#28. The ultimate ‘X-factor’: how confidence drives entrepreneurs to bend rules & supercharge profits

Season 3: ‘Mindset of the disruptive entrepreneur’, Episode 3

There’s an argument that success in business all starts with a strong sense of confidence. In this episode a business psychologist, a start up guru, and an indigenous entrepreneur share what it takes to ‘bend the rules’, and why having the courage to be disliked is so important.

Guest Bios:

Stephanie Thompson is business psychologist & the founder of Insight Matters https://www.linkedin.com/in/insightinitiatives/

Rachael Neumann is the founder of Flying Fix Ventures and is a board member of StartupAus https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachaelneumann/

Morgan Coleman is the founder of Vets On Call https://www.linkedin.com/in/morgancoleman1/

What to listen out for:

2.01 The story of Ferran Adriá & the restaurant El Bulli

10.34 Stephanie Thompson deconstructs confidence

13.10 What problems can overconfidence cause for leaders and organisations ‘

16.51 Rachael Neumann on what she believes has given her interdisciplinary thinking

24.29 Lifting the lid on bending or break established rules

29.33 What drove Morgan Coleman to become a founder of a tech business

38.36 How discouragement can push you to do better and make you more resilient

40.33 Using baby steps to build confidence

42.07 The definition of ‘Power Posing’

45.30 Top 3 points of this episode

47.01 Inspiring Pablo Picasso quote for all aspiring and practicing entrepreneurs

Resources & links:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Bulli

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Transcript
Darren Moffatt:

Hi there and welcome to the nerds of business podcast. My name is Darren Moffatt. I'm a director at Webbuzz, the growth marketing agency. And I'm your host. It's great to have you with us. If your new to this podcast, our vision is to make entrepreneurs happier by solving the key challenges that all businesses must overcome. In this series, we're exploring mindset. And in particular, the mindset of the very elite, those disruptive entrepreneurs who are re-imagining the world in which we all live. So far in the previous episodes, we've looked at how top entrepreneurs use resilience and creativity to power a winning mindset and smash competitors. But there's a strong argument that it all starts with a key interpersonal trait, confidence. When you think about it, it's impossible to imagine the achievements of famous entrepreneurs without it, whether it's Tesla, Facebook, Virgin, Amazon, Uber, or Airbnb, the founders of these companies all possess a nuclear level of confidence. It's the bedrock from which they launch and scale such iconic brands. And it's also the gateway to other attributes that investors seek in leadership teams, such as a willingness to break the established rules and even the courage to be disliked. For our opening story today, we've got something really quite exotic. We delve into the world of gastronomy and hot cuisine to reveal an intoxicating tale of confidence, passion and innovation.

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Darren Moffatt:The year is:Darren Moffatt:years after taking charge in:Darren Moffatt:strategy pays off and between:Darren Moffatt:

Now, I hope you enjoyed that story as much as I did. I've actually been looking for the opportunity to run a restaurant case study for ages. Uh, because when I was at university, I spent several years working as a cook. And at one point I was actually cooking up to 300 steaks per night to order, true story. Although I'm definitely no Gordon Ramsey, I have worked in commercial kitchens, and I know the restaurant game. It's generally a low margin industry with very predictable business models, which makes what if Ferran Adriá achieved all the more remarkable, from a marketing perspective, he was able to manufacture extreme demand in what is otherwise a highly commoditized market. There are probably thousands of restaurants in Catalonia alone. Sure. He's food was amazing, but a good product can only take you so far, his idea to shut for half a year, and then insist that all bookings for the trading season be made in just one day will be recognizable to experienced marketers as a canny mix of scarcity and time limited offer, but to attempt such a feat, let alone, pull it off, takes buckets of self-belief. If you're running a business or planning to become a disruptive entrepreneurial self, how can you harness the power of confidence to write your own rules and forge an irresistible path to market domination?

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Darren Moffatt:

This is nerds of business. We will start the show in a minute, but first a word from our sponsor. Hi everyone, it's your host, Darren here with a special announcement. We've launched a new website for the [email protected] You can find all the episodes, transcriptions and information on our guests at this new address. So come and take a look at nerdsofbusiness.com. And while you're there, sign up to our newsletter for early access to unreleased content and special offers that we'll be releasing real soon. It's the best place to totally nerd out.

Darren Moffatt:

So, the title of today's episode and the problem we're trying to solve is how entrepreneurs use confidence to bend the rules and supercharge profits. It's an exciting show today, and we've got some truly inspiring guests, up soon You'll hear from a business psychologist who shares an incredible technique, actually called power posing and a Stanford graduate and tech leader who shares her origin story. And our feature interview today is a real gem. We speak with a young indigenous entrepreneur. Who's overcome disadvantage to become a disruptor in the $3.7 billion market for veterinary services here in Australia. But first here's just a quick reminder that if you're enjoying nerds of business, to please hit the subscribe button on your podcast player. It means you'll automatically receive each new episode every fortnight, and it makes it easier for us to stay in touch. On one level, Confidence is such a mystery for those who have it in abundance life from the outside at least seems easy, but for a good chunk of the population and indeed many businesses owners’ self-confidence is a daily battle.

Darren Moffatt:

I wanted to find out where confidence comes from. So, I turned to our mindset expert for this series. Stephanie Thompson. Stephanie is a qualified psychologist and business coach based in Sydney, Australia, with over 25 years’ experience helping executive leaders and entrepreneurs to optimize their mindset and performance. She's the founder of her practice insight matters. And she's regularly in the media appearing on the ABC, channel nine, the financial review and more, I began by asking her to deconstruct confidence. And she goes on to explain why a thick skin is important in an entrepreneur, but also why overconfidence is a danger for founders and leadership teams.

Stephanie Thompson:

Some of it might be inborn. Yep. Some of it is nurture in early life. A lot of it though is learning just from exposure. And we tend to have, uh, this notion that confidence should come before a thing. So well, oh, I, I'm not confident enough to do this thing. I'll wait till I'm more confident and then I'll do this thing. But in reality, most of the time as an adult confidence comes after the fact, not before. So, I do this thing. I realized I survived. It went quite well and now I'm considerably more confident.

Darren Moffatt:

Yep. So, it's really, you improve it by doing. Yes. Yep. Okay, great. And you know, there are loads of stories, um, in recent years, but also, um, in decades past about disruptive entrepreneurs, who've got a really thick skin, you know, they they've really had the courage to be seriously disliked. Um, a great example is, um, the guy from Uber, you know, he was famously took on governments and local councils all around the world. Um, and, um, and essentially won, so how unusual is this and what advantages does it give the disruptive entrepreneur with that particular attribute?

Stephanie Thompson:

The thicker skin is quite typical, I would say and necessary in a way, similar to what we were discussing about optimism, in that it's necessary for the push through in that there will always be the negative voice. There will always be the disapproving opinion. And if somebody doesn't have that courage to persist, regardless, it's just not going to happen. So, you can imagine some people are more apologetic kind of characters, and they might have an idea. They might be pursuing something and then somebody is offended, and they criticize them, and they shut it down. And it's oh, I'm, you know, I'm sorry. Yes, my bad, of course. Yeah, silly me. And it stops in its tracks. Whereas the thickest-skinned person who has some courage to absorb disapproval will persist regardless.

Darren Moffatt:

So, Stephanie, in those entrepreneurs who I do have that thick skin, you know, is, is overconfidence common. And what problems can that cause for leaders and the organizations they lead.

Stephanie Thompson:

It's a matter of judgment whether, somebody's overconfident or not. Because of course, to some extent, people tend to follow a confident leader. It's inspiring to be in the presence of somebody who literally inspires confidence through their own confidence. Of course, it can go too far, if you're not at all sensitive to somebody else's disapproval. Um, it starts at the extreme, it starts to look a bit sociopathic, as it says, I don't care what you think. I don't care about the impact on you. So as is the case for many things, the extremes are where the problems tend to come in and staff will leave for one thing. They may follow a confident leader to a point, but if they feel that even they're not important or that the ethics of the business, for example, are not important. Well, as long as I make a sale, don't care who it harms. Um, doesn't bother me, let them try and sue me too far. Yeah.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I think the real implications for this, as you touched on is with the people and, um, I might take that a step further, it's the culture. I would imagine that's when it can really start to affect the culture of the organization. Uh, and if you've got a really overconfident leader, the skin is too thick. That sets the example for staff, poor culture, bad outcomes for customers and stakeholders.

Stephanie Thompson:

Yeah. Yes. I think a lot of it comes down to ethics and care. Actually. It's possible to have a thick skin. In fact, I've seen this in profiling people in detail. Psychometrically, I've seen people with very thick skins who still actually care. They may not perceive naturally the impact on other people, but it's not that they don't care about it once it's brought to their attention. Right.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. Okay. Is that a relatively unusual mix?

Stephanie Thompson:

It is, yes.

Darren Moffatt:

Stephanie will return later in the episode with some tips on how to improve your own confidence as a business leader, including that awesome technique called power posing. So, stick around for that. I loved what Stephanie said earlier. Confidence comes from doing this rang so true for me. I've always believed that the wider your field of experience, the more capable and confident you become both in business and in life. This was a strong theme in the chat with my next guest. Rachael Neumann is the founder of flying Fox ventures, an early-stage venture firm for angel investors based in Melbourne Australia. Prior to that, she was the managing director of event brite, for Australia and New Zealand and the head of startups at Amazon web services, where she worked with literally thousands of entrepreneurs. She's also served as the chair of startup Oz, which is Australia's national startup advocacy and lobbying group. So, she's a highly respected leader in the startup ecosystem who knows exactly what it takes to be a disruptive entrepreneur, listen to Rachael as she shares her story. And I think you'll be struck by the diversity of life experience and also how this has been a direct import into the success she's enjoyed so far.

Rachael Neumann:

Yeah. And I think that, um, when I look back at my career, this is not something that I planned or could have predicted. Right. And I think that's important for folks to realize that, um, for many of us, it is around serendipity it's around saying yes to lots of weird opportunities and being open to chops and changes that ends up, uh, kind of creating these types of lives. There are lots of young folks who ask me like, oh, how do I get a career in investing? It's like, oh, well, like there are, this is a choose your own adventure, right? So, I'm happy to share, um, you know, my experience and then just, you know, actual results may vary. And I actually believe that it is the many twists and turns that my life has taken, um, that has given me some of that interdisciplinary thinking and that kind of wider, um, broader global mindset.

Rachael Neumann:to:Rachael Neumann:

And on paper, they actually were for a while, there was some fast cars. Um, and so I was like, wow, this is so amazing. It's so amazing to be in this environment and have this ecosystem where you can have brilliant ideas and like young people, you know, 19, 20-year-olds can have ideas, can be, you know, pair up with other incredibly talented people, get capital injected into them and then start running for the races. Um, and then we know how this story ended, that most of those companies went bust. A lot of my classmates came back to school. Um, but rather than it turned me off, I just thought this is so exciting. It is so exciting. It just felt like this great democratization that anyone with an idea with hustle, with, you know, the ability to persuade another, a few other fools to come along for the ride could really make something.

Rachael Neumann:

And so, uh, I think that that really important part of my DNA, having witnessed that and having been surrounded by so many entrepreneurial people, um, immediately after Stanford, I actually went into an investment role. I was, uh, at a fund called New Schools venture fund, which is an impact investing fund focused on public education, but it was founded by John Doerr who's one of the legends of investing from Kleiner Perkins. Um, and so I just had this incredible opportunity to, you know, learn from masters of investing. I got to sit in at, um, you know, in Kleiner meetings, I had a short stint where I was assisting some partners at Sequoia. So just my early, uh, work experience, I got to witness, um, some pretty great investing in the bay area. Um, and then I had the fun part. The fun part was, you know, I, in addition to getting an MBA, I had a master's in public health.

Rachael Neumann:

I worked in refugee camps. I, you know, ended up a management consultant for my sins. Um, and then this magic moment happened when I was, I was back and forth between Australia, um, for love. And then I was in the bay area, and I met the founders of Eventbrite and there aren't that many things that I know how to do well at this point. And still, I think is the case, but there are one or two things that I do know how to do very well. And that thing is how to get growth out of deeply understanding customer problems and create a differentiated customer experiences and unlock growth. And I met the founders of Eventbrite, um, at a party actually. And I was telling them what I did with this management consulting firm with large companies. And they said, do you think that's something you could do here?

Rachael Neumann:

And I said, I'd love to try. And that began my event brite experience and event brite is one of those very typical startup experiences where the role you come in at is never the role you leave. And in a few years, I had done everything from run a customer support team to open an office in Nashville, um, experiment with a bunch of new consumer offerings, open Australia, become the managing director. Um, and that company just experienced, you know, pretty tremendous growth during my time there. So that's where I kind of cut my teeth as a startup operator, um, and then have been very fortunate to invest and advise in some amazing companies. since, I had a wonderful time at Amazon web services, working with startups there, and now I'm just super excited to be doing my own thing. And like I said, putting fuel on the fire of other amazing founders.

Darren Moffatt:

Well, what a wonderful story. And, um, what I liked so much about that was a couple of things just to like to pluck out of that and highlight one is the, uh, the contrasting experience, you know, you've, you've, you've had you, haven't just stuck to the one lane. You've obviously you had a rich experience of life, you know, as you mentioned, you worked in refugee camps. Um, you know, and I find that, uh, a lot of people or founders, uh, successful founders in particular have that very rich life experience, you know, they can draw on lots of different ways of thinking, you know, lots of different ideas. Um, some import ideas that work in different markets or different contexts into their particular product. And the other thing I like about is the serendipity, going to a party, um, you know, uh, I think that's wonderful and, you know, it's soft in the case, isn't it? You know, it's just that sort of chance thing that changes life on a dime.

Rachael Neumann:

And I think you, you made such a great point around the import, because for example, when I worked in refugee camps, what I did there was I had pitched to the UN high commission of refugees, a model of design of kind of designing and scaling a system of health clinics in the camps that I had pulled completely from the model that we use in investing in schools. Um, at that time, um, it was charter schools and there were companies called CMOs charter management organizations. And I looked at that model for school administration. And I said, you know, this could work in a clinical setting in refugee camps. And so, I think that is like one of my very few superpowers. Um, and I think then consulting helped to, uh, hone that skill, which is what can I learn from one place and apply it somewhere else, try fail, or maybe it'll work, but how to take something from a completely different context, um, and bring that together.

Rachael Neumann:

And I think that now fast forward to early stage investing, this is where you, you know, you need to have the ability to see something that doesn't exist yet. And so, whether that is data points from other places in your life or crazy experiences you've had given you both the, either like the guts or the, the conviction that you need to say, you know, this totally new thing could possibly work here because I've seen it work in a very different context, but I roughly have a blueprint. Um, and so that, that importing thing is something that I do quite, uh, quite frequently. And I think that founders that's a great advice to founders is you don't have to reinvent every wheel every time to do something new and novel. So often something new and novel is something that is very standard with one or two extremely novel attributes.

Darren Moffatt:

One of the common hallmarks of truly disruptive entrepreneurs is an inclination to bend or even break the established rules, business psychologist, Stephanie Thompson lifts the lid on this behavior and explains why it's so important.

Stephanie Thompson:

Well, it can come from a bit of healthy rebellion or sometimes perhaps from an unhealthy entitlement. I think it tends to begin early. I see this as a trait that is apparent when somebody is young, rather than something that develops later.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. So, it's not, it's not like someone who's been generally a rule follower for most of their life then gets into their twenties, starts a business and starts breaking all kinds of rules. Like it's, it emerges early in childhood, early teens. And, you know, what does that look like? What are some of the telltale signs, you know, um, if you are looking for a rule breaker, rule bending entrepreneur, like how does that manifest.

Stephanie Thompson:

How does it manifest when they're young or as

Darren Moffatt:

Either way, when they're young or later on.

Stephanie Thompson:

Yes, I suppose when you're young, it's just being a little bit, a little bit naughty. In fact, that word is often used, isn't it? On a parent teacher night. Yeah. Maggie is a lovely girl, but she's very disruptive in class. The word disruptive. Yeah.

Darren Moffatt:

That's, that's a good point

Stephanie Thompson:

The clue is in the heading.

Darren Moffatt:

It's clue in the heading and then you're quite right. So, it, you naughty children, those disruptive children that may well be, you know, had more of that psychology at that point, that's going to lead to that kind of those kinds of behaviors later on. Um,

Stephanie Thompson:

So, in contrast to the good girl, good boy, rule follower at school.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. And so, you know, this tendency to break rules, um, does this always correlate with the courage to be disliked?

Stephanie Thompson:

I'd say there's a lot of overlap, because the rules are made by humans that collectively as a community, we say, we think things should be this way and we feel strongly about it. That we'll make a rule. Yeah. So, if you're pushing up against that and saying, no, hey, I think you should be different. Um, there's a bravery in that.

Darren Moffatt:

Why do you think, you know, someone that's saying a lot of top entrepreneurs up-close and business leaders up close, like why is this rural bending a trait so important in a disruptive entrepreneur?

Stephanie Thompson:

I suppose it depends on the strictness of the rules and then some rules are quite formal. Yeah. Don't, don't break the law. Um, whereas, but on the other hand, when we think of some of our biggest global, uh, disruptive entrepreneurs, they, they break all kinds of laws. They sort of remake them essentially seem to have amazing power to work around them. Things that would have us in handcuffs they seem to get away with.

Darren Moffatt:of vets on call, launched in:Morgan Coleman:

I think it depends on what you classify a business. Um, because you know, I've been tinkering with businesses since I was a kid. I remember, um, my first business actually was that we had, um, we had chickens at home, and I would sell the surplus X to, uh, to the teachers at school. And, um, I wanted to expand that business. So, I went and bought some more chickens, um, at the local livestock auctions for what I think they were like 40 cents a chicken at the time. Um, but unknowingly bought some roosters and it wasn't long before my customers were complaining that they had fertilized eggs hitting their frying pan. So, uh, that was, that was my first ever business. And then it came to a pretty abrupt halt, but, uh, I think this is the first business that's, you know, being something of this scale. The others have sort of been little side hustles or, you know, tinkering with different kind of problems.

Darren Moffatt:

And how did you end up becoming the founder of a tech business? Like Vet's on Call, I mean, what was maybe step through that sort of discovery process of the problem? Um, you know, I think there's a good story there, you might like to share with us.

Morgan Coleman:

Yeah, certainly. So, I think, like I said, you know, I've always had the urge to do my business and, um, as a, as a kid growing up, like I always had that sort of affinity towards like the Richard Branson's of the world and, um, kind of wanted to emulate them as I grew up. But, you know, I was, I was the only indigenous kid in my school, um, and you know, I think.

Darren Moffatt:

Where abouts did you grow up Morgan? Which, which part of the country we're talking about.

Morgan Coleman:

I grew up in Bendigo at the time was a pretty, uh, it was one of the least multicultural, um, towns in the country, I think when I was growing up there. So, um, very like predominantly Anglo-Saxon Catholic. Uh, and I think one of the things that struck me at that time, like him upon reflection as an adult is that, you know, the low expectations that we had for indigenous kids, um, and indigenous people. And it seemed like at that time, like if you didn't succeed at sport, you just weren't going to succeed. So, I think, you know, throughout my teen years, I probably set my, um, my goals pretty low because of that. And I do remember the moment when I thought I'm not going to be a footy player and like my whole world kind of came crashing down. Um, and so from that, I ended up actually, I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship to Melbourne university, and that was kind of a bit of a tipping point in, for me, when I thought, you know, someone that's never met me, um, has never even had anything to do with me, believes in my ability to succeed.

Morgan Coleman:

And that's sort of what started me, like, I guess, kickstarted the ambition engine within me. Um, I started working in a, in a corporate, um, following graduation and I was there for four years and three were amazing, three were, you know, I thought this is the place that I'm going to be for a long time. And this is how I'll change, you know, my life and my family's life for the better. Um, and the fourth year was, was the opposite. It was probably the worst year of my life. Um, and I just felt completely disempowered. I felt like, um, you know, it was a, it was a really frightening time considering that this is where I thought, like, this is how I'm going to change my family's life. Um, and I remember sitting there one day and I was just looking over the computers and I was feeling miserable and I'm looking around the office and I just thought to myself, you know, I'm bigger than this.

Morgan Coleman:

This is not where I'm meant to be. And what struck me in that moment was that I needed to forge my own path. I needed to be the one that's set in my destiny, and it needed to be something where I felt empowered. Um, and I just knew that business was my, kind of with my bias. So, I also thought though, in those, in that moment, I remember thinking I'm gonna go start a business. I don't know what it's going to be, but there's three criteria that it has too here. It has to be infinitely scalable. It has to be something that's got the potential to become a household name. And then thirdly, it has to be something that I could potentially do from anywhere. So, um, tech kind of made sense because it was, you know, it's scalable, um, something disruptive. That was what I was thinking around the household name, um, and tech, you know, I could do from anywhere.

Morgan Coleman:

So, I think it sounds a little bit vain to say that it needed to become a household name, but the reason behind that is because it kind of goes back to when I was a teenager realizing I wasn't gonna play football because in that moment, I remember thinking like, well, if I don't succeed at sport, like what other pathways are there for me to succeed? And every indigenous person, you sort of succeeding back then, like in the nineties and early two thousand, they were all sporting people. And so, you know, I wanted to be like, I wanted my business, whatever it was going to be at that time, uh, to be something that other indigenous people could look at in the future and go, well, he did that. I was just going to say, I think if you're disrupting something, you know, you need to be prepared that you're going to piss people off. Um, people become accustomed, and they become comfortable with the status quo. And they also, you get powerful people or businesses in the industry that are doing exceedingly well with the status quo, and they want it to stay like that for as long as possible, because it means that they just keep cashing in those cheques. So, if you're a disruptor to that, you need to be willing to weather the storm that they're inevitably going to fail. It's probably you.

Darren Moffatt:

And do you have a story that maybe you can share with us, you know, like where you had some, a specific challenge, you went through a really, a bit of a tough time getting over a certain hurdle or stage in the business, and it might be related to resistance from industry or what have you. But if you've got a specific story that particularly illustrates that resilience or perseverance, that that'd be really great to hear.

Morgan Coleman:

Well one that comes to mind is one that's just happened recently, um, became aware that there was a handful of vets that were, uh, disparaging me and vets on call, um, on online platforms. And I looked through the names I've never had, I've never spoken to any of them. None of them have had anything to do with vets on call, which means that they actually know, you know, they've not had any insight to how we do things. Um, and there were some pretty, how would I say mischaracterizations of myself and of the business. And, you know, I think I really sort of grappled with that for a couple of days. Um, and it wasn't sort of until I spoke with my mentor about it, and he just got really excited, he got really excited about it and it's like, you've got haters. This is great.

Morgan Coleman:

You know, was like, this is the progress that you need. Um, so I think that, you know, it comes down to perception, but at the same time, like part of me at the time felt like, okay, I need to go and address these. Um, but at the, what I ended up coming to was like, no, it's not going to matter what I say or do or anything like that. There's always going to be people that don't want to say, uh, succeed, um, and, you know, feel threatened by what we're doing. And there's not a lot that I can do about that. And I truly believe in what we're doing and the value that we're bringing to vets and to pet owners. Um, and you know, what, you can't, you can't touch me. Um, you know, it's water off a Duck's back. And so, I think having that kind of mindset, like it's that resilience, like, that's something that you cultivate and it's something that you do at times really need to focus on, like, is this gonna Is this going to stop me? this worth stopping me? Um, and the answer inevitably for me was no. Um, but you know, I think that we've had those sorts of things throughout my life. And I think, you know, um, they're not the first people to tell me that I'm an idiot or something like that, or to try and stop me. And, um, they won't be the last.

Darren Moffatt:

Um, and well, thanks for sharing that story, that is a great example of resilience and, um, and overcoming those challenges and to your last point there, that you've had those experiences in your life. And you touched on it earlier, your experience in Bendigo as the only indigenous kid, you know, in the school. Um, here's a nature versus nurture question for you, you know, like, do you think our disruptive entrepreneurs are born that way or, or do they evolve, you know, like, so in your case, um, do you think, you know, you always had this in you or was it, or was it perhaps, was it a mix of those formative experiences over the years that really kind of, you know, pushed you in this direction?

Morgan Coleman:

This is something that I know who sounds, but I've given quite a lot of thought to this. So, um, I think there's some things that you are born with, you know, like I was born with ambition, um, you know, the fact that I grew up with a single mum, you know, and at times we were, you know, too poor fix the back door, like that I kind of think adds to that, but at the same time, like I could have been born into a wealthy family. I still believe that I would have been ambitious.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah.

Morgan Coleman:

Yeah. I like to build things and I like to; you know, I like to succeed. I mean, you know, that's something that certainly gives me validation. So, um, I think that that's something that I was born with, but I think at the same time, like there are certain things that you cultivate over your life. Like that resilience that I spoke about the mindset, you know, that to me really was a shift in how I am going to be more conscious of like the way that I engage with businesses and industries and, um, and products and services. Like that was a real shift in my mindset. And that's what helped me create the business that I have and the idea that I had to start it. Um, but you know, I think like you, you do your cultivate resilience and I can recall, uh, I can recall my, um, careers teacher actually telling me not to apply for Melbourne university because she didn't want me to be disappointed when the offers were announced.

Morgan Coleman:

And yeah, I remember her actually prior to that, walking through the classroom and encouraging everyone to apply for the best universities. And then she got to me and saw that I'd put Melbourne uni as first and, um, quietly encouraged me not to. And, you know, in those moments, like you sorta, like I was what 17 at the time. And I remember like sitting there thinking like, does that mean I'm not as good, you know, like, um, that kind of, in that moment, I felt like helpless and that didn't sit well with me. Like I went home, and I stewed over that, and you know, the sort of the next day I was like, no, never again. Like, and it doesn't matter what she says, I'm going to do what I want to do. And I'll find a way to make it work. And that's the resilience it's like, you know, as an entrepreneur, particularly if you're doing something that is disruptive, that's new because you have to educate both sides of the market. You have to educate, you know, the people that are going to be, um, your early adopters and you have to be, you have to take a lot of notes because you're convincing people to do things they've never done before. So being able to push through those no's and, and the challenges that you come up with on a day-to-day basis, you, you simply have to have resilience.

Darren Moffatt:

If you're a business owner or leader who wants to improve your sense of self-confidence, you won't want to miss this next segment, business psychologist, Stephanie Thompson shares some incredible practical tips, including a thing called power posing. Check this out.

Stephanie Thompson:

I do, actually you could imagine confidence is a topic that I discuss frequently with people. It's a very, very common question is how to be more confident in certain situations or confident generally in oneself. And there are all kinds of techniques. There are lots, but a couple that come to mind is one. One is the baby steps. Yep. So, if we take a very simple example, this is not really for an entrepreneur, but, um, a simple example, somebody who's not very confident talking to people, really core confidence. So, we might start by saying, well, exchange a few words. When you're at the checkout in the supermarket or buying a coffee, start there, exchange a few words, walk away. There's your baby steps exercise. And then from there, step up, step up, step up, step up. And suddenly, you know, you're in the auditorium with a thousand people.

Stephanie Thompson:

That's probably quite some time later, but, um, yes. So, there's exposure, therapy essentially. Then there are techniques such as editing one's self-talk. So, the talk that we have if you listen in, this is normal. Everybody has chitter chatter in the mind, almost everybody, some people say they don't. If you listen into that chat chatter, we listened for self-admonishing kind of chatter, and we edit it to be more supportive. So, you sound more like an inner coach. That's a nice technique. It takes a bit of looking into for each person. And then there's a really fun one. that's appeared in the last number of years called power posing. Have you come across that one?

Darren Moffatt:

No, I haven't. What is power posing Stephanie? It sounds intriguing. I've got no, no idea what it is.

Stephanie Thompson:

Right. Well, it's to do with the fact that, um, so for example, if you were looking at a number of people across the street, you could probably gauge something about how they're feeling and how confident they are just from looking at how they move and how they stand. And that's because our body, our structure, our posture, and our movement reflect how we feel. But the interesting thing is it's a feedback loop that goes both ways. So how we use our body and our posture and our expressions even also in turn affect how we feel. So, if we curl ourselves up into a frightened little fetus light ball, we tend to feel a little bit down and scared and not the best. Power posing takes our physiology intentionally in a confident direction. So, um, it's things like, uh, intentionally holding a posture for a few minutes. That is like, you just want to race or, um, uh, yes, it's tall and broad is the theme. Tall and broad. So, it's, yes, it's holding these strong, confident postures, and it there's research showing that it produces a more articulate and confident impression on others. Wow. That's an extreme synopsis, extreme, brief summary of power pose.

Darren Moffatt:

I love that. That's fascinating. How much of your work, you know, I would imagine comfortable, you just said competence is a fairly big part of what you do. Um, so how much of your work gets into that, that crucible point again, between the sort of the mental side and the physiology, you know, so right here, we're talking that posture, um, is, can help with the confidence. So how often do you actually sort of help people on, you know, how they sit, how they stand and, and movement, is that a fairly big part of what you do?

Stephanie Thompson:

It's a big love of mine, actually. I call it embodiment psychology. It's fascinating. And it's really a whole new area.

Darren Moffatt:

Again, the nerd bot is, uh, it's going crazy here. Embodiment psychology. That's what you call it. Yeah?

Stephanie Thompson:

It's the psychology. Yes. It's the science of embodiment. So being in one's body, yes, because when we were not a brain on a stick, you know, we, we think and perceive and act in the world with our entire mechanism. And so, I do teach power, posing and variations on that a lot more and more, it's always a winner.

Darren Moffatt:

So, the problem we set out to solve in this episode was how confidence drives entrepreneurs to bend rules and supercharge profits. Our mindset expert, Stephanie Thompson revealed the psychological theory behind confidence and Rachael Neumann shared her journey towards becoming a leader in the startup ecosystem. We also heard a compelling, real-life story from our featured entrepreneur guest, Morgan Coleman of Vet's on Call. I hope their wisdom and insights have given you some ideas to crack the code to growth in your own business. For me, there are three conclusions that we can all take from this episode. Number one, expand your field of experience. As our business psychologist, Stephanie said, humans get confident by doing, and this effect seems to grow exponentially, when you pursue a diverse lived experience.

Darren Moffatt:

I loved what Rachel had to say on this and how she's able to cross pollinate learnings from other parts of her life into ideas that generate a competitive advantage for her in business. Number two, get comfortable with being disliked as Morgan shared in the story of Vet's on call. He knew that his disruptive model would inevitably attract some criticism from the established players but note it didn't worry him and it certainly didn't stop him or even slow him down. This courage to be disliked is a manifestation of the confidence that all top entrepreneurs have. So, if you're a naturally sensitive person, maybe work on developing a thicker skin and number three, avoid the danger of overconfidence. As Stephanie said, confidence is great up to a point, but too much of it can lead to bad decision-making and poor culture. As we heard at the top of the episode in the El Bulli story, confidence in a founder creates the right conditions for innovation, not just in product development, but across the whole venture, including business model marketing and more in keeping with the Spanish theme of this episode, there’s a famous quote from the artist Pablo Picasso that I think should be an inspiration to all aspiring and practicing entrepreneurs.

Quote:

Learn the rules like a pro. So, you can break them like an artist.

Darren Moffatt:

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. I absolutely love that. It's a big call, but this might just be the defining philosophy of entrepreneurship in the digital age. Now, in case you might be getting the wrong idea, I'm not suggesting that you break the law or do anything illegal or unethical, but clearly when it comes to building businesses and dominating markets, the make shall not inherit the earth. Although every business is different and there's no such thing as a sure thing, we know that hard work, good advisors and a sound business plan, all boost a company's chance of success. But if you really want to tilt the odds in your favor, a confident leader is the ultimate X factor. We're coming to the end, but before we go, it's time for our regular segment nerd superpower, where a guest has to share one attribute or skill that gives them the edge in their market. Let's find out who our super nerd is today. We have another question for you, Morgan. And this is again, one of our very famous segments here at Nerds of business called.

Background Music:

Nerd Superpower.

Darren Moffatt:

So, the brief here, I think it's pretty obvious, right? We're asking you Morgan Coleman of on call. What's your one superpower as an entrepreneur that you think really gives you the edge.

Morgan Coleman:

So, uh, I'm a big fan of the X-Men series. Um, and one of my favorites, he's not a good guy, but he's the juggle, you know, he's unstoppable. Once he starts running, you just need to get out of the way. And I kind of see myself as a bit of a juggernaut, but a bit nimbler.

Darren Moffatt:

That is very nerdy Morgan. I love that. So, you brought the X-Man franchise into the conversation, but not only that you're on intimate terms with the juggernaut character, is that right?

Morgan Coleman:

Yeah. Yeah. Pretty much.

Darren Moffatt:

Yeah. You, you really relate to the juggernaut, once he gets going and he builds up that momentum, he's pretty much unstoppable and that's you. Yeah.

Morgan Coleman:

Yeah, I think, and that's the kind of mindset you have to have. It's like, if I set my mind to something I'm going to do it because inevitably there'll be many challenges that come up and you just have to have the mindset. It doesn't matter what happens. I'm going to find my way through.

Darren Moffatt:

Well, the crowd loves that.

Darren Moffatt:

Very popular guy here at Nerds of business Morgan. So, thanks for listening to episode 28 of the nerd’s business podcast. If you've enjoyed it, please leave a review on apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to your podcasts. It helps us climb up the ranks and become more visible to other people, just like you, remember, we want to help as many entrepreneurs and businesses as possible. If you've got a question or some feedback, we’d love to hear from you. You can engage with us at our new website, nerdsofbusiness.com, that's nerdsbusiness.com. So, feel free to out and say hello. I want to thank all of our guests and the team at Webbuzz for helping me put this show together. We'll be back in two weeks with our next episode, which is how to harness ambition and competitiveness to turbocharge your entrepreneurial drive. Until then I'm your host, Darren Moffatt. And I look forward to nerding out with you next time. Bye for now.

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