You and your wife of four years have had your ups and downs, but she recently revealed her belief in a number of conspiracy theories. Now you wonder if you can continue a life together when you’re living in two entirely different realities. We’ll examine this rabbit hole and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Your wife of four years recently revealed she’s gone down a conspiracy theory rabbit hole from which she may never return. Is it possible for your marriage to continue when you’re each living in your own reality? [Thanks to Justin Ramsdell for helping us with this one!]
- You’re the top choice to run operations if your company’s acquisition goes through, but your priorities have shifted toward family and you’re not sure the new bosses will understand your desire for work/life balance. What’s the best way to discuss your personal plans with the team so you feel your mutual needs are being considered? [Thanks to Michelle Tillis Lederman for giving us some insight here!]
- How should a financially smart, successful couple entertain the idea of cohabitating when marriage is in the plans down the road, but the relationship hasn’t yet passed the one-year mark?
- You’re friends with a family who recently started hosting maskless “freedom rallies” that have drawn thousands of people into tight quarters during this global pandemic. Every reason you’ve expressed to them for why this is a terrible idea has been dismissed. Should you just give up? And is there even a future for your friendship even after this passes?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
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Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Matthew McConaughey | Following Life’s Greenlights to Success | Jordan Harbinger
- Laura Nirider | Anatomy of a False Confession | Jordan Harbinger
- Assassins | Prime Video
- How North Korea Got Away with the Assassination of Kim Jong-nam | The Guardian
- Mick West | How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories | Jordan Harbinger
- From the ‘Great Reset’ to Dead Voters: Debunking the Latest Conspiracy Theories | Kentucky Kernel
- Conspiracy Theories Archives | FactCheck.org
- Justin Ramsdell | How to Detect and Disarm Pseudoscience | Jordan Harbinger
- Why We Believe in Conspiracy Theories | Psychology Today
- The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories | Psychology Today
- The Mind of a Conspiracy Theorist | Psychology Today
- How to Talk to Conspiracy Theorists — and Still Be Kind | MIT Technology Review
- The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost | Poetry Foundation
- How to Negotiate Work-Life Balance When Job Hunting | Working Parents
- Michelle Tillis Lederman | Why Relationships Are Our Greatest Assets | Jordan Harbinger
- The Connector’s Advantage: 7 Mindsets to Grow Your Influence and Impact by Michelle Tillis Lederman
- Ramit Sethi | I Will Teach You to Be Rich | Jordan Harbinger
- Anti-Mask Protesters Explain Why They Refuse to Cover Their Faces During the COVID-19 Pandemic | Vox
- The Dudes Who Won’t Wear Masks | The Atlantic
- Disputes About Masks Reveal Our Cracks in Christ | The Banner
- Chris Voss | Negotiate as If Your Life Depended on It | Jordan Harbinger
- Arthur Brooks | How Loving Your Enemies Can Save America | Jordan Harbinger
Transcript for Help! I Married a Conspiracy Theorist! | Feedback Friday (Episode 457)
Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, my pal and purveyor in prescription, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. And we turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission on the show is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what is really happening, even inside your own mind.
[00:00:37] 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, thinkers, and performers. For a selection of featured episodes to get you started with some of our favorite guests and popular topics, go to jordanharbinger.com. We'll hook you right up. We got some starter packs on the site now. That's exciting. You can select the genre and the type of guests you're looking for, suggest shows for you.
[00:01:05] This week, we had Matthew McConaughey. I'm not sure how much you need me to expound on that or introduce him. He is a super well-known actor, brilliant actor, brilliant performer, very enjoyable conversation. We also had Laura Nirider. She is an expert in false confessions. You may recognize her from Making a Murderer. She's the lawyer for Brendan Dassey, that young kid who confessed to a murder that he couldn't possibly have committed. That episode was all about the psychology of false confessions and why people confess to crimes, especially murders that they didn't commit, among other topics.
[00:01:37] So make sure you've had to listen to everything we created for you here this week. You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to get advice from us or ask us a question. You can keep the question concise, that's great. Descriptive subject line, even better. That makes our job a lot easier. So if you're going through something, any big decision you're wrestling with, or you just need a new perspective on stuff like life, love, work, whether to invite your crazy sister to your wedding. Whatever's got you staying up at night lately. Hit us up email@example.com. We're here to help. We keep everyone anonymous.
[00:02:09] Gabriel, before we kick off here, I want to recommend that North Korea Documentary. This is a killer—
[00:02:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh yeah, so good.
[00:02:16] Jordan Harbinger: I probably shouldn't say killer, probably a poor choice of words. This is an awesome recommendation for you. It's a documentary called Assassins, speaking of killers from director Ryan White. It's the story of North Korea's assassination of Kim Jong-un's half-brother and rival in theory, his name was Kim Jong-nam. They love Kim Jong over there. You might've remembered this from 2017, Kim Jong-nam ended up dead in the middle of the airport in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. These two young women were charged with his murder and they were caught on tape, of course, because it's an airport. So they ran up to him and they smeared something in his face. And both women kind of had no idea that they'd murdered somebody. But they thought they were doing a prank for a TV show. And this documentary is interesting because, of course — Gabriel, you know, when I first saw this, I was like, "These women, they were assassins, they were trained."
[00:03:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:03:02] Jordan Harbinger: The prank thing is an excuse. And then the documentary is kind of like now these were like country women from another country and they had been, you know, living in the rural area, trying to make money, make ends meet. And they'd been doing these dumb prank videos constantly, and they were being groomed for this attack. And it's just kind of fascinating to see how North Korea orchestrated this from the very beginning with a Japanese guy.
[00:03:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:03:23] Jordan Harbinger: And these — foreign — what a crazy story.
[00:03:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Incredible, truly bizarre and fascinating. I watched it with my sister and my brother-in-law. We could not look away. Like I was so riveted by this documentary. And I remember when the story came out, we all read about it. We talked about it, even you and I obviously, because we nerd out on this stuff after going there a few times, like, damn, we got to figure out what happened to Kim Jong-nam or KJN. You know, there was stuff in the news about this and there was talk of like how they were involved in some weird prank video thing. And like, it was kind of vague. This documentary lays it all out, like who was involved, how they groomed them, how they found them. And then it gets into the trial and how the lawyers and Malaysia are trying to defend them. Yeah, just absolutely incredible. I highly recommend it.
[00:04:04] Jordan Harbinger: Assassins is now available to stream on platforms like Amazon iTunes, all that good stuff. Definitely check this one out. You will not be disappointed. We'll link to some of those platforms in the show notes as well. Because I would imagine assassins is a common name for a movie. And this is probably way down the list because it's like an indie documentary.
[00:04:21] All right, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:04:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I've been married to my wife for four years now. We have a wonderful three-year-old daughter and we both love and cannot get enough of. We've had our ups and downs, like any couple. But recently my wife revealed to me that she believes in a number of conspiracy theories. This was during a discussion where I assured her it was a safe space and that there would be no repercussions from what was discussed. I fully admit I did not handle the situation well, and I have my own issues around being judgmental. In the past, my wife has made a number of unusual decisions, such as insisting that our daughter not be vaccinated, paying for "self-improvement" gurus and avoiding doctors in favor of natural remedies. For the most part, these decisions were not directly harmful, but I would often extrapolate the results and question whether my wife realized the potential harm her beliefs could cause. She would immediately claim that I was making a mountain out of a molehill and I would feel sorry and apologize. When I apologized, the issues felt resolved from her perspective, but for me, everything was still on the table. Anti-vax, flat earth, QAnon, Bill Gates using vaccines to inject microchips to control and kill people — the list goes on and on. I tried to fact check her theories and show her how tech algorithms often lead users down a rabbit hole of sensational stories, but this was of no avail. I'm left exhausted and she just goes deeper and deeper into her rabbit hole. Now, I'm really worried. Will she teach our daughter these ideas? Has she been keeping more from me? How could you just random unqualified people on the Internet over trusted peer-reviewed sources with credentials? How can I trust my wife to make sound decisions when her critical thinking is so flawed? We've gone back and forth for months now. And she's only become more dug into her position. And I fear I've made things worse. I'm a scientist. I ground my worldview in logic and reason. I love my wife and I will do anything to save our partnership. But right now, it's like she's living in a completely different reality. The person I married is no longer there. And the person left isn't even someone I would call a friend. I fear for our marriage if she doesn't at least meet me halfway. This is a bigger problem than I know how to handle. So I requested, we see a marriage counselor. I made sure she picked the counselor to remove any bias from me. But from what I'm seeing, my wife is not as invested as I am in resolving our issues. It feels like she sees all of this as my issue to fix without her having to do anything on her end. I'm trying everything to avoid a divorce, but if nothing changes, then nothing changes. Perhaps there are other options that I haven't considered. What's your opinion on all this? What would you do? Signed, Going Back Up the Rabbit Hole.
[00:06:55] Jordan Harbinger: What a story. Here's this guy who thinks he's married to a woman who's a little — shall we say non-traditional and then bit by bit, he realizes that, no, she doesn't just like essential oils and weird Reddit rabbit holes. She literally believes the earth is flat and that Bill Gates is manufacturing the Rona. So he can finally get us all microchipped. It's funny, I'm laughing a little, but this is actually terrifying. If I woke up one day and Jen was like, "Okay, so look, we're trading in our iPhones for Motorola Razrs. So they can't get us with the 5Gs." I'd be seriously freaked out. I'd be pretty angry too, especially because she's in-charge largely, or at least half in charge of taking care of my kids. I'm sure you feel like your wife has been body snatched or something like that. Although my guess is these ideas have been dormant for some time, possibly already there when you met and I'm really sorry you found yourself or find yourself in this situation. So thanks for writing in.
[00:07:49] And just so you know, we consulted on your question with psychology professor, Justin Ramsdell, a friend of the show. He's been a guest on the show, and an expert on combating pseudoscience. That was episode 359 if you want to check it out. We also consulted with a clinical psychologist who treats individuals and couples.
[00:08:04] So before we talk about your wife, we need to talk for a second about why conspiracy theories are so attractive in the first place, especially right now, because I think if you're paying attention at all, you see an uptick in people that believe crazy unfounded garbage. We see it online all the time. All the latest research, it shows that there are a handful of common reasons that people fall for conspiracy theories. And one reason is that people like this, who are prone to conspiracies, they have a higher than average baseline level of anxiety, and they tend to buy into irrational things to decrease that anxiety. And I don't mean your typical, "Eh, I kind of feel uneasy. I'm worried about work tomorrow," kind of anxiety. I'm talking more like existential anxiety, like deep concerns about their own safety and the state of the world type stuff. And researchers, by the way, they've also found that this mentality correlates with certain personality traits, like low levels of trust and an increased need for closure.
[00:09:01] So when you come across somebody who feels powerless, somebody who has low self-esteem or has a strong need to feel unique in some way, That's kind of a psychic breeding ground for bat shit, crazy ideas. And if you add a major catastrophe into the mix, like a global pandemic that we're dealing with right now, it's just fuel on the fire. It's not a coincidence that we've seen a huge uptake in conspiracy theories during a period of general upheaval. That's when these ideas really do flourish. And COVID has been one of the biggest amplifiers of this stuff in pretty much every measure.
[00:09:33] The other common reason people fall for conspiracy theories is that they feel inadequate in some major way. And they want to feel superior to other people either by being smarter or better informed — I'm putting all this in air quotes, of course — or open-minded and you see this online as well. You see a lot of the people who are like the least educated, lowest income tend to fall for conspiracy theories, even more than others. And that's not a coincidence. There's something lacking there. It's not just the education that's lacking. It's an inferiority thing.
[00:10:01] But as Justin Randell pointed out both of these reasons, they swim in a general pool of control issues. The more someone feels unsafe or uncertain, the more they'll begin to grasp the ideas that give them a sense of safety and stability, which is ironic, of course, because the idea is they end up grasping at, they're usually the most chaotic bullshitty ideas you can possibly find.
[00:10:22] So given all that, if you want to fix this situation, you're not going to have much luck attacking the conspiracy theories themselves. You can't logic your way out of this. You're going to have to address what's going on underneath those theories. What makes it fertile ground for someone to believe this crap? Because I think that's, what's happening here for your wife. For whatever reason, she's wrestling with some profound anxieties about the world. I can't blame her. A lot of people are. These conspiracy theories, as nutty as they are, they're playing a very important function for her psychologically. They're making her feel safe. They're making her feel grounded. And the more you can figure out why she has those underlying needs, the more you'll be able to dismantle the zany ideas that are sitting on top of them. The conspiracy theories, they seem like the problem, but they're really just a symptom of a much deeper issue.
[00:11:10] So as much as possible, I would avoid the temptation to convince your wife that she's flat out wrong — no pun intended. It's just making her dig in harder. Right? Doing that. Instead, I would make a real effort to be curious about how she's feeling to understand what role these beliefs are playing in her mind, how they're helping her. As tough as this is — and I bet it's extremely tough for a rational scientifically minded person like you, you have to approach your wife with compassion here, and you have to understand her anxiety, her anger, her fear. If you do that, I think it'll help you find more empathy for what she's going through. And hopefully, it'll help her develop better insight into why she holds these beliefs in the first place.
[00:11:48] That's a much better way into this conversation than, "Hey, you're out of your freaking tree, if you think QAnon is just out at a bunch of pedophiles in the state department, no more Alex Jones for you. You basically have to choose to overlook the crazy for the time being, so you can start to see the very real vulnerabilities lurking beneath all that. And I'm glad to hear you two are in therapy. I hope that that's helpful for you guys. In your sessions. I would focus on how these conspiracy theories are affecting your relationship. I would talk about what gets triggered when you guys get into these fights. What feelings come up? For you, I'm guessing it's a lot of anger and fear. For her, I'm guessing she feels misunderstood, out of control, dismissed. She probably feels like you're trying to manipulate her. Maybe you're talking down to her a little bit, you know, I don't know. You could point out that when you try to engage with her in dialogue about this stuff, she then stonewalls you by saying the earth is flat or whatever, end of discussion.
[00:12:40] You could ask her what it's like for her to have her beliefs challenged and how that serves to disconnect you guys. That's another way to make some progress. Again, not by attacking the theory or the belief themselves. But by focusing on what these beliefs are doing for the two of you or to the two of you inside the relationship. And look, you're playing a role in this dynamic too. Like you said, you can be judgy, maybe a little arrogant sometimes, which probably makes her feel more inadequate or attacked. Then when you guys do get into it, you back off and apologize, which just empowers her and sweeps the actual conflict under the rug.
[00:13:14] And honestly, I can understand that cause she's kind of gaslighting you whenever you try to be reasonable. And she also believes in some seriously ridiculous garbage. That's probably very hard not to roll your eyes and disparage, but you're then enabling her as a result, right? By just going, "Oh, sorry. You're right," and forgetting about it. So this dynamic, yeah, it's very complicated. Landmines left and right, lots of stuff to unpack.
[00:13:36] That said your wife has a lot of work to do. If this situation is going to improve. If her attraction to conspiracy theories really is anxiety based, then there's only so much that couples counseling can do. She needs to be in therapy herself to figure out what's really driving all of this. Although it doesn't sound like she'd be very keen on that. It sounds — my sense from your letter, honestly, is that your wife is dealing with a lot of shame either around her beliefs or around her weaknesses, or maybe around your response to them. And shame is powerful, man. It'll drive people to hide things or hide away from them. Like your wife is doing a lot of the time and there's an upside to that shame though. Because if she's feeling a little ashamed, she might on some level be in touch with just how odd her beliefs really are. In a weird way, that's a potential silver lining. It means there's a little window there that you could open but you're going to have to tread very lightly on how you approach that. So you don't end up shaming her even more and creating even more uncertainty. My guess is that'll cause her to retreat from you even further and entrench herself even deeper in this red pill nonsense. So it's a very delicate dance.
[00:14:43] I've gone on for a while here. Gabe, what if his wife just isn't willing to do the work then what?
[00:14:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Well, if his wife is not willing to do the work, if she's not really engaging in therapy and if she just is totally unwilling to open up the box and look at some of this stuff, then you will have to ask yourself if you can live with that situation. Because this isn't just about your sanity here, although I can hear your sanity taking a big hit and I can't blame you, but it's also about your daughter's wellbeing. I mean, do you really want her to grow up with a parent like this? You know, do you want her to, I don't know, share Fruit Roll-Ups at school and take trips, you know, without vaccinations? Like that's a scary proposition as a parent to imagine. I'm not saying that your wife is explicitly dangerous. I'm not saying she's trying to hurt your daughter. I'm sure she loves her and thinks she's doing what's best for her but this is a very real issue.
[00:15:26] And if the conspiracy theories are getting in the way of your relationship, if you and your wife are just completely disconnected now, then you'll have to make a decision about whether to stay. So we can't tell you what to do there, obviously, but I do think it's worth trying a little while longer with her using some of the approaches that we're talking about. Seeing if it goes anywhere, seeing if you can make some progress, but if nothing changes, then long-term, I just don't really see how a marriage like this could last, not happily anyway, but I think you already know that.
[00:15:52] Whatever you decide. I would think about how to protect your daughter as much as you can, you know, are there ways you can balance out what she's learning from her mom? Can you share other perspectives, other ideas, maybe some other sources with her? Can you teach her to become a critical thinker down the road? I know she's only three, but she is soaking all of this up on some level and it won't be very long before she starts grasping these subjects on a basic level and being able to kind of wrap her head around them. And part of your job as her dad, I think is making sure she can make good decisions for herself.
[00:16:20] Jordan Harbinger: So the bottom line here, I would start working on the roots of your wife's conspiratorial mindset. Approach her as much as you can with empathy and curiosity. Help her identify the underlying experiences that are fueling these conspiracy theories. If she can do that even a little bit, then you might have a real shot at resolving them. But if she won't, then she'll keep clinging to them as a coping mechanism and you'll have to decide if you and your daughter can live with that. And as a parent, I know where I would fall on this one. Good luck, man. I admire your willingness to work through this and I'm pulling for you guys. I really am, especially since there's a kid involved.
[00:16:57] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
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[00:19:07] Jordan Harbinger: And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:19:11] All right, what's next?
[00:19:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I'm a 31-year-old woman considering a job offer to run operations for a company that is acquiring another manufacturing company that I used to work for. By the time I left that company, which has a great product, but it was run into the ground by its super toxic owner. I was handling most of the day-to-day operations and had great relationships with all of our employees. All of which has made me the top choice to run operations if the acquisition goes through. But things have shifted personally for me in the last six months. And I now understand how important it is to me to start a family. I've had two miscarriages. One in recent months, which I only mentioned because my emotions about having a child are running very high right now. I'm up to the significant challenge of getting my old company up to speed after the acquisition but I also really want flexibility if and when I have a baby. The thing is the owners of the acquiring company are all guys and they were constantly, so I'm not sure how they would respond to me being more family-focused. In previous conversations, we didn't talk about my plans to start a family at all, but after time away from the toxic company that they're acquiring, lots of therapy, the second miscarriage and learning a ton about myself, my priorities have changed. So my question is, should I take the offer? If so, what's the best way to discuss my personal plans with the team so that we both feel that our interests are being considered? Signed, Two Roads Diverged in a Motherhood, and Sorry, but I Want to Travel Both.
[00:20:32] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. That's a reference I'm not getting, right?
[00:20:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. It's a reference to that Robert Frost poem. You know that? That poem two roads diverged—
[00:20:39] Jordan Harbinger: I do you know who Robert Frost is? I think — anyway, let's leave it there.
[00:20:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: He was, he was a poet, Jordan. He was a very well-known poet. He composed many great verses.
[00:20:49] Jordan Harbinger: Very fancy. Well, anyway, congratulations on the exciting job offer. It sounds like you are super valuable to this company and you have some amazing experience to bring to the table. It is interesting that this opportunity is coinciding with you wanting to start a family. I understand how difficult those trade-offs can be. Speaking as a man, who's never had to deal with that personally, of course, but seriously, Jen and I have had these conversations a lot and so many of my friends are going through it right now. That I think we just need to acknowledge, it's much more complicated for women to navigate these types of decisions. I know a lot of companies have come a long way in recent years in making things a little bit easier for mothers. But in smaller companies, like the one you're talking about joining or thinking about joining, I'm guessing work-life balance stuff isn't quite as developed. Maybe it's not discussed at all.
[00:21:37] So if you're going to make this work, it will be a path that you forge for yourself. And here are a few thoughts on how to do that. First, I would get super clear on your priorities here. It sounds to me like you already are, but let's be very direct about this. You want to be a mom. It sounds like that's at the top of the list, non-negotiable. But you also want a good career and a well-paying job at a company that you love. Hopefully, one that gives you the flexibility to have both. I'm not saying you can't have both, but in a world where these guys might not give you everything you want, which one is more important to you. If you were forced to choose, job or family, which one would you give up? You have to know that going into this negotiation so that you don't compromise on your needs or push for demands that aren't really important to you truly.
[00:22:28] Second, I would really make sure that you want to work at this company. I know it's an interesting opportunity. I know you have the experience. It's flattering to be wanted by this company, but based on what you've described and we trimmed down the letter quite a bit. I know Gabriel, there was more about this, right? The company that she used to work for, the one being acquired, is just a total hot mess.
[00:22:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:22:49] Jordan Harbinger: It nearly went bankrupt a few times, super toxic work environment. So you had to get away from that to figure out what you wanted in life. And hopefully, all of that will change with the new owners, maybe even because of you. But I would really take some time to figure out if you want to take all of that on with a young family or a new family. There's zero shame in walking away from a dysfunctional workplace, a hot mess of a company, especially if it can't be changed or if it's going to be just pushing boulders uphill the whole time. But if you decide that you do want to take the challenge on and I admire your confidence and conviction, it's awesome. I'd still have a good long think about this. So you really know what you are getting into.
[00:23:27] A big part of your new job will be working to fix the dysfunction that you left before. And you can't really fix dysfunction without being super clear about why it's happening in the first place. You're going to have to fire certain people probably. You might have to switch people's roles up, switch up their responsibilities, take work away from people that want it, give work to people that don't want it. You might have to rewrite processes. You might have to create a whole new culture at this place. All while keeping your new bosses happy. And those things are not easy for anyone. So just to make sure that you really have a good grasp on what it'll take to succeed in this new role. And if this is a challenge worth taking on, especially if you're going to be doing all that, while you're also starting a family. I'm not trying to scare you away here. I promise. I just want you to go in there with eyes wide open.
[00:24:13] Gabe, what if she decides to move forward with this after all and we haven't scared her away here?
[00:24:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Then I would be extremely clear and upfront with these guys about what your needs are, what your expectations are. I know that's a daunting conversation to have, and it sucks that you might have to educate these guys a little bit about what a working mom really needs to make this all work properly, but you know, it is what it is. So I would ask yourself a few questions to prepare: how soon might you be starting a family? What do you need to be able to start a family and crush it in this new role? Do you need flexible hours? Do you need to be able to, I don't know, step out for doctor's appointments, for example? Do you need to be able to work from home a couple of days a week, or do you need a certain amount of maternity leave when the baby comes? Do you need to have hiring power to make sure that your team can function without you while you're gone? Do you need a certain salary or incentives or health benefits? All that stuff I think is probably on your mind.
[00:25:03] I would be very specific here, so you know exactly what to bring up in this negotiation. Because if you soft pedal any of this, if you kind of speak around what you need in vague terms like, "Oh, you know, I just would really appreciate it if I could have a little flexibility as I navigate—" You know, if you start talking about it like that, I think, that's where some of the wires can get crossed. Or if you hold back on what you need because you're afraid of scaring these executives off, which it sounds like that might've been a little bit what was happening before, then you're almost certainly going to run into problems later. So you don't want them to turn around in six months and go, "Wait a second. You didn't say you would be pregnant, this is quickly. Now, you need four months off and you need extra budget to train people while you're gone. That's not what we discussed." You know, you can avoid all of that just by being extremely specific and direct about what you expect right now. The fact that they're dudes and workaholics on top of it. You're right. It's going to take some extra effort to really make them understand what you need and why it's important.
[00:25:54] And by the way, we also consulted with Michelle Lederman on your question, she's an executive coach and the author of The Connector's Advantage. We'll link to that in the show notes, a great book. She pointed out that you have nothing to lose really by negotiating for the flexibility that you want. And just letting these guys know how that flexibility also benefits them. You know, if you're willing to walk away from this offer anyway, getting agreement in advance on what you need, we'll make sure everybody's on the same page. You will feel a lot less stress and won't question your decision, if you do go that direction. Plus, you know, you'll have their full attention before you start working there and you have one foot out the door waiting for the other shoe to drop something like that.
[00:26:28] Michelle's other piece of advice, which I thought was good, is to try to be as objective as possible in this conversation with them, even though it's really difficult to park your emotions at the door when it comes to stuff like this. Keep it clear, keep it profesh. Try not to let your feelings about starting a family creep too much into the negotiation even though we know that they're obviously, they're a big part of this whole conversation. And after that, then you can weigh their offer and see if it works for you. If you get most of it, what you want here, then this could be the right offer for you and you can take it without worrying at all. Look, another option is you don't even take the role itself, right? You could just act as a consultant maybe somehow, and maybe that's how you get the flexibility you need.
[00:27:02] But if these guys won't give you what you ask for, or you feel uneasy about what it is that they're promising, then I would take a huge step back and reconsider. You know, the last thing you want to do is set yourself up to fail or disappoint them by being willing to take an offer that just doesn't work for you. And of course, you should be weighing all of this against the usual factors that play in any discussion about job stuff, money, hours, job description, how you get along with these guys. If you like them, if you respect them, if you guys have a good working relationship, all of that. And if you don't feel good about any of those pieces, then just listen to that instinct and either push for more, push for what you need or just walk away.
[00:27:35] Jordan Harbinger: That's a lot to think about it, I know. I really, I almost feel bad cause we're like, here's the kitchen sink, but this is a super important decision because what you don't want to happen is to back out and then feel horrible about it because you didn't honor the offer they gave you or even worse, put your family plans on the back burner. "Just for a couple more months, because we're just right around the corner of closing this thing up." And then four years, three years later, you're like, "Wow, I really wasted a lot of time doing this." And maybe it didn't even succeed.
[00:28:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:28:07] Jordan Harbinger: And if it did, was it worth it? Right? So this is stuff women have to think about that men generally don't. And I recognize how complicated it can be. But you're asking all of the right questions and it sounds like you have a good grasp of what is important to you. And if you're as honest with these guys, as you are with yourself about what really matters to you, then I don't think you're going to go wrong, so good luck
[00:28:31] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:28:36] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help online counseling. The new year is a great time for a mental health check in. You all know I'm a huge fan of therapy. I'm a fan of preventative therapy, right? So maintaining sanity, just like a car, maintaining it is easier than fixing it when there's a problem. So maintain that sanity. A little preventative measures here. Better Help offers online licensed professional therapists who are trained to listen and help. If you're doing that seasonal depression thing, if tasks seem overwhelming, that's a good sign. You need to talk it out with somebody. There's no shame in asking for help at all. Finding a therapist — honestly, the biggest thing for me is like, "Ugh, now I got to look in the phone book. What am I going to do? Do I Google?" It's annoying. It's time-consuming. With Better Help, fill out a questionnaire. They'll assess your needs. They'll match you with a counselor in under 48 hours. Schedule video, phone sessions. Everything's confidential, everything's remote. No drive and no parking. It's just a great way to start off the year. Make sure you get a clean mental slate.
[00:29:34] Jen Harbinger: Better Help is a convenient and affordable option. And our listeners get 10 percent off your first month with the discount code JORDAN. Get started today at betterhelp.com /jordan. There's no shame in asking for help.
[00:29:47] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by HostGator. Believe me, I used to be one of those people who thought nobody looked at websites anymore. And as soon as they just went straight to social media profiles, as well. Guess what? I was wrong. A recent study shows that 63 percent of consumers still use websites to find new businesses. And 30 percent of consumers won't even consider a business if they don't have a website. So what's stopping you from building yours. Too much work, too expensive, don't know how to go about it, wrong again. HostGator has plans that start at $2.64 cents a month, which is oddly specific. Let's be honest, that's cheaper than some parking meters. HostGator is also giving you all up to 62 percent off all packages for new users with a 45-day complete money-back guarantee. They've got over a hundred mobile templates to choose from and 24/7 365 support. So you're never going to be at a loss when it comes to the most important promotional tool that your business needs. It's time to make it official. Go to hostgator.com/jordan right now to get started, hostgator.com/jordan.
[00:30:46] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us going. Who doesn't love some good products and/or services? You can always visit jordanharbinger.com/deals for all the details on everybody that helps support the show. And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:31:04] All right, what's next?
[00:31:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, there Jabe! That's the celebrity couple name I just gave you guys.
[00:31:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I mean, it's creative.
[00:31:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: I like it.
[00:31:12] Jordan Harbinger: All right.
[00:31:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: I need advice on how a financially smart person should cohabitate. I'm a 36-year-old woman and my 34 year old boyfriend of less than a year has asked me to move in with him. We've known each other for two years. So it isn't a new relationship. He and I are both successful entrepreneurs. We haven't shown each other, our finances, but I estimate that he has a net worth of, well over $1 million. I have a net worth in the low six figures. We plan on getting married one day. At which point, I think it makes sense to see a financial planner and a lawyer to figure out prenup assets, all of that. But what do you suggest we do now in regards to sharing rent expenses, stuff like that? His rent for example is four times what I'm used to paying for my rent stabilized apartment. Do you think I should keep it until we're married or should I let it go? Also as a self-employed freelancer, I'm used to itemizing expenses for tax purposes, and I want to make sure that we split things fairly while keeping things advantageous for me, tax wise. To be honest, I've always played it safe when it comes to relationships, which has caused me to be single for a long time. And I don't want fear to paralyze me from moving forward with a man I love. However, I also want to be smart. How would you handle this? Signed, Protecting My Ass-Sets.
[00:32:20] Jordan Harbinger: It's only a matter of time until we use words like that. All right. Now, this is an interesting question and it's not just about money. It's really about feelings and life stages. I hear you — that you don't want to hold yourself back from building a life with this guy. And it sounds like you guys are serious and mean a lot to each other. I admire that, of course, but I also admire that you want to be smart as you start to merge your lives together, especially when you're a little bit older, like in your 30s. It just gets more complicated than when you're 23 and you don't have anything, right? You own like a cot somewhere.
[00:32:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Who's going to split the cot when we break up?
[00:32:54] Jordan Harbinger: Right, like, "Ugh, we'll throw it. Give it to goodwill and sleep in the same—"
[00:32:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: "We'll post it and let go and split the 20 bucks we got from this."
[00:32:59] Jordan Harbinger: Right, exactly.
[00:33:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:33:00] Jordan Harbinger: So like we usually don't take personal finance questions on the show because A, we're not financial gurus by any means. And B, money decisions are very personal. So I really can't tell you whether you should sublet your apartment for a while or write off your Adobe subscription and your Metro card, and your taxes. There are probably advantages to splitting things in a way that reduces your tax burden. And there are probably advantages to combining all your assets and just not worrying so much about pinching pennies here and there. That's something you can figure out by reading personal finance books, reading up on blogs, talking to your accountant primarily.
[00:33:34] As far as dollars and cents are concerned, an accountant is probably going to be your best resource here. I would find a good one who's willing to talk to you about bigger picture things, not just like subtracting line 57 from line 55 on your tax return and calling it a day, like a lot of accountants do. I've actually got a great accounting firm. I can refer to you guys it's for business and personal. They specialize in small businesses. They do great with our business and other businesses that I know. So let me know privately, if anyone wants an introduction there, but it's not for just your personal stuff. If you own a business, reach out to me if you need an accountant. I'm happy to refer.
[00:34:06] What I can weigh in on though, are the values underlying these decisions. Because that's what a lot of conversations about money really come down to you and your boyfriend's priorities, what the money means to you, and how it's going to play out in the relationship. For example, how important is saving money to you guys? If you do want to save, what are you saving for? Is it a house? Is it a rainy day fund? Is it the nest egg? Do you guys want to spend your money on things or on experiences or keep it for security? Do you want to discuss all major expenses together or do you want to just let each other make those calls for yourselves? Do you want to live in a huge place or is having a nice apartment just not that important to you? Are you guys even comfortable talking about money? A lot of people aren't or is it a little contentious, maybe it's a little awkward. If it is awkward, then why? What is your relationship to money been like for most of your lives, for each of you?
[00:34:59] It sounds like you guys have done pretty well for yourselves, which is great. I love hearing that. So is having that money exciting or is it more a source of anxiety? Gabe—
[00:35:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:35:07] Jordan Harbinger: We all have dumb money stories. I know you sort of mentioned something offline. I'd love to hear about it.
[00:35:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh man, yeah. This is just a reminder. I mean, you're getting at the values thing, which is so key. It just reminds me — this is so funny. I haven't thought about this a long time, but like many, many years ago, I dated a girl briefly who happened to be — she was in debt, not like crazy, like going to swallow me and I have to like disappear one-day debt, but like, you know, enough to be kind of an ongoing issue. And weirdly, she kept just like spending money on weird things. And I remember one day she went out to run some errands and she came home with this like entire box of 24 pressed juices. Do you know pressed juice?
[00:35:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, pressed juices, those like where you roll in because you're thirsty. And you're like, "How did I spend $11 on a glass of juice?"
[00:35:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly, yeah. The ones that are like $9 a pop — I was just like baffled when she came in and started putting them away in the fridge. And I remember just thinking like on top of being a huge waste of money, it was also super annoying because they're fresh right there. They're not pasteurized. So you have to drink all of them within like three days. So I don't know, man, I spent the whole weekend basically stress chugging, apple, ginger lemon, cayenne juice. And I remember there was still some leftover that went bad at the end of it. So I was like, "Why are you buying, two dozen turmeric almond milks when the space bar on your freaking laptop doesn't work? Like, where are the priorities here?" You know what I mean? Like we got to get that in check. It was just one of those flashpoints in a relationship where you're just like, "I don't think I can be with someone like this "
[00:36:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, like this person is terrible. Like bro, with $200 on juice, what?
[00:36:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:36:39] Jordan Harbinger: What? Juice that you have to drink in three days. You buy those — whenever I go in that place, right? I'm like, "Oh, who buys a dozen or two dozen juices." And they're always like, "We have a special," because they always have specials when you walk in there. And it's like this silly ass — look, the juice is tasty. I'll give them that, right?
[00:36:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: They know what they know what they're doing with the juices.
[00:36:58] Jordan Harbinger: But there's like this juice fast thing that, of course, like trendy, California, yuppie people are doing so you go in there and you buy like a box of 10 juices and it's like this two-day juice fast. And all you do is drink these juices. So did she just not eat that weekend? She just only drank juice. Is that what she just decided to do?
[00:37:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dude, if it were a juice cleanse, at least I could wrap my head around why we were dropping so much money on it. Like it wasn't even a juice cleanse. It was just like, "Hey, these seemed fun. Like, wouldn't this be a nice treat?' It's like, "No, it would not be a nice treat." Not only am I stressing on behalf of your financial future, but I'm sitting here like drinking the vanilla almond milk that I don't really want for the next four days. Like it was just problem on top of problem, but really it just—
[00:37:37] Jordan Harbinger: Every time you take a piss, you're just like, this is so expensive and such a waste.
[00:37:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, I'm just not there in my life yet. Like, hopefully, one day I'll just be dropping C-notes on pressed juice, like it's nobody's business, but like—
[00:37:48] Jordan Harbinger: It's like, "Are you thirsty?" Open the fridge and it's full of pressed juices, fresh from that morning,
[00:37:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: "Celery juice for you. Green's number two for you." But yeah, I mean, that's exactly what Jordan's getting at. You know, those are the types of questions that I would be asking each other right now. And I would do that before you move in together, I would be extremely open with each other about all of this. Unlike the girl that I dated back then where I just looked the other way and pretend that that never happened. And then we broke up eight weeks later, which is still probably way too long. Now that I think about it.
[00:38:16] Jordan Harbinger: Eight weeks, it's a lot of juice. Yeah.
[00:38:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: But I would talk about all that and anything else that comes up along the way because, sure, whether you write off your apartment as a freelancer or whether your boyfriend keeps paying most of the rent and you chip in, that stuff, it matters on a practical level. But what really matters and what will determine a lot about your relationship is how you guys think and feel about your money overall especially if you end up getting married. Because if your values are wildly out of sync on the big picture stuff, like if he spends recklessly and you hoard your money, or he wants to spend his money on, I don't know, fixer upper in the Berkshire's or something like that. And you want to use it to invest in your next startup. That's the kind of thing that could become an issue later on.
[00:38:51] And it's not like you guys need to agree 100 percent on everything right now, or you can't move in together. That's not what we're saying. But in my opinion, you guys do need to be able to have a truly honest discussion and arrive at a place that makes you feel comfortable. Even if that place is just, "Why don't we discuss every major expense together. And if we totally disagree about it, we'll just save the money instead." Or, you know, "We don't know exactly how we want to spend our money, but whatever it is. Let's make sure it's on things that contribute to our future together." And if you do have very different attitudes toward money, which happens all the time, make sure that you're in agreement on how to resolve those differences. That's 90 percent of this. I would argue just communicating with each other effectively.
[00:39:27] Jordan Harbinger: Great advice, Gabe. And the last thing I'll share is this more than anything, make sure you're not putting yourself at any unnecessary financial risk by mingling your finances. I know that you don't want to let fear stop you from moving forward here and I get that. I'm not trying to scare you at all, but being close with somebody is not incompatible with being careful also. In fact, I'd argue that having clear values and rules around money actually helps you be closer with someone. So, if you notice any red flags with your boyfriend, whether it's spending too much on unnecessary crap or racking up late payments, or getting weirdly secretive about bank balances or debts or anything like that, pay attention to those red flags and bring them up. Those are signals that you could be getting involved in a dicey situation.
[00:40:15] And also, it's just kind of good practice to say, "Hey, what's up with this? Hey, do you know what this charge is? Hey, do you usually spend $25,000 on the credit card?" You know, those kinds of things are good to talk about them now and not be like, "I've been stewing on this for eight months." Like you with the juice, you should have said something right away. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders though, the person who wrote in. You, Gabe, I'm not so sure with your juice antics. I'm not too worried about her. I'm just confirming that you can take this next step to move in and you can look out for yourself at the same time.
[00:40:46] All right, what's next?
[00:40:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jay-Harbs, I live in a small town in Canada.
[00:40:50] Jordan Harbinger: Really? Is that what they wrote?
[00:40:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:40:52] Jordan Harbinger: That's great.
[00:40:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't make up the intros. I just make up the signed,
[00:40:55] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, I'm just checking. You never know.
[00:40:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jay-Harbs, I live in a small town in Canada and I'm friends with a family, a few towns away who in the past few weeks have started hosting freedom rallies. Some of which have drawn thousands of people. They don't want to wear masks. They don't agree with the science around COVID and they gathered to protest the pandemic lockdowns.
[00:41:14] Jordan Harbinger: And they want to infect a bunch of other people for good measure. I assume.
[00:41:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: All part of their platform.
[00:41:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yes.
[00:41:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm assuming.
[00:41:20] I'm getting worried as they are ramping up the frequency of protests and the weather is getting colder. Also, my parents live in their area. I privately messaged these people to voice my concerns. And despite having a relatively civil Canadian debate, every argument I've tried has been dismissed. I've tried scientific evidence. I've tried appealing to their Christian values. I've argued for just some reasonable caution and I've done my best to listen to their side. Should I stop trying here? Am I risking and trenching them further into their views? Or can I actually make a difference here? And finally, when all of this is over, can I really maintain a friendship with people who I view as endangering my family? Thanks for your thoughts. Signed, Social Resistancing or Social Coexistencing.
[00:42:02] Jordan Harbinger: Can I just start by saying how glad I am to hear it's not just Americans acting a fool right now. It's a huge relief, honestly, just to know that reckless idiots exist in other parts of the world, too. I'm so kidding, but not kidding also, right? Because this is basically infuriating, but I got to say, I love the very Canadian way that you tried to handle this. I'm just picturing you and these freedom rally goons debating the effectiveness of masks saying, "Oh, sorry, sorry," over and over again. As you try to explain the concept of respiratory droplets to people. To us here in the States, that kind of conversation is extremely adorable. Over here, we just yell and occasionally hit each other with our cars, but also, you know, it's not adorable since these guys are literally driving the third wave, the one that they refuse to believe exists and putting people like your parents at risk.
[00:42:49] So, yeah, totally understand why you're upset and the fact that you tried to listen to their side is even more impressive. Good for you. I don't think I would have been as patient. But that's one of the best ways to win someone over to your side, of course, is to really make an effort to understand them even when you profoundly disagree. And even when you already know you're right. In fact, I think, the Chris Voss episode, where we were talking about negotiation. We'll link to that in the show notes, Chris Voss, the FBI hostage negotiator, who now teaches negotiation. One of his major concepts is tactical empathy, where even when somebody's got a gun pointed to a bunch of innocent children, you're like, "Well, I want to hear you out. I want to hear your side of things." It's like, "Are you kidding me? Do we have a clear shot?" You know, you're talking to your radio to the sniper. Like, "Can we get him?" This type of empathy is extremely important.
[00:43:35] I don't have very high hopes of you changing their minds here, sadly. It sounds to me like these people just have no intention of backing down. If anything, yes, you're probably entrenching them further in their views by debating with them. In fact, they've probably screenshotted your Facebook messages, drop them in their freedom rally group chat like, "Look at this beta sheep, look how gullible he is. This is exactly the mind control we need to be rallying against." And then they planned a super spreader event for next weekend, right? I'm getting angry. Sorry. Sorry.
[00:44:06] So yeah, if I were you, I'd throw in the towel and trying to change their minds, you're wasting your time. They've made up their minds. Sciences for nerds. Masks are for sheeple. Safer at home is tyranny. You guys are just speaking two different languages. You do better off spending all that energy, keeping your own parents safe. And if you're not doing this already, I would come up with a set of rules for them until the vaccine arrives. Masks always. No unnecessary socializing, or even zero socializing if doable. Social distancing, sanitizing like whoa. Avoiding these overcrowded areas where these super spreader dopes might be gathering, maybe even getting groceries delivered to their house and stuff like that if stores are a risk in their area.
[00:44:46] Look, if you're younger and you're healthy, you still have something to worry about, but it's less so, but if your parents are high risk, these people are very much enhancing that risk. Unfortunately, you're going to have to focus on mom and dad staying safe. That's the bottom line. Since you can't change the people, putting them at risk, which is welcome 2021 probably.
[00:45:06] Gabe what about maintaining the friendship? You know, I hate to lose friends. I hate writing people off because of their beliefs, but that's not kind of all we're dealing with here, right?
[00:45:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I mean, that's really up to him. I find it pretty difficult to be close to people whose values are so wildly different from mine, especially when it affects other people and they just refuse to acknowledge that, I guess. But you know, you don't need to like body check them when you run into them at Safeway or whatever. But I don't know if you could be friends with people who think that getting wasted and yelling into a Bullhorn about their liberty is more important than your parent's well being. Maybe it will be easier to overlook that once everybody has the vaccine, if these people will even get the vaccine, that'll be interesting to see. Maybe write us with a little update when that happens. But the underlying attitude, I think, yeah, that'll always be there. Remember there are people dying in hospitals right now who can't breathe because of COVID and they're still thinking it's some kind of hoax, so I don't quite know how you're supposed to bridge that gap.
[00:45:56] So that's up to you, man. I think you could be civil to these people without being their BFF. There's no need to add to the animosity. What's the point? But yeah, these Plandemic tools, they're on their own thing. The most important thing right now is keeping you and your family safe in the final months. Hopefully, the final months of the panty-D. It's a sprint to the finish at this point with a vaccine coming. I hope you guys get there, okay. So stay safe.
[00:46:17] Jordan Harbinger: Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week. Go back and check out the guests from this week, Matthew McConaughey and Laura Nirider on false confessions.
[00:46:26] Do you want to know how I managed to book all these great folks for the show? I keep a lot of relationships up over time. I use systems. I use tiny habits. I use software. Check out our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free. It's got links to all of our resources. It's over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. You can't make up for lost time when it comes to relationships and networking. Even if you just start now, it's better than starting later. The number one mistake I see people make is kicking the can down the road and not digging the well before you get thirsty, so do that. It takes a few minutes a day. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. Jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:47:03] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. There's a video of this Feedback Friday episode on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram or hit me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @Gabe Mizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:47:24] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My amazing team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course Gabriel Misrahi. Keep sending in those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. And our advice and opinions and those of our guests are always their own. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. If you found this episode useful, please do share it with somebody who can use the advice that we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:48:06] We've got a trailer of our interview with Eric Schmidt, former chairman of Google. He tells us why the government shouldn't have their claws in a free and open Internet and what form privacy might take in the age of tech mega corporations. This is a rare chance to hear from somebody at the top of one of the largest tech behemoths on the planet. Check out episode 201 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:48:27] I heard that you actually got to Google and didn't think the company was up too much, but it was the argument that you got into with Larry and Sergey that really won you over.
[00:48:37] Eric Schmidt: You know, I heard about search engine searches don't matter too much, but fine. You know, it's always trying to say yes. So I walked into a building down the street and here's Larry and Sergey in an office and they have my bio projected on the wall. And they proceed to grill me on what I'm doing at Novell, which they thought were a terrible idea. And I remember as I left that I hadn't had that good, an argument in years. And that's the thing that started the process.
[00:49:07] Jordan Harbinger: In a meeting once someone asked you about the dress code at Google, and I think your response was, "Well, you have to wear something."
[00:49:13] Eric Schmidt: That rule is still in place.
[00:49:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yes.
[00:49:15] Eric Schmidt: You have to actually wear something here at work. They hired super capable people. And they always wanted people who did something interesting. So if you were a salesperson, it was really good if you were also an Olympian. We hired a couple of rocket scientists. No, we weren't doing rocketry. We had a series of medical doctors who we were just impressed with, even though they weren't doing medicine. The conversations at the table were very interesting, but there really wasn't a lot of structure. And I knew I was in the right place because the potential was enormous. And I said, well, aren't they there any schedules. No, it just sort of happens.
[00:49:53] Jordan Harbinger: If you want to hear more from Eric Schmidt and learn what role AI will take in our lives and how ideas are fostered inside a corporate beast like Google, check out episode 201 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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