Did your long-term significant other really dump you because they believed you were “faking” the symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus, or was the lily-livered sidewinder just looking for a convenient excuse to end it? This and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Jason DeFillippo (@jpdef) 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 email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Beware of COVID-19 and work-from-home scams!
- Did your significant other really dump you because they believed you were “faking” the symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus, or were they just looking for a convenient excuse to end it?
- Living in a pricey metropolis with zero job leads until the pandemic blows over, does it make sense to move back to small-town life with the parents to save money for now? (Thanks to Professor Scott Galloway for weighing in on this one!)
- Your detail-oriented teenager wants to start his own business doing odd jobs. How do you help him get the word out while ensuring he’s not getting shorted because of his age?
- You feel a strong connection to someone who is still reeling from a bumpy past and isn’t ready for a relationship right now. If timing is the underlying factor, how much space should you give them before trying again?
- You’re a project manager on paternity leave, and company policy doesn’t allow your team to fill you in on what’s been going on in your absence or for you to check email until you return. How can you ensure your reintroduction to the workplace goes smoothly?
- After building up a wide range of experiences for over a decade, you’ve become decent at a few vastly different skills. Should you combine these skills or just focus on becoming world-class in one?
- You’re in cybersecurity and you’ve toyed with the idea of doing a PhD in another country for years — largely because it sounds cool and you like academia. But as a non-necessity in your field, is it worth the hassle?
- Life Pro Tip: On a Zoom call but not talking? Please mute yourself!
- Recommendation of the Week: Operation Odessa
- A quick shout out to Bretton Murphy for letting us know about The Purple Heart Project (PHP)!
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Jason on Twitter at @jpdef and Instagram at @JPD, and check out his other show: Grumpy Old Geeks.
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!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
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THEOry with Theo Rossi (you may remember him as “Juice” from Sons of Anarchy) is a podcast for the Age of Authenticity with real talk, sacrifice and struggle, and the other side of glory. Check it out on PodcastOne or wherever you listen to fine podcasts!
Resources from This Episode:
- Jonna Mendez | The Moscow Rules, TJHS 344
- Jim Kwik | How to Upgrade Your Brain’s Limitless Potential, TJHS 345
- How to Stay Productive Under Quarantine by Jordan Harbinger
- Better Help
- Scott Galloway | Solving the Algebra of Happiness, TJHS 204
- How to Work from Home Effectively | Feedback Friday, TJHS 331
- Krispy Kreme
- David Epstein | Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, TJHS 342
- Scott Adams | How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America, TJHS 273
- The Kristina Talent Stack, Scott Adams’ Blog
- America’s Funniest Work Videos, Slate
- Operation Odessa
- The Purple Heart Project
Transcript for Did Coronavirus Kill My Relationship? - Feedback Friday (Episode 346)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:03] Welcome to Feedback. Friday. I'm your host Jordan harbinger, and I'm here with producer Jason DeFillippo. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant people, and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. If you're new to the show on Fridays, 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 to authors, to thinkers and performers.
[00:00:31] And this week, we had Jonna Mendez. She was the Chief of Disguise at the CIA in Moscow during the Cold War. So it's a combination of magician tactics they use to disguise things and cool technology. She was essentially in like Jason, like a Q department kind of for MI6, you know, like little gadgets, poison pens, and ways to hide people.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:00:52] Crazier wristwatches that can blow up a building.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:55] Yeah, stuff like that. So she talks about all the stuff they were using in Moscow during the Cold War. Really fascinating episode. I love stuff like this. We also had Jim Kwik, he was known as the boy with the broken brain as a kid because he'd suffered a head injury. He had a learning disability. He couldn't memorize things, couldn't read, was a bad student. He's dedicated himself to self-improvement and learning, specifically meta learning or the science of learning how to learn.
[00:01:18] I also write every so often on the blog. The latest post is how to stay productive while under quarantine. This has been a really, really popular article. A lot of people don't know how to work from home effectively or you think you do, but you're doing all kinds of stuff wrong. And I've been there. I've been working at home for 13 years. Jason has been working from home for 68 years now.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:01:37] Pretty close. Pretty close. Yeah,
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:39] So we have real advice on how to work from home and stay productive. Not like stuff that you got off of a BuzzFeed piece from a journalist that's been working from home for 15 days. So really good systems in there. Make sure you had a look and a listen to all that. That's at jordanharbinger.com/articles.
[00:01:55] Of course, our primary mission on the show is to pass along our guests' insights in our own experiences and insights along to you. The real purpose of the show is to have conversations directly with you. That's what we do today and every Friday here on Feedback Friday. I want to place just one brick in the structure that makes up your life. That's what the podcast is about, and you can reach us on email@example.com.
[00:02:16] Before we start today, I just want to kind of bring a little PSA into play here. There's a lot of scams going on. I'm sure you all have noticed. There's one after another. Jason, what are some of the more popular ones going around right now? Do you have any idea?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:02:27] We've seen a lot of uptick in UPS shipping scams, believe it or not, saying, "Oh, your masks are on the way, or your gloves are on the way," and then you click on the tracking link and then boom, spyware or ransomware, things like that. So people are getting fake UPS shipping notices, and they're basically just saying, "Oh, this is PPE. That's coming to you from a friend." And so when you click on it, it's just like, "Oh, okay," and then boom, you're done. Keep an eye out for those.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:54] There's also a lot of grifts going on with the online world right now. Like, learn how to make money from home. I've got the secret to this, dah, dah, dah. It doesn't mean there's no such thing as an online business coach, but it does mean that these ads you're seeing are taking advantage of the idea that a lot of people have been laid off. And people are at their most desperate and vulnerable. So it's time to take advantage of them according to all of these sociopathic scammers. So just be aware and be extra careful. A lot of people have been emailing me like, "Is this person really a good business mentor? They're selling a business mentor program." I'm like anybody selling a business mentorship program is not going to mentor you. They're going to charge you for an info product and then blame you when it doesn't work. So just bear that in mind. "Mentors" are not something that -- they don't sell their time as a mentor. That's a kind of a BS idea that's being put into place by a lot of these internet fraudsters. So just keep your wits about you at this time. Whenever there's any sort of chaos like this or uncertainty, these people come out of the woodwork. Sometimes because they're desperate, but mostly because they know that a lot of you are desperate. So just keep your wits about you.
[00:03:57] Jason, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:03:59] Hey, Jordan. My boyfriend of three years abruptly broke up with me. I had symptoms of coronavirus that were serious. He told me I was mentally unwell and that I'm not sick. He treated me horribly and he said he didn't want to deal with me. Eventually, I got better, but his attitude didn't change. He's been cold and dismissive. Finally, I asked him if he loved me and he said no. He packed his things that day and left without a real explanation. Was it my sickness that pushed him away or was it just an excuse? I'm so heartbroken I could vomit and I'm left with so many unanswered questions. Do I get an explanation from him? How do I heal from this? I thought I was going to marry and have children with this man Signed, Did Coronavirus Kill My Relationship?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:42] I'm really sorry to hear about this. Nobody should be treated like this. It's clearly an excuse. He was probably going to break up with you before, or maybe there's something else going on, but I don't think anybody's going to go, "Ah, you're sick now. I'm going to make fun of you and leave." I mean, not when you live with someone. That's just a weird thing to do. I would say, Jason, one percent chance that maybe this person is actually crazy. Right? Then this was the last straw. You never know. We only get one side of the story, but I think it's an excuse probably. Although I can imagine a world or a scenario in which somebody thinks they have every disease all the time, or they're always doing something. And when they hear about it in the news, they have it. You know, we all know that person who's like, "I think I have SARS." And you're like, "You don't have SARS. Come on."
Jason DeFillippo: [00:05:25] Yeah, the professional hypochondriac.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:27] Yes. Yeah. But look, even if that's you, that seems weird to do this suddenly, and just to walk out like that with no explanation. So even if you are batshit crazy, that little one percent chance, he still shouldn't have treated you like this. So it really does sound like an excuse. And often people break up and supposedly the "reason" for the breakup as either pretext or a triggering event. So it's the straw that broke the camel's back. It doesn't mean that it's your fault, of course. I just mean that a lot of things might add up and then suddenly somebody leaves the cap off the toothpaste and it's like, "That's it. I'm leaving you." That's, the kind of thing that happens when people are really stressed out and right now everybody's under a ton of pressure and very, very stressed out. Maybe he just couldn't handle that and it exploded in this particular way. I would say you actually dodged a bullet. If he's the type of person who's going to leave like that and not hear you out and not talk it over. If he's so callous. This is for the best in many ways.
[00:06:24] As far as healing goes, therapy is probably a good thing to look at right now. Better Help is a great place to get something like this, betterhelp.com/jordan. They are a sponsor of the show of course. This is breakup grief, and now is an especially lonely time to be at home alone, quarantined, locked down dealing with this. So seek connection with friends and family around now as well. I'm wondering if you're able to go stay with your parents or your family for a few weeks and process this. It's going to be better than staying around your empty apartment that you shared with this guy and just looking at everything and ruminating over this for the next few weeks while you can't even leave the house. Again, so sorry to hear about this. I think you did dodge a bullet. You don't want somebody who's going to leave you at a time like this and then never talk to you about why that's not cool. All right. What's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:07:11] Hey, Jordan and Jason, I've been listening to your recent feedback Friday episodes around COVID-19 and entering the job market. These episodes have been extremely helpful and motivating during these uncertain times, but I have an additional question. I'm graduating in June with my Master's in nutrition but have already started the job application process. The job market now is much narrower than it was before and it was pretty slim, to begin with. With all course work online and graduation postponed, my roommate moved back home and wants to end our lease in 30 days. I'm living in Portland, Oregon, where solo living is quite pricey for someone without a solid job above minimum wage. I'm having zero luck finding a roommate as well as an apartment with roommates to move in with. I know my student loans will begin to haunt me soon, and I don't want to be spending over 50 percent of my monthly income on rent alone. That sounds financially irresponsible. With zero job leads right now, I'm unsure if I should stay here during these trying times. I'm even unable to work at my part time job as a bartender due to the restaurant closures. And my backup plan is to put my things in storage and move home to the rural northern woods of Wisconsin with my parents until things start to open back up. I'm curious what your thoughts are on leaving a big city with potential opportunities to retreat back home for a few months. Thank you, Jordan and Jason, for all that you do and for keeping the motivation up during these times. All the best. My Roomie Ran Away.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:34] We talked to Professor Scott Galloway about the positives of living in a big city, increasing surface area for luck, a better network, better infrastructure for opportunities. Scott Galloway had a lot to say about that. So there are a lot of benefits of staying in a big city. So I understand your concern here, but this crisis has an undefined end date. We're not sure when things will open up again. It might not serve any benefit for you to be in a city, especially if things get worse economically or if things get worse in terms of infrastructure and things like that. My advice right now is to move home, save money, keep learning online. If you're stuck at home anyway, there's no point in being in a nice metropolis with a lot going on because there's nothing going on and you're packed in there.
[00:09:19] You can always move back to the city later on. In fact, the real estate market is either decimated now or soon to be, depending on when you're listening to this. There's always going to be tons of great deals for places to rent once the plague lifts because the economy is going to be depressed and occupancy will be lower than normal. Even if the economy recovers, you're going to see a lot of local businesses had to move out and the people that lived there and had jobs have been laid off, so landlords are going to be much more willing to negotiate. You're going to find deals that you're just not going to get right now.
[00:09:51] In fact, speaking of deals, if you don't want to move back home for some reason -- I do, again, recommend moving back home, but if you don't want to move back home, the very least thing you should do is negotiate your lease renewal. You should not renew at the same price that you are in right now because I bet you could get a huge chunk knocked off of the rent amount. You tell your landlord, "Look, I'm thinking of leaving. My roommate's gone. I can't afford to keep living here." There's a very good chance that your landlord will say, "Hey, how about I charge you half as much," and you keep the unit occupied because nobody wants zero occupancies. It's better for him to at least make some of his money back on the mortgage or cover just the bare cost or even operate at a loss, but not a full loss. So you might not even need roommates at all.
[00:10:35] But again, I think you should move home. I think you might go a little crazy in an apartment by yourself. I don't want to catastrophize this or anything, but it's very realistic that some of the hardest hit cities were going to be locked up for another several months here, and even if we're not by law, supposed to be inside, it's just going to be wise to stay inside through July at least. And look, that's what I'm saying, this right now, staying inside through then. We don't know what the second waves and third waves are going to look like. If you're just learning from home, go spend time with your family, go live with your family and save the money. That's my advice.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:11:06] Yeah. Get the hell out of Dodge. Go back to Wisconsin. You have some great cheese. I love Wisconsin. It's such a beautiful state. Yeah, stay the hell out of the cities because your chances of you getting something are actually much higher in the cities. If you're out in the woods with your parents, you're going to be safer and you won't have that stress as well, which is going to be great.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:23] All right. What's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:11:24] Hey, Jordan, Jason, and Jen. I'm 36 and my family and I live in a small town in Northwest Florida, close to a popular vacation destination. My son, who's 14 is interested in starting a small business, mostly detailing cars, mowing lawns, and just doing small odd jobs to make some cash. Though he's young, he's very detail oriented and I'm confident he will do a good job and not half asset just to get paid. I think this is a great idea, but I'm a little unsure on how to help him market himself and his business. I think that by working the angle of teaching young people important things like hard work, money, and time management and the importance of social skills, like being confident while talking to adults might possibly give him an in on things that people would usually hire adults for. I'm also not sure on how to go about making sure he doesn't get taken advantage of on price. I'm afraid people will want to pay him significantly less than they would if he was an adult doing the same type of small jobs. Any advice on how to help get his business out there and make sure he isn't getting underpaid because he's so young? PS, I will be with him while he's actually doing any work in help with anything he can't do or do well. But I think it would be valuable for him to negotiate price. Thanks for everything. Signed, Cultivating a Budding Businessman.
[00:12:38] This is what happened to me. I learned to negotiate after I was doing lawns and people would underbid me, and then I'd find out my friends who were doing other people's lawns were getting twice as much. And I'm like, "Oh, well I need to raise my rates." And they're like, "Yeah, you're getting half the money that we're getting and you're doing the same work." And I'm like, "Oh, I did." And then I started doing lawns for more, and you know, I lost some clients, but then I made more money by just negotiating better because I found out that I got screwed but I found that on my own. I didn't find it because my dad was out there with me.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:07] I think there's definitely something to getting built early in the game, just not super horribly built. But yeah, there's some lessons to learn. I think this whole thing is a great idea. I started selling things early in life, and I wish I'd done even more of it. Getting jobs was a great experience, especially once I could start to see how things could be managed better than they were, like when I worked at a movie theater. We had pretty decent management sometimes, but we also had some pretty terrible management in other times. I remember thinking, "Huh, if I were them, I would do it this way and I would do it that way." And of course, like you also start to see how deeply flawed folks are you. So many people end up getting fired for theft, especially like the tough bosses that were always like dot the I's and cross the T's. Those people would get booted for theft like every quarter that would beat one less manager and you're just thinking, what the hell.
[00:13:54] So anyway, as far as marketing goes, what you're going to want to do, or what he's going to want to do is ask the customers for referrals. This goes for any business and you'll want to ask in a way that's memorable. So instead of, "Hey, who else do you know that needs their car cleaned?" Your son might ask, "Who else do you know that has a dirty car?" And this is because while we all know somebody that might need their car cleaned, it's not something we think about a lot. It's not a triggering sort of observation, but when we sit in someone's dirty car, we know it right away and we think like, "Geez, this is a dirty car. Oh, right, you should go have your car cleaned by this kid." So next time they sit in a dirty car, they're going to think of your service. This can work with lawns as well.
[00:14:33] Have your son save his number in the phones of your customers or have them do it, and when they save his name and number, he should instruct them to save the number as something like AA Kevin's clean cars or whatever. This way, when people save the contact, they can search their phone for car or for lawn and it'll pop up. Don't try and get creative and spell car with a K if his name is Kevin or whatever. Nobody's going to search their phone for a misspelling or a brand name. Also, once the number is saved have the customer text your son right away from their number so he can save their contact. And if they're like, "Why should I do that?" Your son can tell them he needs to save their number because he doesn't like to answer calls from people that he doesn't know. This is a hundred percent reasonable. And it gives your son an entire list of contact info for his customer base.
[00:15:23] Now, each month, he can text everyone whose car he cleaned or lawn he cut last month and ask if they need the car cleaned again, and of course they will. This is going to generate a ton of business. Oh and let him get a Google voice number so he could avoid getting tons of calls and texts all the time and he can turn it on and off. It will turn it off at night without turning off his phone. And then when he goes back to school, he's not getting texts and calls all day from random strangers. I've got tons of sales tips, but that's enough for now.
[00:15:52] As far as negotiating the price, come up with a price list and just stick to it. Yes. People think, "Oh, I can take advantage of him. He's a young kid," but he needs to learn these negotiation skills and how to stick to his guns. And like Jason said, "Let them get built." Maybe once. This alone is an important lesson. Maybe just debrief at the end of the day how he felt doing business with each customer. "So what about this person? Did you like doing business with them?" "No." "Okay. Why?" "Well, they tried to negotiate after I already did the service and after we already agreed on a price." "Yeah. That's not a very nice thing to do. What should we do if that happens next time?" That kind of stuff. If he felt cheated or if he felt bad about dealing with anyone, ask him why and get a story. He will soon find out that there are certain types of people that you do not want to deal with, and that's another priceless lesson. I wish I'd learned as a kid. It would have saved me a lot of time and money as an adult, so go get them. I think there's a lot of room for a business right now.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:16:49] This is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:52] This episode is sponsored in part by 1-800 CONTACTS. If you're a contact lens wearer, it may be hard or even impossible for you to get more contact lenses from your eye care providers, since many are closed, not to worry, 1-800 CONTACTS has your brand in stock ready to ship. And now I was looking for some creative copy ideas for this 1-800 CONTACTS read. And I saw one influencer, and this just made me feel so old. He had posted online -- he or she, I can't remember now -- had posted online, "Why is it called 1800 contacts? I wonder if that's the year they were founded," and it wasn't a joke. So if you have two brain cells to rub together, you probably already know about 1-800 CONTACTS. But they've been shipping contact lenses directly to people's homes for 25 years, not 125 years, by the way. 25 is long enough. Anyway, I digress. They're experts in the industry. They have 45-million contacts in stock. They ship orders every single day. Now, these guys are really easy to deal with. Jen actually could not get a new prescription from her doctor because he was closed and her prescription expired, so she couldn't buy contacts anywhere else. They've got an express exam that's online. You take the eye exam on your freaking computer, which is so creative. I love companies like this. Jason, tell them where they can get a deal on 1-800 CONTACTS.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:18:04] So let 1-800-CONTACTS, not 1800 contacts, get you the contact lenses you need. Order online at 1800contacts.com.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:12] And you can remember how to spell that by saying to yourself, 1800contacts.com.
[00:18:16] This episode is also sponsored by Shippo. For eCommerce businesses, shipping in two days or less is the new standard and as a growing business, how can you keep it up? Look, you might not even have any eCommerce business. We're using Shippo over here to help ship gifts to people who identify any new bug on our new website, jordanharbinger.com is our new website and there's a zillion little bugs. There's a lot of them, so we are shipping out a lot of stuff and Shippo makes it easy and more cost effective. Shippo is the only shipping software for growing businesses that you can start today, set up in a few minutes and ship right away. They ship hundreds of millions of packages. The volume discounts save up to 90 percent off carrier rates. You connect your online store to Shippo. There's no coding. You don't need any tech expertise. Instantly, you'll get the lowest shipping rates from 55 plus top global carriers, so UPS, USPS, FedEx, DHL, other stuff you haven't even heard of. Your orders automatically get pulled in and ready to go. You just click print and ship saves you a ton of time, saves you a ton of money. Over a hundred thousand companies like Goat, hims, MeUndies, they're saving up to 90 percent off their carrier rates with Shippo. They were pretty proud to mention that they were shipping a lot of underwear. Jason.
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[00:19:54] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. To learn more about our sponsors and get links to all the great discounts you just heard, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. And if you'd be so kind, please drop us a nice rating and review on iTunes or your podcast player of choice. It really helps us out and helps build the show family. If you want some tips on how to do that, head on over to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe. Now let's hear some more of your questions here on Feedback Friday.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:19] All right. What else we got?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:20:21] Hey, Jordan, Jason, and Jen. I was fortunate to meet someone last year and we shared an undeniably strong connection right away. It was hard to articulate to loved ones how different they were. I felt I had met my match, someone who was a true teammate who respected and accepted all of me but could grow with each other through honest and straightforward communication. Early on, I learned they had a difficult past that they weren't fully healed from. I pushed that aside, selfishly, hoping it would work between us, especially as we talked about future hopes or plans, but ultimately they decided they needed space. During the conversation, they mentioned maybe we didn't have the X factor after all, but at the same time, you mentioned hoping to reconnect if timing allows. Understandably, I'm struggling more than I want to. Was timing, not our friend, their past clouding our present, or are we truly not a match? I want to respect their process, but I have a hard time not wanting to check on their wellbeing. Also, I would like a follow-up conversation down the line when appropriate. How do I approach this? Should I give this X amount of time? I'm scared to be disrespectful, but also feel like we didn't have a fair opportunity. Flaws and all, this is one of the greatest humans I've ever had the privilege of knowing, and I wish we could start fresh to test the romantic waters in time. Sincerely, Strong Connection, Wrong Timing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:38] Well, we can never know what's going on inside someone else's head. Also, we're never sure if what they're saying is actually true or just true for them. Often when people have relationships fail, it's because of baggage from the past. So if someone needs their space, we just have to give it to them. But time does not necessarily heal all wounds, especially if they're not doing anything to make that happen. So if he had something bad happen to him in the past and he never really addressed that, never got therapy, never worked through it, and processed it, then he's going to bring that into his next relationship. And that's true for anyone. So if you have some tumultuous stuff go on in your past, you should address it. Otherwise, you're just going to end up bringing it into your new relationships.
[00:22:19] You can certainly check in with someone after a few weeks and see how they're doing, and you can certainly tell someone else how you feel. You're not bugging anyone by explaining your feelings unless they ask you not to do that for some reason. I wish I had a magic answer here, but all you can do is see if they're in a better place. That said, I do urge you not to wait around too long for somebody who might not actually be doing their own work to move forward. Sometimes things just don't work out through no fault of our own. And so punishing yourself by waiting for someone else who doesn't want to work on themselves or doesn't want to come along for the ride, that can be the worst thing to do to yourself because now you're just being dragged along by somebody else or dragging someone else along who doesn't even want to be there and you know isn't on the same page as you. That's going to be more painful than just sort of ripping off the Band-Aid here. Sorry to hear about this. I certainly understand how hard this can be, but you're within your rights to ask what happened, but they are also within their rights to just go on not being emotionally healthy. Right? I mean, you can't do much about it. You can't force anything.
[00:23:22] All right, Jason, what's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:23:24] Hi, J Team. I have a question about how to return to work from paternity leave, especially with all the COVID madness going on at the moment. I'm in my mid-20s and work as an IT project manager for a Fortune 40 company with some outstanding benefits. I've been on paid paternity leave for the last four weeks, and I go back to my responsibilities in three weeks. Do you have any advice on how I should return? Specifically, two things, number one, I'm concerned about reacclimation to the workload. And number two, do you have advice on how I should thank my boss and the team? I'm not allowed to check email or listen to phone calls by policy. My coworkers aren't really allowed to fill me in on what's happening while I'm on leave. Aside from being prepared to work extra hard when I'm back, is there anything you'd recommend? I have a good relationship with my boss, although he's very hands off. He calls me the rudder for my team in a good way. And we really only interact for weekly touchpoints and if I want to present some options to him. I worked directly and really well with two other PM's who have 30 to 40 years of experience on me. These guys have been mentors for me and I'm grateful to work with them in general. What advice do you have for gifts or ways to thank my boss and my team for picking up the slack for me while I've been out? I'd normally think to organize a happy hour or bring donuts to the office or something of the like, but seeing as we're all working remotely, I'll need to get a little creative. Any advice you could give here would be appreciated. Thanks again for everything. Signed, Just Want to Say Thanks.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:52] Wow, you're in your mid-20s and you're working with people 30-plus-years older than you, and you have all of this responsibility. That's amazing, dude. First of all, congrats on that. Good for you, and congratulations on the baby. Life is really going your way, man. I know how that feels. So just sit back and enjoy the rest of your time with your kid and the fact that you still have a job in this economy that seems to be -- you're punching above your weight, I think even career wise. So good for you for figuring this all out in your late-20s.
[00:25:19] As for the workload. Don't even worry about this. You're going to be fine. Just make sure you have noise- canceling headphones and a place to work where you won't be disturbed. Trust me, that noise canceling headphones, that is the voice of experience right here. I make a joke like people go, "Oh, you know, how do you calm your kid down when he cries?" And I was like, "Oh, I just put in my noise-canceling headphones," and it seems like he's fine after that, which my wife doesn't love that joke at all for some reason.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:25:44] I wonder why, I wonder why.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:45] But, nah, it's not really true. I take care of him all the time. But sometimes you need to sit down and not be disturbed. Making sure you can work from home is one thing, and definitely check out our episode of the show and the article that we did on that. We'll link to those in the show notes. But working from home as a new dad is even harder. Again, I'm right there with you. So take it from me. Other than that, don't even sweat the workload. You feel pretty out of touch right now, but I guarantee you'll be back in the swing in less than a week. I've been there. That's how it goes for me.
[00:26:14] And I think it's a great idea to thank your boss and thank the team. They'll appreciate it and I'm sure they're all happy for you right now. I mean, they probably all have kids of their own or family of their own at that age. Maybe send them donuts to their house. Instead of bringing them into the office, it will be a little more expensive. You got to pay for shipping or delivery or whatever, but I'm sure somebody ships and delivers donuts depending on what city you're in.
[00:26:34] Does Dunkin deliver, Jason?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:26:36] I don't know, but I think Krispy Kreme might.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:38] Yeah. There you go. So send them some donuts to their house with a note that says something like, "You can always still count on me to bring donuts to the office. Thanks so much for covering me when my daughter was born. I'll never forget that kindness. Sincerely, X." That little gesture goes a long way. It says all the right things. I'm excited for you, man. You've got a great life ahead of you from the sound of it, and you're just getting started. So congrats again on everything and don't sweat the workload. You're going to be fine. You got used to it once. You'll get used to it again, and I guarantee you that the workload from work is going to be a welcome from the workload of focusing on a kid 24/7, although now you get to do both.
[00:27:12] All right, next step.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:27:13] Hey guys, what would you suggest a person do after they've built up a wide range of experiences? All my favorite authors, comics and leaders growing up, put a big emphasis on making sure to gather as many experiences as one can. After doing that for over a decade and going through countless absurd situations, I've managed to become pretty decent at a few vastly different skills. What do you suggest I try to combine these skills in some fashion or perhaps focus on trying to become world-class in one in particular? Much love, Well-Rounded, but Not Well-Focused.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:44] So this is kind of the definition of skill stacking. You can build different skills to a certain proficiency. It's really, really hard to become world class at anything even if you spend your entire life doing it. It's very, very difficult. So if you spend your time getting into the, let's say, top 25 percentile or the 25th percentile at any given skill, it can take just a few months, years, depending on the skill. So it's much easier than becoming world-class at something. This is because becoming world-class takes a long, long time. Becoming at the top 25 percent doesn't necessarily take that long. So you can get to the top 25th percentile in one area, and then you're just like a whole lot of other people. But if you get to the top 25 percent in let's say, five, six different areas, now you have a unique mix of skills that you are good at, and that alone puts you in a very unique, or possibly so low class in itself.
[00:28:37] So Scott Adams, the guy who I have to credit for this particular idea, because that's where I heard it first, is skill stacking, his example, and I'm going to butcher it a little because I'm going off memory here. Scott Adams created Dilbert. So he says, "I'm not the best cartoonist in the world. I'm not the best humorist in the world. I'm not the best businessman or marketer in the world. But I'm in the top 25th or so percentile somewhere of each of those things." And then put together, that makes him a good cartoonist, that's a good humorist, that's also really good at business and good at marketing, and that has provided a very nice living for him.
[00:29:10] And so I would say don't try to become world class at any particular things starting right now. It's too much pressure. I'm not saying never try to do that, but a lot of what looks world-class in one area is actually just skill stacking. So take the show, for example, is another example here, in terms of podcasts, we're in the top one percent easily. I think we're in the top half percent or 0.1 percent. I don't know. I can't remember exactly, but certainly in the top one percent based on audience size. But this show is a combination of -- I don't know, Jason, what do you think? -- Critical thinking skills, conversational skills, technical skills when it comes to audio, digital marketing, branding skills. There's other stuff in there, right? Am I forgetting anything obvious?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:29:50] Uh, not really. I think you covered them all.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:53] Okay.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:29:53] Lots and lots of different pieces. Put this show together to make it what it is and it's not just one thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:58] Oh, you know, even managing a business, business skills, I guess I could throw that in there. So, but I'm nowhere near the top one percent when it comes to any one of those particular skills. I'm not the best broadcaster in the world. I'm not the best audio engineer, not even close, digital marketing, branding management. Look, I'll be lucky to be passable. I got a B-plus. I'm a B-plus in each of those areas, but stacked together. That B, B-plus on a good day, skill set in many of these areas brings us to the very top of the heap in the world of podcasting. There's just not a whole lot of shows that do the same amount of business as our show does, but I could either try to get world class and become the funniest comedian around and then do a podcast based on that and then make a bunch of money, or I could be one of the best interviewers ever in the whole world, and then just pray that people find me because I had a 20-year career on, I don't know, NPR or something like that. But I didn't have time for that, and that's not the path that I took. So we stack the skills in many different areas and ended up with a very successful program here.
[00:30:54] Now, am I trying to hone each of these skills? Yes. But mostly I like to stack even more skills in there because as you get closer to the top percentile of anything, it gets much harder to advance. It's kind of like a video game, you get towards the last level and everything is a slog all the way through the end. It just gets harder and harder and harder to fight. Right?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:31:13] Boss fight.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:14] Right, Boss fight, yeah, but it's easier to get to level three out of eight in various different skills and then stack those together. So I'm constantly learning things like even now, I take voice lessons to make sure that I can talk longer and use more tonal range and be more engaging. I read more so that I have better comprehension and better critical thinking skills and conversational skills. There's all kinds of things I can throw into the mix. And even if I learned three, four brand new skills up to the 25th percentile, that's going to be a lot easier than bringing even one skill anywhere close to being in the top one percent or world-class area of that particular skill.
[00:31:51] So the answer to this question is combine those skills for sure. Don't necessarily try to become world-class in any one area in particular, especially because if you become world class at something that then is now obsolete.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:32:03] That's exactly where I was going to say. It's like, "Okay, I'm going to spend my life getting to be the best at this thing," and then what if that thing becomes not a thing the next day, you're starting from scratch again. That is a very good point.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:15] Yeah, it's very true. In fact, if you're having trouble thinking of an example of where this might happen, animation. There are a lot of people that are really good animators and world-class animators probably work for companies like Disney and Pixar and things like that. Right, of course. But for the rest of the 99.9 percent of animation work that's out there, so commercial stuff, kind of general stuff, there's a lot of software that's getting pretty damn good at creating a lot of this stuff now. Is it going to replace everyone? Not really, but imagine the amount of work that used to go into hand drawn cel. What is it called? Like animation cels or something like that.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:32:52] Yeah, cel animation.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:54] When you had to sort of hand shade each of these things that took months and months and months and years and years and years to create stuff. Now I believe you can do something like that in a matter of days.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:33:05] Just look at South Park versus the Simpsons. The Simpsons sends off, you know, rough sketches. They send them off overseas. They get back boxes and boxes of plastic. They'd have characters drawn on them. But then you look at South Park, they do that show in seven days using software. So even if you're world-class at the Simpsons, you're still going to be, you know, putting the pieces together. It's one of those things where it's like, yeah, be smart about it. And I think, I definitely believe personally as someone who is a skill stacker by choice. It's just the way to go because you can just get put out of business so easily.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:36] Right. It doesn't have you putting all your eggs in one basket. Additionally, look, if you became a top 25 percent animator and you also got to do voiceover work and you could write the scripts and you could do the storyboards and you could manage a group of animators and artists, and you could, I don't know, do a bunch of other things that are relevant. You're still a good hire than for Disney, right? You're still a good hire for those top performing animation houses because they need somebody who can do all these jobs pretty well. But if you're the best hand-coded cel shader in the whole world, you're probably unemployed right now. You're doing it as a hobby. You're selling them on Etsy. It's not good luck. So stack those skills, you will eventually become world class at whatever the mixture is. But I don't think becoming world-class at any one of the ingredients, unless you just have a ridiculous amount of passion and talent for it is a good bet.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:34:25] We'll be right back with more Feedback Friday right after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:31] This episode is also sponsored in part by HostGator. Sure, self- quarantining can be a drag, but it can also be an opportunity to pick up a new hobby while responsibly waiting for the scientists to give us the all clear to go outside and roads rage at strangers in person again. Learn to knit, pick up a new language, read the classics, or build that personal website you've been meaning to do for ages. You don't even have to start from scratch or know the first thing about web design, coding, domain registry hosting, because HostGator takes care of these basics for you. With every plan, you get unlimited email addresses on limited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, free SSL certificates, advertising credit and WordPress blog tools. HostGator even guarantees 99 percent uptime with 24/7 365 support and a 45-day money-back guarantee. If you are not a hundred percent happy. So visit hostgator.com/jordan to get up to 62 percent off. That's hostgator.com/jordan.
[00:35:26] This episode is sponsored by Better Help. If you're listening to this, you're probably home or near your home or you're going home. Thanks to COVID-19, we're all pretty much home. I know Jen and I are practicing social distancing and staying home more than ever, and not just because we have a newborn, but it's a great time to address issues that might be holding you back. Better Help offers licensed professional counselors who are specialized in issues such as depression, stress, anxiety, relationships, trauma, anger, family stuff, self-esteem and more. Plus, they've got broad expertise, 3000 counselors around the world and in every state. So no excuses anymore. You can book video chat sessions, phone calls, chat and text. It doesn't matter what computer or device you've got, they've got you covered. It's all safe, private, online, and confidential, obvi. And if you don't like your counselor and get a new one at no additional charge. Jason.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:36:12] Best of all, it's a truly affordable option for our listeners because you get 10 percent off your first month with a discount code JORDAN. So get started today. It's not like you have places to go or people to see. You got a betterhelp.com/jordan. Simply fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with a counselor. You'll love. So stay inside and work on you. That's betterhelp.com/jordan
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:34] This episode is also sponsored in part by Progressive Insurance. Fun fact, Progressive customers qualify for an average of six discounts when they sign up for Progressive auto insurance. Discounts for things like enrolling in automatic payments, ensuring more than one car, going paperless, and of course, being a safe driver. Plus customers who bundle their auto with home or add renter's insurance save an average of 12 percent on their auto. There are so many ways to save when you switch, and once you're a customer with Progressive, you get unmatched claim service with 24/7 support online or by phone. It's no wonder why more than 20 million drivers trust Progressive and why they've recently climbed to the third-largest auto insurer in the country. Get a quote online at progressive.com in as little as five minutes and see how much you could be saving.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:37:17] Auto insurance from Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates, home and renters insurance, not available in all states, provided and serviced by affiliated and third-party insurers. Discounts vary and are not available in all states and situations.
[00:37:30] Thank you for supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us on the air. To learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. Now back to the show for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:45] Okay. Last but not least.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:37:47] Hi, Triple J. I'm 28 and have been out of university for a few years now. I have two degrees in technical subjects and work in cybersecurity. I'm based in the UK and had been interested in doing an Australian working holiday for a while now, but the time never seemed right. On a whim, I searched for Australian PhD finder websites and put in cyber. There was one result, a PhD in the area. I've spent the last few months writing a research paper for my employer. I've toyed with the idea of doing a PhD for years, but I admit it's largely because it sounds cool and I like academia. Friends I asked about their PhDs have mainly complained about the level of writing involved, but I've always enjoyed writing, so that's not an issue for me. Plus being able to use the doctor's title sounds cool. My main issue is if I should bother doing the PhD. It's in a niche area, although it's an area of tech that will get more relevant over the next decade. If the paper I wrote for my employer is well received, I should already be reasonably authoritative on the subject. It's not like I need the PhD to be able to get a job in the field. I don't think I really need a PhD since I'm already employed and progressing in my career, but spending three or four years being a student in Australia does sound cool. Plus, if it matters, I'm female. Male friends have commented that people in their fields took them more seriously once they got their PhDs. Perhaps I should do a PhD because it makes me sound more authoritative. Signed, Dreaming of Australia.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:14] I think it'll be a great opportunity to meet a new circle of people, potentially higher caliber people, and you'll likely be able to command a higher salary later.
[00:39:22] So I think this is going to be a great opportunity for you. This does sound amazing. And living in Australia for three or four years would be a life-changing experience. Even if you just did that and you never got the PhD, I think it would totally be worth it.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:35] Dude totally, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:37] I'm not seeing any downside here.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:39] There's no downside. Come on. That'd be great.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:42] Yeah. If you hate it, drop the program. And if you like it, you've got more earning potential and you get to make everyone call you Doctor, which is badass in its own right. I don't know. JPD, am I missing anything?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:53] No.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:53] What am I missing here?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:54] There's nothing to miss here. I mean, it's like, go spend a few years in Australia, which is awesome. Maybe get a PhD, maybe not, but still like meet a bunch of cool people because Aussie's rock and I don't see any downside whatsoever here. I'm just like, go for it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:08] Yep. Go get you a man with an accent or whatever you want to do. I just can't think of a reason not to get a PhD in this area. Maybe because the field moves so quickly, you might lose out on some other experience, but I'd imagine that you're going to be staying up to date pretty well given that you're getting a doctoral degree in that area. So yeah, this one, this is the easiest question we've gotten all month. Go for it.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:40:28] Yeah, seriously, cybersecurity is just such an amazing field right now that, you know, coming back with a PhD in cyber. Dude, that's amazing. And even if you don't, you're still going to be at the top of your game, which is what it sounds like already. So she's got a master's in cybersecurity, hanging out in Australia. I mean it's like, can I have your life? Because it sounds pretty awesome.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:50] Life Pro Tip of the Week here. Look, everyone's on these Zoom calls now, mute yourself if you are not talking. The organizers should be muting everyone but I noticed a ton of people are not doing this. So every other video call I'm on is like, it's a freaking concerto of mouth noise. Somebody's eating.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:06] Farting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:08] Cats, dog noises, kid noises, truck's outside of three especially when you have like 16 people in one of these. How many people do you need where somebody came home and the doorbell rang and the UPS guy is there, and there's garbage truck outside? It's so distracting. Mute yourself. Even if nobody else mutes but you do. Trust me, you're going to be really glad. Having an embarrassing sound on a video call, it's not quite as bad as the -- did you see the girl, Jason, she went to the bathroom, brought the laptop in there and put the laptop down facing her, and it was just like, ooh, you don't work from home a lot. And everyone's like, "Oh my gosh, Jennifer." But she can't hear. Oh man, it was painful.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:46] I'm actually going to put a link in the show notes that I found over on a site called America's Funniest Work Videos. There are some gems in here, like the woman who went to do a call with the office and her husband is walking around naked behind her because he didn't know. There are so many good ones. Everybody's getting this wrong. It's great.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:05] Yeah. So the other thing that you can do is make damn sure that you are facing the camera and then behind you is a wall if possible, or at least make sure everybody knows you're on a video call. We'll link to America's Funniest Work Videos. That's the pro tip because then you will at least know what can happen if you're not careful.
[00:42:23] Recommendation of the Week though, Operation Odessa. This is on Netflix. I don't know how I found this. It was just sort of sitting around and I guess maybe it popped up somehow. This is amazing. It's about this Russian mobster, a Cuban spy, and this hustler from Miami who operates a car dealership.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:42:40] Who walked into a bar.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:41] Yeah. It's ridiculous. So these guys start working with the drug cartels. They're doing all this small-time stuff, arms dealing and all this stuff. They work with the drug cartel and they come up with a plan to sell a Soviet submarine to a Colombian drug cartel for like 35 million bucks.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:42:57] It seems like a good deal.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:58] It's a pretty good deal. And it's a whole well-documented mess. So they get the Russian mobster and the Cubans spy and the hustler from Miami all to talk on camera.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:43:09] No way.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:10] Yeah, so it's not like some narrator going through with photographic evidence from the FBI. All the guys are like, "And then we did this and then we did that," because I guess either the statute of limitations is up or if they already got caught for what they were going to get caught for. I don't know. It's just absolute madness. So Operational Odessa, it's on Netflix.
[00:43:27] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. A link to the show notes for this episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. We have the new website, so please do let us know if you find any bugs on the website and if it's a bug that has not been reported yet, we will mail you a five-minute journal, which is a. It's a journal that you do in the morning and in the evening. It's really kind of a cool experience. My friend founded this. We have a bunch of these things, so if you report a bug. And look, if you get a typo, I kind of reserve the right to be like, "Eh, it's a tiny little one," but please send it in. If you send that plus something else, I'll send you the five-minute journal and if it's a bug that hasn't been reported yet, I will gladly send you one of these five-minute journals. I figure if a bunch of people go to the website, jordanharbinger.com. And look around and find stuff that doesn't work right, then we'll get through this much faster than if I just try to find stuff. Or if me and Jen and Jason just try to find stuff, it's going to take us six freaking months. So let's try and bring that down to six days, maybe a week. So if you find a bug, just email it to me with a screenshot of it and an explanation. If you can add to firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:44:33] Quick shout out to Breton Murphy. Breton mentioned something called the Purple Heart Program. Several times a year they fly combat wounded vets out for an intense week of learning how to use hand tools and make stuff. Because a lot of combat-wounded vets tend to self-isolate and they usually only kind of get the word out about what they're doing, family and close friends. So the Purple Heart Program, we will link to that in the show notes and thanks to Breton Murphy for bringing that to our attention.
[00:44:57] Go back and check out the guests if you haven't yet. If you want to know how I managed to book all these great people, it's always about the network that I've created here for the show, and I do this in my personal life as well. I'm teaching you how to do this for free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. We also updated Six-Minute Networking along with the website, so there's a lot of stuff going on there and if you can report a bug in Six-Minute Networking, we will also send you the five-minute journal. But this stuff, man, it takes a few minutes a day. Ignore it at your own peril. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. You can find it all for free at jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm on Instagram and Twitter at @JordanHarbinger. It's a great way to engage with the show and videos of our interviews are at @JordanHarbinger.com/youtube. Jason.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:45:41] you can check out my tech podcast, Grumpy Old Geeks. We're going to be broadcasting all through this, whatever the hell it is we're going through. We discussed what went wrong on the internet and who's to blame along with cybersecurity, apps, gadgets, books, and more. That's Grumpy Old Geeks wherever you get your podcast.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:56] This show is created in association with PodcastOne and this episode is produced by Jen Harbinger, edited by Jase Sanderson, and show notes for the episode or by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola. Keep sending in your questions to email@example.com. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own, and I'm a lawyer, but not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything that you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others, so share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please do share it with somebody who can use the advice we gave here today. We've got lots more in store for you and we're very excited to make that happen. But 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.
Theo Rossi: [00:46:38] Hey, I got a new podcast coming. It's called THEOry. This is Theo Rossi. Our world is changing. For many of us, it will never feel the same. The important thing to remember is that we are all in this together and that's some of what I want to talk about on my new show THEOry. We're going to discuss the things that no one ever does. The real talk, the sacrifice, and the struggle to everyone goes. My life has kind of put me in a unique position to say things honestly. This is Theo Rossi and my new show THEOry launches on April 8th officially on Spotify, PodcastOne, and Apple Podcasts.
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