CEO Coach Matt Mochary — Live Coaching with Tim, Why Fear and Anger Give Bad Advice, How to Perform Personal Energy Audits, The Power of Accountability Partners, Delegation Tips, Strategies for Hiring the Right People, and More (#658)

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“Fear and anger give bad advice.”

— Matt Mochary

Matt Mochary (@mattmochary) coaches the heads of top Silicon Valley tech investment firms and companies on how to be the best leaders and build the best organizations possible.  His philosophy and method are captured in both the Mochary Coaching Methodology (which is available as a free Google Doc) and in his book The Great CEO Within, which is available on Amazon and online (also as a free Google Doc).

As a former founder, CEO, and investor, Matt knows firsthand the challenges of those roles as well as solutions to the most commonly encountered problems. His coaching is not questions-only; there is real guidance. Matt specializes in helping CEOs and their companies (or investment firms) transition from freewheeling startups to dominant enterprises.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

Brought to you by Athletic Greens’s AG1 all-in-one nutritional supplement, Helix Sleep premium mattresses, and FreshBooks cloud-based small business accounting software.

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#658: CEO Coach Matt Mochary — Live Coaching with Tim, Why Fear and Anger Give Bad Advice, How to Perform Personal Energy Audits, The Power of Accountability Partners, Delegation Tips, Strategies for Hiring the Right People, and More

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Want to hear an interview with another world-class coach? Listen to my first conversation with Jerry Colonna, in which we discuss being complicit in creating the conditions in life we don’t really want, nagging self-doubt, finding time for self-discovery, confronting the difficulty most of us have with saying “no,” acknowledging compassion from a distance, journaling, guilt versus remorse, and much more.

#585: Professor Donald Hoffman — The Case Against Reality, Beyond Spacetime, Rethinking Death, Panpsychism, QBism, and More

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.



  • Connect with Matt Mochary:

Website | Twitter | LinkedIn


  • [05:36] Fear and anger give bad advice.
  • [10:23] Dispelling dating dread.
  • [17:19] The power of prediction.
  • [27:07] Next actions.
  • [30:56] Turning conversations into action items.
  • [33:36] Accountability for introverts and extroverts.
  • [38:20] What is Focusmate?
  • [40:23] Separating decision from implementation.
  • [44:43] Firing well.
  • [51:33] Effective and efficient recruiting.
  • [1:01:41] Getting honest feedback from past managers.
  • [1:04:10] The energy audit.
  • [1:10:36] Running effective and efficient meetings.
  • [1:18:56] Reducing and removing energy-depleting obligations from the calendar.
  • [1:34:01] Assistance with assistants.
  • [1:44:37] Why did Matt stop making documentaries?
  • [1:55:30] Why Matt’s building a startup.
  • [1:59:52] Rules, guide rails, and exit protocols.
  • [2:03:26] Downregulating anger and feeling the pain.
  • [2:19:16] Parting thoughts.


“Fear and anger give bad advice.”
— Matt Mochary

“When I coach someone, I become their manager, period, end of story. And if by the third meeting they feel more successful, more engaged, more empowered, then they know the system works. And it’s all written out, so they can just copy, paste, use with their team members, and then it works with their team members as well.”
— Matt Mochary

“In any organization, there’s a human that you are prioritizing. So if it’s a company, you’re probably prioritizing the customer. If it’s an investment firm, you’re probably prioritizing your LPs. If it’s your own personal life, you need to be prioritizing you.”
— Matt Mochary

“I find that generally, humans are not incompetent … they’re uninterested. But if you can find a place where they’re interested, suddenly they become very competent.”
— Matt Mochary

“I would say the most valuable thing about recruiting is first, learn how to fire well. And if you can do that, now the pressure is off, and you can take a little bit more chance on people you have intuition about that you really like, but maybe they’re inexperienced, maybe they’re young. And I find those people are often insanely good performers.”
— Matt Mochary

“Allow yourself to feel pain.”
— Matt Mochary


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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17 Replies to “CEO Coach Matt Mochary — Live Coaching with Tim, Why Fear and Anger Give Bad Advice, How to Perform Personal Energy Audits, The Power of Accountability Partners, Delegation Tips, Strategies for Hiring the Right People, and More (#658)”

  1. Tim, I read the article on stoicism (?) you referred to calling you and your friend “tech bros”. I thought it was simply a lazy way to address the perception that stoicism has somehow been co-opted by “Silicon Valley types” (another lazy generalization). Keep up the good work, try not to take it personally bud.

  2. Tim, you mentioned that you’ve structured your life so that you can do things when most others can’t (skiing on a weekday etc.) and that it can be a lonely feeling.

    I’m in the same boat and I was wondering whether you’ve found any solutions for this?

  3. Hi! No future book deals 🙂 but I’m happy to volunteer and set up a group thing the next time you’re in the SF area.

    Huge fan of your podcast (I find your episodes with Kevin Rose the most enjoyable) and always looking to expand my network.

    1. Hi, Pat –

      Tim does not publish an archive of his “5-Bullet Friday” newsletter; however, if you type “5-Bullet Friday” into the search bar at the top-right corner of the blog, it will bring up a number of results that highlight some of Tim’s favorite products, books, etc. from past editions.


      Team Tim Ferriss

  4. I really enjoy your podcasts Tim, they’ve helped me enormously, both professionally & personally, thank you. As Matt said, I think the path ahead of you is full of amazing new experiences & if you take the advice and lessons learnt that you’ve shared with us, your listeners, these past years you will be in a good place :). I can highly recommend some amazing places in Austria to escape to for fantastic skiing, breath-taking scenery and to reset!

  5. Tim, Brene would be proud of your vulnerability here. I personally love the subtle shift that seems to be occurring with conversations more on the inner work than just the “how can I get better at stuff”.

    I sense your greatest episode isn’t recorded yet*. The one where you share your life reflections and assess what you have (or don’t have) in totality, and what “advice” you would share to your younger self. I get the sense that you are already well on the journey of that assessment, if not already complete.

    Please don’t wait too long to share that; it will be your greatest gift.

    *Apologies for my ignorance if I missed such an episode in the archives!

  6. I have to say that this interview resonated with me on many levels.

    1. Starting over after losing my husband to a brain tumor in 2017 and then beginning a relationship three years later that I wanted so badly to last but ended up not recognizing a gazillion red flags, and now healing from that…and starting over again. WTF?

    2. Having created my life and my schedule exactly as I want it with time to travel, work, not work, drop everything in the middle of the day…and no one in my circle who has the same ability to do so. It’s a lonely road.

    3. The anger. Oh, the anger that both of you so openly shared. Me too, Tim and Matt. Me, too.

    4. Matt’s story about the gentleman he helped groom into an employable member of society who struggled to maintain a job due to his history. Matt got emotional, then I started crying, then the dogs and cat joined in. It was a rough morning.

    Thank you.

  7. Hi Tim and Team! I just wanted to say that I was so sad for Tim and his ex-gf when I heard they had split ways. Tim talked about fatherhood and his interest in becoming a father on several episodes throughout the years, and as a relatively new father myself, I was so excited for him! For whatever it is worth, I hope he knows there are many, many people out there pulling for him and his happiness. Best wishes to Tim and his Team.

  8. Hi Tim
    I was listening to this with curiosity and attention to the bit about the schedule (as it’s what I’m working on now) and decided to comment when you mentioned your solo trip to the Azores.
    I organise retreats there and invite you to join – maybe a group trip would give you better memories about the nature and connection.
    Thank you and kind regards,

  9. Dear Tim,
    Long time listener – thank you for so many hours of wonderful guests, great questions, insights, and most of all your willingness to be open, honest and vulnerable. Two things jumped out at me from this interview: that you broke up with your partner of 5 years who you described as your soulmate and that you weren’t 100% compatible for life. If I were posing the questions, I would have asked two: what percentage compatible are you (I am anticipating an answer in the 90s?) and where did you get the idea that anyone is 100% compatible (or needs to be?). I sincerely think I can help and I am not selling anything! Been happily married for 36 years (believe me, if it were based on traditional compatibility, we would have been done long ago!), 4 grown kids and have learned some really helpful stull, particularly in the last 6 years or so.

    1. Great episode. Love coaching was amazing… You mentioned app Focus, can you please clarify which one is that, as I can’t find relevant one on Android?

  10. Tim – Love your show. I think your interview with guest Dr. Jim Loehr is also relevant to reference here. All the best! KB

    The power broker in your life is the voice that no one hears. How well you revisit the tone and content of your private voice is what determines the quality of your life. It is the master storyteller, and the stories we tell ourselves are our reality.
    — Dr. Jim Loehr

  11. Tim I think you felt this so. This coach is a nice guy and honest but not really a breakthrough thinking guy. Tim do a live session with the women from the couples therapy tv show. She is exceptional at her craft.

  12. In response to the “tech bro” comment…

    Tim, I have my only impressions of you from when I started listening to your podcast in 2014. Since I have started listening, I bought and read The Daily Stoic every morning (based upon your recommendation), have started and maintained a 5-minute journal habit in the mornings (and nights), have become a sleep hygiene enthusiast (read…”nerd”), have experimented with psychedelics in the proper set and setting to help with my on-again, off-again battles with “bi-polar 2” depression (that may be similar to your bouts), have maintained a daily meditation habit (with the help of Dan Harris, too), and get in at least one hip-hinging exercise per week. I’m assuming that I’m not alone amongst your audience. In short, your direct experiences and those of your guests have a profound influence on my day-to-day habits and quality of life.

    I’m not sure what that writer (and another one, too?) meant by the term, “tech bro”, but I have never had that impression of you in the slightest regard. I hope you value the shared experiences of your audience (like mine above) over someone who probably hasn’t listened to your podcast, or has, and is trying to make a name for him/herself.

    I just wanted to say thank you, and selfishly, I hope you continue the good work that you do on your podcast and in other mediums. I think you’re having a far more positive impact and influence on people’s lives more often than someone perceiving you as a “tech bro”.

  13. Per Matt’s comment about extroverts benefiting from having people in the room while they’re doing solo tasks:
    We old folks call this “holding space.” It’s a well known concept to Boomers and Gen X’er.
    And yes, Tim, it absolutely works for introverts. My husband, myself, and many of our friends are introverts. We don’t need support working on a spreadsheet or digging into tax docs. WE need someone to hold space when we call unknown service folk (plumbers, tree trimmers, architects) for the first time. Or have initial calls with new program managers. Just someone in the room, reading a book. Nothing special. Just someone sane, holding space.