Michael Herold Portrait Photo

When I was a toddler* the doctors told my parents that I have a muscular condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy – and that I wouldn’t live a normal life.

It was a long and somewhat bumpy road, but at some point in my life I finally realized something:

I did not achieve the things in my life despite my challenges. I achieved them because of it.

I am the head coach at The Art of Charm, an L.A.-based company where I am using evidence-based research to help clients overcome their social anxiety through playful exposure exercises.

I am also a public speaker. I have spoken at TEDx, in front of members of parliament, universities, and once in a cinema full of 500 kids high on sugary popcorn – which was a lot more fun than I anticipated.

I am also presenting on psychological topics like social anxiety (ACBS World Conference), the Imposter Syndrome (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), values-based living (DGM), and conversation skills (Wise Minds Summit)

I am the co-producer of The Art of Charm Podcast and the strategic consultant for the Psychologists off the Clock Podcast.

In a previous life, I was a character animator working on award-winning movies and TV shows like The Penguins of Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda.

That was before I realized that helping people live a meaningful life is much more rewarding than working in the film business – even though the long nights in the studio allowed me to brew my own beer in the office closet, an activity I highly recommend to everyone.

Many years later, my parents still agree with the doctors in that I’m not living a normal life.

*an incredibly cute toddler, to be specific