciate. I’ll never forget Richard Branson when I met him, I was with a group of people and all the other people, it was like they were conducting an interview with him. Right? And go, how did you do that with your business? Or I have a business that does this. What do you think about that? Or who could get me money for this? Or do you want to invest in this? And it was it was a much more social gathering than that demanded. And so he and I ended up playing chess, and talking about politics, right? And  we had like, five or six great conversations, because of the dinners, you would always go, sit, sit here with me. It’d be big, long table and people go like, you’re hugging Branson, and went, like, he asked me to sit with them. It’s because you guys don’t know how to talk to him. You know, talk to him like a regular person and stop interviewing him to stop having an agenda in your conversation. So

Frank Agin  18:04

Do you have go to questions?

Fred Joyal  18:06

Yeah. Do I have go to questions? I do really like, you know, what’s the most interesting thing that happened to you this week? And because it’s so wide open, but it’s not a yes or no question. Right? Got it. Cuz I have it a good time here. Yep. Would you like a drink? Yep. You know, but something like that, or who’s the most interesting person you met this week? Or what’s been your biggest challenge this month? You know, if you know, if it’s more of a business environment, you can start to throw the that things out. It’s like, it gets something keeping you up. I’d love to hear what that is, you know? And you’re not it doesn’t have to start that way. You can just say, how do you know the host? This is a really great way to start, or how do you know, you know what got you here to this meeting? And it’s, that’s a great way to start to go like, I just know, one guy. This is the other thing I do. I pick out the, if I see Frank Agin in the room, I’m going over to him, he’s hiding in the corner, right? I’m going to this person in the room, and I’m going to engage with her orr him and just, you know, pull them out of it. You know, I aim for the wallflower. Because they’re the usually the most interesting, right? Because they’ve spent way more time reading and thinking and growing. And they got all sorts of interesting things to say but they haven’t said them. And so when you when you pull them out, and then I then I release them into the wild, right? I’ll take him and say I just talked to this guy. You need to meet him, right? He’s fascinating. And we you know, Frank meet Eloise, you know she’s done blah blah, and get in here, and then I’m gone. And what are they talking about? First, me when I leave, right hip friend, he’s so interesting, right? He’s such a great guy. And they know very little about me, except I know how to engage and connect. Right. So

Frank Agin  18:21

Let’s shift gears a little bit, let’s talk about, well, we are talking about you professionally, things you’ve got going, we got a book, assume you’re out there speaking, talk about that other things, seminars, workshops, anything like that going on, consult with businesses.

Fred Joyal  20:36

So what I do is primarily is keynote speaking and executive coaching. So there’s a lot of executives out there who are missing these boldness skills, because they are the founders a lot of time. And, and they just haven’t developed that. And, you know, everybody’s got confidence issues, some when it matters, you know, a lot of people are really confident with their doesn’t matter. And I tell people, like, don’t define yourself as shy. Shyness is the behavior you have in certain situations, you’re not shy with your family. You know, you’re shy when you get in these certain situations. So what you want to do is, it’s, you’re not going to change yourself, like, no matter what I do, Frank, you’re still going to be Frank. You’re just going to, you’re just going to be able to reveal the full Frank to people when whenever you want. And that’s going to be powerful, why deprive people of the full Frank, but so so I’ll coach executives. And I’m also doing a two day workshop, where I’ll put you through your paces, I’ll it’ll be transformational, because it’ll be very interactive and very challenging. But you, you will get a sense of how you can be super bold, how you can really summon that confidence really quickly. And the book, of course, is full of exercises, you can get the book the books on audible and Kindle, as well as hardcover. If you’re going to read a digital version, then you should go to my website, Fredjoyal.com. And download a PDF of the exercises and also of the journal format. Because you’re going to be journaling. This book is about taking action. This isn’t something you read and go, Oh, those are some great ideas. No, you’re gonna do stuff. And it’s and that’s where the impact comes from. And part of it is journaling. It’s like I made this bold move, I did this bold exercise. And this is what happens. This is what happened. And this is what I wished I said, or I was so glad I said this. And you’re gonna it allows you to track your progress and reflect on it. 

Frank Agin  22:53

Can people get a hold of you through your website? Fredjoyal.com. Yeah, and they can download the first chapter of the book if they want. They can find out when workshops are happening, if there’s any happening near them. And if they want, they can book a half an hour consultation with me. If they’re feeling like, you know, I’m really struggling with this. I don’t even know if your book is going to help me, like schedule an appointment. We will talk about it for half an hour, and I’ll get you jump started. Sounds great. Fred, I really appreciate your time today. Fred Joyal, author of Super Bold, appreciate you being on.

Fred Joyal  23:32

Thank you so much Frank. Hope it was helpful for everybody.