What We Discuss with Jennifer Cohen:
- Even the innately shy and introverted can develop a skill set of boldness to fearlessly pursue relationships, careers, and whatever bounties life has to offer.
- Why boldness is more important than intelligence when it comes to taking advantage of opportunities that come your way.
- How you can craft personal and professional connections without being schmoozy about it.
- Even Beyoncé needs to adopt an alter ego to pull off her legendary, larger-than-life feats of performance — so imagine what miracles adopting your own alter ego can work for you.
- How someone at rock bottom can still find ways to exercise gratitude and remain hopeful for better times ahead.
- And much more…
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You don’t have to be the world’s shyest introvert to feel like the boldness required to excel is just a little out of reach. As hard as you’ve tried, you just can’t seem to summon it on command, so you’ve written it off as something intrinsic only to magnetic powerhouses like Beyoncé, Britney Spears, and the hilarious Chuck from accounting who everybody frickin’ loves (including you). But what if we told you that boldness isn’t a finite quality only doled out to the luckiest of earthlings, but a skill you can actually develop with time and persistence?
On this episode, we’re joined by Jennifer Cohen, host of the Habits & Hustle podcast and author of Bigger, Better, Bolder: Live the Life You Want, Not the Life You Get. Here, we discuss why boldness is more important than intelligence when it comes to taking advantage of opportunities that come your way, how to identify the fears that prevent you from being bold, the small ways you can begin to challenge these fears while building your boldness, how persistence pays off, and much more. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Miss the conversation we had with behavioral economist Dan Ariely about the invisible (and often frustrating) clockwork that makes us tick? Catch up with episode 417: Dan Ariely | The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations here!
Thanks, Jennifer Cohen!
If you enjoyed this session with Jennifer Cohen, let her know by clicking on the link below and sending her a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Bigger, Better, Bolder: Live the Life You Want, Not the Life You Get by Jennifer Cohen | Amazon
- Habits & Hustle Podcast
- Jennifer Cohen | Website
- Jennifer Cohen | Instagram
- Jennifer Cohen | TikTok
- Jennifer Cohen | Facebook
- Jennifer Cohen | Twitter
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb: “The Three Most Harmful Addictions…” | Quote Catalog
- Analysis Paralysis | Investopedia
- Jennifer Cohen: The Secret to Getting Anything You Want in Life | TEDxBuckhead
- BJ Fogg | Tiny Habits That Change Everything | Jordan Harbinger
- Fake It Till You Make It: Is It Really Good Advice? | Science of People
- Daniel Pink | The Power of Regret | Jordan Harbinger
- The ‘Batman Effect’: How Having an Alter Ego Empowers You | BBC Worklife
- Todd Herman | The Alter Ego Effect | Jordan Harbinger
- Martin Seligman | Flourishing in an Uncertain Future | Jordan Harbinger
- The Science of Gratitude & How to Build a Gratitude Practice | Huberman Lab Podcast #47
- Amanda Knox | The Truth About True Crime | Jordan Harbinger
- Five Tips to Squash Your Inner Critical Voice | Life Kit
- What is Limbic Friction? | Huberman Lab Dexa
- Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy | Amazon
- James Clear | Forming Atomic Habits for Astronomic Results | Jordan Harbinger
- Mark Manson | Giving a F*ck About What Really Matters | Jordan Harbinger
- Are These Bad Times or Good Times? The Story of the Zen Farmer | Mindfulness
- Kobe Bryant | Dissecting the Mamba Mentality | Jordan Harbinger
- Gary Vaynerchuk | Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness | Jordan Harbinger
- Jennifer Cohen, Former Contributor | Forbes
- Why Jewel Says She Turned Down a Million-Dollar Signing Bonus When She Was Homeless | ABC News
- Jennifer Cohen: My Keanu Reeves Story! | TikTok
899: Jennifer Cohen | Live the Life You Want, Not the Life You Get
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:03] Jennifer Cohen: A lot of times in life, just doing something got them to a place where an opportunity or a place that they otherwise never would have even known about because they were at least like doing something, right? Something in motion stays in motion, something stagnant stays stagnant. So that's why if you just pick a direction, right, not the destination, you're at least on the path of motion on the path of action to get you a little closer to whatever, whatever that is.
[00:00:33] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker through long-form conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, performers, even the occasional undercover economic hitman, astronaut, national security advisor, or tech luminary.
[00:01:01] And if you're new to the show, or you want to tell your friends about the show, I suggest our episode starter packs. These are collections of our favorite episodes on persuasion, negotiation, psychology, geopolitics, disinformation, and cyber warfare, crime and cults, and more. To help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show, just visit jordanharbinger.com/start, or search for us in your Spotify app to get started.
[00:01:21] Today, this episode is a little bit more self-helpy than usual. I took a conversation that two friends had, that's me and my friend Jennifer Cohen, and we turned it into a podcast. It's a bit of a different format, a bit of a different topic or set of topics. If you're not into the self-help stuff, start with one of our other episodes. I won't be mad at you. But if you're new to the show, this isn't our usual beat, usual format. So maybe start with a starter pack.
[00:01:41] My friend Jen is a real go-getter. She's really punched above her weight, so to speak, in a lot of different areas. And it's all about being bold, creating a really great network of people around you. A lot of the Six-Minute Networking stuff that I've developed comes from a lot of the stuff that I've learned from her. She's really, really good at crafting connections, but not being schmoozy about it and essentially being bold instead of trying to be the smartest person or the most talented person in the room. She is both smart and talented, but I think we can all admit, I think we can all admit that smarts and talent don't always get us where we want to go. And Jen Cohen today is going to help us fill in some of the gaps.
[00:02:15] All right, here we go with Jennifer Cohen.
[00:02:20] You're actually the perfect person to teach boldness as a skill because it is in large part how you've gotten a lot of the things that you've gotten in your life. And I remember when I first met you, you just go for what you want, but I guess you weren't always that way.
[00:02:32] Jennifer Cohen: Well, it's not that I wasn't. I think maybe what the problem is that people assume that you're either born bold or you're not. And I really believe this is that it's an acquired skill that anyone can get better at. And so I may have had a little bit more boldness than, let's say, somebody else, but I think that what happened in my life, and I'm sure it happens, something gives you a kernel of confidence or a reason that you want to be bold, and it goes from there. With boldness, I use the analogy of fitness. I'm not going to give you a squat routine or a lunge routine, I promise. But what I am going to do is give you an analogy, okay?
[00:03:05] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:03:05] Jennifer Cohen: So if you want to get better at fitness or you want to get stronger, right? You have to be consistent and go in the gym and work at it, right? I think of boldness the same way. I think with boldness, it's a skill or a muscle that if you want to get better at it, if you're not naturally inclined to be bold, you have to practice it. You got to be more consistent and you do little things daily to make yourself more bold. And if you stop doing it, it atrophies just like anything else. So if you want to get good at karate. fitness, Spanish, whatever,, you have to be doing something constantly to get better. And so I don't think you necessarily have to be someone who was just naturally born bold or naturally born a certain way. I think that we have the ability to create that in us. And that's my point.
[00:03:49] Jordan Harbinger: I know this to be true because I've done this myself for a lot of different skills and I'll tell someone like oh, yeah I used to be really shy and they're like, "Yeah, right." I'm like, "No, no, no, really," and they'll be like, "No. Your version of what's really shy is someone else's version of normal or outgoing."
[00:04:02] Jennifer Cohen: Right.
[00:04:03] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, you don't understand. I really couldn't even look people in the eye. And at school, I wanted to like be invisible. And they're like, "What?" People don't really even necessarily believe that because I'm so different now
[00:04:15] Jennifer Cohen: Not only that, you created an entire life that you have to be talking to people and engaging with people.
[00:04:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's a job that you don't get when you're shy.
[00:04:22] Jennifer Cohen: Exactly. And what the backstory is also, it's not even the interview itself, right? It's to have the boldness to go after those interviews, right? And so you can't be shy. And then your other stuff that you've done, it's all about networking and socializing. That doesn't make sense with the whole shy thing.
[00:04:38] Jordan Harbinger: Basically, every job, business industry—
[00:04:40] Jennifer Cohen: Yes.
[00:04:40] Jordan Harbinger: —that I've been in the last 20 years requires me to be bold, confident, outgoing, and well connected, which, when I was a kid, I was none of those things.
[00:04:47] Jennifer Cohen: Exactly. It's honestly the antithesis.
[00:04:50] Jordan Harbinger: I still get these questions on Feedback Friday, like, how do I build up the guts to get what I want? When I was younger, it was always dating related. Now, it's more like how do I get a promotion, or get, set up this business, or ask for something that I want to do? And part of it is what you call the good enough trap, which I think is really insightful. What's the quotes like, the good is the enemy of the great, or something like that? Just having something where you're comfortable is the killer of ambition. And I think it was Nicholas Nassim Taleb who said something along the lines of, the most addictive thing in the world is heroin and a steady paycheck. I'm butchering the quote.
[00:05:22] Jennifer Cohen: You could just even say something like, golden handcuffs at a law firm, right?
[00:05:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:05:25] Jennifer Cohen: Because you make enough money. When you get too comfortable, or things are good enough, it gives you the permission to not push yourself and to do anything about it. That is the problem. So like actually good enough or comfortable or being okay is probably the worst nightmare that someone could have for like really getting the life that they really want And so what I say is that I say on my book title, like, chase what you want, don't just take what you get. Because a lot of times that's what we do, acquiescing. We acquiesce to the life that we are given, that's available, that's in front of us, as opposed to curating and designing something that's much more authentic to us. And if my entire point of doing this and writing the book was to tell people this is not rocket science, you don't have to be the most talented. You actually don't have to be that smart. You don't have to be anything, but what you do need to be is you have to have the desire to put yourself out there and ask.
[00:06:21] Jordan Harbinger: You mentioned you don't have to be that smart. And it's funny that you say that because I think smart people are really good at coming up with systems and overthinking things and not doing anything. And some of the smartest people that I knew, especially when I was working as a lawyer, were always paralyzed with indecision, would almost never take actual risk, which is funny because the whole law thing is very risk averse in many ways.
[00:06:40] Jennifer Cohen: Yes.
[00:06:41] Jordan Harbinger: But it was also a metaphor for their whole life. I remember friends being like, "Don't go ask that person out. What if she says no?" And I'm like, "Are you actually my internal dialogue? This is not what you're supposed to be telling me." Whole groups of guys would be like, you should definitely not do that. And it's like a stranger, where if they reject me, it makes absolutely no difference. They're like, you're going to feel bad for months if you get rejected.
[00:07:01] Jennifer Cohen: No, a hundred percent. But this is a reframe, right, for your brain. I did this TED Talk, actually, where my whole hypothesis, right, was be bold, not smart. Because bold is a secret sauce, not intelligence, right? That doesn't say that you can't be smart and bold, or bold and smart. But the secret sauce is how you get from point A to Z — Z, depending on what country you're in, right?
[00:07:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:07:26] Jennifer Cohen: It's being bold. And you and I, we've had hours and hours of talks about all the bubbleheads and bozos that we know.
[00:07:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's a favorite topic.
[00:07:34] Jennifer Cohen: Right. It's our favorite topic in the world. People who are way less than even mediocre, but they had one thing that other people didn't have. They had the audacity to believe in themselves or to go after it, whatever that is. That's the only difference between the people who are so successful and people who are barely getting by is they had the audacity to believe in that and just go for it over and over again and be bold. And I can give you a million different examples that's been documented or you and I knowing people like that.
[00:08:04] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:05] Jennifer Cohen: So my entire premise of this all is that it's not rocket science. It really is just a reset and a reframe of how you perceive yourself and how you show up in the world. And then, from that, you can literally change your life by just doing something as simple and as bold as asking for what you want and putting yourself in that situation, not just accepting what you get, but also not just being a passenger in your own life.
[00:08:31] Jordan Harbinger: Something that you wrote in your book that was quite interesting and obviously super simple is that personality traits can be changed over time if you take actions specific to those traits. And I am a firm believer in that as well. It seems obvious in retrospect, but I think a lot of people don't truly believe that. They really think they're stuck with their nature. And when you believe that, then it's really hard to think, I can change what might be a like core part of my identity over time.
[00:08:57] Jennifer Cohen: Yes. So I think that this could be a controversial topic, but there's a lot of science behind the fact that as you do something over and over again, it becomes a new habit habitually. You do change the neuroplasticity in your brain. So I believe in this research document that you can tweak and change your personality. You may have a baseline that you're always comfortable at through habits and different routines and things that you're doing over and over again. It changes what you do and how you act just by the sheer act of doing it over and over again.
[00:09:27] Jordan Harbinger: And the way that you act also influences the way that people treat you, which then reinforces the new way that you're acting.
[00:09:33] Jennifer Cohen: Totally.
[00:09:33] Jordan Harbinger: So if you decide, like, I'm going to be friendly, of course, easier said than done, but you manage to do that in a certain context or whatever, like you force yourself to do that. People view you as this outgoing, friendly person and they treat you as such and then reinforces your decision to be a friendly, outgoing person until you actually don't know the difference between faking it and making it.
[00:09:51] Jennifer Cohen: Absolutely. Like, I hate this fake it till you make it nonsense.
[00:09:54] Jordan Harbinger: Gets a lot of people in trouble.
[00:09:55] Jennifer Cohen: But I will say—
[00:09:56] Jordan Harbinger: Theranos.
[00:09:57] Jennifer Cohen: Yes, exactly right. By the way, she's going to jail. But yeah, anyway—
[00:10:00] Jordan Harbinger: She is going to jail. See, don't fake it till you make it.
[00:10:02] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah, don't fake it.
[00:10:02] Jordan Harbinger: You'll end up in prison.
[00:10:03] Jennifer Cohen: But there's different levels and degrees, right? But the truth of the matter is, it becomes like a ripple effect, right? If you believe you're a certain way and then go through life that way, there is like a reaction action thing, right? People are going to treat you differently, therefore you're going to be different. If you go into a situation, awkward, uncomfortable, very meekish, it makes other people uncomfortable. And so it becomes a back and forth versus if you come into the room with a big chest, very much like out there, confident, alpha, people treat you very differently.
[00:10:34] Jordan Harbinger: Alpha is such a gross term, but I know—
[00:10:36] Jennifer Cohen: You know what I mean. I mean, we can go through the fake it till you make it alpha.
[00:10:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, pull out every personal self-help cliche.
[00:10:42] Jennifer Cohen: Pet peeve.
[00:10:42] Jordan Harbinger: Put them all in one place.
[00:10:44] Jennifer Cohen: Exactly. These are all just pet peeve talking points. But what I was going to say is every action does have a reaction. And so if you walk into a room differently and you get the different response in general. The thing is to get from A to Z or A to B and to get the life slowly that you actually are trying to have. It's about the ask. It's about putting yourself in that situation, being a little bit more impulsive sometimes and not overthinking because the overthinking is so paralyzing.
[00:11:15] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:11:15] Jennifer Cohen: And you think of all the things that can go wrong versus if you're bold, you think of all the things that can go right.
[00:11:21] Jordan Harbinger: I thought about this and where did I start to change my personality or start to build this skill? As a kid, my mom doesn't ask for what she wants, right? She's just not that kind of person. She's like very passive a lot of the time, depending on the situation. So when I used to go buy video games, if I didn't like it, this store called Babbage's, which doesn't exist anymore, had a return policy. And I would be like, "Mom, I want to take this back." And she hated doing that. So what she did is she made me do it. And so I'm 10, 11, 12 going to the store and I'm like, "I don't want this game anymore," and without fail, the salesperson, depending on who it was, would be like, "Sorry, sales are final." And then my mom would go, "Is that true?" And I'd be like, "It's not true. Your policy is da da da da." And they'd be like, "No, not really." And my mom's like, "Well, what does it say on the receipt?" And I would have to read the policy to this chump at Babbage's and be like, "Your receipt said—" and they'd be like, "Okay, fine." but I just thought, this is so funny. My mom loved it, right? She's like, "My kid's giving this guy hell to try and return and exchange a video game."
[00:12:20] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah.
[00:12:21] Jordan Harbinger: And I didn't know until I was an adult that the reason my mom made me do that was because she didn't want to do it herself. I thought she was trying to help me develop a skill, whatever, but no, she just didn't want to do it herself. So then as I got older and I started not getting things what I want or had a problem with something, or I would send back the food that arrives ice cold. And my mom's like, "Where did you learn to do that?" I'm like, "You told me to do that." My mom, meanwhile, would eat frozen fricking soup if it was up to her.
[00:12:48] Jennifer Cohen: Exactly. So in a way, your mother actually taught you to be bold.
[00:12:52] Jordan Harbinger: In a way, yeah. But not through example.
[00:12:54] Jennifer Cohen: Not through example, but through practice.
[00:12:56] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:12:57] Jennifer Cohen: Because she didn't want to do it. So then, when you grew up, you're eating the nice hot soup and your mom's having the cold soup.
[00:13:02] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:13:02] Jennifer Cohen: Because she didn't want to practice that skill.
[00:13:04] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:13:04] Jennifer Cohen: Which is to the point, right? It can't just be something theoretical that you read about. You have to practice by doing it over and over again.
[00:13:11] Jordan Harbinger: It makes me want to teach my kids to do this stuff, like, raise your hand when you know the answer, ask for what you want, tell people when you don't like something.
[00:13:19] Jennifer Cohen: That's exactly a good point because I try to role model that for my kids and I think that's a really big point that you just made. Because I don't want my kids to be okay with okay.
[00:13:28] Jordan Harbinger: Or just getting stepped on and not standing up for themselves.
[00:13:30] Jennifer Cohen: Right.
[00:13:30] Jordan Harbinger: Which is a real fine line. A lot of people go, oh, I don't need to be bold, okay, but where's the line for you? If you don't want to be bold, fine, but I feel like a lot of folks who don't want to do that—
[00:13:40] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah.
[00:13:40] Jordan Harbinger: Not that if you're not bold, you're a doormat, but I think it's really easy to let people walk on you if you're not asking for what you want.
[00:13:46] Jennifer Cohen: Boldness can have a negative connotation, right? You could be called pushy, too aggressive. Those are euphemisms that are pretty negative. I think also for women, we were taught that we should be much more soft and more accommodating and not make waves. So when you see a woman who is actually like, you know what, actually, can I get salad dressing on the side? Right? Can I get vegetables instead of potatoes? These are like simple examples. Other people who are in shock and awe and uncomfortable with the ask of that.
[00:14:19] Something as basic as that. How are you supposed to answer that? Go after something big and ask for something big if you can't even get comfortable asking for something small, like sauce on the side. Have you thought about something as basic as that? And then you teach these kids, like, when you have dinner with your children or go to a restaurant, you're like, "Oh no, I'll just have frozen soup," like you're saying about your mom.
[00:14:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:14:40] Jennifer Cohen: To me, it's like you're doing a disservice. Think that there's something wrong when you're putting something out there where It's not okay to design a life and stand up for what you want. There shouldn't be a negative connotation with that, especially if you're a parent, right? Like, you should be teaching your kids, you know, if this isn't good, you should stand up for it. If you want this, don't ask for that, or don't just accept. Don't just be okay with accepting just because it's easy. The path of least resistance is not always the best path.
[00:15:10] Jordan Harbinger: I think at some level, most people realize that recovering from rejection is easier than trying to recover from regret.
[00:15:17] Jennifer Cohen: Yes, that's a huge pillar of my entire philosophy, right? Rejection is always better than regret. This whole book, right? It's not rocket science, right? I really wanted to write something that was very actionable for people. The whole point of this was to give people these like simple solutions, simple ways that they can better their life, even by a percent or two percent. Give them some like easy tools. where they're not just okay with okay. A lot of times we're so fearful of rejection that we don't even make an attempt at something. We don't even try. We count ourselves out before we even give it a try.
[00:15:53] If you try something and you don't get it, so what? It's going to hurt for how long? That rejection is going to sting for maybe a few hours a day, maybe a week, depending on the size of this thing. But the idea of not even going after something and not even self actualizing or using your potential at all, that regret lives with you forever. That's like a feeling that you have in your gut, right? You always will think about it. You'll always think, what if? If I did this, if I did that. Who wants to live in that way?
[00:16:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I actually did an episode about regret with Dan Pink, it was episode 625, we'll link to that in the show notes. I think a lot of what he says matches that. There's probably a little bit more in there because the whole episode is about regret and it's Dan Pink and he's a friggin genius with that stuff.
[00:16:35] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah, are you telling me that I'm not?
[00:16:36] Jordan Harbinger: Let's move on.
[00:16:38] One of the practicals that I love the most. was the Batman effect and the alter ego. Can you take us through this? This is so good. Alter ego, sort of practical stuff that doesn't cost anything, that people can use right out of the box, always goes down well.
[00:16:52] Jennifer Cohen: Something as simple as Beyonce, she has Sasha Fierce as her alter ego.
[00:16:57] Jordan Harbinger: Funny that Beyonce needs an alter ego.
[00:17:00] Jennifer Cohen: She does, a lot of people do, and I'll tell you why, because Beyonce is naturally very shy. If you met her in real life—
[00:17:05] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[00:17:06] Jennifer Cohen: She's extremely shy. She probably won't look you in the eyes. She's very quiet. She's not what you see when she goes on the stage.
[00:17:13] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[00:17:13] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah, she's like the antithesis of what she really is when she performs.
[00:17:18] Jordan Harbinger: Surprised to hear that.
[00:17:19] Jennifer Cohen: But look at Britney Spears.
[00:17:20] Jordan Harbinger: That's a good point.
[00:17:21] Jennifer Cohen: Britney Spears, she's so awkward in real life, also nervous, anxious, shy. It's interesting the people that you see who are usually that way in real life, they have to create this alter ego to be who they are when they go on stage and be these amazing performers. It's usually the opposite of who they really are inside, and the only way they can get the courage and the bravery to be that person is to create this Batman effect or alter ego.
[00:17:50] Jordan Harbinger: Tell me about the Duckworth study.
[00:17:51] Jennifer Cohen: The Duckworth study, the kids were wearing a cape when they were younger, gave them the confidence and they were able to work longer, harder, persevere way more than the kids who didn't have the Batman cape or a cape of some kind because they felt much more confident, self assured, this alter ego you create so you can actually pursue and do the things that you otherwise wouldn't have the courage to do.
[00:18:18] Jordan Harbinger: I did a whole show about the alter ego with Todd Herman, episode 163. It's funny to hear how popular this is. I think the example you gave in the book was also, well, besides Beyonce and Britney Spears. Posh Spice. I guess her alter ego is probably Posh Spice.
[00:18:32] Jennifer Cohen: You mean Victoria Beckham?
[00:18:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:18:34] Jennifer Cohen: Yes. Most actors that you meet, look at Christian Bale, look at all these people who create characters that they can then perform, right? It's because they have to put themselves in a different mindset, a different frame of mind. That's like taking it from one level, but you can take it down to the granular level which is with the kids and wearing the capes or Posh Spice or Sasha Fierce, Britney Spears, all these people who want to create or be a different persona to achieve what they want to achieve. The research that you're talking about is based around the what happens with people wearing that cape or doing that versus not and the ability to stay focused on a task and persevere at a task while they had this alter ego is extraordinarily higher than when they didn't.
[00:19:21] Jordan Harbinger: I love this exercise where you record your negative self-talk with the reasons that you can't do something, and then you play it back to yourself using your alter ego. This is kind of genius. I've never heard that before. And then arguing against yourself essentially. So your alter ego would be like the angel on your shoulder being like, "You can do this. What are you talking about?" Because your alter ego would—
[00:19:42] Jennifer Cohen: Ego will never say that.
[00:19:43] Jordan Harbinger: And Martin Seligman, who's essentially one of the greatest positive psychology scientists of our time said that's one of the things that successful people do who are really resilient is they Find reasons to argue against, not just negative thoughts, but rationale that's bad.
[00:20:00] Jennifer Cohen: It's more about ways to reframe an idea. So you're not thinking about something in a certain way, or you're not allowing that negative talk to stop you from the start. So if you do those things and hear how you're saying it, you're coming back to it. with a different twist where that becomes your new voice and your new talk and your new reframe.
[00:20:19] Jordan Harbinger: I know for many self-acceptance means rationalizing not doing something or not having been able to accomplish something. What is a better version of self acceptance that can actually drive us forward?
[00:20:29] Jennifer Cohen: So I think a lot of times we have things that get us stuck and we don't know what to do with it. So we're stopped in our tracks, which doesn't allow us to propel forward in any direction that we want to do. I created these three buckets and I call it the three Fs, which is fix it, forget it, or farm it out. And the reason why I create these like different buckets is because then you know what to do with whatever that thing is that gets you stuck from moving forward at all. And once you figure out where to put it, that should give you the green light to then move forward.
[00:21:00] I use a silly example, we get really stuck and fixated on something that we believe is why we cannot get to what we want. We're laughing about like, I always hated my nose, so I never thought I would ever be able to get things that involve like appearance stuff, wouldn't be able to do this or that.
[00:21:16] Jordan Harbinger: It's not that bad. It's really not that bad.
[00:21:18] Jennifer Cohen: Serious? Set yourself? Not that bad.
[00:21:21] Jordan Harbinger: You got to reframe that. You got to reframe the way you hear those.
[00:21:23] Jennifer Cohen: But because I've reframed it and put it into a certain bucket, I'm not offended by that comment. But if I didn't, and it kept me stuck now, and then I heard you say, "No, it's not that bad."
[00:21:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, you'd be thinking about it for a few days.
[00:21:35] Jennifer Cohen: I would be like, "What the f? So rude."
[00:21:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:21:37] Jennifer Cohen: How can you say that?
[00:21:38] Jordan Harbinger: Well, it was rude.
[00:21:38] Jennifer Cohen: Oh my god, it was rude. But I've moved past it, is my point. And the three buckets, like I said, one is fix it. So you either fix what it is that's really bothering you that you really can't get over. I could have fixed my nose.
[00:21:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, plastic surgeon.
[00:21:51] Jennifer Cohen: And got myself a nose job like most other Jewish girls that we know.
[00:21:55] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, I did not say it. Jennifer Cohen, everybody, Cohen.
[00:21:59] Jennifer Cohen: Keeping it real here, guys.
[00:22:00] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:22:01] Jennifer Cohen: I can get someone else to fix it for me.
[00:22:02] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:22:03] Jennifer Cohen: That's the point. Or I could forget about it and put that in the bucket and not think about it. It is what it is. I'm not going to change it. Move on with my life.
[00:22:11] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:22:12] Jennifer Cohen: And so that's a silly, very superficial example.
[00:22:15] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:22:15] Jennifer Cohen: But it could be any other example. In business, a lot of times when we can't move forward, we get really stuck in paralyzed because something's not working in our business.
[00:22:23] Jordan Harbinger: I do see a lot of entrepreneurs who get stuck being like, "We don't know how to do this particular thing and we don't have the money to hire it out." Well, then don't do it at all, right?
[00:22:33] Jennifer Cohen: Right. So either you forget about it and you move on with other pieces of your business. Or you farm it out and delegate it to like an outside vendor.
[00:22:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, if you can afford to do that.
[00:22:42] Jennifer Cohen: If you can afford to do it. Or you fix it yourself and you find some way to do it internally by hiring an intern or doing a cheaper version of it.
[00:22:49] Jordan Harbinger: I think the point is because people are like, yes, fix it or find someone else to fix it or forget about it. Like, why is this deep? The point isn't actually handling the problem, the point is making a decision and moving along from there.
[00:22:58] Jennifer Cohen: It's the indecision that stops us.
[00:23:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yes.
[00:23:00] Jennifer Cohen: It's the analysis paralysis of really smart people that we talked about earlier, right? What comes along with being super smart is that you overthink everything.
[00:23:08] Jordan Harbinger: Better at rationalizing indecision.
[00:23:10] Jennifer Cohen: Right.
[00:23:10] Jordan Harbinger: Better at coming up with reasons not to do something that you're scared of.
[00:23:13] Jennifer Cohen: And figuring out systems that you won't allow yourself to sit there and overthink it to a place of analysis paralysis where you don't do anything. And then time goes by and life goes by and you're nowhere better off, you're nowhere further along. Again, these are simple systems and solutions. This is not supposed to be of war and peace here, okay?
[00:23:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:23:35] Jennifer Cohen: This is not Nouriel Roubini's economist megathreats. Everybody's the same at the end of the day, right? We have certain goals we're trying to achieve, we're trying to live the best life, we're trying to live a life that's rich. Which is, to me, a rich life isn't just about having a lot of money. It's about really having like meaningful relationships and being satiated with the time you have on earth. So, let's not count ourselves out. Let's figure out simple systems that can get us there. And that's why I did this.
[00:24:03] Jordan Harbinger: You've got an interesting gratitude story, exercise, and normally I hate stuff like this.
[00:24:08] Jennifer Cohen: Ugh, I do too.
[00:24:09] Jordan Harbinger: Because it's so cheesy. But this one's from Andrew Huberman. Everybody loves Andrew Huberman.
[00:24:13] Jennifer Cohen: Everybody loves Andrew Huberman. That's why I included it.
[00:24:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, tell me about this because most gratitude stuff is barf with cliche.
[00:24:20] Jennifer Cohen: I agree with you.
[00:24:21] Jordan Harbinger: But this one seems to be scientific, or at least from a scientist.
[00:24:25] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah. At least from a neuroscientist.
[00:24:26] Jordan Harbinger: From a scientist if not scientific in itself.
[00:24:28] Jennifer Cohen: Well, you know what's funny? I always ask people, what are the habits? What do you do every day to optimize your life and optimize your health? Tell me what you do in the morning, right? Nine out of ten people, they either meditation or they say a gratitude journal, right? I've heard it so many times.
[00:24:44] Jordan Harbinger: I almost don't believe people do that.
[00:24:46] Jennifer Cohen: At nauseam, I hear the same things. I actually truly believe that people are saying a lot of these things because it sounds good.
[00:24:53] Jordan Harbinger: For sure, they are.
[00:24:54] Jennifer Cohen: And because it's a very popular hashtag, you know, I journal, I meditate. I don't think there's any real authenticity to the majority of that. I think it's baloney.
[00:25:04] Jordan Harbinger: Well, a lot of the guys just say, make your bed in the morning. I'm like, you're a billionaire. You're making your own bed.
[00:25:08] Jennifer Cohen: Right.
[00:25:08] Jordan Harbinger: I don't believe you.
[00:25:09] Jennifer Cohen: Exactly.
[00:25:10] Jordan Harbinger: First thing you stop doing when you got rich is make your own bed.
[00:25:12] Jennifer Cohen: 100 percent. But maybe they mean their bed is being made — a made bed.
[00:25:16] Jordan Harbinger: I'm not going to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one. Yeah.
[00:25:19] Jennifer Cohen: My point of saying all this about the gratitude journal is like, A, I don't necessarily believe that people actually do it.
[00:25:25] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:25:25] Jennifer Cohen: And B, I'm not necessarily convinced. That is the reason for people who do it that and actually changes their psychology and their mental idea and doesn't really create more productivity for them.
[00:25:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, yeah.
[00:25:36] Jennifer Cohen: Right?
[00:25:36] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:25:37] Jennifer Cohen: But I do believe there's something to be said about being happy with what you have and feeling like fulfilled. So I saw this thing with Andrew Huberman and he like made some really good points about what is the thing that make people feel full. And he had a spin on it that I thought was very interesting, which was like, when you talk to people and do something for somebody, it gives you a sense of gratitude or fulfillment.
[00:26:03] Jordan Harbinger: So when you do something for someone else?
[00:26:04] Jennifer Cohen: Yes.
[00:26:05] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:26:05] Jennifer Cohen: And say, I'm doing this for you, and therefore I feel gratitude for that. It lacked the writing in a journal, like 10 things that I'm happy for. And by the way, when you write something today, I wrote, I'm happy for my children. I'm happy for my podcast with Jordan. What do I write tomorrow? I feel it's a little trite.
[00:26:23] Jordan Harbinger: That's why I never really got into that.
[00:26:25] Jennifer Cohen: But how do you feel? I'm just going to like take it to a human level. If I was able to do something for you that really helped and benefited you in some way, and it makes me feel good.
[00:26:35] Jordan Harbinger: Of course.
[00:26:35] Jennifer Cohen: That makes me feel like, Oh, I actually made a difference. I like helped so-and-so.
[00:26:38] Jordan Harbinger: And that's
[00:26:39] Jennifer Cohen: like a true feeling, an emotion, that I can live with, that kind of carries me further.
[00:26:44] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:26:44] Jennifer Cohen: That's the point of why I wrote it.
[00:26:46] Jordan Harbinger: Huberman's gratitude exercise is not think of the things you're grateful for, but do something that someone else should be grateful for.
[00:26:51] Jennifer Cohen: Do something that makes you feel grateful by doing something for somebody else.
[00:26:55] Jordan Harbinger: It's certainly better than just thinking about why your life is good, I suppose.
[00:26:59] Jennifer Cohen: Over time, it would seem like it may get a little repetitive in your brain. I'm a big habit person, and maybe it does change maybe the neuroplasticity, but I think that to me is a very overused one-dimensional way of feeling grateful.
[00:27:15] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:27:15] Jennifer Cohen: And a habit that's been talked about a lot. And that I'm not really necessarily sure that just because people say they do it all the time that it actually is that beneficial.
[00:27:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I agree with that.
[00:27:28] You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Jen Cohen. We'll be right back.
[00:27:32] This episode is sponsored in part by Blindsgalore. I want to talk about something we all need but often overlook, blinds. Not just any blinds, I'm talking about Blindsgalore. Now, before you hit fast forward, hear me out because this isn't just about decor or blocking out the sun, it's about reclaiming your personal space. Let's address the naked truth. With Blindsgalore, you can finally walk around in your birthday suit without giving the neighborhood a free show. So go ahead, channel your inner Tarzan or Jane, Blindsgalore's got you covered, literally. And avoid the cringe worthy moments that I have, frankly, had every single day, making accidental eye contact with a neighbor through your window. It's like locking eyes at the urinal. Nobody wants that. With Blindsgalore's custom blinds, those awkward, hey-neighbor moments are a thing of the past. You see those people too often anyway. You can live your life, Bob can live his, with a comfortable layer of stylish, customized blinds in between for the protection of both of your dignity. And Blindsgalore doesn't do one size fits all. They do one size fits you. They've got more than 15 years in the game — blinds, blackout shades, custom drapery, even those high tech smart home compatible window coverings with a remote. I got those. Those are freaking cool.
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[00:28:50] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by BetterHelp. Have you ever been sprawled out in bed? about to cross into dreamland when your brain decides it is a great time to have a brainstorm, more like a worry storm, and all of a sudden you're revisiting cringeworthy moments from years ago. We've all been there. It's the pits. This is where therapy is pivotal. going to calm that mind down. It gives you the space to hit pause, sift through this mental jumble with somebody who's trained in navigating emotional labyrinths. Look no further than BetterHelp. You're not diving into this blind. They've got a brief questionnaire to gauge what you're looking for. Then, they pair you up with a licensed therapist matched with your needs. And let me emphasize this, it's all about the convenience of your home. I mean, nothing beats discussing your innermost thoughts from your own safe space, especially when you're letting those emotional walls down. You can switch therapists anytime you want, no extra charge.
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[00:29:46] Jordan Harbinger: If you're wondering how I managed to book all these amazing thinkers creators every single week, it is because of my network, the group of people around me, the stuff we're talking about. In part, today on the show, I've got a free course on this. jordanharbinger.com/course is where you can find it. It's not schmoozy, it's not cringey, it will make you a better colleague, a better friend, and a better peer, and more effective at work. Or, just enjoy that happiness dividend that you get from creating and maintaining connections over time. And many of the guests on the show subscribe and contribute to the course. So come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong. You can find the course, once again, at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:30:20] Now, back to Jen Cohen.
[00:30:23] We do have The challenge of beating our brain at negative thoughts, I think you said we have 6,200 thoughts per day, 80 percent of which are negative. That's a lot of thoughts. And that's a lot of negative thoughts. It's a little depressing to think that's how many negative thoughts I have per day, 4,500 or whatever the math works out to be.
[00:30:43] Jennifer Cohen: Just think about just between now and when you had your Sugarfish lunch, how many thoughts you were thinking of. Just like little things that you didn't even think about, like how you had five crab hand rolls and you're going to be cut off.
[00:30:54] Jordan Harbinger: Sugarfish is a sushi place nearby here in Los Angeles that I always go to. And I usually, I get cut off on the amount of blue crab hand rolls that I'm allowed to order because apparently there's a shortage and they don't want some schlub eating like ten in one sitting.
[00:31:08] Jennifer Cohen: I've never heard that in my life.
[00:31:09] Jordan Harbinger: Apparently, my money's not green enough for Sugarfish to have unlimited blue crab hand rolls. But, it's true, I'm pretty good at catastrophizing, I'm pretty good at negative thoughts, it's definitely been a journey for me. You give the example in the book of Amanda Knox, episode 386 of The Jordan Harbinger Show. This is a girl whose roommate got murdered, she went to prison in Italy for I think four years. And then it turned out that she didn't do it. But she did some sort of negative visualization that was somehow different.
[00:31:38] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah, here's a girl who has been exonerated for the murder of those two people in Italy. And by the way, she was very young. She was 18 years old. And so she was kept in an Italian prison. And so my question to her was, how did you get through it? And she had this exercise where she thought of the worst thing that could have happened or where she could be and then compare it to where she was right there in life. And it made her feel better. And so when she was telling me the story, I was like, this is really interesting because here you are in jail, like how much worse can it be? But you can always find a situation. That's way worse than where you are at that moment. And when you do, and you think of that, and you come back to where you really are in life, it's a calming effect.
[00:32:21] And so when she told me that story, I went like down the rabbit hole and started talking to different psychologists and different people and asking them about this. Is this actually a thing? Is this something that people can do?
[00:32:31] Jordan Harbinger: It sounds like the opposite of what you should be doing. What's the worst thing that can happen? Don't think about that. That hasn't happened yet. Why are you worrying about that?
[00:32:38] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah. Especially if you're in jail, right?
[00:32:39] Jordan Harbinger: In an Italian prison for murder that you didn't commit.
[00:32:41] Jennifer Cohen: Right. I was riveted by it. I'm like, how much worse can it be? And then she started talking about these things. She says, I could be getting raped in a jail, like whatever it was, you can take whatever your situation is. And it can always be so much worse that when you come back to the reality, it doesn't seem as bad. Basically, when I went down that rabbit hole and I spoke to different psychologists and they told me this was actually a thing that really helped and worked, I like was fascinated by it.
[00:33:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's surprising because it almost seems like you should not necessarily be thinking about the worst things that can happen. What it does is contrast your actual situation with something else.
[00:33:18] Jennifer Cohen: You have to have the ideology is like you can go into a situation of what is the worst that can happen. It should preempt you to at least make the attempt at whatever it is that you want.
[00:33:28] Jordan Harbinger: Tell me about limbic friction. I never heard this term before.
[00:33:30] Jennifer Cohen: Oh my, you never did?
[00:33:32] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:33:32] Jennifer Cohen: Oh my god. So putting certain habits in place so that you can do the things that you need to do. For example, if you want to work out in the morning, right? Put a yoga mat in front of you. Put your shoes and your shirts on the floor so it's a reminder or a habit so that it will cause a reaction for you to do what you need to do.
[00:33:49] Jordan Harbinger: Sleeping in your running clothes.
[00:33:50] Jennifer Cohen: I wouldn't be sleeping in my workout clothes, but yeah.
[00:33:53] Jordan Harbinger: I wouldn't. You don't need to.
[00:33:54] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah.
[00:33:56] Jordan Harbinger: Some people do.
[00:33:57] Jennifer Cohen: Do you sleep in workout clothes?
[00:33:58] Jordan Harbinger: No, I don't need to. But I remember when I started running in Michigan in the winter, I was like, oh god, I really don't want to go. It's still dark outside. This sucks. So I slept in my running clothes and I would get up and go, well, I don't even have to get cold until I go outside because I don't even have to change. So then, I would just go and put my shoes on and walk outside. And I gave myself permission to go walk outside and if it was too cold, come back in, but then you're already outside.
[00:34:23] Jennifer Cohen: Then, you're already outside.
[00:34:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:34:24] Jennifer Cohen: The idea is to do the hard things first. So you can get other things taken care of. What happens is the things that you have to do later on is a lot of brain energy. So if you can do the hard things first or do something hard in the morning, it really helps you with your productivity later on.
[00:34:40] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting. So what's that book, Eat That Frog, where you do the hardest project of your day first?
[00:34:45] Jennifer Cohen: It builds momentum. And the other thing about the frog, we are the most alert and we have the most energy first thing. As the day goes on, it gets harder and harder to have the motivation to do these things. If you take it off your checklist, it compounds in different ways.
[00:35:00] Jordan Harbinger: If I don't know how to do something, I always have to figure it out in the morning. So if I go, I'll do that later, I'll do that later, then it's 4 p.m. and I have time to do it. I'm like, I don't want to figure this crap out right now. I'm freaking tired already.
[00:35:10] Jennifer Cohen: And you're exhausted. But if you do those things, it gives you a feeling of accomplishment to help you get through to the next thing. And then it doesn't take up the brain power of what you need to get done later on.
[00:35:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, this is like some James Clear stuff, I think.
[00:35:22] Jennifer Cohen: A little bit.
[00:35:23] Jordan Harbinger: In one of the best selling books of the decade, James Clear episode 108.
[00:35:25] Jennifer Cohen: Oh yeah. I mean, that book is still a number one.
[00:35:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:35:28] Jennifer Cohen: It's crazy, right?
[00:35:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, he's eating down on that for the rest of his life.
[00:35:30] Jennifer Cohen: Oh, 100 percent. Although, like, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is still up there too, right?
[00:35:35] Jordan Harbinger: It is. Yeah.
[00:35:36] Jennifer Cohen: It's like 20 million books sold.
[00:35:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, crazy.
[00:35:38] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah.
[00:35:39] Jordan Harbinger: It's crazy knowing those guys before they even wrote those books and being like, oh, these guys are pretty smart. Now I'm like, dang.
[00:35:44] Jennifer Cohen: I know, right?
[00:35:45] Jordan Harbinger: Look at that, knowing all these super smart people. Usually you meet people after they're famous.
[00:35:50] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah, that's true.
[00:35:50] Jordan Harbinger: Usually you don't meet people when they're famous.
[00:35:52] Jennifer Cohen: Did you think they were so smart before?
[00:35:54] Jordan Harbinger: I did.
[00:35:54] Jennifer Cohen: Both of them?
[00:35:55] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, but they were like, they're bloggers.
[00:35:57] Jennifer Cohen: They're bloggers. By the way, they still bloggers.
[00:35:57] Jordan Harbinger: So I thought, oh, these guys are interesting. Yeah, I was like, yeah, they're interesting guys. They're all really, really good dudes that deserve their success, in my opinion. Anyway—
[00:36:06] Jennifer Cohen: We digress.
[00:36:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, but we digress. Choose a direction, not a destination. This is a really good point because It's very easy to get demotivated if you choose an outcome versus choosing a direction to go in. To use weight loss as an example, if you say I'm going to lose 30 pounds and you only lose 10, then you're like, oh crap, I failed. But what I did was decided I was going to lose a little bit of fat. That was it. Line go down. That was all I was thinking. It didn't matter how long it took as long as the line was going down every week by 0.1 pounds.
[00:36:35] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah.
[00:36:35] Jordan Harbinger: Most weeks I should say over an average of each month.
[00:36:38] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah.
[00:36:38] Jordan Harbinger: I'm happy. And I did that and I lost 40 pounds of fat in eight months. I wasn't fat before, but I just had weight to lose. So the idea was choose a direction and not a destination. And then you don't get demotivated. It's the same thing with a business. Yes, you need goals or something to shoot for, but you do mostly need a direction, especially when it comes to personal goals that are hard to measure. Like I didn't know I was going to lose 40 pounds, but if I'd said 10, I could have stopped way too early. I just chose the direction and not the destination.
[00:37:07] Jennifer Cohen: One hundred percent. And that's where people get stuck again, right?
[00:37:09] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly, yeah.
[00:37:10] Jennifer Cohen: Because they don't know exactly what it is and then they put a lot of pressure. The momentum piece is so huge, right? Something in motion stays in motion. Something stagnant stays stagnant. So that's why if you just pick a direction, right, not the destination, you're at least on the path of motion, on the path of action, to get you a little closer to whatever, whatever that is. A lot of times in life, just doing something got them to a place where an opportunity or a place that they otherwise never would have even known about because they were at least like doing something, right? Versus just sitting still and not making anything.
[00:37:47] Jordan Harbinger: Luck favors the prepared type of thing.
[00:37:49] Jennifer Cohen: Fortune does favor the bold.
[00:37:51] Jordan Harbinger: I put that on my Facebook back in law school, it was very, like, 2006 dude bro, finance guy. Fortune favors the bold, and my wife saw that and she's like, "Can you take that off? That just looks douchey."
[00:38:03] Jennifer Cohen: I mean, but I don't think it's very douchey at all. I think it's factual and true. And the funny thing is, I believe it, and I think it's actually something that is accurate.
[00:38:13] Jordan Harbinger: The other way to translate it is, luck favors the prepared. I think it's the same quote in Latin that just gets translated differently. This is a bingo card of douche self-help—
[00:38:22] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah, no, no, no, what I'm saying, isn't that the same thing?
[00:38:24] Jordan Harbinger: Buzzwords.
[00:38:25] Jennifer Cohen: Isn't this about being bold?
[00:38:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:38:27] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah.
[00:38:27] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. One of the things that I love that's also in your book, by the way, is connecting the dots with our experiences and seeing how they have led to good things. Tell me about this.
[00:38:37] Jennifer Cohen: Oh, connecting the dots.
[00:38:37] Jordan Harbinger: This is so good because I realize most of recognizing victories and things that motivate me is me looking backwards and thinking like, oh, actually this led to this. All of which I thought were bad things at the time and turned out to be some of the best things that ever happened to me. Essentially getting fired, "Oh my God, what am I going to do? I have to start over." And now it's like, "Oh, thank God I got fired and started over. It's the best thing that's ever happened to me."
[00:38:57] Jennifer Cohen: Exactly. Usually a lot of times your biggest failures or your biggest letdowns become your biggest successes. And so you don't know at the moment how all the dots connect, but they all find a way to connect at the end or when you look back.
[00:39:11] Jordan Harbinger: And it's not just cheesy. The universe gave you everything you needed.
[00:39:16] Jennifer Cohen: No.
[00:39:16] Jordan Harbinger: It's more like, as you get better at connecting the dots, you start to realize that experiences that maybe didn't turn out the way you wanted them to, will have better outcomes than you could have hoped for. And that's very general.
[00:39:28] Jennifer Cohen: Or you needed those things not to work, so another opportunity will present itself— Right.
[00:39:32] Jordan Harbinger: —that you never knew existed.
[00:39:33] Jennifer Cohen: That's really the point, right?
[00:39:35] Jordan Harbinger: I think the skill is, instead of losing momentum in the moment, you have to realize at that point that, okay, whatever that is. Maybe a dot later that leads to something great. If I ever have to start this show again, God forbid, because something horrible happens or something similar to that, I will now be able to go, all right, I just don't know what this means yet. If there's a Chinese proverb where I was going to. Have you heard about this?
[00:39:55] Jennifer Cohen: I told you about this, the Chinese farmer.
[00:39:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:39:59] Jennifer Cohen: Do you want me to say it?
[00:39:59] Jordan Harbinger: I'll say it. So the Chinese farmer, his son falls off a horse, breaks his leg, everyone feels bad for him. Chinese farmer says, "We'll see." Army comes by recruiting, they don't take his son because he's got a broken leg. Everyone says, "You're so lucky." He says, "We'll see." And onward from there, there's more things that happen, but you get the idea. He doesn't know what to make of the event in the moment because it could be lucky or unlucky, only time will tell. That's the TLDR on that one.
[00:40:23] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah, you were, you didn't have passion and emotion with that.
[00:40:27] Jordan Harbinger: I did not. But I don't want people to listen to the show and go, "I've heard this eight billion times."
[00:40:34] Jennifer Cohen: A lot of people have it. You know how many times I've told people the story at different dinner parties and no one's heard it?
[00:40:37] Jordan Harbinger: They're like, "Wow. Jen knows Chinese proverbs. She's so smart."
[00:40:41] Jennifer Cohen: So profound. Yeah.
[00:40:43] Jordan Harbinger: Anyway, I love the idea of looking at the dots only in retrospect, knowing what they mean. That's, I think, very insightful and comes with life experience. The other thing that occurred to me when reading this was a lot of people want to protect us from failure. So your mom might not want you to go out and do something because if it fails then you'll feel bad and she wants to protect you from that feeling. And the same thing can happen, good friends, parents, spouses, can try to convince us not to do something because they don't want us to fall on our faces because they'll feel bad for us, not because they don't think we can do it. And because they don't want to see us get hurt, but it can really keep us from achieving our goals or doing something.
[00:41:22] A lot of people told me not to start my own business. They were like, "You are a lawyer. What are you doing?"
[00:41:27] Jennifer Cohen: Right, right.
[00:41:28] Jordan Harbinger: "Are you stupid?"
[00:41:28] Jennifer Cohen: Do the safe route.
[00:41:29] Jordan Harbinger: "Do the safe thing. You know how many businesses fail? You have one in three chance of even making it a few years doing this, let alone making money. You already have a Wall Street job paying more than you ever thought you were going to make. What are you doing?" And that was actually pretty good advice. I just didn't follow it—
[00:41:44] Jennifer Cohen: Right.
[00:41:44] Jordan Harbinger: —thankfully.
[00:41:45] Jennifer Cohen: Thankfully.
[00:41:45] Jordan Harbinger: We don't know the people's motivations who tell us not to do something.
[00:41:48] Jennifer Cohen: Yes, that's absolutely true.
[00:41:49] Jordan Harbinger: And sometimes they also don't know their motivations. They might have selfish motivations where they don't want to see us succeed because it means something for them, or maybe because they're too chicken to be bold themselves or haven't found the willpower, or because they don't want to see us fall on our face. So since we can't guess at their motivations, the best thing to do is to be bold in your words.
[00:42:08] Jennifer Cohen: No, you got to be very careful of who you seek advice from, because you don't know what their reasons are. They can have the best intentions a lot of times, but some people don't have the best intentions. But you don't want to seek advice from people who, A, don't have the experience or the wherewithal to even know what that would be like. And a lot of times. In life, we seek advice from someone who's never done it themselves, who have no clue, and then we decide on our direction and what we're going to do based on somebody else's inexperience—
[00:42:38] Jordan Harbinger: Insecurities or inexperience, yeah.
[00:42:39] Jennifer Cohen: —fear or whatever. And then our life is now created based on that thing. So the idea of creating this bold of directors around you as opposed to the board of directors were—
[00:42:50] Jordan Harbinger: No, we get it.
[00:42:52] Jennifer Cohen: Just for those at home who don't know where the idea of course is to create a group where A, you're confident that they have the right reasons, they have the right experience. They want to see you succeed and win. They already done it before and you're curating this group of people who you seek advice from. Versus just randomly nilly-willy, nilly-willy, just asking people.
[00:43:14] Jordan Harbinger: Willy-nilly, yeah. Willy-nilly.
[00:43:17] Jennifer Cohen: I wonder if you make fun of all the guests.
[00:43:19] Jordan Harbinger: No, but I should. This is a lot of fun, actually.
[00:43:21] Jennifer Cohen: Did you make fun of Kobe like this with the—?
[00:43:25] Jordan Harbinger: I did not. I was too busy running the cameras, the photos, and the audio at the same time because the freaking kid who I hired was a sh*tter.
[00:43:32] Jennifer Cohen: Because of me.
[00:43:33] Jordan Harbinger: That you recommended.
[00:43:34] Jennifer Cohen: Was a sh*tter playing—
[00:43:34] Jordan Harbinger: Playing Candy Crush. I'll put that story at the end of the show, folks, for those who are wondering.
[00:43:41] Jennifer Cohen: And checking out ESPN News. Okay.
[00:43:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:43:44] Jennifer Cohen: So yeah, the point is, the bold of directors is basically being much more—
[00:43:47] Jordan Harbinger: Having a panel of folks around you that you, whose advice you can trust and know that their intentions are usually going to be good because you've curated them in the first place, instead of just asking random people that you are close to giving advice.
[00:43:56] Jennifer Cohen: But also people who have had the experience before. A lot of times people have good intentions. Like my mom would have a good intention, but she's so scared of her own shadow in a lot of ways, she would never take a risk. Like for you, when you left law and you did the stuff that you're doing now, you did it even though people told you not to.
[00:44:12] Jordan Harbinger: Everyone told me not to.
[00:44:13] Jennifer Cohen: So then why did you do it? Was there one person that said go for it?
[00:44:16] Jordan Harbinger: Gary Vaynerchuk, which is funny because this is way before he was famous, way before he was famous.
[00:44:22] Jennifer Cohen: Okay. What happened?
[00:44:23] Jordan Harbinger: YouTube didn't exist at the time.
[00:44:25] Jennifer Cohen: What year was this?
[00:44:26] Jordan Harbinger: 2007.
[00:44:27] Jennifer Cohen: Okay. And what happened?
[00:44:29] Jordan Harbinger: I went and met him somewhere and I was like, who's this guy? The wine guy? And we were just talking and hanging out and he was like, you know how Gary Vaynerchuk is now.
[00:44:36] Jennifer Cohen: Yes, I do.
[00:44:36] Jordan Harbinger: He was not even close to how he is now. He's like, "You can do it! Come on guys!"
[00:44:42] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah.
[00:44:42] Jordan Harbinger: F bomb every third word. He was not like that. But he just told me that digital stuff was really going to be on the come up and that influencers were going to exist at some point.
[00:44:50] Jennifer Cohen: He told you that?
[00:44:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, he didn't put it in those exact words, but he's like, "Look, you have the nascent beginning of this. Podcasting's going to be huge. Digital's going to be huge. There's going to be a way for you to make a full time living doing this." We're talking about 16 years ago now.
[00:45:03] Jennifer Cohen: Really?
[00:45:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I love some of these examples of you being bold and getting something that most people would probably not bother doing. The email mix up story and how that essentially got you a job at Forbes before Forbes was a joke of a click farm.
[00:45:16] Jennifer Cohen: Yes, it wasn't what it is now.
[00:45:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Back then it was a real magazine.
[00:45:20] Jennifer Cohen: And it was a real job. It was a staff writer job.
[00:45:22] Jordan Harbinger: It's funny how we have to say that now. But tell me about this. Most people would never do this.
[00:45:26] Jennifer Cohen: I want to start by saying this is a testament to curiosity more than anything. I think curiosity is a sister or a brother to being bold. When you're curious, it opens up your mind to opportunities and communication and all sorts of connectedness. And so when you combine the curiosity with the boldness, it's a really nice blend. And with the story that you're talking about is I got an email. Randomly, from some guy who was trying to email another Jennifer Cohen.
[00:45:52] Jordan Harbinger: Who knew there was more than one Jennifer Cohen?
[00:45:54] Jennifer Cohen: I know.
[00:45:54] Jordan Harbinger: Definitely not one of the world's—
[00:45:56] Jennifer Cohen: Can you believe it?
[00:45:56] Jordan Harbinger: —most popular names.
[00:45:57] Jennifer Cohen: It's not common at all, right?
[00:45:58] Jordan Harbinger: Especially in showbiz.
[00:45:59] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
[00:46:01] Jordan Harbinger: She was in publishing. Really? I hope people know that we're tastefully joking about this.
[00:46:06] Jennifer Cohen: We're both—
[00:46:07] Jordan Harbinger: We'll see.
[00:46:07] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah.
[00:46:08] Jordan Harbinger: We're both yids.
[00:46:08] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah. So what happened was he was trying to send an email to a Jennifer Cohen, but he forgot a dot.
[00:46:14] Jordan Harbinger: Really? That's how easy that was?
[00:46:15] Jennifer Cohen: That's how easy it was. And so I got the email instead of this guy who was sending it to his agent who had a manuscript he was handing in. And so when I got this email, instead of just deleting it like most people would do, I was very curious about who he was and I was like, who is this guy? What is he sending me? And I was looking at it and then I got very interested in what this was and I can tell it was an important email. And so I called him and I said, "Hey, my name is Jennifer. You sent me an email by accident. I think you meant to send it to somebody else." We ended up having a 45-minute conversation where I was asking him about his manuscript and blah, blah, blah. He was answering me. We started talking about what I do.
[00:46:57] And I gave him an idea. One of the things that he did, he was like a New York Times. political author and was an analyst. He also worked for Forbes. And I pitched him this idea that I thought of where I could write a wellness topic or wellness column for entrepreneurs and executives for Forbes. And I pitched this random dude this idea. And he was like, Who's this girl? Whatever. The conversation led me to him giving me his editor at Forbes. With a little cajoling and whatever else, I ended up talking to the editor. It was a hard sell.
[00:47:29] Again, these are very conservative people who I was speaking with. I was a young adult who's never really written that much at all in my life.
[00:47:36] Jordan Harbinger: Your last job was at the Olive Garden.
[00:47:38] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah, that was when I was 12, but close. Yeah, so I had a few jobs in between, but close enough, but I was very audacious and I basically just pitched this idea, even though they thought I was weird and completely not experienced. I said, I will do it for free. Let me write one column for free and see how it does. And you know, you don't have to pay me, blah, blah, blah. And he gave me a shot. After a lot of cajoling, like I said, and that article ended up being like the most viewed online of that week of that month, maybe still, who knows? And one article turned into two that turned into three. And then I got my own column in leadership. at Forbes, which then of course opened a lot of other doors and opportunities that I would otherwise never have gotten if I didn't respond to that one email.
[00:48:27] Jordan Harbinger: That wasn't addressed to you.
[00:48:28] Jennifer Cohen: That wasn't addressed to me. But A, that's about connecting the dots, right? Because I had another thing failed where I wouldn't have had the opportunity to do that if that was not even the case. But more than that, it's about creating your own opportunities through curiosity.
[00:48:41] Jordan Harbinger: What percentage of that is I'm bold and what percentage of that is, "I'm naive enough where I don't understand that this might have negative consequences?" Not that there were in this particular case, but in some cases it's better to almost be blissfully ignorant of—
[00:48:56] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah.
[00:48:56] Jordan Harbinger: Like, you can't do this. This could be bad for you or whatever.
[00:48:59] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah, I'm not putting myself in any situation where it's dangerous. But I will say, I have a whole chapter on naivety because naivety is a strength in my opinion. I believe that naivety, it is a superpower because the less you know, the better. Because the more experience you have, the more seasoned you are at doing something, that's when you really tend to overthink of all the things that like have been done already or how you don't make a difference or like you can never really figure out different ways of systems because it seems like why can you make a difference or why this or why that. Again, you talk yourself out of all the reasons why you should not do something.
[00:49:33] Jordan Harbinger: Well, it's like start a podcast.
[00:49:35] Jennifer Cohen: Why not?
[00:49:35] Jordan Harbinger: Well, it's never going to get anywhere, but you don't know that 'cause you're naive, so you just do it only it's one of the biggest podcasts in the world.
[00:49:40] Jennifer Cohen: Absolutely. And you don't know all the work that goes into it. You learn these things while you're doing something. And so that's the whole idea, is let naivety be your superpower. If you don't know something, don't let that stop you from at least attempting and trying.
[00:49:56] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Jennifer Cohen. We'll be right back.
[00:50:00] This episode is sponsored in part by Momentus. Live Momentus is widely trusted by professionals, with their products being the go-to and most pro in collegiate locker rooms. They're trusted by Olympians, professional athletes, and top teams alike, all who vouch for their quality and efficacy, and all products are NSF certified. I've seen that on labels, I never knew what it meant, but what it means is that what you see on the label is what you get. There's no fillers, there's no misleading claims. The Live Momentous Sleep Pack is more than a sleep aid, it is also a sleep aid. But it is also, in addition, a scientifically backed formulation that helps you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and ensures that sleep that you get is of the highest quality possible. Frankly, it's magnesium, but it works. It's the right kind of magnesium, it's high quality magnesium. In convenient single serve pouches that make it easier for you to get your daily dose of sleep enhancing nutrients. So you can wake up rejuvenated, filled with energy, ready to conquer the day, unless you co sleep with kids, in which case you're just barely keeping it together. Momentous can help you with that too. It's like the refreshing sleep you get on vacation, but now it's part of your everyday routine. Again, unless you have the kids in the bed, which I do. So, maybe that doesn't apply to me, or maybe I'd be dead by now if I didn't use this. I trust Momentous because my friend is a sleep expert, he recommended it, and I can see my sleep scores improving. And that is no small feat with my kids four small feet kicking me in the junk multiple times every single night.
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[00:52:42] Now, for the rest of my conversation with Jennifer Cohen.
[00:52:47] Not knowing what you're getting into can be good because you don't then talk yourself out of that course of action.
[00:52:52] Jennifer Cohen: Basically, yes.
[00:52:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. There's something to that. I still research things a lot, obviously, for the show. But sometimes I stopped.
[00:52:59] Jennifer Cohen: And you steal people's lines.
[00:53:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, well, okay, get over it. Sometimes I stop doing it though because I don't want to know the workload necessarily that's going to be involved in something or all the pitfalls. I want to just solve the problem when I get to that. Usually I'll hire like a vendor to get me through something and they're like, do you want an outline of the whole process? And sometimes I don't because I don't want to get overwhelmed with all the things that can go wrong. I don't want to lose three nights of sleep thinking about my YouTube channel.
[00:53:27] Jennifer Cohen: Absolutely.
[00:53:27] Jordan Harbinger: If they know they can get me through that, then I'll just trust them to do that in the moment when the problem arises. Basically, you don't know why something is supposedly impossible, and so you simply go and do that.
[00:53:36] Jennifer Cohen: Exactly. And that's sometimes when the best projects, disruptors, happen.
[00:53:41] Jordan Harbinger: Was it Jewel that was in your book? She was known as somebody who like, tell me the story.
[00:53:45] Jennifer Cohen: She was bold. She was curious enough to research a way. Where they offered her a contract, she was young and very inexperienced and she didn't like the way a contract was. She was curious and she figured out a better way around it where she was bold enough to recreate a contract that they offered her where she would end up making way more money. People usually get taken advantage of in the music industry, right? Because they like prey on people who don't know what they don't know and who were really want something bad enough. That's what happens when you are so desperate for something to happen a lot of times, that's when you get away with a lot of things. And she refused to do that. And so she figured out a way to create a contract that was way monetarily way more beneficial for her. And she was curious and she was bold. And so I used her as an example of someone who really utilized these strengths.
[00:54:32] Jordan Harbinger: Isn't Branson got to start to marry companies?
[00:54:36] Jennifer Cohen: Oh, he's like, "Let's create like a rocket." Like, I mean a spaceship.
[00:54:38] Jordan Harbinger: Like, Hey, you can't do that. It's too hard...got a space company.
[00:54:41] Jennifer Cohen: Right. To my point, the people who know the least about something are the ones who succeed in it a lot of times because they're not letting the idea of not knowing, bog them down. What's that thing like? Ready, shoot, aim.
[00:54:55] Jordan Harbinger: Ready, fire, aim. Yeah.
[00:54:56] Jennifer Cohen: Ready, aim, shoot. Or ready, shoot—
[00:54:58] Jordan Harbinger: Ready, aim, fire. Ready, fire, aim.
[00:54:59] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah. We can do this all day.
[00:55:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. One's right and one's just not .
[00:55:02] Jennifer Cohen: No. Ready, shoot, aim.
[00:55:04] Jordan Harbinger: Nobody says shoot. You say fire.
[00:55:06] Jennifer Cohen: Oh, we say shoot in Canada.
[00:55:08] Jordan Harbinger: No, you don't. I'm going to get email from Canadians that are like, she's lying. That's what I'm going to say. Nobody says shoot.
[00:55:14] Jennifer Cohen: They don't?
[00:55:14] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:55:15] Jennifer Cohen: Oh, I do.
[00:55:16] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, well. You've done really well at finding which talents you have and carving out a niche using those same talents. And there's more about this in the book, so we don't have to break down the whole thing. Training celebrities to stay fit for music tours specifically is a really interesting narrow niche that you basically invented, didn't you?
[00:55:33] Jennifer Cohen: Basically, yeah. So the truth of the matter is I'm a big believer in creating your own opportunities and not letting what's in front of you be your stop and start.
[00:55:43] Jordan Harbinger: This is why you always order off the menu when we go to dinner.
[00:55:44] Jennifer Cohen: This is why I always order off—
[00:55:46] Jordan Harbinger: This is like a metaphor for your whole life.
[00:55:47] Jennifer Cohen: This whole thing is a metaphor for my entire life, right? I was not somebody who was ever a fitness person. I wasn't somebody who went to school to be in nutrition or fitness, right? That wasn't what I was doing. At the time I was working at a record label and I moved to LA based on I got a working visa through Sony because I was fast tracking in the marketing. Right. I'm Canadian. I was at BMG. I got a great job offer to come here to Los Angeles. And I was like running marketing at a very young age and creating all these like marketing initiatives, blah, blah, blah for bands. And I got burnt out. I didn't want to be in the music world anymore.
[00:56:24] And so because I was here young, very young and on someone else's visa, I couldn't make money any other way. So I figured, okay, what am I going to do to make some money so I can live in the state and not get kicked out. I thought, I'll become a personal trainer. That way, I can make some extra money, I like working out, didn't know anything about it. I'm like, I like to ride my bike, and I like aerobics, so let's do it.
[00:56:47] Jordan Harbinger: Aerobics. Putting a time stamp on this.
[00:56:50] Jennifer Cohen: That's why he said it.
[00:56:51] Jordan Harbinger: Spinning didn't exist.
[00:56:52] Jennifer Cohen: That did actually exist.
[00:56:53] Jordan Harbinger: Did it?
[00:56:53] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah. It's head as a resurgence. But anyways, I'll just do that. So I quit my job, got like my first training certification. And I'm like, all right, maybe I'll just do this. And while I was going through my training certification, it dawned on me, listen, I have all these relationships in the music world, right? I've been there for five years working in the music world. I know a lot of different people. There's transferable skills that you can use. It doesn't matter what industry you're in, these are transferable, like using somewhere else.
[00:57:20] So I thought to myself, okay, I know all these people. I got a meeting with the head of MCA Universal, a friend who I knew, and I said, "Listen, you know what? I have a proposition for you. I want to become a trainer for the record label." I was like, "Put me on retainer, give me a certain amount of money, and I will train all the different talent for when they go on tour or when they do a music video and I will train them." He looked at me, he's like, "What the hell do you know about training, personal training?" I'm like, "I got my certification. I know how to do a lunge. I know how to do a pushup. Give me a shot."
[00:57:50] Jordan Harbinger: The bar is so low here.
[00:57:51] Jennifer Cohen: Right. But it's about having the audacity and the boldness to think, why not me? Why not? What's the worst that can happen? He kicks me out and says, "Sorry, we're not going to give you the money. We don't want to do it. Move on, lady." He finally said, "Okay, you know what? I'll give you a shot. Let's do it for a month. Let's see what happens." From that opportunity, one month turned into many months and one label turned into multiple labels, turned into multiple people working underneath me to an entire fitness business and industry that kind of wasn't really there at the time. And I was training literally everybody for tours and for videos. And now, I became this like fitness influencer—
[00:58:31] Jordan Harbinger: First celebrity trainer.
[00:58:33] Jennifer Cohen: No, no, no, not as like, I don't ever say that. But what I say is I created this position for myself that otherwise wouldn't have existed. I would have been basically shipped back to Canada if I didn't think of this opportunity for myself, which then, by the way, took me on an entirely different trajectory of my life, where then I became a health and fitness person, which, by the way, was nothing that I would have ever thought five years before then.
[00:58:59] Jordan Harbinger: We've been friends for a long time, and you've done a lot of really incredible things in your life. And I know we've been wanting to do a show for a while. It's been hard to put what you do into a container. So, it's actually really appropriate that you wrote a book about taking all of these random things that don't fit into a container and turning it into your career and your strength and your talents and stuff like that. Does that make sense?
[00:59:18] Jennifer Cohen: A hundred percent.
[00:59:19] Jordan Harbinger: It's like the perfect thing for you to do. Because I'm like, what are you going to write a book about? You have all these disparate skills and talents that don't really necessarily neatly fit together. Hey, the book is about fitting all these disparate talents and skills that don't really neatly fit together and turning it into something special, a catalyst for something special.
[00:59:34] Jennifer Cohen: It's like Seinfeld, but a book.
[00:59:35] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, I mean, I guess.
[00:59:38] Jennifer Cohen: It's just random things that kind of work together.
[00:59:41] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:59:41] Jennifer Cohen: If you would look at my career, there is a lot of zig and zagging. It doesn't make a lot of sense, right? But at the same time, it makes a lot of sense because what I've done is really lean on the things that I'm really good at and figure those things out quickly and then compensate for the things I'm not good at. I really believe that people need to figure out what they're good at, really lean hard into those strengths and then go all in. I do believe that to be true.
[01:00:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, but you do it in a smart way that's not just this reckless.
[01:00:09] Jennifer Cohen: No.
[01:00:09] Jordan Harbinger: Quit your job and burn the ship.
[01:00:10] Jennifer Cohen: Never.
[01:00:11] Jordan Harbinger: I appreciate that. I want to end with your Keanu Reeves story because I think it's really funny. It's a good example of just doing something that is completely ridiculous and surprisingly getting a result.
[01:00:21] Jennifer Cohen: Absolutely. So, when I was young, I loved music when I was a kid. Loved it. That was one of my big passions. And I knew a lot about every band and everything else. And I really wanted to be like a video disc jockey, like a Carson Daly.
[01:00:34] Jordan Harbinger: A veejay?
[01:00:35] Jennifer Cohen: A veejay.
[01:00:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:00:35] Jennifer Cohen: We call it—
[01:00:36] Jordan Harbinger: Video disc jockey sounds super '90s.
[01:00:38] Jennifer Cohen: Well, it was. It was like the TRL. Remember?
[01:00:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:00:40] Jennifer Cohen: So we had our own version in Canada, MuchMusic. And that was like the job that like every young teen wanted, right?
[01:00:47] Jordan Harbinger: Sure, yeah.
[01:00:48] Jennifer Cohen: It was the coolest job in the world. And they were having an open call for it at MuchMusic. And so I was like, oh my God, I need that job. And at the time, Keanu Reeves was at the precipice of his career. Guess he still is.
[01:01:01] Jordan Harbinger: Keanu Reeves never went out of style.
[01:01:02] Jennifer Cohen: He never went out of style. It's unbelievable. But at the time I was like, wow, this guy just did speed. It was like the biggest thing since sliced bread. And he was coming to Winnipeg to practice his acting chops with Shakespeare. He always wanted to do Shakespeare.
[01:01:15] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, that's so random.
[01:01:16] Jennifer Cohen: Random. And I found out I'm like, this is my shot. This is my chance. I'm going to get Keanu Reeves to be on my demo tape. And that way they are going to look at that demo tape. If I can get Keanu Reeves on that demo—
[01:01:28] Jordan Harbinger: Right, they're going to be blown away.
[01:01:29] Jennifer Cohen: They'll blown away. And I'll for sure get the audition and get the job and blah, blah, blah. And so I told all my friends, I told my family, I went to school, I was like, I'm going to do this. Everyone, of course, laughed at me. They're like, "Oh God, here she goes again." And what did I do? I coerced a girlfriend of mine to come with me. And by the way, Winnipeg in the winter is minus 45. It's so cold. And I didn't care.
[01:01:52] I put on my warmest jacket and boots and I sat outside of the theater, the Manitoba Theater Center for 45 minutes. My friend came with me. She lasted seven minutes. She went home after seven minutes. She's like, "Screw this. This is too cold. You're on your own." And I waited and waited and he finally came out. And at the time when this was happening, It was like, do you remember, like, Current Affair and Hard Copy and Entertainment Tonight magazine?
[01:02:16] Jordan Harbinger: Crappy Tabloid.
[01:02:17] Jennifer Cohen: They were all waiting for him, right? And all the other shows, too. And all the girls were waiting for him, and I was so determined. I saw him come out, and I walked right up to him, I went through the crowd, I tapped him on the shoulder, and he finally looked at me, and he's like, "I know you want an autograph." And I'm like, "No, I don't want an autograph. I really need your help. I need to make this demo tape because I have this job that I really want."
[01:02:39] Jordan Harbinger: He must have been like, oh, for crying out loud.
[01:02:42] Jennifer Cohen: He looked at me confused.
[01:02:44] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[01:02:44] Jennifer Cohen: What are you talking about? And I'm totally stunned and said it again and this girl's pushing me out of the way. And he's like, "I don't know what you're talking about, but write down your phone number on a piece of paper and I'll call you." And I was like, "Come on, you're not really going to call me. I'm not that like, naive."
[01:03:00] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:03:00] Jennifer Cohen: And he's like, "Just do it." And so some girl gave me an eyeliner. I found a gum wrapper. I wrote my phone number down.
[01:03:05] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[01:03:06] Jennifer Cohen: Gave it to him. Went home.
[01:03:07] Jordan Harbinger: He's like, you expect me to put this soggy eyeliner gum wrapper that's covered in Manitoba snow in my pocket?
[01:03:13] Jennifer Cohen: He did.
[01:03:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And he did.
[01:03:15] Jennifer Cohen: I went back to school. I told my friends, everyone was laughing at me. I was like the laughingstock. I'd walk around. They're like, "Oh, did Keanu call? Huh?" One day, two days, three days go by. On the fourth day, come home. My mom says, "Hey, did you check the answering machine today yet?" Because at the time we had answering machines. And I was like, "No, why?" She's like, "Well, you should check it." And so I go and press play. And the first message I hear, "Hello?" And I hear my mother picking up on that last ring. Like, "Who is this?" And then I hear, "Hi, is Jennifer home?" And my mom's like, "Who's this? She's at school. Either call back or leave a message." And she hung up. And then, I hear the machine being like, beep, again. And, "Hi, this is Keanu Reeves calling. I met Jennifer five nights ago, you came up to me, you're asking me something, I don't know what it was, blah, blah, blah, here's my phone number, call me back." You can imagine.
[01:04:07] Jordan Harbinger: I can't even, this is ridiculous.
[01:04:09] Jennifer Cohen: I was 18 years old.
[01:04:10] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:04:10] Jennifer Cohen: I was freaking out. I was like, oh my god, he left me a phone number. I called the phone number, cut to.
[01:04:17] Jordan Harbinger: The guy from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure called me back.
[01:04:20] Jennifer Cohen: Cut to, two days later, picking up Keanu Reeves in my mom's Cutlass Supreme sedan.
[01:04:26] Jordan Harbinger: Stop, he didn't get a ride on his own? This is a different era.
[01:04:30] Jennifer Cohen: I pick him up at his hotel in my mom's Cutlass Supreme. I drive him back home to my house. My mom has lunch prepared for him. I have my friends all in different corners of my living room with their different like camcorders to film me, basically, interviewing Keanu Reeves.
[01:04:47] Jordan Harbinger: I'm sure you had no shortage of volunteers to come and film.
[01:04:50] Jennifer Cohen: No shortage.
[01:04:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:04:51] Jennifer Cohen: And I had my boyfriend at the time, or whatever.
[01:04:53] Jordan Harbinger: I wouldn't have included him, but okay.
[01:04:54] Jennifer Cohen: Oh, I didn't want to, but he was insistent. And I interviewed this guy for two and a half hours.
[01:05:00] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[01:05:00] Jennifer Cohen: And he was so gracious.
[01:05:02] Jordan Harbinger: What a legend, this guy is.
[01:05:03] Jennifer Cohen: He's a legend. And then I, with no technical chops, go through two different VHS tapes and edit this tape together.
[01:05:10] Jordan Harbinger: My god.
[01:05:10] Jennifer Cohen: Send it in to MuchMusic. Got the audition.
[01:05:14] Jordan Harbinger: Promptly blew it.
[01:05:15] Jennifer Cohen: What?
[01:05:16] Jordan Harbinger: Promptly blew it. You didn't get the job.
[01:05:18] Jennifer Cohen: It came down to between me and another girl after thousands and thousands of people. And then, the other girl got the job, but it doesn't matter. Like the job was so irrelevant.
[01:05:30] Jordan Harbinger: Do you still have this VHS tape?
[01:05:31] Jennifer Cohen: Of course, I do. I talk about this in my TED talk and I show it.
[01:05:34] Jordan Harbinger: How big is your hair in the tape?
[01:05:35] Jennifer Cohen: Oh my god, you have to watch it. You got to watch my TED Talk.
[01:05:39] Jordan Harbinger: No, I'm just going to watch the Keanu Reeves portion.
[01:05:41] Jennifer Cohen: You got to watch it. It is hilarious what I'm wearing.
[01:05:43] Jordan Harbinger: I think it's great that. Oh my gosh.
[01:05:44] Jennifer Cohen: And to me, it showed me it wasn't about the job. Who cares about the job? It was that moment, pivotal moment, where I'm like, you know what? You never know unless you ask and that to me was a sign of being bold is way more important than being smart because it was so easy for me and my friends and my family to be like, "You shouldn't do it. Why would you? He's not going to help you. It's too cold outside. Why would you wait? When was it going to happen?" If I listened to all of that chatter, I would never have gotten that opportunity to prove to myself that it really is boldness that's the secret sauce. It's not how much talent you have. It's not about how smart you are or how pretty you are. It's about just going for it. That's the lesson that I learned and throughout my life just went through that with gusto every time. I would always think, what's the worst that can happen? You never know. And to me, that's why that story was such a huge turning point in my life.
[01:06:35] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. So here's the thing. Everybody up to this point was, "I'm not sure if I believe this story. And even I was like, if I didn't know you, I wouldn't be so sure about this story." But you have the tape. We'll link to your TED Talk where you have a piece of the tape.
[01:06:46] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah, I have me talking to him on my mom's sofa.
[01:06:49] Jordan Harbinger: That's incredible. I also knew it was true because I met your mom and she verified it because I asked her about this a long time ago. When you weren't in the room. So how was Keanu Reeves? And she wasn't like, what? Who?
[01:07:02] Jennifer Cohen: I'm telling you, my life, honestly, weird combination of a lots of stories like that.
[01:07:11] Jordan Harbinger: I've got some thoughts on this one as usual, but before I get into that. Behavioral economist shares the hidden logic that shapes our motivations and helps us understand what makes us tick. Here's a preview.
[01:07:22] Dan Ariely: I think that we used to think that the big mysteries of life is the, you know, what's in the stars and maybe microbiology. And of course, these are big mysteries. But the human mystery is wonderful. And even though it's just in front of us. There's so much we don't know.
[01:07:39] We operate as if we know how the world works. Because our model is wrong, we inflict more pain and increase suffering. I think it's true for lots of things. What is our understanding? Think about how we waste our time. Think about how we waste our money, how we waste our health.
[01:07:59] My mission is to do kind of good social engineering. And I think there's just a ton of progress to make and sadly we're not doing it in the right way. I think we're actually going back and the process of social science in which we try different things and try to measure objectively what's going on and attributing and trying to improve things over time, I think is a wonderful process.
[01:08:21] So when people read or listen or think about those topics, I think that the real benefit is to say, what can I take for my life? What are the things about my life that I'm not observing? Can I be a bit better and observing my own life? Can I try to implement something and then hopefully also can I try to experiment with something I would like to try out in a few different ways and see what leads to a better outcome?
[01:08:47] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Dan Ariely on one of the best productivity tools around what will help you utilize the most productive hours of the day and why even the best of us lie and cheat sometimes, check out episode 417 on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:09:03] There's a lot of practicals in the book. Negative thoughts, getting stuck in negative thought loops. Getting away from negative thoughts by changing our environments. But of course, what if we can't just up and move out ofthe country for a few months? Environment does Trump willpower? We talk about that a lot on our James Clear episode, which is episode 108.
[01:09:18] Jen's got a lot of crazy stories, scrappiness, boldness, a little bit of luck here and there, but definitely in combo with all of the other skills. I've lost count of the number of times that people have tried to hire her to manage or be their agent or something like that. In fact, I think she did work in an industry for a little while in LA, but uh, well, she had bigger plans.
[01:09:35] All things Jen Cohen will be in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com or ask the AI chatbot, also on the website. Transcripts in the show notes. Advertisers, deals, discounts, and ways to support the show, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Please consider supporting those who support the show.
[01:09:51] Also, the newsletter, every week, the team and I dig into an older episode of the show and dissect the lessons from it. So if you are a fan of the show, you want a recap of important highlights and takeaways. Or you just want to know what to listen to next. The newsletter is a great place to do that. jordanharbinger.com/news is where you can find it. I'm constantly working on that. I'm trying to make it funnier, more entertaining, more insightful. So please reply with your feedback. I do appreciate that. Six-Minute Networking also on the site at jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn.
[01:10:21] This show is created in association with PodcastOne, and my team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for the show is you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. The greatest compliment you can give us is to share the show with those you care about. If you know somebody who needs a little bit of boldness in their life, definitely share this episode with them. In the meantime, I hope you apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you learn, and we'll see you next time.
[01:10:53] This episode is sponsored in part by American Scandal podcast. Jonestown started as a vision of Utopia, a model society built on shared resources and labor. Its founders aimed to prove that a truly just and equal community could exist, but instead it morphed into an unthinkable tragedy becoming one of the most devastating mass murder suicides in recent memory. American Scandal is a podcast that isn't shy about diving headlong into the murkiest waters of America's past. Its latest season focuses on the 1978 catastrophe where over 900 Americans died in the jungles of Guyana. They didn't just die, many voluntarily consumed poison laced punch, thereby etching the phrase drinking the Kool-Aid into grim cultural lexicon. Worse yet, a third of the deceased were children. Jonestown stands as a chilling testament toward the hazards of blind faith, its infamy sealed as the images of horror reached US soil. It leaves us wrestling with unbearable questions. How did a community founded on ideals of social justice spiral into such unfathomable violence? And why wasn't this disaster averted? Check out American Scandal wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen ad free on Amazon Music or the Wondery app.
[01:11:57] I should play these outtakes at the end of the show. I think so. It's a great addition. There's this story about one of the guys that you recommended for me to hire when I interviewed Kobe Bryant, and what happened? You recommend me this guy, and I meet him and he's a schlep, whatever. I buy him a hotel room, we fly him down to SoCal. Everybody's going to meet Kobe Bryant the night before. We go to bed early, next day get up, get there early, set up all the cameras, everything's ready to go. He goes, "Hey, I got to go to the bathroom before the show." Okay, fine. Humans have needs. Kobe walks in. I'm like, I got to start. So I'm starting. I got the audio going. My photographer's there. Thank God This guy's supposed to handle all the video. Five minutes going, ten minutes going. I'm like to the photographer, "Can you go find this guy? Where is he?" Comes out starts the cameras late. So my videos cut right?
[01:12:46] So then afterwards I go, "What the hell was that, man?" And he goes, "Oh, I had to go to the bathroom. I just figured you guys would come get me when Kobe came out." You think that when Kobe Bryant comes out and sits down in the set that we have made in his office, that I'm going to get up and go to the men's room and knock on the stall door and be like, "Hey man, get off your phone. Kobe is waiting for you now. Kobe will see you now."
[01:13:08] Jennifer Cohen: The best part is, like, he had, like, a stomach, like, not even a stomach bug. He had, like, some kind of runs.
[01:13:13] Jordan Harbinger: So this is what he said.
[01:13:15] Jennifer Cohen: Yeah.
[01:13:15] Jordan Harbinger: But here's the thing. Not true at all.
[01:13:16] Jennifer Cohen: Oh, how do we find out?
[01:13:17] Jordan Harbinger: Afterwards, he apologized. He had no excuse. He said, "Sorry, I thought you guys were going to come get me. I got lost in my phone. I was on Instagram, whatever it was." Then we all went to lunch, and he ordered like a meatball hoagie.
[01:13:29] Jennifer Cohen: Right, sorry.
[01:13:29] Jordan Harbinger: Later, his boss called and was like, "I am so sorry, he got sick. Oh, he said he had stomach pains and blah blah blah." And I'm like, "Nah. He apologized. He didn't have any excuse for an hour afterwards. We all went to lunch. He ate a ton, stuffed himself. Had three drinks and a rib hoagie, then he went home, sent me a text about how he screwed that up and he apologizes and he just randomly thought to tell you he was sick. He's not sick, he's just a dumbass."
[01:13:54] Jennifer Cohen: So basically, he's just sitting in a stall scrolling Instagram.
[01:13:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. The boss will come out and get me when Kobe Bryant is ready to be interviewed so I can turn the cameras on.
[01:14:02] Jennifer Cohen: I hate the fact that I'm the one who actually set you up with him but that was all I knew at the time. You were in a, you were in a bind, and he was very cost effective from what I remember.
[01:14:11] Jordan Harbinger: He was. In fact, they offered to do the next one for free. I kindly passed on that opportunity, though, kindly.
[01:14:18] Jennifer Cohen: Oh, I love it. That story still, that story for whatever reason is a classic to me.
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