A brain tumor had doctors guessing you should have died five years ago, but hard work and luck have reduced it by 50 percent and arrested its progress. Would it be wishful thinking to start long-term planning and getting your life back on track? We’ll tackle this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Jason DeFillippo (@jpdef) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- A brain tumor had doctors guessing you should have died five years ago, but hard work and luck have reduced it by 50 percent and arrested its progress. Would it be wishful thinking to start long-term planning and getting your life back on track?
- How can you encourage someone to make a business out of a hobby they’re really good at? More important: should you?
- In a world where nobody seems to listen for longer than five seconds, how can you politely have a conversation with people in a way that won’t just lead to temporary change?
- Your side hustle is related to your main job. Is it reasonable to leverage your paid time to work on things that benefit you personally?
- When your significant other had a traumatic childhood and shares the dark thoughts that haunt them with you, what can you do as a partner to be supportive without turning into a surrogate parent or therapist?
- You want to be able to work with anyone, but you have a passive-aggressive and prickly coworker who refuses to engage with you. What can you do to defuse the tension and build a proper work relationship?
- Life Pro Tip: If you are under a mandatory shelter-in-place order and feel the need to leave the house, blood donation is a qualified reason to leave. Not only are you getting out of the house and having some human contact, but you are providing society with a much-needed service. Set up an appointment and fill out the questionnaire beforehand. (Obviously don’t do this if you are feeling ill!)
- (Anti-)Recommendation of the Week: 100 Humans (It’s a fun watch, but filled with junk science and biased politics. Don’t go into this expecting anything beyond entertainment and you should be fine.)
- A quick shout out to Heather Lewis, who says episodes 246 and 321 helped give her the power to deal with the narcissists in her life and the means to secure high-level connections in her network!
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Jason on Twitter at @jpdef and Instagram at @JPD, 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!
On Murder in the Family, Geraldo Rivera dives deep into some of the darkest hours in a celebrity’s life when they lose a family member to murder or had a family member commit the ultimate crime. Check out Murder in the Family on PodcastOne or wherever you listen to fine podcasts!
Resources from This Episode:
- Rachael Denhollander | What Is a Girl Worth?, TJHS 332
- Isaac Lidsky | Eyes Wide Open, TJHS 333
- How to Work from Home Effectively | Feedback Friday, TJHS 331
- Diplopia, Healthline
- Dysarthria, Healthline
- Help! I Have Two Years Left to Live. | Feedback Friday, TJHS 251
- Adobe InDesign
- What I Learned Spending the Day in a Maximum-Security Prison by Jordan Harbinger
- Better Help
- 100 Humans
- The Role and Lasting Effects of Dolls in the African American Community by Jasmine Guy, LinkedIn
- Wendy Behary | Disarming the Narcissist, TJHS 246
- How to Ask for Advice | Deep Dive, TJHS 321
- Strategic TP Reserve, Grumpy Old Geeks 424
- Stay the Fuck at Home by Christopher John Franklin (Poem)
- A COVID-19 Admonition by Robert Emmett Kelly (Song)
Transcript for I Was Supposed to Die Five Years Ago | Feedback Friday (Episode 334)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:04] 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, thinkers, and performers.
[00:00:32] This week we had Rachael Denhollander who blew open the USA gymnastics scandal, resulting in hundreds of victims taking down their accuser. And Isaac Lidsky, the only blind person to serve as a law clerk for the US Supreme Court. He's also an entrepreneur as well as a child actor on a popular '90s sitcom -- which is, you know, random to say the least -- but he considers going blind in his 20s a blessing. And we discuss how our brains construct reality based on our own mental models, some of which we can control. It's a great exercise in reframing luck in events that seem negative to work in our advantage. I just thought he was a fascinating guy, super smart, and he can read like 700 words a minute by listening. Just a really interesting cat, and I think you should check out that episode as well as the other episode with Rachael that we did for you this week.
[00:01:17] I also write every so often on the blog. The latest post is about why your network is actually the best insurance policy. This was based on my experience having to start the show in business over from scratch a couple of years ago. A lot of people are probably feeling the economic sting and unfortunately, some folks are learning the hard way that the network they thought they could ignore because they didn't need it is now their only lifeline. If you're not reengaging weakened, dormant ties right now, as per our broken record about Six-Minute Networking, you could find yourself in trouble later on. Soon here, a lot of people are going to find out the hard way that you need to dig the well before you are thirsty. I explained why and how in that piece, which is on the blog at jordanharbinger.com/articles. So make sure you've had a look and listen to everything we created for you here this week.
[00:02:05] Of course, our primary mission here on the show is to pass along insights to you, our guests' insights, our experiences and insights. We want to have conversations directly with you and place just one brick in the structure that makes up your life. That's what this podcast is really about. You can reach us at email@example.com for Feedback Friday questions. Please that's where they go, please nowhere else.
[00:02:26] And lots of you are adjusting to working from home. I hope our tips from last week helped. I'm going to write up a piece on this because I know there are some struggles and I want to see people share that as well. I see the struggles in my inbox here. I've been working from home for 13 years. And I think it took me probably the first three years just to be really productive at home, so I get it. All right. As always, some fun ones and some doozies can't wait to dive in. Jason, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:02:52] Hey, J squad. Shortly after my 28th birthday, I was diagnosed with a terminal tumor on my brainstem and given less than a year to live. Over the course of the forthcoming year, I had to surrender my license, lost my ability to walk, talk, and lift myself off the ground and had to move into my parents' house, which is a multigenerational house with my parents, sister, and two young nephews all living under one roof. By all accounts, I was well on my way to pushing up daisies. This was 2015. Through a tremendous amount of hard work, persistence, luck, and caring work of multiple doctors and health professionals, I've been able to nurse my body back to health. To date, my tumor has shrunk over 50 percent and its progression has arrested. I'm back in the gym and have regained muscle mass and physical function and regained my license and even bought a new car. I still have disabilities to contend with, including diplopia and dysarthria, but they have become much more manageable.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:44] Diplopia is double vision and dysarthria is slurred speech and yes, I had to Google that, so I figured many of you might've needed to as well. Continue.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:03:52] Now for my dilemma, doctors can't provide me any definitive answer about how much longer I can realistically stay alive. I could kick the bucket a month, a year, 10 years from today, who knows? The one thing I do know is we all die eventually, but my death is just a bit more prescient. However, I'm not one to just sit around waiting for life to happen to me, and I'm starting to get a bit antsy to keep progressing. So what do you think? Should I start working towards getting a job, a master's degree, my own house, et cetera, and in turn some independence? Or should I just kick back, relax and travel until my number is called? As an aside, I graduated with a degree in finance and made sure to maximize savings and benefits before I was diagnosed. Live at home, rent-free, and have no debt besides my car loan. There will be paid off in a year and a half, so I'm fortunate enough to not be hurting financially. Also, I have a girlfriend of over two years that is unbelievably supportive and aware of my situation, but nevertheless, there's a fair amount of future planning that goes along with being in a long-term relationship. Thanks for the advice. Signed, Survivor's Dilemma.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:52] Well, I'm super impressed. You sound like an awesome person, really inspiring. And while we're all whining about having to work from home, because we can't go to Chipotle for lunch, you successfully fought off a brain tumor and seemed like a pretty together guy. So, hell yeah, for that. I like how you listed living at home with your parents is one of the reasons you are well on your way to pushing up daisies as you put it. Maybe that's not what you meant to write, but I think that's pretty good humor. Like, "Yeah, I've got this tumor on my brainstem and I have to live with my parents, so my life is basically over." You're my kind of dude, man.
[00:05:21] Your question makes a lot of sense. If you don't know when your time is up, how do you live your life? It's tempting to live one big vacation because that's how you might think you're supposed to live if you have a limited time, but in your situation here, you don't know how much time you have left, like you said. I don't know you, but I'm getting a vibe that you're not the kind of guy who wants to spend a year on the beach or looking at architecture in Italy for the next few years. If you do, great, go for it. But for many or most of us, we require some fulfillment in order to feel like the life we're living is worthwhile. You might actually get bored and feel worse if you just take off and try to run out the clock backpacking. Then again, maybe you need to do that for a year or two and just get that out of your system and then go to school if you indeed still want to do that. I actually talked a little bit about this in Episode 251 with another friend of mine that has or had at the time a couple of years left to live, we're still not sure as well. So she ended up taking a job with a senator and she loves that. So if you want to go travel, go do it. Now's a great time. If you want to build a life for yourself because travel doesn't seem like something you want to do, but everyone's telling you to go and do that. Well, there's no reason not to do either one of those things.
[00:06:33] Let's say you get a degree and start a career. Do you regret doing so later on? I doubt it. Now I wouldn't put up with any of this crap from a bad boss or force yourself through years of schooling if you hate it. But if you're enjoying the process, then there's no such thing as wasted time. I can't answer this question for you, but what I can advise is this. Make a huge list of things you'd like to do. Anything at all, work, life, career, travel or otherwise, and then order it by priority, your priority -- not by what other people want, not what they want for you or would they think you can do. Don't live by other people's values. It's good advice whether you've got another eight months or another eight decades, and let's hope it's the latter, my friend.
[00:07:16] Thank you for sending this to me. I'm humbled and you seem like an amazing person. I'm so stoked. People of your quality are spending time listening to this show that really makes it all worth it. All right, Jay, what's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:07:27] Hi guys. My wife and I have been discussing starting a website that plays to her skills. I think it's a good idea, but she gives me a short, "No". She's a stay-at-home mom that would like to find a job that can work around the children. In her last job, she used Adobe InDesign and would like to get a subscription to become more proficient in its use. All good ideas that I'm on board with. We can afford both Adobe and HostGator without trying to make a business out of it so she could try different ideas without worrying about damaging a business. My concern is with paying for a subscription for a service that will rarely be used if there's no means of showing off the results. Friends regularly tell her she should start an online business with her skills. She'll laugh and say, "No." What advice do you guys have on how to discover someone else's motivation? How to discover someone else's why? Thanking you in advance. Signed, Searching for my Wife's Why.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:15] Hmm. Well, I get what you mean here. You see someone with great skills that could be monetized and you're thinking, "Why not monetize these skills? After all, you need something to do to earn money, and this might just be it." But we're running into a few different possibilities here. One, maybe she has a lack of confidence and doesn't think she can run a business. If that's the case, then you can start by letting her build confidence in the software or in the skill set. Maybe take some classes on Skillshare, which has InDesign courses -- skillshare.com/jordan is a good place to start with that. It helps support the show. See where it goes. Give it some time and see if she's ready for prime time and business later on. Again, it could be a confidence issue and that could just be it. Two, this is her hobby. She's enjoying it and she doesn't want the pressure. There are a few more effective ways to ruin a hobby you truly enjoy than by turning it into a business.
[00:09:05] Podcasting was my hobby, and now it's my job and I love it. That said, for everyone like me who's cut out for this and really should have started a business before and maybe not spent seven years learning another thing, like going to law school. For everyone like that, for everyone like me, there are tons of people who just want their hobby to stay their hobby and not make it their job. I was really tempted to say jobbie there, but I decided not to be annoying on the show today – mention, Oh, this is me. Also, my mom, she loves painting and my wife Jen, she said, "Oh, well, your mom is so good at watercolor. Let me commission something from her. Let me get a B painting." And it was all this stress she put on herself and all this pressure and she was just taking way too much time on it and she threw it away and started over a hundred times. People who just do things because there is no result other than relaxing and enjoying it, there's really no benefit to then adding pressure and making it not fun and stressful. It ruins the one thing they like. And it makes them less good at it because they don't enjoy it. And there's all this added pressure.
[00:10:06] So either way, the path here is the same. My advice here is the same. Let her build her skill without the pressure. She can get better and better at it. And if somebody wants to commission her for a few one-off things here and there, see how she enjoys it. If she doesn't like creating for money, then don't press her to do it. You'll just end up taking the joy out of something she really loves, which would actually be kind of a shame.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:10:30] This is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:33] this. This episode is sponsored in part by Ridge. These wallets are freaking cool, man. There's carbon fiber, aluminum. Ridge doesn't just make wallets. They've got backpacks, chargers, tools for better living. The Ridge wallet though, their flagship product was launched on Kickstarter in 2013 and they've sold half a million of these things. They are really badass looking. Everybody's got that old wallet you got from your ex-girlfriend or your grandma or your wife like 10 years ago. You've got receipts, hotel keys, spent gift cards, a bunch of other crap in there that you don't even know. There are compartments you forgot about. When you look in there and you're like, "Ah, there's my subway card from New York," even though I moved four years ago. The Ridge looks nothing like a traditional wallet. It looks metal, but it's super light. It's minimal. It's a front pocket wallet so you don't have those hip issues. Those back issues that people have when they sit on their wallets all day. 30,000 five-star reviews, lifetime warranty. The thing could probably stop a bullet. Don't recommend, necessarily, testing. That depends on how bored you get; I suppose these days. Jason, tell him where to get a discount on the Ridge.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:11:37] They can get 10 percent off today with free worldwide shipping and returns by going to ridge.com/jordan. That's R-I-D-G-E.com/jordan and use code JORDAN for 10 percent off today, ridge.com/jordan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:51] This episode is also sponsored by HostGator. I don't know about you, but there have been many times when I wanted to throw my computer out the window when trying to build my website and then I found HostGator. My technological soulmate. HostGator is a convenient and accessible website building and domain purchasing service. Not only do they make the job of website building super easy with a drag and drop feature, they've got one-click WordPress installations and an easy to use control panel and tons of perks with their hosting plans. I know a lot of other website hosting services make you pay for fun extras, but HostGator doesn't do that. With every plan, you get unlimited email addresses, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space plus free SSL certificates, advertising credit, WordPress blog tools. It's the best goody bag ever. And if you ever find your old self wanting to throw your computer off your balcony again, HostGator is there to talk you down. 24/7 365 support, 45-day money-back guarantee if you aren't happy. So visit hostgator.com/jordan to get up to 62 percent off, hostgator.com/jordan.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:12:51] 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 to drop us a nice rating and review on Apple Podcasts or your podcast player of choice, it really helps us out and helps build this 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: [00:13:18] All right, Jay, next question.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:13:20] Hi Jordan. First of all, I can't express how grateful I was to have the opportunity to volunteer with you and the other listeners at High Desert State Prison. It has made me realize that I can't sit on the sidelines talking about the problems. I need to get in the game and help fix the issues. Your show has impacted me in so many ways and I cannot thank you enough. I was hoping you could give me some advice. My boss has zero emotional intelligence and can't see there's any way to solve problems other than how he views the world. He starts everything with, "Let me tell you how I message this to customers," which is always long winded and lacks any real insight rather than to ask his team if they have any ideas. I've asked for help with prioritization and time management, which leads to him sending me away with 27 action items rather than three areas to focus on. He also gets super offended when an opinion is offered that differs from his. Second, I'm in sales and I work as a team with a technical resource who scopes out solutions and handles the technical aspects. She's great but seems to lack focus and organization. For example, I'll ask her a Yes-No question, and she'll answer it with a No and then spend 60 seconds detailing why the answer is Yes. And when I ask the question again, I get a Yes. I would say 50 percent of the time in meetings she'll describe our solution correctly, but the other 50 percent is articulated very poorly and confusing to the customer. In a world where nobody seems to listen for longer than five seconds, how can you politely have a conversation with people that won't lead to just a temporary change? Thanks for everything. Signed, People Just Don't Listen Anymore.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:50] Thanks for coming to prison. We didn't get much chat time, which I regret, but I'm glad you came with us, man. This situation's kind of gross. I mean, welcome to the wonderful world of corporate. I get it.
[00:15:00] With the first manager, there's not much you can do other than learning the lesson to just not ask this guy anything important. He sounds like an insecure blowhard who is not very good at his job, or at least not good at a few key elements of his job, such as managing other people as a manager. So I hope you're able to do most of your job despite this. I'm sure I did not invent this, but I assume the idea of managing your manager goes back until the dawn of time. You'll want to stay away from asking him for any real advice from the sound of it. You can still ask him for input and advice, but it will be to make him feel important and to strengthen your relationship with him, not to actually get any real advice or any value most of the time. He clearly isn't interested in learning, but he's interested in hearing himself talk and being right, and you won't have a lot of time for folks like that in your career despite being forced to waste lots of time listening to them during your career.
[00:15:55] As for your technical resource, which I assume kind of means like an engineer that you work with. I assume this is an engineer who struggles with communication. It happens. It happens not just with engineers, but it does happen probably disproportionately with certain kinds of engineers. You've said that asking yes-or-no binary questions results in confusion. It sounds like she needs to think through problems and questions in real-time, which probably makes her a great engineer, great at the technical aspect, but she seems to feel pressure or not communicate clearly when put on the spot and I get that. This isn't where she shines. So if binary yes-or-no questions aren't working, stop asking binary yes-or-no questions. I know that sounds simple, but if you need an answer to something. Ask her in a way that requires her to go through the process in her head or out loud and get to the final result. Then confirm the result by repeating back the general idea or the gist of what she said. This will, if you're in front of a customer, this will reassure the customer and it will make you sound like an expert translator of engineer speak, which will not only further reassure the customer, it will also make the engineer feel heard and understood. Also not asking these yes-or-no binary questions should help your technical resource or the engineer avoid contradicting herself or getting confused or feeling a lot of stress. This might be something you're already doing, but hopefully, this is helpful.
[00:17:16] I grew up with an engineer for a dad, so I basically had to do this kind of thing my entire life. I get it. I feel for you. My dad is the king of telling me that the thing I said wasn't right and then repeating the exact thing that I just said in different words. And then when I confirm with him that that's what he just said, he says, "Yeah." So I understand it's infuriating, but you can kind of just get Zen about it and work around it and you'll be fine.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:17:39] And I can confirm that after being an engineer for 20 years and working with engineers, that is exactly how you have to handle them.
[00:17:46] Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:46] That makes sense. I'm glad to hear that because it's just living with my dad, my mom and I would be like, "So are we going to do this and this and this?" And he'd be like, "No, we got to go do that, that, and that." And we're like, "Okay, those are the same three things in a different order." And he's like, "Yeah, well, you know," and that was like his sort of retort to why that's the same thing would be like, "Well," and it's just, I guess that's what his parents said to him when they had no answer, "Well." It's like, "Well, you're wrong." "Well, so what," that was my whole life.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:18:15] Oh man, I'm sorry. Yeah, engineers are kind of trained to say "No" because we get thrown so many dumb questions all the time. It just gets knocked into you to just say "No" because they need to come to you with a better plan of attack usually because when you're at work, that's what it is. It's like the sales guys will come and say, "Hey, can we make this? Do this?" And we're like, "No, that's physically impossible." And so you get used to having to say "No" and it's just one of those engineer things. If you've worked in, in an engineering business of any kind, yeah, that happens. So I really liked this plan to help out your technical assistant because I think it'll definitely make her think better and learn better on how to communicate with the customers and just take her aside if you can and say, "Just never say 'No' in front of the customer. You can say 'No' but we have to do it in a more proper way. That explains why we're saying 'No' because there's nothing worse than a customer asking for something and you just going, 'No, can't do that.'" You have to talk it through for sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:09] Great advice. What's next?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:19:11] Happy Friday J's. Late last year, I left a job for one that doubled my salary. I expected the increase in compensation and my interpretation of the role during the interview would mean that I'd be quite taxed in this position. The opposite is true. I'm very underutilized. The individual who hired me is very aware, and this seems to be the nature of this particular project. Well, this might seem like a blessing to some. To me, it's quite a nightmare. I currently work remotely and I'm responsible for managing my time responsibly. I seldom have to report or communicate with anyone. When I'm engaged, I respond promptly. When I'm assigned a new task, I do it immediately to the best of my ability with the very few resources I've been provided and with little to no feedback. I frequently ask for work and where I can participate in the program. No replies. So far, this just sounds like someone bitching about getting paid six figures to do virtually nothing. I get that. Here's the dilemma. I'm a sole proprietor with another business as well. I always have been. My side hustles have always been closely related to what I do full time because I enjoy the work I do and want to be better at it. Currently, I have no paying clients. If and when I would have paying clients that require support, I would take leave from my role or continue nights and weekends like I always have as to not be double-dipping. I have no issue manufacturing work. But without being tasked with specific work, the only work I can come up with are the topics that interest me and benefit my sole proprietorship. If I didn't do this, I'd have no motivation to research a topic. If I don't do this, I'll lose relevance in a rapidly changing vocation. There isn't anything proprietary about what I do. I just do it through my lens based on my experience. I don't want to lie in status calls, but if I wasn't doing this a bit already, I'd have nothing to report on at all. Again, what I do work on has relevance to my paid role. Is it reasonable to leverage my paid time to work on things that benefit me personally, aka sharpening the saw in addition to benefiting the role I'm assigned? Or do I sit idle waiting for the task or tasks I was hired and risk becoming less and less relevant? It's important to note that I am looking internally for other positions. Regards, Living the Dream.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:17] Sharpening the saw benefits both your company and existing projects as well as your side hustle and future projects. So I don't really see a problem with this. Jason, you're a freelancer and you've had full-time gigs on and off. Do you see any sort of problem with this? Because it doesn't really make sense to just sit around because someone's paying for your time, full time, as long as you're really cautious about managing how this works.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:21:40] Yeah. The problem is you don't want to double-dip and cross the streams because I have done that in the past and I didn't do anything technically wrong. I did my work on my own time but I still got sued anyway. There is a risk there. So if you make something really cool in your side business, then you quit your first business and start it up in the side business and your first company hears about it, then they can get pissed off and come after you. It's really not a good idea to do that. I mean, it worked out for me in the end. I ended up staying out of court but it can just still be a headache. You can't get blood from a tomato, but you can really ruin the tomato trying, you know?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:15] Yeah. Interesting. I didn't think about that angle of it, which I should have because you're not really taking anything from existing company time by learning during the downtime. So if you're sharpening the saw and you're -- look, when I was at the law firm, you read up on random cases, you do some pro bono work. You do some CLE system continuing education credits. Most professions have this. You're doing it naturally, and you may go into practice for yourself later, just starting your own firm, just like a law firm lawyer might start their own firm. But if you invent something -- these are literally called inventions, right Jason? Isn't that sort of what you got sued for? Like this is a company invention because it was done on company time --
Jason DeFillippo: [00:22:54] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:55] Because you were full time.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:22:56] Even though it wasn't, they said that I took company IP and use that to make my product, which I didn't at all, but it still doesn't matter. It's the perception that I did because I would go home at night and I would code on my project and then they saw it and they're like, we like that. We want that. We're going to take that from you. You know, they have all the power there because if you are a full-time employee -- I guess if it's a freelance, it's a different thing. But yeah, I was a full-time employee and I would just work at night on my own projects because during the day their projects were boring -- the same kind of situation. They just found out about it and they're like, "Yeah, you can't do that." So just you know, it ended up with lawyers involved and it's just not fun at all. It's not fun at all. So if he just wants to learn, there's absolutely no problem with that. He can learn on his time, the company time, but it sounds like he's frustrated by not making something and that's where you're going to run into the sticky wicket.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:46] That's true. So as long as you're at the current company and projects don't suffer or take a back seat, you're absolutely doing nothing wrong. And you shouldn't feel guilty about it at all. But the appearance of this might indicate to your current employer that you're either slacking in order to spend time on other things or if you invent something, your current employer could say that's ours because you made it on company time. So I wouldn't necessarily come out with a new product or invention or create something as a result that you then put to market. And I wouldn't necessarily also hide or lie about this, but I wouldn't advertise how bored or expendable you might be either or how much free time you have or how you're working on something else. I would keep that on the low. So keep at it. You're obviously destined for more responsibility and better projects, so keep stacking those skills in the meantime. And hey, if you can get your current employer to exempt whatever invention you might have which I don't think would probably be too likely to happen, then go for it. I don't know if I'd recommend approaching your employer and saying, "Hey, look, I've got all this free time. I want to work on a side hustle that's substantially similar to what I'm working on for you. Can you sign off on this?" That's just probably not going to happen. I would put that in the category of advertising how bored and expendable you might be. So make sure you don't put anything to market and don't put anything to market the day after you're done with this engagement either. If you're learning how to do something, if you're working on learning different skills, that's one thing. But if you're creating it, let's say a piece of software, you got to be really careful about how you roll that out. In fact, if you are creating something like a piece of software or some sort of proprietary tech that you want to roll out on your own, get legal counsel and figure out how to do that in a way that's clean, because the last thing you want to do is get sued because you created something on weekends that looks like what you were doing for your current employer.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:25:38] We'll be right back with more Feedback Friday right after this.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:42] This episode is sponsored in part by Grammarly. This is a service I didn't think I needed and then now I'm obsessed with it. Anytime you make a typo or grammar mistake, it can make a difference in context and understanding. Also, it's a little embarrassing. You know, you hate getting called out for grammar. I speak often with improper grammar, but I don't care about that, but I want to write properly. Crap, I went to college for seven years with law school. You'd think I'd be able to do it perfectly by now. But Grammarly Premium has elevated my writing. I know which things are hyphenated. I know where commas go. I know how to spell zucchini. Okay, fine. It's not just spell check, but there's goal setting with your writing. There's a writing score, vocab suggestions to make your writing more interesting, conciseness check, tone check. There are plagiarism checks. It's really intuitive. Basically, it goes through any document you're writing. It will underline things or highlight things, and when you click on those things. It'll say like, "Maybe you meant this. What about that? Or this is spelled wrong, or this is supposed to be hyphenated, or here's a better word to throw in there." It's just a plugin that goes into your browser and you can use it really easily. It does its own thing. You don't have to remember to like, you know, upload some document in there. You can level up your writing at work, school, personal projects. Premium features include advanced suggestions on grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, style. It can work in anything from Outlook to Gmail to freaking Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Docs. So you can make a statement with clear, flawless text that's easy to impress. Again, I thought, "I don't need that," and now I'm like, "I love this." Grammarly.com/jordan is where you can get that and 20 percent off Grammarly Premium also at grammarly.com/jordan, G-R-A-M-M-A-R-L-Y.com/jordan. That's G-R-A-M-M-A-R-L-Y.com/jordan.
[00:27:29] This episode is also sponsored by Better Help. Life can be super hard and today is no exception with all of us cooped up working from home, sometimes with our kids and spouse and all those things getting on our nerves along with the uncertainty. I know you don't want to talk to somebody about how you don't want to talk to anybody, but it could be really helpful for you. Better Help online counseling is here to make talking insanely easy for everyone. Better Help has a huge list of online licensed professionals who are able to help with things like depression, stress, anxiety, sleep stuff, being stuck at home with your spouse and kids probably goes in there. You can connect to any safe, private, online environment. Just like therapy. Everything's confidential. It's convenient. In fact, it's probably the only therapy you can do now. So within 24 hours, Better Help is going to hook you up. You can chat online, text call, have a private video session with a therapist. It's like delivery, emotional support. And if you don't click with them, you can just swap therapists for no extra cost. 3000 therapists around the world and in all 50 states, of course, give it a try. Now is the time. You probably have time and you certainly have the need. Jason, tell them where they can find some Better Help.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:28:34] Our show listeners get 10 percent off the first month with discount code JORDAN. Go to betterhelp.com/jordan and simply fill out a questionnaire to help them find the right counselor for you and get started today. That's betterhelp.com/jordan.
[00:28:48] 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: [00:29:03] All right, question five.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:29:05] Jordan and Jason. I have an incredible man in my life who I see a future with. We started out as friends and have built an amazing gradual connection over the course of two years. As we've gotten closer, he's opened up to me about his traumatic childhood, which is something he doesn't talk about to anyone. His mother was mentally ill and abusive physically and emotionally. She committed suicide when he was little. Even his closest friends don't know the extent of it. He says that he's forgiven his mom, but it's hard for him to trust and form emotional intimacy with anyone, especially women. He's hooked up with a lot of women, but I'm only his second real girlfriend. He's 34 and I'm 36. I've talked to him about therapy. He did it as a kid and doesn't want to go back. I'm even willing to go with him. From the outside, he's a successful, fun and active person. He has a ton of surface-level friends. His real support system is me, his dad, and a few close friends. With me, he talks about having depressing, dark thoughts from time to time. It makes me sad and honestly scared. What should I do as a partner to be supportive? I don't want to turn into a surrogate mother or therapist. I just want to do what I can to give him love, support, and the space he needs to heal. Thank you both in advance. Signed, Helpful Girlfriend Feeling Helpless.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:15] Well, yeah, I definitely understand that being scary for sure. Nobody wants to hear that their partner has dark thoughts and may be struggling with something and doesn't want to get any help for it. That's not a good combination. It sounds like he needs therapy, but has had a bad experience with that as a child, not necessarily even a bad therapist. It probably just brings up the same bad feelings from the past. Talking about why your mom wasn't nice to you and then killed herself as probably not someone's fondest memory from growing up. So I understand not wanting to rehash that type of thing and then go back into that same environment even if you're going to talk about something else or if you're going to go back and talk about the exact same thing because you haven't handled it yet. It might help him to reframe this. Maybe you need him to go to therapy with you for your stuff to see how it's not so bad. And I wouldn't say, "Hey, come to therapy with me for my stuff and see how it's not so bad." I would say, "Hey, can you come to therapy with me? I'm going to go to therapy. You know, I need you to come and help me with my stuff." That way he can see this therapist isn't going to talk to you like you're six years old. They're not going to force you to talk about stuff. Who knows if he had a good therapist or if he had somebody just going through the motions or making them feel bad or ripping open old wounds? Who knows how that was?
[00:31:25] You can also let him see how his issues are affecting you when you're talking to a therapist. This way, it's about him helping you, not about him being broken and needing help. Also, his issues do actually affect you, so there's nothing deceitful about this. There's no fibbing involved. If he's open to that, great. I would hope so. Being willing to do this sort of thing with a partner is going to be key to a successful relationship. Getting through things together is really important here. If he's not open to that, then you might want to go to therapy yourself and see what a professional has to say about being in a relationship with somebody who has these feelings. Maybe there's more you can do. Perhaps some of this could be helped by you building a relationship with a therapist first and then bringing him into it rather than jumping into therapy with somebody new who neither of you know. And this is especially true for somebody who has trouble with trust and openness. Oh, and maybe choose a male therapist in this case, just saying.
[00:32:23] Last, but not least.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:32:24] Hey, J's. I'm a 30-year-old female who started my career as an intern in college and moved my way up to a senior analyst from a very early age. I understood the power of a team, my network, and empathy. Over the years, I've created a well-established, intelligent, and diverse network and have branded myself as a highly respected, reliable, and kindhearted person. I'm not perfect, but I do my best to be kind and respectful to everyone. I'm extremely passionate about what I do, and I love helping people. All of that to say, in general, I'm a fairly likable person. There's a lady in my office who will not engage with me. I've seen this person engage with others and even form bonds with them, but I just can't figure out how to approach her. Many people on our team either laugh and joke with her or take the extra precautions to completely avoid her. In the beginning, I offered to show her some of the ropes when she was brand new and answer any questions. Instead of a grateful goat, I got a prickly pear. I've tried multiple times to re-engage to no avail. I'm in desperate need of some guidance. When I tried to talk to her, she'll literally turn her back to me. This feels very high school to me and I do my best to avoid drama. I want to be able to work with anyone. How do I deal with someone who has such a passive-aggressive, standoffish and prickly personality? What can I do to diffuse the tension and build a proper work relationship? I have to work with this person regularly and don't want her lack of teamwork to negatively impact our team. Sincerely, Confused and Flustered.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:49] My gut here says this person is ridiculous. Beyond shyness, This person has trouble written all over them and likely desires control over other people through this kind of BS. And it sounds like they grew up doing this and thinking, "This is a great way to get what I want," which is completely ridiculous and immature and a little insane potentially. It's either that or they're so stunted emotionally that they just don't know how to handle problems, which is also I think equally bad. The other issue here is there's not an actual problem that you know of, which means this is either some weird power play or there's a problem that likely exists in her own head. And this again leads me to believe this person is not a good fit for a healthy corporate culture and will cause drama in the office.
[00:34:35] As far as action, ask others what the issue might be. See if they've noticed it if they've heard anything. Ideally, you do this without seeming gossipy or dramatic. You don't want to be kind of pointing out this person's flaws in a way that's really, obviously, you try to get people on your side, you're trying to solve this problem. You can also try a direct confrontation. Do this also in private. Keep it calm. Try to get a real answer. This isn't a head to head battle, but you're trying to elicit information on what the issue might be. Nothing more. You're not trying to get an apology. You're not trying to make everything good. You're trying to figure out what the hell is going on. If you get a denial on that and she says something along the lines of, "No, everything's fine," and then just goes on ignoring you. Then honestly, my opinion is she has no place in a corporation or a team environment. I would do my best to see them out the door.
[00:35:23] There's no reason you can't document her behavior, and by the way, start documenting this stuff. "Went up to Rachel at 2:45 p.m. and she turned her back on me and walked out the door. I know she noticed me because I called her name. She looked up and then got up and left --" you know, that kind of thing -- "so-and-so was in the room at the time." You've got to document this stuff. Then you can go to your boss after a while and state that she is a terrible fit for the company and should be removed or transferred since you and a few others just can't work with her due to her behavior, not due to your disagreement about something due to her behavior. Here's her behavior -- she literally walks away from people. She doesn't respond when I ask her a question and pretend she can't hear me, even though she doesn't have headphones in. You have seniority here that should count for something. And if other people have the same issue, then that's kind of a big indicator that this person is the problem. Now she's joking around with other people, fine, but if you and another couple of people are getting the cold shoulder, then there's a problem with her. This problem didn't exist when you were together without her. What a weird situation. People need to grow the hell up.
[00:36:28] If someone gave me the silent treatment at work, I'd document it. I'd make damn sure this wasn't their private little game anymore. I would make it a matter of record so we could fire their ass. I can't think of any legitimate reason somebody should give you the cold shoulder and the silent treatment in an office environment. I just can't think of one reason. People like that are a cancer in the workplace, and they're just going to do this to as many people as they can, and it inhibits communication. It makes it less of a team environment. These people don't get better over time. They just get worse as they see this sort of baloney behavior working for them. It only works for them. It doesn't work for anyone else. It will only work for them and it will only work for them if you let it work for them.
[00:37:07] Life Pro Tip of the Week. If you're under a mandatory shelter in place and you're cooped up and you're going crazy. Blood donation is a qualified reason to leave. Not only are you getting out of the house, you can have some human contact if you really need to, if you live alone and you're just going absolutely nuts, but you are providing society a much-needed service. I think everybody needs blood right now. They always do. In fact. Set up an appointment, fill out the questionnaire beforehand. Don't do this if you're feeling ill. Don't do it if you're just like, "I need to go do some stuff today, let me run out and do 17 things." Donating blood is a legit reason to do it, and it can provide some mental sort of sanity if you live in an apartment building and you just cannot stay in it any longer because you're going crazy and having nightmares or something. So other than that, stay the F home.
[00:37:54] Recommendation of the Week. I'm very much, this is a weird recommendation. It's called a 100 Humans. It's a reality docu-series on Netflix, a hundred random humans of various ages, heights, races, weights, so on from all around the world. They take part in a number of experiments. So they're saying, "All right, does dancing make us attractive sexually? What about uniforms? What's the best age to be alive?" There are some surprising results and it can be interesting, but here's the problem -- it's completely junk science. The sample sizes are really small. The experiments are obviously not that well controlled. I don't think that the people running them are actual scientists. I think they're actors, and I think these were probably designed by scientists and then ripped apart by whoever's running the show to make them kind of kooky and fun. This stuff is very politically biased and you'll notice that. It's kind of a fun watch, but you just have to realize it's junk science and look for the political bias and you'll see there -- Jason, do you remember that study where they had a bunch of dolls and the dolls were white or light and dark-colored skin, and they asked a bunch of children to pick the dolls they thought were most attractive? This happened in like the '40s or '50s and the kids overwhelmingly pick the white dolls as more attractive. Do you remember this study at all? Talking about this on the show?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:09] That's not ringing a bell at all. I haven't heard that one.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:12] Okay, well, it's a study that happened, I want to say in the '40s or the '50s and they talk about this study in a hundred humans and they go, "These biased --" I think they said tongue in cheek, of course, they said, "These bigoted little white kids only chose the white dolls." But here's the problem. One, of course, they're not bigoted kids. They're kids. Kids are subject to bias without bigotry. In fact, most humans are subject to bias. It doesn't mean they're bigots. All humans are subject to bias and some of them are bigots. I should say that. And they said, "Well, look at these bigoted white kids choosing the white dolls." Actually, there were plenty of kids of all different skin colors in the studies. They just ignore that when they've scripted the rant from the actor pretending to be a scientist on this show.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:39:52] Oops.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:52] So yeah, there's a little bit of political bias. So it's sort of like, "Oh my gosh, how terrible white people are." And I just thought like, that's not helpful today. That's not helpful dialogue. There's also a lot of useless results that they quote-unquote, results they come up with that are impractical, dubious conclusions. So it's an interesting concept. It's a funny show in some ways, but do not believe a word of the so-called results. But I normally wouldn't recommend something like this, but I think people are probably watching it cause it's Top 10 on Netflix nationally right now in the United States. So I wanted to kind of almost debunk it because I think we're going to get a bunch of people going, "Oh my God, have you seen a 100 Humans?" "Yes, I have, and I don't like it."
Jason DeFillippo: [00:40:32] It was kind of an anti-recommendation.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:35] Kind of an anti-recommendation. You're going to come across this, watch this with a very critical eye and let me know what you think.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:40:41] Bring a big bag of salt.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:42] Bring a big bag of salt. Yes.
[00:40:44] Hope you all enjoyed the show. 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. Quick shout out to Heather Lewis says the show gave her superpowers and especially in dealing with her father who is a narcissist using the tools to manage him and things like that. Wendy Buhari episode on narcissism, Episode 246. Also, the episode on How to Ask for advice has gotten her some solid high-level connections in her industry. That's Episode 321. Thanks, Heather.
[00:41:12] Go back and check out the Rachael Denhollander and Isaac Lidsky episodes from this week.
[00:41:17] If you haven't yet if you want to know how I'm managing to keep in touch with my network, it's all about systems and tiny habits. Now is the best time. I'm laughing now. People go, "Oh, I don't have time for Six-Minute Networking --"
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:26] You do now.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:27] "-- because of coronavirus." I'm like, "You do now." Or "I can't network because of coronavirus." Well, this is all done from your computer and phone, so quit crying. I don't even want to hear it.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:35] And everybody wants to hear from somebody right now. Come on.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:38] That's right.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:41:38] It's the best time.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:39] That's right. The problem is you got -- you cannot dig the well once you are thirsty. If you're postponing this and you're not digging the well before you get thirsty, now I don't even feel bad for you when you pay consequences now. Like, if you're going, "Oh, I can't find a job now." Well, I'm going to just say, "I told you so." I'm going to throw it out there now so that when you're going, "Weh-weh-weh, how do I dig the well now?" You just go to Six-Minute Networking and start freaking doing it. It's a free course at jordanharbinger.com/course. I don't want to be mean about it, but I just have very little sympathy for people right now who find themselves up shit creek without a paddle because we've been giving you the paddle for two and a half years more depending on how long you've been listening.
[00:42:19] I'm on Instagram and Twitter at @JordanHarbinger. It's a great way to engage with the show. Videos of our interviews are at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. Jason, where's your pod?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:42:29] Oh, you can check out my tech podcast, Grumpy Old Geeks. We discuss what went wrong on the Internet and who's to blame along with cybersecurity apps, gadgets, books, and more. That is Grumpy Old Geeks. And on Episode 424 that we released over the weekend, or about a week ago when this will be coming out, we did another round of tips on how to work from home that me and my partner Brian on that show have collected over the 40 years, we've been doing it collectively. So some different tips than what Jordan gave out. Some are the same but we do have some different spins on things in there that you might want to check it out.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:01] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. This episode is produced by Jen Harbinger, edited by Jase Sanderson, show notes for the episode by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola. Keep sending in those questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. I'm a lawyer. I'm not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Remember, we rise by lifting others, so 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 we give here today. We've got lots more in store for 2020. 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.
Bob E. Kelly: [00:43:41] (Song adapted from original poem by Chris Franklin)
The world has caught a virus, so I've written you a poem.
We need your help to cure it, so stay the fuck at home.
And if you have got 12 kids or you're living on your own,
Lock it down and isolate and stay the fuck at home.
If you think you're not at risk here, you're living in a dome.
It spreads faster than a hooker's legs, so stay the fuck at home.
"I need the gym! I need the beach!" I hear you bitch and moan.
You need to grow a brain cell and stay the fuck at home.
"But I feel fine, I don't feel sick. I'll go out on my own."
How thick of you, you selfish prick. Just stay the fuck at home.
From L.A. through to Berlin, from Wuhan through to Rome,
There's people dying every day, so stay the fuck at home.
If you need to contact family, use Facebook, Skype, or phone.
We've got the fucking Internet, so stay the fuck at home.
The only way to slow it down is isolate, not roam.
Please help the world get back on track and stay the fuck at home.
Stay the fuck at home. Stay the fuck at home.
Don't you be a fucking dick, please stay the fuck at home.
Stay the fuck at home!
Male Narrator 1: [00:44:58] Now on PodcastOne, we present Murder in the Family.
Male Narrator 2: [00:45:03] Murder in the Family. True Crime. Stranger than fiction.
Male Narrator 1: [00:45:06] Hosted by Geraldo Rivera.
Geraldo Rivera: [00:45:08] This talented actor, the years that follow this horrific crime.
Male: [00:45:13] At one point do you hear this shocking crime?
Male: [00:45:15] Ultimately, it was classified as an accidental shooting.
Male Narrator 1: [00:45:19] Murder in the Family. Available on Apple Podcasts, PodcastOne, and wherever podcasts are available.
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