Jennifer Cohen: Bigger, Better, Bolder. How to Get the Life You Want by Being Bold | E204
Jennifer Cohen: Bigger, Better, Bolder. How to Get the Life You Want by Being Bold | E204
[00:00:00] Jennifer Cohen: I get this question a lot, and that is, do you have to be born bold? And the answer is no, absolutely not. I think boldness is a skill like anything else. If you want to become good at karate or Spanish or whatever you want, you need to practice it and you could get better at it. And I think of boldness as the same way people feel so uncomfortable asking for such little things.
[00:00:26] If you are uncomfortable asking for these little things, how are you gonna get comfortable asking for the bigger things? We need to learn how to be resilient. And the only way you learn how to be resilient is to actually fail and then pick yourself up again and try again and again.
[00:00:46] Hala Taha: What is up young and profiteers? You are listening to YAP, Young and Profiting Podcast, where we interview the brightest minds in the world and turn their wisdom into actionable advice that you can use in your daily life. [00:01:00] I'm your host, Hala Taha, aka, the podcast princess. Thanks for listening and get ready to listen, learn, and profit.
[00:01:20] Jennifer, welcome to Young and Profiting Podcast.
[00:01:24] Jennifer Cohen: Thank you Hala. This is great to be here with you.
[00:01:27] Hala Taha: I am so excited. I love having my friends on the show. It always makes for a more natural interview. I know we're gonna have a lot of laughs and learn a lot, so I'm looking forward to introducing you to my listeners. And young
[00:01:39] and profiteers, Jennifer Cohen is a woman I highly respect in the self-improvement and podcast space. She's an entrepreneur, a brand strategist, a podcaster, and a fitness trainer, and she's considered one of the most influential people in health and fitness and one of the most impactful fitness entrepreneurs in the world.
[00:01:56] Jen's world famous clients include Hollywood celebrities, Olympic [00:02:00] athletes, top CEOs, and so many more. And she's also the author of three books and the host of a top podcast called Habits and Hustle, which is actually a new addition to our YAP Media podcast network and on Habits and Hustle. She's interviewed people like Mark Cuban and Tony Robbins, and celebrities like Chelsea Handler and Matthew McConaughey.
[00:02:18] So it's an awesome podcast. I hope you guys check it out. It's Habits and Hustle. And today's episode is gonna be focused on Jen's recently released new book. It's called Bigger, Better, Bolder. Live the Life You Want, not The Life You Get, where she brings readers, one step closer to boldness, one chapter at a time.
[00:02:34] And so in this episode, we're gonna learn how Jennifer climbed the top of her space and created her dream job. How boldness is a skill that anyone can learn. And we'll also get the 411 on how to develop a 10% mindset. So Jennifer, today you're top of your field, but you didn't always think of yourself that way when you were younger and when you were in school at a young age, you were regularly sent for extra tutoring because of your poor [00:03:00] performance.
[00:03:00] And one day your mom told you that your teacher had called you average at best. So let's talk about that. How did that experience shape you as a young person? .
[00:03:11] Jennifer Cohen: That's a great intro, Hala. Thank you for that. It's amazing. I never was a great student and I always thought that was my big Achilles' heel, right?
[00:03:19] That I wasn't smart enough, that I wasn't talented enough or athletic enough. And over my journey, what I really recognized and what I realized was all those things really take a backseat. And the most important thing for success in anything, it could be professional, it could be personal, it could be whatever you are, and try and do.
[00:03:38] It's boldness is and was the secret sauce for me to get me from where I wanted to go. So when people had these laurels that they can rest on, right? If they're like super intelligence, there's a reason why they say, the fortune favors the bold, not the brilliant, because it's actually very true.
[00:03:57] When you really think about these people who actually really get [00:04:00] to really high heights of success, it's because they actually went after what they wanted. They were bold enough to ask for what they wanted to go after. They chased what they wanted versus just taking what they got. And when I noticed that at a young age, that's when my life really took a pivot and really changed for the better.
[00:04:19] Hala Taha: Yeah. And so I loved learning about you. Me and you are friends. We chit chat all the time. Talk on the phone for an hour here and there. And I didn't really know about your come up story, and I come to find out that 12 years old, you got your first job at Olive Garden, and then from then on you just crawled your way to the top and created your own dream job later on, which was just so incredible to see.
[00:04:42] And I know that you always say that you see yourself in May when you talk to me, and I never understood why. And it's because we're both two really scrappy women who don't take no for an answer. And so I'd love to have my listeners understand how you went from, Olive Garden hostess to then [00:05:00] becoming a fitness trainer for celebrities.
[00:05:01] Jennifer Cohen: By the way, let me just say one thing. Both of those things were not things that were available to me, like how I even got into the fitness business was a total fluke. It wasn't my trajectory, right? And I'll get to that in a second. But when I was 12 years old, all my friends wanted to get jobs to make extra money, and they naturally thought of babysitting as their only option.
[00:05:23] And even at a young age like that, I never really thought that myopically. I thought, what are the options available? And then let me like place myself in one of those places cuz I really didn't wanna babysit. I wanted to make more money or what have you. So I did notice that the Olive Garden was hiring, was a new place near my house.
[00:05:44] And I walked in and asked the manager if I can work. And he laughed at me obviously cuz I was a kid. And you can't usually have kids working at a place where there's like a liquor license. So that was my first entree, so to speak, in being bold where [00:06:00] I created an idea and an opportunity for myself by suggesting myself being an greeter where I would stand outside the restaurant, opening the door for people as opposed to being inside and seating people.
[00:06:14] And that way I'm not on the premises technically. . And I think that I would, he was so taken aback that I would actually even think of an opportunity like that when I was such a young person. He just said, sure, he gave it a shot. And that was when I first noticed I think I might be onto something where it's not just about what's available and what people think in their box of what's available is the only thing that is, you have to take agency and this is what I really talk about, and this is something that I, as part of my platform and my philosophy is that if you want something to happen for yourself, you need to take agency and ownership of your own life and go after it.
[00:06:53] And you can't rely on other people or other people's perceptions of what you should do and what society tells [00:07:00] you to do to be the destiny of your future. So changing and reframing, that type of mindset is crucial. And so that led me down a path of always looking at things a little bit differently than other people.
[00:07:15] And so when I wrote this book, it really was something that I wasn't speaking. I'm not speaking from this white ivory tower of what you should do because I say so. It's more you know what? I'm just an average person from a small town and these things happen to work for me and a lot of other people that I know who's actually reached success that they never even thought imaginable.
[00:07:39] And the through line through all of it is that they actually were bold. And so I just talk about all these little experiences of bold moves that created this life, and that's how I view it. This is how I want people to think about it. It's a reframe of how you shift and take on life.
[00:07:58] Hala Taha: We were talking [00:08:00] before how your teacher called you average at best.
[00:08:02] How did that make you think about life in terms of asking for what you want and taking bold moves because that was the only way you could get what you wanted.
[00:08:12] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah. And I think that if I was, to be honest, I would say that kind of gave me like a little bit of a chip on my shoulder, right?
[00:08:18] Where I felt like I have to prove something and prove myself because of what she said about me. And I felt I'll show her type of thing. But you can use that type of negativity as fuel for you achieving and going after certain things. And I don't believe in staying down for very long, I believe.
[00:08:38] Yeah, I had to lick my wounds, so to speak, and it was not easy to hear. But then I think being mediocre is actually a superpower. I think having mediocrity helped me build grit and be resourceful because I had to learn how to do those things versus somebody who was just always naturally super smart, [00:09:00] they can rest on their laurels.
[00:09:01] They never had to build character, they never had to build these other ancillary traits and skills. because they can just rest on the fact that they were always told they were the smartest or the prettiest. What I noticed in life is that if I really look at where they are in life and versus the other people that were mediocre, the imbalance is very obvious.
[00:09:24] Hala Taha: 100%. I always look at who I graduated with from college and I had a terrible undergrad. I graduated with a 2.3 GPA cuz I was in my sorority, partying, cheerleading, escaping my parents, and I look at people who graduated with a 4.0 in undergrad and I'm like, wow. I skyrocketed compared to them.
[00:09:42] But that's because to your point, when you're smart, you think that life is just all about taking tests and everything is just easy and you don't realize how to be creative, or how to get what you want without playing in the lines.
[00:09:56] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah. I just feel like you don't ha, you're not [00:10:00] forced to figure it out.
[00:10:01] I feel like recently I did a talk at MIT, which is obviously MIT is where the smartest people in the world go for college, right? And I did a talk under this program that they created called Fail, which is about resilience. And I thought to myself, this is really ironic, right here I am at the school where the hardest school in the world to get into with the most smartest people in the world.
[00:10:25] And I'm talking me, I am talking about failure and resilience to these people. Super surreal moment. And the reason why they even have that program and develop this program was because people who are always used to winning when they fail, they can't handle it. And this particular situation was based around the fact that the suicide rate at MIT is so high because when they do fail, they don't have the where with all to understand and figure it out.
[00:10:53] Versus someone like me who has failed so many times. that I had to [00:11:00] learn how to be more resilient. And I'm more desensitized to failure because it's happened so often that when it happens now I'm so immune to it that I don't care. I'll just get right back up and I'll try again. And that's why when people ask me about this, I say, you know what?
[00:11:15] I have a master's in failing, but I have a PhD in getting myself right back up and trying it again. And it is the truth. And this is the point that if you are somebody who you think that you're just average or mediocre, that actually is a strength, that is a superpower for you. That is not a weakness. And that can work to your advantage over and over again if you just implement these small things to create the bold life that you want.
[00:11:44] And so for me, you don't have to be what your brain says you are. You have the power to change whatever that is. I don't believe in , you were born on this life to find yourself, I believe, in a life where you create yourself.
[00:11:59] Hala Taha: Yeah. [00:12:00] And I do wanna get into the content of your book, but I wanna spend time for my listeners to really get to know you, Jen. You have created this bold life, right? You started in the music industry similar to me, and then you literally ended up creating your own dream job, leveraging your network, everything that you had learned in the past and your passions. I would love for you to tell that story of how you made that transformation.
[00:12:25] Jennifer Cohen: So yeah, I was working for the, in the music world, I'm Canadian and I was working for a record label in Toronto. I got a job offer and I went to work for another label, Sony in LA, and the job was fantastic. Listen, like I was a young girl, super young. I basically did very well. I was like on the fast track at that age to where I was going in the marketing department.
[00:12:49] And I got this job and it was a cush job making much more money than I thought I would make in the US versus Canada. Great office doing great things. And then [00:13:00] eventually the music industry started to really shift and change, and this is back when budgets were very different. We didn't have what we had now.
[00:13:07] There's no such thing as Spotify and these streaming platforms. The jobs started to change and I didn't love where it was going. It was becoming much more of a digital play versus the a and r aspect, which is like artist relations, which I was when I was like like my sweet spot.
[00:13:24] Hala Taha: And how old were you at this point?
[00:13:26] Jennifer Cohen: I don't know. I was probably like 25.
[00:13:30] Hala Taha: Okay.
[00:13:31] Jennifer Cohen: 25 years old. 24. I was the youngest executive. Everyone else was at least 78 years older than I was. And I wanna tell the listeners that when you're Canadian and you get a job in the us, for those who don't know, , we have a working visa. So whoever sponsors you is where you have to work legally.
[00:13:50] And if you don't have that job, you have to go back to your country or else you have no other ways means of making money until you find another company to sponsor you. So when I quit my [00:14:00] job, I really had no other means of making money. And I didn't wanna go back to Canada. I wanted to stay in LA.
[00:14:05] I love the weather, I love the lifestyle. So in that moment I thought, you know what? I'm gonna go to school. I'm gonna become a personal trainer, just like a placeholder until I figure out my next move. So that way I can make some money and then I can get paid under the table. And that way then I can buy some time until I figure out my next move.
[00:14:26] And that was really my intention and plan. Like I didn't really have more than that. I had a direction, but I didn't really have much of a destination besides that. So I did that. But as I was going through getting my first certification, I have all this background. and skillset, like transferrable skills from being in the music world, knowing how marketing budgets work, knowing how that world works.
[00:14:49] Basically, I went back to the label. I had a relationship with, and keep in mind when you work in the music world, lots of people in the music space and like in any industry, not just in the one [00:15:00] place that you work, but I knew people at different labels all over the place. So had this idea and I went back to the, one of the labels I had a relationship with and I said, listen, I wanna talk to you about an opportunity.
[00:15:11] I wanna become a label trainer where I would train the talent and I would get paid like a finite amount of money, a retainer, no matter if people show up or not. And I know how the marketing budget works. I know how the money is allotted, let's do that. And in my brain, that was a much better way of making some money versus me doing what I was originally gonna do, which was having a ceiling and being, making some cash under the table.
[00:15:37] Right. this way, I'm basically guaranteed money and I have an opportunity for this label to sponsor me, therefore it would be much more kosher and it would work out better. And the guy laughed at me and said, what do you know about training? I'm like I have my first certification right here and I know how to work with talent.
[00:15:56] Give me a shot and with a little bit conjoling and ever, so [00:16:00] whatever else. He agreed and gave me an a, a shot and it turned out well. And one label turned into two, turned into three. And then lo and behold, I was like this trainer to all of these different record labels where I had to hire a bunch of trainers underneath me to train people cuz it was, there was only one me.
[00:16:20] And I created an entire fitness business by just a kind of a fluke by going down a different direction that I was otherwise doing. But I used the opportunity from all the other skills and like I said, from the background I had. and I combined the two into my own opportunity and that changed the entire trajectory of my career.
[00:16:42] And like I said, you gotta take ownership, you gotta figure out and you gotta create your own opportunities. And that's how it started.
[00:16:49] Hala Taha: I love that story. It reminds me of this concept that I always talk about called skill stacking, where basically you take all the experiences that you've had before and you put them together in a unique way.[00:17:00]
[00:17:00] And something that I'm curious about is that, I know you pretty well. I'm like, you don't really like social media. You have to do it and you do it. You ended up blowing up on Instagram and I'm talking about real Instagram followers. Not all these influencers that buy their followers and things like that.
[00:17:14] You had, you ended up really growing on Instagram. How did that happen? How did you start to build your brand? Because I think you even had a pair of sneakers at one point, and so how did you get so well known and blow up like that?
[00:17:27] Jennifer Cohen: There's like a big gap right in between. Not to age myself, but like at that time there was no such thing as Instagram and there was no such thing as social media.
[00:17:37] And I never sought out to be an influencer by any stretch. But my career took so many different evolutions. I wrote some books in the fitness space. I actually started some companies in the fitness space. My last company was a fitness app that got acquired by Weight Watchers five years ago. This stuff had nothing really to do with like social media, but I think [00:18:00] what happened eventually is was social media or followers or whatever you wanna call it, was more of a byproduct of the other things I was doing.
[00:18:08] I wasn't seeking out that. That to me wasn't the business I was going after. And you're right, like I'm not someone who's loving that stuff. I feel like it's something that it has to happen and it's like a full-time plus job. I never really concerned myself what everybody else was doing. I really concerned myself of what I wanted to do and what was good for me in terms of like my skillset, my strengths, my weaknesses, and all of that stuff happened way after.
[00:18:36] If you focus on being really good at what you do and what you're doing, all that other stuff, people will know. Like you have to be so good that people find you, that it's so loud that people can't help but notice versus what's happening now, which is people are trying to have these big platforms on social media when they know nothing, and then hope that [00:19:00] people will show up.
[00:19:01] In the world that I remember and where I'm from, it's like you need to do the reverse. You need to be so excellent at what your craft is and learn it so well, and always be learning and always be up on it. That all that other stuff becomes the byproduct. And I think that people just have it wrong a lot of times, and that's why I also feel that people have to be very weary of who they get their information from on social media for this reason.
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[00:23:43] I totally agree. I feel like there's a lot of phony influencers. There's a lot of people, like you said, they don't even have an expertise, but they wanna teach. Jen, you are one of the most, networked people that I know, and you always tell me this. I do business in real life, right? And sometimes that matters more [00:24:00] than this social media world or matters just as much, right?
[00:24:02] And we'll get into social boldness, but let's introduce your book first. Okay? So you wrote this book, Bigger, Better, Bolder, and you did it right off the heels of the pandemic, right? So why is it more important than ever for people to be bold after we just went through this pandemic for over two years?
[00:24:22] Jennifer Cohen: I think that it's really important.
[00:24:24] I think number one, it was actually off the heels of a TED Talk that I did, that went viral. I did that Ted Talk right when the pandemic was happening. And what I noticed was, and what I think happened is that people realize that life is short and you have one time to live. It's a finite time. So why live in a place of good enough when you can actually try to self actualize to who you wanna be and what you wanna do?
[00:24:52] And the reason again, that I wrote this book was for people to have a rich life. And that's not about money and [00:25:00] cars and planes. That's not what I mean by a rich life. What I mean by a rich life is a life that is fulfilling and satiating to you with meaningful relationships and experiences. And a lot of times we don't even attempt at getting a lot of that, and we just settle for what's in front of us because we have a lot of self-doubt or we don't think that we are good enough, which comes back to that whole average or below average comment that you and I were talking about.
[00:25:29] And so I think it struck a chord when I did that TED talk because what happened was it did so well, it went viral, and because of that, I noticed that there was a real need for people to have that assurance and that extra boost, a nudge, I should say, of trying. because of the fact that life is so short.
[00:25:53] And I think what the pandemic did, which just showed us that we wanna ha enjoy our time as much as [00:26:00] possible, and we wanna be fulfilled as much as we can. And just phoning it in isn't okay and it's not good enough. And so if we can move that pendulum or that needle a little bit to actually create what we want even better.
[00:26:15] Hala Taha: Yeah. And so you mentioned this phrase not good enough, right? And I know in your book you talk about the good enough mindset. What is wrong with this type of mindset and how can we escape that kind of a mindset?
[00:26:28] Jennifer Cohen: You escape it by not putting up with it anymore. This is not a magic pill. It's about having a little bit of self-awareness.
[00:26:38] And from that knowing and looking at your life and being, okay, you know what, where am I phoning it in? Where could I improve? Where do I wanna improve? , where am I? Just just taking what's in front of me. If you really do an inventory on your life, not you personally, I'm saying in general, right?
[00:26:55] And if you think about all the people that you ask oh, how's your marriage? Eh, it's okay. Or, [00:27:00] how's your job, eh? It's all right. Everything. It's just in this, eh, it's okay. Status quo place. And I find that to be really upsetting, right? And by the way, I'm not any different. I'm not singling myself out.
[00:27:13] I think it happens with me too. So you gotta constantly do this self-assessment and be like, where is this happening? You gotta really zero in on those places and attempt, attempt at making it better, versus just being okay with this good enough idea I'm getting paid enough, my girlfriend is fine, or my boyfriend is fine, or my husband is fine.
[00:27:34] We wanna strive for better. We wanna strive for the best. And that to me is self-actualization. You don't wanna look back at your life. and feel like, you know what, yeah, I could have done that, but I didn't. I prefer, in my opinion, I'd rather have a ton of rejection than a little bit of regret.
[00:27:54] Like regret is the worst thing that to me stays with you forever. [00:28:00] Rejection, you get over it a little bit you know it ever hurts for a second and then you move on eventually after a day or so. But regret like I should have. What if I did that's like gut wrenching? And to me, that's where I'm trying to shift people's mindset from going away from that into a place that's much more authentic to who they really are.
[00:28:21] Hala Taha: I think that's super powerful stuff and I couldn't agree more. I wanna dig into a quote that I found in your book, and I think it's really important you say, asking and failing and asking again is the foundation of boldness. Which I think is really interesting because it's so true. You've gotta ask for what you want.
[00:28:39] So I'd love to hear more on that from you.
[00:28:42] Jennifer Cohen: If you ask for something and the answer is no. How do you look at it? Holla. You, look at, and I know you, I don't think of you as someone who's gonna be like, no. Okay. And then just walk away, never attempt again. You probably are similar to me where you think that no means not right now.
[00:28:57] Hala Taha: Yeah of course.
[00:28:58] Jennifer Cohen: And because of that [00:29:00] mindset and that reframe of how you look at that's why you're successful. That's why you create these little wins for yourself. It may have not have happened that day, it may not have happened the next day, but it eventually will happen. Either with that particular thing that you want or by you continually trying.
[00:29:19] Another opportunity will present itself that you never knew existed because you got yourself up and you didn't think about that no as the worst thing that ever happened to you. and you have to think about something as what is the worst thing that can happen? If we thought that in every situation people would make way more attempts to get closer to what they want, like what is the worst that can happen?
[00:29:41] Okay, that person said no, all right, I'll try again later, or maybe I'll do this thing, or I'll do that thing. But it's not about you being extraordinarily talented or extraordinarily smart, but what sets you apart is that you are persistent. You're relentless and tenacious, and you don't see [00:30:00] it as the end all be all, right?
[00:30:03] And so it's like the squeaky wheel gets the oil. These are all sayings because they're actually true, right?
[00:30:11] Hala Taha: Yeah.
[00:30:11] Jennifer Cohen: These are saying because these are actually truisms. And I think that what happens is we try to complicate these very simple truisms in life versus just taking them for what they are and then acting on them.
[00:30:26] Hala Taha: And I wanna go back to what we were talking about in terms of the good enough mindset, cuz I was gonna say something before and then it like flew outta my head. They're actually weak spots. All those things that you were talking about in terms of, oh, your relationship's mad, your work is mad, anything that you feel mad about is something that could collapse and is a red flag in your life that you need to look at.
[00:30:48] And then see how do you actually make that stronger and like you said, the best. And that takes making bold moves, right? So I'd love to understand your definition of boldness [00:31:00] because I, I have a feeling it's a little different than what we all think.
[00:31:02] Jennifer Cohen: From what you just said about this, like ma, like these red flags that are put on these situations.
[00:31:08] I have this whole theory, and I put this in the book actually, these three F's, which is this farm it, fix it or forget it versus just dwelling. And to me, if you have a weakness, there's three things that you can do about it. You can fix it, you can farm it out, right? Delegate to elevate, right? Or you could forget it.
[00:31:31] Accept it for what it is, and move on. And don't let that slow you down. I talk about this also. It's like I always hated my nose, right? As a kid, as an adult, whatever. And I never like it. You can look at it now, and it made me feel like, oh, I was so ugly. I wasn't this, I wasn't that. And eventually I'm like I didn't farm it out, right?
[00:31:51] I didn't fix it. So I had to just eventually forget about it. And then I never really thought about it again. It didn't really slow me down. Maybe in my own [00:32:00] head, or maybe someone that thinks I'm not as attractive, who cares? But if you can find these pillars or compartments to place these weaknesses that you feel are so hard and weak into one of these buckets, and then let yourself move past them and go, you're not allowing that thing to be a weight on your shoulders.
[00:32:18] Hala Taha: Love that, by the way.
[00:32:19] Jennifer Cohen: Thank you. And it's the truth, right? Like we all have these things about us that we don't like about ourselves, right? We all do. And then we let that one thing stop us from going after whatever it is. That guy that you like, that job, whatever it is, as opposed to figuring out a way to deal with that one weakness, to not let that hold you back from your whole life ahead of you.
[00:32:45] When I was younger and there was a guy I liked, right? I let the fact that I thought I had a big, bad, ugly nose hold me back until I figured out like, all right, I'm gonna forget about that. If I liked somebody, I was gonna ask them out. I wasn't gonna just go out with a person who asked me out. [00:33:00]
[00:33:00] To me that's like putting agency and ownership in someone else's hands, and then I'm only doing what someone else is offering me.
[00:33:07] Hala Taha: Going back to the asking ask for what you want. Don't just take what you get.
[00:33:11] Jennifer Cohen: Exactly. And it's just, it's very freeing when you're able to do that with a weakness and then you lean into these strengths.
[00:33:19] Cause we all have strengths, just as we all have these weaknesses. If we really lean into those strengths, we can dominate and not let those weaknesses be the ones that are dictating our life choices.
[00:33:33] Hala Taha: Yeah, I love that. So Jen, you break down boldness into two categories, social boldness and self-actualization.
[00:33:40] So I'd love to first talk about social boldness. You are truly an expert in this space. I think this is honestly one of your best qualities, in my opinion. Social boldness is about getting what you want in your career, relationships and connections. So I'd love for you to explain what that is and how we can put it into practice.
[00:33:57] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah. Social boldness is the [00:34:00] reason why that is there, by the way, also, is that you could be bold in one area of your life and not be bold in another area of your life. It's not that you're either bold or you're not, which is a whole other area that we can talk about afterwards if you like, but there is different kinds of boldness and that social boldness is all about, you could be very extroverted and socially bolded and bolded in building relationships and in your overall like social communications.
[00:34:29] And I find that if someone is needing to be more bold in those areas, then that's the area that they can focus on. The self-actualization boldness is much more about if there's actually something that you're really trying to accomplish, like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, right? That actually makes you more self-actualized internally as a human.
[00:34:48] I have this whole bold types quiz that you can take to see where you fit and where you are, but I wanna talk a little bit about the fact that I get this question a [00:35:00] lot, and that is, do you have to be born bold? And the answer to that is absolutely not. I think boldness is a skill. like anything else, if you want to become good at karate or Spanish or whatever you want, you need to practice it and you could get better at it.
[00:35:16] And I think of boldness as the same way. If you are somebody who is naturally not bold, more shy, or feels nervous about standing up for themselves and asking for what they want, you can absolutely change that behavior pattern by practicing these little bold moves daily to increase your boldness. And what I do in this book is I give people these actionable things that they can do to actually go from a place of shyness, or finding the courage, I should say, or the bravery to ask for what they want tomorrow, where they don't feel the courage today to ask for.
[00:35:59] And [00:36:00] so a little bold move can be something as simple as going to a restaurant and asking for salad dressing on the side of your salad. People feel so uncomfortable by asking for such little things. And in my opinion, it's if you are uncomfortable asking for these little things, how are you gonna get comfortable asking for the bigger things?
[00:36:21] Hala Taha: So it's challenge yourself to just ask for what you want, even if it's not a big deal or you don't even care that much about it, just to put yourself out there so you can practice build that habit.
[00:36:30] Jennifer Cohen: And there's a person, I know a friend of mine who attempted this and I, I was talking to them about this and what he did was, everywhere he went for six months, he asked if there was some kind of discount, some kind of like local discount that he can have or get by anywhere.
[00:36:53] He would go to the coffee shop and ask, he would go to the mall and ask like a whatever, like a clothing store. He would ask the movie [00:37:00] theater. He saved $7,000 in six months. By just asking the question. And it wasn't for the money that it, he just so happened to save seven, he actually saved 7,000. But again, that was the byproduct.
[00:37:14] It was a test to see what happens when you ask and if you ask what you get, and to become more comfortable in the process of asking. So he became so comfortable in asking that. Then he started asking everywhere and at all things. So he realized that all these local joints around him, he got 10% off.
[00:37:34] He got 20% off. Most of the restaurants, no one even knew that they had all these little discounts for people who were locals or who had, who were 40 in below whatever. I'm not I don't remember exactly what they were, but I was gonna say 65 and under. But he was mu much younger than that . my point is like there were so many little like things if you just put yourself in a situation or just ask the question.
[00:37:58] Hala Taha: Yeah. And so if I have this [00:38:00] right, social boldness is about asking for what you want with friends, family, colleagues at work, for example. Does it help us build a better network when we do that?
[00:38:09] Jennifer Cohen: This is the thing, right? So it's not just about this sheer ask for what you want. Boldness is much more than just asking for what you want.
[00:38:17] It's about a mindset. It's about having this life that you curate for yourself and take initiative on and take ownership of. It's not just, ha, I want this, I want that. But I do talk about this idea, this thing called the bold of directors, which is creating a team around you who are like-minded, who have the similar goals than you, as you, who want you to win, who don't want you to lose, who are great people to just riff with and see if there's a way to help each other out.
[00:38:47] You are a sum of the five people you surround yourself with, right? That's just a known fact, right? So you wanna make sure you put yourself in circumstances around people who can help you win and [00:39:00] elevate. So that's the idea. It's first to build these bolder directors around you versus, I call it like bold versus board of directors, where it's a mutually benefiting relationship.
[00:39:10] It's not like you're constantly taking and taking, it's like, how can I help you? How can you help me? Who do you know? How do I know? It's like a very mutually beneficial relationship where these people want for you, what you want for yourself. In life, no one is self-made. I don't believe in that.
[00:39:30] I think that's a load of crap. I think that someone had to lend you a helping hand somewhere down the road, right? It could be something as so trite and small. It's like letting you sleep on his couch for a day or two for a week, or giving you some advice or having a meal with someone. Not everything has to be these like huge, outlandish, overt
[00:39:51] ways of giving, but I believe that being collaborative and helpful and having good people surrounding you that can help [00:40:00] you get to these things is super important.
[00:40:02] Hala Taha: Yeah. So boldness, like you mentioned, is a skill that can be learned. So I'd love to understand if you have some like hacks that we can take with us.
[00:40:10] I know everyone's gonna go out and get your buck, but what can you tell us in terms of how we can actually learn boldness as a skill?
[00:40:16] Jennifer Cohen: It's a muscle. Like anything else that you have to work on consistently. If you wanna be strong, right? I'm gonna use a fitness analogy, okay? If you wanna be strong, you don't go to the gym one day and think you're gonna be strong for life, right?
[00:40:29] Same thing with being bold, boldest for life. You have to work that muscle and continually and consistently to be able to be bold and practice over and over again. And so by doing these little bold moves daily, or doing things daily to increase the building of your bold, so to speak. It helps build this as a skill, right?
[00:40:49] So if you do these small little bold moves daily, if you could do it consistently, if you see yourself winning, this is very much tied into a [00:41:00] confidence piece, right? When you wanna build confidence, the best way to build confidence is to have these small wins. And that last win gives you the confidence to do the next win.
[00:41:09] And that is the same thing with being bold, right? You've gotta do these little wins and see yourself achieving them to give you that extra oomph to be bold again. And as you go, these accumulate and compound over time. And eventually you become much more bold. But you gotta start somewhere. And the reality really is it's momentum, right?
[00:41:34] Something in motion stays in motion, something that's stagnant stays stagnant, and that's why you see these people a lot of times people who have a job are usually the ones who get another job offer. Or the people in relationships are the ones who usually meet somebody else because they're already doing it, and that's why another cliche for you would be like, if you want something done, you give it to a busy person because it's the idea that [00:42:00] something is, that's going and doing.
[00:42:01] Hala Taha: So true.
[00:42:02] Jennifer Cohen: Right? It's unbelievable. If I have something that needs to be done in errand and I'm giving it to someone who has nothing to do, I'll be waiting until doomsday for that thing to happen versus that's why a lot of times I'm like, I'll just do it myself because I know I'll get it done because I'm already going and doing.
[00:42:17] Again, there's a reason why these things are, these are sayings because it's actually very true. There is no secret that's beyond that type of mentality, but it's something that's true. If you're just sitting there waiting for opportunity while you're not doing anything for it, you'll be waiting a long time.
[00:42:35] You've gotta create your own opportunities.
[00:42:38] Hala Taha: Yeah, and I totally agree, but here's the thing. A lot of people. people who might be reading your book or listening to this show, they might consider themselves to be like timid, shy, polite, extremely polite, and doing things like sending food back at a restaurant might terrify them.
[00:42:56] So I'd love to understand from your perspective, how can [00:43:00] people get over that hump if they feel like, I don't wanna be mean.
[00:43:03] Jennifer Cohen: And that's what I was saying to you earlier, is that you have to get over that ideology if you wanna get to a place of a life that you've curated for yourself.
[00:43:12] The reality is this is not for everybody, right? This is for people who want change and wanna live at a higher elevation of what they were, what they are doing now. If it's, this is for someone who is at a job and they don't wanna be at that job, but they really wanna have a different job that they really like, they wanna have been in a relationship they love, they wanna have meaningful relationships, meaningful experiences with meaningful people.
[00:43:35] If you're happy with just settling for second best and good enough, , then what do I care? All the power to you, but the part of this whole thing is like realizing that not everybody likes vanilla. Not everyone loves chocolate. You're not gonna please everybody all the time. Everyone has an ideology of what they want and what they like.
[00:43:55] If this is something that's not interesting to you, then it's uninteresting for you. But [00:44:00] truthfully, I think if we really were being honest with ourselves, we all wanna live something closer, sometimes to a life that's much more authentic to who we are versus to what is sometimes around us and available.
[00:44:14] I was not necessarily born bold. I was super insecure. I was super shy and timid at some point, but I realized it really wasn't getting me very far. And then when I started to ask a little bit and be a little bold, what I was actually getting from it, and because of that, it propelled me to keep on going.
[00:44:36] It's like exercise, right? It's like anything. The stop is in the start. It's always easy to think of all the reasons why something will go wrong, why it's not good for you, why you shouldn't, and how you're gonna hurt this person or offend that person. It's not what you say, it's how you say it. You can be bold and not be rude.
[00:44:57] You could be bold and not be bitchy. [00:45:00] I think there's a misconnotation of what the word bold really does mean. It doesn't mean be overtly rude and aggressive. It means taking ownership and a stand for who you are and what you want out of your life, and what you are willing to accept and act accordingly.
[00:45:19] That's all it is, by the way. You can be shy, but also be bold. You could be more timid, but also be bold in other ways. But you gotta pick and choose what is important to you and where you need to be bolder, where you wanna be bolder. And that's the point. That's why I was saying earlier, it's about having bold types. You can sometimes maybe being okay with what food is given to you if it's cold or at the restaurant.
[00:45:46] You don't wanna make a stir, but maybe one area that you really wanna improve is the fact that you are in a relationship and you're not getting the emotional connectedness that you are looking for, and you're just accepting that [00:46:00] because you don't wanna make a stir. Maybe that's where your pain point is, but figure out what that pain point is that's really bothering you, that's really holding you back.
[00:46:09] And then make a change. If you wanna eat cold food all day, eat cold food all day. Maybe a lot of people don't care if they I'm not even being funny, I'm being serious. Like maybe okay, fine. So I had the salad dressing on. I'm still going to eat it. I'm hungry. That's like a microcosm, but in, in real life, there's other areas where that may not suit you and serve you well.
[00:46:28] Hala Taha: Yeah. You're gonna grow up, like you said, having a lot of regrets about the time that you wasted and things like that. The chances that you didn't take.
[00:46:37] We'll be right back after a quick break from our sponsors.
[00:46:44] So something that I found really interesting in your book was that you mentioned that you're Gen X, right? I'm a millennial. You're Gen X. You mentioned that you feel like Gen X people are more likely to be bold because of the way that they grew up, which I thought was really [00:47:00] interesting and the way that they were parented.
[00:47:01] And I know that you have two kids, so I'd love to understand why you think maybe Gen Z millennials are at a disadvantage when it comes to being bold, not everyone, cuz there's definitely exceptions of course. And also how you've learned to then make sure that your kids act in bold ways.
[00:47:18] Jennifer Cohen: That's a good question, Hala.
[00:47:19] I like that. I talk about that in my book. I bel, I actually, this is something that I'm, I truly believe in what I refer to a lot as what's happening in the world today as coddle culture, where we get coddled a lot. God forbid you say the wrong thing, or you do the wrong thing, you get canceled right away.
[00:47:36] And there's a lot of helicoptering parents out there who helicopter their kids to such a place where everybody wins and gets a participation trophy. All of those things, I think are doing a disservice for a lot of people in the world. Our kids in the world, let's say. Because that's not how real life is, right?
[00:47:56] Not everyone in life gets a participation trophy. The more [00:48:00] you coddle and just caress people's because you're nervous and scared of them failing is not teaching you or growing in and you in any real way. And it's not actually accurate to how life really works. And when I was younger, we had much more of figure it out type of approach.
[00:48:21] Like not everything, not everyone was getting, some people were getting the participation trophies, but not where I was. But I feel like we need to learn how to be okay. Be not being okay. We need to learn how to be uncomfortable and be uncomfortable in discomfort, right? And failing, we need to learn how to be resilient.
[00:48:44] And the only way you learn how to be resilient is to actually fail and then pick yourself up again and try again and again. And this is why I feel when the whole idea of, again, we're not talking about everybody, [00:49:00] but I think in the time that we are right now with the participation trophy and the helicoptering parents and the idea that I'm enough and all these body positivity and there's all these hashtags where it gives people this permission to be okay with the status quo or with who they are.
[00:49:20] And my entire message about that is about is it okay? Don't you wanna be the best version of yourself? Don't you wanna grow? Don't you wanna self-actualize to your fullest potential? Like I know when I'm lying on my deathbed. God willing, not for many more years, but I wanna know that I did absolutely everything I can to have and use all the potential I had and try to make my life as complete and full as possible, and not fall on this ideology as oh, it was okay.
[00:49:51] I gave myself permission to maintain being okay and live a very average life. There's a big distinction, I [00:50:00] wanna say, between feeling mediocre and living average. Being average, right? I'm talking about like how we view ourselves, right? When we view ourselves younger as average or mediocre, that works for our benefit, but that's not the same thing as I'm living my life.
[00:50:18] It's okay and it's average because then you have the onus to make it better.
[00:50:23] Hala Taha: I'm smiling cuz you're reminding me. I was talking to you offline that I broke up with my boyfriend and so I'm on the market and I'm looking for new guys. You know what I mean?
[00:50:32] Jennifer Cohen: I love it. Anyone? Any takers?
[00:50:34] Hala Taha: You talked about this idea of self-actualization.
[00:50:37] It is such a compelling thing. It's such an attractive thing to have somebody who goes after what they want and who can create things and self-actualize for themselves. And I meet so many guys who seem great. They're cute, they're handsome, they seem smart. And then like they've got like a very boring job that they've been in for 20 years.
[00:50:56] And to me, kudos to you, but it's unattractive to me [00:51:00] because I'm like what have you self-actualized? Like you got a job after college and then you just stayed there. You know what I mean? And so for me, I feel like this concept of self-actualization is something that I've been thinking about a lot because I feel like it's such an attractive quality in a person.
[00:51:14] Jennifer Cohen: I think it's very attractive. I agree with you. I think that there's nothing less attractive than somebody who just. is fine with letting themselves be okay with status quo. I think the most attractive thing in the world was when people want to push to be better because who wants to stagnate in life?
[00:51:33] The truth of the matter is, I don't think anybody does, but I think what happens is life happens and then it goes fast and we're busy and then we forget and we're tired and we don't have the energy and effort to put in to what it means to do something else. That's really where it gets like the rub, right?
[00:51:54] Because if we're not gonna be focusing on that, then what's the point? [00:52:00] One day will bleed into another that bleeds into another, and then you look back in 20 years and you never did any of those things that you wanted to ever do when you were a kid or accomplish when you were a kid. Don't let that happen to you.
[00:52:13] You have the ability to take that control into your hands and be the CEO, so to speak of your own life and make things like change that trajectory for you. That is the point. I think it's very hard sometimes, cuz we do get in the rut of life and you have to make a decision of what you want from your life and how you wanna live that life.
[00:52:35] And you don't have to have a destination necessarily, but have a direction and play out that direction because a lot of times just in that process, all these doors open to you that you never even knew existed because you never even went down that road before. I think you should go watch my Instagram and you tell me if you think my kids are bold.
[00:52:57] My little girl who's seven years [00:53:00] old did a post about buying my bigger, better. She's I, she's welcome to my channel and I want you to buy my mom's book. Bigger, Better, Bolder. It's so cute. And the reason why I think it's it's cute because she's my kid, but that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying kids learn not by words, but by watching, by action, your kids mimic you.
[00:53:22] So you can say all you want, talk talk. But what they are actually really tuning into is what you're doing. And they mimic what they see, not what they hear. And I might be a lot of things in the world Hala, but one thing I am 100% through and through is honest and authentic and real.
[00:53:42] Whatever I preach, I practice 1000000%. I'm not just sitting here blabbing and then not actually practicing it. I'm actually practicing it all the time and my kids see it. And so my message and why I'm even saying that is my kids, they're kids, right? They may not listen all [00:54:00] the time and they do their own thing and, but I think little essences of what I, what they see, It does slowly seep in.
[00:54:08] They see me exercising all the time. They know that movement's really important for me, that's a healthy habit that I believe that we should all integrate into our lives. Not because of having a great ass or great legs, but because of the cognitive abilities and what it does for you in confidence and mental toughness and strength.
[00:54:27] So I do that and they see that. I think every parent should really try to instill the importance of activity because of the, of what the other stuff, the byproducts that they get from that as well. If you want your kids to be a certain way, you gotta be a great role model and show them and then that's how they learn.
[00:54:44] Hala Taha: Yeah, I love that cuz it's often forgotten. A lot of people, like they're great role models at work and then they come home and they watch TV all night or something and that's what their kids see in terms of what home life is supposed to be.
[00:54:56] Jennifer Cohen: That's a really good point. Cause I think a lot of times we give all our [00:55:00] energy to sometimes one in one area. We go super hard in one area of our life and then we forget about these other areas that are actually real life more important. I talk about this full energy allocation theory that I have, and that is that put certain things on autopilot of your life so then you have energy allocated to the things that really matter.
[00:55:23] And for me, what really matters are my kids. And so I'm never too tired for my kids, so no matter what, I'm gonna allocate energy towards them so I can have a balanced life. And to me that's about being bold. It's about recognizing these weak spots of what happens in your life. Cuz when you have a busy career and you got a busy life professionally, it's really easy to lose sight of all those other things personally that you just say, oh, I'll get to it some other time.
[00:55:50] But having again, like to circle it all back, having a rich life is having a rich life, both personally and professionally with meaning and fulfillment. [00:56:00] and you've gotta create that life balance for yourself. You've gotta curate that for yourself. So do certain things and put certain things on autopilot so you do have time for those really important things like your kids.
[00:56:11] Hala Taha: I love this and I think this is a great way to close out the show. So Jennifer, it was so great to have you on. I always ask two questions at the end of the show that are the same, and then we do some fun stuff with them at the end of the year. So the first one is, what is one actionable thing that our young and profits can do today to become more profiting tomorrow?
[00:56:32] Jennifer Cohen: They can start acting bold by doing one bold move a day for the next 30 days.
[00:56:39] Hala Taha: Amazing. And what is your secret to profiting in life? And like you, it's very similar to your rich life concept, profiting in all areas of your life.
[00:56:47] Jennifer Cohen: Collaborations. Collab with people who. Are like-minded who also wanna see you win and you guys help each other.
[00:56:55] Again, nothing is done in a vacuum. You need to have support of really good [00:57:00] people to help elevate. And like I said, nobody is self-made. If you wanna be successful, surround yourself with success.
[00:57:07] Hala Taha: Love it. And where can everybody learn more about you and get your latest book Bigger, Better, Bolder?
[00:57:13] Jennifer Cohen: You can buy my book at any fine bookstore, Amazon. There's Barnes and Noble. Anywhere you would normally find a book. They can find me at the Real Jen Cohen. They can go on my website, jennifercohen.com. They can find me on Habits and Hustle, which is my podcast.
[00:57:30] Hala Taha: Amazing. We're gonna put all those links in the show notes.
[00:57:33] I had such a fun time talking with you. It's always a pleasure, Jen. Thanks for coming on the show.
[00:57:37] Jennifer Cohen: Thank you for having me, Hala.
[00:57:39] Hala Taha: YAP fam it's always a good time when one of my friends comes on the show. It's just such good, natural, organic energy and I get to learn about my friends in ways that I never did before. It's super funny to have seen [00:58:00] how Jennifer's come up story is so similar to mine and it's no wonder that we hit it off right away, and we get along so well.
[00:58:07] When Jen was young, she struggled in school and she was sent for extra tutoring because of her poor performance. And after a teacher said that she would be nothing but average at best, young Jen stepped out of herself and into her boldness and she clawed her way to the top. She was super scrappy and today Jennifer is one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the health and fitness industry, and I'm proud to call her one of my clients at the YAP Media Network.
[00:58:34] And I want you to remember, YAP fam, every successful person has a different background. Their background will never be your background, and every successful person has followed a different path, and that path won't be your path. Every successful person use different strategies to get to the top, and those strategies won't be your strategies.
[00:58:55] But there's one thing I know, and there's one thing I know for sure is [00:59:00] that every successful person took bold, decisive action more than once. Boldness is a common thread, and it's more important than brains or connections in your network. It's what separates top performers from those who don't achieve their potential.
[00:59:17] And I hope this episode inspires you to be bold, take risks, go after what you deserve, ask for what you want, and exercise your boldness every single day. Guys, if you listen, learned and profited, share this episode with your friends or family. And while you're at it, drop us a five star review on Apple. And I have to say, nothing makes me happier than reading your positive reviews.
[00:59:40] You guys can find me on social media. I'm on Instagram at yapwithhala. You can also find me on LinkedIn. Search my name, it's Hala Taha. Big shout out to my YAP team. Super excited for 2023. We're gonna crush this year. This is your host, Hala Taha, signing off.[01:00:00]
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