Making Friends with Fear with Mark Metry

Mark Metry is a 24-year-old entrepreneur, author, creator, mental health advocate, coach, teacher, keynote speaker, podcast host, and loving human being.

Mark has interviewed over 300+ top leaders around the world from billionaire philanthropists, to neuroscientists, professional athletes, New York Times bestselling authors, philosophers, and innovative disrupters on his Top 100 Humans 2.0 podcast, which NASDAQ, and Yahoo Finance placed in the “Top 21 Growing Podcasts you must listen to..”

Now, Mark hosts the Social Anxiety Society podcast and is the bestselling author of Screw Being Shy: Learn How to Manage Social Anxiety and Be Yourself in Front of Anyone!

Mark has been featured in Forbes, TEDx, HuffPost, Mindvalley, Inc and many more. Mark‘s been mentioned alongside Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos and can be found speaking at Universities like Rutgers to Nonprofits like Coptic Orphans, to conferences and high schools across the nation.



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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Many doctoral students are introverts
  • Building a tool and platform that work for you
  • Putting out your most authentic self to attract people you will serve best
  • Wrapping yourself around bigger ideas
  • Exposure therapy, mindfulness, and meditation to overcome anxiety
  • Gut microbiome in connection with anxiety
  • You’re not going to figure it out on the first shot
  • It takes years of hard work to be an overnight success

In this episode…

You’re not wrong for being an introvert but when you struggle with anxiety, it’s hard enough to engage in small talks at family gatherings or high school reunions, much more going up on stage to speak about things that matter in front of a crowd. But Mark Metry woke up one day and said, “Screw being shy!” And yes, you can do that too—because you are made for more.

In this episode of An Unconventional Life, Mark Metry shares with Dr. Russell Strickland his story of growing up as an introvert who went through social anxiety, and eventually, social isolation. His struggles pulled a trigger that made him realize he didn’t want to be merely a statistic and felt he needed to speak up for the sake of his younger self, thus came the book, “Screw Being Shy.” The best-selling author talks about the many opportunities that built off each other when he put his authentic self out there for the world to meet. He also discusses the three biggest things he learned to overcome anxiety. And if you haven’t heard yet, your gut microbiome is a lot more connected with anxiety than you are aware. Interesting, isn’t it? Metry explains this unique perspective and some more helpful insight on overcoming anxiety.

Mark Metry once couldn’t speak to people without the gut-wrenching aftermath of a panic attack, but now he has spoken with and for people who need his words the most.  There’s nothing wrong with you for having anxiety, and Metry can empower you with this episode.

Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Dissertation Done, America’s #1 authority in dissertation completion for working professionals.

Founded by Dr. Russell Strickland, Dissertation Done serves people in two ways:

  1. If you’re struggling with your dissertation, getting ready to start your dissertation, or just plain wanting to get your dissertation done as soon as possible, go to and Let’s Get Your Dissertation Done
  2. If you’re busy living your Unconventional Life and have a message that you want to share, maybe you should join our Expand Your Authority Program to become a published author. Go to and let me know that you’d like to talk about Expanding Your Authority.

Visit to learn more about our other services and leave a message or call them at 888-80-DR-NOW (888-803-7669) to schedule your free 30 to 45-minute phone consultation.

Episode Transcript

Disclaimer: This transcript is here for your reading convenience. It was created by machines and may (a-hem) contain some errors. If you email us about these errors, the machines will undoubtedly find out. I hope they won’t get angry.

Intro  [00:03]

Welcome to An Unconventional Life, a podcast where we share stories about the crazy one percent out there, who earned their doctoral degrees, and then went on to use them in crazy, cool, unique and unconventional ways. Here’s your host astrophysicist turned teacher, author, dissertation coach, and more, Dr. Russell Strickland.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [00:28]

Hello, and welcome to an unconventional life. I’m your host, Dr. Russell Strickland, the founder and CEO of Dissertation Done. And I have with me today, Mark Metry, who is a an entrepreneur, author, creator, a mental health advocate, coach, teacher, keynote speaker, podcast host, and loving human being. This is not what he wrote. This is me telling you this. He’s interviewed over 300 top leaders around the world from billionaire philanthropist, to neuroscientist professional athletes, New York Times bestselling authors, philosophers and innovative disruptors on his Top 100 Humans 2.0 podcast, which NASDAQ and Yahoo Finance placed in the top 10 growing podcasts you must listen to so we’re honored to have mark with us today. He is the host of the Social Anxiety Society podcast. And also best selling author of Screw Being Shy, which we’re going to need to talk some more about here. He’s been featured in Forbes, done a TEDx talk, Huffington Post, Mind Valley. He’s been mentioned alongside of folks like Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos, can be found speaking at universities like Rutgers and nonprofits, conferences, high schools, places everywhere around the world. So amazing to get so much done. And so little top on park. Welcome.


Metry Mark  [01:48]

Thank you so much for having me. And, you know, it’s just like you do one, one thing each day, you just focus on that day. And then next thing, you know, you look back, and it’s like six years, and you’re like, wow, what have I done? You know,


Dr. Russell Strickland [02:00]

Amazing. Well, listen, I want to let everybody know, just briefly that today’s episode is being brought to you by Dissertation Done, and at Dissertation Done we help adult doctoral students through the dissertation process. If you are facing your dissertation may be struggling, slowed, stalled, or just plain stuck, reach out to us at DissertationDone.Com/done, we’ll have a conversation and see if we might be a good fit to help you through that process. If perhaps you’re on the other side of that process. And you might want to be a professional coach, expert, consultant, counselor, something like that. The best way to be known as an expert is not only to have the first name “Doctor,” but to have literally written the book in your area of expertise, something that Mark is familiar with. And we can help you with that to at least have a conversation to see if we would be a good fit to do so. Go to DissertationDone.Com/book. And we’ll set up some time to talk. So that’s the commercial Mark. Again, thanks for being here today.


Metry Mark  [02:55]

Thank you so much for having me. Thank you for creating this platform. And yeah, thank you for having me. Appreciate it.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [03:01]

So welcome. And listen, Screw Being Shy that obviously came from somewhere. So I gotta imagine there’s some shyness that you’ve apparently overcome at this point. But tell folks a little bit about that. What was it like growing up shy? And how did how did this become your platform?


Metry Mark  [03:18]

Yeah, that’s a great question. So you know, for me, you know, I always grew up and people around me told me Oh, you’re, you know, you’re shy, you’re shy, or you’re introverted, or you’re quiet. And I don’t I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being shy or being introverted. But it really wasn’t until I was 18, where I realized, it’s actually social anxiety. And then, you know, for me personally, when I was 18, I kind of found myself falling down the spiral where I started to abuse alcohol, I started to abuse food. I was like obese for a period, I got seriously depressed. My lifelong social anxiety turned into social isolation, when I was actually suicidal for a period of time. And when I experienced that, it kind of changed my entire life and really led me to realize like, oh mark, this isn’t something that you’re going to naturally grow out of. This is actually something that you need to learn about, and deal with, and learn from the experts and get help. Or else I’m gonna be a statistic and all of the things I want to do in the world, all my dreams, they’re gonna die with me. And so for me, when I experienced that, that was really a wake up call. And it really triggered this whole journey that I’m on of like me learning about health, me learning about my mind learning about my brain. Eventually, that led me to starting a podcast in like 2017, where I started to network get access to like some of the top leaders in various industries. I started to learn how to tell my story. I became a public speaker. And then eventually I became an author. And then I help different organization companies, people kind of deal and do the same thing that I did. And so You know, honestly, like, I honestly didn’t really want to write my book to be honest. And it really wasn’t until, you know, I got invited to basically speak in like every major city in the US in 2019. And I noticed that the same exact thing would happen to me at every single one of these events, there will always be at least like one person who would walk up to me after, who I could tell was like, very, very shy, very, very introverted. You know, maybe they had social anxiety, they would kind of look down, maybe they would stutter, or they would blush, or they would sweater, their fingers would tremble. And they would ask me the same question. And they would say, Hey, Mark, how did you go from someone who faced like debilitating social anxiety, you know, depression, suicide, to be able to, like, speak confidently and tell your story in front of hundreds of people. And so when that kept on happening to me, and then I also just looked around, in terms of the market, I looked around in terms of who was talking about this. And the reality is like, there weren’t that many books. And if there were books, they were just very advanced. And they were very, very technical, written by like clinical psychologists and whatnot, there are definitely a few couple of good books that I could recommend. But I realized, like, man, there’s so many people who are facing this problem. And yet a lot of the solutions, a lot of the ways that people deal with this, it’s not really common sense. Like, there’s such a lack of education. And, you know, I felt like I was in a position where I honestly just had the responsibility to speak up for the sake of like, the younger version of myself, you know, and so, at the time, when I launched the book, like, it wasn’t even in line with like, my brand, or anything, I was just like, I literally have to write this as like a guide to like, give to people. It’s like, Hey, here’s, like, here’s understand, like the root cause. Here’s step one here, step two is here, step three, based on like my story, based on like, the scientific literature that I could understand inside based on other experts. And so I had to do that. And it’s also it’s also an audio book to an audible that like I narrated and I had a friend of mine interview me in between the chapter. So yeah, it was definitely an amazing experience, for sure.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [07:07]

Oh, definitely. There, were there. Two things that really want to hammer home about that story of people that are there that are wondering, okay, Mark. Sounds cool. But why is he on? on the show, we’re talking about getting our dissertations and everything. Two reasons why Mark is on the show today. And he’s hit on both of those already. Number one, a lot of folks who are working on their doctoral degrees are introverts. They are kind of shy, maybe they don’t have that debilitating social anxiety that you mentioned, but certainly has some issues that they might want to work through. Not necessarily to change being introverted versus extroverted, that’s a bigger thing. But yeah, able to function and do the things that they want to do with some confidence and some, some amount of, of comfort, you know, a level of being at ease doing it. So that’s one thing that I definitely want to talk about some today. And then the other is, yeah, look at all the expert platform that you built up now around this issue. So the issue itself, I think, is important to folks. But the notion of building up that expert platform is also very important. So let’s start off with the first of those that what would you tell folks in terms of what you’ve learned about sort of overcoming this social anxiety? Maybe a little bit for folks that really have serious anxiety issues, and then some folks that are not so maybe clinically anxious to connect anxiety issues, but but definitely have a hard time with stepping out of their shell when they when they want or need to?


Metry Mark [08:37]

Yeah, definitely. So to address the first one in terms of people who have social anxiety, so again, I don’t think there’s like a one size fits all, I think everyone’s different, there’s different layers to it. But honestly, what I have seen based on my own personal experience based on, like the science that I’ve read, based on the experts I’ve talked to, I think there’s three like main kind of ways that people with social anxiety can start to do to sort of get long term results, because a lot of the times like, you read an article or listened to a podcast I like tells you to be more confident, but it just sort of addresses the kind of surface layer. And so for me, the three biggest things I’ve learned is, number one, doing something called exposure therapy. So there are four different layers of social anxiety, physical appearance, social skills, your character, personality, and then the signs of anxiety itself. And so you can work with a professional you can do by yourself. There’s different strategies to go about it. But basically, you incrementally expose yourself to these different layers. So for example, personally, for me, I kind of grew up where my family was kind of on the lower side of the socio economic spectrum grew up kind of poor, but I remember living and growing up in an area that was quite affluent, and so I remember kind of going to school every day as kid, and like wearing the same clothes, while like everyone else around me would wear like all these great clothes and you know, some people would make fun of me and so on. And so one of the things that I had to do was like, put myself in positions to where I could expose myself to that fear. So for example, I would go to like the most crowded public area like a mall. And I would purposely wear like the most outrageous clothes like the craziest clothes like outerwear, like this is like pink cowboy hat. I’d wear like pink neon shirt, I wear like shorts that were pretty short on me. And I would literally just do that to condition my mind to be like, Hey, Mark, there’s literally people looking at you who are like, what the hell is that guy doing? What is he wearing. And again, like there’s, there’s incremental steps, there’s layers to it, I don’t recommend like jumping in it, you know, head on. So that’s one. Number two is I would say like mindfulness meditation. I know Stanford in 2009, did a study that showed how mindfulness meditation is actually equally as effective as most kinds of treatment right now for anxiety. And so there’s many different ways to do it. I know meditation is sort of like a, like a hot topic. I actually partly teach like a meditation, like course track. And so meditation is huge. And then the last one last, but not least, is, I would urge people to learn to to learn more about this thing called your gut microbiome. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. But basically, it is like a vast ecosystem of trillions of bacteria that a lot of the leading science now is saying has to do very much with how your brain processes the world, from your neurotransmitters to like one of the biggest nerves that we have in our bodies called the vagus nerve that directly connects from your gut to your brain. And so like, this is an area of science that I know like has sort of recently been uncovered over the last 10 years. And there’s studies that show like working on your gut microbiome, eating certain foods, limiting certain foods has actually been shown to help people with social anxiety. So I think out of all the things that I’ve learned, those three are like some of the three most standard like foundational steps that I could recommend to people. So yeah, when it comes to the other side of that, if you’re just like an introvert, or if you’re just like a little shy, or if you’re someone who just likes, you know, quiet solitude, what I would say is like, you need to build an environment, you need to build a tool that works for you. So I think a lot of the times, like we live in a world where it’s very much, now it’s starting to change, but it’s very much built for extroverts, right. And so there’s all these different kinds of events, you know, you go to school, you go to class, you go to college, you go to you know, you learn, you’re always talking to people. And so this world is largely built for extroverts, it’s slowly starting to change because of like the internet, because of what’s happened over the last couple years. So what I would say is build a platform that works for you. So what I mean by that is, you know, like, for example, on LinkedIn, I have, like 105,000 followers, I get all kinds of I get hundreds of messages a day of people, college kids, younger, older, who asked me all the time, like, Hey, Mark, can I pick your brain? And can I talk to you. And a lot of the times like when you when you sort of do that, you’re kind of like fighting an uphill battle. And so for me, like one of the things that I learned is like, hey, if I can start a platform, or if I can start like a, like an authentic social media presence, where I can be like, Hey, guys, like here, here’s who I am authentically, here are the things that I care about. Here’s what I love talking about, here’s like what I want to stick up most for in the world, then what happens is when people meet you, or when people talk to you, they already have an idea of who you are. And what’s the most important to you. And I know for introverts, that’s like a huge thing. A lot of introverts, they don’t like small talk. They don’t like shallow talk, they don’t like like fake superficial conversations. And so if someone already knows you, they already know what you talk about. When they meet you, it like skips that whole bridge, and they’re like, Hey, I saw you, you know, two weeks, you talked about this thing, and you can sort of immediately get engaged. And when you do that, you’re going to notice that like, up, you know, like a part within you kind of like lights up and like you’re able to like Speak up, regardless of any kind of like nerves or if you’re uncomfortable, and so that’s those like two two is sort of the sides of the coin that I can recommend people towards if that makes sense.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [14:30]

Yeah, absolutely. So with what you were just talking about, that resonates with exactly what we talked to people about in terms of writing their expert book, because you you put out there who you are, who you authentically are what you’re like, and don’t really try to change yourself much at all. And when you do that, in ways that can still be difficult for an introvert but but certainly easier if you’re talking To a camera, if you’re writing, if you’re doing things like that, when you do that, what you’re doing is you’re sending out signals to everybody listening. And some of those people are being pushed away from you. And some of those people being drawn in, don’t worry about the people, you’re pushing away. In fact, you want to make sure that you’re pushing some people away, otherwise, you’re not being decisive enough, you’re not making a point and you’re not standing for anything. If you’re not, if some people don’t disagree with you, then you’re not really saying anything. So that’s fine. But the people who do agree with you now they’re drawn close, they’ve heard what you have to say. And yes, the conversation has already started at that point, which I know for myself as as an introvert, that’s, that’s the big deal is not hard to be part of the conversation. But just getting through that initial phase of we’re not really talking about anything. So why are we doing this? That’s the hard part. So yeah, I 100% agree with with that, as a way of both building your platform and building a platform that is perfectly suited to someone who might be an introvert.


Metry Mark  [16:06]

Yeah, I love that. And I mean, I mean, I can give another tip, one thing that I learned is that, like, at a personal level, in terms of introverts, like I know, one of the sub chapters of my book is called, Pretend to be an Extrovert Sometimes, and what I mean by that I’m not talking about socially speaking, I’m not talking about you pretending to be someone else. But what I’m talking about is like, when you look at the psychology definition of what it means to be an introvert, all it means is that your brain has a natural tendency to be more introspective, like your natural point of attention is sort of like on your internal world. And like, if you’re a writer, if you’re, you know, any kind of a thought leader, that’s a, that’s a beautiful, beautiful gift. But also, that can be quite confusing sometimes. And so what I recommend people to do is like, go for this thing called, like a mindful walk. And so what I do, like every morning, or I try to do it every morning, is like, I leave my phone behind. And like what I do is like, firstly, I wake up, I go outside, I just go for a walk. And I just try to purposely focus on my external environment, I try to look at the trees, I try to focus on my breath, I try to, like smell really be mindful, and go into the external world. Because a lot of the times like, you need that balance, like even the most introverted introverts just in terms of your brain, you need to sometimes step outside of your mind. And so I find that like doing and kind of, kind of like becoming an extrovert, when it comes to your environment in terms of focusing on the external world, in sometimes that can kind of like help reset your brain, and then help you get back and kind of like, be more introspective, which, you know, you need to be an author to be like a thought leader, that’s like, that’s your gift, you know, and so that’s a huge tip, too, that really helps me as well.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [17:50]

Yeah, that’s, it’s a good, well, it’s a good point, in general to go out and take some time to, you know, I won’t, I won’t say commune with nature, but to, to put yourself in an environment where you can, you know, think through things and connect to the to the rest of your world as well. It’s a, it’s a very good way of, of processing and problem solving. I think a lot of times when we’re talking about meditation, you just need to give yourself a moment to stop sometimes, in order for your brain to do some really impressive work. So next, in a lot of different ways. There was something you touched on a little earlier that was very interested in. You mentioned, you mentioned the exposure therapy. So that’s out there, I understand that that’s something that a lot of people do for a lot of things is, you know, you expose yourself to something that you’re fearful of, it can help you get over it. But you have to be careful about how you do that. Yeah. mindfulness and meditation. And that was not uncommon, unlike what we were just talking about in terms of, you know, going out taking a walk, and they’re different, but they key on similar things. Then you mentioned the whole idea of the gut biome, which I honestly hadn’t connected those things ever before. And it got me thinking, I mean, are there certain things that people will do, okay, if you’re introverted, you should try doing this specifically try doing that specifically to help with the gut biome maybe being a cause of issue for you.


Metry Mark  [19:22]

Yes, I mean, I’m not sure in terms of being an introvert, but I know in terms of anxiety, it can definitely be and specifically social anxiety. I know. Like the University of Maryland did a study with people who have social anxiety and they found that, like, don’t want to, like they took a group and they had them focus on their gut microbiome, which is basically like, eliminate, like processed foods. Just eat natural Whole Foods and then eat things that like have bacteria in them like good bacteria, so like yogurt, like sauerkraut, like prebiotics, things like that. And they found that there was It’s definitely a noticeable difference in people who do it and, and, you know, part of the reason why I think is because so like, there’s a theory out there that says, um part of your brain over 1000s of years has specialized through a specific neurotransmitter called serotonin, in detecting how you stack based on society’s hierarchy, and based on what your brain thinks it is, this is why people with social anxiety often have faced some kind of like poverty, discrimination, some sort of an abuse that their brain kind of tells them, like, you know, you, you suck, you don’t deserve to be here, you’re at the bottom of society. And it’s not just your thoughts, like literally a part of your brain is sending you those messages. And what they found is that part of how your brain gathers that data to make sure that serotonin is being used properly, is through your gut microbiome, I think they found something like 90% of the data that your brain gets to do this is actually from your gut microbiome. And so it’s definitely a new area, I recommend people like look into it. And then also, it’s also called, like, nutritional psychiatry, as well. And it’s actually like blowing up. And it’s really becoming very popular, because a lot of the times, like people who have faced a life of anxiety and depression like me, like you’re, you’re stuck in that, you know, when there’s, there’s very, very, very, very few things that can like physically shift your state of mind, you know, and a lot of the times, like, you’re stuck in the state of mind. And so like, unless you experience like an experience that kind of like slaps you in the face, it can be very, very difficult to even realize where you’re in and how to get out of that. And so that’s why they found like, focusing on nutrition, focusing on your gut microbiome can be one of the things that is a part of your long term, kind of habits that can actually physically shift your body shift help shift your body out of fight or flight, because of how connected it is to your nerves, like on a regular basis. And so it’s definitely a new area of science. But I definitely recommend people to look into it’s very, very, very fascinating.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [22:10]

Yeah, I think it’s this really interesting, I have not thought about it in that in that way before that those things should be connected. And so you know, if you haven’t heard about it before, you heard it here first. Maybe we’ll be hearing more about that in the in the months and years to come. So obviously, getting your head right. Making, helping yourself to feel that you can do these things is very important. And let me just take a quick break there. I know you said something earlier, I mentioned you have folks that are introverts, and they want to be able to kind of not be shy. Definitely did not mean to say that there’s anything wrong with being an introvert, that’s just the way that’s that’s an asset. That’s that’s their personality, but the anxiety that could accompany being in sort of extrovert type situations, as an introvert, that’s the thing that was really talking about overcoming. So don’t think, you know, again, I feel like I am much more of an introvert than an extrovert don’t think that that’s a reason that, that that’s something that’s wrong. It’s just that there are times when you want to be able to, to put yourself out there and to be able to interact with people in certain ways. And so that’s what I was getting out of that question earlier. But anyway, that being said, the, you want to get your head in the right space and feel comfortable and confident doing some of these things. Can you tell me tell people once they’ve accomplished that, how do they then go about coming up with some of these other things that you’ve been able to accomplish already, in terms of, you know, working with, with Forbes and TEDx and Huffington Post, and, you know, interviewing as some of these, these different folks that you have getting themselves out there and actually having a personal brand, that can really help them to grow a business that will help other people as an expert? What’s your advice? As far as that’s concerned?


Metry Mark  [23:59]

Yeah, definitely. So personally, for me, like, I did all that what you’re saying, basically, off the back of LinkedIn, and podcasting, like I, when I first started, I literally had no idea what I was doing, I’m sure, same as a lot of people would just over the days and weeks and months, you know, I started to post content on LinkedIn. I started I started my own podcast, and like, that really kind of gave me like an excuse to like, reach out to me, like, that’s really, you know, what it was? And I found for me, like, as an introvert. A lot of the times like, you know, doing that stuff is very nerve racking because you think like, Oh, you know, how are they going to say yes, or like, you know, who am I to do these things. And so for me, like, what I think is very important is like you build some sort of a system that you can work on, day by day, week by week, that a year, two years, three years from now, can take you to where you want to go and so I personally I don’t know anything better. That’s that’s is a better excuse to reach out to people other than like having a podcast. And like, Listen, like when I started my podcast, like, I had no idea what I was doing. When I first started it, it was like originally about technology. And then it like shifted to like entrepreneurship, and then eventually kind of went into like health and wellness, and then mental health. And then like, you know, like that stuff. And so it was definitely an evolution. And so what I would say to people is like, don’t be afraid to evolve, you know, don’t be afraid to like transition, because I don’t think you’re gonna figure it out on the first shot, you know, and I think again, like, as long as you are, like, respectful, as long as like you’re not spreading lies, or anything, I think there’s, there’s like very few things that can go wrong if you’re just trying to show up as yourself. And then I think to, like, a big thing is, like trying to wrap yourself, not necessarily not trying to make it around you, but trying to wrap yourself around a bigger idea, or like a thesis that you have around the world, that you can sort of use as like a front cover to approach people and say, like, Hey, I’m interested in, you know, I’m not like, I don’t know, you know, if you talk if you reach out to like, Hey, if you’re talking to authors, you’re like, Hey, I’m interested in like, you know, if you’re an introvert extrovert, you know, I don’t know. And so like, kind of approach them through that. LinkedIn is obviously a great networking tool, you can literally use it on your phone. And so yeah, I think the biggest thing that I would say is like, start some sort of a system, start some sort of a vehicle, that you can take incremental steps on day by day, week, by week, month, by week, month by month, that can take you to where you want to go, you know, years from now, because eventually, like, that’s how you really build anything successful. It takes years of daily actions, weekly actions. And so I think a podcast, or like starting a newsletter, or starting something where you can invite people, and it’s like a, it’s a mutually beneficial kind of value add for both of them, you’re not just like some random person on LinkedIn, who’s like, Hey, can I pick your brain, you know, and if they have like, 1000 messages in a month, very, very high chance that you’re going to get lost in the dust. And then I know a lot of people who are first starting to do that, don’t they’ll see that, and it’ll discourage them a lot, you know, and so you have to be sure to like, also manage your expectations, and also just have like a realistic output on how like others may treat you and how you may not be successful at first, but you probably will. And I heard this great quote, and it’s like, you shouldn’t think in probabilities, you should think in possibilities, you know, and so for me, when I started my podcast, I was like, 20 years old, I had no idea what I was doing, like literally no idea meant so many people said no, to me, I had so many different failures, so many different errors, and glitches and mess ups and whatnot. But each one of those you just course correct, you know, and then you look back like five years later, and you’re like, Wow, I’ve really started something amazing. So I think that’s my best advice.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [28:00]

Yeah. And I think that’s true that anything that you work on, you’re going to grow in that process. We talk to our, our doctoral students all the time about go back and read what you wrote three months ago, six months ago, you’ll be amazed at how horrible you were. You were defending it. And that’s not a slide on where you are right now. It’s it’s a talk about the journey and the transformation that happens in this process. So I think that’s very, very spot on. Any specific advice on you know, getting a well, you mentioned the system, what’s your system for your podcast and growing that? What? Can you explain that to folks?


Metry Mark  [28:40]

Yeah, yeah, for sure. So, um, yeah, I mean, I don’t think I have like a, you know, like a, you know, a straight up system. I mean, I do, I ran like, a podcast agency for a while, but I’ve kind of like shifted away from that. Um, but yeah, I mean, I think I think what it is, is just like, kind of similar to, I assume, how you would make like a dissertation or like a thesis, like, you have different examples of the world, you maybe have different talking points, or different topics that you want to explore. And then you like, look around, and you just, like, try to look at who’s already doing this in the world, you know, like, who’s doing this so that not only I can, like, learn from them, but then also when you upload that on like a podcast, in terms of like your brand, in terms of how people see you, that completely changes, you know, like for me when I there are so many people you know, from like Jay Shetty to like Seth Godin to Dr. Nicole Lapera, who are all people who have like millions of followers, like when I had those people on my podcast when I could create content around them when I could speak next to them like literally in person. Those things completely change the game and then it opens the door for people like in Forbes and TEDx to see like, oh, wow, this isn’t like some random guy who’s just like out here doing it like he’s actually got some recognition because the top people in the industry are also kind of interacting with them and in like respect them to a certain degree.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [30:04]

So So you think that that those particular types of exposures, Forbes and TEDx, and those sorts of things came from the podcast guests that you’ve that you’ve brought on?


Metry Mark  [30:16]

Yeah. So I mean, I’ll tell you, like, for example, Forbes, so I, so this is a time where I think I was around like, episodes, 30, like 30s 40s, in my podcast, like early on. And basically, what I would do, my podcast is like, I would just like find the topic that I would really want to learn for myself. And so at that time, it was like meditation. And so basically, what I did is like I just researched, who are like the top 25 experts in meditation that I should talk to. And so out of those 25 people, probably, like five of them said yes, to be on my show. And then one one person specifically, um, I mean, his name is Rob DuBay. He, he actually he like, runs a very successful company. He’s also an author podcaster. And so I kind of I reached out to him just kind of randomly, and, and, you know, he joined like, my zoom call, or he joined the, the, you know, recording that we were doing on the day of, and I remember he told me, he was like, I had no idea like what this was, I was like, man, some random kid is just interviewing me. And then I interviewed him, like, nothing happened. And then I think about a year later, or a year and a half later, he reaches back out to me through LinkedIn. And he says, and this is also a time where my podcast started to become successful. And so more people started to listen to it. He reaches out to me, and he says, Hey, Mark, like, it’s been so great to like, see your journey over the years, you actually inspired me to start my own podcast. And then he’s actually He’s like, an editor at Forbes. And so he said, like, I want you to come to New York City come to like their office, and I want to interview my podcast, and we’ll also be on Forbes. And so it’s like, wow, okay, so I just kind of showed up, as myself. And again, like, a lot of these things that has to do with like, odds, you know, you can’t guarantee this stuff. But it’s just like, if you put in the numbers, and if you show that person that like, you’re not about the money, per se, you’re not just trying to sell something, but you’re just like a real person who like genuinely wants to help people. Other people see that in you too. And if you can connect with them, like on social media, or something, and they can like, kind of see how your journeys progressing through like your content, through like keeping up with them on email, or text messages. And next thing, you know, man, just like crazy opportunities, you know, start to happen. Same with TEDx. Same with the first time I got invited to speak for the first time in Boston. And so all these things like At first, they kind of happen randomly. But it was a result of like, hundreds of actions that were building momentum, that I honestly had no idea at the time, you know, so it’s sort of like a, it’s sort of like a game sort of a mystery. But you can’t like the more shots you take, the more authentic shots you take, the more chances you have of it happening, you know,


Dr. Russell Strickland  [33:03]

Yeah. And this isn’t about, you know, knocking on doors and having them closed in your face. This is just you doing your thing. And it’s the old thing about it takes a lot of hard work to become an overnight success. That once you hit this sort of tipping point, you you get to the point where these opportunities are chasing after you to an extent. Being being present being out there.


Metry Mark  [33:28]

Yeah, for sure. And like there’s, and there’s been like, and then from that Forbes, like article, I can’t even tell you how many opportunities I’ve gotten, like I I actually, before COVID, I got reached out by like one of the biggest, like documentary filmmakers, like in in, like in America that, like if you go on Netflix, a lot of their documentaries are on there. And they reached out to me, they’re like, Hey, Mark, we’re creating a literally like a series on mental health. And we want to feature you in an episode. And so they literally came to my house like four months ago, and then even before COVID, like literally full production, shoot everything. I had no idea but like all these opportunities, they build off each other. And so like it’s it’s all sort of a combination of like, trying to basically be yourself as consistently as possible in different mediums that people are realistically consuming on a daily basis, whether that’s LinkedIn, whether that’s podcasts, whether that’s YouTube, whether that’s public events, and so trying to do that trying to network kind of shows yourself trying to help other people trying to give other people a platform, like what you’re doing right now. Like, this is huge, you know, and like for all, you know, like, when you post this podcast, and I promote it, and someone’s like, Oh my god, like I’ve been wanting to get my dissertation I’ve been wanting to Oh, I need to like literally it happens and day by day by day. And it’s sort of like it’s sort of like math plus creativity, you know, and so it can it can be a little difficult. But, but that’s that’s the best thing that I’d say. Yeah.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [35:00]

Yeah, no, I think that’s, that’s perfect. I mean, the idea of, you know, just being out there, putting yourself out there and doing the things that attract the type of people that you can best serve. That’s what gives you that edge eventually. And the nice thing about it is it’s not hard work, you’re not knocking on doors and getting them slammed in your face, because you’re just out there helping them the best way you can. And at some point, you hit that tipping point where where people really know who you are, and they start to come to you instead of the other way around.


Metry Mark  [35:32]

Dude, it’s honestly awesome. Like, I literally like, sometimes I’ll be on Instagram. And like, I’ll see some person that has like a million followers. And then like all like some of their posts, and then all of a sudden, I’ll see like, they just like, follow me. And they liked some of my posts, and they comment on my posts, and then they DM me, and they say like, Hey, Mark, thank you so much for following me. You know what, actually, this this guy two weeks ago at dinner actually brought you up? Oh, thank you for following and it’s like, wow, that’s kind of random. But like all these different connection points and like, people talk to other people, you know, the world is actually a pretty small place. If you really, really think about it, obviously, there’s huge but all these you know, things start to happen. And so there’s no really way to predict it. But I think like you said, like, if you can set up the right systems, foundations, then eventually people start kind of coming to you and like really, really nice stuff happens. And yeah, very cool.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [36:23]

I really, I like the message. And I think it’s very helpful to our folks who have the expertise and want to be able to get it out there into the world. This is a great way to do it. Yeah.


Metry Mark  [36:34]

Yeah, for sure. And like, again, I don’t have my doctorate. So like, if I can do it, like literally any of you guys can do it. So


Dr. Russell Strickland  [36:40]

Yeah, no 100% because that, well, that’s the thing, you t it takes a lot of hard work to become an overnight success. here are all sorts of places that you can learn from and all sorts of ways that you can learn, and the fact that you’ve been able to do this and, and self reflective enough to understand kind of what, what it was that worked. And that’s awesome. I mean, I think that’s, that’s really cool. Now, I understand that you’re kind of helping folks with some of this stuff you through like coaching and things like that now, right? Is that is that correct?


Metry Mark  [37:06]

Yeah, for sure. So it kind of started through just like being able to, like speak at different companies help, like HR, like people and kind of executive positions with dealing with like their employees, or like other team members. But I also Yeah, I mean, I like literally coat I’m super, I’m super grateful to be able to say like, I literally coach, CEOs, I have a client of mine who’s like a professional athlete, all people who, who like are very successful, who face social anxiety to call the students. And so yeah, I like work with people one on one, I also have like a fully like, automated online course that I tried my best to make affordable that people can check out to as a way to like, you know, scale myself. So, yeah, I have all kinds of resources for that.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [37:55]

That’s another valuable lesson to folks who want to be in that expert space, at this point, you do have to be able to scale yourself. So it’s a little more of an advanced concept, but it’s important. So if people wanted to reach out to you about any of this maybe work with you work through some of those issues in themselves, what’s the best way for them to reach out to you?


Metry Mark  [38:12]

Yeah, so the best way by far is if you go to my website, which is my first and last nam dot com, M-A-R-K-M-E-T-R-Y dot com. If you go there, you’ll see like an email box. And if you put your email in, you’ll be subscribed to my email newsletter. And every week I send out like two, three purely educational articles around all this stuff. And if you respond to any of those emails, it’ll go directly to me and I respond to every single one of those. That’s the best way for like a guaranteed response. And yeah, I love hearing back from people. And, you know, this is like, literally my life’s purpose, I wouldn’t do anything else. So I’m always happy to help people in any kind of capacity at all, even if it’s just answering questions or anything like that. So


Dr. Russell Strickland  [39:01]

Right now that’s so that’s MarkMetry.Com. And then I heard you mentioned Instagram a little bit earlier, too. Are you on some of the other social platforms?


Metry Mark  [39:09]

Yeah, yeah, I think my two biggest platforms are probably LinkedIn, Instagram, it’s just my first and last name M-A-R-K-M-E-T-R-Y. And then if you if you add me on LinkedIn, definitely try to send me a personalized connection request and say that you listened to this podcast so I can make sure to accept you.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [39:28]

We’re gonna be your end. That’s it. Okay, we got the direct line to mark here. So we’ll put all of those connections by the way in our in our show notes. So if you want to go to DissertationDone.Com/blog, you can find Mark’s episode there. However you happen to be listening to it now. It’ll have his all his connection points there. In case you missed something just that so. Mark. Awesome, man. This was great. I really appreciate you being here with us today.


Metry Mark  [39:55]

Thank you so much for having me. And thank you to everyone out there for listening to this was like awesome experience, I appreciate you all.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [40:01]

So cool, man. Listen, I’ll just remind everybody briefly that today’s episode has been brought to you by Dissertation Done. So if you are a doctoral student working through the dissertation process, and you think you might need a little bit of guidance, support and direction, reach out to us at DissertationDone.Com/done, we’ll have a conversation, if it’s a good fit, maybe we can help you out. And again, if you want to throw your own shingle out there, we can help with at least you getting that book written, we’ll take you from a blank page to a published author in less time than you could imagine. And we start that process by having you head over to DissertationDone.Com/book. And again, we’ll just set up a conversation and talk. So that’s uh, that’s us. This is Mark Metry. Thank you so much for being here,  talking to people about how to overcome social anxiety, and then reach out there and become what looks like an extrovert for all intents and purposes, but I know you know the difference. It’s all about being out there and helping people and and that’s easy for you to do whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert.


Metry Mark  [41:01]

Whoo, thank you for having me. This is awesome.


Dr. Russell Strickland  [41:04]

And to everyone else, have a wonderful day and go out and live your unconventional life.


Outro  [41:16]

This has been An Unconventional Life. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed today’s episode, subscribe now to keep getting inspirational stories of unconventional lives as soon as they’re released. Until then go out and live your best unconventional life.

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Dr. Russell W. Strickland

RUSSELL STRICKLAND, Ph.D., has been referred to as a “rocket scientist turned management consultant.” In truth, he applies an eclectic body of work from astronomy and nuclear physics to dynamic inventory management to market research to each of his student engagements.