Scott Simon was a meek and timid and fearful child. His withdrawn personality led to him being bullied and finding himself isolated and lonely. Though his loving family only had the best intentions, they perpetuated his behavior instead of pushing him to grow and overcome his anxieties.

While at college, Scott stumbled upon the quote, “Do one thing a day that scares you,” and thanks to having found his people, he started to push himself a little bit each day. He graduated with a newfound spark for life and decided that, from then on, he would live life only ever saying “yes” to the opportunities presented to him, no matter how scary they were. 

This led him to become a “happiness entrepreneur,” building businesses designed to improve the lives of everyone around them. He founded Scare Your Soul, the USA’s first happiness incubator with a mission to inspire the world to grow into their best selves through the ignition of fear. Overcoming what scares us takes courage and courage is a wonderful quality to cultivate.

Thanks to Scare Your Soul, Scott has done everything from marrying couples to running parades to giving a TEDx talk and he continues to spread his message through all the means he can – his latest of which is appearing on Gravity.

In this episode, we discuss the power of music and the importance of finding our people. And, of course, the main focus is on our fears, how we can decipher between the ones that exist for a reason and the ones that are only going to hold us back, and how we can use being scared as fuel to drive ourselves to become better people, every single day.

What Brett asks:

  • [00:02:50] Let’s start at the beginning. Tell me about your childhood.
  • [00:06:20] Were you naturally shy and withdrawn or was it something you learned?
  • [00:14:40] What was high school like, being so scared of interacting with others?
  • [00:19:40] Tell me about the role of music in your life.
  • [00:24:00] Mentorship and the arts are two very large parts of your life. How do you think they combine and work together?
  • [00:28:50] What did you do after leaving high school?
  • [00:31:30] What was it like to finally find your people?
  • [00:36:30] How did you go from being scared to embracing the fear of the unknown?
  • [00:44:28] You mentioned the philosophy that you never really graduated. Tell me more about that.
  • [00:50:18] Your bio refers to you as a real estate developer, a happiness entrepreneur, and the founder of Scare Your Soul. Tell me more about these three things.
  • [00:57:40] How are things unfolding for you, now?
  • [01:04:01] Any final thoughts?

Lessons for intentional living:

  • Music – and art in general – is a great way to enrich our lives for so many reasons. It offers a window to our soul and a window to the souls of others. Beyond that, it’s also an amazing way to connect with other people, find mentors, and – once you’re ready – even mentor others.
  • Life is all about connecting with people and forging relationships, so it stands to reason that “finding our people” is one of the most important things we ever do. Many of us are lucky enough to fall into a group of friends during childhood, but for those of us who don’t, it doesn’t mean that we’re destined to live life on our own. We simply need to find other ways to get out and meet people with our interests and sensibilities.
  • Of all the types of entrepreneur we can choose to be, I think it’s clear that “happiness entrepreneur” is the best. You can be every bit as successful as any other entrepreneur, all while striving to bring joy to the world and those around joy. It’s a win-win life to lead.
  • The main lesson in this week’s episode is obviously about how we engage with our fears. As Scott says, there are two kinds of fears: real fears that exist to keep us away from legitimate harm and toxic fears that only exist in our minds. Once you realise that, you can also realise that fear isn’t necessarily a negative thing. We can learn to use it as a guiding light because if we’re doing something that scares us for the right reasons, then we’re probably doing something that’s going to enrich us as people and push us to grow. A toxic fear is little more than a signpost on the journey towards becoming our best selves.