Last week you texted your parents to let them know you’d be able to make it home for Christmas this year. They called back to tell you how they decided several years ago to buy a boat. The only problem was that they didn’t have the $20,000 to buy it. Their solution? Take out a student loan in your name, of course! Now they’ve missed several payments and it’s about to default, and your father had the nerve to say, “If you’re going to make a big deal about this, it’s best if you don’t come home this year.” In shock and ‘about’ $25,000′ in debt, you’re wondering if you should sue your parents for identity theft. On this Feedback Friday, we’ll do our best to help you figure out not only if, but how to sue your parents for identity theft if you decide it’s the right thing to do.
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:
- Interested in doing some prison time with Jordan next February? It’s filling up fast; reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
- Your parents are about to default on a $20,000 student loan they took out in your name without permission so they could buy a boat. So now the question is not only if, but how to sue your parents for identity theft and make sure you’re not on the hook for their mistake.
- This year, your sister bought plentiful gifts for your oldest and youngest kids, but shorted the middle one considerably. You don’t want to appear ungrateful, but what can you do to make it clear how this is going to play out for Jan Brady on Christmas morning?
- You have trouble connecting and communicating with people and cultures outside your own. You’re a science-y, city type struggling with social skills, and your work brings you into contact with a more rural demographic. How can you bridge the gap?
- Because you compete in beauty pageants, some make incorrect assumptions about your intelligence. How can you build your professional identity and network as a future physician without having to hide your personal interests and accomplishments?
- You’re in a small market and want to get noticed by potential mentors or hiring managers outside of your geographic location. What thoughts or strategies do we have for moving up the corporate ladder?
- Your recent college graduate son is an introvert with Asperger-like qualities when it comes to interpersonal skills. When you bring up networking as a way to get ahead in his new career, he shuts down and exits the conversation. How can you best support his progress?
- You’re starting to plan your work travel for next year. How do we decide what conferences and events are worth our time when we’re making our travel plans?
- You hate winter so much because of the cold, the dark, and the holidays. You get depressed and stressed, and basically hibernate. What do we recommend for people with past abuse for whom the holidays turn into a deep, dark, angry depression?
- Life Pro Tip: If you have aging parents, go through their bills with them and make sure they’re paying fair market price for things like cable and energy.
- Recommendation of the Week: Unnatural Selection
- 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, join his podcasting club, 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!
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:
- Ben Horowitz | What You Do Is Who You Are, TJHS 270
- Ryan Holiday | Stillness Is the Key, TJHS 271
- Want to Accomplish Your Goals? Stop Talking about Them So Much. by Jordan Harbinger
- Better Help
- Six-Minute Networking
- Dan Ariely at Twitter
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Symptoms and Causes, The Mayo Clinic
- Circadian Optics Lattis Light Therapy Lamp
- Philips GoLite BLU Energy Light Therapy Lamp
- Unnatural Selection
Transcript for How to Sue Your Parents for Identity Theft | Feedback Friday (Episode 272)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:03] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger and I'm here with producer Jason DeFillippo. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant and interesting people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you.
[00:00:19] This week, we had Ben Horowitz. We discussed how prison culture and the Haitian slave revolt can actually teach us about modern business culture always nice to have these non-obvious parallels and connections. Ben Horowitz is the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz super famous VC firm here in Silicon Valley. We also had Ryan Holiday. We did an interview that's different than what he's done on other shows here recently. A lot of candid conversation about ambition doing work that matters and the dangers of comparing ourselves to others among many other topics. Always good to catch up with Ryan here on the show.
[00:00:51] I also write every so often on the blog. We've got articles about why you need to stop telling people about your goals, why you should stop following your intuition. Yes, a little contrarian sometimes and you can find those at jordanharbinger.com/articles. So make sure you've had a look and a listen to all of that. Of course, our primary mission here on the show is to pass along our insights and our guests’ insights and experiences to you. We love to have conversations directly with you. And that's what we do today and every Friday here on Feedback Friday. You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:01:22] If you don't know, I'm going to prison on February 26, Reno, Nevada. You can join me. It's for my birthday. We're doing an educational program for the inmates. You don't have to educate yourself. You can just participate. Let me know if you're interested. Email me email@example.com. It will be about a thousand bucks plus travel, all of it goes to the educational program. Right outside Reno February 26. It’s going to be a lot of fun and life-changing experience. If you're into those sorts of alternative fun cool things that you can't normally do on your own, this is definitely one of those. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get you on the interest list.
[00:01:56] All right, Jason. What is the first thing out of the mailbag here?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:02:00] Hi guys. I graduated college four years ago and I rarely speak to my mother or father, maybe two to three times a year. And even then, it's only for a few minutes. I live about 800 miles away and I only go back to my hometown once a year either for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Last week, I texted my father and let him know that I'd be able to make it back for Christmas this year. About a minute later, he called and over the course of five minutes explained how he and my mother decided several years ago that they would buy a boat. The only problem was that they didn't have the $20,000 to buy it. What was their solution? Take out a student loan in my name, of course. My mailing address was always their house throughout college, so I was none the wiser. Why was my dad telling me about it now four years after the fact? Because they can't pay it back. They actually never paid any of it back. They kept putting it in forbearance, but that ran out early this year fast forward seven or eight missed payments later and my dad tells me the only reason he's telling me now is because he doesn't want me to bring it up at Christmas and he knows it's going to default in a month or two. His exact words were, “If you're going to make a big deal about this, it's best if you don't come home this year.” He also said about $25,000 is what I would need to pay it off. I hung up and just sat in shock for a couple of minutes. I called my brother yesterday and told him what was happening and then I think I'm going to sue them for whatever it takes to pay off the loan. I still don't know what that amount even is yet. I'm cool with my brother and he's cool with my parents, and I'm sure he probably talked to them because this morning I got a text from my mom just saying, “Do not sue us.” I texted her back saying she would need to immediately pay off the entire loan and show me proof. She texts me back saying that I need to grow up. Obviously, I'm not even going to respond to that. The boat is probably worth half of what they paid for it by now. I don't know if they have the money or not to pay it immediately if I sue them but I figure I can at least garnish their wages. My other brother called and asked me to hold off for a few months before doing anything and that it was shitty of them to do that but to give them time to make a chance and start paying it off. What would you suggest? Signed, Without a Paddle.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:06] Okay, this infuriates me. First of all, these people are narcissistic assholes. Really, this is terrible. I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer et cetera. Retain counsel immediately. It's not cheap. It's going to be cheaper than paying the loan and your credit is F right now. It's F right now. It's going to be way worse when the loan goes into default. Your lawyer will probably tell you to send a letter threatening a lawsuit. I would do this immediately. Do not delay. Don't wait for them to start paying it off. You can't expect completely unreasonable people to suddenly become reasonable because you ask them to become reasonable. I'm going to repeat that you cannot expect completely unreasonable people to suddenly become reasonable because you asked them to. The letter from your attorney may show that you mean business but honestly, I'm of the opinion that you should do more about this. They will not be able to prove that the loan is yours because it's not and they likely won't even contest this, but they'll settle out of court for payment in full plus any interest.
[00:05:03] That is one avenue, but I don't think it's the best avenue. This is the avenue that maybe doesn't completely nuke family relationship. However, I think that these people don't care about you. That's what I really think I would consider asking for damages as well. I know that your parents but they clearly do not actually care if they ruin your financial life just so they can have a few fun weekends on a boat. Bear in mind they bought this boat using money obtained by fraud and made absolutely no attempt to pay the loan back knowing that you would suffer the consequences. This is obscene. I'm angry. Just reading about it right now. When you hesitate to sue your parents and I'm going to give you a better avenue honestly, which is filing a police report. But when you hesitate to do this think of two things, think about not being able to buy anything you want including a home and a car for like ten years because your credit is screwed and think of them enjoying the boat for many, many hours and not feeling bad about this at all. They were far more concerned with you complaining at Christmas. Then about them ruining your financial life, then they were about you suffering the consequences here. Also, they didn't commit this fraud to put food on the table. They didn't take a loan out and then have your other brother go to college and now he and they are going to pay it back. None of that. That's still fraud by the way, but they did it to buy a freaking boat. Shame on them. They should go to prison. I'm totally serious here. Remember you aren't burning this bridge with your family. They burnt it when they stole your identity and failed to even attempt to cover their tracks. Again, it sounds like a complete narcissistic BS.
[00:06:34] And it may help to save those Facebook posts or any sort of photos that you have that maybe mention the boat or show the boat. I assume that's how you know about the boat. Also, if you can find the first one any sort of post or comment it says like “Hey, we got a boat,” and it's right after they got the loan that's even better for you because it shows exactly what they did with the money. My tactical advice here is to again get your own legal counsel. File a police report immediately. Do not agree in any way shape or form to any type of repayment plan because that's a contract. It's a civil agreement. It may invalidate or at least make your case a lot harder, your criminal case a lot harder. And the reason you need the criminal case is not just to punish your parents. I'll get to why you're doing this in a second.
[00:07:20] Basically, it could be seen by the cops. If you do any sort of civil arrangement here that this is handled. The police might say, “Well, it's not a crime you've retroactively agreed to the loan. They didn't steal your identity. It's a whole thing between you and them this isn't 100% the way it works, but do not agree to repayment. Also, you don't want to accept any responsibility for this debt because it will make your case infinitely more complicated. Do not wait to take steps to absolve yourself of all of this. The longer you wait, the more problems it will create for you and the longer you let this lie, the more likely it is that the credit bureaus and the bank especially are going to say, “Well you waited, you know eight months to file this.” This makes me think that this isn't really something you're that upset about so you're going to have to show you just discovered this. It's already been a while. If you file a police report, your credit may actually be repaired pretty much right away because this was not your doing. If you simply get it repaid your credit is still in default, you're still screwed for years and years and years here. In fact, if you file a police report and this is a fraud case, the loan company, the bank, will sue them so you don't have to go through the expense. You don't have to even take the time. They have professional litigators who will go oh fraud. We've got a form for that suing is what you can do maybe after all this. So, this is fraud, paperwork has been done. Likely somewhat simultaneously with a criminal investigation, immediately suing them without making a criminal report is unlikely to win you any points with the judge, the bank, or any credit agency. Also, if you have any text messages from your parents or even other people in the family regarding the loan save them in case you need evidence, screenshot it, saved the screenshots. Don't delete your text. Put a freeze on your credit ASAP. If they're willing to take student loans in your name to buy a boat, then they might be willing to take credit cards in your name, all other kinds of stupid stuff. Make sure that you've checked all your open accounts and that this loan is the only thing that they have they might have maxed out a bunch of other cards in your name to you don't even know.
[00:09:21] Call the non-emergency police line, have an officer come out and take a police report, then contact the lender --the person who made the loan, the bank—and explain the situation and then send them a copy of the report. The loan will come off your credit report, assuming the investigators handling this are even halfway competent. You actually aren't even required to file this police report by law. It just helps slide things along because then it's not just sort of a claim. It's documented. Your parents said they took out a loan and can't pay it back. You shouldn't be worrying about this at all. I mean, I get why you are, but this is fraud. They should be worried about this and I'm so sorry you're dealing with this man. This gets me so angry. I can't imagine doing this to someone else especially my own kid and especially not for a boat. This is just absolutely narcissistic garbage. You're already saying you see them once a year, you talk to him three times a year for a few minutes, you are better off without these people and your brothers might be a little annoyed at you. But honestly, that's completely unreasonable your parents committed a crime against you. If it had happened to them, they'd be super pissed they did it to you because they thought they would get away with it. You can't let them get away with it. Ugh, irritating. I want to see the look on these people's faces when they get arrested for this.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:10:36] Oh, that would be priceless.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:38] I can't believe this. Oh my gosh, these are terrible people. You're lucky you came out of normal human. Any sort of weird issue you're having or any sort of relationship difficulty or having consider therapy because it's almost impossible to get raised by narcissistic jerks like this and not have residual baggage. So, if you've ever thought about getting any kind of therapy, I highly recommend going in. Get your head checked, not because of anything you've done, but because I don't see how you can come through a childhood with people like this unscathed. I just don't. All right. Jason, what's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:11:10] Hi Team. I'm a single mom. I'm going through a very rough financial patch and Christmas is coming up fast here. My sister said she'd take care of Christmas presents for my kids and would let me label them for me and Santa Claus. My kids are 14, 12, and 5. I'm extremely grateful. Of course, my sister had me come over to look at the stuff and help wrap it the amount of presence my oldest and youngest will get compared to my middle kid is a lot. Not even thinking I blurted out, “Is this all the 12-year-old is getting?” My sister was really offended and laid into me about how I shouldn't have the audacity to ask for more stuff when she provided my kids with their entire Christmas. I apologized for my bluntness but said there was no way I could give my other kids all of that stuff. Well, my middle kid got three things that she didn't even ask for or need. I asked if we could take some of the toys back because it was way too many for the five-year-old and use that money towards the 12-year-old. She said it would be the last time she ever offered to do something nice for me because of my entitlement. I told her that's fine and she doesn't have to buy anything else, but some of those toys have to go back period. I'm not going to have one kid opening 15 presents while the other is opening three. She ended up taking some of the toys back and said she won't show up on Christmas Day to see them open them like we had planned. Am I a jerk for doing this? My middle daughter is hitting puberty hard and is really emotional these days so I know it would make her feel really bad if she was left watching her siblings opening gifts after she only had three and the best one was a book in the rest just toiletries. Thanks. Do I Get Coal for Christmas?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:44] So this is a tough call. I mean man one kid opens all these videogames, all this music, all these movies, and stuff is super stoked. The little kid is opening stuff, gets a bike, and is super stoked and then she gets a bunch of crap from a hotel and a book that she could check out at the library. I mean horrible, this is bad. She's going to feel terrible. And the thing is she's not going to blame your sister's, she is not going to blame her aunt for doing this. She's going to blame you because she knows that you're the one who put those there. It's not like, “Hey, your aunt bought all the gifts this year and she was really cheap with you.” “Well, thanks mom for sticking up for me.” There's no situation in which you don't come out horrible here, and this isn't entitled. It would be different if you said where are my presents. That's entitled when you say this can't be all my one kid gets, that's not really entitlement. I mean I can sort of see what your sister saying but I disagree here. In the end, you're a good mother for paying attention to how everyone here feels. Obviously, the kids are going to blame you. They're not just going to blame you they're going to blame each other for any unperceived unfairness. She seems to be missing the main point here your sister. It's generous. Yeah, but she seems to be missing the same point. Your kids are going to fight with each other. Your middle daughter is going to be annoyed and terrorized everyone during Christmas. That sucks. I understand her perspective here that your sister I'm just confused as to why she would be angry. I suppose maybe look maybe the communication was a little mishandled. It's hard to say here. She might also favor the other kids in a subconscious way. It could be unconscious. Maybe she ran out of money and she didn't want to admit that she ran out of money. I don't know some of the stuff might also be re-gifted right she doesn't want to say hey all this is other crap that I got and I wanted to re-gift and none of it was appropriate for a 12-year-old girl. That's possible. It's hard to say here. I'm just speculating, but I think you did the right thing.
[00:14:35] It's not worth fighting over this with your sister though. It seems more ignorant or thoughtless rather than deliberately malicious on her part. Plus, there is still time to solve this problem. I've got some pretty sweet headphones. They're new in the box. They're from a sponsor doesn't say free headphones on the box or anything and I hope your daughter likes music These are legit headphones. This can be her big gift. She's not going to care about the toiletries. She'll have a book in a cool set of headphones. If you'd rather have something else you can get a couple of hundred bucks for these headphones on eBay or Craigslist. You still have time to sell them [indiscernible] [00:15:05], whatever or wrap them. Get whatever you'd like for your daughter. I hope you have an awesome Christmas and I'm sorry that you're dealing with a tough spot here economically and with your family. It's a mess. There's kind of no good solution. So, I'm happy to give you what little help I can.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:15:21] This is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:25] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:43] This episode is also sponsored by Eight Sleep. Every time you listen to a podcast or go online to get an ad for a freaking mattress. There are thousands of them and they're probably substantially similar. They're all fine. It's something to sleep on but The Pod by Eight Sleep. This thing is awesome. Jason and I, we've had these for months now temperature regulation so it can heat up or cool down. It can learn what your body wants to give you the best sleep. It's got sleep tracking because that's how it knows when you're sleeping and how. It really does a great job of heating up and cooling you down at the right time of night and customers who sleep on The Pod, they fall asleep faster toss and turn 25% less, have a 17% increase in periods of deep sleep. So that's pretty restorative. And it's crazy comfortable and it's really, really, really easy to use. It's nice. It's not some giant freaking mess of wires. None of that stuff. Athletes, trainers. fancy pants models. and geeks like me are all into the Eight Sleep. Jason, we got a deal for them, tell them where to get it.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:41] We do but I got to say first I used to toss and turn all night, and now I hit the pillow, I'm out. I'm out and I don't wake up till the morning. It is incredible. Once you get that dialed in it is so good. So, right now, you can get $150 off your own Pod and free shipping when you go to EightSleep.com/jordan. That's EightSleep.com/jordan, E-I-G-H-T EightSleep.com/jordan. You have no idea what you’re missing out on. Go get that today.
[00:18:08] 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 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: [00:18:33] All right, Jason. What's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:18:35] Hello all. I feel as though I have a bit of trouble connecting and communicating with people and cultures outside of my own. I'm college educated in pursuing a graduate degree in the sciences and generally live in associate with educated cosmopolitan people of an upper-middle-class background. My line of work, natural resource management and research frequently has me living and working in rural areas with characters like farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and hunters. I'm in rural Michigan if that helps explain the culture I'm around. I often find it difficult to explain the work I'm doing, why I'm doing it, and why environmental regulations are put into place. I can explain an answer questions, but I can't quite do it in a way that's appealing and facilitates understanding. I do what I can to empathize, eliminate jargon, and find commonalities, but I still feel like there's a barrier preventing connection the stereotype of science-types struggling with social skills exists for a reason. I've worked hard to improve because I spent so much time interfacing with the public. Is there something I'm missing? How else can I bridge the gap? Thanks for the advice. In Need of Hick Help.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:41] Well.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:19:42] Tip number one, don't call them hicks.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:44] Yeah, tip number one. Don't call him hicks exactly, Jason. I think this is a case for the Tornado Technique. So, this is in Six-Minute Networking which by the way if you're not in that course. It's free jordanharbinger.com/course. It's an exercise to in a way and I say dumb-down but simplify what you do so that anyone can understand it. So, if someone says, “Oh, yeah, you know, I do compliance for multinational corporations or risk management for multinational corporations.” Instead of saying that, you kind of do a game of reverse telephone. You want to make sure that when you tell someone they can tell someone else what you do in a way that's understood. If you do compliance and risk assessment or risk analysis for multinational corporations, what you might say instead is I make sure sister corporations of my company overseas don't do anything illegal under US law something like that. Or if you say I do such and such and such and such risk analysis to do that, you might say, “I make sure that everything my company does in America and overseas is compliant with the laws of the country in which they do it.” That's something that's easy enough to change. So, if you're doing something with science and you're talking with people who might not have a background in that what you do is just get down to the result. So I don't know exactly what to do, but what you might say is I make sure that everything that happens on the farms around here is in compliance with environmental regulations because we need to make sure that you can do what you do for a long time and that the soil isn't ruined by mistake or by poor practices. You're going to want to rephrase that because you don't want to make it sound like they might be doing something wrong. You're going to want to investigate that.
[00:21:23] you can get a much more full explanation for that in Six-Minute Networking, which is again free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. I do this a lot for engineers Silicon Valley types, people who have really specialized careers that a lot of people don't understand when you say teacher, doctor, lawyer, accountant, police officer, we kind of know what you're talking about. But if you've got a fancier confusing job title or you're in finance or a technical field, you need the tornado technique and that is in Six-Minute Networking have at it. All right, Jason. What's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:21:53] Hello, Jordan, Jen, and Jason. I'm a medical student and I worked my tail off to get where I am today. Outside of school, I compete in pageants. When my colleagues learn about my hobby, some can be incredibly dismissive. I can see some of them withdraw and lose interest in me. I've even heard someone make a comment about my intelligence when they didn't know I was close enough to hear it. Pageants of put hundreds of community service hours and some very cool speaking engagements on my resume. I'm tired of people making assumptions about me and my capabilities over my extracurricular pursuits. I was wondering if you had any insight on how I can build my professional identity and network is a future physician without having to hide my personal interests in accomplishments. Thank you so much. Signed, Proud of the Pageants.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:37] What am I missing here? This doesn't sound like something you should have to work around or hide. So, to me, it sounds like people are just jealous or something. I'm so confused right now. I'd say this is a screen for some folks if they're angry about this that to me just sounds really petty and ridiculous. If you get a chance to ask someone what they don't like about this, maybe go that route if you'd eventually build a relationship with someone. Honestly, this just sounds like jealousy like a jealousy thing. I also think some folks see this as maybe it's degrading to women. So maybe they see you as complicit in that but I can really only speculate here. It seems pretty crappy to treat someone as less than because they're doing something that you don't approve of especially when that thing. You don't approve of involves hundreds of hours of community service and things like that. It's hardly a way to change something you disagree with, so I don't know what I'm missing here. That's the only thing I can think of. If I were in that scenario. I think I would find somebody who clearly disapproved of it and just straight up ask them. What's going on? Because a lot of times meeting things like this head-on especially petty sort of silent treatment BS, sometimes that can end it because they realize, “Oh, I've been called out and I have no good reason.” They might not give you a great reason. but at least they'll know that you know and the jig Is kind of up on that. I think this is such a silly concern not for you to have, I mean, of course, you want to be well-liked at work, but I cannot imagine why somebody would blow you off because of this.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:24:04] Yeah, it's ridiculous. They're just petty people and you don't want to be around them anyway, because you're an accomplished, you’re a winner. Why would you even want to deal with people like that who are going to look down on you? I mean you're in med school and your pageant winner. Screw them, screw them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:17] Yeah, that's where I'm at with it. You can't control these people's perceptions. And if you keep achieving like that, you're going to run into people who are pissed off just about that period. Anyway, sorry you're dealing with that. This is a good lesson in life that a lot of people aren't going to be happy for your accomplishments and that's just the way it is. It doesn't mean that everyone's like hashtag hater. It just means that some people have unrealistic garbage that they're working through and that's pretty much it. There might also be something else going on or it could all be in your head. I don't know. All right, Jason, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:24:47] Hey Jay team. I've been with my current company for about seven months now and just now getting my feet under me to really start growing in my position. I work for a National Bank and because of my position, I have several monthly conference calls where I listen to different VPs training consultants et cetera. Would it be a good idea to reach out to these individuals even if it's just a follow-up email thanking them for their time and information? I'm in a small market and want to get noticed by potential mentors or hiring managers outside of my geographic location. Any other thoughts or strategies to move up the corporate ladder? Love the show and keep the conversations coming. Signed, Spreading My Wings.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:24] I actually really like this idea. I think it's a great idea. Next time you have a conference call find the attendees and their contact info and probably will be on a calendar invite if you have one for the call. Or they'll just be searchable in the company directory, and yes reach out. Tell them you appreciate their time and the information and that you're actually paying attention to the calls. I would imagine if you're doing conference calls all the time, everybody who's presenting just thinks, “Oh god, nobody's even listening to this.” It's even better if you can ask some sort of substantive question. But only if you have one if you're just coming up with some fake question, it's going to be really transparent. Then pop these folks contact info into your CRM or your contact spreadsheet you all know. I use Contactually, but not everybody wants to spring for that. Then keep those folks in a contact bucket for 90 days or so. That means you keep in touch with them every 90 days.
[00:26:15] That'll keep you top of mind and you can ask them about opportunities in their area in their branch and their office whatever it is. Once you've developed a bit of a relationship, I think this is a great idea a really easy way to add people into your network inside the company. I think it's a really wise forward-thinking idea. So, congrats on that. Definitely let us know how this goes. I can see this being very, very fruitful in your career in the future. Okay, Jason, next up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:26:41] Jordan, Jason, and Jen. I'm seeking advice on how to best assist my recent college graduate son to take the next steps in his life. My son received his bachelor's degree in computer science this June. He's living back at home and hasn't applied for jobs yet. He asked for a few months' break and then we'll start applying. Well, it's been four months. My son is intelligent was a GATE student in elementary school, honors and AP classes in high school, but is an introvert with Asperger’s like qualities when it comes to interpersonal skills. I'm more direct and when I inquire about his plan thoughts, is he networking et cetera, he shuts down, defers, and goes back to his room. My husband and I have agreed that he will meet with him one-on-one to discuss the next steps a concern of ours is that is this just a simple post-graduate anxiety or do we need to help him find a therapist who can help with his interpersonal skills and help make a plan for action. We both are supportive of him, but we know that inactivity can lead to stagnation. He's motivated to be physically active has leftover money to pay for a low fee gym membership, goes five days a week and plays flag football with a group on Sundays. He's got no past girlfriends or significant others as well. I'm looking for advice. Thanks for anything you can do. Mom Looking for Motivational Help.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:55] Yeah. This is not good I feel for you. Yes, there's something to be said for graduation anxiety. I also had this I try to get a job at Best Buy after college and they're like, yeah, you can sell CDs and I was like, “What the hell? I have a four-year degree. I'm not going to do a job where my boss is 16 years old. It doesn't make any sense. I'm not getting ahead on anything.” Then I applied to law school. I traveled abroad ahead all kinds of ways to kill time. I literally went to law school as many of you know, because I didn't know what else to do and I thought if I can't even get a job at Best Buy, I'm totally effed. This seems a little different though. Many of us are excited to move on to the next step in life, and maybe we were a little anxious, but we don't just stay in the nest. Also, there's a depression angle that happens to a lot of grads, but if he's hitting the gym five days a week, he's playing football weekly. It sounds like there might be something else going on here. Depression doesn't always mean stay in bed all the time, but it is a little strange that he's hitting the gym. He's going and doing a bunch of stuff. He's just not trying to find a job. It sounds like he's actually more anxious to apply and face potential rejection and the fact that he's actually getting annoyed with you guys bringing this up is also problematic and he's not saying, “Yeah, I don't know. I got to do this. I know I'm just going to work more on my resume. It sounds like he's just rejecting the entire idea. I would get him a counselor and go with him. Don't just outsource the problem.
[00:29:16] I would also set a timeline here. In other words, agree mutually if possible, on a time limit for him staying in the house. My parents did this they told me I could live with them for three months if I needed maximum. After that, I needed to get the hell out and I never used any of that time. I was out, I never went back home. I get not wanting to kick out your kid and you probably won't have to, but he does need to know that living with you guys for the next two years is not an option, especially if he's not even applying or looking for work. And this problem only gets worse over time by the way. Employers are going to want to know what he's done since graduation. Why did he take so much time? Does he actually want to work? Plus, if everyone else started after they graduated and he's months and months and months or a year late. Now, he's behind those people and less useful to the firm. He's also not building any skills right now. At least, none that give him any sort of competitive advantage. He's not learning a language. He's not traveling overseas. He's not getting to know some other type of work. He's just literally wasting time. Good thing, he's staying in shape, but that's pretty much it. I get needing a break but this to me sounds like avoidance. I think a counselor and a game plan with accountability are what's needed here, along with the firm deadline for you to stop supporting and potentially enabling this behavior. Again, I'm not saying this is your fault or anything like that, but after a certain amount of time if he's still living with you and playing videogames in the basement, well, you have to accept some responsibility that you're enabling that. Let's not get to that point. The good news is he sounds perfectly qualified for a job, especially in computer engineering. So hopefully, this won't be too painful of a process here and he's just going through some growing pains. Okay, Jason, next-up.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:30:58] Happy Friday to all the J's. I'm starting my planning for 2020 and want to do a mix of local events and travel events. There are two conferences that I usually go to every year but business-wise, they haven't been helpful. I'm wondering, how do you decide what conferences, events et cetera to go to during your actual annual planning? How is having your first kid going to change that for you? Thanks for all your advice. Best regards, The Proper Planner.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:25] Well, now I value my home time much more since having Jayden. Jen used to come with me on all my trips. So, going places was a much easier choice back. Then now I've got kind of three pillars. This is not an exact science, but my three pillars -- (1) Am I going to get paid? So, money. (2) Am I going to have friends there that I want to see or am I going to make some new and great connections? So, people. (3) Is the conference in a place I've wanted to travel to? For example, maybe I'm not getting paid much, maybe the crowd isn't my style or my industry whatever, but it's in a five-star resort on Hawaii and it's all of that of course is comped or something like that.
[00:32:04] Trips, I do each year. I do a family trip with the parents both mine and Jen's parents or just mine since we live near Jen's parents and see them much more often. I'm going to add a Jordan Harbinger Show team trip to that. So, we're not sure where we're going to go, but I'm going to do something cool. Hopefully, take everyone someplace rad. I'm going to Bhutan that's with a bunch of entrepreneurs. It's a great location. It's a highly curated group of friends and new people and I go to this other event that is highly, highly curated. It's always in a great location. It's always a great event and I pay to go to that but for conferences, there's really only one main one that I go to which is the Podcast Movement. It's an industry conference. Everyone's there from all the big companies and it gives me a chance to embarrass myself in front of my peers and I take a few paid speaking engagements. But other than that, that's about it. I travel enough for the show and I don't really want more on my plate unless it fills up two of the three pillars again, which are money, people, and locations.
[00:33:01] So if I'm getting paid depends on the amount. If it's in a boring place, but if I'm getting paid and it's a nice place or I've got other friends there. I'll go if it's in the middle of nowhere, but it's got a great group, then I'll go. It really does depend on location, people, and money and I try to balance those things. And you got to be really careful about that don't look at them necessarily in the most optimistic way. Don't say, “Oh well, I might meet someone really cool at this,” but it's unpaid and it's in the middle of nowhere. You got to think, what are the reasonable options for me here. “Am I going to likely make some really good connections?” If so, then go especially if it's paid. And if you think the location might be really boring but you're not sure take a look. Do some research. It's worth it because there's nothing quite like getting stuck in the middle of a city with nothing to do, realizing the crowd isn't your style, and you're doing some free gig for some company that you don't care about. I mean, that's a great way to start burning out, feel resentment towards what you're doing. Then you're going to want to turn down all of the good stuff too. Here's a nice constructive way to do this. Dan Ariely, behavioral economist, he told me this, he goes every time you're faced with an opportunity, think. Would I do this next week? If it's next week because when something is just generally next year, you're like a sure my calendars wide open but then as we get closer you go. I'm really busy. I can't believe I have to go and do that. Think of it as, yeah, this is probably next week. Would you say yes? I would definitely go to Bhutan next week. I would definitely do a highly paid speaking gig next week. I would move stuff. If you wouldn't move stuff and do it. Then you should probably say no. That's my rule of thumb.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:34:41] We'll be right back with more Feedback Friday right after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:44] This episode is sponsored in part by Xero. This is accounting software in the Cloud that we've been using for years. This stuff is really great. I'll tell you a Xero is fast. It's intuitive. It's easy to use. They've got iPhone and Android apps. You can check everything on the fly and a lot of digital businesses are using this but also, of course, a lot of brick-and-mortar businesses are using this. And you can give access to an unlimited amount of users, so you're not swapping logins with people who've maybe shouldn't have access to everything and you can pay by month. There's no contract 24/7 support. Customer success teams are in the US and around the globe. And you get 25% off your first three months at xero.com/jordan. That’s X-E-R-O xero.com/jordan. It's really good at doing multiple currencies and they're learning curve is basically, no. So, try it out xero.com/jordan. That’s Xero with an X, xero.com/jordan for 25% off your first three months.
[00:35:41] This episode is also sponsored by Better Help. Better Help therapy counseling. I'm a huge fan. Stress, depression, anxiety, relationship, sleeping, trauma, anger, family stuff, grief stuff, self-esteem stuff. I'm not a fan of that and that's why I like Better Help and therapy in general. You can connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Everything you share is confidential. It's convenient. You don't have to drive across town. You don't have to find parking, freaking sit in your car during your lunch hour do a secure video or phone session, go for a walk do a chat session with your therapist. You can even text with them. You can switch therapists at no charge if you need to. It's an affordable option and it's really the convenience factor that does it for me because I think a lot of people don't ever get started with therapy because they don't know who to go to and they don't know who to find and they can't read reviews and they don't have time and that person is not convenient. Better Help gets rid of all that. Jason, tell them how they can dip their toes in the better Help waters.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:36:36] Better Help is a truly affordable. Our listeners get 10% off your first month with discount code Jordan. Get started today. Go to betterhelp.com/jordan. Simply fill out a questionnaire to help them assess your needs and get matched with a counselor you'll love, betterhelp.com/jordan.
[00:36:53] Support for The Jordan Harbinger Show comes from our friends at Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. Home is so much more than a house. It's your own little slice of heaven. That's why when you find the perfect place for you and your family getting a mortgage shouldn't get in the way. Finding the right house isn't easy but finding the right mortgage can be. Rocket Mortgage is doing more to help you understand the home buying process so you can get exactly what you need because it's not just a mortgage, it's your mortgage and they found a better way. Their team of mortgage experts is obsessed with finding a better way, which means that their number one goal is to make the home buying process smoother for you. They make the home buying process work for you. In fact, Rocket Mortgage is there with award-winning client service and support every step of the way. Quicken Loans has helped millions of Americans achieve their dream of homeownership. And when you're ready to purchase the home of your dreams, they can help you too. When you work with them you get more than just a loan because Rocket Mortgage is more than just a lender. Visit RocketMortgage.com/JORDAN and take the first step towards the home of your dreams. Equal Housing Lender. Licensed in all 50 states. NMLSConsumerAccess.Org #3030. Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. Push the button, get mortgage.
[00:38:01] Thank you for supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers helps keep us on the air. 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 Feedback Friday.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:17] All right, Jason last but not least.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:38:19] Jordan, I hate winter so much because of the cold dark and the holidays I get depressed and stressed and basically hibernate. It's now to the point where I'd dread and worry about it so much before it actually begins that it starts sooner every year. Other than self-care, is there something else I can be doing to ensure it doesn't get worse each year? What do you recommend for people with past abuse for whom the holidays turn into deep dark angry depression? Thanks, Summer Lover.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:48] This is called seasonal affective disorder or it can be I'm not trying to diagnose you with anything SAD which is very clever. Therapy is going to be huge here. Working with a therapist is different than talking to somebody that you trust. On the show, we often recommend talking to a therapist. We recommend Better Help. They are a great way to sort of dip your toes in the therapy water. Seeing a therapist can often be seen as taboo, something to be ashamed of. Therapy is really great actually, but it doesn't always feel so good during a session a good therapist doesn't always make you feel better. When you're there when you're doing the session. Often the goal is to challenge you, make you answer questions you've been avoiding because it's easier to pretend the problem isn't there. Force a third-party perspective into your own insecurities. That's what therapy can be good for. You can ruminate on stuff all you want, you can talk with friends and family, but a therapist really is sort of an objective third party. You might find progress that will improve your day-to-day functioning. Therapy can also be pretty inconvenient and that's one reason that we recommend Better Help as well. Since all of it is by phone, video chat et cetera. You can do it in a way that doesn't require you to find somebody, look at the reviews, go drive across town and park. Go to betterhelp.com/jordan and you can get a deal on Better Help, betterhelp.com/jordan. Light therapy also works really well for a lot of my Michigan-based friends. When I was in law school in Michigan, I also had some SAD, seasonal affective disorder. I got one of those blue lights and we can link to some of those in the show notes. Get your body seeing some blue-red light when you're not getting as much from the sun during the fall and the winter, and it's best in combination with talk therapy.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:40:23] I've actually got a Philips blue light that I still use all the time in the winter. I love that thing. I've had it for 10 years. It's still cooking. And in the morning when I get up it's still dark outside. I crank that on for 20 minutes and it really, really helps my mood through the rest of the day.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:38] Yeah, I think, these are great these blue lights. They do work. It is good in combination with talk therapy, especially if you're like, this thing isn't working. I'm just getting worse. Definitely get therapy before you start feeling like crap. That's my advice. I would also say this topic a little broader for you because you need something that's confidential and emotionally safe. That's why I'm recommending therapy for you specifically without knowing a lot more about the past abuse, how you're affected, who the perpetrator of the abuse was, if they're present at holiday gatherings that might have something to do with it. It would be unethical unhelpful of me to even attempt very specific recommendations what I can say is that if you find yourself in this dark place during the holidays or any time of year, it's crucial that you reach out for help and reach out to somebody who is trained in working with trauma. People with past abuse have every legitimate reason in the world not to trust people that should have been helping them and this feeling can stop survivors of past abuse from getting in-person therapy from helping professionals. The mistrust is natural. It's an adaptive response to abuse, most early or childhood abuse happens at the hands of parents, mentors, community members--that should have been protecting them but hurt them instead. A well-trained trauma therapist knows how to work with survivors to establish safety and trust before diving into the past. So, if you want to dip your toes in the therapy water, but you want to keep it on the low you want to make it really convenient, try Better Help betterhelp.com/jordan for a deal on that. Honestly, life's just too short to dread half the year, especially the holidays which are supposed to be a lot of fun.
[00:42:11] Life Pro Tip of the Week. If you have aging parents go through their bills with them if they'll let you. Make sure they're paying fair market prices for things like cable and energy. A couple of people have reported their parents were paying like 750 bucks a month for electricity $400 for cable because they had all this stuff. They had signed up for these plans years ago and the plans expired so they just kept raising the price on them and it's like it's on auto-draft. So, you'll find stuff in there that might make you pretty angry. Set reminders in your own calendar for when the different contracts expire. I was able to negotiate some stuff with my parents. My parents for years, we're paying $20 a month for AOL email even though it was free and when I called and I was like, “Oh no we offer virus protection.” I’m like they have a Mac. They don't need your fake-ass virus protection. Well, we offer technical support.” “No, you don't. My dad tried to call you guys. He's been on hold for 90 minutes at a time,” and then you tell him, “Oh, that's not our app. It's your mail app. You got to call Apple.” Like, “No just stop.” And my dad was so pissed because he's like, “They're going to change our email.” I’m like, “No, they're not it's free.” Jen was able to help her parents lower their car insurance by a few hundred bucks a year. Because we called and asked for a lower rate, we were already on the phone with the insurance provider and we said, “Hey, what can you do for this car?” And they're like, “Oh well, it’ll be this much.” “Well, why are we paying $400 then.” “Oh, we can lower it.” That was it and it's just they just lowered it down to under 200 bucks just in 30 freaking seconds. You can save your parents or yourself a ton of money. A lot of these companies, they thrive on the fact that you set it and forget it never look for anything new. Don't let that happen to your parents. I feel like AOL made hundreds of millions of dollars, probably still does, charging people internet and email when it's really free and then they say they're charging you for tech support and virus protection, but it's just BS.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:44:02] They're probably still charging people for dial-up believe it or not.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:05] Oh, I'm sure they are. I'm sure that they are. “Oh, you have access to our modem bank.” Like, “What? What is that? I don't even have a modem.”
Jason DeFillippo: [00:44:12] Yeah, what's a modem.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:13] Exactly. Recommendation of the Week, Unnatural Selection. This is a really interesting biohacking miniseries. It was recommended by a couple of our listeners as well. It's on Netflix. Unnatural Selection. It's about how people are taking gene-editing CRISPR into their own hands. A little controversial, of course, but it's actually quite easy to make gene edits kind. There's a guy in there's a dog trainer trying to make like a glow-in-the-dark puppy. Crazy stuff. It seems a little bit on the edge of medical ethics and people are trying to shut it down. However, it's also speeding up the process of innovation. So, there's that depends on what you think, maybe we can get rid of some of these metabolic diseases that big pharma or medical research just aren't really incentivized yet to screen for there's a lot going on there. So, I’m doing this at home. I don't know. I'm a little scared of it, but I don't want to prohibit other people from doing it. Check out The Unnatural Selection on Netflix. I thought that was really interesting.
I hope you all enjoyed the show today. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. If you want to go to prison with us email me email@example.com. Show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Go back and check out the guests from this week, Ben Horowitz and Ryan Holiday, if you haven't yet. If you want to know how I managed to book, all these great people and manage my relationships using systems and tiny habits, check out Six-Minute Networking. It is free jordanharbinger.com/course. And the problem with delaying it, you cannot make up for lost time when it comes to relationships. Dig the well before you get thirsty. These drills take six minutes a day. Ignore it at your own peril, jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm also on Instagram and Twitter at @JordanHarbinger. Great way to engage with the show and with me. Videos of our interviews are at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. Jason.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:46:00] You can check out my tech podcast, Grumpy Old Geeks, where we talk about what went wrong on the internet and who's to blame that's over at gog.show or whatever podcast player you're listening to this show on.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:10] The show is created in association with Podcast One. This episode was produced by Jen Harbinger, edited by Jase Sanderson, show notes by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola. Keep sending in your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our advice and opinions and those of our guests are our own and yeah, I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer, so do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love and even those you don't. We've got a lot more in the pipe. I’m very 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: [00:46:47] Calling all true crime fans, this week of the Court Junkie Podcast is tackling the Botham Jean murder trial and you won't want to miss it. Join your host as they breakdown every detail of the trial and shine a light on the judicial system through deep dives into court documents and interviews with those closest to the case. Download new episodes of Court Junkie Podcast every week on Apple Podcasts or PodcastOne.
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