You’ve been helping your single mom care for your special needs sister for 19 years, but you’re 24 now and need to set out on your own life. How do you cope with the guilt you’re feeling for putting your needs first for perhaps the first time, ever? We’ll tackle this and more here on Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- You’ve been helping your single mom care for your special needs sister for 19 years, but you’re 24 now and need to set out on your own life. How do you cope with the guilt you’re feeling for putting your needs first for perhaps the first time, ever?
- As a skillful, reliable contractor who has worked on an as-needed basis with several companies for six years, how do you ask for a raise without making it seem like an ultimatum?
- Is it possible to maintain friendships with people you’ve known your whole life but who differ from you not only in matters of opinion and lifestyle choices, but core values?
- You’re at a point in your career where you want to focus on your target market, but you don’t want your peers to think you’re brushing your rejects off on them. When you’re in a small industry where word travels fast, how do you nicely decline to work with someone?
- You’ve applied for a job that seems like a great fit, but you’re concerned your criminal record might be an issue during the interview in spite of having drastically turned your life around. Should you bring it up first, and if so, how?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
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Resources from This Episode:
- How to Avoid Scams | Deep Dive | TJHS 395
- Dr. Anders Ericsson | Secrets from the New Science of Expertise | TJHS 396
- Trauma and Shock | American Psychological Association
- Alex Kouts | The Secrets About Negotiation Part One | TJHS 70
- Alex Kouts | The Secrets About Negotiation Part Two | TJHS 73
- Alex Kouts | The Secrets About Negotiation Part Three | TJHS 76
- 7 Signs You’ve Outgrown A Friend | Bustle
- Six-Minute Networking
- What I Learned Spending the Day in a Maximum-Security Prison | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Address Your Criminal History in a Job Interview | Monster.com
- How to Ace an Interview With a Criminal Background | Chron.com
- Mock Job Interview Questions and Answers | My Interview Practice
Transcript for My Future vs. My Special Needs Sister | Feedback Friday (Episode 397)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today, as always here with Gabriel Mizrahi, 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. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening, sometimes even inside of your own mind, as we see often here on Friday.
[00:00:35] 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. For a selection of featured episodes to get you started with some of our favorite guests and popular topics, go on over to jordanharbinger.com. We'll hook you up.
[00:00:56] This week on the show, we had Anders Ericsson talking about the science of deliberate practice, what he calls deliberate practice. Debunking that nonsense 10,000-hour rule that everyone's talking about because it's not accurate and it has nothing to do with anything, and it's non-scientific. People talk about — Gabe, you know what that is, right? Like, "Oh, it's going to take you 10,000 hours to master a skill." And it's just based on — it's like a pop-science baloney thing.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:01:19] Malcolm Gladwell made that very popular, right? But it's not his idea.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:22] I don't think it's his idea. That's why I didn't say like, "Thanks, Gladwell."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:01:25] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:26] Who's been on the show disrespecting, but I think he just took that and it's just not a thing. It is just not true
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:01:31] More about how you spend that time, not how much time you spend.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:34] Right. The deliberate practice idea is the idea that — well, you'll hear it on the episode — but that's the whole point is that you can master things more quickly by doing what's called deliberate practice.
[00:01:44] We also did a deep dive, Gabe and I did on how to avoid scams, MLM scams, guru scans, large-group awareness training which are those like self-helpy group training scams, cult, whatever you want to call it. All those shady groups that get their claws into people. We talked about the type of person that falls for a scam and what their psychological makeup might be. I use that word loosely because we're not actually personality typing. But this is based on the article. We just wrote about the topic after getting a metric ton of mails from people asking how to convince their friends and family that they were part of a scam. So it's super timely. Hope you enjoy that.
[00:02:18] Make sure you've had a look and listened to everything that we created for you this week. You can reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you keep your emails, you get bonus points and if you can include a subject line that doesn't just say Feedback Friday, that always makes our job a lot easier.
[00:02:34] So I was thinking, Gabriel, about my grandma who used to keep napkins in her purse. Did your grandma do that?
[00:02:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:38] Totally, still does.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:39] Yeah. What's up with that? Is that an old lady thing?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:41] All grandmas.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:42] All grandmas do it?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:43] All grandmas.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:44] It's not just Jewish grandmas?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:45] Nope.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:46] You're sure about that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:46] I mean, I'm definitely biased because both my grandmas are Jewish, but they are not particularly Jewish and they both have Kleenex in all their purses.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:53] Yeah. So one of my grandmas is Jewish — Kleenex for days. The other one, not Jewish, not a Kleenex in sight. I'm saying a small sample size but still.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:01] Does your but still Werther's by the front door or is she like a strawberry candy?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:05] Hell, no. Do I look like I grew up on Werther's? Hell, no. My grandpa was melted strawberry candy from a decade prior.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:13] A melted strawberry candy. That's the go-to grandmas' snack, I think. But that's not a Jewish thing, right? That's not —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:18] No, that was my Ukrainian grandma. And she was just like — there was a bowl of change and candy — she goes, "That's for the paperboy." And I'm like, "I'm sure the 40-year-old paperboy, who's now like a Mexican guy, who's too fluent English — like, she's used to like little Polish kids. Not like the grown-ass Latino men who come by and do all this stuff in her neighborhood.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:39] I'm sorry. Are you saying that she still feeds the news—? First of all, there's still a newspaper — well, I guess, a few newspapers.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:45] My grandma passed away a while ago, but I remember meeting the quote-unquote paperboy, and his name was like Ronaldo, a super nice guy who had like three kids lived in the neighborhood. She was like, "Hello." And he's like, "Uh, hi." You know, he's like, "I grew up in Detroit. I don't need you to speak slower and I don't need melted strawberry candy and a dime."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:03] But she made up for it with the candy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:05] And like nickels and stuff. Anyway, this is a tangent. I hate when people do this on podcasts. I was going to say, I predict that the napkins in the purse, like my grandma's had or my grandma had, or the whole clean your plate of food that my parents had. I think that our generation's version of that is going to be disinfecting everything, your hands, everything you touch, and possibly having a mask.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:27] Oh, interesting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:29] Yeah. Like not everyone's going to do it. I won't do it probably, but there's going to be people who you and I hang out with in 20 years and they're going to be spraying Purell everywhere.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:37] Yup.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:38] Wiping down the restaurant table and possibly wearing a mask at a football game. And we're going to be like, "Yo, why is Jimmy wearing a mask?" "Oh, he just never got kind of over that whole COVID thing." "What? That was in 2020."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:51] Why is he smothering his pancakes with Purell? What's that about?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:55] Why is he spraying Purell on everybody? Why won't he get close to the waitress?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:59] Yeah, like we'll be conditioned by this whole thing. My grandfather who also passed away many years ago. Until the day he died would take — like when he ate a meal, if there were like crumbs on the table, he would take his thumb and he would individually smash them on the little crumbs and eat them. Because he grew up in the great depression and the idea of wasting and a single morsel of anything was so beyond — like he couldn't handle the idea of that. I think it's sort of like that, right? You're just like, you're a product of your time and you can't shake it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:34] And he had a really strong immune system I would imagine after all that non-crumbs he ate along with those crumbs.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:41] It would have been fun to see how that little ritual held up during COVID.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:44] Oh God. Hey, you know what? I'm just going to leave that on the table. Oh my goodness. We shouldn't be laughing about that. And speaking of things we shouldn't be laughing about, question one is a doozy. Let's jump right in.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:56] Hey, Jordan team. I've grown up in a single-parent household with my mom and special needs little sister who is a high-functioning autistic 19-year-old. My upbringing involved a fair amount of what I guess you would call trauma. Although I don't choose to categorize it that way because I don't see that as productive.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:11] Oh, I'm going to put a pin in that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:13] Yeah, let's come back to that sentence.
[00:06:15] As a result, I feel a heavy guilt or burden as if I need to end the stress and suffering that my mom is stuck with due to my little sister who, if I'm being honest, is more of a pain in the rear-end than most can probably imagine. She's been violent with my aging mother from time to time. And even recently forced her to call the neighbors for help after she snuck up on her in the house.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:33] Okay. That sounds really scary actually.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:36] Intense.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:36] Jeez.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:06:37] I do know my mom can physically handle my sister if God forbid it comes to that again. I am now 24 and I'm going to boot camp to enter the Air Force Reserve near my hometown. I joined the Reserve because I wanted to go active duty but would feel terrible leaving my mom alone to care for my sister 100 percent of the time. So I have two questions. First, how do I avoid the stress of feeling a lot of responsibility and guilt about leaving my mom to take care of my sister while I'm in boot camp and just in general life? Second, where do you think my responsibility ends in terms of being a pseudo parent for my little sister? Thank you for all your insights. Sincerely, 24 Going On 44.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:14] Okay. Well, first of all, it sounds like you've been through a lot in your life and you had a pretty complicated childhood. I'm very sorry that you've been going through all this. Sibling relationships are already complex and having a special needs sibling and a violent one that you've kind of had to parent on top of that, it's more than anyone should have had to handle, especially at your age. And I can tell from your letter that you have a tremendous amount of anger and conflict about your situation. There are no easy answers here, but I do feel that one of the most important things you can do is recognize how obviously difficult and confusing this has been for you.
[00:07:51] I want to go back to this original point though. "Where do you think my responsibility ends in terms of being a pseudo parent from my little sister?" you ask. I honor your sense of wanting to help your family and the compassion you have for your mom. But it's very important to note here, you are not the parent. It is not your responsibility to be the parent. You deserve to have your own life. You deserve to have your own happiness, your own path. It is not your responsibility to be the pseudo parent in this family. I'm not really feeling like, "My mom lays on the guilt," kind of situation. I feel like he's just a nice person that feels responsible for it. I don't really get the feeling from the slight letter that we had that his mother's like, "You're not leaving us. Are you?" I don't really feel like that. If so I think he would have indicated that, "My mom is terrified for her life." It would have been more dramatic.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:39] Yeah. And actually, it's interesting, because we don't know from the letter exactly what the message he received in his household was.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:44] Right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:44] But in some ways, if his mom had thrust that position on him, in some ways, it might've been easier for him to deal with because he could have seen, "Oh, that's not fair. It has been put on me when I don't want it."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:55] Right. Interesting.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:08:56] I get the vibe that this was sort of more implied that there was something implicit in this household and in his childhood that he had to take on some of the roles. We don't know where dad is. It sounds like he's not in the picture right now, or maybe ever. So that can actually be, I think, harder. I get the sense that that actually makes it harder for him to disentangle this stuff because he was sort of — it's just been part of his life for so long that he doesn't even realize how deep that really goes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:18] I guess some of this also depends on culture. If it's the whole, it takes a village — I know from families that are maybe not just sort of your standard white American, if you have different ethnicities, it's like, "No, you're leaving. You're moving away. Why? You have to live in our basement until you're married with kids, yourself," like that kind of family.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:09:36] Sure. Everybody kind of pitches in and helps out. And if you do end up with a special needs member of the family, then it's sort of a shared responsibility. And that's actually really good to note because we don't know what his background is, but it could be a little bit different.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:47] Also that would add to the guilt and the anger. Like, "I can't believe you're leaving, you're failing your mother," says every 13th cousin and uncle who calls and comes over and it is all up in your business. Like, if it's a regular kind of Midwestern white family, like I grew up in, nobody says anything to you about something that's not their business generally.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:10:07] Yeah. They just keep the Kleenex and hand out the strawberry candies.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:10] Yeah, they just keep that Kleenex around, and then they complain about things. That's my family, my extended family. They talk about it amongst themselves, for sure, but they never have the guts to say it to you. Depending on the culture, that might be the case.
[00:10:20] So you don't have to, and you should not sacrifice your future just so that you can help your mom. You can help, you are helping, but you don't need to be tied down permanently and sacrifice your career prospects just so that you can protect your mom from a violent person, even if that person is your sister. Use some of your salary if you want to get part-time in-home care for your sister. Give your mom a little bit of a break. You don't even have to do that. But if that makes you feel better, then go ahead.
[00:10:46] As far as enlisting in the military, first of all, thanks for your service but people often join the military to escape something. Let's be sure we're not doing that. A lot of times the military is better than the environment that people grew up, especially if that environment was rough but you cannot escape a feeling. You can distract yourself from a feeling. But if you're trying to join the reserves to avoid these feelings, they will come back down the road. So if joining the reserves is your calling, great, I'm all for it. Follow your passion, whatever, but know that you're not going to outrun your feelings. I'm not trying to talk you out of enlisting. I just want you to think about the reasons why you're doing this. Gabe.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:11:24] I also sensed a lot of anger in this email and understandably so. I also get a sense that there is some resentment. I'm guessing toward his sister, even though it's not her fault, toward his mom, even though it's not her fault, and just toward this whole situation. I feel like his rage is kind of tamped down as soon as it bubbles up in the email and in some ways that's the most revealing part of it. I feel like this is a guy we don't know if it's a guy or a girl. I'm guessing it's a guy just from the email. But this is a person who was not allowed to express their feelings and still is not. And that's kind of the hardest thing. I'm also struck by this feeling of guilt because it's interesting. He didn't actually do anything wrong here. He's just pursuing his life. He's a young man. He's stepping out of the world, he's going after what he wants in the Reserves. He clearly feels conflicted about leaving his family to chase what he wants but that's partly because he has some misguided ideas about what he owes them, I think. My guess is that he probably feels guilty because he actually feels relieved.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:20] Ooh, that's insightful. I think you're on the right track. Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:12:24] I think I was relieved to be escaping the situation, even if he feels a tremendous conflict about that. He's torn about whether he has a right to escape it, but the reality is he's getting out of a pretty tough house. You don't know that you are allowed to carve out some space for yourself in his family. And that's really what the question is about. Before we wrap up, Jordan, I do think we should touch on this idea that it's unproductive to think about something as trauma. That really stood out to me when we were reading the letter.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:50] I wanted to put a pin in like, "Oh, I don't acknowledge my trauma because it's not productive." Cool. I'm stoked that you think you have to be productive and that you can put things to the side, but ignoring feelings doesn't make them go away.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:13:02] No, it doesn't.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:03] As we all kind of I've learned the hard way at some point in our lives,
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:13:06] There are so many misconceptions about what trauma is in our culture. People think that trauma has to be something like sexual assault or, you know, surviving 9/11 or something huge and scary like that. But trauma can actually be something as simple as a parent not meeting your emotional needs because you had a sibling who had bigger needs. And also trauma is not about the event that happened — this is very important. It's not about the event that happened. It's about the way that you respond to that event. So that's what all the latest research and expertise is showing that two people who are in the exact same situation — let's just go back to the big example. Two people who survive 9/11 for example, could have radically different responses and therefore they have different experiences of the trauma.
[00:13:47] So whether or not you want to believe that your childhood actually constituted trauma is kind of irrelevant. It is what it is. So categorizing it as unproductive seems to me, more of an avoidance strategy or a coping mechanism to allow him to kind of deal with it and just not have to feel the feelings. But that to your point, Jordan, doesn't make the feelings go away. They'll just come out in other ways. But if he does choose to say, "You know, what, what I went through was pretty traumatic in its own way," that could actually allow him to process this effectively.
[00:14:16] So addressing your underlying feelings is the biggest part of this, I think. It sounds to me like there was little to no room for your feelings in your family. So now when you try to feel them, you probably get very overwhelmed and probably just shut down and stuffed them down. So asking how to avoid the guilt and the burden is really the wrong question. The right question, I think, is how to acknowledge them, have acceptance and compassion for how you feel, and learn to live your life even in the presence of those difficult emotions. And if you can do that and joined the Reserves and chase your dreams, then I think you'll be able to not make all this stuff go away and not change the situation that your sister and your mother are in, but be able to build a life around them and not have to sacrifice your own life because of them.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:59] All right. Well, we didn't start easy on this one.
[00:15:04] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:24] And now back to Feedback Friday On The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:17:30] What's next.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:17:30] Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I've been a contract physical therapist assistant for six years. I work with three different companies. One gives consistent raises to its employees. One claims that they don't do raises. And one, I haven't asked yet. I work on an as-needed basis, which means I'm not necessarily consistent with any one company. And the longest I usually work with one company is maybe a week at a time, often only one day a week. I know I have value as I am often requested by facilities when coverage is needed and I'm liked by the facilities and patients who have left reviews about me. I've considered asking for a raise, but I'm not sure how to say, "Hey, I do my job when you ask. And I'm often available when you need me. I need some more money for it." I have thought of calculating hours or asking after a longer stint of work. Also, I'm not ready to say that I may leave without a raise. So how do I ensure that it'll work when I do ask the big question? Thank you. Reaching for a Raise.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:20] A lot of people can relate to your dilemma. You're good at what you do. People like you. You're a nice person but because of the nature of your job and your performance up until now, you're not really in a slam dunk position to land that raise. COVID might have something to do with it. It's not a great time for people to be like, "I'm leaving, otherwise." It's like, "All right, well, we have a job." You feel a gap between the money you want and what you've done to earn it. At the same time, it sounds like you're not getting more money from one place than another. So you can't just be like, "Hey, this other place is offering me more money for more hours. Can you match or beat them?"
[00:18:51] By the way, I do want to say one thing, the place that quote-unquote doesn't do raises — yes, they freaking do. Every place does raises unless they want to lose their staff. Now, maybe they're comfortable losing staff and they offer a really low level of terrible service that just deals with whatever environment they're in. There's a lot of places that say, "Oh, well, we have a standard pay scale." Unless you're the government, your company can offer you something special. And you know what? They might not do raises. I've heard this before. "Oh, we don't do raises." So then we say, "Okay, cool." Negotiate your vacation time. "Well, yeah, I can give you two extra weeks of vacation, but I can't give you more money." "Give me two extra weeks of vacation." And then that same person either does less work during the year or they get — if they have another part-time job, they work more during those two weeks. They work full time and that's the raise. That's essentially what it is.
[00:19:40] You can't leverage one place against another from the sound of it, but you're not ready to leave one of those companies without a raise, probably for that same reason, which let's be honest, puts you at a slight disadvantage. There's no leverage, like being able to walk from a job. Unfortunately, sometimes it's the only language that a company knows how to speak. It's always good to have that option in your back pocket. Since you don't, here's what I think you should do. You need to perform a couple of notches above the level where the raise would be appropriate. Do that for a while three months, six months, then ask for the raise. In other words, prove you can work at or beyond the level that deserves the money. You might already feel you're working at that level. In which case now might be a great time to ask for that raise. But even if you are, it couldn't hurt to perform a little better just as a way to stack the deck.
[00:20:25] And I also think you should document you're doing because you might be able to say, "Hey, look, everyone is doing this, this, and this, but I'm doing that plus X." This might mean providing a higher level of care for your patients, advancing your education, your credentials, building strong relationships with the managers at your companies, working on your connection with your patients. Whatever performing at the next level means for you just do that and that might be easier said than done, but that's how you get a raise or a bonus or a promotion.
[00:20:52] You're right, saying, "Well, I do my job when you ask and I'm often available when you need me and I need more money." That's a terrible pitch, not a good pitch. Plant the seed early. You don't need to ask for the raise right now, but you can and should ask for a little performance review. And that's where you can ask for the raise. Say, "Look in a month. I'd love to meet with you. Go over my performance." Make sure you do it a few weeks in advance. What you don't want to do is ambush your boss with this. Like, "Hey, Tom, can I talk to you for five minutes. So I need a raise or I'm leaving." It's like, "Whoa, this is awful. You're putting me between a rock and a hard place. I don't even have the power to do that. I got to call the owner." You don't want to do that. You want to say in four weeks, "I'd like a performance review." They might even think you're going to quit, which is great because it gives them a chance to figure out how to retain you and hint more money is how they do that.
[00:21:41] Gabe. What about doing like — I don't know, it looked like the type of guy who might've had a PowerPoint together at some point about why they should be paid more. What do you think?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:49] I don't know what you're trying to say but you're absolutely correct. I spent four years in Microsoft PowerPoint. So I do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:58] PowerPoint university.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:59] I know my way around a pivot table. Look, I think, first of all, Jordan, that is such good advice. I've never heard of somebody asking for a performance review and expectation of the conversation of a raise. Not only does it very elegantly put them on notice potentially a little bit so that you want to know where you stand and you might be making some moves. But it's such a better way into that conversation because if you go into that performance review knowing that you're going to do well — and by the way, I think this guy is probably going to do pretty well because the patients love him. He has a good track record. It sounds like he's well-liked. Then you're already basically greasing the skids for the conversation about the raise, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:34] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:34] Like you basically are saying, "Hey, tell me how I'm doing? FYI. I'm killing it." They tell you you're killing it. And you're like —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:40] It sounds like you need to prove it to me. It sounds like, "You put your money where your mouth is, Tom."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:44] Exactly. "I'm so happy that I could be doing such a good job. I would love to continue working here. Here's what I would like to be paid for that."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:50] Right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:50] So to make that case even stronger, he could also put together a little pitch. I mean, that could be as formal as PowerPoint, but it could also just be an email to his managers. And basically, he could explain what he's currently providing, why he's so valuable, and what he wants — the raise. And in this case, he has a lot of data to work with, right? He could collect the best excerpts from those patient reviews. He could quantify his contributions a little bit like hours worked, patients seen, scores earned or whatever, qualitative stuff too, patient feedback, anecdotal evidence, whatever it is. And reiterate why you really want to be working at this company and why you care about the work. And if you can show why you deserve the raise you're asking for specifically and show that you're performing above your level currently, this conversation will be so much more fun and way more effective.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:32] All right, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:23:33] Hi, Jordan and Gabriel. I'm in my late 20s and I feel like I've been growing apart from my oldest friends. While they're fun and interesting people, I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable with their views on life. I struggle mainly with them being okay with doing things that range from immoral to outright illegal. And I don't mean parking-ticket illegal. I mean like fraud illegal, which they do not see as a big deal. I do sometimes find our differences insightful as they can look at things in ways I would never have thought of, but more often than not, I'm left concerned and upset. I thought I could handle this by slowly distancing myself, but I was recently called out on it. I feel like I now either need to pull the trigger on ending the friendships — which I was trying to avoid — or go back to being close. My friends are keen to rebuild our connection and do not seem bothered by our differences. I know that it's important to have a wide variety of people in your life, but I'm not sure where to draw the line. I fully admit to being more straitlaced than most and hanging out with them in high school and university helped me learn to be more adventurous and comfortable with risk. But the mindsets that seemed fun and edgy in my teens and early 20s are now rapidly looking shortsighted and childish as we cross into our 30s. Is there a way to know how different is too different for your social circle? Is there even such a thing as being too different if you want a strong and diverse network? When it comes to friends, how different is too different before it's okay to cut someone off? And finally, do you have any suggestions on how to handle significant differences with people you do want to still be close to? Defriend Dilemma.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:24:53] This is a question that comes down to values. Is there a way to know how different is too different for your social circle? It's always, always, always about values. Differences in opinion, interests, hobbies, lifestyle — these are all things that don't make or break a friendship. I've got friends that are like gun-owning, super right-wing but not like the racist kind, but like right up on that buffer that live in RVs and stuff like that. And we have little in common. We're still friends. You know, it's not a problem, but values like the actual values that dictate how you live your life. Like these are still honest people that work hard. That means well, that wants the best for their family, for their country. They just have a different opinion on how to do it. Views about right and wrong, fair and unfair, criminal and acceptable — these are value differences that cut a lot deeper. I don't have friends anymore that get by on fraud or that believe that some people are better than others because of the way they look or anything. I don't have those friends anymore. I might've when I was younger.
[00:25:53] these types of beliefs, these value differences, they also have ramifications for you. If your friend wants to pick up parasailing as a hobby and you don't like parasailing, it's not that big of a deal. They can go parasailing, you stay on the beach, reading the book, you go surfing, whatever it is you want to do. But if your friend brings you along to a lunch meeting where they're raising money for a fake company, and you're sitting there validating what they're saying, that's more serious. You're orbiting something illegal. You're involved in something illegal, and you could even be implicated in those charges.
[00:26:23] If you were to introduce this friend to someone else, you'd be vouching for somebody who is straight-up fraudulent, a scammer. There's a risk. I'm very careful about this now. People go, "Hey, what do you think about this person?" And I go, "No." They made their money in multilevel marketing, or they sell this guru scam thing. I don't care if they have a lot of followers. I don't care if they're the influencer du jour. I don't want to be associated with them. I don't want to be in a photo with them. I don't want them on the show. I don't want to be on their show. This is something that affects you, even if you think it doesn't. You can't compartmentalize certain things.
[00:26:54] Of course, lifestyle choices also imply certain values. And this is an interesting gray area. For example, if your friend turns vegan and shames you publicly for eating meat, that's a pretty significant difference to overcome. Yeah, it's a superficial choice, more or less, but the way they're going about it is veering into a question about values, not just about what to eat, but how to treat other people who disagree. Then the question becomes, can you have a conversation about it? Is there enough respect and awareness to openly discuss this difference in values? If so your friendship can survive. It can even thrive. If not, it probably won't. Gabe, what do you think?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:27:32] As for your question, do you have any suggestions on how to handle those differences with people you do still want to be close with? I think the biggest part of that is learning to recognize those differences, knowing the difference between a lifestyle choice and a more like a deeper belief or a more profound value that actually affects your relationship. And then confronting those problems head-on and discussing them, you know, respectfully rationally with the other person. If you can own your experience and know that — if you feel weird when you're hanging out with this person, if you feel kind of off, if you feel vaguely concerned when you're hanging out with them and they're engaging in casual fraud, there's probably a good reason for that.
[00:38:07] At the same time, when you do bring it up, I do think you should give the other person a chance to explain their behavior, right? Like you can be open to being proven wrong or changing your mind. You honestly sound extremely open-minded as a person. So I'm not too concerned about that, but it is worth trying to understand why they're behaving the way they do. And trying to understand what in you is causing that friction. Because there are so many variables that go into that. Right, Jordan? Like, someone could be doing something that is an outright illegal and might not even be that bad but because you were raised in a certain way, if you were raised in a household, like I was frankly, where, you know, right and wrong are clearly delineated at anything that looks like it could be even slightly shady is like scary. And like, you shouldn't do that. Like you need to stay far away from that. When really what they're really doing is just like skirting the rules a little bit. Like they're like filing paperwork in a sloppy way or whatever. I don't know what it is. Although from her email, it does sound like it's not that stuff. But my point is just that the way you're raised will affect what you perceive as immoral.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:04] You're the guy who is like, "I'm going to rip this tag off this pillow, even though it says under penalty of law, do not remove." Like, is that kind of your danger zone?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:29:13] I mean, I regret putting my pillows within view of the camera.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:18] The guy who pulls the USB drive out when it's like, "Do not eject." You're like, "I'm just going to rip this thing out of it."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:29:27] How did you know that?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:28] Too soon to eject? I'll be the judge of that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:29:32] Do you ever reject the USB properly, take it out, and it still tells you that you did it improperly?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:36] Yeah. And I'm like, you know what? It's like a thug life. That's right.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:29:41] Do you ever pull it out? And it says that you did it illegally and then you just sit by the door, waiting for the Feds to show up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:46] I called 911, preemptively turned myself in. "I'm here to be picked up."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:29:51] I'm sorry. It was a USB-A.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:53] Nerd alert.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:29:54] Okay. Look, if you do confront these things with your friend, at that point, you guys will either come to a resolution. One of you will change or both of you will change. Or you will realize that you guys have an irreconcilable difference and neither of you will change and then you go your separate ways. But at that point, I think you have two options. You can either negotiate your closeness. You can maintain a friendship with somebody that is not as intimate or as constant. You're just not as close as you used to be so that you're not orbiting some of the shady behavior.
[00:30:20] I'll give you an example. I have a couple of friends who drink too much, right? Like they're not my best friends. They're not even my —
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:27] Yeah, good to be.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:30:29] You might want to hold up as he drinks from a glass. But because those people are interesting or they're funny, or they're kind in some way I'll stay connected. Like we might jump on the phone every few months. We might do a podcast every week.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:41] We might have a podcast, yeah, exactly.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:30:43] I care about them. I enjoy their friendship, but I wouldn't, you know, go on a three-hour dinner or on a vacation with them because their partying is at odds with how I prefer to spend my time. Right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:52] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:30:53] So that's one option. The other option is that it's so irreconcilable that you just cut ties. And in that case, you have to explain why you feel that you can't be close anymore and you just move on. You find friends who share your values, who don't engage in that causal fraud over lunch or whatever, and you invest more deeply in those relationships and let those relationships bring you into a more fulfilling life full of people who share your values and are on the same frequency as you. To me, it sounds like you're heading more towards that second option with this group of friends. And I think that's more than, okay.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:20] All right. What's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:31:22] Hey team. I'm in the beauty industry and recently referred a would-be client to a peer of mine. I'm afraid I may have said the wrong thing, and now it's a bit awkward. I'm at a point in my career where I want to focus on my target market, but I don't want my peers to think that I'm just brushing my rejects off on them. And I don't want anyone to feel rejected or lash out at me after connecting with me. I imagine that you have to politely decline people who aren't a good fit all the time. I'm especially concerned because in my industry, girls talk and word travels fast. How do you nicely decline to work with somebody? Signed Accidental A-hole.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:54] it says a high-quality problem. Gabe, you want to start off at this one?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:31:57] I really think that this is mostly about style. It's about how she does it. Not that she's doing it in the first place. If you pawned someone off, like, "Sorry, I'm busy but this random person can do it." And you just like CC them with a few words. Yeah, It will probably come across like you're bailing on a client and it'll come across like you're just dropping your unwanted clients on your peers. But if you say, "Look, you sound like a great client. Unfortunately, I'm focused more on retail strategy clients or whatever, but I know a great B2B person who might be in here fit for you. And you write a thoughtful little introduction," then you won't just sound diplomatic. You might even come across looking better.
[00:32:31] Plus you're building relationships in both directions, which is awesome. Part of making that work is vetting the people you refer clients to and having strong relationships with them. So you want to know that you're putting a client in good hands, right? You don't want to just pawn somebody off to like the first person who pops up on your LinkedIn, who seems like they vaguely have the experience that would be helpful. That'll give you the confidence to know that you're taking care of a client, even if you refer them out. And it will also ensure that you're referring clients to the peers who actually deserve it. You're not an a-hole for declining to work with somebody. You're only an a-hole if you do it thoughtlessly.
[00:33:02] So I would say congrats on being in that enviable position
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:06] From a tactical perspective, I would tell them why you can't work with them just as you suggested, Gabe. Then I would do a double opt-in with both parties. This is part of Six-Minute Networking. If you've been through that course, you know how to do this but this way, it's not, you brushing rejects off onto someone else, but finding that person an even better fit while getting someone you know a new client. So it's all about the framing here. If you do it right, you're golden. Tact is key and going the extra mile, so checking in after you introduced yourself to the other person, doing that double opt-in. Maybe a month or so later you check in again to make sure they were taken care of. That goes a long way towards them feeling good about their interaction with you, as opposed to feeling like they just weren't good enough to work with you in the first place. Done right this should be a win-win, where your colleague is stoked to have a new client and the prospect is grateful that you even took the time to send her elsewhere since you were too busy or focused on something else to take her business. This is a professional move and it shows that you're a class act.
[00:34:04] Gabe, I feel like we're edging on the art of saying no, or some article or deep dive here, boundaries, setting boundaries, maintaining boundaries, business clients, friends, family. Maybe we should note that and do something with this. Because I think getting your time back is about saying no. Keeping your boundaries and setting them is about saying no. Successful relationships and friendships is about saying no. Having a work-life balance is about saying no. There's probably an article in here.
[00:34:32] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:34:36] This episode is sponsored in part by HostGator. Look, I know you're all tired of being cooped up inside as we wait for this pandemic to pass. But if you've listened to our episodes with former CDC Director Julie Gerberding and the Global Virome Projects, Dr. Dennis Carroll, you know, there's no solid timetable for when that's going to happen yet. Rather than wasting all the extra time you've probably found yourself with by watching every single season with every iteration of Law & Order ever taped, why not just start that personal or professional website you've been threatening to unleash upon the world. Just bring an idea and HostGator can take care of the tech side of things for a rate that's affordable for any budget. Most importantly, building a website has never been as quick and easy. And listeners of this show can save up to 62 percent off their hosting plan on their first term by going to hostgator.com/jordan. That's hostgator.com/jordan. Select a plan and start building your website right away.
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[00:36:43] And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:36:48] All right, last but not least.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:36:49] Dear Jordan, I'm a 23-year-old living in Florida. I moved down here about three years ago on a journey to better myself in all aspects of my life. I'm currently seeking out a career to replace the two full-time jobs that I currently hold and do not love. I applied and interviewed at a very reputable company that I feel like I would be a good fit for. The only problem is that I have a bad criminal background. I was told that if I brought this up along with the fact that I'm almost two-year sober and I've had a complete turnaround in my perspective on life and in my impact on other people's lives that I would be okay to move forward, but I never get the topic to come up organically during the very strange and uncomfortable Zoom interview. I feel like my past mistakes are nearly impossible to contend with. What advice, if any, do you have for someone in my position? Should I talk about my past at all? If, so how? With gratitude, Jekyll Not Hyde.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:38] Ooh, well, this is a tough situation. And I have some thoughts it's on this. First, if these companies do background checks and they probably do, you have no choice but to disclose. If you don't, you're going to look like you're hiding your past. You're immediately going to get disqualified. At that point, it's all about the story that you tell. Working on this story is your main job right now. It has to be airtight. It has to be totally honest. It has to be meaningful, reflective, authentic, and most importantly, it has to actually address what you did in the past specifically. All the things you've done to become better should also be included in there and how all of that stuff will never happen again. Not just because you say it won't be because you have a different lifestyle, different circumstances, and a different support network than you did before.
[00:38:26] You said, "I was told that if I brought this up, that it would be okay to move forward." By who? A recruiter, just some random person. Who told you that? If you tell that story, well, yes, it can be okay to move forward, but you need to stack the deck in your favor. You have to have references that will vouch for you. You need a great LinkedIn profile with endorsements, from people that look normal. Not this sort of blank thing with no profile photo. You need stories that illustrate what kind of person you are now and how you've changed, not just the promise that you have changed. Also, and definitely not least here, relationships with people who can put a good word in and confirm your story. That also has a good reputation. Not just like, "My mom says that I'm a good boy now." We've all seen that on the news, right? Like the guy who shoots three people at a firework show and the mom is like, "He was a good boy." It's like, no, you're just a crazy person that raised a terrible kid who deserves to be in prison. I'm not saying that's you. Of course, it's not, you. What I'm saying is you need to reaffirm that story so people don't assume that it is you.
[00:39:25] When I work with inmates on this — and shout out to all of my High Desert folks who celebrated my 40th birthday with me, volunteering in High Desert Maximum-Security Prison by the way. When I work on this with inmates, they're still in prison. And we discuss how their interviews are going to go when they're out their job interviews, the job search. We do mock interviews. And whatever, I sense that — I get that slight hedge or they're shying away from telling their story, or they're like, "Yeah, a lot of difficult things happen when I was a kid and then I just got out of prison." And we're like, "What? Hold on." I stopped them because this is a major red flag. If I find out later that you were incarcerated or you had a rough past and you didn't tell me. I will not assume you didn't tell me because it was embarrassing. I will assume you didn't tell me because of some other reason. Like it's still going on and I will also assume that there is more that you're not telling me which breaks any trust I might've had in you as an employee or somebody that I just met for that matter.
[00:40:22] You don't have to lead with it, but it should definitely come up. If it doesn't come up organically and why would it. Caveat it. Bring it up yourself. Get ahead of it. Gabe, I know you've got some ideas on this.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:40:32] Yeah. I mean, it's not like most recruiters are going to stop the interview and say, "Man, you really are the perfect candidate. You crushed this interview, but you know, just so I know, is there any criminal stuff in your past?"
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:42] "Have you been in prison? I'm just throwing it out there just to make sure you've never been incarcerated." It's not going to happen. They're going to find out later.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:40:48] So you have to be the one to bring it up. And by being the one to bring it up, you actually will probably come across as even more credible and trustworthy given your past circumstances. So basically, you would say some version of, "Look, I've really enjoyed talking to you. I would love to work at your company. I think I would be a great employee. I do want to tell you that a long time ago, my life was very different. I was an addict. I did some things that I deeply regret. Here are the things," be specific about them. Say that you've paid the price. "And since then I've gotten sober. I've been sober for two years now. I'm in recovery. I go to meetings. I take my life very seriously. I treat other people much more seriously." Again, be specific here. Don't just say I am a great guy now. Like, talk about the things that make you a better person. I'm sure that you have very concrete details about that. And then say that you're building a life that is very different from your old one. "And in many ways, I think that all of that has made me a more responsible candidate, a more hardworking candidate, a more thoughtful person to work with. I just wanted you to know that up front because I want us to be totally on the same page."
[00:41:46] This story, telling the story, and bringing it up yourself is going to take some practice. It will probably feel very scary in the beginning. I mean, why wouldn't it be. There's shame around the story. Most people don't want to know that, or they are anticipating a negative response or whatever, but it will get easier with time. And actually the more you tell them, I think it could actually add to your profile as a candidate because you will be the person who has been through some stuff and can talk about it openly and can tell the story in a way that makes somebody want to hire you even more.
[00:42:15] I would say rehearse with some people, write out a little script for yourself, do mock interviews with friends. Those will go a very long way and take as many interviews as you can just so you can get those reps in. So it becomes very natural. If you do all that, I think you'll dramatically increase your chances of landing your next job. So good luck, dude.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:32] Supernatural. It becomes a phenomenon.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:42:35] It comes from J.J. Abrams show.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:37] that's great advice. I love the idea about doing mock interviews because everyone thinks, "Okay when this comes up, I'm just going to cop to it." And then it happens, you're like, "What? Uh — so well — uh, well, I was so in the beginning — what happened was — you see what happened was," and then it's like, this interview is over, right? You need to be able to handle that. You need to be prepared for someone to say — and this is what I do in the prison — you need to be prepared for someone to say, "So what'd you do that landed you in prison." And you can't say, "Well, I had all these things and they, these decisions happen, and I had a rough — " You need to go, "I shot someone during a drug deal, but I am not the same person now. And that was a long time ago. And I think about it every day and it's my deepest regret. And it was the result of dah, dah, dah. You don't want to start off sort of hedging and slow. It will immediately raise flags. It's going to raise flags anyways. What you want is it to be minimal and the lowest flags possible. So practice makes perfect here.
[00:43:34] We're creeping up on episode 400 here. I've been podcasting for something like 13 years. I keep thinking about what are my favorite episodes. Here's what you should check out next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
Adam Carolla: [00:43:45] There's a kind of sad reality of the blue-collar world and mentality, which is you get paid to physically do things. There's a very straight line on how to make money. That world never pauses and goes, "Who are you? And what are your ideas?" And what about all these other people that are composing songs or writing the theme song to the tonight show, and going to the mailbox, and getting a royalty check. Or this guy wrote a movie. At some point, you just buy into that program. "Shut your mouth, pick up that shovel and get going."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:26] What sort of triggered that for you? What sort of went, "You know what? Screw this. I'm not trading time for money. I have to figure something else out."
Adam Carolla: [00:44:43] I sat around, and I've sat around and I went, "What are you good at?" And the answer was common.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:41] Podcasting is obviously on the way up. How did you spot an opportunity there and go, "You know what? This is a safer or better or more lucrative bet"?
Adam Carolla: [00:44:49] When I was doing morning radio, the program director would go, "We need to get our ratings up in LA. We're fifth in LA," or whatever. And then some other guy would come in and he'd go, "You guys had 16 million minutes of streaming last month." Then the program director came back in and go, "You guys got to get your shit together." And I'd go, "Hey, we have 16 million minutes of streaming." And he'd go like, "So who cares? You're fifth in LA." And he just walked out of the studio and I remember, I just sort of looking around going, I don't know.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:24] That seems good.
Adam Carolla: [00:45:25] It seems good. Then I got fired and my buddy said, "Do a podcast." And I was like, “Let's just do it."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:35] For more with Adam Carolla, including why trading time for money is a losing proposition and how we can break the cycle and how to tell if we're doing something for ourselves or doing something based on pressure from others, check out episode 69 right here on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:45:51] Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week. Go back and check out Anders Ericsson and the Deep Dive on what type of people fall for scams — is it you?
[00:46:00] If you want to know how we managed to book all these great guests, it is always about the network. Check out our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free. It's over there on the Thinkific platform. jordanharbinger.com/course. You can't make up for lost time when it comes to relationships and networking. Dig the well before you get thirsty. Once you need relationships, you are too late. These take just a couple of minutes a day. That's why it's called Six-Minute Networking. Ignore it at your own peril. jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:46:28] A link to the show notes for this episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. There's a video of Feedback Friday on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can hit me on LinkedIn.
[00:46:43] This show is created in association with PodcastOne and my amazing team, including Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Keep sending in those questions to email@example.com. Our advice and opinions and those of our guests are their own. I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. If you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice we gave here today. 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.
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