Due to the recent COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, many of us are now required to work from home. As a team of people who have been working from home for more than a decade, we have some advice for those wondering how to work from home effectively during a pandemic — and, of course, lots more on this Feedback Friday!

And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Jason DeFillippo (@jpdef) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at friday@jordanharbinger.com. Now let’s dive in!

On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:

  • Since we’ve been doing it for so long, we’ve got some pointers for working from home effectively for those of you out there who might be doing it for the first time during this pandemic!
  • Your career is extremely specialized and your choices for moving to another company are slim to none. And frankly, you don’t even want to do it anymore, but you can’t afford to take a pay cut to start over. What should you do?
  • Your boss gets annoyed when you stand up and jog in place for five minutes every hour to stay limber after sitting for so long. Is taking such a short break really a demonstration of a lapsed work ethic, or is there more going on here?
  • How should you respond to random people on LinkedIn who reach out to network — even when you have no friends in common? You don’t mind being helpful, but how do you weed out the timewasters?
  • While you do have general social anxiety, you find yourself especially shy and less talkative around your attractive friends. Why is this, and how might you get past it?
  • At a young age, it came out that your two older brothers were sexually abusing your younger sister. They were sent away for years, essentially breaking up your family. Now you’re all adults and working on your mental and emotional issues. Where should you start seeking help?
  • A quick shout out to Ashley Jensen, who sold her family’s medical device company using some of the things she learned on this show!
  • Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at friday@jordanharbinger.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.

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Rob Cesternino is a two-time Survivor contestant and was referred to by Jeff Probst as “The Smartest Player to Never Win Survivor.” Rob Has a Podcast was a 2012 winner of “The People’s Choice Podcast Award” for Best Entertainment Podcast — check it out here on PodcastOne!

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Transcript for How to Work from Home Effectively | Feedback Friday (Episode 331)

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 people, and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. If you’re new to the show on Fridays, we give advice to you and answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes to authors, to thinkers and performers.

[00:00:33] This week we had Gavin de Becker. It’s a two-parter. This is a great one from the vault about fear, the human fear response. And it’ll make your spine tingle and also kind of make you think you have some superpowers. Really, really fun — well, I don’t know if fun the right word, Jason, for this episode. Interesting episode, but that doesn’t quite do it justice either. Definitely not a fun one. There’s a lot of like —

Jason DeFillippo: [00:00:54] Yeah

Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:55] — murder and crime stuff in it, but Gavin de Becker is kind of a genius. Right now, he’s, I believe, doing security for Jeff Bezos. So, you know, kind of a big deal.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:01:04] Yeah. Probably a little hard to get ahold of, but yeah, he’s the one that worked on the Bezos’ phone hack, and found out that it was like the Saudi Royal family. So —

Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:11] Yeah.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:01:12] Crazy.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:13] Well, smart guy — glad to have him on the show.

[00:01:16] Our primary mission, of course here on The Jordan Harbinger Show is to pass along our guests’ insights and our own experiences and insights along to you. In other words, the real purpose of the show is to have conversations directly with you. And that’s what we’re going to do today and every Friday here on feedback Friday. I just want to place one brick and the structure that makes up your life. That’s what this podcast is really about. And you can always reach us at friday@jordanharbinger.com.

[00:01:41] By the way, if you send your questions to the wrong inbox, I forward them, but they go all the way to the back of the line. And I’m starting to think maybe I shouldn’t forward them. I don’t know, Jason, ethical conundrum. If people can’t follow the instructions, do I delete their thing or do I pass it to the right place? That’s the question.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:01:55] Well, if you’re not going to follow instructions, then why are you going to follow the advice we give you on Feedback Friday? So maybe, maybe just let them go into that great black hole in the sky.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:06] Yeah, that’s a good point. If you can’t follow the simple instructions, do I know you’re going to follow the advice or do I think you even have a shot in hell of following the advice? Maybe not. Maybe I’m wasting my breath. Interesting thought on that policy. So you can reach us at friday@jordanharbinger.com and nowhere else, starting right now.

[00:02:22] Now, we are going to be continuing to do the show. A lot of people said, “Oh, are you going to run out of shows? Is there anything you can do?” We use squad cast.fm, squadcast.fm. I’m an advisor to this company, but this is remote podcast recording software. Skype doesn’t do well with podcasts. Zoom doesn’t do well with podcasts. Squadcast.fm is built for podcasts. So if you have a podcast, I highly recommend checking out squadcast.fm. And we’ve migrated the Six-Minute Networking course. It’s still free. Don’t worry. It’s on a better platform called Thinkific. And if you didn’t get an email to recreate your account or create a new password, you can go to jordanharbinger.com/course and it will direct you to the new one. It should have saved your account information and your progress and all that stuff. You do have to go to the new course, you will lose access to the old one in a few days. If you don’t care, that’s fine. Don’t worry about it. But I’m adding updates again to the new course. You won’t get it if you don’t log in. It’s still all free. No worries there. It’s just that the old course will not be available for very much longer.

[00:03:27] Well, a little interlude here. The whole world changed since we recorded this episode, didn’t it, Jason?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:03:31] Just a little bit. Just a little bit.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:33] I mean, we’re not that far ahead with Feedback Friday, we’re like a week ahead. But this week, half the free world shut down. So there’s that. And we should probably just make sure everyone stays healthy and follow the instructions from the CDC. Wash your hands, stop going out and pretending like everyone’s overblowing this whole thing because that’s not really the case. You have a higher chance of contracting coronavirus if you’re going to the grocery stores. So get stuff delivered and then wipe it down. I know you think you got to go out and get stuff, but you don’t. You can have somebody else do it. I know that sounds a little bit — I don’t know Darwinist. Is that a word, Jason?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:04:06] Darwinesque? I don’t know.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:08] Darwinesque. Yeah, but you really need — we need to minimize the amount of people that are out and about running around. Man, my in-laws got my wife a birthday cake after she said not to, and we’re just like, “You know that you’re rolling the dice with your life by going to the bakery for a cake that we didn’t want.”

Jason DeFillippo: [00:04:22] Yeah. That’s not wise.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:24] Not smart. They’re 60-plus years old. I mean, come on people. So look, this means you stay inside, stay the F home. We can flatten the curve and get through this thing together. We have tips for working from home based on — I don’t know, our collective three decades of experience working from home, maybe more.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:04:40] Yeah, a little more. I’m a little older, so I got, I got 20 under my belt at least.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:43] Yeah, I’ve got at least 12 so yeah, three decades and change. So these are not like, “Make sure you take breaks every 20 minutes.” Like this is real how-to-work-from-home stuff from people that actually do it, not from a quote-unquote journalist that was paid to do it and has been working from home for three weeks. So check that out and please shoot us a note. Let us know how you’re doing. It’s easier to stick together through this kind of thing. All right. Jason, what’s the first thing out of the mailbag?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:05:09] Hey, J Team, due to the recent virus outbreak and many of us are now required to work from home, what are your recommendations for staying productive and being the most effective while working from home? Signed, Sheltered in Place Like Us All.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:23] Yeah, we’re sheltered in place. Well, use a work laptop if you must, but get an external mouse and a keyboard to avoid fatigue and messing up your wrists. I use a laptop too much and you feel it. You feel it. So I’m trying to use my iMac more these days. Jason, do you use external peripherals, if you will.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:05:41] Yeah, as a 20-year veteran of sheltering in place, yes, I do all external peripherals unless I’m actually on the road and I actually just bought a new VariDesk for my bedroom. So I have two workstations that I can lift my laptop up. So it’s at a decent height because you don’t want to have your neck bent all day long and got another keyboard and mouse for that because — it’s one of those things where ergonomics is key. So if you’re used to like sitting there like with a laptop on your desk, or you try and work from home with a laptop on your lap, you’re going to be in serious amounts of pain and can cause like long-term damage to your back and your neck over time. So —

Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:18] Oh, yeah.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:06:19] You definitely want to think about ergonomics when you’re doing this kind of thing.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:22] Also, it’s time to make sure you’re using Slack or Microsoft Teams with your colleagues. What’s funny is a friend of mine — who’s our graphic designer here — he’s freelancing and he works for another company, a major company full time. He for months has been trying to get people to install Slack and Microsoft Teams. Because all he does is drive through LA traffic park, go sit in a cubicle, do graphic design work, and go home. There’s no reason that most of that company can’t work from home. Now, they’re all like, “Oh, Hey, what was that thing that you wanted to do that everybody wanted to install,” because they were like, “Stop asking to work from home,” and now they have to work from home.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:06:59] Yeah.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:59] So if your employer has Microsoft Teams, great. If not, you might want to set up a Slack group just for your department or yourself because you will save like a hundred plus emails a day because you can’t walk to someone’s office to talk to the person sitting next to you. So all these little notes, all these little video conferences, you got to set up software for this. I feel bad for people who work with a bunch of less tech companies and their phones are probably ringing off the hook 40 times a day with little questions that could be a Slack message. Or they’re getting 800 emails that are all asynchronous from different people, and they’re not looping in the right people on threads because they’re just not a freaking Slack channel for everyone to type in.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:07:35] And then somebody replied all to the entire company, and then you had a thousand email threads that just will never die.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:41] Yeah, yeah, and people going, “Please remove me from this.” It’s just like, “Hey man, set up freaking Slack. It’s free.” Also, upgrade your Internet. I know you probably think it’s fast enough. If you’ve got kids home watching Netflix and so does literally everybody else in your entire apartment building or neighborhood and you’re trying to get work done and you’re doing a video conference with a screen share, you need more bandwidth. Do you know what’s a good level of bandwidth when the whole network is full Jason? Because everything gets downgraded like crazy.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:08:08] Yeah. I mean I have the basics that I will ever go with is 250 megabits down and 20 up. That’s the bare minimum that I shoot for. A lot of the home packages have a lot less, but yeah, when everybody’s home and also when the network gets saturated, you need to have overhead on that. But I mean, nowadays, a lot of people can get gigabit fiber right to their house and upgraded. I don’t know how they’re going to be upgrading actual physical lines like that. If you’ve just got cable and you just want to call and get a speed bump, you can usually do that on the phone and it might require a modem update, which they’ll send you. I do recommend, honestly, to go buying your own cable modem because it’s always going to be cheaper in the long run. But yeah, it’s not that much anymore. I mean I think I pay 60 bucks a month for 250 down and 20 up.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:53] Yeah, that sounds about right. I think I pay a little more and it’s a little faster, but it doesn’t matter. But the key is then when the whole neighborhood — you’re sharing most of that bandwidth pipe. So if everyone’s watching Netflix at the same time in your apartment building, your Internet connection starts to suck and it’s going to get really old, really fast.

[00:09:10] Four, dress up like you’re going to work for the first few days. No heels maybe, but definitely don’t just lounge in your PJs or you’re going to feel gross and non-productive. And that gets worse over time. Look, I’ve been working from home. Jason, how long have you and I both been working for like a decade-plus 13 years?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:09:26] I’ve been doing it for over 20 years, but yeah.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:28] So you and I can probably get away with PJs because it’s like —

Jason DeFillippo: [00:09:31] No, don’t.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:32] You can’t.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:09:32] No, man. We call it going down the pajama hole because once you start, then you just start living in PJs. It’s a slippery slope. I’m telling you, don’t go down the PJ hole because you need to dress up for sure. I dress up — I get up, I take a shower, do everything like I’m going to an office and then go to my desk and do my work. You have to do that. It is imperative when you’re working from home. I mean every now and again, if you’re not feeling good or you know you have to get something done, you can start off and like get your shower in the middle of the day and dress up. But I mean, if you don’t stick to that, it becomes a really bad, slippery slope and then you’re just walking around butt naked in flip flops, going out — I guess to get some work done.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:13] Yeah. I would say I’m not butt naked in flip flops, but I’ve been in the PJ hole the last couple of days because I can’t freaking go out. It’s been raining here, so I’m literally not leaving the house, so I stayed in my PJs. And I will say I felt a little gross as a result.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:10:26] Yeah.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:26] So you have to dress. You don’t have to wear your pantsuit like you’re going to give a presentation for the C-Suite, but you should get dressed like a human. Even if you’re in workout gear, make sure it’s clean workout gear, not like gross stuff that you just woke up in. This will help you realize that you’re at work and you’ve got stuff to do.

[00:10:43] Also, you should find a workspace that you can make an office at home if you don’t already have one. Getting serious work done from the kitchen counter is a freaking fantasy for most of us. You need a home office. You need to be able to leave stuff out. Jason, I know you had some thoughts on this.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:10:58] Well, you definitely don’t want to work from the kitchen because, yeah, you won’t get any work done, but what you will get is fat because the refrigerator is right there. The pantry is right there and you’re just like, “Hmm, I could use a snack right now. And it’s basically free because I already paid for it.” It’s not like at the office when you have to go to the vending machine or go around the corner to the store to get something. You will get fat if you think about the kitchen very often, so you don’t want to work from it. You want to stay as far away from it as possible.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:24] Yeah. You get fat and honestly, you need to be able to leave your stuff out. You can’t be in a place where you got to put everything away because somebody wants to eat lunch or your kids are there, or your kids are going to invade, and then you’re like, “Ah, I’m trying to work.” It’s like — well, you shouldn’t be working in the middle of the place where everybody needs to go to get drinks and food, which is what people are going to be doing all day, every day, for the rest of the time that we’re locked in here.

[00:11:47] Also use Pomodoro timers. These are these 20-minute timers. There are tons of apps for these. They’ll let you work in a spurt and then give you a little break and you need this because otherwise, you’re going to be like, “Oh, this is happening. That’s happening.” You’re going to get distracted by a bunch of stuff. Do these 20-30-minute sprints. And then go walk around the block, walk around your house, whatever you need to do. If you don’t do this, you have to be self-motivated to constantly focus because there is no end in sight and it’s really hard to do. I can do it now, but when I started working from home, I was using timers and it worked really well in keeping me on task.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:12:22] Yeah. And everybody’s phone has timers built into it now. I do 40-20s. And during that 40 minutes, leave me the hell alone but in that 20 minutes, I can completely forget about work and get a brain refresh. I go play with the dogs, let them out to pee. Do anything but think about work. And then as soon as it’s time to go back, boom, back at it, focus and back to it. So I found for me 40-20 works the best. Everybody is kind of a little bit different as far as how the timing goes, but yeah, Pomodoro is something I use every single day and I’ve done that for like 10 years.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:53] Also, make sure you manage expectations with your team and your boss about what can and cannot be done from home. There’s a learning curve here and you’re going to need to get through it. We don’t all get through the learning curve at the same rate. So you’ve got to be patient with your colleagues who might be a little less productive the first couple of weeks, you know, maybe distracted with their kids. You have to kind of bear in mind that the person who has three kids is not necessarily going to be able to focus as much as the person with no kids at least in the beginning. But everybody should, after a few weeks, have come up with strategies for this, and if they don’t, then you can get them on track later, but for the first couple of weeks, I think there’s going to be massive differences in people’s email response time and how quickly they’re getting things done.

[00:13:36] To that end, use the calendar religiously. Keep the same schedule, so if there’s something on your calendar, it gets done. If there’s something that’s not on your calendar, it doesn’t get done, and you got to really plan out your day in 15-minute blocks, 30-minute blocks.

[00:13:51] Also keep the same schedule. If you get up at 7:00 a.m. and you start work at nine, maybe you can start work at eight and finish earlier, or maybe you can start work at eight and make up for the lack of focus with an extra hour of work time but keep the same schedule. A lot of people get tempted to go, “Well, now that I don’t have to be in the office at the same time, I’m going to start at 10:30 and then catch up and then I’ll just work until seven.” It doesn’t work. It’s a huge pain for everyone that’s trying to get a hold of you and it throws off all the projects, so don’t be the one person who thinks, “I’m going to make my own hours now.” That’s not what this is about unless your boss and organization have let you do that.

[00:14:24] Also use to-do lists in combination with the calendar. Don’t think you’re going to remember to do things unless you’re that kind of person. Use something like a to-do list or the reminders function and integrate it with your calendar. And don’t write down a bunch of stuff to do and then not plan time for it in the calendar. If you’ve got 18 different tasks, set aside an hour or hour and a half in your calendar and write tasks. Because if you just have tasks and then you have a bunch of things and half an hour blocks, you’re going to run out of time and not do your to-do’s and you’re in deep trouble if that happens because they pile up.

[00:14:55] Nine, set boundaries, especially for families and kids while you’re working, but also for colleagues and bosses when you’re not working. If you try and manage your kids and your family during work, you’re going to have problems. And if you’re a boss and your colleagues are trying to message you when you’re trying to have dinner with your kids at 7:30 p.m., that’s not going to be good either. Blending home and work will lead to burnout. If you don’t have these things in place, you got to be really careful about this because this is not something that’s going to go away soon.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:15:23] And these boundaries are incredibly important when you’re dealing with people who are just starting to learn to work from home. I cannot express this enough. Because everybody, like you said, Jordan, people are going to like — they don’t know when office hours are, but they’re going to be sitting at home in their PJs on the couch at 11 at night, having some rocky road watching Netflix, and checking their email and start sending you stuff and trying to call you saying, “Hey, did you follow up on this?” Thinking that your hours are their hours? You need to make it extremely specific, maybe even put it in your email signature for a while. Say these are office hours while we’re going through the lockdown or the sit-in as it were. Just make sure that they know that those are your available hours because if you don’t do that, people will be sending you Slack messages or Zoom calls had 11 o’clock at night or two in the morning and expecting you to reply. You need to make sure that they do not expect you to reply. They can send them, but do not expect a reply.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:16] Yeah. Jen had some issues with this a long time ago when she first started working from home especially when we are going through the lawsuits. It was like, “Hey, I don’t want to hear if the lawyer emails after seven because I’m just going to be anxious and worried about something for the rest of the night and I’m trying to actually forget about it.” And then at 9:30, “Hey, did you see the email from the lawyer?” And now I’m vibrating and shaking and drinking coffee until 4:00 a.m. because I’m — do you know what I mean? It’s awful.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:16:41] Yeah.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:42] So you can’t do that. You can’t do this to yourself and you can’t do it with other people. By way of example, you and I are working together a lot during the day, and we have the work chat on Slack, but then at night when we’re like playing video games, I’m texting you, but I’m never texting you stuff that should go in the Slack and when we’re on freaking Xbox, yelling, and blowing shit up, I’m not like, “Hey, did you get to that notes for the commercials for tomorrow.” Like we just don’t mention that stuff at all because it’s a pain.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:11] When the Xbox goes on, the rest of the world disappears and that’s —

Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:14] That’s right.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:14] — by design.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:15] Yes, the brain is off. Yeah. We’re not sneaking up to do Stealth Kills or whatever the hell game we’re playing, you know, Call of Duty, and then I’m like, “Hey, by the way, did you get the ad reads for tomorrow?” Like none of us want to deal with that. None of us want to think about that. So you have to be really careful. That you’re not doing that around your family too, and that you’re not letting other people creep in.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:33] Yeah. Yeah. It’s like segment that time and just draconian about it. So like if I got on with Jordan and I’m like we’re getting ready to play some Gears 5 or whatever, and I go, “Hey, did you see who’s up in the podcast rankings?” He’d be like, “Shut up.” He turned around and killed me instead of the bad guy.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:49] That’s right. That’s right. And, you know, I would say if you have alerts on your phone, you should turn those off during certain hours for email accounts or account-specific, you know, if you’re using Outlook at work, turn those alerts off after you shut down for the day, or at least silence them for certain hours because if you’re starting to get emails on your phone or Slack notifications on your phone or Zoom calls on your phone, turn your dang notifications off after six, 7:00 p.m. whatever you’re allowed to do and whatever your organization decides.

[00:18:20] And to that note, use Zoom instead of cumbersome conference dial-in lines. It’s so frustrating dealing with people who don’t know about modern conference call stuff. They’re like, “Call this number and here’s this 18-digit pin,” and then, “Oh shoot, I sent Tom the wrong number because the number changed from last week.” It’s like, just use freaking Zoom. Use the same link every time everyone is in the call. Just get everybody on that stuff. Or you’re going to be dealing with waiting for people to show up to conference calls for the next three months.

[00:18:46] And last but not least, schedule your breaks. Go for a walk outside if we’re not on total lockdown, play with your kids, jump rope in the garage. You need to get out of the house or be active. We’re all going to go bonkers being cooped up for the next couple of months and yes, it is going to be the next few months. Because I was talking with some CDC contacts, people predict six to eight weeks until we hit the peak virus. Jason, you’re probably up on this too, right? Like this is pretty public.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:19:13] Oh, yeah.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:14] Peak virus, so that means the maximum number of infected. That’s six-plus weeks from now, and then four-plus weeks after that before things go back to what might look like normal anywhere pretty much in the United States. That’s not going to be every city. That’s going to be the first cities coming out of this. So that’s two to three months of social distancing, isolation, lockdown, whatever we decide to do. And there will be economic pressure to open things early because people have to survive and businesses want to get back going. Different areas are going to have different rules and effects in place, but the general expectancy is that we’re in this for the semi-long haul. And that’s a good thing as long as we don’t kill each other in the process.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:19:55] This is Feedback Friday. We’ll be right back after this.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:58] This episode is sponsored in part by Motley Fool. I used to love this podcast. These guys are really, really sharp. They’re going to teach you how to pick market-beating stocks. Well, actually, they pick the stocks, which is probably where their expertise shines. I shouldn’t be picking any stocks. They will also teach you how to invest with confidence. They have a fun community to help you achieve financial goals. And each month, Tom and David from Motley Fool choose one new stock recommendation, which comes with a full analysis and risk profile. From there hundreds of official recommendations, Tom and David choose the 10 best buys every month, which are like timely opportunities from past recommendations and then updated yearly. They’ve got starter stocks, which are like the 10 best stocks to lay a foundation for your portfolio. These guys are entertaining. They’re pretty sharp. They’ve done really, really well, and their stock advisor wins a bunch of awards. In fact, 95 percent of hedge funds fail to beat the market and stock advisors’ average pick has crushed the S&P 500 so they’re pretty damn good at picking stocks. And also, they’re good at teaching. That’s what I like about this. They’re good at explaining things to people that don’t know what the heck is going on in the market and being kind of accessible. They want you to check out their Motley Fool stock advisor. Jason, tell them where they can get started.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:21:09] They want you to go to fool.com/jordan. That’s F-O-O-L.com/jordan and try it out for just $99. That’s just $1.90 a week, $99 for one year of unlimited access, and if you’re not satisfied, just cancel within 30 days. That’s fool.com/jordan.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:28] This episode is also sponsored by HostGator. One of the most frustrating things for me is feeling like I can’t do something, and when I’m working on something as technical and labor-intensive as website building, it’s super easy to give up and get discouraged. It’s like lifting 80-pound weights with your brain, but that’s why I love HostGator. HostGator is a website hosting company that helps you build your website from the ground up, and they make it really easy. They have a drag and drop feature, which is more like lifting three-pound weights with your brain and one-click WordPress installs. And here’s what’s awesome about going with HostGator — unlimited email addresses included with your plan, along with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. Plus, you can get your own domain registration for free for a year on a shared annual hosting plan. It doesn’t really get cheaper than free or better than unlimited. Right? HostGator is the all-you-can-eat of website building, and if you ever have any questions or need some guidance, they have 24/7 365 support available and ready to help you out. That’s basically free therapy sessions for your website and if you’re still hitting a wall with building your site. No worries. They have a 45-day money-back guarantee, no strings attached. So go check out hostgator.com/jordan and get up to 62 percent off HostGator’s hosting plans, hostgator.com/jordan.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:22:41] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. To learn more about our sponsors and get links to all the great discounts you just heard, visit jordanharbinger.com/deals. And if you’d be so kind, please drop us a nice rating and review on iTunes or your podcast player of choice. It really helps us out and helps build the show family. If you want some tips on how to do that, head on over to jordanharbinger.com/subscribe. Now let’s hear some more of your questions here on Feedback Friday.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:08] All right, what’s next?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:23:09] Hey guys. I’m 40 and I’ve worked at the same company doing the same thing for 20 years. I make decent money, not wealthy by any means, but enough to pay the bills. I grew up poor, so anything more than 40,000 a year seems amazing to me really. Here’s the thing. I hate my job. It’s boring. The people are awful. My boss is awful. The policies are awful. I sit in my cubicle the last two hours of every day, just praying time goes by faster so I can get the hell out of there for the day. My current career is extremely specialized and my choices for moving to another company are slim to none. And frankly, I don’t even want to do this anymore. Recently, I’ve gotten very interested in cybersecurity after listening to you and some other podcasts that I found. It just sounds like it would be so much fun, but I don’t know much about it other than what I’ve heard from shows and read online. I know that I have none of the skills needed and it will require that I learn a lot of new things, but I’m actually okay with that. I started teaching myself to code and I’m reading books on social engineering and I’m finding it a lot of fun and exciting. The scary part is that I can’t afford to take a pay cut. My wife and I make just enough to pay our bills and anything less will hurt us. And did I mention I’m 40? How do you change careers at 40? Is that even possible? The thought of even more student loan debt makes me want to cry. I started taking your networking course, but it’s been difficult. I didn’t realize how few people I know that I don’t work with. It seems like all of my texts and email contexts are coworkers, and when I made the list of 10 people I would call if shit hits the fan, I came up with three and couldn’t think of anyone else. I feel trapped, like I’m stuck at my job, rotting until the end of time. What can I do? How do I grow my network? How do I figure out what to learn? How do I actually — I think I just did that thing you guys talk about where I’m writing and I figured out what I need to do or should do on my own — but I think I’m still going to send this anyway, just to hear your two cents. Thanks, guys. I totally love you. Stuck and Confused, but Hopeful Now.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:01] Well, I love people who answer their own questions through the thought process of writing the question down and that happens all the time actually. So I can appreciate that. And I think there’s a lot of value in articulating what you want and writing the questions down as if you’re going to send them to somebody because often you think of the answer before you click send. But to your question, it’s not too late at all to change careers. Second acts in life are very common. If you want more on this, you can check out Laura Gassner Otting episode on the show. It’s just a couple of weeks ago and she’s got her book as well called Limitless.

[00:25:32] I would totally hire a 40-year-old to learn something new for sure. I’m 40. I routinely have to master new skill sets here in my own business. You’re not too old. You just feel like you might be because you’re so bored at work that you can’t imagine getting excited about something at work to learn a new skill. I think that’s probably what’s going on. I think a lot of times when you’re really, really bored doing what you do, you think, “Oh, I can’t just retrain. I can’t learn something new,” because you can’t even think about being energetic enough to pick up something new.

[00:26:02] And I just got a letter from someone in their 60s who changed careers this year in large part because of Six-Minute Networking skills and wrote in to share that. So you’re not too late at all.

[00:26:12] Jason cybersecurity, this is sort of your area, or you know more about it than I do, but you’ve mentioned that cybersecurity jobs are insanely hot right now. They can’t hire fast enough, right? Am I on the right page here?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:26:23] Yeah, they have basically 100 percent a higher rate right now. They need butts in seats. And just to mention, your changing careers at 40 — I was 41 and had been a programmer for over 20 years, and I completely changed careers to become a professional podcaster. So, yeah, it can be done easily. Well, not so easily, but if you’re motivated enough, you can put in the work. But there are tons of cybersecurity resources out there for you to learn. I will put some in the show notes. I have a list. We talk about this on Grumpy Old Geeks quite a bit, but there are a bunch of resources where you can get free education actually in some cases from like the Department of Defense. There are a lot of hacker tools out there that you can learn the basics and yeah, it’s totally doable and it’s a great space. And you know, right now, since pretty much everybody’s probably going to be hunkered at home for a couple of months, you have some time on your hands to stay up late at night and put in that time, learning it and maybe a switch up and get a job when this whole thing’s over.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:22] My buddy, a VP at Google, he said that cybersecurity folks make him chuckle a little bit because they’re being hired so fast that people will pay to move them across the country. They’ll give them an advance. They’ll pay for their schooling and certifications a lot of times, but they always think before they get the job. They’re like, “Oh, I don’t know I’m 27 I’m too late. I don’t have any experience. It’s going to be impossible to get the job.” And then the company is like, “You want to work full time for us in Milwaukee? Cool. Here’s an advance. Here’s your cost of living allowance,” all that stuff like that. And my friend, he says they don’t realize they’re the homecoming queen. Like this is such a hot jobs right now.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:27:56] Yup, totally.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:57] Besides with cybersecurity, you can work from home, which you can’t beat that these days. Often you can work from home. Not always, but that’s a good thing in a job these days. Okay. Jay, what’s next?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:28:07] Hi all. I’m a filmmaker and I work out of my friend’s home with our other friend. We work for the same company. My friend who got me the job a few years back and I’ve been loving it ever since. Recently, however, there’s been a bit of tension. He’s my boss and it can be weird to ride the line between boss and friend. Do you have any recommendations on how to handle a relationship like this? I want to keep our friendship intact, but also keep my job for the foreseeable future. One example of a problem we have is once an hour, I like to stand up and just jog in place for about five minutes. I know that’s weird, but it’s a nice break from sitting and allows me to get my 20,000-step goal for the day. He’s recently been dropping multiple hints that it’s annoying him and now I’m nervous to continue. I feel like a small break every hour isn’t a lot to ask for, but maybe I’m wrong. Am I being entitled? He has a very strong work ethic and works non-stop all day. He even will continue to work after we all leave at five. I love my job, but don’t necessarily want to work like that. As a friend, I’m also worried for him working so hard for so long, but how do I tell my boss/friend that he’s working too hard? Signed, Jogging on the Job.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:14] Yeah. Well, I asked Jen about this because I’m always working, but I’m also moving around a lot because I have a ton of energy. I also get 10,000 steps a day, so I bow down to this guy’s 20,000 steps a day. That is a ton of walking. That’s, I think I usually walk like six to eight miles a day to get 10K steps, so to get 20K, that’s like 15 miles. Jason, I know you get a ton of steps. What do you do on your treadmill desk?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:29:39] I don’t do that much on my treadmill desk anymore because it’s been nice out and I just go outside and I actually put the treadmill desk away to make, make me go outside. But, yeah, this guy’s doing 20,000 steps a day and for me, that is about nine miles. So that’s about it. It depends on your stride length and how tall you are and stuff. But I’m six feet tall and 20,000 steps for me is right around nine miles

Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:59] Geez, yeah, so imagine 20K steps outside, it’s probably at least 10. Just because I think you take longer strides if you’re outside powering through, but he’s jogging in place anyway. That’s neither here nor there. This is a ton of walking or in this guy’s case, jogging in place. And Jen said, “I can’t help but laugh at this question because it’s something that would probably bug me too. It’s like when you sit across from me and shake your legs.” So I bounce my leg sometimes when I’m like really energetic, but I’m on my computer because I got to move around.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:30:26] I’ve seen it.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:26] It drives Jen crazy. It drives her insane. So for me, I get it. I would say go do it in the garage. Go jog outside. Don’t jog in the place where everyone else is working. I wouldn’t mind personally. And maybe, you know, your boss can get some dang noise-canceling headphones or something or look the other way. But people who are getting annoyed, I think there’s a bit, there’s a little bit — people secretly want to be annoyed by things. I think it’s a subconscious addiction because he can’t stop paying attention and that results in a break in his focus, which he then resents. So he resents the break in focus. Nobody really cares what you’re doing, but I would say you’re not acting entitled for wanting a break every hour to not sit in a chair at a computer. I think that’s completely normal. It’s certainly healthy to move around like that, and if you need to do it, it’s your right to do it.

[00:31:15 As for your boss being a workaholic, though, there’s nothing that you can do for that. There’s nothing you should do about that. If he owns the company, nothing you do or say is going to be construed as goodwill. In fact, if he owns the company, his singular focus is making that company successful. So anything you say about working less is just going to reflect poorly on you and on your work habits, even though that isn’t really fair. If someone tells me I’m working too hard, I will literally never listen. That has to be something I enforce on myself. If someone who works with me tells me I’m working too hard, I will take it as intended, but a few years ago I probably would have assumed they were trying to get me to work less so that they could also work less. And that’s not really something you want your boss to have in his head about your work ethic.

[00:32:02] So jog outside, you’re entitled to that, but let your boss work himself to death if he wants to do it. As business owners are often obsessed with our own thing anyway, and we’d rather do that than do anything else. But jog outside, man, jog outside. You don’t need to jog in the kitchen. I don’t get it.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:32:19] Seriously. At least just don’t do it in the same room with him, you know?

Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:23] Yeah. I can see that being weird. I can see that being weird cause it makes noise and you’re sort of bouncing around. Like, should he turn around and ignore it? Probably, but you should probably just also just, you know, do it outside.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:32:33] And to be fair, we would tell you a while back when you were working too hard to take a break because you just turned into a jerk sometimes. So maybe that’s what’s going on with his buddy.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:41] Yeah, it might be. Yeah, like I definitely need to like go outside, go to the gym and stuff and take a break. But the whole like — you know, if I’m still working at 7:30 or 8 o’clock and someone’s like, “You’re working too hard.” If it’s my wife, fine, but if it was somebody who worked with me, I’d be like, “Ah, yeah, maybe you’re not working hard enough.” You know, like maybe that’s what’s wrong. You know, I’m getting everything done so I wouldn’t tell your boss he’s working too hard and he’s going to burn out because he’s not going to burn out most likely. He’s just going to think that you don’t want to work hard. I don’t know there’s kind of no way for you to win that one.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:33:13] That’s a Kobayashi Maru, my friend.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:15] What’s that again? Like catch-22.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:33:17] No, it’s the unwinnable situation from Star Trek.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:20] Oh yeah. All right, Jason, what’s next?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:33:22] Dear Jordan, I just listened to your episode on how to ask for advice and it spurred a question that I would like to get your thoughts on. I have a great job and a big part of it is the relationships I’ve built in my community for decades. I love to serve as a sort of mentor for young men and women who I meet in my day to day life and want advice. I’m also happy to meet with people that someone from my network asks me to help out. However, I’ve recently noticed a dramatic increase in what I’ll call cold-call requests for networking from people I don’t know, and we don’t have a friend in common usually via linked in, I find I don’t want to meet these people. It bothers me that someone would reach out to a total stranger and have an expectation that I would take the time to meet them for coffee to network. Am I being a total jerk? Should I meet with anyone who reaches out because it’s the way the world works? Your thoughts are very much appreciated. Signed, Crabby from Cold Calls.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:13] For those of you wondering which episode that was, that was 321 How to Ask for Advice. Remarkably popular episode and I’m glad to see that. Look, you’re not being a jerk at all. In fact, I think random people asking to meet up are actually a little entitled. Usually, it’s just misguided. People don’t understand. It’s younger people with fewer obligations most of the time. They have more free time. They don’t have a clue about how busy other people are. I was the same way in my 20s, even my early 30s like, “Hey, let’s hang out. Let’s meet up.” And I remember feeling a little blown off when somebody would say, “Hey, I can’t really do that, but shoot me a note about anything I can help with.” And I remember, a long time ago, Jason, when you sort of set me up with Tim Ferris, we were talking about this because it was constant for both him and I at that point.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:34:57] Yeah.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:57] And I felt bad and he’s like, “Yeah, you just have to get over that because you could have 17 coffee meetups a day and not even make a dent in the requests.” And it’s true. And I get it. I was a little entitled myself. It’s mostly, again, just not knowing how busy other people are and they don’t really want to respect that some of the time. So no, do not meet up with people who want to meet up just because they want to meet up. You have to protect your time.

[00:35:21] Here are a few ideas on how to do that. First, when somebody reaches out to you, ask them how you can help. If they asked to meet, simply deflect and ask for more detail on how you can help. So for example, reply to their request to meet with something like, “I’m happy to help, but I need a bit of background. What do you think you need in terms of advice or guidance?” If they don’t reply, good, you’re done. You’re off the hook. If they do, make sure they give you the whole background and type it up for you. Not like, “Oh, let’s just jump on the phone and I’ll give it to you.” No, no, no, no. This type of ask is good for you because it gets the asker to jump through hoops and clarify their thinking. You’ll find that many people answer their own questions or they don’t even have a question in the first place. They’re just thinking out loud and they also kind of want to meet you so that you have to sit across from them while they think out loud. You don’t need to be in the room for that.

[00:36:11] I also know you want to help and serve others, but the best use of your time is to help the top 10 percent or top 20 percent of people that have actually earned your time and attention. Force people to clarify their thinking, force them to write out a clear ask, and then they have to tell you what they’ve done so far in order to get closer to their goals. That’s a great way to eliminate the vast majority of tire kickers and time wasters that have absolutely no intention of ever implementing your advice. Dealing with time-wasters, it’s actually the number one way to burn out and then not be able to help anyone. So for the sake of your own sanity, to preserve your own willingness to deal with and help others screen your mentees, screen your meetings just like you would job applicants. It’s that important. There’s no better way to not ever want to help anyone than to just meet up with everyone. So if you screen these people out and they’ll self-screen. You can just say — again, force them to clarify their thinking, tell them they’ve got to ask you specific questions. And then if they’ve got really complex specific questions that would be better answered — you don’t want to type the answers — just record a voice memo. You could record a little video if you really want to go the extra mile. Driving to some coffee shop and meeting up is kind of a ridiculous ask. Asking for a meeting. I don’t even want to take meetings with people at work that are working with me on a project, so why would I meet a random stranger who’s not sure really what they want? You know, it just doesn’t make sense. The 80-20 or the 90-10 rule here is in effect. I think most people that ask for advice, they don’t even want advice. We talked about this before. They don’t even want advice. They just want to be validated. They want to meet up with you. They want to think out loud. Again, you don’t have to use your time for that, nor should you don’t do it.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:37:57] You know, there’s one other option here that if he does want to meet these people, he can batch it. I had some CEO friends in San Francisco and they would take one day for like four hours, sit at blue bottle coffee and let people book 15 minutes with them. And he would vet them before they got the invite link to pick a time. And then he would just sit there with his laptop and just run through people. And he met some really good friends. Actually, a couple of friends were doing this little 15-minute coffee meetup thing, and it turned out that they could just batch their entire month worth of inbounds and just get it out of the way and still make some new contacts and make some new friends and not waste too much of their time.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:34] You know, that’s a pretty good idea. You just sit there someday, I don’t know, a light work day or where you’re like zeroing out your inbox or something and then when people are late, you can answer three or four emails. Or if somebody is a no show, which is bound to happen, you can just plow through emails. And then when people come in, they can’t sit there for 45 minutes because they have a 15-minute time slot. And the first, you know, two minutes are going to be a small talk or whatever, and then they’re done. And then someone else shows up and they’re like, “Oh, you’re in a meeting,” and you’re like, “Nope. I was just finishing up here with the so-and-so.” And they’re like, “Oh, okay, we’re done now. Bye.” So you get to plow through that. I would still screen the inbound.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:11] Oh, yeah, you’d have to, yeah.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:13] Yeah. You’d still have 20 out of 30 — 20 out of 22 people showing up and being like, “I don’t really know what I want. I’m just not happy with my job. I guess maybe I want another job, but there are jobs where I just, you know, do everything that I want and nothing that I don’t want to –” I mean you’re going to end up with dumb non-questions and people — “Should I start a clothing line?” “No, you shouldn’t.” “But I want to.” “Okay, bye.” You’re going to end up with a bunch of that. So screen, screen, screen, batch, batch, batch.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:39] That’s why you have a limited number of slots and a bunch of people can email and you can just pick the top people and then it’s just a great way to just plow through it. And like I said two of my friends who are pretty powerful CEOs — I don’t want to name them on the show — but I think they did it for about a year, like once a month for a year. And they both had great experiences with it.

[00:40:00] We’ll be right back with more Feedback Friday right after this.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:03] This episode is sponsored in part by BiOptimizers. Did you know that a huge shipment of avocados was tainted with a potentially fatal bacteria? That does not mean you should never eat avocados. It means you must be more careful about bad bacteria than ever before. And that’s good news cause I’m definitely going to still eat avocados. The problem with most probiotics though is they claim using big numbers like billions to change your gut microbiome, but the research just does not support that at all. In fact, studies show that most probiotics just pass through your system and do absolutely nothing. Instead, what you should be focused on is a probiotic that eats bad bacteria like what we saw in the avocado scare or parasites and other bad guys. Enter P3-OM it uses just one proven probiotic strain that is so effective. It’s been patented. What it does way better than any other strain is fight the bad guys — parasites, viruses, other pathogens — in your gut. And beating bad bacteria is the biggest reason you want to take a probiotic in the first place. P3-OM is called the Navy SEAL of probiotics due to its ability to go in and kick the bad guys out. And now we’ve got P3-OM 2.0 which is so awesome at improving digestion. You can see it break down food when you go to p3om.com/jordan. That’s p3om.com/jordan where you can watch it dissolve a piece of raw steak on video, which is kind of gross/cool. And there’s no risk because if you don’t find P3-OM 2.0 is the most potent probiotic you’ve ever taken, as evidenced by the results, you might say, their support team will give you all your money back, no questions asked. Just be sure to enter the coupon code JORDAN 20 to receive 20 percent off at p3om.com/jordan. That’s P-three-the letter O-M.com/jordan

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[00:42:49] Thank you for supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps 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: [00:43:03] All right, what’s next?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:43:06] Hi there. I have some friends who are attractive to look at. I tend to be shy and talk less when they’re around. Do you have any suggestions for me? I’m an introverted male and I’m married and I have a lovely daughter. Also, I have similar social anxiety related to doubts as I don’t like to talk a lot, but other people tend to observe that and ask why I’m not talking and I’m thinking internally, “I have no interest in what you’re talking about but have a rather opposite view to your point, and just not speaking out because it might hurt you or our conversations in the future.” Signed, The Shy Guy.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:38] This is a strange one because it sounds like he’s nervous around attractive people, but then sort of thinks it makes them shy because, “Oh, no, but I’m married, so I can’t possibly be attracted to somebody else,” which is just not how biology works at all.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:43:52] Yeah.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:52] So the obvious cause here is that you’re attracted to these women and you feel weird about that maybe because you’re married, so you feel shame and you also feel like you’re in lower status. Something tells me this person is from a culture or another place that doesn’t have a very open society when it comes to human sexuality. Maybe a conservative country, maybe the middle East, something like that. It’s hard to say and —

Jason DeFillippo: [00:44:18] Kind of get that feeling as well, yeah.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:20] Yeah, I can’t put my finger on it, but I’m getting that vibe

Jason DeFillippo: [00:44:24] Spidey sense is tingling for that.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:25] Yeah. Yeah. Because I would expect to see a note like this from a, maybe a younger teenager or a teenager that’s a little introverted, not from a grown man who’s married and has kids.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:44:35] Yeah. That’s what threw me for a loop. I’m like, he’s married and has a daughter, but he can’t talk when he’s around attractive people.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:41] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, look, there are some people that have social anxiety and that’s a thing, but then they don’t mistake that for sexual attraction. They don’t think they just go, “No, I’m actually just shy,” but it’s so clear here by what’s written that it is a sexual attraction or physical attraction I should say.

[00:44:58] So look, you’re nervous because of status and because those people are attractive. I get it. What you need to do or what you can do is realize you don’t need anything from these people and you have to practice social interaction in groups. That’s what leads me to believe that he’s from a conservative place and maybe has limited practice being around the opposite sex in a social situation. Eventually, you just won’t care if you get enough practice. This is 100 percent practice. Realizing that people who have status really aren’t paying any attention to how much you’re talking most of the time. So since we’re assuming this is written by somebody who maybe isn’t native to the United States. Here, if somebody asks why you’re not talking — usually but not always — they’re trying to include you in the conversation. Sure, sometimes they could be trying to embarrass you, but most of the time, like 99 percent of the time, they’re just wondering why you’re not talking. They want to include you in the conversation. You can simply say that you’ll like to listen more than talk. Most of the time. Or that you’re thinking about what’s being said and formulating an opinion. You can also disagree with people politely. At least we’re supposed to be able to do that in this country. It seems harder nowadays, but you’re supposed to be able to do that.

[00:46:04] In any case, yours sounds like a very normal level of social anxiety. Maybe it’s tweaked a little, but this can be remedied through repeated interaction. It happens to everyone. It’s not something to be worried about at all. And yes, being nervous around attractive people, especially of the opposite sex, happens all the time, especially if you’re not very practiced in that. The key is to forget about it. Realize you don’t need their approval for anything at all, and ironically, this makes you higher status in their eyes and more likely to gain that approval in the end. So thanks for the note and welcome to the show.

[00:46:38] All right. Last but not least, what’s up, Jason?

Jason DeFillippo: [00:46:41] Hi Jordan, Jason, and Jen. At a young age, it came out in my family that my two older brothers were sexually abusing my younger sister. After the breaking of this news, one of my brothers was sent to a rehab camp for many years, five years or more. My second brother was first sent to live with an aunt and uncle of mine. Then live separately with my dad in an apartment for a few years. This understandably broke our family. Thankfully, my sister seems to have gotten the help she needed. My parents are still and have always been together, and while they were the best parents in the world, they were never quite there for us kids emotionally. Now, we’re adults. My brothers and I are still in our hometown and we all seem to suffer from the same mental and emotional issues, varying degrees of depression, anxiety, and addiction. I’m the more quote-unquote successful one being that I’m the youngest of the three, but I’m married and about to finish college, but I still feel a lot of what they feel too. I’m thinking of starting Better Help. Thanks to you all, but here’s my question. At this moment. My second oldest brother is in the worst shape, and I feel like him living alone is hindering him from getting better. Should I approach him in the offering to split something like a rental house with my wife and I so that he doesn’t feel alone and where it feels like it’s easier to fall into his addictions? What, as the youngest brother, should I be responsible for? My parents had tried to help by paying for counseling, but I feel like it hasn’t done him any good. If moving in together isn’t the best idea, what would you suggest I do to be as supportive as possible? He lives about 30 minutes away, so I’ve thought about trying to video call during the week, but I’m at a loss for how to help. Thanks for all that you do. Sincerely, Three Emotionally Blind Mice.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:17] Well, you’re in a tough spot and there’s more going on here that I think we’re aware of right now from the sound of it. If your two brothers were abusing your younger sister at a very young age, then it’s almost certain that someone else would be just them. And if your parents were emotionally unavailable and your dad even had to live apart from your sister with one of your brothers, it just feels like something else is going on here. And we don’t have all the details. Maybe even you don’t have all the details depending on how much your family wanted to tell you, rather than trying to look into the crystal ball that I don’t even have. I’m just going to get to your questions here.

[00:48:49] First though, you should absolutely get therapy for whatever you’re feeling in terms of anxiety, depression, guilt. Better Help is a good place to start, of course. And if you need something more, I strongly recommend that you go and do it. For those of you who want to dip your toes into the therapy waters, you can go to betterhelp.com/jordan. It supports the show. You get a discount — win-win. Therapy is key here. And the reason it’s important is not only because it’ll help you keep sane and balanced, but if you’re thinking of getting more involved in your siblings’ lives. Then you’ll need backup from your therapists to keep your orbit clean and make sure you’re able to handle tough situations more effectively, especially as this involves family.

[00:49:28] As for whether you should split a rental house with your brother, I highly recommend you do not do this. When you invite someone with addiction and other issues into your home to live, you’re asking for those issues to become your issues as well. Not necessarily you becoming an addict or something, but you’re, you’re having someone else’s problems become your problems. I’m not saying you have to avoid people with these issues, especially family, but I am saying that you’re bringing your brother and his issues into your wife’s life, into your marriage. If you have kids, they’re going to be affected by this. Also, this is somebody who sexually abused your sister. Maybe it was a long time ago, but you said yourself, they haven’t done a whole lot to kind of curb their issues. Do you want this person living in your home with your own family? He’s already shown that he cannot be trusted with family. I don’t know if I would bring this into my life. If you had some property nearby that you were able to let him use or something, that’s one thing. But even if this guy lived under the same roof as you. It doesn’t mean you can babysit him all the time and make sure he doesn’t fall into his negative patterns of addiction. People who are addicts are going to find a way. There are people that escaped from rehab. Look, even if you could keep an eye on him 24/7, is that the life you want for yourself and your family? I don’t think that’s healthy for you. And if you need proof that addicts can find a way, bear in mind that people will go to a prison infirmary, a prison infirmary with alcohol poisoning. They OD on drugs. Addicts get better when they get help, not when they get surveillance, not when they get supervision from somebody who’s not even trained for this sort of thing.

[00:51:00] This all goes back to the idea of responsibility. I get that you feel responsible for your family but you are not. These are adults. Yes, they may need your help sometimes, but help, in this case, means guidance, advice where applicable, wisdom — they haven’t been able to get on their own, et cetera. It does not mean sacrificing yourself on the altar of the familial bond because that’s how you were raised. I’m guessing that as a kid, most of the focus was on these brothers after what they did and on your sister. And you may have been raised to put their needs before yours because that’s what your family did. You may also think that since your parents were not emotionally available for you, that love means always letting people have access to you and to your emotions and that is not the case. So through therapy, you’ll learn healthy boundaries and how to maintain those boundaries. And I think that’s a healthy thing for you to learn right now as an adult because you might not have had the chance to do so growing up.

[00:51:54] The good news is you sound like a caring, successful person. So I applaud you there. Just don’t let your current lack of boundaries damage what you’ve built for yourself and for your own immediate family.

[00:52:05] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Shout out to Ashley Jensen who sold her dad’s medical device company using some of the things that she learned on the show, so that’s awesome. I’m glad to hear that we helped you get through a lot of stuff and she uses Better Help to get through the stress of having sold the company. That’s kind of funny. Very heartfelt thanks for that and enjoy being frozen down there in Minneapolis, but at least you get to stay home now.

[00:52:34] Go back and check out the guest from this week, Gavin de Becker — Part One and Two if you haven’t heard that yet.

[00:52:40] If you want to know how I managed to book all these great guests and manage relationships, I use systems and I use tiny habits so it doesn’t feel like work. Check out our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Do it now. Don’t do it later. You get plenty of time now, hopefully. So dig the well before you get thirsty for free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. I’m on Instagram and Twitter. It’s a great way to engage with the show. Videos of our interviews are also at jordan harbinger.com/youtube. Jason.

Jason DeFillippo: [00:53:12] You can check out my tech podcast, Grumpy Old Geeks, while you shelter in place. We discussed what went wrong on the Internet, who’s to blame along with cybersecurity apps, gadgets, books, and more. And we’re also talking a lot about what we talked about today about tips and tricks for staying sane, working from home, and some technology advice along those lines. And that’s over at Grumpy Old Geeks wherever your favorite podcasts are sold.

Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:35] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. This episode was produced by Jen Harbinger, edited by Jase Sanderson, show notes by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola. Keeps sending in those questions to friday@jordanharbinger.com. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. And I’m a lawyer, but 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 if you found this episode useful, please share it with someone else who can use the advice that we gave here today, which I think is a lot of people working from home. We got lots more in store for 2020 very excited to bring it out 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.

Rob Cesternino: [00:54:22] Survivor Season 40 is here with 20 past champions returning for winners at war. Survivor fans know that this is the best Survivor season in years and we’re breaking it all down after each episode on Rob Has a Podcast. I’m two-time Survivor, Rob Cesternino, host of Rob Has a Podcast, and we’ve got recaps, interviews with your favorite former players and a community of Survivor fans from all around the world. So come check out Rob has a Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, the PodcastOne app, or wherever you get your podcasts.


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