Are you a germaphobe if it creeps you out when your spouse and in-laws don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom, or is your disgust actually reasonable and justified? If getting divorced and burning down the house aren’t options, we’ll tell you how to live with unwashed loved ones on this Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Jason DeFillippo (@jpdef) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Thanks to an accidental glance at their phone, you suspect one of your parents might be cheating on your other parent. What do you do now?
- You’ve noticed your significant other and in-laws don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom. As a germaphobe, how do you reconcile love with the disgust you’re feeling?
- Though your trustworthy significant other insists the condoms you found in their car were bought before you agreed to stop using them, it’s bothering you. Should you let the issue go?
- How can you deal with the anxiety of starting your own business and accepting the risks and potential setbacks while giving it your all?
- How do you intentionally work your way toward connecting with super influential people like Reid Hoffman when you’re just getting started in your networking efforts?
- Your stay-home spouse admitted recently that they are lonely. How do you foster friendships as an adult — especially when you have infants to take care of?
- The VP of your company wants to advance you, yet worries you may be too young or inexperienced for a higher-up position. What can you do to convince them you’re ready for the position?
- You have a somewhat manipulative boss who is taking a new job and wants to bring you along. Should you take this as an opportunity to continue your professional relationship, or is it just time to move on from his erratic reign?
- Life Pro Tip: If you can’t decide between two items of clothing (like two different jackets), have someone take photos of you with them on (front and back), and then look at the photos.
- Recommendation of the Week: The Black Godfather
- A quick shoutout to Jodie!
- 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 Jason on Twitter at @jpdef and Instagram at @JPD, and check out his other show: Grumpy Old Geeks.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
22 Hours: An American Nightmare is a true crime dive into a chilling case. A D.C. power couple, their 10-year-old son, and housekeeper held hostage for nearly 24 hours and murdered inside a burning D.C. mansion. WTOP examines the complicated trail of evidence that police say led to finding their killer and why they say he committed such a brutal crime. Find out what happened next here on PodcastOne!
Resources from This Episode:
- Howie Mandel | A Conversation About Mental Health, Talent, and Perseverance, TJHS 210
- Arthur Brooks | How Loving Your Enemies Can Save America, TJHS 211
- Why Confidence Matters (And How to Get It) by Jordan Harbinger
- FCC Pats Itself on the Back for ‘New’ Robocall Plan That Isn’t New, Has No Real Teeth, Techdirt
- Chinese Robocalls Bombarding the U.S. Are Part of an International Phone Scam, NPR
- 10 Facts To Put Struggling Germaphobes At Ease, Mandatory
- 10 Things to Know Before You Eat Your Next Chicken Dinner, Reveal
- Why You Should Never Wash Raw Chicken, NHS
- Purell Hand Sanitizing Alcohol Wipes
- Better Help
- Scott Galloway | Solving the Algebra of Happiness, TJHS 204
- Are You an Entrepreneur? by Scott Galloway, Gartner
- Mark Manson | Channeling Hope, Choosing Problems, and Changing Values, TJHS 198
- Real Artists Don’t Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins
- Steve Martin: From Standup to Movie Star and Writer, Fresh Air
- How to Build an Edge: Develop Your Talent Stack, Personal Excellence
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
- Chicago Sun-Times Lays off All Photographers, The Chicago Tribune
- Reid Hoffman | Mastering Your Scale for the Unexpected Part One, TJHS 207
- Six-Minute Networking
- Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe
- Postpartum Depression Symptoms and Causes, The Mayo Clinic
- How to Make Friends as an Adult by Jordan Harbinger
- The Trans-Siberian Travel Company
- The Briefcase Technique by Ramit Sethi, I Will Teach You to Be Rich
- How to Get Hired Like a Boss | Feedback Friday, TJHS 185
- Rikke Hansen
- How to Start over in a New City by Jordan Harbinger
- The Black Godfather
Transcript for How to Live with Unwashed Loved Ones | Feedback Friday (Episode 212)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:02] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger and I'm here with producer Jason DeFillippo. Here on The Jordan Harbinger Show, we love having conversations with our fascinating guests and this week we had Howie Mandel talking about a lot from comedy to mental health. This was actually one of my favorite interviews that I've ever done and is probably one of my top recommendations for people new to the show. We also had Arthur Brooks here in studio talking about how something called the outrage industrial complex is designed to divide America so that thought leaders and partisan political personalities and pundits -- that's a lot of P's -- can make money and Arthur is a great thinker. He's a really good writer, he's an even better talker as you will hear in that episode. So this week has just loaded up nicely.
[00:00:47] I also write every so often on the blog. The latest post is a deep dive on confidence. It's a bit of a throwback in terms of the topic, but we did a huge piece on confidence -- building it and maintaining it -- and that's at jordanharbinger.com/articles. So make sure that you have a look and a listen to all that stuff that we created for you this week.
[00:01:08] Of course our primary mission is to pass along our guests' experiences and our experiences and insights along to you. In other words, the real purpose of the show is to have conversations directly with you and that's what we're going to do today here on Feedback Friday. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:01:23] And Jason, it's hot as hell outside. It's a great week to just sit inside reading. It's over a hundred each day up here, which is crazy.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:01:31] Yeah, it's ridiculous down here too. I'm so glad that I spent the spring redoing my studio with insulation and drywall. So it's actually like a place where I can actually work because I walk out the door and it feels like somebody is hitting me with like a heat gun. It's crazy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:49] It is crazy. I bring this up because when I sit inside, I often do things like read or make phone calls and speaking of phone calls, I heard the FCC is finally going to freaking ban or allow carriers -- I should say -- to ban Robocalls. It's like the one thing the FCC has done recently with that weirdo Ajit Pai at the helm that seems to be working, although I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop and it's like, “Now, you have to, now it blows up in your face and it's actually bad for you,“ but he's allowing Verizon, AT&T, and your cell phone carrier to ban Robocalls, which before I didn't realize they couldn’t do that.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:02:29] Yeah. It sounds like you've listened to Grumpy Old Geeks, my podcast -- because you were waiting for the other shoe to drop -- because there's always a catch. There's always a “Gotcha” with these things. And yeah, they're letting the carriers determine what is a robocall and what isn't a robocall because all the corporations are saying that, “Hey, we still need to be able to do robocalls for like debt collection and things like that. They're going to let through all of the ones that we really hate, but they're still going to try and ban the ones that are just completely spam horrific. And coming from India and places like that who just buy up a bunch of numbers or rent them. Technically, they rent the numbers for a couple of hours, send a huge amount of traffic through and do the calls and then disappear. And fortunately, the FCC has given the carriers this at least a little bit of leeway to get rid of this. So any little bit of respite that we can get in the storm, I think is good.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:31] I agree. Yeah. Look, if you owe somebody money, that's a problem. But if you're just calling me to be like, “Hey, the IRS is investigating you.” I mean that how is that legal? I mean it's obviously not, but you need to empower us.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:03:44] It's funny because I have a 415 area code for my phone because I got it in San Francisco 12 years ago. So all of my robocalls come in Chinese because what they're doing is doing immigration scams.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:56] I'll tell you, I get those too with my Michigan area code. It's not just you. Yeah, the immigration scam is huge.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:04:01] Okay. Yeah. Because it's people who have no idea what's going on and they're like, “We're going to deport you and you need to call us back and you need to give us money and we'll fix this problem for you.” And it's a terrible scourge on the phone industry because nobody wants to talk on the phone anyway anymore. And when you get these calls and people who don't know any better who are getting fleeced, it's so just disgusting, so disgusting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:28] Right. So my point is here, by the way, if you know anybody who is from another country, especially if they're Chinese speaking, tell them about this Chinese immigration scam. Apparently, they've netted just tens of millions of dollars with this scam. It's convincing enough to call from the embassy. It's in Chinese, but like even my wife's parents are like, ”Oh, something with their visas,” and I was like, “Uh, hold on. This is a scam.” And they're like, “Oh, okay.” I'm like, “You’re American citizens, you're not going to get a call from the Chinese or US embassy in Chinese, telling you that you're going--“ They can't deport you. You're American now. You're safe. It's good. You're good now.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:05:10] Yeah. You’re all safe. It's all good.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:12] Yeah. Yeah. You're safe. And frankly, in my area, you outnumber anybody who would try to deport you. So you're good. You're fine. All right. Jason, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:05:22] Dear, Jay, Jay, and J, a few years ago, my dad asked me to respond to my mother on his phone and he had a number with no name that he'd recently been texting just below it when he was out of the car. I went on his phone and was not positive, but was pretty sure it was someone else he was seeing. I tried to get this out of my head and forgot about it until this year when I was home helping my father do projects around the house and he opened his phone and it opened to Kik, which is a messaging app with multiple chats and explicit photos. He rushed to close his phone and I acted like I didn't see anything. I don't know if I should tell someone or not. My biggest concern is my little sister who just started middle school and my other sister who just started high school. Do I bring it up with my dad and try and talk it out? Which will be awkward. Or do I tell my mom? Do I tell my sisters or do I just forget it again? Thanks for your advice. I'm honestly clueless as of now. Sincerely, Am I Being Overprotective?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:00] Well, it's your choice really. But if it were me, I'd talk it out with my dad first and I'd give him a chance to come clean to your mom himself. Because if you talk to her directly and she finds out from you, there's the whole shooting the messenger thing that may or may not happen, but also she's not necessarily going to know how to react. So she's got to then figure out how to confront your dad about it. It's a whole thing.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:06:35] And she might know already too.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:37] She might know already. Yeah, that was my other thought that I was going to get to that in a second. She may actually know already and now she's got to handle that with you. So you're kind of just passing the ball of stress onto your mom if you tell her first. And also she could chicken out and it could go on forever and it's just the whole thing. But give him a deadline. Don't say, “You got to confront mom on this,” and he'll be like, “Cool.” And then he's like, “I was going to do it at Christmas.” And you're like, “It's February. What are you talking about? What are you talking about? February? Do it now.” So give him like a week or something or a week or two, whatever to do it. If he doesn't do it himself, then you go to your mom and you just say, “Look, if you don't tell mom this week, I'm going to tell her because I shouldn't have to keep this secret.” Leave your sister's out of it. They're too young. It's just going to traumatize them. It's going to be a huge thing. It's going to be a problem anyway. Frankly -- like Jason said -- she might already know it. It's not like everything is perfect in your parent's life right now and you're the one ruining it. He's ruined it already so you don't have to keep other people's secrets thinking you're keeping everybody happy because your mom, even if she doesn't know, she's probably got a clue that something's going on or the marriage spark has gone or all this stuff. Your parents have to settle this even with kids in school. She could be stressed. She could be holding a secret. Your sisters, the whole family is going to feel a reverb of what's happening here, so it's already happening. You're ripping off the Band-Aid. It's not like everybody thinks everything is perfect.
[00:08:05] Think about this. Your mom probably knows something is going on if she doesn't know about this already. Your dad's hiding a terrible secret. You now know about this. The only people who probably don't know are your little sisters. Yes, you've got to protect them, but I don't think that sweeping this under the rug is really protecting them because it's going to affect your mental health, your dad's mental health, your mom's mental health. How good is that going to be? What home life is that going to be for these two little girls? Yeah. They don't know about the cheating but aren't they going to then see that their whole family is acting like a bunch of crazy stressed out weirdos. That's not good either. So this has to get handled and it's not your fault.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:08:42] Yeah, it's not his fault, but here's what I think. Here's my gut reaction on this. I think the mom knows. I think the dad has like -- you know, he's got a hall pass to go do what he does and they're both what they have to do to get the kids through school. I've seen this happen so many times and what I think really is going on, it's like they have an unhappy marriage. Everybody's doing what they're going to do. Go check your mom's phone if you want. She might have a little bit on the side too, and they're just sticking together to get the kids out of the house into college and then at that point they have a divorce. They go their separate ways. Everybody lives their lives like they normally would because, and that makes your dad and your mom, by the way, very stand up people because they don't want this to be out to the family. You just stumbled on this and you weren't meant to stumble upon this. And I think that they may have an agreement that just says, “Hey, look, you know, the fire's gone and we're going to be our people soon enough once these kids get out of the house. So let's just put on the front, let's be happy and merry and keep the whole family together. And then when everybody has grown up enough to handle it, we go our separate ways. We live our lives and we become the people that we want to be.” That really, I've seen that over and over again. And I think that's what's happening here.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:10] Yeah. I tend to agree. I say 50-50 chance, maybe even greater than that your mom already knows. I think adults think they're really good at keeping secrets from kids and they're really not. That's what I think. I don't think this person is a child. I think she's older. She's in school. We don't really know. But adults are -- nobody's really good at keeping secrets like this over a prolonged period of time. Everybody kind of, sort of, maybe, sort of knows, right? Like you just kind of know. Every time I've dated a girl who had a parent who is doing some stepping out even when I was in high school or even middle school, we just kind of knew something was going on. I remember one of my buddies in high school, his mom was cheating with somebody but she wanted to get caught because it was a whole divorce -- it was just a whole mess is terrible. But the school knew and we're in ninth grade so because of these rumors they get out. Like that kid finds out through overhearing his parents fighting and then tells sister who then tells her friend who then tells her brother and then the whole school knows. Like people know this stuff so it's better to rip off the Band-Aid on this and just get it out there, get it done, have it handled. Your dad needs to step up to the plate on this one. If that conversation means he has to go and protect your mom by being like, “By the way,” you know because he's not going to come out and say, “Your mom already knows.” He's going to have to come --
Jason DeFillippo: [00:11:38] He might.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:39] He might, yeah, it's possible. Yeah. Who knows?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:11:42] And also give him that out and don't box him into a corner and say, “Hey, what are you doing? You bastard. You're cheating on mom,” and whatever. Just say, “Hey, you're adults. If this is consensual. That's fine and I want to make sure my sisters are protected from all this so it doesn't like screw up their school life until they go off to college.“ Give him an out.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:12:05] True, yeah, there's a good point here. Because he might say, “Oh yeah, your mom knows,” and you're like, “Cool, I want to have a conversation with both of you then.” Don't just take his word for it because if she doesn't know and he's lying, then he needs to handle it. But either way, you need to take the monkey off your back and hand it back to your parents. All right, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:12:22] Hey, Triple Jay. My husband and I have been happily married for five years and I consider myself one of the luckiest people for having such a loving and supportive husband and sweet in-laws. Our fights were usually about cooking and his handling of raw chicken very poorly and contaminating the entire kitchen. We also had a phase where we thought because I noticed he didn't wash his hands after using the bathroom. My husband is working on being conscious and we found the compromises. I'm happy to report he regularly washes his hands after bathroom breaks and we now purchase cooked chicken from our local market in all has been well. His parents are visiting from Spain for the month and at first, I was ecstatic to have them here. I'm transitioning work positions and was happy to spend time together and take them sightseeing. The trouble started day two when his mother began taking over in wanting to buy three times the groceries we usually get including uncooked chicken. Later, I mentioned that I was particular when it came to cooking chicken and that we needed to pick up our cooked chicken for the week. She got frustrated and later made comments like, “I don't need anyone telling me how to peel the garlic and I'm very hygienic,” and to smooth the tension I told her, “I knew that and I went to bed.” Since then though, not only does she not stop, she's cooking from seven in the morning to three in the afternoon and going around the house, finding things to do that aren't necessary, but I heard her mumbling under her breath or to his dad things like, “That's a sickness,” which I'm pretty sure refers to me wanting hands washed since she told me the day before that anyone that uses paper towels to open public restroom doors has a sickness. To top it off, I've been sick for a few days and sleeping in the guest room next to the bathroom and started noticing that neither of my in-laws washes their hands after using the bathroom. I'm pretty sure number one and number two. Quite frankly, I'm trying to avoid having a theoretical attack and yelling out, “Wash your freaking hands,” especially when I hear commentary about our home along with her unsolicited advice. At this point, I feel detached from my husband because he put me in an awkward position with his mom. I feel like a prisoner in the guest room because I'm hesitant to make any comments about the topic and I'm completely grossed out at seeing this lack of hygiene and action. I usually don't have any trouble speaking my mind but in this situation, I feel bad calling someone out and want them to feel at home during their stay. We're only on day five and we have 30 more days to go. I love my husband dearly and don't want this to get in the way of our relationship. I've got a huge place in my heart for my in-laws, but now with her behavior and the obvious lack of handwashing skills, I find that I'm grossed out and keeping to myself because I just don't want to see it. I recognize that my germaphobic tendencies are on the other extreme of the spectrum, but I'm not sure where the middle ground is on this. How do I continue the loving relationship with my husband and in-laws without being on constant “ew” factor every time they grabbed my face in their hands or offer me food? How do I accept that my mother-in-law is riddled with anxiety and can't sit still while still honoring my own boundaries? Lost and hygienically confused, Germaphobe-in-Law.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:14] Okay, so what you have to do in this situation is to get a divorce and burn the house down. I mean seriously like I'm looking at this and I'm going, “Okay, if you have a disorder than I have a disorder.” This reminds me of Howie Mandel because he won't shake hands if you heard that episode earlier this week, I mean he won't shake hands, he won't touch people. His book is called, here's The Deal: Don't Touch Me because he's got the OCD. He's washing himself with scalding water and using Purell all over the place, but this is legit gross like this crosses the line from, “Oh, it's a sickness. So you have some sort of weird disease to know you're touching raw chicken, which has listeria among other things, and then you're touching cabinets.” It is a great way to make everybody horribly ill or possibly kill older people and small children, literally. Chicken bacteria, listeria, things like that. It can kill people.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:16:04] Honestly, you don't mess around with that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:07] No. Jen's pregnant, as you all know, and one of the things that they said is you can't eat and there's this list of stuff and it's because of listeria, which is one of the bacteria that are just everywhere on raw chicken. So you're not even supposed to wash raw chicken in the sink unless you can make sure the water doesn't splash elsewhere in the sink, which you can't do.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:16:26] And by the way, you should never wash raw chicken because you're washing the flavor off.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:30] Right, you're not supposed to wash it anyway. So the fact that he's doing that and then look, as a guy, I can say sometimes if I'm just hanging out doing something and I'm at the airport, yeah, my hands are going to get dirty or touching the faucet. I'm going to use a wipe or Purell later, but number two, go wash your freaking hands. Do it. It's gross. These people are dirty. I'm sorry. I know they're your in-laws. I'm siding with you. You got to sneak up with them on with Purell wipes or shake. Wipe your hands down with so much Purell that you're dripping and then go shake their hands. “I just want to say good morning to you. Here you go.”
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:09] Yeah. I think you could use that trick once because they're never going to want to shake your hand again -- because if you come with a sopping hand and you grab both of them and wipe back and forth. Yeah, I think that'll work once.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:23] Yeah. Yeah. I don't know, man. Every time if someone is going to not --They're wiping the hand towel -- First of all, you have to use your own hand towel. I don't need to tell you how to stay clean here. What I need to do is tell you how to stay sane and I think going to the gym and burning off some steam. I know that sounds like really simple advice, but whatever other people's anxiety is contagious. Then going to the gym, burning off some steam, going on walks because you kind of have to forget about and if I were you, frankly you're going to look crazy if they catch you. But I would not blame you for taking Purell wipes and wiping down all of the handles in the fridge and everything because they don't care about spreading germs and it's no coincidence that she's sick in the guest room --
Jason DeFillippo: [00:18:09] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:10] -- right now.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:18:11] Definitely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:12] They're all used to their disgusting germs because they've lived with each other for so long. They're probably built up antibodies. You're sitting there touching all their poop doorknobs in there. Gross listeria chicken handles on your own fridge. It's just nasty. It's nasty.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:18:27] I have six packs of Clorox wipes that I use every time I touch anything that is dead or raw and I just wipe the entire kitchen down every time because you don't want to play around with that, this dangerous stuff.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:41] Yeah. We've had people get sick. Back at the old company, we had people getting, getting sick sometimes and it. They would cook their own food, they'd cook chicken, it would be undercooked whatever it was. They didn't think outright, yada, yada. Some of these guys were so sick they had to go to the hospital and --
Jason DeFillippo: [00:18:56] Oh, not good, not good.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:57] No, I mean you and I remember one guy said, “I've never been that sick in my whole life.” I mean, he had an IV because he couldn't even drink water. I mean, he was expelling like crazy. And that's raw chicken and it's really easy to get that sick from raw chicken. So the fact that he's touching it and then touching handles and wiping his hands off on a towel. I mean you are just, not only is he asking for it, somebody who's not used to that stuff like you, you could get extremely, extremely sick. The fact that they're saying that you have a sickness is disrespectful because I get that it might look like you're being extra clean, but they're actually being disgusting.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:19:39] Yeah. Gross AF.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:41] Yeah. What universe can you be in where you take a dump and you don't wash your hands after like where -- what on -- and that's not Spain. I know your in-laws are from Spain. I'm pretty sure that Spanish people still wash their hands. I think you just have disgusting in-laws and I think you need to burn off steam. Your mother-in-law clearly has anxiety of her own. She just also has bad hygiene. It's not a good combination. So you need to burn off steam. Seriously, go to Better Help and just get a therapist that you can text and say, “Oh my gosh, they're doing it again. What do I do?” Maybe they've got some drills or breathing exercises or something. But truth be told, you're not the weird one here. You're being outnumbered by them, but that is objectively disgusting that they don't wash their hands and if they touch raw chicken and everything and then touch everything else after the bathroom. You're not that weird one. Let me just reassure you.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:20:26] This is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:40] This episode is sponsored in part by the Hartford.
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[00:22:28] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. To learn more about our sponsors and get links to all the great discounts you just heard, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. And if you'd be so kind, please drop us a nice rating and review on iTunes or your podcast player of choice. It really helps us out and helps build the show family. If you want some tips on how to do that, just head on over to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe. Now, let's hear some more of your questions here on Feedback Friday.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:53] All right, next.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:22:54] Hi, Triple Jay. I'm 29 years old. My boyfriend and I will be dating for a year in July and just yesterday on our way home from the park, I was looking for a napkin in his car when I opened his center console and to my surprise was a box of condoms. We stopped using condoms about six months ago trying not to overreact. I calmly asked him about them. He said he bought them when we first started dating and completely forgot that they were there. I know he's cleaned out his car a few times in the last several months and I'm worried he's lying or he's keeping them in case we break up. I'm so confused. This doesn't seem like something you would just forget about, but he tends to be a forgetful guy. Is this a huge red flag or is this something he really could have forgotten about? We both have been cheated on in past relationships, so this doesn't seem like something he would do other than this situation, I've never had any reason to question his loyalty. Should I let this go? I don't want my past insecurities messing up a good because I am beyond in love with him and I must admit, I feel like if this were the other way around and he found them in my car, he wouldn't be okay with it at all. He tends to be a jealous guy. I will admit yesterday I told myself to let it go while we were driving home and when I went to bed last night, I couldn't sleep at all. All I could think about where those damn condoms in his car, please help me. I don't know what to do. I really want to believe him. Please, please, please help. Signed, Should the Rubber Hit the Road.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:12] What strikes me in this one is that you're both insecure because of the past. You've both been cheated on, so you've got your sensitivities on 11 and I understand that. That's why you said, “Oh, he's jealous.” He's jealous because he's worried about being cheated on again/he's insecure/that caused maybe some of the cheating to be more likely. It's hard to say, but there's clear insecurity on both sides. That said, if this was me, I would forget about the condoms too. I would check the date on them, the expiration date, maybe there's a manufacturer date. See when they were made, if they were made three months ago, he's lying. He didn't buy them before and keep them right, so that's the one thing you can sort of do to check the story, but if they're old, they could just be old and I know you say, “Oh they are in his car and he said he forgot.” I can totally see that. I can totally see getting a box of condoms, leaving them in the console of the car forgetting they’re there. That's something I would do. I think if you live together, it's weird that they're in his car, but if you don't live together and he's driving to you and all that stuff, “Yeah, he probably just left him in his car,” and in the absence of other evidence, there's no reason for you to suspect anything.
[00:25:21] What I will say is that -- one thing she says in this letter, Jason, that came out to me was -- says, “Oh, well, since we'd both been cheated on, I don't think he would do that.” There is no evidence that says --
Jason DeFillippo: [00:25:31] That’s a coin flip. Yeah, that's 50-50 coin flip. Yeah, that means nothing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:35] Somebody who has been cheated on -- I know it logically seems like, “Well, if they've been cheated on, they know how much it hurt the other person. So they would never do that to me.” Eh, no!
Jason DeFillippo: [00:25:42] Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope. Absolutely not.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:46] Nope. There, there are all kinds of stuff. I mean like humans are really good at rationalizing behavior, so you can, you can forget about him going, “Well, that hurt my feelings and I'd never want to do that to so and so. So I’m not going to do it.” No way. If anything I would say that there's maybe even -- Yeah, it's probably equally likely, if not even more likely because I think sometimes people want to feel powerful or want to reenact things that traumatize them. So yeah, I wouldn't rely on that.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:26:20] Yeah. I mean, my gut feeling is he bought him, left him in the glove compartment and completely forgot about them. That's my gut feeling because guys do that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:31] I’ve had so many things that look suspicious. The other thing is a lot of times things that look suspicious in the absence of other signs really aren't like I found a ring -- like I don’t know if it was expensive or not, I couldn't tell when I was in law school -- I found it in the dirt and I was like, “Oh, I better send an email to the law student list and ask if anybody lost a ring,” because it looks like it might be like an engagement ring or something, so I better post about it. Well, I forgot to post about it and I had my girlfriend over and it was on the table next to my bed so that I would remember it. And she goes, she later on, like months later, it was like, “So were you cheating on me?” And I was like, “What are you talking about?” She's like, “Well, you had that ring next to your bed that somebody probably took off.” And I was like, “No, I found it in the dirt.” And she's like, “But there's no dirt on it.” I'm like, “Well, I washed it off.” And then when we broke up, she's like, “So tell me the truth. Are you cheating on me?” And I was like, “No.” And she was like, “No, you can tell me the truth now.” “I'm just like, no, I wasn't. I found it in the dirt.” And she wouldn't believe me, but I realized --
Jason DeFillippo: [00:27:37] You know what that reminds me of? It's like when you're dating someone and they have a dream that you cheated on them, then they hate you for the next like two, three weeks, because in their dream you cheated on them, but you did nothing wrong.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:52] And you're like, “Yo, your dreams are based on your insecurities. This is not evidence for my issues.”
Jason DeFillippo: [00:27:58] Exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:59] Like it literally exists solely in your mind. That's it. So look in the absence of other signs, forget it for now. Keep your eyes peeled I suppose, but don't let it ruin your relationship because I can totally see myself doing something like this. That said, ask him about this, see how he reacts. Because if he's like, “Oh, I mean you know--“ Because I know you already asked him about it. He's like, “Oh, I left him in the car.” I would say again, you know when there's nothing to distract, go, “Look if there's something going on, please tell me,” and if he's like, “No, seriously, I left him in the car like duh, duh, duh, duh.” Are they the same brand that you guys were using? Maybe you don't remember. Condoms do look a lot alike a lot of the time. By the way, don't store condoms in the car. Heat destroys latex, so your car heats up. Also, you can't keep them in your wallet either. I think people know that, right? You can't keep the body. The heat will break down the latex. You'll end up with tons of broken, weak condoms. All right, next step.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:28:55] This question is also sponsored by the Hartford. Good day, Triple Jay. Lately, my initiatives and motivations to be a professional photographer have been getting crushed by fear of not being able to support myself financially and ultimately wasting my time. The idea of not having the luxuries of a consistent paycheck schedule and health benefits that come with most nine-to-five jobs gives me anxiety that I may end up being high and dry if I choose to go out on my own. What happens if I get injured and don't have insurance to pay for any medical expenses? Logically, getting a solid job where I can climb the ladder and work towards being successful in a career as a much safer and seemingly better use of my time and energy. I'm only in my mid-20s have no debt and no big responsibilities to anyone other than myself, so I have a ton of freedom to pursue freelancing seems like the time to go for it. I worked a photo internship for six months and learned quite a bit. I even had a mentor who showed me a ton about the industry that I would have never figured out on my own. I've done a pretty good job at networking and have made a few friends in this industry along the way. To be honest, I do have a talent and my clients have all been very happy with my photos, but I'm not the best at marketing myself, which is something I'm actively working on improving. I'm taking the right steps, but I'm just totally half-ass in these steps and not giving this 100 percent and it's my fear that's making me second guess and not to commit all the way. So what is your advice when it comes to dealing with the anxiety of starting your own business? How can I accept these risks and potential setbacks yet still give this everything I've got. Thanks, The Alarmed Artist.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:25] Well, it's tough because when I started the show in the first business -- well one of the first businesses -- I mean we did this show for like six years, made less than 50 grand a year. I think a lot less actually. I think in the first few years, I made like 25 grand a year and I lived in Manhattan. Think about that. That was poverty level. You know, there were people probably on public assistance that made more money than me.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:30:52] This is one you're like living in a tent in the room with a bunch of sweaty dudes, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:57] Yeah. We had, I wasn't in the tent, but we had employees that lived in the living room of my apartment and they pitched a tent in the living room because they didn't have any privacy and they wanted to hook up and you know, chill and have people not bug them. They would go into a tent in my living room. Anyway, so that's insane. It's insane. Anyway, so you have to really love what you're doing and you have to have the guts to go through the hard times. Scott Galloway, episode 204 of the show, he said some people are just not cut out to be entrepreneurs. And of course, we asked him what that was and he said that you have to be comfortable with public failure and that doesn't mean you're going to be in the news media. What it means is your mom, your friends, they're all going to go, “Whoa, you tried to make it as a photographer. Now, you work at Coles.” You have to be comfortable with that. You have to be okay with that or “How's photography going?” While you're bartending somewhere to pay the rent. You have to be fine with that. You don't have to be happy about it. Those people are being dicks, but you have to be fine with doing that or with feeling that with having that happen to you and having those people quote-unquote be right. They're not right, but they're, they're cutting to the core of the issue, which is you're not making a living doing what you're doing and that leads to all kinds of bad decisions by the way, where people go, “Well, I saw on YouTube, so-and-so or Instagram said, go all in.” That sounds appealing because then you get to go, “Yeah, I don't work at Coles anymore. I'm a full-time photographer.” But really you're borderline homeless cause you're not making any money. Don't be stupid. Do what you need to do to get by. Don't try to cover up the fear of public failure with going all-in or trying to keep up appearances. There's going to be times -- I was just walking to Chelsea Handler on the show, which is coming out soon and she said that she waited tables for awhile. Why? So she had money. Do you think people said, “Oh, you're going to be a comedian, you're a waitress now?” Of course, they did. She didn't give a crap. You have to be cool with that.
[00:32:00] The other thing Scott said is you have to be able to sign the front, not the back of checks and what he means by that is you're not getting paid. You're paying other people, and there's a lot of times in a lot of companies where you might not take an income, but you've got to pay all your employees. You've got to pay rent, you've got to pay expenses. You might not be taking an income everybody else around you might be. You can't be a leader in a business and get paid X number of dollars a year and then ask your assistant to work for free. It doesn't work. It doesn't work. Like even now, I'm not taking much of an income at all because we're still ramping up and I'm reinvesting everything in the business, so you have to be comfortable with that. A lot of people aren't willing to do that. They're not willing to sign the front, not the back of the check.
[00:33:36] Scott's third question is how risk aggressive are you? I think he means almost risk-tolerant and willing to an article where he explains this, we'll link to it in the show notes. What he means is, look, are you able to go, “All right, I'm going to try this photography thing and I'm going to bartend. Oh, I have to quit this bartending job because I've got to go away for a week on a photography job. Okay? That means when I get back, I've got to take another job while I might not get one right away, so that means that I might have to get three roommates so that I can afford to live here and I might not be able to afford to go out at all this year. I might not be able to afford to go back home and visit my family. I might not be able to take a vacation. I can't buy all the stuff that I want. I can't upgrade my car. I need to save that money in case I hit hard times doing what I'm doing.” You have to be tolerant of that and what I will say is risk never goes down as we get older, risk tolerance anyway. It doesn't really go down as we get older. Maybe once kids leave the house or something, but when you're younger, it's always better and easier to take big risks. Like you said in your letter here, you don't have kids. You're not responsible to anyone. That's a big deal. I didn't realize how much my life would change even when I got married. It's a big deal. You go, “Ooh, I own a house now. I'm married now. I can't do this.” When I was in my 20s and early 30s it was like, “Go on vacation or go backpacking for two years, fine, whatever. I'm just going to go do that.” “Oh, I have to get a job. Well, I'll do it later.” “Oh you, you have student loan debt piling up? Eh, screw it. I'll pay for it later. I'm deferring on the interest for the maximum period of time and I'm making minimum payments and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah.” You can't do that when you're 40 and you have two young kids, you just can't.
[00:35:15] So you right now in your 20s you can live on 30K a year if you need to. You can make 30K doing photos for sure, especially if you have a nine-to-five or part-time job, you freelance on the side. I would definitely try to get a job doing photography, being an assistant, whatever it is, and then freelancing on the side. I'd work with somebody who's killing it and shadow them working for free or for minimum wage. Even if you deserve more until you know that you can go off on your own. If you're not there already. That way you're getting practice your skill, building, your skill stacking. Then you can work out the kinks. That's how you build confidence. You don't build confidence by looking in the mirror and saying something that you saw on Instagram feed. “I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. I’m on it. People like me.” That's not going to build real confidence. What builds confidence is going all right. I've worked with this other guy for three years. I see how he generates leads. I've run his online marketing on his website. I've set up his merchant accounts. I know how he generates business. I know how he shows off his photos and I know how he sets up his lighting. That stuff is how you build confidence, not by attending a self-help seminar.
[00:36:20] I was just talking with Mark Manson and Jeff Goins about this. Jeff Goins, amazing writer, Mark Manson been on the show, also an amazing writer, super, super smart and one of the things that Jeff had mentioned was he said that him and Mark had been talking about this concept of if you want to do something for a living, you have to love the craft and the business of it. So their example was the business of being a writer involves a lot of non-writing things. Same with speaking, lots of travel and BS to spend 45 minutes doing the thing, which is speaking. You have to love it all. And he said, same with podcasting. I'd imagine you're not just sitting in front of a mic, having a conversation. You have to book the guests, you have to prep the guests, you have to ask for the guests to link to your show in other areas so that you build the listener base. All of those things are part of it. There's no such thing anymore -- if there ever was and I'm not convinced -- of you're doing such good work. It stands on its own. That just isn't real.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:37:18] It doesn't exist.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:19] It doesn't exist. There are always people --
Jason DeFillippo: [00:37:21] Yeah, it does not exist.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:22] Like I think about this. Is there anyone funnier than Steve Martin? And it's not a rhetorical question. The answer is yeah, of course. There's somebody funnier than Steve Martin. Why is he one of the most famous comedians? Well, he went out every night and went to comedy clubs and worked his ass off on the material and then he went on Saturday Night Live. And yes, some of that's going to be networking and relationships and a lot of it's going to be luck but there's somewhere, there's a comic in actual person who is not just someone's uncle who was hilarious, another comic who was funnier than Steve Mark 10 times funnier, but he was, didn't go out and practice this stuff and it didn't get seen in the right places or when I lived in this small town and went to those comedy clubs in the city and only went every other week because he had a job and Steve Martin dedicated his whole life to marketing himself, getting better at it, creating the right relationships and got a bigger platform. Trust me, nobody's more sad about this than me, right? Because I would love to just be like, I'm going to do a good show and that's what's going to stand on its own and people are going to find us. It's not the way that I'm going to be able to make a living doing this. There are tons of people I'm sure that are more funny and smarter than I am and better at guiding a conversation and would be able to be a better host than me easily. The problem is they have other things going on. They're working on something else. They're not marketing. They're not creating a podcast. They're not going through the process of prepping the guest. They don't have someone like Jason handling all the tech, right? There are all kinds of things that are in their way but naturally, they would have been a better host than me just by pure talent or even by talent plus effort.
[00:38:57] It's just that they don't have the chops to market it or they're not doing that and you have to remember that. There's never going to be a time at which your work is so good, it stands on its own. Think about something that is so good that it goes viral is very tough to do and if it does, how many people are going viral and then turning that into a career, right? Not many. Not many. Even Mark Manson, right? Book went viral, seven and a half million copies, one of the bestselling books of the decade, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck, one of the best selling books of the decade. I've known him for years and years and years and I mean like 10-plus years. That book is only a few years old. He was writing blog posts and trying to get those to go viral for half a decade or more before he even wrote a book and some of them did. He had a couple of pieces that went really viral and he had a bunch that never did anything, so even him. He was trying to do marketing viral marketing before anybody even knew what viral marketing was. People were emailing each other his blog posts, so he didn't just get lucky and turn that book into a career. He had been working on what's going to go viral and what's going to get shared a lot for a half decade before coming up with a book title and the content for that book
Jason DeFillippo: [00:40:13] And even going from, not even a book writer. I mean this guy is looking for photography, which is something that is ubiquitous. The slate of people that he has to go up against right now is insane. Everybody has a camera. You know the Chicago Sun-Times fired their entire photography staff and just gave everybody an iPhone. It is ridiculous. Photography is the hardest thing to break into and that's why I quit. That's why I quit. And I'm like, “Ah, screw this. I'm going to be a photographer.” I have a degree in photography. I can take the best pictures you ever wanna take. But if you want to be a photographer nowadays, you have to know social media. You have to know about marketing. You have to know personal relationships. You have to also know your craft. You have to know your craft better than anybody in the business. You're going up against David LaChapelle. You're going up against Clayton Cubitt. You're going up against these guys, Seth Miranda, all these guys who are out there really kicking ass and taking names and there are so many skills that you have to do. So just be cognizant of that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:21] I know it sounds like we're talking out of actually doing this, but I think the point is people who are going to go and make a living off of something that's artistic in nature, they go, “Yeah, I'm probably not going to be able to ever do that. Or yeah, maybe I'll get there someday, but in the meantime, I just love doing it,” and they're going to do it anyway and yes, there's going to be anxiety surrounding it and there's going to be a lot of uncertainty, but you just have to do it anyway. There is no kind of mantra that you can say in the mirror each morning that's going to get you past that. Like I said, try to get close to the crown by working with somebody who's really amazing, learn what they're doing, learn the business side and the artistic side, creative side of photography, and then eventually you'll realize that you can start small and do it yourself. But anybody who's starting a podcast right now, he says, I want to be like Mark Mason. I'm going to be Dax Shepard. That's not the right outlook to have.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:42:11] No, it's not. It's not. But if you wake up in the morning and say, “I want to create great art, then that's the mindset that is going to get you to the next level.” Because honestly between me and you, Jordan, when we wake up in the morning, I'm just like, “Let's make some good podcasts.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:29] Yeah. I go to bed at night thinking about this. I routinely wake up at 3 a.m. and going, “Oh, you know what? I've got to ask Jason if we should change this thing in the intro.”
Jason DeFillippo: [00:42:37] Oh, I got to turn off my Slack notifications. You're such an asshole at night.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:41] Yeah, you should turn those out. I started putting them into a to-do list because I was like, Ooh, I don't want him to wake up at 4:00 a.m. and see this.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:42:49] Except I get up at 4:00 a.m. because I love Jocko Willink, Get Some.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:53] There you go. Yeah. You wake up at 4:00 a.m. for many reasons. I would say that you kind of have to live, eat, and breathe this stuff, but it doesn't mean you have to go all-in. Like if I had to redo it, yeah, I wouldn't go to law school most likely. I don't regret going, but you know, the ideal path would have been for me to work in a newsroom somewhere. It would have been crap pay and I would've learned a ton.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:43:18] We'll be right back with more Feedback Friday right after this.
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[00:47:12] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us on the air, so we appreciate it when you check them out. To learn more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. Now back to the show for the conclusion of your questions here on Feedback Friday.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:30] All right, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:47:31] Hi guys. You talked with Reid Hoffman about how do we work our way up to talking with people like him. How do you work your way up to those people intentionally? I know a good number of really cool high-level people that I've met through my work, but I don't know how I would go about intentionally trying to get in contact with the specific person. Do I make a list of people that I would need to get connected with in order to reach someone like Reid Hoffman? Thanks. Signed, Leveling Up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:55] Do Six-Minute Networking. Geez, people, this is what the course is about. jordanharbinger.com/course that's where it is. Look, what you do is create connections and specific niches, specific areas as well as general connections, so you look for connections in the target area as well, such as tech for Reid Hoffman and other Silicon Valley types. Jason, you have a ton of tech connections, so that's really good for us because you have a kind of hub of knowledge that goes way back.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:48:22] I have a hub. Oh my God, I have a hub.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:25] You have a hub and you literally ask for the intro after spending time providing value to those mutual connections. So, in this case, Jason got Joi Ito on the show from the MIT media lab. Jason, you knew Joi from your tech days with your startup and I know Joi was in that scene as well back then.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:48:42] Yeah. Joi invested in my early first startup called and we became friends and then from there I got to get introduced to his network and we moved from there.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:54] Joi then came on the show, did a great interview. We helped him spread his message, whatever he was doing at the time. I think he had a book probably. Right, Jason?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:49:01] He did have a book and we kept in touch with Joi using, of course, the stuff that we talk about in Six-Minute Networking, the drills, and the Contactually CRM as we explained in the course. And then when I wanted to interview Reid, I mentioned it to Jason in the production meeting I assume.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:49:16] Exactly. I knew Reid from one of the times when Joi invited me to a conference and we hung out and Reid was there and read actually gave me some advice on my company. So, when you asked me about, “Hey, do you know Reid Hoffman?” And I'm like, “Yeah I haven't talked to him in 15 years but I'm guessing he probably remembers me.” And then I reached out and he said yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:38] And then when Reid Hoffman was doing the interview he totally remembered you as well Jason. There are a lot of harder connections to get. This is a numbers game in a lot of ways because some stuff will just sort of fall from the sky. For example, some of the security contacts that I have from teaching and consulting because we're doing, I guess -- for lack of a better word -- training bodyguards here in Silicon Valley. They've also got high-level clients that they protect. And those clients are the ones that we're asking about in terms of interviews. So it's a back channel, which is actually better than knocking on the front door of a billionaire who's not going to have time for a podcast generally. You have to make a lot of connections. You can't just go for the ones that you want. Because if you're just like, “I need to meet Jeff Bezos,” you're going to run into every wall. But if you meet a bunch of people in circles that are adjacent to his circles, eventually your circles will overlap. And you can be deliberate about that. You just can't be laser-focused on one person. So yes, work your way up to those people intentionally, but don't exclude other people in those circles while you're doing it or you will piss everyone off. Just go through Six-Minute Networking. That's what this whole course is about. There are plenty of ideas in there about how to reach out to specific people and ask for an introduction. When I get questions like this, I often go, “Hmm, are you even doing the course? If so and you still don't get it, then we need to clarify it, but I think it's pretty clear in Six-Minute Networking.” Again, which is free and at jordanharbinger.com/course. All right, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:51:03] Dear, Jordan and Jason. My wife admitted to me that she's very lonely. My wife and I are both in our early 30s and live in the ex-burbs of Milwaukee. We're both from small families. We're both only children and both have one living parent. My wife lost her mom to Alzheimer's. She can't open up to her dad the way a daughter can to a mom and her mother-in-law, my mom is not someone she can build a relationship with, which is okay to me. Admittedly, we both lost the wrong parent. We have no close aunt, uncle or grandparents that fill that special family role. My wife lacks close friends that she can open up to -- to vent and to receive advice. The relationships with our best friends from college in her 20s are eroding and we know that happens over time. I've also heard that half of one's friendships are replaced every seven years. Growing family’s distance in life happens. People lose touch. It's not for lack of effort on her part though. She calls texts and sends cards to those friends. Often our family is growing as well. We have two under two. That means most of our free time is spent trying to keep a toddler and infant alive and getting whatever sleep we can. Unfortunately, we can't devote a lot of our energy to other activities. She also works from home, so she has limited interaction with any work colleagues and sometimes spends the workday plugged into her laptop without social interaction. Plus, she's on maternity leave until September and can't do any work during that time. We're trying to find friends though. We try to fill our weekends with group activities and run down a list of friends we invite to join us or come over if one can't. We look up the next one. We're involved in our community. We volunteer with a few groups, but they're mostly populated by older retirement-aged individuals. He's also involved with a woman's social club and has had mixed results, but it did lay the foundation for some early-stage friends. However, her pregnancy with our second was a difficult one that caused her to withdraw from social events, which caused that friendship building to stall. She hasn't fully recovered from this pregnancy, so she can't get back into her hobbies yet. Furthermore, not having her mom around makes watching other women interact with their moms and family more difficult. The gut shot moment for me came when she said, we can afford to buy whatever we like, but we can't buy a new family or any friends. Here's why this is extra challenging to me. I'm not lonely. I have a variety of friendships through my job from high school in college and I've got guys I can text every day. They aren't all deep and meaningful, but I have interactions. We have friends over or visit them frequently. I can participate most of my hobbies without needing a companion and of course, I have my wife for social interaction. This is good enough for me, so I don't know how to help. Have we just hit a valley when it comes to friendships losing some will not replace them? Are we doing enough by joining young professionals, young women's groups and other volunteer organizations? Is there a Tinder for moms and baby playdates? Will this improve as our kids get older, have activities of their own and can use their friend's parents as social opportunities? What advice do you have for what it's worth? She said she could try therapy, but that won't get us any new friends. Any advice is welcome Signed, A Helping Husband.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:00] I know you have two kids under two, so I'm going to lean away from postpartum depression. I don't think it lasts that long, although what do I know. There could be residual effects so just make sure that there's not something deeper going on. I know she's on maternity leave and works from home, which can be very common postpartum depression. It can last for a while and people rarely are open about it. I wonder, does she go to work at a coffee shop or does she only work in the same room at home all day? I know that maybe she's got to keep an eye on the kids while she's working, but maybe even like a couple of hours a day or a couple of days a week you get some childcare and she just gets to not be changing diapers the whole time or trying to do work and keeping an eye on kids. Maybe she has some adult interaction. It helps if she becomes a regular at a specific place. People would get to know her and she would get to know them. Also, is she taking any classes on kids' stuff? Childbirth, parenting, whatever. I would ask one of the other moms to meet before class or stay after for tea or pickles or whatever. You know, in Jenny's, so some weird fruits. Of course, once you have kids you can make friends with people that you're around naturally. I say that like I know, but I did ask a lot of new parents’ advice on this subject for myself and further ask them here.
[00:55:15] Other kids’ parents, they're going through the same challenges that you are and you have something in common right off the bat and that makes for an easier transition into friends. There are play dates that go on and all that. A lot of my friends who have young kids, their friend circle is -- of course their usual friend circle -- but the new friends are all parents. They're all parents with kids the same age and it actually works out pretty well. Yeah, it's a smaller pool to choose from, but it actually tends to be pretty strong relationships because from what I understand and what I will find out very soon is parenting really encompasses. You go the whole hog on that. This is what you do. It's your main hobby, it's your main thing and a lot of other people are the same way, so if you've got something that you do with your kids, you can really get to know those other parents. The real truth is that it's hard to make friends as an adult, especially for men.
[00:56:05] Priorities shift. We no longer live and take a bunch of classes with our friends and have a ton of free time. There's a lot of data on why friendships matter for our health, not just for sanity's sake, but there's an outlet for fun. We actually live longer when we have active social lives. I go into the data in the article that I wrote on the Jordan Harbinger website -- How to Make Friends as an Adult. That's at jordanharbinger.com/article. It's called How to Make Friends as an Adult. It goes into much depth and scientific data on adult friendships. First designed the type of life that you're after, the type of social life. As you begin the process, figure out what you want as an adult. Some helpful questions to ask yourself here. Do you want a vast constellation of moderate friendships or a smaller tribe of deep ones? And the smaller tribe of deep ones tends to be the healthiest, but I'm not going to put judgment on this. Do you want to have someone to drink with six nights a week or do you want people you can call when you need guidance? I'll let you guess which one of those is healthier, of course. Do you want to find people who will help you meet other people? You can make a friend who's a super social super-connector and then you can just lean on them. That's a really good hack. Maybe you know somebody who is single and hangs out a lot and doesn't necessarily stay out late but is very active. Maybe you want that person to be your friend and they're always having parties and calling you and inviting you and connecting with other people and maybe you have to say no 80 percent,90 percent of the time, but you say, “Look, I really appreciate the invites because one day I'll be able to make it and I really like that.” That's fine. Or do you want to find people who will make you want to get to know them? How much contact frequency, mode, depth would your friendships be if their significant in your eyes? What topics, issues, values, challenges are you going to be able to explore through those friendships? And what activities and experiences would you like to enjoy through those friendships? There are no correct answers here. Some are healthier than others like I mentioned, but each person is different. Each phase of life requires different types of connection and of course, the quality of the relationship is better than quantity, especially as we get older. The best way to make new friends is to actively engage with life by investing more deeply in your own experiences while also pursuing new ones. So many people assume that once they have new friends, then they'll be able to participate more fully in life. They'll have stuff to do.
[00:58:21] In fact, the exact opposite is true. We need to participate more fully in life in order to attract new friends. We can't depend on other people to broaden our world. We need to broaden our own world, which in turn will bring new people into our lives. This means consciously choosing to take on new activities, goals, new projects first for ourselves. Then we use them secondarily as a way to filter new people into our lives. That means investing more in our current lives as well as taking on new experiences. Doing both of these things will work wonders. Don't think like, “Oh, I'm going to wait to make friends and then I'll have stuff to do.” That's the wrong way to look at this. We have to become interesting people in order to meet interesting people, not the other way around. And if you're looking at what activities to pursue, to get super tactical here for a moment, some of the best activities include volunteering like nonprofits, conferences, other events, taking classes either at college, adult education center, vocational school, something like that. Picking up a hobby, especially at a space that forms around that. Hobby. Rock climbing at a gym, a knitting class, a maker-space storytelling workshop, comedy, whatever. Taking on new roles and responsibilities at work to office committees, adjacent projects, organizational networking, informal socializing, deepening or formalizing your professional experience. Maybe you can get another license. Pursue a degree. Now I get it. You have kids. This makes it more challenging, but this stuff applies to people who do and don't have kids. And so I'll let you sort of work out the balance for yourself. But traveling is also a good one. I know that might be off the table for a while. The options here are of course endless. There's no correct way to expand your world. There are only more or less meaningful ways to do this.
[01:00:05] So how do you know which activities or projects to pursue? Well, a few principles are going to guide you here. And I go into, again more depth in this in the article, but if you had to choose an activity or hobby, only do it if you find it enjoyable. Don't do something that you don't like cause you're going to filter it in the wrong kind of people and you won't get anything out of the experience. And also cultivate your core values. All relationships are built on values. Every word gesture, every communication communicates what we feel is important and what we believe is important. If we put up with a friend who subtly mocks us, we communicate that we don't hold ourselves in high esteem. When we stick with a friend who regularly bails on us because, “We're a mom and we don't have that many friends,” well then, we communicate that we don't find ourselves worthy of respect and commitment. On the flip side, when we help a friend prepare for a job interview, we communicate that they are worth our time and deserve new opportunities and when we cultivate a friend who listens to us and paths ugly, we communicate that our experiences matter. So the quality of our values and the quality of our relationships are deeply connected and some ways in which I offer value and experience to those around me are everything in Six-Minute Networking. That's the whole point of the course. If you're not in Six-Minute Networking, go check it out at jordanharbinger.com/course. It's free. It's about helping other people get what they want and creating relationships based on that. Also, I pick a conference or event that I actually want to go to every three or four months and I do those. I picked them in January when I plan out the year. And very rarely do I add anything. So, I'm going to Bhutan in November. I do guys trips or man-cation. Not as much. I haven't done one for a while, but some of those turn into it. I go to a thing called Mastermind Talks and Jason, we kept trying to do one a while ago. We kept trying to go to North Korea, but your world kept turning over and over and over. I think you missed like three rounds of that.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:01:56] I know I've got all of those stamps in visas for China in my passport. And every time I look at it, I'm just like, “Oh man.” But yeah, that's what happens when you work for a major South Korean company and they find out you're going to North Korea. They just kind of don't want to let you go.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:10] Oh, is that what happened? I didn't even know that
Jason DeFillippo: [01:02:12] I was working for Kia. And they're like, “If you go, you're not going to have a job when you come back.” I'm like, “Oh man, I really want to go. I already paid. Let’s just make this thing happen.” So yeah, I should've just said I was going to Boise for a couple of days and that would've been fine. But Nope. Head opened my big mouth. Well, the good,
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:30] the news is that the tour company runs tours to Tajikistan and Siberia literally. And I bet you they would credit your deposit and they still have it.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:02:38] Okay.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:40] So if you ever want to go to Tajikistan or Siberia. Let me know. I honestly, I would go to do the Trans-Siberian Railway. Somebody listening has for sure have done this. Doesn't that sound awesome?
Jason DeFillippo: [01:02:55] That would be one hell of a trip. I would be so down for that.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:59] Yeah. Yeah. I mean it's photograph heaven. The food is supposed to be amazing. Obviously, there are tons of really good drinks on board that because it's a fancy experience. It's not like you're getting on some Siberia train that has no heat and they're like, “We arrive at three weeks,” when they slammed the door shut. This is like fancy live music playing and like fancy events and there's, I think they require you to bring formal wear for evening cocktail parties on this train because this thing is rolling for literally like 10 straight days or something crazy through Siberia. It's nuts. It's really, really cool. I definitely have this on my bucket list.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:03:45] Yeah, let's make that one happen at some point. Maybe when the, when the kid gets in high school and I can find a dog sitter, we'll head over to Russia for that one.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:03:54] I'm down. Yeah, I think it would be really fun. And look, there's a lot more to creating, maintaining friends as an adult. There's a lot more by way of principles and tactics in the article. I highly recommend checking out that article. We'll link it in the show notes. If you're wanting to strengthen your connections as an adult, that article has a lot of gold in it and we will link to that in the show notes. You can also go to jordanharbinger.com/articles and just scroll down and find how to make friends as an adult and it'll be there. All right, next up,
Jason DeFillippo: [01:04:22] Jordan, I graduated from college at 20. I'm currently 22 and have two and a half years of full-time experience in my field. Throughout my career, I've encountered the argument that I'm too young for my position. I've been able to tackle the argument by using my youth and passion to my advantage. I've been told by multiple bosses that I do an excellent job and I'm headed in the right direction and should be promoted soon. I've run into the conundrum that the VP of my company wants to advance me yet has the worry. I may be too young or inexperienced for a higher-up position. Other than my performance, what do you think I should do to convince higher-ups that I'm ready for the position they want to put me in? Thanks, Young but Not Green
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:59] First, very impressive that you've gotten so far so quickly. You should be proud of that. It's cool. It's exciting. Certainly not something I would have been able to do at your age. So props to you, proud of you. On the flip side, you're younger than most people at this stage. As you know, you're probably younger than most people in these, as you also know, so this is a champagne problem. It's a high-quality problem to have, but it's still a problem. That's why it's called a champagne problem. Now basically it seems like there are two possibilities. Either the VP is right and you are too young or inexperienced for this new position or the VP is wrong and you can fight for the role. You might ask, how would you decide which one of these is? Well, I'm glad that you did ask. It's, I think, it's a combination here of introspection and empathy.
[01:05:46] Introspection, figure out what gaps you have in your experience, what you need to learn as a leader, as an employee, et cetera. Study yourself basically. On the other side of the equation. Use empathy to round that out. Talk to your VP about what they think you need to learn. Study your clients, your customers, your vendors, your stakeholders, and ask yourself what they would need from you as a leader in that position and if possible, just ask them directly. You don't have to read any minds here. Where do you think I can grow? What do you need from me to make this successful? What do you think that you or they need from you and what should you be doing to become the best possible colleague, et cetera? Essentially, you want to consider the full range of data beyond your own desires and ambition. In other words, you don't get to have this role just because you want it. You don't get to have this role just because you think you've earned it because you want it. It can be hard for a smart young person who's used to getting what they want because you're working hard and because you want it. Trust me, I understand this. There are so many things, even now as an adult where I go, “But I want this to be a thing,” and then I have to go, “Well, wait, did I earn that or am I just feeling entitled to that? How long have I wanted this?” Because in your mind you might go, “I've wanted this for 12 years.” But then in reality you go, “Well I kind of just saw it two months ago and now I want it, but it feels like I've wanted it for 12 years cause I'm sort of working towards it. But that's just hindsight bias. Really, I just thought of this and now it's like I want that job or I want that honor.” You have to be careful here.
[01:07:17] As impressive as it is to be smart or ambitious or talented or driven, it's also important to realize that there is a role for age and experience, especially when it comes to leading and managing other people. Do you know how to manage difficult conversations? Do you have the authority, not just the authority given to you in the position, but the actual authority given to you by life experience? Do you have that authority you need to solve hard problems? Are you respected by your employees who appear as higher-ups? Think about this. There could be somebody that comes into your office to help or ask for help with a problem and they might have kids that are almost as old or as old as you, you know, how are they going to feel? Is that going to work? These are all the JIT questions for this VP to have. It's not a, it's not a personal failure if you don't have that life experience yet. It just means that you should appreciate how important it is and you should work on this. If it's a skill you can develop, great. If it's just a matter of being old enough while there's, that's another issue. In that sense, the VP could be doing you a huge favor by saying, “Hang on, you got a few things to learn. I want to set you up for success.” They might not just be saying, “Hey, you're, you're too green buddy.” They might be saying, “Well, you know, you're really good at being a workhorse, but you're not really that good at managing and your new role is going to be largely managing projects and people and you're just not there yet.” They don't want you to go in and struggle and then everyone else struggles and the company runs into problems. That could be, that could be a nice reframe of this challenge. That the VP is actually looking out for your wellbeing, not just getting in the way of your ambition, but then it could be the latter. You could be ready in the VP could be blocking you and in which case you got to prove to the VP and the company that you're ready for this role.
[01:09:00] The most obvious ways to advocate by telling the VP, your boss or your boss's boss, why you want the job, how you're going to perform it, and if you still don't get the role, then a smart move, in my opinion, would be to take on a few of the responsibilities or duties of that role anyway, and just show how you'd do it. Don't step on the toes of the person already doing the job, but maybe you can briefcase technique this and just sort of outline, “Here's what I would do,” and you can even just do sort of a test run like, “Look, I didn't execute this project for the company, but here's what I would've done. Here's a slide deck on what I would have done.” You do this, you take the initiative, you get creative, you invest some of your time, which it sounds like you're already doing. Then you go back to that VP and you say, “Hey look, I've been doing some of that work. Here are the results. It's going really well and I want to do more of it. Can we talk about that role again?”
[01:09:54] Now, if you are ready and you still can't get the role that you want, then two things come to mind. First, you need to decide if this is the right place for you. Maybe it's too corporate, maybe it's too traditional. Maybe it's just not the right company at the right time, or maybe it's just the sort of place that needs to be managed differently so you can go and get an offer somewhere else and come back to the company and say, “Hey, I've got a great offer from this other place. I really want to stay here, but if I stay, I have to rise up.” Use the offer as leverage. It's a political move so it can be a little risky, but sometimes that's how it's got to be. It's also very possible that this is not the right place for you. Maybe someone like you would thrive in a different environment, like a startup, a place where you can take on all the responsibility that you want, and you can rise up and grow without being blocked or managed too much if at all especially at some startups, your age and experience might actually be an asset or at least irrelevant because they just need warm bodies and they need people who are going to go attack everything aggressively. So, the bottom line is to keep up the great work. Recognize that being driven and smart isn't everything and that maybe you still have room to develop in these other areas like EQ, maturity, management, et cetera, and that if you continue to cultivate those qualities, you can probably get everything that you want. It might just not be tomorrow, which is also a good lesson to learn and maybe the best thing for you right now. But if you do need to rise up immediately, you can either maneuver with politics and counteroffers or you can go somewhere else. Either way, this is a learning opportunity.
[01:11:25] The question is, other than my performance, what do you think I should do to convince higher-ups that I'm ready for the position that they want to put me in? And my answer is always to learn to become the person they say that you need to be, not just as a performer at work, but as a human being. I hope that helps. Let us know how this shakes out. All right, last but not least,
Jason DeFillippo: [01:11:47] Hey, Triple J. I've been with my company for four years. My boss of two years has been a rollercoaster to work for since he joined our team. He's advanced my career with two big promotions. I've learned a lot in a very short amount of time and I'm a huge asset to my team. My company is global and has opportunities throughout the world, but I don't plan on leaving the city I'm from. Even though my boss has excelled in my career, he uses my youth and inexperience on a global scale is a way to keep me from advancing any further at my current branch and tries to manipulate me in an effort to control outcomes in his favor. This plays a huge factor when I want more FaceTime with certain clients or when I ask for more balance in my current role. He also uses this to his advantage by keeping my pay to the lower side of the industry standard. Recently, he's expressed how the next branch he moves to, which is also in the same city. He would like to take me with him as he likes my overall work ethic and performance. Given the ups and downs, he's put me through and the constant manipulation is it time to move on from his reign or take the amazing opportunity and follow him to the next branch. Warmest regards, Stuck in the Middle
Jordan Harbinger: [01:12:52] for this one I asked my friend Rikke Hansen, she's a great friend of mine and she spent years in recruiting and HR. She's now an amazing career counselor who I would happily refer to. Most of her clients are in similar situations here with their careers and then trying to move up the ladder. She is just a freaking genius when it comes to this. So, her advice in my voice here. “With careers, it always takes two to tango. So, the manager here, it sounds like he's taken advantage of you. He's psychologically manipulating you. I don't mean in some sort of crazy predatory fashion, but you've also stayed because you're getting benefits, right? You're getting promotions, et cetera, and so far, it's been a two-way street, so that makes it more equitable. It's kind of palatable at this. But often a career path can become a one-way street and benefits start to accrue more to one side.” And that sounds like what might be happening here. So, of course, they don't want to let you go. Of course, he doesn't want to let you go do something else unless you get more benefits and make it a two-way street. Again, you need to leave because it will become toxic and dangerous. If you're being used by an employer, they're not outright mistreating you, but you know they're getting maybe a better end of the deal. But you're also getting a lot of great experience and you're getting compensated. There's a reason they call it compensation. They are paying you back for something that you are giving to them. And if it's not the money that you're after, it's got to be something else. If you can negotiate different benefits, now you're onto something. If you want to take this opportunity and go with him, you need to negotiate the two-way street. So, “Yeah, I'll go with you. But here's the thing, I need a promotion. And a raise and I need more client time.” And you've got to be very specific here, don't say, “And I want all those personal interactions with the clients that I mentioned.” He just goes, “Great. Yeah, sure.” You need to say, “I want to be at all client meetings that you go to.” “Okay, well I can't bring you to all of them but I can bring you to the vast majority of them.” And you say, “Great, I want to be at the clients. At our biggest client meetings, I don't have to be at the small ones. I've got to be at the ones with our key clients, Revlon and L’Oréal,” or whatever. You want to be in the room cause you want to get to know those people. And if he goes, “Why?” You got to say, “I want to get used to client interaction so that I can move up in a different role.” And you have to get that in writing, right? You don't want to take a job. And then he goes, “I never said that.” Or “Oh I said I'd bring you to a meeting, not the client meetings.” You have to get very specific about what you want, put it in writing, negotiate it, and then and only then take the offer. Don't take the offer and then go, “Oh, I sure hope this works out.” And don't say, “Well, we talked in the car on the way to a meeting and he said all that sounds pretty good, and then I took the job and none of it's coming through.” Get it in writing as much as you can.
[01:15:29] Yeah. Being manipulated as a negative in general, but here you're learning a bunch. You're getting access to some great client and corporate benefits and you're learning what type of boss to maybe avoid in the future. The type of boss, you don't want to be. The rope around your neck is that you want to stay in the same town. That's what you wrote at the top here. You want to stay in the same town. That might be why you're staying in this position as well and you're boss and the company, they know this and I get it. It's a really good idea to stay in a big town. Maybe you've lived in a small town or the other opportunities are not as good.
[01:16:04] Scott Galloway, last week he mentioned in his episode that you go to a school and get credentialed and then get to a city because I can predict your income using your credentials and your zip code with a pretty high degree of certainty. That statement from Scott Galloway says it all. If he knows where you're living and what you've studied, he can predict your income, that means that this staying in that opportunity might be very important to you. If you now know that your boss and your company want something from you, now is the time to negotiate what it is that you want in return. Not later. Don't hope it all falls into place. Negotiate now. This is fair. This is how this should work.
[01:16:43] Life Pro Tip of the Week here. If you can't decide between two items of clothing, like two different jackets and you're at the store, have someone take photos of you with them on front and back inside and then look at the photos. So, I did this recently. I couldn't decide between two leather jackets. And you know, I have a leather jacket addiction and Jen took the photos and I looked at them and I went, “Wow, this one, this looks ridiculous. This one, it absolutely does not look good. It felt good. It looked awesome in the mirror kind of but it looked so silly in photographs and the other one looked great in photos.” It just looks different when you're looking at it in the mirror because you have a feeling associated with it, which could be fine. But if you're really on the fence you might as well go with the one that both looks good and photos and in person. So that was a pretty cool trick.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:17:31] All right, I will try that next time when I’m at the store.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:17:34] That's right. And Recommendation of the Week, The Black Godfather, Jason, you saw it as tell us about this.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:17:40] The Black Godfather is the story of Clarence Avant who is a super-connector in the music business and it is a fantastic story of his life and all of the people that he's helped along the way by just putting people together. It is such a cool movie and anybody that's interested in networking or just how to live a really cool life and be out there and do good things. I cannot recommend this enough. I highly recommend it and your jaw is going to hit the floor when you see who this guy has put together in all of the great collaborations that have come out of him. Just putting people together. It really is a fantastic story, so I highly recommend you check it out. It is The Black Godfather on Netflix.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:18:21] All right. We'll link to that in the show notes. I hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. We're going to be doing live events probably next year. Right now, we're doing some corporate training, which is really fun. If you're on the email list, you'll get notified of whatever events we do. I'll link to the show notes for this episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com.
[01:18:37] Quick shout out to Jodie who wrote in to thank us all for the efforts that we've put into being who we are, Jason, our education and the people we surround ourselves with and other magic ingredients. She says improv, especially since that's such an important part of the show. She found us on Adam Corolla and she said, “Look, I'm a psychiatric nurse. I don't know how I can offer help, but here it is.” I would say, look, I'm having a kid soon so I will need psychiatric care soon enough. Thanks for the offer.
[01:19:05] Go back and check out the guests Howie Mandel and Arthur Brooks if you haven't yet. And if you want to know how he managed to book great people and develop our network, well we mentioned it before with Reid Hoffman. Jason alluded to it with The Black Godfather on Netflix. We've got systems, tiny habits and a whole lot of hustle that we're teaching you specifically how to systemize in our core Six-Minute Networking. It's free. And that's at jordanharbinger.com/course. So listen and listen good and go find all that at jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm on Instagram and Twitter at @JordanHarbinger, which is a great place to reach out and say hello. And there are videos of our interviews at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. Jason.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:19:43] My personal website is at jpd.me and you can check out my tech podcast, Grumpy Old Geeks at gog.show or your podcast player of choice. And like I've mentioned before, keep the kids out of the room because it is a bit salty.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:19:55] The show is produced in association with PodcastOne and this episode is co-produced by Jen Harbinger and show notes are always by Robert Fogarty. Keep sending in those questions to email@example.com. And by writing in, by the way, give us a non-exclusive perpetual license to use your communication without compensation as we see fit, including here on the show. We'll always keep you anonymous. Remember, we rise by lifting others, so share the show with those you love and even those you don't. We've got a lot more in the pipeline and we're excited to bring it to you. 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.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:20:29] Hey there, we've got a special bonus episode this week featuring the 10-minute preview for the new true-crime podcast, 22 Hours: An American Nightmare, Washington DC new station WTOP and they're award-winning journalists have teamed up with PodcastOne on this great investigative series that will take you on a rod through the shock and mysteries of the infamous mansion murders of a Washington, DC family. You won't believe what happened to this family while being held hostage for 19 hours in their own house. In a crazy way, they found the murderer. Take a listen. The story is captivating and then head over to the podcast. 22 Hours: An American Nightmare to listen to the full first episode. And don't forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or PodcastOne new episodes every Monday. Enjoy.
Operator: [01:21:14] You reach 911. What is your emergency?
Donald Spence: [01:21:18] Uh, I think that the house is on fire at 3201 Woodland Drive, just smoke comes out of its eaves and windows.
Operator: [01:21:24] Repeat the address again.
Donald Spence: [01:21:25] It's 3201 Woodland Drive.
Megan Cloherty: [01:21:28] It's 1:24 on May 14th, 2015 it was pure chance that Donald Spence found himself at the front door of a burning house in Northwest Washington, DC that afternoon. He just finished a job installing wallpaper at a house in the neighborhood. It was the kind of neighborhood you might want to walk around it full of beautiful old houses. Some might consider the mansions each with its own ornate style and manicured green lawn. The neighborhood is tucked away behind DC's famed embassy row. The home of the Australian ambassador is right there across the street and the vice president's official residence just a few blocks away.
Donald Spence: [01:22:04] I just drove up, saw the building and it's torn out of the overhang.
Operator: [01:22:08] Okay. From which floors of the fire is it coming from?
Donald Spence: [01:22:12] It's coming from, it looks like it initially from a bedroom, but it's going sweeping across the whole overhang on the front of the house.
Operator: [01:22:18] This is a private house, single house?
Donald Spence: [01:22:22] It's a private mansion.
Megan Cloherty: [01:22:21] Spence had just finished eating his lunch in his truck and he was about to head home bored by taking the same terms on the same streets for weeks. He decided on a whim to take a new way out of the neighborhood. That decision took him right passed the house with smoke pouring out of its eaves.
Operator: [01:22:39] Okay. I have called the fire department to go to 3201 Woodland Drive Northwest.
Donald Spence: [01:22:43] Yes. Top of the hills.
Operator: [01:22:46] No one seems to be inside the house.
Donald Spence: [01:22:480] I don't think anybody's in the house, but I can't tell. I knocked on the door and I could hear the alarm going off.
Operator: [01:22:54] And there's a fire.
Donald Spence: [01:22:56] Yeah and that house was like crackling. No flames yet, but the smoke is just pouring out. I run quickly.
Megan Cloherty: [01:23:03] DC firefighters arrived a matter of minutes. One of the first trucks to arrive is from engine Company 28. It's a fire station right near the National Zoo about a five-minute drive from the massive brick home on Woodland Drive. The first firefighter, Lieutenant Chris Hershey, rushes up the flagstone path to the front door. The address is spelled out in gold lettering on the Archway. The door's locked so he kicks it in. Hershey had no idea he was walking into a crime scene. Standing in the foyer. Hershey sees thick black smoke pouring down the stairs in front of him. It's so heavy that even with his helmet light on, he can't see his hand in front of his face. Firefighters are trained to fight fires from the inside out to go right to the source of the fire. He starts to climb the staircase, navigating up the stairs in the dark for Hershey pushes open a bedroom door. He's found it. The whole room is lit up orange. Flames are rolling up the walls.
Chris Hershey: [01:24:05]
Operator: [01:24:10] Copy 28, you have a room off on the second floor. You have a line on the truck.
Megan Cloherty: [01:24:14] These are the fire department radio transmissions from that day. A line means that Hershey has a hose on the fire and he's trying to put it out. There are other recordings from this day too that are filled with firefighter jargon, but they help illustrate the chaos at the scene. As firefighters discovered this was not a normal fire. More firefighters start just pull up on Woodland Drive and pull into the house looking for anyone who might be inside overcome by the smoke. Private Michael Eater is one of them. He's not here to fight the fire. He doesn't even have a hose, just his tank of oxygen and a mask over his face. Basing the thick black smoke, he heads to the second floor look for victims and right away Eater knows he's on a deadline. His oxygen will only last him for about 25 minutes and it's a very big house so he knows he needs to work quickly.
[01:25:06] Eater goes to a different bedroom from the one Lieutenant Hershey is in working to extinguish the roaring flames. Eater heads across the hall to another bedroom filled with thick smoke. There's no fire here, but he knows there could be a person who couldn't find their way out. So Eater starts what's called a right-hand search. He gets down close to the ground and orients himself by keeping one hand anchored to the wall on his right. Starting at the door, he runs his hand along the wall until he covers the entire room perimeter, but Eater can barely see with one hand maintaining contact with the wall. He reaches out with the other blindly feeling around. His hand hits the back of a chair. He sorts of gives it a nudge, but it's weighted down by something. Almost like someone's sitting in it. He reaches up to where he'd expect to head. Might be. It feels a face.
Michael Eater: [01:26:01] [indiscernible]
Megan Cloherty: [01:26:06] Eater goes to lift the person out of the chair, but he can't get a good grip. Something's wrong. They keep slipping out of his grasp and he doesn't know why. He doesn't know if the person is alive, but they feel like dead weight. He goes to lay them on the floor so he can try and lift them in a different way. As he lowers a person onto the floor, he realizes he's laying them on top of another body
Michael Eater: [01:26:30] Correction [indiscernible] second floor
Megan Cloherty: [01:26:35] Eater manages to carry the first person out to the hall and hands them to another firefighter to bring to the medics outside. He turns back and finding the doorway to that same smoke-filled bedroom he sees Lieutenant has just arrived to help. Eater goes to the spot where he found the second victim on the ground and begins to lift them off the floor. But across the room, his Lieutenant says, “Help me lift this person.” “I am.” Eater insists with his hands under the arms of the second body. That's when they both realize they're holding different people. There was a third victim in the room.
Michael Eater: [01:27:13] There are a total of three victims.
Operator: [01:27:13] I copy. [Indiscernible] What side you’re on?
Michael Eater: [01:27:19] Three victims. I’m at the second floor. [Indiscernible] We’ll need medic units.
Megan Cloherty: [01:27:28] The recordings are a little hard to understand. We'll need medic units. That's what the firefighter says. Outside 3201 Woodland Drive, three victims lay in a row on the front lawn there covered in blood. The firefighters can't really figure it out. There's not usually that much blood at the scene of a fire. They wonder if there'd been an explosion of some kind. The medics work frantically and one of the victims is lifted on a stretcher and rushed to the ambulance nearby. It's been a surprising 25 minutes and not in a good way. Eater takes a seat on the curb and starts to process what just happened. He removes his mask and draws a breath of fresh air. Up until now, the smoke had clouded his vision. He was using his hands to get around and navigate his way through the room, through the house. This is the first time he sees what's on his gear. He looks down and sees something red. It's definitely blood and it's on his mask. It's covering his turnout gear. It's on his boots. It's on his gloves. After he suits up to go back inside eight or fines, that fixed smoke upstairs is starting to clear and he finally gets a good look at the bedroom where he found those three people. There's only one way to describe it. It's a blood bath.
Michael Eater: [01:28:51] Two is a crime scene.
Megan Cloherty: [01:28:57] The police are now on the way. It's clear to everyone on the scene. The bloodied victims pulled from the upstairs bedroom weren't simply overcome by smoke and there's still another gruesome discovery for firefighters inside the other bedroom across the hall where Lieutenant Hershey and other firefighters are working to put out the fire. Lieutenant Corey Goats is working backup. He's crawling toward a window when he kind of falls into a hole in the floor. The heat from the fire had burned so intensely. It melted the bed. The floorboards had given way creating almost a crater in the middle of the bedroom filled with blackened bedsprings and something else. On Goat's trips into that hole. He brushes against something part of the body. He reaches up to confirm his suspicions and feels what might be a small knee. You reached as farther to feel another leg and then his gloves land on what feels like a head. It's the charred body of a child.
Narrator: [01:29:57] It has been called a major crime scene as homicide investigators examine a house that caught fire in Northwest DC.
Male: [01:30:06] This is a crime scene.
Female: [01:30:07] We found four people including a child dead inside the second floor.
Female: [01:30:12] Right now, it does not appear that this was just a random crime.
Female: [01:30:13] [indiscernible] by what happened. We say we don’t know. They killed the whole family.
Male: [01:30:19] Police have said they believe more than one person is responsible for the crime.
Male: [01:30:23] A wide-reaching manhunt for Daron Wint stretching all the way to New York City.
Male: [01:30:28] We had the DNA on a piece of the cross. How did his DNA get into that house?
Male: [01:30:31] We got a package that I'm going to need you to bring down to me.
Female: [01:30:34] To do what he did to four people, including a 10-year-old boy is just beyond words.
Female: [01:30:39] They were brutalized and we saw the evidence of that.
Male: [01:30:42] The jury has just reached a verdict in the murder trial of Daron Wint.
Male: [01:30:47] He was going to strike the American dream just by committing murder.
Megan Cloherty: [01:30:51] I'm Megan Cloherty. Thanks for listening. The 22 Hours: An American Nightmare, a new true-crime podcast from WTOP in Washington, DC.
You got room off [indiscernible]. Radio dispatch communication was not very clear on this ad.
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