The Science of Success Podcast

The Science of Success Podcast

Improve your decisions, hack your mind, and master the psychology of persuasion with The Science of Success Podcast.  This Podcast will teach you the tactics and strategies to understand how psychology rules the world around us and what you can do to use that information to make yourself smarter and achieve your goals.

Big News

The Science of Success has been a smash hit on iTunes and we recently made “New & Noteworthy” and have more than a MILLION downloads!Science of Success Podcast

On my website you will always be able to access the podcast via the Podcast link above or by clicking right here – but we won’t be posting an update on for each new episode any longer.

How To Organize and Remember EVERYTHING

I get listener comments and emails all the time asking me “Matt, how do you organize and remember all this incredible information?” A LOT of our listeners are curious about how I keep track of all the incredible knowledge I get from reading hundreds of books, interviewing amazing experts, listening to awesome podcasts and more.

Because of that we created an epic resource for just for you, a detailed guide called How To Organize and Remember Everything – and you can get it completely free by joining our email list below.

We will also be updating The Science of Success email list with each new episode and many extra goodies. You can sign up below to get access to everything.

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Matt Bodnar

Matt loves to focus on making deals and big picture strategy. He sets out each day to give more than he takes from every interaction and produce as much value as possible for his partners and the people he works with. As a partner at Fresh Hospitality Matt invests in and operates businesses across the restaurant value chain including agriculture, production, retail distribution, real estate, technology and restaurant operations. Matt previously worked as an import/export consultant in Nanjing, China and spent several years on the Interest Rates Desk at Goldman Sachs before returning to his family roots in Nashville.

7 thoughts on “The Science of Success Podcast

  1. Hi Matt – My email reply to you just bounced back!!

    My question was around clothing and authority bias – what are your thoughts about suit and tie in a hot and relaxed country ? New Zealanders tend to be more shorts and no tie and tend to baulk against authority – I have always preferred suit and tie – my employer has asked me to look more’folksy and loses the tie’ – Absolutely love the podcast – I listen to episodes over and over

  2. Richard – sorry about that email – will have to double check with my provider.

    Thank you for the kind words and so glad you are enjoying the episodes! What would you like to see more of on the podcast?

    In terms of the Authority bias or really any of these biases – its kind of like playing the odds. Any given bias may not work on a particular individual or in a particular situation, but (as the research shows) most of the time, they work on most people, in many situations.

    (I’m a big poker player so excuse the analogy) It’s like playing poker – if you go all-in against a guy and you are 80% to win and he’s 20% to win – you made the right move – or as we would say in poker terms you made a “positive EV” play (more on there here: – but you’re still going to lose 20% of the time. That doesn’t mean 20% of the time you should fold, you should make the mathematically correct decision every time, and expect that 20% of the cases, you’re gonna have bad luck.

    Similarly, wielding these “weapons of influence” is a “positive EV” way to influence people – in general they tilt the scales in your favor, but won’t work like a silver bullet every time.

    One way to stack the odds even more in your favor is to use multiple biases at once (or in the inverse, when multiple biases are at work on you, you’re more apt to make a bad decision) – something our good friend Charlie Munger calls a “lollapalooza effect” (more on that here:

    So to your specific example – its tough to know if a suit and tie would really convey additional authority in that context, another way to look at authority – think of it as “looking like an expert” – New Zealanders may hate “the man” kind of authority, but they certainly don’t hate when qualified experts give them advice or information (doctors, geologists, etc) – but really those are all just “authority” figures in another context.

    In your job – what constitutes expertise? If you were a lab researcher, maybe its wearing a white lab coat, or if you were an adventure guide – you would convey authority by wearing rugged outdoor gear. You want to wear the clothes that convey “this guys know what he’s talking about” – in some instances a suit and tie does that beautifully (and in the “Give That Man a Dime” experiment and the Jay Walking experiment a suit conveyed expertise, according to the bystanders who were more likely to do what the suited man did) – but in some, its totally inappropriate. Its all about context!

    That’s one of the hardest things about good decision making (and something that Michael Mauboussin talks about in his book Think Twice and here: is understanding that our thinking tools – or as we like to call them “mental models” don’t work in every context – and sometimes discovering that at the wrong time can be a big surprise – that’s why we have to build a big toolbox of mental models so that we have lots of different ones to use in different contexts.

    Perhaps in this context – focusing more on the Liking bias and Social Proof (mirroring and matching, similar others, etc) would yield more influence than trying to create authority. But even then, you can likely create the right kind of authority (aka expertise) by dressing like an expert in your field!

    Hope that is helpful Richard. Thanks again for listening – and if you haven’t, I would love it if you would Subscribe and write a review on iTunes as well!



    1. Wow! This is such a detailed reply. I wasn’t familiar with the “Give That Man a Dime” experiment so I googled it. . . fascinating. I’m a broker associate with a real estate agency in a small rural/suburban community. We don’t naturally wear suits to work, but I do have the option to wear a polo shirt with a logo on it, or simply my own business casual – which one do you think would have more influence? The clients usually enter wearing jeans, t-shirts, jersey maxi dresses. . . i.e. no one puts on their Sunday best anymore to go look at houses in an area where most of the roads are unpaved. Based on the research it sounds like I’d do better in a “uniform.” In 2017 what does that mean? A pantsuit? A logo shirt? A logo on a dress shirt? Would appreciate your opinion

  3. Hi Matt,

    I love your Podcasts. They are rich with important ideas, and always make me think. I take notes like crazy.

    I am an educator and writing a book on growth mindset and change. One of the critical changes I ponder deeply is that of teachers with a fixed mindset. In listening to your Limiting Beliefs episode, you make valuable suggestions for one to become conscious of one’s belief’s, and to change them. Something I had come to is that educators need to reach a level of cognitive dissonance in which they realize that a change must be made. Considering the importance of teachers’ mindsets, I wonder if you have more thoughts on this, and, if you would like to point me in any directions to explore more deeply.

    Thank you for all you are offering!

    take care,


    1. Mark – thank you very much for the kind feedback!

      I’m assuming you have read Mindset by Carol Dweck? This is the cornerstone piece on this concept and she talks about education in several parts, and has done much research on the implications of fixed vs growth mindset in education. (Link:

      In terms of limiting beliefs – there are a few things I would recommend for people who want to dig deeper and uncover their own limiting beliefs. One of the best is “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie which walks through the “four questions” framework of how to uncover, question, and replace your own limiting beliefs. (Link:

      Tony Robbins also advocates something called the “Dickens Process” which is another NLP method of weeding out limiting beliefs. (Link:

      In the context of changing the limiting beliefs of others – this is much tougher. I always come back to the old saying “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” It’s very hard to get others, especially when they are resistant, to confront or change beliefs that are, even in many cases, obviously negative and destructive for them. Denial is an incredibly powerful phenomenon and many people’s egos are so frail that they can’t stand basic self reflection or criticism (extreme fixed mindset type thinking).

      I haven’t read it myself, but someone recently recommended to me a book called Don’t Shoot the Dog which, while about training animals, is supposed to be a phenomenal book about the power of positive reinforcement to create behavioral change, even in humans. (Link:

      Another potential tool to look at would be the behavioral change stairway that the FBI uses in hostage negotiation, here’s a great blog post on that. (Link:

      Thanks again for listening Mark and if you haven’t – I would be so grateful if you would leave a review on iTunes! Thank you!!

      1. Matt,

        Thank you very much for your ideas. I look forward to reading the resources you suggest.

        I’m quite familiar with Carol Dweck’s work. Her’s launched mine.

        Yes it is hard to get those horses to drink. It is also one of my goals. It’s unimaginable, yet real, that many teachers hold a fixed mindset, and are both teaching/conveying those beliefs to kids, and, enacting them in the classroom as well. I do feel a strong sense of responsibility to change this is the education world (large goal, to say the least).

        I have been studying the change research, and am working on the most effective approaches to help educators to look at and, ideally, choose to change, when they see that there is a disconnect between their beliefs and what is known to be best for kids, with research standing strongly behind it.

        I can imagine doing workshops in which I take them through Katie’s 4 questions, and gently nudging them to see themselves more clearly.

        I’d most love to see supervisors buying in, and helping to change their staff’s fixedmindedness. It’s harder to make a compelling argument in a book that will motivate the to do so. I’m working on it.

        Your Podcasts have enriched my process.

        take care,


  4. Dear Matt, I just love your podcasts as I work Monday to Sunday with only two hours breaks a day, so your podcasts do keep me going.

    I just want to know, I’ve filled in your form to get the list of how to remember everything, i’ve done it about 4 or 5 times, I’ve checked my spam. Still after almost a week, I’ve still not received this in my inbox. my email is: I would really appreciate it so much.

    Thank you.
    Have a blessed day

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