You know that your father, who has a history of cheating on your mother, is currently having an affair with a family “friend.” How should you deal with your cheating dad in a way that won’t destroy what little cohesion your family has left? We’ll tackle this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- You know that your father, who has a history of cheating on your mother, is currently having an affair with a family “friend.” How should you deal with your cheating dad in a way that won’t destroy what little cohesion your family has left?
- How can you keep growing your side hustle that has thrived during quarantine while convincing your unreasonable full-time boss that both of you would be happiest if you took a part-time consulting role so you don’t lose your stake in the company?
- You find your workshop job well-paying and satisfying, but it takes its toll on your body — as evidenced by your older coworkers. How can you secure an office job at your company to avoid the same fate?
- You’ve developed skills for finding and acting on opportunities that you’d like to share with others, but potential mentees so far have been lacking in ambition. How can you teach them to fish when they just expect the fish to come to them?
- Life Pro Tip: If you’re a DJ, music producer, or podcast audio engineer, software can get pretty expensive. Email software companies explaining that you love their product and you want to do the right thing by legally purchasing it, but money is tight. They’re often willing to pass along deep discounts when possible.
- 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.
- And if you want to keep in touch with former co-host and JHS family Jason, find him on Twitter at @jpdef and Instagram at @JPD, and check out his other show: Grumpy Old Geeks.
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Missed our episode with Daniel Pink in which we discussed the psychology, biology, and economics behind scheduling for optimal effect (including sleep) — and why your ideal time to get something done may widely differ from someone else’s? Catch up with episode 63: Daniel Pink | When Is the Best Time to Get Things Done?
Resources from This Episode:
- Randolph Nesse | Good Reasons for Bad Feelings | TJHS 377
- Steven Johnson | How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most | TJHS 378
- The Best Judd Apatow Movies, Ranked | Vulture
- White Claw Hard Seltzer
- Isaac Asimov | Wikiquote
- A Cult of Ignorance | Newsweek
- The Free Beginner’s Guide | 3D Printing Industry
- 6-Minute Networking | Jordan Harbinger
- DJ Freccero | Twitter
Transcript of How to Deal with a Cheating Dad | Feedback Friday (Episode 379)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:003] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant people and turn their wisdom into practical advice you can use to impact your own life and those around you. I 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, make sense of what's really happening, sometimes even in your own brain.
[00:00:32] And if you're new to this show on Fridays, we give advice to you and we answer listener questions. That's what's happening today. The rest of the week, we have long-format interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks — spies, CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers. I want to place a brick, even just one brick in the structure that makes up your life. That's what the show is about.
[00:00:53] This week, we spoke to Randolph Nesse. Why did we evolve the capacity to get sick? Why do we age? Why mental illness — why has that not been selected out by evolution? If you like evolutionary psychology, this is going to be right up your alley. I love this conversation. And we had Steven Johnson on the process of making good decisions — systems, techniques for making better decisions. And some fascinating science on how our brains actually process decisions, what our brain is doing when we are making a decision. So we had some great guests this week.
[00:01:25] I know we might sound acoustically — a little different. I moved, I moved, I live with my brother-in-law temporarily, which is kind of funny. You don't think you're going to move in with family at age 40, but we're building a house next door.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:01:37] There's a Judd Apatow movie. It's somewhere in there.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:40] There is a Judd Apatow movie somewhere in there.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:01:43] You and your wife and your young baby have to move in with your single bachelor brother-in-law. What's going to happen?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:48] That is literally the case. Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:01:51] That's hilarious.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:51] That's exactly what's going on. And it's fun because it's like — it will be like 9:30 and I'm all, "Ooh, it's past my bedtime." And he's like, "Yeah, cool. I'm going to order dinner. And then we're going to watch a movie and then we're going to play video games." And the next day he's up and I'm up at the same time. And I'm like, "What time did you go to bed?" And he's like, "I don't know, like three, 3:30." A girl walks out and I'm like, "When the hell did you get here? When the hell did you arrive?" "Like, 1:30." What is going on? What did I do?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:21] You just pitched every mid-season episode of every network comedy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:25] Starring Charlie Sheen, Jordan —
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:29] And then that little like chime as like the person walks down the hallway and does the walk of shame —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:35] Pretty much, pretty much.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:37] Right. "Focus on Jordan." "Who's that?"
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:41] Yeah, quizzical look. "Ah, Jordan, take that quizzical look again and turn your head completely around."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:46] I would watch that show with subtitles on.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:49] You would have to.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:52] I would have to and I'd want to. It would be my choice.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:53] I'm exhausted from the move. I'm literally like these closed doors behind me. If you're watching this YouTube or just wall-to-wall, it's a bathroom filled with boxes that have been in it. And it's a closet filled with boxes that have like jackets and stuff. And I was just like, "Oh yeah, got to do a show." So I was kind of, not in the mood to do a recording, but then I a white claw to the rescue.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:15] So is that what you have in a Tervis?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:17] And this coffee mug.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:19] What do you call that? Like a tumbler? Is that a tumbler?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:20] This is a tumbler?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:21] No, that's a tumbler filled with — nice, so classy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:26] Yeah, I got my drink on.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:27] I mean, it's better than putting it in Jordan's baby bottle and sipping from it in the middle of the episode.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:31] Jayden's baby bottle? Yeah, that would be weird. That'd be weird. Getting quaranturnt.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:36] Getting quaranturnt.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:38] Oh yeah, by the way, you can reach us — should you still trust us to answer questions about your life? You can reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org. And I wanted to pull a quote. That I found earlier this week, Isaac Asimov, the science fiction writer nailed this. This is 1980. He said, "There was a cult of ignorance in the United States. And there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread, winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion. That democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." And I think it's safe to say that we haven't solved this problem, and it's probably gotten a lot worse since 1980, Gabriel.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:19] That quote has aged well.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:22] Yes.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:23] That quote, I feel like it pops up on social media every three to five years and it feels like it was written last week. It's never been more relevant.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:31] Yeah. Except it's written by somebody when possibly before I was born, depends on when in 1980.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:36] That's true. I guess that he's a good sci-fi writer because he saw some stuff coming.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:41] Yeah. He's like this definitely not going to get any better anytime soon, which is a little sad. By the way, just a quick announcement here, all of our transcripts of all of our back catalog log and current episodes of The Jordan Harbinger Show are searchable now on the website. So we've human-made transcripts, none of this machine garbage. They're all on the site, they're all searchable using the main search. So, if you want to know the one guy who said the one thing that one time you can go to jordanharbinger.com, you click the search bar, the little magnifying glass — you search right there, it will show you what show it's in. You go down, expand the transcript and you can control F in that transcript. And it will find every instance of whatever words you're looking for. So I thought that would be useful. We spent a lot of time doing this. I think it took all of 2020 up until now and a lot of 2019 Q4, we had transcriptionist going through all of these transcripts — all of these, I mean, hundreds of old episodes, hundreds of hours, and going through and labeling the speakers and checking everything and then saying, "Hey, what's this word, this guy said?" And then Bob Fogarty, our show notes writer, had to listen and go. "I think he said Namsan, which is spelled this way." And the core Filipino transcriptionists are like, "How is that do you know what I am saying?" Well, don't even —
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:02] Don't even go there. This transcript tool is so good. It is not only so accurate, but it's so user friendly and I love that you timestamped each moment because then you can go to the episode, listen to that section if you want to, and hear how it was said.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:14] That's right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:15] Or you can just read it if you prefer to read things or check back on them. I've used — I'm looking at it right now, it's beautiful. I love this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:22] It took a lot. And we were kind of like, is there going to be ROI on this? And I thought, you know, in the future, they're probably going to have machine searchable transcripts of every bit of audio, but it's going to be kind of crap for like five years.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:34] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:34] So why don't we just do it now? And then that way people who are disabled in some way can look for it or people who are just going to not listen to 17 hours of audio to find somebody talking about that one thing can just search the site and boom, it's done. People can find our promo codes easier from old stuff, although that's all on the slash-deals email@example.com/deals. We appreciate it when you use those. This was a big project, really proud to have it done. It just got done today, so that's the big news around here.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:02] I'm just happy that in 23 years from now, somebody is going to be able to see that we use the word quaranturnt.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:07] Quaranturnt.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:08] They're going to be like, "Is that word that they — they went with quaranturnt. Okay. Cool."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:12] They'll be like, "Oh, that's funny. There were more than 12 humans back then."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:15] Dude, then they're going to have to go on Urban Dictionary to understand what we were saying in the past.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:21] Oh my gosh. I won't go too far down this rabbit hole, but some of the transcript stuff was really a riot because we had like Freeway Rick Ross episode in there and Dennis Rodman episode in there. And the transcriptionist was just like, "I really don't know if I can do anything in this episode."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:07:41] Amazing. So what'd you do? You went back to the episode and listened to it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:43] We went back and she just highlighted everything she didn't understand. It took like a long time to correct because there was a lot there — where even if you're sitting in front of him unless you can understand some of the dialect and mumbling and stuff like Dennis Rodman was doing. I mean, it wasn't easy in real-time when I was conducting the interview, let alone when English is your second language and you're hearing it without any visual cues at all. So, yeah, I'm harping on this because it was kind of a feat to get all of this done in the time that we did.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:14] I'm so happy that you did it.
Jordan Harbinger: [ 00:08:15] Yeah. Millie, our transcriptionist, deserves a major pat on the back, Jen who orchestrated the whole thing, and Bob who checked all the words that nobody knew. He listened to the audio and found out what they were. A lot of funny moments in there.
[00:08:26] Anyway, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:29] Okay. Hey, Jordan and team. Back when I was a teenager, my mother and sister found out that my father was having a secret affair with multiple women. This devastated my family. We felt hurt and angry and lost our trust in him. Eventually, it all came to an explosive altercation the night we confronted my dad by showing him the text and call history we had as evidence. I even got physical and threw punches at him. He didn't stay at the house for a bit, but he eventually did come back home. I think we just came to the conclusion to move on from this and that he was going to stop what he was doing. Fast forward to today, I'm in my mid-20s now when my unfortunate suspicions these past few months came true while I was doing errands in town, I saw my dad driving the car with one of the women he had an affair with who is an extended family friend. I'm once again upset to see that nothing has changed. Now, I'm at a loss as to how to handle this. I live at home with my family while working a full-time job. I feel like it's not right for my dad to keep this affair going, spending time and resources on this other woman and acting like it's okay for him to come back home to my mom. My father also gets verbally abusive with my mom. And I'd sadly say that he is an alcoholic. I don't just want to get angry and yell at my dad because I know that won't resolve anything, but I don't approve of what my dad is doing. And I feel deeply ashamed that this is still happening after almost 10 years. Any advice on how I should handle this rough situation. Do I need therapy? Part of me is afraid that if I do talk about this with my dad, my old feelings of anger might come up and make things worse. And I honestly think it'll be hard to persuade my parents to handle this in couple's therapy. Thanks for everything. Stuck in the Middle With Them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:00] Well, I'm certainly sorry to hear that you are going through this. Oh, that must be infuriating. I know that people don't like, you know, physical violence and it's never the answer, but I think I would just lay my dad out if he was having an affair. I totally understand the urge to be super pissed off about that. I do want to say though — and I'm not defending dad by any stretch — it sounds like his life is a mess, dad's life. This guy's life is a disaster. He's deeply unhappy. His problems go deep. They run years back there. I mean, if you're having an affair in 1990 and you get caught having an affair in 2020, I mean, the odds that you were totally cool and clean for the 30 years in between, I just don't know what the odds of that are, candidly. I would ask, what do you think your mom wants to happen here? Because stuck in the middle with them, he doesn't deserve this pressure. This is his dad's decision. His dad's creation. You dear writer, you are not under any obligation to keep your dad's toxic secret. It's going to cause you stress. The type of stress that this is going to cause leads to depression and anxiety in extreme doses. I would talk to a therapist if you want. That will help blow off some steam, but the root cause has to be addressed. You know, when you go to a therapist, they're not just like, "Oh yeah, you have this terrible thing going on in your life. Have you tried swimming and walking outside?" They're going to be like, "Oh, let's address this root cause." But the root cause here is your dad's infidelity and the secret that you have. So you can't address that because it's not your freaking problem. It's not your problem that you have created. You're around it. He created it for you. So the solution is kind of like, "Get away from it."
[00:11:49] You got to figure out what your mom wants because she probably knows. I don't know. It's hard to say, but if this is going on over and over and over, she might be willfully ignorant, but she probably knows. I don't think there's a need to confront your dad if you don't want to. But if I were you, I would tell your mom first, ask her how she wants to handle it. I would also wonder, can this guy get support from his sibling? This is just a burden that he shouldn't have to bear. It's not his burden in the first place. Now, he's dealing with it alone and sort of bottling it up. And he's like, "Do I rat on my dad?" I mean, ugh, what an unfair situation to put your kid in.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:12:29] So unfair. Yeah. Well, it sounds to me like, he's actually, it isn't his burden, but he's carrying weight in a way for both of his parents. He's carrying the dad's secret for the moment anyway. And he's carrying the emotional impact that his mom is going to feel or has felt in the past. It sounds to me like he cares about her a lot and she seems like the victim, but there's some stuff going on here with mom as well, which is definitely her domain. If she's putting up with the verbal abuse, she's putting up with the infidelity or she doesn't know about this latest round of it, but you know that's her choice. And I wouldn't be surprised if you had some feelings about that a little bit too. So how do you handle this rough situation? I think you got to decide if you want to stay completely out of it or if you want to help your parents resolve this, knowing that it is not your job, ultimately, to help them fix their marriage. But if you are close with them and you're living at home, it's really hard for you to separate from them. And if you're close with them and you care about them, which I get the vibe that you do, then it is something you could help them do, but you're only going to be able to do that up into a point. The real work of the marriage is going to be up to them.
[00:13:29] If you do talk to your dad — Jordan, tell me if you agree. If he talks to his dad, I would focus on how you see your dad's decisions affecting you guys as a family, as opposed to, "What you've done is wrong and I hate you for it." Because he might not fully understand that right now. It might help him make up his mind and understand why his choices are having such a big impact on you guys as a family. And by the way, with your mom — that said, know that your parents are their own people running their own lives. So if your dad wants to continue drinking and having affairs, that's his choice. If your mom wants to continue to put up with it, that's her choice. So you can help them process their feelings. You can help them maybe understand your feelings, but you can't change them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:05] I agree with that. I think his dad's really throwing away his relationship with his kid, which is such a shame. And his dad is chasing demons, man. You know, if he is — or running away from demons — if he's drinking and he's having — like this escapist behavior. "I'm going to drink, I'm going to go have a fling. I'm going to run around the town." Like he knows that he screwed up his life most likely, and he just doesn't know maybe what else to do.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:14:34] Or who knows what else he's going through. I mean, you know, there could be a blow to his ego. He might be struggling at work or he might feel a certain way about his position in the family. And he's looking for validation or a little boost to his ego or something outside of the family, like that's also possible. Hey, what do you make of this section where he talks about, "Part of me is afraid that if I do talk about this with my dad, my old feelings of anger might come up and make things worse." I thought that was really telling.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:58] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:14:59] Because to me, that sounds like that's part of the damage that your dad and maybe your whole family has done — I don't mean to point fingers. I'm just being real. Like you're afraid to be angry at him, despite the fact that you have evidence that he's doing this all over again. You're afraid of your own experience. So if you talk to him, I wonder what would be so scary about getting angry? I mean, you certainly have a right to be, so I think that would be something very fruitful to explore with a therapist.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:22] I think he's probably also afraid that now that he's older, he's going to light his dad up big time.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:15:26] Hurt his dad, maybe.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:28] Yeah. Because if you're 15 and you're like, "Dad, I hate you and you start punching him." Okay. But when you're 30 and you do it — you know, it depends on how big you were 15, but I guarantee you're stronger now and your dad's weaker than you now at this age, maybe that's what he's afraid of. He might also — well, I was going to say, say something he regrets, but unlikely. I mean, what can you say that isn't true to your experience that the other person doesn't deserve at that point?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:15:53] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:53] Right. It doesn't make — not a whole lot, not a whole lot.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:15:56] I feel bad. I mean, it's so hard, you know, parents have their own drama with their relationship. But when you have children, it reverberates with your kids. And I've talked to other people who are in your shoes, the exact same situation. One parent is having an affair. They know about it. They know about it before the mother does. And they've said how sad and destructive this kind of situation is. Especially for you, you haven't separated from your parents. You still live at home, which is a whole other topic. I'm not judging you for it. I'm just saying that that makes this whole dynamic a lot trickier because you're involved with this family — in a way that you might not be if you moved away or had your own place or whatever. So I think at some point you're probably going to have to draw that line on your own, but you also don't want to abandon your family. So I think, give them a shot, see how receptive they are to your attempt to help them, and then if they don't want it, or if they're not interested or they just need to work it out on their own, then you have to let them, and you got to separate emotionally, internally, you got to separate inside yourself to make sure that this doesn't spill over into your life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:51] Yeah, I think that's very good advice. I do think the boundary is the key. A lot of people are determined to screw their life up. My mom kind of learned this hard way. She raised her little brothers because her parents were kind of like these enablers of all their bull crap. And then she felt bad for them for so long and they just used and took advantage of her. And it took her until she was like 60 to be like, "To hell with all of you."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:17:15] Wow.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:16] It might've even been later than that, honestly. And a lot of it was — it put a strain on their marriage because my dad, it was like, "Why are you dealing with these a-holes? You know, they're a bunch of worthless pieces of crap." She's like, "They're my brother. I don't know what to do," you know, that kind of thing. This could really suck you in and make you depressed for a decade with two parents. One or two parents that don't care enough about themselves to handle their own crap. The last thing I would want is for you to get sucked into it. And the last thing you should want for yourself is to get sucked into it honestly. It's just not worth it. You could go to an early grave worrying about other people that don't even want to solve their problems, period.
[00:17:55] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:12] This episode is also sponsored by Current. If you're tired of being mistreated by your old bank, which I was, I actually — they told me to go to the bathroom at Burger King instead of using the bathroom in the bank. So I closed all of my bank accounts. I won't name the bank, but, yeah, ridiculous. If you're getting hit with hidden fees, minimum balance fees, overdraft fees, checkout Current, which is a mobile bank with a visa debit card. It gets you paid up to two days faster. And you can overdraft up to a hundred bucks with no hidden fees. So if you get paid on Fridays, normally you switch your direct deposit over to current, you get paid on Wednesday, two days faster. And if you overdraft by up to a hundred bucks, you don't get a bunch of fees. You can use over 55,000 free ATMs with current, you can do as it checks with the camera, just like you would expect from a 21st-century bank. And it's not a prepaid card. So it works with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Cash App, Venmo. It's a real bank account. Current notifies when you spend, it lets you pause everything directly in the app. It takes two minutes to sign up. They'll ship you a card. Download Current in the App Store or go to current.com right now. The first 10 people who use my code JORDAN to sign up will get 10 bucks.
[00:20:15] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:20:20] All right, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:20:21] Hey, Jordan. I'm a 50-year-old director of a printing company with eight-staff members. I've worked here for 20 years and I have a 10 percent stake in the business. The majority of our staff were furloughed back in March and our sales are third of what they used to be. My income has fallen by 50 percent and my partner has been made redundant from her company. We have three children and a hefty mortgage to support, but I haven't just been sitting on my hands during this time, instead of steadily building up a 3D printing business from my garage that I've been operating in my spare time for the past 12 months. Since the lockdown, orders have gone crazy and my income from this business has outpaced the income from my job.
[00:20:56] Nicely done, dude.
[00:20:57] My boss at the printing company is starting to make noises about everyone coming back to the office. However, the thought of returning to a three-hour daily commute into the city on public transport isn't something I want to go back to. I enjoy working from home and seeing my family every day, but I don't want to make the mistake of losing my print job and my 10 percent stake in the hope that my 3D printing business will continue to thrive. Sales may decline when my customers also return to work. The worst-case scenario, I lose my job and the 3D printing business sales decline. Best-case scenario is I keep my job but as a consultant and work only a couple of days a week from home and continue to build a 3D printing business. What would you do? And how would you broach this request with your boss? By the way, he's pretty unreasonable at the best of times. All the best, Sizing Up My Side Hustle.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:41] I don't like the sound of my boss is pretty unreasonable at the best of times. That's not good.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:47] Yeah, no wonder he doesn't want to go back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:49] No kidding.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:50] He has a three-hour commute and there's a guy waiting for him who's going to be on his back and be unreasonable all the time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:53] Yeah. "Hey, I'm not going to listen to good ideas because I'm an a-hole. Also, yeah, drive to Arkansas to go to work. No, thanks." So let's dispense first with the so-called stake in the company. We can't get answers in real-time here, but I would ask what kind of stake. Because there's a lot of people I know that think they own shares or something. "I've got a stake in this company." If you own shares formally in a company, great. You can sell them back to the company. If the stake is just some psychic interest in the business, which you could potentially sell to another business that acquires the print shop, then that's something else and it sounds like vaporware to me. You know, if somebody offered me a stake in their business, but the person has to essentially die and then get acquired by Microsoft to get value from that. That doesn't mean any — that is worth zero.
[00:22:45] And no offense because I'm not in the print business, so I don't necessarily know what I'm talking about here. But when we talk about a print shop that is not super exciting when you have a stake in something like that. Like that's probably worth at best, a few million dollars, but probably less, especially given where printing is going right now — depending on what you print. If you add a stake in Apple, it would vest at a certain period of time and you could sell it or you could cash it out, right? You don't have a stake in a printing company that you can share to another person and the printing company. And look, if you do, you can sell it to another person, whether you leave or not, it doesn't matter. It's worth something or it's not. Okay. So you have to figure out what that is because you either have something that's worth something, or you have something that is worthless. And if it's worthless, then don't even — it's not a factor in the calculation of whether you stay or not. Does that make sense, Gabriel?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:23:37] It sounds to me like it is a real financial stake, but that he might be over-indexing how important that financial stake is in the decision. Because there's something about a stake that makes it feel permanent. Or it feels like you have something invested in this company that is above and beyond your salary or your involvement.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:52] Sure.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:23:52] And I feel like that's probably weighing on him a little bit. Yeah, totally.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:56] Look, if you've got a 10 percent stake and this is a — let's say it's worth a million dollars, which I think is decent for a print shop, I could be wrong. It could be a huge company. That's a hundred thousand dollars on a good day if you don't get diluted, by some other investor later on.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:24:11] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:11] So great, that's a hundred grand.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:24:13] But there's more to the story too. Yeah. So how does he weigh that against the commute and his own personal interest?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:18] Yeah. If you had a 10 percent stake in something that was worth 10-plus million dollars and you could retire off that stake, great. But again, when does the steak become — when does it vest? When does it become liquid? When does it become something that you can actually monetize? And it better be on paper and you better have something formal, not just like a contract that says, "You have a stake in my company at 10 percent." That's not really how that stuff works. Anyway, that's neither here nor there. That's for a lawyer to sort of look at it and say whether this is legit or not.
[00:24:49] But onto more important issues here, a three-hour commute is brutal. That is really bad. That is a huge chunk of your life wasted and/or listening to this podcast, not necessarily mutually exclusive. It doesn't seem worth it if you have a stream of side income that actually makes you more than your job. I do understand what you mean about not wanting to give up something stable for your side hustle, especially in this economy, thinking that sales might actually go down later. That is possible. Why not keep the job for a while? Bust your butt after hours and on weekends doing the 3D printing business that you're doing until you can see whether or not sales decline. Then even if sales decline or they don't, depending on your situation, you can try to negotiate with your boss about staying at home and working as a consultant. It would be good for you to go back to the office at first, though. Gabriel, you might disagree here. I think he should go back at first as sort of show-of-force. Like, "Look, I'm all in." Show your boss your head is still in the game with your regular gig. Because I feel like if he says, "All right, everybody time to come back in, let's do this," and you go, "Weh, I kind of want to work from home. I kind of like it." That to me as an employer, I would be like, "Oh, you're either doing something else. Or you just like waking up at 10:00 a.m. and like walking around the neighborhood with your dog for two hours while you're doing conference calls."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:26:11] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:11] "How much productivity am I getting out of you?" But if you come back rip-roaring, "I'm ready to go to the office every day." I'd be like, "Okay. You're an A player, you're on the team. You're ready to go." Then you can negotiate and your boss goes, "Well, you've been really productive and you work really well. I don't see any problem letting you go back home and working." And he doesn't have to know you have a side hustle. In fact, I would maybe not advertise that. He could see that as a threat, as a side hustle. And I didn't address this in the answer before when I was planning on it. You have to be very careful here. A lot of employers — I wish I could remember what this was called — but essentially it's an invention where let's say you work at a print shop and now you've got a 3D printing business, your boss could say, "That's my 3D printing business because I hired you to work at my print shop full time. You started a side hustle using your knowledge, resources, equipment, your computer, everything on company time. It's in the printing industry. That is an invention that you got as an employee of mine. Therefore it belongs to the company." And this happens a lot. You'll see people who are working at a tech company and there'll be at home tinkering with something and they'll invent, you know, "Oh my gosh, I can get this data cable to go faster and I can do this and this and this." And the company goes, "Great, we'll take it. Yeah, we're going to patent that." And you're like, "Well, no, no, no, it's mine." And they say, "No, it's not. And we're going to sue you and you're not going to get crap. We're going to give you a nice bonus. But we're not going to give you the $10 million its worth. Here's $10,000. And here's some stock options." If you're lucky, you know, as a settlement in court, before you go to trial to save on some legal fees. They might do that.
[00:27:49] But you've got to be very careful that you are making damn sure. In fact, I would document it. "I only work on this on Saturdays. I do not use company computers, resources, emails, contacts, sales leads, materials when I do this, et cetera." In fact, I would also keep it on the low. I wouldn't advertise this at all. If your 3D printing business is still hot after you get back to work, you're going to have a lot more leverage to negotiate with your boss on going home. And if it's starting to slow — the 3D printing business that is — then you can either find other work or negotiate with your boss, or just suck it up and take a three-hour commute, go in like normal. It's not going to matter as much if your boss is reasonable or not if you are the one holding the cards. So if you have another source of income that you feel is decently stable and your boss doesn't necessarily have to know about it. And you find out what your rights are with respect to the 10 percent stake in your company, then you are the one in control of your own destiny here, really. He may be unreasonable but, in my opinion, that is just another reason to negotiate more freedom or take your freedom by leaving. And if you have a stake, sell it. And if he can't sell it, then your stake doesn't mean squat because it's not worth anything.
[00:29:00] Gabe, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:29:01] Hey guys, I'm a 29-year-old tradesman from Australia who works in an engineering workshop. I'm making good money. And I like my job, but I've noticed that by the time my colleagues on the floor are in their 50s, their bodies are just getting flogged out. How can I get off the tools and upstairs into the office before my body starts to fail me too? Bleaching My Blue Collar.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:21] I really liked this question. You're thinking ahead, you're noticing what it's like for the people around you. You're trying to gain out your career. I think that's smart. I think a lot of folks don't do that and then they get a knee injury and a job where they're, I don't know, steelworkers and they're like, "Oh."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:29:34] "What do I do now?"
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:35] "I got to retrain now."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:29:36] Yeah, that's a bad situation.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:38] "We're all good. We don't need supervisors for the next three years, but you can, I don't know, learn something else. Good luck. Here's your unemployment check." So by trying to rise up in the company, you're really asking how to build on what you know, and become the right candidate for another job.
[00:29:55] The big mental shift you're going to have to make moving up and moving into corporate is how to work on the business and not in the business. In the business means working on the tools, understanding your little niche, your little sphere. Working on the business means developing skills, developing expertise beyond your role, getting to know what makes the company tick, et cetera. And I think you're in a good position to do that. I mean, you can obviously observe what everybody else is doing. Starting off at this position is great, then later manage those people because no one's going to be like, "Ah, you know, Jordan doesn't know what he's talking about. He's never had to do this." "Well, he worked in that part for 10 years. He knows your job better than you do."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:30:34] And there's nothing more annoying than a manager who tells you what to do without an understanding of the details of the business.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:38] Right. Like, "Ah, that thing you just told me to do — one, not possible. Two, we have a machine for that. And three, the way you want me to do it is illegal and unsafe."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:30:46] Exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:46] So basically go F yourself and also no.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:30:49] Yes. Totally agree. So practically, I think I would break this down into a few concrete goals or habits. First of all, I'm going to sound like parroting Jordan here, but he's dead-on. He's a hundred percent correct. I would start by developing relationships within the company and outside of the company, as much as you can. Six-Minute Networking is going to be your best friend. People write into the show constantly saying that it's a game-changer and I think it could be for you as well. The best thing you can do right now really is to get to know the guys upstairs, like get to know them, ask them what their job is about. Ask them to chart a path for you. What would they do if they were in your shoes right now, if they were trying to prepare for the desk job, what kinds of things should you be thinking about? And I would go into those conversations with a very simple agenda, be a student, be humble, be kind, be curious.
[00:31:30] People will respond to those qualities. If you demonstrate a genuine interest in educating yourself about how it works upstairs. Those are the best people. Those are the people, people want to invest in as well. And hand-in-hand with that, I think is studying the company. And I know you probably know a lot about the company already because you're in operations like you are on the ground, but studying the company in a corporate way is sort of another level to a different way of thinking. So I would put on your consultant hat. You look at the company like an outsider, trying to figure out what it's worth, break it down. How does it make money? How does it spend money? How can it grow? What's the overall industry like right now? Is it growing? Is it shrinking? You know, what are the trends? What are the strengths? What are the weaknesses? What else could your company do well beyond what it's already doing? So, you know, it's an interesting exercise to ask yourself, like, "If you were CEO tomorrow, what would you do to improve it?" And if you start asking yourself those questions, and then connect what you're learning to what you're seeing on the ground. You can start to develop a point of view. That would be super valuable if you rose up in a company or actually had a hand in some of those decisions.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:29] Of course, and you know I was going to tell you this, invest in yourself. Based on your study and conversations with people in the corporate, what do you need to know? You know, it's easy to go, "Oh man, I need an MBA and I got to go — " They might go look, man, MBA, great, yeah, whatever. We sort of hire for that. Learn basic accounting and then come in here and you'll be able to do everything that all these MBAs do because you actually did the job. You don't really need an MBA. We hire from them if they have no experience, but you have 10 years of experience working in the machine shop. You don't need that." So don't assume that you need to get papered up. They might be like, "The last thing we need is another paper pusher. We need somebody who knows how the system works and the assembly line works and the shipping works."
[00:33:13] If that's the case you're already growing, but you might need to round it out with some skills, some classes, like I said, accounting 101 whatever it is. Experiences — like, "Oh, we really need somebody who understands the shipping line," and you go, "Oh, well, I've been working in the machine shop. Maybe I should transfer to the shipping line for two or three years and get a really good idea on how that works." "Oh, supply chain. Sure. Why not? I'll be the manager of the supply chain, that kind of thing." That can really go a long way.
[00:33:40] My dad actually, he worked at a tire company. This is like in the '60s, '70s, or something like that. I don't know. He worked at a tire company and auto supplier in Detroit. He worked at a bunch of other auto suppliers, then he — and I'm going to get the chronology wrong, but it doesn't really matter. Then I think he started at Ford on the assembly line. Then he went, "Oh, I'm going to go to college and move up in the company because all the guys who went to college are the guys that are the boss's boss's boss. So he went to college. He was the first one in the family to go to college.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:34:10] So he went to college after she was already working for all this time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:14] Absolutely.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:34:15] That is very interesting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:16] He had his first years and years of experience working before he went to college.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:34:19] Wow. Very cool.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:20] He didn't necessarily know that he wanted to go to college. He wasn't like, "Oh, I'm going to go to college and make something of myself." I think he was more like, "Oh, you mean, I don't have to lift tires and assemble oil pans or whatever you do on an assembly line. I don't have to do this forever and I can make more money if I get a four-year degree from Eastern Michigan University. Great. Okay." And I'm not sure if the company paid for that or helped him out at all, but he went to college for that. I don't think he was just like — it's not like now where you just go to college after you go to high school. It was like — back when my dad graduated high school, which is insane when Boomers are like, "Kids are lazy." It's like, "Uh, no, you could afford to have your wife not work, buy a house, and have three kids and a high school diploma." Because you were making the equivalent back then if I don't know whatever it is now $30 an hour on an assembly line, the equivalent thereof, and at an age that doesn't exist anymore. So you have to do that now. So my dad just realized the writing was on the wall. I don't know if he saw that jobs are going to be outsourced, but I think he realized that he didn't want to be lifting, pushing around carts of metal car parts for 30 years. I think he saw himself as realistically not wanting or not being able to do that. And so he went to college. Yeah, he went to college to move up. He didn't go to college because he liked literature, certainly, I might add.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:35:39] So your dad actually asked himself the exact same question this guy's asking himself. Super interesting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:44] Yeah, I think so.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:35:45] It's good to know that it works that you can do this. I love that. I'll just add this something to file away for keeping it in a back pocket as you go through all this. Don't fixate too much on the end result of rising up in the corporate. I would say go do all of the things we're talking about but be open to being surprised about how many opportunities present themselves to you when you start thinking in this way. You might totally land that job in corporate that you want or you might land a job in corporate at a rival company, or you might create your own role at this company that doesn't exist yet. Or you might realize you want to go to school, or you might find somebody who wants to start a company in the same space but know all of this stuff now because you took the time to learn it. So I think if you fixate — it's great to have a goal because it gives you sort of a direction to head toward. But it's sometimes just as fun — sometimes even more fun — to think about just to be open to the other ways that your life can turn out when you start to invest in yourself. So stay open to that, anything that comes your way as you start this new journey. I love that you're thinking about this. I think it will be awesome.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:36:40] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:36:45] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help. We're in extraordinary times. If you're struggling with stress, anxiety, or depression, you are definitely not alone. Better Help offers licensed professional counselors who are trained to listen and help. And you know, what does not help anxiety, trying [00:37:00] to find a freaking therapist. The last thing you need is to have to go through with literally insane Yelp reviews to find somebody who's going to listen to you. Fill out a questionnaire, get matched with a counselor, and under 48 hours schedule video, phone, text chat with your therapist. If you don't like your counselor, get a new one, no charge. Get professional help wherever you want, wherever you are. In fact, the service has been so crazy popular, they are recruiting additional counselors in all 50 states. And our listeners get 10 percent off the first month with discount code JORDAN.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:46] This episode is also sponsored by Capterra. If you need software, you can simplify your search with Capterra. This is a website that has over a million software reviews from verified users. We use it to find new software or automation for the business. It's a free online resource to help you find the best software solution for specific needs. So you search, like 700 literally specific categories of software, everything from project management to email marketing, they have yoga studio management software. You hear from users, like I said, over a million reviews from verified users, not from the shady AI or robots or anything like that. So go and check out Capterra. It's a software search engine. Sal.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:46] After the show, we've got a preview trailer of our interview with Dan Pink on why some of us are morning people and some of us are evening people, and why science says we're more racist in the afternoon. So stay tuned for that after the close of the show.
[00:40:00] 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.
[00:40:17] All right, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:40:19] For the last 15 years, I've worked in corporate business development where I'm responsible for finding and developing new customers. I've never been an order taker. I have developed skills and outlooks on finding and developing opportunities that I'd like to share with folks that are just getting into the game. From what I've seen, there are a lot of people who are just waiting for customers to come to them, which may or may not happen. There is nothing super-secret about what I do. I just follow a very robust process. So here's the pickle. I recently tried to mentor a younger colleague, but there was no interest on their part. They just wanted the orders to come in without being proactive. I realized that there were a lot of folks that don't have the experience or available mentors. I'd like to share my experience and process with people. I don't want to give a man a fish. I want to teach them to fish. Do you have any thoughts about finding folks to mentor? Ultimately, I may scale to a consulting or coaching business, but that isn't my intention right now. Thank you in advance for your thoughts. Desperate For a Disciple.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:11] I really like this question because it shows that. First of all, not many people are that giving. Not many people go, "You know, I want to help make someone else's life better." It can readily identify with that. I think it's probably very frustrating. It's probably how adults feel when they have kids and they go, "Hey, you know, if you do this, this and this and this and this," and the kids like, "Yeah, I just don't care. I just want to — "
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:41:31] "I just got to play Fortnite. Okay, good talk. Bye."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:34] "I don't want to learn how to fish. I just want to relax and smoke weed or whatever it is." And not that all kids are like that, but I think every teenager kind of gives that vibe to their parents, whether they're whether they mean to or not. So teaching someone how to fish. Great. I think the problem here is you're trying to force them this model of mentorship on people that don't want it. Encouraging people to ask questions and things like that, it's great. This is more of a filter people in type situation or someone else to be interested in type situation.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:42:07] Yes, totally agree.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:08] It might take a hundred people before you realize that — well, let me backup. Some people just want a job. Some people don't want a career. They don't want a mentor. They think, "This isn't my forever job anyway. I'm going to get really good at, again, Fortnite. And I'm going to be a pro whatever. I'm going to have a Twitch stream and be a streamer. I'm going to be a YouTuber. This whole working at this company for a paycheck thing is lame. I'm going to go buy a product I saw on YouTube and become an entrepreneur." You get that a lot and you get other people that are just like, "Hey man, I appreciate it. But I'm paying my way through college with this. Or this is my first job here and I hate it and I can't wait to leave. I don't want to waste your time mentoring me because I can't wait to GTFO." Other people are more curious. They can be driven, you know, to open up about the job, the career, you can foster that curiosity. What do you think, Gabe? You're probably a little bit more informed here.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:43:01] I think you're dead-on, man. I mean, look rather than look for a mentee, I would see who deserves your mentorship, who expresses a real desire for it. I mean, that could be as simple as somebody who seems a little more curious about some of your advice or admires your technique and tells you, and sort of signals to you that they're ready and then you can build it from there. But as a potential mentor, you have to follow other people's cues first, then you can be the guy who teaches them how to fish. My question for you — just to scratch a few layers. Is that a phrase? Did I just invent that idiom? Scratch it a few layers.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:29] Sure, yeah. Scratch a few layers.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:43:31] Scratch the surface or peel back the layers, I think is what I was trying to say. My bigger question either way let's scratch it — my bigger question for you is why do you feel the need to mentor so strongly? Why do you want to take people under your wing? I think it's wonderful. I love it. I don't mean to psychoanalyze you. I'm just asking, the impulse is so kind on your part, but it's important to understand your motivations. Sometimes we think we just want to help people, but really we want something else. Like there's something else going on. Like we want to feel validated or we want to feel important or needed. All of which is totally normal. Maybe we couldn't get that mentorship ourselves when we were younger and we're desperately trying to recreate it with other people. Everybody's different. I would do just a little bit of introspection on your part, so you can become the best mentor you can be and make sure that you're sharing your gifts with the people who really want it and deserve it. And if you end up opening a coaching business or a consulting business down the line, and then understanding that part of yourself will be even more important.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:25] Great questions this week. We do have a Life Pro Tip from a listener. Gabriel, take it away.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:44:30] Yeah, we got a really good one from a musician who was writing about music software and how it can get super expensive. The Life Pro Tip that he was sharing is always email software companies explaining that you love their product and you want to do the right thing by legally purchasing it, but money is tight. He says, "I've found that companies can give you massive discounts. I even got up to 50-percent discount on some major software by asking that question. Especially with a lot of people's self-quarantining right now, this can be a useful trick if someone wants to get some software for their business, but can't afford the full amount. Hopefully, this helps." And that is — courtesy of DJ Freccero. Is that Forchero? How would you say that?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:04] Ah, Freccero
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:08] Aka DJ Pizza, DJ Pizza, we appreciate it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:13] Hope enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. Of course, links to the show notes are always on the website, jordanharbinger.com. That's where you can search all the transcripts as we mentioned at the top as well. Go back and check out the episodes with Randolph Nesse and Steven Johnson if you haven't yet. I think those were two pretty strong episodes. And if you're into psychology and the way your brain works, well, you're going to love those.
[00:45:33] If you want to know how we managed to book all these great folks, it's always about our network. Six-Minute Networking course is free. It's over there on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Do it now. Dig the well before you get thirsty. The drills take a few minutes a day. That's the stuff I wish I knew 20 years ago. Find it all for free at jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm on Instagram and Twitter at @JordanHarbinger. I'm on LinkedIn. A lot of people are engaging with me there. Videos of our interviews, and this show, this episode are at jordanharbinger.com/youtube.
[00:46:05] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. Thank you, Gabriel Mizrahi, for your sage advice and question curation. And of course, an amazing team, including Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, and Sal Cotching. Keep sending in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our advice, opinions are just that I'm not a shrink, I'm not a therapist, no clinical authority whatsoever. None of these are treatment recommendations, other than you should get treatment if we recommend it and probably even if we don't. I can only share what I've learned on my own with my team. And I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. Do your own research — and that is not YouTube videos — do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody who can use the advice we gave here today. Lots more in store for you, excited to bring it to you. But in the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[00:47:09] As promised, here we go with a preview of our interview with Daniel Pink.
Daniel Pink: [00:47:14] People were more likely to get parole early in the day and immediately after the judge had her break. If you came before the judge's break, you had a 10 percent chance. If you came right after the judge's break, you had about a 70 percent chance. They had two groups of jurors. Every group had the same set of facts. One person had a defendant named Robert Garner. The other person had a defendant named Roberto Garcia, but on the same set of facts. Then they had another group that deliberated in the afternoon, same deal. When jurors deliberated in the morning, they rendered the same verdict for Garner and Garcia because it's the same set of facts. But when they deliberated in the afternoon, they were more likely to exonerate Garner and convict Garcia. Racial bias increases during that time.
[00:47:57] I would love to be the kind of badass who gets up at four o'clock in the morning, works out, reads three newspapers in three different languages, and it's like at the office at 6:15 before the cleaning crew, but you know what? That's not me. So the idea that everybody can just get up earlier, it's easier said than done. It's not very sustainable.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:16] I know there's a ton of fellow entrepreneurs and just regular folks out there that have trouble getting up early and think, "Oh, I'm lazy."
Daniel Pink: [00:48:23] About 15 percent of us are very strong morning people, wasps. About 20 percent of us are very strong evening people, owls. Two-thirds of us are in between. We are in some ways walking timepieces. We have time and timing, literally imbued in our physiology
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:43] For more with Dan Pink, including how to match your schedule to your body's peak times for rest, recovery, and optimal focus, check out episode 63 here on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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