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On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Fixated on the past? Not us. Like The Jeffersons, we’re movin’ on up! That being said, we appreciate you passing the memo along to people who don’t yet know about the move.
- If a friend avoids you to get out of paying back a loan, should you just write it off as an investment in learning who isn’t your friend?
- If you grew up in the US but had to leave because you didn’t win the work visa lottery, how do you make do in a place you don’t really want to be until you can make it back to the US?
- Are you Jordan’s good friend?
- How do you go about rebuilding your social circles when your old friends stop calling you back?
- Is it worth the investment of time to learn additional languages, or is that time better spent leveling up other skills?
- How do you give up your high-paying but soul-crushing job to pursue dreams of traveling the world and working remotely?
- How do you start building wealth as opposed to constantly going into debt — especially when you have a significant other who can’t hold down a job?
- Recommendation of the Week: Take Your Pills
- Quick shoutouts to Andrei in Russia and Brandl Moniz!
- 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, and check out Jason’s (@jpdef) other show: Grumpy Old Geeks. You can also find him on Instagram at JPD.
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Resources from This Episode:
- Rotary International
- TJHS 27: David Eagleman | How Your Brain Makes Sense of the World
- TJHS 28: James Fallon | How to Spot a Psychopath
- Take Your Pills
Transcript for Feedback Friday | Borrowing and Loaning Money Without Losing Friends (Episode 29)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger and I'm here with producer Jason DeFillippo. Here on the Jordan Harbinger Show, as much as we love having conversations with our fascinating guests, in fact, this week we had David Eagleman talking about super powered human senses and James Fallon talking about what when our brain goes bad and we find out, well we're a psychopath. Now what? Of course our primary purpose is to pass along those guests’ and our experiences and insights along to you. In other words, the real purpose of the show is to have conversations directly with you, dear listener, and that's what we're going to do today here on Feedback Friday. You can reach us at Friday@jordanharbinger.com and look, Jason, I know I thought we'd explained this a bunch of times really clearly about what happened. A lot of people are still asking us things like, “Hey, what happened? You never explained it.” And we have a lot of people and I noticed a lot of, and I put this in air quotes because I don't exactly know what this term means, “marketing experts” who listen to the show are like, “Well, you know, I feel like you owe us an explanation for what happened with the split.”
Jason DeFillippo: [00:01:01] By the split, you mean our split with The Art of Charm and why we're on a new show right now?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:05] Yeah, exactly. And I've talked about this on other shows and I've talked about it in earlier episodes, but the gist of it is this, I got fired, Jason got fired, most of the rest of the team, the entire staff got fired by The Art of Charm team. But obviously I did not play a part in that decision. We were negotiating an amicable split of the company. It didn't work out in that way. And there's some ongoing legal stuff and it really doesn't sort of matter. I don't think entirely. What you really need to know is we're moving forward with the Jordan Harbinger Show. We have a definite advantage now I think in doing this particular show with the different brand. We're able to get different, in my opinion, slightly better guests because of that branding.
[00:01:47] And we're able to really widen and open up the format and do a lot of fun things that we couldn't really do before. And as you'll notice, there are different types of sponsors and different types of discussions and it's exciting for us really. And I know a lot of people are thinking, how could this happen? The truth is, this is probably one of the best things that could have happened. It's probably one of the best ways that this could have happened. Is it the ideal situation in my opinion? No, but that's life I guess – to use a cliche that I normally don't love. But I'm excited to move forward and I know Jason's more excited and the rest of the teams even more excited than both of us. I'm kind of the last one to get on board with how exciting this opportunity really is. It's just that it's kind of like ripping off a BandAid that I didn't really have the guts to do myself for years.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:02:33] Yeah, it's definitely exciting. There are big changes that with me with the show, because I'm moving back to Los Angeles to be close to you and Jen, but because everything happens out there, but I want to make it clear that there have been rumors that Jordan left and took the team with him and stole us away. No, that is not exactly what happened. I was fired, unceremoniously with no notice whatsoever -- lost my insurance, lost basically my house because of it. And if you hear that rumor, it is completely untrue. We were fired. That's the long and the short of it. And that's why we're rebuilding the show because we love doing this show. Absolutely. The past five years have been the best five years of my life doing this with Jordan and Jen and the team and all we want to do is get back to where we were, but without the anchors that we had before. And we're looking forward to it, immensely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:24] Yeah, so far it's really fun. I mean the first month of the show, if people care to hear it. At first, I wasn't going to spend any time on this, but so many people have asked. The first month of the show, The Jordan Harbinger Show, we had 1.4 million downloads of the show and that was about 1.3 million more than I expected. Actually, probably even more than that. I mean it was just like, “Holy moly! You all are finding us in huge numbers.” We still do need your help though. Anybody you knew that listen to the other show and wants to find out why, where we are, not what happened, but where we are, we really do rely on you for word of mouth. People think, “Oh, you've got to advertise here or there or the other place.” Really? It's all about you spreading the word about what you hear and recommending it to people, which I think is even easier now because I'll tell you, here's one email that I used to get back on AOC that I never get now, which was how do I tell my friends that they should listen to this show?
[00:04:22] And that was a problem that we had with the old brand that I just could not figure out how to get around in a way that was effective and reliable. And now the way you do it is you say, “Hey, have you heard of the Jordan Harbinger Show? It's pretty good. You should listen to it.” And the other person goes, “Oh, okay, cool. What's it about?” And you say, “Here's an episode that you'll like.” And they go, “Oh great.” And they don't go, “What? You don't think that I'm charismatic and you think that I'm this and all these negative things about me that I totally am making up in my own head because the title of the show makes me insecure or something?” Like that's a problem that I am not going to miss a along with a lot of other things that I'm not going to miss about that type of branding that we had to fight against all the time.
[00:04:59] So I think this is an awesome opportunity. I'm looking forward to serving this audience in ways that I never could before and I just want to say that everybody's who’s tweeted, everybody who's emailed, everybody who's throwed us some grammar advice, everybody who has thrown us any sort of reviews and word of mouth and words of encouragement has just meant the world to us. And I think we've said that before and I don't want to harp on it too much because there's a lot of people who are going -- for crying out loud, get on with it and so I'm going to get on with it. But it does mean the world to us. You are the show family and that is not lost on us. That is not something I'll ever forget. So thank you. And those of you who haven't written a review, you're dead to me. No. If you, if you want to help us out and you use Apple podcasts or iTunes and if you don't, then go ahead and give us one anyway. You can go to JordanHarbinger.com/subscribe. It shows you how to find us in every platform and how to write a review and those super helpful. All right, first things first, let's get to the mail.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:06:03] Hey Jason and Jordan, congrats on the new show. It's been a pleasure listening to your work over the past few years. I know you guys will be right back at the top of the podcast game soon enough. I'm in a tricky situation and I would love some guidance. I'm a 20-year-old college student. About a year ago, one of my best friends moved out of his parents' place to live in university housing. It was there that he met his girlfriend whom he started living with after only knowing her for less than two months. His parents were helping him pay the rent on the place at that time. I'm not sure exactly what went down, but about four months ago, he and his family got into a disagreement and they cut them off financially. With no way to pay the rent, as well as a significant other to take care of,
[00:06:41] he turned to me to loan him some money. After considering rent, food, and other costs, I gave him $750. I was hesitant to do so because it was such a large amount, but more importantly because I didn't want it to get in the way of our friendship. It turns out my sentiments were spot on. Eversince he moved away, it's been difficult to spend time with them. The commute is about an hour and we both have school, work and girlfriends. However, it's become even more complicated because of the money. During the few times that we've been able to hang out, I've brought it up sparingly. I've tried not to mention it too much for the sake of avoiding awkwardness. He too avoids talking about it because he probably has no intention of paying me back. What's even more frustrating is that within the past four months, I've seen him repeatedly do things that require money.
[00:07:24] He eats out a lot. He buys stuff for his girlfriend, and he even got a tattoo recently. I'm not naive. I understand that once you lend money, you might as well consider it gone. I just didn't think that one of my best friends whom I've known for almost a decade would be someone I couldn't trust. I also understand that saving up $750 would be a hard thing for him to do, especially because of his current responsibilities and because he can't seem to stay at any one job. He used to work at the same restaurant as me, as well as in multiple retail jobs, but he always found something that makes him want to quit. I would be content with him trying to pay me back little by little, but he hasn't even tried to do that. Besides this one instance, he's always been a great friend. Yeah, okay.
[00:08:07] However, I've come to the point where I'm prepared to completely cut him off from my life until he understands my frustration. We don't talk as much as we used to, but I'm willing to stop interacting with him entirely if that will help wake him up. I don't really even care about my money anymore, but I care that he's made me such a low priority after I did him a huge favor. This is a lose-lose situation for me because I've lost the money. It might potentially lose an important friendship. Please let me know what you guys think. I would dearly appreciate it. Signed, Friend not Fund.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:38] Oh wow. This stuff always sucks. I mean we did a show about money and bad habits and lying about money and all that stuff a couple of weeks ago, right? We talked about stuff like that. It was like a couple of weeks ago. This money stuff always poisons the well. It already has poisoned the well in your relationship here for sure. I would bring it up in person. I would make an agreement and right now, look at it this way, you're probably hesitant to do that because you don't want to make things awkward or add tension, but the relationship, the friendship is already ruined because of the elephant in the room. It's already ruined. The damage is already done. It's just going to get worse, so the Hail Mary here is to talk to him and agree on repayment. Otherwise you either have to forget about the money completely and pretend it never happened, which I don't know how you're going to do that, or cut your friend off entirely.
[00:09:29] The other option is slowly get more and more angry about this and just get more and more annoyed and then have it this miserable passive aggressive relationship with this otherwise good friend. There is no real middle ground here -- unfortunately. He, to me, sounds irresponsible. He sounds self-centered and I'm not sure if that's the type of person you want close to you, especially since he's obviously on a downward spiral, right? He's, “Always got to quit my job. I can't stay at a job. I can't move up. I can't save money.” This is a person who's always going to have… These problems with his parents and stuff, so his parents have cut off financial support, his parents have cut-off financial support. His parents learned a little lesson that you're about to learn. Think about that. His parents, the people that have raised him, they learned this lesson. He's probably owing money to other people too. It wouldn't surprise me if he's borrowed money from other people besides you and he's obviously borrowed money from his parents and not paid them back, which is what resulted in this whole mess in the first place with him and his parents. My guess is something similar is happening here and that he might lie to you about it. That is not a good friend no matter what your history is. What he's doing right now, it's not okay.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:10:42] No, I mean Friend Not Fund is only 20 so his other friend is also probably in the same age range. They're both at a university trying to get by, but I've had people do this to me in their forties -- the same thing. And the way I got around it was, I literally just confronted them and say, “Here, figure out what the, you know, I knew what the debt was. I'm like 12 months, we're going to divide the debt by 12 months and you're going to pay me the first of every month, that percentage of the debt and then it's going to be done and then we can still be friends because if you don't, I'm never going to speak to you again.” That's how I handled it. And it's worked in multiple occasions and it gives them an out for them to be able to pull back and say, “Look, I can put a few bucks away and kind of slide out of it and still have my friend.” But if he comes back and says, “No, I'm not going to do that”, well then you definitely know that he's not your friend.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:32] Yeah, good point. Yeah. He has no intention of paying you back. And if he misses like the first you know, payment or something. Because that's the thing, it's, he doesn't have a job because he wants to quit every time and he's borrowed money but he's still spending, it's like this is just a huge mess. This is somebody who has other bigger problems going on.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:11:52] It does but that solution that I just laid out worked with my friends that have that exact same problem, who quit jobs a lot. So you kind of shamed them into paying you back. But they will do it because it's a small enough amount that they can put it aside because they just see like this guy probably see $750, “I can never pay $750 but $62.50 a month for the next 12 months, that I can do. I can totally put that away. That's two bucks a day. And put it in a jar and give it back.” And that will give him an out so he can save face without being a deadbeat, you know, and still save the friendship. And that's what you want to do. You want to give them a way to pay you back without looking like, you know, just an asshole and still be friends at the end of it. Because I'm friends with all my friends who borrowed money from me and didn't pay me back for two years, but I eventually got all my money back and we're still friends.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:41] Yeah. And then don't lend your friend money unless you think you're going to get it back. But I know that's a rule that doesn't really work, right? I mean, if your friend needs money, you're going to lend it to them unless they've taken advantage of you in the past. But I wouldn't lend this guy money ever again. Oh hell no. No. All right. Next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:12:58] Hi Jordan and Jason, I'm a relatively new fan, following you to the Jordan Harbinger Show from AOC. Have to move with the stars. – Hmm… See what you did there. -- I'd like your advice on personal identity and it's tied to the topic of uncertainties. Your episode four on uncertainties help tremendously, so thank you. I'd lived in the US for high school and work when I really grew and developed as a person. However, I had to leave the country because I didn't win the work visa lottery. It really threw me off because it was my first taste of life's uncertainties. I landed in Hong Kong, one of the best cities in the world. However, two and a half years later, I still can't enjoy it for two reasons. First, people seem to associate me with my birth country. I had a difficult time explaining the American-ness in me, which is my core identity.
[00:13:43] Second, I've been trying to move back to the States through applying to graduate programs. Eversince I landed in Hong Kong, all the work, extracurricular activities I've done were all for the graduate school application, which will help me move back. I got waitlisted by an Ivy League school, but the chances of me getting admitted this year are extremely low. I feel devastated that the country doesn't want me back. The people here don't understand my struggle with my American identity either. I can't thoroughly enjoy the city because I didn't come here willingly in the first place and I constantly want out. It's exhausting. What's your advice on this situation? Thank you, American Wannabe.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:19] So a couple of things here, I feel like you're really letting the logistical, purely logistical difficulty of not being able to come back in the way that you want affect your identity as well, right? The country doesn't want me back. I mean that is not true. Not true at all. No. There is no sort of brain for the country that says, “Oh we're making this decision.” You know, you can come back to study, you can come back to work, you can come back through getting married to somebody here. I mean this isn't like, there's no conspiracy of forces against you here trying to keep you out of the United States. But I would say always enjoy where you are -- physically, emotionally. Trust me. We're in a situation right now where we have to enjoy where we are and it's, you know, between a rock and a hard place with a nice light at the end of the tunnel, I would think.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:15:10] And they're in Hong Kong, which is the greatest city in the world as far as I'm concerned. There's so much to enjoy in Hong Kong and letting this experience get soured just because they think that the US doesn't want them back is kind of missing the point of being in Hong Kong because it's such a great place.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:25] Yeah, I think Hong Kong is exciting. I think not taking advantage of a place where you are right now with a lower level of responsibility is a waste of an opportunity. I understand there's nothing wrong with having a goal to get someplace new in your life, but there is something wrong with hating where you are because the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, even if you've been on the other side of the fence before. Advice-wise, networking with Americans and US companies there in Hong Kong is a great way to go. Build a network there, try to get hired, then move back to the States. Even if you have to work in Hong Kong for that company for awhile, there's no need to explain your American-ness to anyone. You don't owe anybody anything. I think I'm a little confused about what he means there.
[00:16:06] I think people might be a little confused. Like why are you so obsessed with America? Well I feel American. Why you're Chinese? No, I'm more American than Chinese. I mean you don't owe that. You don't have to explain that to people. It's another effin’ business. You know? I would also reach out to USA-based social clubs and companies, Rotary, you got to have that there. I'm saying, I know that's international, but I think it's probably started in the States. There are companies there. There's all kinds of places where you can get a foothold in Hong Kong and embrace your inner Gringo. And I think networking and looking for opportunities and making it known -- I want to move back to America. I love it there. If that's what I'm looking to do, how can I do that? -- You're going to get people saying, “Well, you know, we sometimes hire liaisons from our Hong Kong office to go work in our Massachusetts office.” “Great. How do I get that?” “Oh well I'll throw your name in the hat. We're looking for somebody at the end of the year.” You know, these opportunities are there. You have to let your network know that you want it and you have to build that network in the first place.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:02] Yeah, and the American expat scene in Hong Kong is just legendary. There should be some really cool people that you can network with in that crowd for sure. Hang out with the expat bars. I went to a bunch of them when I was there and there are some really cool people there with amazing business experience because they’re like they had lived their life in the business world in the US, still have ties there, but wanted to just go hang out in Hong Kong for a couple of years and relax. So there are immense opportunities just in that entire expat community.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:31] It does bum me out that there's so many people who want to move to the States and we can't just let all of them settle here. I would be up for that. I wish we could let in anyone qualified and we tried so get qualified. Don't lose faith in the USA just because we're a little slow on the uptake sometimes and we'll look forward to welcoming you back with open arms.
[00:17:49] This episode is sponsored in part by Organifi. Organifi is what, well Jason, it's what you have running through your veins right now because you're moving.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:59] I am living on Organifi right now. I've got the Green Juice, I've got the Red Juice, I've got the protein powders and I've even got the Gold Juice as my kitchen has been dismantled. I am surviving completely on Organifi for the next two weeks and you know what? It's actually working.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:21] Yeah, and then in a week it'll be like, “Hey, is this normal?” Yeah. Oh gosh. I don't know.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:18:23] Why is my skin green? I am still surviving because it's got super foods.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:27] Right. It has the superfood. It has 11 superfoods. It does taste good, which always makes me a little skeptical whenever anything tastes good and has superfoods, I'm like, “Hmm, all right”, but I love this stuff. It is good and it ends up being around two bucks a juice. It's not this like obscene craziness that you have to figure out how you're going to mortgage, you know, you don't have to sell anything like an organ to get this everyday and it travels well. It comes in these little packs. Try out Organifi Green Juice for 20% off using the code HARBINGER at checkout, organifi.com, that's O R G A N I F I.com use the code harbinger for 20% off. This episode is also sponsored by Rhone. Rhone is -- we'd love this stuff.
[00:19:09] These are great athletic clothes, shirts, pants. One of the new shirts they've got is this salient running short sleeve shirt, which has a nice sort of seamless construction, strategic venting and the fabric is called salient, which is an FDA-determined fabric to promote blood flow, increase energy, endurance, performance. The shirt goes the extra mile, so to speak. And they've got the SilverTech threads in there that reduce odor by fighting bacteria. So silver naturally fights off the man stink. So they weave it directly into the shirt to keep you smelling fresh. And don't forget about the Rhone commuter pants. Producer Jason swears by them. Please tell me you're not just living off Organifi and only wearing your commuter pants. Well, you have multiple pairs. That's okay. You can just wear those for the next few weeks.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:19:53] Of course. No, I've got my Rhone. I'm wearing a Rhone shirt, my commuter pants, eventhough I don't commute. My commute is from my bedroom to the next bedroom for the office. But they make the commute, perfect.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:03] That's right. That's right. The commuter pants are made from that Japanese stretch fabric. So you know, you can wear them while you're awake. You could sleep in them, you can move house in them, which is what you're doing. And you can get your own pair of commuter pants if you're going to commute from Chicago to LA like Jason's about to do. Go to rhone.com, that's R H O N E.com and of course our listeners receive an exclusive offer of 15% off your first purchase with the use of the promo code JORDAN at checkout. That's J O R D A N and of course the website, rhone.com -- R H O N E.com for 15% off. This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator. You know, it's never going to steal all your personal data and use it against you to sway a presidential election -- your own website.
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Jason DeFillippo: [00:21:57] Hi Jordan. I've been listening to you for two years now and absolutely love the work that you do. I love sharing your work because your insight is extremely applicable to my line of work and people in my network. One thing I've noticed in listening for a while is that you almost always introduce your guests as my good friend, XYZ. When you say “your good friend”, how deep are those friendships? How do you cultivate meaningful friendships within a business relationship? Like many others, my line of work is very relationship-based. I find tremendous joy in taking a relationship from a more transactional business relationship to a more meaningful friendship. In a previous life, I was incredibly active in politics in something I noticed was that every governor, senator and other highly ranking elected official would refer to other elected officials as their good friends. I always wondered if they were full of BS and just saying that to portray that they're part of a perceived elite group. I know that's not the case with your relationships, but I'm hoping you can share how you develop meaningful relationships with your professional network. Sincerely, Your Good Friend Steve.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:58] Nice. So the way that this works for me, fortunately, I guess Jason were kind of in like the entertainment business, right? So we're kind of in showbiz where zib-a-zab-a-zab. There is a trend in show business that basically says, “It's kind of cool to be like, we're all friends”, and I've wondered this myself. I've had the same question myself. You ever watched, you know, Colbert or Letterman and they're always like, “Oh, it's nice to see you.” And you're thinking like, “When's the last time you saw this person? Was it a party last week or was it three years ago for five minutes when they came on to promote their last movie? And now you're kind of pretending to be friends.” I never really understood that myself. I was always kind of confused by that. So you're right, there is kind of this perceived elite group like, “Oh, all of us hang out all the time at our cool country clubs or our cool Hollywood parties and stuff like that.”
[00:23:49] And I think there is an element of that. Luckily though, since what I do is essentially have conversations with people, they're never my boss. I'm never their boss. Some people who are, even if they're super celebrities, it's kind of like there's this unspoken rule that you treat whoever's interviewing you almost as like on equal footing, right? Because they're a journalist or something or they're a writer or they're writing a book or they're an author, there's other kinds of things going on here. So you do sort of place yourself on the same footing as somebody else there. So you can sort of say that you’re “friends” but doesn't mean you hang out. Not necessarily. So here's a quick secret decoder ring to my introductions that I have on the show. And I'm not saying that everyone does this, but I think that a lot of people follow something similar.
[00:24:39] So if I introduce somebody as a regular guest, you know, today we're talking with James Fallon. I don't know him personally other than through the show. He's an acquaintance. I can email him, he would respond most likely. And that's pretty much the extent of our relationship. If I met him in person, we would have a chat. I'm sure it would be great. I would share a cup of coffee or a meal with the guy and we could become friends. You never know. If I say this person is a friend of mine and we're talking with them, it means I like them. I'd get together with them if we were in the same town. I keep in regular touch with them. If I know I'm going to be in the same place as them, I give them a shout out. I probably have their phone number in my phone, et cetera.
[00:25:18] And if I say this is my “good friend”, this is a real personal friend -- all of the above. We'd get together in the same town. We keep in regular touch. I like this person, I've got their number in my phone, we hang out socially when they're not on the show regularly. Right? So a guy like Alex Kootz comes to mind where we hang out more than we do shows. Whereas a lot of times sometimes someone's my friend, but I see them for purposes of the show as much or for business purposes at conferences, probably more than I see them just because we happen to be in the same town and we want to go grab some Chipotle, right? So a good friend is somebody that might say, “Hey, I haven't seen you in a minute. What are you doing on Saturday? We'll get together, we'll go out to dinner, we'll talk about a lot of stuff.”
[00:25:58] Some of which might be business, but most of which probably is not. So that's it. Regular intros, friend and good friend. But I have made this joke, I was talking with Kim Seltzer a long time ago and we started hanging out with these producers because we were talking about doing some TV stuff. And what was really funny was we kept hearing people say, “Oh yeah, Howard Stern is a dear, dear friend. Oh this person is a dear, dear great friend, a great friend and soon…”
Jason DeFillippo: [00:26:24] Welcome to Hollywood!
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:27] Right. It was so Hollywood. And we kept saying, “Okay, so if someone's a friend, maybe they’re friend, but if they're a dear friend, it means you've seen them once on a holiday. And if they're a dear, dear friend, it means your mom or your brother is friends with their mom or their brother and they probably know who you are but would never call you.”
[00:26:44] And it's like the more your dear, dear, dear great-great-great-great, the less of that person knows who the hell you are -- that's Hollywood. Hollywood is so strange because there's people that say like, “Oh yeah, we're friends”, and I'll hear from someone that I'm friends with somebody and I'm looking him up on Facebook and they don't look familiar and I'm thinking who is this person? And I look him up on my phone and then I do a search and there's like an unsaved number in my phone that has their name in it that I got three years ago that I've spoken to this person one time and I'm thinking this person introduced themselves as a friend of mine, a mutual friend for somebody else. I'm just thinking, “Don't buy what they're selling because I don't know who the hell this person is.” And that's so Hollywood. And it's Hollywood and it's probably Washington as Good Friend
[00:27:31] Steve mentioned in his letter that there is that social status element of, “Ooh, we're part of an elite club.” And you hear that with name dropping too. So you always have to kind of be careful. And that's why whenever someone says, “Oh, I'm friends with this person, or we have mutual friends in this”, I say, “Oh, how do you know them?” Because if I say, “Yeah, I'm friends with Tim Ferris”, and somebody else goes, “Yeah I'm friends with Tim Ferris too.” I'm like, “Oh, how do you guys know each other?” And if it's, “Oh well we've emailed a couple of times.” It's like “Okay, I don't know if you're friends,” you know, I'm not sure if that's the case or like, “Oh I'm friends with your producer.” “Oh really? How do you know him?” I'm going to text him literally right now and say I'm talking with this person.
[00:28:07] And if he comes back and says, “Who the hell is that?” I'm going to be a little annoyed by that. You know? So my opinion here is to be honest with how close you are to someone. And you can say “friend” if you mean acquaintance, but it's better to err on the side of, “Yeah, I know him because we've hung out a couple of times at different conferences.” You don't have to create fake proximity when there is none because it works to create that perceived elite group feeling, which is why you see a lot of these self-help speakers say like, “Oh, I'm friends with this president, I'm friends with this person, I'm friends with this author.” But if you get caught, you look like a total fake A-hole and it can come across as name-dropping in a way that you really don't need to be doing. And I think that hurts you more than helps you.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:28:54] They're friends that I knew from conferences that I could, you know, say “they're my friends” because when I go to a conference, they're going to say hi and come over and talk to me. But they're also friends that you know what they're going to do on their day off and they're going to go hang out with their puppy or their family and they might invite you over for a cocktail at their house or dinner or something like that. There's just a difference there between conference friends and people you know in real life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:16] And I think the challenges that colleagues are somebody that you work with generally in the same company, and I know that's not the definition of colleague, but it's sort of how it fits together. So if you're a politician or you're in entertainment or you are an entrepreneur, we often say friend, because we don't really have a word for someone else that's kind of in an industry adjacent to mine that isn't really some sort of competitor that I like, who I enjoy, but also that I work with in certain aspects. But that doesn't work for the same company as me. We don't have that. So we just say friend because it's easier and it's more descriptive than colleague and the person goes, “Oh, you work together?” “Well, no.” “Okay, so how do you know each other?” “He runs a business in an adjacent industry.” “Okay,” “well I like him. So we're friends.” It's just easier. So you have to read into it a little and you're going to find that throughout your professional career. You really will, all right, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:30:10] Hey Jordan and Jason. I seem to be at a weird stage in my life and I was kind of hoping maybe you guys could drop some of your Sensei-level advice on me. I'm 25 and I seem to have lost all my friends. There's a bit of a backstory. I served in the Marines for a few years and when I came back I was kind of a cocky asshole propped up on green machine motivation. I wanted to fight everybody because, that's what Marines do. Only my closest friends stuck by me simply for the fact that I'd been friends with them for so long. Then to make things worse, I got involved with a controlling girlfriend who pulled me out of my social circles, which made things worse because she was new in town and had no social circles of her own. That relationship lasted way too long and ended in a crappy way. Between all of that, plus consuming most of my time on my career to avoid my problems, my friends seem to have disappeared. I've definitely calmed way down since my time in the Marines, but none of my old friends will respond and I don't know how to meet new people. How do I go about rebuilding my social circles? What do you guys recommend I do in order to be social again? I seem kind of lost and stuck in this friendless funk for the last year now with no real prospects on improving it. Sincerely, The Lone Marine.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:21] So if your old friends won't respond, forget it for now. I think those people probably are just not good friends. I would say make new ones and that's easier said than done. So the way that we do this is we start with some hobbies. We take some classes. Fitness classes especially makes for tight circles. Veteran's stuff always has events online. I think fitness stuff that creates tight knit circles -- jiu-jitsu, Spartan races, CrossFit -- all of that stuff tends to be this kind of like culty fitness, which can be really great for making friends that will want to hang out outside of the classes. You know, you go to a spin class or you go to a yoga class, you leave, you go shower, you go home. But something about jujitsu, it's just this brotherhood slash sisterhood, Spartan races, same thing. CrossFit, there's a reason they say the CrossFit Cult and there's a reason people hang out at the CrossFit box for five hours doing random stuff and you know, working out and hanging out and chatting.
[00:32:18] That's just how those places work. And when I was in CrossFit, every holiday there was a party and a barbecue and you'd do this workout and then you'd hang out for like two hours afterwards. It’s just, that's how it goes. So get into something like that and it's good for you both physically and emotionally. You'll make some new friends and people want to hang out outside of that. And I would warn you not to hold onto those past friends. You might have outgrown them anyway, especially if they're not even interested in talking to you anymore. You know, there's something else that's going on here. Maybe they think that you might be a little toxic because you are a cocky A-hole that was propped up on green machine motivation as you said, like maybe they don't know that you've changed or maybe they don't really care because they're onto different things.
[00:33:01] You might get them back and you might not, but honestly it kind of doesn't matter. You have to make changes in your own life and create a healthy world that other people will want to be a part of. You can't just say, “Hey, I'm changed now. Can I come back and hang out?” Because there's probably more to the story here and maybe people don't want to be around who they perceived that you were. But if they're just blowing you off because you blew them off when you had a girlfriend, then they're not really great friends of yours in the first place and it's time to upgrade. All right, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:33:28] Hi Jordan. I've heard you talk a few times on other podcasts about learning languages. My question is basically around how to decide whether to keep learning languages versus pursuing many other interests. I'm a 26-year-old guy living in Sydney, Australia and I enjoy learning languages. I've dabbled in a few, but in particular I lived in Berlin for 18 months and I managed to teach myself German to a decent level. I also taught myself some basic Spanish last month before heading to Mexico for a work trip, but ended up not using it because we were in resorts surrounded by English speakers the whole time. As someone who lives in Australia, there's little real value in speaking another language. at least while I live here. The language most commonly spoken at home by Australian residents after English is Mandarin, spoken by just two and a half percent of the population.
[00:34:12] Even outside Australia, it's so common for people to speak pretty decent English. Speaking second and third languages is undoubtedly a useful skill. I clearly enjoy it and it's looked upon favorably by many potential employers even when it's not used at all in an actual job. The idea of being able to speak five languages like you is very appealing. On the other hand, learning a language is very time consuming, especially when you don't live in a country that speaks your target language, German or Spanish. In this case, I like the idea of getting proficient enough in another language that I could work in that language, but the amount of time required to get to that level of proficiency is pretty immense. Even if I did get highly proficient in German, a good portion of my potential clients and colleagues would be almost as proficient in English.
[00:34:59] If I got to the same proficiency in Spanish, maybe fewer European Spanish speakers would be strong English speakers, but there are also far fewer Spanish speaking companies in my field. Danish and living in Copenhagen interests me, but Danish people are generally incredibly good at English and there aren't many Danish people. So overall I feel like learning a language has a pretty low return on my time investment, at least specifically for my career prospects. On the other hand, learning languages for traveling is potentially a bit of fun and can be useful, but it still takes at least a few solid months of practicing to get to the point where a language is truly useful at all and takes many hundreds or even thousands of hours to get really proficient. The hour spent learning a language could be used to accomplish so many other enjoyable and useful things. So with this in mind, am I being narrow-minded in the way I think about languages? How valuable do you really find all of the languages you speak? I do toy with the idea of moving back to Europe and I also want to do a nine month trip through South and Central America before I'm 30 but I wouldn't do either of these for at least another two years. Do I put the languages on hold until then and pick them up again if I do one of these trips? Or is learning languages like life itself about the journey and not the destination? Sincerely yours, Perplexed Potential Polyglot.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:18] All right, so there's a lot here. I appreciate that. You want to learn languages. I totally understand why you want to do this. The fact is there's just low return on investment for most languages. Spanish and German, very low return on investment, work-wise especially. It doesn't mean you're not going to speak to German people or use your Spanish if you live in California, which you don't, you live in Australia, so your ROI is even lower. There's always in work, the work environment, unless you're working for, let's say a Spanish company, Mexican company, South American company, there's always going to be, and even then there's always going to be better bilingual Spanish speakers and many Germans speak English. They won't expect you to do it for business, so essentially you learning German unless you're married to a German or you've got people in your family or close friends or you really love the country or something.
[00:37:07] It's a party trick. It ends up being a party trick. Danish is not very useful, but it's very hard. Chinese is very useful and it's very hard, so you need to find a language where you have a purpose to creating this proficiency. Otherwise it's going to be really tough for you. The brain plasticity argument -- there's something to be said here that kids learn languages better, but also adults learn better for different reasons. It doesn't really matter. I would pick one language and use it to increase or retain cognitive function. We talked about this with David Eagleman. It does help you long-term stave off things like dementia and cognitive decline. Learning a language and one that uses symbols like Mandarin is really, really helpful for this. So pick one language. Again, Mandarin is what I recommend. Stick with it for years. You'll get brain benefits, but yeah, it's going to take like one to two years before you can save much of anything unless you really focus, you're not going to be able to have a conversation for a couple of years unless you really, really, really bust your butt.
[00:38:10] That said, there are massive benefits in that. It sets you apart from other people in your field. There's still going to be bilingual speakers that are going to have a higher proficiency, that's fine. But it will set you apart as a polyglot. It will give you that reputation. It will show other people that you can learn a language. Mandarin signals intelligence to future employers, even if they don't need you to speak it for work. So if you tell somebody speaks Spanish, they might go, “Oh cool.” If you tell someone who speak German and Spanish, they might go, “Oh cool.” But if you say you speak Mandarin, they're like, “What? Wow.” And it shows them the stereotype is if you learned this on your own, you must be smart. So it's a good signal for you to say, “Look, I'm a capable person.” You can focus on something that other people think is impossible to learn.
[00:38:56] And I would say travel, do it. Best thing in my life was living abroad for extended periods of time. I wholeheartedly recommend this. You'll never have less responsibility than you do right now. So I say, go for it. That's something I find myself saying a lot on shows here. You'll never have less responsibility than you do right now, especially if you're not even 30 yet. You're never going to have fewer things than you need to focus on right now. You don't have to focus on your career right now in order to pay for your house. You don't have kids, you're not married. This is the time to go and do it, so I'd say go for it. Alright, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:29] Hey Jordan. My father joined the State Department when I was three years old. Due to the nature of the job, we moved around every two to four years. I was initially excited to move back to the United States for college and I'd always thought I'd either move to California or New York after graduation and pursue a corporate career. Thinking back on it now, it seemed very narrow-minded. My primary motivator was the image of what I thought success was and being a finance major, the money that would ultimately come with it. The issue is that I went on a two-month backpacking trip throughout Southeast Asia with a few friends and had the time of my life. I've always loved traveling, but this trip was different. I felt more confident than usual, full of energy and genuinely happy for the entirety of the trip. I ended up extending the trip two weeks to travel to a small Island out in Indonesia with a gorgeous 26-year-old who I'm still closely in touch with today and I was only 20 at the time.
[00:40:20] The issue now is I'm stuck at the crossroad. I'm currently working a full-time internship in New York at a top tier private equity firm and I'm dreading it. Eventhough it's a job I'd have killed for before. I'm on track to graduate in 2019 and will most likely have a full-time offer once the internship is over. Deep down, I want to travel and work remotely while on the road. I also have a handful of entrepreneurial ventures I want to begin working on post-graduation. The thought of this remote travel and work-lifestyle failing is the only thing holding me back. Although in my eyes, a corporate career might be even worse. How do I begin to weigh my options? The biggest scare is the financial one as I don't have much money saved up. What would be the best way to loop my parents into my thoughts? My mom would be supportive, but my dad, who I love a ton and would never want to disappoint, would not be as supportive of the idea. Many thanks and much love, Jordan. Keep up the insightful and inspiring work. Cheers. Finance or Fiji.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:15] Yeah. This story is so common. People hating private equity, people hating law, people hating banking jobs. You're not alone. This is normal. I would say at your age right now, get a job working at a hostel or better get a job at a company overseas, be an expat. You're young enough to do this, you're allowed to fail. There's also government grants for people to do this. ACTR/ACCELS paid me to go to Serbia, that was the Department of Defense thing. I assume some version of that still exists, if not the exact same thing. There are tons of opportunities that are not just this, and I've spoken about this a lot on the show and on other shows, but when you're a kid, when you're in kindergarten, you know like policemen, firemen, doctor, nurse, army. Those are the jobs we know about, right? And when we get older we kind of don't have that many more options.
[00:42:09] We just know what our parents do. We know what some other people's parents do and we still kind of have doctor, policemen, firemen, teacher as our sort of standard job rubric. What we don't know is that there are virtually unlimited types of jobs in existence. There are tons of jobs overseas. There's lots of resources on this online. You can try listening to the Tropical MBA podcast. They've also got a website. Those guys are on top of the digital nomad thing and they would have some resources for you there too. I would experiment with a lot of different things. You know, you can work at a hotel, you can work in hospitality. You're young enough that you can get some experiences that are not just corporate and you'll be totally fine. But I think it would be great for you to both get corporate experience and do the expat thing.
[00:42:53] So if you can get an overseas position, great. Do it. And look as before, you will never have less responsibility and freedom than you do now. So go for it. Living abroad is life changing. Do it however you possibly can. All right, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:43:09] Hi Jordan and Jason. I live in downtown Chicago and have a pretty good paying job in I.T., although I'm not rich by any means. I live with my girlfriend and our two dogs. She hasn't worked in over a year and thus I'm supporting everything. Last year I took money out of my 401k to pay off some credit card bills. Right now, I'm noticing my credit card debt began to rack up again and I'm getting concerned. I'm trying to save money for the future and in particular, want to buy a townhome and one of Chicago's adjacent suburbs. At the rate we're going, I can barely save anything and in fact I'm increasing my debt load.
[00:43:42] I feel like we're going in the wrong direction. That being said, I don't feel like we live that extravagantly. However, the costs do pile up, especially now that my girlfriend is day trading crypto and I'm bankrolling it. If there's a question about why she isn't working, it gets into an even deeper issue as she has issues with alcohol abuse and thus hasn't been able to hold a job. That is of course another significant but separate issue. I've spent much time working through that but right now I just want to focus on getting out of debt and starting to accumulate wealth. My question is how can I begin to reverse the trend and start building wealth as opposed to constantly going into debt? Something has got to give here. Signed, Broke In The Big City. Well, Jordan, seems pretty obvious to me, but take this one away.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:27] Yeah, sure. So her problem is now your problem. If she's not making money day trading crypto, then she does not have a job. She has a hobby that loses money or that may be sometimes breaks even. Here's the problem, here's something that most people don't realize, if you can't hold a regular job, you cannot be self-employed. I'll say that again. If you can't hold a regular job, you will not be able to be self-employed. This is almost always true. I'm sure there's examples where it's like, “No, I can't have a regular job because of these random reasons, but I'm self-employed.” It's not what we're talking about here. If you don't have the discipline to hold a regular job where you have a substance issue that prohibits you from doing a regular job, you're not going to be able to be self-employed.
[00:45:15] Being self-employed means you're your own boss, which is harder than a regular job with a regular boss. It's not easier. This is harder. You have to have your own discipline. You have to keep your own hours. You have to maintain your own productivity. You have to invent your own systems. This is harder than having all of this handled and structured for you. You don't have the ability to get some paid time off. That stuff doesn't exist when you're self-employed, so this whole situation sounds like a big, big, big problem. She seems toxic to you. The debt really isn't your biggest problem here. Her substance abuse is currently your biggest problem here because the reason you have the debt mounting up is because you're supporting someone else who can't support themselves or to contribute to the pot and you've got these other sort of side issues. She needs help and she needs a real job, or you need to distance yourself. You cannot climb out of a hole if the other people who are close to you in your life continue to dig that hole even deeper.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:46:12] I think there's two other issues here is that he lives in Chicago, downtown Chicago, which is one of the most expensive places in the country to live. It is really hard to actually accumulate any kind of savings when you're spending so much on rent. I know he wants to buy a place in the suburbs, but also he needs to look at his living situation. I think and cut back expenses for sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:34] Yeah. Yeah. It's really hard to build wealth if you're in a place where you really just can't even pay your own expenses, so it's kind of, that's what I'm saying -- it's hard to dig out of a hole. You can't climb out of a hole if other people in your life continue to dig because you can't save money if you're spending more money than you have already. In part due to your circumstances, your living circumstances, but also by having someone who is a drain on you. Period. And I think if we really got into this, there'd be other reasons why, “I don't want her to do something bad if I break up with her or I'm going to be alone.” There's other stuff like that going on that we just don't need to address in this because it's a whole nother can of worms.
[00:47:10] Recommendation of the week. I saw something called Take Your Pills. It's an Adderall documentary. It's scary how reliant people are on Adderall and these drugs to study, to work, to function. It really does in many ways sort of parallel or mirror my own story. I got Adderall XR in college by essentially pretending that I had ADHD and I just told my doctor that I took my girlfriend's Adderall and it worked back then. This is shameful. I remember going to the doctor and going, “Yeah, I think I have ADD”, and he goes, “Oh, why do you know?” And I go, “I took a pill that my girlfriend had for her ADD and I was like, ‘Wow, this stuff really works. I'm really good at school.’ And the doctor was like, Oh, okay.” And he wrote me a prescription for that.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:47:49] Oh my God.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:52] Yeah. So bad for you. This stuff is so bad for you. This Take Your Pills documentary, outline some of the health consequences of this. Man, this stuff is terrible for you. It's just amphetamine. It affects your brain, it affects your heart, your organs, everything. And people are taking this for years. It's just like, it's unbelievable. Take Your Pills. I think that is on Netflix -- if memory serves. Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. Don't forget, you can email us firstname.lastname@example.org to get your questions answered on the air. Happy to keep you anonymous, of course. A link to the show notes for this episode can be found at JordanHarbinger.com. Quick shout outs to Brandl Moniz, that's a name that's tricky there. It's a college student who wrote me a nice letter. Really nice letter, made my morning the other day. Thanked Jason and I for our openness on the show about everything that's happening recently here. Thanks Brandl. It's a lot to deal with but we've got a strong “why” over here because of email and messages like that from show fans like yourself and also shout out to Andrei in Russia who wants to come to the USA and study and make a better future for himself and play a little hockey while he is here. I'm on Instagram and Twitter, @JordanHarbinger. It's a great way to engage with the show. Jason, tell them where to find you.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:49:01] I'm on Instagram @JPD. Twitter as @jpdef, that’s J P D E F and you can check out my other podcast every Monday, Grumpy Old Geeks.
Jordan Harbinger: [49:09] So keep sending in those questions to email@example.com. Share the show with those you love and even those you don't. We've got a lot more great stuff in the pipe. We're excited to bring it to you. And 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.
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