When a father is unbothered by the results of a paternity test that disproves a biological connection to the daughter he’s raised since birth, what can he do to win a custody battle against the uncooperative mother who’s considered a more “real” parent by the state? We’ll seek the answers to this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Can a dad who’s raised a daughter as his own win custody after a court-ordered test disproves his paternity? [Once again, many thanks to attorney and friend Corbin Payne for helping us answer this one!]
- A new job with amazing opportunities for growth means leaving behind a team you’ve come to admire. What’s the most graceful way to exit while remaining on good terms?
- A simple request for a textbook refund has led to erroneous, uninvited emails from the publisher containing private information of other customers, which means someone else probably has your “private” information. On top of this, you still don’t have a refund. Is threatening legal action your most reasonable next step? [Yep. The Payne Train helped us with this one too! Thanks, Corbin!]
- For years, you’ve been happily married to the love of your life, but they’ve become politically active to a hostile degree on social media and condescending toward you for being “uninformed” when you want to talk about something — anything — else. What can you do to bring the boiling point down a bit?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Are you trying to hire the right person for your business, but the best candidates keep slipping away? Let ZipRecruiter — the fastest way to hire great people — help you screen only the best at ziprecruiter.com/jordan!
Fiverr has a mission to change how the world works together by connecting businesses with freelancers offering digital services in 250+ categories. Whether you’re looking for new copy and a design for your website or a voicemail message in an exotic accent from a faraway land, Fiverr can deliver at a price you can afford. Go to fiverr.com/business and use code JORDAN at checkout to get 10% off your purchase and one free year of Fiverr Business!
Public Rec is where indoor comfort meets outdoor style. Apparel with a place and purpose, in every wardrobe. Free Exchanges. Free Returns. Free Shipping. Go to publicrec.com/harbinger and use promo code HARBINGER to get 10% off!
Purple is the best mattress tech advancement in 80 years; its mattresses and pillows come with free delivery, free returns, and a 100-night trial. Go to purple.com/jordan10 and use promo code Jordan10 for 10% off any order of $200 or more!
Better Help offers affordable, online counseling at your convenience. If you’re coping with depression, stress, anxiety, addiction, or any number of issues, you’re not alone. Talk with a licensed professional therapist for 10 percent off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan!
Miss our conversation with Fyre Festival fiasco fraudster in federal prison? Catch up with episode 422: Billy McFarland | From Fyre Fest Fiasco to Federal Prison here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Lisa Feldman Barrett | Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain | Jordan Harbinger
- Roger Atwood | Stealing History | Jordan Harbinger
- Corbin Payne | Twitter
- 9 Tips for Dads in Child Custody Battles, According to Experienced Fathers | Fatherly
- 8 Tips to Help Dads Prepare for a Custody Battle | Dads Divorce
- Custody Battle: 10 Things That Can Sabotage Your Case | Dads Divorce
- 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser (with Science) | Science of People
- Scott Galloway: From Crisis to Opportunity Post Corona | Jordan Harbinger
- People Are Finally Fighting Back Against the College Textbook Industry ‘Scam’ | Vice
- Security Breach Notification Laws | NCSL
- State Consumer Protection Offices | USAGov
- Bureau of Consumer Protection | FTC | Phone: (202) 326-3280
- Help! I Married a Conspiracy Theorist! | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Arthur Brooks | How Loving Your Enemies Can Save America | Jordan Harbinger
Custody Battle Rattles Disproven Dad | Feedback Friday (Episode 481)
Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, my sidekick in salvation, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening, even inside your own mind.
[00:00:36] If you're new to the show Fridays like this, we give advice to you and answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. And if you're joining us for the first time, or you're looking for a handy way to tell your friends about the show, we now have episodes starter packs. These are collections of your favorite episodes, organized by popular topics to help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start to get started.
[00:01:08] This week on the podcast, interview wise, we had Lisa Feldman Barrett on emotions and how emotions are processed in the brain. We also had Roger Atwood. This is an episode about antiquities theft and smuggling, mostly out of Central and South America.
[00:01:22] Gabriel, this is interesting because I mean, I know that they're smuggling, but you think usually it's drugs or gold or something like that, but this is art. And it turns out that, unfortunately, most antiquities are found just by kids and thieves, poking sticks in the ground in places that have lots of old civilizations and just drilling down until they hear bones or wood or stone. And then they dig and they pull out like rings and clothing and bones. It's wild. It's unfortunate too because, of course, you lose the majority of the historical context and learning when you rip something out of the ground. You know, there's a reason that they're, on movies and TV, dusting with little brushes, like each layer means something. And when you yank something out of the ground, as fast as you can, under cover of night, well, you lose all that.
[00:02:08] So make sure you've had to listen and to look to all those shows that we created for you here this week. You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails as concise as you can. Try to include a descriptive subject line that makes our job a whole lot easier. If there's something you're going through, any big decision you're wrestling with, or you just need a new perspective on stuff, life, love, work. Whether you should sue an abusive relative, whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up email@example.com. We're here to help. We keep every email anonymous.
[00:02:37] So I got a really cool DM this week from a listener. He was basically saying how much he enjoys the show, especially these Feedback Friday episodes, how he really appreciates how seriously we take people's questions. And that message like many of your DMs and messages is very kind and it means a lot to me. It actually made me realize that offering advice here on the show, I really do, or I should say we really do — Gabriel, I'll speak for you here — we really do think of it as kind of a sacred duty, as he said in his DM. You know, you guys write in with your most personal problems, your challenges, your goals, and you invite us into your world to help out.
[00:03:11] And I know how hard that is to do for some of you. And I know how helpful it can be to get good advice when you really need it. And that's why Gabe and I put so much into this show and this guy who wrote me. He also mentioned how we consult experts when we don't feel qualified to answer a certain question. And that's important to us too, especially to me, right? I know enough now at age 40, here pushing 41, to know what I don't know and I know to seek out information. I need to fill in gaps and turn to experts when we need another perspective. I do it in my own life. I do it here on the show for you guys. And I encourage everyone listening and watching to do the same for themselves. There's just no way to know everything you need to know to succeed in your life and to stay safe and to, especially when it comes to law and medical kinds of claims or investigations. So it's our job to seek that wisdom out.
[00:04:01] Anyway, I wanted to touch on that here on the top of the show, how much we love doing these episodes, how seriously we take our role here. I hope that doesn't sound too self-important. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's a privilege to offer advice like this, and we try to live up to that responsibility as best we can. So thanks for listening. Thanks for sharing your stories with us. And as you know, if you ever need us, we're right here to help.
[00:04:22] Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:04:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe, a good friend of mine had a son and a daughter with a woman who already had an older daughter by another man. My friend and this woman, they ended up going through a long custody battle for the kids during which my friend was raising and caring for all three children with very little, if any financial or emotional support from the mom. In the beginning of the process, he and the mom signed a document agreeing not to contest paternity during the custody battle, but by the end, he could no longer afford to keep his lawyer. The judge awarded him full custody of the two children who were his, but the mom contested this saying that the little girl was not really my friend's child. The court ordered a paternity test and it turns out that she was telling the truth. This definitely hurt my friend, but he's been this girl's father since she was born and he loves her. So he didn't care. The judge wasn't sure what to do since they had signed that agreement, but he ultimately gave custody of the daughter to the mom. She lives in Georgia, in government housing with several people. And my friend who lives in Alabama, he's only gotten to see the girl a couple of times in the past few years, when he has taken his son to see the mom who doesn't call him or come to see him at all. My friend is worried for the girl and feels that if he could get a lawyer again, he'd be able to overturn the judge's decision on the basis that the paternity test should never have happened. But he's a new police officer and he can't afford the cost of an attorney through a lengthy custody battle. He's feeling fairly hopeless at this point and has no idea what he can do now, other than waiting years to save up money for an attorney while his daughter grows up in these poor conditions. Do you guys have any ideas or resources my friend can use to try and get his daughter back? Thank you so much. Signed, Fighting Assertively for this Paternity.
[00:06:00] Jordan Harbinger: Man, this is a sad story. Your friend, he sounds like a standup dude. He obviously really cares about his children, even this daughter who isn't biologically his and it's the right thing to do. It's actually very touching and it's nice of you to want to help him, so I hope that we can. Since this question really hinges on the law, we consulted the one and only Corbin Payne, legal eagle and OG friend of the show to make sure we were covering all of our bases here because you know, as you know, I'm a lawyer, but not your lawyer. And let's admit it, I did real estate finance. So I'm way out of my depth here.
[00:06:30] First off, I just got to say the legal side of this story is a hot mess and we don't really have enough of a picture to fully understand it. It sounds to me like the judge was actually in the same position. That said, if your friend was on the birth certificate as this child's father, this should not have happened. And if he and this woman were married, which it sounds like maybe they weren't, it also should not have happened. If he was both, then it really should not have happened. But anyway, it did happen here we are.
[00:06:57] So Corbin, he basically saw two ways forward. Option one, your friend can file to terminate the mother's parental rights and adopt his daughter or he can file to get custody of his daughter. He will need an attorney for either type of case. He's also going to have to have the proper grounds to do this. He's going to have to be able to prove that something bad is going on in the mom's home, like abuse, abandonment, and neglect, dangerous living conditions, that sort of thing. And we're not sure if that's actually happening to be clear, but I'll let your friend decide that for himself based on the facts, as he knows them. Also, and this sucks, but it is what it is, he's probably going to need an attorney for himself and an attorney in Georgia where the mom lives just because of jurisdictional stuff. Thankfully, that doesn't mean twice the cost. It just means that there's going to be additional cost and there's just kind of no way around it. Welcome to different systems in every single freaking state.
[00:07:50] Option two, negotiate with the mother for custody using child support is a bargaining chip. Now, this is a little bit of like clever legal stuff here. So pardon me if it gets a little murky, but in your letter, you didn't say anything about whether the mom was ordered to pay child support for the son, but according to Corbin Payne, she should be. If she doesn't have custody, then she's supposed to pay child support. That's true with a court order in place. And it's true, even without a court order in place. We're pretty sure that every state mandates that a non-custodial parent has to pay child support court order or not. You're going to want to check that with your attorney, but it's likely that she owes child support.
[00:08:29] Now, our guess is that your friend, he probably hasn't pursued child support from this woman because, well, he's a nice guy who's doing a good job of raising his son and he's not looking to take money from somebody whose financial situation is probably pretty precarious/a dumpster fire. So Corbin's advice, go after her anyway. His opinion here, and the opinion that I share, is that action would be brought in Alabama, where your friend and his son are living. From there, your friend could negotiate with her to work with him on custody over their daughter. He could even agree to pay child support for her if mom will agree to share custody. And if she's totally tapped out and she's not putting any effort into supporting their son, then that sets him up nicely to argue that she's unfit to have custody of the daughter full-time because she can't meet her financial obligations, including the child support that she now owes you.
[00:09:21] So Gabe, before I get into the rest of your, what do you think?
[00:09:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I think that's really smart. And look, we know that second option, it's a kind of sleazy legal maneuvering for lack of a better term, but Corbin he's seen lots of parents hesitate to do stuff like that because it feels like they're, I don't know, kind of buying their child or something like that. And I get it. It does feel a little bit gross, but this is a matter of principle, I think. I mean, a parent should be able to support their children, right? Full stop. If a parent doesn't want to support their child, then they're mostly putting themselves the category of unfit parent. And if they can't support their children, which I understand happens from time to time, but that's another matter entirely. And there are solutions in place for people in that situation. The point is your friend, it seems to me that he's been left in the lurch here and kept away from his daughter by a vindictive ex. I mean, she won't do the bare minimum to see her son in Alabama. And I doubt she's doing the bare minimum to contribute to his support. Who knows how she's raising their daughter? That's a whole other question, right?
[00:10:18] Jordan Harbinger: I don't want to be judgy, but I'm going to anyway. She sounds like an absolute trash person for the way that she's behaved in the past, having a kid with somebody else, lying about it, saying she won't contest it, then contesting it. Then using her kid that she's contested paternity with as a bargaining chip for something — I mean, this is just a terrible person. I have so little sympathy for her. I have even less hope that she's a good example for her kids. I'm not saying she's a bad mother, you know, that she doesn't feed her kids or something. I'm saying she's probably a bad example for her kid, even if she's trying to be a good mother. I'm trying to be diplomatic about this, but honestly, she just seems like a trash person
[00:10:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm with you on that. It doesn't sound like this woman has behaved particularly fairly or responsibly, reasonably as a mother, plus she's actively neglecting her son, which is just — yeah, not a great person, not even a flawed person trying to do the right thing in a difficult situation, which does happen, of course. I think this is another category entirely. So if your friend does decide to go after this woman, I don't think that it's going to be out of pettiness or vindictiveness, I think it's just a matter of principle. And that's what Corbin helped us see here. I mean, your friend, he can compel her to act like a good mother or at least an adequate mother anyway, or he can make her stop being a mom altogether and allow both of her children to be raised by a good father or the better parent in this situation. That's how Corbin put it to us and I got to say, I agree with that.
[00:11:38] Jordan Harbinger: Those are the options. I wish we could share other strategies that don't involve hiring a lawyer, but family law, custody law, adoption law, these are very complicated. These are highly technical. Lawyers who don't specialize in those areas, they really, we really struggle when we take on a case like this, if we were to do so. It's not even a good idea to take a case on like this, unless you know what you're doing in this area, obviously. It's far worse for a lay person. You know, your friend is a cop, he should not be reading up on this to try and figure it out for himself. It's just an impossible burden. Your friend needs a good lawyer on his side if he's serious about getting custody. And he should, I mean, it sounds like he loves his kids and it sounds like — look, I already stated my opinion on the mom here from what we've seen from the facts.
[00:12:22] And I know he's a cop. I know it's a stretch for him in terms of finances, but maybe he can get a little creative here. Maybe he borrowed some money from family and friends to retain the lawyer. Maybe he finds a reasonable attorney and negotiates for a good rate. Maybe he goes on some sort of payment plan with the attorney, which many lawyers by the way, are happy to do that, especially since he's got a stable job. Government job is a good indicator, especially like police, you know that you're not going to be out of work next week.
[00:12:48] For what it's worth, Corbin said that he personally would accept a payment plan or an advance on a retainer fee if he were asked by a client who needed it. He'd even get started on the case before getting paid in full, since a case like this, it's probably going to take several months to really get rolling. Every attorney is different, of course, but the profession is changing. Lawyers are having to become more flexible or go out of business. So there are definitely ways of making this work. If your friend is willing to do some legwork and come up with a plan.
[00:13:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: I hope that helps your friend. He might not get everything that he wants here. He might have to accept a compromise. That's less than ideal. He might have to deal with this woman until their kids are completely grown up. But if he's really committed to being a father to his children, which it sounds like he is, then I think it's worth the fight. Find a good lawyer, find a way to make it work. Use the system to make this situation as fair as possible. Unfortunately, I do have a feeling that these kids, they're going to grow up with quite a bit of dysfunction, no matter what, even if they do end up with their dad most of the time, but there's a way to keep that dysfunction to a minimum and do the right thing here. So I hope your friend finds a way. Thank you for writing in. We are rooting for him and if you have an update, let us know how it goes.
[00:13:56] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:14:00] This episode is sponsored in part by ZipRecruiter. For a lot of us, our home is now more than just our home. A lot of us weren't used to working from home for so long. For me, I've been working from home for a long time, but I also now have to do the gym at home, my podcast studios at home. Our favorite vacation spot is now our backyard, you know, the drill. So if you're a business owner or a people manager, home might also be where you do your hiring. That's where ZipRecruiter comes in. ZipRecruiter makes hiring faster and easier because you can do it all from one convenient place, ziprecruiter.com/jordan. No matter where you're hiring from ZipRecruiter does the work for you. How? ZipRecruiter's matching technology scans thousands of resumes and profiles to send you the most qualified people for your job.
[00:14:42] Jen Harbinger: And right now you can try ZipRecruiter for free at ziprecruiter.com/jordan. That's ziprecruiter.com/jordan. All you need is Wi-Fi to try it for free, just go to ziprecruiter.com/jordan. ZipRecruiter, the smartest way to hire.
[00:14:57] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Fiverr. If you're looking for freelancers or you need to boost your team with exceptional talents, I recommend Fiverr. And many entrepreneurs, we use Fiverr to move our business forward. We can hire voiceover or professional voicemail greeting talent. You know, that was my old gig. You can hire a content writer. You can get help posting tweets or social media, creating Facebook ads, creating an explainer video, little animations. And we're actually using Fiverr business to get help translating captions. For some of the videos in our Six-Minute Networking course, because it's fast, it's affordable. You don't have to haggle and negotiate with the people on there because the pricing is all upfront. Whether you're managing a team, it can be hard to get everyone on the same page, but with Fiverr business, you get access to an all-star team of super freelancers, bunch of tools to integrate them into your workflow, just like your regular team.
[00:15:45] Jen Harbinger: Collaborating online hasn't been this easy since ever. And right now you can sign up for Fiverr business, absolutely free for the first year. Get one for a year and save 10 percent on your purchase on Fiverr business with promo code JORDAN. Just go to fiverr.com/business, and don't forget promo code JORDAN.
[00:16:02] Jordan Harbinger: And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:16:07] All right, what's next?
[00:16:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hello, my favorite podcast team. For the past four years, I've worked full time in the service industry to pay for my business degree and living situation. This has always been something young college students could rely on, but this past year drastically changed that option. I lost my jobs and was left wondering what I could do to sustain myself. Midway into the pandemic, I found a sales position and got the job. I immediately became very close with my bosses and the work environment that they created. My bosses, they have high hopes for me and genuinely believe that I'll help elevate the business with my sales success. We often work together on projects and we communicate openly. While I was very grateful to find this position, I felt that once I graduated, I wouldn't necessarily be utilizing the education I've spent four years acquiring. Also, despite hundreds of calls and emails, many businesses are not accepting new products and entering new markets has not been easy. Simply put, I'm not making the commission I had anticipated. I'm not in debt, but I know that if something doesn't change, I will be. This past week, an extremely lucrative and interesting position fell into my lap by referral. I have a great feeling about this job. I really clicked with the boss. The position directly relates to my degree. I know I'll be compensated for my education. I have a second interview coming up and I'm pretty optimistic since I have a personal connection with the second interviewer. So my question is this: if I got this new job, how do I end things with my current bosses, who I greatly admire? I don't want to offend anyone by leaving and I don't want to burn any bridges. I know I could make it work and do time if I did stay, but I really want to take this new challenging position. I'm aware that I am a people pleaser and I've always hated quitting jobs. Thank you for your help. Signed, Quitting Classily.
[00:17:42] Jordan Harbinger: Well, hey, congratulations on this new position. I hope you get it. It sounds like you probably will and congrats on finding a way to make things work during the panty D, not easy for everyone, especially for a college student, working as a waitress, server, tutoring, kids to stay afloat. You sound like a hardworking person and ambitious person, and I can see why all of these companies think so highly of you. I mean, those are really good signs. So I think that's going to work well for you. I do get your predicament here, though. It's not easy parting ways with a boss that you love, especially if you're a people pleaser. That's one of the hard things about being a great candidate. You're always going to be disappointing somebody, but that's what we call a champagne problem. And when life serves you champagne, you know, you just got to drink the champagne. Slayed that metaphor.
[00:18:27] So the first thing you're going to have to do here is make a little mental shift, okay. Make a little bit of a mindset shift. You're very devoted to your current bosses. They treated you well. They gave you work when you really needed it. It makes sense that you feel this loyalty towards them. But at the end of the day, when it comes to your career, you absolutely have to put yourself first. Companies, even nice companies, they ultimately always do what is right for them. And by the same token, employees, they have to look out for themselves, you know, at some level. Your bosses, they deserve your hard work. They deserve your gratitude. They deserve your positive attitude, but they don't own your time or your loyalty forever. You're allowed to take another job that's more in line with your interests. And you should, that's how you grow. That's how you build a great career and they know that, even if they're disappointed.
[00:19:16] I guess what I'm saying is you're not doing anything wrong by moving on from people you admire. I'm not saying it's going to be fun, but that doesn't mean it's unfair. You're not doing anyone dirty, but as we know, Gabe, there's a good way to leave a job and there's a not so good way. So how should she do it?
[00:19:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, when you do have the offer in head and you're ready to give these people notice, I would book a little time with your bosses. You could start off by saying that this will be kind of a difficult conversation for you. That it's probably the last thing you want to be telling them, but that after a lot of reflection, you've decided to take this other position. You know, you could tell them how much this job has meant to you over the last year, how it came along at a time when you really needed it, how much you've learned with them, how much you've enjoyed working with them. Be detailed, be specific. That'll go a long way. I would tell them that this was not an easy decision for you to make. Just so they feel that you weren't just like leaving them in the lurch and just taking whatever job comes along. Tell them, you know, ultimately you thought about it a lot and you feel that this is the right path for you for all of the reasons you laid out in your letter to us. And there are good reasons, so I think you're in good shape.
[00:20:14] If you want it to, you could mention that you've struggled to meet the sales targets that you were hoping to meet when you started out and that you want to make sure that you're working in a place where you can really deliver on the value that you promised. You could include that if it helps soften the blow a little bit and if it actually feels true. I know you said that if you stuck around, you could maybe make it work, but at the same time, you do have to worry about going into debt and making good on the promise as a sales person that you made. So, you know, that might be part of the story that you tell them. Let them process the news. Let them ask you any questions. Take some time to talk through anything that comes up in the conversation.
[00:20:45] And then — and this is the really important part — I would tell them that you want to help make this transition as easy as possible. So maybe you offer to interview and train your replacement, maybe you create a handbook with your responsibilities, your sales leads, your products, all that good stuff. So the next person who comes in after you can drop right into the job and hit the ground running from the get-go. Ask your bosses, what would be most helpful to them? And as long as it's a reasonable request, then make good on it before you leave. If you keep a good attitude in your last few weeks, if you're cooled all your colleagues, you find little ways to leave your mark on the place as you're going. I mean, that's really how you avoid burning bridges and how you can actually deepen your relationships with these people, even when you're on your way out the door. Just by being a great employee up until the very end. That's how I would do it.
[00:21:27] And if you do all of that, then I'm sure you'll be able to leave on a good note. And you'll probably be able to stay close with these people for a long time. Now, there's always a chance that they will be a little bit hurt. They might be a little bit resentful. I'm not saying they will. They sound pretty cool, but you never know. They don't have a right to be in my opinion, but you just never know with people — I mean, some people take things very personally. When I left my job in consulting Jordan, I remember there was this one partner I worked with a lot. I really liked him. We got along really well. He used to staff me on a lot of projects. And when I told him I was leaving because I wanted to try something new. He just kind of turned on me. I don't know how to explain it. He just, he didn't think it was a good move. He could only process my decision to leave as a loss for him, as opposed to like an opportunity for me to try something. And there's just nothing I could do about that.
[00:22:07] So if that ever happens to you with these people, try not to take it too personally, them getting upset about this. That doesn't mean that you've done anything wrong. It just means that you guys had a good thing going. They like to, and parting ways is always hard.
[00:22:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Good point. I think in going forward, if you do want to stay close with these people, then keep investing in the relationship like you would any other, if you meet a potential customer or send them their way, if you meet a good candidate, connect them by email. I mean, that's straight out Six-Minute Networking, straight out of that playbook. That's how you can build this relationship and thank them for everything they did for you, which is the right thing to do all around. So good luck on the interview. We're rooting for you.
[00:22:46] And Gabe, I think she's just a good person and that's what I think the bosses are going to be bummed to lose her, but it's just that I'm getting all these — what do you say? Green flags. What's the opposite of a red flag? A green flag.
[00:22:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Green flag. I like that.
[00:22:59] Jordan Harbinger: I'm getting all of these green flags from this person. This is like a really good person. Yeah. So you're on the up and up. Don't let your people pleasing tendencies shoot you in the foot, career-wise. Leave them wanting more. You can always go back. The door will always be open for you, probably at this place. And I think that's just a great way to leave a position.
[00:23:15] All right, what's next?
[00:24:49] Jordan Harbinger: This is so gross on multiple levels and how classic textbook manufacturer is this type of bullsh*t, right? Like—
[00:24:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally.
[00:24:56] Jordan Harbinger: —I remember a friend of mine who I graduated from law school with. The first thing he did when we graduated law school, he sued the bar prep company because they charge like $10,000 for the course. And you've got to sit in a room and watch these VHS lectures in the room. You can't take it online. You can't take it with you. You can't listen to it. It's just ridiculous. It's antiquated. And it's so overpriced. It's just absolutely criminal.
[00:25:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Did he win?
[00:25:25] Jordan Harbinger: You know what? I know that he got a few million dollars out of them and he was like, "It's such a rip."
[00:25:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:25:30] Jordan Harbinger: "You know, we're going to appeal the settlement. They need to pay us 20 million." Because these companies just print money by ripping students off. There's no like, "Oh, it's an antiquated model. And they're really trying to serve students." It's just a complete grift, 100-percent grift. So it totally fits with what I've been reading lately about the textbook publishing industry. It's exactly how it was 15 years ago when I was in college. It's just a monopoly dominated by a few companies. That's how this whole access code thing. It's just a way to squeeze more money out of cash strap students because they're existing on loans and they know that they have to pay.
[00:26:03] So I'm sorry, this happened to your girlfriend. Just know that she's not the only one who's been screwed over by big textbook. By the way, we're not going to mention the name of the company here, but you definitely know it. It's one of the big fish in this gross, gross, gross murky pond. And since this is another legal question, you know, once again we consulted with Corbin Payne — I know this guy should probably have his own podcast, but don't give him any ideas — so we can understand your options here a little bit better.
[00:26:28] My first recommendation, just to get super tactical here, my first recommendation is for your girlfriend to dispute the charge with her credit card company. This is just basic. A lot of people will say, "This company ripped me off." And my first question is always, "How did you pay?" If you paid with an American Express card or any credit card for that matter, but especially a good one, like an Amex, and you don't have to be rich to get an Amex. When I was a student, I got one that offered like airline points for every dollar or something, I think it was called blue. When you dispute a charge, the credit card company withholds the funds paid to the merchant and it puts the monkey on the back of the publisher to respond or not get paid. So they have to say, "No, we did deliver this." And then the credit card company will come back and say, "Well, did you get the book?" And, "Yeah, I can't get it in time, so I don't need it. And they won't let me return it." They have returned protection. That's what disputes are for. If she used a debit card, there's less recourse, which is a good argument for using a credit card wherever possible. Again, ideally American Express, their customer service is generally top-notch. Although some debit cards that run by Visa, MasterCard, they can protect you in many cases, but you do have less leverage because they get the money right away. So I would start there.
[00:27:36] Then I would take this up with the school. Corbin pointed out that the university, they might not even be willing to get in the middle of a conflict between a major textbook provider and a single student. My understanding, just based on a quick Google, is that colleges and textbook companies, they've got a very cozy symbiotic relationship. And my guess is that their allegiance is more to one another, of course, which don't even get me started on colleges. We know how outrageous that stuff is. Scott Galloway, I'll leave it to him. If you heard the episode with him, he went off on this. But they're not really looking out for students that get ripped off generally and still Corbin thinks it's worth reporting all of this to the college. The customer service's scamminess and especially the privacy breach. See if the administration will contact the publisher's rep because that person can take it seriously. In my book, the school should be concerned that this stuff is happening to their students, private information getting leaked, but also if your girlfriend reports it and they do nothing, then she can at least document that for any future legal action.
[00:28:36] But look, Gabe, I don't know about you, when I was in college, our student numbers, it was like your social security number was your student number, or it was your social with like a number after it, one number. So basically on these ID cards and anytime you had to log into anything, you had to type in yourself. So anybody could get a whole bunch of University of Michigan students' social security numbers in a heartbeat.
[00:28:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, man.
[00:28:59] Jordan Harbinger: Or by looking over the shoulder of people in the computer lab. Yeah, they finally changed that but—
[00:29:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was about to say they needed to change that ASAP.
[00:29:06] Jordan Harbinger: They did. But when I got my student ID, I was like, "Wait, you're kidding me. This is my student ID number. What are you thinking?" You know because you'd find these little ID cards for students laying all over the place. Any loss and found had 50 of them, just social security numbers printed right there with the name.
[00:29:21] Anyway, Corbin pointed out there's also a much bigger issue at play here. The textbook company, they just committed a massive leak of private information. All 50 States and the federal government, they have very clear laws in place that require companies to report privacy breaches like this. And we'll link to a list of those laws in the show notes. If there are over a hundred emails passing along the other people's private information, a hundred emails, the company is almost certainly in breach of those laws. And my guess is that this isn't an isolated event either, if this happened once and the company's just giving you guys a big, old shrug, you can bet it's happening with other people too, and will probably continue happening.
[00:30:01] So given all that, Corbin suggests the following course of action. First, contact the company one last time and call them out explicitly for the privacy breach. Your girlfriend, she doesn't need to go full Karen on them here. No need to start citing the laws like dorm-room Erin Brockovich. She shouldn't hesitate to tell them though that this whole data breach is unethical. It's dangerous to the publisher's clients. It's probably illegal. Make it clear. She's done dealing with this company since they're being so cavalier about protecting their customer's privacy. And demand the refund be paid ASAP. Demand that they make the legally required disclosures about privacy breaches. Obviously, be a little careful not to say, "Refund me ASAP or I'm going to tell everyone about a privacy breach." Sounds a little bit like extortion but just demand the refund, demand they make the legally required disclosures about the breach. That's it. Don't go overboard with that.
[00:30:51] If that doesn't get their attention, say within a few weeks, then I would report them. I'd start with your State Consumer Protection Office. We'll link to those in the show notes, you should also report the company to the FTC, although their website. It's kind of vague on how to go about doing that. So Corbin recommends calling the FTC's Consumer Protection Bureau. We'll link to that phone number in the show notes as well. If your girlfriend is serious about fighting back, I would consider reaching out to an attorney who specializes in class-action lawsuits. It sounds like a bunch of people had their information leaked here. They would have all the grounds necessary to sue the company along with your girlfriend. Class-action lawsuits, they are a lot more expensive to defend against than just getting sued by a single plaintiff who has a single complaint. Class-action attorneys generally work on a contingency basis, meaning they get a cut of the winnings and it costs nothing for you as a plaintiff in the event of a loss. So this would probably cost your girlfriend nothing upfront. Companies dread getting hit by a class-action lawsuit. So this is probably the best way to fight back.
[00:31:53] And by the way, these textbook publishers, they're getting hit by lawsuits a lot lately, mostly over how they seem to be creating an illegal monopoly. Your girlfriend, she might be able to contact the attorneys for these suits and join them if her story fits in with other people's. And by the way, we did a little digging about a year and a half ago, two women actually did sue this textbook company that you are dealing with. And surprise, surprise, they sued them for a data breach that compromised the personal information of almost a million students in 13 States. So like we said, your girlfriend is probably not alone here. There's definitely a history of this nonsense. There are ways to fight back if these people just refuse to do the right thing, which is often the case with companies just like this. Personally, I think it would be fun and educational to be the plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit and just have a front row seat to something like that and then stick it to the man in return for a chunk of change.
[00:32:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. I got to say I agree. And Corbin, he did have one other idea here, which is to contact the media. I thought that was interesting. Most news stations, publications, they usually have a reporter on staff who specializes in bad businesses. The story of a publishing company screwing over a college student like this that's pretty good fodder for good reporting. The story of a massive publishing giant screwing over college students, and then leaking their private information without any apology or recognition that is amazing fodder for great reporting with potentially national, maybe even international implications.
[00:33:18] So if your girlfriend isn't getting any traction with these other approaches, or she needs some extra juice to lean on this company, then the media would be a great way to go. Or who knows? Maybe she eats the cost of the textbook right now and decides that she doesn't want to sue, but she does want to get her story out there. In which case, talking to a reporter — yeah, that's a great solution. And I'm not going to lie. I bet it would be pretty satisfying telling a reporter, everything that just went down.
[00:33:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Seriously telling Linda from the Chicago Sun Times how a textbook company scammed you out of your money, then blatantly leaked hundreds of people's personally identifying information and then refuses to apologize or even acknowledge it. And then getting to read about it in print, knowing that these textbook executives are reading it too, that'd feel pretty sweet, not as good as winning a justified lawsuit, but still pretty nice.
[00:34:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: So bottom line, this whole situation, absolutely not cool. Your girlfriend definitely has options here. Sadly, this is how these big publishers tend to operate. They have a captive market. They work hard to dominate it using sketchy, sometimes coercive, possibly illegal means. Professors, administrators, they get to decide which textbook the class uses, everybody else, college students. They just have to shell out the money to play ball or find themselves unable to participate in class, which seems like the power dynamic is very imbalanced. All of which would explain why these companies don't have to worry about customer service, just classic shady monopolistic behavior. And ultimately, I guess it's up to us, the consumers to hold them accountable, so she should.
[00:34:40] Jordan Harbinger: Great advice, Gabe. I'd love to see this textbook publisher get taken down a peg or two for crap like this. So good luck, let us know what you guys decide to do.
[00:34:51] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:34:55] This episode is sponsored in part by Public Rec. I find myself digging through piles of laundry to hunt down my favorite pants. And I always reach for my Public Rec. I have such a hard time finding pants that fit well on me and are comfortable. I've got some junk in my trunk. Some might say a bubble, but the Public Rec All Day Every Day Pant is what I wear literally all day, every day. So great name on that one. I have to have them name my show because I just named it after myself, as you're aware. I can look put together and feel as comfortable as sweatpants without looking like raggedy old sweats, you know, the actual sweats that you use to play basketball in, like that were like vacuum sealed to you. Yeah, I'm old enough to remember those. The pockets on these things are zippered, so things don't fall out when you sit. They're breathable and stretchy enough to be active in, but you know, I'm mostly inactive. Let's be honest. It's the panty D. I'm sitting around doing work and drink and freaking lattes. And now, that we're all stuck inside, you want to be able to dress comfortably, but you also don't want to look like you're dressed too comfortably. And that's what I love about Public Rec, that perfect middle ground.
[00:35:54] Jen Harbinger: Public Rec rarely discounts but right now they have an exclusive offer just for our listeners. Go to publicrec.com/harbinger and use promo code HARBINGER to receive 10 percent off. That's Public Rec, R-E-C, and use our promo code HARBINGER for 10 percent off.
[00:36:10] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Purple Mattress. Purple Mattress, these pillows we got from Purple, I will say are so comfortable. Purple has the grid. So we bought a bunch more of these because we liked it so much. The grid is a stretchy gel material that has amazingly supportive. What do you call it? Like head, neck, ear stuff. Also, the mattress, of course, can support your shoulders, neck, and hips. I don't know how it really works. It just does. It's sort of like this grid that doesn't trap air. Air actually circulates and flows through it. So you're not overheating. It bounces back and moves as you shift. It doesn't just get all matted down. Like memory foam, which remembers everything good or bad, memory foam has craters and divots in it. The Purple grid, it's always the same shape, except when your head is on it.
[00:36:53] Jen Harbinger: And right now you can try your Purple Mattress risk-free with free shipping and returns. Financing is available too. Purple really is comfort for an uncomfortable world. Right now you get 10 percent off, any order of $200 or more. Go to purple.com/jordan10 and use the promo code JORDAN10. That's purple.com/jordan10 promo code JORDAN10 for 10 percent off any order of $200 or more. Terms apply.
[00:37:17] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored in part by Better Help online counseling. I know what you're thinking. "I don't need therapy. I've got friends. My friends are my therapists." Good friends, I get it. They're natural sounding boards for our anxieties. And yeah, it's true, talking with a friend can be very therapeutic. Those kinds of chats are — well, let's just say they take a toll on a relationship. I'm happy to be there for my friends. But if I'm there for somebody and all we do is talk about their problems, it's a burden. "That person sucks. I don't want to be friends with them anymore." Don't be that guy or that gal. Don't ruin your own relationships. Ruin a brand new relationship with a therapist from Better Help. That's my recommendation to you. Therapists can provide many of the same benefits as a great chat with a friend does, but their experience and education can deepen the conversation and help you make connections between your current choices and ones that would probably better serve you in the future. Also, of course, you know, they're paid to listen to and help you. Your friend is not. Your friend is going to regret going out to lunch with you, socially distance or not. If all they're hearing about is your breakup for three strikes freaking months. So if you've been avoiding therapy, because you think your friends can be your therapist, consider this your sign to make an appointment with Better Help today.
[00:38:23] Jen Harbinger: The Jordan Harbinger Show listeners get 10 percent off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan. Visit better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan and join over one million people who've taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced Better Help professional.
[00:38:37] Jordan Harbinger: Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us going. Who doesn't love some good products and/or services? You can always visit jordanharbinger.com/deals for all the details on everybody that helps support the show. And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:38:55] All right, last but not least.
[00:38:57] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I've been happily married for 13 years to a very passionate wife. In the last year though, she's really gone down a rabbit hole with Twitter, where she's been gaining followers to the tune of 4,000 to 6,000 people. She's a left-leaning Cali girl and I'm a fairly centrist construction worker. She's a bit of a camp jumper though, moving from Ron Paul to Andrew Yang. Over the last year, she's become more and more hostile and I can't help, but think it's tied to some degree to the political turmoil our country is going through. She can often be found hovering over the keyboard at three or 4:00 a.m. waiting to strike. We've talked on several occasions about this, but the conversation quickly turns to me being "uninformed". Recently, I've been adding certain key terms to the mute list on her account, in the hopes that it'll help bring down some of the daily tension.
[00:39:42] It's kind of funny.
[00:39:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:39:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't want to be a jerk here, but I just can't listen to any more politics. And when I ignore it, she just heads right back into the feedback loop. Do you have any recommendations for bringing the boiling point down in our household? Signed, Appeasing the Keyboard Warrior.
[00:39:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. This is a very interesting conflict. And I think it's one that a lot of people find themselves in these days between the intensity of our politics and the tenor of social media these days. And the feedback loops that we're all stuck in. It's the filter bubble, right? Where you, it mostly shows you things that you agree with on social media.
[00:40:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:40:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I mean, it's a real problem because, you know, you click like on stuff that you agree with. So it starts showing you more of that, which means it's only showing you more and more things that you agree with filter bubble. It is a real problem. A couple of months back, we actually took a question from a guy whose wife had become a full-blown conspiracy theorist. And this story reminds me of that a little bit. Your wife, she's not exactly a conspiracy theorist as far as we can tell from the letter, but this problem of connecting with somebody who has very different beliefs, somebody who isn't able or willing to consider things from another angle, that part definitely feels familiar.
[00:40:47] So I recommend giving that episode of listen and willing to that in the show notes. Of course, it's a couple of Fridays ago. So look, there are a lot of people probably out there right now going, "So what? She's progressive, she's passionate. She's using her voice online. I don't understand. What's the problem?" On one level, I kind of agree. It's obviously her right to believe what she believes, express herself how she wants. You might not agree with her politics, but that doesn't mean you should try to censor her or whatever. You muting certain key terms on her account, I know that's probably you trying to protect her from getting riled up or probably more like protecting yourself from having to hear about it. But there's an aspect of that, that is a little manipulative. It's like a little invasive little overstepping.
[00:41:30] Anyway, that's just a band-aid that's not going to address the deeper issue here. Although I can't talk too much because I did turn some of the notifications off on Jen's phone. She was getting email notifications for everything, every shipping notification from Amazon, every Gmail was popping over. And I turned those notifications off and left the little badges on. And I don't think she's noticed. I feel like that's — I'm not hiding things that she can't — I mean, she checks it she's at later, but she just doesn't check in the middle of driving or a conversation.
[00:41:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:42:00] Jordan Harbinger: So I don't know. That's how I rationalize my misbehavior.
[00:42:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's a little different, yeah.
[00:42:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. All right. Well, anyway, look like you said, your wife, she's on one. She's sacrificing her sleep and her sanity to get mad and attack strangers on the Internet. She's calling you uninformed for gently challenging her beliefs. She's unaware, or maybe just unconcerned about the filter bubble she's in. Which to be fair, most of us are, it's a massive problem, like I said before. And I'm assuming a few things here, but I also get the sense that there's some ego wrapped up in this right? Gaining Twitter followers, that can be exciting, validating, get those little dopamine hits. And we all know social media, it's designed to reward you for engaging with it a lot. That's the point. It's literally addictive. It's dangerous. It's often radicalizing.
[00:42:45] So I guess what I'm saying is politics aside, your wife's motivations here are mixed. It's not just about what she believes, but how her beliefs are giving her repeat dopamine hits within the filter bubble she lives in. And all of that is serving to embolden your wife, to justify her position and turn any opponent, including you into the enemy. If she was super active on Twitter for a couple hours a day, and then she puts her phone across the room and she's able to just hang out, have dinner with you, talk about this stuff openly, I wouldn't be concerned. It's the way her behavior online is playing out in your marriage. That's what feels like the real problem.
[00:43:20] So given all of that, I think you and your wife need to have an open, honest conversation. I would carve out some time for the two of you, put your phones away, obviously. Tell her what you're seeing, tell her that you notice her spending significant amounts of time online, that you find it more and more difficult to talk to her about anything other than politics. That you see her getting more and more hostile as time goes on, I would avoid attacking her beliefs directly here. Like the camp jumping thing, you know, that's just, she's going to get defensive. It's another topic. I would just keep it focused on how her online life is affecting her mood and your marriage. Tell her that this whole keyboard warrior thing, it doesn't seem entirely healthy. You feel distant from her. It feels dismissive to be called uninformed when you try to talk to her about this stuff. I would also reassure her that you're not trying to change her opinions or stop her from expressing herself in any way. Tell her that you just want to make sure that her relationship to these opinions and with those other people on the Internet, that those relationships are balanced, that they're healthy.
[00:44:23] Then give her a chance to respond. Invite her to share her experience. Make an effort to stay calm, to stay non-reactive, to listen. Rather than trying to win with her, I would just try to understand her a little better and help her understand you too. Now, if she opens up and listens, she's being reasonable here, if you feel like she's able to take your position seriously and see herself a little more clearly, then you guys might be able to make progress here. But the proof is in the pudding. If you guys have a good chat and then you find her tweet Rudy Giuliani at four o'clock in the morning that night, okay. She's made her decision. This conversation, it might actually be several conversations over a period of time. And it might even end with you realizing that you're the one who needs to let go here and that all of this Twitter stuff doesn't worry you as much as you thought. And you'll just back off and let her do her thing.
[00:45:16] Although I got to say, I believe you, that this is a problem. It would be a problem for me too. Again, not because of her opinions, but because social media addiction, social media rage, the narcissistic power of Twitter, all the validation stuff, these are very real things.
[00:45:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Absolutely. I agree. So if this whole keyboard warrior thing continues to be an issue, if your wife just refuses to change or have a different relationship with the social media stuff, then you're going to have to decide whether you can live with that. You know, maybe your wife's social media use is just a minor part of your marriage and you can learn to accept it. Great, if that's the case. Or maybe you'll find that her social media use is bleeding into her personality, into your relationship, and it's something that you just can't ignore. You'll have to decide that for yourself, of course. For what it's worth —and this is different for everybody, I know — but in my book, the defining factor here is whether your wife can still communicate with you in a respectful way, whether she can separate her online persona from who she is in real life, who she is as your partner in this marriage. If she can't even have a fair conversation with you about this without getting super angry or shutting you down, even if she believes that she's ultimately right, then that's a fundamental breakdown in communication.
[00:46:26] And if all that toxicity you find on Twitter, all that tribalism, you know, all that filter bubble stuff, if she brings all of that with her to the dinner table or into bed every night, then that's also kind of a problem. Those are the two things I would really keep an eye on because those are the real issues here. The politics, the ideology, the camp jumping, that's just one layer, but the real layer beneath that is what all of it is doing to our mental health. What it's doing to each of you guys in your relationship.
[00:46:50] Jordan Harbinger: I hope that helps, man. I can only imagine how unsettling it must be to feel you're losing your wife to some faceless Twitter mob that either hates your wife for what she believes or rewards her for parroting the right things. And not to go all TED talk on you here but this is the very real danger of filter bubbles, how they validate us, how they isolate us, how they make it harder and harder to talk to people who are different from us. Like Gabe said, you and your wife's politics, they're actually secondary to the real issue, which is the quality of your relationship. If you focus on that, then you guys might be able to repair this rift. But if you can't or she won't, then you'll both have to decide if this is the relationship you want to be in. So we're sending you guys good thoughts. Here's hoping your wife doesn't send her Twitter army after me when this episode airs. I do feel for the guy. I know how easy it is to get sucked into social media. So I feel bad for the guy because she probably feels like, "Oh, I've got a voice now," you know, that is seriously intoxicating—
[00:47:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: Definitely.
[00:47:46] Jordan Harbinger: —and super freaking annoying. So I hope that helps.
[00:47:50] I hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. Go back and check out Lisa Feldman Barrett on emotions and Roger Atwood on antiquities smuggling if you haven't heard those episodes yet.
[00:48:02] If you want to know how we managed to book all these great folks for the show, it's about systems, tiny habits, software, check out our Six-Minute Networking course. That's totally free. It's over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. It'll help you get reconnected to friends, family, old bosses, new bosses, potential job opportunities, everything you need for your personal or business network. And again, it's free. Dig the well before you get thirsty. Jordanharbinger.com/course is where that is.
[00:48:30] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. There's a video of this Feedback Friday on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram or just hit me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:48:50] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Keeps sending in those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. And yes, I'm a lawyer. I am not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. And if you find this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice that we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:49:31] I've got some thoughts on this episode, but before I get into that, I speak with the infamous Fyre Fest, Billy McFarland from inside federal prison, where he's serving six years for fraud and on the hook for $26 million in restitution. Here's a quick bite.
[00:49:46] Female Operator: You will not be charged for this call. This call is from—
[00:49:50] Billy McFarland: William McFarland.
[00:49:52] Female Operator: —an inmate at a federal prison. Hang up to decline the call or to accept dial five now.
[00:49:59] Jordan Harbinger: When I asked before on our first call, if you were a con man, we had 10 seconds of silence. Is this the new Billy that we're hearing or are you the same Billy that tried to pull off the Fyre Festival?
[00:50:11] Billy McFarland: When I think about the mistakes that were made and what happened, there's no way I can just describe it other than, what the f*ck was I thinking? I was wrong and I hope now that I can, in some small way, make a positive impact.
[00:50:23] Jordan Harbinger: Once you knew that the festival wasn't going to go as planned, why didn't you call it off?
[00:50:30] Billy McFarland: So a lot of people don't know, but the decision to cancel the festival was made, when I was told that three people died at the event. Thankfully, no one was actually physically hurt in any way, but up until the last second, I believed incorrectly, we could pull it off, and obviously I was wrong. We had something called the urgent daily payments document, and basically it was a Google Excel sheet. Essentially, it was a list of payments that we had to make that day or else the festival couldn't proceed. In the couple of months leading up to the event, it went from a couple of thousand dollars a day to a few million dollars a day, where I'd to wake up at nine in the morning, find three million dollars by noon and then make the payments by four.
[00:51:06] Jordan Harbinger: How was solitary confinement? Essentially, being locked in a box? Like that sounds terrible.
[00:51:10] Billy McFarland: It really makes you think. And I think the biggest takeaway was, you know, there was one guy who was serving a 30-year sentence and he was already locked in the same room for over three and a half years, when I was there.
[00:51:22] Jordan Harbinger: You had a big vision. I mean, it was huge. And you got so close to something great that everyone wanted to be a part of and people still want to be a part of it. I have to wonder if there's going to be a Fyre Fest version two. I assume you wouldn't call it that, but are you thinking of doing something similar?
[00:51:36] Billy McFarland: If there's anything that makes you want to create and build and do, it's being locked in a cage for months or years. Are you going to come?
[00:51:44] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Billy McFarland, including lessons learned on the inside, the value of trust, and Billy's plans for the future once he's served at the time he agrees, he rightly deserves, check out episode 422 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:51:59] Oh, by way of announcement, I was actually on a TV show the other week. It was ABC's The Con episode four. We'll link to it in the show notes. You can watch it at abc.com. I think it's also on Hulu. And it's narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, who said my name, which is pretty cool.
[00:52:15] I was interviewing Billy McFarland of Fyre Fest fame. That was episode 422 of this show. And it was also episode four of The Con on ABC. They did a special on Billy McFarland and they decided to film the interview that I did with him. I wasn't allowed to talk about it before. And I think I maybe mentioned that it was filmed, but didn't say that it was for a show on ABC. And so it's pretty cool. I'm like interspersed throughout the episode. I'm doing some straight to camera stuff. They filmed me doing the interview, which I did on my phone, as you know, is kind of one of those weird interviews. Well, he's in prison, so that's my excuse.
[00:52:48] But many of you DMed me. That's how I found out that this had aired because my mom said, "I just saw you on TV." And I said, "Oh my gosh, mom, I don't know. You're getting a little old. I haven't been on TV. I don't know what you're talking about." She said, "I swear, I saw you." And then I checked my Instagram and my LinkedIn inbox and my email a few hours later, and a bunch of you had said, "Hey, I saw you on TV." And I had to call my mom and apologize. So there was that. So if you haven't seen it and you're interested in seeing it, it's episode four of The Con and we'll link to some of that stuff in the show notes.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.