What are the most prevalent personality traits that lead to business failure? Susan discusses confirmation bias, behaviour modification, and core competencies with Robert Cappuccio in this amazing episode.
Robert Cappuccio is a well-known motivational speaker, author, and behaviour change coach. He was born with a severe facial deformity and was diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome when he was nine years old. Robert redirected his focus after experiencing a massive life shift and discovering his miracle, to affect positive change in the lives of others through his coaching. This show will inspire you.
– Bobby Cappuccio
Topics covered in the interview
Bobby’s first business
Biggest challenge in starting a business
Partnership in business
Why people doesn’t trust themselves enough
A to E of self doubt (Strategy and Tips)
Bobby Cappuccio’s Bio
“Certified coach and co-founder of PTA Global, former head of training and development at David Barton gym, former director of professional development at the National Academy of Sports Medicine (N.A.S.M.), Director of Coaching at the Institute of Motion (IOM) and content curator for PTontheNet, Bobby’s reach runs wide. A sales, leadership, and cultural development consultant for various companies including Hilton Hotels, Virgin Active, Fitness First, 24hr Fitness, SportSG, David Lloyd Leisure and multiple small businesses nationally and abroad, Bobby travels the world impacting lives, inspiring positive change and growth in individuals and companies alike. A presenter at business and fitness conferences across the globe including IDEA, Filex, Asia Fitness Conference, CanFitPro, FitPro, IHRSA, Pure Fitness Asia, Perform Better, Equinox, Gold’s Gym International, Lifetime Family Fitness, and countless other corporate events, conventions, and workshops aimed at training and developing top notch fitness and wellness professionals, Bobby has continuously shared the impact of honing in on behavioral change in helping clients reach their wellness goals.
Bobby has continuously pursued this objective by writing hundreds of articles and contributing to a number of certification textbooks, his best-selling book “Shut the Duck Up”, and his podcast “The Self-help Antidote” is also aimed at this one objective: enabling his audience to “become their own guru.” If an individual can clearly identify what they want and envision who they can become, it is very well within their reach to develop the mindset, skills, and resources to live authentically in the pursuit of what makes them feel most alive, and hopefully, pass the baton.”
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Susan Sly 00:02
Hey, what's up everyone? Welcome to another episode of Raw and Real entrepreneurship with Susan Sly. And you know, I've got a question for all of you. Have you, you know, read all the self help books, and you're like, looking in the mirror and you're like, Oh my gosh, you know, what's wrong with me? I can't get this business going. I'm, you know, paralyzed in fear. Well, my guest today, I'm super pumped, because we were just catching up before the show. And we first met around 2006 to 2007. But it might have even been before that, and it's always fun to interview old friends, because you never know what's going to come up on the show. But check this out. He is a certified coach and co founder of PTA Global. He's a former head of training and development at David Barton Gym, former director of personal professional development at the National Academy of Sports Medicine. So for those of us in the know, it's NASM, and director of coaching at the Institute of Motion. He's got so many certifications. He's presented at all of the top incredible seminars that are in the fitness world. But that isn't his only zone of genius. His true zone of genius, is really helping people get out of their head, get into action and really do what is necessary. He's the author of the best selling book, I love this title, Shut The Duck Up. I want to say that to people. And his podcast, The Self Help Antidote, and you got to check him out on Instagram, I love his Instagram, is also aimed at the one objective, the following objective, which is enabling his audience to become their own guru. And guru means bringer of light. So, Bobby Cappuccio. I've missed you. I've missed you too. Welcome to the show. Thank you. I'm so happy to be here. So let's just jump right in. What you know, everyone loves to know, like, what was your first business?
Bobby Cappuccio 02:03
My first business was, and this is a perfect example of what not to do. My first business, it was a good business, actually, I shouldn't even say that. I partnered with a guy named Bill Parisi. So I was working closely with a guy named Bill Parisi, Martin Rooney. Fun guys, brilliant guys. And I had just left. No, I didn't just leave but, a short time ago, I left my position at National Academy of Sports Medicine, I was back working in just projects and consulting in the fitness industry speaking, approached by Bill, and Bill wanted to do something. He wanted to do something for small business, I thought, and by small business, I mean, small fitness businesses, where you might not need to be the CEO of a company that has 400 locations, but you have three to four physical stores in terms of like in the fitness industry. And I thought, wow, that's, that's amazing, because it's probably one of the hardest jobs. So many people get into fitness. And then you know, you're a former gym owner, and you said, Well, I'm gonna start a gym. And then I could be in fitness all the time. You realize you're not in fitness any of the time. You're putting out all these fires. And it's like you're working eight to faint every day. But it's not a to faint, because you probably up a lot earlier than that. And they have, they have so much opportunity, because in small business, it's almost like if you're working for a major health club chain, and you want to change strategy, it's almost like you're in the Queen Mary, and there's an iceberg in front of you. And you've got to turn just one degree at a time, where these businesses were kind of like a speed boat, where you can make a decision, and you could drive your culture quite effectively and expeditiously. So we thought, we're going to start a business to help small businesses hire the right trainers, develop them, strategize, and drive their PT revenues, more than drive their PT revenues create something of meaningful value. So now, we want to create a place where people come in and they can not just make a living, but make a difference in your organization. What are all of the elements that have to come together, not only strategically, but culturally to make that happen? So we started a company called Legacy and we worked with a couple brilliant people. I started working closely with a guy named Tom Plummer back then, and he, he's kind of like, I hate to compare him. He's kind of like the Tom Peters of the fitness industry. And I got on his tour and then we started being introduced to a lot of smaller businesses. was was really rewarding to work with. That's about it.
Susan Sly 04:45
And so what, you know, a lot of people, when they're thinking about what kind of business to start, so 50% of my audience is thinking about starting a business. So in 131 countries. And they're thinking about it, they listen to the show ecause we keep it raw and real. And you said, let me tell you what not to do. So what was your biggest challenge starting that business?
Bobby Cappuccio 05:09
I think, not really understanding clearly what the division of labor and what our core competencies were going to be. I think you got to know what you're particularly good at, and what you're not good at. And you have to have a partner that can be, the last thing you want to do in my mind is go out and find a partner just like you. You guys will kill your business.
Susan Sly 05:36
That's like getting married to someone just like you.
Bobby Cappuccio 05:39
it's, it is the worst. And I think, me and my partner Bill, as much as I loved him, and I still love the guy, we were horrible at times, because in some ways, we saw the world quite differently. But in some ways, we were so damn similar. You want someone who has core competencies and strengths that are markedly different than yours. Because sometimes, I, sometimes you have somebody who drives the business. They go out, they get new accounts, they drive sales, but then you need someone who can manage the day to day who is operationally really tight, who's mitigating risk. Sometimes you have those two people in the same personality, but very rarely. And I remember one of the best pieces of advice I ever got working in the leadership teams of major companies, whereas if you have two people in your core team are exactly the same, fire one of them, because you have so much redundance. I want people with like 150 IQ, who are extremely passionate to the point of obsessed, but sometimes running on completely opposite directions, because both directions are viable. And you're not going to agree on everything. And you got to trust your partner to do what they do very well. And they've got to trust you. So..
Susan Sly 06:57
I love that you said that. Like anyone listening to the show, that is gold right there. And here's why. I did a, on my YouTube channel, Raw and Real Entrepreneurship every Wednesday, I drop a very basic video for business. And one of the ones I did was partnerships. Partnerships have the highest failure rate of all businesses. And I love what you said. You got to trust each other, you've got to have the infrastructure person, the sales person, and they have, they are going to run in different directions. And for the work that you do, and working with people, working with entrepreneurs, let me ask you this question, why don't people trust themselves enough?
Bobby Cappuccio 07:42
I'm not even sure I have, I have a really solid answer for that. It could be a lot of things. That's so many levels deep. I think, growing up in whatever cultural environment, and when I'm talking about culture, all I mean is how our beliefs and values are expressed in our behaviors. And the problem with that is many people don't know what their beliefs and values actually are. Because we're so inundated with what our beliefs and values are supposed to be. You grew up in a certain region of the country or a certain country, you have certain expectations. And if you don't live up to those expectations, God forbid, you're different, which, you know, I think that the best you can hope for is to be different in certain respects. But that's, that's not really the message we get growing up, is it? And it's like, you need to trust that you're just like me. And you need to be a little bit more like us, be part of the tribe, and a little bit less like you. So if you, because let's be honest, if you're an entrepreneur, you're a little bit weird. Because not everyone-- or a lot weird. Or a lot weird. Not everybody is going to go out and say, first of all, 95% of all businesses fail in the first five years, coins the Small Business Association, right? And most of those businesses fail within like, the first year. So if your business survives five years, well done. But now if you're in business, 10 years, you're in the vast minority. And for someone to say, I believe so strongly in myself, and I believe so strongly in what I'm doing, despite the fact that everybody around me thinks I'm absolutely insane. Like Bokowski, when he quit the, working in the post office, because he thought he wanted to be a writer. And then he's literally living on people's couches, and he's homeless, in and out of jail. I mean, yeah, at some point, you might look back and go, did I do the right thing? So you have all these contrary and types of messages that are being imposed upon you, and you identify with whatever reference group you grew up in. So if I'm not this, who am I? So your basic human needs to have esteem, to feel the most fundamental need, to be safe, and to belong, and to be certain, that's all violated. It's kind of hard to understand what messaging is coming from me, and what messaging is being imposed upon me. So I think it's quite easy for people to doubt themselves, especially if you don't have the safety of stepping out in small experiments to start to gather a body of evidence for what you're capable of. Oh, that's
Susan Sly 10:29
beautiful. I, Bobby, I love that because imposter syndrome is a big topic. It's, it's huge. And before we went into the show, Bobby was asking me. So Susan, what are you doing now? And I'm like, I'm studying at MIT, and I'm co founder of an AI company, you know? And, and, you know, here I am turning 50. And it's like, totally reinventing my career. And, and Bobby's, like, how did you, you know, go from this to this to this? And imposter syndrome, has come up,. Sometimes I'm the only woman in a room and we're talking about servers, and we're negotiating cameras, and, and then we're talking camera angles, and GPUs and CPUs and, and this, this whole piece. And that's why I bring on experts like Bobby, because Raw and Real Entrepreneurship means you're going to doubt yourself, if you're not, your ego is bigger than your bank account, right? And you may have imposter syndrome at some time. So Bobby, what coaching would you give to someone who is an entrepreneur and they feel like they have some imposter syndrome going on?
Bobby Cappuccio 11:42
Well, I don't know if the, because coaching is not always the answer. When you're coaching, you're not putting in, you're drawing out. You're reflecting, you're engaged in inquiry. The person who you're speaking to is the expert, you're not. You can't be an expert on somebody else's motives, values and their life. So sometimes it's, is this a coaching conversation or is this an honest conversation between two people who care about one another? So I'm not exactly sure what context would frame that. But I do have some opinions on imposter syndrome, because I happen to know a lot of people who struggle with it. And this is, this is a biased perspective, because all of my perspectives are bias. I don't think you can be committed and passionate to something without being bias about anything. And the deeper you go down that rabbit hole of commitment, the deeper and broader those biases get, and a lot of times you're not even aware of those, those confirmation biases. And the people that I observe personally that have imposter syndrome, they are champions, they are absolute legends. Because here's the question to ask, what type of person gets into something, especially something that they haven't done before, which requires not only an intra personal evolution, sometimes that's not enough. Sometimes it's a revolution. Sometimes it involves, but it's almost analogous to method acting If you're going to do something you've never done before, you have to become someone you've never been before. And how is that person you're creating the future? What's the reference point for the past? So you would be crazy to not have any doubt. But people misinterpret lack of doubt as lack of capability and lack of competence. So you had referred somebody to Tiffanee too, and she deals with narcissists, and negotiations. Rebecca. Rebbeca Zung. And I was listening to, Rebecca. Yeah, yes, yes. And I was listening to Tiffanee's podcast on Roll With The Punches. I'm like, the only type of person who would never doubt, Am I doing the right thing? Is this the right decision? How are people around me being affected? You know, it's like people are listening to me. Like, what's the impact of that? The only person who would never engage in that type of introspection is someone who has a serious personality disorder. You're talking about someone who could be, and I think this word is well overused, but they're out there in our society, you've met a few of them. They're sociopaths. Yeah. The fact that you're engaging in this introspective dialogue about how you're doing something and holding yourself to account and having those feelings of doubt. That in and of itself is probably indicative of the fact that you're not an imposter. You're human. And you're acknowledging your flaws with your strengths. Because your actions have consequences, especially if you're getting into a business and what you do profoundly affect people around you. The scariest type of person I've ever met, is someone who's certain without context. People who are absolutely certain, terrify me. People who can manage their way through doubt, and they face that, and they confront that, and they have that, those people are fluid in their thinking. If you're not overcome by those emotions, it allows you to navigate through pretty much unanticipated turbulence. You can grow a lot further and a lot faster, I think navigating and reconciling, confronting your doubt, then you can from a place of false certainty and the never ending pursuit of a confirmation bias. So, I mean, if you have doubt, like, Who else do you know? Like, who else do you know that is doing something similar to what you want to do? And investigate a little bit further into their life. Did they have doubt? So if it's okay for them, why not for you? Why for them does that reflect honesty or humility, but for you, it represents, it's some type of attribute that you think you lack? Where's the evidence to support that?
Susan Sly 16:07
I mean, it's so beautiful. You just gave thousands of people from Ireland, to India, to Istanbul, to Indonesia. I'll just pick "I" countries. Everywhere! You just gave-- every country. Yeah. Exactly. Spoken to them. You've just given people all over the world permission. Because this concept, it drives me crazy when people say, you know, oh, Susan, I wish I could be just like you. Of course, I have my doubts. And of course I have, I've put myself, imagine, you know, my good friend, mentors, Harvey Mackay. Harvey wrote Swim With The Sharks Or Get Eaten Alive. So imagine, at this stage of my life with, my undergrad degree is psychology, right? I jump into the tech world. It's like jumping in a shark tank, because it's like, you know, they're like, what do you really know? And then I'm like, What do I really know? You know, and it's, but it's the beautiful thing about that doubt, Bobby is it forced me to get better. And one of the things I would say is in the face of challenge, you can either give up, or you can get better. So it's forced me to have to learn and I love learning. It's juicy and exciting. So let me ask you this, what strategy do you suggest people use when they're facing something and they know, it's like, this is a really important thing. Like, as Tony Robbins said, it's a must, right? Like, I must make more sales for my business, or I must, it could be must get my taxes done or I'm gonna get arrested. Whatever that must is. And we know people don't have to do anything, there are consequences. But what about something the person must do, they want to do, they're terrified of doing because of the self doubt? Do you have a strategy or some tips you can give that person? There's a couple of things.
Bobby Cappuccio 18:10
And let's go layer by layer, if we can. So first thing, it's used a little bit in motivational interviewing, cognitive behavior therapy. There's some type of environment or incident that triggers that response. Like you don't, you don't walk around just being terrified or reacting in ways that are destructive constantly. There's something that occurs. And the first level is A-- so it's a through E. What's it, what's that activating event? What are the triggers within your environment, because many of our behaviors, although we tend to over index on where behaviors are intrinsically generated, a lot of times they're environmentally provoked. And they're provoked because we've been conditioned, based on things that have happened, how we've interpreted them to respond that way. And we don't know we're responding that way. I also like what Tony Robbins says about the problem of thinking positive is you got to think about it. So we have so, we put so much value in our thoughts in directing them, but so much of our thoughts are a stream of consciousness that we're not even aware of. You're sitting, you're sitting at a red light, you're having like all these thoughts that if somebody asked you the second the light turned green, what were you just thinking? I don't know. I mean, you know this. Like my wife, men, men are famous for this. What are you thinking? Nothing. How could you be thinking nothing? Well, yeah. First of all, never underestimate a man's ability to think about absolutely nothing. Secondly, if you knew what we were thinking, you would kill us. Like, Okay, I'm thinking about like, who would win? Silver Surfer versus Iron Man, that's ridiculous. So stop asking that question. First and foremost. Second, what are the activating events within our environment that provoke a certain response? And what do we feel instinctively? B-- What's the belief that would cause me to react in that way? Because if there wasn't a belief about what that trigger or prompt represents, it wouldn't produce the response than it does. And what is the response? What's the C? What's the consequence? Now consequences, intrinsic and external. What does that provoke within me? So what are the feelings that I'm experiencing? And how does that cause me to behave or interact with the world around me in a way that produces an outcome I don't want? I don't like the way it makes me feel, or I don't like the outcome of what happens when I engage with the world of people that way. And then you go a little bit deeper. And sometimes you can't do this in the moment. Because in the moment, if you're feeling angry, and it's past a certain threshold, within the intensity of the emotion, you really don't have access to the centers of the brain that will allow you to engage in what I'm going to recommend next. But take a step back. After there's been a little bit of space between stimulus and response, what's the evidence for that? What is the heart of, like, so if you have, if you have a belief that, you know, I'm, you know, I'm so irresponsible, I'm always late. I know, this is probably not the intensity of situation we're talking about. But I'm always late, and that sometimes could have some serious consequences. Where is the evidence that you are always late? Is that for everything? And where is there an exception to that? Where within your past history, is there an incident or multiple instances where that did not occur? So first, why the bias? Because we're all responsible, and we're terribly irresponsible. We're clever, we're rational, and we're completely irrational. We exist in the same person. But why the bias around seeing where you lack an attribute versus when you demonstrate it? That's either a fear that's coming up, or there's a value conflict coming up there. And where is evidence to the contrary? So what, when I show up on time, what's different? What's different in my environment, what's different in my planning, who's around me? Because when you take a look at when you exhibit a behavior that you want to exhibit,
Bobby Cappuccio 22:44
there are elements around that, that allow you to perform in a certain way that if you start to get clear on them, you can leverage them. And you can do them with intention. I mean, this is the person who says, and we all know these people, I mean, we've all been these people and lived with them. Starting Monday, I'm going to clean up my diet. I just don't like the way I'm feeling. And you're going through and you're like a champion. And then you know, you get to Thursday evening, you go out with friends. And a piece of cheesecake completely takes advantage of you. And you're like I've blown, I blown it. Oh my God, I've completely gone off the rails. And then Friday to Sunday, so well, I might as well get it out of my system. You repeat the behaviors and you do ungodly things to your body to where Monday, you've completely lost all motivation. And that's like, Well, next Monday, I'll get started again. What happened on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, that allowed you to perform well, who were you on those days? And what was your strategy? What strength did you employ? It's the same thing. It's the same thing in any scenario. So you got to extract that because you got to be fair with yourself. If you're going to hold yourself accountable to where you slipped up, and you should. You also have to recognize where you don't in very similar or identical situations, and then start to dissect, Well, what are the elements? Think about it more strategically, less emotionally. Easy for me to say, sitting here with you. And then finally, is E. What would be an empowering belief that if you had in place of the one that you're currently operating on, would help to kind of index you towards producing different outcomes and not being so reactive? And just because you say, because we've all done this, well, what, these are three beliefs starting Monday that I'm going to have, yeah, you're not. Because there's so many variables and it's so much more complicated than, I'm gonna identify a disempowering belief. It might not even be the actual belief, it's what you come up with sitting there. And then, oh, I've developed these great new beliefs that I'm going to install. Let me know how that works. But the thing is, it doesn't matter. Because the next question is, if I believe these things, what would be the behaviors? What would be the behaviors that would be reflective? And if we can implement those behaviors, we can reshape our beliefs around the behaviors that we're executing. So it doesn't matter if I come up with an accurate belief that I'm going to adapt. If I'm successful adapting it, it doesn't matter. It gives me a reference point for how to behaviorally move forward from something that in a lot of cases, rightfully so, is highly emotional. It allows me to, to almost compartmentalize that. Like Mimi Silbert, and Delancey Street, her Delancey Street program, where she took people who were falsely labeled as psychopaths, and they were career criminals beyond rehabilitation. I mean, a lot of them came from an environment where people who would make that distinction couldn't survive in that environment for 72 hours. But that's a different podcast. That's where I rant. But she took these people and she identified Well, what are their beliefs? And when she dissected the two common beliefs that most career criminals seemed to operate off of, it was number one, look out for yourself. Completely look out for you, number one. Number two, never rat. If you ever get caught, never ever rat on your crew. I said, Okay, these are the operating beliefs. The first one makes sense, because there's lack of empathy. I mean, if you're an empathetic criminal, you're going to fail, like wrong attribute. I mean, it's like, Oh, God, I would take the money, but oh, what if they need it for you know, like, anyway, bad thing to have. Second, deals with loyalty to a certain reference point. It deals with identity. And all she had them do ss she set up the rules. So first of all, there was a lot of leverage, there were consequences. It was like you're facing 20 years in prison, or you can go to this kind of halfway house that she had, the government would not fund by the way. So okay, I'll try this. But if you violate any rules, you get kicked out, you're going straight to prison. So there has, there has to be that consequences, it has to be the that leverage. And then when people get in, the first thing that she would do with people is if it was your third day in the program, like nobody would ever ask you how you're doing, ever again, nobody cares. That was day one. If somebody comes in day one, and you're there, and it's only day three, you have three times the experience of that person, they get put under you. So you're completely judged by how you look out for and guide and serve someone else. So now you have to look out for everyone, but you. And if you see anybody violating any of the rules, which by the way is bound to happen. It's bound to happen not because disrespect to the rules, because you're going into a very strange environment, it's sudden, with a lot of rules that are antithetical to the culture you grew up in. You're going to accidentally violate stuff. But whoever witnesses that has to rat. If you don't report someone, they don't get in trouble for violating the rules, but you go back to prison. So after a few months, people have to either think that I am a traitor to my own value system, or they have to start challenging the belief systems that landed them in jail in the first place. And once that vacuum is created, because here's the second thing, recognize your strengths. Anytime you do something at Delancey Street that is admirable, that is aligned with the ideology at Delancey Street, you get recognition and validation and value. And these are people who nobody ever recognized you for having any value. And it's uncomfortable. And a lot of times people would resist it, but it was deeply moving. And now you have a reputation to live up to. So within that behavioral dynamic, people start to reshape their belief systems of who they are, and how they relate and contribute within society. And then the same people that, you know, we're told like they're going to be in prison their entire life, they became maitre D's of hotels, they would operate five star restaurants, they would become model citizens. Not everybody, but a much higher percentage than that would be going in and out of the traditional prison system. So that's one example of how, if you don't believe it, what are the operating behaviors that would be reflective of the beliefs that would be possessed by the type of person you want to be in the future? It is, people get annoyed when I use, like acting. Like, oh, that's pretending. No, no, what makes acting so difficult, one of my coaches is one of arguably one of the top improvisational coaches in the world. Acting is about learning how to not pretend. It's about learning how to not act in the moment and show up and be authentic and be present. And if you started a business, and you didn't have any of the skills, in the beginning, you had no core competencies, and now you've been successfully or even just surviving in that business for a few years, you're a completely different person. And the only way you got into that business is because you imagined not yourself, but the person who you were going to be in the future. Who's probably quite different from the person who was thinking about taking action, but hadn't yet done anything. And then you behaviorally, attitudinally, stepped into the role of the person you wanted to become. That's method acting. So who are is irrelevant.
Susan Sly 31:06
Bobby, we have to get you back for a second show. Because we're already beyond 30 minutes. And there's so much I want to talk to you about. And I really, the biggest thing is from that place of why we do what we do. If we're not getting that buy in, we're just gonna keep on doing it. The results are gonna stay the same. Bobby, how can people connect with you?
Bobby Cappuccio 31:35
Well, I love conversation and coffee. So yeah, coffee, tea. If that's a little bit too weird, you can you can listen to my podcast, The Self Help Antidote. I am on social media, but not I mean, I don't take it very seriously. It's just not my thing. But I am on Instagram. I'm on Facebook, I'm on LinkedIn. So you can reach out to me on any one of those platforms, obviously. Awesome.
Susan Sly 32:05
Well, Bobby, thank you so much for being here. And everyone, even though, Bobby is on social. Give us a shout out on social. If this episode is helpful to you, we would love a five star rating. But most importantly, I'm gonna ask Bobby to come back. And we're going to pick up this dialogue because we're not even scratching the surface of being able to help all of you, help yourselves, so you can have those breakthroughs and stop the self-sabotage. So, Bobby, I was so happy to reconnect with you and thank you again, so much for being here. Alright, everyone, so this has been another episode of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. Bobby Cappuccio, my amazing, amazing guest. So thank you all so much, and I'll see you in a future episode.