#78: How to Face Your Fears as an Entrepreneur with Brad Axelrad

Welcome to The Creator's Adventure where we interview creators from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business.

Our guest today is Brad Axelrad, an expert in helping entrepreneurs build a thriving business by facing their biggest fears.

For over a decade, Brad’s been an event producer, consultant, strategist and podcast host, having produced over 150 live events with top business leaders and best-selling authors.

As a consultant and speaker, he utilizes his message to support coaches, visionary entrepreneurs, and consultants by helping them create the business that sets them free to live a life of fulfillment and truth.

He’s a proud founding member of the Association of Transformational Leaders Southern California since 2010 and is a Co-Founder of The Association of Transformational Leaders Costa Rica.

On his Face Your Dragon Podcast he interviews celebrity thought leaders and icons including don Miguel Ruiz, Arielle Ford, JP Sears and The Kin, musicians seen on Conan O’Brien and who opened up for Coldplay and Pink.

Brad’s been featured on numerous media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, PBS Television, OC Register, LA Times, USC News and CBC News Canada.

Learn more about Brad: https://faceyourdragon.com


Bryan McAnulty [00:00:00]:

Welcome to the creator's adventure where we interview creators from around the world hearing their stories about growing a business. Today's guest is gonna help you identify and conquer the fears that hold you back in your business. Hey, everyone. I'm Brian McAnulty, the founder of Heights Platform. Let's get into it. Hey, everyone. We're here today with Brad Axelrad. For over a decade, Brad's been an event producer, consultant, strategist, podcast host, and having produced over a 150 live events with top business leaders and best selling authors.

Bryan McAnulty [00:00:38]:

As a consultant and speaker, he utilizes his message to support coaches, visionary entrepreneurs, and consultants by helping them create the business that sets them free to live a life of fulfillment and truth. Brad, welcome to the show.

Brad Axelrad [00:00:53]:

I'm super honored to be here. Thanks for having me.

Bryan McAnulty [00:00:57]:

Hey. I'm glad to have you. So my first question for you, kinda aligns with the the end of that introduction is, what's the biggest thing that either you did or you are doing that has helped you to achieve the freedom to what do do what you enjoy?

Brad Axelrad [00:01:13]:

You know, figuring figuring out technology, it's sort of this double edged sword. Like, we love we have this love hate relationship with tech. But as we were joking about earlier, yeah, as I'm running around sweaty trying to get things turned on, the electricity has been been off here, and, obviously, we need Wi Fi and tech to to live our lives and to set ourselves free. So I'm currently living in in Playa del Carmen, Mexico just outside of there. And, you know, as so many of us digital digital nomads and and entrepreneurs, do, we're able to live and move about. But the reason I'm saying tech first is in my experience of working with so many people throughout the years, like, there's this incredible frustration. Like, we know that it's our greatest gift, but it also it's this, like, ball and chain. We're chained to our technology, and yet it can totally set us free.

Brad Axelrad [00:02:04]:

So it's finding that balance, understanding what technology to use, how to outsource a lot of the these tech things to find people that are in their genius there. That's kinda what comes up for me right off the bat.

Bryan McAnulty [00:02:18]:

Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting. Personally, I enjoy the tech a lot. Yeah. But when it doesn't go right, no doubt. It's frustrating. And, yeah, as soon as you lose power or you lose Internet, like, you remember, how important all these things are.

Bryan McAnulty [00:02:36]:

But, yeah, definitely without without technology being what it is, like, we wouldn't be able to have the businesses that we have and the the freedoms that we have, being able to to do them, do businesses like this from wherever. So definitely agree with that.

Brad Axelrad [00:02:52]:

Yep. Yep.

Bryan McAnulty [00:02:54]:

So you help coaches and consultants transform their struggle into strength by facing their fears. Can you share maybe a personal experience of where you turned something that was a fear into a powerful asset for yourself? Well,

Brad Axelrad [00:03:10]:

you know, as even as I take a breath right now, like, public speaking is the number one fear about dying. And, you know, I come from racing semi professional motocross, doing extreme sports, and pushing the edge in every aspect of life anywhere I could. And even with that courage and that bravery and the ability to face my stuff and to lean in in business, in relationship, in plant medicine, in all the things, public speaking was still and probably still is my my greatest fear. Like, I'm even nervous and excited right now, but the founder of Gestalt therapy says that fear is excitement without the breath. So most of the time, we're just not breathing when we're gonna get excited. We're getting on stage. We're gonna get interviewed on a podcast. And I've I've just booked myself on 20 podcasts in the last couple weeks here, this whole month of August and into September's podcast interviews, and and I I still get excited.

Brad Axelrad [00:04:11]:

I, you know, I was gonna say I get scared, but it's really excitement. I'm just you know, we have all these chemicals coursing through our brain and through our body that we can use to our advantage. Like, when I was sitting on the start straight racing motocross or skiing down a double black diamond in Lake Tahoe or Colorado, like, you've gotta be on. So we get to use that the the chemicals pump us into a flow state if and when we learn how to sort of rechannel and transform all that's happening in our nervousness. So there's great power in our excitement. I was gonna say in our fear and in our nervousness, but overcoming the fear of public speaking, I would say that's been it set me free. It's given me everything I've ever wanted, and just really embracing it and enjoying it and having the energy with it now.

Bryan McAnulty [00:04:57]:

Awesome. Well, how would you say, like, that that shift in perspective on that fear allowed you to become a confident speaker? Like, yeah, tell tell us some more about that. Like, because now you've done, what, over a 150 live Heights, that's a lot, you know?

Brad Axelrad [00:05:15]:

Well, I've produced over a 150, over over 200 at this point, and spoke it spoke at all of them. I was either the MC or co MC or a speaker, but I've I've actually spoken on over 300 stages. At this point, it's probably 350 stages. Mostly live, probably two 230 of that live, and the other 70 is podcast interviews or or something else. So, you know, it's there's there's beauty and mastery in it. The more the more you do it, the exposure therapy, the more you embrace it, the more you kind of lean into it and and learn to love it, that's when it really gets into this powerful place of of flow. I I'm sorry. I missed it.

Brad Axelrad [00:05:55]:

I forgot the question there as you asked it.

Bryan McAnulty [00:05:59]:

Yeah. Just well well, how do you feel it's it's made an impact on you now that you can take what was a fear and leverage it in your business?

Brad Axelrad [00:06:07]:

Yeah. I mean, basically, being able to set up the automation I have and really get myself on these all these podcasts, for example, is a is a huge opportunity. I get invited on stages as well. I mean, there's they're the Heights paid people on planet, as you guys know, as coaches, speakers, entrepreneurs, like public speakers are the highest paid on the planet. So, getting paid gigs is a little more difficult, especially these days, but, certainly, that's that's a possibility. But knowing that we could share a message on social media and on on a podcast like with you today, I mean, there's great great power there.

Bryan McAnulty [00:06:47]:

Awesome. Yeah. So I have a question I'm kinda curious about. I'm betting that our audience would be curious as well. I saw on your website that, like, you've been mentioned by, like, some big, like, press. You're talking now about going in and doing all these podcasts, of course, speaking on stages. I'm curious, like, what had the biggest impact for you, in terms of your business as far as, I guess, let's say, like, impact in the sense of not, like, the long term credibility or something, but, like, impact in the sense of, like, maybe more of the short term of, like, got some awareness or got clients for you, things like that.

Brad Axelrad [00:07:27]:

I do wanna speak to the media piece because that that's, that's big. You know? I was on NBC nightly news. PBS television aired out to 8,000,000 people. USC News did a piece on us. LA Times, Orange County Register, CBC News Canada, like massive media storm because I had positioned myself correctly at the right time with the right press release, with with the right language, and, just really leverage the media wave there. And so so that was that was huge. I mean, like you said, it was a credibility booster, but, also, it launched me into, just massive exposure. Now the thing is back in 2007 when I attracted most of that, I didn't have the funnels.

Brad Axelrad [00:08:13]:

We didn't know what ClickFunnels was. It wasn't around. We of course, there were marketing funnels, but I was sort of pre Internet marketing at that point. I was a marketer. I was producing events. I was marketing events, getting on media, getting on stages, being interviewed all over the place, you know, really was a quasi local celebrity in the Orange County area for about 7 years. LA, Orange County, San Diego kind of built a little mini celebrity there for a while. It was cool.

Brad Axelrad [00:08:42]:

But I'm saying that to say that there was opportunity in producing events, creating community, building regular events. That was a huge opportunity, credibility, and opportunity. I had a platform I could bring bring big name speakers in. It's something I recommend to my clients. It's great to have courses and, you know, a new software like you guys have. I've got a course of several courses. Super important, but the but the but the monthly and or weekly live event, can really blow up your your business, especially now that we're out of COVID. People wanna come out.

Brad Axelrad [00:09:20]:

They're tired of Zoom. They're tired of watching you and me sitting on these things. Like, they're ready to meet people. The good thing is COVID got us all really used to using technology and online courses and things like that. And Zoom, it really launched us all into that even more. But the short answer is live events, building credibility, getting up creating your own physical platform and your digital platform. But I'd say I'm one of the foremost experts in these community centric community driven sort of conscious business networking events. We can talk more about that.

Brad Axelrad [00:09:52]:

That was that was a fun ride way back a couple lifetimes ago.

Bryan McAnulty [00:09:57]:

Cool. Yeah. Well so I I guess then the follow-up is kind of, do you feel that now is the best thing for an entrepreneur who says, okay. I wanna do something to to grow my business, my network with all of this is to potentially try, like, being involved in these live events or or getting press or going on podcast. Like, you had to pick 1 thing for them, what would that be?

Brad Axelrad [00:10:23]:

Just 1? Boy. I gotta do them all. Launching a podcast is gonna be a slow burn. I'm gonna I'm gonna kinda say what what I wouldn't do first. I I pod podcasts are great. I had one. I'm in season we'll be launching season 2 soon. I had, you know, Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements is guest number 1.

Brad Axelrad [00:10:44]:

Gay Hendricks was guest number 2. Like, JP Sears, Ariel Ford, huge celebrity, guest friends of mine on the podcast. That's a slow burn. It's a it's a long burn, like so I wouldn't do a podcast. I I would probably get interviewed on other people's audiences like this. This is sort of a faster way to either get on a stage, which is kinda hard to do for some. But getting interviewed on a podcast, that's a little easier, so I would probably consider that. But but if if I were to do 1 strategy, not including social media, we always need to be doing social media.

Brad Axelrad [00:11:21]:

That's just part of what we do. But sort of these bigger rocks, these bigger things, I would create an absolute monthly live event that every 1st Wednesday of the month, these people know that when they come to you in your city and they know when they come to this event, they're gonna be treated really well, and the event is about about we. It's not about me. It's not about you. It's about how can they benefit absolutely way beyond what they ever imagined they could by coming to this $25 3 hour event. And that's the 1 strategy other than having them do a 90 day sober celibacy. The one core strategy that I recommend, people do is create a monthly event, my clients in particular.

Bryan McAnulty [00:12:10]:

Interesting. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. We we started ourselves actually this year. We do monthly live workshops with, with guest speakers.

Brad Axelrad [00:12:19]:

And There you have it.

Bryan McAnulty [00:12:21]:

These are these are online still, because our audience is is more global. I think it would be cool to do it do it in person one at some point in the future, get into that. But, yeah. So then what is what's the next step then? Let's say, like, okay. I'm I'm I wanna take your advice here. I wanna start this event. You mentioned there's, like, $25 to to have people get in, then what's, like, the goal after that, to, like, build them as a community? Like, are you gonna pitch them something there? What what happens?

Brad Axelrad [00:12:55]:

Really good question. So so, again, focused on the go giver, not go getter. We're not trying to get from this. We're really focused on making sure everybody's really feeling and experiencing being served at this event. So I'll just say the structure and then kind of answer your question after that. So the structure that I after doing, I don't know, probably 30, 50 of these, really figured this out, and it's 3 hours long. It's from 6 PM to 9 PM. Middle of the week, Wednesday's good.

Brad Axelrad [00:13:23]:

Don't do it Monday or Friday. It's better middle of the week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. And the 1st hour because people only see 6 PM, so they think, oh, I can show up at 6:30. I can show up at 7. So what I realized was that starting it at 6, but they don't realize that the event actually doesn't start until 7. 6 to 7 is open networking at mini expo. It's just open. Everyone's hanging out.

Brad Axelrad [00:13:47]:

There's food there. You know? Just use the money that you get from the tickets, like 25 prepaid, 30 at the door. You know? Things are a little more now, but people are also a little a little more strapped financially. I would, you know, do it somewhere in that range, 30 prepaid, 40 at the door, something like that, just to cover your expenses, bring in some good food, good drinks. I like alcohol free places. I wouldn't get into the alcohol thing. I would just do that. So the 1st hour is open, networking mini expo.

Brad Axelrad [00:14:16]:

2nd hour, 7 to 8 PM, is structured networking. So that looks like you doing a networking processes to make sure everyone in the room is meeting as many people as they possibly can. And I actually partnered with a company way back in the day that's still around. It's called CEO Space. It's one of the largest networking, and entrepreneur training organizations in the planet, been around for decades. I was doing things before this before we partnered with them, but then we kinda took some of their things that they do in these structured networking things and made sure that a lot of people had fun and met a lot of people. And then the 3rd hour is, is the guest speaker. So what we found and then what we sell is what I'll share next.

Brad Axelrad [00:15:00]:

But but what we found with these 3 hour meetings is, like, some people came just to shmooze. Others came because they were introverts. Like, the 1st hour was extroverts. The 2nd hour was introverts, and and they would be able to network through these processes. And then a lot of people just came for the speaker. They'd come for the whole event, but the point is you're catching 3 different types of people that wanna show up for the event. Introverts, extroverts, and then people that wanna hear a speaker. I'm oversimplifying, but I think you get what I'm saying.

Brad Axelrad [00:15:29]:

And that really worked. You'd make some money selling the boots, you know, $100, couple $100 for the 3 hour event, whatever it is, sell 5 or 10 of them. You know? And just from the event, I could make a couple $1,000 sometimes. I'd make, you know, $1500 from this 3 hour event, And then sell whatever it is you're gonna sell on the back, depends who you are or how you structure it. It could be, you know, text us your number if you want a free consult. What I mean, whatever it is. Go to, face my dragon.com. For me, go straight to a a scheduling page inside a ClickFunnels with my Calendly.

Brad Axelrad [00:16:04]:

You know, it just depends where you wanna send them and what you're selling.

Bryan McAnulty [00:16:08]:

And so does that come, like, in the form of, like, you giving a presentation as well, or is it more like just kind of an announcement? Like, hey, guys. I'm running the event, and, like, if you wanna get more about this.

Brad Axelrad [00:16:21]:

Well, remember well, maybe maybe it's not clear, but I was always the emcee. They saw me more than everybody. I was running the whole thing. I'm having fun. We're keeping it really interactive. That's the other thing. Don't get up there and just talk at them. You wanna keep this interactive educational, but I made it really community kinda centric.

Brad Axelrad [00:16:38]:

We were all in this together. And then so so what I what I did is I brought our director of marketing on. I let her lead the the the structured networking. Eventually, she let it. She went on to other things, partnered with Lisa Sasevich, and and and made millions after after she kinda started some of her, some of her work with me. She'd already been doing stuff, but that helped her, and then she went on. But, anyway, so so the the the key is to get multiple people promoting the event. So the guest speaker would be promoting the event.

Brad Axelrad [00:17:13]:

My my director of marketing was promoting the event. I was promoting the event. We'd get all these people to promote it, but the speaker would also sell their stuff at the end. So keep in mind, you're bringing a pro speaker that's got a really good pitch and a great offer, you know, that 3 to 300 to to $1,000 range, and they'd sell 10, 20, 50 units there too, and you get 50% of that. So there's revenue there. But the whole time as emcee or producer of the event, you could plant the seed. You know? Hey. Look.

Brad Axelrad [00:17:45]:

Early in the event, raise your hand if you wanna maybe talk to me about blah blah blah or at the end, but, you know, it kinda depends where where you would pitch it throughout the evening.

Bryan McAnulty [00:17:54]:

Got it. Yeah. I've I've seen other events do something similar with that format and everything. I just wanted to kinda understand. Let's say somebody's listening to this, and they're like, I was thinking about doing this. Now I gotta exactly do, do what he's talking about here. So alright. That sounds good.

Bryan McAnulty [00:18:11]:

I wanna shift a little bit and talk more about how entrepreneurs can kind of solve their their struggles and fears. So many struggle with the fear of failure. Can you provide maybe some actionable steps of what you would do to turn that fear of failing into a way to move forward and be successful with your business?

Brad Axelrad [00:18:38]:

Yeah. So so what I found with a a major fear like that, the fear of failure or the fear of public speaking or the fear of charging high fees or the fear of technology or the fear of talking on camera, all of these things are deeper fears than that. And that's what I've really been exploring for the last decades as a leader in transformation. It's not the fear of public speaking. It's one of the 5 fears or what I call dragons that I've come up with, and that's imposter, scarcity, value, unheard in critics. So it tends to be one of those 5 in my experience that that stops somebody from building the business they want or getting on camera. Even me, I still bump into these things every day. 1 1 or all of them.

Brad Axelrad [00:19:25]:

We're all we're all navigating these. So but the fear of failure, you know, that's probably something deeper. I would just I would create the invitation to you and anybody watching this and listening. If you have a fear of failure, what are you really afraid of? Is it that you'll let your wife down, your parents down, your kids down, you down in some way? Typically, it's gonna be someone else. Not even really us. It's like, oh my gosh, I'm gonna be embarrassed that I put all this time and energy in, and then I was found out as an imposter, a fraud, or I don't sell as many clients as I thought I would. Oh my gosh. Or nobody's listening to my message, it's falling on deaf ears.

Brad Axelrad [00:20:05]:

Right? So that's what I found, or I get criticized if I'm, you know, putting my message out there, and I don't want to experience any of the any of these things. Ultimately, I'm gonna end up as a failure, But I wanna I wanna go deeper there for a second.

Bryan McAnulty [00:20:18]:


Brad Axelrad [00:20:18]:

And that deeper thing is, like I'd mentioned, who are you trying to somehow get validation from or approval from? If I'm just successful, then my mom will love me. If I'm just Uber free and traveling the world, then dad will respect me or my older brother or older sister or my pastor, whoever whatever whoever these people are in our lives that have this sort of energy over us, that's what I'd recommend you take a look into. And where did you learn that? So something that I would recommend is something called pattern tracing. You wanna kinda go back to where you learn that fear or that thought. And it's always going back to your childhood to really understand who who is that voice that says, you're never gonna make it or you're gonna fail? And if you fail, then you're a piece of whatever. Like, find that have the courage to go and face your dragon. And that's really what my brand is all about is removing all this stuff that we do, AI and technology and social media and all this crap, what's actually underneath that that we need to be courageous enough to look and face to really make friends with it because we don't wanna slay our dragon. We wanna face it and become friends with it.

Brad Axelrad [00:21:38]:

We wanna turn on the light in the dark room where that dragon's in there just fucking ready to kill you, and that's that's what we wanna do. We wanna turn the light on. Our shadow is our friend, but we need to illuminate the room.

Bryan McAnulty [00:21:54]:

Yeah. That sounds good. So how about then with the criticism, that's something that entrepreneurs can encounter even, like, when they start to become more successful. So how do you feel that somebody could use criticism, as a tool or, like, flip that flip that around instead of letting the negative comments kinda get to you?

Brad Axelrad [00:22:16]:

Yeah. That's that's interesting. There's 2 parts to that. So the first part is sort of the fear of success, and that's actually what the critics' dragon is, is if you do achieve the dream, you'll be criticized or your personal life will suffer in some way. So so we're afraid that if we, I think, if we and I don't know if any of this is right. This is just from being as a leader in this since 2005 and working with thousands of people throughout the years. Like, most of these seem to be kind of running all of us, right, including me. So So there's 2 parts to the fear of success, so who am I to have this level of success? I'm just gonna fuck it all up again and self sabotage.

Brad Axelrad [00:22:58]:

I just did another podcast kind of around self sabotage. I failed in the past, so so therefore I'm gonna screw up again. That's just what I do. Right? So that fear of success, why even try? Because I'll probably just fail again, or I'm gonna get so successful. There'll be nothing to strive for anymore, and and then what? And you know so many people. I guarantee some of the people watching this and listening right now have experienced that. They've gotten their their success, whatever success meant to them, the money, the followers, the the blah blah blah. Right? And then they get there, and they realize it's really not what they thought it was gonna be.

Brad Axelrad [00:23:39]:

It's almost like the high isn't there. The the journey is we need to learn to embrace the journey and and enjoy the journey to success, whatever our our definition is, because most of the time when we get there, it's. It's not a big deal. So that's one thing I would have you check-in with, again, what's driving you? What's your motivation? Are you seeking something external? Because if you are, that's that's gonna lead you to this flat kind of that. K. There we are. So how to flip the critics, the 2nd part of the question. Criticism, make it fuel, learn to laugh and play when things are are are challenging.

Brad Axelrad [00:24:18]:

And I know it's so hard, but levity, it's so important. Reframing challenges. Like, I'm getting chills right now. It's like reframing the criticism into, that's so funny. Look at this person. That that's pretty funny. That was clever. Having the ability to to laugh at ourselves and to turn fear into fuel and criticism into fuel, and it's not easy, but it's worth it once you could figure it out.

Bryan McAnulty [00:24:46]:

Awesome. Yeah. I I like that. That's a great way to look at it. That that reframing is interesting, actually, as you were describing that. It reminded me of a couple of, like, hurdles that I've gotten over in my business. Maybe maybe more so in the, like, scarcity side than the critic side of, of worrying about, well, what happens if it's too successful? And, I think, like, early on, there's a lot of things I've tried where, like, I felt at first, well, I can't do this because what if it's too successful? And nowadays, my argument to that is, like, we'll figure it out when it's too successful. That that's when you that's when you figure out the problem.

Bryan McAnulty [00:25:27]:

That's a great problem to have. Yep. But, often, like, we stop ourselves for such a silly reason of thinking like, oh, well, I can't do this because when it's successful, there will be a problem. Like a concrete example of that is back in 20 2013, we launched a print business. And we had these different partners, and it's still around today. And I remember, like, wanting to start that since maybe, like, 2011, and it took me 2 years to actually move forward with it. And the reason I didn't was because I was worried that there's gonna be so many orders, and the printer didn't have an API at the time that would allow us to connect to, and so we would have to manually add the orders, and it would just be too hard to do. And then I realized, you know what? That would be really great if that's such a big problem, and then I'm sure I can work with them to, like, we'll figure something out.

Bryan McAnulty [00:26:23]:

And we launched it, and we did the orders manually. And we were doing them manually completely manually for years, and it worked. Like, it was it wasn't that big of a problem. And so and it didn't turn into a massive business, but it wouldn't have even happened if, like, I sat and, like, got stuck with that fear.

Brad Axelrad [00:26:43]:

It's so true. And that that's really what the personal life will suffer component of that critics dragon is. It's it's, be be because maybe you've been there before. You seem pretty young, but I I've had businesses. I'm 50 now, almost 51 in a month. Like like, at 19 starting businesses, we didn't have any tech. It was your hustle, and so the busier you got, the busier you got. And, certainly, I've trapped myself, and maybe you were just simply afraid you were gonna trap yourself and be like, oh my gosh.

Brad Axelrad [00:27:12]:

I'm working day and night, you know, in this Amazon ship business. Right? Like so I think it's a very valid fear, and that's where, you know, obviously, we've got mentors and other people that can help sort of build the business with the end in mind and make sure we don't totally trap ourselves, that'll alleviate some of the stress and fear that we're that you're talking about too. Right? Building it correctly.

Bryan McAnulty [00:27:35]:

Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. And yeah. But, I mean, that that's a good point because, like, I do really value balance and and man maintaining that everything. But, yeah, once you learn that, like, if if you're aware of things, like, that's enough, I think, in most cases. Like, being aware that, like, this could be a problem, but then also realizing that you don't have to confront it necessarily until it does become a problem because it might not become a problem. So

Brad Axelrad [00:28:04]:

You bring up such a good point, dude, and it's just leap in the net will appear, man. You've got it. You've got a you've got a you've got a job. But but there is something else I wanna say that I I find a super mission critical as entrepreneurs, and that's, as my friend and mentor, Alex Bendozi, one of the smartest markers in this space for years. Not sure you know Alex, but probably before your time. But he says running enthusiastically in the wrong direction. Don't don't do that. I like to say it's better to walk down the right path than it is to run down the wrong one.

Brad Axelrad [00:28:35]:

Right? But, I mean, all all these are relevant. So it's this interesting paradox of you gotta jump and, you know, and figure it out, build a plane while it's flying, blah blah blah. We could say all these sentences, right, or sayings, but there's also truth to, you know, building it building it correctly. But you're right. We got a fucking job. So the that I'll say this. The hashtag tags I use are face your dragon, take the leap, break free. So face your shit, jump, and then you'll break free.

Brad Axelrad [00:29:02]:

If you don't do it in that sequence, you're never gonna get there. Bryan that's really what you're saying.

Bryan McAnulty [00:29:08]:

Yeah. Yeah. That's great. I like that. Alright. So how about impostor syndrome then? That that fear of being kinda called out as a fraud. I think course creators, coaches, especially, this is something that I mean, every entrepreneur goes through it likely, at some some kind of amount, but especially those trying to teach others. It's easy to get worried and say, oh, I'm not I'm not really the best at this or or something like that.

Bryan McAnulty [00:29:36]:

So what what techniques have you found effective for fighting that?

Brad Axelrad [00:29:40]:

Yeah. Well, it's, we can compare ourselves all day long to the Brendon Burchard's of the world or or the Alex or Moses or the, you know, anyone that's been uber successful in this space. And that comparison can really can really stop us. And and, of course, we're gonna look like an imposter next to Tony Robbins. I mean, even the biggest names in our space are like, man, that guy's just killing it. He's so much better than me. You know? And and, you know, I'm a decent speaker. I I like to think of naturally talented, certainly trained in at some, but, the point is anytime we do something new and compare ourselves to someone who's been there doing it for a long time, we're gonna experience the imposter syndrome.

Brad Axelrad [00:30:27]:

And and that's okay. I I I wanted to let us all off the hook that if you have imposter scarcity value, unheard in critics, it's okay. Just learn to love them. Learn learn to notice them. Like you've mentioned, awareness first always. Like, okay. There it is again. Okay.

Brad Axelrad [00:30:44]:

Thank you for showing up. Let me notice what I can do differently. Where can I love myself more? Where can I accept myself more? How can I recognize that it's okay? I'm new in this. It's okay. I'm gonna feel the imposter syndrome. Like, just name it. Own it. What you resist persists.

Brad Axelrad [00:31:02]:

What you're pushing away is just gonna push back. If I pull on your arm, they're gonna pull back twice as hard. It's just what our nervous system does. If we're resisting something, it's gonna amplify it. So we just wanna breathe into it. There's excitement without the breath. Again, Joseph Campbell, the cave we fear to enter holds the treasure we seek. So whatever we're most resisting and most afraid of are the very things that'll set us free.

Brad Axelrad [00:31:29]:

So if imposter, fear public speaking, oh my god. Who am I to do this? I'm not gonna make any Heights. We wanna lean into it. Fear means go. All these things mean we just need to lean in. We need to love it. We need to embrace it. You know, try to try to make nice with the the imposter syndrome and make it your friend.

Bryan McAnulty [00:31:49]:

Yeah. That's great. I actually wanna draw attention to, this is, at least the 2nd time that you've mentioned about, like, the, the breathing. Right? And so I think, I think that is really important. Have you heard of, doctor, Andrew Weil?

Brad Axelrad [00:32:09]:

Yes. He's

Bryan McAnulty [00:32:09]:

written some, like, health books and things. So I I read some things from him talking about, like, the importance of of breath and things like that. And, like, for anybody listening to this, I think that there's a there's an interesting mix of how people take it because sometimes people think like, okay, starting to talk about breathing. Like, does that mean, like, do I have to start meditating? Is this gonna get into, like, some kind of, like, hippie hippie woo woo type thing? And it's it's not about that. It can it can be about that, whatever you want it to be. But, like, the idea is, like, we're all humans. You need to breathe. Like, that's an important thing.

Bryan McAnulty [00:32:43]:

You need oxygen going through your your brain and and your body. And sometimes when we're in these moments of of stress or or fear, like, we're not breathing, we're actually holding our breath. And so if you consciously think about that, there there might be times where you realize, like, oh, actually, I'm not really, like, taking a breath right now. And so, like, the act of consciously doing that, can really make a difference on just you as a human being.

Brad Axelrad [00:33:11]:

Yeah. And you bring up a good point. I mean, the the the thing about meditating and doing breath work and doing other somatic therapy work, like like, anything that gets you breathing will program you physiologically, neurologically. You'll you'll remember intense situations to breathe. You'll be breathing on autopilot more throughout the day, but under intense fight, flight, or freeze moments, you're gonna you're just gonna oh, yeah. You're gonna be so much more programmed and conditioned to breathe, but you're right. Just us bringing this up, I guarantee people watching this have taken a breath as soon as I stopped or we slowed down enough because we're all holding our breath, especially when we're scared at some level, and we're we're we're as entrepreneurs, we're dealing with stress all day long. You know, we can many will drink it away or smoke it away or sex it away or social media it away, but I'm sober most of the time by design.

Brad Axelrad [00:34:08]:

And it's really intense, but I'm able to use a lot of the the chemicals that I'm the stress chemicals, enable to sort of transform them into fuel.

Bryan McAnulty [00:34:20]:

Got it. Yeah. Alright. I've got 1 more question for you before we go, and that is that I like to have every guest ask a question to the audience. So if you could ask our audience anything, whether it's something that you're just kinda curious about or something that you want them to, like, think about more introspectively, what would that be?

Brad Axelrad [00:34:41]:

It's really simple. What are you most afraid of and most resisting doing right now? What what is that? Because that that is your moneymaker. It's your gift to humanity. It's your purpose on the planet. So whatever you are most resisting and most afraid of. And I'm not saying, like, I get it. There's things that we shouldn't be doing as entrepreneurs. Like, if you don't know how to build a website, don't go bash your head in WordPress for freaking 3 weeks trying to figure it out.

Brad Axelrad [00:35:09]:

It's good to know it. I know it pretty well. I get myself a b minus in it. You know, it's I'm a great copywriter. I still hire copywriters. I'm a great graphic designer now with AI and Canva and everything else, but I'm not gonna do it all the time. It's good to know these things. I'm not saying become an expert in everything, but what I'm saying is really notice that one thing that you know you could be doing more of and should be doing more.

Brad Axelrad [00:35:34]:

I'm gonna shit all over you. Absolutely. That's where that's what we wanna lean into and where we wanna go.

Bryan McAnulty [00:35:41]:

Awesome. Yeah. I think that's a a really great thing to think about. Yeah. I've noticed myself realizing, things like that. Like, still, even after doing this for, like, 15 years, you still realize these things and say, I gotta make sure that that's the thing I gotta do because that's that's the thing that I keep worrying about or or thinking that I'm in some way uncertain or feel fearful of.

Brad Axelrad [00:36:04]:

Yep. Awesome. Eat eat that frog too. That's a great great book. The do doing the thing you're most to sort of resisted to do first thing, eat the frog. I think it's called eat the frog. Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty [00:36:15]:

Awesome. Alright. Well, Brad, before we get going, where else can people find you online?

Brad Axelrad [00:36:20]:

So all over social media, but face your dragon.com, you can see the the podcast there with all the amazing guests. I think you guys will really appreciate listening to some of those podcasts with some of my celebrity friends. I I need to get Michael Gerber up there. If he met, he came up as we were talking about something earlier, but I didn't I didn't mention that. I interviewed him a long time ago too. It probably popped that up there too. Fish your dragon .com, and then there's a quiz to discover the number one hidden fear stopping you from earning what you're worth. That's on the site, Or you can just go straight to courage quiz.com.

Brad Axelrad [00:36:51]:

And that actually takes you to a quiz through you get your quiz results, and then it takes you to a training that's specific to specific to you.

Bryan McAnulty [00:37:02]:

Awesome. Alright. Well, thanks so much, Brad.

Brad Axelrad [00:37:04]:

Thanks for having me. It was great.

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About the Host

Bryan McAnulty is the founder of Heights Platform: all-in-one online course creation software that allows creators to monetize their knowledge.

His entrepreneurial journey began in 2009, when he founded Velora, a digital product design studio, developing products and websites used by millions worldwide. Stemming from an early obsession with Legos and graphic design programs, Bryan is a designer, developer, musician, and truly a creator at heart. With a passion for discovery, Bryan has traveled to more than 30 countries and 100+ cities meeting creators along the way.

As the founder of Heights Platform, Bryan is in constant contact with creators from all over the world and has learned to recognize their unique needs and goals.

Creating a business from scratch as a solopreneur is not an easy task, and it can feel quite lonely without appropriate support and mentorship.

The show The Creator’s Adventure was born to address this need: to build an online community of creative minds and assist new entrepreneurs with strategies to create a successful online business from their passions.

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