Instead of hounding your neighbor for letting his pooch poop in your yard, you’ve instituted a pawsive-aggressive campaign of terrier against them. But what’s the best way to solve the problem before somebody gets seriously ruffed up? Retriever the 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:
- Were we off-base with our advice to the person who romantically matched with a mask-refusing COVID-19 denier a couple of weeks back?
- Your neighbor’s in the doghouse and doesn’t even know it for letting his convivial canine crap all over your yard. What’s the best way to preserve peace between your houses?
- You were raised to care about others and your community, but it’s never made you rich. Should you raise your child to be the kind of person who puts himself first — even if it sometimes means stepping on others to get ahead?
- You’re working in a system where networking and name recognition are just as important as being good at your job, but you have a plan to move across the country five to 10 years in the future. How would you start building that network now?
- Happily married for two years with thoughts of having children ahead, you’re still trying to agree on a last name to share, even though you’re both attached to the ones you already have. What kind of resolution do we suggest?
- As a methodical consultant, you consistently put in more than your approved billable hours and eat the time as part of doing business with budget-conscious, mid-tier companies. But is there a better way?
- 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.
- And if you want to keep in touch with former co-host and JHS family Jason, find him on Twitter at @jpdef and Instagram at @JPD, and check out his other show: Grumpy Old Geeks.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
Sign up for Six-Minute Networking — our free networking and relationship development mini course — at jordanharbinger.com/course!
Better Help offers affordable, online counseling at your convenience. If you’re coping with depression, stress, anxiety, addiction, or any number of issues, you’re not alone. Talk with a licensed professional therapist for 10 percent off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan!
HostGator has been around almost as long as the Internet. Does your business have an Internet presence? Save up to a whopping 62% on new webhosting packages with HostGator at hostgator.com/jordan!
Bring Back Bronco — The Untold Story is a podcast about the rise, fall, and rebirth of the Ford Bronco. This eight-part serial is a 50-year odyssey of blood, sweat, and dirt that takes you from the dizzying heights of the post-war boom to the most-watched police chase in American television history to this year’s rebirth. Check it out here!
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!
Resources from This Episode:
- Danny Trejo | Inmate #1 | TJHS 398
- Jennifer Eberhardt | The Science of Why We’re Biased | TJHS 399
- Help! My Ex Hacked My Entire Home! | Feedback Friday | TJHS 391
- Goya, Face Masks, and In-Person Schooling: Political Discord Leads to Total Division in the United States | The Cowl
- Plandemic Debunked with ZDoggMD | TJHS Ep. 354, YouTube (Check Out Those Comments!)
- Still Confused About Masks? Here’s the Science Behind How Face Masks Prevent Coronavirus | UC San Francisco
- The Battle Between The Masked And The Masked-Nots Unveils Political Rifts | NPR
- 4 Reasons to Wear a Mask, Even if You Hate It | The Gospel Coalition
- Alex Jones’ Top 10 Health Claims and Why They Are Wrong | Forbes
- Gay Frogs (Alex Jones Remix) | placeboing
- QAnon Explained: The Antisemitic Conspiracy Theory Gaining Traction around the World | The Guardian
- Horny Goat Weed: Side Effects, Dosages, Treatment, Interactions, Warnings | RxList
- Legality of Piggybacking | Wikipedia
- Unclean Hands Doctrine | Practical Law
- Who Is Jeffrey Epstein & What Did He Do? | Town & Country
- Did Donald Trump Say Not Paying Taxes ‘Makes Me Smart’? | Snopes
- Justin Paperny | Lessons From Prison | TJHS 226
- Why Networking Is the Best Insurance Policy | Jordan Harbinger
- Six-Minute Networking
- Marital Name Change as a Window into Gender Attitudes | Sociologists for Women in Society
- Marriage Name Game: What Kind of Guy Would Take His Wife’s Last Name? | Phys.org
- Men Don’t Take Their Wife’s Last Name at Marriage | The Atlantic
- Changing Your Last Name: How to Decide What’s Right for You | Bridal Guide
- Meet The Shitshovelers | Miracle Workers: Dark Ages
- Why Did Penn Jillette Name His Kid Moxie CrimeFighter? | Quora
Transcript for The Doggy Doo-Doo Debacle | Feedback Friday (Episode 400)
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:00] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Today as always, I'm here with Gabriel Mizrahi. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant people. Turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. What we want to do is help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening, even inside your own mind or your own brain.
[00:00:35] If you're new to the show on Fridays, we give advice to you. We 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. And for a selection of featured episodes to get you started with some of our favorite episodes and popular topics, go to jordanharbinger.com. We'll hook you right up.
[00:00:57] Go back and check out the guests' interviews we had for you this week. We had actor Danny Trejo. If you're not sure who that is, he plays the scary looking, Mexican villain in pretty much everything — by the way, nicest guy ever. He's really got an amazing story. I mean, the reason he looks the part is because he was the part if you know what I'm saying. If you heard that episode, you know what I'm talking about? So go back and check out that episode even if you think you don't care about acting or Hollywood, I'm definitely in that camp. I feel you. We also had Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt on bias. She is one of the foremost experts on this. She trains law enforcement organizations — and it's just a great show. She's so insightful. And she also got rob during the podcast, which has never happened before. Make sure you've had a look and to listen to everything we created for you here this week.
[00:01:40] Now, this is episode 400. I just kind of noticed that.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:01:43] Yeah, it is episode 400. Dude, that's amazing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:46] It is!
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:01:46] Congratulations.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:01:47] Thank you. And you as well for joining up late in the game and taking half the credit. I left my old show at episode 700 pretty much, like right about, at almost exactly 700. So that means that I have produced — and by I mean we — we have produced 1100 shows and it's at least twice that if you count me going on other people's podcasts.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:09] Wow.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:10] But enough about me.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:10] No, that's awesome. That's a big accomplishment, man. Especially because the old show ran for many, many years.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:15] 11.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:16] And how long has it been now on the new show?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:17] Not even three, two and a half years.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:02:19] That's wild. Well done.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:21] Then we turned it up big time, but I do want to say in the wake of literally thousands of podcasts under my belt, I have reached the conclusion that I am not very or particularly talented. I'm not just whining about this. What I mean is that there are literally millions of people who have the raw material to do a show like The Jordan Harbinger Show and the biggest difference is that I started very early and that I just kept going and didn't stop because I don't listen to everybody else's suggestions. Don't get me wrong. There are work ethic elements in there and everything. But what looks like a talent gap between a person who's good at something and somebody who's not — for example, a good interviewer and a not so good interviewer or podcaster, what looks like a talent gap is usually a focused gap.
[00:03:06] I was talking with James Clear about this, the all-star, the person who is like so good at what they do is actually often average or above average, slightly in terms of performance, who spend on a lot more time, a disproportionate amount, more time working on what is important and just spends a whole lot less time on distractions. So the talent is staying focused. And I've noticed a lot of podcasters they'll go, "Oh, well, I need to now be an Instagrammer. I need to be on social media all the time and I need to do this. And then I got to do live events and I got to write a book." And a lot of that's great for your business, but it's not good for your skill set as an interviewer. So I'll meet people who've been podcasting for like 10 years and I'm just like, "Why are you still bad at this?" Or they're interviewing for five, six years, and I'm like, "Why are you where I was in year two? Why?"
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:03:49] Because they've been spending so much time on all this other stuff.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:51] Right. And also, you know, the truth is I secretly suspect that a lot of people who are influencers and that's a word I think is so ridiculous. A lot of those people, they're more concerned with getting money and fame. They don't care about the craft of interviewing. And I understand that, like, there are very few geeks like me who are going to go, "I want to work on this one little tiny, tiny skill set that's going to make me slightly better. Like I'm going to go take three days or seven days of improv classes. So that I'll be a little bit marginally five to 10 percent quicker on my feet during interviews." It's not really a quote-unquote good use of your time. If you're just trying to become an influencer, who's making a lot of money. But if you want to be the best interviewer, you really have to do that and you have to nail it. You know, you have to, I think.
[00:04:34] So the talent really is staying focused and forming sub-skill sets and skill sets around this. And that's what I'm obsessed with. Am I leaving money on the table because I'm not running live events and have 7,000 different mastermind groups? Yeah, probably, but I don't care. I just don't care.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:04:47] Yeah. And doing three episodes a week is a pretty good way to do that too.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:04:50] That is a good way to do that a little bit of deliberate practice if you will. Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag? I know the first thing is criticism, which is a great way actually to start our 1,100th episode is like, "Here's something that is wrong with everything you've done so far."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:05:05] So you guys might remember that last week on Feedback Friday, we got a letter from a young woman who met a man on a dating app and they hit it off in a pretty heavy way, started texting and talking to each other on the phone. I think she said all hours of the day, like a really exciting heady, flirty early romance. And when they finally got around to meeting up in person, she asked him, "Will you please wear a mask?" And she asked him that because I think she really cares about wearing a mask, but it also turns out that she lived with her grandparents and she didn't want to get them sick. So she just asked him, "Please wear a mask." And he said, "Absolutely not."
[00:05:39] We talked about this letter because it brought up some interesting things, you know, who is right in this mask debate. I think it was pretty clear that Jordan and I were firmly falling on the side of people who believe in masks, but it turns out that that interaction with that guy was kind of bringing up some other stuff in the relationship, namely, this guy's total lack of interest in even talking to her about the issue in the first place. It was just a flat-out no. And so we got into a lot of that stuff, but we've got an interesting email, so we thought we would read it and it goes like this.
[00:06:07] Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I am one of those annoyingly educated liberal elites who believes in science and public health. So I was dismayed at parts of your response to the letter writer whose online crush refused to wear a mask. You are absolutely correct that wearing and not wearing a mask has become a political statement and the way you framed each statement was both funny and insightful. But you've got to stop it with the bothsidesism. No, I will not meet in the middle when my side is that the goal and your side has kids in cages. And it's a logical fallacy that compromise is where truth and a golden mean can be found. Yes, I am that person who no longer talks to old friends because we got in a political discussion. I will not just have a conversation with someone who thinks George Floyd had it coming and freedom of speech protects Nazi rallies in Charlottesville and that American freedoms mean we are free to not wear a mask. Hope you take this to heart. I'm still a fan, but I do not consider a conversation in compromised values when the paths toward ethical behavior and public health are so clear. You can't water down what's good and then call it better because now it's half-diluted. Make sense?
[00:07:09] And that was the letter we received.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:10] So I get it. I think she misunderstood what we were saying. So in the last letter with the guy who refused to wear a mask for their first date, even though this woman lived with her elderly aging parents, we didn't address the mask issue because I kind of consider it — I think 99 percent of the people that listen to this show are on the side of science. Otherwise, why are you listening to the show? It's amazing. There are a lot of people on YouTube that see our Plandemic video. If you want to feel bad for humanity, go look at the comments on our Plandemic video in the clips on YouTube. But in the meantime, most of the people who listen to this show are very much on the side of science.
[00:07:47] I don't think we were kind of taking half measures or meeting in the middle when it came to science. What we focused on was the actual issue was that if somebody doesn't care about you enough to wear the mask, even though you live with your elderly parents and you're protecting them, or grandparents or whatever it was, it doesn't matter if the science is right or wrong. The point is they didn't care enough about you to consider your opinion, living with your grandparents to even, like if you said — and I think we even gave this example or a similar example. If someone said you have to wear a feathery pink boa when you come over because it protects the karmic chi of my grandmother's Feng Shui. It's crazy, but you do it because it's a first date and you go, "Hey, okay, we're going to talk about this on the first day, because I got to get to the bottom of this to see if there's going to be a second date," especially cause they've been talking so much and they had feelings for each other.
[00:08:36] But the guy wasn't interested in that. He was more like, "You're a moron and I'm right. And you're an idiot for even thinking that this science is real," and also, you know, Alex Jones or whatever is the guy who gives the real news. So it didn't matter. We just didn't address it. I don't want anybody for a second to think that I'm kind of like, "Well, some people believe in health and science and other people believe in QAnon conspiracy theories, and let's just compromise and meet in the middle." No, there are clearly people that don't know what the F they're talking about on one side. And then people who believe in science on the other side, and even if the science people are off by a factor 50 percent, it doesn't matter because we know that the conspiracy-believing crazy people are off by a factor of 10,000 percent if you can even measure it. That's the exponential divergence that matters.
[00:09:21] So I want to make sure that people are very aware. When I ignore an issue in a Feedback Friday question or when we don't address it directly, it's not because we want to make sure that both sides feel heard. It's because it's not the issue. Right, Gabriel? Am I sort of being clear here? Like —
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:09:37] Absolutely.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:38] — it's just not the issue. The merits aren't even debated — they're not up for debate.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:09:42] That's right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:43] They really aren't.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:09:44] And as we got into, I think in that response, like if they had gone forward as a couple, this would have become a much bigger problem that really had nothing to do with masks. It would have become a communication problem, a values problem. They couldn't even talk about it. Right? So the masks were really just the surface issue. The deeper issue was how these two people were even going to relate to each other. I will say though, that I think in my response, I might've said something like, "Because you guys can't even talk about it. There's not even an opportunity for you to say, 'You know what? I see your side. I understand you live with vulnerable grandparents, all kinds of meet you and wear a mask sometimes. And maybe you don't have to wear that.'" I might have suggested that there was some middle ground, but that's actually not at all what I believe. In this case, the deeper point was: Is there a conversation to be had? Oh, there isn't. Then it's a nonstarter. Move on.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:29] On that note, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag or the second thing in this instance?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:10:33] Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I'm writing to get your feedback on a quandary I'm in with one of my neighbors. He consistently allows his dog to defecate in my yard. I know that it's him because I have him on camera. My issue is that I have to live next to this guy for the foreseeable future. And I don't want things to get awkward between us. I also would really rather not let him in on the fact that he's on video when he ventures onto my property. He didn't get the hint when the city leash laws and homeowners association regulations about pet responsibilities, mysteriously printed off of his printer while he was at home one day. Or when the poop-in question mysteriously showed up on his front walk one morning. He's never given me his Wi-Fi credentials so I figured that he would never suspect that I was involved with the printer incident, but the front walk situation made me nervous that there would be a confrontation between us. Rather than sending any more subtle hints, I decided to just start getting even. I figured that if he was okay with his dog pooping in my yard, then I was okay with his dog receiving some peanut butter treats, laced with Horny goat weed supplements.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:31] Man, that's mean.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:11:32] Well, it's very satisfying to watch his dog show vigorous affection to everyone he comes into contact with, I feel a little bad for the dog, despite his apparent temporary satisfactions. And I'm worried about long-term side effects on the dog, should I persist with this retaliation.
[00:11:45] Umm, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:46] Yeah, no kidding. Come on.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:11:48] What are your thoughts. Where do I go from here? Respectfully yours, Caught Up in a Canine Cold War.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:53] Well, okay. I feel like I've heard this story before this type of story and it's super rude of this person to leave dog crap in the yard. It's just lazy, letting a dog poop is whatever, but leaving it there because you're too lazy and frankly, entitled to clean it up yourself. It's just poor pet ownership, pure and simple. And it just showcases that you're just kind of a garbage person. Look, if you don't have any bags, it happens. But if you're like, "Yeah, my neighbor doesn't know that this is me. So screw him." You're a bad person. I mean, you're a bad person light, but you're a bad person.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:12:21] Yeah. And it's not just being a bad person, you're also a cliche of a bad person.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:26] You're literally like the cliche, moron, bad neighbor in a rom-com or something like that. It sounds to me like you haven't tried directly communicating with this neighbor out of fear that things could get, as you said, awkward. I think that's a small price to pay for resolving a little squabble. Your strategy instead has been to go passive-aggressive, which is — it's not good. It's quite telling. The Wi-Fi printing thing — okay, fine. I chuckled. It's a little funny. It's a little invasive and by the way, it is illegal in most places. You want to check out what's called piggybacking laws. And even if you're not falling under a piggybacking law, you might be falling under something else. So be careful. Also, it didn't work, so what's the point. Don't incriminate yourself there.
[00:13:09] I also suspect that you might be adding to the dysfunction in the relationship, even if he doesn't know what to you, you definitely aren't resolving anything, which should kind of maybe be the goal here. If it were me just personally, I'd probably knock on the door and say, "Hey, you know, I noticed that you let your dog poop in my yard." You don't have to say how or why or anything just, "I'd love it. If you'd clean up after your dog, I don't want to step in it. I don't want my kids to step in it or whatever." Polite about it. Ask if he needed some of the extra shopping bags, like, "Hey, I've got all these bags. Did you run out? Because I know a lot of people aren't going to the store anymore. If you need shopping bags, plastic bags, I can give you some. I know nobody wants to touch poop with their bare hands." You're giving him a way out when you do that because he might be embarrassed. He might be like, "Oh my God. They know it's me. Ugh, shoot." Then they'll go, "Yeah. I ran out of bags. It's just the one time. So sorry. I just didn't know what to do. I was going to go back and forgot." Let him have that.
[00:14:00] If he denies it, you can say, "Well, you know, I know you say it wasn't you, but multiple neighbors have told me that it's you because I've asked a few people." That way, it adds a bit more of the public shaming element, right? Without giving away your surveillance capabilities like, "Oh man, a lot of people know I'm that guy. that sucks" That said most people get cameras to scare people off from doing anything in the first place. So I am —
[00:14:23] Gabriel, am I missing anything? I'm a little confused as to why you'd want to conceal what is usually intended as a deterrent in the first place.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:14:29] Yeah. It seems like he's not taking full advantage of that system if he has it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:32] Like people put up signs that say, "Smile. You're on camera." Not like, "Ooh, when they break all my windows, I'm going to see a blurry face of somebody breaking up windows. And they're going to be sorry." No, you want them to go, "Uh, maybe I shouldn't do this." So look, I know confrontation is scary. Sometimes people don't respond well. Sometimes they get even worse. Sometimes somebody flies off the handle. And sometimes you risk the vulnerability that comes with asserting your own needs and beliefs. I think that's a healthy conflict and healthy conflict is essential in life. Gabe, what do you think?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:15:03] Well, as somebody who is currently in a little cold war of his own with another horrible neighbor, I can't get into that because she might listen to this podcast.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:10] You can literally hear you right now because you live in an LA apartment with paper-mache walls.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:15:15] Yeah. I was about to say, how do you know about the walls? Lack of double pane glass, although it would probably help our relationship at this point if she did hear this because there's definitely some kind of confrontation coming. Look, I can relate to it. Bad neighbors are the worst. And this particular thing with the dog is super annoying. I will say the Horny goat weed though is definitely concerning. Like it might even be bordering on some kind of low-grade animal abuse, depending on how you look at it. I mean, it's not the dog's fault that this is happening. It's the owner's fault. And you've basically turned this poor pup into a vehicle for your retribution, your secret retribution.
[00:15:47] So. I feel like this guy jumped straight to getting either, even without even trying to communicate to your point, Jordan. So my big question is why. Like, this desperately, desperately needs to be called out for what he's doing. It is absolutely not okay. But it sounds to me also, like you have a lot of fear around bringing that up. Most people do, by the way, it's not comfortable. But that also creates an opportunity to work on it. So I would think of it that way.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:10] Look, I get it. You caught the guy on camera. He's not cleaning up his dog's poop. You want to get even. It's not worth it because anything you do to get even is going to be equally bad. And I know that sounds Pollyanna, but really the best thing you can do is to let him know that a lot of people have caught him and that he looks like a total a-hole without explicitly saying that. He's going to know. And if he doesn't care, if it's like, "So what? What are you going to do about it?" Well, what you're going to do about it is reported and he's going to get a citation and it's going to cost him real money.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:16:37] You can escalate to other approaches after you actually give it a decent shot of trying to resolve it yourself, which is how it should be. You could get the HOA involved maybe. You could get the city involved if possible, but I wouldn't turn this into a war when all it needs to be as a conversation, a potentially easy and civil, and productive conversation at that
Jordan Harbinger: [00:16:54] There's a concept in law called unclean hands. And what that is, is it's when somebody does something to you and they go, "Yeah, but then this guy has also been doing this." And you might say, "Oh, well, I only did that after he let his dog poop in my yard four times." They can dilute that in the conversation that's happening. And then it might just look like both of you are a-holes and that you're both treating each other, like crap. They're not going to go, "Well, he only hacked into his Wi-Fi network and put the poop in his mailbox after the guy left the dog poop on the lawn." And they might be like, "Well, yeah, you're both a-holes." But if one person is reasonable and the other person is consistently in an a-hole, then it's really, really clear who's at fault.
[00:17:30] For example, in a car accident, this isn't exactly unclean hands, but my mom was backed into by a school bus. It's really hard to win a ticket against a school bus. Because the police don't want to deal with this school district and it's a school bus and you know, all that. And my mom, when she was talking to the cop, the cop said, "And then what happened? And then what happened?" That's common to sort of like trying to get the story out of everyone. And my mom said, "And then I didn't know what to do. So I just stopped." And he says, "And then what?" My mom said, "Nothing. I just stopped. I just stopped my car because I didn't know where the bus was going to go." And then the police officer turned to the bus driver and said, "So when she was stopped, what happened?" And the bus driver said, "Well, she was behind me and she wasn't supposed to be there." And the cop was, "Hold on. You get the ticket," because my mom had just stopped the car. She didn't know what to do. So she just stopped. And the other person, the bus driver ran right into her, despite her being stopped. And I'm sure my mom was in the wrong place by the way. I know my mom, she's not a terrible driver or anything, but I'm sure that it was like, if you just backed up the bus, wouldn't hit you. But my mom was like, "Well, I stopped. I didn't know what to do. So I just stopped."
[00:18:28] This is kind of that situation. If you just do the right thing or the kind of right thing, or at least don't add fuel to the fire, you are then going to more or less be in the right kind of going down the timeline. If you start throwing poop back in the guy's porch and hacking into his Wi-Fi again, you're in the wrong, even if they started it, even if they're continuing to do it, you're still on the wrong. Why do that to yourself? Just be in the right, let the guy get a $500 ticket or two, and then the behavior will stop. And if not, you'll get him on camera doing something worse because you've got your super-secret surveillance cameras.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:19:02] Words to live by.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:06] You're listening to Feedback Friday here on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We'll be right back.
[00:19:11] This episode is sponsored in part by Athletic Greens. This is an all-in-one daily drink to support better health and peak performance, it's kind of like a vitaminy, vegetably, you kind of drank. I know that sounds gross, but look, even with a balanced diet, it's difficult to cover all of your nutritional basis and that's where Athletic Greens will help. It's nutritional insurance for your body that's delivered straight to your door. And like I said, it doesn't sound tasty, but it actually is. It's developed from a complex blend of 75 vitamins minerals, whole-food sourced ingredients. You're going to have all the, all the little trendy bells and whistles and all the ones that are proven to work, you know, vitamin C to zinc, health energy recovery, gut health, immune support, all that jazz. Their highly absorbable powder is diet-friendly so if you're keto, paleo, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, one of those high-maintenance stuff, it doesn't matter. This drink has less than one gram of sugar. It doesn't matter. Athletic Greens has less than a gram of sugar. It's going to mix with whatever fancy pants diet you're doing. It's made in New Zealand. We all know we can trust those people. And it's NSF certified for sport, meaning that what you see on the label is actually in the pouch and that's kind of important these days.
Jen Harbinger: [00:20:15] So whether you're looking to boost your energy levels, support your immune system, or address gut health, now is the perfect time to try Athletic Greens for yourself. Simply visit athleticgreens.com/jordan to claim our special offer today and receive the free D3-K2 wellness bundle with your first purchase. That's up to a year's supply of vitamin D as added value. Again, that's athleticgreens.com/jordan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:36] This episode is also sponsored by Better Help online. If you think you might be depressed or you're feeling anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, Better Help offers licensed professional counselors who are trained to listen and help, you can talk with your counselor in a private online environment. Everything is, of course, from your phone, from your iPad, whatever at your own convenience. Better Help counselors have expertise in a broad range of areas, anxiety, grief, depression, relationships. There are so many people right now that are sort of suffering alone or thinking that it's only them that's going through this. It's just not true. You simply fill out a questionnaire to assess your needs, right? You get matched to a counselor and a couple of days. If for some reason you don't click you’re your counselor, no problem. Get a new one. No additional charge. Over a million people are taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced Better Help counselor therapy. There's no shame in this game and get some help. Somebody even just to have somebody listen to you and make sure you're not the crazy one or, you know, tell you, you are and do something about it. Jen, tell them where to go.
Jen Harbinger: [00:21:33] Better Help is an affordable option. And our listeners get 10 percent off your first month with the discount code JORDAN. Get started today at betterhelp.com/jordan. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:44] And now back to Feedback Friday on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:21:50] All right. Gabe, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:51] Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I had my son a few months before Jordan did. Looking around the world and — so that would make him?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:58] One.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:58] A little over one, right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:59] Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:21:59] I should know that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:00] I love how everything's a competition now. Well, I had my sons slightly before you. Oh, okay.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:04] We get it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:05] We get it.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:06] We got to it faster.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:06] Your womb is quicker. Fine.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:22:09] I had my son a few months before Jordan did. Looking around the world and seeing who is getting ahead today. I've been wondering, should I raise my child to be the kind of person who puts himself first? I'm not talking about raising a Jeffrey Epstein style sociopath or a psychopath. I'm just talking about teaching my kid that it's okay to step on someone else to get ahead in the world. That if he sees an opportunity, he should grab it even if it comes at a cost to others. There's a big difference between acting lawfully and acting ethically. As our president has said, not paying taxes makes him smart. If you can do it lawfully, why not? Why teach a child to act ethically? For my part, I was raised to care about others in my community. I knew from the time that I was 10, that I was never going to be rich money and power were never motivators for me. While my husband and I make enough to be more than comfortable, my primary focus has been to help others and make a difference with my life. But now I'm looking around and wondering, should I get over my crunchy hippy ways and teach my kid to be a shark? Thanks for your podcast and all that you do. Signed, Am I the Champ?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:07] All right. I'm kind of surprised that I'm reading something like this, but I'm not going to sit here and judge, I get it. There's a difference between nice people being nice and people-pleasing. And we all know those people who get wronged, whether for real, or in their mind, by let's say a partner in high school or college, and they decide to become a total piece of shit. I know a lot of guys, when these guys, as an example, here, they get wronged. They get dumped or cheated on by some girl in college. And then they're like, "Women, this, that, and the other thing." And then they're on like the red pill, Reddit forums yelling and posting memes. It's a great question. It's a really good question. I really applaud you for thinking so consciously about what kind of human being you want to raise. I've been doing that recently too many people clearly don't think about that at all. They just follow their programming and they pass on their inherited values and their baggage mostly without considering at all, if they're healthy, they're productive. So good for you for doing that.
[00:23:59] But this question, isn't just about what kind of child do you want to raise in the world? But it's what kind of person you are, what kind of people this country is made up of. And I don't want to get too on the soapbox about America or North America or Western civil, but I'm going to try and focus on the main one, which is, should I raise my kid to be more aggressively self-interested? I don't know, Gabe, it sounds to me like a false dichotomy here.
[00:24:24] It sounds like in the writer's view, either you raise a kid who's super ambitious and is a total a-hole or you raise a kid who's not successful at all and lives on your couch, but he's a good person. I just don't buy into that breakdown. I don't buy it at all. I think you can be super successful, ambitious, wealthy, but you can also be kind. You can be super for unambitious, unsuccessful, poor, and you can be a total dick. In fact, in my experience usually works that way more often, truly generous people, they get ahead. And true a-holes fall behind in the long run and yeah, there are tons of exceptions to that rule. But media attention right now is falling in a lot of people who are like, "Yeah, I got mine. F you," right? And that's somebody that we all love to hate, but it's not really like, "Oh, that person is now successful because they did that."
[00:25:13] There are some people that achieve success through that. Those same people would have been successful if they were also kind, they just chose not to be because they're not strong enough or socially savvy enough to actually do it. They don't have enough self-confidence to actually be great people and also achieve the success that they feel. Bear in mind. A lot of the people who achieve success and also our huge dicks, the reason they were so gung ho about achieving success is because they have low self-esteem. Not that everybody who's successful has low self-esteem, but people who are dicks and rubbing in your face because they're successful also, those people don't have a high sense of self-worth at all.
[00:25:50] In fact, it really is that the truly generous people get ahead. A lot of my friends who are very wealthy, they're super nice. They donate a ton of their money. They help a bunch of other people and it's not because they're like, "Well, I made a bunch of my money, grifting and stealing cryptocurrency. Guess, I got to be nice now and whitewash my reputation." I know a few people like that too, but I can name like two and I can probably name at least 200, really generous, super nice people. It really is the exception that proves the rule.
[00:26:16] So in my view, you don't need to choose between raising a star and raising a good person. I think you absolutely can and should do both. So, how do you do that? Well, you have this exact conversation with your son by instilling the right values in him from a young age, by teaching them the importance of ambition and empathy and power and generosity, wealth and kindness. Show him the relationship between these qualities and how they reinforce one another. Show him how being generous with the people in your life makes them better and makes him better. Show him how to pursue his goals while still respecting the law, respecting his ethics, respecting the kind of person his mom and dad want them to be, and respecting other people's feelings to a certain extent.
[00:26:56] And by the way, I know loads of successful people who went to prison for cheating on something just a little bit. Or they lost their entire career or they lost their family because they kept prioritizing their needs over others or overdoing the right thing. And look, google news, all these downfalls sort of like, "I was a grifter and now I'm paying the price."
[00:27:16] Or look at an earlier episode with this guy, Justin Paperny. He decided to cut corners and was like a stockbroker and sold a bunch of crap and stole a bunch of people's money. He went to prison and he's like, "Prison was good for me." It was an earlier episode of the podcast. "So prison was good for me because I lost myself and who I was." And he means it, man. You know, he just started to move the goalposts about what was right and wrong and now he went to prison.
[00:27:39] I really think you can have the best of both worlds. Yes, there are exceptions and we see some high profile people being horrible, but let's be honest, you can tell those people are deep, really unhappy, right? Even if it looks like their lives are going well, you can really see how that person must be behind closed doors. The guy with five divorces, who's really wealthy. He got his estranged kids who write books about him. Is that a happy person?
[00:28:02] I want my kid to be happy and fulfilled and respected any day versus being merely wealthy. Gabe.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:28:09] I mean, at the end of the day, I think what we're talking about is the difference between being self-interested and being self-oriented. You know, self-interested people, purely self-interested people are toxic. They're self-obsessed. They are often malignant narcissists. But self-oriented people are productive. They're curious, they're ambitious but you know, in the right proportion to how generous and kind they are, they're healthy narcissists, right? They're the kind of good narcissism that you want to have. So I think what you really want to do is raise a son who is self-oriented because self-oriented people understand that they have to take care of themselves. Yes. They have to, you know, go after goals that they want to achieve. Yes. But sometimes those goals will come into conflict with other people.
[00:28:48] And when that happens, there is a way to be consciously competitive in this world. There's a way to compete and to take care of yourself and to take care of your family and do well without stepping on the other guy or treating somebody poorly or cutting off your feelings about somebody who's standing in your way. That's the kind of kid you want to raise a self-oriented one rather than a purely self-interested one. But it sounds to me like you're going to be a great parent. And I think that is one lucky kid.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:11] Gabe, one more thing has occurred to me. I feel like when parents ask this question, they're feeling a little bit powerless in the world and I can see that right now. I can see that right now, where somebody goes, "What the hell? I studied hard. I got a job. I got laid off because of COVID. And look at this other person who's like stolen a bunch of money, embezzled, or is in the business of grifting others and they're taking pictures on Instagram on their boat. Like where did I go wrong? Maybe following the rules is for suckers." I can see that right now because when times are tough, a lot of people who are doing well might be bragging about it a lot and maybe some of them have ill-gotten gains.
[00:29:50] So it can be tempting to think that you're the sucker. But there's a big difference between having material success and being actually happy and successful. And I would trade one for the other any day. I know a lot of miserable, wealthy people that have just completely lost who they are. Many of them have killed themselves. I don't mean to be dark about this, but there are a lot of people that have a lot of material success that I know that are some of the most miserable wretched people. And all they have is their boat. All they have I have is what they post on Instagram. It's not like, "Oh look, I just want to showcase what I'm doing." That is all they have is the approval of others. The material possessions that they've collected. Their kids won't talk to them. I mean, you really, you kind of have to shine a magnifying glass on some of these people and then you go, "Eww, I don't want to be in their shoes. No way. Don't care about your villa in Capri. You're a really miserable bastard."
[00:30:40] All right, what's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:30:41] Dear Jordan and crew. I'm a college football official working in a system where networking and name recognition are just as important as being a good official with regards to knowledge of rules and mechanics. Here in Indianapolis where I live, I already have a network that includes Mid-American Conference, Big Ten, and even a few NFL officials. I've managed to be on staff in my local Big Three conferences. I've been added to the developmental list and the local D2 conference and was lucky enough to work at quarter-final and semi-final in the national tournament in years past. In short, my career trajectory is looking bright. At the same time though, my wife and I have been targeting a move out West in our five to 10-year plan. We both have jobs that allow us to work remotely and we feel like we want to be closer to nature. Am I crazy for trying to build a network for a move that would be at least five to possibly 10 years in the future? How would I best be able to start building a network now that will help me when the move out West eventually does come? I listened to a podcast about officiating and the hosts are both in the Western regions of the US so I was considering reaching out to them to start networking and getting some name recognition. There was also an officials clinic in Utah each year that I plan to attend, to start having my face become more familiar. Thanks for your advice in advance. Love the show, Westward Looking Zebra.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:51] By the way, I just want to sort of — before we get started here, he said, "I'm a college football official working in a system where networking and name recognition are just as important as being a good official with regards to rules of knowledge and mechanics." Every system of everything that I can think of relies on name recognition and networking. I'm not saying that he's wrong. He's right. But I just want to be clear. I've heard this a lot where people go, "I get it, Jordan, but I'm in the government. I'm in the military. It's all about seniority and dah, dah, dah." And then we'll interview a general and they're like, "Networking is extremely important in the military. And it's the key to your career." It's like, okay. Every organization that I've ever heard of that I can find I've yet to find an example. I'm sure there is one, but I've yet to find an example where networking and name recognition, don't help you. And all you have to do is keep your head down and work. I think there's a lot of organizations that say they're like that. And then you'll get an email from that person later that's like, "And then there's this guy who just came out of nowhere because he's friends with one of the guys who's at the top of the game and he's getting ahead," and there's nepotism and there's networking. And they're kind of like — they're not two sides of the same coin, but they are maybe adjacent squares or maybe there's one square between them. I don't know.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:33:00] Yeah. I know what you mean. I love this question because it's interesting to hear how meaningful relationships advance every type of career in every part of the world.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:07] Right, like who knew about officiating at lower levels of non-NFL, like of course, it exists, but who the hell has thought about like, "Oh, a Mid-American Conference referee officials and Big Ten Conference, D3 football. It's stuff you don't even think about it. I guarantee you that there's a union of people that get to work on cranes that build skyscrapers, and they're going to be like, "Damn it. That guy got ahead of me because of networking." And you're like, "What?"
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:33:32] Yeah. It really does cut through the specifics of whatever the industry is. Doesn't it?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:33:36] It does, yeah. So this is a great question. It's interesting. And I love hearing how meaningful relationships advance every type of career in every part of the world. And even though the specifics of college football are unique, the strategy is not unique. So let's dive into it.
[00:33:49] Am I crazy for trying to build a network for a move that would be at least five, maybe 10 years off into the future? No, this is exactly what you should be doing. You're building up a network that will set you up to achieve all of the things you want to achieve long before you actually need to achieve them. And I applaud you for that. I love that you were thinking so far ahead and it is never too early to build a network. The best time to plant a tree — I always get this wrong. Is it like the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second-best time is right now? Or is it a hundred years?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:34:17] That sounds very wise. So let's go with that.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:20] Yeah. So let's go with that. It's a Chinese proverb. It might be a hundred years, but that sounds like an old ass tree. And how would you plan it a hundred years ago? Nobody's that old?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:34:27] Impossible.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:27] It's probably 20. It's probably 20 years. That's really digging the well before you're thirsty, man. So you get it. And I get it. He also asks how would I best be able to start building a network now that will help me when the move out West eventually does come. You are already doing this, reaching out to podcasts about your sport is a great idea. By the way, I, I love that there's a podcast about being an official in a sport, a very specific one.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:34:49] Me too.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:34:49] There are a million podcasts and this is why like, "Oh, here's one of the multiple shows. It was about being a referee in a specific sport at a specific level." That's not just like the NFL. It's so funny. There's probably 10 shows about that. Reaching out to podcasts about your sport. Great idea. Reaching out to other officials, coaches, executives is also smart. Continuing to invest in yourself as an official is key. And by the way, I almost promise you that the people who run the Division Three Mid-American Conference football referee podcast have started that because it's good networking in the first place. They're not going to be like, "Why is this guy reaching out to us? That's so weird." They're going to be like, "This is why we started this podcast in the first place."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:35:28] Good point. I also imagine that even though I know the world of college football is huge. I wouldn't be surprised if these podcasts have much smaller communities. Where it wouldn't be super weird to reach out. And I bet they would be much more responsive.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:39] Yeah, there'll be like, this is one of the guys in his 20s and 30s who's not a 77-year-old retired guy who doesn't know what a podcast is, who's part of this community. There's probably like the tech-savvy podcast listening part of this community. And they're probably getting each other jobs. You have no idea. So you're already doing this. And my big recommendation — surprise, surprise — is to keep investing in the people you meet as you continue investing in yourself. So find ways of helping the people you meet. An introduction between two refs, prepping someone for an interview with another university or league, talking out a challenge with a more senior official in your organization, et cetera, et cetera. Lead with this value as a way of building a relationship, it is much more powerful.
[00:36:18] For example, to reach out to those podcast hosts with some links, to some interesting articles or recommendations based on what you've heard versus — and I get this a lot and I'm grateful for it — but I want to separate it from what's effective. People saying — and you shouldn't do this — "Hey, heard the show, love what you do. Let's be friends." Like that's not — I won't say totally ineffective. I met plenty of people through the show and I always do. It's more effective to build a relationship based on something else other than your fandom of the show. And trust me, I get a lot of listener email. I know how powerful it is to receive an even a tiny piece of value in my first interaction with someone. And I love it when a listener helps me understand a point better as evidenced by the letter earlier in the show. Shoots me a recommendation to a video editor or shares this story that helps me appreciate the impact that our show has. You don't have to do this. If you just want to write and say, "Hey, love the show. That's it. Bye." I'm not going to be like, "There's no value in there. There is value in there." So don't, don't think twice about sending us a message. I love it. I love all of it. Those messages aren't just nice through the lifeblood of a relationship, which is what you're trying to build.
[00:37:22] Last, but not least from my end, make introductions constantly among people at your level, above your level, below your level, outside your direct network, people at your university, in your city, et cetera. A lot of people try to network up. You should also be networking quote-unquote down because you don't know what level people are going to be throughout their whole career. There's no reason to be like I'm ignoring this tier of people because I've graduated from it. Don't do that. There's a lot of people that will surpass you because of whatever.
[00:37:48] There are podcasters that wrote to me years ago that I helped just because that's what I do. It's part of the Six-Minute Networking lifestyle if you will. And their show is now huge. And there's a couple of people, their shows are bigger than mine because it just caught fire and got mentioned in like the New York Times and is a true-crime show. And everyone loves that stuff now. And they're like, "Yeah, I remember when you helped me with this other thing." And I'm like, "Whoosh, good thing I did your giant now. Good for you. You won the podcast lottery." You want to be helping everyone. Don't be thinking about what might be in it for you. Just work the system, that's what it's for. Gabe.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:38:24] I would not be surprised if these relationships that he is building start paying off a lot sooner than five to 10 years.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:30] I think so. Yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:38:30] I mean, you start building these meaningful deliberate relationships, and like suddenly doors start opening. Doors you didn't even think could open. Doors you didn't even know existed. You start attracting interesting new people and opportunities into your life, which I think is going to happen to this guy. And before you know it, you're starting a new company or you're weighing a new job offer or you're exploring a new side project. So I think all of this advice is dead on. I also would not be afraid of those possibilities that could open up just because you've been so focused on this long-term goal of moving. I mean, you might still get there. I won't be surprised if you do, but also be open to life surprising you. Maybe you'll move somewhere else first or maybe you'll be recruited into division one and that will change your whole life and your strategy. You know, crazy stuff happens when you build relationships like this. Crazy exciting stuff, I should say. So stay open to that, even as you focus so intensely on this goal. Sometimes I think a goal like this, a very ambitious goal is actually just the reason to do stuff that generates these unexpected and often better opportunities, which is really exciting. So I love that you're thinking along these lines and good luck, my man.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:33] this is The Jordan Harbinger Show, and this is Feedback Friday. We'll be right back.
[00:39:38] This episode is sponsored in part by Ship dating. So this is an app where you can swipe for your friends and family. That's right. All up in their business. Doesn't stop now just because there are apps and we can't get all up in there up in their phone calls and in their personal space. We can now swipe for them. With the current pandemic, I just want to make sure that everybody that my brother-in-law goes out with is personally approved by me. Is it too much to ask that I have control over every element of someone else's personal life? I think not. If you're single, you can invite a group of friends to join your crew on Ship. Those friends help you find matches. And if you're not single like me, like I said, you help your friends out. You don't need to make a profile. You just joined the crew and you start swiping. It's fun to see. I've got a whole different load of criteria for Glenn's lady friends than Jen does. And I think, you know, there's something to be explored there. One of the funniest things is you can also chat in this little chat group that's inside the Ship app. It's funny to see who picks who. Date someone your friends already liked. Download Ship, the app that lets you swipe with friends. That's S-H-I-P. Just in case you were wondering what I was actually saying here. Search for the Ship dating app in the App Store. Starts swiping today.
Jen Harbinger: [00:40:47] Date someone your friends already like. Download Ship. The app that lets you swipe with friends. That's S-H-I-P. Search for Ship dating in the App Store to start swiping today.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:57] This episode is also sponsored by HostGator. Look, I know we're all tired of being cooped up inside as we wait for the pandemic to pass, but if you've listened to our episodes with former CDC Director, Julie Gerberding and the Global Virome Projects Dr. Dennis Carroll, you know there's no solid timetable on what's going to happen yet. Rather than wasting all the extra time you find yourself with by watching every season and every iteration of Law & Order ever taped, start by making that personal or professional website you've been threatening to unleash upon the world. Just bring an idea. HostGator can take care of the tech side for a rate that's affordable for any budget. With every plan, you get unlimited email addresses, bandwidth, unlimited disk space, SSL certificates, add credit, WordPress blog tools. 99 percent guaranteed uptime and 24/7 365 support with a 45-day money-back guarantee if you aren't a hundred percent happy and I know that's a lot of numbers. But here's another one, you can get up to 62 percent off if you go to hostgator.com/jordan. That's hostgator.com/jordan.
[00:41:53] This episode is also sponsored in part by a Bring Back Bronco. This is a podcast about the Ford Bronco. This is going to be a massive hit with car folks. I can already tell. I've listened to a couple of episodes of this. I got a sneak peek. That's right. I get all the early podcasts. No big deal. No big deal. This is Bring Back Bronco, the Untold Story. It's essentially the metaphor for the last 50 years in America. It's an eight-part serial. Blood, sweat, dirt, and one very Uber famous police chase and the host who's also from Detroit, like me, and has a Ford family, like I do. My dad worked there for 30 years. He's going through and narrating everything from the factory floor to the chairman's office, especially during the OJ thing, what they were thinking, what they were doing. And you all know there's a relaunch of the Bronco coming in 2021. So this is kind of like, I think, a warm-up to that and the Bronco is an iconic brand. And those of you who are into cars, you all know what I'm talking about. Search for Bring Back Bronco anywhere you listen to podcasts. We'll, of course, include a link in the show notes. My thanks to Bring Back Bronco for their support of the show.
[00:42:55] Thanks for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us going. Who doesn't love some good products and/or services? You can always visit jordanharbinger.com/deals for all the details on everybody that helps support the show. And now for the conclusion of Feedback Friday.
[00:43:13] All right, Gabe. What's next?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:43:15] Hi, Jordan and team. My wife and I have been happily married for almost two years now but we have yet to come to a decision regarding last names. Prior to our wedding, we agreed that she would take my last name. Shortly after the honeymoon, though, it became clear that we were no longer in agreement. She has since decided not to change her name, partly because she's already built a professional network. And partly because her family name would stop with her.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:36] The date and switch.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:43:38] Very nice. The old date and switch.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:40] Oh, the old date and switch.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:43:42] I understand that it should not be expected for the woman to change her name when getting married, but I felt caught off guard after thinking that we were previously in agreement. We've had numerous conversations about solutions such as combining our last names or choosing a new name, but nothing seems to work as both of our last names are very meaningful to us. Now, that we're planning on having kids in the next year, this is a decision that must be made. Do you have any suggestions that might help us come to an agreement? Thanks for all your work with the show. What's My Name Again?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:08] Well, I'm in a weird position right now because Jenny hasn't changed her name yet. Purely out of — what at least I think — purely out of laziness. It's actually a huge pain to change your name. There's a lot of forms. That's neither here nor there, but this is an interesting one. Choosing names is a highly personal decision, obviously. There's no right way to do it, which is liberating, also frustrating. Depending on who you ask. Taking your husband's last name when you get married, it's either a patriarchal BS, bizarrely, old fashioned, or just no big deal and maybe kind of romantic. I can't deny there's something unquestionably, gendered, possibly sexist. I don't even know anymore about a woman having to take a man's last name, just because he's the man. But I also don't judge anyone who does — my family being a case in point. Your situation is even more complicated because A, you all have built reputations with your names, and B, you guys are both very attached to them, which is fair enough. But as long as you're both rigidly committing to your family names, you're never really going to resolve this. Either someone has to give in or you both have to find a new name, you both agree on. Sounds like it's been hard.
[00:45:13] I get it though. A name isn't just a name. It's a shorthand for identity, history, connection to other relatives. And when you decide to give up your name and take someone else's in a sense you're giving up maybe kind of, sort of erasing an entire story. And for some people, that story is super important and I get that. If I were you, I would just hyphenate it and get it over with that way. Your last name either doesn't change and/or gets hyphenated. And her last name becomes her original last name plus yours and we're done. Or I was kind of saying before you both hyphenate your last name, just so you both suffer from the paperwork.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:45:46] That's true equality, by the way, when both parties have to suffer through the bureaucracy together.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:51] But here's the caveat Gabriel. It might seem like it married your sister. I'm just going to let it sit. Right? Like, "Why is your last name hyphenated?" I mean, you'll have to explain it, but who cares. If it makes your wife feel better, then who cares. It's a story. But I'll let you sit with that one, but hyphenating is going to sound like a marriage, your sister anyway.
[00:46:07] So I can't resolve that for you. I can ask a few questions that might help you both navigate that situation. One would be, why are you attached to your names? Is it pure? And I use this term loosely, obviously narcissism, or is there a deeper connection there? What qualities or values baked into your last names that you're trying to preserve and pass down? What do you feel you'd be losing if you don't pass on your names? And are you insisting on your last name because you'd feel like less of a man? If so, I'd think hard about that because it doesn't really matter, but that's my opinion. Okay. I would answer those as deeply as you can and discuss them with each other. And the more you communicate and hash out your conflict openly — which by the way is something you're going to have to do a lot in a marriage — the more likely it is that you'll arrive at the most meaningful decision. And you might find out that you don't care about your last name, as much as you thought you did, or you'll find out that you do, but for reasons that you didn't even fully understand before the discussion.
[00:47:04] I learned so much from letting my wife call me out on stuff and argue with me that — I can't tell her that because she's going to keep doing it more and more, but I've learned so much. She'll be like, "Why do you do that?" And I'll be like, "I have no good reason. I just want to be right."
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:47:19] Good point.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:23] Right, all the time. Gabe, what do you think? Do you have anything on this?
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:47:26] Well, look, man, I have to say, this is a hot button topic in America right now. I did a little bit of digging into this because I wanted to find out what, like the current state of the marriage last name debate is. 72 percent of adults polled in a recent study said that they believe a woman should give up her maiden name when she gets married. And half of those people said that they believe it should be a legal requirement, not a choice.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:48] Wow. Okay. I didn't see that coming. I did not see that coming.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:47:51] Yeah, that was a little like, yikes. Interesting. Okay. Another recent study found that less than three percent of men took their wife's name when they got married, which is also interesting because if you got rid of all the gendered stuff that is baked into the whole idea of a woman taking a man's name, there's really is not a strong argument in my view for why one person should have to take it just because they happen to be a certain gender. But there's such a low percentage of people who are willing to go the other way. I thought that was interesting.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:15] I only know one guy in my whole life that took his wife's name and I can't remember what her last name was, but I will tell you that his last name was Lipschitz and that was all I needed to know. I think it's a Polish Jewish name.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:48:29] Yes, it's Eastern European and actually a friend of mine is named that too. Let's get back to that in a second because I actually think that that might be part of the answer. But here's a fun fact. I just want to get this out there. In Medieval England, men who married women from wealthier or more prestigious families would sometimes take their wife's last name. And that's because in some European societies back then class outweighed gender.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:48] Oh, that's equally unwoke.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:00:00] I was just about to say, let's be honest, not any better than the situation.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:55] Ah, my name is Jordan Vanderbilt. No, no. I was born broke as hell. No, no, no, thanks. No, I married into it. I didn't work for it at all. Thanks for asking.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:49:03] I actually never had a last name. I was too poor to even afford one.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:06] My birth name was Jordan Shoveled-shit-in-a-ditch, but I did marry into a classy family. Thanks for asking.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:49:13] How did you happen to just have a last name that actually like, it could have been an Eastern European last name?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:19] Yeah, it's Slavic. It a Slavic name.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:49:20] It sounds like one of my mom's family member's last names. Shoveled-shit-in-a-ditch.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:24]It's Shoveled-shit-in-a-ditch, but I will. Let's not split hairs.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:49:28] So, yeah, it's a tough one. I don't think that either of you is automatically right, but I definitely don't think that women should have to change the last names just because I really do see both sides. When I read this letter, Jordan, I was thinking, look, if it's such an issue for both of you, why doesn't he keep his last name, she keeps her last name? And then they don't have to negotiate over which person takes the other last name but then it becomes a problem when they have kids. Right?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:48] It's not though, like Jen's last name is still her last name and my last name is still my last name and my son's last name — okay, I guess, he just took my name, but then you can decide later when you have kids and it's not too late — like you don't have to change your name if you're marrying. You don't have to change your name within 90 days of getting married. You can do it in 20 years if you want to, and your kid can have a last name, it might make it hard to pick up your kid from school if you have different last names, but that's like the only issue that I can see.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:16] I'm sure you could work around that in some way.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:18] I think they might be able to figure that one out, yeah.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:20] I get the sense with this couple that they're just going to kick that fight down the road. If they just say, well, we'll work it out with the kids. And then they're going to fight about which last name their children get to inherit. But then the kid could have a hyphenated last name, and then the fight is really just about which of their last names goes first. I'm sure they would find a reason to fight about that as well but at least you don't have to deal with it with each other. I have to say if all else fails, what if you just went with the last name that was most aesthetically pleasing. Is that shallow or is that a good way to avoid all this messy stuff.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:50:48] No, like the easiest to spell last name.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:50:51] Which sounds better with the kid's first name? Like which one do you guys both agree is nice if you read it in a book? I don't know. Maybe that's doing what you said, Jordan, which is sort of erasing somebody's history. But I also think that if you agree that you can get past that, it might sidestep all of the problematic stuff about who gets to win. You know what I mean?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:07] Yeah, no, I agree with you there. And by the way, there's no rule also that says your kid has to have the same last name. You can, I think — was it Penn Jillette whose kid's name is like Batman, Superman, Spiderman or something? I mean, I don't recommend that obviously.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:51:20] Or let the kid decide?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:23] Hi, my name is Robbie Legos. Cool. Change it. When you're 18, you're going to regret this in middle school, but no big deal.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:51:29] He comes from a long, long line of prestigious Legos.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:34] Plastic bricks. Overpriced expensive plastic bricks. All right, last but not least.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:51:38] Hey, Jordan and team. I'm an environmental consultant/advisor working on environmental approvals for mid-tier mining companies in Australia. I worked for a husband and wife team that have grown their environmental consulting business exponentially in the last few years. I just passed my six-month probation at this company. Despite never having done the exact type of work I'm doing now, I am doing all right technically. Where I'm failing miserably is working within the approved billable hours for my projects. I've generally always been a slow and methodical person. So I tend to take my time. Time that frankly, I don't have, studying relevant legislation, studying regulation guidelines, and studies. Every project I've done so far is for a different mine environment and approval type. So each case requires unique research and understanding. My bosses have discussed this with the whole team and always invite us to come to them whenever we need more time. So they can consider going back to the client if it's justified. I appreciate that, but I never bothered because my main delay is needing time to research and write, which is something that clients do not pay for. They are also budget-conscious mid-tier companies that my boss is trying to foster long-term relationships with by offering leaner and more competitive costs. I've listened to your show for years and years. And I know that you are the perfect person to ask this question. Any advice or tips you can give me would be so appreciated. Thanks in advance, Busting my Billables. And P.S. I adore your show. You have the most interesting curated guests and I love your interview style. Your advice on Feedback Friday is always so on-point. Your team is obviously fantastic.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:02] It is indeed the team. Well, thanks so much for listening to the show and for your question here. Your job sounds pretty interesting. It reminds me of the law. I get the billable hours thing. I get it. There's a lot of billable hours, or otherwise billable hours, they get tossed out. They get rounded down by a partner when firm bills out, especially younger, newer associates. So you still get your salary. But the client doesn't pay for the extra time. It's just part of the learning curve. You know, the client can't really be expected to pay for that in most cases. In your case, it's even more complicated because your bosses are trying to win bids and build relationships by pricing competitively, which makes sense. It is smart, but it can also be a little shady and a little unfair. And what that really means in practice is that you are bearing the cost, you're subsidizing their earnings, and networking with your time, which is — it's really not cool.
[00:53:52] So here's my recommendation because you're still so new at this job. You're six months in and you're still learning, which is great. You should be, I think you should spend another mas-o-menos six months biting this bullet, putting the extra time to research right. Think of it as an investment in yourself in your future. And then in six months, see how you're doing relative to your billable hours. It's very possible that you're still climbing a very steep learning curve and that you just need to know more in order to deliver your projects within the allotted hours. And in six or nine months, you might be in a very different position with a huge amount of knowledge under your belt. You might be able to deliver projects much, much more efficiently. I think you will or you won't, and then you'll know there's really something wrong with the way that your billable hours' worth. In a perfect world, your bosses would be paying you to get up to speed or asking their clients to increase the contract a little to cover your hours. But since they're not doing that, I get why they're not doing that. You have to work with what you've got.
[00:54:50] Gabe, what does she do? If in six to 12 months, she's like, "Oh, okay. That took double the hours. I'm really good at this, but these projects just can't be done in these hours. We're just underbidding to get the contract and I'm getting the shaft. This is killing me." What does she do then?
[00:55:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:55:04] Then I would talk to your bosses about this and tell them how many extra hours you have to work to get things done. You know, explain your process, explain your concerns. Ask them why they think it is that it's taking so much longer because you know, either they will realize that they're unfairly underpricing and you're doing all this free labor to get the project over the finish line. Or you will realize that you need to change the way that you work, which is totally fair. If they're underpricing, help them, see how the burden then shifts to you. If they will not up the billable hours that are allowed for your role, then you'll have to decide whether you want to keep working there. And that's a separate conversation.
[00:55:38] If you need to change the way that you work though, then ask them for guidance. I think you can be open to learning a different way of doing things. You can be, be open to learning how to execute a little faster, or you can learn how to ask for some help when you need it. My instinct is that some combination of these two will be the answer. But reading the letter, I have to say, I really do not miss dealing with the whole billable hours thing. You know, like I'm done with that now. I just have the freedom to exploit myself, frankly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:02] Ah, yes. I went from a corporate Wall Street slave to having an even crappier boss, which is myself.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:56:10] Ain't life grant, love entrepreneurship.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:12] Yes. A little saying that you hear endlessly when you join entrepreneurial organizations. And they say things like, "Being an entrepreneur is the freedom to choose which 16 hours of the day that you're going to work," or something like that. It's so true.
Gabriel Mizrahi: [00:56:23] Totally.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:24] It's totally true. Hope you all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone that wrote in this week.
[00:56:28] If you want to know how he managed to book all the great people and manage relationships with the guests that come on the show, it's all about systems and tiny habits. Check out our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free over on the Thinkific platform. That's at jordanharbinger.com/course. Don't try and figure this out as you need. The number one mistake I see people make, especially business owners, is postponing this and not digging the well before you get thirsty. Once you need relationships, you are too late. Dig the well before you are thirsty. This is a free course. Come on, people. Jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:57:01] A link to the show notes for this episode are at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are in the show notes. There's a video of Feedback Friday on our YouTube channel at jordanharbinger.com/youtube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also hit me on LinkedIn.
[00:57:16] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. And we have an amazing team, as you all know, including Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi here with me every week. Keep sending in those questions to email@example.com. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own, and I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on this show. Remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody who can use the advice that we gave here today. That's always best. 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.
[00:57:56] I keep thinking about what are my favorite episodes. Here's what you should check out next on The Jordan Harbinger Show. We've got a trailer of our interview with Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, and an investor in one of Silicon Valley's top VC firms. He drives 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. That's coming right up after the show.
Reid Hoffman: [00:58:29] A piece of advice I most often give entrepreneurs is don't just work on the product, work on your go-to-market. It's a huge world. It's eight billion people. How do you stand out against the eight billion people? Actually, in fact, that's kind of challenging.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:41] Yeah, that's a good point. Are we at eight already?
Reid Hoffman: [00:58:43] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:43] Oh my gosh.
Reid Hoffman: [00:58:45] Yeah. Oh, I build this thing in a corner. No one sees it. It may be the best thing ever, but no one sees it. So it's never used. That's the problem on the entrepreneurship side. So network one key component. Another one is, which is your Plan A, you have Plans B, which is how to think about like, "Well, if A is not working on, maybe B will work or maybe B will be a different path or you're not coming." And then you have a Z Plan which is, it's not working out at all. What's my lifeboat plan? I'm going to row to a different set of Plan A and Plan B's. 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 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. Yes, your passion's important, but you should be paying attention to market realities. You should say, "What are the opportunities look like? What does competition look like? What's the best match for me to what the opportunity landscape looks like? You can always say one more data is useful. The test is what's the minimum set of data that you would actually, in fact, make this decision.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:49] We need to separate our winning intuition or instincts from our losing ideas.
Reid Hoffman: [00:59:55] More often than not, greater than 50 percent of the time you're going to have to give up on that idea. Everyone loves to tell these narratives of, "When I was two, I knew what I was going to do when I was 40."
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:06] Yeah, it sounds good.
Reid Hoffman: [01:00:08] And it was a straight line, that was kind of smooth sailing. The wind was at our back. It was kind of unproblematic. It's always fiction.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:16] For more women, Reid Hoffman in 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.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.