Mitch Joel for The Montreal Gazette: Managing 'the flinch' can open doors to personal success

December 6th, 2011

The Montreal Gazette
December 6, 2011
By Mitch Joel

Julien Smith is known to some as being one of the original podcasters in the New Media world. His hip-hop music show, In Over Your Head, has become a cult classic and can be found at

Others know him as the coauthor of the New York Times best-selling business book, Trust Agents – a book about using the Internet to build influence, improve your reputation and earn trust.

Recently, Smith was talking about the flinch response and how it seems to hold us back from many of the things we should be moving toward in business and in life.

Confronting your flinch response in business is the same as in martial arts training.

The goal is to turn a sudden scare or shock that makes you recoil into a proactive motion (usually moving into the danger instead of away from it) that primes you to proactively control and, hopefully, end the confrontation.

“No matter their apparent confidence, every person has anxiety to deal with, whether in social situations or physical ones,” says Smith, who is about to launch his first book as a solo author, The Flinch.