true self

Circling Back to the Beginning: How a Sweat Lodge Realization Opened a Door to True Self and New Opportunities with Eric Finnigan (AoL 103)

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good rapport

5 Strategies to Build Good Rapport (Originally posted 10.5.2010)

In the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be digging through the blog’s archive and doing some cleanup. Some posts I’ll be taking out all together while other ones I’ll be making more SEO friendly.

There comes a point where this kind of work needs to be done. Some call it taking inventory, others call it clipping the branches. Todd Tresidder calls it “Content Auditing”.

The point being is that there’s nearly 300 posts in the blog at this point and some it is relevant while there’s plenty that isn’t. I need to yank out what isn’t relevant anymore and re-release the good stuff!

So let’s get started! – JC

Being Technically Gifted

Many of us technical types (especially those of us who studied STEM majors in college) tend to have some sort of social anxiety. This is especially noticeable in the Big Bang Theory. All of the men have some sort of social issue.

I think that’s why it’s been one of my favorite shows over the years. I can relate directly with the characters – especially Sheldon and Leonard.

Many times I find myself being as ignorant about social situations as Sheldon. But other times, like Leonard, I make efforts to get out of my comfort bubble. To me, it’s very interesting to notice the differences between the two of them. Because other than Leonard’s people skills and his development of them, he and Sheldon are definitely 2 peas in the same pod.

One of the main differences that I see between the two of them is that Leonard can and does attempt to build rapport with people. A great example of this is when he went out of his way to welcome Penny in when she first came to their apartment complex. He could have done this or done the comfortable thing and simply hung out with the guys. Many technically inclined guys would have opted to stick with what they knew instead of greeting the pretty girl. In the geek world, we’re all scared of talking to the opposite sex.

Through the life of the show, he definitely seems to be the glue amongst among the girls and guys and this is a great quality to have. And really, to me, that’s what having good rapport is all about!


Matching and Mirroring to Build Rapport

So how do you build rapport? Well, the answer, sadly, isn’t just “be yourself”.

If that was the answer, you probably wouldn’t be asking the question in the first place, right? If being yourself has made you feel more alienated every time you do it, then there has to be some sort of unspoken rules.

Well, here are some tips on what to focus on the next time you’re attempting to get to know and build connections with some people. And for me, they all have to do with matching what those you’re talking to are doing.


1. Match Posture / Physiology

This is pretty simple. And you’ve probably heard about this one before. But this is a big part of that “body language” that you hear so much about. Imitate and match body posture and movements when you can with people you’re talking with.

If they’re moving their arms about to be more visual in describing something. Match that. If they’re being stoic – match that. If they’re smiling while talking – you guessed it, MATCH THAT! They’ll find you less likely as someone who’s a potential threat because they’ll believe that you’re in the moment with them. Treat them like a good friend and they might end up as one.


2. Match Rhythmic Movements

Yet another part of body language. Rhythmic movements are a finer aspect of moving. This is what dance is all about. It’s also why music is often a topic when people are getting to know each other. Saying that you enjoy several types of music suggests that you are open to different beats and different kind of people.

That said, people with ADD/ADHD might have problems with this. So if you feel anxiety at a dance and/or when other people are displaying and enjoying rhythmic movements and you wonder what it’s all about, you might want to look into Rhythmic Movement Training.

Reasons for lacking this ability could be as simple as having an ear infection when you were exploring it when you were growing up. Like anything else, it’s never too late to learn this new life skill.

3. Match Tone, Tempo & Volume of Voice

Ah yeah, the problem that Raj has around attractive women. As you should probably know, language is not just about body movements – it’s also about verbal communication. And just because most of your language is done nonverbally, it doesn’t mean you should disregard training of the voice when engaging with people. Matching your voice tone (pitch – high or low), tempo (speed – fast or slow), and volume with those that you are talking with is just as important as learning how to use the same movements.

4. Match Breathing

Possibly not the most obvious thing to think about when you’re learning how to build rapport with people. But it’s definitely another thing to consider. Become aware of the other person’s rate of breathing. If they are breathing slowly, then slow your breathing down to the same rate. People who are in rapport with each other tend to breath in the same rhythm. This can be very beneficial to you if you’re trying to calm someone down or crank them up. For an experiment of sorts, you can try this one with babies or children. If the baby or child is upset, their rate of breathing will be fast. First match your breathing rate to theirs. Do this for thirty seconds or so. Then start to slow your breathing down. The child’s breathing will also slow down, enabling them to calm down. If their breathing doesn’t slow down, just match theirs again for longer and then repeat the exercise.

5. Match Process (VAK) Words

This one I’ve never really considered until recently. But process words or words that help paint pictures visually, audibly, or kinetically are key in conversations – just as much as correct body language is. If someone is describing something visually, don’t speak in audible terms. Join them in visual description and understanding. If they’re describing something kinetically and suggesting that they “felt” something was right, join them by saying “Yeah, I felt the same way!” not “Yeah, I hear what you’re saying there.” When you’re using the same process words, there is definitely a different type of tone that you’re matching.

Action Steps:

The next time you’re attempting to be friendly with someone and want to set them at ease from the beginning, try and match their behavior.

Go to their level.

If you would like to know more about matching others and why and how this all works, one subject you might want to look into is Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). However it’s power goes well beyond building rapport.

Here’s a video illustrating more about it and how it can enrich your own professional and personal life:

Again, I’d love to hear from you about your experiences in building rapport. What has worked for you and what hasn’t?

4 Quick, Simple, and Immediate Steps to Take Action in Your Work

Whether you call it analysis paralysis or overthinking it, why is it that we spend so much time trying to do what we know that we should be doing? Many of us go to workshops, classes, and even big events to get over this issue.

Even when I was in college, I started realizing that I’d think about how I’d want to do something before I actually tried. In retrospect, it probably cost me some good opportunities here and there.

Here are some of the reasons that people might over think something:

  • Worried about what other people might think.
  • Don’t want to start something else that they believe they might fail.
  • Not sure what the next step is.
  • Don’t want to waste time that could be used more productively.
  • Know what many next steps might be.

Do these sound similar to thoughts you’ve had? I know that for me, I’ve struggled with all of them at different points and continue to at times.

Needless to say overthinking things can happen at any level. Let’s look at how we can hack ourselves out of these thoughts that keep us in our comfort zone.


Look Beyond Yourself.

This is one that most of us struggle with as teenagers and early 20 year olds. We wonder if we’re good enough to go on the date with the cool guy or the pretty girl. We wonder if we’re good enough to get on the team. We believe that if we aren’t perfect at school or whatever that we take seriously, that other people won’t take us seriously in the future – meaning that we won’t get into that great school or land that awesome first opportunity.

Personally, for me, I lived in this cage for a good part of my life. I think I started caring when I was constantly bullied in school. And I have to say that really made me worry what others thought of me until 2011.


Then I was given a task to do: make 100 cold calls a week.

That’s what it took to break me out of my mold.


When I was doing those calls, I stopped worrying about what others were going to think of me. What I started to think about was what I was going to be able to do for them.

Here’s the key. When you don’t want to care about what others think of you, you need to realize that you taking action can help others. Sure, it can be people you don’t know with products you believe in (that’s key). But it can also be your friends and family.

By setting the example to do something new, you’re being an example of what’s possible.

However, you might have a deeper issue than that. Sure, you want to be a speaker on a stage sometime, and you realize how many people that would help. But you don’t see yourself as a speaker. In fact, you might have a speech impediment that’s keeping you from getting your message out.

However, it’s still possible for you to become that speaker.


Well, for one, there are some speakers and comedians that have overcome some major hurdles in their lives to do the role that they do. Some of my favorite personalities are those who don’t see their disability as a disability – they see it as a way that sets them apart from the crowd.

One example of a comedian who does this is Josh Blue who has cerebral palsy. (If you want more, he has a special on Netflix.)

Another comedian that I love is Zach Anner – check out his YouTube channel here.

Yet another example is a Christian motivational speaker that you possibly might have heard about is Nick Vujicic who doesn’t have any limbs.

How did these guys get over their hurdles?

  • First off, they realized that doing what they felt they were being called to do was more important than what others might think.
  • They also realized, as we talked about before, that doing this new activity would make a difference in people’s lives.
  • But I think the main thing is that they were able to ask themselves this question: “What’s the worst thing that can happen from this?” and realize that while they might get the occasional heckler, not many bad things can actually happen from doing what they love to do.

Another way that you might be able to get over what others think of you is to simply focus on doing things that you know you have control over that are related to the task that you’re wanting to do.

When I was trying to get over my fear of doing cold calls, I started doing something I knew I could do. Call people that I already knew. That got me used to talking with people.

From there, I would call warm leads that I didn’t know. People that responded to an email that had already been sent.

During that time, I realized that not all those people had actually seen the email. So after a few of those, I realized that essentially I was doing cold calls anyway.

Well from there, I just started cold calling using a line similar to “Hi, this is JC in response to the email that <insert name> showed an interest in. Are they available?” This usually got me past the gatekeeper. From there, if they didn’t know what I was talking about, I just simply said “Oh yeah. Well, basically it was talking about this <insert topic>. Do you know how knowing how to do that would impact your business?

If you’re looking to become a speaker, maybe you can become a member of a nearby Toastmasters group?


Get Help From Others

Perhaps your problem isn’t so much the fear of doing something, but you currently don’t have the knowledge to get the task accomplished on your own. You don’t know what to do next. Or maybe you just don’t have the time to get proficient at yet another skill. This is when you ask for some help.

The first thing you can do is simply see what other people in your situation have done. When it comes to New Inceptions, you guys know I usually seek help from Fizzle. If there’s no answer there, I’ll go on over to SPI. If Pat doesn’t have an answer, I’ll check elsewhere.

Chances are that whatever you’re wanting to do, someone has probably already done it and they’ve made their success available on the internet.

That said, John Maxwell regularly talks about knowing your strengths and bringing in people for your weaknesses. Sometimes you have to do that. You have to delegate for others to make the decision.

You already do this in your life. Like me, you probably already have a mechanic for your car. Why is that? Because you don’t know how to fix your car.

Do you have an IT guy to fix your computer? Maybe you do. Maybe you don’t. Personally, I’m my own IT guy for the most part.

While I don’t have to pay anyone to do this, there’s a ton of down time when I have to put that hat on. When it comes to the website, while I might be able to figure out how to make it more robust, there’s a big chance that when we do add additional features that I’ll need to hire someone else to work on it.


Accomplish 3 – 5 Things Daily

In the last segment, we discussed getting help to do things you don’t know anything about. However, that’s only going to get you so far.

Perhaps you know everything you should be doing, but because you’re busy doing other work, you find yourself not getting to the core work you should be doing.

The fix here is to set priorities by identifying what your objectives are. Ask yourself these kinds of questions:

  • What does your ultimate outcome look like?
  • What does success look like along this path?
  • How will you know if you’ve reached a goal?

Now figure out what the process is to accomplish these.

John Maxwell says it’s helpful to have a Rule of 5.

Simply said, if you find yourself trying to do everything, then nothing you do is going to be done well.

To solve this problem (which Chris Ducker calls Superman Syndrome) there’s going to be a time when you have to ask someone to do some of the work you might enjoy doing.

For example, I know I enjoy getting out and doing yard work. I think it comes from all the years that my mom and I did it. However, I realize that as New Inceptions becomes more popular, that I’m not going to be able to do all the work that I need to around the house.  I know that while I do enjoy doing it, I’m going to have to delegate that work to a professional.

Similarly, I’m going to do the same with the editing of my podcast. While I love working on each talk, eventually I’m going to have to hire it out so I can get my main 3 to 5 things done.


Daily Practice

As the above segment says, you have to do things daily to reach your goal. It’s not so much that that you have to be perfect at your work (we never are), but you should focus on being “Highly Ok”.

Pick which activity you’re going to do until it gets done. Don’t look back after choosing that activity. Do it until you have a stopping point.

And above all else. Set a hard time limit to get your 3 to 5 tasks done. Give yourself “working hours”.

Unless you’re Gary V., don’t be busy for busy’s sake. Don’t worry about hustling… unless you love the chase. In fact, you might want to consider having an anti-hustle lifestyle.

For even more on Anti-Hustling, check out this episode of the Fizzle Show:

Action Steps

The next time that you find yourself overthinking about a specific subject. Remember that there is a resource (here) that might help you from stopping. Try out the recommendations that I’ve suggested. However, if it doesn’t help – I want you to come back and let me know where it’s failing. I’ll personally help you think of a strategy and then add to this resource about what we did!

AoL 025: Exploring the Hidden Truth of Vibrant Health with David Sandstrom

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AoL 012: Living A Life Of Adventure With Marianne Jennings

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Cam Adair: From Video Game Addict To Life Changer (AoL 008)

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Top 10 Podcasts You Could Be Listening To (and 5 You Can Start On!)

Inspired by Cam’s video above, I thought I’d share with you all the podcasts that yours truly listens to as well. I mean, one of the things that we want to do in the newly created New Inceptions Masterminder group on Facebook is feature other people’s work. Not only does it build community when you promote others, but it also helps people find things they might not have known about in the past.

One of the things that LTD talked about all the time and that you might have heard is the phrase Leaders are Readers.

And I think that phrase has it’s merit. I believe to be a leader that you constantly have to be learning. When you’re learning, you’re moving forward. Likewise, if you’re not learning, you’re moving backwards.

However I believe that in today’s age many people don’t read as much as they used to. For example, while Facebook is full of text, it’s the videos that tend to go viral – not posts. For me, I’m naturally an audio person. I feel that videos and books must have your full attention to leave an impression. However, with audio (radio, podcasts, books on tape) I feel that you can be doing something (driving, walking, working out) and still be somewhat engaged in the material that you’re listening to.

So audio, I believe, is the one medium that every expert or online business person should be utilizing to build their audience. I’d imagine that podcasters would agree with this.


If you’ve never listened to a podcast, it’s never too late to start. Podcasts are generally free and can range in all kinds of topics, as Cam mentioned in the video above. I’ve been aware of them since I first had an iPod (2007’ish) but I believe they’ve been around longer than that. The reason you might not have heard too much about them is because they’ve been in somewhat of a rollercoaster of popularity over the years, but I think this current swing is a fairly large one.

So to help you get started (or maybe to just give you some more options), I’m going to share with you 10 podcasts that I’m currently listening to on a regular basis. And then, I’m going to give you my top 5 that I recommend that you should definitely add to your list whether or not you currently listen to them or are a newbie listener.

I will point out that I don’t expect you to listen to all of these all the time. Unless you commute daily and consider your car to be a mobile university, my recommendation would to pick topics that interest you.

The Top 10 Podcasts I’m Currently Listening To:

Smart Passive Income (Average Run Time [ART]: 45 minutes) – This is the first podcast that I ever started listening to. Over the years, Pat has done remarkably well with it. While I don’t visit his blog as much as I once did and don’t find myself regularly checking out his other material (which includes 2 more podcasts, a regular programmed YouTube channel, and “playing” around on Periscope), I do keep coming back to the original podcast. I think the main reason is his wide scope of guests that he has on the show. While he does manage to get big names on there from time to time (Gary Vee and Tim Ferris to name a couple), I think his real bread and butter is highlighting normal people who have successfully built an online business.

Solopreneur Hour (ART: 1 hour+) – Michael and his show recently came on the radar a couple of months ago when he was interview by Pat. I completely love his style of talking with people very casually. Just in the little bit of time that I’ve been listening, there have been HUGE bombs of wisdom dropped that I’ve used in either mindset or just getting things done. His background is definitely interesting in that he’s had big swings in his success. He’s killed it recently in the MLM world, but before that he moved from one place to another, struggling as he went. Oh and he loves his dog.

Joel Osteen Podcast (ART: 25 minutes)- This particular “podcast” helped me quite a bit when I lost my mom back in 2011. I was going through a transitional time in my life and having her pass just added to all the emotions of leaving college and entering “the real world”. While Joel might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I do think that certain people that are on hard times can be picked up by his inspirational message. Generally Maria and I will listen to this one together. (Also, there’s a video version of it as well as it’s simply the recording of his weekly televised show.)

The Charged Life (ART: 12 minutes) – Not as spiritual as Joel’s podcast, Brendon’s podcast is a quick message that he delivers about certain topics related to getting his listeners out of what he calls the “Caged” and “Comfortable” life. Like Joel’s podcast, there’s a video version of this one too which you can find on YouTube.

The Way I Heard It (ART: 5 – 7 minutes) – As being a fan of Mike Rowe since he started Dirty Jobs, I feel like I’m kind of in the same boat as him. Especially when it comes to how he is amazed by interesting people who do interesting things. This particular podcast was talked about during his interview with Tim Ferriss, and I thought I’d give it a go. Really glad I did! If you liked Paul Harvey’s The Rest of the Story, then you’ll love this – which is done in the same fashion.

Unmistakable Creative (ART: 55 minutes) – This show originally started out as the show which was geared pretty much towards to what Pat talks about. In fact, Pat had Srinivas, the host, on his show back in 2013. However, around the time that Srini was on Glenn Beck’s show, was when the podcast was changed to it’s current form. At any rate, I’m still a fan of Srini’s and love the guests that he has on here.

The Fizzle Show (ART: 1 hour) – Another podcast and group I heard about from Pat’s podcast. While I love Pat, having three hosts on a podcast sounded very unique to me. While this format works well on the radio, not many people have used it for pure podcasting – at least not with the ones I’m familiar with. It’s because of this show that we decided to go with format that we did for the Angles of Lattitude Podcast. (Also, remember, that you can get your first month of being a Fizzler for free by going through this link here.)

Art of Charm (ART: 15 minutes to 1 hour) – Jordan Harbinger and his pals started the Art of Charm as a coaching service to guys who wanted to be better men. For a long time, that was the focus of the show. However, as soon as I started listening to the show regularly in 2012-2013, they started changing the focus a little more on just finding out how interesting guests became their current successful self. I will say that if you’re anyone who needs to work on your self image or confidence, that this might be a show worth your time to listen to. Guests on the show include upper tier successes.

StarTalk Radio (ART: 50 minutes) – I think this was the 2nd podcast I started listening to. It’s funny, but Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of my favorite popular scientists in today’s pop culture. He was the 1st host of the recent Cosmos (there might be future seasons from what I hear) and he’s also known for his phrase “We have a badass over here”. So it seems fitting that he hosts a show (typically with a comedian co-host) where they talk with guests about pop culture and science.

The School of Greatness (ART: 5 minutes to 1 hour+) – Like many other podcasts that release multiple times a week, the School of Greatness by Lewis Howes has long shows and a short show on Friday. Personally, I picked his podcast up in 2013 when I heard that he had started it. Being familiar with him by him being Pat’s podcast (where else?) and talking about webinars and LinkedIn, I thought he might be interesting to listen to as well. Fast forward a couple of years and I think he’s more known for doing the show now than he was with those previous topics. Types of guests that he has on the show typically are pretty successful, but a lot of the time he tends to mix in some pretty good topic editions (those are normally his short ones).

My Recommended Top 5 Podcasts for the Podcast Newbie

If you’re just getting into podcasts, I wouldn’t recommend subscribing on iTunes to all of these just yet. Honestly, there’s a crap load of information coming from these folks and I don’t want you to get hammered with too much all at once. If you’re finding my list, there’s a good chance you have an interest in improving your career. So, what I’ll do for you is give you the ones I think would help you out the most in that quest. Then later on, you can come back and subscribe to the other ones I listen to for edutainment.

These are in order of how relevant they are based on where you might be in your career. The first three are for anyone while the latter two are geared more towards people who want to be experts in their field.

  1. Art of Charm – Basically just teaches people how to crush it all around – in their jobs, in their relationships, and in life. Jordan is very engaged with his guests which is interesting. You can tell he does his homework. He comes across as a fan of everyone he talks to.
  2. School of Greatness – Like the Art of Charm, however, Lewis lets the guest talk way more which definitely makes it a different show.
  3. The Charged Life – I think more people need to be aware of Brendon and what he offers. Ideally, at New Inceptions, we’re trying to help you move from a Caged or Comfortable life to a Charged Life as well.
  4. Smart Passive Income – I think it’s important that people know that there’s a way that you can make an income on the side using the skills that you already use day in and day out. While Brendon does that for a premium (he can, too – he shows you EVERYTHING you need to do to be a success in expert space) Pat shows you how to do it all for free. He’s also exposed so much of the world to me in general, that I couldn’t not post his show.
  5. Solopreneur Hour – I like his technique. It’s hard to say how much he actually researches his guests, but I think that adds to his style. He and Pat say that they don’t research their guests too much because they want to sound more authentic when finding things out. However, he does seem to know a lot about most of them. I like the conversation effect that this gives his show.


I’d love for you to check these out and let us know what you think. If you’re a podcast newbie, take a listen to my recommended top 5 and let us know which one sounds the most interesting to you. What did you like about them? What didn’t you like about them? If you were to make a podcast, what would you focus on? If you’re already a host, please let us know about your podcast below. Be sure to tell us why you started it and what your focus is. Let yourself be heard!