Even if you’re a minor, the life-altering consequences of being caught with child pornography shared via sexting by a fellow minor can be dire. We’ll tackle how to deal with unsolicited, underage nudes — and much 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:
- Even if you’re a minor, the life-altering consequences of being caught with child pornography shared via sexting by a fellow minor can be dire. Here’s how to deal with unsolicited, underage nudes. [Thanks to our attorney friend Corbin Payne for helping us with this one!]
- After efficiently streamlining and automating the duties of your new job — for which you got a hefty raise — you find you’re really only working 20 to 30 minutes per day. How can you come to terms with working smarter rather than harder without feeling like you’re taking unfair advantage of your company?
- Your brother has little in the way of dating experience, and is now in a relationship with a recently divorced mother of two, 11 years his senior, who can most politely be described as “mean and controlling.” How might you help him see for himself that he deserves better from a partner?
- You have a coworker who neglects aspects of her job in a way that could erode the public’s trust in your profession. You genuinely like this coworker and don’t want to destroy her life, so how can you get her to change her ways before resorting to bringing it to the boss’ attention?
- In spite of making decent enough money with the business you co-founded, you’ve never felt comfortable playing the role of entrepreneur. Where do you look for opportunities and paths when you feel stuck and have exhausted your creativity?
- 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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Miss our episode with LeVar Burton, award-winning actor of Roots, Reading Rainbow, and Star Trek: The Next Generation fame? Catch up with episode 213: LeVar Burton | Storytelling the Enemies of Education Off here!
Resources from This Episode:
- John Perkins | New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man | TJHS 416
- Dan Ariely | The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations | TJHS 417
- Jaron Lanier | Why You Should Unplug from Social Media for Good | TJHS 156
- The Social Dilemma | Netflix
- Is It Illegal to Send Nudes? What You Need to Know About Sending Nudes | Seventeen
- Underage Sexting Scam: Are You Being Set Up? | SBL Criminal Law
- Corbin Payne | Twitter
- Black Mirror | Netflix
- Outsourced: Employee Sends Own Job To China; Surfs Web | The Two-Way, NPR
- ZDoggMD | YouTube
- Zombies | Investopedia
- It’s OK If You Don’t Want to Be an Entrepreneur | Daniel DiPiazza, Entrepreneur
- Philip McKernan | Why Your Truth Matters and How to Speak It | TJHS 145
Transcript for How to Deal with Unsolicited Underage Nudes | Feedback Friday (Episode 418)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, 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 that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening, even inside your own mind.
[00:00:36] If you're new to this 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 and authors, thinkers, and performers. And if you're new, you want to get a selection of episodes, we'll hook you up over at jordanharbinger.com.
[00:00:55] This week we had economic hitman or former economic hitman, John Perkins. He talks about the debt cycle, how the World Bank, IMF, whatever United States, developing countries deliberately try to bankrupt developing countries, so that we can put military bases in there, keep them in a debt cycle, export natural resources — fascinating episode, really interesting inside look at how we convince countries to give up things that are theirs and then kill their leaders if they don't accede to it. We also have Dan Ariely, behavioral economist. This guy, man, he is a machine when it comes to irrationality, predicting human behavior — why we make the decisions we make and do the things we do? Dan Ariely, always fascinating.
[00:01:36] You can reach us for this show — this Feedback Friday — that's firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep your emails concise if you can, include a descriptive subject line. That makes our job a whole lot easier. You know, I was going over the questions for this week and it reminded me of our Jaron Lanier episode. If you haven't seen The Social Dilemma on Netflix — he's really good in that. Well, we can do a recommendation later on, but Jaron Lanier, he was episode 156 of The Jordan Harbinger Show, and something he said reminded me of this is. What is the real goal? The real goal is not to beat the market. The goal is to build wealth. The real goal is not to read more books. The goal is to understand what you read. Don't let a proxy become the target. Don't optimize for the wrong outcomes. So many of us in our lives, we are letting the proxy become the target, the growth of our business, the growth of our money, our pocketbook, our bank book, the amount that we're reading — we're not really optimizing for the right stuff. We're optimizing for the wrong outcome. And then we're sort of surprised when we don't get the results we want. So be careful about that. Again, Jaron Lanier episode 156 on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll link to that in the show notes.
[00:02:45] Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:48] Hello Team. While playing a game with some of my friends recently, one of them mentioned that he was having some issues with a girl. This girl kept asking him to be her boyfriend. And when he tried to explain that he wasn't interested in getting into a relationship, especially with her, since she's gone through three boyfriends, since quarantine started, she said something along the lines of, "Oh, I get it. Nobody wants to be with me." Then she sent him some pictures. He didn't ask for them. They were completely unsolicited, but from his description, they are either nudes or very close to being nudes. Here's the thing me and my friends are between the ages of 16 and 17, including this troublesome girl. I tried to explain to my friend that possession of child pornography is a big crime like felony-level crime and that he needed to talk to the police about it. He blew me off saying that he didn't want to get involved with the police and that he didn't want to talk about it. I didn't push him for more details, but I'm still worried about what could happen to him now or later in life with some sort of me-too allegation. What should I do? How could I convince him to take this to somebody like the police or a counselor? Would this get him in trouble even though it was unsolicited? I know that you're a lawyer, but not my lawyer, but I need some advice. Signed, Sweating My Friends Sexts.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:58] So I'm getting a little bit of those chills from this question. I don't normally get those, even when we have really creepy or crazy questions. This one is making me just curl up full-body cringe. All right. So this is not legal advice. I am indeed a lawyer, but not your lawyer. I'm not your friend's lawyer. First off, thanks for writing about this. My guess is that a lot of people of all different ages have been in this situation. They're receiving something highly sensitive that they did not ask for. You sound like a very mature and conscientious person. Your friend, the one who got the nudes, he's very lucky to have you looking out for him, although I'm not sure he really gets the gravity of this situation. Gabriel, this story freaks me out a little bit.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:40] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:40] Not just because of their age, but this guy's friend didn't ask for any of this.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:46] No, he didn't.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:47] And it kind of makes you think like, "Oh crap, this could happen to anyone. This girl who sounds like she has some issues — let's be honest — this girl sent him these images and instantaneously created criminal liability for him.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:59] Yeah. That's what's very scary about this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:01] If the police ever get involved, best case scenario is he'll have to do a lot of work to prove that he didn't solicit these photos or distribute them in any way. Which reminds me, make sure he's not like, "Hey, check out this photo of Angela, ha-ha-ha, I'm trying to process the tension." Because I can see somebody wanting to share that or being like, "What do I do about this?" "What photo? Show me." "These," right? That is a crime to sharing them is called distribution of child pornography. And it's serious. It really sucks that this is on him. All I can say is I'm very glad we did not have smartphones when I was in high school, because this shit is crazy.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:39] Yeah. I was thinking the same thing. How much simpler were our childhoods than this?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:43] I mean, we had bullying, but they couldn't reach me on Saturday afternoon. Now, they can go through your phone.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:47] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:48] I mean, that's bullying. This guy probably is going to wish he was getting bullied by other kids at school if this goes legal, right? So let's talk about the legal aspect of this question first. Could this get your friend into trouble even though the photos were unsolicited? Well, I consulted with a real lawyer, a criminal defense attorney about this, Corbin Payne, of course, friend of the show. I also did some research on my own.
[00:06:10] Here's what we found. Generally speaking, sexting between minors does violate both state and federal law. Federal law considers any sexually suggestive image of a minor, like the ones this girl sent to your friend to be child pornography, period. The government can prosecute anyone for the production, distribution, reception, and possession of child pornography. Your boy has the last two at least. If he shares it with anyone else, he's got three of them. All right. This means both your friend and this girl can be prosecuted for these photos. That's right. You can send a sex from yourself of yourself, and you're still on the hook for a felony. In the state of Utah, specifically, a teenager who has taken a sexual photo of themselves could be charged with the manufacturing of child pornography. The person who receives the picture, if they keep the image on their phone or computer can be charged with the possession of child pornography, even if they didn't solicit it.
[00:07:10] What's crazy to me is that it doesn't matter whether either or both individuals involved are under 18 years of age. Yes. It seems like there should be a carve-out for this. I understand why there's not because you wouldn't want pedos to take advantage of this, but damn, this is just a minefield to say the least.
[00:07:28] And now, underage sexting, it is so rampant and we are kind of a moral policing situation. That police departments and prosecutors are cracking down on it more and more. And in more conservative states like Texas, Utah, where you live, they are really cracking down on it. And it doesn't look like there's going to be less of that in the future.
[00:07:47] The penalty for minors in possession of his sexual photo is usually a misdemeanor for the first offense. That sounds kind of like light-duty, but subsequent offenses are felonies. Now, that said, at least one source said that even 17-year-olds could be charged with felony distribution of child pornography on their first offense. That's your boy right here. And because there are three different laws that govern sexting in Utah, just three. And they probably all say different things, but you can theoretically be charged under more than one law or possibly even charged individually for multiple sexts so they can get stacked up.
[00:08:23] Now that said, these laws are fairly broad. They're open to interpretation by both prosecutors and courts, which actually makes things messier and it can get even messier in a case like this. So I'm not saying your friend is going to prison because of this. I'm just saying that he could get caught up in an investigation and possibly be charged, given the laws in your state.
[00:08:42] Now, my lawyer friend, who I consulted, Corbyn Payne, he said there are counties in States like Tennessee, for example, that he's pretty confident someone's going to get charged. If this story were to come to light. That's terrifying. You're a minor. You know, your friend is a minor. These are lives that can get ruined for a long, long time for being insecure for five minutes and taking a topless photo or a dick pic. You know, it sounds funny, but it's not. It's no wonder your friend is burying his head in the sand on this one. I get it, especially at that age. He's probably freaked out. He probably hasn't thought about any of this. He doesn't want to get in trouble. He doesn't want to get the girl in trouble. He also doesn't believe he's going to get caught, frankly.
[00:09:21] But the reality is he's potentially facing a huge problem here. Someone else can report it before he does. Then, he's got to defend himself, not a great position to be in legally speaking. Or she can report him because she's mad and then he'd be screwed. Now, she could say that he asked for the photos or pressured her into sending them, even if he texted her, "Hey, I don't want these." Imagine investigators going through this. Are they going to believe him? I don't know. I can see them not really believing him. Grown-ass men have done some crazy shit to try and cover their tails afterwards when it comes to child pornography. So you can just picture how that conversation is going to go down.
[00:09:59] On top of all that your friend is dealing with an unstable and manipulative young woman who's obviously very insecure. She has created this liability for you, for your friend, for herself. Who knows what she's telling other people, who knows what she might say about your friend to the police? How she might use that as leverage against him? If this were your friend's long-term girlfriend, and this was a truly private and consensual sex between the two of them and she was a stable person who just wanted to share something intimate with them, it would still be a bad idea, but it would be far less concerning. Still, probably illegal, still very problematic in the eyes of the law — let me be super clear about that, but it would definitely be less worrisome. But the fact that he's dealing with somebody unpredictable and toxic, that makes this a much bigger deal.
[00:10:44] So your friend has got a major issue here and I believe he needs to get out in front of this. And I'm not trying to be a fearmonger here. You know, that's not my style, but you are right, absolutely right to want to help him. So, given all that, what are you supposed to do? Well, first, I would share all of this information with your friend. If he'll listen to this great. Do everything you can to help him see how serious this is. It sounds like he's scared and in denial. I totally understand that. I'm pretty sure I would react the same way. If I were your age or his age. He should be scared but he should not be in denial. If he handles this head-on, he could avoid a truly disastrous legal saga and he can at least minimize the consequences. By avoiding the situation and hanging onto the photos, I'm worried he's going to end up making things look a lot worse than they are. You can be the one to make him see that. Tell him you only have his best interest in mind. You're going to be there for him every step of the way. You don't want to see anything bad happen to him, make him understand, but also make him feel supported.
[00:11:45] Second, I would encourage him to report this either to the police or to a school counselor if that person doesn't have their head up their ass. My school counselors were horrendous. Many schools have great counselors, my school, not so much. I would vote for the school counselor if you can trust that person. He doesn't have to deal with this alone and school counselors are theoretically trained to handle stuff like this, especially nowadays. Just so, you know, the counselor will be required to contact the police, but I think that's probably the best outcome. It'll show that your friend is not trying to hide anything. It'll allow him to control the narrative around this from the very get-go. And the counselor can also point your friend to what he needs to do next. And yes, his parents will probably be notified about this. I think that's also a good thing. He's the target here as a minor, he needs their help. He's actually a victim when it comes to this. I want to highlight that.
[00:12:37] Now, before your friend reports this, before he reports this, he should document the entire interaction. What went down between him and this girl leading up to all these texts, what he said, what she said. To the best of his ability, write down verbatim if you can remember what the content of each text was, make sure you screenshot and save those, transcribe them, put them in a document. The times they were sent all that. He should definitely make sure any additional notes are there. And again, take screenshots, add context. This is crucial. He needs to create a clear record. That proves that these photos were unsolicited and unwanted. That's important — unsolicited, unwanted.
[00:13:17 Also, you might want to consult a local attorney to make sure you're covering all of your bases, you personally, especially about any possible liability as what's called an accessory after the fact, Again. I don't really mean to freak you out. I would be shocked if investigators found you liable in any way or were interested in you at all. But you could end up being dragged into an investigation as this guy's friend. And I want to make sure you are being looked after. Now, your parents can help you with this. Yes, it's an expense. It could be well worth it. At a very minimum, create the documentation that I just mentioned for your friend. Do that for yourself. Take very detailed notes about how, and when you learned about all of this, so that it's super clear what your role was in this situation.
[00:13:58] Again, I'm pretty confident you're going to be okay but you know, it doesn't hurt to take precautions. This is so serious that you don't want to leave anything to chance. If your friend reports this, I think that he's got a very good chance of getting out of this situation relatively unscathed. With a clear story, good documentation, it will be pretty clear that he's not the bad guy here. And yeah, there's going to be some ramifications for this girl. My guess, she's going to have to attend some kind of court-ordered counseling with a psychologist. Hopefully, the state will mandate that instead of throwing the book at her or giving her a bunch of grief. It sounds like she's got problems and she actually deserves — she deserves the chance to work on these, especially given how young she is.
[00:14:37] And yeah, I know it's probably kind of sad to think about getting the girl in trouble here, but the thing is, if your friend doesn't say anything, he could end up being prosecuted for something he did not do. And I actually think your friend could be helping this girl in the long run by making this all going through the appropriate channels to handle this.
[00:14:55] This is probably just the very beginning of a dangerous pattern in her life. This girl sent photos to somebody who refuses to take advantage of her this time. But what about the next person she sends nudes to? What about some older guy that meets her online? Who will that guy be? What kind of trouble is she exposing herself to — no pun intended — if she doesn't address her issues right now? And what else is she capable of? Who knows? She needs help. This could be the reason that she gets that help.
[00:15:23] If your friend absolutely refuses to report it, you have to make a choice either, you'll let it go and you let your friend deal with any consequences or you report it yourself against your friend's wishes. I don't necessarily think that's your responsibility, although it is certainly your right. In my view, your responsibility really only extends to your friend, help him see the gravity of this situation, educate him about what to do and support him along the way. And beyond that, it's really up to him and his parents and the school to resolve this issue.
[00:15:56] He's lucky to have a friend like you looking out for him and yeah, I'm glad you wrote in. This is a lesson for everyone, but especially for you all under 18. Sexting is fun. And for some people it's a really important part of their relationship. I get that. I mean, my wife and I were in a long-distance relationship and we did a bunch of that stuff, but we're adults, you know, there's no liability attached. At worst, it's embarrassing if somebody looks over your shoulder and sees it, or your phone gets hacked or something, right? And I get it, it's great. I'm not knocking it if it's done consensually and responsibly, but sharing nudes or worse is also a huge risk and potentially a massive liability, especially if you're a minor. So I'm not judging you. There's no shame in it. You just got to get ahead of it. Good luck, man.
[00:16:43] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
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Jen Harbinger: [00:18:35] Right now, ButcherBox is offering new members two lobster tails and two filet mignons for free in their first box. That's two lobster tails and two filet mignons for free in your first box. Just go to butcherbox.com/jordan. That's butcherbox.com/jordan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:52] Got to get those filet mignons. And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:19:00] All right, Gabe, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:19:01] Hello Team. I started a job with a new company six months ago that came with a hefty raise. My role is a newly created position. That's supposed to split time between two departments. I've taken on some responsibilities from each department head, which were supposedly taking up a lot of their time, but I was able to systematize them and now it takes me about 15 minutes, twice a week. I now find myself literally working 20 to 30 minutes per day.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:27] No way. That's awesome/horrible. All right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:19:32] My inbox is constantly empty. I'm barely in any meetings and each department head believes I'm always working on something for the other when actually I'm working on my real estate investments or surfing the internet. I come in later than everyone else. I take two-plus hour lunches and I leave earlier than everyone, but nobody says a thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:50] Oh God.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:19:51] I have regular meetings with my managers and receive nothing but positive feedback.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:55] Oh, man, that's so bad.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:19:56] I feel like I'm in an episode of Black Mirror or something where the less I do, the more I get rewarded for it. Some people may say, I wish I could find a job like that, or just ask for more work, but doing nothing is actually exhausting and I don't really want more work. I can't tell if I feel this way because I hate what I do slash I hate the corporate world and can't wait to transition to real estate full time in the next few years, or if this is a deeper issue. Is this something I just have to get over? I feel like a POS for taking advantage of my employer, especially when so many are out of work, but I cannot bring myself to put in more effort. Am I a horrible person? Signed, Freaking Out About Faffing Off.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:33] Whew, man. Gabe, you want to start with this? I mean, I feel bad for this guy because it's just got to be so boring, but I know you've got to get take why don't you start.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:20:42] Well, first of all, this reminds me a lot of that story. Do you remember this, Jordan? It came out in like 2013 about the software developer, who was outsourcing all of his work to a coder and I think it was like Shenyang, China.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:53] Oh.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:20:54] He was doing it for like a fifth of his salary he paid this person and that he used all of his free time to just surf Reddit all day. Like, they ended up finding out that he was looking at cat photos and he was getting amazing performance reviews. Everybody at his company said he was the greatest engineer in the building. And then one day his company noticed an open connection to their VPN from China. So if I remember correctly, they hired Verizon to look into it. Verizon found hundreds of invoices from this Chinese company to this guy. They confronted him, he came clean and then it turned out that he had the same gig going like eight different companies, and he was making hundreds of thousands of dollars every single year. So I just think it's — to me, it's so funny how smart people find all of these ways to arbitrage their time and systematize their tasks. It's kind of ingenious. You have to admit
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:41] It is, but it's all fun and games, right? Until your company's source code client data, personally identifying information gets stolen by this contractor and sold.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:50] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:50] Or stolen by, you know, competitors in China or you know, there's a security hole or something like that. I mean, I'm amazed they actually found the open VPN connection and that was the kind of issue. I have a feeling there's a lot that could have gone wrong there.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:06] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:06] And that's probably the best way he got caught because he probably didn't have criminal liability per se. He probably just got fired and maybe got sued. But man, that could have been seriously bad.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:18] There are huge risks you take when you do stuff like that. But in this case, I don't know, I'm of two minds on this question. Because on the one hand, I feel like this guy is kind of taking advantage of his company.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:28] Well, yeah, but not really. I mean, he's doing the job they hired him to do, right?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:31] Exactly, exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:31] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:32] They're doing the job that they hired him to do. They've decided that it's worth paying his salary for him to do it. That's what they expect of him. He's delivering apparently. He's getting a great performance review so he's doing a good job. So is he really doing anything wrong? Does it really matter if it takes him eight hours or 30 minutes if he's delivering on what he promised to his company? I don't know. I kind of see both sides and I kind of lean towards the latter.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:52] Yeah, understand that. I mean, look, in a perfect world, he'd go, "You know, this only takes like an hour a week, right? Or an hour a day."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:59] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:59] I need to do something else and manage this or he should say, "You know, this is only taking a little bit of my time. I could do more." And then ask for a raise. And then at least he's doing a real job and also doing this other job. Now, if they're overpaying, that's kind of their issue, but at least he's being fulfilled. Because I think this is fair. Fair is fair, but it's massively unfulfilling. That's kind of the real problem here.
[00:23:22] I'm actually more interested in how you feel about your work. I think that's ultimately what matters here. Now, I'm going to talk directly to him. Right? You say that doing nothing is actually exhausting. I believe you. You know you're bored. You're underutilized. You're not doing what you love or anything you even like. And if you can live with that, great but obviously you can't. If that's a problem for you, it sounds like it is, then that's a good reason to either take on more work or use all this free time to do something you truly care about.
[00:23:51] And since your goal is to transition to real estate, that's your real goal. I would use this frankly amazing situation you're in to accelerate your real estate work. Keep in touch with people, stay on top of your personal admin — everything you should be doing anyway. Keep doing the stuff your managers expect and then use your free time to invest in your life and your passion. And if you did that consistently, you could probably transition to real estate in like six months instead of three years which is pretty awesome. Just make sure that you're not violating any major company policies. You're not using company property. You're not leaving a digital trail or whatever, something like that.
[00:24:29] The thing is you might still hate yourself for this. You'll probably continue to feel guilty, which I totally, totally get. So why don't you give yourself a timeframe here? Maybe you promise self, that you'll only do this job for a year. And in that year you use all of this free time wisely. Then you quit and you go all-in on real estate. I think that's probably more fair to everyone. What you don't want to do is get stuck in this, and then you're just waiting for the other shoe to drop. That's not a good way to live.
[00:24:56] As for the deeper issue that you mentioned, I think the deeper issue is that you're just a person with a decent moral compass who desperately wants to do work, that he cares about. You're not a sociopath, you're not a manipulator. If you were, you wouldn't feel bad about this. It's pretty clear to me that you hate what you do. You hate the corporate world and you probably hate it even more for allowing you to get away with this situation. I can't blame you, I've been there. No, you're not a horrible person. You're a conflicted person, which is actually encouraging. If what you want is purposeful work — work you actually love work you want to do for hours on end every day. If that's what you want, I would focus more deliberately on that. And that'll give you a sense of direction and give this weird job you're in now a little bit more meaning. It might not speak to your soul or whatever, but it will be a part of the bigger journey to the career in real estate that you actually want. And in that way, it's actually a gift, just not a gift you need to hold onto forever.
[00:25:52] And Gabe, you know what this reminds me of, this is not quite the same thing, but when I was working on Wall Street, we ran out of work. It was 2007. I was in real estate finance, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, two of our biggest clients, they just kind of collapsed, these investment banks. So we didn't have anything to do. And they were like, "Look, it's February," but I don't know if the banks had collapsed by them, but they were like, "There's nothing going on." They're like, "It's February, this is going to be done by May. Do some learning and some extracurricular, whatchamacallit, and do some pro bono legal cases. And before you know it, we'll be back in the business." And then it was like three months of there's nothing to do. And then it was like three more months if there's nothing to do. And then they were like, "We're going to give you nine months’ salary and severance, and then we're going to release everyone because we just can't keep paying you, but we're going to give you like the next year." It's like, "You don't have to show up, just look for another job. And once you get another job, we'll stop paying you."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:26:43] That's really nice of them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:44] Oh yeah. Because they didn't want — what they didn't want to do was ruin our careers by letting us all go. The first year we got out of law school.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:26:51] Yeah, that's thoughtful of them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:51] Because they knew we would be screwed. One, nobody would ever want to work at that firm ever again. Right. I mean, it's just like, "Hey, they fired their first-year class. No, thanks."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:27:00] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:01] And in addition, they were like, "Where are these three months of experienced lawyers going to get another job? They're not." So they had to keep paying us, but, yeah, they could have totally screwed us. I bet 20/20 hindsight, they're like, "Dammit, why did we pay all those?" Because they thought everything was going to recover. The firm went out of business actually. But they did right by us, man. They did right by us. You're not driving your company out of business, but they're paying you for something that you're not doing. I used that money, that severance to start, this company that I work in right now — I mean the precursor company. I invested at all and that's why I'm able to do what I'm doing now.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:27:32] Yeah. You made it work for you and bless them, yeah, totally.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:35] Oh, yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:27:35] Yeah, I think he can get to a similar place with this company as well.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:37] Exactly. It's not just like, "Yeah, it took those guys for all their worth. I made a couple hundred grand. Suck it." you know, it was like, "Thank you for giving me the runway to do something that I — to have the life that I want really." I mean, I couldn't have done it without them.
[00:27:51] All right, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:27:52] Hey, Jordan and team. My younger brother is 25 and has little dating experience. He recently started dating a woman who is 11 years older than him has two kids and was divorced less than a year ago. Our family and family friends had some concerns about this relationship, which we tried to share with him. Things like a faster timeline for having kids than he's ready for. The responsibility and financial support for two additional kids that he is not in a place to provide for. And the emotional health of a woman who is recently divorced, but is telling my brother how in love with him, she is after only dating for a short period of time. After sharing our concerns, he became defensive and insisted that he wanted to figure it out for himself. As the relationship continues, I'm worried that some of our concerns are playing out and that the relationship is becoming toxic. When this woman found out that my parents didn't like that my brother was dating her, she demanded that my brother choose between her or my family.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:44] What? Wow.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:28:47] She broke up with him for about a day, but now they are back together. I think that's actually happened a few times. Although I have not met this woman, myself, a family friend described her as mean and controlling. When I asked my brother about this, he claimed that the behavior is not the norm, but I'm not so sure. I'm worried that my naive brother is in over his head and in an unhealthy relationship and does not realize it. How can I help him recognize this? Or are there some lessons that just have to be learned the hard way? Signed, Shielding My Brother From a Shady Shrew.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:17] This is a huge mess. This woman, first of all, is a huge mess. Red flags all over the place, but this is a giant mess. I don't know about you, Gabriel. You've always been mature. I think didn't I meet you when you were like 26 —
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:29:30] Ah, sounds right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:30] — and you were like, as mature as I am right now.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:29:32] I think I was a little younger actually, but I remember that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:34] Okay, so you're like 25 going on 40, so — and I mean that in the best way possible, but this sounds horrible. Because when I was 25, if this guy is even around anywhere near my level of maturity at age 25, he's totally screwed. Somebody who's 36 is going to take them around the block and not in a good way. The age difference in and of itself is not automatically a problem. I want to be very clear here, but it's worrisome, especially given that he's still so young and they're just in different life stages.
[00:30:02] But taken together with all the rest of the facts — okay, she's newly divorced. She's hoping that he'll support her children. That she's mean and controlling that combination is bad. I mean, look, divorce happens. Hoping someone's going to come in and help you with the kids. That's not bad. But newly divorced, dating a guy 11 years younger, she's meaning controlling at least some of the time, forcing her brother to choose between her and his family — what? That is a crazy town.
[00:30:27] I totally understand why you're concerned about your brother. I'm concerned for your brother. It must be incredibly hard to watch him go down this path. In addition to being concerned about your brother, you probably also feel like you're losing him to this crazy person, which is probably sad for you and scary for your whole family. I think you need to do everything that you can to help your brother see the situation for what it is. Even if he didn't want to listen to you after that, you're just going to have to let him make his own decisions and deal with the consequences as hard as that is. And it is really hard. But my question is how much did you guys try to get through to him when you had that conversation?
[00:31:03] Because my family is all like, "We're going to talk to them about this." "Hey, so, buddy," during the barbecue, "Yeah. Did you — what do you think about this? She's a little crazy, huh?" "Okay. You don't want to talk about it?"
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:31:14] "Are you sure? You're okay? Yeah. Okay. No problem. No problem. All good, yeah."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:17] "Okay. Cool. All right. All right."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:31:19] "Let's talk, good talk. "
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:19] "You want, you want some ribs?" What you need to do — and I'm wondering if you did this — did you have like a formal sit down like an intervention where you laid out all your concerns and forced him to confront all the facts? Because something tells me you didn't cause it's easier to not do that. But if you haven't had that formal conversation yet, it's worth a shot. Maybe he just thinks you guys are all being overly protective. You're a little paranoid. He hasn't been forced to acknowledge all these red flags by all of you at once. If he rejects your offer of advice after that, then he's really making a choice to go his own way. And you guys have to respect that choice as painful as it is.
[00:31:53] Gabe, what do you think? Are there any recommendations on how to specifically go about this? Because they really do need to be like, "Hey, you're not leaving Uncle Tim is here and everyone from the family who knows about this is sitting in this room and knows all the facts and you're not leaving."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:32:07] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:07] You know, it's got to be a real deal.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:32:09] "Sit down because you need to hear this and we're going to talk for a while and you just have to listen." That's definitely worth a shot. Sometimes though the face-to-face intervention approach can make certain types of personalities quite defensive.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:20] Sure.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:32:20] And I wonder if that's maybe — it sounds like that's kind of what's going on with this guy. So if that doesn't work, I would consider writing all of this down, all of your concerns down in a letter and sending it to your brother. Maybe he'll be less likely to shrug that off or shut down if he's not being confronted in person. You know, maybe he'll reread the letter a few times, and it will sink in as he sits with it on his own, or he'll realize that you guys are actually right. Or maybe he won't, but then in a few months, he'll pick up the letter again, when things inevitably sideways with this woman.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:50] Good call.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:32:51] And he'll be able to hear your advice in a new way. Also writing your concerns down might also make it easier for you to be completely honest with your brother. If your family is anything like the family that we just described, which is a lot of families where people are being delicate and they're sort of tiptoeing around each other, then a letter could be the right way to communicate with him.
[00:33:07] And in that letter, you could lay out your arguments. You can anticipate his objections in advance, which can be hard to do when you're doing it in person. You can reiterate how much you love him, how much you care about him. And you can tell him that you think being with this woman is a profound mistake. And tell him that you only want what's best for him, reassure him about that. That you just want him to be responsible. You want him to be happy. I would not hold back here though. This is your chance to really make him understand where you're coming from.
[00:33:33] And I'm a big fan of letters for this reason. They have a way of landing for people when a normal conversation, just as in cutting it. But after all that, if he still decides to ignore your advice, then yeah, I think he's on his own. And fair enough. That is his right. He might be 25 young, yeah, but he's an adult and he's allowed to make his own mistakes.
[00:33:50] So you are absolutely correct. Even though it's hard to wrap your head around. There are some lessons that just have to be learned the hard way. I hope he learns them, but it will have to be on his own time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:01] Yeah, that's solid advice. There's not much more we can do with this. I hate to see young people going through this because well, one you're young. You don't really get the consequences. But two, there's an element of victimization here from an older person that isn't necessarily like this person. Like, "Yeah, I'm going to get this 25 year old. He doesn't know what's coming." It's just like a — it's almost like an adult with adult problems going after a kid and being like, "Here's all these problems that I have that you're responsible for." And the kid is like, "I can handle it." And then he's just traumatized by the whole thing, right?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:34:31] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, again, like you said, the facts on their own do not automatically spell out disaster, but when you take them together, you have to wonder what somebody of that age who has two children who's at that life stage is really wanting with a person like this. I mean, she's the sister who wrote in, said that her brother doesn't have much experience with relationships. So what exactly is the value here? I feel like she's working something out or she's trying to get something from him or she's just see somebody who doesn't know better than to give her a safety and companionship —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:59] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:35:00] — when she probably feels quite out of control in her own life. That's worrisome, for sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:03] I'm worried about it. I'm 40 and I have one kid Jayden, right? If something happened to Jen or we got divorced — let's say something happened to her because she can't help me anymore. Right? Am I going to go find a 25-year-old? This woman's 36. I'm 40. We're not that far apart in age. I would never think like, I'm going to go find this 25-year-old who's going to be my rock.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:35:21] It's weird. But it's also in this case, it sounds like this woman wants more children with him.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:26] Yeah, that's a good point. I didn't think about that. That's even more weird.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:35:28] The situation is going to get worse.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:30] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:35:30] So yeah, I get why she's so concerned. I hope she gets —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:33] And then he's basically like married to her, not married, married, but like, if you have a kid with somebody, you are pretty much stuck with that person, unless you just want to abandon the kid, which is like a tough decision to make. Right? So, yeah, there's a whole lot there. He should definitely not have a child with this woman. And you should do your damnedest to get them separated because — look, if somebody we'll have to learn lessons the hard way, it's like, "Well, he'll learn." What if they have a kid? That's the horrifying possibility here because then it's a problem forever especially if she's not all there.
[00:36:07] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show. And this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:36:11] This episode is sponsored in part by Skillshare. This is an online learning community. You can learn a ton from the Skillshare. Jen, what did you take? Like a bookshelf organizing class. But you also — I know you hate when I mentioned that — you also took Adobe Audition. You learned how to edit video on there. There's tons of stuff you can learn on there from — like I said, bookshelf organizing to software to accounting. Skillshare offers membership with meaning. There's so much to explore real projects to create, supportive fellow creatives. Skillshare has classes to fit your schedule and your skill level, unlimited access to all the classes hands-on projects and everything. Most classes are under an hour and they're short lessons to fit any schedule. So you're not going to have to sit down for like eight hours and watch a lecture. Tell us how insanely affordable. An annual subscription is less than 10 bucks a month.
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[00:39:13] 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.
[00:39:31] All right, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:39:32] Dear Jordan and crew, my wife is a certified nurse-midwife who delivers babies and specializes in women's health. When she's on-call at the hospital, she is also on call to take after-hours phone calls to her office, where patients leave a message and my wife calls them back. These after-hours calls are from patients, wondering if they should go to the hospital for care or if an issue can wait for the next day. She recently learned from a coworker, another CNM that this woman sleeps through her after-hours alerts from the office. This means that patients who could have emergency issues are not being cared for properly. My wife is frustrated by this. As it tarnishes the respect, the practice has built in the area. My wife knows that if she tells the partners at the practice, the lazy practitioner may be fired. My wife simply wants her coworker to fix her behavior and take care of the clinic's patients. The thing is my wife is passionate about her job and has high expectations for patient care and can come across as mean or aggressive. How should she approach her coworker about the poor work habits without creating an unstable work environment? Signed, Midwifing My Midwife Wife Through The Strife of Her Midwife in Life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:38] What was that one? Midwifing my midwife wife through the strife of her midwifing life.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:40:44] yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:44] Do you have Eminem writing these sign-offs now? Remix. That's awesome. Midwifing my midwife wife through the strife of her midwifing life — this sounds like a tongue twister that I would do with my voice lesson.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:40:56] Yeah. It sounds like somebody used to teach people how crazy American English is.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:00] Oh my gosh. I don't even remember the question now.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:41:03] It seems appropriate — that's basically my goal with these sign-offs is that they can just eclipse the drama of the question that just came before that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:12] Yeah, I don't even know what we're talking about anymore. Oh my goodness. So fine, all right. The first thing is Jen had a home birth because we're weird hippies apparently I didn't even think that — whatever California has gotten in my head. But we had a very low-risk pregnancy. Hospital is really close. We had a midwife. And we've really depended on this woman to know what she was doing, right? Like this is important. We texted her all the time. We were calling her about things. This is an important position. This is like your doctor almost. It's not the same thing. But it's like your doctor when you're going to give birth. In fact, we talked to our midwife way more than we talked to the doctor. The doctor at Kaiser was like, "Yeah, call me when you're in labor." The midwife was like, "I'm coming over. We're checking you out." This, that, before and after the birth, everything. So this is important. This person can't be sleeping on-call, especially when people are going through important stuff.
[00:41:58] If I were your wife, I would first, I would start at the colleague directly. I would talk to this colleague in-person directly. She can begin by telling her that she heard that this woman might be sleeping through her after-hours alerts — first of all, it's just crazy to me — and ask her if that's true. Give her a chance to explain herself. Maybe it's something like, "Oh my God, once I was sick and I slept through them and yeah, but I mean, I don't normally sleep through them." And then you go and clarify it with somebody else. And they're like, "Yeah. I heard she sleeps through her calls." "Does she always do it?" "Oh no. I just heard a one-off story." And then you realize it's a no big deal, but if she's like, "Yeah, who cares? Nobody ever calls anyway. It's never important." Well, then you need to know, I mean, if your wife is wrong, find out. The woman will either, she's going to deny it. In which case your wife's going to have to call her out or confront her with hard evidence. Maybe by mentioning that she learned it from the other CNM or she'll cop to it. In which case the rest of the conversation is going to be pretty straightforward.
[00:42:51] From there, I would explain to her what the implications are. When she doesn't answer her phone, patients with potential emergencies are at serious risk. Tell her she's failing in her duty to them. She's forcing the other CNMs to pick up the slack. Force her to see that it's just not as simple as getting some extra sleep. I bet — look, everyone in healthcare wants to get extra sleep. Okay. These people sleep like 20-minute naps in these weird gurneys situations in hospital rooms that are vacant. I mean, I've followed ZDogg MD on YouTube. I know the score. Right? Other people are being affected by this, possibly in life-threatening ways. It's a huge deal.
[00:43:28] From there, your wife has a couple of options. One, she gives this woman one chance to change her ways. Of course, your wife is going to need to find a way to make sure she's actually answering the calls. I can't believe they don't have software for this — anyway, that's neither here nor there. Since she didn't know this was happening in the first place, there's got to be a system to verify whether or not people are picking up the damn phone. But if she can, she should then check up on her to make sure she's doing her job. Option two, she goes to her supervisors at the clinic and reports this woman. This woman has a legal and moral duty, ethical duty certainly, as a healthcare worker to take care of her patients. If she's not doing that, she should not be a CNM. She shouldn't even be a nighttime freaking security guard or anybody on the graveyard shift. Really? I mean, come on, man.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:44:11] Good point, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:12] So how does she decide whether to give this colleague another chance? I think it comes down to a couple of things. First, how good is this nurse with her patients during regular clinic hours? If she's amazing, everyone loves her, but she's slacking when she's sleeping, maybe she needs a nudge, a little reality check. The second factor was whether patients have been placed at serious risk because of her. I don't really understand how all this works, but did somebody almost die or die because she didn't answer an alert. I don't know. Had she caused or nearly caused serious harm? Did someone have to like give birth in a Wendy's bathroom because this lady hit the snooze button too many times? I don't know.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:44:52] I feel like that's absolutely the standard for Wendy's, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:55] And if it was a Burger King bathroom, then don't worry about it.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:44:57] I was about to say. If it's In-N-Out, give her another shot.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:01] If so, maybe your wife should just go straight to reporting it. If not, maybe she deserves one more chance. Right? It sounds like your wife is willing to give her that chance since she said she just wants her coworker to fix her behavior and take care of the clinic's patients. So then it just becomes about how. I don't know. Gabe, how does she do this without just coming across as the clinic Karen?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:21] Yeah, I think that's actually what, what this guy is the most worried about because his wife, like he said, she can be a little bit intense because she cares about her patients, which is a good problem to have.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:30] Yeah, you don't want to be like the mean biatch in the clinic who's always picking everyone, you know, like a micromanager.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:36] I would aim for a tone that is firm but, I don't know, respectful — is that the right word?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:41] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:42] She doesn't have to hold back with this woman. She doesn't have to rip into her either as long as she's — I mean, first of all, the facts are on her side. Like she doesn't have to do any extra work to be mean. The facts are pretty stark on their own. As long as she's focusing on what this woman did, the impact that she's having on patients, when she sleeps through these alerts, she really can't go wrong. It's not like she's saying, "You need to answer these alerts for me because I'm in charge and I'm the one you should be performing your best for her," or anything like that. She's just saying you need to answer these alerts because people are depending on you for their lives and their babies' lives.
[00:46:12] So I think she actually does have a right to be a little bit aggro here, but that's just because she's absolutely in the right. If this woman keeps ignoring the alerts, then your wife should report her. No doubt about it. People like this, like Jordan said, should not be in healthcare, period. They have a responsibility to their patients. They have a responsibility to the other CNMs they work with. She has to honor that. I think that's pretty clear.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:34] Great. All right. Last but not least.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:46:36] Hello Team. Five years ago, my brother and a friend of ours invited me to establish a company. Over the years, we've made decent money a lot more than I would have in my regular job, but nowhere near enough to stop worrying about how to secure my future. We also haven't done anything that I feel happy about. Just something that makes us money. Now, I'm in a situation where I feel that we've exhausted ourselves. We do not have a sustainable business model. We jumped from one gig to another, and we don't have any projects that we're super excited about. It's like we're drifting instead of catching a wind and moving towards something. Now, we just pass our days in the office working on our latest project. But with this attitude, I'm not sure that we really have a chance to succeed. I've come to realize that I'm probably not an entrepreneur type of person. I thrive in environments where there's already some direction, some goals set. And I really struggle when I have to be the visionary. However, these days, if you haven't founded Apple, Google, or Facebook, and if you aren't as charismatic as Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, you are often considered a failure in life.
[00:47:35] So I want to put a pin on that. I want to come back to that idea. The letter goes on.
[00:47:39] So now I feel stuck. On one hand, I play an entrepreneur, which I don't actually like, but get way more money than I would in a regular job, enjoy a much more flexible schedule and get more dynamic tasks daily. On the other hand, I don't feel like I'm in the right position and I'm not growing personally or career-wise. But then I also have FOMO, what if I quit? And then our projects finally kick in and I've wasted five years just before reaping the rewards, not to mention that I'd have to get used to a much lower income, which would only allow me to satisfy my essential needs. I want to do something in life that would be meaningful and not just working for the sake of getting money. But since I feel morally exhausted, I'm not even sure what that's something meaningful is right now. Where do you look for opportunities and paths when you feel stuck and have exhausted your creativity? Best wishes, Mining for Meaning Amid the Morass.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:26] Well, I totally understand this. I think a lot of self-employed people can relate to. You're in a situation that is really attractive in some ways. You have more freedom. You have more power. You're in charge. In other words, you're stuck in this company and it's just not working out. You guys are struggling to gain traction. You don't actually like being in this entrepreneurial role, the business owner, and you're clearly not emotionally connected to the work. I think it's pretty clear that it's time for some kind of change, but I hear you — I hear it from your letter, how conflicted you are about that. So let's try to pick this apart a little.
[00:49:00] First of all, there's something really tough about, I guess you'd call it, a zombie company. It just doesn't have the decency to die but it won't take off and thrive either just keeps chugging along, throwing off just enough money to make it kind of worth it, but not enough money to make it exciting. And that makes it really hard to know if it's really time to leave or if you just need to stick it out for a few more months or years or whatever. And hey, if you can make peace with that, maybe this company will be great, but it's not going to become Dropbox. It's keeping a roof over your head though. It's giving you something to do. I say this because I don't really buy into the standard Silicon Valley mantra of like hyper-growth or die. Nothing at all right. VCs, venture capitalists, they need to think that way. Sure. But that is just not true for most companies, especially not sole proprietors or partnerships with a few people in it.
[00:49:49] My old company was like, "This is well, man." We were making money, but nothing serious. I think we were all sick of what we were doing. I certainly was so sick of it. And there was a lot of self-sabotage. There was a lot of petty and fighting. When I left, I could see it. But when I was inside, it just wasn't as clear. As they say, it's almost impossible to read the label when you're inside the jar, if that makes sense.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:13] Oh, man, I love that idiom. I've never heard that before. That's a good one.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:17] It's like one of those classics, like self-help douche sayings kind of. It's like —
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:21] How cool.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:21] Yeah, yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:22] I mean I like this douchey phrase. Thanks for calling me out for that. I appreciate that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:25] It's one of those — like I took a self-help cult seminar and now I say this to all my friends, phrase, but it's so true in this instance, right?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:31] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:32] It's like. You just don't see it when you're there, because you're like, "Well, but I need this and then that's happening. And then maybe this will take off and I deserve to be treated this way because we're all stressed." It's that stuff. Now, you could really try to fix these problems and turn this company into something more successful. You could get your partners together. You could say like, "Look, here's what I think we have to do to be more strategic, to find a sustainable business model, to go after a bigger vision, to make a little bit more money, whatever." And you could try to make this company what you wish it were. In other words, you could step up and be the leader here but, like you said, you just don't really feel comfortable in that role. And it's not even comfortable like — Gabe, it didn't sound to me like he's like, "Well, am I ready to be the leader?" It sounds like he's like, "I do not want to be the leader." Those are two different things.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:51:18] "This is not for me." Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:19] Yeah. It's different than being like, "Am I ready for the main event?" It's more like, "Just don't make me do this." And that's completely fair. You're the guy who thrives in places where there's already some direction where someone else's setting the goals. That is completely fair. I'm absolutely not judging you for that. In fact, I admire your self-awareness about it. Way too many people rush into entrepreneurship because they like the idea of being the boss. They like the idea of impressing people by having to answer to no one. You know where your talents lay and you understand your temperament. That is huge. If you get nothing else out of this chapter of your life, that would still be a win.
[00:51:58] Short of taking the reins yourself though. Could you talk about any of this with your business partners? Can you lay out your frustrations and see if they have any ideas on how to fix them? This might actually be really productive and healthy for all of you. And by the way, I can almost promise you that they are feeling the same way too. If you bring this stuff up, It might give them permission to acknowledge it too. And then maybe the three of you could find a path forward together. Who knows? Maybe that's what you guys need to do to kick this thing into high gear. Maybe that's the whole issue you just need. I'll need to lay it out there.
[00:52:30] Now that said, if the company isn't thriving and you aren't growing and you're miserable every day and you don't see any of that improving. Then there's nothing wrong with moving on. I would take some time to really think about what it is you do want, what you enjoy doing, what you care about. Talk with your friends and family. Chat with as many people and as many different fields as you can. Shout out to Six-Minute Networking, jordanharbinger.com/course. You can meet a bunch of people. You can reach out to people that you need to talk to, to find out what a job-y job is like in those fields. Play with the skills and projects, see if something sparks. Think about what your favorite aspect of this current company, this current venture has been. The one thing you looked forward to doing, even the thing you hated the least if that's all we got. And think about how that aspect would be valuable to another company. You need to rediscover, what brings you joy, what makes you curious and excited.
[00:53:24] In my experience, that's more an experience of play than of intellectual thought. Ideally, you can use your current gig to fund this period of play so that you don't have to quit and then look for a job. And this kind of reminds me of what we talked about in the beginning, that sort of a, that Jaron Lanier’s sparked idea, right? The real goal is not to beat the market. The goal is to build wealth. The goal is not to read more books. The goal is to understand what you read. Don't let a proxy become the target. Don't optimize for the wrong outcome. Gabe, does this make sense? It almost sounds like he's optimizing for the wrong outcome or in danger of optimizing for the wrong outcome here.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:54:03] Yeah. I'm so glad you came back to that quote because it really does connect to a couple of other interesting things that he mentioned in the letter that really stood out to me. I said I wanted to return to that thing we put a pin in. So let's just talk about that for a second. You know, you mentioned in your letter having some FOMO or some, I guess, it was pre-FOMO if that's a thing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:19] It is. That's got to be it a thing, right?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:54:21] P-FOMO.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:22] P-FOMO. Actually, it would still be FOMO, right? It would just be a silent P.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:54:28] That's true. I guess it's just still FOMO at any point. You know, you were wondering what if you quit and then this company takes off. This is a very natural feeling. We're pretty much wired to worry about what we don't have or what we can't have, rather than what we do have. I think that's why it's a lot easier to be envious than to be grateful, by the way. So I got to say, based on your description, I doubt that this company is going to take off after you leave, that would require a major change in the way that your partners operate and that would be without your help top of it. I think that's pretty unlikely just to put you at ease a little bit, but I do it's very meaningful that you worried about that.
[00:55:00] Because you also said in your letter that these days, if you haven't founded Apple or Google or Facebook, and if you aren't as charismatic as, you know, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, then you're considered a failure in life. According to who? According to who? Like hustle culture tools on YouTube or, you know, tech bros on Twitter.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:16] Yeah, totally.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:55:17] That idea is just performative entrepreneurial bullshit. And it sounds to me like you might have internalized that somewhere along the way as so many people have. The idea that you need to create a company like Google or that you need to be Elon Musk in order to not be a failure that isn't just wrong. That's not just misguided. It's toxic. I mean, I can only imagine how much stress that's probably putting on you when you wake up in the morning. And you're like, "Oh, this little company where I have to piddle around for pretty decent money. No, I must invent a new car and be the reason that the markets move every time I tweet when I'm in the bathroom." It says a lot about how you view yourself, I think. It says a lot about how you value yourself. And I think it says a lot about how you think other people value you. And it's probably all wrong. And it's probably playing a huge role in your conflict around whether to leave this company.
[00:56:01] So the sense that I'm getting from your letter is that your decision is wrapped up in some ego here. I feel very strongly that part of your job right now, in addition to everything Jordan talked about figuring out what you care about, what you're excited about, playing your way back to your purpose, just to use a very annoying self-help-y kind of phrase. Your job right now is to investigate that ego component. You know, what do you really want? Do you really want to not miss out on a successful company so that other people will take you seriously when you're at a party and you're talking about what you do while you hold a beer? Or do you want to do meaningful work that benefits from your talents, that benefits from your personality? You know, are you worried about what it would be like if your brother made more money than you? That's a little something that I kind of sensed when you told me that you're working with your family, or are you worried about finding a career that really fulfills you, that sets you up nicely?
[00:56:45] So I would get super clear on those questions. I know that they're kind of intense and I know that they're tough. They might take a little bit of time for you to unpack, but that's exactly the point of this chapter. And I would really encourage you to do that because right now, this decision, this fairly simple decision about whether to stay or whether to leave is being informed by a ton of very complicated personal stuff. So until you deal with all that, You'll continue to be paralyzed about your next move, conflicted about which path to take. So I would focus on all of those questions, not just for your career, but also for yourself.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:14] All right. Great answer, man. Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. You can always reach us at email@example.com. Remember if you can make it concise, leave a good subject line, we're good.
[00:57:26] Don't forget to check out the guests we have for you this week — former economic hitman John Perkins, behavioral economist Dan Ariely — both fascinating, really loved doing those episodes. Of course, I would love to hear what you think about them as well.
[00:57:37] If you want to know how I managed to book all these great people and manage my relationships, I use systems and tiny habits, I got a kickass network that brings all these guests to you, it's because of my networking skills, Six-Minute Networking. It's free. I'm giving you those skills. It's a really easy thing to learn. It takes a few minutes a day. That's over there on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. You can't make up for lost time when it comes to relationships and networking. Dig the well before you get thirsty. Once you need relationships, you're too late. These drills again, they take a few minutes a day. If you ignore it, that's kind of your problem. You will regret that later on. I hate saying things like that, but it's true, especially true when it comes to your career. Find it all for free at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:58:18] A link to the show notes for this episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. There are 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. You can also add me on LinkedIn. Gabe is on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrarahi.
[00:58:40] This show is created in association with PodcastOne and my amazing team. That's Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson. Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabe Mizrahi. Keep sending in those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our advice and opinions and those of our guests are their own. I'm a lawyer. I am not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. If you found this episode useful, share it with someone else who can use the advice we gave here today, or will be entertained by the advice 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, we'll see you next time.
[00:59:22] I keep thinking about what are my favorite episodes. Here's a quick preview of the episode we did with LeVar Burton of Reading Rainbow and Star Trek fame. Like me, LeVar is passionate about education and about helping others become the best that they can be. Of course, he's also super charming and fun. And this episode has to be one of my recent favorites here on the show. Here's the bite.
LeVar Burton: [00:59:41] Roots really made me aware of the power of the medium of television. There was an America before Roots and there was an America after Roots and they weren't the same country.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:53] I'm wondering if the theme song was stuck in your head for the entire 21-year run of the show or — or if you had some breaks.
LeVar Burton: [01:00:00] It's still stuck in my head, Jordan.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:02] Yeah.
LeVar Burton: [01:00:03] It's still there.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:05] Reading rainbow, for example, every kid watched that, whether they liked it or not, it just came on after cartoons if memory serves or Sesame Street or whatever.
LeVar Burton: [01:00:12] Or they rolled in the AC cart, you know, on Fridays and you watched it in school.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:18] Oh, yeah, that's true. I think we did watch it in school early on, like a reel-to-reel projector.
LeVar Burton: [01:00:23] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:26] If you want to feel extra old, I was a kid watching you, but we were — I was watching reel to reel, but you were on the real. Close the windows, time to watch Reading Rainbow. Teacher has a hangover, which is a hundred percent what that was 20/20 hindsight. Back to Roots, why didn't you implode? You were 19. I mean, how come we're not seeing the headlines like LeVar Burton, pleads not guilty, says we have to take his word for it. I mean, how come we don't see?
LeVar Burton: [01:00:57] How long did you work on that, Jordan?
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:58] That came to me in the shower this morning.
LeVar Burton: [01:01:04] I'm just a storyteller and that's what I've discovered about myself. I'm a storyteller. I was born to storytelling and I want to do it in as many ways as I can — acting, writing, producing, directing, podcasting. I am fulfilling my purpose. I genuinely believe that, Jordan. I believe that we are all here for a reason. I believe that it's really important for us to discover and discern what that reason is. Right? And then pursue it with everything we've got.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:31] For more with the legendary LeVar Burton, check out episode 213 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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