Your father’s never been abusive, but you were recently disheartened when he referred to a child sexual assault survivor and advocate who’s been in the news lately as a “media-hungry slut.” And when you brought up how this made you feel to your mother, she dismissively suggested you should just let it go because he’s always been supportive of you. Is there another approach you can try with your parents to make them understand they’re missing the whole point about why you’re upset? 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- Why does Jordan crusade hard against MLM scams while giving infomercials that peddle shoddy goods a pass?
- How can you help the people of Ukraine as they continue to suffer the atrocities of invasion by Russian forces? Here’s a list.
- How do you make your father understand why you’re so upset about dismissive, sexist remarks he casually made regarding a sexual assault survivor who’s been in the public eye?
- Your father and older sister have serious health issues that require constant care. How can you handle feelings of wanting to run away at a time when you’re needed the most?
- A creative project on which you collaborated with your significant other fell by the wayside when you had a very bitter breakup. Is there a way to finish the project — giving your ex credit and a share of the profits for their contributions — without actually bringing this person back into your life? [Thanks to Cypher Content founder Edward Sabin for helping us with this one!]
- Your friend’s brother died in a car crash when their sister, who survived, was texting behind the wheel. As the maid of honor for this friend’s wedding, you want to honor the memory of their late brother in your speech, but you don’t want to exacerbate the guilt, shame, regret, and PTSD of the surviving sister, who will be present. What’s the right thing to do here?
- When you have a little extra to give and want to donate to a charity that is working to make the world a better place, how do you decide on the right charity?
- 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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On the True Underdog podcast, entrepreneur Jayson Waller and his high-profile guests share motivational tips, inspiring stories, and business-building lessons to help each listener grow in their entrepreneurial journey. Listen here or wherever you enjoy podcasts!
Miss our interview with Austin Meyer, the man who leads a valiant crusade against patent troll dirtbags? Catch up with episode 326: Austin Meyer | Slaying the Patent Scam Trolls here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Brian Klaas | The Corruptible Influence of Power | Jordan Harbinger
- Anja Shortland | How Kidnap Insurance Works | Jordan Harbinger
- Scams and Cults Starter Pack | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Avoid Scams | Deep Dive | Jordan Harbinger
- Amanda Montell | Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Rescue Your Loved One from an MLM Scam | Feedback Friday
- Support for the People of Ukraine | Jordan Harbinger
- Grace Tame: To Stop Abuse, We First Need to Understand Grooming | TEDxSydney
- Grace Tame’s 12 Months as Australian of the Year Results in Spike in Sexual Assault Support Referrals | ABC News
- Grace Tame Blasts Media Who Sought to ‘Discredit’ Her by Publishing Bong Photo | The Guardian
- Grace Tame | Twitter
- Resources & Support | National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- For Family Members of Someone Newly Diagnosed with MS | National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- How to Support a Family Member with MS | MS Focus
- 6 Ways You Can Support Someone With Multiple Sclerosis | SELF
- How to Be a Caregiver for a Loved One With Multiple Sclerosis (MS) | WebMD
- Affordable, Private Therapy Anytime, Anywhere | BetterHelp
- It’s a Way of Working Together | Trello
- The To-Do List to Organize Work & Life | Todoist
- Edward Sabin | LinkedIn
- Copyright Assignment: How to Guide | LegalZoom
- Copyright Assignment Sample, Template | Wonder.Legal
- Copyright Assignment; Short Form | The Law Offices of Lloyd J. Jassin
- Don’t Text and Drive to Save Young Lives | The New York Times
- Your Guide to Intelligent Giving | Charity Navigator
- Dr. Brad Klontz | Website
652: Sad About Dad’s Sexist Thoughts Re: Assault | 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 FBF BFF 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 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, even inside your own brain.
[00:00:36] 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, authors, thinkers, and performers. This week, we had some really interesting episodes. One with Brian Klaas on Corruptible, one with Brian Klaas, what makes people corruptible? Is it the system that they're in that's corrupt that corrupts people, is it that corrupt people seek out corruption? Is it that corrupt people corrupt the system in the first place? Is it a cycle? We explore all the elements of corruption and corrupt people in the context of what creates and maintains and even encourages corruption. So great mix of personal and social psychology in that one. Also Anja Shortland, on kidnap insurance, how it works, how kidnap negotiations work, how the kidnapping market, if you will, functions and operates is a really interesting look inside a world that none of us frankly, really ever get to see, and hopefully never have to see. So make sure you've had to listen to everything that we created for you here this week.
[00:01:37] By the way, before we begin today, a few of you have noticed that I love to take down multi-level marketing companies. I almost said scams. They're scams, but I never, and I quote, seem to bother saying anything about infomercials for some reason. So I just wanted to address that really quick because the assumption in that question is that MLMs are real product businesses, perhaps of dubious quality, but nothing more, nothing more is flawed. These are scams, period. Infomercials, look, they're crap products most of the time, but people have a right to buy crap if they want to.
[00:02:09] If it were up to me, I'd say, get rid of these, but look, they're nowhere near as predatory as MLMs. I don't think they should be regulated away or anything like that. Theirs are in poor taste. Selling a ThighMaster to the public, it's not even in the same universe of predatory as is selling a fake business to a friend or family member with an unsubstantiated promise of getting rich. It's not even close. Also infomercials don't create a cycle of victimhood and toxicity. When you buy a ThighMaster, you're out 20 bucks, but then you're not telling your cousin Judy, that she can get rich selling ThighMasters, and you have also been getting rich is buying ThighMasters, and selling them and selling the ability to sell them. And then if Judy also sells the rest of the gals that work on the ability to sell ThighMasters to other people, they'll also get rich. That is what an MLM does. So it not only steals your money, but it forces you to make up the losses by conning other people and tricking them into the same trap.
[00:03:05] And that is why it is such an insidious mess. And why I have such a boner for seeing these guys put out of business and exposing them. Now, for more on this topic, I recommend checking out and this will be in the show notes, our scams and cults starter pack. Tons of great episodes in there. jordanharbinger.com/start or search Spotify for scams and cults, The Jordan Harbinger Show and it'll pop up. Also our deep dive on how to avoid scams. It goes into the psychology of scams. That's episode 395. And Amanda Montell on the language of fanaticism, where she talks about how MLMs operate like cults. That's episode 628, pretty recent. Of course, I will do get more on multi-level marketing and the associated scams. Because anyone we save from signing up for that crud is a soul saved from financial damnation. I'm a fire and brimstone kook when it comes to MLMs as you can see.
[00:03:55] And by the way, if you're watching what's happening in Ukraine and you don't know how to help, we've pulled a vetted list of organizations that will ensure your donation makes it to the ones who need it most, just go to jordanharbinger.com/ukraine. Some really great organizations there, and a great way to support Ukraine in its time of need. So thanks in advance for checking that out and for your support of the people of Ukraine.
[00:04:15] All right. As always some fun ones and some doozies. So let's get the first thing out of the mailbag.
[00:04:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, I live in Australia and for the past couple of months, Grace Tame, a child sexual assault survivor and advocate, has found herself in hot water with the prime minister because she's publicly criticized his lack of support for her advocacy work. I'm very supportive of this cause as anyone with an ounce of empathy would be. My dad, however, called her, quote, "a media-hungry slut". I don't have any history of abuse in my family, but these words really upset me because young women who speak up about sexual assault in any way are being brutalized by the Australian media right now. The mainstream media drag victims' names through the mud. And the result is people like my father taking the bait. I confronted my mom about how uncomfortable I felt as a young woman to hear these words and that I don't think I would be very comfortable coming to him if I ever had to experience something like this. She said, quote, "That's not very fair to say, and I will not be passing this onto him. He has supported you more than anyone." Well, I do have very supportive parents. I also know that this is super manipulative. It breaks my heart that they have two daughters and they still think it's okay to speak about victims of sexual assault like this. I feel guilty about saying anything to him, but should I? Do you guys have any tips on how I could confront this issue with my parents without making them defensive? Or has the damage already been done? Signed, A Miffed and Dismissed Miss Pissed About This Abyss.
[00:05:40] Jordan Harbinger: All right, Eminem, calm down over there. Gabriel thinks he's the next Slim Shady over here. This is a tough one. You know, I think everyone listening right now has had a moment like this with their parents, whether it's disagreeing about politics or culture or gossip or whatever. But with this subject, in particular, it's very personal. It's charged there's gender stuff and generational stuff wrapped up in it.
[00:06:02] So I can see why it's upset you so much. You know, it's not about like being woke or not. This is about communicating with your parents and your dad believes that this woman speaking out against sexual assault and lobbying the government is manipulative attention seeking. And you believe that she's bringing something crucial to people's awareness and making some much-needed change. And the way your mom responded when you brought this up with her. Yeah, it feels pretty dismissive at a minimum, but that also makes me think that this might just be a generational thing or maybe it's kind of whatever dad says goes kind of house and she's just backing him up as a matter of policy. Either way, it sucks that they couldn't hear you out, even if they ultimately disagree.
[00:06:42] So should you say something, should you try again? If this is really bothering you, then maybe it might be worth bringing it up one more time, trying to approach the conversation in a different way. And one way to do that would be to make some time with your parents, get as calm and non-reactive, as you can and say, "Listen, dad, I know you're not a fan of Grace Tame and that's fine. I'm not going to try and convince you she's an amazing person or whatever. That's kind of besides the point. But what bothered me about our last conversation was that you didn't seem to appreciate what this woman has been through, what she's trying to bring to light through her advocacy work. And when you called her a media-hungry slut, that really upset me. It made me feel like you don't think sexual assault is a serious issue. That you don't appreciate how the laws around sexual assault in our country need more work to really be effective. Grace Tame, whatever you feel about her personally, she's trying to give victims a stronger voice. She's teaching people about the psychology of abuse. She's trying to help prevent it in the future. And I happen to think that's hugely important."
[00:07:42] That would be a nice way to start, but because your dad is skeptical, you might want to add something like, "And look, I know there's an element of self-promotion in being an advocate, you have to fight for airtime. And maybe that's why you called her media hungry. And hey, maybe you have a point, but when you also called her a slut, such a loaded term, totally inaccurate, especially given that this woman was literally groomed for abused from the age of 15 and abused by her teacher. That made me really sad and it didn't sit well with me. Because I've been lucky that this kind of thing hasn't happened to me personally. But if something like this had happened, as it happens to so many women, I don't think I would be comfortable coming to you to talk about it. And that breaks my heart because you have two daughters. You're an amazing dad in so many ways. But in this one area, I feel like you're missing the point or you just have blinders on. And so I wanted to talk about that with you. Hopefully, understand your position better and help you understand mine."
[00:08:36] If you can lay it out in that way, you'll maximize your chance of really getting through to your dad. You'll have to resist the impulse to get upset and lecture him. You don't want him to feel attacked, approach him as an equal. Don't try to convince him of your view right out of the gate. And I think you'll have a shot at showing him another angle on the situation.
[00:08:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I think that's a really great approach, Jordan. What I also like about it is that you're moving it away from Grace Tame as a person who might be easy for some people to criticize and refocusing it on the core issue, which is assault and how people deal with that in Australia.
[00:09:10] Now, if you take Jordan's approach, will you, for sure, be successful? Hard to say. Who knows? Your dad might dismiss you. He might double down on his position. And if he does that disrespectfully or in a way that doesn't allow for a real conversation between the two of you, then you'll have to do, basically, what we all have to do when our loved ones hold very different beliefs from us, which is, you know, accept it, I guess, at the end of the day. And that's really tough, especially when your parent holds a distasteful view or a limited view about something as important as sexual assault.
[00:09:40] But if he absolutely refuses to consider another perspective, then I think you sort of have to quarantine this one belief from the dad, you know, and love, and just appreciate him on the levels that do work. I know that's cold comfort. I know it doesn't really help with the. But I don't think you have any other option and look, hey, maybe you try again with your dad in six months or a year. Maybe when new information comes to light or you guys have another opportunity to talk about it one day, he'll see things in a different way. I'm not saying you should give up on your dad completely here. You might just need to be patient with him.
[00:10:11] The other thing I'll say is I think it's important sometimes to separate an opinion from a person because maybe your dad really does believe this about Grace Tame or maybe he's just parroting something he heard on cable news or whatever. But when your parents hold views that you profoundly disagree with, you also have to ask yourself, are they still good people at heart? You know, do they still love me? Do they still want what's best for me? It's easy to read intent and character into people's opinions. And obviously, sometimes that is intense. Sometimes it is a reflection of character. But sometimes an opinion is just ignorance or faulty thinking. Sometimes it really has no bearing about how the person feels about you. And for the sake of the relationship, you have to forgive it until the other person's ready to reconsider.
[00:10:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Good point, Gabe. But that is so hard to do when your dad is telling you a sexual assault survivor is a media-hungry slut. How do you overlook that?
[00:11:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm not saying it isn't hard and maybe you can't overlook it, but I guess what I'm saying is you don't overlook it. You contextualize it. You hold it alongside this person's other qualities. Qualities that might, in the context of a parent, be more important and try to understand if their opinion means that they're actually malicious or that they just believe some talking point they read in a Facebook group or whatever. Because otherwise, what? You don't talk to your dad ever again, because you disagree about one thing. I mean, that's pretty sad too.
[00:11:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, fair point. I think the deciding factor here is how your dad engages with you when you try one more time. If he genuinely listens to you tries to open his mind, but he still arrives at the exact same conclusion, which is unlikely if he's truly listening but anyway, that's tough, but at least your relationship is alive. But if he refuses to even try to appreciate where you're coming from, that's tougher because then it's not even about Grace Tame or sexual assault anymore. It's about how your dad treats you, how seriously he takes you. And hey, if that happens, maybe that's where you take the conversation. "You know, dad, I'm really trying to understand where you're coming from. And I just don't feel like you're doing the same thing for me. Can you try to hear me for a minute? I'll accept whatever you decide to believe, but please just listen for a moment." Sometimes saying something like that goes a very long way.
[00:12:16] So I hope you guys do get to talk and that maybe you and your mom get to talk too. It sounds like that's another side of this triangle that's actually worth exploring. I do think there's a way forward if you guys can listen and understand each other better. So good luck and let us know how it goes.
[00:12:31] Gabe, this is tough because it's in Australia. It's somebody I've never heard of, but all of these points still stand because this isn't about sexual assault or Grace Tame, hopefully, we're pronouncing that correctly. It's about communicating with your parents and having a hard time doing that. And I feel like everyone has had this problem.
[00:12:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: That is universal.
[00:12:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Everyone, no matter what side of the globe you're on.
[00:12:50] You know, who actually is without question a media-hungry slut besides me, of course? The amazing sponsors that support this show.
[00:12:59] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:13:03] This episode is sponsored in part by Ten Thousand. You've heard me say it before. I've been working out. I recently lost about 12 pounds in addition to the other way that I lost before. So I'm pretty stoked on that. When I'm working up a sweat, it really matters what I wear because it got to be able to move around. I can't recommend Ten Thousand gear enough. I wear it all the time. I just highlight their interval shorts, for example. It's got silver ion for odor protection, no bounce pockets, it's breathable and lightweight with an optional liner to prevent chafing, which well, you know, let me just not go into detail on that. I wear it working out, doing mobility training. I even wear it in the hot tub when I'm stretching. I love the versatile shirt, the tech hoodie, pretty much anything I have from Ten Thousand. They have over 200 professional athletes wearing their products. They get feedback on design and fit. And by the way, that does not count me, in case anyone was. So everything has gone through many iterations before making it available to schmoes like me. One of their athletes, by the way, did a crazy endurance race where he went to outlast a fully-charged Tesla, which means they'll have 72 hours to exceed like 276 miles. And he's on a plant-based diet. Look, this guy up it's real. I don't know why people do this to themselves, but hey, they do it in Ten Thousand gear, so there's that.
[00:14:10] Jen Harbinger: Ten Thousand is offering our listeners 15 percent off your purchase. Go to tenthousand.cc/jordan to receive 15 percent off your purchase. That's tenthousand.cc/jordan.
[00:14:21] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Better Help online therapy. People don't always realize that physical symptoms like headaches, teeth, grinding, even digestive stuff can be indicators of stress. You probably know a ton of people with these issues. Maybe you even have them yourself. Stress really does show up in all kinds of weird ways. And in a world that's telling you to do more and get up earlier, stay up later, and grind all the time, just take this as a reminder to pause, take care of yourself, maybe try a little therapy. I've done therapy. There's no shame at all in it. I love it. It turned my life around. A therapist's recommendations really did convince me that I was not the crazy one at a time where I needed to hear that. Better Help, they're there for you as well. Their online therapy that offers video, phone, even live chat sessions with your therapist in the convenience of your own home or wherever. One of you wrote in and said, you did it while you were camping, which like kudos. That's kind of a great idea. And you also don't have to wait forever to get booked. You can get matched with a therapist in under 48 hours. And if you don't click with your therapist, they'll give you another one. There's no charge for that. Over two million people have used Better Help online therapy. I recommend you try it out.
[00:15:22] Jen Harbinger: Yeah, Jordan, our listeners get 10 percent off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan. That's B-E-T-T-E-R-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
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[00:15:45] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:15:51] All right, what's next?
[00:15:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I'm a 25-year-old male and my father's health has been declining due to continued complications from lung cancer. Our relationship has always been somewhat difficult for me because he has so little patients or listening skills. That sounds petty, but we've never really been able to talk to each other in a genuine way. So we have a kind of artificial surface-level relationship. On top of that, my older sister's health is also declining due to MS. I'm now having a very strong and shameful feeling that I have to run away from all of these problems. I don't think I have it in me to take care of either of them, let alone both. I have a voice in my head telling me, "You can't handle this runaway," but then also, "How dare you think of running away? You're heartless," but also, "You have to put yourself first," at all hours of the day. I have a history of depression and have seriously contemplated suicide in the past. I've done much better with my mental health in recent years. And I've started my own life with my own place with a partner of over a year, but I can feel the stress of these situations slowly breaking down all of the progress that I've made. How can I handle these feelings of wanting to run away in a time where I'm needed the most? Signed, Keeping at Bay, This Urge to Run Away.
[00:17:03] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, man, that is a lot for anyone to handle. I'm so sorry, your dad's declined and your sister's health stuff are all happening at the same time. That's when it rains, it pours. And I can definitely understand why you feel this conflict around helping.
[00:17:17] So my first reaction is this feeling of wanting to run away, I actually think that's very normal. You're heading toward a potential iceberg here, metaphorically speaking. No reasonable person looks at an obligation like this and thinks, "Wow, I can't wait to play caregiver to my dad and sister at such a young age. Lucky me." Of course, you want to run away, man. This is intense. There's a lot of unknowns. And this distant relationship you have with your dad, I'm sure that makes it even harder to picture yourself being there for him. Plus, you've struggled with your mental health between the depression and the rumination and that rapid anxious, back and forth thinking all the time. So this whole situation with your dad and your sister is going through a very difficult filter in your mind, and that's only generating the worst possible feelings and ideas.
[00:18:04] So the first thing, I would do is just accept that impulse to run away. I'm not telling you to run away. I'm just saying, try not to judge it too much, at least for a moment. You're suffering enough already. You don't also need to suffer about feeling the wrong things or thinking the wrong thoughts. Then, you need to come up with a plan. And the good news is time is on your side, at least for a little while. Your dad is still alive and communicative from the sound of it. Your sister's health is declining, but I'm assuming she's still able to make plans. That's great. That's a huge advantage. And if you capitalize on it, it'll make this whole situation a lot more manageable.
[00:18:41] Then I would set some time to talk to both of them, make them your partners in coming up with a care plan. And that usually means a few things. Reaching out to a few friends and family members who can pitch in, when you need an extra hand, maybe share some of the responsibility, if that's appropriate. Be there to listen when you need some love and support, including your girlfriend. Finding the money and support you need for their care, like sorting out their insurance, setting aside cash to cover expenses, finding the right doctors, possibly hiring a nurse, that kind of stuff, the nuts and bolts of medical care. Reaching out to organizations that can offer advice, resources, relationships, for example, a hospice for your dad if it comes to that or getting in touch with the National MS Society, which has a ton of amazing resources for people in your shoes.
[00:19:25] And by the way, we're going to link to a ton of these resources like that for you in the show notes. I would start reading those ASAP. That'll be a huge help right now. I would also involve your dad and sister in coming up with this plan. Not just because it's partly their responsibility, but also because they should have a big say in their treatment and care. So ask them what they want. Maybe delegate certain tasks to them, ask them to handle certain pieces of the plan while they can. Create a real team here. This should not all fall on you. I have a feeling that'll go a long way in making this doable for you because I wonder if you have this urge to run away because you feel like this is all your responsibility and you're just going to be left alone with it. But that doesn't have to be the case, at least not right now. You can approach your family in a way where you won't be alone with this.
[00:20:12] Once you have it all sorted out, then you have a system, a process for taking care of your father and your sister, it won't be this huge, vague, overwhelming problem. It'll be a calendar and a list and a set of relationships you need to manage. That is way more doable. Is it a lot to handle? Of course, it is. Is it going to be sad and draining sometimes? Absolutely. But it won't be crushing. That's the point of making the plan. And while you do all that, I would have really prioritize your mental health, taking care of yourself. That is part of the plan too.
[00:20:43] So a few things, first of all, therapy, for sure. If you're not already there, you definitely need a place to process everything that's happening with your dad and sister. You need a professional keeping an eye on the depression and the suicidal ideation. Second, time to just be a human being who gets to live his life. Spending time with your girlfriend, watching a little Netflix, seeing some friends, moving your body around a few times a week, enjoy a hobby. That might seem like a distraction or get another responsibility on top of your dad and sister but they are not. These things will save you.
[00:21:15] And finally, remembering that you are one guy who can only do his best in a really tough situation. Your dad and your sister, they deserve your help. They deserve your love of course, but you also have to live your life and take care of yourself. Be more than just a caregiver. And I really do think that's possible if — and it's a crucial if — if you start working with your dad and sister now. So that's my final thought, don't wait. Notice your mind telling you to run away, recognize the thought is just a thought, and then do some reading about your options online. Reach out to your dad and sister, start putting one foot in front of the other.
[00:21:51] I can promise you that the only way to make this situation worse is to put it off. The more you can confront the anxiety and the sadness and the uncertainty by getting in front of it, the easier this will be in the future. So give yourself that gift, use the avoidance to lean into the responsibility and know that with some planning, collaboration, and support, which is definitely out there, you will get through this. I know it's painful, my man, I'm so sorry that you're going through it, but you can handle it. You have all our confidence. So take care of yourself as well and good luck.
[00:22:24] You know, Gabe, he's in a much more serious situation, but this reminds me of a few years ago when the business was really just, you know, we were starting from zero—
[00:22:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:22:32] Jordan Harbinger: The uncertainty that was there and what really helped, one of the things that really helped me aside from relationships and network was really what we said here about putting one foot in front of the other. I felt like a blender with the top off.
[00:22:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:22:44] Jordan Harbinger: Everything shooting up, my energy, all over, making a huge mess. When I started to focus and really do things like, okay, I need to make a list of what needs done. And everyday I would chop things off that list that felt, I felt like a laser beam and I felt like I was getting a ton of things done and it felt great. I was still stressed out like crazy and anxious, but I didn't feel like I was just drowning and treading water poorly. I felt like I was at least swimming towards the shore.
[00:23:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, absolutely. That's what he needs to do. I think that'll make a big difference. Just a week of crossing those things off of his list will probably give him a very different feeling about the whole challenge.
[00:23:19] Jordan Harbinger: A hundred percent. Dude, throw it in freaking Trello or to-do list or something if you want to see your progress being checked off, like that might even be motivated. Like, oh, I feel like I'm never going to get out of this hole. Well, I've done 50 things and called 50 people and made 20 articles, right? So that kind of stuff will really be all the difference.
[00:23:34] You can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep your emails concise. Try to use a descriptive subject line. That makes our job a whole lot easier. If there's something you're going through, any big decision you're wrestling with, or you just need a new perspective on stuff, life, love, work. What to do if the love of your life's parents are trying to marry her off to a man of their choosing in order to submit their financial legacy? Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up email@example.com. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:24:03] All right. What's next?
[00:24:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe I'm a 27-year-old female and aspiring comic artist. I was in a six-year romantic relationship with someone who wanted to pursue similar goals, or so I thought we spent around three years perfecting a story to eventually make into a webcomic. The plan was she would write the script and I would draw it. Long story short, we had a very bad breakup and now she refuses to talk to me in person. The only thing tying us together is this project. She told me via email that she still wants to write, but has no time to continue the project right now. And that I should just go ahead and do the work to make it happen. I've since realized that this person has used me for her own gain and is stringing me along without actually taking the time to repair this very broken relationship. I want nothing to do with her now, but I do want to keep everything she's written on this project. She refuses to talk to me about this and I don't know how I should go about protecting the material. I have recordings, outlines, scripts, character bios, [Laura] notes, all of which we collaborated on, but she was the main writer. The initial story and characters came from me in addition to all the art and story about. I have a deep emotional attachment to this project. I would credit her and even give her a percentage of profit, but I also no longer want her in my life. What should I do? Signed, Stuck in This Panel.
[00:25:21] Jordan Harbinger: Well, this. Is an interesting situation. I'm sorry about the breakup. Breakups are always tough, but the breakup with your collaborator on a project you really love is brutal. We wanted to run your question by an expert. So we reached out to Edward Sabin, founder of Cypher Content, a TV production company. He also practiced law for many years before becoming a producer.
[00:25:40] And the first thing Edward said was that you and your ex are definitely bound up in this project together because you are both, co-creators, probably about 50/50 contributors, you both have rights to this work. And if you move forward, that will make things a bit messy. The way copyright law works is just very simply, the person who creates the material in any fixed form is the owner of the copyright, generally speaking. So whoever wrote the words down or created the images is the owner of the copyright. And since both of you put this idea into fixed form in different ways, you both own the rights. So regardless of who wrote the dialogue or who created the characters, Edward said that there will at least be a presumption that each of you owes it to the other to do the project together.
[00:26:26] So Edward's advice is that you need to come to some kind of agreement with your ex. I know you said she doesn't want to talk to you about this, but the only way you can safely move forward from a legal standpoint is to get something in writing from your ex. That basically says, "I hand over the rights in this project to you and in exchange, I get—" whatever you guys agree on, a split of any future profits, a fixed fee per edition, or proposed some kind of rev share whatever it is. But you definitely need to get that agreement in writing it. Can't just be a phone call where your ex goes, "Yeah. You know what? Take it. I'm moving on. It's yours."
[00:26:57] Edward's advice, talk to a lawyer about putting together an agreement or get a proper copyright transfer document from an online legal service. There are a ton of resources out there for copyright transfer. We're going to link to a few good ones we found in the show notes. Then you could tweak the agreement to reflect the deal y'all come to. For what it's worth, Edward said that you'll probably want to make the compensation agreement, a percentage of whatever profits you make from this graphic novel. Given that webcomics usually take a long time to pay off and probably don't earn a ton of revenue per post, anyway. And if you can't, or don't want to consult with a lawyer, Edward said you could try to do this on your own. You know, like send her an email saying, "Here's our agreement. You assigned me the rights to this project. I pay you 25 percent of any future profits or whatever." And then she hopefully responds by saying, "I agree." But if you do that, you will take on some risk.
[00:27:48] As Edward put it to us, if this webcomic ever became, I don't know, The Simpsons or something like that, someone somewhere is going to open up that old agreement one day and challenge it. Is it likely that this one project will become a massive hit? Probably not just given the statistics, but even if it's a moderate hit or it becomes popular on Instagram or Reddit or it mutates into another great idea that actually does take off, that's something to keep in mind.
[00:28:13] But this is interesting, Gabe. I'm sure tons of people have been in this woman's shoes, collaborated with a romantic partner on a cool project or a business, went through a bad breakup, then realize they are tied together, but they don't want to speak to each other again.
[00:28:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:28:28] Jordan Harbinger: So what's the solution? Do you just take that risk or do you refuse to collaborate with a partner because things could go south? I'm married to my business partner. This is bad news, man.
[00:28:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Well, we asked Edward about that too. And his take was that copyright assignments are even more important in partnerships like this. The likelihood that two people are going to make a fair level-headed decision about a creative project after they break up, it's pretty low, it's always more fraught, certainly compared to just two artists who simply agree to part ways, right? Edward's recommendation, although he did say that this isn't always possible, is get something very simple in writing before you begin working. Kind of like a creative prenup because that will save you a ton of headaches down the road. But the reality is very few people are actually going to do that, right?
[00:29:15] Like, just imagine, Jordan, you're chilling with your partner. It's a Saturday night. You're in love. You're inspired. It's that heady honeymoon phase. And you start pitching ideas for cool fantasy comic or whatever. And then someone's going to go, "Hold on, let me go grab that prenup from legal zoom." Not going to happen. It's kind of a buzzkill, which means that people end up in exactly this position quite a lot. So the truth is you always take a risk when you collaborate with somebody, especially with a romantic partner. Edward's opinion is just know that going in, be willing to accept that risk and do your best to come to a clear written agreement after the fact, if you have a deep emotional attachment to the project like you do.
[00:29:52] And since your ex is being a bit difficult about communicating, it might take a little extra persistence and diplomacy on your part to make this happen. I would try to show her that you're being fair, you're being forthright and that you're making it super easy for her to potentially make more money down the road for no additional work on our part. Hopefully, she'll be cool enough to at least hit you with a quick, "Yeah, I agree. That sounds good." And then you can have some measure of confidence that you're good to proceed on your own.
[00:30:16] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's sound advice. And you know, just waiting a few months for emotions to settle a bit and then picking this back up, that might be all it takes to get an agreement to move forward. A little cool downtime, plus the idea that this project is in danger of stalling if people can't be reasonable, that might be just enough to get things moving in the right direction again. And I hope you get to control this project. Wishing you all the best.
[00:30:38] You know, who won't maliciously shatter your dreams, Gabriel? The amazing sponsors that support this show.
[00:30:45] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show, and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:30:50] This episode is sponsored in part by Framebridge. I got to tell you about this amazing new service we found called Framebridge. You can easily frame art prints, posters, or photos on your phone. And with mother's day around the corner, May 8th, y'all mark your calendar. Framebridge also makes a really good gift, selects gifts, even ship the next day. But come on, don't procrastinate. Don't be that guy. It's so simple. Just go to framebridge.com. You upload your photo, or they'll even send you packaging to safely mail in a physical piece if you want to do that. The experts at Framebridge will custom frame your item and deliver your finished piece directly to your door, ready to hang. We have Jayden and Juniper's newborn photos framed from Framebridge in the black Mercer frame, which is slim. It's modern. It looks like it would cost a fortune and I've paid a fortune for framing at stores, but prices on Framebridge start at just 39 bucks. Comes ready to hang. It even includes the hook that goes on the wall.
[00:31:38] Jen Harbinger: We love our Framebridge. Get started today. Frame your photos or send someone the perfect gift. Go to framebridge.com and use promo code JORDAN to save an additional 15 percent off your first order, just go to framebridge.com, promo code JORDAN, framebridge.com, promo code JORDAN.
[00:31:53] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by Progressive. Let's face it, sometimes multitasking can be a little overwhelming, like when your favorite podcast is playing and the person next to you is talking and your car fan is blasting, all while you're trying to find the perfect parking spot. But then again, sometimes multitasking is easy, like getting a quote with Progressive insurance. They do the hard work of comparing rates, so you can find a great rate that works for you, even if it's not with them. Give their comparison tool a try, and you might find getting the rate and coverage you deserve is easy. All you need to do is visit Progressive's website. Get a quote with the coverage you want. Like comprehensive and collision insurance or personal injury protection, then you'll see Progressive's direct rate and their tool will provide options from other companies all lined up and ready to compare. So simple to choose the rate and coverage you like. Press play on comparing auto rates, quote at progressive.com to join over 27 million drivers who trust Progressive.
[00:32:41] Jen Harbinger: Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates. Comparison rates not available in all states or situations. Prices vary based on how you buy.
[00:32:48] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored in part by True Underdog. Here's another podcast you can check out. True Underdog is aptly named because the host Jayson Waller, definition of a true underdog. He's the CEO of PowerHome Solar. You'd never guess he was kicked out of high school, never went to college, grew up in a trailer park, poor, even became a teen dad. On True Underdog podcast, you'll hear an uncut, uncensored podcast on entrepreneurship where you can build the mindset of a winner. You'll also hear the uncut details of the world's most influential people and their upbringings, and as well, I will tell you, there's no elevator to success. That climb only happens one step at a time. You'll learn how to turn excuses into results by doing.
[00:33:22] Jen Harbinger: Subscribe to True Underdog podcast on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast platform to level up your life. That's True underdog podcast, hosted by Jayson Waller to learn from the best underdog come-up stories. It's right here, right now, bam!
[00:33:35] Jordan Harbinger: And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:33:39] All right, what's next?
[00:33:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, my best friend, Julie is getting married in three months and I'm her maid of honor. Tragically, she lost her brother four years ago in a car accident and due to a driver texting behind the wheel. What makes this even more tragic was that the driver was Julie's older sister. I want to briefly acknowledge their late brother during my wedding speech. But my fear is that this could trigger Julie's sister. I know she's still carrying a ton of guilt, shame and regret as a result of the accident. She's also highly anxious and suffers from PTSD. The last thing I want to do is make anyone uncomfortable or sad during my speech. Julie has had many breakdowns during the wedding planning, as she realizes that her brother will not be there to meet her husband and share in this joy. But I grew up with his family and I knew Julie's brother. So I feel that not acknowledging him would be disrespectful. If her brother had died in a car accident, that was not a result of their sister texting, I would definitely mention it, but since the circumstances are different, I feel like I might be adding salt to a very deep wound. So should I acknowledge him in my speech? Signed, Recognizing the Deceased Without Ruining the Feast.
[00:34:47] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, this is incredibly tragic. My heart just aches for Julie and her sister.
[00:34:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:34:53] Jordan Harbinger: This has got to be so tough for them, especially the sister to attend a huge family event, knowing your brother isn't there because of you.
[00:35:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oomph.
[00:35:01] Jordan Harbinger: I can't even imagine carrying that around. That's a level of pain that most people will never have to go through. So given all that, I do think you need to be very delicate about how you talk about their brother. I know you grew up with Julie and her family. I know you had a relationship with him, but bringing him up publicly at a wedding when emotions are probably already running high and there's champagne in the mix, you're right. That could definitely be pouring salt in a very deep wound.
[00:35:28] Sure, it could be a nice moment. Could be, or it could just bring down the whole event and make everyone really uncomfortable and sad and make you look a little tone-deaf for bringing all of that up on what's supposed to be a happy day. The solution is pretty simple. I would ask Julie, it's her wedding. This is her brother. I would sit down and talk to her about it. Point blank. Like, "So, listen, I'm working on my speech for the wedding. And I just wanted to ask if I should acknowledge Michael in my speech. I know it's a really painful subject. I obviously don't want to bring the room down or hurt your sister in any way. So just tell me, would that be appropriate? Is that my place or would you just rather I stay away from it?"
[00:36:08] And let Julie tell you what's best. If she's like, "Actually, yeah, that would be really nice." Then I would ask her exactly how she wants you to talk about it. Maybe even run that section of your speech by her and maybe encourage her to get her sister's okay on it too. Because this will obviously be most difficult for her, but if Julie's like, "Actually that'd be really hard for us to hear. Let me and my husband honor Michael in our own way," or whatever, you know, then listen to her and leave it. Pretty simple really.
[00:36:35] It's nice that you want to recognize him. I know it's coming from a good place, but this is Julie's call.
[00:36:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, definitely. Julie's call. That's exactly right. And hey, maybe as her maid of honor, you can ask her if there are some other ways you can honor her brother at the wedding. Maybe you could write him a little tribute and the ceremony program that could be really nice. Maybe you pulled together some photos of him, display them on a table at the reception or something like that. You see that at weddings quite a lot. It's really nice sometimes if the family's into it. There are a lot of nice ways to bring somebody like this into the day. So I would just work with Julie on the one she and our family feel the most comfortable with.
[00:37:07] And depending on how close you are with her sister may be checking on her during the evening. See if she's doing okay. Give her a little love, because I'm sure that this wedding is going to bring up a lot of stuff for her. I can't even imagine what that would be like. Maybe you just being there for her and for Julie is all the acknowledgment they need.
[00:37:24] Jordan Harbinger: Good ideas, Gabe, but yeah, definitely follow their lead here. You sound like a really good friend and I'm sure you're going to be a great maid of honor. So enjoy the wedding and good luck.
[00:37:34] Gabe, this is so intense. I know it's kind of annoying to go on about, I'm not trying to do a whole PSA here, but this is a pretty damn stark reminder to not text and drive. People literally die because of it.
[00:37:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:37:47] Jordan Harbinger: And then to survive and carry that around with you the rest of your life is just beyond tragic. So be safe, y'all. Hands-free, Bluetooth, do-not-disturb, all that stuff, it is no joke. Just a friendly reminder from Uncle Jordan and Uncle Gabe who love you all very much. And don't want to come up with any more sign-off names that rhyme with deceased.
[00:38:06] All right. Next up.
[00:38:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan, do you donate to charities? Do you believe in them? If so, how do you decide where to give money? Signed, The Flailing Philanthropist.
[00:38:16] Jordan Harbinger: A lot of people ask me this. You know, which charities should I donate to? How can I help? When anything happens in the world, I get emails like, okay, Ukraine, which charities. That's why we'd made jordanharbinger.com/ukraine. But anytime, anything happens, I get a lot of emails about this and I appreciate that. It's because I think about things that I do before I do them generally speaking, which is a change from my 20s.
[00:38:36] So I actually saved charity money throughout the year. And some of it, I earned through the show when people pay me for consulting, I always donate that money to charity. I don't do it right away though. I usually save it up into a big pot. And then at the end of the year, I pick a bunch of charities to donate to. But I also do a lot of spontaneous charity. So like, let's say, I'm going to get a Starbucks and someone is at a booth on the way out. And they're like, "Hey, if you donate 10 bucks, we get a kid, a backpack to go to school. But if you donate $500 or a thousand dollars, we send a young girl to school in Indonesia for like two years." I'll look up the charity on charity navigator. So it's not a scam, hopefully. And then I'll just donate the max, like the one where if they get one of these during the whole week, they get to throw their boss into a pool with all their clothes on or something like that. They always have crazy stuff that they do to encourage people to push for that. And I'll often just drop that down.
[00:39:28] Another thing I'll do is community-based stuff. I haven't done this in a long time because of COVID especially, but one thing I loved doing a long time ago, I was in a park, there was an ice cream truck and there were a lot of, it was kind of a rough area, there's a lot of kids that like, we're just kind of, they're seemingly alone. And I went up to the ice cream truck guy and I was like, "Hey, what if I just plunked down my card? How much has everything in the truck?" And the guy's like, "Oh, it's 450 bucks," or whatever. And I was like, "All right, charge me that. And just give the kids free ice cream until you run out." So the first group of kids comes up and I was like, "Hey, tell your friends, everything in the truck is free until the truck runs out." And then of course, they got mobbed. I mean, it was immediate and fun and everybody was super excited. So just being able to sort of bask in that sort of thing was great. And that's not a long-term helping a girl in Indonesia go to school for five years kind of charity, but it was fun just to see kids have a magical moment. Like hundreds of kids potentially have a magical moment right in front of me. And that was really, really cool.
[00:40:27] So I like doing things like that in addition to investing in really good charities that are well thought out, but are a million miles away. And I'm never going to see the results of. The reason that it's important to mix these two for me anyway, is that while I love being like, "Oh, we donated $10,000 this year to leukemia research for a rare kind of leukemia that kids get," or whatever, you know, that's amazing. And that's a logical choice. But at some level, at some point, you have to have the dopamine rush from the charity itself to stay motivated. There's a lot of psychological research on this from people like Dr. Brad Klontz, who's coming on the show, by the way, where you really need to be able to sort of soak it up in order to enjoy it and associate it with a really fun rush.
[00:41:10] And by the way that doesn't just result in you only throwing your credit card down at the ice cream truck, it usually results just in more charity in general. And it's also a really good example for other people to be more giving. So donate to the causes and charities you believe in do a little bit of research, but also look for ways to be spontaneously generous as well.
[00:41:28] I hope y'all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everyone who listens. Thank you so much. Don't forget to check out the episodes with Brian Klaas on corruption and corruptibility and Anja Shortland on kidnapping and kidnapping insurance and negotiation. Great episodes this week if you haven't heard them yet.
[00:41:44] Also Skeptical Sunday, coming up in a couple of days, ear candling, surprise. It's a bunch of nonsense. Hope you guys are liking these Skeptical Sunday episodes. We plan to do a bunch more coming up over the next few months would love your feedback on those as well.
[00:41:57] If you want to know how I managed to book all the great guests on the show, it's always about my network. It's about systems, software, and tiny habits. I'm teaching you those same tactics. It's our Six-Minute Networking course, and the course is free over on the Thinkific platform. jordanharbinger.com/course. I'm teaching you how to dig that well before you get thirsty. The drills are designed to take just a few minutes a day. It's the type of habit that you really ignore at your own peril. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. It's been crucial for me again. jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:42:27] Show notes at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or just hit me on LinkedIn. You can find Gabe on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:42:40] The 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 yeah, I'm a lawyer, but I am not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Ditto Edward Sabin. Remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. And 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.
[00:43:16] If you're looking for another episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show to sink your teeth into, here's a preview of my conversation with Austin Meyer. He's a software developer who exposes patent trolls and how they shake down innocent victims using legal loopholes and abuse of the system.
[00:43:31] Austin Meyer: I was working at a trade show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where I was sitting there in a sweltering, hot aircraft hanger, showing X-Plane, my flight simulator to a steady parade of sweaty pilots, wandering through the hanger to look at my various wares. And all of a sudden the phone rings.
[00:43:47] "Hello. I noticed you've been sued for patent infringement. I'd be happy to represent you for a price."
[00:43:53] And I said, no, I'm not going to settle with somebody I've never even heard of before for infringing on a supposed patent I've never heard of before.
[00:44:00] He said, "Okay, just remember your defense cost is going to run around three million dollars."
[00:44:04] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:44:05] Austin Meyer: The patent claims to own the idea of one computer checking another computer to see if the computer program is allowed to run. The patent we were sued on had, as I recall, 113 claims and every claim was almost the same. In other words, one claim would say, "A computer accessing another computer to unlock software." And the next thing would be, "Software unlocked by one computer accessing another computer." Notice just the same thing over and over 113 times phrased a little bit differently each time, because since it took us four years in two million dollars to overturn one of those sentences. They had the same thing written down 112 more times, so they could put us through this for the rest of our lives.
[00:44:47] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Austin Meyer, including the details of his own investigation into patent trolls, and why none of us are safe, check out episode 326 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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