As an exemplary member of the clergy for 29 years, you’d think honesty to your superiors would be rewarded unconditionally. Alas, when you disclosed a need to seek counseling during a rough patch between you and your spouse (which resulted in a stronger relationship), you were unceremoniously booted from your position. Now you can’t find work at another church because you’ve been unfairly branded a pariah among those of your faith, and you can’t find a job among the secular because your clerical past seems to be a turn-off to potential employers. What can you do? We’ll try to find an answer to 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 email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Honesty got you kicked out of the clergy, and the seculars seem turned off by your pastor past. Who will hire you now? [Thanks to Pastor Brad Mortensen for helping us with this one!]
- Thanks to an accidental pocket dial after calling your parents to ask for a loan, you overheard exactly what your mother thinks of you — and it wasn’t favorable. Yet she’s never hesitated to call you when she needs help. Is it unreasonable to cut toxic family members out of your life?
- You’re a fully booked hairstylist at your sister-in-law’s salon, and feel it’s time to branch out on your own after 20 years. But you’d be bringing along another fully booked stylist, which would ultimately hurt your sister-in-law’s business. Is there a way to follow opportunity without leaving family in the lurch?
- You love your job, but you find the constant interruptions that come with it challenging your ability to stay on task. What can you do to stay focused?
- You run a junior developer meetup; most people come through, build technical and interpersonal confidence, and leave when they get jobs, but there are some people who have been coming back week after week for years. These folks are generally technically proficient, but lack in the social skills department. How can you proactively add social skills training without coming across as some kind of jerk?
- 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 Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
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If you missed our interview with Greylock’s Reid Hoffman, don’t panic! You can catch up by starting at episode 207: Reid Hoffman | Mastering Your Scale for the Unexpected Part One!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Rick Ross | How to Boss Up and Build an Empire | Jordan Harbinger
- Marc Fennell | Cracking California’s Nut Jobs | Jordan Harbinger
- The Best Way to Ask for a Promotion — And Make Sure You Land It | Jordan Harbinger
- Six-Minute Networking
- Sugar Daddy’s Ambition Is a Savory Transition | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Cal Newport | Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World | Jordan Harbinger
- Cal Newport | Reimagining Work in a World without Email | Jordan Harbinger
- Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport | Amazon
- A World without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload by Cal Newport | Amazon
- Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule | Paul Graham
- James Clear | Forming Atomic Habits for Astronomic Results | Jordan Harbinger
- BJ Fogg | Tiny Habits That Change Everything | Jordan Harbinger
- Gretchen Rubin | Four Tendencies: The Framework for a Better Life | Jordan Harbinger
- Nir Eyal | How to Manage Distraction in a Digital Age | Jordan Harbinger
- Isaiah Hankel | The Smart Way to Focus and Grow Successful | Jordan Harbinger
- Chris Bailey | Hyperfocus Secrets for Better Productivity | Jordan Harbinger
- Dr. Anders Ericsson | Secrets from the New Science of Expertise | Jordan Harbinger
571: Pastor Past Makes You An Outcast | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, my quarterback in consultation, Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating 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 deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening even inside your own mind.
[00:00:36] Now, 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, to performers. This week, we had rapper and music mogul Rick Ross on the show. We had the original Freeway Rick Ross. So don't get confused there. We had the rapper this time, I guess, more financially successful in this decade, Rick Ross. And it was a really interesting conversation about the music business, business in general. He's a little bit more, let's say insightful than I really expected from somebody with his lyrics. Let's just put it that way. Fantastic conversation in my opinion. We also had my friend Marc Fennell who discusses nut heists. Yes, the heisting of nuts, a very random crime that is right here in my neck of the woods here in Northern California. It's more interesting than it probably sounds on its face. It turns out nuts are valuable and there's some pretty major heists where if you're a farmer, your nuts are really on the line. See what I did there, dad jokes for days.
[00:01:38] I also write every so often on the blog. My latest post, The Best Way to Ask for A Promotion and Make Sure You Land It. This post is based on a ton of actual questions we get here on the show about how to rise up in your company, how to position yourself for a bulletproof promotion, what to do when you don't get the promotion you wanted, and how to use that feedback to then position yourself even more strongly for next time. A ton of practical gems in this one. We always try to focus on the practicals plus a detailed case study based on a real listener's experience, working to rise up in her organization. I highly recommend checking this one out if you want a promotion, you're struggling to land a promotion, or you just want to level up in your role in general, maybe you'll be looking for a promotion in the future. So you'll find that article and all of our articles at jordanharbinger.com/articles.
[00:02:27] As always, we've got some fun ones, some doozies. I can't wait to dive in. Gabe, what is the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:02:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, I've had a very successful career in church ministry for the past 29 years. I've earned a doctorate. I've published a book and I've enjoyed providing spiritual care to people, particularly those who have been hurt and burned by institutional. I did this by working in an organized religious setting, in an effort to be an agent of change from the inside. Several months ago, I opened up to my elder board, my bosses, basically that my wife and I were getting marriage counseling. I asked for their guidance in navigating the strain that the public aspect of ministry was putting on our marriage. Almost immediately after they put me on a leave of absence, which at first seemed to be a gift for us to work through our issues, but it quickly became apparent that this was a means to force me out of my job. After over five years of excellent performance reviews, this same board told the church that I had acted in ways that disqualified me from being their pastor, but they never gave specifics to the church or to me. My wife and I are crushed. In the world of church work, being forced out makes you a pariah. I've interviewed numerous times and been turned down. Even though my wife and I never split up, we were in trouble, but we got help. We worked through it. Regardless, I lost my job and it appears my career is ruined as well. My success in church work has given me a boatload of transferable skills, project management, marketing, PR HR, digital expertise, administrative skills, conflict resolution, and many others. However, in job interviews for non ministry fields, the fact that I worked in churches, that seemed to turn off potential employers. I try to highlight my relevant skills, but I can't avoid disclosing my work history. I feel like my honesty with the church screwed me and my honesty and my current job search screws me as well. I'm 47. I'm highly skilled. I have a great track record and I can only get looks from entry level positions that don't come anywhere near what I would need to take care of my family. I'm totally lost. What would you do? Sincerely, The Pensive Pastor.
[00:04:23] Jordan Harbinger: So this is infuriating and a little ironic. I just noticed that throughout his career, one of the ways he enjoyed providing spiritual care to people was particularly those who have been hurt and burned by institutional religion, which is exactly what happened here.
[00:04:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:04:35] Jordan Harbinger: Right?
[00:04:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:04:36] Jordan Harbinger: So really this irritates me because, well, there's a whole lot wrong with it but here, this guy is. Here you are, this incredibly thoughtful pastor. You're trying to help people who've been burned by institutional religion and the same institution turns around and burns you because you asked for some totally reasonable help. And that's a huge blow, especially at 47 and especially given your amazing track record. So I'm so sorry this happened to you. I can only imagine how devastating this must be for you and your family. So as you know, I know jack squat about church work. It's not in my wheelhouse. Same with Gabe. We wanted to talk to somebody who really understands this world. So we reached out to Brad Mortensen, a wonderful pastor and friend of the show.
[00:05:18] First thing Brad said was, it sounds like you really did the right thing here. So I want to highlight that, right? You worked on your marriage. You were honest with your leaders. You sought out help when you needed it. Brad pointed out that part of faith is doing the right thing, regardless of outcome, which makes a lot of sense. And he commended you for that.
[00:05:35] The church board, it's not just there to manage the church like a company, but to take care of its people. That just does not seem like it happened in your case. We obviously don't know what's going on in your marriage, but it doesn't sound like anything truly compromising. It doesn't sound like adultery and abuse and embezzlement, that kind of thing. It just sounds like the church's demands were competing with you, being a husband and father. And Brad said that's actually super common in the ministry, which by the way, it's common in like every career. I don't know that many people that go, "Man, I just wish I had more time with my family, but I work a lot." I mean, that is like the age old stress on any marriage, right?
[00:06:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good point.
[00:06:11] Jordan Harbinger: That being said, since the board isn't even being open with you, it's hard to know what's really going on here. Brad pointed out what's possible. And I say, possible, that the elders are holding something back that would actually be helpful for you to know. In fact, this was my theory as well. Who knows? There could have been something else they didn't like about you. God knows what it is. And they used a difficult situation to get what they wanted. This happens in organizations all the time, right? "Oh, he showed up late again. Normally, not a big deal, but we really hate that guy. So let's finally pull the trigger on him." And then when he asks why. We say, "Well, you show up late all the time. Not everybody finds you mildly annoying and your jokes suck or whatever it is," right? Or, "I want to promote my nephew instead," which is what happens all the time.
[00:06:52] So Brad's idea was this, what if you requested a meeting with the board and asked them a few questions to pin them down. Questions like: what areas of weakness or concern do you see in me? Am I disqualified from ministry? If so, for how long? What Bible passages do you see that make me disqualified? What is the path to not being disqualified in your mind? You know, Gabe I can't help but think of when he asks for the Bible passages, they're going to be like, "Aah." Because these people who do crap like this, I feel like they might just have an absolutely cursory knowledge of the Bible. Because it's like, "Point to the part in the Bible that says when people ask for help, make sure that you punish them for being honest, about needing help. Where did Jesus say that? It must be in the new, new Testament."
[00:07:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, exactly. Let me point you to Matthew 13:4 on office politics. Like what are they going to say? Like there's no biblical justification for shafting somebody just because you don't like their personal issues that they brought to you or whatever.
[00:07:45] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yeah. "Thanks for being honest, we really appreciate that. Now, you're fired," hashtag Jesus. You know, respectfully challenge them on these beliefs. Make them defend their decision even if 90 percent of what they say is unhelpful or just patently untrue. They might say one thing that'll help you process this and prepare for another position. Brad said the key here will be approaching this conversation with humility, which let's be real, I'm sure that's going to be really hard especially since these people were probably your friends and mentors, in addition to being your bosses, at least in one point in time. And they definitely shafted you, like Gabe said. And asking for this meeting that would acknowledge that you've been hurt, but that you've also forgiven the board maybe. And you want to learn from your, quote-unquote, "mistakes" to be a better person, which they should absolutely support this.
[00:08:33] If they refuse to see you in person, because they're too chicken sh*t to do so, then writing them a letter is also a great option. And if they won't even give you the time of day, if this even is possible, maybe you escalate this to more senior officials if there are any. And if there aren't, well, my opinion, you might want to consult an employment attorney. I'm not exactly sure what applies here, but it's likely that a church is subject to pretty much the same rules and regulations as other employers. I'm not a hundred percent sure about that. Churches have a lot of carve-outs for a lot of things in the law, but you might be able to put them on notice via your attorney, that what they did was not on the up and up. And there may actually be a claim here. Again, I don't know this is definitely a last resort, but if they're content to ruin your career, because you were honest about something, candidly, they sound pretty awful, and you might want to escalate this.
[00:09:21] In fact, it might shed enough light on these shady holier than now jerks that they themselves end up getting replaced by whoever influences the board. So maybe you book a call with an attorney in your state. Many initial consultations are free. Just see what your options are. Sometimes even firing off a legal demand letter has to get escalated to the state board or the national board of whatever type of church it is. And they go, "Wait, what happened here?" "Oh, he said he got therapy and we fired him." And then somebody who's on the national board goes, "What are you doing? What is wrong with you?" Who knows? That's what I would hope would happen.
[00:09:57] Brad's only other bit of advice here was to not use this incident to stir up strife with your old congregation, which it doesn't seem like it would. But I understand if the temptation is there to sort of rile people up, focus on the board, focus on getting answers. And if you can't work it out with them, then you know, it's really time to move on.
[00:10:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, good point, Jordan. There's a fine line between telling his story and creating drama, but I'm sure he's going to land on the right side of that. So what does moving on actually look like? Well, Brad pointed out that a pastor like you needs to be in a place where leadership will take care of you and that probably isn't going to be your old church. The good news is though there are counselors and organizations that actually specialize in helping pastors through difficult transitions.
[00:10:40] So do a little Googling, reach out to a seminary or a church minister you trust for a referral in your area. Or if you want, reach out to us, we can help you find one through Brad. And I would also make sure that your family is getting the support that they need too. As Brad pointed out a loss like this, it's not just a loss for you. It's a loss of a whole support network for your entire family. So they might be wrestling with their own feelings, some rejections, some judgment, whatever it is. So make sure you're there for them and that they have a place to process all of this as well.
[00:11:06] Brad also pointed out that this would be a really good time to turn to the people in your life to guide you, to offer ideas on career moves, maybe to open some doors. And if you don't have that network in place, time to build it. This could be other ministry peers at other churches. It could be people you know from school or from the broader ministry community could be former congregation members. Anybody really who knows you, who knows your work. I know you don't need us to tell you this, but relationships, especially in a moment like this, they really are everything.
[00:11:34] Jordan Harbinger: This is where Six-Minute Networking comes in, right? Shameless plug jordanharbinger.com/course. Six-Minute Networking, the insurance policy you need when the board of elders turns against you.
[00:11:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, exactly. It kind of fits in any circumstance. And on a more practical level, I would start plotting out some next moves. As Brad explained to us the transition from ministry to something new, it can be very hard, but you actually have some very exciting options. So option one is you find a job at another church. It sounds like that isn't really working out right now. So you might have to get creative. We're not sure if you are a part of a specific denomination, but Brad pointed out that you might need to switch to nominations if you can and if you want to. I know that's like a very complicated and probably personal. Or maybe you just haven't found the right home yet. And you just have to keep looking.
[00:12:19] Option two, you go out into the broader church slash faith community. You have a doctorate, you're a published author. I bet that could open up a ton of doors into, I mean, so many fields, teaching at a seminary or teaching at a Bible school, or even at the college level. You could also look at faith-based non-profits like schools, shelters, missions, or you could keep writing and shift to being a full-time author, maybe one who travels and gives talks and guest lectures. That's a pretty cool career.
[00:12:45] Option three, you go into a secular non-profit. Brad pointed out that there can be a lot of overlap between church work and the nonprofit world. And a nonprofit, it would probably value all of your amazing skills. All these transferable skills. You mentioned since churches are usually non-profit entities and they usually have a lot of operational similarities. And option four, you just go into regular secular work. And I know that that's challenging, but it is doable. For what it's worth, the people Brad has seen make this jump successfully, they've all done it again through their relationships.
[00:13:14] And to that, I would just add one more option, which is maybe the next phase of your career is some combination of these things. It could be that you write a book every few years, and then you have a speaking business on the side and then maybe teach part-time at a couple of schools or you work at a couple of different nonprofits, and then maybe you offer personal counseling on the side. You know, you could piece together a really cool talent stack based on your unique skills, based on your unique experience. And look maybe telling the story of what happened to you with this church, how devastating it was, how you processed it, how it led you to this new chapter, maybe that becomes the sort of operating mission of this new phase of your career. Maybe it actually brings you closer to people. Maybe it leads you to goals and questions, situations you truly care about.
[00:13:53] Jordan Harbinger: I 100-percent agree with that. If he can use this set pack to guide him to the opportunities that really light him up, that could actually give this whole reset a ton of momentum and meaning. Brad's final piece of advice and I agree with him completely on this, having been through a big professional blow like this myself, is to try to put a bigger frame around the loss. So as Brad put it, this is a painful page in your story, maybe a chapter even, but it's not the whole story. It fits into something bigger. It always does. And you don't have to be religious to believe that. I'm sure there's a biblical lens on this. That I'm not from the. Brad mentioned the story of Joseph and Genesis is a great example of how difficult events can often lead to really remarkable outcomes. I am not well versed on this stuff at all. So I'll take Brad's word for it. That sounds spot on to me.
[00:14:39] Bottom line, how you frame this for yourself, how you process it and make meaning out of it, how you put one foot in front of the other, that's going to determine your whole experience in this transition. So for me, I know when I had to restart with The Jordan Harbinger Show, the thing that sort of cured my anxiety was making a very detailed plan of what I was going to do next. Even if the plan didn't work out, I had other options. So instead of spinning around like a blender that was open at the top exploding everywhere, I felt really focused. It was like, okay, step one this, reach out to these 10 people. Set up calls. Try to book this, try and journal this, write this down. So I had all these tasks and they each moved me forward. Even if some were dead ends, I would just jump to the next thing. Because the real uncertainty is, what do I do next? And is this the end? Or am I on the right track? that anxiety, that what-if stuff, that's those stuff that kills you and makes you miserable.
[00:15:30] So honestly, you sound like a super interesting person, a thoughtful leader. You're exactly the kind of person who should be a pastor. In my opinion, you have a lot to offer the world. I know you're going to land somewhere great and the road will be stressful and confusing sometimes. But with your track record. And, hey, your faith, I'm confident, it'll take you somewhere great. And we're rooting for you. Good luck.
[00:15:50] You know, Gabe, getting fired by awful people, it's often a blessing because this was not even a bad moment in his life. He just went, "Hey, I got therapy for my relationship." Like imagine going to them with a real problem where you need their support. Like, "Oh my gosh, I had this horrible thing happen to me." And they're like, "Ooh, you're fired. We don't like you for that reason."
[00:16:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was thinking that too, because even if he's stuck around, he has to work for people who secretly don't like him or secretly wouldn't support him in a time of need, which just seems totally contrary to the whole purpose of his job.
[00:16:22] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. Yeah. I had a friend who, this is a totally different situation, but the circumstances sort of apply. I have a friend and she was dating this guy for years. And then one day, he was like, "Hey, I'm really stressed out with my business. I've got to go away for a few days." And he left a bunch of his stuff at her house. They were living together and he never came home ever.
[00:16:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:16:43] Jordan Harbinger: It's been years. And she's like, "I don't understand what happened." I'm like, "Wait, wait, wait. Like, I know you're. Imagine if you had a problem and he did this in left and never came home."
[00:16:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, good point.
[00:16:52] Jordan Harbinger: Like imagine you're the one that had the problem. Meanwhile, he's the one who was stressed out. She's like, "Oh, I feel rejected and lost and dumped and blah, blah, blah." I'm like, "Yeah, but this is when he was in some sh*t. Imagine you're the one that needs him." And he's like, "Oh, I can't take it because I'm a man child and just runs away." He's never even spoken with her after this. He just packed up and left. No arguments, nothing to do with nothing. Just bounced, vanished.
[00:17:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: That is cold. Wow.
[00:17:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. He's just obviously a dysfunctional POS who like can't handle any—
[00:17:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: And clearly not the relationship you want to be in. Yeah.
[00:17:23] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Like would imagine you get married to this person and then you like start losing your house. And he's like, "Aah, I've just got to go up north," and like never calls you. And now it's all your problem. No, thanks.
[00:17:33] So often getting fired by people who are terrible is a blessing. That's how it was for me. I think for a lot of people getting, quote-unquote, "fired" by bad people is one of the best things that can ever happen to you even if in the moment it totally sucks.
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[00:18:18] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
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[00:19:18] Jen Harbinger: To learn more about the exciting new SimpliSafe wireless outdoor security camera, visit simplisafe.com/jordan. What's more SimpliSafe is celebrating this new camera by offering 20 percent off your entire new system and your first month of monitoring service free when you enroll in interactive monitoring. Again, that's simplisafe.com/jordan.
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[00:21:02] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:21:07] What's next?
[00:21:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, six months ago, I asked my parents to borrow money so I could consolidate some debt. And they said that they would call me back. My dad then happened to pocket dial me and I heard my mom saying, but I couldn't be trusted that I'm manipulative. That I'm terrible at relationships, and just generally a sh*t person. They followed up with a call saying, "Oh, we can't help you now but one day." I was short with them and I ended the call. My father, who was defending me during the pocket dial, then called back to see what was wrong. My mom grabbed the phone and said, "We are not doing this. What's your problem?" I said that it wasn't about the money, but what I heard her say. She said, "Well, I stand by what you heard. You can't be trusted. You're an adult. These are your problems. Deal with them yourself." She then hung up on me and we haven't spoken since. Sometime back, my mom called me crying, saying she wanted to divorce my father. She called me when my brother had a drug issue, but when I need help, she turns her back. She also often blackmails me into, quote-unquote, "getting over things," by saying that it upsets my father. If I can see that my mom doesn't care about me, should I cut her out of my life? If this were a friend, I would've cut them out a long time ago, but I'm not sure what to do when it comes to a parent. Signed, Stuck in Doubt About Cutting Mom Out.
[00:22:16] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my goodness. This is sad. I'm really sorry that you and your mom have this relationship. It sounds super difficult. It's definitely complicated. I'm sure these dynamics among you and your parents go, they have to go way back. I wish we could delve in every little nook and cranny of these family triangles sometimes, but we've only got a few minutes.
[00:22:35] So here's what I'm thinking. First of all, it definitely sounds like your relationship with your mom is messy to say the least. In many ways, it's pretty one-sided. When she needs a shoulder to cry on about your dad or someone to vent about your brother, you're that person. But when you need financial help, she's withholding. And when you need to talk, she minimizes your feelings and dismisses you by saying that it upsets your dad, which even if that's true, you still deserve a supportive parent. But I'm pretty sure that what she's really saying here, Gabriel, is that it upsets her and she doesn't want to freaking deal with it. And she's not willing or equipped to even just be there for this guy in any way that he needs. So this is pretty cruel. It's obviously dysfunctional. It's super hurtful.
[00:23:18] And at the same time, you being there for your mom when she needs you, that might not automatically mean that your parents should bail you out financially. I don't know what the scenario is. You know, if you're asking for 30 grand it could be a bit much. I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice if they did. I'm not saying you don't deserve their help, whatever deserving even means. I'm just pointing out that there might be other variables at play here that affect this financial decision. Maybe your parents are fighting about money and they always have. Like, who knows? I also do wonder — although I'm speculating a bit here and maybe I'm totally off — I do wonder whether the messy, emotional math of your family, if that's making this money thing a lot more painful. It's almost like, "Well, you unloaded on me about dad and brother. And I'm your backup partner when you and dad are having a falling out. And I'm emotionally entangled with you, so it's only fair that you help me solve my financial problems." I'm stabbing in the dark here. But really the healthy version of that situation is mom takes care of her own emotional needs, or does it with a therapist or something like that, or with her husband and you find a way to resolve your debts on your own. That's like the ideal scenario here. And again, I'm not saying mom isn't being cruel here. I'm not saying dad isn't being a passive enabler who's playing both sides. And I'm definitely not saying you haven't put in your fair share of emotional labor in the family. I'm just saying that you might be overly relying on your parents as much as they are overly relying, at least, your mom on you.
[00:24:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow. Well said, Jordan. Because that is the pattern in this family. That's the unspoken language of enmeshment in any family. And you guys are all stuck in that dynamic in your own ways. So given all that, should you cut mom out? Ah, I'm not so sure about that. I understand definitely why you want to cut her out. You're tremendously angry at her. I can hear that in the letter and from what you've shared with us, you definitely have good reasons to be. I'm also going to go out on a limb, and again, I might be speculating also here, but it sounds like you're also a little bit angry at yourself, maybe for getting into debt in the first place, or maybe for continuing to bring this financial stuff to your parents when you know that they can't, or they just won't help you with it. But that's something I would also take into therapy yourself.
[00:25:27] There's a lot more for you to know about why you have all of these feelings in the first place, where they come from, what to do with them, better ways to handle them. I don't think that you need to cut your mother off in order to protect yourself from her. But what you do need to do is reconsider what your expectations of mom are, what you're willing to provide her when she comes to you, and hopefully start drawing some healthier boundaries. So if mom calls you at two in the morning, bawling, because their marriage is falling apart and she's emotionally dumping on you, you might want to say, "Mom. I hear how painful this is for you. I'm so sorry that you're going through it. I'm happy to make some time during my day to listen and help if I can. But I think this is something you should probably talk to dad about, or maybe your therapist about," something like that.
[00:26:06] And if you open up to your mom about something difficult and she says, "You just need to get over it. You're upsetting your father," or something like that. You can say, "Okay, that's really disappointing to hear. I was hoping you'd be willing to listen to me. You know, I do that for you. Sometimes that actually kind of hurts my feelings a little bit, but I'm going to hang up now, I'm going to find a better way to deal with that." And then you talk it out with someone or you find a way to meet that need on your own. That's the ideal situation, Jordan was just describing a moment ago because that in a nutshell is how you can start to rewrite this dynamic.
[00:26:34] It doesn't require you to stop talking to your mom or even to punish her for what she's done. All of that work, at least at first that's on your side of the equation. So I would encourage you to do that before you consider doing something as drastic as refusing to speak to your mom ever again, completely.
[00:26:50] Jordan Harbinger: Agreed, Gabe. He doesn't have to turn this up to 11 to fix things. Of course, if your mom refuses to respect your boundaries, or she starts going out of her way to hurt you proactively, then you can consider cutting her out. But I don't think we're quite there yet. I hope you and your parents find a better way to relate to one another. I hope you find a way to resolve this money stuff. I know how hard that can be, but I also think this might be an opportunity to find out what happens when you don't rely on mom and dad and find out how much you can accomplish for yourself. Now, this might be super empowering as well. So good luck, man. We're sending you good thoughts. And you know, Gabe, I feel a little bad because maybe he got stuck with an unfair situation. And he's like, bro, you're making me sound like I bought a bunch of shoes and I have credit card debt. Like we don't really know.
[00:27:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:27:32] Jordan Harbinger: So I want to caveat this a little. Also this is one of those situations where I give the advice I know someone needs to hear, but in my head I'm like, "Give mom a piece of your mind and let it rip. She sounds like a real asshole," right? But then I know that that doesn't solve the problem. It's not productive. I just think this is one of those questions where I think I'd have a hard time following my own advice on this one if I'm being totally candid.
[00:27:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:27:55] Jordan Harbinger: What we advised is the best course of action in my opinion, but I just think I'd be like, "Mom, you work batsh*t crazy. You know, you're whining on the phone crying to me about getting divorced with dad. Super inappropriate. And then I call you and you're like, 'Oh, he's a sh*t person.' Like, f*ck, F you, like screw you, mom." That's what I would really be thinking. I totally get this guy right now. I get it.
[00:28:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: I totally get that too. But you know, it's not quite as either, or as that, it's not like he needs to like totally extinguish all of his anger and be super removed and objective about it. And then just find a way to figure out the money stuff on his own. And bam, the whole problem is solved. He can still get angry. You can still give mom a piece of his mind in an inappropriate way. I mean, healthy anger is a real thing, and that could be part of the work that he needs to do with her. But once you go through that, once you express the anger, then it's a whole other question. How does mom take it? How does mom respond to it? Is it helpful or does she just double down on her position and continue to deny him what he needs? Maybe she can't even deal with his anger. Whatever the reaction is. He's still going to have to figure out, "What is my relationship with mom?" So he doesn't need to pick one or the other. I do think the best course of action is probably him getting to give her a piece of his mind and being honest about how he's feeling, but also, "Okay, how am I going to manage this relationship in the future?"
[00:29:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You know, the other thing that was sort of a red flag for me here was — there are moms whose kids like steal money from them to go buy drugs and do horrible, harmful things to the family. And the mom is still like, "He's just a little bit of a misguided boy, but he's a good boy, deep down." Meanwhile, this guy's like, "Can I borrow five grand to pay off credit card debt?" And the mom's like, "He's a terrible person. What a jerk face? Can't believe he came out of my body." Like, dude, what? That to me is weird. That to me is highly unusual. There are people whose kids are in prison right now for like multiple homicides. And they're like, "He's normally a pretty good boy. He just had a bad day." Meanwhile, this guy can't borrow a couple of G's, a couple of racks from mom and dad. Come on.
[00:29:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: All kinds of parents out there.
[00:29:47] Jordan Harbinger: All kinds. By the way, if you're joining us for the first time or you're looking for a handy way to tell your friends about the show, we now have episode starter packs. These are collections of your favorite episodes, organized by popular topic. That'll help new listeners get a taste of everything that we do here on the show. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start to get started.
[00:30:06] All right, next up.
[00:30:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe, I work as a fully booked hairstylist in my sister-in-law's salon. After 20 years, I'm finally planning to branch out on my own. This move is particularly difficult because I'm taking another fully booked stylist with me and we plan to go into business together. The loss of two successful stylists, that'll be pretty devastating to my current salon and I feel awful leaving my sister-in-law in a terrible predicament, especially considering that she's family. Still I know that this is a great opportunity for me and I cannot pass it up, but leaving her in the dust may cause all sorts of drama and I'm not good at drama. How can I avoid it? And how can I keep her from getting hurt? Signed, The No-Drama Defector.
[00:30:46] Jordan Harbinger: This is a great question. First of all, congrats on being such an in demand hairstylist and on starting your own business. That is all very exciting. But I got to say the fact that your sister-in-law owns the salon and the fact that you are taking one of her best stylists with you is that definitely makes things more complicated. So bottom line, I think you're going to have to tell your sister-in-law that you're planning to leave and that you're taking your colleague with you and it's not going to be easy, but this is the right thing to do. Absolutely. If it were just some random person who owned the salon, I might say, "Okay, grab your colleague, give them notice, jump ship. You don't know them, anything but that." This is family though. It's your sister-in-law. She deserves a heads up. Not just because you guys are connected in this way, but because she's about to lose two fully booked stylists, that's going to be a huge blow to her business unless she has like 15 chairs in there. Even if she does, right? You're looking at like 20 percent, 15 percent of someone's. It might even put her at serious financial risk in addition to being super hurtful. Imagine you losing people you've worked with for years and they're going to start their own thing. It's hard not to take that personally.
[00:31:49] To be clear, I'm not saying you're wrong at all for starting your own company or wanting to start your own company. Like you said, it's a great opportunity. You can't and shouldn't pass it. But there's a kind respectful way to do this, and there's a shady avoidant way to do this. And it sounds like you might be picking the latter.
[00:32:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I agree 100 percent, Jordan. She's about to put her sister-in-law in an incredibly difficult spot because as she put it, "This may cause all sorts of drama and I'm not good at drama," but the thing is this will cause drama either way and the drama will be even worse because she's avoiding the conversation.
[00:32:23] Jordan Harbinger: Right. It's going to be so much worse because she's stabbing her sister-in-law in the back. It's like Game of Thrones style instead of just sitting her down. It's red wedding over at the salon, right? Tyler, what's up?
[00:32:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Like just sit down and be like, here's the deal. So how do you have that conversation?
[00:32:40] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:32:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, basically I would book some time with your sister-in-law and I would probably do this outside of the salon. That way if things escalate, people don't have to listen to her screaming while they get their roots touched up or whatever, and gently break the news. I would tell her that this might be difficult to hear, but that you feel it's time to start your own salon. You've given us a lot of thought, you're taking this other stylist with you. And then I would tell her that you're grateful for everything she's done for you, giving you a job, giving you a space to work, teaching you, whatever it was and that you wanted to give her as much notice as possible. And then I would ask her what you can do to make the transition as easy as possible. Maybe you can help her find some replacement stylists. So, you know, there's no disruption to the business. Maybe you can stay on for an extra week and train them up, whatever it is. Basically, I would try to be as helpful as possible on your way out — always a good principle. And if this other stylist is going to be your partner in this new business, not just your employee, but your actual partner, I might include them in this conversation. So you can both do the right thing together.
[00:33:35] Now, look, I can't promise that your sister-in-law is going to be totally cool about all this, and she'll be super understanding just because you gave her a month's notice. She'll probably be hurt either way, but I can promise you that she is going to be way more hurt if she finds out what you're doing on the day you put in your notice. You're afraid of all the awkward birthdays and the Thanksgivings down the line after you pull this move, but just imagine how much more awkward those are going to be if you don't tell her now.
[00:33:58] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Yeah. It's only creating more conflict in her life to avoid conflict, right? Fear of conflict almost always creates more conflict later on down the line.
[00:34:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:34:08] Jordan Harbinger: It's very common in situations like this. I had a friend who came out with a book and she asked another mutual friend of ours if she could use his venue to do the book launch. And he had double booked the venue and he waited like eight months to tell her that. And he told her like the week before that she couldn't use his venue, even though he knew for months and months and months. So of course, she didn't have time to rebook a new venue. So now, she's like, "That guy screwed me. I'm really not a fan. We're really not friends anymore." Instead of just him going, "Oh my God, I double booked the venue. I'm so sorry. You can't use it." And then she would have been like, "Oh, that's okay. No worries." And then she would have booked some other thing. And six months later she would have had her party. And the thing is, this person does this a lot. And it screws up his relationships all the time.
[00:34:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, that's unconscionable to me, especially eight months. That's ridiculous.
[00:34:58] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it was like six or eight months.
[00:35:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: But that's what happens. Yeah, if you avoid the conflict. Ridiculous. I agree completely. So if I were you, I would start learning how to have these difficult conversations. Not only because it's the right thing to do, but because you have plenty more of them in your future as a business owner that I promise you, you're going to have to give employees feedback. You're going to have to call out vendors when they take advantage of you. You're going to have to compete with other salons. Handle difficult clients when they scream at you on the phone. All of that, that's all part of managing a salon. I would start getting comfortable with this healthy conflict with this necessary conflict, starting with this conversation with your sister-in-law, which if you think about it, it's really going to be your first big test as a business owner.
[00:35:38] Jordan Harbinger: Well said, Gabe, that's probably the most important lesson that she can learn right now. And in that way, as terrible as this conversation is, it's actually a great opportunity for her. So go talk to your sister-in-law, start building your conflict muscles because I promise you, you will need it in business, period. Congrats on the new business, by the way. It's very exciting. And we're wishing you the best.
[00:36:01] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show, and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:36:06] This episode is sponsored in part by Grammarly. Y'all know him about saving that time and working more efficiently. And it's the little things that start adding up and hogging time in your day. Grammarly Premium gives real time suggestions on your writing. So you can get the next item on your list in record time. I love Grammarly and Grammarly Premium. It's actually helped improve my vocabulary a ton. So it runs in the background. It can run in web browsers, Google Docs, email everywhere pretty much. And it'll say, "Hey, these words are unnecessary," or, "Your tone is a little aggressive," or, "This is more professional," or, "Here's a better word to use." And I love that. I've learned a ton of new words. You can get the free version of Grammarly to save you from embarrassing, basic spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes as well. I know I'm not alone in this. I judge people's intelligence based on their spelling and writing a lot of the time. I can't help it. I think it's very natural to do that. And Grammarly Premium can save your butt and upgrade your writing. So I highly recommend that if you want to look a little smarter than you are, or as smart as you are, go ahead and get Grammarly.
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[00:37:17] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Better Help online therapy. How is it that therapy has the power to change lives in extraordinary ways yet the vast majority of people who can afford to go simply don't. It seems the most common reason people avoid seeking the help of a therapist is the belief that it makes them look weak and incapable of solving problems on their own or fear that people would see them that way. And I understand that fear, but I think it's horrible because therapy has been magical for me. And the reality is that the majority of people in therapy are ordinary everyday people, a lot of high performers they're dealing with ordinary everyday problems like yours truly. Whether you're going through major life changes, you're experiencing grief, processing anger, improving relationships, working on your self-esteem, addressing body image perceptions, all of these are examples of common issues, which bring people to therapy. Better Help makes it easy. They'll match you in under 48 hours and you can get your therapy going.
[00:38:06] Jen Harbinger: And our listeners get 10 percent off your first month of online therapy at betterhelp.com/jordan. Visit better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan and join over a million people who've taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced Better Help professional.
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[00:39:09] Jen Harbinger: And right now special financing is back. NetSuite is offering a one of a kind financing program only for those ready to switch today. Head to netsuite.com/jordan right now. Get special financing at netsuite.com/jordan, netsuite.com/jordan.
[00:39:24] Jordan Harbinger: And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:39:27] All right, next up.
[00:39:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi Jordan and Gabe, three years ago, I decided to leave the insurance industry after 20 years to work for the judiciary. I really love what I do and who I work with now. It's a great job in so many ways. In my previous role, I worked mostly alone and was able to maintain my calendar and manage my work efficiently. In my current role though, I not only manage my own work, but others in chambers as well. And this is what I find challenging. I'm constantly interrupted by clerks, judges, calls, emails throughout the day. And I have a hard time getting back on task. And I often flat out forget what I was doing. It's not the tasks that I find difficult. My challenge is figuring out how to manage the constant interruptions and keep everyone organized. I already took control over our office calendar, which did help a bit. Is there something you can recommend that could help me stay on task or was I wrong thinking this job is for me and I should be looking for a new position where I work independently of other people? Signed, Clicking In A Mid the Den When I'm Spread Too Thin.
[00:40:24] Jordan Harbinger: Great question, also super relatable. You're not the only person struggling with focus at work these days. I promise you that. Even if you don't work in a job like yours, there are so many distractions now between Slack, text messages, emails, phone calls, social media, the list just goes on and on. And I love Slack. We use it here on the show. It's a great app in so many ways, but it is definitely contributing to that so-called hyperactive hive mind, and I think that's Cal Newport's term if I remember. That hyperactive hive mind, that's a major obstacle to getting deep work done. And the problem is it's a huge part of our jobs now. And it's definitely a huge part of your job managing these distractions, right? Because they're basically unavoidable. The fact that you have to manage other people that you're getting interrupted constantly by clerks and judges and phone calls and emails. It sounds like that's just part of your job description. They're not necessarily doing something wrong by bugging you and you're not doing anything wrong by letting them, from what it sounds like. Some jobs involve more management and interaction and other jobs don't. If you decide that you don't want to be in a role like this, that's totally fine. Maybe you do look for something less managerial or logistical, but if you love this job, you might just have to accept that this is the nature of the beast.
[00:41:39] That said, there are a few things you can do to increase your focus. So one thing I highly recommend doing is carving out some dedicated time to do your deep work, your deep focus, the high impact. Maybe you get to work an hour early before people are even able to start interrupting you or you stay a little later after everybody's gone home. Maybe you block out two hours on your calendar every day where people know they can't bother you. And that's just how you get your alone time, your focus time.
[00:42:06] Paul Graham, a famous venture capitalist. I think he calls this the manager versus maker schedule. The manager schedule is necessary time spent putting out fires, dealing with inbound requests, responding to customers, colleagues, partners, all that. The maker schedule, that's the precious time you have to carve out before or after business hours to do that high-impact really generative work. And that can be hard, especially in an environment like yours, but it is essential. For me, Mondays are full of phone calls and meetings and stuff like that. The rest of the week, I have media and production stuff, but I rarely have calls and I certainly don't have calls in the middle of otherwise productive blocks. So you might consider trying to arrange your schedule like that.
[00:42:49] Another thing you can do is start developing some boundaries at work. You probably can't tell a judge to naff off when he asks you for a document. But if a clerk asks you to pull some non-urgent research or something like that, maybe you start saying, "Hey, I'm happy to do that for you. I just really need to finish this caseload. So let's circle back after lunch." And that's how you, A, start, protecting your time within the chaos of the day. And B, start teaching your colleagues that they need to get used to you prioritizing your own work sometimes.
[00:43:18] On a related note, I would also look at how you manage your colleagues. Years ago, when I was getting super burned out at my old company, I realized that if one of my employees came to me with a decision, I felt like I always had to be the one to make it. And then one day, I just realized it might be smarter for me to empower them to make the right call because it just wasn't sustainable for me to be doing everything. So I started asking them, "You know, what would you do if you couldn't reach me?" And then I'd just guide them. And eventually they all, pretty much everyone, learned how to make the calls I would make. And it was amazing. And that's still in place. They felt empowered. I felt I could rely on them more. I was free to do higher impact work. Everything actually worked a lot better.
[00:44:01] Now, I don't know if your job works like that, or if you have reports, whatever, but even if you're able to do this with like 30 percent of what happens around you, that is a total game changer because it's sort of an exponential rise in productivity, right? It's not like you have 30 percent more time. It's like 80 percent of the things stop coming to your desk because people are able to answer most questions themselves or many of the questions themselves. And then they go, "Well, if I'm empowered to do this this way, maybe I can do this other thing that way." And then they can just check with you later. "Hey, I did this thing this way. Is that going to be cool? It's not too late to change it." "Yeah, that's great." And then over time, they just eventually only come to you for very important things that they can not do instead of just making you think for them.
[00:44:44] There are also a few very boring things you can do to stay on task. I'm not going to go into this too heavy duty but keeping a to-do list, stopping a task at a natural breaking point, coordinating with your colleagues to pick up the slack, using systems and habits to get more done in less time, all that productivity stuff. We're going to link to a bunch of great episodes about focus and habit formation for you here in the show notes. Those are great for anyone listening right now who wants to get better at staying on task.
[00:45:09] So bottom line, your job right now is to figure out how to exert a little more control, a little more discipline in this chaotic environment that you work in. At the same time, though, some environments are just chaotic to some degree and you just have to learn how to work with them. But if you decide that you truly hate this kind of work environment, then sure, no shame in finding a new job. Just to make sure that the same problem isn't going to pop up wherever you go. As frustrating as it is, this is kind of the world we live in right now, a world of constant distraction. And if things are going to change that change usually has to come from us, creating new systems at the place where we work, not just hoping we magically fall into an office where this has already been kind of handled.
[00:45:52] And definitely check out my episode with Cal Newport on focusing in a busy world that was episode 159. You can go to — by the way, if you want to go to any episode of the show on the web, you can go to jordanharbinger.com and the episode number. So jordanharbinger.com/159 will take you to Cal Newport. He also wrote a killer book about focus called Deep Work and the other one I think is called A World Without Email. Those are both linked to in the show notes as well. Good luck.
[00:46:17] All right, next up.
[00:46:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan, Jen, Gabe, and Jayden.
[00:46:20] Hey, we haven't had that one in a while. I don't know if they ever had that one actually.
[00:46:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:46:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Triple J and G — did we get an email about that? Someone saying like, it doesn't roll off the tongue.
[00:46:29] Jordan Harbinger: Jabriel — that's why your name is Jabriel now.
[00:46:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Gordon and Jabe. Yeah.
[00:46:32] I run a junior developer meetup, but that's gone fully online since the panny D. Most people come through, build technical and interpersonal confidence, and leave when they get jobs. But there are some people who have been coming back week after week for years. These folks are generally technically proficient, but they lack in the social skills department. While I'm of the mind — thanks to your show — that social skills are just as teachable as technical skills, I also recognize that feedback on interpersonal behavior, that can be a much bigger hit to people's egos than feedback on just a technical problem. I do spend time talking about pro-social behaviors, like focusing on solving a problem with your interviewer versus being seen as correct, ensuring your end of interview questions, showing thoughtfulness and curiosity and so on, but I've yet to really delve into the behaviors-you-should-stop-doing-immediately category. How can I proactively add social skills training without coming across as an asshole? Signed, Having a Hard Time With The Soft Skills.
[00:47:29] Jordan Harbinger: This is such a good question. All managers and educators struggle with this exact thing, especially in technical fields, knowing how to give meaningful feedback about how someone comes across, this is crucial. Sometimes even more crucial than giving feedback on a technical skill, but you're right. It can be very tricky, especially with high performers who are used to being praised and are probably pretty guarded in this area. And full disclosure, I'm not naturally great at this myself. I struggled for years to give feedback in a way that didn't hurt people's feelings. And by the way, Gabe, the way you formatted this question sucks. What are you stupid or something? But I've learned, but I've learned a lot over the years.
[00:48:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Noted.
[00:48:06] Jordan Harbinger: I've learned a lot over the years and here are a few thoughts.
[00:48:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: By the way, Jordan, I'm just going to cry while you say whatever you're going to say.
[00:48:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, get over it as fast as you can. We got work to do.
[00:48:13] First of all, people have to be ready to hear a piece of feedback before it really lands, right? So if you met an engineer who's super cocky or defensive or just overwhelmed, it could be the right move to hold off on, offering more thoughts on how they come across. If you have months or even years with some of these folks, you can throw out the feedback in small doses, wait til they're ready. Maybe you start with the technical and then you gradually work your way to the interpersonal stuff. Everybody's different, but you can also prime people to be more receptive to your feedback by asking them what they think is holding them back.
[00:48:46] So if one of your developers says, "Oh, I'm crushing these technical interviews, but I'm not getting offers." And you ask them what they think is going on, and they say, "Ooh, I don't know. I'm just not really connecting with these hiring managers or they don't really seem to respond to me as a person. I'm not sure why." Then they've opened a window into this conversation. You've gotten them to acknowledge the problem. And now you can offer a key to the solution. Not only are you putting them in the driver's seat, which is always a good move as an educator, you're also inviting them to lower their defenses and get curious about what's going on and be receptive to a new approach.
[00:49:22] On a related note, the relationship you have with someone determines a lot about how they process feedback. If they know you, they like you, they trust you, they're a lot more likely to lower their guard. But if they don't feel safe or curious with you, they might get angry or insecure or just reject it out of hand. So a lot of your job here is building trust, rapport, empathy, which let's just acknowledge. That can be hard, especially if some of these developers struggled to build relationships in the first place, but it's worth the time.
[00:49:52] And if some of these people are sticking around for years, then you really do have the opportunity to build those connections in terms of actually delivering the feedback. Here's my general take. It's not revolutionary by any means, but it really does work. First, acknowledge that they're doing well, tell them where you see them thriving, what unique talents they have, where you've seen them grow. Then, and only then, tell them where you think a certain quality is holding them back and then offer some concrete advice or exercises or techniques to work on that skill.
[00:50:21] Try not to do it too corny like the — what is it called? The compliment sandwich or the criticism sandwich. I mean, it can be a little obvious sometimes. So you say, "Hey, you're great at coding, but you need a lot of help connecting with people." That's not very high. But if you said something like, "Listen, I've been working with you for six months now. You're an insanely talented developer. Your debugging skills are off the charts. You learn Python in such a short time. It's amazing. What I'm hearing from you though, is that these hiring managers, they're seeing you as a great programmer, but not so much as a great colleague. And that's what I think we need to work on. And we can do that together. So let's go over these interview questions again. Let's think about how you can showcase more of your personality with these people and how you can take more of an interest in them." That's a very different conversation and this isn't the compliment sandwich or the criticism sandwich. I can't remember the name of this thing, Gabe, but people go, "You know, you're a great coder and everyone likes you. That said, you're doing — a lot of people find that your attitude is not up to par." And you're like, so the compliment was and it was just as a way for you to shove negative feedback down my throat. Now I hate everyone, right?
[00:51:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Correct.
[00:51:29] Jordan Harbinger: This is more like, "Hey, you're doing great. And these are all your pluses that I see. But it seems like other people who are having a problem with you, they're probably seeing this and this and this. That's what you're telling me." Not, "Hey, I noticed you act like a total dipsh*t in your interviews. Let's fix it."
[00:51:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. And it's the fact that you're so great in these other areas that means we really should fix this because we want to make all of those qualities sing. So yes, I'm with you. And obviously it's not just about what you say, but how you help them process what you're saying. If you give a developer some feedback and they get, let's just say a little heated about it, a great thing to ask them would be, "What's going on? What's coming up right now?" Like in this conversation, what is it like for you to hear this feedback? And hopefully you can process that feeling with them. Maybe you can help them work through it a little bit so that they can really listen to the advice that you're giving them. Because getting defensive about a piece of feedback, that is actually a very useful response. It could reflect an area that they need to work on. It could be part of the problem that you're even noticing in the first place.
[00:52:26] So you could help them see how getting defensive, that's actually a barrier to collaborating, to really connecting with another person, whether it's you or it's some hiring manager and an interview. So, you know, same thing. If they get demoralized, same thing. If they get embarrassed or overwhelmed, it's all part of it. It's all part of the same conversation, and it's probably a key to what's holding them back. So if you can get a little more comfortable with picking through that stuff, you could really help these engineers, not just in a, I'm going to get you your next job kind of way, but like in a life defining kind of way. And not every person who comes through your academy is going to be willing to go there with you. That's fine. But the ones who are willing to go there with you, they're the ones I would focus on. They're the ones who will probably see the most growth. And I imagine that that would also be incredibly rewarding for you as well.
[00:53:10] Jordan Harbinger: Definitely. I imagine if this guy can help these engineers grow as people, as well as coders, he could change their lives literally. And then those engineers tell their friends about it and it just becomes great marketing for the developer meetup in general. It's really a virtuous cycle, but this is obviously really tough, Gabe. I can relate like, "Oh, well the problem, Tom, is that you're a socially inept jerk off and everyone hates you. So let's try and work on that, okay." It can go so wrong.
[00:53:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Not the way to do it, yeah.
[00:53:38] Jordan Harbinger: So I say, start sharing more of this interpersonal feedback in small doses, see how it goes, get some feedback of your own, adjust your approach. Over time, I bet you'll start to get good at this. And it won't feel nearly as daunting as it does right now. You're right. This can be treacherous territory, but the fact that it's so treacherous, that's why it's so important. If you're a manager, mentor, teacher, colleague, parent, friend, anyone really, you have to be willing to offer this kind of feedback and you have to be willing to hear it as well, because it's really the only way to get to the data that we all need to grow. So I love that you want to get better at this. Good on you. Go for it.
[00:54:18] By the way, y'all I know I've talked about this a little bit before on the show, but I can't highlight this enough. When I think about the best decisions that I've made that have affected my life. It's getting married, having kids, restarting my business from zero a few years ago, so that everything was set up the way that I wanted it to be, and hiring a personal trainer. And I know that sounds kind of corny and originally I didn't even want to, but my friend started a company called Wrkout, W-R-K-O-U-T. You know, so no first O. As all startups, do you must remove a vowel, but he started the company. He's like, "Try it out." And I was like, "Aah, I don't want to, you know, I don't like, I don't want to work out in my garage, or whatever." And he basically made me try it and I tried it and I thought, "All right, I'll give it a shot for a few more times." I tried it for a week or two.
[00:55:00] And now I'm like addicted to it. And not only am I addicted to it, I'm in better shape than I've ever been in my whole life. I can sit on the floor and play with my kid. I couldn't even sit on the floor before it was too stiff. Everything hurts. I can pick things up and move things around without getting sore, tired, having some weird sprain in my whatever joint. I just feel like knee pain and hip pain and all that stuff that I had before that I thought was there forever has been essentially corrected. Even my mom who is 80 — happy birthday — is using Wrkout now. And she also thinks that it's one of the best things that she's ever done, because she feels stronger and more agile. It's just an absolute game-changer.
[00:55:36] So if you are not doing this or if you've thought, "Oh, maybe I'll do it later when the gym is open." Just forget all that. It's all at home. It's all online. If you want to see what virtual personal training is like with a live trainer and what it can do for you. Check out workout.com, W-R-K-O-U-T.com. And then tell him, I sent you there's a little drop down probably or something. And then you'll get your first three sessions free and 20 percent off your first training package.
[00:55:59] I went to them and asked for this deal. This isn't like them paying me to endorse. Like I went to them for these. First three sessions free, 20 percent off your first training package, workout.com, W-R-K-O-U-T.com. Super worth it.
[00:56:11] Hope y'all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everybody who listened. Don't forget to check out the guests from this week, rapper, Rick Ross and nut heist expert, Marc Fennell.
[00:56:20] If you want to know how I managed to book all these great people and manage my relationships, it's all about the systems and tiny habits. The Six-Minute Networking course that I mentioned earlier in the show is free. Check them out on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. The drills take just a few minutes a day. I wish I knew it 20 years ago. Again, jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:56:41] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show. There's videos on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or you can hit me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:57:01] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions, they're our own. And I am a lawyer, but not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. So share the show with those you love. If you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice that 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.
[00:57:34] If you're looking for another episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show to sink your teeth into, here's a trailer of our interview with Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, and an investor in one of Silicon Valley's top VC firms. He drops by the show to discuss how we can tell when we're informing our intuition with the best available data, or if we're just procrastinating to avoid making important decisions and why "never give up" is terrible advice and how to separate our winning instincts from our losing ideas. Check out episode 207 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:58:07] Daniel Ek: Pivotal moment when I realized that I wanted to work with the Internet was the first time I tried Napster. And for someone who is really into music, it was phenomenal and when it got shut down—
[00:58:21] Reid Hoffman: This was Daniel's opportunity. There's always luck. There's always timing. The game is not so much, can I be one of the heroes that's written about in the next a hundred years, but the game is, can I do something that where I started from, I can make something interesting. You're playing your own game.
[00:58:39] At just that moment, another email popped up on Marissa's screen. The subject line was just three words: Work at Google. So Marissa took the plunge and became Google employee number 20.
[00:58:53] Jordan Harbinger: We hear about analysis paralysis and things like that. How do we strike a balance?
[00:58:58] Reid Hoffman: When I'm confronted with a decision, I say, "What would my decision right now be? What are the key things that might change my decision?" and then inform this decision.
[00:59:08] Mark Pincus: It's pretty amazing if you think about it, that I started one of the first three social networks. And I managed to fail.
[00:59:16] Reid Hoffman: MySpace, Tribe, LinkedIn, Hi5, Friendster the year before, Facebook the year after. Of those, only half are still around today. Instagram was an instant hit. On its first day in the app store 25,000 downloads, within 10 weeks, one million users. Instagram had entered multiplayer mode.
[00:59:40] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Reid Hoffman and a two-part mashup that includes cameos by the founder of Spotify, the CEO of Yahoo, and more check out episode 207 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:59:50] Are you ready for a podcast that doesn't hold back? Check out The Adam Carolla Show, the number one daily downloaded podcast in the world five days a week, and completely uncensored. Join Adam as he shares his thoughts on current events, relationships, politics, and so much more. Adam welcomes a wide range of special guests to join him in studio for in-depth interviews and a front-row seat to his freewheeling point of view. Download, subscribe, and tune in to The Adam Carolla Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, or wherever you get your podcasts.
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