People rarely admit to enjoying small talk, but that’s because so few of us are actually very good at it. Luckily, FEW is also a convenient-to-remember acronym for Facts, Emotions, Why — a foolproof formula for leading small talk that can yield big results. Find out how in 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 email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- When your friend repeatedly sends five-minute voice messages that a 10-second text would convey, how do you drive home the point that ain’t nobody got time for that?
- Congrats on quitting social media! But now what do you do with your spare two- to five-minute intervals you used to spend tweeting or reading Facebook? Glad you asked!
- How can somebody in a quaint but underdeveloped town find improv and behavioral classes to improve their skills and up their game on personal and professional fronts?
- Is it opportunistic to leverage interest other companies have shown in recruiting you when it’s time to negotiate for a raise — even when you planned to stick around anyway?
- Even though you consider yourself social and find your spouse’s friends a delight, they seem to think you don’t like them. How can you dispel their concerns and let your real feelings shine through?
- You’ve broken up with your significant other of four years for once again lying to you, but you feel guilty because they’ve been in therapy for the past six months trying to be better. What next?
- Your usually calm and cool significant other will be taking the bar exam soon, and a lot of things are up in the air until it’s passed. How can you express support without getting in the way?
- When you’ve lost trust in your business partner, what steps can you take to ensure you’re not on the hook for 100 percent of the company’s debt if things go even further south?
- Life Pro Tip: Drowning in debt from that unexpected hospital visit? Medical billing departments will often accept a fraction of what you “owe.”
- A quick shoutout to recently married listener and local Michael Moore!
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- 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!
Like true crime tales? The Court Junkie Podcast shines a light on the injustices of the judicial system by delving into court documents, attending trials, and interviewing those close to these trials to root out the whole truth. Check out the Court Junkie Podcast on PodcastOne here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Oliver Bullough | Why Thieves and Crooks Rule the World, TJHS 228
- Cameron Herold | Making the Most of Your Bipolar Superpowers, TJHS 229
- What Happened When I Was Featured in The New York Times by Jordan Harbinger
- Five Signs Your Life Is Off Track (And What to Do About It) by Jordan Harbinger
- Is the Era of Voice Texting Upon Us? by Alyssa Bereznak, The Ringer
- People Who Send Voice Notes Are Poison by Georgina Ustik, The Next Web
- Amazon Kindle
- Logical Fallacies & Cognitive Biases iPhone App
- The Da Vinci Code: A Novel by Dan Brown
- Deep Dive | What to Do When Your Purpose Starts to Suck, TJHS 205
- Second City Improv Online Classes
- Skillshare (Get two months of free, unlimited classes from this link!)
- Alex Kouts | The Secrets You Don’t Know About Negotiation Part One, TJHS 70
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Transcript for How to Small Talk with Big Results | Feedback Friday (Episode 230)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:03] 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 Oliver Bullough talking about money laundering and how the ultra-wealthy dodge to the law hide their cash using shell corporations and other sneaky stuff. I found this super interesting. We also spoke with my friend Cameron Herold about the emotional roller coaster of owning a business and how mental health and entrepreneurship actually intersect. This was an interesting look at things like ADHD and bipolar and how these can be superpowers for CEOs. In fact, bipolar is sometimes referred to as the CEO disease. This was an interesting look inside that whole world.
[00:00:46] I also write every so often on the blog, the latest posts is Five Signs Your Life is Off Track and don't worry, I've ticked off most of those things in a lot of points in my life, so I thought I'd share the wisdom gained from being off track more than you might think. And, of course, what you can do about it to get back on track. That's the most important part. I can't stand those articles that just complain about something and then throw their hands in the air. I want to always give you some action steps to fix the problem or at least get back on the right track. So, make sure you've had a look and a listen to everything we created for you this week.
[00:01:17] Of course, our primary mission is to pass along guests’ insights and 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 do on Fridays here on Feedback Friday. You can reach us at email@example.com. I got a compliment. Everyone's really good at following instructions. I thought I would get a ton of people sending me stuff to firstname.lastname@example.org. Everybody with the exception of maybe one or two people a month actually sends it to the right inbox, which is kind of amazing actually.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:01:54] That's unheard of. Are you kidding me? Come on.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:57] and just, it just speaks to how smart the audience is and how smart you guys actually are. Smart and good at following directions--those are two different things, but I'm consistently impressed with what's in the inbox.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:02:09] I like to think that our audience is smart and can follow instructions.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:13] Right. I like that because I've definitely had other shows and been involved in other businesses and you just go, “Oh my gosh, they're all dumb. There's nothing—It doesn't matter. This microphone is on nobody's home on the other end.” You know, I really appreciate that about this and FYI --sort of public service announcement-- there is or was a fake Jordan Harbinger on Instagram. It's not me because they don't have a blue verified checkmark. If you're looking for me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, I've got a little blue checkmark. I'm at @JordanHarbinger. There's no numbers or anything like that and there's a blue checkmark next to it and of course, it's my picture and these people were like, “Oh yeah, this is my Instagram for fan interaction and I've got an investment opportunity for you.” Obviously, that is fake. The account's been reported and I think deleted, but that doesn't mean they won't just come back and obviously, they're targeting you guys because of your interests or posts or something like that. I love interacting with you guys on social media. Just make sure it's the one with the blue checkmark, the verified account. Not the ones with random numbers and not the ones pitching you investment opportunities. And thanks to everyone who reported that to me. By the way, if you find a fake Jordan Harbinger, please let me know ASAP because I want to get on top of that to protect you guys and, of course, to protect my reputation, which both are harder than you might think.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:03:34] You have a reputation? Common.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:37] Well, I'm using the term loosely wide. Give me a wide berth on that one.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:03:42] I'll do that. I'll do that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:43] Yeah. We're on baby watch right now. Every gas bubble in Jen's belly is now a red alert.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:03:50] I’m sure. I’m sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:53] Oh, had too much fruit, you're in labor. You sneeze weird, you're in labor. So any day now people, any sort of like, “Oh, I turned around funny when I got out of bed and I'm pretty sure I'm in labor. Oh no, it was just a cramp.” So that's, that's where we're at right now.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:04:08] Stay away from Mexican food then. If you really don't want any more false positives, stay away from Mexican food for a little bit.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:14] Yeah. It's kind of like, “Am I full or am I having Braxton Hicks contractions?” Yeah, it's one thing after another. As always, we've got some great questions for you this week or from you really this week. Hopefully, we have good answers for you and let's dive in. Jason, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:04:32] Hey guys, I have a good friend that I talked to pretty much every day on Facebook messenger. We're both in the same business and we exchange info. He loves to send voice messages. He sends like five full minute messages at a time with some off-topic stuff included. That's five minutes of me having the listen while not doing anything else when he could have typed it out so I can read it in 10 seconds. I'm busy as hell and I tell him this. I also asked him kindly many times to type it out instead as it really is getting on my nerves, wasting my precious time. Although I like talking to him when it's typed out, it's nice and quick and to the point so I can get back to my business. The voice messages are really irritating me. I told him this multiple times. I tried asking nicely, hinting it, straight up, told him, even snapped at him, but he doesn't change. He says it's easier for him as he doesn't like to text well outside or driving. Of course, just texted me when you get home is what I tell them. Am I being self-centered in rude by asking for this or is he being rude by not respecting my time and ignoring my request? How can I make him stop? I want to keep the relationship as he seriously. He's a really cool guy that I consider a good friend. Just this one thing is super irritating and I hate small talk. I'm like him who likes it quite a bit. Again, I'm busy as hell like seriously, I work on my business like you Jordan, so I want to just get to the point so I can get back to working. Right now my solution is that I wait a long time to reply back to them like one full day, but eventually, I'll have to take five to 10 minutes just sitting down and listening to all the voice messages that I could have read in 10 seconds, so I still want to fix this. Thanks. Signed, No Moe Messages.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:07] You got me off on a rant on this first one because I hate these things.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:06:13] Yes dude, they're so bad. They are so bad.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:17] I get why people make them. I do. I understand that for some people that could be fun. If you get one from a friend you haven't heard from in a long time, it's more personal than just a text. If you want to send something when you're driving to somebody and you're really happy for them and you want it to come through, go ahead. I don't pretty much, I never want these because it's for the exact same reasons that you have here. You can't listen faster. People also, when they have unlimited time or unlimited ability to just yammer on and they don't actually have to put in any effort other than holding the button down and talking stream of thought. They're not concise at all and so I wish I could disable those. I haven't found a way to disable those on all social media and on iMessage. I ignore them. I have a little keyboard shortcut on my iPhone where I type in a couple of letters and it says “I can't play these. What's up?” And then they'll resend it a lot of the time and I'll go, “I can't play these. Let me know what you want. Or you can email me at email@example.com.” And people eventually figure it out. I just think it's so rude and indulgent when somebody sends you a five minute or five one-minute voice memos and it could have been a four-sentence or one paragraph long text that I could've skimmed in four seconds.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:07:34] It's selfish because they're lazy. These are lazy people who do these voice messages.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:40] Yeah. It's something that's there that lets people just kind of go stream of thought. This is my thought process. This is how I text, right Jason. So I'll go, “Hey Jason, do you,” and then I'll delete that and I'll go, “Can you please?” And then I'll delete that and I'll go, “Have we gotten XYZ yet?” Cause I'm then I have to think a few seconds ahead, but if that's a voice message, I go, “Hey Jason, can you, uh, uh, did we, uh, Oh, can you did we get that thing from the publisher yet? Or is that, where is that?” And then I just send that off. Or you get them from your friends and it's like, “Hey, what's up bro?”
Jason DeFillippo: [00:08:20] “What’s up?”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:23] “I'm driving out here, I'm on Venice right now, just chill.” And I'm like, okay, all that could have gotten—None of that would have made the cut for a text. None of it. I don't need you to set the scene. I don't need the weather. You know? We're good. We're good. Just tell me what you want. Now, look, if it's from family if it’s from somebody you haven't seen a long time, great. I love those. They make me happy.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:08:46] Totally different. Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:47] If it's just the person who refuses to text because they have to actually put in effort. What they're doing is they're taking all the effort of, and they're basically just going, here's a dump because I don't respect your time so you can parse everything that I just gave you for value. That's not cool. That's not cool at all. I don't do it to other people ever because it drives me absolutely crazy. Unless again, it's somebody I haven't seen a long time or like I want to play, send something to my mom and it's an audio thing, then I'll do it. But Jason, you and I, we have a couple of people where they only use that and it's because their quote-unquote super productive life hackers and they just never type anything.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:09:31] Lazy bastards is what I call them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:33] Yeah. They just never type anything and all their instructions to us or all of their work product is clearly something that they dictated on an Android and then dumped in a Google doc and it's completely useless. You've got to spend 15 minutes going over it. Spellchecking it. “Oh, is this what they meant? Let me read this out loud and see. Oh, they must have meant that” and then you've got to check back with them.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:09:54] Okay. Hey, by the way, don't be an Android hater. Come on. You know.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:57] But it's just dictated. They just dictated it. I just was thinking of the one person that's a specific violator.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:10:03] I know, I know exactly what you're talking about. That’s okay.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:06] But like if you're dictating something, you have to check it for accuracy, don't send it off, and then let the other person guess what you meant when dictation didn't go well. You have to proofread that. All of these little hacks there, they only work if you actually make it so that it's easier on the other person. You can't just hack your own time unless you are paying the other person for their time. That's the rule. So if you send something to a virtual assistant or your subordinate and you're paying them hourly or something like that, go ahead and dictate instructions because they're getting paid to decipher them. But if you're sending it to a friend, you're sending it to a buddy, you're sending it to another person that's working with you, a colleague, you are responsible for the accuracy of your communication. And if you're making it less accurate or less efficient, that should be on you, not on the other person. People who don't get that, they don't respect your time and you need to let them know that you will not receive communication that way. And again, you can't disable these voice messages, but you can say, can't play this, what's going on? And force them to type it out. And if they won't do it, fine. They don't get to talk to you every five minutes. You get to decide how you're communicated with and you can't make people do things that are ridiculous. Like can you please outline this in bullet point format and then mail it to me FedEx. That's ridiculous. You're supposed to go towards efficiency, not away from it. And in my opinion, voice messages in almost every instance. Move away from this. We're not talking about voicemail, FYI. We're talking about when you hold down that button in iMessage or on Android and you send them a voice message or those people that email you a video and they're like, Hey, didn't want to type out a paragraph. So here's a five-minute loom video or Zoom video or YouTube video with a private URL where I talk to you.” I won't do those either.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:11:53] Dude, you have no idea. If you never want to come on The Jordan Harbinger Show, all you have to do is send me a video with your pitch. You will not be accepted to be on this show or any show that I produce ever because you're taking way too much of my time. I mean I don't know if this sounds just arrogant.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:14] Well, it's everybody's time though Jason, because remember you then you have to watch it. You have to make sure you got headphones or that you're in a quiet place because you're not going to blast it in the office. Then when you send it to me, I've got to watch it and then Jen's got to watch it or one of us has to like transcribe the important stuff and then forward it. It's like why is this our job? That is your job. You are pitching.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:12:35] Totally. Totally. So just, just don't do that, people, ever.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:40] Don't do it. Go towards efficiency, not away from it. And if you think, if you have a question about what you're doing is it is efficient, just imagine you're the one receiving it. Do you want to receive it in a voice memo? No, you don't. And people who consistently do that and insist on doing that, they just don't respect your time. The writer here has already told the person that they don't like that and so, and they don't care. So, I would just ignore everything they say and then when they're like, “Hey, did you get my voice message?” You just say, “Nope, I don't play those anymore. They're not efficient.” And if they think you're a D-bag because of it, “Oh well everybody else seems to get the memo. I don't see why they can't.” Maybe that's, maybe that just hits a nerve for me. I don't know. Usually, we're not as sort of spicy about this kind of thing. Maybe this is just my thing or your thing and my thing. I bet you though we're going to get a lot of people who are like, “Yes, amen. I hate those things.” All right, next step.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:13:33] Hey guys, you spoke of giving up social media and I'm all for that. However, what do you do with your time when you have a spare two to five minutes at various times throughout the day when you usually pull out your phone and look at social media? Unfortunately, due to the nature of my job, I can't pull out headphones and listen to podcasts or audiobooks every time, which I would love to do, but I can't. I'd also prefer not to read the news each time. My options are reading books on the app, on my phone, but it annoys me that I then can't get where I am to sync it to my iPad after I'm done each time as the iPad is where I usually read my books, I use this time to network, chat to friends, et cetera and would like more ideas. What else can I do in those two to five minutes? Thanks, mate. Signed, Curious in Canberra.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:14] I'm glad you asked about this. There are hours per week in those little moments--hours. People don't even know. I didn't even know until I started doing my Chinese vocabulary studying during some of those points, some not even all. And I found that I had--I was like, ”Oh, I can never find time to do vocabulary. I need half an hour a day, dah dah.” I was blowing through that easily every single time. And I wanted to study and it's just about the habit. So for you, I would say Kindle books. Jason, you read Kindle right a lot at the time or do you not do that anymore?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:14:47] No, I totally do. I have the Kindle app on my iPad and I have a Kindle Paperwhite and I still actually read Kindles. I mean my go-to Audible, but I still have a Kindle in my bathroom for those two to three or five minutes when I'm sitting down. Because nowadays, when you get a Kindle book and you have the audiobook, they sync together so you can read some and then when you go to listen to the audiobook, it really syncs back up and you're back to where you started from where you read too. So, yeah, I totally do that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:21] Yeah, so I don't get why he's saying it doesn't sync with the Amazon account or that the devices aren't synced up properly. Either you need to figure out how to manually refresh or you're signed in with two different Amazon accounts or something weird. Yeah, read the manual on that. The second thing, I said I study vocabulary in a flashcard app for Chinese. If you're not studying Chinese or you want to study Spanish or something like that, use any on key app Anki you can study any language that way. You can also use something like Memrise which is a good app. We had the founder on many years ago, like a long, long time ago. That's a good app and a good way to go to get vocabulary done and there's a lot of user input vocabulary words so you don't have to sit there and make these giant lists. You can just download basic Spanish for people going to Spain and it'll be like, boom, here are the 500 words you might need to know to have a conversation, basic conversation in Spanish or 200 words, whatever it is. Those are really, really easy ways to study and you don't have to make the list yourself cause vocabulary. What people don't think of is they go, Oh, I'm going to do flashcards. They're easy to study in small batches. Making them can take hours, so if you can download them, yes, you don't have the benefit of writing down or creating the cards, but “Oh well make it up on the backend by doing a bunch of flashcards while you're at the water cooler waiting for something to print, whatever.” If you're not learning a language, you can start one or if you really don't care about foreign languages, you can learn English vocabulary and expand your vocabulary that way.
[00:16:51] You can also do things like study logical fallacies to improve your thinking. So, I have an app on my iPhone called Fallacies. It's not great, but I haven't found anything better. I'm open to suggestions there. I wish somebody would make a nice updated logical fallacies app, but I think the fallacies app that I do have, which I think it was like a buck or two bucks, it has a flashcard section where you can study different logical fallacies and it like picks them out and shows you what they are. That's kind of interesting. You can also read in spurts. It's a good idea. That's your original idea. I would look at those Kindle settings if that doesn't fix it. Read fiction on your phone and nonfiction on the iPad or just read different books on different devices. I usually don't recommend doing that, but two books, it's not that hard to keep in your head, especially if one is fiction and the other one's not. It's really easy to separate The Da Vinci Code from a book on organizing your productivity or whatever. It’s just really not hard.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:46] Well, if you’re reading The Da Vinci Code. Don't write back to us, but yeah—sorry, that’s a terrible book.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:52] I read that in college and I thought it was so fascinating and then I was like, “Oh, it's not real.”
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:58] Read it when I was probably 35 and it was just one of the most God awful childish books I've ever read. I'm like, “Oh God, are you kidding me? Come on.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:07] I just remember going, “Oh my gosh, this is all real.” And now I look back and I'm like I wasn't that young when I thought that was all real. I was like 23.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:18:16] You are so duped. You are so duped.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:19] Yeah. But I just look back at everything I did in my 20s and I'm like, “Wow, that was dumb, man. What was I thinking?” Does that happen again when you look back at your 30s?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:18:28] Yes it does. I, I'm about to turn 48 and everything that I've done in my 30s is just as dumb as when I look back on my 20s when I was in my 30s. Trust me you get your retrospective hindsight always becomes, “Oh God, I was so stupid. Always so stupid.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:49] Yeah. That's so disappointing. Cause I, I thought I was pretty slick in my 20s up until I was like 36 and then I was like, “Oh, that was bad.” So I'm guessing, I'll think my 30s are pretty good up until I'm about 46, 47 and then I'll be like, “Ooh.”
Jason DeFillippo: [00:19:02] Yeah, yeah. Trust me, dude. When you get here. The looking back is not pleasant. It is not pleasant at all.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:09] Yeah, the retrospective, that whole 20/20 hindsight, a blessing, and a curse.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:19:15] Oh, such a curse. Such a curse, but my God, The Da Vinci Code, such a bad book.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:21] All right. All right, so you're, look, you're going to get so much more time back in your week because of this. I'm actually excited for you. I routinely hear of people who used to read two books a year, starting to read one or two books per month once they start the habit of reading on the phone or whatever during downtime because there's so much downtime that you just don't see. You don't notice. And if you think, “Oh, I only have five minutes here, five minutes there.” it's usually like 12 minutes here, 15 minutes there.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:19:48] Totally. It adds up. It adds up so fast.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:52] Yeah. Yeah. You end up with like an hour a day of just crummy, crappy transition time and that doesn't count. Commutes. I don't even have a commute. You know, I wake up and I'm productive and I still go, “Ooh, I had like an extra hour and 12 minutes today that basically were not filled with anything.” I do want to warn people, you don't have to spend every single moment, moment and minute of your day being productive because I think that's unhealthy. You never get a chance to take a cognitive rest. But if you find yourself tapping your foot because your printer at work is really slow and you know it's going to take another eight minutes just long enough to not go back to your desk and do anything but you sitting there or you're waiting in a coffee line. That's a good time to do something because your mind is already like, “Hey, let's do something.” But if you feel tired and you want to take five, don't feel like you have to bust out flashcards. That'll drive you crazy.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:20:44] This is feedback Friday. We'll be right back after this episode
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:48] This is sponsored in part by HostGator.
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[00:23:45] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. To learn more and get links to all the great discounts from our amazing sponsors and to help keep the show going, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. And if you'd be so kind, please drop us a nice rating and review in 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, head on over to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe. Now, let's hear some more of your questions here on Feedback Friday.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:11] All right, next step.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:24:12] Hey Jordan, Jason, and Jen. I was listening to your deep dive on what to do when your purpose starts to suck. It's refreshing to hear that high performers like yourselves have those same feelings about feeling hopeless when your passion starts to get hard. Jordan, I heard about the class that you're taking to be more spontaneous and funny. I live in a small town in the swamps called Gainesville, Florida. It's quaint and underdeveloped. One major downside is that there is literally nothing available for self-improvement geeks besides a few gyms and a few services that are focused on the retired demographic. What improv classes or behavioral classes would you recommend for people like me in small towns with extremely busy schedules? I think I speak for every college student or entrepreneur that lives around this area when I say our options are limited. Thank you for always making my day better. Signed, Making The Best of It in the Swamps.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:00] First of all, props for making sure that you're still moving forward and not using your location as an excuse. I think there are tons of people that'll go, “Oh, I live so far away from Manhattan. I couldn't possibly do anything productive with my time. I can only get there once a month.” It's like you don't have to live in the center of the universe to be able to learn something. A lot of classes are online. Everything I do for learning, almost every single thing is online. Like sure, I went up and took an improv course with a bunch of friends and family in San Francisco because it's good to take those live, but I've got skillshare.com/harbingers where you can learn a ton of stuff from Skillshare. They're a sponsor and they're awesome. There are tons of courses there. You could probably plow through one a week just being really chill about it from home. Second City offers online improv classes, which is probably something really of high quality because it's Second City. I don't see how they would let something slide that wasn't, I mean they've, they've got a reputation to protect and if they can teach improv online, you can learn anything online. All my language tutors are online. All of my voiceover lessons, voiceover being like a voiceover for commercials and videogames. All of those are Skype and Zoom coaching sessions. I rarely have time to go in person for coaching, but if I do, I batch it, so I'll go somewhere for a week and take a really intensive class instead of commuting to the city every week, once on Tuesdays for two hours and finding parking, which just gets tedious, then you miss one, then you're behind. No, I'll take a block of time for four days, I'll take a four-day weekend, boom, let's do this class or a really intensive weekend class and do it. That's when I do my life stuff.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:26:37] Right, like you did with Michael Port?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:39] Yeah, like I did with Michael port when I took the speaking class. It was—
Jason DeFillippo: [00:26:44] It was months.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:45] Yeah, it was every quarter or something like that or every two months or something like that for three or four days and I had to fly out there and do it and I wasn't trying to sandwich 8 billion other things and it was like 20 days in total and I really got a lot out of it. Because if you're trying to do something two hours at a time, there's too much. What is it called Jason where when you get an instant message and you have to transition to that task?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:27:12] Switching costs.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:12] Switching cost, there's too many switching costs with commuting somewhere and doing an hour-long class and then driving home. It's just such a waste of time. You end up feeling like it's tedious, it ends up being more expensive and there's just more sort of cognitive work you've got to do to block off the time and get there and find parking. Batch things that you do live. Trust me, but for most of what you want to learn, you can learn it on Skype. You can learn it on Zoom, you can learn it on Skillshare, skillshare.com/harbinger. You can learn it pretty much without going anywhere and if you really, really need someone to help you, like if you need a trainer, sure you have to go to the gym and have them help you there. But that's really the exceptions to being able to train online are few and far between. And now if you're really self-motivated, you can have a personal trainer that works with you online too. That's not, that's not impossible. It just requires a little bit more disciplined on your part. So, props to you for looking for ways to learn. I highly recommend just dive into online coaching. You'll be shocked at how effective and how cost-effective everything is online. My Chinese teachers, they're native speakers, they're in China, they work 24/7 because they, they sort of stagger their schedule and it rounds out to be like 17 bucks an hour for a one-on-one hour-long lesson. You just can't beat that.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:28:29] That's fantastic. Yeah. You can't beat that in, you know, nowadays with video and everything, it's like, “Okay, I'm going to bring my iPad to the gym.” It's like, “Okay, flex your back here. You're doing this wrong. You're doing this right.” You know, there are so many ways to get your knowledge on it is ridiculous. I'm a technology denier. I hate it because I have Grumpy Old Geeks. That's what I do. But when it comes to learning, this is the best time in human history to be able to learn stuff because you can learn from the best in the world.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:03] You can learn from the best in the world, one-on-one if you're willing to pay and you don't have to go anywhere. And even if you don't need the best, you can find somebody who can help you. I mean, there are personal trainers in Missouri, rural Missouri standing by waiting to help you online for 10 bucks an hour, literally, you know, instead of 50. You really can't do any better than that. Like you said, it's a great time to be alive, especially if you're a geek and you want to learn like me. All right, next step.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:29:33] Hi J, J, and J. I'm writing to you for career advice. I've worked at a medium-sized company for two and a half years. I was promoted last summer in 20 from a senior analyst to a manager. Thanks to a lot of things I learned through your show. The hard work I've done and the relationships I've built, I've created a great brand for myself. One of the outcomes of this is that I now have three department heads in three other areas of the business that have expressed interest in me applying for one of their open positions in the last month. Out of these three potential internal jobs, I'm very interested in one, although this one is the least certain as it would be a new position since it's not yet approved while the other two are backfills. I have a good relationship with my boss and had a candid discussion with him about the other opportunities. I've told him that I'm more interested in one of the roles and he understands and agrees that it would likely be the best fit. Here's the kicker. During our discussion, he told me very openly that he's 58 that he has a fat financial cushion and is looking to retire ASAP. He told me straight up in our department succession planning. They have me slated to be the director of my department within the next two years. Lastly, I was recruited on LinkedIn for a similar role as my current role at a different company. My role and focus is very specialized and in line with what that company is looking for. I decided to proceed with interviewing for leveraging purposes only. I met with the hiring manager and feel that from our discussions I have a high chance of getting an offer. This company has a no negotiation policy, so the offer they will give would be considered their best offer. Through my discussions with the recruiter, I learned that their median pay point for this role is about 20 percent over my current salary. The minimum is what I currently make, which I didn't divulge to the recruiter, so I have a pretty decent chance of getting a pretty decent upside on the offer I get. I've come to the conclusion that I think it's worth it to stick around in my department to wait for the director role. So my questions are one, how do I leverage the interest in the external company, assuming I get an offer as well as the internal departments that have expressed interest in order to perhaps be promoted to senior manager or associate director in the near term? Two, if my boss agrees to a near-term promotion, how do I properly ask them to match the new offer? Last July, when I got promoted, I only got an 8 percent raise, which since then I've learned is the norm here even when leveling up while to me the external offer would show the market value of what I'm worth, I don't want to damage my relationship at work or be seen as opportunistic. What should I do if my boss doesn't agree to meet both the salary and near-term promotion? I realized this is a great problem to have and I would appreciate any advice you have to share. Signed, Champagne Problems, But Looking for Advice.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:10] Always, always, always, when it comes to job offers or anything like this, get your offers in writing from everyone just in case. The last thing you want to do is go, “All right, I'll take it.” And then you hand in your two weeks and then you go back and they're like, “Oh, well we had a committee meeting and you know, we decided to go a different direction.”
Jason DeFillippo: [00:32:26] Sorry. Psyche.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:27] Yeah, and you go, well, but I just talked with him and they said we could have it. And they go, “Oh, uh, well that was enough. That was just a preliminary.” You know you got to get it in writing. Some of the time they'll offer you and then when it comes down to brass tacks, they go, “Oh, well, we can't match that offer after all, but glad to have you.” “Whoa, wait, wait, what?” Get it writing. Make sure the salary is in writing. The benefits are in writing everything material, have it in writing. And no, you're not being a pain to asking for this. This is completely standard. If they won't put something material in writing, it's because they are not going to give it to you. Always think of it like that. There is never a reason that I could possibly think of, we're a firm can't give you a written offer with everything material on the paper. Be candid with everyone about what you've got in front of you. You don't have to be cocky about it, but yeah, you go back to your current employer and you say, look, I want to stay, but I really need you to get as close as possible to the other offers I've gotten in front of me in terms of salary. You don't have to say, “Oh, such as ABC company's offering me this and XYZ companies offering me that.” You don't have to do that because they can sabotage your offers, but you can say, which is rare but happens. You can say, “I've got other offers on the table for this and this and I realized that you might not be able to match it 100 percent and I appreciate that, but if you can get as close as possible, then I would love to stay because I love working here and et cetera.” You can always, always do this. This is not some sort of head batting two rams locking horns. This is not that.
[00:34:00] Negotiating your salary or benefits is not opportunistic. I want to highlight that because they are counting on you. Companies count on you to feel awkward about doing this. They love that. That's why they don't bring this stuff up. They know that most people are going to be too afraid to do it. They're going to come from a scarcity mindset. They're going to be afraid that they're going to quote-unquote get in trouble or something. They're using you for labor, not in an exploitative way, but they are utilizing your skills. They would not think twice about utilizing your skills and giving you money in exchange and taking your time and taking your life. You shouldn't think twice about asking for what another company is willing to pay you for the exact same thing. That is the market rate. That's what market rate means, what the market is willing to bear. So if you are making $25 an hour and somebody else offers you $35 an hour, that $35 an hour, especially if you've got it in writing, is now the market rate. That is what you are worth to somebody which means that if the other company that you're currently at wants to match it, you're worth that much. If you are not worth that much, they will tell you that they can't do it. And then you can say, “How close can you get?” Because they might say, “Look, we can only get to 30 but we can give you an extra four days off.” Then you get to decide whether or not that's worth it to you. You might love working where you are so much and know that the other places not going to be as fun and it's another half hour further away, that you want to stay for less of less of a pay increase, and that's fine. That makes sense. Opportunistic is saying, “Hey, I know we've got this huge project due in two weeks and I'm out of here and I'm going to drop the ball and hand it off to the other people who are less experienced. Unless you give me a raise.” That's opportunistic. That's leaving them in a lurch.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:35:44] Aka dick move.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:45] Yeah, it's not good. They all remember it. They might even agree to that, but then they're going to want to get rid of you because you're not a team player. Or they'll just say, “I can't believe you're doing this to us, and then they will reluctantly give you something and they will hate you.” That's opportunistic. Shopping around, getting a better offer and then allowing the current company the opportunity to keep you by matching that offer that is not opportunistic. In fact, this is polite and courteous. It would be much less kind if you left without telling them why and then you didn't give them a chance to retain you. It's less courteous to go, “Hey, FYI, I'm putting in my two weeks,” and they were like, “Wait, why?” “Oh, well, I got an offer for $5 more per hour from another company.” “Let's talk about this. We can give you $5 more per hour.” Then they're going to be worried that every time somebody comes along with a sweeter offer, you're just going to throw in your two weeks and leave them in the lurch. Always give them the opportunity to retain you unless you're leaving for reasons other than pay benefits, et cetera.
[00:36:43] Remember that none of this is personal. Your company would drop you like a hot stone if somebody equally qualified would do your exact job in the same way for 20 percent less money. This isn't universal in all cases. Small businesses might have some loyalty to their employees, but most companies would just immediate—You’re dead to them. If somebody would walk in the door with the same qualifications and want 20 percent less money. If you don't believe me, look at all the jobs that have been outsourced, manufacturing and things like that. That is just a classic example. If 20 percent less money is what the market, well, bear, your days are numbered, so why should you stick around for 20 percent less than you could get somewhere else? You shouldn't. They would do the same thing to you if they were able to get you cheaper. So, why would you give that to them? Would you get it for more later on or at a different place? You're doing the right thing about being open about what you've got on the table and allowing them to match. Tell them how badly you want to stay and then give them a chance to help keep you around and relisten to the negotiation episodes with Alex Kouts. We will link to those in the show notes. I think we're going to do a product about those at some point, salary negotiation, and other types of negotiation because we get these questions all the time from people that said, “Hey look, I saved a hundred grand on a purchase of a home.” “Oh, I was able to negotiate a raise.” “I was able to negotiate this on a car, this on a house.” I mean, there's this type of skill set, just saves you so much money all the time.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:38:11] We'll be right back with more Feedback Friday right after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:15] This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help. Better Help is online counseling and I love the fact that this exists. They have licensed professional counselors, not freaking random people that signed up to work on another website. These are licensed professional counselors who are specialized in issues like depression, stress, anxiety, relationships, family stuff, trauma, anger, sleeping. These are real professionals. And it's a safe and private online environment. So, anything you share is confidential. It's convenient. You can go at your own time, you can go at your own pace, you can schedule a secure video or phone sessions, plus you can chat and text with their therapist. A lot of therapists won't do that. Not everybody, but a lot of them won't do that. And that's what I love about Better Help. They build this in as part of the platform. And if you're not happy with your counselor, just get a new one at any time. No additional charge, no driving around town, trying to find a therapist, trying to find parking, trying to shoehorn it into your work schedule. You can go to the parking lot in your lunch hour, sit in your car and do a session. You don't even have to go anywhere. I love this. Jason.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:18] It's a truly affordable option for therapy and our listeners get 10 percent off your first month with discount code Jordan. So, why not get started today? Go to betterhelp.com/jordan and simply fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with a counselor you'll love, betterhelp.com/jordan
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:34] This episode is also sponsored by SquadCast. I'm an advisor to this company. I've loved this remote interview recording software. This is what we use when we have to do remote interviews, which is rare, but I don't want to mess it up, so I use SquadCast. Because as a podcaster, one of the most important aspects of a high-quality show, you've got to have high-quality audio. I had a lot of feedback for the show like, “Wow, your audio quality is great.” And a lot of that is Jason editing and making sure everything sounds good. But you know, garbage in, garbage out. If you don't have high-quality audio coming in, there's only so much you can do. And if you've got a remote interview with a guest platforms like Skype, like Zoom, which is probably what you're using now, if your Internet signal gets bunked, well you're screwed. You're going to have poor audio quality even if your Internet connection is awesome. Both Skype and Zoom compress the audio. That's why it sounds like you know, phone plus. SquadCast solves that problem. It's a browser-based tool. Nobody's got to download or install anything. You are your guests, you're off the hook on that. You don't have to worry about losing your recordings because it uploads the recording as you do the show from the local sound, so it's just like you're in the same room with them. It's you don't need to have a full studio set up for this. Now, radio stations are starting to use this type of thing. Satellite radio is starting to use this type of thing. ISDN, Skype, Zoom--those are all a thing of the past. Thanks to SquadCast, so check them out. Get a free trial. Go to squadcast.fm. That's at squad cast.fm.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:00] This episode is sponsored in part by Progressive.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:02] Saving money on your car insurance is easy with Progressive. It's an average savings of $699 a year for customers who switch and save. In fact, customers can qualify for an average of six discounts on their auto policy when they switch to Progressive. Discounts for just starting a quote online or owning multiple vehicles. Get your quote online at progressive.com and see how much you could be saving. Discounts not available in all states and situations.
[00:41:27] Thank you for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers is what keeps us on the air and to more and get links to all the great discounts you just heard so you can check out our amazing sponsors, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. Now back to the show for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:45] All right, next step.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:46] Hey Jordan. I've always thought of myself as an introvert, but I'm actually quite social at work and have no problem talking to just about anyone at work and I'm well-liked by my friends and colleagues. I also have a great relationship with my wife, but her only complaint is that I'm just not social with her friends. Whenever we have a get together with her friends, I tend not to mingle with them and usually end up sitting by myself or just hanging out with my wife. I've known her friends for years and they are the friendliest people you could meet and I like them, but they get the feeling I don't like them because I don't interact with them. I can't figure out what my problem is and I don't want to be awkward at this next social gathering that we have coming up. I don't know if it's a cultural thing. I'm American and they are Filipinos or if I'm worried that we will have nothing in common. I love to start engaging with them, but something seems to stop me. I can't figure out why I'm Mister Social at work and home, but super shy at these gatherings. I want to develop a relationship with their friends because it's important to her but can't get myself to do it. Please help. Sincerely, Mr. Socially inconsistent.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:45] You've heard this before, but the best way to be interesting is to be interested in other people. Nothing new there. I think that's from Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People and it's probably been around before that as well. It's one of Dale Carnegie's sort of original concepts from a hundred years ago. What you can and should do is ask questions even if you have to come up with a list of them beforehand. Write it in your phone. If you have two things about job and career, family stuff, ask about pets. Use the following formula, F-E-W, FEW, facts, emotions, and why, FEW. So, when you're asking about the facts, you might say something like, “Where are you working these days?” And that gets you facts, “Oh I work at Chipotle and corporate.” “Okay.” An emotions, “How do you like working there? What's the biggest challenge working there? What do you like about what you're working on right now?” That kind of thing. Those types of emotion-based questions will elicit emotion-based answers, which is better than facts. So if we only have facts, it goes, “Where are you working these days?” “Oh.” “Where's the office?” “Oh.” “Do you like it?” “Yeah.” “Is it a big company?” “Yeah.” That's a boring conversation. We want to go to the emotional level. “How do you like working there?” “Actually, I really like it. It's a lot more interesting than I thought it originally it was going to be a temporary job, but I ended up staying because—“ “Oh, what's the biggest challenge? Well actually, you know, we had this scare with E. coli. We’re going through all these different suppliers and it's a whole thing.” That gets more interesting. And then the why is what makes it a real connection and what makes it really interesting. You can say, “What makes you want to do that kind of work?” Or, “Was there something that when you were younger sparked an interest in doing work with supply chain management, especially food? And they might say, “Well my dad owned a restaurant and I was a terrible cook, but I like being in the food space. I'm more of a numbers guy.” “Oh, okay. Interesting.” So now you're having a real conversation, F-E-W, facts, emotions, and why.
[00:44:40] And also don't use the formula question-answer-question. This is how a lot of boring conversations go. So here's an example, “Where do you work?” “Oh, at a school.” “Where's that?” “Downtown.” “Do you like it?” “Yeah.” Do question-answer statement and then that leads into question again. So, the question-answer statement goes like this. “Where do you work?” “At a school,” and then you make a statement that leads to the next question such as, “Oh nice, my mom was a teacher actually. Are you a teacher there as well?” So, there's a statement that leads right into the next question that leads to deeper conversations that aren't awkward and they're not stilted because since you're making a statement, you're offering a little something, even if it's a bland-ish statement. Of course, something of substance would be great. Like, “My mom was a teacher actually. Are you also a teacher?” That's better than, “Oh cool. Are you a teacher?” Oh, cool is not a statement but something like, “Oh I would find that so interesting. I love teaching people with different subjects. Are you a teacher there?” That kind of thing leads to a much more interesting conversation. You're giving them something they can grab onto and it doesn't seem repetitive because question-answer-question is more like an interrogation. It can be one-sided. The question-answer-statement makes a two-sided, two-way conversation. So, if you stick to FEW, F-E-W and question-answer-statement, you're going to loosen up around people you don't know and you're going to find that you actually care about connecting with other people. It's going to make it far more interesting. You'll loosen up around those people that you don't know. You'll find it easier to connect. You'll find it easier for other people to connect with you and throw you a freaking bone. Because if you're feeling awkward around them, chances are they're feeling awkward around you too. And so if you help them sort of do the conversation thing as well, you'll be much better off. So FEW and then question-answer-statement, those should be super useful. Okay. What's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:46:34] Hi J, J, and J. Last week I pulled the plug on my relationship with my girlfriend. We'd been dating for four years in the past. She had emotionally abused me by doing things such as getting, falling down drunk and screaming at me, accusing me of cheating and lying to me about smoking. The morning after she would profusely apologize, it was like this in the beginning. Then after about the fifth time this happened, she started saying, she acts this way when drunk because I'm judging her. This made zero sense to me and I couldn't understand why she wouldn't take responsibility for her actions. Back in January, she told me she was unhappy because I worked on weekends. This really upset me because it's something she's known about me since the day we met. I was feeling doubtful that the relationship was going to work and every time she drank any alcohol, I would have anxiety. I gave her an ultimatum if she ever got drunk and treated me like that again, we'd be done. Fast forward, six months to last week and I come home from work and see two packs of cigarettes in her car. I felt this overwhelming response of fear and anger and started thinking about all of the emotional abuse from the few prior years and how many times she lied to me about smoking. I exploded and pulled the breakup card right away. She keeps expressing how unfair this is and how she was actually getting therapy the last six months and we'd just gotten back from an amazing vacation in Mexico three weeks ago. I'm feeling massive guilt and depression. Was it wrong of me to let her past behavior affect me so much or is this the right step to better myself? Any advice would help. Thank you. Signed, Guilty for Breaking Up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:03] of course, any relationship, issue, breakups, all that kind of stuff, that's always your choice, but my opinion, which is I assume what you wanted when you wrote in. It sounds to me like she's just trying to control your behavior. Let's check the scoreboard quickly here. She's lied to you about drinking. She's lied to you about smoking. She's abusive to you when she drinks and then makes excuses about it. She denies she has a problem but can't seem to control her own behavior. Then when you stick up for yourself, she gets defensive and then attacks and blames you. So, from what I gather, one, she's got a drinking problem and refuses to address it. This is bad. Nothing some health can't fix of course, but she's not interested in fixing it, so we're not even headed in that direction. Two, she mistreats you and she mistreats herself when she drinks and then denies or lies about it because there's shame and there are all kinds of addicts stuff going on here. Three, she accuses you of cheating. This to me is a big red flag for me. I know that you kind of threw that away in there, but people who accused other people of cheating with seemingly no basis, especially if you're not cheating, they're often cheating themselves. And this is a complicated psychology, but it happens often enough that it's a pattern. I see it in the inbox all the time. “My significant other accused me of cheating. I don't understand why.” “Oh, why did so-and-so accuse me of cheating? Why did they accuse me of cheating.” And then it's like two months, three months, three years later, it turns out they were cheating the whole time. And this makes sense to me, right? Because, of course, if you don't believe someone else is going to be faithful to you, it might be because you feel guilt, shame, et cetera about you doing it or you want to keep them on the defensive. If you're really manipulative, right? You'll go, “You're cheating on me, you're cheating on me.” And then when you go, “I think you're cheating on me.” They go, “Oh, you're just saying that because you're cheating on me.” And it's like, “Wait a minute. But you said at first.” It's a whole thing. So be careful here. Number four, she tries to control you with guilt. All of this complaining about how you broke up with her and it's not fair and she was getting therapy. Did you know about her getting therapy before? If not, I think she's lying about that. Who gets therapy secretly when they have a partner that would actually be very happy for them if they were in therapy to address these problems. I don't think she's in therapy. I think she's lying to you to get you to change your mind. I think as part of her manipulative behavior pattern.
[00:50:24] And remember the guilt and depression you feel that is all normal. They're being aggravated by the fact that she's so used to controlling your behavior and gotten so good at it over the years that she knows just how to trigger it. The reason it's so easy for people close to us to push our buttons is because often they put those buttons there in the first place so she knows exactly what to do because she knows you really well, but she also knows what to do because a lot of the guilt and shame that you have is probably been put there by her in the past to control your behavior. That's probably why your relationship has lasted as long as it has. You put up with her stuff and she's able to continue to get you to do that because of the way that she's manipulating you. So pay attention to this stuff. You've set your boundaries. She broke them. Now it's time for consequences. I'd say run. Don't walk away from this relationship. You're probably better off moving forward alone as it's clear. She doesn't want to help herself, but would rather drag you into her mess than trying to climb out of it. And I think that's extremely toxic and is only going to get worse until she hits rock bottom and you don't need to be around for that, frankly. You don't. All right. What's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:51:33] Hi team. My boyfriend graduated from law school and is currently studying to take the bar exam, which is happening at the end of July. All through law school. He's been very graceful, meaning that he manages stress extremely well. This is completely the opposite of my tendencies because I had so much anxiety all through graduate school despite having taken a ton of exams myself, I don't really know how to be supportive of him. He has so much pressure riding on this because in our state if he doesn't pass, he has to wait months before you can retake it. He has a job lined up for after graduation, but it's contingent on him passing the exam. He's doing the preparation course and keeping up with all his assignments. Jordan, I know you mentioned going to law school, so I was wondering if you have any advice on how I can be supportive during this time? Thanks for the show and for making my commute a little bit better. Signed, Trying to Be Supportive.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:52:23] Ah, yes, I can definitely help here. So the first thing you need to realize of course is that he probably feels a lot of pressure and stress. What he needs to know is that you understand and you don't feel neglected by him, so he's likely worried that there's a strain on the relationship because he has to study a ton and can't spend time with you. Let him know that you get it. You understand that you're not upset at all about that and make sure that he's getting enough sleep. That's one common thing that a lot of people studying for exams, especially the bar, they will sacrifice on that and in relationships, it's really tempting because he might be tempted to stay up late watching a movie with you or something like that. Just how I never spend time with my girlfriend. I got to spend time with her and meanwhile, he's just struggling to keep his eyes open, make sure he gets to bed. I'm sure you can figure out ways to calm his nerves if he can't sleep, if he isn't eating right, consider helping him out with that as well. Yes, he's a big boy now he knows how to pack a lunch. He knows how to buy a lunch, but there's something about being under stress and having someone do little things, drop off some food to the library or pack a little snack that just makes everything a lot easier knowing someone has your back like that, just in those little ways. Last, but not least, realize that you're probably feeling like you need to do something because as you said, you’re the anxious one who doesn't stay as calm under stress. So this feeling of, “Oh my God, I need to be supportive.” I think that's a reflection of your anxiety, at least in part. So be supportive. Yes, but don't let your own projected anxiety drive you and him crazy during this time.
[00:53:57] In fact, you might need to keep yourself occupied so that you don't go crazy and then bring him along with you. If you're starting to feel nervous energy and you want to text him for the 50th time that day, like how's it going? How's the studying going? Just go to the gym instead. Go for a walk, read a book. You might be worrying more about this than him and that's making him worry more and you don't need that. I, I had a couple of friends in law school and I would ask them for help and there were a couple of guys that during finals when they were really hard, I'd ask them for help with stuff. And I remember one guy goes, “You know, I need you to go. I can't study with you anymore cause you're freaking me out.” And I was like, “Okay, I can respect that.” Because I was just panicking and he's like, “Man, it's not that hard. We're going to be fine.” I was like, “No, I don't get it duh, duh, duh. And he's like, “I can't be around you if you're going to freak out like hardcore.” And I was like, “Yeah, okay.” And I basically stopped doing that because I was fine and I realized that was just a pattern that I was doing every single time I get close to finals and just go crazy. And then I would, you know, to have my friends help clarify stuff and they'd be like, “Do you have any real questions or are you just trying to vent anxiety?” And I was like, “Oh yeah, I don't have real questions. I'm just freaking out. And it's probably really annoying.” So, make sure that you are going to the gym, make sure that you are hanging out with other friends. You don't need to be constantly on high alert for all of his needs, which I think will increase his guilt and his anxiety. And I think sometimes being supportive is doing less and making sure that you're putting less of your own stuff back into other people when they're trying to focus on what they need to focus on. Last, but not least,
Jason DeFillippo: [00:55:31] Hi Jordan and the grumpy geek. I'm a 33-year-old man and part-owner of a low voltage data and security installation company. I designed and install security cameras, access control systems, audio, video, pretty much anything tech-related. I own the company with one other person and we each own 50 percent is just a two-man operation and we plan and install all the systems ourselves. My business partner is an old coworker that I met while doing this type of work over the years. I always enjoyed working with him and we would always talk about how great it would be to someday own our own business. Well, we ended up taking that plunge last October and man is owning your own business, a whole different type of monster. It was very slow going through the winter in our business debt, which was a line of credit kept arising with the lack of work. It's been a stressful time for both of us. He has a family. While I'm still single, I'm able to put in more time and money into the company while he has more family obligations to look after. Once started to come around, I started to notice some changes in his behavior. He started to miss things on bids. He would get mad and send unprofessional emails to prospective clients telling them to hurry up and make a decision. I told him this was unacceptable and that we shouldn't bully our clients into making a decision. He's also started getting upset on jobs where clients keep wanting to add things to the project. I had to explain that more things meant more money and he said, “Yeah, we'll see about that.” Back in April, we attended a tech conference in Las Vegas. We stayed in different hotels and the trip went great. Fast forward to June and I was looking over our joint business account and notice two considerable charges to the hotel he stayed at. I asked him about them and he thinks it was a mistake and he'd follow up on it. I asked the bank to do a little digging and they told me that the transactions show his card was present for each one. There's no other unexplained activity on the business account. I sent a request to the hotel for more information about the charges just to check for myself. I can only speculate right now, but it looks like it's safe to say he used the business account to pay for some good times in Vegas so the wife wouldn't find it. My question for you guys is, what steps should I take to protect myself? Do I cut ties now while there are only a couple of red flags or try to salvage this thing, how could I trust him as a business partner with this kind of thing going on? Do I just count this up as a valuable learning experience and hit the open job market again? As of right now, if we split the company and the debt 50-50 it would be as if I doubled my student loan. This type of work is hard to do with one person, but not impossible. Please help. Signed, Picked The Wrong Partner.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:57:55] They're just massive red flags here. You need to make sure that on your bank accounts that they require both signatures to draw on debt from the line of credit. Maybe you don't have to have that to withdraw cash or whatever. But in order to get the line of credit, you need to make damn sure that they require both signatures. I bet I would, I would stake a fair bit of money. You are joint and severally liable. And what that means, and again, I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. This is not legal advice. What joint and several liability means is that if there are multiple people on an agreement, each one is liable for the entire amount singularly. This is common on a lease. For example, if you share a lease with somebody and they bail and don't pay, you're on the hook, not for your half of the rent. You're on the hook for everybody's rent, you have to pay their half to joint and several liability. This line of credit for sure has the same thing because they probably looked at his credit and went, “Eh,” and then they looked at yours and they went, “Oh, this is a little better. Cool. We'll give you the line of credit as long as you both guarantee it,” because it lowers the bank's risk of default, you are probably on the hook. Unfortunately, that also means that he can probably withdraw money and you have to pay for it. You don't want this guy having access to the cookie jar. He's a liar with a problem and his problem isn't just lying. His problem is he's cheating on his wife or he's doing something sketchy. I would cut ties. Now, most likely you can have a final come to Jesus talk, but my bet is it falls deaf ears. It sounds like he's really entitled and has no business running a business. He didn't even care about getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar in Las Vegas. He doesn't respect you. He doesn't respect the fact that you guys are going to owe this money back eventually. Further, he doesn't even seem to respect the customers of the business. What is with the attitude and the emails, et cetera. He's just pushy. “You owe me this. We needed a decision.” Okay, maybe he's just stressed. Fine. He's stressed and it's affecting his personal and his home life I bet. This is going to lead to him doing even more stupid stuff that's going to get him and you in no more trouble.
As his business partner, you're basically legally married to him for purposes of debt and liability. This is not good for you, man. If I were you, I'd figure it out how to split the business, split the debt, work your way out of it. Don't get and don't just agree to pay half the debt. You have to legally split this, right? You've got to take like another loan. Each of you has to take another loan. Payback this line of credit. The other loan that you get should be individual for each of you. I'm not totally sure how you want to work that out. A lawyer and your bank can help here. They're going to have seen this before. What happens is if you just agree to pay half, he's going to not pay half. He's going to stick you with the debt. You're going to have to repay the whole thing because again, you're both liable for the full amount. As business owners, and I guarantee that the bank was not dumb, your business is new. You personally guaranteed that line of credit for sure. They've got your house or your car. Does this guy have that stuff to lose? You can find someone else to help you with the business. They don't have to be your partner. You can find somebody else to install and do the jobs. You don't need somebody doing what this guy does. Probably. I don't know exactly what he does, but it sounds like what he does is help you install the gear. Who cares? You don't need him to have access to the bank accounts. He's a liability. He is not equal to you in terms of the value that he's bringing to the business. Unless I'm missing something and this is the exact issue. I had this issue with my old company. I was doing 90 percent of the work. I was on the hook for everything and one of the reasons we had the split was because they said, “Oh, you know, we need a line of credit because we want to do a salary increase. We want to pay ourselves more.” And we talked to the bank. They went, “Yeah, you all have to personally guarantee it.” The one guy had a dog, the other guy has an X-Box and I've got a house and a car and multiple properties. No, thanks.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:01:40] Guess, who’s going to pay that one-off.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:41] Yes, who's going to pay that one when they go on vacation? Waste all the money. No thanks. If I could do it over, I'd have left years ago, I would have saved myself a lot of headache. I suggest you do the same. This guy sounds like a loser. You should bail. Unless I'm missing some key info. This guy sounds like a loser. I would get out ASAP.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:01:57] I wholeheartedly concur. I had the same type of business partner and I should've left a long time before I did and I ended up getting stuck with all the debt and you just really don't want that. Cut your ties. Hire somebody to help you train them for cheap. This isn't like you don't have to go to college to hook up a security system, so get somebody that can help you. Just hold the light over there, that kind of thing. Whatever it takes. But get out of this business with this guy. This guy is going to drag you down. And especially if he's like moaning that the customer wants to spend more money because he has to do more work. What a lazy sack of crap.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:33] Yeah, such a lazy sack. Go to Home Depot. There are guys standing outside. You need someone to lift stuff, run wiring. You can show these guys how to do it. I'm not even kidding. Look, if you need, you can hire a college kid to do this stuff with you, man. You do not need some guy who's got experience. Spend two weeks, three weeks training them, whatever. Not a big deal. Oh, the headache, the headache.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:02:58] Seriously, just go to the local community college. Find some kids who are doing like electrical work who are studying that in college. Pay them minimum wage, train them up and teach them a skill and then when they get their degree, maybe you can bring them on and pay them more and you know they can work for you as the business grows, but you don't need a partner. Do not get a partner for this.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:03:17] No, no, no. Especially one that goes, does some shady stuff in Vegas during a trade show and doesn't want his wife to find out, this guy's just got baggage and he's got skeletons that you're going to find out when you get the bill. We had a guy in our old company and he was spending a ton of money and we were like, “What the hell?” And we've, we did some investigating. We still don't know where all the money went. We even tracked where his phone was, where the credit card receipts were. He was playing a lot of golf and going to a lot of meals and treating himself pretty nicely, but like we're still, we're still missing a lot of money and we're like, “Where did it go? Honestly, we think he probably had a hooker problem,
Jason DeFillippo: [01:03:57] Man, see that's the one thing that happens in Vegas that doesn't stay in Vegas. The credit card bill.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:03] Your STDs.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:04:04] That too.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:04] Oh yeah, that's credit card bill. Yeah, people who have stuff like that. You don't want to find out the hard way and you only find out the hard way. If he's hiding it from your wife, you don't think he's going to, you think he's going to tell you the truth. Give me a break, dude.
[01:04:17] Life Pro-Tip. Medical billing departments will often accept a fraction of what you owe them. Someone sent this in. I think this is pretty interesting and Jason, when you saw this, you had something to say, so I'll just let you take it.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:04:28] I just came off of jury duty. One of the things that we had a contention about was that, “Oh, here's a bill. This is how much this medical treatment costs.” And I fought with my other jurors for hours about, no, everything is negotiable. Everything is negotiable because a lot of medical bills are hyperinflated because they know they're not going to get the full freight. But my other jurors said, “No, that's not how it works. And then the family's going to be on the hook and they're not going to get as much money.” And then, I was banging my head against a table and I just, I literally threw my water bottle and yelled at somebody that they were just too naive because yes, everything is negotiable when it comes to medical bills. And that's that you have to take into account if you are in an accident because people are going to charge you a huge amount of money just to get you better because they know that it's going to come from an insurance company. It's not going to come from you. And you need to be able to separate those two and say, “Look, okay, the insurance company didn't settle. What can I, what is the cost of this treatment that I can pay for?” And they will knock their bill down based on what the reasonable care is in the care of cost is. So you have to keep that in mind.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:05:51] The cost of care. Yeah.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:05:52] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:05:53] Yeah, that makes sense because a lot of places will work with you if you call and ask. I remember I got like a $14,000 bill, this is a long time ago for a tonsillectomy. And I said, ”What is this?” And they said, “This is the bill for the surgery.” And I said, “I have insurance.” And they go, “Yeah, I guess we got dinged by the insurance.” And I said, “I can't pay this.” And they were like, “Well, you've got to pay some of it.” And I said, “How much? As much as you can. And I said, “I can't pay this. It's $14,000. I thought it was going to be covered.” And they'll like, “The bill was the total was 27,000.” And I went, “What happens if I don't pay this?” And the woman goes, “You know what, just between you and me, nothing, we're going to write it off.”
Jason DeFillippo: [01:06:27] Yeah, exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:06:28] Are you serious? Exactly. And she's like, “Yeah, because this is supposed to be covered. And honestly we probably build out the total cost of the insurance company and they covered what actually would it actually cost. So, I don't think we're going to come after you for this.” And I went, “Oh, okay.” So she goes, “Yeah, I would just tear it up, throw it away, and forget about it.” And I thought that's a pretty interesting tip because that would have taken me a whole year to pay and it would've been a serious, serious inconvenience, maybe even longer at that time. This was such a long time ago, I was a student or something. And a lot of places will write off losses at the end of the tax year. Now I'm not seeing stiff healthcare providers, but what I am saying is a lot of institutions offer something like a 50 percent discount to uninsured patients. Or they'll go, “Oh, well you owe this much, but if you can only pay 50 percent of that, then we'll work with you. Or if you could only pay 10 percent a month, we'll work with you on that.“ These changes are triggered in the system and a lot of times the front desk might have to verify the patient like if you as uninsured, but the write off is applied out by the billing system. They have this built-in. It's not some sort of, Whoa, how are we going to handle this? There's a whole lot of leeway when it comes to this stuff. If they tell you there's none and you hear it from multiple sources, that's one thing, but if you try to call different people and tell them, “Look, I can't pay this.” You're often going to find somebody who's willing to work with you because they're choices. They're going to get nothing or they're going to get some of it and they'll always choose some of it over nothing. Anyway, you can negotiate your medical bills. That's the Life Pro Tip and that interesting story to go along with it.
[01:08:00] I hope you all enjoyed the episode today. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. Link to the show notes for this episode at jordanharbinger.com. Quick shout out to Michael Moore. Not that Michael Moore, he got hitched in Santa Cruz and he ran into me at the, it was so funny, he was running through the mall cause one of his groomsmen forgot black shoes or something like that. So they went to buy shoes and he goes, “Jordan Harbinger.” And I was like, “Okay, who's messing with me?” Because he screamed it out in the middle of the mall.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:08:25] Oh no way.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:08:26] And I was with Jen and I just never feel cooler than when I get spotted at a random place. And people come say hi. So, don't be a stranger. I love that it happens just enough where it doesn't get old at all. It's like the coolest thing ever. It makes the whole day and it's really something special for me. So, don't be a stranger. I know a lot of people, I've gotten messages like, “Oh, I think I saw you at such and such, but I didn't want to bother you.” It definitely bothers me. It doesn't happen so often that it's weird. Trust me, there's, I'll, I'll let you know when it happens so much that I just can't take it anymore. It's great.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:09:01] Just not when you're having dinner, not when you're eating.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:09:04] I don't mind. Even then. Look, it's so, it's, it's every month.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:09:10] It's so rare, that you’re like once a month.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:09:11] Okay. I can put down my pork siomai.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:09:14] Yeah, yeah. Trust me. I don't care. I'm down. I love it. So I appreciate that. Congrats on getting hitch, Michael. Go back and check out the guests we recorded for you this week, Oliver Bullough and Cameron Herold, if you haven't yet. If you want to know how we managed to book all of these great folks, I keep a huge network and I manage it. I use systems. I use tiny habits. It's a few minutes a day. Six-Minute Networking is where I'm teaching you how to do that. jordanharbinger.com/course and that replaces all the other old courses. A lot of people are like, “Oh, I took the old one.” This is different. I don't have the old one. This is a different course. I don't control any of the other stuff. jordanharbinger.com/course. Don't say you're going to do it later. You can't leverage relationships once you need them. You've got to create them before you need them. That's why we say dig the well before you get thirsty. It's a few minutes per day. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. Jordan harbinger.com/course. I'm on Instagram and Twitter at @JordanHarbinger. It's a great way to engage with the show. Remember to look for the blue checkmark version, not the random one with the numbers and stuff. Trying to get you to invest in whatever. Videos of our interviews are at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. Jason.
Jason DeFillippo: [01:10:23] My personal website is at @JPD or you can check out my tech podcast, Grumpy Old Geeks at gog.show to your podcast player of choice.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:30] This show is produced in association with PodcastOne. This episode was co-produced by Jen Harbinger and show notes are always by Robert Fogarty. Keep sending in those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our advice and opinions and those of our guests are their own. And yes, I am a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. So, do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. 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: [01:11:06] Calling all true crime fans. The Court Junkie podcast is now on Podcast One. Imagine being wrongfully convicted for a crime didn't commit or a killer is still on the loose, even though there's enough evidence for an arrest. The Court Junkie podcast shines a light on the injustices of the judicial system with deep dives into court documents and interviews with those closest to the case. Download new episodes of Court Junkie podcast on Apple Podcasts and PodcastOne.
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